This & That: February 3, 2023
Friday February 3, 2023

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A new French film that received high praise and awards when it debuted at film festivals last year, a new French series I am loving and three British series to sit down and enjoy as their new seasons have been released, five books in a variety of genres – traveling alone, sex, well-being and more. Clothing to continue to look chic as winter winds down and a newish dramedy starring an Academy Award winner that I thoroughly enjoyed watching these past couple of weeks. Still! Much more!


Happy Mind, Happy Life: The new science of mental well-being by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

While released this past summer, I wanted to bring British doctor Rangan Chatterjee’s most recent book Happy Mind, Happy Life to your attention as with the start of the new year, there often is a deeper dedication to making beneficial life changes, and what better aspect of our lives to invest in than our mental well-being as it affects all aspects of our lives.

My What If Year: A Memoir by Alisha Fernandez Miranda

Being released this coming Tuesday, and already an Editor’s Pick, as the CEO of a high-powered consulting firm, Alisha Fernandez Miranda is “on the cusp of turning forty and has climbed to the peak of personal and professional success, but at a price; she’s overworked and exhausted . . . Bravely, Alisha decides to give herself a break, temporarily pausing her stressful career. With the tentative blessing of her husband and eight-year-old twins, she leaves her home in London to spend one year exploring the dream jobs of her youth, seeking answers to the question, ‘What If?'” Her new memoir has been described as ‘spirited’ and ‘hilarious’. “Alisha’s “What If” year reveals that she can achieve success on her own terms by embodying the spirit of the intern: never stop learning, be flexible, and understand that failure is a prerequisite for growth.”

Sex Talks: The Five Conversations that will transform your love life by Vanessa and Xander Marin

As Valentine’s Day rolls around, the genre of books being newly released tend to have a theme, but really, this book would be worth checking out at any time of year if you want to deepen the quality of your love life with your partner. Sex Talks is “one of the only books that shows you how to actually talk about it. Because how are you supposed to have an extraordinary sex life if you can’t even discuss it openly with your partner? Sex Talks is here to change that. Together, sex therapist Vanessa Marin and her husband, Xander, show you that the best thing you can do for your sex life doesn’t even involve taking off your clothes.”

A Trip of One’s Own: Hope, Heartbreak and Why Travelling Solo Could Change Your Life by Kate Wills

I want to thank TSLL reader Christine for introducing me to Kate Wills book, A Trip of One’s Own. Released last year, Wills begins a restart of her life after an unexpected divorce. “Luckily, her job as a travel journalist offered her the perfect opportunity to escape from it all. But this time, her jet-setting felt different . . . So she began to search history for female travellers to inspire her. From a 4th-century nun to a globe-girdling cyclist, Kate discovers that throughout history, there have been astonishing women who’ve broken free from more burdensome expectations, clearing the path for us to do the same.” The book comes with high recommended and includes a trip to France as well. Perhaps you are looking for some travel inspiration to take that next trip on your own? I think this book is just want you are looking for. 🙂

What Napoleon Could Not Do: A Novel by DK Nnuro 

Being released on February 7th is What Napoleon Could Not Do which refers to Jacob, (the main character), whose father’s comment about Jacob’s sister who, after arriving from Africa, has gone “to college and law school in the United States and even managed to marry Wilder, a wealthy Black businessman from Texas. Wilder’s view of America differs markedly from his wife’s, as he’s spent his life railing against the racism and marginalization that are part of life for every African American living here” begins a story of three siblings. “Their desires and ambitions highlight the promise and the disappointment that life in a new country offers. How each character comes to understand this and how each learns from both their dashed hopes and their fulfilled dreams lie at the heart of what makes What Napoleon Could Not Do.

British Finds

Death in Paradise, season 12, Britbox

Technically, season 12 of Death in Paradise began on Boxing Day this past year with their holiday episode (which is worth watching even if the holidays are behind us). The rest of the season kicks off today for viewers of BritBox (it kicked off on January 6th on BBC One earlier this year).

Under the Vines, season 2, AcornTV

I missed the release of the second season of Under the Vines which takes us to New Zealand where a former Aussie socialite and a London lawyer happen to be co-inheritors of a vineyard. The second season kicked off earlier this year, with the final two episodes being released next week (two are released a week. Have a look at the trailer and enjoy! Perhaps with a glass of wine! 🙂

Vera, 12th season premiere

I know many TSLL readers are fans of the long-running British sleuth Vera series, and the new season, its 12th, premiered last Friday – January 27th! Find it on BritBox.

Francophile Find

Alter Ego, MHzChoice

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a new French crime drama that is actually quite light-hearted and fun. Alter Ego originally aired in France in 2019, and the first season is now available on MHzChoice. The alter ego aspect refers to Jimmy, the dapper gentleman seen in a tux in every scene, and only Déa, a quirky, yet highly respected police captain in Reims, France, can see or speak with him. Her alter ego, or ‘imaginary friend’ has been in her life since she was five; Déa, now 40, engages with Jimmy throughout her day as he is the trusted, observant companion that adds a unique character to the series. I have watched three episodes now (there are eight in the first season) and have quite enjoyed the show as it’s atypical to your traditional crime dramas, set in a beautiful city and Déa is a character you cannot help but love. Check out a scene from the third episode of the series below.

Full Time

You might remember French actor Laure Calamy from Dix Percent (aka Call My Agent) or Antoinette dans les Cévennes, well, she now can be seen doing an amazing job in Full Time or À Plein Temps. Being described as a thriller, it is really a film that highlights the exhaustive stress and strain of a single mother over the course of 48-hours to do her job well, care for her children and try to find a better job all while navigating the inevitable headaches and unexpected hiccups of daily life. Rotten Tomatoes has given it 95% and it won the Audience Award at the 2022 American French Film festival, after debuting in Venice Film Festival in 2021 winning the Venice Horizons Award. Have a look at the trailer below and find it in theaters beginning today.


&Sons Ahab Submariner Rollneck Jumper, navy

Vintage style abounds on the British men’s clothing site &Sons (there is a US site as well), and this navy jumper with the classic French neckline button caught my eye immediately. While I know winter is coming to a close, the season is still with us for at least six more weeks regardless of what the groundhog says (although I believe that is what he said this year), and this sweater would be a timeless piece enjoyed for years to come.

Cos Boatneck ribbed midi dress, navy

A wonderful dress to straddle the seasons of winter and spring: warm but short-sleeved, midi-length, but loose with a slight silhouette. And in a winter hue as well that can be worn easily in spring on those less than warm days.

Reformation Lyndsey Cotton Sweater Dress, cream (black also available)

But if it is still frigid where you are, this cotton sweater dress is ideal. I love how they styled it in this photo – simple, yet makes a statement.

Sézane Milo Classic Bag, blue snakeskin

A new handbag from Sézane in a textured blue look. (more colors available)

Shirtini Dark Denim Mary Shirt Dress

Preparing for spring, and speaking of preparing for spring, look for TSLL’s Annual Spring Shopping Guide to be posted Wednesday March 1st! I have moved up its regular release date one month so you don’t miss out on new collections and all that they have to share with us this upcoming season. Shop past seasons here.



So Help Me Todd, Paramount/CBS

Late to the party on this one, but when I saw Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden was a producer and star of this new series, So Help Me Todd, found on Paramount/CBS, I took a closer look. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. We’re not talking murders on this one, even though Harden’s character’s son, Todd, is a private investigator, but we are talking about solving crimes. And with Harden playing a well-respected attorney in a Portland, Oregon, law firm, the two team up in this dramedy to do right by their clients.

And yep, you read that right – Portland, Oregon, and they actually film all of the outdoor scenes in Portland. Recognizing nearly every location, it was a treat to see a town I once called home and visit regularly on this new national television series. Oh! And I cannot forget to share that Harden’s wardrobe is fantastic. I am taking much inspiration from her style, and at 63-years old she is a reminder of how chic anyone can be at any age if dressing their body well for the lifestyle they lead. Have a look at the trailer below, and good news! a second season has been confirmed.

After a weekend of sub-zero temperatures, even though the blue skies were radiant, we are now back to typical winter temperatures here in Bend, so most of our walks happened in the afternoon after it warmed up a bit. One afternoon took us up to snow-shoe, and above is a pic of the sky and the calm and fun as Norman and Nelle both enjoyed getting out of the office and stretching their legs (me too ☺️).

A busy week on the blog as one month ended and a new one began. A new A Cuppa Moments was shared with TOP Tier Members, a new podcast episode on the power of presence – how to cultivate it, the benefits and what it looks like in our daily lives and in practice, and a simple and delicious dinner idea that can be made in 10 minutes! As well, the week began with a post about the importance of calm (with ideas for cultivating it) and its role in living well. Indeed a full week of posts here on TSLL, and if your weekdays are already full, but you don’t want to miss a posting, be sure to explore signing up for the free weekly or monthly (or both!) newsletter. You can learn more about each here.

I hope the new month has begun well for you, and you are looking ahead to a weekend full of time to do as you need and desire. Thank you for stopping by today, and below I have gathered up articles and a video I think you might enjoy. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~National Croissant Day was this past Monday, and recently Yelp compiled a list of the top places in the states to find one. Five of the bakeries are in San Francisco and #5 on the list was a croissant from Arsicault, a bakery in San Fran that in 2016 was named the best bakery in the US! [SF Gate]

~How to emphasize syllables in the French language [Comme one Française]

~How a happy memory can help you fall asleep [WSJ]

~A new bakery in London to check out – Birley Bakery [AirMail]

~I am saving this classic British recipe – Traditional Seville bitter orange marmalade recipe [The English Garden]

~Well, this recipe looks mighty cozy and ideal for winter weekend comfort food – Baked Brie with Garlic Butter Mushrooms from Smitten Kitchen

~Ever dreamed of moving to France? What to think about prior to doing so [Frenchly]

~How to find your meaning in the workplace [Shondaland]

~Monty Don’s February Tips & Advice post and it is also full of flowers beginning to emerge from the ground as spring nears!

~Find inspiration to reduce the heating bills from this post sharing sustainable ideas used by owners of an 18th century French chateau. If they can do it, so can we! [Dwell]

~How to create exquisite focus amongst chaos. [Zen Habits]

~Vogue UK editors share the wardrobe basics they cannot live without.

~Love antiques? Take a tour of this house, tastefully including antiques from decades of travel, this New England home is a gem with many aesthetic components found in English country homes. [House & Garden UK]

Jennifer Anniston_Manish Malhotra

~The trailer was just released for the anticipated sequel starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, Murder Mystery 2 which includes, as you will see in the trailer, some time in Paris. Captured in this photograph, Aniston is wearing a custom Ivory Chikankari Lehenga by Manish MalhotraIt has been reported that she was “keen on wearing an Indianan Lehenga for her role as a bridesmaid in the film. Manish Malhotra and stylist, Debra McGuire, decided on the ivory color as it was for a beach wedding which took approximately 3 months to make”. Check out the trailer below and look for it to premiere on March 31st on Netflix.

~Explore last week’s This & That: January 27, 2023

A new British drama series that is being well received and I cannot wait for it to become available in the states, quite a few winter clothing sales to explore, books on averting self-sabotage, welcoming the tranquility back into your everydays, a comedic gardening novel, and a book on what loving really entails. A new film to prompt more than a bit of laughter with a star-studded cast, and a new comedy on AppleTV+ starring Harrison Ford in a role that looks quite hilarious in its concept. Oh! And a new translation of Colette’s two classic novels. And good news, there is still much more – for the home, for the table, for your wardrobe, you get the idea. ☺️

~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.

6 thoughts on “This & That: February 3, 2023

  1. Thanks, Shannon….Lots to savor. I ordered “A Trip of One’s Own,” and will check out some of the entertainment noted. The Birley Bakery sounds wonderful and was added to my list of places to visit in London. ?Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    1. Judy, thank you for stopping by Judy. I do hope you enjoy the book as Christine shared she thoroughly enjoyed it and that bakery looks great. Excited for you and your upcoming trip to England. ???❤️

  2. Hi Shannon, Isn’t So Help Me Todd fun? Just hearing the title makes me chuckle. And I am with you on the wardrobe … so chic. Plus Marcia has the best hair.
    Have you seen the new(ish) series on Magnolia network “La Pitchoune: Cooking in France”? I am loving the lineup on Magnolia .. The Lost Kitchen is wonderful too with Erin French.
    Wishing you, Norman and Nelle a lovely, cosy weekend. It is around minus 40 here today (polar vortex has dropped by …) so my indoor plans include curling up with the Feb Cuppa Moments. Cheers! Catherine

    1. Catherine,

      Good morning and firstly, stay warm!!! Brrrrr. Thank you for bringing to my attention the series on Magnolia. I will definitely take a look. And yes, the title of the show So Help Me Todd gives me a good chuckle too. ☺️ Wishing you a cozy day and I do hope you enjoy this month’s A Cuppa Moments. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. The glorious photo of sweet Nelle, with paw outstretched, smiling face turned and beckoning to Mom, is transcendent. Beautiful. Thank you, Shannon, lovely T&T post, comme d’habitude.??
    –Under The Vines. I am now convinced. I foresee a (very soon) delicious binge to catch up.?
    –The &Sons jumper is absolutely perfect for Monsieur, love the whole site. I was aware of the site, but had not delved in. Many thanks for the intro.??
    –So Help Me Todd. May I say that I am so happy to see an old US stalwart media biz produce something with the elan of other countries. It’s been too long. From the trailer, the series looks to be funny and witty and smart. And, of course, any series that includes fashion eye-candy has my vote. Merci bien pour l’introduction.
    Shannon, many thanks for your curation of this effervescent and yet grounding space. And nose-kisses to the puppers, of course!?

  4. thank you, Shannon, for a great T& T! 🙂

    My favourites:
    – A Trip of One’s On – I traveled a lot on my younger years all my myself, national and international, mainly in Africa, where traveling as a woman alone is not so common a situation; I am therefore keen to meet other fellow female travels from History. Yes, I am ordering this book asap…
    – Alter Ego – How much fun it would be to have a proper gentleman as an Alter Ego?… I can imagine my Alter Ego to be handsome, tall and with blue eyes… 😉
    – Orange Marmalade – is my favourite marmalade and I do it every year (in January) with a recipe from my family stash, but I am always interested in checking different recipes.Yummy!

    But my most favourite was, of course, Nelle on the show trail. 🙂

    Have a great week, and give hugs to Norman and Nelle – can I call them N& N?… 😉

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