Saturday, February 25, 2017

French themed goodies starting with My Stylish French Box...

Paris and the quaint villages of southern France have a powerful hold on me...
I have so many fabulous memories from my trip.

When life gets rocky I try to be proactive and balance the stress with some self care "tools" that I have practised over the years...
one of which is to reflect on better days,
focusing on the sweet snippets and highlights from happier days.

My travel photos instantly transport me back to those idyllic weeks in France.
Blogs also help to keep me connected...

Sharon Santoni's lovely blog French Country Home  has been one of my favourites for many years. When Sharon announced that she was writing a book I ordered mine before it had been printed...
Recently I learned that she was offering a box of carefully curated French items and I ordered my subscription as soon as I heard that she would deliver to Canada.

My Stylish French Box arrived this week and it was the highlight of my day.
The packaging is exquisite and each item is carefully wrapped...

I carefully and slowly unwrapped each item...and kept saying to my husband how excited I felt...
everything is so beautiful.

satin ribbon bow

hand printed tags

I love the extra touches that Sharon has put into the presentation of the box.

Fragonard soaps
(I went to the Fragonard museum when I was in Paris.)

a lovely hand made porcelain cup
which Mr. HB suggested that I could use for my morning espresso

Cire Trudon candle

There were other delightful treasures...
a journal, book, pencils, antique glasses and a small soap

These treats could not have come at a better time.

 I have been very busy
 helping Mother navigate her journey with terminal cancer.
Her diagnosis was recent and came as a shock to us all.
Mom had breast cancer 10 years ago in the same area where this lung cancer has presented itself and it has spread to her lymph system and she has pain.

I have cancelled all my commitments for the time being as I want to spend my time with her...

My sister and I received a bit of respite this weekend for the overnights which is a blessing as listening for her call and waking her for her pain meds every 4 hours does not make for a restful night.

Its such an emotional experience 
my heart goes out to those of you who have traveled this path before...
I have a whole new respect for caregivers

I will try and post again in a few days as I do love writing this blog.

Hellebore in a hand picked garden grown bouquet that my BFF brought to Mom.
Friends and Family have been super supportive 
I am so grateful...


~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. What a beautiful box of treats - a perfect gift to yourself when you need it.

    I traveled a similar journey with my dad a year ago. It is a privilege to be there for our parents at this sacred time. Be kind to yourself, it is hard to be the caregiver.


  2. How very precious!! You're doing all the right things with amazing grace and elegance. xoxo

  3. Beautiful flowers and photo. Thinking of you daily on this difficult journey. Tonkath

  4. Bon courage, as the French say. I also went through this recently. You will not regret the time at her bedside. Best wishes to you both.

  5. Thinking of you and your mom every day. Thank you for sharing your wonderful French treasures.

  6. Thinking of you all this past week. You are full of grace and must be such a comfort to your mother. Hugs to you during this difficult time. XO

  7. What a wonderful, lovely treat! Just the presentation alone is beautiful! Continued prayers for you all. ❤

  8. I am glad you are taking care of yourself as well. It is a challenge when in that position.
    Your box looks so wonderful! Thank you for giving us a peek into it. I'm so glad it's delivery was timed just right.

  9. replenish your well ... wise ... thankful you had that opportunity. being that the one cared for is your mother, it makes the care effort that much more. ♥

    what a beautiful box and contents.. you're blessed! beautifully. :)

  10. What a lovely treat - and well deserved. As others have noted - it is important to look after yourself, as well as your mother, during this very difficult time. It is a blessing that you are able to spend so much time with her as she moves through this difficult journey. Take care.

  11. I'm thinking about you and your family Leslie. Take care of yourself. Teri xoxo

  12. Thank you for sharing your journey and the methods you use to care for yourself! So graceful, thoughtful, and elegant as always. A technique I use to get me through difficult times, threshold experiences I call them, is to create a vision board of images that represent inspiring experiences and glance at them throughout the day. It triggers almost a physical reaction that grounds me and keeps me focused. I'm so grateful that your blog is enjoyable for you even during such demanding times and I hope you know how much this reader appreciates you! sending compassion, debra from austin.

    1. Wonderful and thoughtful advice.thank you

  13. So sorry to hear about your mom, Hostess. Sending best wishes... Violet.

  14. Lovely to have this time however hard it seems. Hope you continue to have supports you need and your mum's pain is manageable. Courage Mary

  15. What a wonderful gift to yourself and any respite at this difficult time I am sure will is welcome.

    I am so sorry to hear your devastating news. you have always spoken with such high regard and love for your Mother. I am sure that being surrounded with your, and your Sister's care and loving attention will make this time easier for her.

    God bless.

  16. Hostess,
    I continue to have your mother and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I am glad that you've been able to find those little moments for yourself to rest, recharge and nourish yourself.

    Thank you for still writing and being able to share your calm and reassuring words.

    SSG xxx

  17. You're so wise to prioritise self-care during such a challenging time. I will tell you, from a few years down the road you're on now that as tough as these long days and disturbed nights are right now, memories of them will sustain you after your mother's gone. I take so much comfort, when I think of -- and miss! -- my mom, in knowing I did the most I could for her in her last months. Such an intimate, meaningful time, full of surprising grace. . .

  18. Self-care at this difficult time is so important. The box of French delights from Sharon looks wonderful! Enjoy the moments as they come. I've not yet traveled this road of caring for a parent, and see that there is some wise advice here. May you be blessed during these days.

  19. My heart is with you, Leslie, and I echo what the lady above writes. XXX.

  20. Thinking of you. Prayers for your Mom and that she can be as comfortable as possible.

  21. I'm so sorry about your mother's cancer. Such a difficult time. And I must say that while I love your blog, I want you to put other people (notably yourself and your mother) ahead of the rest of us.

  22. Thinking of you. Thank you for continuing to share as you feel able.

  23. So many of us have traveled that path and thank goodness for friends and family members. I pray for your and your sisters peace of mind. Xx

  24. What perfect timing, to receive your beautiful French gift box right at this time. I am quite shocked and sad to read that your mother's breast cancer has turned in this way - it is very confronting. One in eight of women now get breast cancer at some point in their lives. I am full of admiration for you and your sisters, helping your mother through this is the most blessed gift to give to her, and to yourselves. Hugs.

  25. Your lovely package is ideal for such a sad time. I wish you peace as you tend to your mother.

  26. I went on SHARON's antique trip and met THOSE DOGS!Just ran across the photos yesterday.Lovely lady who has made a LIFE for herself AFTER kids.I would be HAPPY to share that experience with you if you need a momentary escape!Just send me your phone number and we can arrange a telephone chat!I will call YOU!

  27. I was on the same caregiving path with terminal illness with both parents about 7 years ago and my thoughts and prayers are sent for your mother and your family. It is wise to cancel all your obligations both for time together and for mental and physical rest from keeping any schedule other than the most important one right now. God bless.

  28. I am so sorry about your mother's diagnosis and her pain. I am thinking about you, your sister, and all who care about you. I wonder whether you have consulted with a palliative care specialist? They have extensive knowledge about pain management. Maybe there is a pain relief that doesn't require doses in four-hour increments. Good luck to all of you,
    Mary Jane Glass

  29. I am so sorry for what your mother, you and family are going through right now with your mother. My sister and I were caregivers for my mother's last 6 weeks of life (passed from lymphoma in 2/2000). Although it was time consuming and heart-wrenching I am so glad that I had that time with her. Although Mom and I were always close we became closer. Based on your blog comments in the past, I know you don't need me to say this but appreciate these times as you'll remember them when she is no longer with you. It takes a while but things will get better eventually. God bless you and Mother.

  30. What a lovely gift box. It's important to take good care of yourself ow too.
    My mother was Irish, and I'm planning a trip there this October. It's not something that me and my mother had ever planned to do together; but I feel she will be going there with me every step of the way.

  31. Thinking of you and your mom during this difficult time. What a comfort you are for your mother.

  32. Hi Leslie
    you bring joy and peacefulness
    in your blog posts!
    I hope for your mother less pain
    and glad for your sister and you to be close to her now

  33. I'm so very sorry about your mother's illness, and the pain that she and you and your family are experiencing. I am praying for all of you; wishing you peace and comfort.


  34. Je t’embrasse et j’envoie des bisous.

  35. That is a lovely and well deserved gift to yourself.
    Thank you very much for posting and sharing some of your thoughts during this time. Suz from Vancouver

  36. With much sympathy to your Mom and your family. I hope that you will have some peaceful, pain-free days with her; how lucky that you and your sister live (and are) so close to her.

  37. My heart goes out to you Hostess, as we walk this parallel path. You are doing the right thing, being there for your mother. I love your self-care moments - I hope you are still walking!!

  38. How wonderful that you received this gift at this time ... It sounds lovely and I'm sure evoked memories of your special trip.
    I'm thinking about you and your family ... especially your mum ... I hope it's possible for her pain to be controlled so she's pain free and more settled.
    Take care Leslie ...

  39. Dear Hostess, sending you love, prayers, positive thoughts and energy in this difficult time!
    Lots of love,

  40. Dear Hostess, I am so very sorry to hear this. A friend of mine says in these times we are walking on holy ground. Sending you and your mom love and comfort - and may they find a better way to control her, Emma

  41. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos of our Box Leslie, we send you our warmest wishes at this difficult moment