Catching Up


Slim Paley photo


A quick catching-up post

a bit all over the place- like me at the moment.

I had a lovely birthday despite beginning the morning with my bathroom makeup chair rolling out from underneath me and landing on my arse.

Well, that’s not even quite true-

would that I had had that much padding

it was actually my tailbone that took the  direct hit.

Believe me, the irony of my “Vanity” chair being the culprit of such a mortifying pratfall is not lost on me 🙁

Luckily, I don’t think anything was really damaged, except my pride…

though I’m still nursing a very tender lower back

and feeling somewhat sheepish that my birthday resolution to go running again was dashed.

Even yoga was out.

Which was not a good thing considering

There were more than a few caloric falls from grace this week…


starting, but not ending, with champagne before 12pm ( it was 5pm somewhere)

two chocolate cakes

(yes, one was the Costco Cake I believe we’ve discussed with due reverence before)



and fresh truffles for breakfast.


Many, many thanks for all your sweet wishes & funny comments on my birthday post.

As I said, each & every one, a lovely present.



In other ‘catching up’ news…

After a brief hiatus from coconut oil “pulling” due to travel constraints, I’m back in the routine and feeling pretty good about that.

The bad news is I’ve managed to find probably the only naughty coconut product out there …



Expresso made with coconut water.


Who thinks these things up and why are they out to get me??


Meanwhile, long time reader and faithful commenter  “Marsha C”

was so inspired by my colourist’s assistant’s two-toned, bedazzled, bedecked & bejewelled  manicure from the

“City of Brights” post




that she went out and got one herself.

No moss growing on Marsha!! 🙂..


Meanwhile, I haven’t had a manicure since  Lincoln was assassinated .


Lastly, in literary news…

My Monty Don book arrived yesterday



Love him.


A good friend tells me she found “Gone Girl” impossible to put down, so I’ve downloaded it onto my iPad



and another trusted pal tells me I must watch “Homeland” and catch up before the new season starts later this month.

Are you a fan??


Lastly, the postman also delivered my issue of Canadian “House & Home” which looks full of juicy fresh Fall inspiration


Slim Paley photo

but  as the hot, summery weather in Santa Barbara continues to hold steady

Except the day of my birthday when it rained!

(Though I’m not complaining, we needed it)

I’m still finding it awfully hard to hit my Fall stride-


Not to mention cracking the bedside behemoth that is

the September issue of Vogue.



Slim Paley Instagram



go there…



Hope YOU had a great weekend!





  1. Slim, do you mind looking through your new fall issue of Canadian “House & Home” to see if our Hawes Ginkgo Sconce is featured? I have not received ours of yet…. Thank you!
    Beth Collier ( it’ll be under vanCollier)

  2. Love your style! HAPPY BELATED! You have true form and a great wit about YOU! I ADORE THAT!Chocolate Cake from Costco?? I have not heard about that will definately check it out soon! REALLY you had rain??I’m just above you a bit NORTH……….no rain here yet!THANK GOD!NOT ready yet and we do not need.Had plenty during SPRING and SUMMER!!!!!!!!!

  3. Slim, have you caught Monty Don’s Italian Gardens on BBC ? Exceptional…. if you love gardens. The most exquisite and beautifully presented collection of rarely seen gardens.

    • I’ve not seen it yet. We don’t have it Stateside. Damn, I wish I were in charge of Television in America 🙂

  4. Slim,
    So sorry about your fall and hope you are back to feeling well enough to start that running regime. As far as coconut and sabatoge goes, my market was providing samples of coconut tequila with pineapple juice…very refreshing indeed.
    I must order that gardening book.
    Have a great week.

  5. “Canadian House and Home” is my absolute fav (at the moment!) Did not that PURPLE PLUM room just make you gasp!!! Right up there with chocolate! franki

  6. My Vogue is still in its’ wrapper – know I need a huge chunk of time to get through it and also know October’s issue we be here very soon…

  7. Double whammy with a birthday and a fall, simultaneously…BIG ouch! I feel your pain…
    I’m hoping my friends feel mine when my &*%#(@, freaking BIG one hits later this year…

    And as an aside, glad it’s your tailbone because “…a carelessly placed (arse) implant can cause irritation or fluid collection in the buttocks…” so says the Times of India…interesting visual…an implant AND a fluid build-up? huh.

    Feel better! xoxo, Chris

  8. Happy belated birthday. Hope your tailbone heals quickly, that is very painful, I know. Love all your thoughts and also want to read Gone Girl! XO, Pinky

  9. Happy Birthday!! Hurting one’s tailbone can actually be pretty serious–so take it easy. No heavy lifting (Vogue) just martinis and margaritas. Mary

  10. My friend (okay it’s Hoda Kotb but I follow her on Twitter and FEEL as if I know her and think she is just darling and believe she would think I am too!) : ) RAVED about Gone Girl. I haven’t bought it yet. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

  11. Quite a few of us garden-and-travel-loving bloggers have a quiet crush on Mr Montagu Don! I did a post about him recently and oh, the replies! They almost made me blush.

    I’ve put his autobiography on the Christmas Wish List. Apparently it’s quite moving.

    Also, we’re trying to organise a tour to Chelsea Flower Show next year for the 100th year. None of us have organised a tour (well, I haven’t, so it may be a ‘tester’ for us all), but we’re all experienced travellers, and avid gardeners. Others are noted American and Australian architects, garden writers, interior designers, even lawyers. (They’re to keep us out of trouble!). We’re doing Highgrove, Hidcote, Sissinghurst, a few private gardens, and lots of cute London shops and pubs too. You should come. I’m even trying to use my journalist’s contacts to get an audience with Mr Don…


    • Oh yes, I will give away my age here (what else is new?!) and admit I remember well the 80’s in London, when “MONTY DON” was THE most popular costume jeweller in the UK. All the models had crushes on him! You couldn’t pick up a magazine that wasn’t featuring “Monty Don” jewels on the cover. I hear he was a reluctant heart-throb though-obviously gardens were his true passion (and he married a beautiful woman of like mind)
      Your trip sounds fabulous! Keep me posted- you never know… 🙂

  12. Happy Belated Birthday fellow Virgoan! Sorry about your birthday mishap and hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Always enjoy your posts, lovely photos and your sense of humor. I just opened my September Vogue today! Elle and Harper’s Bazaar still await and they all sport pink and red covers. They must weigh a combined 20 pounds. My sister and I share..and she passed them along to me today. Perfect timing for some Sunday afternoon reading. Hope I get through them before Christmas…yikes, the thought!


  13. That is quite the fashion bible!! (September Vogue). I opted for September Glamour with Vicki Beckham on the cover for 2 reasons; I could carry it out of the store and I love her. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Please let us know how you like the book Gone Girl.

  14. Homeland is a must and am 1/4 way through Gone Girl – Saving the rest for my upcoming work travel to the east coast and across the pond. Need something for the ride home so please send another good suggestion.
    Happy belated birthday Slim!

  15. I’ve read the Sept. Vogue in bit and pieces. On this long & lazy Sunday, I was very inspired by the wonderful article & spread on Edith Wharton.

    • Dear Slim

      So sorry to hear about your fall and tailbone injury. It must be really painful, so take care and take life easy for awhile. If you haven’t been to a good physio about it yet, go soon as there’s lots they can do to help ease the pain with massage and ultrasound as well as giving special exercises to strengthen and protect. Trying to tough it out usually means a slower recovery in the long run.

      I’m presently recovering from knee surgery and as a result of my knee problems, have just somehow hurt the lower back. So it means spending lots of time at the physio who has magical hands – they just know all the sore spots and how to work them over. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

      A friend has lent me a copy of the Hermione Lee biography of Edith Wharton. Not light reading in either sense of the word as there are over 750 pages of fine print. But it is very interesting and helps take the mind off while not very ambulatory.

      Is anyone watching the English serial “Midwives”? It was billed here in Oz as more popular in the UK than Downton Abbey. Fascinating story line of women in poverty and the amazing women who brought them through childbirth, also at times very funny. I’m loving it.
      Best wishes, Pamela

  16. So sorry about the vanity fall! I have injured my tailbone before and it is a long heal! AND a painful heal as there really is not a comfortable sitting position any way you try it!. The white roses are scrumptious. That photo would make a nice book cover for your first book. It is still very hot here–93 today–wish it would get a little cooler so I can go out and enjoy what is left of the summer–my roses hated the hot dry weather we had–weeks of 100+ temps…….they just kind of took a hiatus from even budding. I did read Wild by Cheryl Strayed this summer and loved it…..very interesting as well as true. Heal soon!

  17. Happy, happy Birthday! I’m not even going to say belated because you can celebrate ALL month, girl! You have arrived, now take advantage of it. “IT” being this wonderful (I think*) sort of half maybe full empty nester stage of life. I can speak of this because I’m there too…..sniff sniff giggle sigh…’s sort of awkward, but I believe we will figure this out, somehow. I suppose better (smarter, crazier, wiser) women than us have done so… seem to have a pretty firm handle on it so far – travel, trade, travel… too!

    Love your blog, heal quick my dear,
    Cathy 🙂

  18. Gosh, it made me homesick to see the cover of House & Home! I’m from Toronto, now living in Orlando. Must ask some snowbird friends to bring down their copies. Sorry to hear about your fall; have done that myself and ended up sitting on a rubber donut ring for a few weeks. Might not look good, but sure helped. Read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” and quite enjoyed it. Take care.

  19. Yes! watch Homeland. It’s super intense, very adult & my favorite show — ahead of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The News Room. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are magnificent!

  20. You make me laugh out loud. Thank you!!!!! You share your life with such humor and grace. Thank you for the gift of you, Slim. I’m grateful you were born those few years ago.

  21. So sorry to hear about your tailbone injury. I hope it heals fast.
    Regarding, coconut love…I’m wondering if you ever extract coconut water & meat from a young coconut & blend it together for a delicious addition to smoothies, fruit cups, yogurt or whatever suits your fancy. I’ve started doing it & it’s really good. Fresh, raw and no additives – it’s really great!
    We’re starting to get some cool weather here in New England & I’m enjoying it. I always feel like I should buy some new pencils & start attending school somewhere.

      • Seems daunting at first, but it’s not.
        1. Get a young coconut – Whole Foods has them
        2. Using a sturdy knife, slice off the soft husk at the top until you reach the hard area.
        3. Using a hammer & chisel, open approximately a 1″ diameter hole in the top
        4. Pour the water out of the hole into a jar & save it
        5. Use the hammer and chisel to open more like a 3″ diameter hole in the top. You’ll feel a softer area in the top & you want to stay in that area.
        6. Scrape out the white meat with a spoon, spatula or fruit scraper. It will peel off in small sheets.
        7. Rinse off most off the brown stuff attached to the white stuff. The brown stuff is okay to eat as long as it’s not too hard.
        8. Put coconut water & meat in a blender.
        9. Blend until well mixed.
        10. Enjoy!

        It helps to watch a video to understand the basic anatomy of the coconut:

        But every video I’ve found uses a knife or cleaver for the whole process. I prefer a chisel to get through the hard top because I can control it better than whacking away with a cleaver.

        I’d love it if you’d post a video of yourself opening one. That would be fun!

  22. Thanks for the cover pic of the new
    Canadian House and Home. It’s a fave.
    I so miss the show that was on Hgtv for
    like a moment. But they have the online show.
    I missth your birthday? Thit!
    Happy belated birthday…but I say go for a birthday month.

  23. Belated happy b day Slim. So many Virgos in my life.

    Spring is here where I am that is .., though in Sydney one can never be sure

    love the ARSE story especially the way you still say it…you can take the girl out of Ireland etc .

  24. Oh gosh, I can so sympathize with your sore tail bone. I was running out to give my husband his forgotten lunch one morning and slipped on a morning dew covered flagstone step and landed my tail bone right on the edge of it. It made me so dizzy that when I got back into the house I puked. It took me months before I could sit again without wincing, which you think would be connected to massive weight loss but no deal. I hope you feel better soon,strap a pillow to your butt. Happy Birthday too.

  25. Sitting in JFK and thanking you for reminding me that it is five o’clock somewhere! Cheers! On to the s of f and praying for no rain! Wishing you a great year!

  26. oooooo, i once cracked my tailbone when i fell rollerblading and i can honestly say that it was the most painful thing i’ve ever felt. childbirth included! took a long time to heal too.

    i’ve been driving with my a/c and windshield wipers on at the same time so that gives you some idea of the humidity here. ugh.

    i’ve only started packing in my head so far.:)


  27. Happy belated Birthday SP! So sorry to hear about the “bum”py start. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    I’m binge watching homeland in the evenings now that the kids are at school.
    It’s so good…


  28. Jumping Jodhpurs…Happy birthday Slim….I must get you a present..hmmmm… let me think…I know, Life Calls Life Alert!(jk) …Oh dear, you don’t need a vanity chair for goodness are absolutley beautiful inside and out!!! Here is to an exciting year of libations..I mean liberation…. and the freedom to be you(remember her?) !! With sincere appreciation you bring to my world of escapism, Belated Birthday Blessings to you!

  29. Meant to write MUCH sooner, but reentry to life in NYC after a glorious summer in NH has been more of an adjustment than anticipated……1st, I hope you were able to enjoy your birthday….bestest belated wishes to you, dear Slim; 2nd, I’m feeling your tail bone pain and am so sorry; and 3rd, I was so flattered that you showed my bejeweled fingers inspired by your colourist’s assistant…having done the decorating myself with tweezers, “jewels” from my bead box, and Elmer’s glue, I have to confess that after the first end-of-summer party I wore them to my husband was rolling over more loose jewels in our bed than were left on my fingers…but, ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it was a lovely night! Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Yikes, rereading my comment in the morning light I realize it sounds a little risqué! What I meant was that the party I wore the bejeweled nails to was a lovely night…….anyway……..better quit while I’m ahead!

Would love to hear from you!