Monday, August 31, 2009

Tim Irving Photography Giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone! I'm thrilled to announce that the amazingly talented photographer, Tim Irving, has offered to give two Paris Hotel Boutique Journal readers one of his lovely photographs. His beautiful work has been published in The London Times & Time Magazine.

Tim lives and works in the Andalucia region of Spain and also authors a blog by the name of Style Med. It focuses on Mediterranean design and lifestyle. I just adore his work and have blogged about it before.

  • Check out Tim Irving's Etsy shop here, and leave a comment below telling us which photo you would like to receive if you're the lucky winner! There are over 100 images to choose from and they are printed on deep gloss archival paper of museum quality.
  • Anyone can enter -- International readers are more than welcome!
  • 2 winners will be chosen via Random.Org
  • Winners will be selected on Monday, September 7th at 9:00 pm PST and announced on Tuesday's post.
  • Please make sure and include your blog link or email me your contact info so that I can contact you after the giveaway.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I’m gushing over the fact that it’s my grandmother’s 100th birthday today! She is the most special lady-- not just a “grandma,” but more like a mother to me.

When my cousin was an infant, she couldn't pronounce "Granny" and kept saying "Bannie." My grandmother thought it was cute, and the name "Bannie" was born.

my grandmother, siblings & parents

Born August 28, 1909 in San Francisco, the daughter of Romanian immigrants, Tillie has lived a humbled life of 100 years in the city of San Francisco. A century of stories she has to share. And, let me tell you, at 100, her mind is as sharp as a tack!

My grandparents at Stinson Beach in 1931. They were still courting.

She met my sweet grandfather Stanley in 1930 and got married in 1932. They were married for 66 years and my Papa passed away.

Tillie & Stanley Batt - Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco 1932

My grandparents were married at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. From this photo it looks like they were from a wealthy family. Not so. Working class families. As my grandmother tells me, in those days things were not as expensive and they saved and saved for special occasions.

Giving. Generous. Sweet. Outgoing. Curious. Selfless. Wise. Bannie has the spirit of a young person. She is excitable and the smallest of things make her happy. If I've inherited just a portion of the qualities she has, I'm grateful.

So today marks 100 for Bannie...a Centurion! This cake above makes me think of Bannie. Fit for a queen!

Tomorrow we will be having a party at her house with family & friends. I can hardly wait! We've been decorating up a storm!

Thank you Bannie for giving me all you had to give. Driving me home from school every day. Attending every single dance recital or concert I was in. Letting me torture you on vacations by dragging you out for hot fudge sundaes when you really didn't want to leave the motel. Letting me bring my laundry over in garbage bags and you having it all ready-- hanged and perfectly pressed!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh Frank, How Could You?

Did you hear about this? From Coterie's blog. Thanks Alyssa for sharing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Dominick Dunne

Sadly, today best-selling author Dominick Dunne died of cancer. What a tremendous writer he was, famous for detailing crimes of the rich, famous, and infamous. You can read an early version of his New York Times obituary here, the memoriam from Vanity Fair here.

Fellow blogger Coterie, suggested a 2009 documentary entitled Dominick Dunne: After the Party- if you are a fan of his, it's a must see.

We will greatly miss this gifted writer.

Photograph by Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair

Vuitton or Goyard?

Goyard and Louis Vuitton totes

My friend Janet recently did a fun post about Louis Vuitton vs. Goyard. Both French design houses date to the mid-1800's.

La Maison Goyard began manufacturing in 1853, and was the artisan’s approach to the making of distinctive cases, trunks, luggage and handbags. Adhering to a traditional fabrication that remains unchanged to this day, all pieces are entirely hand-made in France.

Louis Vuitton began manufacturing in 1854, and was renowned for their trunks and luggage. Originally, the leather cases of Louis Vuitton were inlaid with the grey-colored canvas. In 1896, Georges, the son of Louis Vuitton, combined the initials of his father “L&V” with the flower pattern, designed the world renowned monogram canvas pattern. Entering into the 20th century, the company expanded in terms of locations and financial success.

Goyard’s unique hot stamping techniques enabled personalized monograms to be created, if desired, across a wide array of products and accessories.

In 1858, Monsieur Vuitton introduced his flat-bottom trunks with trianon canvas (they were lightweight and airtight)

I started buying LV in the 1980's. I was in my 20's and spent half of my paycheck to buy a bag, one at a time. Totally obsessed with LV for years. Then I discovered Goyard about 6 years ago and fell in love. I like the fact that you don't see many people wearing it. I do however still appreciate the vintage Louis Vuitton luggage/trunks.

My Goyard "Fidji" bag

Fact: Goyard is still a relatively small family-run company, only sold in France, its San Francisco shop, and Barney's New York. In some cases you have to wait as much as 3 months for the production of a specific style.

Fact: The Louis Vuitton Brand and the famous LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands and are still hand made. It is the most heavily counterfeited brand in fashion history, with only 1% of all Louis Vuitton-branded items in circulation considered authentic.

FYI, I'm eyeballing this tote here. Love the colors of the stripes.

Okay, which French manufacturer do you prefer? Maybe both? Do you even like logo fashion? Do I appear biased?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Too Pretty to Eat

Several vendors generously donated their wares to create gift bags for the Blog Out Loud event on Sunday. Each contained a delectable cookie from Amber at Sweet Ambs. They're almost too pretty to eat don't you think?

Love this floral cookie. How can you possibly eat it?

I think these cameo cookies are among my favorites

SweetAmbs cookies are made from a basic sugar cookie recipe, which is then flavored with fresh orange zest, vanilla beans, and a hint of cardamom. The royal icing has a dash of vanilla extract to bring together the wonderful flavors of the cookie.

These cookies are inspired by Wedgewood...

Aren't these monogrammed cookies lovely? Sold in sets of 6

These Royal Crown cookies are fit for a Queen!

You can purchase SweetAmbs cookies here on Etsy. She does custom work too!!

photos from SweetAmbs

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Out Loud SF: A Fun Evening!

Thanks to all of you who attended the Blog Out Loud event last night at the charming Belljar. I'd say it was a great success. I was thrilled to be included on the panel and learned some valuable blogging tips from my fellow panelists. And, wonderful meeting them in person!

Rebecca & Megan

A big thanks to Rebecca & Megan for putting this event together. It's strictly voluntary and they worked quite hard and did a fantastic job! Megan, you're a terrific moderator and thanks for going easy on me with the questions!

It was also great to mingle and meet the guests who attended. Such fun to meet fellow bloggers in person. Hope you enjoyed too!

The event was filmed and Blog Out Loud TV will be up in the next few weeks and include mini-moments from the event.

Oh...I wanted to add that Blog Out Loud plans on visiting the east coast and other areas in the near future, so be on the lookout!!

photos from Blog Out Loud

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yearbook Yourself!

I'm having way too much fun on a Saturday night. Has anyone seen the site Yearbook Yourself? Simply upload a photo of yourself and you can see what you'd look like in classic yearbook poses throughout the decades!

I'm loving the cat-eye glasses from the 60's

Oh wait...I had this hair style in the 80's!

Couldn't find myself in this photo until I realized that I was the blonde!

Yearbook yourself here!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tim Irving Giveaway

If you like the last photo I posted of the ferris wheel, it's by photographer Tim Irving. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The London Times and much more. I'm crazy for it. So vintage looking. And the colors...beautiful!

Dagny over at Beautiful Living just let me know that she's having a giveaway. You can choose between all of Tim's work (there's currently over 100 photographs to choose from)! Just click here to enter. Deadline for the giveaway is August 24th.

Love them all!!

photo credit: Tim Irving

Have a Great Weekend!

Hoping your weekend is filled with fun and laughter!

photo credit: Tim Irving

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thanks Romantic Homes!

I just wanted to share that my home is the featured story and cover of the newest issue of Romantic Homes magazine. I'm blown away. To me it's just my little row house in foggy San Francisco...

Thanks to my dear friend Janet at FrenchBlue & Co. for writing the lovely story, and to Jacqueline deMontravel, the editor of Romantic Homes, for coming to my home and taking the photos. You gals are the BEST!

The 10-page story has photos of my collections, including my insane amount of hotel silver. It's actually been downsized a bit since the photos were shot. Too much silver to polish!

I love the fact that my wacky bright green bathroom was included. The house was built in 1939 and the kitchen and bathroom have their original tile, bathtub and sink. It's fun working with what you already have, as opposed to gutting it all. Gives it more character.

Well...thanks for letting me brag a bit. Actually, I'm quite humbled to be in this magazine. Kind of weird seeing your livingroom on the cover. It's the October issue...should be on newsstands now!

photos courtesy of Romantic Homes Magazine

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just in at Paris Hotel Boutique!

HAPPY MONDAY! I'm excited to share some of my recent acquisitions added to the site today.

I nearly flipped when an antique dealer friend of mine contacted me about these rare barstools from the old Crown Room in San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. Over the last ten years I have acquired a set of the chairs and one barstool. To find more is amazing. They are probably the most treasured pieces in my home. So, I'm keeping a pair and selling three.

I'm crazy over the Neoclassical style, and more importantly, where they came from!

The Crown Room was erected in 1961 as part of a 23 story Tower in the Fairmont Hotel. In its heyday, it was a fabulous restaurant and bar with a spectacular panoramic view of San Francisco. You could ride the glass elevator on the outside of the building to the Crown Room located on the top floor. Bejewelled crowns in glass showcases graced the Crown Room's entryway. So glamorous! It was renovated in the late 1990's and is now used for meeting and conferences. See the barstools in the photo?

Another fab find were these massive Art Deco hatstands from Paris. I have never seen anything like them before. They adjust to 4 feet & 6 feet tall! Solid brass with the wonderful embossing of Siegel, Paris. They must have been used as store displays due to their size.

I'm really drawn to oversized items. They make such a great statement in a room. I was excited to find this two foot tall hourglass!

And of course, lady portraits. I can never have enough. There are so many in my house that it's as if the paintings are staring at me saying, "Lady, what are you doing with all of us here?" Seriously, they are whimsical and fun. An instant family!

Those are just some of the items I'm selling at Paris Hotel Boutique. To view all of the new items, click here.

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

photos from