Hey 2013!


I’m not ready to say good-bye to the holidays! waaawaa (hot tears crystalizing) The welcoming glow of the Christmas lights, the comforting decadence of home-made eggnog, the omnipresent scent of cedar & cinnamon as I walk through the door…parting tis not sweet at all…

In fact, why can’t we have our Christmas lights up all winter long?! Who was the big Grinch that decided that was just outré ? Probably the same wet blanket that mandated no white trousers after Labour Day or long hair after 40.

Well, let it be known, I mean to be a flame-spitting hellion in 2013 and break all the rules ( I’ve been breaking at least two of them for much longer than I care to admit anyway)

I’m still in Sun Valley and loving every frigid minute of it. Two nights ago it plummeted to minus 12 degrees at our property! To be outside for just a couple of minutes was positively giddifying. The landscape was sparkling like diamond dust, the air itself glistening, no longer the invisible element. Even though I had to sleep in my long johns, as the cold was finding every possible avenue of entry, it was still pure magic.

God bless youth, my younger son and his friend decided it would be the perfect night to take a jacuzzi. Outside.

890A5740I went out for two seconds to check on them and spotted these tracks on the jacuzzi porch.

890A5744 The boys came in shortly after.

890A5749By early morning you could see another set of interesting tracks leading down to the partially frozen river. The big ones on the left are my snow shoes but the single line on the right is an animal. Upon closer inspection they appeared to be left by a light footed deer wearing Manolo pumps, possibly Louboutins, definitely sober. No tracks back, so…did she jump into the frigid water? The first broken heart of 2013?


890A5599More of my tracks along the side of my house. Gawd, I’m sporty. It’s a whole New Me in 2013.

But let’s not speak of resolutions just yet-it’s only the 3rd. You know how I hate to be rushed.

890A5563my fellow ‘shoers’

890A5631Let’s just have one more hot toddy on my  birchbark screened porch and ponder how cold it must be on the ski lifts right now :)

I heart Sun Valley

Happy 2013!



Header image via Tumblr

CELEBRATE: Going For Gold


I hope everyone has been enjoying a happy holiday season.

Finding some quiet time to tuck in with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate, or perhaps catching up on the latest movies? There are so many good ones this year.

As you can see I am back in Sun Valley where the evening landscape is very Seuss-ian. Whoville indeed!

 As we’re just one day away from saying au revoir to 2012, and ringing in a brand New Year I’m wondering;

Where are you and how will you celebrate?!

I send you off on this post with one of my all time favorite songs ; Strange Magic by ELO

IMG_8859A small slice of my friend’s stunning holiday table, one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen.


Did 2012 zip past like a blur of light for you as it did for me?

890A5188Some green,gold & purples (except you can’t see the purple here so you must take me at my word) on my mantlepiece at home.

40425204_UEdNttTG_c copy

I love this simple but dramatic idea for a New Year’s Eve table

Screen Shot 2012-07-09 at 2.20.19 AM

as well, this very chic champagne ‘bucket’ custom designed for  Ruinart champagne.

tumblr_m4s9vlnDGY1rvlgs5o1_500and if there’s one night of the year when you can really go for gold, it has to be New Year’s Eve, right?!

Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 12.22.53 AM


Gustav Klimt

cover_xl_klimt_1211281027_id_569313BTW, if you are a fan of Gustav Klimt at all you must see this BIG,  brand new stunning edition by Taschen ($200) commemorating his 150th anniversary.

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 5.41.16 PMGold confetti champagne ‘flutes’  from “Indigo” via Canadian House & Home


Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 8.49.18 AMWhite & gold- so chic for entertaining, especially in winter.


Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 4.30.08 PM

Bag by Kotur


May your New Year be filled with the light of faeries


and bodacious confection

cococover3Coco Rocha

Several gold stunners sure to attract their fair share of miners at any New Year’s soiree’

196258496232672663_xtg2m8f4_cTom Ford

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 11.33.42 PM

Karmen Pedaru

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Tom Ford



Herve Van Der Straeten 24-karat gold plated cuff $630 via Netaporter.com

49047083413626501_gOFzyu9H_cKate stepped out in gold lame this season


From the Burberry campaign

Screen Shot 2012-11-19 at 10.10.53 PM

890A5074An ornament on my tree

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 4.30.37 PMTory Burch evening clutch

Screen Shot 2012-12-30 at 8.40.51 AMLaduree

It’s all over too soon, isn’t it?

890A5504Golden light upon the midnight snow on my front porch, Sun Valley

Wishing each and every one of you, my wonderful & faithful readers, a safe & joyful New Year’s Eve and may your 2013 be chocked full of good health, happiness & humour.

Thanks so much for all your great comments and support over the years (!!)


Now, let’s get this party started!!



The Night Before the Night Before


Well, we’re almost there!

In just a couple of hours it will be Christmas Eve, at least here in Southern California, where as you can see it’s been


(on my gift wrapping at least)

I felt in need of a change this season so I veered away from my usual ‘au natural’ wrapping theme and decided to go for a White Christmas instead. Bushels of white cotton batten, fake snow, glitter, glue and some very sticky fingers later…


Believe it or not, the snow stays on these presents even if you turn them upside down thanks to the Scotch Super 77 multi-purpose adhesive.


First I lightly sprayed a corner of the gifts (wrapped in plain white kraft paper) with the glue, allowed it a minute or two to become tacky, then built up a ‘snow drift’ with the cotton batting. Then, a second light spray and the addition of the two different types of fake snowflakes I found at Michael’s and Target, mixed with white packing ‘peanuts’ that we chopped up in the food blender (am I kind of crazy? don’t answer that) . A final light spray of glue, again just on the corner, to secure a gentle sprinkling of sparkly, glitter flakes and the presents are complete. FYI, I did do this outside on a drop cloth because of the mess and fumes from the aerosol adhesive.

890A5028The silver balls work by battery, so they’re great to run down the centre of your table mixed in with fresh greenery or to hang on the front door in a wreath or garland. (also from Target)

890A5048It ‘snowed’ in our barn this year too! :)

I leaned my antique water wheel from Sri Lanka up against the wall and wrapped it in fairy lights. So cozy.


So, that’s it for me. The wrapping is finished, the tree adorned and the dining room table is set. Both my boys are home for the holidays-YAY! (though one is sick-we’re actually hoping it’s food related and not the flu :()

Tomorrow, all going well and to plan, I’ll be back with pics of our tree and the table.

Safe Travels & Sweet Dreams my friends!



The Ice Man Cometh Not


Slim Paley photo


Yes, some of you might remember this photo from around Christmas time last year.

I snapped it from the window of my home in Sun Valley.

Enormous icicles were hanging all along the north side of the house and the snow was deep.

This year, thus far…snow, snow, where did you go??

There’s nary a flake to be found.



Also from a post last Christmas, but well worth repeating;

The amazing Freddie Mercury singing “A Winter’s Tale”

Talk about chills!



Oscar de la Renta silver beaded tassel earrings $395



Giorgio Armani SS 2012 finale



So pretty, so easy!



Stocking stuffer from Buccellati




These are very cool

cast glass logs, that look like giant crystals


Jeff Benroth glass logs

(I saw some similar to this at Ruzzetti & Gow, NYC




“Snowball” votives available at Bloomingdales

Corto Moltedo clutch





PS. I know what you’re thinking- Slim, you missed a day on the Advent Calendar!

What you’re forgetting is that next year is actually a Leap Year and therefore, I didn’t really miss yesterday’s post.

Don’t think about that too hard. You’ll get brain freeze.


Day 22ish 23 People- time to get serious!


Soups On, Fires On, Hockey’s On!


Sunset, Lake Tahoe, NO FILTER , LK's Grab BagPhoto of Lake Tahoe by L.K.

It’s pouring rain again today in Santa Barbara and a perfect day for a nice hearty soup!   A few weeks ago, we went to stay with some great friends of ours who live in Lake Tahoe and they served this fantastic soup one afternoon.  I ate it and promptly fell asleep on the sofa in the same room where everyone was watching a rambunctious football game.

Now THAT’S a hearty soup!   We tried it again when we got home and I must say- it’s a keeper.

good winter soupSlim Paley photo

Mountain Comfort Soup

(Original recipe created by Khalil el Zein)

Serves 6-8

1/2 cup butter (doesn’t it sound good already?!)

4 chopped shallots

3/4 cup flour

8 cups chicken broth

3 bunches spinach leaves (aprox. 1/2 lb.)  shredded

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup cream (plus a tiny bit more :)  )

1 egg yolk

A tablespoon or so of chopped basil for garnish

+ Add to taste; chopped up roasted chicken pieces (smallish cubes), mini shell pasta, very thinly sliced shitake mushrooms, roasted pine nuts (we added all of these, I suggest you do the same)

Heat butter and saute shallots for a few seconds.  Add flour and whisk continuously.  Gradually add chicken broth and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth.  Boil for 1 minute.  Add spinach, chicken, white pepper, mushrooms and any or all of the other embellishments above and cook for an additional minute (the pasta should be already boiled)

Just before serving, mix together cream and the egg yolk and fold gently into the soup and stir.    Garnish with a little chopped basil

Enjoy and Nighty Night!!

This was breakfast just a few hours earlier…which could explain the complete soup coma I went into after lunch.  But don’t they say you should eat every few hours???

hearty breakfastSlim Paley photo


In addition to sharing the recipe for the soup, our friends introduced us to “Good Earth” Original Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea;  No SUGAR, no caffeine, and no artificial colour or ingredients (Ingredients
Red Rooibos, Chicory Root, Artificial Flavor, Rosehips, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Papaya, Chamomile, Panax Ginseng Leaves, Anise Seed, Ginger Root, Dandelion Root, Orange Peel and Orange Oil)
Honestly- it is SO GOOD.  I’m totally addicted- I’m drinking at least two cups a day, and so is everyone else in our house.  I just can’t believe how sweet it is with no sugar whatsoever.  My friend is UNBELIEVABLY healthy and…oh, let’s just leave it at that for the moment because I don’t want to make you feel badly about yourself. I’ll take that one for the team.  I’ve just spent 5 minutes trying to think of something wrong with her…so far, I’ve got nothing.  Let’s just say that if she drinks the tea, we should all be drinking it too.    Available on Amazon Grocery.

Oh, wait… I do think she had a couple of hangnails-  and something tells me she’s probably crap at ironing.

Slim Paley Photo……………..Hurry!  Soups ON!!

Slim Paley Photo………Anyone care to have a word with that Ground hog again??

Go Team Canada!  :)