Friday Favourites (17)


Slim Paley Photo

FIRST SPRING ROSE to make it to the second story window  (don’t look at those aphids, I just put them there so you wouldn’t be too jealous)


It’s THE MOST GLORIOUS day here in Santa Barbara.  I’ve just been out in the garden and the rose bushes are full of promise,


their leaves waxy and buffed, the buds literally about to burst.


Slim Paley photo

And the lilies aren’t even vaguely playing  ‘Hard to Get’ – they’re popping up everywhere, even in the stream.


Slim Paley photo

Just the other day, when it was pouring with rain (although it doesn’t look like it in the photo) I was in my office and I could have sworn I heard ducks.  I came out to investigate and lo and behold, some tourists were checking out our “Resident Fowl”


Slim Paley photo

“I said just act casual

“I am, Brad, but I don’t think you should get involved…she’s got kids…”




Alright,  just a few Friday Favourites to start off your weekend;




As you know, my love affair with Trader Joe’s knows no bounds…



So ridiculously easy even Slim Paley can bake them;


Take out of the freezer the night before and by morning these mounds of marvelousness will be awaiting you.

I swear, it’s like magic. Not being a baker (to put it kindly) it thrills me every time! ( I know…kinda sad…)

Slim Paley photo

More exciting than Jiffypop!


Glaze with some egg wash and pop in the oven;

Slim Paley photo

et voila! (these are the mini plain ones, the chocolate ones are even better!)



And what better segue than this?




Our younger son gave us these pedometers for Christmas and we’ve worn them almost every day since. Actually I don’t think “Mr. Paley” has missed a day, but my first one went through the wash.  They’re a fun & easy way to be aware of how much you are (or more importantly- are not)  moving every day.

For someone like me, who counts bringing my husband’s coffee upstairs in the morning as a weight bearing exercise, this little pedometer in my pocket serves as my mobility conscience.

I find I’m much more willing to run up and down the stairs for various tasks now that I have to face comparing scores at the end of each day with my husband! The goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day for optimum health benefits.

But, you know…it’s really about the “Journey” not the “Goal” isn’t it? ( I’ve only out-stepped the husband twice since Christmas- why are men so damn competitive?)

(Omron pedometers available on Amazon- my advice would be to get a bright colour that is noticeable in the laundry basket 🙂 )


OK, back to food…

I have a friend who happens to be, amongst many other attributes, one of the best cooks we know.  Recently we were guests in their home and she served the most delicious sweet potato fries ever. Not only did they look beautiful and taste great, but they smelled divine.

The secret? I’m going to share it with you because I’m sure she wouldn’t mind and it’s nice to share ;

Slim Paley photo

Simply chop up your sweet potato (or yam- I always get them mixed up), melt a lusty portion of coconut oil in the roasting pan for a couple of minutes, remove from oven, toss fries til they are coated in oil and bake until easily pierced. You might want to give them a turn about half way through.  Serve hot with rock salt.  So delicious and SO good for you!



And lastly, I know there have been a lot of God’s creatures acting strangely this week, what with alligators crawling out of NY sewer grates, and the infamous Tweeting Python on the loose, but this lovelorn goose is really quite amazing…

Click below to meet;

Maria the Lovesick Goose

(PS. It turns out “Maria” is actually “Mario” but what does it matter in the end? Love works in mysterious ways…and as my grandmother used to say, “There’s someone for everyone”)




Wishing you a glorious weekend!


PS. and for all you basketball fans- How’d your brackets work out for you?!! (aren’t you impressed I know what brackets are?)





  1. Headed to Lazy Acres tomorrow for hopefully THAT coconut oil- then a zip to Trader Joe’s
    for those … Um … Those glorious looking…
    not waiting til tomorrow. Bye

  2. love that you notice the waxy and buffed leaves-
    another great one but I forgive you NOT for
    pointing out my favorite indulgence
    Chocolate Croissants- are available at TJ’s
    I didn’t know that- and now, I do

  3. Aren’t those croissants divine?! I cut the chocolate ones in half before proofing them and bake off a mix of chocolate and plain for sleepover guests — the house smells so good!

    I have been hearing more and more about coconut oil — does it flavor the potatoes at all (like do they taste like coconut??)

    I am missing Santa Barbara, it has POURED nonstop since my return!

    Have a happy weekend.

  4. I use coconut oil for my hands. I bruise easily and it seems to minimize the bruising! Sweet potatoes coated in it, however, sound good to me!

  5. A heavenly stream, rose buds ready to burst into bloom, adorable ducklings on a picture perfect lawn, home made (sort of) chocolate croisants, many bits producing out loud laughter included ……… who could ask for more!

  6. A lid for every pot! The best croissants I ever had. ..Oriental Hotel,Bangkok…ofcourse 40% french butter…hand made…start to finish! Every other place a machine process…happy happy summer days are here. ENJOY!

  7. R E A L L Y with the chocolate croissants, Slim? Really?
    Can croissants and Slim be in the same sentence?
    Oh, they sound divine and are making me very H U N G R Y (especially after my sugar-free vegan dinner!).

  8. Another use for coconut oil: skin and hair moisturizer. When my daughter had a rash, every thing she tried stung until I suggested coconut oil. It was the only soothing product she could use. Also jojoba oil is great for dry skin too. If you have dry hair like me, treat it with both oils. I got both oils at Trader Joe’s of course.

    I cannot resist Trader Joe’s Gummy Penguins. When my youngest had dental work, I wasn’t sure she could eat them. I said, “Better not take a chance!” More for me!

    • OMG, me too, I just had to have them today – eating in my car again…They are so smooshy, gooshy and fun – I am addicted!

  9. I’ve got to try the coconut oil for roasting veggies and especially potatoes. Thanks for the tip. I already buy the chocolate croissants, which is why I’m in need of a pedometer to confirm that I’m walking enough to erase the calories! 🙂

    Happy Friday,

  10. Okay, now you’ve touched on something fantastic… organic, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil.
    I use this stuff for soooo many dishes… banana bread, oatmeal, rice, and my personal favorite – popcorn, it is light and fluffy and has great flavor. 3 tblsp oil to 1/2 cup popcorn. I like mine with a little garlic salt and cayenne. I’m definitely going to try the sweet potato recipe.

    …love spring time, keep the flowers coming!

  11. That goose video was too much! At first I thought it was some sort of an April Fool’s joke but then I realized it was real.

    Have you tried Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Brownies?! You don’t even have to bake them, just open container and EAT! Then walk 10,000 steps or more…..

  12. that video is sooo adorable!

    Does that pedometer have to be held in your hand to count?

    countdown is on! I’ll be out of rainy Vancouver and in sunny California in 3 days!

  13. Why don’t you just give your pedometer to a Mailman early in the day and collect it late afternoon, bet you’ll have outwalked Mr. Paley by a few miles!!!! He’ll wonder what you’ve been up to!

  14. hi Slim
    I love the beautiful garden pictures – is this the same view of your garden that was covered in snow a while ago. love your parklike garden. Keep the stunning pictures coming.
    Have a good weekend!

  15. I seriously thought those ducks were real and was goin “oh how sweet are those” (can’t find my glasses this a.m.) You have the most beautiful garden EVER!!!!! Oh, how I wish I could garden. I always “push” the season and plant way too early…..then a freeze comes. Maybe one day I’ll learn!

  16. Note to self:
    Monday- Trader Joes…. for the day!!!

    PS love your photos… as someone who is trying to learn… yours are wonderful to learn from!

  17. I’ve just met a goose named Maria,
    And suddenly that name
    Will never be the same
    To me…..
    loved it!

  18. Oh, I so wanted to see one of those chocolate croissants cut into with the yummy chocolate ooozzing out !! Better you didn’t. hehe Loving your spring garden pictures.

  19. Hi Slim

    Your’s is the only blog I follow where I always go to my toolbox before I read it so that I can maximize the pictures. I love how you see things and get close and personal.

    I’ve been using the coconut oil on some things (popcorn is yummy) and will have to try those sweet potato fries – but covered in cinnamon – it’s a southern thing LOL. Tropical Traditions is where I get my oil and their Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil doesn’t have the coconut taste.

    I look forward to your posts and keep checking mid-week to see if you give us a bonus one 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  20. your property is gorgeous. i am soooooooooooo jealous!!! omg!!! jealous!!! hehe.

    ok, you should have insisted you come here – i could have given you a shopping list that would have kept you busy all day and then some.

    next time.

  21. Too funny, just saw the chocolate croissants in my freezer and thought – must take them out so I can enjoy them for Sunday breakfast. Good thing I just went on a 6 mile walk!

    Absolutely adored the Mario/Maria story, thank you for sharing it. I had a parakeet (male) for many years and he was utterly adorable. Said I was “so cute” every time I walked in the room. I did try for over a year to teach him to say “I’m your man” but since he was straight there was no way he was going to say that!

  22. p.s. Have you ever had a pretzel covered in caramel, then dipped in dark chocolate ,with a sprinkle of sea salt on top?? Experienced that for the first time today…OMG

  23. yum for coconut oil!!! btw…i found coconut m&m’s the other day, now that is a sweet little treat for someone who love coconut like i do! your roses will be fab, your stream is simply beautiful. thank you for another lovely post !

  24. Slim, your garden DOES kick butt! I was doing some spring clean up and kept noticing tulips coming up in several places..I finally remembered that I planted 100 bulbs last fall! It’s been so long that I forgot about them! It was a nice surprise on a chilly spring day in the Chicago area.

    Happy to know about the coconut oil from Swanson…I order from them a lot and haven’t tried that..
    Try the fries with a sprinkle of chili powder and some coarse salt…yum! ( I use ancho for the smokey flavor and mild heat)

  25. Oh, SP!

    I’ve been missing your blog. I’ve been so busy… and on top of that I just found out I’m expecting baby #3! So, stop making me crave food from “Trader Joes”! LOL I’m joking, of course. LOL

    The ducks! Only you to make me laugh! LOL I’m loving seeing these cute ducks… We’ve so many ducks here too, since we live by the river. It’s just beautiful the little duckings with their mommy. So sweet.

    Anyways, I hope you have a marvelous week!

    Many hugs to you!

    Luciane at

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