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.

red hair slimpaley.com

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..

chocolates slimpaley.com

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

Roses slimpaley.com

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

Roses slimpaley.com

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

523a3d99c4d6142c562e2caabe5a172dPrabal Gurung

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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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!

champagne.slimpaley.com

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.

Hanging Around

lakeside hammock, Muskoka, Ontario

 Perched on the edge of Lake Muskoka, Ontario,

A heavenly hammock swings between a pair of perfectly placed trees in the garden of our friend’s charming old cottage.

It just doesn’t get much better than this.

I’ll spare the Jim Croce song, but “If I could save time in a bottle…”

This would definitely be one of those times.

BTW, have you ever been to Lake Muskoka or the Lake Region of eastern Canada?

Lake Muskoka

This is how beautiful it is. For miles and miles and miles.  No filter, plain & simple.

Put it on your list.

But once again, I digress…

hammock on deck

I told you I was still putting up a hammock post.

September, Schmmeptember.

beach hammockI could possibly have saved this for my “Indigo” post-which, in my timely fashion, should debut just before Christmas.

Cause I know when one hears the word “Christmas” one instantly thinks Indigo!

porch seat hammock

But for real, who doesn’t adore the promise of a cozy hammock with all the dreamy, romantic emotions  they evoke?

A macramé cocoon twisting gently from the creaky ceiling of a sleeping porch, a mattress ticking pillow, Hudson Bay blanket thrown over the edge and a great book nestled within?

or perhaps it’s more

Robinson Crusoe meets Swiss Family Robinson with Johnny Depp lurking behind the nearest palm tree, whittling you a coconut vessel from which to sip your rum. Together.

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Hey, It’s all good, Matey :-)

At the other end of the spectrum…

hammock under the trees

This romantic vignette helped inspire my English Country Garden Tastemaker Tag Sale on “One King’s Lane” last week.

indoor hammock, tile floor

I also think it’s awfully fun to hang a hammock indoors, given the right setting, don’t you?

I’ve never done it, but never say never, though I think they’re especially great in a young person’s abode.

Lots of dash for little cash.

Besides,extricating one’s self from a hammock can take some manuoevering manuveouring effort.

black & white hammock photo

I love this photo, but I’m sure I’d have that basket weave deeply imprinted on my entire body for the rest of the day.

Ahh, once again, the ageing process…

it’s a beautiful thing.

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Fancy bathing in a hammock big enough for two? check out  Splinterworks.co.uk

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Here’s one sporting my favourite combo of black & white, plus a handy thick rug placed strategically underneath for a two-martini roll out.

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The pinnacle of Hammock Chic- the woven leather one by Hermes

I’ll take two, on either side of the fireplace thank you very much.

boat bed

And a most charming turn on a nautical hammock, a vintage boat brought indoors.

Don’t you just love creative people?!

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2013 A Space Hammock. For the ultimate threesome.

Info HERE

Hammock in Greece

Or the perfect old school hammock swinging gently above the olive groves of Greece.

Pass the feta please.

seaside hammock

Tropical, indoor, old school or space age

Let’s face it. Hammocks rock.

Bora Bora

At the Nui Nui in Bora Bora

Paging Fletcher Christian…

Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian

sigh.

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Here’s to sweet languorous dreams of a life lived slowly…

But only 9 more months ’til next summer!

Australia-you’re not even allowed to say a thing right now!

Happy September All

xoxSP

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All uncredited photos from Tumblr or pinterest

An Indian Dinner

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Happy Saturday to you!

I’m a little jet lagged, having just recently returned from London. I’m excited to share some highlights of our trip once I’ve had a chance to download and compile all my photos. I actually went away with just my tiny Leica and the download cord, but no battery charger. So dumb. Don’t you just love packing?

Those of you that follow me on Instagram though have seen several of my holiday snaps there already. The old iPhone (and I do mean the old one) takes a pretty good shot in a pinch.  OK so, wait…I’m off track already, bloody hell…the London post will be arriving shortly (it is coming from overseas after all!)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few photos from the Indian Dinner table I set at ‘Casa Paley’ shortly before we went away.

890A8441We were excited to be having very dear old friends over for dinner and inspired by the spate of beautiful late May weather in Santa Barbara (before  “June Gloom” arrived, right on schedule as I’ve been informed, June 1st) I thought it would be fun to serve up a big old curry with all the fixings.

09ea16a6bd9e11e299e522000a9e28c4_7My Instagram shot of the cookbooks we used:

“Mangoes & Curry Leaves” (gorgeous book, somewhat complex recipes),”Tangy Tart Hot & Spicy” by Padma Lakshmi (easier recipes) and “Vij’s” from my favourite Indian restaurant in Vancouver-even though they don’t take reservations which drives me insane. Maybe because I’m mentioning his cookbook I might not have to wait outside the next time.  Do you think??? Hey, It could happen. If you know him, please put in a good word for me :)

I’m afraid I don’t have any photos of the food but this is what we served:

Vij’s Family Chicken Curry (OMG-SO good. and I’m not just saying that because of the no reservations thing. Swear)

Prawns in Coconut Marsala

Sauteed Arugula & Spinach with Tofu (because we couldn’t find Paneer)

Ginger & Jalapeño Basmati rice

Green Beans with Toasted Coconut & Cashews

Cucumber Raita

Shredded Carrot, Cranberries & Cilantro Salad (Gorgeous & delicious-so wish I’d taken a photo) from Padma’s book

Huge crispy Poppadoms, Naan bread and lashings of spicy chutneys

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890A8452Different flavours of salts on the table are always a nice touch.

I found the porcelain and copper “burning match” votives “At The Table” in LA  years ago.

890A8462I actually have a “Salt” post in the hopper as we speak. Keep an eye out for it. I know. Exciting, right?!

890A8457As usual, I like to really mix it up, so here we have a huge vintage Suzani used as the tablecloth (that’s how much I love/trust these friends :) )  little silver votives from Pottery Barn, Cristofle silverware, vintage ocean liner water goblets, black & white striped cotton napkins from “Paradise Lane” in Sri Lanka, and all the black & white dishes are from Target. The roses are “White Iceberg” and “Hot Cocoa” from my garden.

Here’s the recipe for the curried chicken:

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Taken from “Vij’s” cookbook with love and respect… and patience.

What?? I’m not hinting at anything!

890A8520Christofle silver vase (a present for our 25th wedding anniversary last month)

For another Suzani inspired table setting check out this older post HERE -I just noticed that it was also done in May, in 2011. Goes to show how much Spring inspires us to bring the colour indoors (you might also recognise that suzani from my recent post about updating our conservatory) Vintage textiles are such a worthwhile investment, aren’t they?!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

and

VERY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY WISHES TO ALL THE WONDERFUL DADS OUT THERE!!

xoxox

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