The bare essentials …

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

This was my parting photo of Nice La Belle as we took off last week …  and just the incentive I need to begin planning our 2015 arrival.

Au revoir, Nice … à la prochaine!

Au revoir, Nice … à la prochaine!

Part of the satisfaction of spending time in France every year is connecting in person with online friends. For the next few weeks I’ll introduce you to a few.IMG_5398

I first wrote about Claire McAlpine in a post over two years ago. Claire is a writer and a fine book reviewer of high literary standards. Her blog, Word By Word, is one I never miss. You can always be certain of discovering a new title to add to your TBR list and count on reviews that are a pleasure to read as much for her own articulate style as for the story itself. Click here to go to her site. 

Not only did we get to spend time together, but Claire also agreed to do an Aromatherapy Presentation for the two tour groups I co-led in June for the Womens Travel Network. Along with her writing persona, Claire is also a licensed aromatherapist whose holistic massage practise is highly regarded. Her Flairesse website contains more details and if you are fortunate to live in the Aix-en-Provence area, you are in reach of her services.

She is one talented woman!

During her presentation, Claire introduced the group to 12 essential oils, their properties and benefits. Later, each of the women made a decision about which essential oils would most benefit her and then mixed a few drops with a carrier oil to create her own personalized blend. Once the mixing began, so did the laughter and banter as only women can do.

Since we were visiting lavender fields later in the week, we were well primed by Claire on the all round benefits that plant offers. My primary essential oil is laurel which Claire assured me was the perfect choice for a writer as it “stimulates inspiration and creative boldness”.  I’ll let you know how well it works!

Thanks again, Claire, for two entertaining and informative afternoons! See you online and next year in Aix or Nice or both!

Have you ever had the opportunity to work with essential oils and mix your own blend. Which oils did you choose? After just a few days, several of the women in our groups were exclaiming they were noticing positive responses to the oils they were using. I’m going to dab some on right now and see how boldly creative I can get as I work on my edits. Um … yes … still …!

Bon weekend tout le monde!




About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. […] weeks ago I posted about finally getting to meet the fabulous writer/reviewer Claire McAlpine, while I was in Aix-en-Provence in June.  Her Word By Word blog is one I highly […]

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