Tuesday, February 28, 2017


For the last two years we haven't been very lucky with our skiing holiday weather, and spent most of the time with books by the fire while snowstorms were raging outside. This year however the conditions could not have been more perfect.. it snowed the week before we went, and then the sun made a comeback just as we arrived. The blue skies lasted our entire stay and the temperatures were so mild that it could have been the end of March. It was our best skiing holiday ever!

The wonderful weather allowed for lighter ski gear, and on most days a small Gavroche/Pocket Square scarf was just the perfect amount of silk to keep the neck warm and protected.

Vif Argent, tied in a half cowboy knot and tucked into a turtle neck collar.

Bonjour Monsieur!

Another day, another scarf.... Brazil II Gavroche

'On aime les bulles' - my motto, too!

Watching the paragliders over lunch the previous day gave DS an idea..

getting ready


No turning back now... allez-go!

Can you spot the orange sail?

Last day.. wearing my absolute favorite winter scarf, the 'Les Plaisiers du Froid'. It's been on every skiing holiday since my dearest friend Jerrine gave it to me (I never received a scarf in such beautiful condition.. more on Jerrine's scarf magic coming soon)

Les Plaisirs du Froid - detail

Au revoir, until next year!

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  1. Gorgeous . . . gorgeous . . . gorgeous. Those BLUE skies. don't think we ever get them that blue where I am. If we did, I might be tempted to pick up the skiis again (on second thought - NO.)

    Equally gorgeous? You in that very chic black ski outfit. How can you look so slim in what's basically a puffer jacket? I don't understand it. I know of only one other person I've seen who could pull one off without looking like the Michelin man - a beautiful girl from Spain, who looked fabulous in hers, as well. I won't even try one on!

    And, I'm so glad that my scarf got to go on vacation with you even if I had to stay put. She looked right at home, and I'm sure she enjoyed the outing.

    And, yes, here's to those bubbles we Swans love so much. They always put us in such an agreeable mood!

    Much love,

    PS - I cannot believe that's DS. What happened to the shy little blonde boy I knew and loved? Darn, he's turned into a hunk. Must be those fabulous genes.

    1. Hello....scarf magic? Would you like to share with the rest of the class?!

    2. You will have to wait and see, my dear! (Although, it's probably not as exciting as it sounds. No sleight of hand involved, I promise.)


  2. Looks beautiful! It was a good year for snow. Glad you had such a nice time! I also really love that Les Plaisirs du Froid. Beautiful colours and so in harmony with the surroundings.

  3. Gorgeous photos, you must have had a wonderful time.I love the pop of color provided by your scarves worn with the cowl neck sweater.Can you wear a 90cm in the same style? Perhaps the ends might be wrapped around the neck a time or two more.

  4. Looks superbe! I am heading to France this month (hopefully) to ski as well so your pictures made me look extra forward to it. By the way, curious question: I have read that silk doesn't like water or moisture too much. When you ski (at least that goes for me), I tend to get a little warm around the neck, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as in your pictures and your fighting an uphill battle (literally, haha). Is that something you consider? I hope you don't take it as a too personal question, I am just very hesitant to wear any of my scarves if there is the risk of getting too warm and getting even a little moisture on them. That's also why I hardly wear my scarves during summer... Thank you!

  5. What a wonderfully understated post for such a glam holiday. Love the idea of tucking a scarf under a roll neck..never thought of that before. You remain an icon of good taste to me. I did feature you in my blogpost http://gilldachada.blogspot.co.za/2017/01/my-favourite-bloggersyoutubers.html
    in the hopes that more women would start to follow you and 'learn a thing or two'..or three. Much love and thanks.

  6. Dearest Mai Tai,

    What a great post with beautiful photos!

    Your dear DD has turned into a very handsome young man and at first glance I thought it was you. How courageous of him and of you.I don´t know if I would dare...
    Your choice of scarves was perfect and Les Plaisirs du Froid is with no doubt a very beautiful one.
    I am glad that you are enjoying your holidays and send you much love from cloudy and rainy Copenhagen, Manuela xx

    1. So sorry darling. I meant of course DS instead of DD

  7. Fun trip! Please let me know how the picture directly above the line "Can you spot the orange sail?" is taken. They must have already taken off because the shoot is opened, but I can't figure out who and where the picture was taken by and from. So glad you had a good time! Emily :-)

  8. So lovely to see the pics and read the account of your fabulous ski holiday! Glad to hear the weather cooperated this year to give you more time on the slopes!
    You look so chic and elegant in your black ski togs. How you manage no helmet hair, no sunscreen on the gavroche and not an extra ounce of puff in the puffer jacket is beyond me! Kudos to the photog for capturing you beautifully on the slopes!
    Fearless DS has grown into such a handsome young man! Very cool that he gave the paraskiing a try! No more ski school races for him!
    Happy days darling,happy days! Mwahs, T xx

  9. Oh my goodness--your holiday snaps look like picture postcards with that vibrant blue sky! I can almost feel the crisp air redden my cheeks--or perhaps I'm just longing for the winter we sorely missed here in the South.

    Your son could be the bravest person I know--was he nervous at all, or filled with adrenaline line all teenagers? What a fun vacation for him!

    I'm lost in your translation: "On aimes les bulles?" Can I get an assist? "Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?" (Name that movie!)

    Hope everyone had a fantastic Mardi Gras!

    1. Heh there, Southern sister, "anyone" is coming to your aid. It means . . . we love bubbles, as in champagne bubbles. And you probably thought she was talking about smelly old bulls!

      While I don't know much French, I've got "bulles" down cold.

      But, it's 80 degrees here in Hotlanta again today - too hot for champagne, and we're on tornado watch. Tis the season.

      Did you survive Mardi Gras? You are pretty much at ground zero.

      Love to you,

    2. Bubbles! That makes perfect sense! But how could it ever to TOO HOT for champagne? Any weather is perfect for champers! Especially during tornado season--jeez, batten down the hatches. You've had it pretty rough the past few days. I know because it came here first!

      Mardi Gras. Well, it is festive and there is a cake attached to the holiday...my husband rode a float for too many years and I partied too much in college, so we just take Mardi Gras as an extended holiday weekend now--catch our breath, get out of town for a few days.

      Thank you, my Southern scarf swan sister, for the translation! Hope you can enjoy a beautiful weekend like we are on the coast!


    3. Any holiday that involves cake is fine in my book, Greta. You must be talking about the King Cake with the baby Jesus baked inside, lol. Sounds pretty gross and sacreligous, doesn't it Swans.

      Greta will explain this New Orleans tradition with purple, gold and green sprinkles on top. It's tasty, though, I have to admit. Might be good with a glass or two of champagne!

      I'm impressed; your husband must be a member of one of the Crews. Now you have to explain what that is, too. New Orleans cultural and history lesson coming, Swans.


      PS - Stop sending us your scary weather, please. Enjoy the beach, though.

    4. Did I hear cake?? And bubbles? I'm all in and I'd love to hear about Mardi Gras! Having lived in Cologne for 4 years (the very heart of German Carnivale craziness) I'm very interested in other traditions...off you go, dear Greta!
      Greetings from curious Katja

    5. Mardi Gras along the Gulf Coast is serious business--it's party season! The festivities start about two weeks before Lent and they are filled with parades and balls! People line the street and beg the masters (or riders in costume) on the float to "Throw me something, Mister!" The maskers throw plastic beads, stuffed animals, Moon Pies (a Southern treat!) and sometimes ladies' unmentionables! Now, often these parades take place at night and can get a little rowdy, especially in New Orleans, when women sometimes show their "goodies" to the maskers in return for good throws!

      Now after the parades, the maskers go back to their 'dens,' (think Fraternity Houses) or some other ideal location, for a ball. The men (or sometimes women, as there are all-women and even co-ed mystic societies) are still in their costumes and masks and can be fined for taking them off! And their dates are dressed to the nines...I wore a fabulous lipstick-red, off the shoulder gown from Baltimore. The main festivities are drinking and dancing, but the spectacular show is the tableau, or the introduction of the krewe's (the group's or mystic society's) royalty--there is a leading lady for each krewe--usually a college-age girl, though not always, and then the organization's officers. All the members and their dates are seated around them with the rest of the guests standing behind--it's a huge group. I had a chair and Andy sat at my feet and for some reason it's tradition to throw (and throw hard) pennies at the tableau members!

      Many people I know do nothing but attend balls for the entire two weeks and it's absolutely exhausting! But of course when you do go into work, every office has a King Cake. It's a large cinnamon-roll-like oblong doughnut, for lack of a better description, iced and sprinkled with purple, green and gold to honor the Three Wise Men, because Carnival season starts on Epiphany, or 12th night. There is a small, plastic baby tucked in the cake called a Frozen Charlotte (I have no idea why) and the person who ends up with the baby has to bring the next cake! Often the cakes have different fillings, and we found one this year with pecan praline filling! Others include strawberry, blueberry, bavarian cream and cream cheese.

      And that is Mardi Gras in a nutshell. How do we compare to Cologne, Katja?

    6. Wow, even more involved and more fun than I thought, Greta. Well, at least when you're young. About one or two nights of that would have me begging for mercy. A couple of weeks? They'd have to bury me and have one of those fabulous jazz parades with umbrellas through the streets of the French Quarter (a part of New Orleans for those who have not had the opportunity to visit, and ya'll should at least once in your lives! New Orleans is a force to be experienced first hand . . . just not in the summer, though, unless you really like to sweat.)

      Sorry I mangled Krewe, but I do understand that it's a very prestigious honor. Being pelted with pennies doesn't sound like much of an honor, however. It sounds like it would hurt like hell. I'm not sure I'd like being slammed with a Moon Pie either. Even though I live in the South, I do not have to like Moon Pies - yuck. I think you have to be native born to appreciate them. Kind of like grits.

      I do have some experience with King Cakes, though. They're very good, or at least a bit of them - they're very sweet. And, the last time I partook, I managed to crunch down on that darn little plastic baby's head . . . and swallowed part of it!

      Yep, I'm too old for Mardi Gras New Orleans style. Another one might kill me.

      Many thanks for a terrific cultural lesson,

    7. Wow, ladies -- you Southern Belles know how to party hearty! "Fat Tuesday" is a tame affair in Seattle, as our weather is not conducive to shedding clothing and dancing in the city streets, scrambling to pick up soggy treats in the icy rain. Now it's Lent and I've given up donuts, cake, cookies and candy bars. (You know how, as one gets older, one wishes time would slow down? Well, this is a great way to make 6 weeks seem endless.)

      I will certainly attend your fabulous jazz parade/funeral in N'Orleans, Jerrine. But let's not do it too soon, 'k? Maybe in 30 years or so, assuming I'm still upright myself.

      Warm aloha to J, G, K, and all the lovely Swans,

    8. Yes, Fifi, "party" is most any southern belle's middle name. It all started with Scarlett O'Hara, you see. All SB's feel compelled to uphold the principles of the sisterhood's founder.

      Sigh . . . I am only an honorary belle. I have no southern blood running through my veins. Wish I did though, as most SB's are truly great women - strong, courageous, smart, funny, sweet - the whole darn package.

      Thirty years, Fifi? Excuse, me. I just choked on my tea.


    9. Oh Fifi--

      You took the words right out of my mouth! The six weeks of Lent seems endless now that they are chocolate-free! What was I thinking? And you gave up doughnuts, cake, cookies and candy bars? You are the bravest swan!

      Jerrine's planned funeral sounds like quite the event! But I agree--let's not have it in the summer--we'd melt! Also, we probably shouldn't serve King Cake, because choking on the baby sounds like what might have done her in!

      You swans bring a smile to my day!


    10. Yes, no funeral in the summer, please. I'd hate to sweat even though I was already dead.

      And, giving up chocolate? Noooooooo - too painful. I gave up broccoli instead! I know, a huge sacrifice.

      Hang in there, Fifi. You, too, Greta,

    11. Greta, I was just taking a break and tooling around on the Internet and Googled "King Cake, Frozen Charlotte." Look what I found - now you'll know what that baked-in baby thing is all about, and you can impress and amaze your friends with your breadth of knowledge.

      Frozen Charlotte: A Cautionary Tale Baked into a Cake
      Posted on February 9, 2016 by Katy Meyers Emery

      "Today is a holiday that goes by many names: Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. The day involves the practice of eating richer and fatty foods before Ash Wednesday when Lenten begins. It is celebrated in different ways depending on where you are. In England it is also known as Pancake Tuesday and, not surprisingly, involves eating rich pancakes. In New Orleans it is a colorful celebration with parades, dancing, eating and drinking. One of the more interesting traditions of this celebration is the King’s Cake– a cinnamon sugar dough twisted into a ring and decorated with icing and purple, green and yellow sugar. Most importantly, baked within the cake, it a small plastic or porcelain baby meant to symbolize the Jesus, and whomever gets the slice of cake with the Jesus becomes the ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for the day and gets a prize or special privileges. But this isn’t the only type of doll found in a cake…

      This past summer, we excavated a privy to the southwest of Saints’ Rest, and found two dolls. One of those is a fairly intact bust of a larger doll, but the other is a small porcelain girl with few features. When we started looking into the history of this smaller doll, we learned that this was a very important figurine in the late 19th century, and has a slightly morbid story behind it.
      Her name is Frozen Charlotte.

      The doll was first created in Germany in 1850 as a playmate for bath time, perfect since the doll does not have clothing in many instances. However, it quickly became associated with a dark Victorian poem by Seba Smith. In the poem, a young woman named Charlotte who takes a sleigh ride with her beau on New Years Eve. As she leaves her home, her mother warns her to bundle up against the cold weather.

      “O, daughter dear,” her mother cried,
      “This blanket ’round you fold;
      It is a dreadful night tonight,
      You’ll catch your death of cold.”

      “O, nay! O, nay!” young Charlotte cried,
      And she laughed like a gypsy queen;
      “To ride in blankets muffled up,
      I never would be seen.”

      Charlotte doesn’t take her mother’s advice, and rides through the night without a blanket so that everyone can see her clothing and beauty. When Charles and Charlotte arrive to the party, he holds his hand out to her, but she isn’t responsive.

      “He stripped the mantle off her brow,
      And the pale stars on her shone,
      And quickly into the lighted hall,
      Her helpless form was born.
      They tried all within their power,
      Her life for to restore,
      But Charlotte was a frozen corpse,
      And is never to speak more.”

      The poem and doll became a cautionary tale for children. The dolls sold for a penny, and were extremely popular in America. What does this all have to do with King’s Cake and Fat Tuesday? Well, similar to the King’s Cake Baby, Frozen Charlottes were often baked into cakes or other desserts for children as a nice surprise during Christmastime."

      While this has absolutely nothing to do with scarves or skiing, I found it at least semi-fascinating.

      With apologies to MT,

      PS - Old Charlotte could have used a few Hermès cashmere GM's, right?

    12. Hermès could start a teeny, tiny new line--scarves and wraps for King Cake dolls in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold!

      What a great way to start a Friday--with laughter!

      xoxoxoxox Greta

    13. I'm a little late to the party, so had to catch up a lot, lol. I'm totally fascinated by all the stories of Mardi Gras, cakes and Frozen Charlotte. Interesting enough, we also have a cake called Charlotte, but I never heard that there's a little naked doll involved...
      Well, to get back to Greta, Cologne Carnivale is similar, but different. The whole business actually starts on November 11, and the "session" ends on the night to Ash Wedesday, when straw puppets are burned, and with them all sins committed over Carnivale (and trust me, there will be plenty...rumour has it that the birth rate plummets in November!). The peak of Carnivale when Cologne (the whole of the Rhine area, to be precise) is going nuts, starts on "Weiberfastnacht" when women raid the town halls, get the keys and take over control for the next five days. The will cut off any men's tie that comes their way, and this whole procedure is accompanied by drinking lots of beer from tiny 0.2l glasses. Cologne is one of the rare cities that doesn't have a couple of prince and princess Carnivale, but a triad of prince, boor and a maiden, who is in fact always a male! The biggest parades take place on Rose Monday, with huge decorated waggons that ridicule politics, current affairs and so on. Cologne has a huge number of different guards, who are an ironic imitation of the military. During the parade, tons of sweets (called Kamelle), flowers and other stuff is thrown to the audience, who is also in masquerade. But more than cakes and sweets, beer is a crucial part of the whole proceedings, and remaining sober can't be recommended...it's unbearable!
      That's Cologne Carnivale in a nutshell- the countdown till nov 11 is already on!
      I also refrain from Broccoli for the next weeks...
      Excuse us, dear MaiTai, for this digression,
      Love, Katja

    14. Katja--

      Wow! What a way to celebrate--it sounds like absolute debauchery and decadence!

      At Mardi Gras, we throw plastic beads, stuffed animals and Moon Pies, which are two cookies with a marshmallow filling. But it must be so lovely to see all the flying flowers! And I love the men's ties being cut off! It sounds so fun, so unbridled, so wild!

      And your Carnival 'season' is so long! This year, yours lasted from November until the end of February? You must be exhausted! Ours doesn't really kick off until Epiphany and runs until Ash Wednesday, but it's really only the last two weeks that are intense--very intense!

      I will have to google Carnivale Cologne and see if I can find some photos! If I see a gorgeous woman in a scarf, I will assume it is you!

      xoxoxo Greta

    15. Wow, Katja, I've only been in Cologne once, but at the time, I thought it such a somber and serious city. Guess not! It sounds like Carnivale in Cologne somehow manages to top New Orelans in the general rowdiness department.

      I kind of like the idea of women taking over and being in charge of the local governement for five days, though? I bet something actually gets done.

      But, how on earth does everyone manage to survive for that many months of partying day and night. Makes me tired just to read about it.

      Thanks for the Carnivale dissertation, though. I always find it fascinating to learn about the customs and celebrations of other countries.

      Stay strong regarding that broccoli. I haven't waivered, lol.

      Love to you,

    16. Dear Carnival-interested ladies, how funny to read about the huge differences in celebrating carnival! Born in the Rhine-area we take it for granted... (and goggle about naked puppets...)
      Dear Greta, you can find some pictures of the Cologne Carnival right here. MaiTai took part in february 2010 and posted some atmospheric pictures.
      Dear Katja, how nice to know you just around the corner! Perhaps we could meet someday in Cologne??? We could drink a Kölsch (or simply coffee) and adore MaiTai...
      Best wishes Claudia

  10. Dear MT, thanks for such a pleasant start to my morning, daydreaming myself into those wonderful photos. You looked great and DS is getting so tall! I'm glad you had such a good time this year and were blessed with blue skies. Our weather in Seattle changes daily. Today it's lowering clouds and brisk winds with low 40s (F). Want to trade?
    Much aloha,

  11. Dear Mai-Tai,

    First, thank you for inspiring me with your beautiful photos, tips, videos and gentle comments.

    I grew up surrounded by the women in my family always wearing a scarf around their neck. They were colourful patterned fantasies, always silk and always Italian. For 100's of years, the women in my family fed silk worms on their balconies overlooking the courtyard in the village 45 minutes northwest of Venice. The youngest girls used their little fingers inside the cocoons to fish out the end of the thread and pull it out to begin the spinning process. These days, my cousins work in the thread factories producing what will become the luxurious silks of Italy.
    When in Venice, I buy scarves. (I do own an Hermes I purchased long ago in Paris).

    I was insured by your posting two years ago, to add a scarf to my skiing outfit. It has proven both stylish and practical and elicits compliments from men and women.

    I returned yesterday from a glorious month skiing at Alta, Utah where of course, I wore my scarf. I tie it in a cowboy knot under my jacket but without a scarf ring. When it gets cold and windy, I pull the silk up to under my nose (like a cowboy!) and I am warm and comfortable. My merino balaclava seems to get and stay moist from my exhaled breath and loses its warming qualities. If the scarf gets moist, I simply redirect the heat from the hand dryer in the bathroom and I'm ready to go in under a minute. At the end of the day, I remove the scarf and tie it to hide my helmet hair in a stylish way.

    This year, I had an incident. In my haste, I caught the corner of my scarf in the zipper of my jacket so ferociously that the only option was to cut the scarf. I tied a knot to hide the hole and went back for another run. Now my beautiful scarf has another interesting story to tell!

    A precautionary tale to share with your other ski fans.

    Thank you again for your beautiful site!


  12. My heart skipped a beat when I saw DS up in the sky and with ski on! OMG!! What a cool son and a cool mom...and not only that, but also elegant and chic, even on the slopes. I agree with Jerrine and Trudye - how do you do it? Even wearing a bangle! I never considered a scarf when skiing...Very happy to read (and see) that you had fabulous weather this time round, remembering your pictures from last year I'd say you really deserved it. We're not as lucky- but you can't have it all...
    I bet you and Milo are well prepared and impatiently waiting for spring now- hopefully it won't take long! Greetings from the snow,

  13. What a charming story about the women in your family and their raising of the silk worms, NFON. Fascinating!

    And, I certainly agree with you in regard to Italian silk, along with Italian wool, cashmere, etc. Italy's fabrics are unsurpassed.

    So sorry to hear about your scarf's run in with that zipper, but I'm happy that you enjoyed skiing here in the US.


  14. :-) I'm not much of a skier, but I love to see your pictures of the sun shining on lovely white slopes.
    Wow, your son is quite brave! And you too - that you have put up with it!!!
    Looks like a beautiful holiday, well deserved.
    Have a very HAPPY weekend, dearest MaiTai :-)

  15. YES!

  16. Dear MaiTai,

    I apologise for going a bit off-topic, but I wanted to ask your advice regarding scarf rings. I would like to give one as a present to an aunt, and I was wondering which one would you recommend as the most versatile for a 90 carré.

    Thank you very much in advance, and thanks for a great blog (and shop)!

    Best regards,

  17. Oups, I am terribly late , I’m totally out of the pond this time ;-)

    Dearest MT, you won your first medal for courage in the army of frightened Mums, trust me, you’ll soon be decorated like a Russian Colonel!

    Well I really have to take time to read again carefully all your interesting stories about Carnival because I’m not sure I understood everything about a frozen naked lady named Charlotte hidden in a cake and almost had a heart attack reading that Jerrine is planning her funeral in the New Orleans (young lady, let’s talk about this in May).

    At the end, I am only sure about one thing : I hate broccoli and I had so much fun reading you ladies.

  18. Geeesh, Catherine, I was wondering where you were. Thought that you might have been swallowed up by Carnival in France and were too busy enjoying yourself with all the debauchery.

    I'm not all that fond of broccoli either, truth be told. That's why I decided to give it up for Lent!

    Thanks for referring to me as "young." Ha, ha!

    Love to you and Rocket Boy,