Countdown Abbey (II)

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God bless us all, it’s finally that time again!

I can’t believe I arrived home from our “Grand Tour” of Patagonia JUST in time.

It’s all too exciting!

I’m literally dashing off this post as I’m unpacking (wet clothes from our suitcases-nice) and drinking way too much coffee waaay too late in the day.

But stay up I must!

I hope you’ll all be watching with me and for those across the Pond and Down Under please feel free to chime in, with judiciousness of course (omg-I spelled that correctly the first time. Note to self; perhaps more coffee less wine…)

And…

May I just include a complete non-humble brag and mention I attended a party during the Christmas Season where I met a lovely relative of Lady Mary’s who told me that L.M. reads Slim Paley!!

Swear! Fetch the smelling salts

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management slimpaley.com

A great friend of mine who lives in Britain says this season is an absolute cracker.  She’s been awfully good at not letting anything slip while whetting my curiosity just enough.

She also sent me this absolutely divine and massive antique book;

 “Mrs BEETON’S BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT”

published in 1912 and weighing in at no less than 2,040 pages.

I’m quite sure Mrs. Patmore kept it handy.

‘Isabella Beeton (1831-1865) the eldest child of an extended family of 21, was required from an early age to see to domestic arrangements. After her marriage to a small publisher, she began to contribute to his Domestic magazine. In 1861 her writings were published in book form for the first time. An immediate success, selling over 60,000 copies in its first year and nearly two million by 1868! One of the most famous of all cookery books it also contains advice on household management, childcare, etiquette, entertaining and employment of servants.’

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“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her”

Can we get an AMEN?! :-)

Mrs Beeton's slimpaley.com

Sadly, Isabella Beeton’s life story was not a happy one. She lost her first child at only 3 months of age, her second to Scarlet Fever at 2 and poor Isabella died just days after giving birth to her 4th child when she was only 28.

Downton Abbey-esque or what?

A BBC drama based on Isabella Beeton’s life aired in 2006 and a documentary by Sophie Dahl in 2011.  I would love to find both.

OK, must wrap up before the show begins!

One Final Downton Abbey Recap before Tonight’s American Premiere HERE

And, if you’re so inclined;

Exactly One Year Ago

& last but certainly not least,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

xox SP

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Abundance

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Hey there. Only 8 more days before Christmas!

So can I get a high-five on being the blog to decide (and worse, announce) a total design/format face-lift between Thanksgiving and Christmas?!

Ya, that won’t be happening until after the New Year.

WHAT was I thinking?!

I’ve no idea. Why didn’t anybody stop me?!

Let’s just pretend it never happened and try to enjoy one or two Christmasy posts before the 25th.

New Year, New Face.

Back to Christmas.

The sheer abundance of holiday inspiration available on the internet is both stunning and staggering. Remember when we used to buy maybe a 1/2 dozen (tops) December magazines, tear out a few images and be on our merry way?

Oh, the good old days

Now the choices, the themes, the internet shopping, the 500 different types of LED lights…

What to make of it all?

sugar dipped cranberries

There’s something to be said for just sugar-coating some cranberries, cracking open the champagne and calling it a day.

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You can stick with the tried and true, the bells and gingham of childhood memory

silver & red

Or…

Grand Hall

You can DECK THOSE HALLS DAMMIT

Christmas

What are you up for?!

Christmas tableRelatively simple, yet lush?

door wreath

Keeping it fresh?

roses, Bristol Hotel, slimpaley.com

Flowers in the Hotel Bristol, Paris

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Miho Kosuda NYC

silver platter chargerI’ll let you in on a little secret-

I’m so stealing this idea of using vintage serving trays as chargers. Someday. When I add to my collection of 3. Local Santa Barbara antique enthusiasts back off. It was my idea…OK, it wasn’t, but at least give me a two week lead. Professional courtesy as it were :-)

christmas cocktails slimpaley.comA little bar in my dining room last year.

Or…

wine on ice

Just throw some ice and a few pinecones into a bowl and get on with it.

cmas234It’s all good…

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First Instagram image of “Botanik” in Summerland, California (a great florist/gift shop)

Sugar coated cranberries via PeachyTheMag

Uncredited images via Pinterest

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The Day After

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Happy The Day After!

I hope everyone here in America enjoyed a happy, meaningful Thanksgiving Day in whatever way you chose to celebrate.

I’m guessing there was probably some turkey and pumpkin pie involved.

I don’t have too much to report here.  All went well, and we were very thankful for all our blessings, especially having both our lads home with us for the holiday.

As readers with older children will appreciate, this becomes increasingly harder to accomplish as the years fly by.

slimpaley.comI managed a one-armed table set at the barn.

 The flowers and napkin folding were not quite up to snuff, but the overall effect was a success (even if I do say so myself! ;-))

I bought orchids,  persimmons and longan berries at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, and my sister picked some berries for me.

Heritage TurkeyHeritage Turkey

My older son and his girlfriend cooked the entire dinner over a two day period. It was absolutely fantastic. They even made home-made stock earlier just for the gravy.

brussel sprouts with lardonFresh brussels sprouts from the farmer’s market with lardon, simmered in butter & chicken stock.

890A9376Delicious ham and fresh green bean casserole.

orchid & footballFlowers & football.  Story of my life :-)

slimpaley.pumpkinpieMaple pumpkin pie with chocolate crust (adapted from Bon Appetit magazine) with freshly whipped cream

pecanpieand pecan perfection!

My son made these. From scratch. Home-made pastry.

MY SON .

Almost everything was perfect

sweet potatoes with marshmallow  Keeping two eyes and one arm on the final broiling of the whipped sweet potatoes with fresh ginger, coconut cream & marshmallows was my job.

Honestly. The lengths some people will go to to try and catch a glimpse of a fireman.

whipped sweet potatoesBut never let it be said that I’m not a master re-cycler.

The entire charred top popped right off and the slightly smoky flavour remaining just took the edge off the sweetness.

Good as new!

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CHEERS TO GOOD FOOD, GREAT FRIENDS AND DEAR FAMILY NEAR & FAR.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xx

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Chartreuse linen napkins from “Linen Me”, candlesticks Georg Jensen, sandalwood runner from ‘Botanik’, Summerland, dinner plates “Target” (!) ‘vintage goblets.

The Turning

flowers from my garden, Slimpaley.com

It’s here.

 Autumn has officially arrived.

I will acknowledge its presence and no longer be cranky with those who wished the warm weather away.

I’ve perused the gross weight of all the September issues, witnessed Halloween & Thanksgiving decor in stores for myself and weakly bleet “UNCLE”

Ya got me.

As you may have noticed, I even changed my header photo. Now if I could only figure out how to nix the turquoise banner for a more autumnal shade I’d be good.

WordPress, please heed my cry for help!

Light on the dining room wall, Slim PaleyTruly, I knew It was almost here with the subtle shift of late afternoon light in my dining room. After living in this home for over 20 years we’re like old friends that finish each other’s sentences.

“Slim” (said the house) “Stop trying to act all ‘India Hicks’ with the giant palm fronds still on the table. It’s the end of September. Get over yourself”

Like I said, Very old friends.

white roses. slimpaley.com

And while I for one will still lament the all too soon passing of our summer, I’ll readily concede there are no other seasonal contenders when it comes to the beauty of Autumn light. I could basically just run around my house with a camera from 4pm to 6pm from now through November and be a very happy glamper.

Lost in Arles via Lost in Arles blog

Then there’s the whole “leaf changing thing”

Which I guess is okay if you go in for that sort of stuff…

Another big check in the plus column?

dolce-gabbana-rtw-fw2013-runway-60_112954382617Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013

Hellooo Fall Fashion!

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Louis Vuitton Fall 2013

Louis Vuitton Fall 2013

Not to mention (always followed by a mention)

A bed & a book

that my flannel sheets will soon be making their eagerly awaited comeback.

Oh Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Truth be told, I could blissfully sleep in flannel all year round.

Of course I wouldn’t still be married, so there’s that…

49032504Photos via here

 I totally adore the colours of Fall

24401145How divine is this copper & rust mixed with palest cream & blush?

I’m So copying. With flowers and a make-up palette. Stay tuned.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 7.41.40 AMphoto Sarah Maingot

Shorter days and cooler nights invite us back to long heavenly soaks in the bath.

Never a bad thing.

Fall. Slimpaley.comAnd Fall food is as comforting as all get out. Soup’s on? I’m there.

be81dd751d0fec8be52948e3190ed470Grilled onions with thyme & cream. Recipe here

Angels on Horseback

A version of “Angels on Horseback” with Medjool dates, water chestnuts & pineapple wrapped in bacon, marinated in soy sauce & pineapple juice then baked. Yum.

Howard Slatkin bar

Libationally (I say it’s a word) it’s fun to adapt your bar, like this one in Howard Slatnik’s home, to the cooler season’s more comforting requirements.

vintage books. Slimpaley.comAnd I must admit, Fall certainly does invite one to hunker down and enjoy more cozy reading time…

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So;

pretty light, gorgeous colours, long baths & flannel sheets. A good meal, a great read, cashmere & a comely cocktail…

I do believe I’ve just talked myself into being very happy that Autumn has arrived!

Check it! I could be on “Super Soul Sunday”

I have a motivational speaker lurking inside of me!

omg. That explains my inexplicable weight gain over the summer…

Phew. Just found the silver lining!

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Happy Falling Leaves To All

xxSP

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Happy Labour Day Weekend!

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Happy Labour Day Weekend!

Oh YAY.

The weekend that officially licks the stamp, seals the deal, clicks the “send” button on Summer.

 Super.

And me, with all these lovely, summery images & ideas still left to share…

And possibly one of the greatest summery songs by one of the greatest summery bands;

So you have to promise to listen, nice & loud as always, while you stroll leisurely through this post…


(there’ll be a test to make sure you were listening afterwards!)

bouganvilla covered terrace

Well. We’ll soon be kissing these scenarios good-bye, won’t we?terrace with lanterns

( 2 images from Tumblr )

890A8404and no longer running out to my garden to gather roses for the table

(OK,  laying it on a bit thick here-hopefully we still have a couple of months left of roses in Santa Barbara)

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I never got to finish the ultra impressive “SUMMER ICE” post I was working on.

(Martha, you can breathe a sigh of relief my friend-the above was my very best effort- they were supposed to be ice balls but the two halves wouldn’t stick together. It looked so easy in the Japanese video)

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I wanted to say what a nifty idea this was-freezing aloe vera juice into ice cubes to soothe nasty sunburns.

Particularly great for using on your kid’s friends so they go home and say “Timmy’s mom makes aloe ice-cubes for sunburns!! “

and you just sound like the best frickin’ mom ever.

PS. I never made them.

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I also never told you about my trip to the city of Orange recently where the temperature reached a 100 degrees and as I stepped out my car I spotted this super cool old fashioned ice-dispensing machine. Instagram American Graffiti moment. IF I were old enough to even remember that movie, which, no way, I’m not. My husband told me about it.

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Oh, I had so many summery images collected

canoe as table

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Some, like maybe this one of Daria Werbowy, you could have lived without. But if I’m in testy mood, I’m dragging you with me.

We’re a team here-you’re in or you’re out, you know that.

beachy bracelets

Skinceuticals Sunscreen, Slim Paley photo

I had a whole summer skin products thing I was working on…

but I’ll just say; for me, this was the best face sunscreen I found. Broad spectrum, very lightly tinted, thin consistency (though slightly oily, not a bad thing for me) and a whopping SPF 50 without feeling like you have a mask on. Also comes un-tinted.

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Did I get a chance to write my post on “HAMMOCKS”?

NO.

Well, that post is still coming, maybe even tomorrow, so don’t try and stop me.

Bloody Labour Day.

And did you know that this past Friday, the 30th of August, was “National Marshmallow Roasting Day”?

Swear to God.

 I even had a “Roasted Marshmallow Post” so here it is, somewhat condensed;

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Roasting by the river’s edge in Idaho.

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Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake (with Greek yoghurt!) HERE

mulit-prong marshmallow roasting stick

Help me find these??

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Some perfectly roasted giants mallows I posted on Instagram last month.

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Aqua Creations’ Origami LED “Marshmallow” lamps are folded from a single sheet of paper.

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covered porch, Sun Valley, Slim Paley

The antique lantern in my covered porch in Sun Valley always reminds me of a toasted marshmallow.

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Marshmallow outdoor furniture

marshmallow shaped hanging light

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and if  you’re cramped for space, how cool, er hot, is this wall mounted barbeque from Sigma Focus?!

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bracelet & watch

striped shirt

and when all else fails…

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XOXO SP

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Top photo Kate Moss by Patrick Demarchelier

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