Monday Musings: Oranges and Cactus

Happy Monday ladies. Two weeks in Palm Springs is just about perfect for me. Any longer and my clothes wouldn’t fit;) I’m not the type to miss out on special foods and restaurants while on vacation so now that we’re home, I’m back to Pilates, walking and paying attention to my food choices.

Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about:

Ralph Lauren

Did you catch the Very Ralph documentary on Ralph Lauren last week? I found it fascinating. I’ve always loved the Ralph Lauren aesthetic which got me thinking about style vs fashion and yes, there’s a difference. His collections don’t change appreciably from year to year because he’s not interested in trends. He creates looks to inspire a lifestyle. I’ll have more thoughts on  Ralph Lauren’s style in another post.


I wore nighties for years before I discovered the comfort of pajamas. I was always bothered by nightgowns riding up in bed and pajamas solved that problem. In fact, when It’s really cold I’ve been known to tuck my pajama legs into my socks to keep really warm. There’s a visual for you;)

Linen Pajamas

I love and wear the Cool Nights PJs from Soma. Lately, I have my eye on linen. I’m a big fan of linen everything. It gets softer with each wash and definitely keeps you cool in hot weather. Most linen pajama sets are insanely priced so I was thrilled to find these ones.

Chicken Salad

One of my favorite discoveries last week was The Sparrow Lodge and its chicken salad. I know, weird, but it’s fabulous. A reader suggested we try the family-style dinner they serve on Wednesday and Saturday evening but they were sold out so we went for lunch. The lodge itself is stunning and we hope to stay there on our next trip.

the pool and view at sparrow lodge palm springs

I could blissfully spend many afternoons relaxing by the pool enjoying this view and atmosphere. Lunch is served outside on long tables under a pergola that’s shaded by orange trees. menu and table at sparrow lodge in palm springsWe sat for hours just enjoying the ambiance, light breezes, and amazing food. The chicken salad, as I mentioned, is out of this world so I’ll be trying to recreate it at home. They keep a steady supply of freshly-picked oranges on every table which we heartily enjoyed.

I also discovered the Grown Alchemy line which they use at the lodge. This handwash smells so amazing I immediately tracked it down and ordered it. It’s just dreamy smelling and so good for your skin.


I’ve never been a fan of desert landscaping but this trip changed my opinion. I knew I wouldn’t find them where I live so we drove up into the hills to buy some. I had no idea how many varieties there are. The farm didn’t take credit cards and we had very little cash so I could only buy two. Here’s hoping my black thumb won’t kill them. I’m already questioning my impulse to water them as soon as we got home. I see some horticultural reading in my future.

Do you garden?

Thanks for reading ladies and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.


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  1. Susan B
    February 25, 2020 / 5:31 pm

    I have also been a convert to PJs to some degree. But, I still love my nighties, too. Pjs were always too hot for me until I discovered model and rayon. They are much more breathable. I just bought a pair of Cuddle Duds on sale at Macy’s that are so soft. I haven’t washed them yet, so jury’s still out.
    Here’s my somewhat delicate question. Do you wear undies with them? I was advised by a gynocologist years ago to not wear undies to bed so the lower lady parts could breathe. Any thoughts?

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2020 / 6:10 am

      I was advised to do the same thing. When I do , I wear clean, fresh pjs the next night;)

      • Susan B
        February 26, 2020 / 2:35 pm

        Thanks Jennifer! That’s good to know.

  2. Jen
    February 25, 2020 / 10:46 am

    That restaurant looks like paradise. I loved the Ralph Lauren doc. He seems like a lovely person in addition to having fabulous taste. I love linen. My duvet and drapes are washed linen. I have a few tops. Pajamas would be a luxury! I love the short cotton PJ sets from J. Crew. So comfy! Xx

  3. Karen McFaddin
    February 24, 2020 / 3:29 pm

    Loved hearing about yourPalm Springs trip…I am a rain bird (hey, I’m from the Pacific Northwest!) living part time in Palm Desert so was excited to hear about Swallows Nest….another place to take my guests! Didn’t know about it!
    I’ll have to go back and review your posts to see other exciting places you discovered…I already know about and enjoy Sherman’s.
    Thanks, Jennifer, truly enjoy your posts.

  4. Eve
    February 24, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Great post! I love cactus but like you I’m not gifted at raising plants. I’ve had several veggie gardens and they do well, but regular plants just don’t thrive for me. I think I overwater them. When it’s 90 in the shade, I just feel like they need water. I love chicken salad. Best one I tried had cranberries and pecans in it. There is just something so warm about that orange look. Think I’ll do a little experimenting with my back deck.

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 3:35 pm

      I’m going to switch up my patio too. I could have spent all afternoon relaxing there under the orange trees.

  5. Lindsey
    February 24, 2020 / 11:34 am

    Thank you for the PD recommendations. But $600 for pajamas? I think not!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 3:34 pm

      That’s why I was thrilled to find the less expensive ones.

  6. Valorie
    February 24, 2020 / 9:28 am

    Well Jennifer, we arrived in Palm Desert yesterday and will take over the job of eating toooo much wonderful food. We live in Olympia WA and really only have a couple of good restaurants so this is kind of a culinary Mecca for us. Only here for six days this time so we need to work quickly ?. Glad you and your husband had a good time!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 3:14 pm

      Be sure you have lunch at Sparrow Lodge. It’s yummy and a gorgeous setting. Have fun

  7. Deborah Lilly
    February 24, 2020 / 8:34 am

    Thank you for showing us such lovely things about Palm Springs. You’ve sparked my interest in visiting there! Also, I just watched the documentary on Ralph Lauren. His vision and passion for the (initially) clothing story he wanted to tell is inspirational. It’s also a spectacular visual feast for the eyes. Thanks for a great post.

  8. Jan
    February 24, 2020 / 8:29 am

    I am so thrilled to spot those first local greenhouses and explore all the new and time tested plants available. Last fall I planted a multi color assortment of hyacinths. They will be the first to peek out of the ground. The last few years, I have just purchased the large hanging flower assortments and then transferred them to my patio containers.
    Thankyou for sharing your travel adventures and being so real about some of the challenges along the way.
    Have a great week everyone!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:33 am

      Happy Monday, Jan

  9. Linda lennon
    February 24, 2020 / 8:02 am

    We’re still new to the Desert and yes, the restaurants are amazing. I’ll check out Sparrow’s when the season ends and it’s much easier to get a reservation. Desert landscapes are very unique and certainly different from what I knew back east. I have an app on my phone that identifies each specimen which has helped me learn about the plants. Since we’re re-doing our patio and landscaping I’m striving to be water conscious and that has to include cacti.

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:34 am

      That app sounds wonderful. What is it called?

  10. Susan
    February 24, 2020 / 7:18 am

    Jennifer I’m a long time gardener, president of my orchid society and of my local Master Gardener Association. While I don’t live in a cactus gardening area, my advice to you would be to seek out your local county extension agent for horticulture and ask their advice about plantings for your area. Another good web source to peruse is High Country Gardens, originally Santa Fe greenhouses and highly recommended by a Santa Fe friend and fellow master gardener. Her yard is a wonder of beautiful native plants, trees, and cacti. Good luck and happy travels!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:36 am

      Great advice! I’m so impressed with your talents Susan. I wish I didn’t have a black thumb.

    • Arell
      February 24, 2020 / 10:25 am

      Thanks for mentioning the Ralph Lauren Documentary. I watched it right away. He is my favorite designer. It was really enjoyable.
      Glad you had fun in Palm Springs. I hope you can find the chicken salad recipe! I am always on the hunt for good chicken salad. I live up here in Joshua Tree, so perhaps I can convince my husband to take a drive “down the hill” with me to Palm Springs to your hotel and check it out!
      The next time you visit this part of the world, come to Joshua Tree! I t is not as glamorous as Palm Springs but it has a rustic appeal. And it can really grow on a person. The park is truly magical. We live here up on a Mesa and we have such a nice view. I never thought I would live in the desert and like it, but I love it so much.
      As always, thanks for a great blog. Yours is one of my favorites, along with Pam’s.

      • Jennifer
        February 24, 2020 / 3:16 pm

        We did drive into the park. It’s gorgeous!! The plant life is fascinating. I didn’t know you could live there! We miss the area already. I can see how it would grow on you.

      • Arell
        February 26, 2020 / 4:06 pm

        You can’t live in the Park, haha, but definitely in the surrounding areas of Joshua Tree! Glad you made the trek up here! Yes, the plant life is quite fascinating. And the sky is amazing too. Especially the stars at night.

  11. Joanna
    February 24, 2020 / 7:17 am

    I love Ralph Lauren clothing. Definitely classic!

    Lovely looking lodge but the bare floors would be cold underfoot with chilly desert nights. The chairs around the fire would encourage talk among guests. Love that idea! I’d certainly go there to eat. Where did you stay Jennifer? I’m thinking Palm Desert or Palm Springs for next winter.

    I much prefer nighties, as I find pjs to be restricting. Each to their own, right? Besides, my hubby likes to spoon. ?

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:37 am

      We had our trailer with us. Next time I want to try some of the wonderful little hotels. They’re so quaint and cute.

  12. Celia
    February 24, 2020 / 7:13 am

    Jennifer, I had to laugh at your socks in pajamas vision because I do the same thing! I also heat two microveable “ bed buddies” to take to bed with me. Once I’m warm, I can go to sleep.

    I so enjoy your daily blog and the places you go. I’m on the other side of the country and have never been to the places you visit. And I like your fashion tips on why an article is good or bad for one’s particular anatomy. You seem to have easy access to many stores which I do not have, but enjoy your tie-ins to them via internet. Thank you for what you do.

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:39 am

      Bed buddies sound right up my alley:) Cold feet are the absolute worst!! We do have lots of shopping near us which is good and bad. I’m glad you’re here with us.

  13. Mumbai
    February 24, 2020 / 6:47 am

    Ralph Lauren….you all nailed it. Love his style because classic with a touch of trendy. Your holiday
    in Palm springs must be wonderful relaxing and don’t worry about some pounds more you will
    lost it with Pilates easily

  14. Elizabeth
    February 24, 2020 / 6:37 am

    So nice that you enjoyed Palm Springs. We were there a couple of years ago. It is a fascinating place especially for the mid-century architecture & festival in February.

    FYI – sorry to complain again, Jennifer, but the ads are still jumping up on the screen and between your blog sentences. Just a suggestion…can you remove me from your emailing and after a couple of days, I’ll try to join again. Or, your tech team could put me back on if they have solved this problem. Thanks for your help & I don’t want to miss out on your blogs. Elizabeth

  15. Eileen
    February 24, 2020 / 6:36 am

    I bought the same type bra in Italy, brand is Sloggi. They are very comfortable, I do find they stretch out with wear, maybe the ones with a hook closure last longer? Glad you had fun!

  16. MJ
    February 24, 2020 / 6:08 am

    Hello from Canada, Jennifer! I checked out the link to the linen pyjamas (and the hand wash). I am SO tempted. Maybe the jammies will be a birthday present from me to me….(even though my birthday isn’t until August!). Have a great day!

  17. Ann M
    February 24, 2020 / 6:07 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Sparrows Lodge! Never have I felt more like one of the cool kids than when we stayed there. Truly a gem.

  18. pam
    February 24, 2020 / 5:47 am

    Will you please post your Sparrow Lodge chicken salad copy-cat recipe?

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:48 am

      I sure will. I’ve been googling to no avail. It’s got a real kick to it. Almost like it had a touch of horseradish. I’m going to start experimenting.

  19. Katie H.
    February 24, 2020 / 5:31 am

    I just recently started following you Jennifer and I’m learning so much from you about style! I just had to comment on the pj/sock thing because I do that too in the winter. My husband thinks I look ridiculous, but having my ankles well-covered keeps me so much warmer. 😉 Your trip sounds amazing!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:47 am

      Welcome Katie. Warm feet and ankles beat goofy looking in my book:)

  20. Lea
    February 24, 2020 / 4:36 am

    Good morning, Jennifer. It looks like a wonderful time was had in Palm Springs, it was fun to travel along with you, ty. Falling hands first in a huge cactus plant at the age of seven cured me of their beauty for life lol but as a gardener I can appreciate them. I just don’t have them anywhere near me. Linen anything, on the other hand, is a joy to wear. I had never thought of linen pajamas, something new to discover. Have a wonderful day!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:46 am

      Ouch! That would cure me too

  21. Linda R Gaertner
    February 24, 2020 / 4:31 am

    Love the trip you took.

  22. Linda V
    February 24, 2020 / 4:18 am

    oh. I noticed you highlighted as one of your finds the bra at SOMA. I don’t like their bras. I like the ones at True and Co. Look up their website.

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:45 am

      I have 4 of these. They’re sooo comfy. I’ll take a peek at Tru and Co too.

  23. Linda V
    February 24, 2020 / 4:16 am

    water those cactus thoroughly, but do not let them sit in water. should be just fine!

    • Jennifer
      February 24, 2020 / 8:43 am

      Thank you! I have to be sure only one of us does the watering or they’ll drown.

  24. Linda Henderson
    February 24, 2020 / 4:16 am

    How enjoyable to read about your Palm Springs vacation! Thanks for sharing.

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