It was my birthday

white rose bouquet

I tip-toed away and had a quiet little birthday this week. Not a momentous one, nothing ending in a “0″ or marking another decade. Just one of those that glide by with the swiftness of a bird’s wing, a gentle whoosh,silent … Continue reading

Red & White Stripes Redux


It’s that time again!

When I go to my “happy place” with the annual red & white stripes post.

And what better day than on the eve of celebrating America’s Independence?

I have so much to be thankful for living here and not, say, in Egypt right now.

Not that I’ve ever even been to Egypt, so it’s not like it was a close call or anything,

but still…

I’d love to go there someday. Prayers for the situation there to settle peacefully and soon.

and now let’s get back on a much lighter note,

Red & White stripes window shopping Marrakech

 I’ve always got an eye out for a good red & white stripe when I’m traveling.

I’m delighted by what the smallest dose of it can bring to a room.

On my recent trip to Morocco I spotted this lovely display in a great  shop in Marrakech.

They had wonderful linens, textiles, place mats etc. so I hope someone will leave a comment reminding me of its name.

*LATE ADDITION: The music I forgot to add last night! Great summer song

(must be turned up really loud)



An All American classic porch vignette


Ice cream filled watermelon rinds via Bakers Royale


Glasses via

989f5c6dd5b7364ae47a332308c41e40via Pinterest

How cheery is this kitchen wall painted like a dish towel?

If you’re in a bad mood in the morning in a room like this there’s pretty much no hope for you.


I spotted these cute “vintage” serving boxes in an antique store in Carpinteria and bought the entire stash of them. Perfect for popcorn or hot dogs and chips by the pool.  I propped them on my cotton throw/tablecloth in the “new” conservatory (which has basically become my new office!) for this photo.

Ask me if I painted the vintage lamp hot pink for the conservatory yet.



Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 5.16.59 PM

OMG Ines-copy me much??

ED0112_Provence_001-400-lgnand Ines de la Fressange’s home in Provence

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 7.22.12 PMimage via Tumblr

Costa Nova, Portugal

great bunk bedsLovely to make up the bed with crisp, cool rouge stripes in the summer.

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 1.49.06 PM

cotton sheets via West Elm


 Stripes Then. Jean Shrimpton


Stripes Now. Kate Moss in Dolce & Gabbana


photo Cihan Alpgiray

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 8.30.34 AM

Adorbable striped ‘kini from Ete via Moda Operandi

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Or a one piece from Golden Goose Deluxe Brand




le Bristol hôtel, ParisI shot this photo in the courtyard of hotel le Bristol in Paris last summer.

I highly recommend it for the perfect combination of luxury & friendly ambience. Not too stuffy for kids and wonderful restaurant, bar & room service.


It’s amazing how well red & white stripes work in old world interiors as well as new.

They can feel totally Euro or quintessentially American. Take your pic.


They’re the Switzerland of stripes.

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OK, so I know this is not red & white exactly but how could I not put these 5 photos together? I wouldn’t have been able to sleep otherwise.

It’s not easy being me.




No stripes at all here in fact, but don’t you think this room was “inspired” by Matisse’s “Checkers”?!

BarbaraElle7French Elle Magazine

But back to  red & white stripes

Consider the turban.


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Conversely, the Converse


How about Roasted Strawberry & Toasted Coconut popsicles from Joy The Baker

Snow cone machine, Williams & Sonoma

Or classic snow cones (snapped at Williams & Sonoma)



And just in case you missed it the first time; my Red & White Stripes post from last July.

Timeless is timeless after all.

HAPPY 4th of JULY to All You Wonderful Yankees!

Be safe and joy-filled this holiday.

And thanks as always to the troops that afford us this day to celebrate.

xx SP

More Stripes for the die-hards;

“Red & White Stripes (II)


Slim Paley Daily #2


A Crusty Avocado Tart

in the gardens of “Maisons Des Reves” Dar Ahlam, Ouarzazete, Morocco

It’s Tart Tuesday!

(see what I did there?)

This was one of the most delicious dishes we ate inhaled during our entire holiday in Morocco.

The combination of melty, yet slightly grainy short crust pastry, creamy fresh avocado filling and crunchy baby lettuce & pomegranate seeds was positively dreamy.

So, Yay! Who’s your Mama?? I got the recipe and I’m sharing it with youse guys.


L1150099It took literally every ounce of will power (and the fact that I wasn’t alone) to not ask for a second tart.

L1150096Serve with some freshly toasted french bread, chilled white wine

(do not look at that Coke-it’s a mirage-we were in the desert)

and you’ll feel like you are …



Until tomorrow.


All photos Slim Paley, recipe filched from “Maison Des Reves”*

*Proper props will be proffered in an upcoming post. Promise.

Bedouin & Breakfast

Slim Paley, Morocco


“I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.” 
― Michael OndaatjeThe English Patient

Yes, that.

So we jumped at the opportunity to spend a sand-swept day and star-filled night in the wilds of the desert at the end our Moroccan adventure.

( it’s almost over…just 1 more post-after this one :) )

890A7354We departed from our hotel located in the outskirts of the city of Ouarzazete by helicopter

890A7365a 50 minute journey over epic scenery

L1020995which we loved…albeit ever vigilant for potential emergency landing spots (see it?!)


890A7367Incredible to see how specks of verdant green popped up occasionally

L1030005and the lengths some people will go to to ‘unplug’


rtwgdWhile it’s true that my friend and I did ever so slightly miss the presence of Ralph…

842094 4

and couldn’t help but give Omar a thought

or two…

Sand peopleThe hotel camp had us covered!

Moroccan desert tentThe tents were amazing

Glamping, Moroccan desertCrisp white sheets, hot water bottles and a private loo. You can just imagine my happiness.

Gordon's gin, Slim Paley photoMore Happiness

(P.S. Gordon’s Gin people, please feel free to contact me for the photo :-))

Slim Paley, MoroccoSlim Sandy

890A7485‘The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones’

from The English Patient.

L1150138Tagine served from a huge earthenware pot


L1030076What we listened to under the canopy of a billion stars?

“Us & Them” from Dark Side of the Moon of course!

(click for mandatory listening please!)

and as I’ve learned through experience, there’s something quite magical about watching an old movie while tucked in a tent in the middle of nowhere, I brought my newest old favourite;

The Rains Came

“The Rains Came”

With no irony.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 8.14.44 PMDawn in the desert

sunrise in the desertA peacefulness one can’t describe

Moroccan desert sunrise

890A7489Strike a pose

Sunrise in the desert

Bedouins_John_Singer_SargentJohn Singer Sargent’s Bedouins

breakfast in the Moroccan desert, Slim PaleyBedouin Breakfast


a little sand kicking up??

IMG_3558 copyno problem for my ever resourceful, quick thinking friend who manages to eat breakfast, play DJ and start a new style trend at the same time.

Moroccan desert“Ralph…Ralph…We’re here for you…”


Bedouin watercolours, John SInger SargentThe John Singer Sargent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum  is on now through July 28th

Our desert sojourn was organized by Maison Des Reves


and have a splendid weekend!




Opulence Moroccan Style

Image 4

Though we enjoyed the hotels we stayed in during our visit to Morocco ( more on those later) for future reference and to satisfy our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) we spent a little time in Marrakech checking out some other options.

Put your velvet seatbelt on

for the “Royal Mansour” located in the heart of the Medina.

Royal Mansour, Marrakech Where behind every gently wafting silken drape…

Royal Mansour Marrakechanother gasp awaits

Royal Mansour, MarrakechThe attention to detail at Royal Mansour knows NO bounds

Royal Mansour, MarrakechIt’s how you spell luxe and then some.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 1.35.26 PMOne could wear the newest Dior dress I love so much and not feel overdressed.

Royal Mansour, Marrakech“Le Bar” to end all bars

rose gold wallswith walls panelled in reverse glass rose gold leaf

Rose gold wallsPhotos do not capture the depth and beauty of the rose gold panels.

They glow like the gossamer veiled cheeks of an exquisite young virgin bride marrying a dark, dashing Sheik at desert sunset

(think young Omar Sharif without the gambling habit)

Royal Mansour, MarrakechAre you getting the idea yet??!

Morocco slimpaley.comThe chandelier in the interior courtyard

Morocco slimpaley.comWe enjoyed a cocktail or two here in quiet awe, just listening to the birdsong, the tinkling of ice cubes and the heavy rustling of palm fronds in the wind.

Image 32“La Grande Table Marocaine” restaurant, with blue marble floors, is presided over by celebrated French chef Yannick Alleno.

a52e5292fd046c653bc822bbc73ace3eI would probably choose this little number from Armani Spring 2013 should I be so lucky as to dine here.

Royal Mansour, MarrakechCool marble, embroidered water-silk taffeta, feathers & inlaid rosewood…cuhraazy

Royal Mansour, MarrakechI don’t even know how to begin to explain the coffered ceiling in the “Chimney Lounge”

Honeycombs conceived by bees drunk on silver.

Again, the photos don’t do it justice.

Royal Mansour, MarrakechThe Chimney Lounge, so named for the transparent glass fireplace that allows you to gaze upon the gardens through the flames while sipping your cognac.

Did I mention it’s a wood burning fireplace ??

Come ON.

Royal Mansour, MarrakechPhoto via Royal Mansour

I need this in my next life as a Persian Princess.

Royal Mansour, MarrakechHand tooled leather walls

hand tooled leather rugand rugs.

It just doesn’t stop.

Royal Mansour, Marrakech“La Grande Table Francaise” Royal Mansour’s French restaurant preparing for the evening.

I can only imagine how beautiful it must be by candle lightImage 29A gecko candle holder, one of many crystal creatures crawling across the walls of the restaurant.


Royal MansourAs dusk descends (yes, we stayed that long!) the hotel becomes even more magical

Royal Mansour

There are no “rooms” at the Royal Mansour, just 53 private riads.

As you’ve no doubt deduced by now, this is not where you would choose to stay if you’re counting your dirhams.

 Ahem. It’s splurging to be sure. I don’t know if it would be my choice if I were bringing children with me either, but for a romantic and decadent getaway for couples? Hell ya.

There is also a gorgeous spa and a divine little shop.

But of course, you knew that!


For more information on Royal Mansour


All photos (unless otherwise credited) by Slim Paley.