This & That: December 23, 2022
Friday December 23, 2022

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Many wonderful new films to watch over the next two holiday weekends, more than a few new books to begin your new year with a new approach, an exhibit to visit in Paris if you will be in the city in the next couple of months, wonderful sales on designer clothing and accessories, a colorful wall calendar now on sale, a holiday series not to miss and I am just getting started as there are oodles of links as well and still more finds I think you will enjoy exploring.


Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life by Dacher Keltner

Being released as the new year begins on the 3rd is a book to deepen our appreciation of all that is around us. Dacher Keltner, an expert on the science of emotions, “reveals new research into how awe transforms our brains and bodies, alongside an examination of awe across history, culture, and within his own life during a period of grief, Keltner shows us how cultivating awe in our everyday life leads us to appreciate what is most humane in our human nature”. Keltner makes the case that “If we open our minds, it is awe that sharpens our reasoning and orients us toward big ideas and new insights, that cools our immune system’s inflammation response and strengthens our bodies. It is awe that activates our inclination to share and create strong networks, to take actions that are good for the natural and social world around us.” And all of these occurrences in the mind contribute positively to our physiological and mental health. I will be exploring this book as the new year begins, and it may just inspire a podcast episode. ☺️

The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life by Mike Rucker PhD

On a similar note (I am sensing a theme here with the new books being released in January by publishers), psychologist Mike Rucker’s book will also be released on January 3rd, and in The Fun Habit, he makes the case for instead of pursuing happiness, pursue fun. Okay, I think he is on to something.

The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit by Mel Robbins

The wildly popular online life coach, Mel Robbins also has a new book being released on January 3rd, and it centers on a point she regularly speaks about on her YouTube channel. Below is an infographic that accompanied the book sharing more details of its contents.

Small Things Like These by Clare Keegan

Sarah Jessica Parker released her book picks for the month, and one of the six titles was Clare Keegan’s Small Things Like These. Published last fall (November 2021), it continues to gain accolades and applause. A novel set in a small Irish town in 1985 during the weeks leading up to Christmas, “Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.”

Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence by James Bridle

Critics continue to talk about artist, technologist and philosopher James Bridle’s latest book released this past June, Ways of Being, so I wanted to bring it to TSLL community’s attention. As a response to the rise in Artificial Intelligence that seems to be more and more a part of our lives, Bridle explores whether we’ve overlooked other intelligences that can significantly connect us to nature and each other in a more constructive, significant and supportive way. Bridle asks the big questions: “What can we learn from the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us, and how can we change ourselves, our technologies, our societies, and our politics to live better and more equitably with one another and the nonhuman world?”

British Finds


I shared a couple of months ago that Bill Nighy was starring in a film critics love for his performance in Living, and now it is out in theaters in the states. Living is set in 1950s London, and Nighy’s character is “a humorless civil servant who decides to take time off work to experience life after receiving a grim diagnosis”. Have a look at the trailer below.

Toast Leach Pottery Sourdough Jar

If you love to make your own sourdough bread, you have starter in your refrigerator or somewhere else in your kitchen and you regularly feed it. What kind of container do you store it in? Well, if it isn’t the most lovely item, why not give yourself (or the bread-maker you know) an upgrade with British pottery company Leach’s sourdough jar.


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

After much waiting, but well worth the wait it no doubt will be, is the animated film inspired and adapted from Charles Mackesy’s international best-selling book of the same name, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Debuting here in the states on Apple TV+ on Christmas Day and on BBC One in the UK tomorrow on the 24th, have a look at the trailer below and enjoy this weekend a heartwarming and uplifting story.


Vicky Krieps’ performance as Empress Elisabeth in Corsage has critics talking awards already, and simply based off the trailer, I can see why. Taking an unorthodox approach to films set in the era of European monarchs (this particular one is in the mid-late 19th century), Corsage is centered around a true story of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria who was the longest reigning of any Austrian empress at 44 years (she became empress at the age of 16.  The film begins as she nears her 40th birthday and she begins to act oddly. Reknowned for her beauty, she begins to spend “an obsessive amount of time measuring her weight, refusing to eat, and parsing comments about her looks.” Needless to say, when she begins to stray away from her expected path of behavior, the tension begins.

The film was co-produced among Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and France, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and already premiered in Austria this summer, and will be released in France in January. If anyone has seen it, please do share your thoughts and observations. Look for the film to be released in theaters in the states today. Here is the trailer.


Set in Ireland (and already released in Ireland,) Joyride is now being released here in the states today, and it already has garnered positive reviews. Olivia Colman stars as “a headstrong solicitor [who has planned] to offload her new born baby to her sister”, but her plan is “derailed when a vulnerable but opinionated teenager steals their taxi.” The trailer will continue from there. Have a look.

A Man Called Otto

Based on the bestselling novel titled similarly to the film, A Man Called Ove published in 2014, written by Fredrik Backman, Tom Hanks stars as Otto in a film that looks to be quite a bit of fun to watch and much to learn from. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in theaters next Friday, December 30th.

Francophile Finds

Art Deco France/North America exhibit, Paris

“Celebrating the exceptional period of artistic inspiration, which conquered France in the 1910s and soon became a craze across the Atlantic”, the exhibit Art Deco France/North America opened on October 21st and is running through March 6th at Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. Read more about the exhibit here in Le Monde (English edition), and if you have the opportunity, I think it would be quite worth your time.

Maison Pichon iconic Braided Basket with Stand, My French Country Home shop

Sharon Santoni’s online boutique of French finds is always something I have my eye on, and these ceramic compotes, an item that is great to have in your kitchen for fruit, veg, and anything that can be displayed on the counter, are now available to shoppers here in the states. While not cheap, they are unique and will definitely be a piece to treasure.

Perfect Murders, season 2 (MHzChoice)

I came to thoroughly enjoy this drama series, Perfect Murders, on MHzChoice a couple of years ago because its approach to telling the story is quite unique, and now the second season is available with new episodes dropping each week. Each episode begins by revealing the murderer; however, you don’t know entirely why they have chosen to commit the crime. Then, enter two detectives who have their own shared and engaging relationship with each other (a different pair every two episodes), and enjoy watching them figure out the puzzle. Three new episodes were released yesterday and I have already watched the first with the two characters you see below. It is a swift caper and quite enjoyable and creative. And the French countryside is always a treat to see as well as the additional character to each episode.

New Year

Poketo Spectrum Wall Calendar

A new year, a new calendar, and perhaps a different or improved way of keeping everything organized. Whether for work or for your personal calendar, Poketo’s large wall Spectrum calendar is colorful, large, and enable you to make your own. No dates are written on the days, so each month could be this coming year (2023) or any other year all together. AND, right now at Burke Decor, where you can find these calendars (you can also find them directly on Poketo’s website), use promo code JOYEUX save 25% off site-wide.


Flowerpot battery charged VP9 table lamp (on sale)

Recently, a reader on IG asked about battery powered table lamps that I saw at our local independent bookshop, Roundabout Books, and shared in IG Stories. I don’t know where they found theirs- they place one on each reading table in their café, and they don’t take up much space, but create a welcoming ambiance – but I found these from Cleanlino. A bit more modern, but quite attractive in their own way, and they are on sale at the moment.

Stella McCartney, Falabella vegetarian, brushed faux-leather tote, 40% off, beige


Another great sale item on a classic handbag. I have always been drawn to Stella McCartney’s Falabella. There is something casual, yet modern, yet classic about it, non? Maybe it’s the hardware that holds the classic appeal, yet the slouch bohemian structure that brings the modern and casual? Either way, this one in this color is on sale. Scoop it up if you too love this bag.

TODs White Embossed leather sneakers, 40% off

Ever since I saw the Princess of Wales in the family photo for their Christmas cards, I have been curious about her white shoes as I continue to look for a white leather sneaker that is comfortable, not too bulky and wide, but also provides some decent support. While I will share with you what her brand of footwear was below, I found these from TODs, and as they are on sale, they are exactly what I want – leather, quality sole, not too wide or bulky, but also discreet and very simple.

~The Princess of Wales white sneakers, Superga

You may have seen the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Christmas card, aside from a wonderful photo of the entire family, the classic white sneakers garnered many questions as there are oodles of sneaker brands to shop – so which one did she wear? Well, Catherine’s are from Superga and available for a very small amount (fewer than $20 at Nordstrom Rack, but hard to find).

She has them in olive and black as well. Shop here as well.

Theory’s End of Season Sale, up to 60% off

There will no doubt be oodles of sales as the new year comes to a close, and while next Friday, This & That takes its only week off of the year, I wanted to at least bring one sale to your attention for quality capsule wardrobe staples. Theory’s end of year sale requires no promo codes; simply shop and discover what you love and what fits your budget. I have found a few items below, but for men and women, this is a sale not to miss.

Shop the cable knit polo wool-cashmere sweater, camel or the twisted tank top in a cotton-blend (more colors) or a beanie in ribbed cashmere (four colors, navy shown below).


A Storm for Christmas

Because I thoroughly enjoyed this six-part limited series on Netflix last weekend, and just in case you haven’t had time to tune in to this week’s new episode of the podcast, and especially since Christmas is this Sunday, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this show. A Storm for Christmas. Set in the Oslo International airport (so you will hear five different languages, and yep subtitles are available), check out my detailed review to discover why I thoroughly enjoyed this new modern Christmas storyline and watch the trailer here.


The über freezing temperatures arrived last night (1 degree Fahrenheit – that is written as a single number, number 1!, oh my), and the snow has been falling steadily and unceasingly since noon yesterday (Thursday). It is a gorgeous sight to watch, and I am thankful I can stay inside and do so. For everyone who is traveling to arrive at where they wish to be for the holiday weekend – Christmas and Hanukkah – wishing you safe travels as I know across the country the weather is definitely wintery.

Speaking of holiday festivities, I began ‘decking the halls’ as they say yesterday for a gathering at my house tomorrow evening (learn more about what I will be up to in episode #347 of the podcast), and the pups kindly put up with me as I snapped these pics. Norman is standing at attention in the above photo because treats are being promised (and were given). ☺️ It has been a month or so since I have arranged bouquets, so I had fun pulling together a few yesterday from these flowers picked up at Trader Joe’s.

The week has been full because as many TSLL readers know, this is the last regular week of posts on the blog, BUT there is actually quite a full week of content for you to enjoy beginning on Monday December 26th. I have sat down and compiled the TOP posts from 2022 in eight different categories for you to peruse and explore at your leisure next week, and if you are a subscriber to the free monthly newsletter, it will still go out on schedule on Saturday December 31st to keep you up to date on all that has been shared this month. (Please note that the weekly newsletter will not go out next Friday, December 30th as I take next week off from writing new content.) And rest assured, on Sunday January 1st, a new A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon will be shared on the blog for TOP Tier Members.

~Don’t forget to take advantage of the current prices for all memberships as they will be going up permanently on January 1st. Learn more about becoming a Member – TOP or BASIC – here.

Nelle kindly let me place her on the bench, and so long as she had something to inquire about, she was a pro at what Norman has long ago figured out (tolerate Mom’s photo requests, and a treat will soon follow). 🙃


Look for TSLL’s Annual Joyeuses Fêtes post to be shared tomorrow, and wishing you a wonderful Christmas Eve Eve and 6th day of Hanukkah. Below I have gathered up more than a few articles and posts, along with one video you might enjoy. Until tomorrow, bonne journée.

~On Monday evening this past week I watched Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas and this canapé recipe for Christmas Stilton & Sage mini scones piqued my tastebuds, so I will be giving it a go this weekend. [PBS]

~A blog and website to check out and thank you to long-time TSLL reader Deborah for introducing me to On Being.

Jacques Pépin’s 5 pro tips for cooking [Bon Appétit]

~How to spend a weekend in Paris like Emily [Complete France]

~10 Chic French handbags worth checking out this winter [Leonce Chenal]

~Staying in Paris, 5 Restaurants to Try during your next trip to Paris [Hip Paris]

~A nostalgia inspired short podcast episode from Gardeners’ World where Alan Titchmarsh shares his festive books, but it is his reading of what he shares that warms the heart. Have a listen to the six minutes.

~A local video that made me smile and I think it will you as well – The nearby Redmond Nordic team pulls ‘Santa’ through our local cross country groomed trails. [Central Oregon Daily News]

~If you have a penchant for more color in your holiday decor, be sure to take a tour of Luke Edward Hall and John Campbell’s English country home decked for Christmas. [House & Garden UK]

~Perhaps you have heard of the history of the traditional Christmas carol, ‘Carol of the Bells’ as it is making the rounds as of late for many reasons, and it was a wonderful bit of musical history to learn about. 100 years ago ‘Carol of the Bells’ came to American from Ukraine. [NPR]

~How to say no confidently when you’re an introvert [Introvert, Dear]

~How to pull Christmas out of the bag even if you’ve done nothing until now [House & Garden UK]

~Where to find the best Christmas markets in Paris [The Earful Tower] and check out their photos captured in Paris during Christmas this year.

~Brett Goldstein, star of Ted Lasso, along with many other well-known names share The 25 best Christmas films of all time according to The Times (subscription may be required)

~Three sweet French recipes to prepare for Christmas [Le Monde, English edition]

~What about a mincemeat baklava? Nigel Slater shares his recipe for just that! [The Guardian]

~Sanditon will be returning for its third and final season in March (I will be sure to include it in the This & That when it does!), and here is the trailer:

~Explore last week’s This & That: December 16, 2022

An abundance of holiday finds from films, cashmere socks and music, as well as critically acclaimed French documentary, Mary Berry’s new holiday special, a new book to place on your wishlist for the new year to improve your longevity, an interview of great interest to watch, and cookbooks for a variety of tastes. Still, there is more. Did I mention the Prince of Wales and Bon Jovi singing together? Yep, it happened!

~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.

21 thoughts on “This & That: December 23, 2022

  1. Hi Shannon! Thank you so much for recommending the Norwegian film, A Storm for Christmas. In this stormy,cold week it gave my husband and I many pleasant hours of escapism (even if it was mirroring what was happening outside our own windows). I’ve told all my friends about it. Again, thank you so much! Mary Head

    1. I really enjoyed “Home till Christmas” on Netflix last year. So if you need another cozy and Norwegian show for christmas, please check it out. I just added “A Storm for Christmas” to my watchlist for the coming holidays 🙂

  2. I don’t know where to start with all of these wonderful things you posted today Shannon. But for sure I can’t wait to watch The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse! My husband and I bought that book a couple of years ago and just love it so much!
    I wish you a very Merry Christmas with your furry ones, and a healthy peaceful New Year!!
    We have snow here in Colorado so it’s exciting to have a white Christmas this year!! But the temperature is -4 degrees!! Burr!
    Take care and stay safe Shannon!!

    1. Tamra, Wishing you a wonderful white Noël! So tickled to hear the snow arrived for holidays, and the frigid temps means we can wear those wonderfully warm sweaters and sip more chocolat chaud 😉☺️. I too enjoyed Charlie Mackesy’s book and am excited to see how the film comes together. Thank you for stopping by and reaching out. 😌

  3. We just binge watched “A storm for Christmas”, and loved it too! Thank you for the heartwarming suggestion.

    I also watched Mary Berry’s Christmas special and those lovely appetizer scones caught my eye too (along with most everything else!) please let us know what you think of them. I would love to try them!!
    So many wonderful recommendations this week, it’s like an early Christmas gift to all your devoted readers! Wishing you and the pups a very Merry Christmas and a joyeaux New Year!

    1. So awesome to hear you too binged (and thoroughly enjoyed!) the series! Thank you for sharing Karen. ☺️ I will be sure to share how the canapé turns out and I agree, so many great recipe ideas shared in that special. A fun festive one to watch.
      And thank you for kind words. I am am so very grateful for TSLL readers such as yourself for stopping by. It is truly my pleasure to share. 😌 Wishing you much to cheer about and savor this holiday weekend. 💛🎄

  4. Hi, Shannon. I love the portrait of Norman & Nelle! Looks like an elegant British vignette. Nelle is growing up! They both look so cuddly.
    I finished reading Small Things Like These last week. It’s a slim, quiet book that packs a punch. I’m looking forward to reading her other book, Foster.
    I hope you had a beautiful time with your parents.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours! 🎄❤️

  5. Love the inspirational books to start 2023 off on the right foot. Thanks for assembling them here! Happy holidays & New Year!

  6. Shannon thank you for all the lovely recomendations. I will definitely add ‘Awe’ list. In childhood we have the ability to be in awe all the time but somehow life takes over and we lose it. I try to maintain it.on a daily basis through my love for Nature I am a big fan Bill Nighy and can’t wait to see ‘Living ‘.
    I’ve been eyeing a Falabella for a while but the price.point is still high even in the sale. I’m saving for one though.
    I think.I.mentioned to you that Emily in Paris has her own cookbook.!
    The pups look adorable in those shots. Canine perfect models. Hope your gathering is cosy and fun filled. Have a wonderful Xmas. Kameela 🎄

  7. Norman and Nelle are precious! Have a wonderful evening tonight enjoying your guests, Shannon. I’m sure your home is decked out beautifully. 🥰. My hubby and I binged on a “Storm for Christmas” last week. We loved it! I have been reading the short book “Small Things Like These” in between breaks from gift wrapping and holiday baking. Wishing you and the pups a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful relaxing week ahead. Xoxo

  8. My favourites this week are:

    – Small Things Like These;
    – Corsage;
    – Joyride;
    – A Storm for Christmas.

    Nelle and Norman are the best! And she looks so grown up. Both are gorgeous and cuddly, so give them a hug on my behalf, please! 🙂

    Have a great day and a great Christmas celebration! Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

  9. Hi Shannon,
    I’ve been reading TSLL for awhile but I’m commenting for the first time. I love all the simple, beautiful things and ideas that you mention, as well as the books and shows that delight me as a”fan of almost all things English” that I am. I wanted to ask if you ever highlight items from Etsy or any simple diy projects in your posts? I mention this because most of the beautiful clothing, housewares, etc. you feature are too expensive for me (even as an investment item or something I’d save for). That said, I love your blog & point of view. Have a Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Laine,

      So grateful you said hello today. 🙂 Thank you for your interest in the blog. Be sure to check out all of my Le Papillon projects as I did all the wallpapering and decor details outside of the contractor on my own. You can find some of these posts in Décor category as well. I do and have included quite a few Etsy finds in past This & That as they fit what I am looking for – tea cosy, copper finds, tea tables, etc. My DIY shows up most in my garden with regards to inexpensive and long-lasting investments of my time and energy. Be sure to check out all of my garden posts as that is where I find so much joy and from sowing seeds (pennies) compared to buying full-grown plants, gardening can be a very affordable hobby that is DIY (along with Mother Nature ;)). I hope that helps! Wishing you a happy new year as well. 🙂

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