Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bring it on!

Dear Readers,

It's been quite a year. As some of you may know, I lost my mom this past June, and many days it's been a struggle just to keep up. Your kindness and support have been so healing and comforting. When I was in a slump, there you were with some uplifting words. I'm truly fortunate to have such a loyal group of blogger friends and PHB customers. Deepest thanks from the bottom of my heart for everything.

Now let's get ready to flip the calendar to 2012--a brand new year with a fresh start. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous one, with only the best! Thanks again for all you do. You are treasures!

Be safe and well and see you next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

With New Year's Eve only days away, and people stocking up on their "bubbly," I just had to share one of my favorite books with you. I adore this book!

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh is one of the most marvelous books on vintage mixology. He explores 100 vintage recipes, complete with uncommon ingredient information, history lessons, and beautiful vintage images.

Even if you're not a "drinker," you will devour this spiffy spiral-bound book with its almost Technicolor images.

Love these recipes such as the "Ritz Sidecar" from the Ritz Bar in Paris during the golden age of cocktails...

Vintage, vintage, vintage! Book is filled with visuals that will tickle your fancy!

You can purchase this book here at Amazon for less than $14!


images from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Bit of Inspiration

With a new year just around the corner, I was thinking, do we really accomplish the New Year's resolutions that we set for ourselves? Are they just too unattainable?

When I stumbled upon Brunch at Saks recent blog post, it struck a cord. Her "pay it forward" list is an achievable one, with some lovely thoughts and deeds. I'm sharing it with you here since I think it's worth the read and such simple things that we could easily do to pay it forward...

  • Hand write and mail a note 'just because' to a friend or relative.
  • Bring a meal to a neighbor or friend when they are sick.
  • Spend an hour playing games with the residents at our local convalescent hospital.
  • Pay for the person behind me in a fast food line.
  • Mow my neighbor's lawn or pull weeds out of their planters.
  • Bring a pile of old magazines to my doctor's office for her waiting room.
  • Take unused clothing and household items to a shelter or Goodwill.
  • Tape the exact change for a soda or snack to a vending machine.
  • Leave a couple pieces of candy on a coworkers desk with a note.
  • Pay for the person behind me at a toll booth.
  • Call a family member or friend on the day of a test or other important event and tell them I'm thinking of them. (I want to push myself to go beyond my comfort zone and actually call them. No text messages, IM's, Facebook comments, etc)
  • Offer to babysit for our friends who have kids so they can enjoy a night out.
  • Draw colorful pictures and bring them to St. Joseph's or LA Children's hospital for patients' windows.
  • Leave behind my magazine or book on a plane.
  • Make an extra sandwich and snack bag for a homeless person I see often.
  • Start off by telling a customer service agent "I know this problem is not your fault." I often blame them, which is completely unfair and not right.
  • Return an extra shopping cart to the front of the store.
  • Write a note with an encouraging thought and put it in someone's lunch bag or coat pocket.
  • If nothing else, simply open the door for someone and leave them with a smile.
Isn't that lovely? So, now it's my turn to come up with a list, although I must say that I would love to use some of Annemarie's inspiring ideas.

Are there any ideas you would like to add to the list? I'd love to hear some other inspiring ideas from my favorite bloggers--YOU!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from Paris Hotel Boutique...

The staff at PHB wish you and yours a splendid Christmas! May the magic of the season warm your heart...

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
We won't go until we get some;
We won't go until we get some;
We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

image: i Anton

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jelly Donuts for Chanukah!

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy these mouth-watering jelly donuts called Sufganiyot. At Chanukah Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil.

These things are yummy!

Here is a recipe from Chow...


image from here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Light the Menorah.

Rabbi Yosef Langer menorah lighting service in San Francisco Union Square

Tonight begins the first night of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, where Jews around the world light the Chanukah menorah for eight nights.

In San Francisco's downtown Union Square, people of all faiths gather as an annual tradition since 1975, to light a giant menorah. This San Francisco tradition was the brainchild of rock and roll concert promoter Bill Graham. Now there are thousands of similar celebrations world-wide.

To all who celebrate, may this beautiful eight day festival of lights be joyous for you and your loved ones.

images; 1., 2

Monday, December 19, 2011

Heureuse Lundi! Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Wow, less than a week until Christmas -- the hustle and bustle of shopping for last minute holiday gifts, gift wrapping, post office lines, planning your family events. Hope you have a moment to take a breather and enjoy the season!

By the way, aren't these fingerless gloves (above) just the coziest? You can purchase from Rumina here on Etsy...

Have a fantastic week!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Whatever your plans are, have a glorious time!

photo source: unknown

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Forget to Ask...

We custom gift wrap upon request...still taking orders in time for Christmas!

Hope you're having fun!

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

If you're looking for a last minute stocking stuffer or perhaps a treat for yourself, I think I've found the perfect book!

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite begins with a whimsical cover and is chock-full of delicious, delightful anecdotes, facts about historical figures, and phenomena of all kinds. It has charming illustrations too.

From Amazon: "Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is a lifestyle guide for the Francophile and the Anglomaniac, the gourmet and the style maven, the armchair traveler and the art lover. It’s an homage to the esoteric world of glamour that doesn’t require much spending but makes us feel rich.

Taking a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the sixteenth century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’s Encyclopedia of the Exquisite focuses on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace, and the delightful. A com­pendium of style, it merges whimsy and practicality, traipsing through the fine arts and the worlds of fashion, food, travel, home, garden, and beauty."

A beautiful gift for anybody interested in the fine art of life. I bought two copies and maybe more to come!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pinterest Invite!

a snapshot of one of my Pinterest boards

Yesterday I blogged about the power of sharing that started with a photo that went viral via Pinterest.

If you haven't heard about Pinterest, it's a (highly addictive) site that lets its users act as curators of style. Members can “pin” images of anything they find online or in real life that strikes their fancy to create virtual mood boards.

I've been "pinning" for a couple of years and it's way too much fun! I think I've "pinned" over 4,000 images to date.

If you'd like an invite, please leave a comment, BUT, I need your email address or a link to it please!

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Power of Sharing.

See this photo above. Isn't it magical? Well, that's what thousands of others thought when blogger, Beth, of Unskinny Boppy, did a blog post last year featuring her son Garrett in front of their Christmas tree.

It began as just a sweet little post with Beth's tutorial on how to take glowing pictures of your Christmas tree using a special trick with her camera. She had no idea what was about to happen.

Suddenly, a few people began pinning that photo on Pinterest, which spread like wildfire, and eventually went viral. Before you she knew it, Beth was a celebrity of sorts. Over 46,000 shares of that photo led to her blog. Amazing!

Now Beth has started a "show your glow" Christmas tree decorating link party here, where hundreds of others are sharing their holiday photos.

A tutorial here, on how to get that "glowing light" effect in your photos. No, those weren't all lights on her Christmas tree!

Thanks for the inspiration Beth.

The moral of the story; there is huge power in sharing both in the virtual world and the "real" world. And FYI... if you'd like to do some sharing of your own on Pinterest, shoot me your email and I'll get your invite right out!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Come Tour the Silversmiths with Me!

With the holidays around the corner, and so many people preparing their holiday tables, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about silver.

Many customers come to me asking how to maintain, repair and restore their collections. So, the PHB crew decided to take a trip to Biro and Sons, right here in our beautiful City by the Bay.

Alex Biro

Biro & Sons is one of the last silversmiths in the country. Alex Biro, a master silversmith with over four decades of experience, purchased the 5,000 square foot building on Folsom Street in San Francisco in 1965 from the Burridge Company, also silversmiths, who had inhabited the building since 1901 (five years before the big San Francisco earthquake in 1906 which destroyed much of The City). Since he took over, Alex Biro has passed on his silversmith expertise to his sons, Martin and Richard.

My assistant, Dianna, talking with Alex

The primary business conducted at Biro's is the repairing and restoring of silver items. They also manufacture, fabricate and do special orders from high-end table top wear to trophies. The company does work nationwide and even internationally for hotels and restaurants including The Ritz, Paris.

lovely pieces of silver displayed upon entering

tools, tools and more tools!

Biro & Sons and Tiffany & Co. are two of just a few silversmiths left where one can truly learn the trade. They employ a staff of eight people.

Martin giving me the grand tour

With silversmithing becoming a lost art, it's wonderful to know that there's still a place in existence to repair or restore your silver, gold or brass. Biro & Sons is only a phone call away. You can always ship items to them and they are happy to repair and restore.

If you want to see our short behind-the-scenes tour, watch above!

Thanks to the folks at Biro & Sons for the wonderful tour. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Biro & Sons
1160 Folsom Street
San Francisco, California 94103

Friday, December 09, 2011

Have a Dashing Weekend!

image from Making Magique

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Holiday Arrivals at Paris Hotel Boutique!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Silver & Gold, Tinsel & Lights, Paris Hotel Boutique brings you new treasures to make your holiday season Bright!

Take a peek at some of my favorites and then feel free to shop our new arrivals here!

Have Fun!

images: Kassie Borreson, hausfraufotografie for Paris Hotel Boutique

Monday, December 05, 2011

Holiday Splendor at Tail of the Yak!

The magic is brimming at my favorite shop, Tail of the Yak, located in Berkeley, California. Of course I had to trek over to see all of the new holiday surprises.

If you've never heard me talk about this gem-of-a-shop before, then welcome to the land of wonderment!

It's Tail of the Yak's 40th anniversary! Can you imagine a shop that's still in existence for forty years? Really, I'm not surprised.

Owners Alice, Lauren and staff do the most amazing job of creating a space that makes you feel as if you've left the world behind. From paper-adorned antique Santos statues, vintage ephemera, and breathtaking estate jewelry, this is wonderland at its finest.

Antique Santos statues adorn the shop...

Whimsical props are everywhere!

The holidays do not disappoint. The shop is filled with my favorites, surprise balls!

pomegranate surprise balls

You may be asking, what are surprise balls? Artist Anandamayi Arnold has been making these works of art for many years.

snowball surprise balls

Surprise balls are wound tightly around their sometimes lumpy contents. Anandamayi starts with a streamer and adds little prizes as she builds the ball. The only problem is it's too pretty, who wants to open it?

Look at these swan surprise balls above. Aren't they lovely? The prizes are in the bodies. I could never open one!

floral surprise balls

lumps of coal surprise balls

Surprise balls run about $18 to around $95, depending on the amount of work involved.

Hand made paper displays grace the shop...

AND, during the holidays a special annual tradition at Tail of the Yak are custom-designed poster-size calendars by co-owner, Lauren McIntosh. If you make a purchase you get one of these works of art. I still have many of my old ones from years back.

If you happen to be in the Bay Area, you must visit this charming store. My photos just don't do it justice!

Tail of the Yak
2632 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705