This & That: October 7, 2022
Friday October 7, 2022

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There are quite a few wonderful films to watch this weekend with brilliant casts and well-written screenplays, and the book list is abundant as well beginning with boundary setting for a more contented you, artists who triumphed in the latter part of their life, a gardening book I will be adding to my library soon from a young gardener who I highly respect for her approach to effectiveness and sustainability, a new French-inspired cookbook/memoir, plus two more cookbooks – one for beautiful brunches and another filled with raved about everyday favorites – and still so many more titles. Also, finally, finally, finally, the much anticipated third season of a favorite, maybe my hands-down favorite comedy, premieres today!, clothing finds for autumn and a sale not to miss for quality capsule items, and oh, oh, oh, and a play I do hope I can someday watch that is now running in the London’s West End Theatre district, and still, yep! there is more!

Books

The Book of Boundaries: Set the Limits that Will Set You Free by Melissa Urban

Upon launching the “bestselling wellness program, the Whole30, Melissa Urban has taught millions of people how to establish healthy habits and successfully navigate pushback and peer pressure. She knows firsthand that boundaries—clear limits you set to protect your energy, time, and health—are the key to feelings of security, confidence, and freedom in every area of your life.” In her new book, released on October 11th, discover “how boundaries are the key to better mental health, increased energy, improved productivity, and more fulfilling relationships.”

Dying of Politeness: A Memoir by Geena Davis

I just happened to listen to an interview with Geena Davis on NPR as she spoke about her soon to be rekeased memoir, and when she spoke about the powerful influence Susan Sarandon had on her while they filmed Thelma & Louise, and her awareness of the strength a woman can exude if she chooses to; I found myself appreciating what she shared. Being released this coming Tuesday, Dying of Politeness is Academy Award winner Davis’ new book. “In this simultaneously hilarious and candid memoir, the path to finding yourself never did run smoothly. Dying of Politeness is the account of one woman’s journey to fight for herself, and ultimately fighting for women all around the globe.”

Last Light: How Six Artists Made Old Age A Time of Triumph by Richard Lacayo

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I often find explorations into the lives of artists whether through books or documentaries to offer powerful insights about life and inspiration my own creative journey even if I am not in the field of the people profiled. Last Light, written by one of the nation’s top art critics, “shows how six great artists made old age a time of triumph by producing some of the greatest work of their long careers—and, in some cases, changing the course of art history.” Look for it be released this coming Tuesday, October 11th.

British Finds

Derry Girls, season 3, Netflix

It’s here!!! After airing in the UK this past spring, the third and final season of Derry Girls is now available on Netflix, and if the first two seasons are any indication, this step back into the 90s in Northern Ireland with five teenage friends will be a hoot. As I shared when I chose this series for a Petit Plaisir a couple of years ago, I was rolling in laughter and nearly, yep, nearly, peed my pants I was laughing so hard. Likely because I too was a teenager in the 90s, and the trends that they skillfully include are just too hilarious not to laugh. What were we thinking!?? Take a look at the trailer below and perhaps you will be watching along with me this weekend, ☺️.

Handbagged, Theatre (London’s West End)

To be in London when i have the opportunity to travel means a trip to the theatre district is in order, and if I was there this autumn, I would be finding tickets to go watch Handbagged. A play by the British playwright Moira Buffini, Handbagged examines the relationship between Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister from 1979 to 1990. This new revival of the Olivier-Award winning play is at Kiln Theatre, and if you had the opportunity to watch The Audience, the play that began in London and then came to Broadway depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the many different Prime Ministers she met with, critics have made a positive comparison to this play, a play I feel fortunate to have seen in 2015 in New York with Helen Mirren starring as the queen. It was brilliant! If you are in London this season, I highly recommend you attend and if you do, please do share how it went!

The Modern Gardener: A Practical Guide for Gardening Creatively, Productively and Sustainably by Frances Tophill

Released this past spring from one of the contributing hosts to Gardeners’ World, France Tophill shares her expertise on gardening, and doing so whilst keeping the planet in mind. As a gardener who does not own her own home, and instead gardens on her allotment in England, she continually shares insightful and inspiring ideas for demonstrating that we need not have soil at our home to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of gardening. I look forward to adding this to my library and think it will be a wonderful read this winter.

The Whalebone Theatre: A Novel by Joanna Quinn

Critics have been eagerly and impatiently waiting for Joanna Quinn’s new novel to be released. The Whalebone Theatre, the title is based on what is constructed literally out of whale bones that wash up on the shore the English Channel in 1928. “By law, it belongs to the King, but twelve-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household—her sister, Flossie; her brother, Digby, long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitcat, kitchen maid; Taras, visiting artist—build a theatre from the beast’s skeletal rib cage. Within the Whalebone Theatre, Cristabel can escape her feckless stepparents and brisk governesses, and her imagination comes to life.” It is the gifts and experiences this powerful creation gave to Cristabel that enable her to grow into a headstrong young woman as World War II rears its head. “She and Digby become British secret agents on separate missions in Nazi-occupied France—a more dangerous kind of playacting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.” Released just this past Tuesday (October 4th), this books looks to be a great read.

Cookbooks

Beautiful Brunches: Over 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast and Lunch . . . Brunch! by Cider Mill Press

I happened upon this cookbook while standing in line at our locally own grocery market, and it captured my attention quite quickly. As I flipped through it, my appetite was piqued, and I figured that was a very good sign. ☺️ With “something for everyone, from kids to vegans, those with a sweet tooth and those who prefer something savory – The Brunch Book covers it all. From lighter fare that features the best of summer produce to stick-to-your ribs comfort food that hits the spot on a winter morning, you’ll never be at a loss for what to make for brunch.”

Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady

While Tara O’Brady’s cookbook was released a handful of years ago, it contains a much raved about chocolate chip cookie concoction, and continues to be talked about by food bloggers for her delicious recipes, which makes it all the more worth welcoming into a kitchen library as it is time tested. Based on her popular blog, originally called Seven Spoons (she has since changed the name to a website simply of her own name – here is the link), O’Brady “shares stories and recipes from her Canadian home–fresh, ingredient-driven food that is easy to make yet refined. Recipes like Roasted Carrots with Dukkah and Harissa Mayonnaise, Braised Beef Short Ribs with Gremolata, and Plum Macaroon Cake are wholesome, hearty, and showcase the myriad culinary influences at work in O’Brady’s kitchen.”

Film

Amsterdam

One of the small bouquet movie theaters I frequent continues to welcome to their screens wonderful, lesser known films, and Amsterdam is one of them. An awesome cast starring, just to name a few, Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, John David Washington, Alessandro Nivola, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Zoe Saldaña, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro, come together in writer and director David O’Reilly’s telling of an original crime epic about three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history. Have a look at the trailer below. I think this one will be unique and fun to watch.

Tár

Another film the aforementioned movie theater is bringing to their screens is a story I cannot wait to watch, and yes, when Cate Blanchett stars in anything, it usually finds me planning a trip to the movie theater, no matter what. But Tár involves classical music, so it’s a win-win. However, it is a psychological drama, so this should be interesting, and I will need to be in the right, ready state of mind to watch it as it does look intense (to say the least). Written and directed by Todd Field who shared in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that he wrote the screenplay with Blanchett in mind, and if she said no, he wasn’t going to continue with the film. Lydia Tár is a fictional character, as many people have wondered. Set in Germany, is considered to be one of the greatest living composers/conductors and is the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in select theaters today and nation-wide on October 28th.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Contrastly, this new film, based on Gabrielle Zevin’s novel of the same name, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, will be fun to watch no matter what is going on in my days, and I look forward to doing so. Centering around a bookshop owner whose business and life are spirally downward “after his wife’s tragic death, he feels lost and left behind in the rapidly evolving world of today. As he tries to keep his store afloat, he begins to drink his sorrows away, ultimately hitting rock bottom when his most prized possession, a series of Edgar Allen Poe poems, are stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, the unexpected arrival gives Fikry a new lease on life, and love, that are greater than he ever imagined.” Have a look at the trailer below. And if you are curious about the best-selling novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin, here it is.

Francophile Find

Cassoulet Confessions: Food, France, Family and the Stew That Saved My Soul by Sylvia Bigar


Released on September 13, Cassoulet Confessions “is an enthralling memoir by award-winning food and travel writer Sylvie Bigar that reveals how a simple journalistic assignment sparked a culinary obsession and transcended into a quest for identity. Set in the stunning southern French countryside, this honest and poignant memoir conveys hunger for authentic food and a universal hunger for home.” Get to know the author further in a profile piece posted on Frenchly. What a wonderful autumn, cozying-in book this looks to be. I cannot wait to read it.

Shopping

Barbour Merino-Cashmere Tartan Scarf (more colors)

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A fall and winter must-have, wool scarves, and make them in tartan and yep, you will have them all of your life. These are being sold in the men’s section at one of the top English brands to shop for quality, timeless style – Barbour, but regardless of gender, this scarf is a keeper for many years of chilly autumnal weather.

Everlane The Way-High Drape Pant, many colors

A style I have seen many wear with a slim top, even if a jacket is layered over-top as seen here, the draped dress pant. The cinched waist reveals the silhouette, and the wide, draped leg make this look quite modern and chic.

N.Peal Camel Mélange cashmere turtleneck

A classic sweater made modern with a tapered waist and sleeves. The type of sweater to have on hand when you need to stay warm, but you want to wear a more tailored look.

Reiss Red Fallon Wool Blend Roll Neck Dress

There are some of us (I unfortunately am not one of them) who look smashing in red, and so I had to bring this dress to you for the holiday season. A great price too.

~Theory Friends & Family Sale, 25% off site-wide

Always a brand I trust for classic capsule pieces, Theory is having their Friends & Family sale, and it is worth checking out if you know what you need. I have shopped a handful of items below, and I especially recommend their Good Wool Etiennette Blazer, having one in my own closet (many colors available such as this navy style). Speaking of Navy, if you are looking for a navy trench coat, their crepe trench coat is a dream and it’s on sale too (black and ivory are also available).

Etiennette Blazer in navy (more colors available)

SHOP THE SALE:

Television

My Life is Murder, Season 3 premiere, AcornTV

Set in New Zealand, Lucy Lawless stars and returns in for season three the popular cozy mystery series My Life is Murder. I enjoyed the first two seasons and watched them all last fall; happy to see they are sharing a third season, which kicks on on October 10th, AcornTV, with two episodes released each Tuesday. Have a look at the trailer below.


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What a gorgeous fall week we have had here in Bend. The temperatures have been ideal, the garden continues to beam, and I am savoring these extra few weeks of bringing fresh blooms into the house for bouquets (in previous years, our first frost was in late September, so this year is not typical or guaranteed to happen again). After a getaway to the Oregon coast last weekend, Norman and I rested up because we welcomed home a new family member with the start of the new month.

As I shared in episode #341 this week, I am not going to be sharing much for a while as I want to focus on settling in well for both her and Norman, but do look for a proper introduction in November’s A Cuppa Moments. Thank you to everyone who has sent their congratulations. Below is one more pic that made me smile. Norman sitting at the front door as I finished up watering my pots on the porch, and oh, the captions on this pic most definitely are plentiful, and I see the good and the love and I welcome it and I know Norman gradually will, and is, as well.

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I am a bit behind on my responses to comments this week, and I do apologize. Rest assured, I will be tending to catching up over the next couple of days, and look for episode #5 of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show tomorrow morning as we will be popping the Champagne because what we are baking is something worth celebrating! I cannot wait to share tomorrow’s episode with you as it was a hoot to tape, and delicious too. 🙂

A full week on the blog these past seven days, so if you aren’t already subscribed to the free weekly newsletter that is delivered each Friday morning, be sure to sign up here and stay up to date on all that is shared each week. From the monthly TOP Tier Members video post – A Cuppa Moments, a cooking episode sharing how to make savory and sweet palmiers, a new podcast episode and recipe (join me in the kitchen for this Petit Plaisir as I share in real time, an audio recording of the recipe being made in my kitchen), a Style Inspiration post sharing three outfits for fall and a Monday Motivational post to assuage your fear as you step into saying yes to that exciting new decision you have been dreaming about. So much content for this weekend’s reading and still there is more below to peruse. I do hope you enjoy, and thank you very much for stopping by today. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~This recipe looks ideal and decadently scrumptious for a weekend this fall – Overnight French Toast [NY Cooking]

~A garden I look forward to visiting someday, and one that comes highly recommended, Rockcliffe Garden, in the Cotswolds. Tour it here as featured in House & Garden UK.

~A perennial I added more of to my garden this fall as they offer such great, long-lasting color in late summer – Rudbeckias and why they are the quintessential autumn flower and how to grow them [House & Garden UK]

~I completely concur, and this article explains why it is so! As an Introvert, My home is my Haven, So Don’t arrive unannounced [Introvert, Dear]

~The 7 Best places to eat in Paris right now [GOOP]

~The next time you travel to France, read this before you head out – La Bise: Who to Kiss in France How Many Times [The Local, membership required]

~Fellow bird lovers and anyone who loves Mother Nature – Lights Out America! Songbirds are counting on us [NYTimes]

~Take a tour of the charming Notting Hill home, and while not a cottage, it offers so much inspiration for the English cottage aesthetic we focused on in this week’s episode of the podcast, #341

~Monty Don’s October Garden to-dos and pics

~The best sweet peas to sow in Autumn [The English Garden]

~Two new official pictures capturing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex captured on September 5th [Vogue]

~And one of the first family portraits of the Prince and Princess of Wales alongside the King and Queen Consort [Vogue]

~One more recipe to share this week, and this one comes from David Lebovitz – an Apple Crunch Tart

~Take a tour of Jacques Pépin’s home (inside and out) and discover why at 86, he’s not slowing down [NYTimes]

~How to Make Hard Choices, a TED Talk, philosopher Ruth Chang shares we are approaching them in the wrong way. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are. When we understand hard choices, we uncover a hidden power each of us possesses. Watch her talk below.


~Explore last week’s This & That: September 30, 2022

Many, many books across the genre spectrum – historical fiction, interior design, a favorite English cook’s new cookbook, and much more, cozy autumnal capsule finds, wonderful savings on timeless décor finds for the front porch and gardeners, Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline’s new film, a new addition to this weekly list for our male readers who also appreciate living simply luxuriously, oh! and a long anticipated new novel by a friend of TSLL. Yep, and still there is more!

~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

7 thoughts on “This & That: October 7, 2022

  1. What a seriously great T&T! 🙂

    My favourites here – and it was difficult to select only some…:
    – Derry Girls – together with Ted Lasso, this is, in my opinion, probably the most funny/ interesting/ intelligent/ serious comedy I know of;
    – Handbagged – (… sigh)… one can only hope that one day it will come to a German theater… (sigh… )
    – Beautiful Brunches Cookbook – I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I suspect might have a savoury one indeed… 😉
    – Amesterdam
    – Tár – Cate Blanchett is probably my favourite actress ever, so, yeah, whatever she does, I watch.
    – Red dress – oh yes!

    And others:
    – Never had rudbeckias but have been looking at them for next year. Let’s see.
    – Non announced visits: absolutely agree. Unless it is an emergency situation, which would certainly not fit with the purpose of a visit, I find non announced visits to be very rude. An introvert/ HSP thing? Yes, certainly, and, in the same manner that I respect other people ways, I appreciate that my ways are also respected.
    – Nothing Hill house: loved the entryway – an example how “busy” wallpaper opens a space- , Pooky’s Mason wall lights (as I am currently looking into something similar for my own bedroom, so thank you, Shannon!) and the green backsplash in the kitchen.

    Your furry babies are both lovely! Have a great weekend and lots of fun with them! 🙂

    P.S. – Looking forward to the new recipe – will get the champagne ready. 😉

  2. Hi Shannon. I smiled when I saw your apology about not keeping up with comments. I have not caught up because I’ve reread your British Inspired podcast numerous a times. It’s a keeper! Thank you for the upcoming movies! Amsterdam has all my favorite actors. Take care.

  3. How exciting to have a new family member! Hope Norman is excited too, I’m sure he missed Oscar and will welcome her companionship. We recently said goodbye to our lab, Ruby, and our house feels so empty without her. Planning to wait a few months before looking for another dog, my heart just isn’t ready yet.

    Lots of great items in this list for me to check out starting with My Life is Murder.

    Have a wonderful weekend with your pups.

    1. Mary,

      Your comment touched my heart when I read it this morning. Thank you. Thank you for remembering Oscar. I am so sorry about your sweet pup Ruby’s passing. Taking the necessary time is a must and a healthy self-care decision for you and the relationship and love you had for Ruby. I can completely relate, more than I understood at the time but now do more fully.

      Thank you for stopping by today and I too am looking forward to Monday with the new episode of My Life is Murder. Not a bad way to begin the week. Wishing you well and sending you much love as you move through the grieving process which is unique to each of us and those loved ones we have lost.

      Most sincerely,

      Shannon 😌❤️🐾

  4. As pet lovers, we all cope with their passing differently. I know I needed time with each one. It took more than a year after the last one, dear Lucy, and quite frankly I am still mourning her. While Lola fills a gap left by my darling girl, she was too special. I know I shed tears when your dear Oscar passed. I remember him in his last videos slowly trotting through the door from the boot room and how sweet he looked.
    I am so happy for you and your new little girl. I can’t wait to meet her. Raising a puppy is a commitment, and integrating a new one into a family with an established pet can be a challenge as well. Your Norman is such a dear little man, I think he will be glad to have a little sister. Listen to me mooning on and on, it is my nature. I even name my houseplants but that is a subject for deeper study. Best wishes.

    1. Lucy Augustine, I love the french words for pet-“animal de compagnie”. Those words imply a much more elevated and deeper status than “pet”. This lovely little wiggly, mischievous, adorable, trusting life-force is your life-companion, in animal form. Of course we mourn deeply when they die. People who don’t recognize this are lacking in all sorts of other ways and can’t be trusted in all sorts of other ways.
      My african violets are now named, thanks to you, other than, “Why don’t you friggin’ bloom anymore, #1 2 3”. Private names. You understand. xoxo Rona

      1. Dear Rona, Now you have me smiling! My plant names have connections as well. A new Donkey Tail sedum is named for a pony I had as a child, Fred was a dear animal. My porch plants, Betty and the Shamrocks keep everyone smiling at the front door. So many others, so many stories. I am thinking I may have too much idle time!

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