This & That: January 22, 2021

Jan 22, 2021

You have 4 free post views remaining this month.

Become a subscriber and view posts without restrictions.

Chic clothing, sustainable style ideas, gardening inspiration, a film to make you laugh, a book and a podcast too, beautiful piano music and much, much more.


Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross

Being released next Tuesday, Chatter written by psychologist Ethan Kross “explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies, Kross warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk—what he calls chatter’—can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure . . . But the good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight—in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces.” Sounds like a worthwhile read for strong mental health and learning how to master our mind better.

How to Adult, A Practical Guide: Advice on Living, Loving, Working and Spending Like a Grown-Up by Dr. Jamie Goldstein

Released last October, How to Adult shares “how to take care of adulthood’s biggest challenges―like careers, finances, and relationships―through practical advice and guidance . . . [how to] Reflect on our progress with a pair of how-to adult quizzes designed to help us measure our knowledge and maturity―before and after finishing the book . . .” and keeping it light as well as instructive, the book “Make[s] it easier to tackle credit cards, debt, and more with help from lighthearted advice that teaches us how to adult while entertaining us.”

British Finds

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication by Alexander Larman

Released earlier this week, “Alexander Larman’s The Crown in Crisis will treat readers to a new, thrilling view of this legendary story. Informed by revelatory archival material never-before-seen, as well as by interviews with many of Edward’s and Wallis’s close friends, Larman creates an hour-by-hour, day-by-day suspenseful narrative that brings readers up to the point where the microphone is turned on and the king speaks to his subjects. As well as focusing on King Edward and Mrs. Simpson, Larman looks closely at the roles played by those that stood against him: Prime minister Stanley Baldwin, his private secretary Alec Hardinge, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang. Larman also takes the full measure of those who supported him: the great politician Winston Churchill, Machiavellian newspaper owner Lord Beaverbrook, and the brilliant lawyer Walter Monckton.” Lovers of British history, this is a book for our libraries!

Long Live the Queen: 23 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch by Bryan Kozlowski

Released this past November, “for the first time, [readers are able to] step behind Palace doors to unlock the little-known strategies behind the Queen’s remarkable self-preservation. Investigating the 23 rules of her iconic resilence, you’ll learn how to channel your inner royal – at work, at play, or at the table – in this fascinating plunge into the House of Windsor’s famous fountain of youth.”


Serena & Lily Alona Tray

S & L just released a new seasonal collection, and my eyes landed on this circular rattan tray with leather-wrapped handles. For function and beauty. A wonderful pair.


Pretend It’s A City

Released on January 8th, humorist and writer and long-time resident of New York City, Fran Lebowitz sits down with director Martin Scorsese sharing her thoughts on the city she loves, life and observations that will leave you laughing outloud. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy viewing on Netflix now.

Francophile Finds

Salam teapot, Degrenne

Having a functional teapot which keeps your tea warm as long as possible as well as pours without dripping as well as looks sharp isn’t always as easy as it sounds. However, French homeware company Degrenne more than satisfies all three components. Their Salam teapots (available in three different sizes and oodles of different colors) are made with isotherm, an infusion which retains heat and boosts the diffusion of aromas in water. Shop many different sizes and colors here, here and here, and discover a unique approach to a stylish and functional teapot with their porcelain body and their chic multi-colored lids.

Why French Women Wear Vintage: And other secrets of sustainable style by Alois Guinut

Released last fall, as we are now realizing more fully and more widely than ever before, the environmental damage of fast fashion on the planet, “Paris-based style-coach Aloïs Guinut explores in her new book what French women can teach us about how to cherish the planet without sacrificing our style and looking for new ways to dress that don’t involve cramming the wardrobe with clothes that may never get worn.”


Lessons from the Great Gardeners: Forty Gardening Icons and What They Teach Us by Matthew Biggs

I am so excited to begin reading Matthew Biggs garden book which was brought to my attention by a TSLL reader (thank you :)). Released in 2016, discover “advice about heirloom seeds and grafts from trees from great gardeners handed down through the centuries has shaped the science and art of gardens across the globe. Spanning gardeners from fifteenth-century Japan to the contemporary United States, Lessons from the Great Gardeners profiles forty groundbreaking botanists, nurserymen, and tillers of earth, men and women whose passion, innovation, and green thumbs endure in the formal landscapes and vegetable patches of today.”


Piano, Piano by Jeremiah Friates

Tuning into NPR’s Sunday Morning edition last weekend, I learned of Jeremiah Friates’ new album being released today Piano, Piano. A beautiful album full of non-lyrical piano-led tracks to soothe, calm and uplift. Have a listen to a couple of the tracks in the interview here.



If you love food and are curious about its history, but also want to enjoy a good laugh or two as well, be sure to check out Gastropod. “Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley look at the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food and/or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. Interviewing experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally having lots of fun, discovering new ways to understand the world through food.”


Àcheval Pampa Palo chambray pants

Slimming, neutral, chic. When I saw these chambray pants (available in lengths for those of us with long inseams), I took note quickly.

Deiji Studios white linen robe

Linen in winter or summer is scrumptious, and Deiji’s robes are comfortable, voluminous and easy to cinch to create the silhouette you want. Available in a handful of different colors, they would be easy to pack for travels as well.

Forte Forte floral jacquard tie waist coat

Speaking of robes and dressing gowns, Forte Forte’s jacquard waist coat is a signature piece to welcome into your evening and morning routine OR add to your capsule wardrobe. 🙂

Francis Francis espresso and coffee machine Y3.2 Blue, single serve

In my recent interview with France-based cookbook author Susan Herrmann-Loomis (which will air on Monday February 1st), she shared a Petit Plaisir which involves a long-owned coffee maker from Francis Francis. These quality machines, originally designed in Italy, and now the exclusive machine used by Illy coffee and espresso making, were one of the first to feature the option for the E.S.E. pods. Certainly an investment, if you are looking for a stream-lined coffee and espresso maker, there Y3.2 models (more colors available) are worth checking out. They also have beautiful espresso machines if you have more space and a bit bigger budget.

Loeffler Randall Loretta Cinch Clutch

A clutch that can actually hold something you will need to have with you! I was drawn to Loeffler Randall Loretta Cinch Clutch because it would be easy to tuck under my arm, but also leave me at ease knowing I have what I need with me.

Vince Kali Flats

A flat and a mule, all in one!

~recipe for Spring Rhubarb, Almond and Blood Orange Cake~

A week of change and good news in the household this week on both personal and global fronts. Slowly but surely, a project I am excitedly working on and planning is coming together, and I look forward to sharing with TSLL readers soon. I found myself in my kitchen throughout the week and weekend celebrating by cooking new recipes found in Susan Herrmann Loomis’ cookbook (look for my interview with her on the podcast Monday February 1st), making favorite go-tos and grateful for a well-stocked fridge in order to pull together a quick meal each evening this past weekend after an exhilarating but exhausting project of wallpapering my primary bedroom (look for a peek soon for TOP Tier readers). And you know, food, when we make it, when we take the time in the kitchen to care for ourselves and those we love, can be incredibly powerful to acknowledge good moods and lift not-so-good moods. Needless to say, I don’t know what I would do without a kitchen to tinker in. 🙂

I hope you too are enjoying a week which had far more good moments than not, and taking time to savor all that is awesome no matter how small and especially when it’s incredibly significant.

Thank you for stopping by today and until Monday, bonne journée. Below are more than a few posts and articles and two videos you might enjoy as you ease into the weekend.

~Could it be true when it comes to living a happier life? Find the place you love and then move there. [The Atlantic]

~How to let go of the need to control people and life [Tiny Buddha]

~Tour Interior designer Flora Soames’ English cottage for calm and comfort [House & Garden UK]

~I was reminded recently I need to renew my passport. Which makes me wonder, When will international travel return? [CNN]

~Paris’ Mayor gives the greenlight to turn Champs-Élysées into ‘extraordinary garden’ [The Guardian]

~Last week, Paris saw a dusting of snow! Have a look at a handful of pics on this rare weather day in the City of Light [The Local]

~Making sense of Brexit – what can you bring back from the UK to the EU? [The Local]

~The Bechdel Test, thankfully, was passed on one of the highest platforms in American history this week when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer adminstered the oath of office to Vice President Kamala Harris [The Washington Post]

~Despite the pandemic, Michelin unveils France’s top restaurant picks [The Local]

~It’s true! And I am most excited! Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda are returning to HBO (Max) for a 10-episode series to continue the story. [The New York Times]

~How to Make New Friends as an Adult [The New Yorker]

~Oregonian Author Ursula K. Le Guin will be featured on a 2021 postage stamp [Oregonian]

~The fashion at the Inauguration had meaning all over it [The New York Times]

~Seven Science-Backed Ways to Stay Sharp, Alert and Focused [LifeHack]

~Perhaps you too were moved by US junior poet laureate Amanda Gorman :). Here is another poem you might enjoy – “The Miracle of Morning” to lift your spirits as we navigate through and to the other side of the pandemic.

15 thoughts on “This & That: January 22, 2021

  1. So many great ideas, Shannon! Thank you for sharing. I was looking for a francophile book to read and the vintage style book is perfect for this grey weekend here in Norway. Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  2. Oh my! what a lovely compilation of this and that. I have only skimmed through just now but want to savour each and every item later on during the weekend with a quiet cup of coffee.
    Thank you so much for including another poem by Gorman. What a joy! It has inspired me halfway across the world. Watching her recite with so much grace, grit and belief, renewed my hope for a better future.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Edel and oh, you encapsulated what the world saw when they heard Gorman on Wednesday so beautifully. Thankful to be able to enjoy her talent and inspiration. Have a lovely weekend. 😌

      1. i’m blown away. I’m seeing Gorman’s video for the third time. highly recommended! it is absolutely spot on…there is so much to read and discover in her work. loving her final line: in testing times, we became the best of beings 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for recommending the book by Ethan Kross. Coincidentally, this is a topic I’ve been wanting to learn more about and explore in my own life. I think we can all stand to be a little kinder to ourselves, especially in such trying times. I’m excited to check it out!

    1. Lori,

      So true – self-compassion is necessary as it floods our entire lives with much more peace and quality connection with others. I took look forward to reading Kross’ book – our minds and knowledge of how it works along with how to work best with it can help improve so much of our days and life. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  4. The Lessons from Great Gardeners book reminded me that you should read the new historical fiction book by Julia Kelly, The Last Garden in England. While there is also a non-gardening aspect to the plot, I spent so much time reading the book in front of my laptop looking up the plant varieties mentioned. It was a great read.

    1. Cathy,

      Thank you for bringing Julia Kelly’s book to my attention. I just took a look at the story-line and it looks wonderful! I am sure it will appear on an upcoming This & That. 🙂 Thank you again!

  5. Can’t wait to dive in more fully to this weekend to this week’s This & That! And oh. Amanda Gorman–she was an absolute flame, a beacon, of hope and joy and truth and determination. Thank you for including another reading from her, absolutely delightful. Her collection of poetry, named for the inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb”, will be released Sept. 21 2021.
    You and the boys have a lovely weekend.

  6. I just watched the first episode of “Pretend It’s A City”. What a delicious, raucous delight that is going to be.

  7. Such a great collection of this and that! The article about letting go of control of people and life really spoke to me and gave me a lot of great coping ideas for my tendencies in this area. Of course the Amanda Gorman reading was wonderful! I just fell in love with her at the inauguration and I’m looking forward to her new poetry book and children’s book coming out in September. Thank you for including this video of her. Have a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *