A reveal of a long-worked on bronze sculpture to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this weekend, a new French film that looks like a fun watch, books on tapping into the creative approach for living a more fulfilling life no matter what our field of study or career, a new French series that was a favorite long-running program in France now available internationally, a favorite British sleuth returns for a tenth season, French finds in books, gifts and style, sales on top design houses not to miss, a new series on Netflix that caught me by surprise and I quite enjoyed. Still, there is more!
This Monday, the 16th, marks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and as many know this Monday is the federal holiday that pays homage to his life and efforts for Civil Rights. Today, in the oldest park in the United States, Boston Common, the bronze sculpture titled The Embrace will be officially revealed to the public. Captured from a photograph of the embrace he and his wife Coretta Scott King shared when his name was announced as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the artist Hank Willis Thomas wanted to include them both to commemorate their dual efforts for the equality as MLK’s wife continued the advocacy he began upon his assassination.
Be sure to watch the segment from CBS Sunday Morning below of the long journey and collective efforts that brought to Boston Common The Embrace.
—A Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
I am very much looking forward to reading music producer Rick Rubin’s new book A Creative Act. Having produced hundreds of well-known record albums (Adele, Ed Sheeran and the Red Hot Chili Peppers just to name a few), his new book draws upon what he has helped musicians bring to their craft and now is sharing for each of us to apply to enable readers bring our most sincere selves to our daily lives. Rubin “made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities.”
—Manifest: Dive Deeper by Roxie Nafousi
The follow-up book to her successful first, titled Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life, a book that inspired episode #348 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast – The Paradox of Manifesting the Life You Have Envisioned, .Manifest: Dive Deeper does just that with very specific steps. “Expanding your understanding of each of the unique seven steps to manifestation, Roxie Nafousi provides practical techniques to teach you how to harness your potential and confidently step into your power. Each chapter is filled with simple and inspiring exercises designed to cultivate self-awareness, reflection and growth, empowering your manifesting process even more.”
—The Mitford Affair: A Novel by Marie Benedict
As someone who thoroughly enjoys Marie Benedict’s ability to blend history with intriguing fictitious detail, filling in the gaps that we cannot know for sure (The Mystery of Mrs. Christie and Lady Clementine are the first two I read, devoured them both), her new novel The Mitford Affair being released this coming Tuesday the 17th, takes the reader back to WWII in England to the lives of the six Mitford sisters, sisters that dominated the English political, literary, and social scenes. Here is the book’s synopsis:
“Though they’ve weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister’s lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s mistress.
As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters’ constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.”
—Father Brown, season 10, BBC One
While we here in the states will have to wait just a bit longer (it is said we can expect season 10 to arrive in late January or early February), already season 10 of Father Brown has returned to BBC One in the UK. Premiering January 6th, enjoy a new mystery each Friday for the next 10 weeks.
I came to thoroughly enjoy this series this past year, and whizzed through the previous nine seasons. Set in the Cotswolds, more idyllic small English setting I cannot imagine, a few supporting cast members look to have changed, but Mark Willians returns as the ever clever Father Brown.
With the 2023 tennis Grand Slam season kicking off this Monday in Melbourne with the Australian Open (January 16-29th), in many ways a new era has begun in both the men’s and women’s tennis tournaments. With the retirements of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the brackets and attention have begun to significantly shift, and a new documentary premiering today on Netflix, Break Point, explores this current time in tennis history. Have a look at the trailer below.
—Alice Nevers, MHzChoice
A new-to-MHzChoice French police procedural series was just added earlier this month. Although the actual series, Alice Nevers has been around for 18 seasons in France. Alice Nevers is a French judge, well respected in her field who assists with police investigations all the while navigating having just returned to work following maternity leave (a plot detail added to the script to parallel the actor’s own life, she herself having just had a baby). A new episode drops each week, and four now are available. The rapport between her and her police/detective partner is strong and respectful, and her determination quietly fierce to ascertain justice.
A new French film being released today to stream and in theaters is The Kitchen Brigade. Cathy (played by Audrey Lamy) is a “sous chef wanting to open a restaurant. With financial difficulties, Cathy accepts a job at a shelter for young migrants. At first she hates the job then her passion for cuisine starts to change children’s lives.” Have a look at the trailer below. I most definitely cannot wait to watch this film.
—Learning to Be French (and Failing) by Anna Bibby
A BIG thank you to TSLL reader Posie for bringing to my attention New Zealander Anna Bibby’s new book, Learning to Be French (and Failing). Once an owner of an art gallery in her home country New Zealand, Bibby moves to the countryside of France having bought “a falling-down house in a picturesque medieval village”. With similar headaches shared to a Peter Mayle’s beloved memoir A Year in Provence, Bibby shares “her story in a humorous, warm and generous way taking a real delight in the place she has found herself in and along with her ongoing relationship with a handsome Portuguese stonemason, doomed attempts at cooking French food” she does her respectful best to settle into the local French culture with “amusing results”.
—My Stylish French Box, February, theme – An American in Provence
Perhaps you have already heard, but if not, let me be the one to share that photographer and now bestselling author of her new book An American in Provence Jamie Beck has teamed up with Sharon Santoni to curate the latest My Stylish French Box. AND one brand reveal that will be included is Sézane clothing and accessories! Be sure to secure your box as they will ship out early February, and I have a feeling this box will be quite special.
—Altuzarra Craven Sweater (three colors), 60% off
Altuzarra is currently having their winter sale and offering some steep discounts. I have included two of their items in today’s This & That, and the first is this navy Craven sweater. Made of extra fine merino wool, it’s finished with a banded hem and ruched sides.
—Altuzarra McKenny bluefin stripe dress, 70% off, most all sizes available
And the second find is a unique take on the classic shirt dress. With a wrapped waist, long arms ending into a large cuff, the bluefin stripe color is 70% off (unlike the other colors). Many of the sizes are still available.
A cozy robe available at an affordable price and made from recycled material. Eberjay has made some of the travel robes and pajamas I have worn and felt cozy in over the years, as their fabric is soft, feeling lovely on the skin, and with winter in full swing, this robe would be ideal to cozy up in early in the morning or wrapping up following stepping out of the bath or shower.
—Inslee calendar sale, 25% off
Each month to accompany A Cuppa Moments, I include Inslee’s calendar for that particular month, and this year’s calendar is now on sale. I will share I especially like this year’s calendar as there is more detail, and the latter half months are particularly my favorite – one full of seashells and another full of butterflies. ☺️ The easels as well are on sale, and you can choose from four different boxes, so be sure to stop by and save on this annual gem.
—Serena & Lily, site-wide sale (20% off)
If beachside/seaside décor is your style aesthetic, be sure to stop by Serena & Lily as they are having a site-wide sale not to miss. Why? When you use promo code UPGRADE you save 20% off everything including New Arrivals. The sale runs through January 30th.
During the Black Friday sales this past year, I had my eye on a pair of Staud’s suede boots, and was able to scoop up a pair on sale, saving 25%. While those particular boots are not on sale, many other items are during their current Winter Sale, and I have shopped a few that caught my eye: the Linden sweater marine stripe, the Colleen Dress Sahara Stripe, the Rivera Kaia Shoulder bag rainbow, the Margot Sandal Tan, and the Jetson Canvas Bag Marine Spice. See each of them below, but be sure to shop the entire sale here.
Stylish sneakers are a lasting trend for both men and women to heed, and while coming in a variety of colors, this navy and sage green pair strike the right middle ground for casual, yet slightly dressed up, but also forever functional.
I initially wasn’t sure about this series, titled Treason, released on Netflix late this past December, but then I continued to watch it, and my interest increased tenfold as the roles of the women stepped up and took center stage. Set in current day London in MI6, trying to figure out who can be trusted is almost a fool’s pursuit until the truth is revealed. Have a look at the trailer below.
The rain may have come to town and washed all our snow away, but in the mountains we are many feet deep in snow, as you can see above, it continues to accumulate. It is stunning, and earlier this week I took the dogs and went snow-shoeing just before a storm began to blow through enabling me to enjoy a peek of blue sky. Calm, soothing and brilliant, we had a wonderful time. (And now that Nelle is not jumping on Norman as much while they romp along, Norman and I are enjoying these outings all the more 🙃.)
While the week began with a bit of bustle in the house to install the bookshelves in the office (you can take a look at the progress here in yesterday’s January Ponderings), it settled back down into our regular steady, gentle rhythm. An extra full week of five posts on the blog were shared, so be sure to peruse back through, and with French class to conclude two of my days each week, I must say, I enjoy ending these days stepping into the French culture (even if from afar), listening to the sounds of the language and learning something new each time with my classmates. A good week indeed.
The weekend ahead will find us staying home, and as it is a long weekend in the states, no doubt the trek to the mountain will be a busy one here in Bend, so we may or may not go to the mountain to take in some cross-country skiing. It’s supposed to be stormy all weekend, so it might be most ideal to read and relax.
I hope your week went well, our first full week of the new year, and whether you are looking for cooking or style or gardening or money inspiration to begin the new year, the posts this week touch on just these topics.
Also, I took note of some good news for us travelers – ticket prices to Europe, as we plan travel for the new year – yep, even as far out into November, are at very nice prices right now, even business class. So be sure to explore scooping up your tickets now if you want to save.
Below I have gathered up a handful of articles and posts you might enjoy, and until Monday, bonne journée!
~10 Things to do on your first trip to Paris [The Earful Tower]
~And whether it’s your first or 100th visit to Paris, the 12 Best Cozy Bars in Paris [HiP Paris]
~The new book from podcaster Tori Dunlap, her book now a bestseller – Financial Feminist, first began as a podcast, and is one to check out – Her First 100K, and this episode, one of the first, is one to remind us of the value of making money work for you and knowing our money story.
~How to best support a stressed out person [Inc.com]
~Interested in visiting Kew Gardens? Here is your guide to know what to see when. [House & Garden UK]
~A thoughtfully answered response from stylist columnist Anna Berkeley about how to look more memorable. [The Financial Times]
~Speaking of style and the fashion world – Six reasons to get excited about fashion in 2023. [New York Times]
~How to improve our focus? Focus like it’s 1990 [The New York Times]
~Great morning ideas to start the day well for HSPs, and really so many of us. [Highly Sensitive Refuge]
~Fans of Judy Blume, a heads up! A new film with a delightful cast, adapting her wildly popular young adult book Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret will be released in April. The trailer just dropped yesterday. Have a look.
~Explore last week’s This & That: January 6, 2023
France is on my mind as the new year begins as the first This & That of 2023 is FULL of Francophile Finds. From the annual winter soldes, two new series (one returning, but brand new), a mouth-watering cookbook for fondue lovers and an online brocante destination that is a must-visit. But I haven’t forgotten about Anglophiles! A favorite series kicks off for its third season this Sunday, a new cookbook by a beloved home cook is released, and another series that is a top-watch and now entering its twelfth season. But still there is more! Books focused on themes of all sorts to inspire you to make 2023 your best year yet, and much more.