Monday, September 29, 2008

La Shana Tova!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Incredible Flowers!

Today we had a photo shoot at the house. Look at the incredible arrangements the magazine editor brought for the dining room table! I love how the fresh asparagus form a vase around the deep red flowers. The other has grapes in the base of the vase with luscious deep colored flowers that look like velvet. The best is that they were kind enough to let me keep them!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Luxury Boutique Hotels: The SLS Beverly Hills

Boy was I excited to find out about the latest chain of luxury boutique hotels called "SLS." The SLS chains are run by entrepreneur, Sam Nazarian, and affiliated with the Starwood's Luxury Brand. This is exciting because I recently obtained an American Express Starwood credit card that earns reward points toward hotel stays (thanks for the tip Jen). What a great card! Now when I travel I can stay at one of these great SLS affiliates, as well as other great hotels that the Starwood program offers! Much better than my United Mileage Plus card.

Back to the SLS hotels...The first of the SLS chains is opening October 28th on La Cienega in Beverly Hills. The SLS Beverly Hills has undergone a 230 million dollar renovation of the former Le Meridian Hotel. Philippe Starck designed the look of the hotel. Luxurious bedding, 40" flat screen TVs, spa services, culinary delights from award-winning chef José Andrés, and more, I can't wait to stay here on my next trip to So. Calif.

Also, be sure and check out the interative website of SLS Hotels here. Look at the swinging chandelier. It's so charming!

Photos courtesy of

Thanks for the Mention...

Special thanks to Rossella Frigerio at the UK-based, ChicToday, for mentioning Paris Hotel Boutique in The Marks of a True Gentleman post! ChicToday is an online 'entertainment channel' with a branded television platform and interactive magazine. It's quite chic!

Additional thanks to Casa Sugar for mentioning PHB in their "Crave Worthy" column. Casa Sugar is an online media company for trendsetting. The "Sugar Network" is comprised of 17 distinct lifestyle and entertainment sites covering topics from fashion & shopping to health & beauty.

One more "thanks" to Emma of the beautiful blog, White & Wander, for the post "Extravagance". Emma is based in Australia and I just visited her charming blog!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Treats at Laduree

The talented artist, Carol at Paris Breakfasts, recently posted about Laduree in Paris. What a beautiful post! My mouth is watering here in San Francisco. Known for their famous 'Laduree green' decorative boxes that hold their delicious macaroons and treats, Laduree has just launched a new color theme, lavender. I LOVE lavender!

Every season Laduree comes out with a limited theme box and line. Last year it was the pale pink Marie Antoinette box. Beginning September 1st, they have added some fabulous new non-food gifty items such as lavender-colored candles, cosmetic bags, soaps, beauty products etc. etc. I am hoping that when my friend Janet goes there next month I can give her a small list of treats to bring back, since you can't buy it here in the states.

Isn't this the cutest bath product with a macaroon at the top of the bottle?

A beautiful lavender Laduree candle

New lavender items

I'm crazy over this make-up bag. Love the little tag fob

I have a collection of Laduree boxes that are so lovely. The pastel colors are so pretty together. In fact, if you haven't seen it, Laduree has a book out with their history, including the various designers of their highly collectible boxes.

If you love Laduree, this is a must-have book

Original "Laduree Lavender" watercolor by Carol at Paris Breakfasts

Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sweet Tooth Anyone?

I was reading this month's Vogue magazine and stumbled upon this eye-catching article. This month Sweetiepie opens in New York's Greenwich Village. The owner's Julie and Luke Janklow wanted to open a restaurant for kids to take their parents to reminiscent of the festive places she enjoyed going to while growing up in Los Angeles, such as Chasen's, or a fancy coffee shop like Leo's on Madison Avenue where you'd see Mrs. Astor eating a club sandwich.

Julie describes the restaurant as "bake sale meets Marie Antoinette." There are peppermint and almond meringues, Victorian rose pudding made with organic strawberries and a light biscuit and towering ice-cream sundaes!

The decor sounds amazing with a pink marble floor, pink banquettes, and ice-cream parlor-type chairs, antique Jansen tea cart AND vintage silver pieces! The restaurant's china is special ordered from Pickard, American plate makers for Air Force One.

I can't wait to go back to New York and check it out!!

Photos from Vogue Magazine, September 2008

Great Finds in Washginton: The Davenport Hotel

Last stop! After seeing Seattle, we went to Spokane to visit family. We celebrated my Dad's birthday having dinner at the Davenport Hotel. What a stunning hotel! Located in downtown Spokane, The Davenport Hotel has been world famous since it opened in September of 1914.

The Davenport was closed in 1985 and demolition was considered. Dismantling and salvage was determined to be too expensive so the hotel remained closed for 15 years. In 2000, local entrepreneurs Walt & Karen Worthy spent 38 million of their own money to make The Davenport Hotel grand again.

The Isabella Ballroom (above) design reflects Italian Neoclassical influence {see little Vito in the background}

The Hall of Doges (above) was inspired by the Doges' Palace in Saint Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

And Grand it is! There are the gorgeous Marie Antoinette & Isabella Ballrooms; The most opulent ballroom, the Hall of Doges with its amazing fresco ceiling and carved arches.

The Peacock Room (above) is a great bar in the lobby of the hotel. It has taxidermy peacocks on the back wall with a beautiful stained glass ceiling with a peacock motif.

The Davenport has beautiful collections of hotel memorabilia throughout the hotel. This large cabinet (above) has magnificent old hotel silver, china, menus and more!

Silver Washing Department - 1914 {click on photo to enlarge}

Old Wedding Photo - Davenport Banquet Room

Another thing I went crazy over were these enlarged vintage photos (above) of the Davenport throughout the hotel. There are so many. I'd love to own one of these.

Beautiful Fireplace in the Palm Court

View of the lobby and Palm Court from the upstairs level

This hotel is really gorgeous in person. I'd love to stay there some time. They have a full spa, great candy shop and gift shop. The ambiance is beautiful and what a wonderful job they did in preserving this old treasure.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Great Finds in Washington: Seattle Shops

Great Stuff Vintage - Photo from Apartment Therapy

Seattle is such a great city for shopping. It reminds me a lot of home (San Francisco) with its unique shops and neighborhoods. Our first stop was to the Georgetown neighborhood to visit Great Stuff Vintage. What a treat!

They were closed, but the owner Kirk Albert happened to be inside and was sweet was enough to open the shop for us. It is incredible! Each one-of-a-kind piece is keenly edited by Kirk's eclectic and unique eye.

Great Stuff Vintage - Photo from Decorno

Brimming with everything from quirky antique signs, industrial lighting and furniture, paintings, film reels and more, Great Stuff is just as its name suggests. And Kirk is a wonderful guy with great stories and was so helpful in sharing some of his fabulous haunts in Seattle. Thanks Kirk!

Great Stuff Vintage - Photo from Decorno

Great Stuff Vintage - Photo from Apartment Therapy

Next stop was the Pacific Galleries Antique Mall in the Sodo neighborhood. This large collective is amazing. With over 200 dealers booths, it took me several hours to see everything.

Lorie Bischoff's amazing antiquities at the Pacific Galleries Antique Mall

I was so excited to finally meet fellow antique dealer, artist and blogger, Lorie Bischoff from Soulful Adornments. Lorie has two exquisite showcases in the mall filled with Georgian & Edwardian jewelry, whimsical taxidermy and the most unique curiosities!

Lorie and I

Lorie creates intriguing found object assemblages and jewelry with items from her personal collection of treasures and antiquities. Lorie, it was so much fun finally meeting you in person!

One of Lorie's Treasures: A Victorian Relic House

More treasures from Lorie at Soulful Adornments

Next stop, downtown Seattle to visit the wonderful shop, Great Jones Home. This shop is a real treasure! Owner Carrie Hayden has the most beautiful jaw-dropping collection of contemporary furniture with antique, vintage and art deco finds.

Great Jones Home

Great Jones Home

Carrie has artfully displayed vignettes of stylish items including furniture, lighting, mirrors, books and accessories. You'll also find custom-made wallpapers, a large selection of silks, linens, suedes, velvets, natural fibers and imported textiles to reupholster your favorite pieces of furniture. Great Jones Home also does personal design consultation. Carrie, LOVE your shop! It was great meeting you!

Carrie & Bridget from Great Jones Home and yours truly

Vito relaxes in one of Great Jones Home's Coral Dog Beds - Isn't it cute?

Last stop, the magical shop, Souvenir, located in the artsy Ballard neighborhood. Entering Souvenir is like browsing through a small European boutique.

Souvenir - Photo from House Martin

Owner Curtis Steiner is a gifted artist. His shop showcases his custom-designed stunning letterpress cards, as well as beautiful vintage and contemporary jewelry and found objects. There are surprises everywhere you turn. There is a huge antique drafting type chest with drawers and drawers filled with treasures which include everything from antique dance cards and souvenirs, to buttons and old advertising. I couldn't wait to open up each drawer to see the next surprise.

Souvenir - Photo from House Martin

This store exudes charm and makes you want to come back for more. The owner Curtis has an amazing eye for detail and his shop is delightful!

Souvenir - Photo from House Martin

Seattle was great!! If you are visiting, be sure and visit the above shops. There are so many more cute shops and boutiques that I didn't mention. You will love them too!

Great Stuff Vintage Furnishings (owner, Kirk Albert)
5519 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108

Pacific Galleries Antique Mall
241 South Lander Street
Seattle, WA 98134

Great Jones Home (owner, Carrie Hayden)
1921 Second Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

Souvenir (owner, Curtis Steiner)
5325 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107