Life’s Unforeseen Monsters

Bonjour, mes amies. I know I have been MIA for a few weeks now, but I wanted to let you know, my dear friends, that I will be MIA for a while longer.

My best friend, confidante, partner in crime and better half of five years is sick. He’s been sick for a few weeks, it has worsened and we are now fighting something terrifying. He will be diagnosed officially tomorrow.

I stand by his side, watching him bravely face this monster, never flinching but saving his energy to still smile, still somewhat laugh, still eat, still make the snarky comments and jokes that made me fall in love with him to begin with. And I am doing all I can to remain standing, with a strong face, with the positive thoughts and words and disposition, with the smiles and sarcastic jokes for him to know I am here beside him. Never leaving his side to deal with this alone. Always here to give him courage when he needs it. And always here to help lift him up, literally, emotionally and metaphorically. He is so much stronger and courageous than I. And it makes me love him so much more for it.

This is the most difficult and the scariest event life has ever brought. But we thank everyone for their love, kind words, support, encouragement, THE MEALS!, and just their time to listen, to talk, to encourage. I promise to try to keep everyone posted on the progress and on the wonderful news I look forward to sharing with you all about his improved and stronger health.

IMG_4761In the meantime, my hiatus is necessary to be 1000% by my love’s side. Thank you for understanding. I will miss you and the blogging, but we will be back at it after this monster is defeated.

♥ – LBH

~ La Presénte ~ Treat Yo Self This Summer

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and got to enjoy some relaxing time with family and friends, near or far.  I stayed near home but certainly did enjoy some time to decompress.  The last week was an intense one at the 9-7 day job, so not having planned much was exactly what my body and mind needed this past weekend!

Summer has peaked its head out previously for us in Southern California, but this weekend definitely had more of the true summer feeling to it.  Friday night here in LA was a particularly clear evening, and I walked over to a friend’s house for a cocktail and some laughs to end the night (we actually DO walk in LA).  On my way, I was floored by the brightness of the full moon – at 8:30pm, the moon shone so bright that even the dark parts of the three block walk were still well lit.

memorial day weekend, full moon, unofficial start to summer, evening moon, moonlight, moonlit sky

even the bright happy moon celebrated the long weekend!

Having caught up on some house chores, I enjoyed a nice long walk with Mr. Bings through my neighborhood in the early evening on Saturday.  It was impossible to miss the incredibly bright purple blooming Jacaranda trees bursting on nearly every street in the area – I’m kinda proud that Forbes recognized my Miracle Mile neighborhood as being one of the best areas in LA to see the Jacaranda tree during its somewhat rare bi-YEARLY blooming season!!

Jacaranda tree, purple rain, los angeles trees, biyearly bloom, unofficial summer, memorial day weekend

the gorgeous Jacaranda trees are currently in season and bursting with color.

Finally, Joe’s Restaurant in Venice was the perfect setting for a bottomless mimosa Sunday brunch with a girlfriend, followed by some ‘treat yo self‘ time at the spa!!

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this weekend I enjoyed a little Treat Yo Self! time

Hopefully the short week won’t feel so long after the extended weekend… but it was certainly the perfect unofficial start to my summer.  Next on the agenda: vacation planning!  And I’m looking for inspiration and ideas – I’m tossing around a 4-5 day vacation to Hawaii, a week-long stay in Martha’s Vineyard, a 4-day stay in Big Sur and Carmel, CA, or some other great place to get away and do lots of nothing and maybe a little (or a lot) of eating fabulous food and enjoying delicious wine.  Any ideas and suggestions?  I would love to hear them!!

Have a wonderful week, mes bons amis!!

♥ – LBH

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~ La Présente ~ Milestones.

Bonjour, mes bons amis!!

I hope you had a beautiful and restful weekend!  And for those dealing with the recent crazy and violent weather, I do hope you and your family remained safe and sound.

Today marks a milestone.  Five years ago today, I met a very special person: my best friend, my confidante, the person who makes me better myself, motivates and inspires me, and makes me look forward to the next day.

When we first met, we talked about our world travels, and our love of buffalo wings, beer etc (not necessarily together).  His quiet charm, humble intellect and downright silly side, not to mention his knowledge of 90s rap, wasn’t intriguing – it was downright amazing.  And perfect.  Perfect for me.

happy anniversary, life partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, love

here’s to many more of our milestones…

It is unbelievable to see how fast five years goes by.  But I can’t wait to whiz through another five years with him, and reach more new milestones together.

Have a wonderful week, mes beaux amis!

♥ – LBH

The One Festival That Cannes Inspire

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

I have to admit that I have had a major girl-crush on Audrey Tautou for over twelve years – ever since seeing her charm the pants off everyone in Le Fabuleaux Destin d’Amélie Poulain. So you can imagine how excited I am that she is the maîtresse de cérémonie at the 2013 Festival de Cannes happening right now!

audrey tautou, cannes festival 2013, master of ceremony, interview, amelie, cannes, france, THERESE DESQUEYROUX, french cinema, film festival

one of mon prèfèrè actrice françes et ma muse, Mademoiselle Audrey Tautou!

I will be following the highlights everyday, and I’ll be sure keep you updated with highlights and great pics – mais bîen sur!

cannes film festival, festival de cannes 2013, opening ceremony, audrey tautou, film festival, cannes, france

Le Festival de Cannes 2013 Opening Ceremony

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Baz Lurhmann and the cast of The Great Gatsby on the red carpet

cannes film festival, festival de cannes 2013, opening ceremony, audrey tautou, film festival, cannes, france, great gatsby cast, red carpet, leonardo dicaprio, baz luhrmann, toby mcguire, carey mulligan

looking just as gorgeous and dapper as possible – biên sur!!

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the brilliant Christoph Waltz!

And of course, I couldn’t resist sharing this exclusive video with Audrey about her Master of Ceremonies honor – yes, this video is in French, but her charm and delight are understandable in any language!audrey tautou, cannes festival 2013, master of ceremony, interview, amelie, cannes, france, THERESE DESQUEYROUX, french cinema, film festival, exclusive interview, canal plusLooks like I will have lots of film watching to do soon!  Here’s the full list of Cannes entries – winners announced May 26th!

Have a wonderful Thursday, mes beaux amis!!
♥ – LBH
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Mother’s Little Helper

Bonjour, mes bons amis!!

Have you ever felt like your body, and consequently your mind and heart somewhat too, were a bit out of sorts?  Recently I had mentioned that my sleeping habits have been changing, and doing something I was absolutely professional at and thoroughly loved, is now so much more challenging.  I’ve purchased new pricey pillows ($100 for 2 pillows convinced me they had to be great, right?), I make sure to keep the temperature cool in my bedroom, I’ve taken relaxing baths at night – I’ve even stopped watching anything scary or suspenseful after dark.  And yet, just like Mick so famously sang, at times I find myself running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper…

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Mother’s little helper, helping for over 50 years… (img: stayfreemagazine)

Let’s not get dramatic now – I’m not popping pills or the such.  But I can tell you that I understand how some people desperate for some relief end up falling down that rabbit hole.  Some believe that contrary to the plethora of technology to make life easier and give back more personal time, we’re actually being DRAINED of time.

So what to do… I thought about this on my way into work this morning.  What is it that truly reinvigorates and resets the mind, body and soul?  Besides the obvious big-budget vacation ideas, what small things can we do to feel like we’ve found the shelter of mother’s little helper?  Here are a few of my best ideas:

  1. Don’t overbook yourself in one day, one week or one month.  This is somewhat an obvi tip, and yet everyone is guilty of ignoring it.  We pack our days as full as possible with meetings, conference calls, appointments, dinners, drinks, showers… the list never ends.  And of course, all of these things are wonderful and enjoyable in and of themselves.  But if you’re like me, too many scheduled events in one day, week or month is disastrous.
  2. Instead of over-extending yourself to others, make sure you book personal time.  For every 2-3 events for others, formally book a personal event, just to treat yourself – a mani/pedi, massage, facial, some shopping time, beach/pool/outdoors time, a hike.  And make the appointment in your calendar, just like you would a meeting or conference call.  And definitely keep the appointment.  You deserve it!

    mother's little helper, personal time, me time, vacation, pool, pool time, negril, jamaica, spa, relaxation, relaxing, getaway, weekend getaway, caribbean, tropical

    don’t flake on your Me-Time appointments!

  3. Cook your favorite meal or dish – for yourself.  I came home one evening this week and made myself breakfast because bacon, eggs and hashbrowns all sounded so good, even if it was 8pm.  It was my own little treat!
  4. Make yourself MORE tired – but in a great way with a nice long hike or walk, and preferably in sunlight if possible.  The vitamin D from the sunlight will naturally help lift your spirits, and the warmth from the light exercise will help relax tense muscles in the neck, shoulders and back.  And by the end, you will probably be a bit more tired than usual and ready to enjoy a nice long night of sleep afterward.

    abalone cove, rancho palos verdes, hiking, mothers little helper, stress relief, tide pools, southern california beaches, los angeles beaches, travel, cliffs

    Abalone Cove is one of SoCal’s greatest gems – perfect for a day hike to the tide pools!

  5. How many times have you thought to yourself how much you would love perusing the local museum, local garden or park in your city on a weekday when there are no crowds?  Why not take a day off from work, and spend the day doing one or two of those things you don’t get to do more often!  Check your local museums’ schedules – most offer discounted or even free admission on specific days/times, so take advantage! (LACMA is free after 3pm for LA residents; and you can visit the Huntington Botanical Gardens on their Free Days!)
    LACMA, los angeles museums, los angeles contemporary museum of art, urban light exhibit, mothers little helper, relaxing, staycation, vacation, los angeles, southern california getaways, discount admission, free admission

    LACMA’s Urban Light outdoor exhibit (img: LACMA)

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    Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, CA are perfect for a relaxing day (img: The Huntington)

What little things do you do to help escape life’s little stresses and return to find your center once again?

Enjoy the rest of your week, mes beaux amis!!

♥ – LBH

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