Hearth & Home


Slim Paley photo

Birds are nesting on our living room mantle this year.



And a giant copper mercury ball reflects the goings on



Apple & Rose petal jelly, Coconut curd & clotted cream for scones, tea, and a little champagne.



Slim Paley photo

The late December sun sets the library bar aglow.



Slim Paley photo

Lilies, pine and sparkly chartreuse candles also bask in the afternoon light in the dining room


Slim Paley photo



Slim Paley photo

At night I put my flower arrangements on the porch. That way they last twice as long and the raccoons get to feel special. I hear them entertaining out there, acting all fancy.



Slim Paley photo

Friends sent us some Royal Riviera pears. I swear they’re the biggest pears I’ve ever seen! I had to take a photo beside an egg just for scale. Is that crazy?! I haven’t eaten any yet as they look so pretty on the dining room mantle.



I do love decorating at Christmas!

Day 20.

Does anyone have any snow??



  1. Slim, love this post. I had just checked for a new post and when i didn’t see one I reread yesterday’s. But when I clicked back on, voila! A new post! SO glad I checked again before going to bed.

  2. You mean in addition to your beautiful blog? I am happy to say that the only snow in my life this Christmas is on the floor of one of my friends…a good 3 inches!
    Lovely post! Amazing stamina, Slim!

  3. The copper globe reminded me that my sister and I entertained ourselves (and each other) by looking at our distorted faces in the ornament globes! I seem to recall doing this for hours. WOW – what a difference without all the cyber toys! Ha! Nope – no snow in San Francisco! Lovely images in your cozy home!

    • even with a distorted view, it’s good to see slim’s feet up in the taking of the globe photo! cheers to (finally) taking a breather!

  4. I once dated a fellow who won 8-Gold, Silver, and Bronze Olympic Medals that he should just turn over to you. Am sure he never worked as diligently! The pure blood of the artist runs through your veins. When will you put the whole shebang into a book? 😉 Fabulous!!

    • You are so sweet to say that Suzanne….hopefully, someday, a Slim book.

      uh, BTW, any pics of the 8 Olympic medal winner you care to share with us??! 🙂

  5. Dear Slim, No snow in Boston – reporting as requested. I love seeing the beautiful images of your lovely home with all your creative touches. It’s so inspiring.
    Best regards,

  6. “AHhhhhh!!! Pure Perfection! franki p.s. I LUV decorating for the holidays, too..this year, birds, butterflies and bows…and my 50 years old black taffeta flocked circle skirt (AND black can-can”) is the tree skirt. FUN!

  7. Your mantle looks amazing and so natural, there seems to be a “natural/nature” vibe in the air and I like it! Must begin planning for next year…bird nests, branches, the occasional mercury silver ball, so pretty. I cracked up at the line about the raccoons!
    Happy Christmas!

  8. Beatufiful Slim….the mantra in the Sunny Valley is
    “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
    MAYBE today….if the storm doesn’t go around us again………
    Merry Christmas!!!!!

  9. What a pretty post! Thank you for your inspiring photos. The pears are amazing and If we left fresh Flowers in a vase on the porch the Raccoons would eat them! But a good idea indeed.

    As for snow there is frost on the roof tops this morning and flurries expected tomorrow night! As long as friends and family make their arrival here safe and sound, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! xo Pam

  10. The lighting in your photographs is really what makes them so incredibly special.
    There is such a rosy tint but still high intensity to it.
    What a talent you have for capturing it with your camera…and sharing with us!

  11. Slim

    I second Suzanne’s great idea. It is the natural order for your talent and passion …. I know it will be a success.

    Good luck,


  12. I second the book idea! So beautiful, as always. Love the idea of the raccoons acting all fancy! 🙂 I order those Royal Riviera pears every year for my family. My uncle used to send them to us when I was growing up and they always say Christmas to me. Once they’re ripe, cut them in half and just scoop ’em out with a spoon-so juicy and yummy! Sluuuurp! Thanks for all these December posts, Slim! Reading them puts me in my happy place.

  13. Absolutely gorgeous! You do have an eye for beauty, and it is such a pleasure to look through your posts. Thank you so much for sharing! We are getting a beautiful snowstorm right now in Bozeman MT.

  14. absolutely gorgeous! I would like to sit by the fire with you and chat. thanks for the lovely photos. a happy and a merry to you!
    Stephanie (no snow here in BK NY)

  15. More gorgeous inspiration! And a great tip about putting flower arrangements out at night. I don’t know if the raccoons in our neighborhood are as refined… Perhaps if I put some arrangements out they will stop digging up our new lawn! Worth a try!

  16. Slim-Your advent calendar is great! I look forward to seeing it every day! Thank you! When everything gets a little overwhelming, there you are: beauty, laughter, pizazz! A favor to ask out of the blue: do you or any faithful fans subscribe to the new Vogue archive? I am trying to track down a photo that had my boyfriend in it – he was a bystander who was included in a photo shoot taken around 1968 (I’m not at all sure the date is accurate, …could be anytime 60s or 70s, hence “the search”!) in Nantucket & the caption, as I’ve been told (again, may not be accurate), was “After a Hard Day’s Sail.” I’ve tried contacting Vogue, but was told I must know the date & issue that the photo appeared in. If anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it! His birthday is Christmas Eve and I’d love to surprise him. Obviously I’m not hoping to do it before his birthday, but sometime afterwards would still be a huge hit! The effort would not be wasted – he’s a gem inside and out and it finding this lost, but not forgotten, treasure would make him shine!

    • Sorry I cannot help you Caroline- I didn’t even know there was a new Vogue archive but I must check it out.
      Good luck with tracking down the photo for your beau. I’m sure he will appreciate the effort you’re going to.

      Happy Holidays!

  17. Good God SP, if I need an outstanding Casa Blanca Lily arrangement in the middle of the night I know where I could find one! :)………the raccoons and I will be in the library with the coconut curd and clotted cream with the whipped cream marshmallow martini, good show indeed!

  18. They are making snow on the ski slopes here in Mammoth…
    Do eat one of those Harry and David pears- we get them every year, best pear in the world!

    • dinah – We just returned from a week there in Mammoth – unfortunately, the “man made” snow was not enough to get us off the sofas and onto the slopes. Quite a change from last years constant shoveling and wondering if the plow guy would ever come!

  19. Oh Slim, I so adore (okay, maybe envy, but that doesn’t sound very nice) your fabulous style, humor, resources, fun way of seeing things, and insanely creative and articulate ability to express your thoughts. Picturing those fancy raccoons enjoying your flowers made my day! Plus I love Montecito and the whole Santa Barbara area. I went to UCSB and, if I had my druthers, I’d still be there. Have a margarita at Cava for me, please, and if you’re in Peregrine, tell Marlene “Hi” from Wendy the Bakelite collector from Palos Verdes. In my next life, I’m going to be you. (Or maybe Christie Brinkley, without all the man trouble…)
    Two questions: Where did you find–or where can I find–the egg display you have on your mantle? And what is the beautiful, glowing, ghostly thing on the mercury stand behind the clotted cream and scone set up?
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home, but most of all, thank you for sharing your self. Happy holidays!

    • Thanks so much Wendy! Will have that margarita at Cava for you- at the little table in the back by the fireplace.
      Christie Brinkley is still looking awfully good, despite all her ‘Man Troubles’!
      I’m sorry to say the eggs are from Paris. I bought them many years ago (along with sea horses under a glass dome)
      The ‘ghostly apparition’ you see in the background is just a bottle of champagne chilling with a linen cloth wrapped around it.
      Happy Holidays to you!

  20. SP…you had me at raccoons and special… in the same sentence…LMAO! (I am thinking that the raccoon lines should be the title of said book!)
    May you and your family have a laughter and love-filled holiday and blessed New Year!

  21. LOL, Racoons entertaining out there, acting all fancy!! You crack. me. up. Such a cute image and wow I had no idea – will try setting the flowers outside next time – makes sense since the florists put them in the fridge at night. The giant copper Mercury ball was like a looking glass or a ‘crystal ball’ – thanks for giving us a glimpse into your amazing home!

  22. Lovely. I can almost smell the lilies. Tea at your home sounds like a wonderful affair, especially throwing in some champagne! My husband made me delicious scones with tiny bits of dark chocolate and orange zest for breakfast the other morning while we were enjoying some holiday time in the mountains. (Yes, he’s a treasure.) No snow here in NC. In fact, it’s supposed to be 68 tomorrow. Crazy! Love the mental picture of the raccoons having a formal affair on your porch.

  23. Those raccoons are living it up in SB! If there were any raccoons in my ‘hood, they’d only get to party around some half-dead poinsettias… :/

  24. The pears from Harry and David are the best. I have never had a sweeter, juicier pear in my life. I send them out to family and friends every year and every year before the holidays they start dropping hints about how good those pears were last year.

    Anyway I hope you enjoy your pears, I’ll be enjoying mine with a little champagne 🙂

  25. No snow in the Chicago area! Hard to believe…
    Love the pictures of your beautiful home…I should be in bed but had to get my daily Slim fix first…

  26. No snow down Temecula way — supposed to be 77 degrees on Christmas day. Your house is so bee-yootiful. And you are sweet to share it with the raccoons. 😉

  27. Merry Christmas Slim, and congratulations, your house looks beautiful! My son just told me ” I was the best mother anyone could have ever asked for”, he’s 24, and being a Mother of sons, I knew you would know how this felt. I used to have the most beautiful Christmases every year, then, a five year divorce from a tax lawyer, where I finally gave he and the file clerk everything, including the house, usually leaves me sad at Christmas. Your post brings it all back, but in a good way. This is not a “sob story”, I have since remarried and am extremely happy. Only at christmas do I get nostalgic, it was such a treat seeing your gorgeous decorations! Thank you so much, I love your posts! Merry Christmas and Bless you and Yours. Pam

  28. What a beautiful post!! Your holiday decorations are just stunning! Just when I thought I had seen enough of Christmas…well when its that fabulous, its never enough!
    And funny how you put out the flowers at night..ME TOO! Best tip ever, (got it from a florist friend years ago) but never under 35 degrees as I had learned the hard way:)
    Wishing you a joyous and healthy 2012!!

  29. Love your New Year intentions. The weather is perfect now in California 85 degrees today. I need to purge some things too and donate. Never home long enough to complete a project. Yoga always.

    Nancy Love

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