This & That: January 31, 2020

Jan 31, 2020

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Two British cosy mystery series, books about kindness and thinking well and curating a happy home, Le Creuset’s new colors and much, much more.


Happy Starts At Home: Change Your Space, Transform Your Life by Rebecca West

Rebecca West’s new book is not so new to readers abroad as it was published a few years ago, and thankfully was brought to my attention by a reader living in England. The good news for us stateside, is that it will become available in the United States on February 11th. I’ve already ordered my copy, and I cannot wait to explore this Pacific Northwest interior decorator’s approach to home design.

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds by Alan Jacobs

What I appreciate about this title and thus focus of Alan Jacobs’ book (published in 2017) is the offering to readers of skills and tools for becoming better critical thinkers so we can think clearly for ourselves. A celebrated cultural critic and a writer for national publications like The Atlantic and Harper’s, Jacobs shares what thwarts our ability to think (hint: often it is unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, because we do not want to), and reveals in engaging anecdotal examples how thinking well will reduce the inner turmoil and bring calm to our lives no matter what the outer world may be abuzz about.

Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, From Social Media to Work to Love by Victoria Turk

Released earlier this month, WIRED journalist Victoria Turk explains how “the digital revolution has put us all within a few clicks, taps, and swipes of one another. But familiarity can breed contempt, and while we’re more likely than ever to fall in love online, we’re also more likely to fall headfirst into a raging fight with a stranger or into an unhealthy obsession with the phones in our pockets. If you’ve ever encountered the surreal, aggravating battlefields of digital life and wondered why we all don’t go analog, this is the book for you”.

The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness by Kelli Harding M.D.

Released last year, research inadvertently discovered that indeed kindness is powerful in all of the most wonderful ways.  “Groundbreaking new research shows that love, friendship, community, life’s purpose, and our environment can have a greater impact on our health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office”. 

British Find

Agatha Raisin, Acorn TV

For all of you cosy British mystery fans (like myself), this is a series for you. From time to time I will subscribe to AcornTV to indulge in a few episodes or series that I enjoy and don’t mind a bit rewatching or watching a new-to-me series, and Agatha Raisin is just the case of the latter. With three seasons complete and a third one hopefully on the way, enjoy a city-dweller who retires early and escapes to the Cotswolds only to find herself stepping into a second career of sleuthing for her neighbors. Based on the 30 book series of the same title by M.C. Beaton, have a look at the trailer below, and subscribe to Acorn on their direct site or through Amazon.

Shakespeare & Hathaway, BBC mystery series

Another cosy British mystery series I stumbled upon late last year as it appeared on my local PBS station was Shakespeare & Hathaway. Already with two seasons complete, set in William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, find the series on Amazon, watch both seasons and enjoy an unexpected duo’s unexpected approach to solving crime.

Season 1 & 2 are available on Amazon


Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe’s Grand Mountaintops by Meredith Erickson

After listening to an interview with author Meredith Erickson on Milk Street Radio with Christopher Kimball, and discovering Erickson’s traveling adventures to the heights of 3000 meters and above in France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, I became intrigued by her fascination and discoveries in the small villages as well as luxurious elevated destinations and the food they served.

Lateral Cooking: One Dish Leads to Another by Niki Segnit

A companion cookbook to Niki Segnit’s acclaimed Flavor Thesauraus released in 2012, Lateral Cooking is organized into “twelve chapters, each covering a basic culinary category, such as ‘Bread,’ ‘Stock, Soup & Stew,’ or ‘Sauce.’ The recipes in each chapter are arranged on a continuum, passing from one to another with just a tweak or two to the method or ingredients . . . Lateral Cooking encourages improvisation, resourcefulness, and, ultimately, the knowledge and confidence to cook by heart” and would be a fun book to simply read if you want to wrap up your evenings dreaming about food.


Le Creuset’s Two New Colors for 2020

Each year Le Creuset announces new colors, and they just released the news of the latest two additions: Nectar and Artichaut. A rich, deep honey yellow and a regal bright, yet chic shade of green. If you are looking for your first Le Creuset or your fifth, maybe this year is the year when the color speaks to your signature style.


Made Magni Small Vase, Green (more sizes available)

I was recently introduced to Made, an online shop offering luxury items without the luxury price tags, and wanted to share. Curating items from family-run businesses in Europe, to favourite furniture makers across Asia, find unique decor and home furnishing items that speak to your particular taste.

Shoppe Terracotta Crock Jar Set

A crock unlike other crocks. “The Crock Jars are inspired by Larder Crocks on a traditional French ironstone preserving jar with their straight-sided form and elegant concave lip”. Fully glazed and safe for fermentation.

Theory Fitted Shirt in Stretch Silk (pre-order), more colors

A trusted, high quality layering item in the fall and winter capsule wardrobe, a silk shirt that offers a beautiful silhouette, enough coverage (not sheer), and moves well with the body, Theory is one of my trusted go-tos for staple pieces. Place your order now for your favorite color (there are five) before they go out of stock. Look for shipping to begin the second week of February.

Trouva Slouchy Basket, Natural (sale)

Lately I have been coming across new decor destinations as I look for decor inspiration for my own home, and Trouva is an online shop to check out for unique finds from around the world. Sourced from independent boutiques from across the globe, discover that perfect unique something you have been looking for.

~recipe for Mini Poached Pear Cardamon Cake~

The first month of 2020 wraps up, and with it a deep sigh of relief and celebration. The semester’s end, the week’s end, and now the beginning of so many other wonderful things to come. I will be watching the finals of the Australian Open this weekend, as well as enjoying time at home reading, walking and well, just being.

Wishing you a lovely weekend, and thank you for stopping by. Below are a handful and more articles you might enjoy as well as two videos. Until Monday, bonne journée!

~Seven Tips to Greatness [Pick the Brain]

~January may be just about over, but here are a few tasks to tend to in the garden in preparation for spring [The English Garden]

~How to Make Peace with a Noisy Mind [Tiny Buddha]

~All the more reason to visit the museums, see the play, go to that lecture and so much more that captures your cultural curiosity – Engaging with the Arts May Help You Live Longer [Reuters]

~This is a fascinating article – Do We Really Learn from Our Mistakes? [Association for Psychological Science]

~An Adult’s Guide to Social Skills [The New York Times]

~If You Really Want Healthy Relationships, Remember to Value Yourself [Tiny Buddha]

~An article worth pondering – One Thing You Should Know About Our Uncertain Reality [Marc & Angel]

~The Plan to Make Paris the 15-minute City, regarding traveling to where you need to go [Forbes]

~If you are still scratching your head wondering from where the British Royals receive their income, watch this simple, visually guided video to make sense of it all.

~One last video, from CBS Sunday Morning – their regular Moment with Nature, and as it is sharing moments with birds, I was delighted. I hope you enjoy.

2 thoughts on “This & That: January 31, 2020

    1. Cheryl, Thank you for this reminder! I recently saw this show pop up as I believe a new season has begun? And I made a mental note to watch it, but your reminder has nudged it into action! Thank you and have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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