Pretty Paris Pictures : Night Seine

Night Seine Eiffel Tower
Again out on an evening stroll along the Seine, I once more found myself armed with my camera, and free to capture as many shots as my greedy eyes so desired. I have said it before, and I’ll repeat myself over and over, Paris is beautiful during the day (especially when the sun is going at full blast), but NOTHING beats Paris at night. A special glow falls upon her just after the sunset.

I frame all my shots, and take them WITHOUT a tripod. I don’t even edit them, except for a tiny bit of cropping occasionally if my framing is a tad off, but that’s it. I like to keep my images pretty “au naturel” and not doctor them up with a lot of image editing. (Plus that’s time consuming), so I take great care in each shot, I do a lot of breath holding to keep my camera from jiggling when I press the trigger, and I use the functions on my camera do add or subtract light.

Taking pictures (although I do NOT claim to be that good) and my subject (Paris) are two of my favorite things, and when I put them together, I feel giddy with delight. I hope you like them… Continue reading

My Blog in Review : 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

WordPress, this wonderful platform I have been blogging on for several years now has been so sweet as to prepare a fun, and interesting review report of 2013 on my blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a pink Christmas

I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas
You can never go wrong with some pink and a sprinkling of sparkles! Continue reading

Prête-Moi Paris Holiday Gift Guide

Prête-Moi Paris Holiday Gift Guide
If you know know someone who loves Paris, chances are they will love reading Prête-Moi Paris, perhaps they are already a fan! And if they are, it is likely that they will love any one of these items on the 2013 Prête-Moi Paris Holiday Gift Guide.
Browse here for all of our favorite delights, little luxuries and frivolities that are Parisian, Paris-inspired or downright French. * Continue reading

Prête-Moi Paris turns 4!

image

My little pink blog is four years old this month. I can hardly believe that it has been so long already! Hmm actually, yes I can believe it. For such an simple and sweet publication it certainly demands a lot of my attention and energy… not always abundant when working a full time job as well.

But I haven’t given it up because it gives me such satisfaction and is my instantaneous creative gratification. Plus I get to share MY Paris with all of you! ♥

Tonight I am having a little fête to celebrate these past four years of Fashion, bubbly, gourmandise and DIY blogging in Paris, with a handful of bloggers and friends. And to share the love, I am showcasing a few friends’ brands at the party : Vintage Galerie, Kasia Dietz bags, Mon Champagne, Sugar Daze cupcakes and Cleopatra’s Bling.

Joyeux anniversaire Prête-Moi Paris!
Here’s to many more….

image

image

Mon Champagne, and a little decadence!

MonChampagne_Mix@Montmartre I was recently put in contact with someone Chéri knows, who is starting a business online that will greatly please champagne lovers! It is to be called Mon Champagne, and will hopefully open up its virtual doors very soon. The concept is to promote and sell champagne from talented yet little-know producers, or as we should call them “créateurs” as the are like craftsmen (and women) who take the craft of making champgne to heart. Mon Champagne will be not just selling and promoting their bubblies, they will also be explaining the different “personalities” of each vineyard, brand and bottle. I am thrilled for this website to open and there are three things main I love about their concept :

  • First, Uuuuuh, it’s champagne. What’s NOT to LOVE!?!
  • Second, I love promoting the “little (talented) guy”! These vineyards are not the multi-million euro branded ones, but can be just as good.
  • And third, it offers a great (and tested) product at a fair price. A real price. Yaaaay! Champagne for everyone!!!! Continue reading

Laggridore, luxury perfume

image

I was contacted recently by a new perfume company and asked if I was interested in writing about their product. After a brief description and a browse of their website I said “Oui!” but that I thought it best if I “discovered” their perfume in person. (I much prefer to blog about things I have tasted or tested or touched. It gives a more authentic perception for my readers. So I set up a meeting with François Marmey who represents the company and is putting together an internet publicity campaign. He said I was one of the first bloggers to respond, which makes me happy to be one of the first bloggers to write about it from a first-hand experience! We met for an after-work glass of wine at the Crillon hotel (I figured that the discovery of a new luxe product called for a luxe setting). We took a table on the indoor courtyard patio as the weather was nice for a change, and the tables are large enough so we had space to spread out the products and test them.

So, this perfume…oh my goodness it is right up my alley!!!! It’s different, it’s luxurious (although not TOO expensive) and it’s beautiful. The three things I love about it the most are : The manner in which it is applied, the presentation of the product, and the reflection that has gone into so many aspects of this product to make it a true luxury product. Continue reading

Paris Wedding Wednesday : DIY napkins

I saw the concept of personalized napkins on theknot.com but they don’t ship to France, so I thought I’d make my own!

image

I bought a “Life is a Circus” stamp on Etsy (a site that I am obsessed with!) And then created my own personalized stamps on rubberstamps.net with images I had created with an image editing program called Gimp (on which I could literally spend hours designing things). The stamps cost me about 10 dollars (shipping not included) but they thankfully do ship to France.

Continue reading

A week in the life of Prête-Moi Paris !

Life has its ups, life has its downs, (it’s a roller coaster ride really), and there’s all that inbetween time that we stuff full of activities, writing blogs, scrolloing thousands of tweets, devouring books, chatting over wine, riding the metro to work and back, grocery shopping and oh so many more things, until life feels like one big race for time. A train chugginng at a breakneck speed down the track of an existence. Have you seen how fast it has been going lately?!? 2012?!? WTF!!!! How did we get here so fast? And why am I in my thirties already?!? LOL!

ok so, let’s ignore those questions.

I would rather recap a fun week in the life of Prête-Moi Paris, and show you how I fill my time. I was saying to someone the other day how I could hardly believe that it was already over two years that I had been writing this blog, and it has really given me the opportunity to do and see so many fun and fabulous things. And let me tell you, it certainly helps fill up all that time I keep chasing after! Although, granted, not every week is as jam-packed as last week, many of them are.

Photo by Quinntessential Style blog

In addition to my day job at Hermès, I also ran around to various events, most of them brought about because of the connections I have made and opportunities I take via the platform of this little Paris blog, and thanks to social media, like facebook and twitter, wordpress and fourquare, where the extent of a modern woman’s reach in this world is endless. I never would have met such cool and talented people nor would I be living such a full life were it not for these tools that I have put to great use.

Me and Gail of Perfectly Paris at Ô Château

Monday : After putting in a full day of work, I headed over to Ô Chateau for some wine with a big group of twitterites, most of them anglophone for the 2012 edition of the annual event organised by Pricilla of Weekend In Paris. It was great to catch up with friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like since they like myself are also chasing after that slippery critter “time”, and meet new faces and interesting contacts, like Sofiane MOURAH of Ambiancity who’s created a fabulous business concept that I was (and am) totally enthusiastic over. It’s kitch and it’s fantastic!!! Check it out!

Tuesday : I was off from the day job and had filled my schedule with fashion shows for Couture Week in Paris. I love couture week! It’s not as much of a frenzy as prête-à-porter week, people are nicer and more champagne is served! After a morning of catching up on email, blogging and laundry, I went to see Didit Hediprasetyo‘s show at the Crillon palace hotel, thenI skipped over to Claudine Ivari’s presentation in her boutique at the Ritz hotel (which is sadly closing for 2 years to complete a total renovation of the historic building). Then I sauntered over to the 6th near Odéon to see Basil Soda‘s show at the Couvent des cordeliers. Early to the venue, I decided to grab a quick Starbucks nearby before baring through the bitter wait in the cold January rain. Fashion shows always start late! And the last event of the day was the Julien Fournié show at the Showcase club where I met up with my friend and fashion pal Quinn from Quinntessential style blog. More waiting in the rain… and then thankfully when we made it inside we were invited to sit (hallaluhia) …front row! More fashion blog posts will follow soon for the rest of these shows, I promise (just as soon as I find the TIME to write them!). Tuesday was mighty exhausting, with much running around town, dozens of metro rides, intervals of rain, and then there’s the constant umbrella obstruction, the cold and the lack of time to eat… As much fun as I had, I was glad when I crawled into bed. Yet the glass of champagne after the last show was a welcome delight! And we got our mugs shot by Runway magazine.

Runway magazine : photo by Ko Kok

Wednesday : After another full day of work, I ran over to the Shangri-La palace hotel for another couture show; this one for Eva Minge which was 55 minutes late in starting! I was glad to have a seat and chat with my pal Octave who I found next to me (Octave is afashion student and writes for Mademoiselle à Paris). After that I booked it over to my dinner invitation where Chéri and I were served a gorgeous Asian meal with chic company, just around the corner from the Elysées palace. We took a taxi home with full and happy bellies and finally turned out the lights at 2am. Aïe! The morning alarm was only a handful of hours away…

Thursday : With deepening under-eye circles, after work I headed just around the corner to meet Kasia Dietz for a wine tasting event at the new hotel with a wine bar, hôtel du Ministère near la Madeleine. Judith who runs the bar is the most wine enthusiastic person I have ever met! She threw a fun little shindig with bloggers a plenty in attendance and even a lifestyle reporter from the New York Times. We tasted some fabulous wine and won some fabulous prizes! If only this could be a weekly tradition! I stayed longer than I had anticipated I was enjoying myself so much, and I completely forgot how tired I was!

Wine tasting at the Hôtel du Ministère

Friday : After a long day at work where I got to visit the Hermès site in Pantin and observe the purchasing of the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collections for all the different sectors, I ran over to Mademoiselle Rose to pick up my wedding shoes that had been dyed blue! And the rest of the soirée was reserved for Chéri.

Saturday : After work I was supposed to head over tot he opening of the new bakery Cake Bake in the 10th with a bunch of other Paris bloggers, but my feet just couln’t drag me there. (Is this was being in your thirties means???) I made it as far as the Tuileries bar of the Westin hotel, where Chéri and I ordered a glass of relaxation and chatted quietly in the large English leather armchairs, munched on rosmary herbed cashew nuts and let the fatigue of the week slip to the bottom of our shoes.

Sunday : Is for blogging, watching movies and if we can muster the courage, a stroll somewhere in Paris.

Blog birthday number 2!

I can hardly believe it has been two years since I began this little blog. Time has literally flown by!

I will be celebrating by taking a much needed rest today, kicking my feet up, sipping a giant cup of tea and curling up with Chéri on the couch in front of a movie most likely. And if I am feeling ambitious, maybe make some lactose free cookies!

But for all of my lovely readers, I thought I would do a little reminiscing over my favorite articles from the past two years for those who would like to re-read or for those who have not discovered all of the archives yet. In return,  I would love to hear from all of you, which posts you have appreciated the most!

Bisous! And cheers to another great year of blogging!

My favorite Paris article : So many to chose from…how to pick my favorite!?! I think I am going to have to say it is “Spring in Paris” published on March 26, 2011 for it’s simplicity, beauty and it captures a moment in Parisian existence that is heart lifting…the first appearances of Spring. After long gray winters, many fully packed metro rides and heavy winter coats…there is finally a moment when Spring breathes new life into the city of Paris and the Parisians. We suddenly smile more at each other, café terraces fill with laughing faces and conversation, the birds start singing and there is the magic of the budding trees that seems to paint the city for yet another breath-taking season of Spring…

IMAG2877

My favorite tourist friendly post : Obviously this one is the one about the free toilettes!!! “The Necessary” published on March 28, 2011. I still chuckle when I think of myself snapping photos in there!

My favorite Expat article : Another toss up…. oh how to chose! It’s hard to chose between “Mac Attack” published on February 20, 2011 relating a humorously frustrating  event in my life involving macarons of course; “To see or not to see…” published on March 11, 2011 and is a heartfelt rant about people who refuse cultural integration that brought up some very heated discussions; and “L’herbe est toujours plus verte dans le pré d’à côté” published on November 19, 2010 and touches on all the emotional stages that many expats in Paris go through. I am going to go for this last one, because not only was it written with humor, but it was also written under the intent of offering something to my expat readers to help the understand the emotions that fluster us all as we grapple with when trying to transplant our lives here in this ever-frustrating, ever awe-inspiring city.

My favorite rant : So then I suppose that favorite rant MUST go to “To see or not to see” because man that post got me a LOT of attention! ;)

My favorite fashion post : Without a doubt my favorite fashion post is about my friend Kasia Dietz and her hand bag designs. I love who she is, what she does, and I love her bags! May 8, 2011 “Kasia Dietz – a natural born artist“.

My favoite shoe post : This one is also an easy choice! Because master shoe maker, Vicente Rey, was so kind to agree to an interview with me, and I am very inspired by his creativity and his dedication to the work he does as opposed to making a giant market out of his talent. He works mostly on custom designs, he is a true artist. The article “Vicente Rey rayonne – Vicente Rey shines” was published on October 30, 2010.

My favorite luxury article : Oh boy… this is hard to chose. There are so many luxuries, big and small to experience her in the city of light! Between my post about the Serge Lutens boutique, “Serge Lutens – a voyage for the senses” published on January 3, 2011; my fun Louboutin post, “Prendre son pied- Get your kicks” from March 13, 2010; or “Best girlfriend date ever!” published on March 8, 2011 where I relate a fun and inexpensive girlie night out in Paris; and then my post “Bubbly at the Crillon” where my friend Milla and I indulged like princesses on champagne… Honestly I cannot chose.

My favorite food article : Another easy selection… “When your best friend is a foodie” published on March 31, 2011 because that was a meal made with so much love! and it was delicious!!!

Favorite Paris monument post : No monumental experience can top the one I had at the Opéra de Paris that I wrote about in my article : “Théâtre des rêves – Dream theater” published on May 6, 2010. It was literally a dream of mine to stand on that stage and do a pirouette. I still can hardly believe that I have been able to do that!!!!