Happy Labour Day Weekend!

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Happy Labour Day Weekend!

Oh YAY.

The weekend that officially licks the stamp, seals the deal, clicks the “send” button on Summer.

 Super.

And me, with all these lovely, summery images & ideas still left to share…

And possibly one of the greatest summery songs by one of the greatest summery bands;

So you have to promise to listen, nice & loud as always, while you stroll leisurely through this post…


(there’ll be a test to make sure you were listening afterwards!)

bouganvilla covered terrace

Well. We’ll soon be kissing these scenarios good-bye, won’t we?terrace with lanterns

( 2 images from Tumblr )

890A8404and no longer running out to my garden to gather roses for the table

(OK,  laying it on a bit thick here-hopefully we still have a couple of months left of roses in Santa Barbara)

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I never got to finish the ultra impressive “SUMMER ICE” post I was working on.

(Martha, you can breathe a sigh of relief my friend-the above was my very best effort- they were supposed to be ice balls but the two halves wouldn’t stick together. It looked so easy in the Japanese video)

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I wanted to say what a nifty idea this was-freezing aloe vera juice into ice cubes to soothe nasty sunburns.

Particularly great for using on your kid’s friends so they go home and say “Timmy’s mom makes aloe ice-cubes for sunburns!! “

and you just sound like the best frickin’ mom ever.

PS. I never made them.

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I also never told you about my trip to the city of Orange recently where the temperature reached a 100 degrees and as I stepped out my car I spotted this super cool old fashioned ice-dispensing machine. Instagram American Graffiti moment. IF I were old enough to even remember that movie, which, no way, I’m not. My husband told me about it.

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Oh, I had so many summery images collected

canoe as table

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Some, like maybe this one of Daria Werbowy, you could have lived without. But if I’m in testy mood, I’m dragging you with me.

We’re a team here-you’re in or you’re out, you know that.

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Skinceuticals Sunscreen, Slim Paley photo

I had a whole summer skin products thing I was working on…

but I’ll just say; for me, this was the best face sunscreen I found. Broad spectrum, very lightly tinted, thin consistency (though slightly oily, not a bad thing for me) and a whopping SPF 50 without feeling like you have a mask on. Also comes un-tinted.

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Did I get a chance to write my post on “HAMMOCKS”?

NO.

Well, that post is still coming, maybe even tomorrow, so don’t try and stop me.

Bloody Labour Day.

And did you know that this past Friday, the 30th of August, was “National Marshmallow Roasting Day”?

Swear to God.

 I even had a “Roasted Marshmallow Post” so here it is, somewhat condensed;

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Roasting by the river’s edge in Idaho.

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Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake (with Greek yoghurt!) HERE

mulit-prong marshmallow roasting stick

Help me find these??

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Some perfectly roasted giants mallows I posted on Instagram last month.

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Aqua Creations’ Origami LED “Marshmallow” lamps are folded from a single sheet of paper.

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covered porch, Sun Valley, Slim Paley

The antique lantern in my covered porch in Sun Valley always reminds me of a toasted marshmallow.

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Marshmallow outdoor furniture

marshmallow shaped hanging light

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and if  you’re cramped for space, how cool, er hot, is this wall mounted barbeque from Sigma Focus?!

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bracelet & watch

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and when all else fails…

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XOXO SP

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Top photo Kate Moss by Patrick Demarchelier

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Vintage English Garden Party

vintage garden party

Happy Monday All!

I hope you enjoyed another lovely summer weekend,

and may I be so bold as to remind everyone that it IS in fact still summer?

So all you folks pinning Halloween ideas and Fall decor on Pinterest

just STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!

It’s only the 19th of August-The “F” word is still many weeks away!

Let’s make the most of these precious last days of warm weather, shall we?

Get thee to the beach, lake, park, garden, the roof of your apartment building (talking to my Older Son :)) tout de suite.

As long time readers of Slim Paley well know,  I’ll still be posting about my favourite time of year ’til I’m dragged away by the edge of my cover-up, clutching that last salt-rimmed Margarita to my heavily sun-screened/damaged bosom.

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I shot the above photo in my garden, as well as the ones to follow,

for my first

“One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale”

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Inspired by my recent trip to London, the excitement surrounding the arrival of Prince George, and yes, the last languid days of summer,

I chose a “Vintage English Garden Party” as my theme.

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Who amongst us doesn’t enjoy at least the idea of a lovely English picnic (paging Merchant Ivory fans) complete with vintage silver, the “family china” and tinkling crystal glasses of Pimms brimming with fresh fruit?

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And who, like me, simply can’t wait for the new season of “Downton Abbey” to begin?!

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An Instagram of my garden

Fortnum & Mason window

The windows of Fortnum & Mason in London were bursting with the delightful components of an English countryside picnic.

London window shopping

I love how I caught the double decker going by on Piccadilly (even if I do say so myself)

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Just look at that gorgeous giant Melton Mowbray pie!

F & M will fill a picnic basket that will positively make your toes curl and they ship all over the world.

Slim Paley Picnic

But back to me :-)

Everything in these photos will be in my sale (except the white table cloth & hat)

majolica & chintz

There are lots of my vintage goodies to choose from as well many items curated from One Kings Lane’s “Vintage & Market Finds”

vintage glass goblet

go ahead, have one.

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Flowers in my friend’s English country garden

Wedgwood Majolica

A collection of vintage Wedgwood Majolica

vintage roses oil painting

A lovely & bright vintage oil of garden roses with an antique desert plate, part of a set, in the foreground.

Garden Wall vase & enamel coffee pot

“Garden Wall” vase and old enamel coffee pot

Hull vase

A Hull vase

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Note to Self;  notch back on the Pimms…

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My sale starts tomorrow,  August 20th, 8:am PST

Please DO stop by and leave your calling card :-)

One Kings Lane Link

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PS. On a more somber note, thank you to the many readers  who have been checking in concerning the ferocious fire in Idaho. We are grateful to be back home safe & sound in Santa Barbara, but our hearts and prayers are still with all the amazing firefighters in Sun Valley and Hailey who are battling SO bravely to protect our beautiful town. Please keep them in your thoughts & prayers too.

XX S.P.

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Ode to a Grecian Yearn

Greece window

Room with a View

One of our family’s favourite places in the entire world to holiday is Greece.

I started going when I lived in London in the 80′s.  My husband and I honeymooned there, and over the years we’ve returned many times with our two boys.

We are extremely blessed to have wonderful old friends there who graciously share their slice of heaven on earth with us during the summer.

I will readily admit I’m not nearly clever enough to comprehend what has happened with the Greek economy. I haven’t spent any time in Athens in several years, other than to pass through the airport, so I can’t speak to what the atmosphere is like there now.  All I can say is with the perfect weather, azure skies and sea, food one dreams about for the rest of the year and lovely, hospitable people, Greece simply can’t be beat as one of the most beautiful summer destinations in Europe.

greece, Slim Paley

And I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a little slice of heaven…

fried fish & french fries

and the food… O M G

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Can you hear the song of the cicadas??

“Welcome back, Relax. Welcome back, Relax” (I speak Cicadian)

Their constant refrain, an audible perfume that instantly awakens your sense memory.

real Greek salad

I adore Greek salad, and it’s never quite the same anywhere else.

Except perhaps Vancouver, with their large Greek community, they know you never, ever add lettuce.

 (substitute “quelle horreur!” in Greek here)

Blue window shutters

It’s not an exaggeration to say there isn’t a smidgeon of their property that isn’t utterly divine. The family patriarch has a passion for design and attention to detail that knows no bounds. Every time we come home from visiting I am so filled with inspiration.

It gets my husband very worried.

But it’s not just the ambience…

fried aubergine

 Did I mention the food yet?

fresh mango sorbetMy friend helps herself to a serving of their house-made mango sorbet.

Do ya think they know our boys like sorbet?!

FYI, no dieting in Greece. It’s against the law.

Besides, everything is fresh, fresh, fresh so who cares about caloric intake?

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Just a quick aside-how do women in Europe get away with wearing lashings of jewelry with their bathing suits and look so chic?

Something I’ve yet to master. Mine gets burning hot, covered in sunscreen and looks like I’m trying way too hard.

But I digress…

Don’t get the wrong impression-it’s not all about food, drink, lazing about and angsting over my aquatic jewelry quotient.

Some of us manage to get pretty damn sporty.

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Younger Son wake boarding in Porto Heli (where Aman Resorts has just opened the “Amanzoe”-though we didn’t go see it)

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My ridonkulously adorable god daughter heating up the courts with her style.

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Older Son’s girlfriend “C” or, as she is now known  “The Donkey Whisperer” working her magic.

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Younger Son getting some “air” on the soccer pitch

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There are grapes to be picked for making wine…

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Books to be devoured daily by The Boyfriend of The Donkey Whisperer

cocktail bar, Greece

Cocktails to be mixed.

the cats in Greece

But I won’t be disingenuous, there’s a mighty high degree of relaxing going on in Greece.

Just as it should be on one’s hols.

Breakfast table Greece

The outdoor breakfast table before the first hungry morning shift ambles in.

Chicken coop

Breakfast eggs hot off the …ah… super fresh

Greek yoghurt & fresh fruits

and that Greek yoghurt, honey & figs right off the trees with a great cappuccino

Blue table setting Greece, Slim Paley

Seriously.

HEAVEN!

fresh greek salad

I’ll have a little glass of chilled retsina with that please

wine grapes, Greece

pink bouganvilea

Even the bougainvillea looks so much brighter in Greece than in California.

greek pastries with honey

Home-made pastries for desert.

Remember…worrying about calories-a Felony in Greece

sail boat in Greece

Sometimes we can even bring ourselves to leave our friend’s property, and tool about the islands

This pretty sailboat was in a bay we stopped in for lunch one day.

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Where of course I had to order my regular. And those teeny, tiny little fish sprinkled with salt and lemon that you munch like french fries.

Gone before I could get a pic.

Port of Hydra, Greece

Pulling into the port of Hydra in the late afternoon.

Squid hanging in Greek Tavern

Fresh squid/octopus? (difference??) hanging outside a tavern on the island of Spetses

traditional old Greek restaurant kitchen

Another one of our favourite spots to eat is a centuries old house in the hills where the proprietors, a lovely couple, make the food in their house kitchen and serve it outside on their porch.

very old kitchen in Greece

So charming and authentic. Is this not what traveling to distant lands is all about?

Not a Starbucks in sight.

Sunset in the Greek Islands

And to cap off the day with a cocktail while the sun slinks behind neighboring isles…

Negroni cocktail, Greece

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

cats in Greece

But why do the summer holidays always have to sneak by in the blink of an eye??

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I hope YOU are enjoying a languorous  August!

Happy Days xx SP

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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 :-)

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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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Pre-Summer Rerun

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Do not adjust your dial. There is nothing wrong with your screen.

This is indeed a rerun of a June 2011 post. Honestly, pinky swear, I never do this.

OK, maybe I’ve done it just one other time. Hey-It’s no crime. Haven’t we all re-read a good book on occasion?

Or worse, not even realized we’ve read a book until we’re too many pages in to admit it?!

But, here’s the thing; I’m traveling at the moment.

I promise to be back with a new post very shortly.

In the meantime, this should help to prime your Summer juices…

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Don’t forget to start your summer inspiration board (this is my beach house one, also from June 2011)

Original post link:

SUMMER’S ALMOST HERE

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and just to assuage my guilt a wee bit, I’m including my newest Summer cocktail;

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It couldn’t possibly be easier, more decadent or delightfully confuse childhood memories with naughty grown up pleasures more!

“The Creamsicle”

1 part Advocaat

2-3 parts 7-up or Sprite

small ice cubes

Fill small(ish) glass tumbler with ice, pour chilled Advocaat over cubes, add 7up & stir lightly.

The drink will froth up beautifully…

along with memories of sticky, sand covered popsicle sticks stuck to beach towels, miniscule bikinis, tan-line comparing and sun burned boys.Who amongst us cannot relate?? :)

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Cheers and have a great weekend!!

PS. Instagram photo taken in my “new” old conservatory. Vintage lamp from the Marches aux Puces, Paris. Which, may I add, cost way more to rewire Stateside than the lamp itself.

That calls for a 2nd cocktail in my “Summer Reading” book, don’t you think?

PPS. Header image from my post on the The Maldives in the “Travel” section.

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