Voyage Glam: the Louis Vuitton trunk

In olden days when cruise ships were the most popular way to travel, a common form of luggage was the travel trunk.

Trunks came in all shapes and sizes and were built sturdy enough to withstand lengthy ocean voyages (which is wonderful news for those of us who collect vintage luggage).

It was possible to travel with a personal portable closet – that was uniquely yours – and that came with you throughout the journey.

Although they were awkward to transport alone, there was a whole team of people to help make travel less cumbersome.

Yet up until the introduction of the Louis Vuitton travel trunk, trunks had a rounded top and were generally much heavier.

The Louis Vuitton travel trunk was innovative in that it was the first trunk that had a flat top, was air tight and yet also lightweight.

Many of these pieces are still in excellent condition and highly valued today.

What’s your thoughts: are these old trunks secret treasure or just plain old junk?

Voyage glam: La Malle Bernard travel trunks

As much as I love to fly, there is something deeply appealing about a long voyage.

Not the least of which is the vintage luggage!

The oldest trunk maker in existence is La Malle Bernard in France, and they have been making trunks since 1846. (http://www.lamallebernard.com)

Staying true to their values, their luggage is not only beautiful but it’s well-built and functional too.

They are known for their ability to make custom orders and still remain favored by high society and aristocratic families.

As well as Wardrobe trunks and Treasure Chests, they make Shoe Trunks, Travel Cases and Steamer trunks; and they even have a line of Diplomatic suitcases.

C’est magnifique!

And well worth the extra few dollars on top of that cruise ship ticket.

Burlesque: smart and sexy

This week’s blog is on the theme of Burlesque, and I thought you might like to know a little bit about it and where it comes from.

The word burlesque is often bandied about indiscriminately, and unfortunately for many it automatically means ‘striptease’.

But in fact, this is not necessarily true, and is often considered ‘low’ by the performers themselves.

It developed from vaudeville as a ribald way of making fun of the social attitudes of the upper classes, and can be quite subversive in its way.

With its elaborate costumes, dramatic lighting and dances such as the can-can, not only is it luscious to the eye – but it makes you think!

And that’s really the cherry on the pie.

This is Josephine Baker in her famous ‘banana girdle’ which shocked the world when she debuted in 1928 –

What do you think?

Burlesque: the movie

I went to see the new movie ‘Burlesque’ recently and unfortunately Dear Reader; it was exactly what I expected.

Sure at times there was a hint of sass (and I mean ‘smarts’ – not a short skirt),  but it just never crossed the line into risque the way that good burlesque ought to.

I suspect it’s PG13 rating had everything to do with it’s family-friendly approach to one of the sexiest forms of performance art out there.

What a shame.

So the audience is left with an enjoyable set of music videos that showcases Christina Aguilera and Cher’s considerable talent.

But then. We already knew that.

Fortune Cookies: they’re American!

The fortune cookie is one of those after-meal-treats that always puts a smile on my face.

But did you know that it originated in California? That’s right. It’s American.

There is a lot of confusion about who invented the first one, when and in which city.

But it is known that they are not Chinese in origin and that the first ones were made by chopsticks around the early 1900s.

Fortune cookies were all made by hand until the invention of the first fortune cookie machine in 1964 – which revolutionized the industry.

Yet in 1989, when ‘Genuine American fortune cookies’ were introduced into China, it was without success as they were considered ‘too American’.

Today over 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year around the world.

Music I’m loving: Bon Iver

I was recently introduced to the band Bon Iver and I have been listening to them daily ever since. (www.boniver.org)

Their debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ was recorded while the band spent three months in a remote cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin.

The atmospheric environment of this album comes shining through every song with Justin Vernon’s beautiful vocals and the rich dreamy layers of sound.

The name Bon Iver is a play on the french for Good Winter, and I know that mine will be just that much better with this album to color my days with.

This video is for one of my favorites – ‘Flume’.

Incidentally, Peter Gabriel has also recorded his own version of the same song – which is a great endorsement of what this band is doing.

Cool product: Suds Up dish brush

I love to cook but I’ve never been thrilled about washing up afterwards.

So anything that eases the tedium of dishes  – gets my vote.

That’s why I love this Suds Up dish brush from Full Circle (www.fullcirclehome.com)

It’s a lovely bamboo dish brush that you can fill up with soapy water and squirt it on as you’re washing up.

This brush is perfect for washing up ‘bachelor style’ (i.e. doing the dishes piece by piece without running a full sink of water).

And the brush head is replaceable – so not only is this good looking brush fun and sturdy; its actually good for the environment too.

Myself, I’m looking forward to ‘accidentally’ squirting it at my next dinner guest!  …… but for now squirting it on dishes is good practice.

You can get more information on the Suds Up dish brush here:

http://www.fullcirclehome.com/products.php?id=42&prod_num=3

Cool product: Aloe Vera Bubble Bath

As many of you already know, Little Miss Weasel is an avid bath taker – and right now it’s peak bath season.

This means that most evenings you can find me in the bathtub making calls to friends, reading or just generally splashing about.

I’ve recently discovered a very cool product by Lily of the Desert (www.lilyofthedesert.com).

This product is everything it claims to be as it’s the perfect combination of bubbley product and moisturizer.

For folks like myself who spend vast quantities of time in the bathtub, it means I come out of my bubble heaven having actually done some good for my skin.

Plus the bubbles are what I like to call ‘endurance bubbles’ – and can take a bit of Weasel splooshing before they break.

And the cherry on the cake? There’s no animal testing or animal byproducts in it. Whahoo!

You can get more info about this product here:

http://www.lilyofthedesert.com/our_products/item/aloe-80-organics-bubble-bath/43

What, no Weapons of Mass Destruction hiding under your caftan !?!

In honor of George W.Bush’s recently released memoir, I have dedicated this week’s blog to lambasting him.

Poor Remorseful George was appalled to discover that there wasn’t really any weapons hiding in Iraq. Oops!

It turned out that intelligence about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction had proven wrong.

But not before over 100,000 coalition soldiers had died looking for them – and the Iraqi people had been decimated to the point that they now have over 5 million orphaned children.

Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought you had to have a reason to invade another country? You know, crazy stuff – like conditions – before war can be declared?

Apparently not when you’re the Super Bully of the world.

How is an unprovoked assault on another country not a breach of international law?

Water Boarding isn’t torture! Are you kidding me?!?

After two years of silence, George W.Bush’s memoirs were released this morning and I am still sickened and disgusted by his defense of waterboarding.

He called his decision to use it ‘damn right’ and claimed that the information gained by it ‘saved American lives’.

It seems that although waterboarding is considered to be torture by a wide range of politicians, war veterans, military judges, legal experts and human rights groups – apparently it’s not to George W.Bush and his cronies.

While in office Bush defended his actions by trying to change the law to narrow the definition of torture – try looking up the Bybee memo if you want to get a good look at this man’s character.

What kind of man goes out of his way to find new legal means to justify torture?

And how come he’s not in jail?