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

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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

striped shirt

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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Remembering on Memorial Day Weekend

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It begins with my mother’s recollection of a visit to Belgium on her honeymoon 50+ years ago.

To fill in their story just a bit; my father was young, British, Protestant, an only child. A rather dashing chap with an avid love of travel and geography.

 Mom was a black haired, blue eyed Irish-Catholic. One of 7 children, and in her own words “having barely traveled out of the borough of Dublin” she thought my father a fine catch with his fancy car, film star hair and English ways. He thought she had beautiful eyes, elegant hands and, I suspect, fun brothers.

Despite major family oppositon due to the Catholic-Protestent issue, they married and off they went. To hear them both tell it now, which in fact I did just last night, is a tale of two very different honeymoons but that, dear readers is another post book.

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Their itinerary included 7 (or 8 ) countries, possibly a boat, or not (father rolls eyes here), untold amounts of bacon & eggs (according to him, she wouldn’t eat anything else-mother rolls eyes here) and the car robbed of everything ( clothes, camera and all the honeymoon photos) outside the Folies Bergere.

But, this post is about the day they went to Belgium.

 My father’s grandfather had been a soldier in the 1st World War. He lost his life, alongside literally thousands of others that day in Belgium, in 1915. Seemingly endless tides of brave yet unimaginably terrified young men and mere boys rising from the trenches to be caught in barbed wire and machine gun fire.  He left a widow with 7 children back home in England. Some 40 years later, his grandson now wished to pay his respects at his grave.

My mother; “Of all the places we’d planned to see, your father’s visit to his grandfather’s grave was very important to him.” 

When they arrived at their destination in Belgium they were overcome with emotion at the immense size and immaculate condition of the beautiful cemetery. On this they both agree. Meticulous care had been taken honouring the memory of all the heroic foreign souls who had lost their lives in battle on Belgian soil, even after all these years. My mother remembers searching the rows of identical headstones for what seemed like hours, to no avail, almost reaching the point of giving up. My father recalls he had a map of sorts; a grid of numbers & letters, I presume sent to the families of the deceased after the war. In any case, after quite a hike, they came upon a lone gardener to whom my father spoke a few words en francais. When the gardener heard my father’s last name, he lifted his jacket from where it was placed…directly upon my great grandfather’s headstone.

My father; “Can you imagine the emotion, upon finally arriving there amongst thousands of graves, to find it was my grandfather’s headstone being tended at that precise moment?”

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So I’m dedicating this post to my great grandfather, and his son, my grandfather, who also served in the British Army in World War II

and to all the brave troops who are serving now.

Without them we have nothing.

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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw *sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~

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Cemeteries of the Great War 1914-1918, Belgium, 

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PS. Thank you to my parents for allowing me to share their tapestry of memories with you.

Have a Beautiful Memorial Day Weekend!

xoxo

SP

BE MINE

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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?

 

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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

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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 ?

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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 

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

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(moving pic & children via Tumblr)

Feeling Very Delftish

blue & white tile

Watching Downton Abbey makes me think of Port. Thinking of Port reminds me of my trip to Portugal a few months ago and how crazy delicious the port wine was.

But that’s another post, as well as a glimpse into my thought process, which no, doesn’t always lead to alcohol.

This post is about Delft. Or perhaps I should say “Delft-ish” inspiration, as I don’t want anyone busting me on these images not being genuine Dutch Delft, a connoisseur of which I’m definitely not.

I do like me a good delfty object though and I can certainly appreciate how the blue & white of Delft can really make a room sing.

Prada Delft tile handbag

Or a bag. Like this Prada one.

train station, PortugalDuring our say in Portugal we had the pleasure of visiting the lovely little town of Pinhao, where the rustic scenes of this gorgeous wine making region are represented on the walls of their quaint train station.

Delft certainly seems to be having A Moment, or am I the only one noticing?

001fullscreenRoberto Cavalli Resort 2013

blue & whiteCheck the boots!

blue & white tile I’m totally in love with these Delft On Acid limited edition tiles by South African artist Ruan Hoffmann available thru Cletile.com

great traditional kitchenand you can’t beat a spot of delft for old world charm, here mixed with great panache with dark wood, rough plaster walls and the sleekness of modern components.

blue & white plate wallpaperDelft wallpaper via Studio Ditte

blue & white tile

DelftThe combo of Delft with peach tones=perfection

tumblr_mfhnaqUNBW1r2k6djo1_1280Carolina Hererra is channeling Delft for Spring 2013

Tadashi Shojiand Tadashi Shoji

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opening-mondrian-sohoThe Mondrian Soho, NYC is in on the moment.

blue & white table settingGlorious. Especially if your frenemies are opposite.

J.Crew pajamas dang, I’ve lost the credit for these cute jammies.

*OK- Here’s the link to the PJ’s J.Crew

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Chanel Skyline

nailing delft tones

222857881530307937_54eks0Jk_fAlways gorgeous mixed with sea grass and large palm fronds, but then again, you had me at seagrass & large palm fronds…

Atrium

delft bike

adorbs.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 8.34.13 AMKarolina Kurokova steps out in Cavalli

vivienne-westwood-mens-spring-2013-delftware-slippers-8Vivienne Westwood

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Norman Parkinsonphoto by Norman Parkinson

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Historical blue Portuguese sideboard by Heritage

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I don’t know that I could put this much effort into graffiti that can just be licked off, you?

I guess that’s why I’m not a cake icing graffiti artist and Shelley Miller is.

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29. carolina herrera bedroom patricia herrera jonathan beckerCarolina Herrera’s daughter in a sublime tableau of red & blue delftishness

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 8.28.21 PMTory Burch Spring 2013

delft wall, PortugalMy girlfriend admiring the gorgeous tiles of the Pinhao train station. I just noticed how her scarf ties in with the wall border.

154107618470582322_3lxvDL5m_cimage via Pinterest

tumblr_lsgyj1uArm1qcgtroo1_500Gaultier, of course

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The Blow away vase by Moooi

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OK, I’m off to yoga and then I might even treat myself to a spot of Port.

xx

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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