Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paris from the Heart.

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for your Francophile friend? Or perhaps you're taking a trip to Paris in the near future?

You must check out Jan Dolphin's wonderful boxed book set, Paris from the Heart: Ultimate Walking Tours to Fun, Fashion, and Freedom.

Jan was kind enough to send me a copy of this charming 6-volume guide filled with everything you can imagine about the City of Lights! Ooh la la!

Each mini book is separated by a specific area of the City. Perfect for a first trip to Paris. They include step-by-step walking tours, historical and modern facts, route and sight descriptions, dining suggestions, maps, photos, and journal spaces to provide you with the most enviably dazzling, effortless, and comprehensive Parisian adventure!

So while you're hunting around for a gift this holiday season, you may want to check out this treasure of a set. Available at Jan's website here (autographed too), or at Amazon here.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday at PHB!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Lots of eating, socializing, shopping? I am guessing so!

Rev up your engines!!

At PHB we normally don't discount our items, but for today only, we're giving 10% off on any item in the shop. Just enter CYBERMONDAY2011 in the promo code box and discount will apply.

Click here to start shopping!

Have a great week ahead!

image: Kate Spade, New York

Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Most of us have heard and seen these names blasted over and over entering the holiday shopping season.

But, what about Small Business Saturday? Have you heard of it? Tomorrow (Saturday) celebrates the second "Shop Small Movement" to drive business to local merchants across the US, helping them to create jobs, fuel the economy, and invigorate retail in communities across the country.

Being a small business myself, I can totally relate.

Today when I watched the news and saw people camped out at 12:00 am in front of Target awaiting the sales, I was horrified. Some people were gun shot, another pepper-sprayed. What's happened to this country? Has consumerism gone mad?

So, after my leisurely wake-up this morning, I decided to visit a small local boutique, Mio, in San Francisco. Not for any special sale, but because I knew that the bulk of shoppers were at the big chains, and that this particular neighborhood would be quiet. Indeed it was. I was able to actually find parking, buy a couple of clothing items, and head back home. So pleasant.

So many reasons to shop local and patronize your "Mom and Pops." From avoiding crowds, to helping your community, we can make a difference.

A couple of outstanding points from the Business Insider:
  • Revenue from Small Business Saturday might enable merchants to keep prices low and stock even more of those hard-to-find goodies you love.

  • Help your community. As U.S. News reported, local businesses reinvest in the local economy 60 percent more than larger chains and retailers.

  • One-of-a-kind gifts. Best Buy won't be carrying that handmade iPad cover you've been after or the delicate silk chemise shipped direct from Austin. If it's originality you crave, go local.

  • Incredible deals. To help entice customers to small businesses, American Express is offering a $25 limited statement of credit to cardholders who pre-register their Amex card on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.

So, won't you join the effort in helping by participating in Small Business Saturday? It's truly a civilized way to shop, don't you think? And let's support small businesses all year 'round!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours...

1970s style...

image source: Miss Retro's Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

19th Century Thanksgiving Feast

Another great Thanksgiving menu from the 19th century. This is taken from Ingall’s Home and Art magazine, 1889. Fun!

HINTS ABOUT PREVIOUS PREPARATION. — GOOD CHEER IN ABUNDANCE, AND TIME FOR ENJOYMENT. (excerpt). The following bill of fare contains all required by traditional formula, and even more. The entire menu may be prepared with the assistance of one servant, or may be reduced to suit the convenience or resources of those who have no assistance. Everything in the list, before the roast turkey, may be omitted if desired, there may be a reduction in the variety of vegetables, or the pudding may be left out without transgression.

As this yearly festival is pre-eminently a family gathering, much of ceremonious serving may be omitted, adopting the old-fashioned custom of placing the substantial dishes, with their accompaniment of sauces, salads, pickles, jellies, etc., on the table at the outset, the dessert appearing when required. This old-time practice lends to the table the appearance of plenty and hospitality in keeping with the day, and affords the hostess the opportunity of social enjoyment and festive freedom so conducive to the highest enjoyment of the guests.


(Caution: This section contains storage practices now regarded as highly unsafe) To avoid over-work and confusion, let everything possible be done before the day arrives. The turkey should be made ready, and the stuffing prepared, on the day before, and kept in a cold place till next morning. The salad and the dressing for it may be prepared, and kept separate in a cold place — the dressing being added when placed on the table. The chicken pie may be baked and the oyster pie also, and re-heated in the oven next day. The mince pies will be better if baked a few days in advance, while the pudding may be made weeks beforehand, and steamed an hour and a quarter on the day it is eaten. The pumpkin filling may be previously prepared, and the pies baked next morning before the turkey. Both jellies may be made two or three days in advance. The fruit may be wiped, placed in dishes, and set aside; the nuts cracked, and mixed with the raisins in the proper receptacles, and kept cool and moist until they are to be served. Sugar bowls and cruets should be filled. Dishes, cutlery, etc., should be ready to go on the table, which may be set soon after breakfast next morning, and a light cloth thrown over for protection. Almonds, olives, cheese, etc., may be arranged on plates and kept covered. The vegetables may be peeled the evening before, and kept in cold water without impairing their quality. The butter and flour may be rubbed together for gravy, and the ingredients for pudding sauce measured. These precautions taken, will relieve the housekeeper of undue anxiety and fatigue, and render the work comparatively light.


Cream of Celery Soup.
 Oyster Pie. Lemon Jelly.

Roast Turkey. Jellied Cranberry Sauce. Celery. Sated Sweet Potatoes.

Mashed and Browned Potatoes.

Mashed Turnips. 

Chicken Pie. Oyster Salad.

Plum Pudding, Foaming Sauce.
 Mince Pie. Pumpkin Pie.

Olives. Salted Almonds. Cheese.

Fruit. Nuts. Coffee.

Cream Of Celery Soup. — After reserving the finest celery for the table, select the coarser white blades from that which remains, rejecting the green portions. Boil them till very tender — from an hour to an hour and a half. Rub through a coarse sieve or colander. For every pint of this pulp, have ready three pints of veal stock or chicken broth, boiling hot. Add the celery pulp, with two level “teaspoonfuls of salt, one scant fourth teaspoonful of pepper and a tablespoonful of flour rubbed into two tablespoonfuls of butter. Let it boil up, add one pint of sweet cream or milk, and when it again reaches the boiling point, remove from the fire without allowing it to boil. This soup may be prepared the day before, leaving out the cream, which should be added after soup is reheated.

Oyster Pie. — Line a baking-dish, which will hold three quarts, with a rich puff paste. Fill it up with bread crust and cover with a sheet of the paste, having an opening in the center. While it is baking, put two quarts of oysters into a stew pan, place over the fire, and as soon as they begin to boil, remove, and drain in a colander. Re-turn the liquor into sauce-pan, add one tablespoonful of salt, one-half teaspoonful (scant) of pepper, three tablespoonfuls of butter rubbed into three tablespoonfuls of cracker-dust, let it reach the boiling point, then add the oysters and one-half cup of cream. Let boil gently for three minutes. Remove from the fire and stir in one tablespoonful of lemon juice or good vinegar. Remove the top crust from the pie by parting the edge with a sharp knife, take out the bread crusts, fill with the oyster mixture, replace upper crust and serve hot. The crust may be baked the day before, and twenty minutes before it is wanted turn in the oyster mixture, boiling hot, replace the cover, and set in the oven to reheat. Serve with lemon jelly. An excellent crust is made for oyster and chicken pies by adding three teaspoonfuls of baking powder to a quart of flour, with one teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of sugar, and then rubbing or chopping into it (using a chopping-tray and knife) one and a half cups of butter, or same quantity half lard and half butter. When ingredients are well blended, add three fourths of a cup of ice-water, gradually chopping it in. Roll out quickly, handling as little as possible. Those who fail with puff paste, cannot fail with this.

Lemon Jelly. — Soak one package of gelatine for two hours in two cups of cold water, then add two cups of sugar, the juice of five nice lemons, and the grated rind of one.—grating very lightly that you may not reach the bitter portion. Let it stand, covered, for one hour. Pour on three cups of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Strain through a flannel jelly bag. Pour into moulds, wet in cold water, and set in cold place to harden, or mould in one large form, and when cold turn out upon a pretty dish, and if you wish, garnish the base with a border of bright coloured jelly, cut in little cubes.

Chicken Pie. — For a dish holding three quarts, use two chickens, weighing together eight or nine pounds. After thoroughly cleaning them, separate them into joints, and put them in a kettle, with water enough to cover, to simmer until tender. If not over a year old, an hour and a half will be sufficient. A slice of salt pork, added while boiling, improves the flavour. Remove the chicken from the liquor, and set both aside to cool. When ready to make the pie, remove the fat from the liquor, place the kettle over the fire, adding a tablespoonful of salt and a fourth of a teaspoonful of pepper. When it boils, add three tablespoonfuls of butter rubbed into two of flour, stir until thick and smooth, then add beaten yolks of two eggs to half a cup of cream. Stir into the liquor and remove from the fire without allowing it to boil. Line the sides of the baking dish with nice rich paste, fill with the chicken, sprinkling the layers lightly with pepper, and using about a tablespoonful of salt. Pour over the sauce, which should be about three cupfuls, cover with the paste, having a gash in the center, and bake in a moderate oven for one hour. The pie may be ornamented with pastry rolled very thin and cut into ornamental shapes.

A Few Economical Dishes.

Apple Pudding. — Butter liberally a two quart earthen pudding dish, put in a layer of stale bread crumbs, then a layer of tart apples, pared, cored and chopped. Sprinkle the apple with sugar and either nutmeg or cinnamon as preferred. Add a few bits of butter, then repeat the process till the dish is full, making apples the last layer. Sprinkle with sugar, flavor, and add bits of butter. Lemon may be used for flavouring. Bake one hour. Good without sauce, may be eaten hot or cold, and with cream if desired.

Steamed Apple Or Peach Pudding.— Rub through a sieve one quart of flour with three teaspoonfuls of baking powder, one teaspoonful of salt, and one tablespoonful of sugar. Rub three tablespoonfuls of butter into the mixture, and mix into a dough with one and three-fourths cups of water. Butter a three-quart pudding mould or basin, and line it with the dough. Fill with three pints of chopped apples, add two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a trifle of nutmeg. Cover with the paste, set in a steamer and steam for two hours and a half. Serve with the plain pudding sauce given in our January number. Dried peaches nicely stewed, make an excellent pudding of this kind eaten with cream, while canned berries are delicious with their own juice for a sauce. Nice for ironing days.

A Dainty Breakfast Dish. — Mix well with two cups of cold boiled rice, one beaten egg, one tablespoonful butter, one tablespoonful sugar, one-half teaspoonful salt. Shape into cakes between the flowered hands, and set away several hours to become firm; may be made in the evening. Fry in nice beef drippings, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Walled Turkey. — Line a greased baking dish with cold mashed potato, moistened with a beaten egg and a little milk. Fill in with cold chopped turkey, sprinkle with bits of dressing, pour over it a cup of the gravy, and bake for half an hour.

A Perfect Dinner.

courtesy of Old Fashioned Holidays

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving... Victorian-Era Hotel Style

Happy Monday! I thought it would be fun to go back in time and visit some 19th century Thanksgiving menus this week. My, how times have changed.

I just love this 1886 Thanksgiving menu from the Hotel Drake in Chicago. Don't know what half of the dishes are, but, nonetheless... Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Keep warm, stay dry and have fun!

photo credit: unknown

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tips from a Centenarian

My grandmother did it. She lived until 100. I wished I had asked her the secret to aging gracefully. I know one thing; she used regular over-the-counter moisturizer like Ponds. No fancy eye creams, serums, anti-oxidants or anti-wrinkle creams! And, she had beautiful skin her whole life!

The other day Ari Seth Cohen (Advanced Style) posted about Ruth (above), who stays so fit at 100 years old. "Who better than this amazing centenarian to change our perceptions on aging and prove that we can live full lives well into our later years." Check out Ruth's life and style tips below. You may be surprised at some of these easy tips!

100 year old Ruth's Life and Style Tips

  1. I never go to bed with my makeup on. that is number one. At night you must let your skin breathe.

  2. I use a lipstick brush to paint on my lipstick--it stays on longer that way. I can also use a lipstick longer than anyone else because I can dig into it.

  3. Every night before I got to bed I use Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour beauty cream on my lips. You must keep your lips moisturized.

  4. When it comes to fashion you must be aware of your skin tone. You don't wear orange lipstick with a red dress.

  5. I make myself go out everyday, even if its only to walk around the block. The key to staying young is to keep moving. You are never too old to exercise.

  6. Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.

  7. Don't look at the calendar, just keep celebrating everyday.

  8. I dress up everyday and I don't wear blue jeans. I dress up even to mail a letter, you never know who you will meet along the way.

  9. I have been active my whole life. An old Elizabeth Arden Ad said,"If you want to look like this when you are forty start when you are twenty."

  10. I wake up every morning and say, "This is the day the Lord has made."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Release Sneak Peek!

See this photo above? It's the beautiful paper art of Noel from Fanciful Designs & the lovely home of Noel's mom, my dear friend, Janet of FrenchBlue.

Guess what? We're all featured in an upcoming book!

Jacqueline deMontravel, editorial director of Romantic Homes, Victorian Homes and Cottages & Bungalows magazines, has just launched her latest book, Hers: Design with a Feminine Touch, being released in December.

I'm humbled to share that my home is included among 25 others, and my living room made the cover!

Hers offers 224 pages of stylish ways for creating your own private retreat, with sidebars, tips and tricks along with inspiring photography.

I'm thrilled to offer you limited-edition copies signed by the author. To pre-purchase this book, please click here. Copies should arrive by the first of December.

Thanks for peeking!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Arrivals at Paris Hotel Boutique!

Please join us and be the first to preview our finest offerings for the season at Paris Hotel Boutique! Over 50 items have been added to the boutique today. You'll find everything from hotel silver & china (great for holiday tables), to decorative accessories.

Take a peek at some of my favorite pieces....

Vintage Fairmont Hotel Dinnerware

Vintage Store Display Mirror (s)

Victorian Double-Headed Snake Ring w/ Garnets

Borghese Fleur de Lis Bookends

Antique French Mother of Pearl Souvenir Box

Antique French Award Medals

Large Antique Plateau Mirror (s)

Rare Hotel Silver Escargot Server

Vintage Books

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Monday + Heads Up!

Rise and shine!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

I've been stranded at my computer for a week, typing my little self away to bring you a whole new collection of new arrivals tomorrow!

Be sure and check out Paris Hotel Boutique at 7:30 am PST/10:30 am EST tomorrow (the 15th) for all of our new finds!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

image: Kimberly Chorney, Butterfly Photography

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering and Thanking...

...all who served and sacrificed their lives. Happy Veteran's Day and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Coveting...

Oregon-based pumpkin artist, Daria Knowles of Hot Skwash, creates these gorgeous velvet pumpkins by using unwanted pumpkin and squash stems that growers save for her. Aren't they divine?

I was in a boutique yesterday and just had to buy one. Couldn't decide which color--they're all so lovely. I purchased an 8" silver one. Figured it would fit in well with my decor.

Darla's keen eye for color, texture, and shape gives each treasure its own personality..they even have a vintage feel to them...

And best of all, Hot Skwash donates a portion of proceeds to the Learning Community, a non profit dedicated to providing free parenting resources to parents who are dedicated to raising healthy, happy kids but who may not have the information or support they need.

You can purchase these gorgeous pumpkins online here! I'm tempted to buy more!

images via Hot Skwash

Monday, November 07, 2011


Happy Monday everyone and hope you had a wonderful weekend!

I've been shopping up a storm, getting new inventory for the holidays, and think I just hit the wall! Going to settle down to a warm cup of tea and take a little "blogcation."

I'll be back soon...may only take a few days of rest to feel chipper again. Have a great week ahead!

image: unknown via tumblr

Friday, November 04, 2011

Happy Weekend + Fall Back!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, most of us get to set our clocks back an hour in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Looking forward to that extra hour of sleep! Have a lovely slumber!

image: Audrey Hepburn-Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hello November!

Let me guess, you're still snacking on your leftover Halloween candy, aren't you?

Can you believe that it's already November? Amazing how time flies. The holidays are just around the corner. Wishing you a great month ahead!