Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sharing the LOVE for My Stylish French Box and Christmas in Paris





How are you faring this holiday season? Are you feeling the magic yet? I had a super productive day yesterday which is a good thing because these past few days have not been as productive as I had hoped. I finally looked at the calendar and started counting...19 days until Christmas! Seven days before the first of our clan comes home for the holidays. I swigged two cups of coffee and felt the holiday magic. I love a productive day!

Speaking of magic...I most definitely found it in Sharon Santoni's November My Stylish French Box. This is not the first time I have written about Sharon and I am sure it will not be the last. I admire Sharon immensely, in my mind she is the ultimate 'enterprising woman'. We started blogging around the same time...she started My French Country Home and I had a few blogs in the works, back in those early days when we were most prolific in our blog posts. While I packed my bags and moved on to the next expat adventure she went from one ingenious business idea to the next...guest house, tours, books, videos and My Stylish French Box. Oh yes...she is a fabulous writer and her stories are not to be missed. There are many enterprising women in the blogosphere and I am inspired by each and every one of them. They are my inspiration kick...when I need it most!

So onto this wonderful My French Stylish Box 
which recently arrived at my doorstep.

In one word...FABULOUS
make that two words
FRENCH FABULOUS!

"This November editions of 
is dedicated to Christmas in Paris. 
The twinkle of shop windows, 
the perfume of a French home 
with a fire crackling, 
and spices on the stove. 
A jeweled bracelet, to catch the light. 
Something for you, something to gift, 
something to lay a table and entertain. 
Each item is chosen for its essential 
Frenchness and designed 
to make you feel special"
Sharon Santoni

~~~

I started to feel special 
as soon as I opened the box!


and started swooning at this point...



I took each one out delicately and
appreciated them over and over again..




A luxurious linen Charvet Editions le Table Runner.

An original Jeanne McKay pink amaryllis watercolor print.




Antique portrait ornaments by Merci Louis
now hanging on our Christmas tree.

Antique crystal chandelier tears repurposed 
and reminiscent of the antique
chandeliers found in the brocantes of France.




A glass bead bracelet from a 
design studio in Versailles.

A hand painted Antoinette Poisson le Journal
reminiscent of 18th century
 book binding and decorative papers.

A beautifully fragrant Un Soir à l'Opéra
Nutcracker candle inspired by ballet 
and the magic of a great theater.



Au Bain Marie drink coasters 
to bring the city of lights to our table.

and 

Mariage Frères Esprit de Noel tea
with mild Christmas spices of orange zest and vanilla.


"Christmas in Paris is a truly magical time 
when the store windows are dressed beautifully, 
and the parks and large avenues are filled
 with the tangible excitement and 
sparkle of the holiday."
Sharon Santoni

Officially feeling the  
French sparkle and magic
of the holiday season!

How about you?
Are you there yet?


Special thanks to Sharon and her team 
for bringing the magic of Christmas in Paris 
to our country home in New Hampshire. 
Where a French touch is always welcome!
(hint, hint Mr. H)

Joyeux Noel!


Sending one and all warm holiday wishes
from Tahilla Farm!



Jeanne xx



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some Kind of Wonderful....Tahilla Farm

Follow the path...

I feel like that woman who stands on a street corner with traffic whizzing past her wondering if she should look left of right...because she has forgotten which country she is in. I started the month in Sydney, spent the mid-part of it in Hong Kong and am finishing it off in New Hampshire. All the while I have been thinking of writing about the answer to the BIG question I asked in my last post...deciding which winter scene to use for our 2017 Christmas photo. Just when I thought the decision was done and dusted... I arrived in New Hampshire to this...a blanket of fresh snow and more potential photo choices. I honestly couldn't think of a better welcome home gift from Mother Nature. If I could have wrapped my arms around her and Tahilla Farm I would have given them both the biggest squeeze...just so happy to be home!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Christmas Card Photo...which one do you like?



I am the first to say no, no, no when it comes to seeing Christmas decoration in stores in October. So it  must seem odd that I am asking for your advice on picking a Tahilla Farm Christmas card photo in October. But I am. ;)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Grace Notes...and Grandmothers


Ferry passing, Sydney Harbour


Dear Friends,

It's been wild here in Sydney these past weeks. Since I last wrote, Mr. H flew into Sydney for a week and flew back out to Hong Kong. We had a wonderful time, celebrating a wedding anniversary, catching up with family and friends, exploring and discovering four more Australian Aboriginal paintings to add to our Tahilla Farm art collection. I love them all but am particularly excited by the one below. It measures 4' by 6.7' and will hopefully hang above our kitchen island. We have been wanting something special for that space and as soon as it graced our presence we knew it was the one. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Celebrations and a Giveaway!


A new day, a new dawn and lots of news...in Australia


 You know that feeling 
when you are really really excited 
about something 
but you have to be patient 
and wait but you are really really 
excited 
and all you feel like doing 
is running in place 
and hopping up and down...
thinking it will possibly 
come faster if you do?

I have that feeling. 

For FIVE reasons.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

This thing called life...and art


Seven sisters 2016
acrylic on linen
Art Gallery NSW
Sydney, Australia
see details below*


Yesterday was one of those surreal days....filled with messages that makes one stop and ponder this thing called life....and art. It was a fabulous day for two reasons...one it was my birthday and I celebrated it with some very special friends, the ones Mr. H calls my 'heart friends'...those women who I hold near and dear no matter where I am in the world. The second reason for the wealth of 'fabulousness' was all the wonderful birthday messages and responses to my last blog post Pearls of Wisdom...on turning 60. Thank you all! Seek and you shall learn!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Pearls of Wisdom...on turning 60




Wheels of Life


I thought that turning sixty would be big deal but maybe not as big a deal as turning forty. For three years prior to my big 4-0...I told anyone I could...that I would be turning FORTY soon. It usually started with I WILL BE 40 IN THREE YEARS!...and so on and so on until it actually happened and then there was peace. I had ten years until I hit FIFTY...and then at 42 I had a baby and I had something new to fret over...being an 'older mom'...and turning 50 in eight years.  There was no end to it.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Safari Travel Notes: The Journey


Leopard Spotting 
Kuyenda Bushcamp
South Luangwa National Park


"There is something about safari life that makes you forget 
all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne-
bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive."
Karen Blixen
Out of Africa

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Safari, College Tours and a Surprise

Resting leopard....Botswana

Dear Friends,

Life has been full since I last checked in! I am writing in between packing for a trip to Botswana and Zambia. This time last year, our daughter, Miss Claire, was packing for her two year assignement with the Peace Corp in Botswana. One year down and we are on our way to visit with her for the first time! I am so excited, I am busting! We are heading out on a two week safari to Zambia. I took the photo above on a previous safari through Botswana in 2005. I am hoping to have the same luck this time around. Fingers crossed!

Monday, May 22, 2017

For the love of a house and garden...


Guess Who?

You know how I said I do not like having my photo taken? Well, on special occasions, I will attempt the odd selfie, especially as it makes my daughters laugh..when mom does her mom smile. ;) I had a good reason for this one...I wanted to show you my latest purchase, the 'Glenmore' hat. The story follows...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Creative Sabbatical...

Hanging out in Sydney

Greetings from Sydney!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and Mother's Day! I spent the day in Sydney with two of my four children, daughter #1, Miss Christine and son #2, Connor. On Mother's Day I caught up via Facetime with son #1, Patrick and daughter #2, Miss Claire, who jumped in with a photo from Botswana to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Mr. H checked in from Hong Kong making my day complete. It was a cool..ish, rainy autumn day...we cooked, talked, read and relaxed together. I knew my day was on the right track when Connor suggested we watch a 'mom' movie together, Under the Tuscan SunI have trained him well!  I love hanging out, something I rarely get to do these days...it is the perfect time for letting your thoughts run away from you.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Expat Diary: Hong Kong

Thinking about life at No. 43 with my velvet slippers
 from Shanghai Tang here

Greetings from No. 43 in Hong Kong!
I am in Hong Kong for two weeks continuing my efforts to set up a life in our apartment at No. 43. Shortly after my departure in March I made an executive decision, or rather, an executive demand to hire an interior decorator. Given that my time in Hong Kong will be limited in 2017, it is near impossible for me to complete all the tasks before me in two weeks.  Fortunately, we found someone to help us. Curtains, light fixtures, carpets, re-upholstery, art...it's all on the list. With decorating underway it allows me to focus on spending quality time with family...and carry on with my travel notes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The One Thing....



www.the1thing.com

Sometimes I look at my 'to do' list and it gives me the shakes.

But then again...my outlook on 'to do' lists is probably not your average outlook.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Going with the flow...around the world




Indeed it is!
(in Sydney)

Before musing on the flow of life...I want to thank you all for the creative and clever names you suggested for our 'perch' in Hong Kong. We loved them all!  They continue to come in and as soon as I am back in Hong Kong I am going to sit and contemplate each and every one!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

First Impressions and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Hong Kong



The day begins at #43... sun rising to the east, behind the mountain ridge 

Good Morning, Good Evening and Hello!
Well, here we are again, on the Expat Express to Hong Kong! Many of you have been with me for the long expat haul, from our first days in Australia (pre-blog) to last days in New Zealand ( started blog) to life in England, Vietnam, Tahilla Farm and now Hong Kong. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you..from the bottom of my heart and up, it is full of appreciation!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Productive and Happy Woman- Podcasts


Did you make any New Year resolutions this year?
How is that going for you?
Still on course or are you feeling adrift?

I thought about my New Year resolutions for about a day
and that was it. I wasn't interested in focusing 
on a long list of goals...again.

I just wanted answers to a lot of questions.
Life changing kind of questions, the kind
that make you want to pull your hair out
 in search of answers.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Puppy Love...True Love..Farewell Tika



Tika in Australia, 2003

Dear Friends,

I have stopped and started this post so many times in the past weeks... a loss for words, until now. Many of you would have seen on my Instagram post that our dear Tika passed away peacefully. Her 14.7 adventurous years had come to an end at Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire…a long way from her birthplace in Melbourne, Australia. We all take comfort that she is resting with us and is now part of the Tahilla Farm story.
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