Pre-Summer Rerun

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Do not adjust your dial. There is nothing wrong with your screen.

This is indeed a rerun of a June 2011 post. Honestly, pinky swear, I never do this.

OK, maybe I’ve done it just one other time. Hey-It’s no crime. Haven’t we all re-read a good book on occasion?

Or worse, not even realized we’ve read a book until we’re too many pages in to admit it?!

But, here’s the thing; I’m traveling at the moment.

I promise to be back with a new post very shortly.

In the meantime, this should help to prime your Summer juices…

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Don’t forget to start your summer inspiration board (this is my beach house one, also from June 2011)

Original post link:

SUMMER’S ALMOST HERE

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and just to assuage my guilt a wee bit, I’m including my newest Summer cocktail;

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It couldn’t possibly be easier, more decadent or delightfully confuse childhood memories with naughty grown up pleasures more!

“The Creamsicle”

1 part Advocaat

2-3 parts 7-up or Sprite

small ice cubes

Fill small(ish) glass tumbler with ice, pour chilled Advocaat over cubes, add 7up & stir lightly.

The drink will froth up beautifully…

along with memories of sticky, sand covered popsicle sticks stuck to beach towels, miniscule bikinis, tan-line comparing and sun burned boys.Who amongst us cannot relate?? :)

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Cheers and have a great weekend!!

PS. Instagram photo taken in my “new” old conservatory. Vintage lamp from the Marches aux Puces, Paris. Which, may I add, cost way more to rewire Stateside than the lamp itself.

That calls for a 2nd cocktail in my “Summer Reading” book, don’t you think?

PPS. Header image from my post on the The Maldives in the “Travel” section.

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Happy Summer!!

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It’s HERE!

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!

Music for your stroll;

 


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Get out in the garden

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Be Exuberant 

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.Perfect your Marguerita making skills

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.Make home-made gourmet popsicles

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Get to the beach

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.Entertain outdoors as much as possible

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WHATever

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Read your face off

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.Wear hats & sunscreen

Always.

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Eat fresh & healthy

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Buy a cute suit

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Indulge in a little fantasy

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Embrace summery details

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Never be too old to build a fort

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Pack a gourmet picnic and go to the Drive-Inn

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Make home-made vice-cream

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Cherish chubby toes

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Break bread with good friends

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Headfirst

xoxo

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(non-Slim Paley photos  via Pinterest, except my son’s toes (photo Christopher Briskoe)

SWIM

photo Shayne Laverdiere

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Less than 4 days left until the official start of Summer

Are you in the swim yet??

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Have you noticed that bathing caps are feeling very au courant ?

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Alex Katz

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Every once and a while I hear of something new or, in this case, something old feeling very new again and think

Genius! WHY didn’t I think of that?!

Exactly my thought when I first read about the “AquaLilies”

“Aqualillies is America’s hottest water ballet entertainment company, reinventing the classic art form for the new millennium.”

“Our goal is to inspire people with beauty, grace, and spectacle, bringing to life the magic of the universe through synchronized swimming and dance.”

Check them out here;

AquaLilies video 

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Aqualillies

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Deirdre

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Alysha

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The Aqualillies have even received the stamp of approval from the original Queen of  Water Nymphs herself,

Esther Williams  (now 91)

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Esther Williams

Who didn’t love to watch these movies on a rainy Saturday afternoon ??

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The Aqua Lillies in action

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Picasso’s “The Bathers” (1918)

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A fun summer read

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The shade any self respecting mermaid will be wearing in the pool this summer

Dior’s “St. Tropez”

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A Lily in action

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True Confessions; 

I can’t dive. Never learned. Never will.

Just thinking about it sets my nasal passages afire.

But just in case you’re more aquatically inclined than moi (which would pretty much be any and all of you)

the Aqualillies are holding auditions as well as classes right now.

What are you waiting for?

 Hurry up and get your swim on!

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Yet Another Ojai Treasure

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All photos by Slim Paley

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Speaking of Summer Reading…(well,weren’t we??!)

(Look, it’s almost Summer. Lengthy segues are for Fall)

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As I mentioned last week, I decided  to reread “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury so we stopped in to one of the true treasures of Ojai;

“Bart’s Books”

to see if they had a copy.

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Just one block off the main street of Ojai, Bart’s is a sincerely NOVEL experience (:))

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Passing through the  narrow entrance  one discovers  a  preposterous proposal-

a bookshop open almost entirely to the elements 24/7!

What of the rain? you may well ask, as I did.

Well, firstly, it hardly ever rains in Ojai, but when it does the overhang apparently provides just enough coverage to keep inventory dry.

Being on the inland side of the mountain range that separates Ojai from Ventura and Santa Barbara, the climate is much warmer (OK, it’s HOT) and therefore the books don’t suffer from damp in the way they would oceanside.

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 How many bookshops do you frequent where enormous grapefruits come rolling off the roof  to land at your feet?? ( top right corner)

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Or you’re offered a perch in your own little interrogation booth to peruse  ‘True Crime’ tomes?

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A ginormous cat named “PYGMIE” presides, serving up more attitude than a French flight attendant.

This was the look she gave me when I asked how often they turn over the choices on their “Most Requested” shelf.

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Grab a stick of hard candy or a Nespresso and stay for hours- as we did!

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Cookery books are to be found, where else? in the kitchen of course.

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Bart’s, not surprisingly,  had experienced a run on their Bradbury inventory over the last 48 hours so there were no more “Dandelion Wine”s

however we found many other fun treasures

including a copy (in one of their few glass book cases) of Charles Baker Jr.’s “The Gentleman’s Companion: Volume I & II” for a reasonable $100

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Slim Paley photo

Featured in one of my past posts, The Gentleman’s Companion is THE ultimate book concerning the art of concocting cocktails.

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as well as this fab Douglas Fairbanks biography with a most irresistible cover.

Eat your heart out Johnny Depp.

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Lastly, not to be a rabble-rouser, but

know what I won’t be reading this summer?

“50 Shades of Grey”

There.

I said it.

I feel like Meryl Streep in “Silkwood”

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PS.

After all your hard work and heavy lifting at Bart’s, why not saunter up the road to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and treat yourself to one of these;

(Vegetarians look away)

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I cannot deny I was dreaming of this burger the entire drive over.

Great Burgers & Books.

Life is Good!

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Home Sweet Mountain Home

door with skates, Slim PaleySlim Paley Photo

Wild flowers gathered for my front door.

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front porch, Slim PaleySlim Paley Photo


Greetings from Sun Valley.  I’m so blissed out to be here!

In just a few short hours the weather will run the gamut of  brilliant sunshine, billowing white clouds, a dark horizon, a burst of quick rain and back to glorious sunshine again.

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Sun Valley, Slim PaleySlim Paley photo

The sunlight paints the mountains a multitude of greens after a quick rain shower

The town is buzzing with sporty types all looking very fit and rather chuffed with themselves, having just completed a long bike ride, a strenuous hike or perhaps just a delicious brunch at Christina’s. Being of the “first gear persuasion” myself, I enjoyed a leisurely stroll this afternoon, stopping by some of my regular haunts, including The Iconoclast bookshop (do you think I could remember the name of the book I was looking for??)  and of course the obligatory visit to Chateau Drugs.  Quel horror! A change of ownership without me being consulted?! This is the shop that our friends and I (we?? yikes-altitude, gin & tonic) used to joke that you could find anything- not no more…(just testing)  Change is good, but not always.

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LupinesSlim Paley Photo

Riotous Lupines by the side of the road

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On the up side, as I’m in vacay mode I feel freed up to be as sloth-like as I care to be, which is pretty darn sloth-like.  I finished an entire book yesterday; “The Dignified Guest” by Sue Miller. It started off so promising and then sort of petered out for me.  Quite honestly, I’m in the market for a great book with  characters I can actually fall in love with, or at least admire.   I’m on a dry streak of books inhabited by people I’d rather punch than go to lunch with.  I’d be thankful for any of your suggestions.

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Big Wood River, Sun Valley, IdahoSlim Paley photo

Looking north from my deck this morning.

The river is running fast and high.  I’m not able to catch it with my camera but the sky is filled with fluffy white Cottonwood seeds, (you can just see a fine blur in the right side of the photo) It’s almost like snow drifting through the air. They catch in your hair, on screen doors, in spiderwebs, a fine downy layer coating everything with the promise of thousands of new Cottonwoods next Spring.

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Slim Paley photo

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Slim Paley photo

Look at these funny little flowers growing in my garden. I don’t know what they’re called but they look like pink Water Buffalos!

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Well, whether it’s the altitude, the sun or just the pure mountain air- I’m knackered.

I’m looking forward to falling asleep to the sound of the river

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Front porch, log & stone house, Slim PaleySlim Paley photo

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Wishing you a great rest of the weekend

and for those of you in L.A.- I hope you’re surviving “Car-mageddon” without too much inconvenience :)

xx