tales of an underachieving overachiever

happy sunday and mother’s day!


i’m hanging at home after spending time with friends and got a million things going including trying to get in some down time and blogging.


i started a bunch of projects including pulling out boxes of documents from 2007 that should be shredded. just want to pare down to the bare necessities.


it got me thinking that if this is my m.o. then i’m never going to find time to sit down and write a post. so here i am, just stopping in with a note to self that says, don’t edit yourself, enjoy your blog for what it can be for you now. a creative place to share thoughts. it doesn’t have to be an essay. why have i been feeling like the blog has to have some kind standard i can’t meet? it’s my blog!


i do want to share what the day brought and remember it for what it was. to that end, one of the things i thought i did was cancel the email subscription that went out whenever a post was published. but it seemed like the last time i posted it went straight into some of your inboxes. can you let me know if you get this via email or if you just came by? i haven’t wanted to post cause i don’t want to pop up in personal emails and just want to be able to use this to post my own thoughts more often. it is a WEB-LOG after all. where does all this lead? just a check-in to basically start to feel comfortable using this as a journal. so if you’re here please say hi. i’ll randomly post things i’m working on and coming across and will keep the laptop on throughout the day for inspiration.

first up, one of my top 5 on the To Do list. gathering info for a retreat/shopping/sourcing/shipping trip to the south of france.


well that’s it for now, bonne nuit~

May 9, 2016. Living. 29 comments.

ojects of desire


bonjour guys, happy friday! where do the days go? well, i can say that for the first time in awhile i know exactly where i’ve been cause my camera was with me for most of it.  i was invited by my friends to check out their new store in asheville, nc, also known as the ‘paris of the south’. who knew? maybe it’s cause of places like the biltmore estate, below?

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anyway they wanted me to get the feel of it and maybe do some buying in the upcoming months as well as have a hand in working with the brand. both prospects are right up my alley so of course i had to take them up on a visit. even though i spent three days there getting to know the store, the staff and the stuff, checking out their photos on instagram made me appreciate them even more so i’m gonna use some of theirs (clock photo above by zach.alexander).


as formal as ‘frenchy’ can be, it’s a contrast to this low-key, easy going town that welcomes you with ‘good vibes’ on the water tower coming in from the airport.


as you can imagine i immediately felt at home and was welcomed by the wonderful gang who run the show. (photo above by Molly)


my friends put me up at their beautiful hotel, the Windsor, which is flanked by their shop, DÉSIRANT. between the authentic antiques, art, sferra linens in the rooms and the amount of entertainment and eye candy in the store, i didn’t want to leave. (not to mention the world class restaurants…) in fact it’s a place i could go back to pretty easily since there’s just so much to explore.


they have a great philosophy and everything in the store is special and has been chosen with care. what makes it even more unique is that they source their collection from paris of course, but also find artisans and designers who love what they do and understand the desirant style. many are local, but some are from miami, others from new jersey! the point is that this is a place where creativity is encouraged to thrive. it’s a kind modern french salon, like the ones we imagine, where artists and patrons came to gather, share ideas, discuss art, music and feast! oh yeah, there’s a coffee bar here too.

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in today’s world it’s hard to set yourself apart but when you understand what you want to provide it becomes easier. that’s one of the reasons desirant resonates with me i guess. the goals are simple: to live well. to collect what that you love,  design your life, and style your environment by surrounding yourself with things that are beautiful and have meaning.


i must have spent an hour just in this section alone. from this shot it looks like you just could cruise through but i wanted to absorb every detail.

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can i take you on a tour? the shot above is where you get in through the hotel lobby


these clocks are by a local artist who makes them out of spare parts and pieces she can repurpose. the second hands are playful fluttering feathers!

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other clock faces are mounted artfully under glass.


and so are lots of other goodies…


the cases are filled with eye candy, some of it again by local artisans

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like these necklaces and earrings by ‘my mother’s buttons’

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and these by another who brings old watches back to life. these artists are so creative!

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this curio was filled to the gills with one-of-a kind neckties and bowties made of feathers


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and these ties below are made of wood!

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these are repurposed chairs made by a local gal. each has a story to tell…

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like the peacock chair with real feathers on the back~



i fell in love with these candy  and coffee tins, they’re another pretty old relic being given new life…

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and how about this sculpture?

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and the art, don’t get me started!

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of course there’s new stuff too, like fornasetti candles


and one of a kind purses,

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robes and blankets you can’t stop touching

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and pillows you have to have


candles, lotions and potions

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some of those are one-of a-kind too

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there are handmade chandeliers that look like jewels

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and jewels that are well, drool worthy

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and the clothes, the clothes!

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i ended up spending a lot of time working from the cafe.


the barista makes a darn good latte and they open at the crack of dawn

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so i got myself a journal and hung out with the books

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i’m home now going through the photos. it reminds me how much i enjoyed being in a store. online is fun but there is something about the tactile element of a place like this. it’s a very special, almost lost art.

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the maison et objet is coming to miami again in may and we’ll meet again there. so i’ll keep you posted as things develop.  in the meantime, if you need a piece of paris, it’s nice to know that just a couple hours away in asheville, nc sits the paris of the south. if you’ve been there let us know what else earned it the title. if you can’t get there,  check out and follow desirant here, they’re keeping the tradition alive!





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ps: the winner of the boxes from the last post is lisa. congratulations and let me know your address at theparisapartment@gmail.com.

i just realized that this is a perfect opportunity for desirant to host a giveaway so i’ll ask them tomorrow what they’d like offer. if you follow on one of their social media platforms, let me know which and we’ll draw a names from there. have a great weekend!

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April 30, 2016. Asheville, Desirant, Shopping. 16 comments.

love is a many splendored thing


allo all, how have you been? here’s hoping your spring is in full bloom! for me it’s slowly changing from the winter of my discontent to a new era of optimism. it’s been a long time since i’ve been able to blog, in fact over a month. if not for my mom i may not even have come today. but when your mom wants you to blog, you blog. guess we end up doing what our moms tell us after all. maybe they do know best and i’d do anything for mine. so here i am, and truth is i missed you and all the ways you inspire me.

Full title: Manon Balletti Artist: Jean-Marc Nattier Date made: 1757 Source: http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/ Contact: picture.library@nationalgallery.co.uk Copyright © The National Gallery, London

first let’s go back to the past blog and announce the winners of the giveaway. i decided to give all 5 fashion plates away and if you’re on this list please send me your address at theparisapartment@gmail.com so i can get them out to you: susanne, terri, fredreika, melissa and beth. i wish i had more but i do have other wonderful things that i’ll share. in fact i’ll see what i can come up with at the end of this post and we’ll do it again! oh why wait? i have these four pretty little boxes i got last time i was in paris. the idea was to have them on my desk but they never made it and deserve to go with those who’ll use them. so each can go individually and if you’re interested, well, you know the drill…


so what’s been going on? well as you may recall i was working on a self improvement challenge for my business to turn it around over the next year. i tried blogging more frequently, making daily videos on youtube and working more diligently on office and organizational aspects. where has that gotten me? hmmmm…well, i’m still here so that’s one good thing. i’m working on a new angle for the my website so that’s been productive. and i’m collaborating with colleagues on their business and hoping to learn a few things from that which i can apply to the paris apartment. i’m traveling to their store in ashville, nc this week and will blog from there about the goings on.


so it’s been slow and steady but the reality is that there comes a point when you just can’t do everything alone. i’ve had interns and employees over the years but it always comes back to me in the end. the problems i face are self created and i have to take full responsibility. but if i’m going to keep the paris apartment going,  i want to be the joyful, playful company it’s always been, full of infinite possibilities instead of one filled with dread and drudgery which is what is was becoming. but why was that?


well, i think part of it was when i started working with vendors and lost control of my brand and vision. so what’s the vision? well, it was originally a brick and mortar store. a place that was sort of a salon, where yes, it was a shop, but also a place where friends gathered in an atmosphere of casual opulence and would converse, share stories, music, their art and just inspire each other. where had my inspiration gone?


when it became a website it was hard to translate and has ended up being a sort of patchwork of ideas and pieced together over the years by various designers and webmasters. i haven’t had control over the site except the boutique and therefore it hasn’t changed much. it’s at the point where it’s out of control. but little by little, i’ve been editing, paring it down, taking off things that aren’t consistent with the brand or are from vendors who are impossible to work with. getting back to basics, basically, to get to a point where i can enjoy my work.


so maybe this is a sort of ‘seinfeld’ post, one not about anything in particular, but one just to touch base and get back in the groove. so thanks, mom, for providing the kick i needed. you always inspire me and i just came across these liles of the valley which i know you love. have a super sunday, everyone~


all images can be found at pinterest.com/parisapartment

April 24, 2016. Boutique, Brocantes, Ephemera, Giveaway, Life, Mom. 29 comments.

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