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Good Afternoon. Yes, we’re starting off the afternoon talking about vodka.

Tis The Season, after all…

Ever since  these bottles jumped out at me in a European magazine last year, I’ve had my eye out for them.

Try to convince me packaging isn’t everything

890A5264‘Unique Edition’ Absolut vodka $27.95 and Christmas decorations from Target

A twist on the candle or a bottle of wine as a hostess gift,  they’re fun at your cocktails station, especially this time of year.

You do have a cocktail station don’t you?!

 Naturally I had to get my little fluorescent shot beaker from Paris into the pic.  (filled with chartreuse, not vodka) Unfortunately the contents is looking decidedly more yellow than fluoro-green in these photos.

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194288171394143289_2letanpn_cYup, I stole this image from one of my posts last year. Can you believe I posted almost every day of December last year? Who was that masked Overachiever??!

Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 3.37.27 PMChristian Dior

I cannot tell a lie. This was originally going to be two posts; one on fluorescents and one on opalescents but just LOOK at the time- It’s the 20th already!

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Edmundo Castillo

1mb9I’m liking this artist Matthew Brandt

“‘taste tests in color’ in which the artist silk screened picturesque american landscapes
by using a food item in place of traditional ink such as ketchup or mole sauce. in this particular ‘taste test’, the artist recreates the image of vernal falls of
yosemite national park into several multi-layered prints made permanent by food or household objects such as toothpaste, kool-aid, airhead candies,
or pharmecutical pills”

I’m presuming the silk screened are sprayed with some sort of preservative. 

137359857356879807_6pv540Kd_cSomeone else has been dipping into the ‘pharmaceuticals’


stella-mccartney-hologram-clutchStella McCartney bag


Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 8.44.25 AMFestive Uggs

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 8.07.21 AMKate Spade iPad case

tumblr_m2gsm038Z91qax0bvo1_1280I know pink hair is getting old and so am I, but I’d like some. I really would.

20120903-063019I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Serendipity (I think…I couldn’t really read that word. It might say ‘sensuality’ but I prefer serendipity) … I am vivid colours.  etc.

I am tired of reading the tiny print.

63261569736941348_NZAtCnZl_fartist Kitty Janney

182888434838887877_sMeuDT2A_ffluorescent hair on model of the moment Cara Delevigne at Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013

AVF-Fearless-Neon-Acrylic-Tray-Stack-6x4I love these desk organisers but I’m way beyond help in that department. My husband always looks at my desk, shakes his head and says “I can’t believe you’re a Virgo”


c8e36096e25f11e1818012313b012024_7A graffitied rug at my hair salon in LA

tumblr_ltk4hoatcI1r3syizo1_500Light my fire Baaaybeee!

tumblr_lllhnihc5t1qg8ng8o1_400this chair even has “Absolut Love”  written on it. Freaky man.

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Sophia Webster

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record it all on this extremely desirable Leica X2 designed by Sir Paul Smith.



I still have lots to share in the next few days so I very well might be doubling down again.

Peace Out for now



Scorch & Soda

We turn the clocks back tonight (boo hoo!)

You know what that means my friends.

That’s right

It’s Officially Heartier Cocktail Season.

Not since a caramel fell into a bowl of salt have we seen a flavor sensation dominate like the “smoky” cocktail.  I’ve been experimenting here & there while slowly compiling this post over the summer but it wasn’t until I had my very first GIN martini the other night (I know, right? wonders never cease) accompanied by big fat smoked olives that I became a full fledged “Smoker”

OK, I know this photo would have been so much nicer if the glass wasn’t 1/2 empty and I hadn’t taken a big bite of the olive, but I just wasn’t anticipating how damn good it was going to be! (Hendricks gin btw) and you’re probably saying; can this possibly be the same Slim who loves roasted marshmallow martinis? I agree-it’s sheer madness.

Even I didn’t know I was this ambi-drinkerous.

So, at least for the month of November, I’m all about the “the fumes”

I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of a way to capture smoke within an ice cube. I tried typing “Smoke in ice cubes ” into Google and got nothing but photos of the rapper “Ice Cube” smoking cigars, plus some rather inventive ways of smoking meth.

Do you think I’m going to get meth spam now??  I’m worried :(

Try putting a few of  these in your pipe;

A couple of tasty smokers at Rick Bayles’ “The Frontera Grill” Chicago

Los Angeles: The molecular-minded Bar Centro at the Bazaar by José Andrés.The Drink: Smoke on the Water ($18)What’s in It: Blackberries, atomized Islay Scotch, liquid nitrogen, and a flaming orange peel.

Miami: The new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The Drink: Smoked Pear ($8).
What’s in It: Woodford Reserve bourbon, pear liqueur, lemon juice, maple bitters, and smoked-pear purée. 1600 Lenox Ave.; 305/538-5220.

Boston: Clio, home to the city’s most extensive cocktail list. The Drink: The Hunter ($13).
What’s in It : Sage-infused white rum, Willet single-barrel rye, and apple cider, plus a cloud of burned oak and cinnamon. Smoked ice (smoked over liqueur-soaked wood chips) are used in the “Frank-)” cocktail, also at Clio

(info via Nicki Goldstein/Travel & Leisure magazine)

In Yountville, CA, Bottega serves up a smoky trifecta with smoked tequila, smoked jalapeños, rimmed with smoked salt.

“The Smoker’s Delight” at PX in Alexandria, Virginia uses strained water that has been steeped in 3 kinds of tobacco. ( Oh, sorry, but that sounds gross! )

Smoke Signals

Here I’ve found a recipe to “smoke” your own ice at home-but be careful kids!

Line heavy large pot with heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle wood chips over bottom of pot; cover. Turn exhaust fan on high. Heat pot over high heat until smoke begins to form inside pot. Fill 9 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch metal loaf pan with ice. Place in pot; cover tightly. Smoke ice until just melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Cover loaf pan tightly with plastic wrap; freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. Using ice pick, cut ice block crosswise into 4 large smoked ice chunks. Wrap tightly in plastic and keep frozen.

Bring 1 cup water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pecans; reduce heat to medium and simmer until syrup tastes like pecans, about 12 minutes. Strain; discard pecans. Cover and chill pecan syrup until cold, about 2 hours.

Place 5 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons Sherry, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons pecan syrup in cocktail shaker. Fill with plain ice cubes; cover and shake until cold. Divide mixture between 2 old-fashioned glasses. Repeat with remaining 5 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons Sherry, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons pecan syrup, and ice. Place 1 smoked ice chunk in each glass and serve.

(via Epicureous)

Mezcal and tobacco-infused syrup flavours the “Oaxacan Fizz” at FATHER’S OFFICE in LA (LOVE that name!)

“Smoke on The Water” at Bar Centro in The Bazaar, LA, literally smokes with a blast of liquid nitrogen and Islay Scotch.

Wouldn’t this make a good Christmas present?

Smoked salt via TheSpiceLab.com

For those smoked olives, you may

1) Marinate your olives for several hours in smoked olive oil


2) make your own smoked oil by gently heating and infusing olive oil with hickory smoke powder and fresh or dried herbs of your choice, then marinate olives.

3) Thoroughly soak a cedar plank (important), wrap olives in a tinfoil package, making several slits in the top and sides,  place on wet plank, cover and grill (smoking times will vary depending on temperature) You can find several recipes for smoking olives online.

4) or just buy them already smoked.

Lastly, if you’re not already totally smoked out,

An interesting article on smoked cocktails HERE

Thank you for smoking and don’t forget those clocks tonight!!


(First photo Artist Liza Ryan (2012) any uncredited photos via Tumblr or Google)

A bientôt New York

..Slim Paley photo

We bid adieu to New York!


Above, a few mementos of our week.

I’m a scrapbook keeper from way back, so I’m like a little squirrel wherever I go.

I finished reading “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge” the biography of the American tycoon Harry Selfridge who created one of the largest, successful department stores in the UK and probably the world. Interesting man, very interesting life, but sadly, I found the book a little dry. I’ve heard a film is in the works and I imagine his story could definitely make a great movie.

Next, I’m going to read “A Summer of Hummingbirds” ” Love, Art, and Scandal in the intersecting world of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe & Martin Johnson Heade” which I picked up in my new favourite bookshop on the upper East side “Archivia Books

I’ll let you know if it’s good. Anything to do with Mark Twain, I’m in. Now that was a life and a film begging to be made.

Also in the photo, business cards from a few of the shops I had fun visiting, including “R by 45rpm” (great casual clothes, I love their indigo) and “Nicholas Brawer” ( Campaign furniture, sporting antiques, vintage bar accessories and great chat. I was thrilled to find in him a fellow Charles Baker devotee’ )


Read my post about cocktails and Charles Baker Jr. Here


Speaking of cocktails, I had a positively SUBLIME “Whiskey Smash” in Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel.

OMG. I don’t even like whiskey.

It’s not on the menu, so you have to ask for it-a friend told me I must try one.

She’s an even Bester friend now :)


Slim Paley photo



Tommy Rowles, the Irish bartender who has been crafting cocktails behind the bar at Bemelmans since 1958!


and lest you be concerned that was my only cocktail (I know you worry) fear not Dear Reader.

We attended a delightful soiree in the home of fellow proud parents from my son’s graduating class (one of those fab. NY apartments with so much charm, not to mention one of the best examples of vintage red & white stripes used in a cool way, but I can’t pull my camera out all the time, as much as I’d love to)

I also went to The Kips Bay 40th Annual Decorator Show House cocktail party with my friend Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic. We had lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting Nicole from the blog So Haute (who gave me an instant “Instagram” lesson) and Stefan from Architect Design . It’s always nice to put a face to blogs you read.


Todd Alexander Romano’s dining room at Kips Bay

This year’s show house (actually two large apartments in a new high-rise building on the upper West side) was filled with shiny, reflective surfaces, including the walls & ceiling treatments and “Green” was definitely the flavour of the moment, in more ways than one. The apartment boasted an outdoor pool-can you imagine? A pool in the heavens but, alas, no hot tub for cold NY nights. The party was in full swing, so impossible for me to snap any pics, but if you’re interested in seeing it all beautifully shot, check out Habitually Chic where Heather has several posts and extensive photos from her visit earlier in the week as well as the complete ‘low down’.


Thom Filicia’s entrance/foyer at Kips Bay

Both photos via Habitually Chic



.For the most part, the weather co-operated and I maintained my 10,000+ steps a day walk around the city..

Slim Paley photo

I found more colourful Prada windows,

although I didn’t get a great shot of this one commemorating the Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met (which sadly I didn’t see)

and Caution;

Thighs in reflection will look bigger than they actually are (or so I tell myself)


Does this window make me look fat?


Words of wisdom in the windows at Bergdorf’s



and of love on the stairs of “Opening Ceremony” downtown

Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

you DO remember the song, right?! (start at the top)



My alter ego “The Barktorialist” was charmed by a new model in town

The dogs of NYSlim Paley photo

Meet My Gal “Friday” (just coming from her eyelash extensions appointment on the upper East Side)


Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

I managed to keep breakfasts down to a moderately subdued level.


I’m not saying there weren’t a few of these consumed this week…

crispy french friesSlim Paley Photo



But I was good in the afternoons

Slim Paley photo

usually ordering salads.



Our absolute favourite meal was at “Eleven Madison Park”


Trust me on this one.

Jump through whatever hoops you must to secure a reservation.

The extended tasting menu was

one of the best and most fun dinners we’ve experienced in a long time.

The menu below doesn’t even include the “amuse bouche(s)” (which I don’t want to spoil for you, but are truly ‘amusing’) or the insanely delicious dessert we enjoyed in the kitchen, where I (insert red face) when asked to ‘crack’ open with our spoons the dry ice prepared-rhubarb mound of wonderfulness floating in a divine liquer, cracked the actual glass cup instead.

Cringe. They promised me I wasn’t the first.

Some sort of mob boss was also too heavy handed.

Oh… red face encore just reliving the moment.

You have to believe me when I say I’m one of those people who never breaks anything!



No spoilers, but the apple tea, the “lollipops”, the clams (served 3 ways), the lobster and the “Egg Cream” were my favourites.


Definitely one of the most handsome locations in Manhattan

Eleven Madison ParkPhotos by Francesco Tonelli

The staff couldn’t possibly have been more charming in helping us to celebrate our Graduate with such a memorable feast.

“11 Madison Park: The Cookbook” video here



Sunset in NYSlim Paley photo

Good night Manhattan & Manhattanites!

Until next time…

I have to go unpack.

I hope I don’t break anything.



Happy Halloween Eve!

Warning: Serious Cuteness Quotient!

cutest mummy, slimpaley.comOne of my little boys on a Halloween past  :)

My sister’s dog India,


Pumpkin India by her friend Joyce!



Slim Paley photos

Halloween Eve on the streets of New York



Lola’s delicious Pumpkin Martini.  Cheers!


An entire week in NYC has me just about running on empty kids, so I wish you Happy Halloween Eve and promise to post tomorrow  :)

May the Spirits be with you.


Cozy Time

sunflowers, slimpaley

Fall is actually my favourite season for going to the Farmer’s market.  Sunflowers last forever if you give them a bit of sugar, a touch of bleach and change the water a couple of times. Eventually, when the leaves turn yellow but the flowers are still good, just strip leaves and cut stocks again and add a different filler underneath the flower heads.  (I’ll post photo when these ones go for round two :) These are already almost 6 days old. I’m going to channel Martha here for a minute and say Isn’t this container perfect? It’s vintage pottery; $15.   I die.

and now it’s….

martini_timeFrom the restaurant that makes the biggest and the best martinis on the planet

(blush…not that size matters…except with martinis)

Lola’s Okanagan Martini

fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
a couple of sage leaves
Ketel One Citron
2 oz fresh apple juice
Sliced red apple for garnish

To make:
Muddle 2 sage leaves, the lemon and the maple syrup in your shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add the vodka and the apple juice. Shake, strain, and pour into a chilled Martini glass. garnish with a slice of red apple.


Lola’s Spiced Pear

Poached Spiced Pears (homemade are the best but in lieu of, canned pears work too)
Absolute Pear Vodka
cinnamon & sugar mixture (1/2 & 1/2)

To make :
take a slice of poached pear and muddle in a martini shaker. Fill shaker with crushed ice. Filled shaker to 3/4 full with Absolute Pear Vodka and top off with some of the Poached Pear Syrup.
Shake vigourously. Pour into a a chilled martini glass that has been rimmed with the cinamon/ sugar mixture. May add a small cinamon stick as a garnish.

L1060252Slim photo

That IS an egg in my figs. I don’t like to show off but, hellooo-these figs are from my garden.

And that is a GIGANTIC EGG.

Here’s what you do; wash and dry figs really well.  Slice in half.  Place in an oven proof casserole dish (spray with Pam or whatever first so they don’t stick) then drizzle heavily with Lyle’s Golden syrup and roast in the oven until bubbly.  Serve plain, over ice-cream, or pour a little fresh whipping cream over them. You heard me.