exercise…Wait! Come Back!

Love Story

Did you have a great 4th of July holiday?!

Whut? It’s the 10th already?

And me, still not bikini ready :-(

Oh, let’s get real.

I’m not even underwired, black one piece with a pleated skort ready.

As Pinterest loves to remind me on a daily basis.

white bathing suit

and yet, casting my memory back to Christmas when my older son’s adorable girlfriend “C” bought me the Nike Fuel Band I was so chuffed.

I thought Wow-this is going to be GUHREAT!!

No more pocket for my old pedometer (and it going through the wash every other month) my new Nike band would also tell me the time, number of steps I was taking, and amount of “fuel” and calories consumed/expended each day

(but we’re not going to talk about that part. You lost me at calori…ZZZZZZzzzzzz)

Nike fuel band

Pretty cool, right? ( also comes in black)

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What I didn’t realise was that Nike was not only going to set outrageously, preposterously, Herculean, nay Sisyphean  “GOALS” for me,

 it was also going to spy on me. And be cruel about it.

 I mean could that O% get any bigger?? WTF?

 I wonder if they’re sharing Slim’s FAILURE information with the government?

It’s not as if I haven’t been active…

Amangiri hotel, Utah

Rock climbing(ish) in Utah in May

hiking Montecito, California

And as my Instagram account will attest, I’ve climbed to the top of the peaks of Montecito more than a few times.

Which means twice in truth speak.

yoga

I’ve done plenty of yoga…

yet I’m O for how many days and counting.

Nike fuel band success

Unlike my dear friend who posted this on her Instagram page.

Apparently it takes climbing Machu Picchu to achieve the  “Full Rainbow”

and a well deserved glass of wine.

Fuel band Nike Well, I’ll show you Nike Dudes

 I’m getting to the red zone if it kills me this next week.

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Speaking of failures…

pink lantern

I still haven’t painted that damn vintage chandelier hot pink yet and then this popped up on Pinterest.

Nike and bloody Pinterest. They’re gunning for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. Just check out that cute painted floor!

I’d love it even more if I’d been a ground floor investor, but as I’ve never invested in anything, I can’t be bitter about that.

It’s just that you can never quite predict how you’re going to feel after a tip-toe (marathon) thru “Pinterest” am I right?

It’s like;

I’m INSPIRED!! I’m so unproductive.

I’m redoing the laundry room! I hate my body. I should knit! Would it kill me to juice more?

Lauren Santa Domingo’s so cool. My mom never braided my hair. I can’t live without that hot pink garden hose.

gisele bundchen

Look, I saw it, now you have to deal with it…

ombre hair

I should ombre’ my hair

I need a portable chain saw

I should wear heels more. How do they get the jello to separate like that?

and the biggest one of all (and my current screen saver)

salted caramel & chocolate pie

How did we EVER live without salt in our caramel??

Unsalted caramel is like the MySpace of confections

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and on that note,

Go to the gym!

JUST DO IT :-)

xox SP

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Photo of Ali MacGraw & Ryan O’Neil and girl in white bathing suit via Pinterest

Salted Caramel & chocolate tart recipe HERE

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Happy Summer Solstice!

gingerbread cottage

Summer’s HERE!!

Even though I live in Southern California I still get so excited about its official arrival, don’t you?!

Would that it last as long as it did when we were children. An eternity, it seemed.

Growing up in Vancouver, where it stayed light until almost 10pm at night, we’d ride our bikes to the park to play softball, fluorescent ‘clackers’ spinning on tire spokes, streamers flying from our handle bars until the street lights signaled it was time to go home. Occasionally a friend would show up at our front door on a horse instead of a bike and we’d end up at ‘The Barn’ where I’d marvel (be jealous) at the girls who weren’t afraid of horses the way I was. I wanted my parents to have Avocado Green appliances more than I wanted a horse of my own. I think that was telling sign of what was coming down the pipeline, don’t you?!

 As we got older, we’d walk barefoot to the beach (OK, we often hitchhiked, swear to God, but never at night and never alone. What were we thinking?? It was a different world back then) our leather fringed purses (twice as big as our cut-offs) bulging with “Sun-In”, baby oil, cigarettes, Yardley “Pot-o-Gloss”, hairbrushes, Sweet Tarts and salted sunflower seeds. No sunscreen. No sunglasses. No phones or cameras.

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Like I said, a different world.

It was sweet.

Now that I’m a grown-up (most of the time) I no longer sit in the sun. I really miss it, as well as the tan, but I know it’s not worth it. I certainly don’t wear cut-offs the size of a hang-nail and pay a hell of a lot more  to colour my hair. Friends no longer show up at the door on horseback and I own my own car, so that takes care of the hitch-hiking issue.

But let’s not get all melancholy, there’s still plenty of fun to be had when summer arrives!

fdef4c7fb7a7b254ce428b28072f7ab9image via Pinterest

We’re so blessed here in Santa Barbara, with beautiful beaches and stunning mountains just a mile or so in from the water’s edge.

In less than 1/2 hour we can be over those mountains and into the wine regions of Los Olivos and Santa Ynez.

pink roses on my porch

Roses from my garden sit on the front porch.

My garden brings me pleasure I never would have predicted in my younger years. I wear a big hat, have my favourite wooden handled clippers… I’m half-way to wearing Liberty print gardening gloves truth be told.

My brother even bought me this so I could enjoy my evening glass of wine while I’m gardening (is this a brother gift, or what?!)

gardening glass with lid

In fact, I did a thorough walk around my property the other day and decided to buy myself another little gift to celebrate the first day of Summer;

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For the bigger jobs. and it’s cordless. So exciting! I really wanted the fluorescent green one (like my old clackers) but this one had the best rating.

Yes, times have changed.

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So what are your plans this summer?

ImageAre you looking forward to a long lazy one filled with languorous hours of reading?

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Will you stick close to home, do lots of grilling, making home made ice-creams, sorbets and popsicles with your kids?

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Mango Lassi Popsicle recipe

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Perhaps you’ll be boating like Kate? (you simply must have plenty of black & white in your summer wardrobe-but that’s another post!)

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Take a family holiday to Europe or go water-skiing on a chilly lake?

Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Beautiful Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Shasta trailerTake a road trip  (I saw this beauty in Los Olivos)

38325ab6556782aef43a2e84c94f3341Re-do a guest room in cool tones

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Update your draperies, white wash your kitchen (I’m thinking of it) or have some summer slip-covers made?

Slim Paley's car slipcoversPhoto of my car by David Tsay for House Beautiful

ha ha!  I still have the car, but I’m afraid the chintz slip covers, like my old cut-offs are way past their prime :-)

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 12.49.43 AMphoto Drew Jarrett via Elle Italia

Will you go biking, sailing, play tennis, swim your heart out, or run your first marathon

Or maybe just set a goal to read ten GREAT books?

that sounds wonderful to me!

tumblr_md1kj7Gn4s1rpx9bqo1_500And will you be looking for the “Super Moon” tonight?

(ps. I started this post on Friday night-Summer’s almost over for God’s sake)

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Me, at a friend’s home, taking a photo of a weird ring around the sun in Montecito

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See that’s the wonderful, fabulous, exciting thing about Summer

Your options are as numerous as the stars.

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*Wooden Popsicles by Johnny Hermann

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!

May it be long, fun and memorable in the best possible way.

xoxo

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*

“Johnny Hermann is the alter-ego of craftsman & designer Mauro Savoldi from Milan. He re-creates the vibrant, colorful magic of summer ices, recalling one of the sweetest and most nostalgic treasures of our past.”

FYI; The original “popsicle” was invented by an 11 year old boy in San Francisco in 1905.

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Eye on NY

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Well, hello there!

My itinerary took me to NY recently where skies were blue and I had the extreme pleasure of spending time with my older son. The weather was stunning. Really hot, but not too steamy. In other words, absolutely perfect for walking from one end of Manhattan to the other.

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I flew on Virgin America, connecting from Santa Barbara airport via United.

In the off chance that you ever find yourself booking this itinerary, let me share 2 important details with you;

1) “Virgin America” is 1 of only 3 airlines “United” does not have a baggage agreement with.  Apparently they’re “Frenemies”

2) The “United” terminal is at the absolute opposite side of LAX than the “Virgin America” terminal.

I had 55 minutes to buy a cart, yank my bags off the carousel, run to the bus, pull said bags off bus, find another cart, check in to Virgin, recheck my bags, and go through security again.

If you’re a man, you’re probably thinking “Why did you even have 2 check-in pieces of luggage and a carry-on when you were just going to NY?”

What a silly question.

 Needless to say, I lost 3 lbs and a cocktail was required immediately upon boarding.

BTW,  Is “my other ride’s a spaceship” new, or did I just notice it for the first time? I love that! I needed a dose of humour by this point.

L1150338Happily ensconced in my lovely hotel in NY, all travel turmoils forgotten (as you just read, haha) I was happy to hit the ground running.

It seems almost every city block in NY offers a photo op if you’re keeping your eyes peeled

L1150337Speaking of peeling…a wall down by my son’s neck of the woods reminds that “Art” is always in the eye of the beholder

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We ate well, especially dinner one evening at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya

Would definitely go back. (BTW, not just sushi)

IMG_5020Not sure if it was the heat, but I also decided to chop off my long hair. I will probably cut a few more layers still, but I was nervous to do anything too drastic all at once.

I don’t think the last 6″ were doing me any favours anyway and I’m loving how much easier it is to blow dry.

Just in case you’re looking for a good stylist in NY, I went to Chris Lospalluto at Sally Hershberger’s Uptown. He’s low-key and adorable.

IMG_5011There were a lot of these going on already, but I was more in the mood for walking than shopping.

L1150324That being said, I did drop into Barney’s shoe department which was like a hill of fire ants. I feared for my life. Not enough to leave mind you, but I was mighty scared just the same. Aside from the predominance of fluorescents, yes, still (upcoming post) I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of brogues, saddle shoes, and flats in the coming months. Adorable if you can carry them off.  I saw Muiccia Prada in person recently and she was wearing a knee-length gingham dress, ankle socks and saddle-y brogues. Of course she is Muiccia Prada, worth 7 billion dollars due to her fashion sense and was on the cover of the NY Times Style magazine last weekend, but as much as I appreciate her iconoclasm, I have too strong a fear of looking like Betty Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” to attempt this look at my age.

OK, maybe with some wide trousers…

L1150287One day, the designated meeting point with my son was at ABC Carpet down on 17th. Truthfully, I could have spent the day in there, but the weather was so divine it would have been sinful (and my son would have killed me) so we walked around downtown all day instead. Such great people/dog/window watching there, especially on hot days.

Back to ABC though-these gorgeous chunks of blue bottle glass caught my eye as they reminded me of the paths at Lotus Land in my very own Montecito. Wouldn’t a few of them be great just strewn across a summer dining table with tons of candles?!

l10307891You may read more about Lotus Land in one of my older posts HERE

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And in my latest “I LIKE IT. WHAT IS IT?” department;

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One of the coolest things we spotted were “My New Flame” LED “candles” in the Ingo Maurer showroom in Soho.

They are hard to explain but you can watch a really short video of how they work here

As you can see, the circuit board controlling the flame is visible in the taper of the candle. 128 LEDs on each side allow the “flame” to be seen from both sides. They  come in red or black and can either be hung from the ceiling in a cluster, or table mounted as they run by battery. So modern and talk about a conversation starter. I’ve had a pair of the Ingo Maurer “Campari” lights over my kitchen sink in Sun Valley for years and I love the warm glow they cast, especially during the winter.

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Lastly, I leave you with this bike, in my boy’s neighbourhood

IMG_5051 “Art” once again, in the eye of the beholder.

( I told you “fluoro”‘s still hot. Can you believe people still litter?? For shame! )

xox SP

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Hey 2013!

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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?

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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!

xox

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Header image via Tumblr

Nice To Be Home

No matter how much you’ve enjoyed a long trip, it’s always nice to come home, isn’t it? Funny how that works. Your own bed & comfy sheets, the way your home brewed cuppa tea in the morning tastes so much better than any hotel tea (except maybe in London)

Other than the unpacking, and the stack of bills awaiting you, it’s a grand feeling.It’s especially nice to come back to roses on the 11th of November!

I know we should be cutting them back, but it’s hard when they’re still making such an effort!

Some of them are about 7 to 8 ft. high.

About the same height as my bills and catalogues.

I’ll be back in a day or so-I went to a much needed “Restorative Yoga” class tonight and my bed, my wonderful bed, is calling to me :)

Namaste Friends

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