New and nominated films to watch, new seasons of favorite series debuting, books on intriguing figures in British history, savoring the latter half of life even more than first half, the problem to preaching confidence without noting what it indirectly suggests, can someone be too positive?, a deeper dive into Abraham Lincoln in a new series, harnessing your mind, the power of the present moment and much, much more.
Highly recommended by fellow authors who have researched the brain who’s work I have found beneficial, and positively reviewed by tens of thousands, Rick Hanson’s Buddha’s Brain, published more than 10 years ago is worth reading to add more quality to your everydays. “By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of mindfulness practice, you too can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom. Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. Using guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, you’ll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. Most importantly, you will foster positive psychological growth that will literally change the way you live in your day-to-day life.”
—Confidence Culture by Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill
Having read a profile piece in The Financial Times on the problem with confidence when it comes to women in the workplace, I was intrigued to explore Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill’s new book Confidence Culture further. The authors make a compelling argument “that imperatives directed at women to ‘love your body’ and ‘believe in yourself’ imply that psychological blocks rather than entrenched social injustices hold women back. Interrogating the prominence of confidence in contemporary discourse about body image, workplace, relationships, motherhood, and international development, Orgad and Gill draw on Foucault’s notion of technologies of self to demonstrate how “confidence culture” demands of women near-constant introspection and vigilance in the service of self-improvement. They argue that while confidence messaging may feel good, it does not address structural and systemic oppression.” Certainly food for thought and much conversation.
Arthur C. Brooks’ weekly Build A Life Atlantic articles are often shared on this weekly post, and with the time given by the pandemic, the Harvard professor turned his exploration of living a happy life into a new book. Sharing in the profile piece on NPR that leaving happiness to chance is to throw away an awesome gift to be savored during the second half of life as it really can even better than we may have thought.
—Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy by Whitney Goodman
Released earlier this month, therapist Whitney Goodman’s book Toxic Positivity “shares the latest research along with everyday examples and client stories that reveal how damaging toxic positivity is to ourselves and our relationships, and presents simple ways to experience and work through difficult emotions. The result is more authenticity, connection, and growth—and ultimately, a path to showing up as you truly are.”
—You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh
I wanted to share another one of the many books by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh as the underlying theme of living simply luxuriously is finding and experiencing steady contentment throughout our everydays. How does this happen? By strengthening the skill of holding ourselves in the present moment. And the good news is that doing so is a skill. And a skill is something each of us can learn when we consciously choose to do so. In You Are Here, “offers a range of effective practices for cultivating mindfulness and staying in the present moment—including awareness of breathing and walking, deep listening, and skillful speech. These teachings will empower you to witness the wonder of life and transform your suffering, both within and outside you, into compassion, tenderness, and peace. As Thich Nhat Hanh declares, ‘the energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha, and it can be produced by anybody.’ It is as simple as breathing in and breathing out.”
~A post you may be interested in – 6 Benefits of Meditation and How to Meditate in Your Daily Life
—The Duchess Countess by Catherine Ostler
A biography that was named the Best Book of the Summer by The Sunday Times in Britain last year, The Duchess Countess tells the story of the “glamorous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, Countess of Bristol, who went on trial at Westminster Hall for bigamy in April 1776, the story drew more attention in society than the American War of Independence.”
I am looking forward to watching this new film which hits theaters today. Starring (Timothy Spall) and Downton Abbey’s Phyllis Logan as Spall’s character’s late wife which inspires Tom Harper (Spall), the old soldier, 90-year-old to take “an epic trip from his home of fifty years – a remote village in the most northerly point of Scotland – back to the place he was born – close to England’s most southerly point. Battling against time, age and fate, desperate to keep a promise to his beloved wife Mary, our intrepid hero Tom embarks on an odyssey, revisiting his past, connecting with the modern world and a diverse, multi-cultural Britain he has never experienced. The Last Bus is a road movie; a film about love, loss and the human spirit. A film that reminds us we are not alone – and that we’re all on this ride together…” Have a look at the trailer below.
—Modern English: Todhunter Earle Interiors by Helen Chislett
I continue to be drawn to classic English interiors. The many layers, details that create a welcoming and signature space intrigue me to no end, and trying to understand how to create my own such space, while taking time, is a lesson in patience, but gradually, it is paying off. The interior design house Todhunter Earle Interiors was founded in 1998 by Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle and based in Chelsea, London. “Renowned for creating beautiful, sensitively considered interiors around the world, the new book by Helen Chislett showcases 18 projects showcase displaying their extraordinarily varied catalogue of work, revealing the pivotal factors and challenges encountered on each design journey. This sumptuous book encapsulates Todhunter Earle’s instinctive approach: relaxed, unpretentious, and discreet interiors that whisper rather than shout, each one embodying the right feel for the client.”
Alana Haim’s performance in Licorice Pizza has earned her a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA nomination (but not an Oscar nod strangely enough). The storyline centers around “Alana Kane (Haim) and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.” After watching an interview with the 30-year-old actress, I became further interested in watching this film. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in theaters now.
Simple, timeless, neutral, perfect for layering with many different outfits.
As many readers know, having taught history throughout my teaching tenure and studied British and American history in college, I have long been interested in knowing more than the overview often taught to me as a child or written in old school textbooks. A new 3-night documentary event focusing on the man that has been labeled the Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, explores all of the nuisances often overlooked that moved him to do what he did. Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote a lengthy and in-depth biography of Lincoln (Team of Rivals) contributed to this new series on History, and after listening to this segment on NPR, I will be tuning in. It premieres Sunday February 20th. Have a look at the trailer below.
—The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 4 premiere
Premiering today on Amazon Prime, the long-anticipated fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns. Critics have shared the first two episodes get off to a slow start, but the season is definitely one to watch. Have a look at the trailer below.
~State of the Union, season 2
I have not seen the first season created by Nick Hornby who meticulously writes the scripts for each of his characters, no improvising takes place at all, but I am a fan of Patricia Clarkson, and after watching the trailer and her interactions with Brendan Gleason I will do my best to watch Season 2. A new approach to a television series, it consists of “ten, ten-minute episodes of an original comedy series about contemporary relationships. Each episode is set immediately before a couple has their weekly marital therapy session. Unacknowledged and unanalyzed, these stolen moments used to get their story straight for the therapist, may be starting to build bridges back to what made them what they were.” Have a look at the trailer below and find it on Sundance now.
There are a few hints of spring around Le Papillon, and the first are these deep yellow crocuses that popped up last weekend. They continue to shine each day, close up at night and needless to say, they make me smile. 🙂
Plans are revving up as all of the preordering for TSLL’s 3rd book – the signed bookplates, the new Croissant notepads, the silk embroidered bookmarks from England for TOP Tier Members – are all ordered and en route to Le Papillon, and my hope is that next weekend, I will be busily packaging everything up and sending out to you, TSLL readers, to enjoy as you begin to place your preorders for the actual book – The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment on March 1st (paperback and hardback!). There is still time to take advantage of 40% savings on TSLL’s 1st and 2nd books (signed copies) as well as 15% savings on any Croissant notepad through February 28th. Learn more about the promo codes here in this post.
As well, I cannot wait to host my first dinner party at my house this weekend. It has been since the summer of 2019 I have gathered more than a few people to share with them food, drink and time to catch up and enjoy each others’ company. Needless to say, I am quite excited. 🙂
This week on the blog, love was talked about in great detail; both in this post – the 8 Paradoxes of Real Love – and in Saturday’s Ponderings . . . . I did more than a bit of shopping for readers with Wednesday’s Outfits of the Month: Prepping for Paris in the Spring post, sharing three detailed outfits to wear should you be dreaming about hopping on a plane and heading to Paris in the next few months (it sounds like more than a few people will be), and updated a favorite post on Meditating as on my own journey learning this valuable skill, the more I practice, the better my mind and days become. Lastly, but most deliciously, look for a new recipe to be posted this weekend that will tickle your childhood tastebuds, but also take it up a luxurious notch. 😉
Below I have gathered up three videos I think you will enjoy, and articles on a variety of topics and for many different interests. Thank you for stopping by today. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and until this weekend, bonne journée!
~Are you one of the many people making their travel plans to “Go Big” this spring and summer? Turns out many people are as shared in this article – Travel’s Theme for 2022? Go Big [The New York Times]
~I watched an episode recently of the 80s dramedy Lovejoy starring Ian McShane and had to chuckle as an Aga stove was in the background throughout one scene. The room was not anything special, just a room and the stove was the necessity to cook and heat the home. The Aga, in more recent times, has become a luxury item in the eyes of many, especially Americans, but it began as a necessity for many different everyday reasons. However, if you have the good fortune to have one or would like to have one in the future, read this post for Design Ideas with the dreamed about Aga [House & Garden UK]
~Speaking of traditional English decor eras – the Arts & Crafts movement, this house is a dream – marrying craftsmanship and color. I adore this home. [House & Garden UK]
~My own daffodils are now stretching three inches out of the earth, which reminds me that their annual appearance is about to begin! Explore an Experts Pick of Daffodils [The English Garden]
~I very much enjoyed Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile last weekend, and his version of Poirot is certainly in respect to Agatha Christie’s depiction of the beloved Belgian sleuth. So what does make a good Hercule Poirot? [The New York Times]
~Thoroughly appreciated this article as someone who lives in a small house but intentionally designed the interior to appear large, yet welcoming and cozy – What Makes a Small Room Look Bigger? (and you guessed it – embrace prints, wallpaper and patterns! But there is more to note as well :)) [WSJ]
~A jolly big thank you to TSLL reader Michelle for bringing to my attention when the date of the new HBO Max series Julia will premiere. In this article as well, see the first images from the series. Mark your calendars for March 31st! [people]
~Just in case you need more convincing to always have a book to read with you wherever your daily schedule takes you. This was a fun read and a reminder to help us let go of technology a bit more [Book Riot]
~Are highly successful entrepreneurs born or made? An interesting pondering post [Life Hack]
~Did you hear? Friend of TSLL and Provençal Murder writer M.L. Longworth’s book series has been turned into a television series on BritBox! Yep! And they just released the trailer. Here it is. Mark you calendars for March 1st!
~Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton, Season 2 is also about to premiere . . . on March 25th. I just love who was revealed as the Lady Whistledown at the end of season 1. Here is the trailer.
~And as you step into your weekend, a TEDx Talk that I highly recommend watching to inspire you to make the change you may think is impossible (it’s not!). This was actually a talk given in Bend, Oregon, in 2017 by Patti Dobrowolski on Creative Genius. Dobrowolski became known and respected for her first TEDxTalk that introduced the idea of drawing your future she explores even further in her second (that you see below).
Check out last week’s This & That: February 11, 2022
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.