Summer Catch Up



Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 7.00.33 AM


Hi there!  How is your summer going so far??!  I’ve missed you!



Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 9.45.28 AM

A thatched roof cottage in the Norwegian Countryside


I’m afraid I’ve succumbed to posting several times a week on Instagram instead of remaining faithful to my blog.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love Instagram because it’s such a quick, easy and fun way to stay connected in a purely visual way. Plus you can get much more creative than on Twitter or Facebook.



Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 8.59.40 PM


I see many people use SnapChat in conjunction with Instagram but I have no idea what that even is. Is it the App that disappears after 30 seconds? And if so, why would I want to do that? I take photos so I can remember stuff not forget it.




Landing in a field of geysers on the way to a glacier in Iceland the week before last.


Not that I would ever forget this experience, but it’s the details, the conversations, the scents and nuances of the moment that all come rushing back in a photo. At least for me.

Getting back to Instagram vs. blogging, I must confess that sometimes, when I haven’t posted in awhile, I get overwhelmed at the thought of writing a new post. I lose my sea legs, my muse, my confidence. ALL bloggers know what I’m talking about. I find myself wondering if I have anything of value to share anymore, or if, after 5 years, I’ve exhausted my blog. So I hide (and cheat on you with Instagram)  It’s not that I don’t care anymore. I do.  Perhaps we just need therapy. After all, we’ve been through so many phases in this relationship over the years. Easy, first dates with no expectations…then we got more serious, attachments arose, commitments, promises made and not kept…I accept full responsibility.

Anyway, thank you for being so understanding, and I totally get it if you’ve been seeing other blogs on the side. Who could blame you?? There’s a plethora of beautiful ones out there.  I’ve been seeing other blogs. No harm no foul.


Meanwhile, we moved as you might remember, so there’s that too. I still haven’t fully unpacked yet. It’s only been 3 1/2 months so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. We went to Scandinavia for 3 weeks and just got back on Wednesday. I’d rather travel than unpack any day.





We went with our older son and his girlfriend, and lovely, charming traveling companions they certainly were. They get along reeallllly well after over 5 years together. Downright adorable in fact. Which is just wonderful, except it meant one and one’s husband had to be on our best behaviour. Because one doesn’t want to fall short in the Marriage Example Department, if you get my drift.

So, you know… it’s kind of like being on a vacation reality show except without the camera crew, prize money or rose ceremony.



The Vigelandsparken Sculpture Gardens, Oslo.

Scandinavia was fabulous. We flew from California to NY to Reykjavik, where, ironically, I’d never been in my life and now I’ve been twice in one year so all of a sudden I’m Miss “I Just Happen to Know a Lot About Iceland”.  

I love when that happens.


Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 7.01.10 AM


This time, as it was the height of the summer season, it stayed light virtually all night long. When the sun finally set, for just a few short hours, the preceding sunsets were incredible.



Gullfloss Falls, Iceland


We made the most of the short amount of time we had in Reykjavik, including a visit to the Blue Lagoon, which I missed last time through.

greeter_photo_1436111480_98769a4d4f8b3a6a5c2e621e2deaaa23 (2)

A couple that clays together stays together 😉

I knew we were in for an adventurous holiday when my husband actually ate fermented shark with our son (fyi- it tastes and smells like ammonia, or so I’m told ) God bless him.




He also insisted we reenact the scene from “The Thing” , one of his favourite old movies, on top of a glacier.  I guess this is the part where we’re waiting for James Arness as the monster. If my memory serves me correctly having watched the movie oh, perhaps 50 times peripherally.


We just got home a couple of days ago so I still haven’t completely unpacked.  I like to layer my non-unpacking over my other non-unpacking-it’s a form of disorganisational (I say it’s a word) origami. And yes, I’ve read “the life-changing magic of tidying up-the Japanese art of decluttering and organising” recommended to me by my friend and fellow blogger/writer Frances Shultz who also has a new book just out called “The Bee Cottage Story”.  Yay Frances!




Speaking of packing, I think I sort of outdid myself this time (in a good way). Given the fact that I didn’t have full access to all my stuff, I consider it to be some of my very best work. It only took a week 😉  So expect a juicy packing post on the near horizon.

I’ll be back soon (I SWEAR) with some lovely photos and more tales of amazing food and fjords once I get over my jet lag.

In fact, we have SO much to talk about…what was I thinking?? We don’t need any therapy!!




Happy Weekend!

xoxo S.P.


PS.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you’re thinking of traveling to Europe and/or considering visiting Iceland at all, Iceland Air (the nicest and prettiest flight attendants)  allows up to a 7 day layover with NO extra charge if you choose to fly through Reykjavik. Check out their Instagram  to see some truly amazing photos of this unusual destination.

PPS. If you do go, don’t forget to buy Icelandic chocolate (so good) and Blue Lagoon clay masks at Duty Free 🙂



* I have no affiliation nor received any flights or gifts from Iceland Air.





    • Thank you Robert. I have the Canon eos 5-D which takes amazing photos but it’s a very heavy camera. I use my iPhone most of the time. All my Instagram photos are taken with my iPhone.

  1. Awww…. nice to hear from you, your adventures look wonderful and your sense of humor is still in tact, you’re forgiven! Loved the insight into being on best behavior with potential d-i-law….

  2. Your photographs are excellent. I have never really given a trip to Iceland a lot of thought, now it is on my list. Thanks!!

  3. Great Blog Slim, No one told me you were instagramming. I will have to look into that. Love, love all your pics.xo.

  4. What a FUN way to start my Saturday!! Our son-in-law is from Stockholm so that photo of the multi colored cottages really resonated. They have been to Iceland…not I…in my ice bucket list!! franki

  5. Of course we don’t need therapy (well, I mean in the collective sense…me? Psh, that goes without saying that I do)!
    True, I have been gobbling up your adventures on ig but I am sorry, there just isn’t enough space for your wit and perspective to come through there, so please do continue here. We miss you too…
    I can’t help you out about snapchat but I do rather like that they chose that cute ghostie emojii as their symbol.
    This is a silly question but…was it hard to sleep/set your body clocks with all of that sunlight?

    • Thank you Heather! Surprisingly, it wasn’t really that difficult, except for a couple of nights, when I couldn’t stop myself from peeking out the windows. We brought sleep masks and most of the hotels had pretty decent black out shades. I’ve certainly had worse jet-lag, even coming home.

  6. So glad you’re back. We don’t travel, so I live through your travels here and on Instagram. Love your humor and outlook. I see why you and Dennis seem so in love.😊

  7. Notification of your blog and Frances Schultz are the first I go to always. Please keep them coming. I enjoy of every last word and look forward to hearing about your new abode and traveling adventures. I just finished reading Bee Cottage and you and Frances have similar humor. I can just imagine your private conversations with Dennis. Your quote from Downton ” I am not going up to take off my hat” is one I use over and over. Happy unpacking and orging short for organizing.

  8. Happi Happi Summer Slim! Gosh it’s July and I’m NOT in Iceland nor do I HAVE a blog, and I did NOT just move, (I did move back to California 10 years ago and things are still in boxes, so from my viewpoint you are sitting pretty!………………….I do however have snapchat 🙂

    I just finally had a moment to catch up on your archived posts, and I can’t believe you left your home/gardens, but happy you are still in paradise, (why did I ever leave SB (?!) you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone), but, life is a big circle and my daughter lives there now and I get to visit! (she graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Delta Lambda, and top 15 in her graduating class and was awarded a very highly competitive internship in SB, (smart AND beautiful)…. she is trying to find the time to get back to her own blog as well!………………

    sorry, shameless plug by mom

    Cheers to a new chapter!!!

    • That’s awesome Beryl
      Congratulations !
      and who amongst us isn’t guilty of a ‘shameless mom plug’ every now and again?!

  9. I’m glad you’re back to blogging. You were one of my inspirations for starting my lifestyle blog. I heard about Slim Paley from friends of mine in Santa Barbara. Also, we are great friends of the Oberndorfs and were on the ship with Will and his Thacher friends (which included your oldest son) in Croatia. Small world! You are also a truly gifted photographer! Keep up the great work!

    • No, we are still in Santa Barbara! We did move to another property though in April. I wrote about our move just a few posts back.

  10. Would you believe that Jeopary’s final question/answer last night was about the free 7 day layover? The category was “National Airlines” – Iceland was my first guess, but two of the three contestants got it wrong!

    • that’s too weird. I would never have gotten that right though. I can’t believe you guessed Iceland!

  11. Lovely post and photos! I loved following along on Instagram. I am so with you about blogging and when you’ve stopped for a while it’s just so hard to reboot. No matter your posts are always refreshing and wonderful. I like the way you prioritize travel over unpacking…Smart! Heck if my unpacking looked like yours I’d just leave it out, it’s all so pretty. Looking forward to the next posts! Welcome back! x Kim

    • Thank you Kim!
      That photo, btw, is my stuff BEFORE it was packed, certainly not after I came home.

  12. I adore your blogs. Please don’t stop them. I am too old to find out how to use all those other sites.
    I think you have been blessed with an amazing eye and love all your photos.
    You brightened my day by your post.

  13. Hi Slim,
    I’m watching/reading your Instagram. I’ve been in the same boat regarding blogging, not the boat involving travel and moving! I wonder how many times I can speak to lighting, living rooms, kitchens and such without boring myself, not to mention my few precious readers! Ah well, it will work out.
    I would love to hear more about your move and what charms you’ve installed in your new abode.

    • Hi Karen
      I knew that most bloggers would know exactly what I’m talking about. Actually a day at The Met in NY on the way home from Europe really inspired me to sit down and post again- even though I didn’t write about the museum, all that beauty just inspired me.

  14. YAY back. Love this post as always. TOTALLY get every single word about the blogging/Insta thing. THANK YOU for the shout-out for “The Bee Cottage Story.” And last but not least, “disorganizational” is totally a word. Big hug and thanks, Frances

  15. Good to have your blogs back! I do not do Instagram, though I may do it in the future. Glad to hear your son is getting along well with his girlfriend, nowadays most people his age (applies to females too) have not had a long-term relationship like that yet! 🙂

  16. your blog is great..Going to take in exhibits at Met this week
    One comment on Iceland..Beautiful and primordial ..but on that note.. Are your aware that foals(Yes, Baby horses)are on their resturant menus? This disturbs me..the country is gorgeous..but not food preferences???

  17. Welcome back Slim, you were missed. Loved your pictures, no one can do it like you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    B J

  18. Ditto what Jennifer Lively said, you are a gifted photographer. And … the photo of you and Mr. S.P in the water – adorable!!

  19. Don’t leave us! We need you! As someone in a former post wrote, “you brighten my day”. You really do. I dont do Instagram but I love your blogs and every time I see there is one,I am so happy. I think you are the BEST BLOGGER of them all. You inspire me so please keep at it. You bring so much joy.

    xo Leslie

  20. Slim, I love your posts and consider each a gift. It is nice to see your photos on Instagram – just as inspiring in a lot of ways.

    And, I must thank you for the photo of Fish Company in Reykjavik. My husband and I were there this week and we went straight there for our first dinner. It was delicious. I’d like to return the favor and recommend FishMarket for your next visit. We ate there our last night and it was really, really good. The food scene in Reykjavik is quite impressive. It was a great trip. And your photos of Scandanavia have gotten me thinking about a future trip….(plus Noma and Faviken are on my restaurant bucket list!)

    We are on similar schedules this year. I moved in May. In fact, furniture was delivered May 12 and I left for Paris with my girlfriend May 17. What’s the rush with unpacking? In theory, I will have a long time in this house so why not put it off a few weeks….But, now that we’re back from our summer travels, I guess I should start thinking about it…

    Enjoy the last weeks of summer.


  21. In a perfect world there would be a long and image filled blog post from you every day! You’re the best.
    We just spent the last month in Iceland, Greenland, and Canadian High Arctic. Love love love Iceland. BTW, we saw “unusual” delicacies on several upscale menus. Puffin, Guillemot, and one menu addition of Surf and Turf – Minke Whale and Horse. Tried not to get all indignant about it as we were told by several Icelanders that many families eat these foods because it is part of their heritage although the younger generation favors other types of um, protein.

Would love to hear from you!