This & That: January 7, 2022
Friday January 7, 2022

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More than a few podcasts to listen to, three new premieres of television series/seasons, books on making the new year great regarding your money, your happiness and how you approach living each day, a much praised new novel, cashmere scarves on sale, Agatha Christie has a new compilation of short stories about love (what?) and a film that received great acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Still, there is more, much more.

~Exciting news for TSLL Readers! You will notice that the headings below for each section are now in a new color. There is an awesome reason for this change. This time next week TSLL’s New Blog Design will be live, and yep, you are receiving a sneak peak at one of the colors that will be part of the new home for TSLL.

If you visit the blog mid-next week, you may see a “Site Down for Maintenance”. Do not be alarmed. It will take an entire day to transition the old site into the new site, so rest assured, all is well and moving forward as planned. I have asked directly that the site be up and running for next Friday’s This & That as this regular posting is a favorite and well, by the time the end of the week rolls around, nobody wants any no more hiccups when it comes to our lives, work and days. 😉

Thank you for your excitement, patience and curiosity. I CANNOT wait to share with you what we (my talented tech and design team at Dash Creative and illustrator Sarah Löcker) have been working on for the past eight months


Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out by Kindra Hall (Amazon, Bookshop)

Being released next Tuesday, “Choose Your Story, Change Your Life will help you take complete control of your self-told stories and create the life you’ve always dreamed you’d have. Kindra Hall offers up a new window into your psychology, one that travels the distance from the frontiers of neuroscience to the deep inner workings of your thoughts and feelings. This eye-opening, but applicable journey will transform you from a passive listener of these limiting, unconscious thoughts to the definitive author of who you are and everything you want to be.”

How to Live an Awesome Life: How to Live Well, Do Good, Be Happy by Polly Campbell (Amazon, Bookshop)

I came across this book while perusing a bookshop during my recent trip to the coast, and while it was released in 2015, it reminded me a bit of approaches talked about here on TSLL. The writer is also from Oregon which made me smile, but having skimmed a few of the chapters, I think readers of the blog may enjoy it for a direct, approachable book sharing concrete ideas for elevating the everyday.

The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose

The New York Times included Nita Prose’s novel as one of the 16 books to read in January, and after reading the synopsis of the plot, I can see why. Described as “a Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.”

Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life by Laurence Kotlikoff (Amazon, Bookshop)

Released this past Tuesday, “Laurence Kotlikoff, one of our nation’s premier personal finance experts and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security, harnesses the power of economics and advanced computation to deliver a host of spellbinding but simple money magic tricks that will transform your financial future. Each trick shares a basic ingredient for financial savvy based on economic common sense, not Wall Street snake oil. Money Magic offers a clear path to a richer, happier, and safer financial life.” 

Seeking Wisdom: A Spiritual Path to Creative Connection by Julia Cameron (Amazon, Bookshop)

I know many TSLL readers appreciated Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way which was published now more than 30 years ago. Her new book Seeking Wisdom, “Cameron shares a mindful collection of prayer practices that open our creative souls. This path takes us beyond traditional religious rituals, welcoming readers regardless of their beliefs and backgrounds. As you journey through each week of the program you’ll explore prayers of petition, gratitude, creativity, and more. Along the way, the three beloved tools of The Artist’s Way―Morning Pages, Artist Dates, and Walks―are refreshed and reintroduced, to provide a proven, grounded framework for growth and development.”

Look for her new book to be released on Tuesday January 11th.  

British Find

A Deadly Affair: Unexpected Love Stories from the Queen of Mystery by Agatha Christie (Amazon, Bookshop)

A new collection of Agatha Christie’s short stories has just been released. And while devout Christie fans will recognize them, they have never before been compiled together in one book as they are in A Deadly Affair. “This pulse-pounding compendium features beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, master of charades Parker Pyne, the enigmatic Harley Quin, and the adventurous Tommy and Tuppence, all on the ready to solve a tantalizing mystery.”

Death in Paradise, Season 11 (BritBox)

Last week I watched the new holiday episode of Death in Paradise which kicked off the new season (season 11) which becomes available today.

Under the Vines (AcornTV)

I stumbled across this new British series that is set in New Zealand on a vineyard last week and thought I would share. Light-hearted, fun and while nearly a bit too-“Hallmarky” for me, there were characters and storylines I appreciated. Have a look at the trailer below and watch the first season in full now.

—Vera, Season 11

Many, many, many TSLL readers love and have recommended I watch Vera, and for good reason. The latest season, season 11 kicked off just a couple of weeks ago, and below is a peek into the full new season.


A Hero

A film to watch from “Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, best known for A SeparationThe PastThe Salesman, and Everybody Knows. His latest is titled A Hero, and it first premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it won the Grand Prix prize during the festival.” Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in select theaters today and nation-wide January 21st.


And Just Like That . . . The Writers’ Room podcast

There has been a lot of chatter – positive and negative and everything in between about the reboot of SATC – And Just Like That. Personally, I love it. Admittedly, it is an escape and the fashion is a big draw for me; however, context is necessary for how each episode came together, and when I tuned in to the accompanying podcast for the show where developer of the series Michael Patrick King along with each of the writers that wrote each of the episodes talk about the process, I fell more in love with AJLT.

One of the details they share in each episode is what had been ideas to include but ultimately were cut. For example, in the second episode, they were going to have Carrie and the girls out in the Hamptons originally; however, that was nixed and the writers explain their thematic thinking and the message they were trying to present and how doing so (going to the Hamptons) didn’t further that storyline. Needless to say, if you want to go behind the scenes, tune in as coinciding with the release of each new episode of And Just Like That, is a new episode of the podcast talking about that specific episode.

A Slight Change of Plans

Recently premiering, host Dr. Maya Shankar in her podcast A Slight Change of Plans “blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change.” Sharing conversation with well known names in the news and entertainment industry, each guest gives an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds — like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, Amanda Knox, and Riz Ahmed. As well, everyday people share their stories that further exemplify how life can surprise us and why and how to navigate forward.

When Diana Met . . .

For Anglophiles or simply fans of Princess Diana, CNN has a new podcast named When Diana Met . . . and it is not just about Prince Charles. Each episode focuses on one of the many “most notable meetings with public figures, politicians, dignitaries, and celebrities to reveal often-overlooked truths and misunderstandings about her life as Princess of Wales. Host Aminatou Sow examines those iconic and memorable connections and what they teach us about power, gender, and control.”


Frame Le Italian True Straight Rinse

Classic, flattering and perfect for a chic, sophisticated everyday look.

J.Crew Oversized Cashmere Wrap (on sale, many colors)

Not much else to say – cashmere, oversized, on sale, many colors. Scoop up your favorite color now.

Sézane Croco Victor Bag (two colors)

A simple day as well as evening purse. It is hard to find a handbag that can transition well from errands to dinner out, but Sézane’s Croco Victor Bag does just that.

Wellness Journals, Papier

I will admit, I am stepping more and more away from planning my life to a “T”; however, each chapter of our lives asks for helpful, inspired inspiration for us to keep focused, gain clarity and confidently keep going each day. Papier’s many Wellness Journals offer a place to keep track of all of the details you want to remember and be held accountable for when it comes to your physical and mental health. Have a look at Papier’s website to see the pages inside.


Queer Eye, new season (7)

I just began watching the latest season of Queer Eye, and I am quite enjoying it. They began taping this season pre-pandemic which takes place in Austin, Texas, thus the opening image below. The first episode, once I watched it the entire way through was probably one of my favorite ones yet, but there are many more to watch and there have been many I have thoroughly enjoyed from previous seasons, so I look forward to watching one episode at a time and partaking in Karamo’s wisdom, Jonathan’s love, and each of the five’s expertise sincerely given.

The image above captures a glimpse of one of the best everydays I have had in a long time. And admittedly and thankfully, while I have many of such days, moreso recently than ever before, this day was special. Norman and I headed up to the mountain during the middle of the afternoon with snow falling quite steadily with just a bit more than hint of wind, but the snow was light, and there were few people on the snowshoe trails which made it both special and memorable. He bounded around, and I steadily followed, grateful for the trails made, and the ease the snowshoes provided in more than 4-6 feet of snow.

Moments such as these often are not planned, but that is why when we live in the present, we can notice and savor each one. Deeply and giddily savor. I did. I did my gosh-darn best to savor as much of it as possible for as long as possible without holding on.

Speaking of savoring. Be sure to savor the current TSLL blog design as this will be the last week of what you see before you. Are you ready for the new reveal? Oh my goodness I cannot wait to share it with you as I mentioned at the top of this post. What deepens my excitement is what ELSE will be revealed when the new blog design goes live – the cover and contents of TSLL’s 3rd Book which will be released on Tuesday March 22nd. The illustrator I have had the good fortune to work with, Sarah Löcker has created exquisite renderings of ideas I could only imagine in my mind, and from the cover to the 13 new illustrations you will find in the book, look for a few of them to appear on the new blog as a taste of what you can look forward to in the book.

I hope your new year has begun well, and you are striding forward into a year that has so much potential. Below I have gathered up a few articles you might enjoy, and I look forward to being back here with you on Monday to kick-start a brand new week full of motivation to make it great. Until then, bonne journée.

~Where to find the best croissants in Paris [HiP Paris]

~Let’s stay in France and go to Provence. A list compiled by friends of TSLL, Chez Pluie owners Susannah and Hugh Cameron – 100 Things to Do in Provence . I will be saving this list.

~Just in time to up the healthy and deliciousness in your kitchen – 5 Ways to Upgrade Roasted Vegetables [Cup of Jo]

~One more food article – this fish recipe from Nigel Slater – crumbed fish with lime and herb crust [The Guardian]

~Okay, how about one more – Fromage fictions: the 14 myths debunked [The Guardian]

~If you have 30 minutes and if you never again want to make a resolution about ‘diets’, listen to this segment Diet Culture is Everywhere. Here is How to Fight It [NPR]

~Monty Don’s January Garden To-Do List complemented with his pics from the garden

~One more for the gardeners – 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Garden [Gardenista]

~The Art of Winning: Living All Possibilities in Life [Pick the Brain]

~I especially enjoyed this article when I came across it while reading Rebecca Plotnick’s Links I Love9 French-Inspired Resolutions to Adopt This Year [Frenchly]

~I have to admit, I enjoyed Season 2 of Emily in Paris and watched it faaaaar too quickly. This article by an American living in Paris is worth reading especially if you love visiting Paris – ‘Emily in Paris’ and The City I Thought Was Mine

~David Lebovitz shared his ‘World’s Best’ Mac & Cheese

~The world lost a great human being last Friday when Betty White passed away. Listen to her acceptance speech in 2010 for a Lifetime Achievement Award. Both funny and thoughtful.

Check out the previous This & That: December 24, 2021

~Please note: Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

10 thoughts on “This & That: January 7, 2022

  1. Brilliant! Can’t wait to cosy-in for a weekend of listening and reading. Thank you, Shannon. Looking forward to the blog redesign and cover artwork – savoring the anticipation. Your hard work, dedication, and thoughtfulness with the design — really all that you do — are appreciated. Congratulations on the new design and upcoming book — and, really, a lovely way to approach life with intention, curiosity, simple luxuries, creativity, and with a lovely community.

  2. I, too, am excited to see the new design. Just curious – do you subscribe to both Britbox and Acorn? I am trying to decide between them for this winter’s viewing. I’m afraid if I take both I won’t have time for anything else (like reading)!

    1. Hildred, I do subscribe to both but sometimes will take a month or two off depending upon what new seasons are where. I will say, these are two of my favorite streaming services, so it depends upon what shows you enjoy watching. When Gardeners’ World runs from March through October I always make sure I haven my BritBox subscription. ☺️

  3. A wealth of enjoyment this week, thank you Shannon. I am reading on Sunday morning as I wait for my homemade croissants and pain au chocolats to prove.
    I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend
    Sarah x

    1. Oh and to add, I am looking forward to seeing the new blog design this week, and Betty White, I have learnt so much more about her since her passing and what a wonderful woman she was.

  4. Thank you so many interesting suggestions. Looking forward to see the new blog design, of course! 🙂

    Have a great week, everyone!

  5. Love the new format and enjoyed the array of topics. I’m a roasted veggie fan, so printed that. Also found the cheese article enlightening. I, too, enjoyed watching Emily in Paris, largely because it was light and fun and a nice diversion from the news, and not necessarily as an accurate reflection of life in Paris. Continued success with TSLL, Shannon! You’re doing a great job with it.

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