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OMG! Holy Sh*t! Good Lord! Is It Possible? Mon Dieu! Santa Barbara Magazine: The Fall Issue

Welcome to Fall! Summer is officially over and it’s all about Fall. As much as I do not want to close the chapter on summer, I will have to accept the fate of the seasons and welcome Fall with open arms. Paris in the Fall is actually wonderful. Our apartment in Paris is a stone’s throw from the Jardins de Palais Royal where the chestnut trees will start to drop their leaves (and chestnuts) changing from soft verdant green to a crispy ombre okre color. Restaurants will start to change their menus from Tomates coeur de boeuf et burrata to Soupe a L’Oignon Gratinée. Fashion will change from espradrilles to cashmere sweaters. Such is life in Paris in the Fall. I mean, it’s not Syria for God’s sake, so I have nothing to complain about.


This particular Fall happens to be rather exciting pour moi. Porquoi, you ask? Because, because, because I have actually done something that I am rather proud of. But first, as they say, “a little back story.”


Living in Santa Barbara, the locals rather much never toot their own horn. It is a very demure community. If you live in Santa Barbara/Montecito pat yourself on the back, you’re rich and you’ve made it. But trust me, no one would ever dare flaunt their riches, brag about their spoils, or boast about their successes. Save that for Los Angeles. People live in Santa Barbara to just be… Be amongst the avocado and eucalyptus trees, walk the quiet beaches, savor the weather and live in near anonymity. Oh yes, the neighbors are rich and most likely famous, but no one would ever dare notice. Oprah is at Montecito Market buying bacon, just like you. Rob Lowe is eating meatballs at Mollie's, just like you. Dennis Miller is coaching the children’s basketball team just like your dad did. Julia Child chose lettuces at Coast Village Road farmers market and ordered tacos at La Super-Rica, just like you. Warren Christopher is eating risotto at Pane e Vino, just like you. Bo Derek will be eating Thanksgiving dinner at your friend’s house, just like you. It’s just that no one will talk about it and it will not be any big whoop.


But don’t get me wrong, Santa Barbara locals want to know what’s up with the community. Who’s doing what, who’s living where, who’s selling what, who’s buying what, who ate where, who went where, and who married whom! One would never ask all of these questions out right, because that would just be rude. So, where do the locals go for all of their information? One place: Santa Barbara Magazine. It is the go to magazine for the who, what, and where of Santa Barbara. Only publishing five times a year according to the seasons and one blowout Best Of issue, Santa Barbara Magazine “celebrates Santa Barbara’s rich and colorful lifestyle with award-winning editorial on Santa Barbara people, homes and gardens, architecture, food and wine, history, arts, escapes and more.” Santa Barbara Magazine is basically Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Town & Country, Travel and Leisure, Vanity Fair and Vogue all together.


But don’t get me wrong, this ain’t no gossip rag. It’s real stories about real people who just happen to be fabulous people doing fabulous things. And by fabulous, I don’t necessarily mean famous. Santa Barbara is filled with unique characters who are under the radar (somewhat) making the most of their lives. Philanthropists saving the ocean waters, chefs opening new restaurants, public gardens hosting charity functions, shop owners opening new antique stores (yours truly), noted authors hosting book signings, musicians playing a gig at the Santa Barbara Bowl, directors producing documentaries, local farmers hosting luncheons to celebrate a new organic crop, weirdos doing weird stuff, and of course rich folk decorating their mansions (my personal favorite).


Every season Santa Barbara locals flock to the newsstand to pick up their much anticipated issue of Santa Barbara Magazine, grab a soy latte, and sit down and savor the issue cover to cover, word for word, picture by picture. Never ever are these issues thrown away after reading. No, no, no… Santa Barbara Magazine is always saved, treasured and archived. Every decent Santa Barbaran dedicates an entire bookshelf to back issues of Santa Barbara Magazine.


But here’s the thing, Santa Barbara Magazine is not just for the locals. Santa Barbara magazine is read worldwide because it is a global magazine. Want to know what the chic celebrities are up to? Read Santa Barbara magazine. Want to know what the fashionistas are wearing? Read Santa Barbara magazine. Want to know the coolest place to travel? Want to escape to a secret garden? Want to discover the most in demand wedding planner? Want to sulk over a fabulous fête you missed? Want to know a unique recipe for tamales? Want to discover the greatest rose farm on the planet? Want to know what a famous novelist’s retreat looks like? Want to get an inside look at some of the world’s most exclusive, elusive estates? Read Santa Barbara magazine!


A few months ago I received an email from my friend, Jennifer Hale Smith, the president of the magazine, asking me if I would like to write an article about Paris in the Fall for Santa Barbara Magazine.


Would I like to?

Hell, yes!

To consider this an honor is an understatement! I have always wanted to work at Santa Barbara Magazine. I think I even offered to work as an intern once. The 40-year-old intern. If I ever had to choose a job/career, it would be working for Santa Barbara Magazine (of course I would sell antiques on the side, silly.) Where else could I be immersed in everything that I love! Nowhere. Being a part of Santa Barbara Magazine is definitely a dream come true. Who knew that when I was diagnosed with ALS and I thought my life was over, I would achieve one of my dreams… Writing for Santa Barbara magazine. Take note my friends: It ain’t over till it’s over.


So, without further ado, let’s talk about “the article.” The lovely Jennifer asked me to write an article on my take of Paris during the Fall season. Even though I will never be considered (according to my French husband) a true Parisian, I beg to differ. I like to think that I am a Parisian… Without the attitude or pessimism. I have been coming to Paris for years and years, living here off and on and now full-time, and have always reminded myself to delve into the French culture and avoid being a stupid American tourist. I know where to shop, I know where to eat, I know how to behave, I know what to wear, I know what to avoid, I know the “locals only” spots and if I do say so myself, I know Paris. I have learned from my French husband, my French friends and through my never-ending quest to explore. I haven't mastered the French language however because uhhh... It's hard... but I get by just fine. I also like to think that I know what y’all would like to know when you visit Paris. Restaurants, gardens, farmers markets, antique shops, florists, chocolate shops, clothing shops, perfume shops, museums, cafés… You know, the important stuff!


So, get yourself a copy of the Fall issue of Santa Barbara Magazine to be in the know of all things chic and to read my article about Paris in the Fall!

Thank you Jennifer Hale, Gina Tolleson, Gina Terlinden, Alisa Baur, Charlotte Bryant and everyone at Santa Barbara Magazine for making this girl’s dream come true. Merci beaucoup!

Santa Barbara magazine is available at newsstands and by subscription.

Subscribe to Santa Barbara Magazine HERE! Follow on Instagram HERE!


  1. Congratulations! You are amazing. Really. xoxoxo Elena

  2. Wow - incredible! A travel journalist. How totally cool!

  3. MY copy arrived yesterday!Otherwise, I had PENELOPE BIANCHI lined up to mail it to me!A BEAUTIFUL ARTICLE INDEED!It took me NO time at all to flip and find you in the way back......THE BEST PART of a MAGAZINE.As I spied you I realized what I rang you about in your shop all those years was the CHAISE LOUNGE you are reclined upon reading your "HOW TO DECORATE" book!!!
    You are SO spot on too about it being all the GOOD MAGS in ONE!IT has SO Much CLASS.......and the photography is STUNNING and the last page with a bit of the PAST Is so touching!I have SUBSCRIBED for YEARS...............does that surprise you?XOXO

  4. I will be in Montecito next week. I will pick one up! Congratulations, Ellie!

  5. This is so exciting! Congratulations! So this will be a test for your mother-is she first a modest Santa Barbaran or will the maternal drive to parade children's accomplishments win out as she's standing by the newsstand with your baby book? Only time will tell...
    I've only been to Santa Barbara twice and I loved every minute. Except, unfortunately, my dominant memories of California consist mainly of traffic and loooong drives. "Close" is a relative term west of the Rockies. Summer may be over for you, but it's practically just started here (no complaints from me). You remember how the Midwest behaves in September, I'm sure. Congratulations again.

  6. Congratulations! I can't wait to read it!

  7. Congrats - I look forward to reading your article. I am sure it will be as interesting and fascinating as you are.

  8. I am so crazy proud of you...Brava! Eeee, I know it will be a monster success. YOUR version of Paris...mais bien could it not be? :)

    The magazine looks absolutely amazing! Wow. For Ellie's readers who don't know how the press works? This was an honor to be asked and published between such fine pages...of course we all know that she deserves it!

    With much Love and Strength for you, a professional journalist...because you are one now!

  9. You deserve it! "It isnt over till it is over". How right you are and how brave! All of your readers are proud of you!
    Maria from Athens-Greece

  10. I am getting subscriptions for myself and my mom. Thank you!! We visited Santa Barbara 3 septembers ago and I got to stay a week at the 4 seasons. We loved the pool, the Dolphins who accompanied me while paddle boarding and the consignment shop on the Main Street.

    can't wait to read your article!!

  11. Ellie,
    Bravo. I cannot wait to read your article. Just subscribed. Hope I get the Fall issue.
    You are amazing.
    Hugs. Alex

  12. Speaking of demure - your middle name right now - you give much deserved applause to Santa Barbara Magazine and didn't even post your article . Graciousness . Kinda swell that two of my favorite people in the whole world would inhabit those fine pages in the same year . wink . Bravo Ellie ! Love You , A

  13. Very exciting! Congratulations on your prestigious, successful assignment for such a go-to magazine. I am so proud of you! I hope that I find a way to read it.

  14. Congrats Ellie, how exciting! I will buy this issue because of you. I hope to find one soon!!

  15. SO fabulous! As a Californian (Northern CA but close enough) living in the UK I'm furiously thinking of who I can get to buy and send me one! On a separate note, not to be a stalker but I was in Paris just a couple weeks ago and believe we enjoyed a lovely afternoon in one of the cafes pictured while the kids played in the park. As I think we stayed in an apartment near you I kept my eyes out for you but I think you were away on one of your adventures...... I'm not sure I would have dared to say hello but my thoughts are often with you. You are a continued inspiration, thank you for the extra effort I know it takes..... X

  16. So happy for you Ellie!!!! You are such a talented writer. A delight and and an inspiration in so many ways.. not the least of which is as a mother. Bravo. You deserve to have your dreams come true.

  17. You deserve to be proud of yourself. It's a wonder we haven't all heard you screaming with excitement from all round the globe. But wait, that would not be discreet. And we must all have a little decorum! Definitely going to subscribe. Thanks for the tip. Well done!
    Deborah - Melbourne, Australia.

  18. Wow! Congratulations! I will certainly buy a copy and read your article!

  19. Congratulations, Ellie. I can't wait to read your fabulous article.


  20. Congratulations on your article, that's a wonderful accomplishment! And for me knowing that you carry on every single day with dignity and integrity sometimes scared to death but still living the best you can brings me great comfort. Today my heart needs comforting and so I thank you for the generosity that leads you to share your journey with us. God bless you my Dear One.

  21. Hell yes! C’est possible! Why? Because you’re one helluva good writer with a passion for places AND a Santa Barbara girl at heart. Can't wait to read the article.

    p.s. Nice cover of your friend Gigi. Just saw her on the September issue of W magazine too.

  22. Ellie I am so excited for you Congratulations. I will get an issue right away!!
    You are an incredible woman, my friend!

    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring Sharon Santoni

  23. Ellie, I can never get over your energy, enthusiasm and zest for life -- all while living (suffering) with ALS! This assignment for Santa Barbara Magazine just adds one more feather to your cap. Accolades to you -- you deserve them and more! I will definitely purchase a copy, eager to "hear" what you have to say, just as I'm always eager to read your blog -- my very favorite blogger of all!
    Now, just one more thing. In the last photo of this blog, the caption reads ".....City of Lights." Say it's a typo. Please.

    1. Let's hope it's a typo! I'm just glad I didn't write that part. I would definitely be expelled from Paris had I written City of Lights! Good eye, my friend. I'm going to go get it some white out… XOXO

  24. Ellie,
    Reading your posts is something I look forward to, and I'm always delighted to see a new post in my email, especially with such great news. The past few months have been a bit crazy for me, without a chance to leave any comments, but please know I read every single post, and think you're brilliant and inspiring.

    Congratulations on Santa Barbara, I am thrilled for you! Now that word is out that you've written an article for this issue, I need to quickly get my hands on a copy before they are all gone... :-)
    xo, Catherine

  25. We just received the newest issue of Santa Barbara Magazine. I'm going to drop everything and read your article. Congratulations!

  26. Congratulations Ellie! I will look for it:)

  27. Ellie - you are DIVINE!!!!!!!! Congratulations on bringing in The Big One. You deserve it - nobody writes with as much class, style, verve and outrageous fun as you. Will search NYC till I find it.

  28. I always knew Jennifer had great style and surrounded her self with the best and brightest! Congratulations on the article Ellie!

  29. This is so exciting. I can't wait to read your article.

  30. I just subscribed and I cannot wait to read you article. XO, Victoria

  31. Congratulations! I just subscribed online. Can't wait to see your article!

  32. Well, here I have been trying NOT to bring more magazines into this house ~ because they're usually decor magazines with glossy pages and beautiful pictures and I MUST keep them ~ but I will make a big ole exception for THIS one and let it in!! I live in Florida but I'm going to scour the huge magazine selection at Books-a-Million for the Santa Barbara issue. I bet I find it. If not, then maybe I just need a trip to California!!! Congratulations, Ellie!! I can't wait to see this issue and read your article!

  33. I am so happy to hear your joy! I think you have such
    a distinctive writing voice. Now even more people will read you. Congratulations! Hugs

  34. Congratulations Ellie! I'm very happy for you. I would love to read it and will try to get a copy here in Vancouver.

  35. bravo! you never cease to amaze me!...would love to get the fall issue...xo

  36. Congratulations! I lived in Santa Barbara for 3 years and moved back to San Diego last year. My husband worked briefly at Cottage Hospital. What a special place to live! I will forever cherish my memories there. I lived just a block and a half from the harbor and enjoyed morning walks with my girlfriends on the sand and watched pods of dolphins swim by. I always loved the smell of Eucalyptus in the winter and watching the horses pass by at Summerland and eating at The Worker Bee Cafe in Carpinteria. What a special time and I'll make sure to get your fall issue as I love all things Paris!