This & That: January 8, 2021

Jan 08, 2021

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New French cuisine cookbooks, inspiration for paring down and amping up the quality of your life, fitness and health inspired books, a new series to take you into the growing of Floret’s Flowers, Frankie Drake returns, learn to let go of the burnout and embrace the goodness of living well, and oh, so much more.


Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski PhD and Amelia Nagoski DMA

Released last year, sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski wrote a bestseller when they wrote Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, now available in paperback to help women design a life free of burnout and full of peace and self-acceptance. Readers will discover (1) what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation; (2) how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration; (3) how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it; and (4) why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout.

Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chodron

Published in 2018, Comfortable with Uncertainty “offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living.” Learn the practices of the Buddhist path, its essential concepts and themes.

Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel Lieberman

Released this past Tuesday, Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University . . . “tells the story of how we never evolved to exercise—to do voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. Using his own research and experiences throughout the world, Lieberman recounts without jargon how and why humans evolved to walk, run, dig, and do other necessary and rewarding physical activities while avoiding needless exertion . . . Lieberman suggests how we can make exercise more enjoyable, rather than shaming and blaming people for avoiding it. He also tackles the ques­tion of whether you can exercise too much, even as he explains why exercise can reduce our vul­nerability to the diseases mostly likely to make us sick and kill us.” What perfect timing as we may each be reassessing what physical exercise regimen will not only work, but be effective and long-lasting.

Feel Better in 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Upon listening to this recent episode on Gardeners’ World’s podcast, I began to be curious as to Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s work. His most recent book is Feel Better in 5 which helps readers to discover a strength workout that you can do anywhere, gut-boosting snacks you can eat on the go, yoga moves to relax and stay supple, and breathing exercises to calm the mind.

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

Released more than 15 years ago, Jonathan Haidt combines two genres-philosophical wisdom and scientific research-delighting to share surprising insights about the truth of where happiness resides. “For example, why we have such difficulty controlling ourselves and sticking to our plans; why no achievement brings lasting happiness, yet a few changes in your life can have profound effects, and why even confirmed atheists experience spiritual elevation. In a stunning final chapter, Haidt addresses the grand question ‘How can I live a meaningful life?,’ offering an original answer that draws on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science.”

British Find

The White Cottage Mystery (book one in the series) by Margery Allingham

A tremendous thank you to TSLL reader Liz for introducing me to Margery Allingham’s British cosy mystery series! Allingham has always been shared to be J.K. Rowlings favorite Golden Age author, so I am most excited to begin reading with the first book shared here – The White Cottage Mystery. Originally published as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927 and a year later as a book, slip away to the English countryside and put on your sleuthing hat. 🙂


Basics to Brilliance by Donna Hay

Published in 2017, Donna Hay’s cookbook Basics to Brilliance is an Editor’s Pick as a cookbook to have, and the title says it all (simply so, yet oh so perfectly). “Mastering the basics is how you build confidence. So, in this book, she’s sharing all her favourite, tried and true recipes – think the perfect tender steak, golden roast chicken, crispy pork belly, her nan’s sponge cake, and of course the fudgiest brownies! Each basic recipe is followed by clever variations and simple flavour change-ups, so one recipe becomes many and your repertoire naturally grows. Take Donna’s ‘no-fail meringue mixture’ – once mastered, this basic recipe can be tweaked to be turned into the perfect pavlova; divinely flavoured salted caramel, chocolate, rosewater and pistachio, and raspberry meringues for an elegant afternoon tea; or a silky smooth and tangy lemon meringue pie for a divine dessert for a dinner party.”

Francophile Find

LaRousse Patisserie and Baking: The Ultimate Expert Guide, with more than 200 recipes and step-by-step techniques

I happened upon this aesthetically beautiful cookbook this past weekend while spending time at the Oregon coast. Carefully packaged, you cannot look inside until you purchase it, but the cover alone is luxurious to touch. Highly reviewed, France’s own LaRousse’s authoritative cooking brand shares in their new cookbook, released this past fall, all aspects of baking – from simple everyday cakes and desserts to special occasion show-stoppers . . . The book also includes workshops on making different types of pastry, handling chocolate, cooking jam and everything else that you need to know about pastry, patisserie and baking.”

Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis

After much anticipation, American expat living in Paris Susan Herrmann Loomis’ new cookbook will be released this coming Tuesday – January 12th. AND, I am excited to announce that she will be a guest on the podcast in an upcoming episode in February to talk all about it. My copy will be arriving next week, so I look forward to trying a few of the recipes before the episode to recommend a few to definitely check out.

During the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to spend time with Susan during one of her cooking classes in Normandy, and during this time also met the photgrapher she was working with for the book. Needless to say, expect appetite tempting photos to match each of the recipes. 🙂


What & Where Women Create

What Women Create is the newest quarterly publication in the WWC Series. Complimenting Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, and Where Women Work this issue is all about WHAT inspires these women and what is eventually created by their hands … whether it be handmade arrows the skills of which were taught to them by their father, calligraphy mastered through endless hours of perfected practice, or a delicious and nourishing meal grown and gathered from their own or a community garden.”


Crepe Draped Dress, Theory

Stunning, yet seemingly simple and looks oh so comfortable as well. When we can dine together again, this dress would be perfect.

LaLigneNYC Chalet cashmere sweater (black or red)

The buttoned shoulder, left undone or not, is a lovely cozy, yet beautiful idea for winter apparel.

Luxe Crew Sweater, 41% silk

Casual, yet not really. As shared above, made with 41% silk and rouched just perfectly to create a lovely silhouette, dress up a simple pair of jeans, and feel wonderful.


Frankie Drake, season 4

Premiering this past Monday on CBC (based in Canada), the much anticipated series set in the 1920s Toronto returns with their four-fabulous female-starring cast. While the first three seasons are available on PBS Masterpiece (via Amazon Prime as well), look for the fourth season to be available here as soon as the series has wrapped up (and hopefully sooner!).

Growing Floret

One of my first To-Dos of the new year was to be ready to purchase seeds from Floret’s Flowers when they went on sale this past Tuesday (as they go quickly!). Erin Benzakein is considered one of the leading farmer-florists in the country and along with her husband and a small crew, they are expanding their couple acre farm in Washington state into 20 acres. The Magnolia Network (Chip & Joanna Gaines) brought Floret’s team on board to be part of their new channel in a documentary series of how exactly Erin and her team did just that – how they grew Floret’s into what customers and readers have come to trust and regard as the site for unique, heirloom varietals of flowers.

The first episode premiered this past Monday on Discovery+, which you can watch with a 7-day free trial (subscriptions beginning at $4.99/mo). The Magnolia Network will premiere at the end of January, but a couple of their shows – including Growing Floret – are being released prior. Check out the trailer for Growing Floret below and be inspired even if you aren’t a gardener.

The Minimalists: Less is Now

Ah, a new year, a fresh start. Be inspired to edit to own and acquire less, and in doing so, live more fully. A film after my own heart. The Minimalists is a documentary film detailing Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus’ assertion that our lives can be better with less. Find it on Netflix now. I highly recommend checking out the trailer, and if you are more interested in podcasts and blogs, that is where it all began for them. I have enjoyed a handful of their episodes over the years. Check them out here.

The end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 brought beautiful fresh snow and moisture across Oregon, and Norman and I took advantage of our first outing of the new year to take in this view. Surreal it was, but indeed oh so real. A moment to soothe the mind, body and being.

The first week back at school has found us with news we may be going into hybrid teaching come February. Of course it will be bittersweet as sharing everyday with my boys has been a special treat. In fact, they have come to school with me a time or two, taking their morning naps as I taught away on my computer.

The weekend will be spent at home, planning the garden, organizing my seeds, and reading some wonderful books – this one and this one currently have my attention in the evenings, and I am gradually and enjoyably making my way through a lengthy audio book with each walk I take outdoors. I am not sure what else I will choose to do, but I love leaving space to just let my curiosities take me through the day.

This past week on the blog shared a podcast episode which was much-shared on social media (thank you so much for everyone who generously did so 😌) about Simplifying Our Everyday Lives and on Wednesday, three Outfits of the Month were shared to inspire you to not only spruce up your workouts, but also tend to your après outfits as well, and if you haven’t already joined the monthly conversation with fellow TOP Tier subscribers (learn more about becoming one here), A Cuppa Moments video chat, view it here.

The last week of the year was full of Top Posts in five different categories. See each below and TSLL’s 11th Anniversary celebration post (Dec. 26th) also includes two lists of Favorites as well. Oodles of TSLL content to explore to inspire a wonderful start to 2021.

I hope you have time this weekend to breathe, rest and ponder the awesome little details that fill your life, and I want to thank you for choosing to stop by the blog today for the first This & That of the new year. Wishing you a lovely weekend and enjoy more than a handful or posts, some recipes and much more below. Until Monday, bonne journée.

This Ginger, Carrot & White Chocolate Tart looks to be a the perfect January dessert – some vegetables (come on! yes, it’s true!), spice and sweet. 🙂

~Looking to bring French decor inspiration into your home? Check out HiP ParisSeven Ways to Bring France into your sanctuary

Covered in natural linen (other colors available), I am appreciated the clarity, well-organized, yet simple layout of Appntd Year Planners

~A French expression which might make you chuckle – Remettre le facteur sur le vélo. Discover what it means idiomatically and how it came to be [The Local]

~An enticing winter meal to try at home, courtesy of Nigel Slater – Cabbage, Taleggio and Pancetta [The Guardian]

~10 Things to Remember When Everything You Want is Out of Reach [Marc and Angel]

~To leave your fears behind, learn to live in the now [Pick the Brain]

~Slip away to Pays d’Auge, Normandy, if only virtually to tour the country home of British fabric designer Manual Canovas and his wife Catherine [House & Garden UK]

~The Ultimate Guide to Classic Style (fashion) [WSJ]

A British countryside and gardening IG account I enjoy following is @McCormickCharlie and his Victoria Sponge Cake begs to be made. [House & Garden UK]

~8 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You [Tiny Buddha]

~10 things to be passionate about for a fulfilling life [LifeHack]

~Supposedly this is the Norwegian secret to enjoying a long winter (TSLL’s readers who live in Norway, feel free to confirm, correct or clarify :)) [FastCompany]

~How to break out of the box and live life on your own terms [LifeHack]

~What to do in your garden in January [House & Garden UK]

~And we can’t forget Monty’s January To-List as well [Monty Don]

~39 Steps to being an English gardener [The English Garden]

~An article to provoke much discussion about women, mothers, feminism and the pandemic [The New York Times]

~A worthwhile read and a title that is actually about so much more and not at all what you might expect – Why I Ignored Morgan Freeman’s Advice on How to Live My Best Life [Tiny Buddha]

19 thoughts on “This & That: January 8, 2021

  1. A fantastic collection of ‘this & that’. Both trailers were a draw along with your book suggestions – and that dress!!
    Thank you Shannon, much to consider this weekend. Xx

  2. Love starting Friday mornings perusing this and that and receiving much inspiration for the weekend.
    Thanks Shannon

  3. I really loved the Frankie Drake series after watching it on your recommendation. Unfortunately, I could only get hold of the first two seasons here in Norway so I envy you the fourth. Hopefully, they will follow up here too. Stylish strong women to inspire. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. I hope you 3 and 4 become available for you soon as well! Such a great series and the development of the supporting cast in the latter seasons is especially thoughtfully done. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  4. Good morning Shannon and happy Friday! A wonderful collection this week – thank you for sharing. As a native of the Pacific Northwest who visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival every year with my mother and sister, I am so looking forward to the new show Growing Floret. Enjoy your weekend ~ your plans {and open space} sound lovely! 🙂

    1. Jessica, oh, yes! I wasn’t aware of this event, but indeed you will absolutely enjoy the series I have a feeling. I look forward to perhaps checking out the first episode this weekend. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend. 😌

  5. Happy New Year Shannon!
    My husband and I have watched The Minimalists for a couple of years now. They have wonderful guests on the show too.Their first documentary is really great also, and we have watched Less is Now two times now. We think it is good! All of it falls in line for me as far as simplifying my life. I have been simplifying our home for a few years now. We have never had a ton of stuff, but having even less has actually helped de-clutter my mind!! Plus I am the one who takes care of and cleans our home, so less is better.
    Growing Floret sounds very interesting, would love to watch that.
    We watched Joanna Gaines cooking show and it is fun. We saw one of yours on YouTube and It seems like you were meant to do that for sure!! Very fun to watch.
    Well bye…. and take care!

    1. Tamra, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Less is Now film. I certainly am curious about how they reveal what they have found. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Enjoying winter is as simple as changing your mindset, dressing appropriately, and getting outside to enjoy the quiet and beauty. More candlelight, cozy sweaters, fires, full bellies, fireplaces, warm baths so much to love about winter.The way cardinal red and forest green pop against the blanket of snow. The way the sun sparkles across the frozen ground. Ice skates and snowmen. It only took a pair of Carhartt overalls and good fitting, warm snow boots to get me outside, and enjoy Michigan winter. I began to enjoy it when I decided I would.

    1. Lovely perspective and a reminder of the power of our thoughts! 🙂 Thank you for all that you have shared Sherri. Wishing you many lovely outdoor wintery excursions.

  7. Hi Shannon,
    I have been questioning my Franklin Covey planner for a couple of years now. It is just too bulky, but I love the simple classic style of it. I am excited to see that you mentioned Appntd Year Planners since I have been looking for other options. I’ll have to take a look at their website. I am so happy that I subscribed to TSLL. I don’t subscribe to any blogs or social media, but you provide such quality posts and podcasts. Thank you for putting so much work into the books, shows, clothing, products etc, that you mention. You save me so much time!

    1. Beth, I am sincerely humbled and deeply appreciative for your interest and support of the blog. Thank you so much for your feedback. 😌
      Regarding planners, I too loved Franklin and had them for years. The right planner for our lives changes because our lives change and it takes time to find what works best. The good news is, there seems to be a wealth of options now available. I will say about Appntd, the paper, spine and cover is quality material. Not flimsy. And this size fits in my Polene purse (I wasn’t sure if it would because it’s not small), but it fits just perfectly. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend. 😌💛

  8. Hi Shannon, both Rangan Chatterjee and the Minimalists do a great a great podcast. Rangan does a long format chat with some very interesting people – you would love it.
    It’s the summer break here is Australia – Christmas holidays and summer holidays are combined and the school year starts in the last week of January – its very civilised!
    I do look at your photo of snow covered paths near your home in Bend a little wistfully and imagine a snowy Christmas. I am catching up on your cooking show, and your gorgeous blue oven is to die for. Gabrielle x

    1. Gabrielle, thank you for sharing about Rangan’s podcast. I will check it out! Enjoy the summer break. I had no idea how the school.calendar worked in Australia. Thank you very much sharing. 😌 I appreciate your stopping by today and tickled to hear you are enjoying TSLK cooking show. ☺️ Yes, the stove is a dream come true. However, it never looks as clean as it does in the video and shots for the show because I use it constantly! It is such a good additional to my Everydays. Have a lovely weekend!

  9. Thank you Shannon for another delightful this and that which I am enjoying with my lovely cuppa as the heavy frost sparkles jewel like outdoors. Looking forward to the podcast with Susan Loomis. Love her energy.My husband is a retired physician and he had been saying for years what Mr Lieberman says about too much exercise reducing our vulnerability to illnesses. So everything in moderation makes eminent sense. I am a big fan of Dr Chattergee and his holistic advice and tips are so manageable to achieve and maintain your best health. He’s such a breath of fresh air. Now to the sweaters so lovely. The question is which colour🤔. Wishing you and the boys a lovely cosy weekend 😊

  10. Every couple of years I feel the need to write and say thank you. Your weekly newsletters are always full of recommendations and I have discovered many books, films and tv shows through you. Christmas 2019 when you went skiing with the dogs to get a Christmas tree is an image that has remained with me and is very inspiring. It’s your way of taking time and beauty doing ordinary things. You must be a great teacher. So thank you

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