Monday, January 31, 2011

King or Queen for a Day!

Did you know that today is the last day to eat a galette des Rois?

I recently had lunch at one of my favorite San Francisco French cafés, La Boulange, and was eye-balling these yummy galettes. I couldn't resist sending my friend Janet one of these tasty treats!

During the festival of Epiphany, people in Northern France and Belgium eat the galette des Rois, (flaky puff pastry with almond cream or frangipane.) In the South of France it is called gâteau des Rois or Royaume, and is made of brioche.

collection of "feves"

This is a kind of "kings' cake" with a trinket (feve) -- a porcelain figurine or a bean hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes "King" or "Queen" for a day. There is a whole collectors market for feves in France.

I've never tasted a galette de rois, but curious to know if Janet ended up getting the slice with the feve and got crowned Queen for a day?

Here's to a fabulous week ahead!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Weekend, I'm Dancing!

I'm dancin' in the street cause I got a great report card from the doctor yesterday. Last November I had a fluke incident with my carotid artery (long, boring story), and now I'm almost all healed! I'm off my medicine and back to my regular routine! YIPPEE!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend of dancing in the street!!

photo credit: I wish I knew...if you know, please share!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ladies, Can You Wear Heels?

This topic is very random, but seeing stilettos in every shop or magazine spread is making me wonder, who wears them? Obviously someone is. Even Oprah does.

The other day I posted a photo of some beautiful pink stilettos. I started thinking about how "unglamorous" I've become. Okay, I'm 50 years old, but can't wear more than a 2-3 inch heel. I'm so clumsy, that I fall without shoes on. Ask a few of my friends and they'll tell you some funny stories about my falls.

My cousin came up to visit after Christmas and we hit some big shoe sales. She ended up buying 5 pairs of stilettos! That's right. She's 50 as well. How can she wear them?

Louboutins? Even if they were affordable, couldn't do it. And oh how I love the red soles...

I'm wondering, do you wear heels? I know it's a silly question, but still a little puzzled about my 5'4" cousin (who's 50) wearing 6 inch heels!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January...The Garnet

c. 1860 garnet & gold bracelet, Paris Hotel Boutique

Before the month of January is over, I thought I'd give a shout-out to the gorgeous red garnet. How many of you are lucky enough to have this as your birthstone? I'm an amethyst...pretty, but not quite as rich as a garnet.

Did you know that? The word garnet is derived from the Greek word "granatum" which means "pomegranate seed" reflecting the shape and color of the crystals. Like diamonds, gemstones are graded by color, cut, clarity and carat weight.

And...garnets are found in many varieties, each being described by a special name.

c. 1830 rare early Victorian garnet snake necklace, Paris Hotel Boutique

  • The Bohemian garnet is a deep red, while the Cinnamon garnet stone usually has its color varied by a tinge of orange.

19th century Almandine garnet love knot brooch, Paris Hotel Boutique

  • Almandine garnets have a violet hue and take their name from Alabanda, a town in Asia Minor, where, according to the Roman author Pliny, this stone (which he describes as the Alabandicus) was in his time cut and polished.

So... Happy Birthday Garnet! If you must treat yourself to a garnet, the above pieces can be found at Paris Hotel Boutique!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Find the Photo Contest!

Today I posted some of my favorite pink images, but was not able to find photo credit for this beautiful one above.

So, I thought we'd have a little fun. The first person to leave a comment with the original photo credit of this image gets a pink prize. Not sure what it is could be vintage or new, but definitely PINK!

Now... let's find the photo!

We have a winner...Mel congrats! The photo is by Lisa Rigby & featured on Style Me Pretty, here. Yay! Thanks Mel!


Happy Monday! Back to pink again for some inspiring images that I've recently come across. In fact, here's a nod to Pantone's color of the year, Honeysuckle Pink.

Enjoy some of these pink images from some talented sources and have a great week!

images; Yvette Inufio; Cherry Blossom Girl; Aaron Coyle; Dan Freund; Jacob Ring; Cherry Blossom Girl; Among Dreams; Such Pretty Things; Marie-Helene Cingal; pixelmama; Eye Poetry; Daniela Duncan;

Sunday, January 23, 2011

RIP Jack LaLanne

The godfather of fitness & nutrition. Do you remember the Jack LaLanne show? What an impact this man had on our lives, and he was promoting a healthy lifestyle long before it became an international obsession.

Imagine... he was still working out for two hours every morning until he passed away at age 96.

I better start that treadmill again...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Whatever your plans are, wishing you a Fabulous weekend!

image: sma_kee

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We Have a Concierge!!

Well, not at Paris Hotel Boutique exactly, but in our family.

My husband recently started a job as a concierge for the Westin & Sir Francis Drake Hotels in San Francisco. Isn't it ironic? My love for hotels and he working for them!

He's doing a job that he is absolutely passionate about...assisting and serving others in a city that he knows like none other. And, he's certainly keeping me on my toes as to what the latest happenings are in the City.

So, if you're coming to San Francisco and looking for some assistance, Paris Hotel Boutique will refer you to one of our finest concierges!

At your service!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do You Love Vintage Luxury?

Then you must read/borrow/buy the book, "100 Legendary Trunks: Louis Vuitton." My friend Karen gave this to me as a holiday gift and it's one of the most gorgeous books I've ever seen!

It features over 800 of the most beautiful photos ever. Everything kind of trunk; trunk bed (that's right) steamer trunks, tea case, toiletry kit, circus trunk, library trunk, and caviar box from the rich & famous dating back to the 19th century.

A LV trunk for flowers, imagine...

This book will knock your socks off. All 496 pages housed in a hard slipcase!

It's available here and here...


Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Monday!

Do you ever feel like you can hardly keep your eyes open? I feel like this little rat-- cold and tired from working non-stop for two weeks. Think I'm going to lay my head down, cuddle up with my little poodle Vito, and take a much-needed nap before I'm back to the grindstone...

Wishing you a great week ahead!

image: Jessica Florence

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don't It?

Back in April of 2009 I blogged a few of my Favorite Things... which included an image of a trophy given to "The Parisian Cloak Company," in Kansas City for best dressed store window during the United Fashion Show in 1915.

Recently I was contacted by Joe Boeckholt. Joe stumbled upon my trophy photo and gave me some interesting history on it. Harzfeld's specialty store of Kansas City was originally known as the Parisian Cloak Company and was started in 1890. Small world, eh?

Last year Joe and Michele authored a book on Harzfeld's. The Boeckholts uncover the story behind Harzfeld's specialty store, from its first offering of coats, blouses, petticoats and furs to the beloved Petticoat Lane flagship location and regional network of satellite stores.

If you're interested in Kansas City history, this is a great read. You can purchase it here and visit Joe & Michele's blog here.

Thanks Joe & Michele for my copy of this book!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Arrivals at Paris Hotel Boutique!

Just in... Lots of New Additions!
  • Antique Mother of Pearl Calligraphy Pens

  • Italian Florentine Mirrors

  • Vintage Esquire Fashion & Entertaining Books

  • Victorian & Georgian Jewelry

  • French Pharmacy Boxes

  • Early Alabaster Pieces
  • Assorted Hotel Silver and much more!
Please click here to see our latest additions and Happy Shopping!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


I am in awe of this photo captured by legendary photographer Mark Shaw for LIFE Magazine in 1957. The model is at the Paris Louvre Metro Station wearing a gray Christian Dior dress.

Print available for purchase here. sigh.

Happy Monday & Stuff!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wish I could tell you that I was sitting in a Paris café eating brie and sipping wine, but not so. I worked all weekend finishing up the final touches on the new arrivals coming to you tomorrow morning!

Have a fabulous week!

image: Tom Palumbo

Friday, January 07, 2011

Thank You Dear Readers!

Deepest thanks to all of you who completed my survey. WOW. I had never done one before and truly appreciate the time you took to fill it out-- the wonderful words, thoughts, ideas. I loved hearing about your shopping experiences with us. Thanks so much for sharing.

Responses are still coming in and I'm reading through each and every one of them, relishing everyone's comments. A couple not so nice, but I like to hear it all! At some point I will try and figure out a way to share some of them here, but not quite sure how to do that!

In any event, thanks for your continued loyalty to Paris Hotel Boutique and this blog. We couldn't exist without you!

Have a fabulous weekend!

image: liivia

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My "Ticky Tacky" House

my childhood house as it looks today

Last year I posted about artist Leah Giberson and the wonderful mixed-media paintings she creates of suburban and urban landscapes.

some of Leah's Westlake paintings

One of the subjects Leah paints are mid century homes located in the small suburb of Daly City, about 10 miles south of San Francisco. When I was 4, my parents bought our first house in the Westlake district of Daly City. The Westlake homes are kind of "Mid-Century Modern cool."

Malvina Reynolds' song "Little Boxes" was based on a drive she took through Daly City in 1962, and became a hit for folk singer Pete Seeger in 1964.

"Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same,
There's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same."

When I met Leah and saw her work I thought I must commission her to do a painting of my old ticky tacky house! So, voila!

The painting

Leah's embroidered paintings are built up of layers of paper with contrasting textures that are stitched together in some spots. I love how the subject runs over the sides; the telephone wires are exaggerated, the house sits alone. Fabulous.

To view or purchase Leah's fabulous work, you can visit her website, blog, flickr series and etsy shop. Also included are her upcoming gallery exhibits. {Oh, and Leah sells prints of her paintings as well!}

Leah also has a wonderful 2011 calendar available which is stunning in person. It features 13 selected images of her paintings and are on nice heavyweight paper. You can purchase one here on Etsy.

Love my painting Leah!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Do You Have a Minute?

As the new year gets off to a fresh start, it's always good to do a little evaluating and "tweaking" of my shop. I was wondering if you have a moment to fill out a quick survey about Paris Hotel Boutique? There are only 10 questions, mainly multiple choice. I would sincerely appreciate any input you have.

You can fill out the survey here. It's completely anonymous.

Thanks so much!

photo credit: Mike Licht

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Vintage Eye Candy

Every so often I come across blogs or websites that truly excite me. One of them is Miss Moss.

Diana of Miss Moss is a graphic designer from South Africa. She loves vintage, photography, fashion and decor. She is constantly posting the most interesting things that lead me to fascinating places and discoveries. Her latest post of paper moon photography collected by Boston Bill tickled my fancy...

I love these scarce figural cameos (below) documented by Sheaff Ephemera.

What are figural cameos? I had never heard the term before.

"In figural cameos, the advertising text is placed within a design that resembles the product it advertises. Examples of these would be padlocks, kegs, water pitchers, boots, books and many others.

These figural cameos are quite scarce. There are only around 5,500 cameo designs known and Richard Sheaff has documented 250.

Diana blogged about a website entirely dedicated to brand name pencils!

She shares a fabulous array of vintage photographs that she discovers online such as this 1920's French hair salon via cardboy...

and wonderful old Life magazine covers...

So, if you have a moment be sure and check out Miss Moss's blog here. While you're at it, you may want to check out two other sites, Words & Eggs, another vintage design lover with amazing links and info, and Sheaff Ephemera, a place for show-and-tell, wondering aloud, and wandering the trails of curiosity . . .

Thanks Diana for your constant inspiration!!

photos via Miss Moss