This & That: December 1, 2023
Friday December 1, 2023

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Released this past October in the UK and already a bestseller, from psychotherapist Philippa Perry comes her second book in which she “shows you how to approach life’s biggest problems: How do you find and keep love? What can you do to manage conflict better? How can you get unstuck and cope with change and loss? What does it mean to you to be content? Are other people just annoying, or are you the problem?” She brings to the readers’ attention that “life is all about relationships and the quality of those connections, whether that’s with family, partners, friends, colleagues or most importantly yourself. If you can get those relationships in balance, then the other tricky stuff that life throws your way becomes easier to manage.”

Having highly appreciated Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, I regularly follow his blog, and was delighted to learn he has just released a new book – The Daily Pressfield, a first for him in this particular format, similar to The Road to Le Papillon – a book of 365 daily entries written for one’s daily meditation and contemplation. Specifically, The Daily Pressfield is for creators, and anyone who is seeking motivation, inspiration, and encouragement as we each venture into a project with an idea in mind that we have yet to do but are determined to bring to completion. “Each chapter begins with a picked quote from The War of Art, Gates of Fire, Pressfield’s Writing Wednesdays blog, and other P-field sources. The second half of each chapter is Steve’s commentary on that passage”. As someone who appreciates his encouragement and voice, this book is in my shopping cart to begin reading with the new year.

Being released on December 5th is How Not to Age. “Inspired by the dietary and lifestyle patterns of centenarians and residents of ‘blue zone’ regions where people live the longest, Dr. Greger presents simple, accessible, and evidence-based methods to preserve the body functions that keep you feeling youthful, both physically and mentally. Brimming with expertise and actionable takeaways, How Not to Age lays out practical strategies for achieving ultimate longevity.”

Being released this coming Tuesday, podcaster Jamila Souffrant shows “how to skyrocket your savings, blast through debt and ultimately accelerate your unique and truly epic journey to financial freedom and independence in her book The Journey to Financial Freedom“. Explore her show, Journey to Launch here to discover more about her approach to cultivating and teaching listeners and readers how to become financially free.

A couple of weeks ago I shared the language learning journal Fluentish, and when I found that journal, I then discovered this new book You Are a Global Citizen which was released this past January. As I know many TSLL readers love to travel, YouTube blogger Damon Dominique’s resource was one I wanted to share. “You Are a Global Citizen ignites your inner curiosity and provokes self-discovery through fifteen chapters of thought-provoking questions about the cultures you have experienced – including your own – helping you to become a more inquisitive, aware, observant, and engaged world citizen. 

“Damon Dominique, shares his insights and stories from a decade of globetrotting, guiding you through questions such as, ‘Are you loyal to your country?’ Why or why not?, What culture or country do you remember romanticizing about as a kid?’, and ‘How do you feel about a global language?'” Most definitely food for thought while we are in between trips and trying to decide where to venture to next.

Fortnum & Mason Hampers at Williams’ Sonoma

A BIG Thank You to TSLL reader and member Abigail for bringing this exciting festive news to my attention. Williams-Sonoma now has available eight different Fortnum & Mason holiday hampers. A wonderful gift to give, be sure to peruse the contents of each hamper and fun deciding which would be best for that person on your list. My choice is the Merry Maker Gift hamper below:

Kew Gardens’ Christmas Light Walk

If you will be in London during the holiday season, visiting Kew Gardens is a must-visit as they are bringing back their festive Christmas Light walk and including never-before-seen details, brand new to the much-loved holiday tradition. Open now through January 7th, book in advance to guarantee you are able to enjoy the lights.

Lucy Worsley on the Queen of Mystery, PBS Masterpiece

Premiering this Sunday, December 3rd, is the three-part series detailing the life of Agatha Christie done as only Lucy Worsley can. Having had the opportunity to watch the first two episodes, and having read Worsley’s biography published last year – An Elusive Woman, (I highly recommend), this series complements and takes the insights and discoveries deeper, as well as taking us to the locations and villages discussed in her book. Have a look at the trailer below.

Midsomer Murders, season 24 premiere, AcornTV

And the English country village that has the most fictitious murders in the country is back! Season 24 of Midsomer Murders returns to AcornTV this coming Monday, December 4th and will air four episodes in this season, one each week, running right up until Christmas Day. You know what I will be watchman Monday evenings this December. 😉

Released this past November from the baker who made her reputation as the original pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Spago, Nancy Silverton, as Dorrie Greenspan shares is also the person who made a brioche so good it brought Julia Child to tears. And so now that she has published her own cookbook inspired by a moment in which while biting into a particularly delicious peanut butter cookie one day, she and had an epiphany: every single thing we bake should taste this good, we all have the opportunity to bring ourselves and those who enjoy her recipes to tears (of joy and delight) as well. The Cookie That Changed My Life is a cookbook compiling Silverton’s efforts to perfect the rest of the American baking canon.

“From Lattice-Topped Apple Pie to Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (the secret? Carrot puree) to Cornbread (is it too much to ask that it actually taste like corn?), she shares recipes for the platonic ideals of our most beloved baked goods.

“Alongside the classics—Lemon Bars, Key Lime Pie, Layered Buttermilk Biscuits—Silverton includes a handful of her own inventions: Double-Decker Chocolate Cookies (double the fun!), Iced Raisin Bars (a better fig newton), and Chocolate Brandy Cake (chocolate and brandy!)—all sure to become future classics”, explore more than 100 recipes and give your tastebuds a wonderfully good time.

Released this past October for cooks who want to both mix it up in the kitchen as well as use what is in the kitchen is The Global Pantry cookbook. “Two James Beard-Award winners show how to unlock the secrets of the global pantry and elevate all your favorite foods. Make the most succulent pot roast ever with oyster sauce. Transform a broiled salmon filet with miso. Give an irresistible kick to chicken wings with gochujang. Turn out the crunchiest French toast with panko breadcrumbs. Use Mexican chorizo to add depth to a quick skillet chili . . . In more than 120 recipes, here’s how—with just a dash here or a tablespoon there—you can elevate your cooking using 65 common pantry items from around the world.”

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This film looks like an absolute delight to watch. From Croatia and Serbia, How I Learned to Fly premiered in Belgium at a film festival and continued to capture audiences and critics’ appreciation being nominated for multiple awards and winning more than a few along the way such as the Best Film selected by Young Jury at the Tel Aviv International Film Festival (2022). The story centers around Sofija, a 12-year old who “is dragged to a seemingly boring vacation with two old ladies. However, new friendships, first kiss and ancient family secrets will turn this summer at the Adriatic coast into a life-changing experience and an unforgettable adventure.” Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in select theaters in the states beginning today.

After reading a review in The Financial Times of Robert Darnton’s new book The Revolutionary Temper: Paris, I put it in my shopping cart. An already distinguished American historian of 18th-century France, his new book “digs deep into 18th-century France to find the roots of the political unrest that culminated in 1789”.

“He explores eighteenth-century Paris as an information society much like our own, its news circuits centered in cafés, on park benches, and under the Palais-Royal’s Tree of Cracow. Through pamphlets, gossip, underground newsletters, and public performances, the events of some forty years―from disastrous treaties, official corruption, and royal debauchery to thrilling hot-air balloon ascents and new understandings of the nation―all entered the churning collective consciousness of ordinary Parisians. As public trust in royal authority eroded and new horizons opened for them, Parisians prepared themselves for revolution.” For all sorts of reasons, I am most intrigued to read this book.

The classic Breton stripe top is a must-have in my closet, but mixing up the stripes a bit – the size, the colors – is always a fun idea as well, and now Boden has a few different options. Already having purchased my boatneck Bretons from Boden, it is my trusted brand for this classic style.

The semi-annual sale that I always take a look at is Net-a-Porter because it is the only time I can scoop up favorite and trusted designer items with their reduced price. As I shared in Sunday’s posts sharing the luxurious sleepwear discounts I didn’t want you to miss out on (I took of advantage of this too), I went and shopped a bit more through the sale and found more finds worth taking a look at. Have a look below.

Joseph’s Camel Dryden gathered silk-crepe midi dress (two colors available), 50% off

Screenshot 2023 11 30 At 10.44.55 am


A wonderful new four-part series will be released next Thursday on BritBox depicting the life of British-born actor Cary Grant, or better known to his mother and family as Archie. Described as a stranger-than-fiction life story, the series premiered in the UK on November 23rd, so if any TSLL readers had an opportunity to watch, please do share what you thought. Jason Isaacs stars as Grant and looks to be embodying the Hollywood giant quite well, even though he didn’t want the part initially, and the series was made with permission from Grant’s ex-wife Dyan Cannon and his daughter Jennifer Grant. Have a look at the trailer below.


Happy first weekend in December!

And at Le Papillon, beginning today, the decorating begins as we (Norman, Nelle and I) will be hunting for our Christmas tree making sure the holiday tunes are turned on, and then return home to spend the rest of the day pulling out all of the festive details before snuggling in with a favorite holiday meal and watching one (or two) holiday films I wait all year long before queuing up on my tv.

Earlier this week we had frigid temperatures and while Norman’s coat hadn’t arrived yet, I was very glad when it eventually did just yesterday and, hoorah! it fits him well. While a bit long (Nelle’s is a small and his is a medium, so the medium is his best option), I might have it tailored a bit later this year, but most importantly, it will keep him warm, his entire body, and we can have long romps in the cold and snow later this year (you can shop all of Barbour’s dog coats here). The coats velcro under the belly and at the chest, so you can really size it ideally for each dog which is what I needed for Norman and his wide chest for a small pup.

They received a treat for their posing session and then wondering why they had to wear them inside. I completely understand their curiosity.


Also being posted today is December’s A Cuppa Moments for Top Tier Members (look for it to go live at 6am Paris time), and along with oodles of books (quite a few this month) as well as much to share about what to look forward to in December and a Thought to Ponder that is a unique and different from past month’s chat’s, is a recipe I recently was given by a long-time reader of TSLL, and after adapting it to taste as close to Grasmere Gingerbread as I remember them (tasted and enjoyed in the Lake District this past October), I am happy to share the recipe in the Show Notes. There is just something about gingerbread and the holidays.


My adaptation of Grasmere Gingerbread.

Find the recipe on December’s A Cuppa Moments’ Show Notes.

Thank you for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful weekend full of moments that tickle your funny bone, warm your toes and nourish the simply luxurious life you have cultivated. Below for your perusal this weekend are a few articles and one new movie trailer I thought you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée .

~Ann Patchett Shares Her Reading Resolutions for 2024 [WSJ, subscription required]

~My mother made paper bag snowflakes over the Thanksgiving holiday with my nephew and they looked amazing! So I wanted to share with you the how-to do it yourself. Be sure to watch the video and you will have no problem at all making your own. [Cuckoo for Design]

~This London Victorian Terrace is a stunner as it looks more like a cozy country home. [House & Garden UK]

~Monty Don’s December Garden Tips & Advice

~Do you have a gardener on your holiday gift list? Or perhaps you are a gardener trying to give Santa hints? 😉 Take a look at this list of 40+ gardening gifts for the keen gardener and first-timers [H & G UK]

~18 Fun facts about the Paris Metro [The Earful Tower]

~Time to start planning! The best plants for a front garden [House & Garden UK]

~How to help introverted children feel more comfortable in their own skin [Introvert, Dear]

~Take a tour of John Derian’s Christmas Store that began being decorated the day fall began in September [NYTimes, gift link]

~14 Christmas wreath ideas [Gardeners’ World]


~And before you go, for fans of Adrian Monk (played by Tony Shalhoub), he along with the rest of the cast, has returned for one last case! Here is the trailer for Mr. Monk’s Last Case. Look for it to premiere next Friday, December 8th on Peacock. I will be sure to remind in next week’s This & That. 🙂

~~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.

4 thoughts on “This & That: December 1, 2023

  1. Your Friday posts are always a treat – I read with coffee before beginning work for the day. Such a great start to the weekend. Thank you!
    PSA for Fortnums lovers: it’s a lot cheaper to order directly from Fortnums, even with shipping. Williams Sonoma prices for F&M goods are frequently more than doubled, and the selection is small. I put in an order from F&M every December, and shipping is quick!

    1. Megan, thank you so much for stopping by and welcoming this weekly post into your Friday morning ritual-so grateful!! And I have to concur with you about the shipping from F&M’s directly, they are super fast to the states. As I have shipped many as giveaway prizes to readers, it’s F&M that I can depend on to ship swiftly and well.

  2. Dear Shannon, a lovely read as usual. I have had a look at the article on introverted children as my eldest is introverted. It had some great ideas that I’m going to try. And, the pups look so snug in their costs. We were thinking of investing in one for Hamish but like Norman he’s not a standard shape so we weren’t sure on sizing. Have a lovely weekend. X

    1. I completely understand about finding the proper size. Thankfully I was able to return my previous purchase for a full refund, and eventually found what he liked, moved well in and provided the type of coverage and warmth we needed. So happy that article/post was a resource. No doubt your son will appreciate your efforts in understanding. 😌💛 Thank you for stopping by and wishing you a wonderful first weekend in December. ☃️

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