Seeing Red (II)

Valentine's chocolates

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.


Funny the things we remember. NOT.


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

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


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?



 Segueing back to a little lighter fare…

Le rouge, le rouge is everywhere!



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.


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..


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


 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


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


Karlie Kloss being fierce in red. Donna Karan Fall 2014


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


Ralph Lauren Fall 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.24.41 PMmodaoperandi Instagram

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

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!


Wishing everyone a Very Happy Valentine’s Day!


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

and remember…


Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.42.49 AM

Mwah, Mwah


Blasts from the past;

the last time I was Seeing Red

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






As Valentine’s Day is but a breathless day or two away,

I thought I’d gather a few of my roses for you.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.24.26 AMSome fun with Instagram 

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 2.57.51 PMI zoomed these roses through a shop window in Paris. I think the glass had a beautiful effect on them, don’t you?



The Beloved

It is enough of honor for one lifetime

To have known you better than the rest have known

The shadows and colours of your voice,

Your will, immutable and still as stone.

The shy heart so lonely and so gay,

The sad laughter and the pride of pride,

The tenderness, the depth of tenderness

Rich as the earth, and wide as heaven is wide.


Sara Teasdale


L1010648From my garden.  

K, I’m ready for spring.

screen-shot-2011-02-13-at-1-41-21-pmDo you have any special plans for this romantic day that, let’s admit, has become just a tad commercialized ?


Remember way back before political correctness when as kids in primary school we were allowed to send Valentine’s cards to whomever we wished and not necessarily the entire class, girls & boys both??

I DO. Oh, The Horror.

I will have dinner out with my husband of 25 years (this April. He would have sent me a Valentine in class) and then we’ll rush home to watch the opening season of “Survivor!”

I know. Can you believe how hot that is?!


Thank you to all you sweethearts that have voted for me in the final round of the  HOMIES 



And have a beautiful Carnation & Baby’s Breath-free Valentine’s Day!



(moving pic & children via Tumblr)

Romance & Roses

Slim Paley photo.

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but looking outward together in the same direction” Antoine De Saint-Expery


It’s Smoochie Smoochie Time again…no, Silly, not The Grammys-I’m talking about kissing on the LIPS!

Valentine’s Day Tomorrow!!

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.


Let’s stroll down a romantic path together, shall we?

What’s your favourite romantic restaurant ? What foods spell ‘Sensuous’ to you?

Your most treasured romantic novel?

Mine is;

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”  Gabriel Garcia Marquez



Slim Paley photo

What about a film, flower or song?

Where’s the most romantic place you’ve ever been, or dream of going?!


Herewith, a few images and some of my picks;


Slim Paley Photo

Oak Alley, Louisiana- that’s Romance for me.

One of my favourite songs about LOVE (And played at our wedding :) )

Let’s Stay Together  


.Slim Paley photo

Romantic Roses in my garden





Slim Paley Photo

Sofia” is a nice, light, inexpensive Rose’ in a very pretty bottle



Slim Paley Photo

“LOVE” by Kilian.

A seductive blend of neroli, orange blossom, jasmine, rose & vanilla



Slim Paley photo

My friends Dani & Bill Hahn’s magical rose farm in Carpinteria, CA; ROSE STORY FARM



Slim Paley photo



Slim Paley photo

Rose Story Farm

(spot the kitty- distant kin of our cat :))


Fun reference book by Diane Ackerman- I love her books



Slim Paley Photo

Beautiful little arrangements for a Father & Daughter event created by TOAST, Santa Barbara



i love you cards- check out their cute site here



“The Lover”  A steamy, sensuous feast of a film


And for sensuous food…pretty much anything that involves white truffles gets a big pungent thumbs up from moi.  Quite honestly- just bury me with a good bottle of fresh white truffle salt (but make sure it’s pure, no “Essence of” stuff- Could there be anything worse than heading off into The Afterlife with an aftertaste? You have to think of these things…)


Slim Paley Photo

Ultra long stemmed red roses from Toast, Santa Barbara


Slim Paley Photo

One of The most Romantic Gardens I’ve ever been to, NINFA, outside of Rome



Robert Longo Rose Print

Unison Heart ornaments on sale now here





Slim Paley Photo

A single votive illuminates a friend’s fahboolus rose photo printed coffee table


Dior Couture 2011

How do I count the ways I love  thee, John Galliano??


Slim Paley “Shake It” photo

photo via Lola’s

A Rose is a Rose (by any other name) Martini

In a shaker filled with ice ..
2 parts Capt Morgan Spiced Rum
2 splashes Rose Le Sirop de Monin
1 part of fresh pear juice
Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled champagne glass. Fill the glass to the top with rose petals .. which are completely edible and quite simply .. gorgeous. enjoy

(Recipe courtesy of Lola’s)


Slim Paley Photo

‘Le Sirop Monin’ mixed with champagne, yesterday afternoon…  For the sake of THE BLOG, People

PS. So I cheated and used a camellia petal because I didn’t have pear juice or roses in bloom right now-  not poisonous, right?

It’s been almost 24 hours now…

So far, I’m feeling OK.


Slim Paley photo

This Cherry Bomb cupcake from Whodidly Cupcakes, Montecito, CA. made me feel even better :)




Slim Paley Photo


Wishing you a LOVEly Valentine’s Day and if you’re up for a Grammy Good Luck !!



Somebody Cares


hot pink roses,

Slim Paley Photo


.Somebody cares for you, cares so much

That the heart grows glad at your slightest touch

And the sound of your voice and the sight of your smile

Make all my burdens and cares worthwhile.


 Somebody cares for you

bye and bye.  When the years roll on,

you will know it’s I ;

Then, looking back o’er the road we fared,

You’ll see how much for you somebody cared.

Edgar A. Guest


Almost 23 years ago, when my husband and I were first married and living in NY,  we happened upon the beautiful little poem above framed in an antique shop.  I still think to this day it is just so sweet and lovely.  Although the poem’s not exactly Byron-esque or raging with passion,  I believe it encapsulates one of the most important aspects of a strong and lasting union; to feel the person you have chosen to spend your life with will always be there for you.


peach rose slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo

The Ways in Which Love Can Still Surprise Me

-The evolving forms your love assumes as you grow older can still, on occasion, surprise me.  That the soaring of your heart when your sons, who now tower over you, hug you really, really tightly is just as thrilling and wonderful in it’s own unique way as romantic love.  And you acknowledge for the umpteenth time since they were born that there is no more astounding or ferocious feeling on the planet than parental love.

- That this fierce protective love doesn’t ease or diminish with age- I see it in my own mother who, despite all these years of being a mother myself, is still very much a Mother, and that every stumble and triumph, ache and elation of each of her children is felt as her own. (scareee)

- That the siblings you argued with, complained about baby-sitting, accused of taking your clothes, the car, or just general Dorkdom are actually just as cool as you are now and you would choose to hang out with them even if your parents didn’t make you!

- That as much as you thought the love of your friends was important when you were young, it pales in comparison to how important it becomes as you get older.  And that for every time you might advance the theory that your partner or teen-agers (or both, after all, it’s an Invasion!)  have been body-snatched, your best friends are always there with a hug, sage advice, a good laugh and a strong beverage, not necessarily in that order.

-That the completely 100% unqualified joy and love that your pets give to you is both heart-breaking and humbling.

-That with all the dismal news we see in the media day after day, there are still countless people performing acts of knee-buckling kindness and love that don’t get recognized nearly enough.  I say we’re well overdue for “The Good News” show.  Good news not only feels good mentally, it’s actually been proven to have a positive physical effect as well.

-And lastly, on this most romantic day of the year, I want to say that all The Sawyers, The Brando’s, The John Hamms (I should probably stop now) couldn’t possibly be more romantic or sweet than my husband still is to me after all these years.  But wait…I guess I don’t find it that surprising after all.  I was hoping it would be so when I married him. I knew it would be so when he loved the poem.








Oh,What Does He Know?!

rose petals, slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo………… ………………

An embarrassment of bathtub rose petals at The Devigarh Hotel

(one of the most unusual and beautiful hotels in the world) Udaipur, India


Well, are we really going to rely on what that stupid Ground Hog says?  I don’t THINK SO!!  Let’s ignore that gloomy overgrown rat with Beaver Envy’s  prediction of six more weeks of winter and concentrate on what’s really important;

  What the people that love us are going to buy us for VALENTINE’S DAY!

Rose Petal earrings by JARPatinated Rose Petal earrings by JAR (Bergdorf Goodman)

First introduced on Valentine’s Day in 1996 and composed from seven of the world’s most expensive varieties of roses, Jo Malone’s Red Roses Cologne became an instant classic. Now Jo has just released Red Roses Fragrance Chronicles ($95) – the PERFECT gift for Valentine’s Day!!  You may create your own story and signature scent using the Red Roses cologne and it’s three accompanying accords, Moroccan Mint Leaf, Ice Rose and Honeycomb (the top, heart and base notes of the Red Roses Scent).  Love this idea! 

Jo Malone Bath Oil  ($60)

All Jo Malone products available  with free standard shipping and free samples at, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Sak’s and Barney’s.   There you go boys, my work is done here.

The Quest for the Black Rose, photo slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo………………….

..The Quest For The Black Rose is the ultimate coffee table book for lovers of exotic roses.  Weighing in at, well, I don’t know because I don’t have a scale but it measures 18″ x 13 1/2″ and it’s pretty damn heavy.  With gorgeous matte and glossy photo quality paper it’s an absolute feast for the eyes. I would actually consider removing some of the pages and framing them, they are that beautiful.  (just don’t tell Stichtieg-Kunstboek- they live in Belgium, they’ll never know)  $125.00 on Amazon

Roses, roses, roses,
Slim Paley Photo

.Roses from my garden

And Now…Martini Time!

Raspberry Martini

LOLA’S, LA “Whats Love Got To Do With It?” Martini

Muddle 5 fresh raspberries with 1/4 of a lime in a Martini shaker. Pour in 1 1/2 oz of a good quality very smooth blanco Tequila (we are using Herredera) Top off with a big splash of Passion Fruit juice (fresh is ALWAYS best) and a very small splash of Chambord. Strain into a very chilled Martini glass and let the games begin.

Full disclosure: I haven’t read this book and to be honest, despite a couple of good reviews I’ve seen, it’s got chic-lit written all over it, but who could resist the cover for the purposes of this post? If anyone has a good report on it please let us know! ( I love to be proven wrong…if it means I get to buy another book )

rose petal bath, Devigarh hotel,

OK,  maybe I just made that up.



Slim Paley Photo

More Valentine’s Day suggestions coming…