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!

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Spuhriinng!

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It is, without a shadow of a doubt, Spuhrrinng in Santa Barbara!

After the rains, we’re  blessed with longer days, buds bursting forth into delicate tissue paper blossoms, birdsong and the frog’s chorus float through the open windows all day long.

Yay!!

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Our resident songstress

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I even found these orchids, long discarded from an indoor pot, earnestly re-blooming way back in the cheap seats of the garden.

Meanwhile…I wonder if I’ll ever get everything I need to do, done.

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Probably not.

Dior ring

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china plates from Bodo Sperlein. Bespoke hand painted canvas by Annie Millar. via British House & Garden.

Detail from a cherry blossom sconce light at Anthropology

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But I’m not going to sacrifice ‘Stop, Look & Listen’ (OK, I know that’s for crossing the road, but it works for the garden too) when there’s so much to take in.

Jo Malone Cherry Blossom cologne

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It’s like Grand Central around here

and look what I found outside a bedroom window on Easter Sunday

Let’s face it, everyone’s really busy right now…

…Here’s to new beginnings!

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Coming Home…

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First Bloom roses all from my garden

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Ahhhh…I guess I can leave N.Y. to come home to this :)

Is there anything better than returning to gorgeous weather and an embarrassment of roses?!

( and your own pillow- Heaven!)

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Aren’t these colours insanely gorgeous?!  The ‘Golden Mustard’ (ugh- hate that name) rose changes colour every day- and every tone is just a little ‘off’.

If a flower could be louche, he’s your man…

I can’t wait to create a big arrangement with them, perhaps mixed with lavender or tangerine.

Oh how I love Spring!

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That’s my upstairs office window on the far right- I can barely see out!  It’s terribly romantic…until you see the surface of my desk, then…not so much.

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I must take a photo of this again at sunset- you can’t imagine how beautiful it looks.

I really feel someone should be climbing up to rescue me, but so far, I’ve only seen my painter, who looked rather horrified by my morning face through the window.

Today there was a hummingbird with an irridescent red head (Let’s call him Harry) I was flailing around like mad trying to get my camera but he flew the coop.

Come back Sweet Prince!!

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Bedside Babies

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Desktop Delights

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This cluster of “Golden Mustard” roses is only two stems!

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Even my White Lilacs bloomed!  (Take that “Will not grow in Zone 9″ :) )

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I don’t know the name of this rose but it’s just kind of silly perfect- I might call it “Prom Queen”, “Head Cheerleader” , “Girl We All Hated in School” or

“Omg-I Can’t Believe How Much Make-up She’s Wearing”

Seriously though- don’t you think they could come up with better names for roses than they do? I’d like that job.

Give me a call, Mr. Rose Naming Person Hire-er.

I  do lipstick and nail polish names too.

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Well, that’s all the beauty and wisdom I can share right now.

I better not talk anymore because I think I might be getting a sore throat…

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Hoping you are enjoying sunshine where ever you are.

xx

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Friday Favourites (17)

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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,

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

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

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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”

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“I said just act casual

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

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

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

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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…)

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More exciting than Jiffypop!

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Glaze with some egg wash and pop in the oven;

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

 

 

And what better segue than this?

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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 :) )

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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 ;


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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!

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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”)

 

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Wishing you a glorious weekend!

xx

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

 

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The View From My Window

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Yesterday afternoon this little guy stopped by.  I believe he’s a “Rare Margiela Brown & Chanel Black Bird with YSL Rouge Throat” if I’m not mistaken.

Spring is upon us here in Santa Barbara.  The buds are a poppin’, the frogs are in a frenzy, and the birds are all auditioning for a Disney movie.  I’m also realizing it’s time to acknowledge a new stage in my life; I’m officially “Mature”   I now derive the greatest happiness simply from throwing open the windows at my desk and listening to the birds and…the lawnmower. I’m basking in the golden light of dusk, the scent of newly shorn grass and becoming a professional bird watcher!

Click here for my Mature Bird Watching Music :)   This song is so beautiful it makes me cry.

That’s right, I sit at the window and take photos of birds and cry. Did that bird just screech “Hormones”??!!

FLEET FOXES MEADOWLARK


Bird pillow from Timorous Beasties

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Peeking out the window behind my desk

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The Ornamental Plum trees are starting to show off

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The cocky “Alexander McQueen Fall 2011 ” bird that acts like the place is his.

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I love to cut these large branches for the front hall but they make a hecka big mess.  If you even breathe in the room beside them the petals fall off.

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The view from my desk window facing South  West toward the Sea (A bit confusing in Santa Barbara as the coastline curves at a peculiar angle here)

In another few weeks this high second story window will be almost completely sheathed in pink Cecille Brunner roses!

Often the birds perch right here against this window, but usually jump before I have my camera ready.

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The wisteria est arrivee’!

and moving outside…

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The first artichokes are popping

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Rose bushes are amping up…

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and God knows what these are called but they’re pretty darn happy at the moment

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Illustration by Christian laCroix

Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty: A Fashion Fairy Tale Memoir (February 2011- available on Amazon)

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The Golden Hour

Where are my binoculars ??

wait a minute, where’s my cocktail?!

“Birdsong” Ice jacket designed by French illustrator Pierre Marie

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