the art of self care

bonjour dear friends, it’s been a while since I sat down to blog. In fact it’s been over a year which is really unbelievable since this used to be my favorite place to be. wordpress has a new format and now that i’m over the learning curve i can get back to doing what I love, being here!

so what’s changed in this past year? well, only everything. the outside world has shifted and that brought our homes more into focus. we began nesting, cleaning out closets and trimming the excess.

we created areas to work, relax and rest, inspired by our need for personal spaces, and we reignited our love for just being home.

we also found that self care would be come a priority. but with everyone home, it wasn’t always so easy to find.

i’ve always felt a vanity is the ultimate refuge; an intimately personal realm we don’t share. it’s a sacred space that is ours alone. they seem to come in and out of fashion but now more than ever, they’re an essential non negotiable. some may see it as excessive but i believe being self-ish in this way is like putting your oxygen mask on before helping someone else when on a plane. what good are we to anyone else when we haven’t replenished ourselves? i would argue that the vanity has the ability to restore, reset and revive us on many levels, from physical to mental and emotional.

vanities are nothing new, in fact they’ve been around for thousands of years, maybe more. so what is it exactly is the magic that a table, mirror and chair combo does for us? well, it’s a combination of eternal needs; a moment of me time, the ultimate luxury, full focus on you alone. it’s a timeless concept. in fact we see in early pompeii paintings like this one below (showcasing the age old dilemma of what looks to be a bad hair day) that this issue knows no time or bounds.

heck, even cleopatra had a vanity, which is no surprise really, they were already thousands of years old by her time. we tend to attribute the dressing table to the french but maybe it’s more that they just rebranded them. their innovative and lavish designs brought glamour into the 1700s.

so, if women through all of eternity have been setting up this private world all to themselves, why shouldn’t we enjoy this little indulgent tradition in the Age of Self Care? we should!

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Buddah

alors then, what does it take to have a vanity or dressing table in a modern world? luckily for us we’re living in a minimalistic age where it really doesn’t take much. a table, a mirror, the perfect seat, and of course all the accoutrements that make it personal. but it’s only natural (and fun) to gather inspiration from the past, and who can resist the early designs and historical illustrations of daily life?

the designs were elaborate in the 1700s but still, many have gone with simplicity throughout the years

it’s hard to imagine life in the 1500s and 1600s but rain or shine, feeling well or not, they pulled it together and put their hair and faces on.

i get such a kick out of these old plates…pinterest is full of wonderful rabbit holes to go down and discover. in fact, all images were found there on my vanity board. pinterest.com/parisapartment/vanities

what is it about a woman looking into a mirror that is so alluring?

And lest we think the vanity belongs to women alone, take a look at these old illustrations from hundreds of years ago where men were no strangers to the importance of the vanity.

so dear friends, as we take this new era, to go with the flow of changes we’re all experiencing, it seems that the most important action we can do is one of being self-ish, and that’s a far cry from selfish. have a great weekend!

Self compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.

C. Germer

May 1, 2021. Life, Vanities. 12 comments.

Top 10 Paris Perfect Apartment Rentals for a Soirée Privée

Bonjour friends, ça va ? I hope your summer’s in full swing and you’re savoring delicious August.

It’s been pretty busy this summer with trips and guests and tours and clients and friends. I split my time between Paris and Miami and always keep an eye out for apartments to stay in, and lately for spaces that could work as petite venues too. We’re planning to host a sort of a modern Salon this spring in Paris with events and dinners, and apartments work well because of the intimacy they offer, the luxuriousness of having a real home and the joy of being able to cook, converse, share ideas and entertain. (Quietly and respectfully bien sur)!

I’ve had the pleasure of staying in some of the apartments on this list thanks to my colleague and friend, Madelyn, of Paris Perfect Apartment rentals. Madelyn is a legend with all that she does to restore, renovate and rebuild some of the most interesting and exquisite apartments in the city. All for our pleasure! Paris is her passion and she’s worked tirelessly to bring us the full experience by considering every 5 star detail. She also has a youTube channel where you can see her process. This was her first episode and it’s packed with good stuff!!

So…in celebration of our 10th year of camaraderie, it’s my honor to surprise her with a showcase some of my personal favorite ParisPerfect apartments that would be a dream for entertaining, creating and making memories. Some of these are contenders for the upcoming salons. Each has a different vibe and was chosen for the state of the art kitchen and bath, gorgeous decor and that overall glorious Paris Apartment feeling. Some are long term, all have different styles and capacity, but each has an undeniable charm that begs to be enjoyed and adored! Let’s dive right in:

BEAUNE

How could we not fall in love with this sweet apartment with French doors and muted tones? The open air layout still with separate rooms is beyond elegant in this petite space. A great place to entertain with a big table, lots of light and antique accents.

Two luxurious bedrooms have been beautifully remodeled to include central heating, and a fully-equipped kitchen with modern appliances. Both bedrooms have quiet courtyard views and air conditioning for warm nights in Paris. The Beaune is located in the 7th arrondissement on Paris’ Left Bank and is surrounded by chic cafés, boutiques, restaurants and open markets.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/beaune.php

CHATILLON

Definitely one of my faves, but then I’m a sucker for floor to ceiling windows and an original mantle mirror. Toss in a chandelier, that deep plum velvet and the view, what’s not to love? And there’s enough space to have separate convos including the terrace that can be accessed by both rooms.

 

Set in the 7th arrondissement, the Chatillon is a magnificent two bedroom in a spectacular neighborhood. The balcony can be entered from the living room or dining room for incredible Eiffel Tower views. This spacious apartment features gorgeous décor, an ultra modern kitchen and two comfortable bedrooms overlooking the courtyard. Every detail in this deluxe apartment has been carefully finished, from the intricate details of the historic woodcarving to the exquisite marble in the bathrooms.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/chatillon.php

LUSSAC

With all the opulence and design in Paris, it’s nice to find an apartment like this with wood beams, wide plank floors and natural elements. Compact yet exactly what you’d need with comfy chairs and ample dining table. The pretty kitchen is separated which adds to the ability to have multiple goings on at once.

Lussac is a one bedroom in the heart of the Latin Quarter, a lovely neighborhood with an open-air market. It’s a peaceful setting to enjoy the charm of Parisian life while being just a stroll from the Seine, Notre Dame, fabulous food, shopping, and all the best of the lively Latin Quarter. Set in a building dating from the 1600s, it features historic stonework, original tiles and beautifully restored wooden beams throughout that add so much character. Not to mention the antique chandeliers, gorgeous tile work and antique armoire doors that are built into the kitchen and bedroom!

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/lussac.php

ALOXE

This is such a fabulous apartment, although only available for long term stays. Not a bad place to call home with its giant windows, chevron floors and balcony…and it’s a fantastic place for a small group to cook and converse comfortably.

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The Aloxe offers everything you need for a comfortable long term stay, including air conditioning in the two bedrooms, a 5th floor location with elevator, and a light and airy open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. The fully equipped kitchen is designed in the angle of the dining area, making meals easy to prep and enjoy with family and friends. Each of the two bedrooms is beautifully designed and features an en suite bathroom. Large windows throughout and its upper floor setting means loads of light all day long. Beautiful architectural details, crown molding, marble fireplace mantels, shimmering chandeliers and elegant Parisian style are all packed in to this lovely apartment.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/aloxe.php

BEAUJOLAIS

This apartment has big green trees out the windows and the cozy bedrooms with baths that are just divine. There are 3 tall windows that open onto a beautiful street where you can see the Eiffel Tower. The living and dining room have an open plan making it easy to work and entertain at the same time.

 

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/beaujolais.php

Beaujolais is a gorgeous two bedroom, two bath in the charming 7th arrondissement on Paris’ Left Bank. It’s been fully remodeled and features a beautifully decorated living room, a lovely dining area, spacious kitchen and en suite bathrooms in both bedrooms. The sofa in the living room opens to create two single beds. With an additional half bath, Beaujolais comfortably welcomes up to five guests. 

CLOS-JOLIE

It’s hard to describe this apartment because it’s a really interesting duplex but suffice it to say that it’s one of the most unique spaces in Paris. It’s great for dinner parties and events because there are multiple rooms and places for smaller conversations. The decor, the floors and the windows make it even more enticing and an excellent space for a meeting of the minds.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/clos-jolie.php

In the heart of Paris’ 1st arrondissement, the Clos Jolie is a fully remodeled 3 bedroom apartment. It features a modern kitchen, elegant and comfortable living room and gorgeous dining room. The first bedroom overlooks the quiet courtyard of the historic building. The Clos Jolie features a mezzanine level with two bedrooms and a bathroom. 

LALANDE

Warning: You may not leave this apartment as it has everything you could want and more! Floor to ceiling windows, open plan for entertaining, table for 6, wrap-around balcony and the view! I also like that there are 3 bedrooms and 2 are upstairs.

Lalande is a three bedroom duplex on Paris’ Left Bank. An open-plan living and dining room with traditional French design and a warm neutral palette emit style and elegance. A second living area to the rear of the property provides a great spot for putting your feet up. The fully equipped kitchen has all you’ll need for preparing meals. Adjoining the living room, you’ll find the first bedroom, complete with a cute writing desk and large French windows. Upstairs are two more bedrooms. The pièce-de-résistance is the wrap-around balcony, wide enough for a bistro table, with Eiffel Tower views.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/lalande.php

CAVAILLES

J’adore this apartment for the architecture, windows and walls and doors and floors! Not to mention the bedrooms…however this is a long term rental…which might not be such a bad thing…especially with 3 bedrooms. it’s the perfect place for a small group to stay comfortably and the huge living and dining rooms are separated which makes it great for separate activities.

   

This spacious three bedroom apartment is the epitome of Parisian living. Situated in Le Marais, Cavailles is surrounded by authentic and thriving markets, shops and bistros. It’s packed full of French charm with beautiful parquet flooring, traditional wainscoting and high ceilings. Two large balcony doors bathe the room in natural light. A decorative mantelpiece and plush sofas make the salon the ultimate space to relax. The living area leads into a formal dining area, with ample space to entertain. A modern kitchen is opposite the living room and has a sleek finish throughout, beautiful floorboards and marble countertops. The kitchen is not only beautiful, but is equipped for the best of chefs!

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/cavailles.php

MARGAUX

This beauty is a spectacular space that’s large and cozy at the same time. French windows, wood floors, views and, well, where else do you need to go? Top it off with a wrap around balcony that’s basically another room and it’s a slam dunk in every way.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/margaux.php

 Margaux is a three bedroom, two bathroom where the magic of Paris dances across the rooftops, and the evening light sets the scene for the Eiffel Tower’s show after dark. The apartment is surrounded by the beauty and charm of the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank. It’s here you’ll appreciate stepping out on a huge wrap-around balcony where to get a glorious view of the Eiffel Tower while dining al fresco, lingering over breakfast, or lounging on the comfortable sofa as the sun sets. Margaux has been fully remodeled and is a spacious apartment, measuring 1,210 square feet, located on the 7th floor of a historic and traditionally Parisian building.

MONTAGNY

It’s hard not to love the big open rooms and soothing palette of this magnificent flat. Combined with the chandeliers, crown molding, parquet floors, marble kitchen and bath and all the space you could ever need, it checks all the boxes. Oh, and that bathtub…

The magnificent Montagny is a welcoming two bedroom, two bath in the heart of the 7th arrondissement near the Eiffel Tower and Seine River. It’s an inviting home with room for six. The living room serves as a central gathering area with comfortable furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower. The living room features an open plan dining area that is both intimate and accommodating, with ample elbow room for family gatherings. The kitchen will delight the chefs in the family, with a bright and airy atmosphere and enough counter space for multiple cooks. With a gracious layout and touches of elegance around every corner, the Montagny truly feels like royal retreat.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/montagny.php

QUINCY

Such a sweet place it’s just my bonus choice for a small get together. Sometimes you only need a little something without too much fuss. And even though it’s petite, it has enough glamour and flavor to rival any of the above!

Quincy is a charming and oh-so-Parisian Left Bank apartment with beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower. Fully remodeled and decorated with unique Parisian touches throughout, this apartment is located on the top floor with great natural light and captivating views. The 560 square foot apartment has 2 bedrooms and can sleep 5 comfortably. Located in an elegant building on a lovely street near the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars gardens, restaurants and cafes, bustling Parisian shopping along the rue du Commerce, a quiet, undiscovered park at the Place Dupleix, and the wonderful open-air market at Boulevard de Grenelle.

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/quincy.php

Well, that sums it up for this list although I could have added quite a few more. It was a lot of fun to put together.

I’ll keep you posted on plans for the spring if you’re interested. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask and if you’d like to get in touch with Paris Perfect directly, use the contact info below. Tell them I sent you for an additional discount! Enjoy the rest of your summer! xoc

Email:
reservations@parisperfect.com Call USA: 1-888-520-2087

PS If you liked the first image, check it out here for a more tête-à-tête soirée:

parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/forez.php

August 7, 2019. Architectural Elements, Architecture, Design, Dreams, Feminine Apartments, French Interiors, French walls, Friends, Interiors, Kitchens, Life, Paris, Paris Apartments, Paris Perfect, Paris Perfect Apartments, Paris Trip, St. Germain, Travel. 1 comment.

hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon

hello and happy friday! it’s that quiet time between christmas and new years when we sort of slow down stop the madness. it’s during those slow times when we can really let go, indulge and enjoy falling into the abyss that is the internet!

while at my parents’ house yesterday, i came across this little book i picked up in paris. it’s so sweet with a pencil attached by a silk ribbon and list of dances inside including the waltz and polka. i knew a little about these books but when i started really looking into it, realized that it’s more than just a novelty, it represents a way of life for mankind since time immemorial.

these ‘carnet de bal‘ were cards that a woman would use to keep track of her dance partners at a formal or organized event. today they’re just souvenirs but upon closer inspection, they tell a wonderful story.

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we could go back in time to the caveman, the etruscans, the egyptians and every other civilization in between and find that all cultures danced. a lot.

i wonder why our own day and age we sort of abandoned dancing as a society?  it seems that it’s something that brought people together in a way we might not even realize we need. of course we have clubs and salsa nights, even tango on the seine in paris. but what about balls or supper clubs where on any given night, there’s dinner and dancing?

back in the day, dancing was a simply way of life. at home, you just rolled up the rug and got down!

digging deeper i found there are many others who are fascinated by this custom that was once a part of daily life but has all but left our culture now.

anyway it was fun to delve into it and there’s an infinite amount of info from the kinds of dances like the charleston and foxtrot, to the rules that were observed at the events.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

it was probably a great way to meet people…

to get dressed up and just have a good time…

collect these pretty little keepsakes

and have a sort of diary of the evening

the carnets are a piece of history, a memoir of a night of great fun

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
Confucius

things are never perfect in any era no matter how much we romanticize it

but the dances were a time when differences were put aside and people of all ages came together for just one thing

with an unbridled joy

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
-Sarah Dessen

today these are lovely relics of nights long ago

do you know any old dances? wouldn’t it be fun to revive a few?

anyway i love this invitation to the ‘pleasure ball’ where their tagline is “While we live, let us LIVE.”

they were really living it up. well enjoy your holiday, i hope you dance the night away on new years and beyond!

PS we’re hosting a giveaway for the little dance card book. if you’re interested, let me know in the comments and we’ll choose the winner on monday. good night!

images via pinterest and google

December 29, 2018. Life. 11 comments.

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