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.



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go there…



Hope YOU had a great weekend!




Roses. Just Roses.

..The Roses

.have arrived….

..I only wish I could share the scent with you as well as these photos

.I think you can probably imagine though, right?

.The first blooms are always so gigantic

The colours heartbreakingly beautiful

Feel free to pick one!



Happy Easter!

Slim Paley photo

Wishing everyone a beautiful Easter Weekend.

 It was indeed an exquisite day here in Santa Barbara, though I’m fending off a touch of melancholy as has been my custom the past few Easters; reminiscing about egg hunts with our little boys and how those days are long gone for us now. Peculiar that this holiday more than any other affects me in this way.  I’ve one photo in particular of my little men with their Easter baskets that almost makes me weep every time I look at it. My older son’s hair is as gold as if the sun itself has bent to kiss him, and younger son is trailing along,  sporting overalls at half-mast and a look that suggests he’s not at all satisfied with the day’s gatherings just yet.


As nature (and Khalil Gibran) remind us

“Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday…”

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 Columbines photographed today in the garden. I only have this colour at the moment, but I’m on the hunt for the coral and pale yellow combination as well.

I love the little tails that shoot out behind these flowers. They are a sweet addition to a bouquet.

Looks as if we’re going to have another bumper crop of roses this Spring and Summer!

I can barely stand how beautiful the colour of this rose is.

I could almost cry (again. Oh dear…)

Merci to a dear friend for my delicious bonbons

 I hope you receive many treasures from your bunny(s) this Easter Morning!

Looking back to Easters past (a post from 2010);  Peeps & Paas 

And for newer readers;

 if you care to take a peek at the post I hold dearest in my heart  (I warned you I was emotional)

  Here; Bringing up Boys  (please do play the music)

and once again,

Happy Easter and Passover to you all!




The Arrival

hellebore slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo

hellebore slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo

hellebore slimpaley.comSlim Paley photo


Slim Paley Photos

Much like the highly anticipated arrival of le Beaujolais Nouveau in Europe every November, I happily await the sprouting of my helibores.  A humble little flower, not unlike the Beaujolais in that regard, it still has earned a soft spot in my heart for it’s sheer consistency, not to mention that it takes literally only moments to throw together a pretty bouquet- they practically arrange themselves.  Well,  lo and behold,  le helibore est arrive’! There is hope for Spring people!  I took these photos in my severely sodden garden yesterday morning as we enjoyed a brief (so they say) respite from El Nino.  It is supposed to return tomorrow.  I will be double checking my kitchen gutters you may be assured.  And for those of you inquiring after Rachel U. the spider, she appears to have forsaken her spot in front of my desk window, at least for now. As I said, she never seemed to catch anything there anyway.  In the meantime, during these hot chocolate and Wellington boot days, I have the pretty little faces of my helibores to enjoy while the rains continue to throw us into a complete tizzy here in Southern California.

hellebore slimpaley.comSlim Paley Photo

Recommended reading with your hot chocolate;  Any of the gardening books by Beverley Nichols.  A friend gave me some for my last birthday and I just love them.  Like having Noel Coward in the garden.  All available on Amazon.

Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world’s best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. Ostensibly an account of the creation of a garden in Huntingdonshire in the 1930s, it is really about the underlying emotions and obsessions for which gardening is just a cover story. The secret of this book’s success — and its timelessness — is that it does not seek to impress the reader with a wealth of expert knowledge or advice. Beverley Nichols proudly declares his status as a newcomer to gardening: “The best gardening books should be written by those who still have to search their brains for the honeysuckle’s languid Latin name … “

(from the dust jacket)

Beverley Nichols

Beverley and Whoops


The Corpse Flower






Yesterday my friend Richard and I visited the  Huntington Gardens in Pasadena CA for the first time.

 We were quite chuffed with ourselves as the place was absolutely abuzz.

The Amorphophallus titanum, or “Corpse Flower” that grows in the conservatory  there was about to bloom any day now!

There were signs everywhere; “SOMETHING’S GETTING BIGGER!”

This would only be the second time a Corpse Flower has ever bloomed in California, and the 11th time in recorded history in the United States.


 It is the largest flower in the world standing in excess of 6 ft. and not only famous for it’s immense size but also it’s exceptionally foul odour.

Richard and I could hardly wait.

 Trembling with anticipation, we stood patiently in line to take our photo with the huge phallic rarity, scarcely believing our luck.

It had grown two inches that very day!

We sniffed the air gingerly, hoping… nothing.


I mean, seriously, how long does one wait for a corpse??




Richard heard on the radio it burst into bloom the following day.

  @#%^$%#  flower.

I’m never going there again.