This & That: February 11, 2022
Friday February 11, 2022

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A new series from Shondaland, a long-awaited premiere of a new rendition of an Agatha Christie favorite, a beautiful new rattan tray perfect for the cottage and English aesthetic you may be wanting to bring into your home, a must-have dessert cookbook for the baker in your life (is it you?!), fictional and historical books that are drawing critics’ praise, a French movie from the past that is perfect for Valentine’s Day weekend, a new gardening course for anyone with limited space to welcome their favorite flowers and herbs, and much, much more.


—Beautiful Little Fools: A Novel by Jillian Cantor

Great Gatsby fans, Jillian Cantor has written a novel I think you will enjoy. Released earlier this month, “Cantor revisits the glittering Jazz Age world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, retelling this timeless American classic from the women’s perspective. Beautiful Little Fools is a quintessential tale of money and power, marriage and friendship, love and desire, and ultimately the murder of a man tormented by the past and driven by a destructive longing that can never be fulfilled.”

The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation by Rosemary Sullivan

Released last month, already a New York Times bestseller, Rosemary Sullivan’s new book shares how “retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents—some never before seen—and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilizing methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest—and came to a shocking conclusion.”

Her Hidden Genius: A Novel by Marie Benedict

I have thoroughly enjoyed previous titles by Marie Benedict – The Mystery of Mrs. Christie being my favorite of hers – and now she has a new novel based on historical events and people. Rosalind Franklin is the lead protagonist as “a woman who sacrificed her life to discover the nature of our very DNA, a woman whose world-changing contributions were hidden by the men around her but whose relentless drive advanced our understanding of humankind.”

I Didn’t Do That Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt by Madeleine Dore

Released last month, Madeleine Dore spent “five years of searching for the secret to productivity, only to discovered there isn’t one. Instead, we’re being set up to fail. I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is the inspiring call to take productivity off its pedestal—by dismantling our comparison to others, aspirational routines, and the unrealistic notions of what can be done in a day, we can finally embrace the joyful messiness and unpredictability of life.”

Yoga Happy: Simple Tools and Practices for Everyday Calm and Strength by Hannah Barrett

Being released on February 15th, London-based yoga and meditation instructor Hannah Barrett’s new book Yoga Happy is a full-color book that “you will find everything you need to build your inner strength and resilience, enhance your yoga practice, and help you find calm, happiness and the resilience to navigate the modern world.”

British Find

Arthur Parkinson, Grow a Spectacular Garden in Pots, Create Academy Course

London gardener Arthur Parkinson has partnered up with the Create Academy to offer a detailed video course on growing your own garden entirely in pots. Perhaps you have seen segments of him in his garden with his hens on Gardeners’ World. Well now you can get all of the details of how he grows those many and amazing tulips, dahlias and much more all in pots year after year after year. Have a look at the trailer of the course below, and sign up now.

Death on the Nile

The movie I am looking forward to watching this weekend has been long anticipated and much delayed, but finally Kenneth Branagh’s version of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile comes to the screen. An absolutely star-studded cast, Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright, even though I know the plot all too well, I look forward to watching each actor in their assigned roles. Have a look at the trailer below and enjoy watching it in theaters now.


Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffiz

THE cookbook for baking that garnered oodles of top accolades over the past year – IACP award winner, named one of the best cookbooks of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Bon Appétit, NPR, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Salon, Epicurious – Claire Saffiz’s Dessert Person is a gift to give to the baker in the family or to yourself if you are that said person who loves to bake.

Francophile Find

L’Art d’Aimer

I have just begun my subscription to the France Channel, a streaming service of all French films and series, and this film caught my eye. Released in 2011, I think it will still draw a chuckle and delight you, especially as Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. (Find and enjoy this film on France Channel – they offer a 7-day free trial).

Yves Saint Laurent in Five French Museums

Beginning the last weekend of January and running through May 15th, find for the first time items from any one designer’s collections are being displayed simultaneously in five different French museums. The designer is Yves Saint Laurent. Read this article to discover exactly what is on display where. The five museums are listed below.

  • Louvre’s gilded Galerie d’Apollon
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Musée d’Art Moderne
  • Centre Pompidou
  • Musée Picasso Paris


Hadley Tray, Sharland England

I first saw this tray on Jo Rodgers’ IG Story feed last week and immediately saved it as I would love to welcome one into my home some day. Certainly an investment, but one to enjoy for years and years.

Staud bean gathered shoulder bag (multiple colors)

Simple, capable of holding just enough for night or evening, and timeless.

Theory Georgette Silk sleeveless v-neck top (multiple colors)

Layering items, always a good idea to have on hand. Under a blazer, a jacket, a light-weight coat, Theory’s camisoles are always made well and in the right color for your skin tone will be part of your capsule wardrobe for years.


Inventing Anna

Created by Shondaland and premiering on Netflix tonight, a new series starring Julia Garner who plays the role of the real-life Instagram-legendary German heiress Anna Delvey who stole the hearts and money of New York elites. Anna Chlumsky stars as the investigative journalist who begins to unearth the truth. Enjoy ten episodes. I think I will, and hope I don’t binge them too fast. Premiering today, have a look at the trailer below.


Tulips arrived in the house this week, and Croissants arrived in TSLL’s Shop. 🙂 Have you seen the new Croissants Notepad? Be sure to check out the title that was chosen, a compilation inspired by two TSLL readers, and for a limited time, on sale to celebrate.

This week had its ups and downs, but one thing that kept my spirits up was and is the beautiful sunshine. Oh my goodness! My crocuses began to poke their heads up and my alliums are continuing to stretch ever upward. Norman and I have had some beautiful walks as well as time on the garden porch just soaking up the afternoon sun and watching the neighborhood go about its business.

This weekend I look forward to going to the movie theater to watch Death on the Nile as well as taking in the seasonal winter symphony concert. The curtain rods and brackets have now been installed in the primary bathroom and soon the curtains will be hung – something I cannot wait to see as I think it will entirely change, soften and cozy up the space. Other than that, a very slow-paced weekend. I hope you had a lovely week, and are looking ahead to a weekend you are greatly anticipating. Thank you for choosing to stop by today. Look for a new Saturday Ponderings . . . post tomorrow and until then, bonne journée,

~A few more French beauty brands to explore [HipParis]

~How [and when] to visit the tulip fields in Provence (yep, Provence, not Holland!) [Le Long Weekend]

~Introverts! 7 Strengths to recognize in yourself [Introvert, Dear]

~A simple, yet powerful way to bring the change you want to your life [Tiny Buddha]

~A new-to-me interior designer I am thoroughly enjoying following on IG, a house in Seattle she renovated was featured in WSJ this past weekend, see the entire English-cottage inspired space here.

~Enjoy a tour of this renovated Victoria townhouse in Chelsea, soft colors and thoughtful inclusions of art [House & Garden UK]

~Gardeners, spring is coming! Have you thought about adding some fruit to your space? Here are 5 fruit trees to consider [Gardenista]

~All you need to know about France’s new Vaccine Pass and how to acquire it (psst, you will need to be boosted, and no longer will just your CDC card be enough to show shops) [The Points Guy]

~Learn more about snowboarder Jamie Anderson and her prioritization of wellness over the extremes of sport [The Washington Post]

~Agreed! Art should be a habit not a luxury in our lives [The Atlantic]

~Simplifying our mental view [Zen Habits]

13 thoughts on “This & That: February 11, 2022

  1. Hi Shannon, loving how your tulips align with Arthur Parkinson’s excerpt. Against your beautiful wallpaper, such a joy filled picture. I thoroughly enjoy watching a remake of an Agatha Christie, knowing the plot releases part of our minds to savour even more the location, the costumes those nuances that can sometimes be lost.
    Enjoy your viewing and I look forward to reading your review.
    Kindest regards
    Vannessa xx

    1. Vannessa, What a great point – that is so true! We really are able to savor all of the details as we know the plot. Thank you for deepening our appreciation for when we go and view the film. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend.

  2. So many books to add to my TBR list. The Anne Frank investigation looks so interesting.
    I too hope to watch Death on the Nile myself, the glitz and glamour they manage to attribute to the Agatha Christie stories makes a great big screen experience. Plus 2 British comedy and TV legends in French and Saunders appearing in the film too.
    I followed the Anna Sorkin/Delvey story in the news with interest and heard a series was in the works, thank you for bringing it to my attention.
    My weekend involves birthday dinners with extended family and a roast on Sunday, and some reading and perusing of the articles shared here in between. Have a lovely relaxed weekend Shannon, and all
    Sarah x

    1. I am so excited to see Dawn French in the film! I have been enjoying following her on IG and she is just as much a hoot as she is in her work on screen. Thank you for the weekend wishes Sarah and enjoy your weekend ahead. It sounds lovely. 🙂

    2. Hi Sarah

      Did you listen to the “Fake Heiress”on BBC Sounds? It was absolutely fascinating. We’ll worth a listen.


  3. Very interesting selection! 🙂

    My favourites:
    – The Betrayal of Anne Frank
    – Hadley Tray – sooo pricey, but beautiful…
    – Arthur Parkinson Course
    – Dessert Person – yes, I am that baking person in the family… 😉

    – “Art should be a habit, not a luxury, in our lives” – I cannot but agree, and really recommend to give some thought to this article. As an Art Teacher, I try to educate and alert people, big and small, and the powers to be, for the benefits, nay, the necessity of keeping a regular contact with art, by seeking and enjoying the Arts, and practicing art. No one needs to be technically excellent to produce art – in fact, technical excellency might be detrimental, making art another form of competition and not a self-constructive and enjoyable exercise. Art is, at its core, simply a form of human expression, a very intuitive but a very deep one, bringing in large range of neuro-psychic to moral-ethical benefits.

    Lovely tulips by the beautiful Vosey wallpaper! And question for you, Shannon: I like very much the rosé fabric that you have in your office chair (not shown in the photo). Do you mind sharing the supplier? If you did already, I could not find that reference on the blog. Merci beaucoup.

    “I didn’t do that thing today” – and that is OK, says I – here is the best motto for the weekend!

    Have a good time, Shannon and Norman, and everyone! 🙂

    1. Isabel,

      Good morning and thank you for stopping by! I haven’t shared any details yet of my office, but I will eventually when that room is complete. I love your energy in your comment and intention for the weekend. A great idea! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your insightful thoughts to ponder about art. They spoke to me immensely and I appreciate your reminder about the key to being free from competing but rather focusing on the creative process so that you enjoy immersing yourself in what you are doing. That, that is where beautiful art resides. Thank you again very much.

  4. I just love the day this arrives in my e mail !
    So many things to explore.
    Arthur Parkinson ….that video clip was a joy…… you have his book , Shannon ?
    I will certainly be exploring the details of his course . I have to grow most of my things in pots, as I have a small patio garden, with very different aspects at the front and back…….sunny and hot at the front, and cool and shady at the back , it’s like having different seasons in the same day sometimes !
    Have a great weekend , everyone…..I’m off to watch the Winter Olympics and read a rather special new book ?
    x Anne x

  5. Yes! So excited for “Death on the Nile” and a new Marie Benedict novel. In the meantime, I treated myself this Valentine month to an oldie: “French Kiss.” If anyone needs an easy rom-com and delights in some classic Meg Ryan, check your library for a copy. Have a happy second half of the month, Shannon and all!

  6. Inventing Anna Delvey was fascinating. I was so intrigued by how the whole story happened as well as the other players. I looked up Rachel’s Vanity Fair article and read it. Interesting how people can manipulate others especially smart people. I looked this week T&T and I can’t wait for Death on the Nile, loved the book.

    1. Thank you for sharing! Yes, an fascinating story. I think you will greatly enjoy Death on the Nile. True to the story, beautiful settings and Branagh makes Poirot his own while wholly respecting the creation of Christie. Have a wonderful time at the movies! Thank you for stopping by. ?

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