Seeing Red (II)

Valentine's chocolates slimpaley.com

Here we are already, just a day before Valentine’s.

 A day that has everyone seeing red-whether they like it or not.  Many will partake of romance, roses & chocolates, while others will take issue with the overt commercialization of Cupid.  I agree the bloat of mylar hearts, pink bears on a stick and tightly bound fluorescent flowers invading the local markets can be off-putting.

Valentine’s may also strike a sensitive chord in those who are sweetheart-less on the day and truth be told, that’s a lot of folks, as the plethora of on-line dating sites will attest. Being forced to assess our romantic status whether we want to or not…just what we need-more pressure!

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the day could be quite an emotionally scarring affair as far back as elementary school (in the old, less sensitive days before everyone received a token Valentine) It was usually the girls with double hook bras that received the most cards. Single hook, or worse, training bra girls received a small stack (oh dear-no pun intended)  including a pity card from the teacher. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

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Funny the things we remember. NOT.

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But let’s kiss and make up.  All is forgiven if not forgotten!

And let us get back to RED, shall we?

Whatever you make of it, it’s certainly THE Colour of the Moment.

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There’s a chunk of it in my hair. You heard me.

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and happens to be the colour of my new favourite cocktail, the Negroni Unknown

Go Red For WomenThe 11th annual “Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards” at Lincoln Centre in NY on Tuesday.

Most importantly, it’s the colour of the month to honour Heart Disease Awareness For Women.

Many of us still associate heart attacks with men, but heart disease is actually the #1 killer of women in this country.

Why not sport the colour red in whatever fashion or form you wish this month to help raise awareness?

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 Segueing back to a little lighter fare…

Le rouge, le rouge is everywhere!

roses slimpaley.com

roses slimpaley.com

I too was in the hunt for a red gown for a dear friend’s big birthday bash this month. Ladies in red, gentlemen black tie.

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I was slightly worried  (panicked) as red, as I’ve also mentioned, is definitely NOT my colour.

There isn’t a time after the age of 30 I’ve applied true red lipstick where I haven’t thought of Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and off it comes.

Plus it really interferes with my eating..

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Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 7.50.10 PMPaperFashion via Instagram

RED

 I’m neither light enough or dark enough to wear it well. It brings out the red in my chest, the white in my face and the mouse in my hair.

Did I mention I wear earth tones well?

Eventually, after my usual pre-party angst-ing  I found something.

655653 It wasn’t this.

It wasn’t even close to this.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.23.08 PMDennis Basso photo via Paperfashion

The runways were absolutely throbbing with red for Fall 2014/15 this month.

ed5164a0f062366bef89bb7dbb68635cPrabal Gurung Fall 2014/15

Zac Posen Fall 2014

Zac Posen Fall 2014

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Pink & red roses in the window of one of the most beautiful rose shops in the world in Paris

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Karlie Kloss being fierce in red. Donna Karan Fall 2014

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Sneaking back for another shot at night (The Hotel Costes Bar is next door!)

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carolina herrera Fall 2014

Karlie again in Carolina Hererra Fall 2014

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Ralph Lauren Fall 2014

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Even Andre Leon Talley was wearing a red dress this week.

No wonder there was a scarcity.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.24.17 PMvia Vanity Fair

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2014. Wow.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab Fall 2014-15

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And what a stunningly beautiful, magical birthday celebration it was.

In fact after this week there are two more things I’m adding to my list of

‘Things I’d Love to Do When I Grow Up’

1) Design male figure skater’s costumes

2) have a party planned by Colin Cowie.

Visualisation is the first step to realisation!

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Wishing everyone a Very Happy Valentine’s Day!

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(I mean, if you go in for that sort of thing…)

and remember…

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Mwah, Mwah

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Blasts from the past;

the last time I was Seeing Red

A Valentine post from 3 years ago today; Romance & Roses

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GoRedforWomen.org

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Breaking With Tradition

Christmas tree Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires slimpaley.com

 I think it would be safe to say I’m not that big on change, especially at this time of year.  Our family always follows the same tradition for Christmas. Big, bushy tree, same decades-old ornaments, freshly sliced & dried oranges hanging amidst flickering candle light bulbs and that Angel with Attitude who unfailingly gives me grief with her wonky ways atop the tree (I swear she’s a midnight drinker) We’re blessed to live in a home that lends itself to traditional east coast Christmas decor, despite living in Southern California so it’s something I’ve really come to enjoy. Occasionally my husband or sons request brightly coloured lights (and believe me, in my weaker moments the temptation to string lights that don’t need to be attached individually, burn out every few days or point straight up is tempting) but I just…could…never…do it.

Until this year.

metal and glass Christmas tree

This year was a Big One for my husband and so guess what-

I let him choose what he wanted for Christmas.

I know. What a wife. Speaking of angels :-)

So, here we are in South America!

Patagonia, to be precise.

(The silver, glass & marble tree is in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Buenos Aires but more on B.A. in another post)

Now a family excursion to Patagonia must be organized and booked a long time in advance. A year in fact. Believe it or not, in this ever broadening era of globalization, even the last edge of the world before Antarctica is a real hot spot.

Did I ever expect I’d be having shoulder surgery 2 months prior to our departure? Hell no, but canceling was definitely not an option ( I’d canceled once before…not such an angel, truth be told :-(  I was scared to break with tradition!)

And the fact that I literally couldn’t do any Christmas decorating or entertaining ended up working perfectly (and guilt-free) into our original travel plans. The tipsy angel stayed in the attic, the stair bannisters remained nude as can be and we’ve had a pretty wild adventure here with nary a dried orange slice in sight.

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The hotel blackboard posting all the daily activities. Patagonia obviously attracts a very outdoorsy type of clientele.

No jokes, please.

Of course my physical abilities were somewhat more limited than usual, but I could certainly hike…

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Enjoy the views, lift a knife & fork and a glass or two.

Vegetarians should now skip the next couple of photos.

lamb roast slimpaley.com

Christmas Day Lunch was, again, something completely different for us; lamb roasted at a local working ranch in Chile.

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FYI-the wines in Argentina and Chile are DELICIOUS (that’s not my husband beside me, just in case you were wondering)

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The scenery is utterly breathtaking.

I have so many more things to share with you, but I’m calling it a night here, it’s late (it stays light until almost 11pm!) and the day begins bright and early tomorrow.

glacier, Patagonia slimpaley.com

Enjoy these last few days of 2013!!

XXSP

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PS. can anyone tell me if they are seeing unwanted ads, or any ads for that matter at the bottom of my posts? Thanks!

BELIEVE

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Happy Holidays to All!!

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I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful, sparkling, joy-filled Christmas day.

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Full of the sensations of The Season

The gift of family & good friends

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The exchange of ethereal delights, delicious food, delectable libations

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Fairy dust

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Light

.

and Wonder

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Chanel Pre-Spring 2014

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Chanel Pre-Spring 2014

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but remember the stars often land upon the ground too
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My front porch Sun Valley

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Blessings & Warmest Tidings to all my faithful and fun Slim Paley readers over the years

And to All a Good Night!!

xoxox

SP

One Year Ago Today

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all uncredited photos via Flickr & Pinterest

 shooting star lights via MarthaStewart.com

Slim Paley photo of tepee at Santa Barbara Magazine Christmas party, decor by Gypset.com

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.