five years on and your turn to share

by Sharon Santoni

eiffel tower seen from below the autumn trees

Today I am celebrating this little blog’s fifth birthday!   Exactly five years ago today, I started writing about life here in Normandy , and I haven’t seen the time go by.

Thanks to you, my readers and to my fellow bloggers, I have had so much fun.  New friendships have been made, and the blog has led me onto other adventures:  the brocante tours, the book, and also sharing on facebook and instagram.

old door in aix, with ivy on the walls

Of all the key words that can be used to describe what I do here, I think that ‘sharing’, may come top of the list.  With that in mind, and to celebrate the MFCH birthday, I am inviting you to share right here on the blog.

To mark this big blog birthday, I want to showcase the instagram pages of my readers.  Anyone who uses instagram knows how much we love to find new pages to follow, and of course new followers.

blue door with red flowers around

So here is an opportunity to reach a new audience.  Just send me by email,  a favourite shot from your instagram pictures, along with the url address for your page, and I shall include you in a little gallery right here, showing your photos and linking back to you.

I am starting the ball rolling with a favourite shot from my page, from my daughters pictures,  and also from Gibson and Ghetto’s (yes, they have their own instagram account, and hashtag #gibsonandghetto), and I look forward to some great new instagram pages to discover and follow.

Today , more than ever, I thank you for reading me, you are the very best!

market place in aix en provence
two dogs gibson and ghetto in the snow






Sherry January 23, 2015 - 9:40 am

Joyeux Anniversaire, Sharon! I have only been here for I believe less than a year but I so enjoy your emails and make a habit of flagging and highlighting so I won’t miss them. The lovely photos of your travels in France, flowers, homes . . . inside and out and of course, Gibson and Ghetto! Congratulations, Sharon!! Thank you for welcoming our opinions about decorating etc. I look forward more of the same. Salute, Sherry xoxo

Sharon Santoni January 24, 2015 - 3:23 pm

Thank you for your kind comment Sherry, and thank you for reading the blog


Vicky from Athens January 23, 2015 - 11:55 am

I have been following you for nearly 2 years – I found you in June of 2013, I believe. You were my first blog to follow, I’ve loved each and every post and have told many friends about you. Just yesterday a friend told me how much she appreciated my telling her about your blog.
Happy Anniversary and may there be many, many more!

Sharon Santoni January 24, 2015 - 3:24 pm

Thank you Vicky! I know that you are a regular reader and I have always enjoyed your comments. Thank you for sharing the blog with yoru friends

I am flattered


Erna January 23, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Happy Anniversary Sharon, to think that I have been following you for all the five years, and have been the lucky girl to stay in your lovely cottage… and to meet you in person..
Please keep on going to write about your life in France …
Erna x

Sharon Santoni January 24, 2015 - 3:24 pm

Your stay seems like such a long time ago Erna! Thank you for reading me for all this time, I am honoured


StitchinSweetSue January 23, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Happy Anni Sharon ~ it’s been both a privilege and guilty pleasure following along over the yrs, and yes ~ each yr has flown by in the blink of an eye! Sending warm and grateful appreciation for the time and content you’ve generously shared with us, it’s been a true and utter delight:) Sending love and hugs… xo

Sharon Santoni January 24, 2015 - 3:38 pm

Dear Sue, thank you for reading me for so long, and for all your generous comments. My blog would be nothing without such wonderful readers


Pat @ Life At Lydias House January 23, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Congratulations on 5 wonderful years of blogging! Thank you so much for all of your effort and hard work so that we can enjoy the beauty in your life. You will never know how much we appreciate your sharing your gifts and talents!

Caroline Longstaffe January 23, 2015 - 3:49 pm

Congratulations Sharon! I only found you a few months ago but of all the blogs I follow yours is one of the most delightful, I so enjoy it! I too have recently lived in France where I was inspired to start my blog Shutters and Sunflowers. Since I was a little girl I have travelled through beautiful Normandy countless times on route from England. Although I now live in San Francisco, France speaks to my heart like no where else. I continue to write about it and share my insights on travel, history and life, the every day joy to be found all around us!

Karena January 23, 2015 - 3:55 pm

Happy Anniversary Sharon and thank you so much for your generosity and writing you share with us always!

The Arts by Karena

Jeanne McKay Hartmann January 23, 2015 - 4:12 pm

Happy, happy Blogiversary, Sharon. I love your blog so much. It’s that little bit of France, that little bit of beauty that never fails to brighten my day. I love your stories, your photos and those darling pups! Thanks so much for all the beauty you’ve brought into our lives over the past five years. Keeping up with a blog can be tough, but you make it look effortless.

Here’s to you! XOOX

Lorrie January 23, 2015 - 4:54 pm

Happy Blogging Anniversary, Sharon. I think I’ve been following you from the beginning. Your blogging has led you into some amazing adventures – who could have imagined?

I’m not on Instagram, but I love the photos you post here and on Facebook.

Marian from UK January 23, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Congratulations Sharon! I have been following you for exactly 1 year tomorrow! You are my first blog to follow and I’ve really enjoyed all of your posts and they have been an inspiration to me! I retire shortly and am planning starting my own blog – all because of you! So thank you and be proud of where it has taken you. Here’s to another 5 years!

Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) January 23, 2015 - 8:42 pm

Thank you for feeding my passion for France. You have given us 5 years of pleasure, inspiration and joy……….. and I hope many more to come. Joyeux anniversaire .
(P.S. I’ve yet to venture into the world of the instagram!)

Debi January 23, 2015 - 8:45 pm

Sharon, Thank you so much for your most wonderful and inspiring blog! I can’t wait from day to day to read what you have written or the beautiful photographs you have posted! I love your ideas, but most of all I am slightly envious of where you live. You see, I have always wanted to come to France, especially the Normandy area. But one thing or another has seemed to get in the way. (Taking care of terminal parents and mother in law). But I hope someday in the near future, I will be able to come and shop for wonderful antiques in the countryside! Keep up the good work as you have a fan here! I am so glad I found your site! I just love it! Many thanks again!

Colleen Taylor January 23, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Happy Blog Anniversary Sharon & many more! Such a wonderful post & I have sent you an email with my Instagram link & photo. Thank you for doing this! X

stacey snacks January 23, 2015 - 10:58 pm

Happy 5th my friend.

Marlene Stephenson January 24, 2015 - 12:05 am

Happy 5yrs. Anniversary,i am pretty new maybe aug. i can’t quite remember but have enjoyed your pictures ,stories and adventures you have shared with us,thank you so very much.I am not on instagram.

Nancy January 24, 2015 - 12:43 am

Happy blog anniversary!
My mornings wouldn’t be the same without you! You give the dream to come to Normandy and visit you…and a taste of country life.
Thanks for blogging!

Portobello Design Blog January 24, 2015 - 6:20 am

Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary! I have absolutely loved coming along with you on all your adventures, wonderful stories, and flowers, flowers, flowers!!! Thank you for opening up and sharing your charming life in the French countryside, it allows us a little bit of France in our lives as well! Here’s to the next 5 years being even better then the first five!! All the best to you always, xxRié

Alexandra January 24, 2015 - 7:14 am

Hi Sharon, love your IG feed so much… congrats to 5 years of blogging! Enjoy your weekend… xoxo, Alexandra

sylvia faye January 24, 2015 - 7:50 am

Sharon you feel like a dear friend whose interests are varied and so interesting that I truly look forward to each new post. Love all your pictures and sharing with us.

May God reward you for your generous nature as each of us have enjoyed you through your posts. Pour moi it has been 2 years. Yours is a true favorite. Congradulations on five years of posts.

Not up to all the new things you speak of…just an email, blog post enjoyer.

With a prayerful heart

vicki archer January 24, 2015 - 10:41 am

Congratulations Sharon and a huge thank you for all the beauty you share with us on a daily basis.

I am so happy we have met and made a friendship, it is the feature of blogging that I love the most… the creating of friendships that I would never have otherwise known.

On that note… lunch in Paris very soon… 🙂

Your corner of Normandy is spectacular and I am so delighted to have discovered it through you.

Much love, xv

Heather in Arles January 24, 2015 - 12:08 pm

Sending you a warm Congratulations, Sharon! Like Vicki, you work so incredibly hard and yet make it look like an effortless gift that you are offering up to us, your faithful readers, each time. Thank you for all that you do and the inspiration that you create…I will be looking forward to the next five years…
Gros Bisous,

Cheryl in Cheltenham & Indre January 24, 2015 - 2:21 pm

Bon anniversaire et Congratulations!

I can’t recall when our paths first crossed but your captivating photography and wonderful words have been truly inspirational over the years.

Thank you for sharing your adventures in this delightful part of France. I look forward to your next 5 years….


Carol Preston January 24, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Congratulations to you on your fifth year of blogging and to us your faithful readers who get to share in your French Country life! I look forward to your continued in formative and beautiful posts! enjoy your day!:-)

shari Delgado Nicsevic January 24, 2015 - 5:13 pm

Have enjoyed your blog… and wish you many more years! I get much inspiration from the images you share! thanks…

I’ve sent along an image from my Instagram feed…hope it will please you Sharon!

ann hodgkins January 24, 2015 - 5:40 pm

Happy anniversary!
It is such a joy reading your blog and to have the pleasure of viewing your beautiful pictures.
I love France and especially Normandy.I look forward to returning.
Thank you for all your hard work. Wishing you another successful five years.

Victoria Savu January 24, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Dear Sharon,

Your blog is wonderful and it is the first blog I ever read and still the only one I read faithfully. I resisted social media for years so all this is new to me but I hope to soon learn how to use my Instagram and share pictures of my life. Thank you for sharing and bringing beauty into my life.

Libby January 24, 2015 - 10:39 pm

Congratulations Sharon! We met briefly at a blogger “meet up” in Paris in, I think, 2011 and I have been a faithful follower since. Then you did the giveaway for our Provence Rugs shop… too bad we have closed the shop! I will send you an image from my Instagram account, taken in Paris. Thanks! Libby

Wendi January 24, 2015 - 11:55 pm

Bonne Anniversaire Sharon! What a milestone….I didn’t realize that I had started following you shortly after your blog’s inception! Thank you for all that you so generously share with us. We are all very blessed to have you as a part of our lives. I have a visit to your guest cottage and some brocanting chez Sharon on my bucket list, so please keep going as it will be a while until I am able to realize that dream!! 🙂 And until then, with all my best wishes, Wendi

andrina January 26, 2015 - 4:41 am

Congratulations Sharon, what an achievement. I have been following you for about three years, I rarely comment, just smile and appreciate all you good advice and wonderful photos. I hope that we are still reading you in another five years. Andrina x

Amanda Rush January 26, 2015 - 9:09 am

Congratulations Sharon for such a wonderful milestone achieved whilst sharing your life in Normandy. I still enjoy your blog as much as the first day I found you. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into making each post so special for your e-friends to enjoy. Best wishes to you and your family for a great year, I am looking forward to your book! Happy Australia Day (26/1) from Amanda

Jessica Conick January 26, 2015 - 6:04 pm

Happy Birthday to your blog! I love that Gibson and Ghetto have their own Instagram…they are too cute.

Lorraine Wafer January 26, 2015 - 10:15 pm

Congratulations on 5 years, Sharon. I am a reasonably new follower and love my daily dose of french life. Your make each day a little more special. Thank you for sharing with us. And thank you for adding my photo to the gallery with my feet in the water here in Australia. All the best for a happy and peaceful 2015 Cheers Lorraine

Susan@CountryDesignHome January 29, 2015 - 3:47 pm

Happy Anniversary, Sharon and thank you for sharing my Instagram photo! I only hope that in 5 year’s time I will be hosting the same kind of thank you to my faithful readers. Yours is the blog that anyone who loves beautiful photography and content desires. Well done!

suzanna January 30, 2015 - 1:02 am

I LOVE your blog Sharon! I have been missing in action lately, but, I have not forgotten your place here! I hope one day I can do the Brocante Tour! My DREAM! Dreams do come true! Merci for all you share Sharon! XO

Keri February 13, 2015 - 6:16 pm

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