This & That: February 4, 2022
Friday February 4, 2022

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So much to share! Books on the past, a better tomorrow, eradicating burn-out, a unique British mystery, books about books! A new app I want to introduce you to, a new series on Apple+TV that looks quite addicting, a new movie that is a must-watch, a cookware sale, clothing items to up the style and the functionality in our wardrobe, a brand new British cosy mystery that is sure to make you smile and hold your attention, and still, yep, there is more.



I am quite excited to share with you a new app, designed to eliminate ‘doom scrolling’ and instead offer something of value to add to your entertainment exploration — Entourage... This app is also quite special because I personally know and taught the three developers during their junior year of AP Language. They are each extraordinarily hard workers, curious and kind human beings, so when I learned of their app, I promptly downloaded it and began exploring.

They were very kind to recommend TSLL’s podcast, as users recommend music, podcasts, movies and tv shows, and I immediately found their app to be a great source to stay in the know for staying as apprised as possible of what younger generations are enjoying and why.

The developers, Andrew, Alexandra and Matthew, are currently seeking organic interest in their app. They are all seniors in college, and I happily offered to share with you TSLL readers. Here is a link to an introductory video to check out how to use their app which is user-friendly and akin to other apps many people use on a daily basis.


The Awesome Human Project: Break Free from Daily Burnout, Struggle Less and Thrive More in Work and Life by Nataly Kogan

Being released on Tuesday February 8th is a book to help you tap into and embrace the truth that has always been with us but is often neglected – we are human and humans have emotions! Author Nataly Kogan “wrote The Awesome Human Project in response to her own journey. A refugee who achieved tremendous success, she had come to see struggle as a way of life. But her burnout taught her a powerful lesson: you can’t give what you don’t have. She writes, ‘Strengthening your emotional fitness is an essential investment in your success and leadership, and an act of love to everyone you care about.’ Filled with simple, science-backed practices and Nataly’s contagious energy, The Awesome Human Project will teach you how to strengthen your emotional fitness skills, create a more supportive relationship with yourself as well as your thoughts and emotions, reduce self-doubt, and cultivate more honest and meaningful connections with others.”

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Just released last week, may I introduce you to a book involving books and a mystery as well. The perfect combination for my reading pleasure and perhaps yours as well. Here’s the premise – “Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she’s left to run things, she discovers that the library’s most prized manuscript is missing.” *Dadadaaah . . . * Cue the dramatic music and let the sleuthing begin!

The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink

I thoroughly enjoyed, appreciated and found great value in Daniel Pink’s book When, regarding how the body’s energy ebbs and flows during the day and how to honor and tap into a biological truth that when we ignore, we only do ourselves a disservice (his book was the Petit Plaisir in episode #194). So when I read a profile of his new book The Power of Regret in The Washington Post, I immediately took a serious look. Released this past Tuesday, Pink “draws on research in social psychology, neuroscience, and biology, and debunks the myth of the ‘no regrets’ philosophy of life. And using the largest sampling of American attitudes about regret ever conducted as well as his own World Regret Survey—which has collected regrets from more than 15,000 people in 105 countries—he lays out the four core regrets that each of us has.”

Small World: A Novel by Jonathan Evison

Already a New York Times Editors’ Choice, just released on January 11th is a story about American history, California, the gold rush, the transcontinental railroad and the lives lived and promises made.

Twyford Code: A Novel by Janice Hallett

A Sunday Times bestseller in Britain, finally available in the states, described as the “the murder of the century… Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her.”

I learned of this book from a favorite follow on IG – Jo Rodgers, and frequently, she has introduced me to books I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a feeling this book may be another.

British Find

Sister Boniface Mysteries

A new British mystery series is coming to Britbox February 8th and it involves as the lead a nun on a moped. Sounds like fun to me. Sister Boniface Mysteries is a spin-off from Father Brown. Lorna Watson plays the sleuthing nun – Sister Boniface. Set in the 1960s, enjoy the 10-part first season, set in the Cotswolds. I could not find a trailer, but I think all that we need to know to decide whether to tune in or not begins and ends with English countryside cosy mystery and sleuthing nun on a moped. Yep, I’m interested. 🙂


The Worst Person in the World

I mentioned this film back in December and promised to remind readers when it came to theaters in the states. Today is that day! Winner of Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival (2021), Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve stars in a script that was written for her as was shared in an interview with the actress and writer and director Eskil Vogt Joachim Trieron NPR Sunday Edition. The Worst Person in the World also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film follows the life of Julie (Reinsve) who is a thirty-something woman navigating love and life and career ups and downs. Focusing on the relationships she has with two different men, it is a modern relationship-and-life tale that is quickly becoming the favorite of critics. Look for it locally today in theaters and enjoy. Check out the trailer below.


Adèle middle dot noir, Sézane

I may have shared Sézane’s Adèle dress before, but it goes out of stock quickly, so I thought I’d share it now as all sizes are currently still available (as of Thursday afternoon).

COS Cashmere V-Neck Sweater, cream

In last week’s This & That I shared a similar item – cashmere v-neck pullover from Boden – and it sold out before Friday morning was over. The style is cozy, the cashmere is ideal, and the colors are neutral and flattering for many skin tones. I went shopping for another similar one to share just in case you weren’t able to scoop it up but wanted to. I found this one from COS, and it is lovely (and a similar price).

Le Creuset Square Bakers, Set of 2 (five colors options), on sale

Sur la Table is having a worth-checking-out winter sale at the moment, and these ceramic Le Creuset baking pans are a great must-have to have on hand for many different baking needs. I use mine constantly for dinner – for one or more people. Available in multiple colors, be sure to scoop them up if you need something similar. They will be with you for a lifetime.

Oui the People, single-blade razors

I have been looking for a high-quality razor, and yes, I will admit it, one that looks great in the shower as well (now that the shower remodel is done). I found Oui the People and appreciated their thoughtful business mission statement. I took a look at their single-blade razors which include thoughtful attention paid to reduce or eliminate skin irritation, and I purchased their razor in Rose Gold (black is also available). Designed and made in Germany, the owner of Oui the People has done their homework (read why this razor works so well here) and I have been very happy with the results.

Theory cashmere fold-back gloves, camel (on sale)


Another item I am loving and recommending are Theory’s cashmere fold-back gloves. Currently on sale, they are warm, feel wonderful on the skin and make it possible to use my phone to change my playlist or scroll to a new podcast episode while I am walking without having to take my glove off (I have tried ‘tech-touch’ gloves, and haven’t found them to be consistent in usability). I also love how they have a longer wrist-length so they tuck well into my coat sleeves.


And Just Like That, the Documentary

If you have been enjoying And Just Like That, today is a day of knowing next Thursday will not debut a new episode – *humphff*. But, hopefully there will be a second season, and if you didn’t see this new documentary on HBO Max, you can now watch behind-the-scenes captures and a close look into the making of this reboot of SATC and their approach for presenting the characters and the storylines as women of a certain age have rarely, if at all, been portrayed on television. I will have likely watched it immediately following the final episode Thursday night, but I haven’t watched it yet as I write this. It sounds interesting. Here is the trailer.


A new suspense-series on Apple+TV stars Uma Thurman and may just be the show to watch if you enjoyed The Americans and Homeland. With four suspects (each British) accused of kidnapping Thurman’s only child (Thurman plays a powerful US CEO), the plot has many twists and turns and will no doubt keep viewers returning each week to watch a new episode. The series begins tonight with two episodes for a total of eight, a new one airing each Friday. Have a look at the trailer below. | The Simply Luxurious Life

Hello February! And hello to the patiently waited for news of how to preorder TSLL’s 3rd Book. This post shares all of the many details, and if you want a signed bookplate, you can order it now and you will be able to directly order the hardback and paperback versions on Tuesday March 1st. And I am excited to share, that if you want an eBook, you can preorder that now. All will be available to begin reading on Tuesday March 22nd.

This week, the launching of the pre-ordering news has held my attention, but now that we have all of the necessary details posted, the book manuscript has been polished, reread and reread again and then a few more times, I am excited to focus on new content for the blog (on the business side of life) and hosting my first dinner party at my house (on the personal side of life) in a few weeks time. As this will be the first gathering of more than 4 people, I am making sure all feel comfortable, communicating expectations of vaccination, so that we can all just relax and enjoy a good evening of conversation, food and drink. Something I think so many of us are longing for at the moment, especially having been stuck inside with the inclement weather in many parts of the country and world.

Norman and I discovered a new trail to take our morning constitutional upon as we begin each day outdoors. It was fun for the mind to see something new, and I returned home more refreshed and ready to work than I expected. One of the two sets of curtains are now in place in the primary bathroom (my neighbor is no doubt more than grateful – eek!), and I heard good news that the remaining wallpaper I have been waiting for will be shipping sooner than expected. Gradually, gradually, the project comes to its completion.

A post on IG that captured readers attention was shared this week about making our way through our transition to a new, preferred schedule, and this month’s A Cuppa Moments was posted on Tuesday inspiring so many beautiful comments expressing gratitude to those who extended love without expectation of anything in return. As well, an excerpt from TSLL’s 3rd book was shared as well as a detailed look at the contents, books I recommend, walks with Norman and still much more. If you have been contemplating becoming a TOP Tier Member, between now and February 14th is a wonderful time to do so as you can receive two free gifts when you sign up for your free signed bookplate (a $22 value, yours for free). Learn more about this limited time opportunity in this post.

On Monday evening, for the first time in far too long, I enjoyed dinner out at a new restaurant in Bend with a dear friend. To say I enjoyed myself would be a grave understatement as it was truly a treat to sit down, enjoy wonderful food and wine as well as be tended to by a waitstaff who knew how to simply let the guests enjoy themselves without rushing them. The conversation kept stretching into the evening. It was a wonderful way to begin the week. I hope you too are beginning to step back into the activities you love and missed enjoying over the past two years. Life is quite extraordinary when we savor such simple everyday pastimes we may have mistakenly taken for granted not too long ago. We really do have an abundance of awesomeness at our fingertips. Once we open ourselves to this truth, life becomes amazingly enriched.

Below are a few articles I thought you might enjoy this weekend at your leisure. Thank you for stopping by today, and if you are celebrating and partaking in the Lunar New Year activities, wishing a festive and joyous time. Until Monday when a new episode of the podcast will air, bonne journée.

~A great article to prompt a check-in with ourselves – Why Confidence is silent and Insecurities loud [Pick the Brain]

~For those gardeners here in the states that love watching Gardeners’ World but find the climate hard to parallel, read this article that was shared with me by my mother – A Guide for US-based cold-climate gardeners [Cold Climate Gardening]

~Here is a spring garden tour in the Cotswolds to perk up the gardener within! [House & Garden UK]

~Why it’s okay for Introverts to keep to themselves at work [Introvert, Dear]

~Even though there are headaches being an introvert in an extrovert-world, there are many perks as well – Why I feel grateful to be an introvert [Introvert, Dear]

~Intriguing food for thought. Being honest with ourselves can set us free – Was I an overachiever or really trying to prove my worth? [Tiny Buddha]

~How to make a career pivot [Jess Ann Kirby]

~We are getting soooo close to being back outside in the garden! Here is Monty Don’s February To-Do list!

~For my fellow classical music lovers – 5 Classical music albums you can listen to right now [The New York Times]

~More books you may want to read – 7 Books Set in Bookstores [Electric Literature]

~It never hurts to be reminded again – A path to well-being: embrace the basics [Shondaland]

~With plans for a trip to France this year, I am keeping a close eye on the expectations for travelers – here are all of your questions answers currently. [French Government site]

~And this is some great news out of France – France could scrap Covid vaccine pass before July [The Local]

~9 cozy French Dishes to get you through the winter [Frenchly]

~Mark your calendars, February 18th – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns and they have a new trailer to check out!

~And one more video, a clip from 1998, but it is timeless and worth remembering . . .

19 thoughts on “This & That: February 4, 2022

  1. I think Anthony Hopkins just made me swoon! ? Oh how I loved that movie back in the day. Thanks for sharing this Shannon!!

  2. A wealth of books this week! I love how you share a mix of both fiction and non-fiction, the dept of rare books sounds intriguing.
    I too hope AJLT bring a 2nd series for us to enjoy, I’d like to see the stories develop further. I will be watching the final episode as well as the documentary today.
    The Adele dress! I think one shall be making its way to my wardrobe, thank you for bringing it to my attention.
    Your evening with your friend sounds just wonderful, and I cannot wait to see more travel content from you this year, Shannon. If you choose to share, of course. I remember your 4 week trip a couple of years ago when you attended Patricia Wells cooking class. I thoroughly enjoyed following a long on your Instagram stories, Merci!
    Happy weekend, Sarah x

    1. Oh, and the Anthony Hopkins clip is just lovely and a timely reminder! I saw both you and Jen An shared it on Instagram and got to enjoy it twice, and now 3 times ?

  3. Thank you for all the great recommendations, Shannon! It’s so great to start the weekend knowing that you have a very similar taste to me when it comes to entertainment. Really, you are editing the noise for me, so a heartfelt thank you!

    1. Happy to hear you are enjoying what is shared each Friday. Thank you for your regular visits to the blog. I absolutely cannot wait to watch The Worst Person in the World. Have a wonderful weekend. ?

  4. I have wanted to do a tour of France with Sharon Santoni but have not decided which tour would be good for a first timer. Are you planning to do a trip to France with her? Thank you for exposing us to all the wonderful information from week to week.

    1. Lydia,
      I have no doubt whichever tour you take with Sharon, it will be wonderful. France has so much to offer and getting out of Paris is a very good idea to enjoy the country even more than you can imagine. I don’t travel on Sharon’s tours, but plan my own trip, but I understand for many traveling with a group is preferred, and her tours are definitely ones I would recommend. An inspiring and wonderful human being she is. 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by today and have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Happy Friday, Shannon! I always enjoy your goodies on This and That. I especially enjoyed reading Why I Feel Grateful for Being an Introvert. Can’t wait for the new season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! Enjoy your weekend., and “be deliriously happy”! Xo

    1. Thank you Karen! And thank you for the weekend wishes! 🙂 Being an introvert, reading such posts are a good reminder whenever I may forget that it is a gift to be someone of such a temperament. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by.

  6. Oh they are having a great sale at Sur la Table…I have found a couple items to put in my cart! I turned my Britbox back on (I turn it off every so often because I find myself with nothing new to watch so I wait) and that new series looks interesting. By the way, Sweet Magnolia fans..season 2 is now on Netflix as of today. Thanks for all the wonderful recommendations, despite it may put a tiny dent in my discretionary spending envelope!

  7. I love that Meet Joe Black scene, the inspiration, and the book announcements Shannon. I am looking to explore indoor gardening (for culinary use in my kitchen). Any suggestions on where to start?

  8. So happy you had a lovely dinner out, I am looking forward to the same this week.
    And so many amazing recommendations as usual, thank you, Shannon! — A nun with a degree in Forensic Science on a moped solving murders…I am so in! (Just checked and Britbox now has a teaser of the series.) XO ~R

    1. Rona, she sounds like the kind of Nun I could hang out with. Brings to mind Margaret Rutherford a delightful actress in the Miss Marple series between 1961 -1965 . She didn’t play a Nun but she played her character in her own inimitable style. Loved the series. xx

  9. Shannon, thanks for some great recommendations. I don’t think I ever saw Met Joe Black, so will put that on my list to watch. Suspicion looks interesting. Glad you had a great dinner out with a friend, it’s lovely to be able to do something that used to be so normal. My sister and I talked today and we are both feeling nostalgic for England, so we are going to plan a visit ‘home’ this summer. On the trip per her request a train trip to Paris. Fingers crossed we get to actually do a vacation abroad in 22. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  10. A wonderful list to see us through February Shannon. So love Sir Anthony in that film and that scene. Such great advice especially the line ” leave yourself open to be happy”. with a Nun on a moped. Loved Father Brown so count me in on Sister Boniface mysteries. In my experience Nuns have a wicked sense of humour so this should be fun plus the bonus of touring the pretty Cotswolds. I am a fan of Sezane and had my eye on that dress but am a bit disappointed with the way their recent shoot unfolded in Mexico. Not as transparent as we are led to believe. I’ll have to give it a miss unfortunately. Entertaining was what most of us missed during the lockdown and it’s great to enjoy fabulous meals with friends again . How exciting for you to be hosting your first dinner party in your newly refurbished home. Something extra special to savour.
    Gardening is on my agenda this month and I have ticked off a few to do’s owing to some Spring like weather and birdsong was my motivation. xx

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