the bags are packed

by Sharon Santoni

As I write these lines, my bags are packed, and I’m ready to fly out to the USA!

My to-do list is all checked off (miracles do happen!), the arrangements for my trip are tied up, and I am actually looking forward to traveling. And among the excitement, anticipation and impatience to arrive and meet everyone on my US Tour (which includes stops in Dallas, New Hampshire and Andover!), there is my undeniable feeling of amazement.

At the end of 2009, I vowed to reinvent myself (you may have read my own reinvention story and heard me speak about it as a common theme here on the blog… maybe even my tale of it in relation to the pandemic!). I was happy, but having been a very active, hands-on mom for twenty years, and with my four children growing up fast, I felt I needed a new challenge.

As such, I started my blog – “My French Country Home,” which you’re reading as we speak – and much to my surprise and delight, I quickly grew an audience. Those early days of blogging were heady moments. The blogging world was fun, and I made friends online in those first years (and since) who have accompanied me on the MFCH journey ever since.

As my blog grew, the doors started opening. First, the offers of a book contract (which led to My Stylish French Girlfriends… and then another (My French Country Home: Entertaining Through the Seasons)! Then, readers (soon-to-be clients!) emailing me asking to tour the best of France with me. What followed you may know… the start of our luxury French subscription box, then our print magazine, our online magazine and, finally, the online MFCH Boutique! And now, as I board the plane, I am invited to the United States to talk about my own garden and personal reinvention story.

Why am I telling you this? Rest assured, it is not to brag. This is encouragement! If ever you are wondering about taking a new direction, about exploring new paths… if you ever feel that you have done the same old same old for far too long, then I encourage you to be brave, to step out of your comfort zone and to try something new!

It’s not until you take this first step, however scary, that you can even have any idea of where you may end up. I promise you that your plans will change and evolve – and this is fine!

Reinvention sounds scary, but really you just need to take the jump, then sit back, and enjoy the ride!

And, If you’re interested in my US Tour, I have some fun events lined up. See the brief details below or see my full post here!). If you’re in any of these areas of the States, I’d love it if you to come by to say hello!

Dallas – 11th & 12th November

I start my trip in Dallas, where I am honoured to be invited to speak at the Dallas Garden Club.

I am very grateful to the Club for inviting me to their Fall Luncheon and look forward to sharing pictures of my garden and telling them all about country life here in Normandy (which is a very different experience to that in Texas!). The day before the Garden Club event (Thursday 11th November) from 2-3:30pm, there will also be book signing at the St Michael’s Exchange, 5 Highland Park Village.

New Hampshire (Tahilla Gatherings) – 13th & 14th November

From Dallas I fly north, and join my friend, Jeanne Henriques (of the blog, Collage of Life), for two days on her stunning property, Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire, where I will join her for her first event since the pandemic.

Together, we will hold two events on the 13th and 14th of November. You can find all the details on Jeanne’s site here and here. The theme for the first day will be a conversation about reinvention, and the second day will include a creative twist as I put together a tablescape using foliage foraged on the property, as well as a lunch.

Les Fleurs Andover – 16th & 17th November

From Tahilla, I head down to Andover, where my friend Sandra Sigman has invited me to join her for an event in support of a local charity called Uncommon Threads. You can see more details here.

On Tuesday, the 16th, we will host an event at the Andover Town House, which will include a meet & greet, a short presentation with slideshow of pictures of my country life here in Normandy, a conversation between Sandra and myself and then a Q&A with the audience. On the next day, the Wednesday, the 17th, I will be at Sandra’s store Les Fleurs and available to sign books and meet people who weren’t able to come to the ticketed event. Sandra and I are also excited to announce a new project that we are both working on right now, watch this space!

Please be sure to let me know if you’ll be coming to any of these events – I’d love to say hi!



Freddie Ann November 10, 2021 - 2:54 pm

I’m very excited for you and I so hope your journey/adventure here will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Adele Miller November 10, 2021 - 3:11 pm

Safe and happy travels! So disappointed that we will be in Philadelphia for an extended weekend while you are in nearby NH. I would have loved to meet you.

Mary Dineen Stegemiller November 10, 2021 - 3:21 pm

Godspeed and enjoy every minute.

Pamela November 10, 2021 - 3:38 pm

Have a wonderful trip, Sharon, you’ll be steeped in Thanksgiving traditions, perhaps, while you’re here! I hope to see you in Andover ~ happy travels

Christine November 10, 2021 - 3:38 pm

Welcome to the USA! I do hope you enjoy every minute of your stay here. I wish that I could attend one of these events as I am so inspired by your story. I have been contemplating a “reinvention” myself lately. Like you, I raised 4 children who are now grown and I find myself wondering what to do. Your very words in this post were just what I needed to take the leap! Thank you!!

Kathleen Duggan November 10, 2021 - 3:40 pm

I hope you will make videos of your talks that we may view at a later date!

Mary Jane November 10, 2021 - 3:43 pm

Your story is so inspiring – enjoy your trip!!

Marion Miller November 10, 2021 - 3:49 pm

Wishing you the Best on your Tour..Next time come to Charleston ,,,SC

Patricia Burditt November 10, 2021 - 3:52 pm

Safe and happy travels! I hope to get to Andover to meet you. It’s about three hours from here and I have some rescheduling to do! Enjoy.

Kathy Miguel November 10, 2021 - 4:30 pm

Congratulations on your tour! I hope you will come to Southern California one day. Enjoy yourself.

Tom Oder November 10, 2021 - 4:36 pm

Any chance you could parachute into Atlanta on the flight from Dallas to New Hampshire? It will be a lot warmer here!

Lisa Smith November 10, 2021 - 6:12 pm

Bon Voyage!

Michele Power November 10, 2021 - 7:58 pm

Wish I could meet you in person . Safe travels and have a wonderful trip

Mona Turner November 10, 2021 - 8:01 pm

Inspiring! Safe travels!

Tracy Brown November 10, 2021 - 10:00 pm

I want to know if and when you hit the Midwest on a U.S. trip. But if Savannah, Ga. ever turns up in your plans, I’m there!

Steven November 10, 2021 - 11:16 pm


Esther November 10, 2021 - 11:37 pm

Safe journey Sharon, have a wonderful time!!

Vicky from Athens November 11, 2021 - 12:36 am

Sharon, have a wonderful trip and visit to the US! You are sure to enjoy the warm enthusiasm of many of your fans over here. I hope your next trip to the States will include the Atlanta area or somewhere close by. I’d love to see you again! Safe travels …

Victoria Castura Boylan November 11, 2021 - 12:59 am
Nichola des Lauriers November 11, 2021 - 5:07 am

Sharon, wishing you a joyous and exquisite time in the U.S. Those women are in for a treat! I look forward to meeting you too, one day. x

Tracy Bedeker November 11, 2021 - 4:45 pm

Sharon, I am so proud and happy for you. You my dear, are an amazing soul! You have inspired me more than you know. When we first came to France there was something that was calling us to meet you and I am so glad we did. I wish you nothing but good travels and a chance to make an impact on more people. Enjoy and welcome to the USA!

Sue Fox November 12, 2021 - 9:23 am

Sharon – I wish you well in the USA but I am envious because I would love your visit to be to Melbourne Australia – maybe another time ?

Sue Fox, Australia


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