Catching Up

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Slim Paley photo

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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…

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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)

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and fresh truffles for breakfast.

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

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

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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 …

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Expresso made with coconut water.

Seriously.

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

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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

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that she went out and got one herself.

No moss growing on Marsha!! :)..

 

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

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Lastly, in literary news…

My Monty Don book arrived yesterday

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Yay!

Love him.

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

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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??

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

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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-

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Not to mention cracking the bedside behemoth that is

the September issue of Vogue.

Fuggedaboudit.

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Slim Paley Instagram

Just…

can’t…

go there…

yet.

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Hope YOU had a great weekend!

xox

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Ten Things I Know on This Birthday

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deep rose roses

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Ten Things I know for sure on this Birthday

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1. I know there aren’t too many things that give me more pleasure than having the luxury and time to arrange flowers from my own garden.

Mother Nature is The best therapist.

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2. I know I’d love to keep a gardening diary but probably never will.

Instead, I’ll diarize (I say it’a word and it’s MY birthdayvicariously through Monty Don’s beautiful books, the newest of which I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of;

“Gardening at Longmeadow”

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From “Gardening at Longmeadow” by Monty Don.

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3. As my birthday coincides with my newly official “Empty Nester” status, I know the future is ripe with new opportunities.

Not quite sure what they are yet, but I’m certain they’ll be presenting themselves in short order.

Or, perhaps I must go in search of them…

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4. I know my passport(s) are buffed and ready at a moment’s notice.

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mountain climbing, Sri Lanka

My fellow climbers at the summit of Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka.

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Travel is, without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures in my life.

except for the packing.

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5. Speaking of multiple passports, this will be the FIRST time in my life and the first time our entire family will all be casting a vote for the Presidency of the United States.

And I know my vote COUNTS. :)

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6. I know that getting up early and running the other morning felt great.

Well, not the actual running part. but making the effort to do something so out of character felt wonderful.

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7. I know that I was truly inspired by the incredible athletes and their stories this summer and I hope to hold on to that inspiration until the next Olympics.

Or, at least until hockey season.

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8. I know that all my laugh lines are well earned but considering how funny my friends and family are I could actually look a lot worse.

Besides, I’d rather laugh than be totally smooth.

I’d like smooth hair though for my birthday.

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9. I know that after telling myself I was too old for leather leggings last year I now have a new pair hanging in my closet.

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Apparently I got younger over the summer :)

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10. I know that I’d like to try writing a book and if I put that thought out into the Universe it might actually come to fruition.

  I might just need the pressure of saying it to DO it.

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11. I know that every few years my husband will happily re-watch “Withnail & I ” with me and we’ll laugh our asses off and I love that about him.

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favourite film

“Withnail & I”

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Slim Paley

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12.I know I have to stop and smell those roses.

THAT, I really do know.

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13. And I still know that math is not my strong suit.

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14. I feel a bit like a kid with a brand new binder and a shiny case of sharpened pencils on the first day of school-

I want to shoot for straight “A’s” this semester!

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Lastly, for those of you that missed this on my Slim FB page;

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Is this me, you, US or what?!

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“Ninfa” Stealer of Hearts

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Ninfa Gardens, ItalySlim Paley photo

A garden in Italy has stolen my heart.

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Ninfa Gardens, ItalySlim Paley Photo


I’m embarrassed to admit that just 45 miles southeast of Rome lies one of the most charming gardens in the world, and yet I’d never even heard of “Ninfa“.  Set amidst the ruins of an eighth century Medieval town and traversed by the sparkling, crystal clear Ninfa river, it stands as a testament to the divine combination of English eccentricity and Italian romance.

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Ninfa gardens, outside Rome

For most of it’s history  the property has belonged to the Roman Caetani family.  The original garden was laid out in the 1920′s but it’s present incarnation was created by the English born Duchess of Sermoneta, her daughter-in-law the Princess Caetani, and the princess’ daughter Donna Leilia who amassed over 10,000 plants from all over the world to thrive in this magical place.

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The name “Ninfa” derives from a little temple built near the stream and dedicated to Nymph goddesses in Roman times.

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Ninfa gardens, Italy

Slim Paley Photo

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Gorgeous Ninfa Gardens, ItalySlim Paley photo

I’m at a loss for words to convey how crystal clear and enticing the river was…


In fact I’m quite sure I saw Water Babies peeking out from under the bridge.

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The Waterbabies

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Mushrooms and rose petals for the Faeries of Ninfa

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white lilies in Italy

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Ruins, Ninfa Gardens, ItalySlim Paley Photo

We had the garden to ourselves with only a fox and a cuckoo to scold us for loitering too long…

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climbing roses

Ciao Bella Ninfa!

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Ninfa is only open to the public on a very limited basis. If you are planning a trip to Italy do call ahead and move heaven and earth to visit this little slice of paradise.

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All photos by Slim Paley

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A million thank you’s to the incredibly talented writer, prolific journalist and gardener extraordinaire Monty Don who shared his knowledge and admiration of Ninfa with us.  I’ve been avidly reading his newest book “The Ivington Diaries” each night before I go to bed and cannot recommend it highly enough.  Based upon 18 years of his garden journals and brimming with beautiful photos all taken by Monty, anyone even remotely enamored of gardens will be utterly charmed by this book. If you’re like me, you’ll be searching Amazon for all his others.

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Available in the U.K. now and in the U.S. in July.

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OTime to sign off- We’re off to The Chelsea Flower Show tomorrow!!