12 Things That Made Me Smile This Month

Jan 30, 2019

As January comes to a close, I have to admit, it has treated me well, and I hope it has been kind to you as well. Nothing grand or seemingly extraordinary has happened, but in fact, it is the ease, the slower pace and cozy comforts of this time of year that have made this first month of 2019 quite lovely.

As I have shared since this past fall each month a list of moments and events that have made me smile, I wanted to continue this series by sharing 12 things that made me smile during this month of January. Some of the moments, followers of TSLL on Instagram will recognize, but others are new.

I will admit, that writing this post is quickly becoming one of my favorite regular posts to write as it is a time when I find myself smiling all over again as I remember each of the memories listed below. It is my hope that your January had many moments in it which you found yourself smiling as well.

1.Outings in the snow to cross country ski, walk and explore with the boys

~on a recent morning walk with the boys. Notice Norman on the left side (center – in the shade), along with Oscar in the lower right-hand on the trail~

2. The most recent episode of Garance Doré’s podcast, Pardon My French, spoke to me most intimately as the guest Perla Servan-Schreiber speaks about knowing she didn’t want children, finding the love of her life in her early 40s and how society’s perspective on aging needs to shift to reflect the truth of the awesome opportunities.

3. Setting up my office anew in a different room in my cottage, complete with small updates that I will be showing in the next few months.

4. A newly compiled TSLL playlist of Just J.S. Bach compositions that has been the background in my classroom for the past week.

5. Celebrating Oscar’s 14th birthday with an entire day (okay, maybe a full weekend) doing what clearly brings him joy – bones, great food, a bit of a walk, napping and snuggling . . . oh, and then eating again 🙂 .

~Thank you tremendously to everyone who sent birthday wishes to Oscar! They were much appreciated and I made sure to pass them along 🙂 ~

6. Adding a patiently waited for French compote to my kitchen decor, and since they were on sale at the end of the year, adding one more for the aromatic produce (onions, garlic, shallots). Shop more French and French-inspired compotes here.

~don’t worry, the garlic is not typicalled stored with the fruit, but I liked the color combination for this photo~

7. Watching a film that I cannot recommend more highly (as shared in this week’s Petit Plaisir)

~captured while watching On The Basis of Sex, seen here Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the United States Supreme Court~

8. Hearing the excitement in my niece’s voice when she shared a great success she had achieved.

9. Seeing the fog lift and the sunlight break free, just in time to enjoy a walk along the river before the sun set beyond the horizon.

10. Bringing the first semester to a close and seeing great progress with students in a variety of ways.

11. Feeling fortunate to receive kind and just-because emails from readers and listeners as they share how the blog, podcast and/or books have made a positive difference in their lives. Thank you so much for taking the time.

12. Having taken a significantly different approach to my smart phone use and seeing my minutes and hours of weekly usage decrease to my delight. And upon reading this article in The New York Times this past weekend, I was encouraged to keep up my new habit.

~View next month’s posting – 10 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . (February 2019)


~20 Things That Made Me Smile This Week, August 2018

~10 Things That Made Me Smile This Week, September 2018

~10 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . ., October 2018

~13 Things That Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . . , December 2018

21 thoughts on “12 Things That Made Me Smile This Month

  1. Hi Shannon, I like all of the items on your list, but the ones involving your dogs win it for me. #1 sounds like heaven…. no snow or skiing of any kind out my way. Enjoy it!

  2. They all made me smile too Shannon ?
    Thank you , as always , for my favourite blog posts and instagram photographs.
    I am so glad you have had a lovely January, and hope that February will bring you many more happy and contented moments .
    With Best Wishes from th UK

  3. Thanks, Shannon. Wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying your podcasts each Monday. They truly do make me slow and and think about enjoying each moment!

  4. Good morning Shannon!
    This all makes me feel happy, but I agree with the first one about your dogs!!! I thank you once again for all you bring to my life. I usually check your blog first before anything else on the computer.
    Happy Wednesday!

  5. Your blog and podcasts resonate with me. Thank you for sharing your simply luxurious life and inspiring me to enjoy simple luxuries. This past weekend my husband and I strolled through farmers market and bought fresh salmon pretty flowers and tangerines. All was a luxury that we continue to enjoy….salmon all gone flowers still blooming and last tangerine will be for breakfast today. Thank you Shannon

    1. Gretchen, By sharing your weekend with TSLL readers and myself, I have no doubt you have inspired others. It sounded like a lovely weekend that carried into the week. Thank you for your time, interest and comment. 🙂

  6. Dear Shannon,

    This post made me smile, too! 🙂

    Winter is a difficult season for me, due to the lack of natural light (where I live), and I sure could use an exercise like this to find back all the nice moments that happened during the long cold Januray – it was not all grey, not in the least.

    My belated congratulations to Oscar! Not inclded on my previous comment because the “posting finger” was faster than the “writting finger”… Whops, sorry, Oscar dear.

    OK, I’ll go now and do my 12 smiles homework… 🙂

  7. Hi Shannon…..My bestfriend told me to introduce myself to you and so I am…..I have a sweet story to share that you are a big part of. About 3 years ago I discovered your blog and began to read it daily. I love anything French, Paris is my favorite city to visit, on and on….BUT what I really loved about your blog was all the pictures and stories you shared about the town you lived in. I would read these stories and soak in the pictures of you with your beloved dogs hiking, paddling on the river, etc. Also, I loved hearing about the little bookstores and bakeries you loved to visit. I would read all of this and I just fell in love with the town you lived in. I would sit at my desk and tell myself and God, how I wish I had your life (in the sense of where you lived and all that you did there)…BUT I never knew where it was! I don’t know why, I just didn’t see it and I didn’t look any further as to where it was…as I knew I would never be able to live there and enjoy all there is to do there. Now, I am going to go in another direction for a second….4 years ago my brother and his wife, Clark and Wendy, were exploring places to retire to….They happened upon Bend, OR ( They also had been there once before and had read up on it) and decided to look around at real estate not planning on buying anything just looking. Of course, they found their dream home and bought it on the spot!!! So unlike them, totally out of character! I was so happy for them, also sad, because they are my favorite people in the world and could not imagine life without them in it. But I still had 4 years! The following year, I planned on going with them on a weeks vacation to see their new home (that they were leasing out) and discover Bend for myself. Now back to your blog…Of course, I’m reading your blog daily, loving it and day dreaming…then one day you talked about going to a concert in town, a Diana Krall concert, it was in that blog that you mentioned Bend! Bend!?!?!? Bend, OR!?!??!?! The town Clark and Wendy are moving to in 3 years?!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! So I printed off the lists of your favorite bakeries and restaurants and that May 2017 the 3 of us went to Bend and tried out as many of the bakeries/restaurants you had listed!!! We loved them all!!! Sparrow Bakery to die for!!! Also, I went to Roundabout Books and spent a couple of hours there….I absolutely fell in love, in love with Bend, Oregon….The story goes on and on but I am here to tell you, this summer in early July Clark and Wendy will be finally moving into their dream home and I will be right behind them!!! Last year I began looking into retiring to see if I could and discovered that I am able to! My house will be on the market April 1, I am selling my business and already have been packing up all my lovelies and giving away the rest….I have a trip planned to France in September and my hope is that when I return I will be able to go home, my new home, in Bend! I know we will certainly run into one another one day and I can’t wait to meet you in person….Maybe at Roundabout Books!

  8. That is such an exciting story Rose. How wonderful to be close to family and in a place that feels like a dream come true. All the very best with the adventures of the year ahead!

    Shannon – thank you again for sharing your joyful January! All made me smile and certainly inspired (and challenged) me to get my gratitude journal habits back!
    Thank you for all that you do. Your impact is wider than you know.

  9. Thank you for sharing the NTY article. I have also consciously reduced my iPhone usage and found it to be of a great benefit. Looking forward to hearing more about how you manage the balance. Also, I recall last year you reduced your media consumption….where might I find a listing of the media you kept?

    Great thanks for all you do!

  10. Reading #2 was truly a breath of fresh air! ? As someone who was (honestly) 9 years old the first time she said she didn’t want children, but to be an aunt and godmother, and who reconnected with her childhood crush a few years ago at age 41 and married him at 43 — I adore everything about it. I downloaded the podcast you referenced, too and look forward to listening to it later this weekend.

    1. Marisa, Thank you. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I felt the same thing the first time I took the job as a babysitter in my teens. I am so incredibly happy for you. Congratulations to you and your love!

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