Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I've got Paris on my mind...and it is a lovely distraction.

Since hearing the news that I am one of the lucky ladies to accompany Jamie Cat Callan on her Paris Ooh La La Tour this coming May I have let my thoughts stray to all things Parisienne...
By the way, I think there are a couple of spots left on Jamie's Tour if you want to come along, but act fast if you want to join in!

I have been looking online at Paris blogs and websites and many kind readers have emailed me behind the scenes offering their thoughts on what to pack and what brand of carry on they prefer and several of my readers who live in Paris have suggested we meet for a drink while I am there...
more about Paris later in the post.

We recently went to a Scottish Celebration...
my husband's ancestors hail from Scotland...
The Campbell's and the MacDonald's.
Two clans that were constantly warring with each other!

Have you ever attended a Ceilidh?
Do you know what it is?
I had to look at this sign to spell it correctly as it is pronounced "Kay Lee."

An online source describes a Ceilidh ~
"a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing and storytelling."

It was a fun evening filled with entertainment and a plethora of tartan kilted regimental musicians.
We were happy to be invited as it was a fund raising event for the local band's upcoming tour to Europe.

Isn't this a beautiful pin?
I love the acorn and the oak leaf.

I do love to see a man in a kilt and kitted out smartly to play in the band with those bagpipes and drums...
My Irish background can appreciate those who hail from the Highlands, after all we were practically neighbours! 

I made a Freekeh grain salad last week and it was delicious.
How does one pronounce Freekeh?
I have been saying Freak Ah!

I used the recipe on the back of the box.
Spinach, roasted red peppers, Greek olives, feta cheese, and I added some red onions.
It called for a dressing of lemon juice with a pinch of nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon but it really tasted delicious without it.
It made a large bowl full and I served it to Mother and my sister at our weekly dinner.
The verdict was that it was a keeper.
There was some leftover so it made for easy lunches for me for the next few days.

I made our favourite prawn bisque.
The recipe is in the Whitewater Cooks  cookbook as shrimp bisque but I use prawns for more flavour.
I posted about this shrimp bisque way back in the day...

This recipe has big flavours and is loaded in WW points so make sure that you proceed with caution!

The roses in The Humble Bungalow Garden are laden with rose hips... 
perhaps a sign of a harsh winter to come?

The cushions have been removed from the front porch chairs as the colder wet weather is almost upon us...
the pockets of sunshine continue teasing us into believing that summer is still here.

Stews will be back on the menu as the temperatures dip.

I'm thinking about what I will pack when I go to Paris!
I always love reading posts on packing by un femme d'un certain age.

I've been reading quite a bit...

New Year New Dreams blog author Madame La Bas suggested these mysteries set in Paris.
The stories are well written, engaging, and I am enjoying reading about the different areas of Paris.

So much is happening here in and around The Humble Bungalow.
We are living in busy times.
I really must run and get some things done.
Thank you for visiting!

I am planning a wardrobe post please come back soon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rosacea...a post in repsonse to a reader's question.

Please forgive me as I have been remiss in not posting a timely response from a reader.
Her question asked me to discuss in a blog post how I manage my rosacea.
Other than the crucial habits of eating healthy food, drinking lots of Perrier, avoiding red wine, reducing stress I rely on a line of gentle products by Avene that are specifically created for sensitive skin.

My skincare regime is simple.

Morning and evening cleansing with a foaming cleanser
followed by a moisturizing tinted cream
(my mature skin is dry and the extra moisture is absorbed like a sponge!)
In the evening I remove all my make up spritz with thermal water and gently pat on serum.

Weekly or bi-weekly I'll have a spa morning treatment.
I use Bio-Gommage an exfoliating product by Methode Physiodermie
and then slather on L'Occitane Divine Cream and go about my domestics.

My favourite sunscreen by La Roche Posay
 Sea Buckthorn Salve which I use if I have a flare up of redness.
I use this at night as it is rather greasy and not suitable for wearing under tinted moisturizer or make up.

I am not a dermatologist and would never suggest that I am an expert on rosacea so if you do have this condition I would strongly advise you to seek medical attention.
I saw a specialist years ago and have learned that my skin reacts to strong chemicals in skin care products so I avoid using them on my face.

Changing my diet made a big difference in how my skin looks.

When I worked I would have a facial every few months at The Willowstream Spa in the Victoria Fairmont Empress and they customize a facial after consulting with you about your skin.
I loved how my skin felt after having a spa facial.
 Now that I am on a pension, and saving for my trip to Paris I do my own facials...

My favourite tinted moisturizing cream by Sweet Lei Lani
created by a woman in Langley BC
for a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy 
and still wanted to look lovely during her treatment.

It is gentle and light and adds a dewy finish and comes in a variety of colours.

In addition to these skincare thoughts...

 I try to get lots of fresh air by walking outdoors by the ocean everyday.
Rest and relaxation is vital, as is sleep.
It is high on my list of healthy priorities but can often be a challenge at my age
it seems to be broken up
 not as long
and as a result is not as restful as I would like.

If I have a restless night I will try to take a longer walk.
The sights and sounds out and about in nature are so soothing.

So with those thoughts in mind I am off for my walk and will be back soon.
Enjoy your week!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Introducing Mr. HB...

Mr. HB likes to remain behind the scenes here on The Humble Bungalow Blog.
As well as being my husband, father of our two wonderful children, he works hard at his craft.
Mr. HB is clever, he's scientific, mathematical, detail oriented and his artistic creativity knows no bounds...
put all those talents together and you'll arrive at architecture.

I have decided to put this post together as he recently took me to see his newly opened UVIC University Centre Food Services project and I got to view first hand what he has been up to for the last four years of planning and this past year overseeing the construction. He's a busy fellow!
(all the while working on other projects)

A picture is worth a thousand words so I'll let the pictures do most of the talking...

a living wall feature

lush greenery

"the boardwalk" 
flooring snakes through the various food kiosks

We visited very early Saturday morning before the masses decended...

This is a bit different from my usual post topics but one that is very near and dear to my heart.
It is hard to me to imagine just how much work goes on behind the scenes of a successful project...
I only know many hours (years) are put into making a project of this scope happen.

When friends ask to go for a walk I might suggest we wander along the campus nature trails and then stop for a coffee or a bite to eat at the Food Services venue at The University Centre... 

Thank you Mr. HB for another exciting venue!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Antidote to stress ~ I'm going to Paris!

Do you ever have a day that just about sends you over the edge?
How do you react?
Do you melt down and cry?
Do you scream?
Do you get raging mad?

I think...

I just need to go with the flow and remember to be flexible...
there's no point getting my knickers in a twist.

Everyone has those days when there is some unravelling...

when one feels a wee bit droopy from the weight...
you can still put on a pretty face and put yourself out there for all to see....

So here's what happened that gave me a run for my money...

the car broke down on the way to an appointment 
in the middle of a busy street and would not restart despite several tries...a cab was called
(I ran out in the street NY style, waved my hands and yelled cabbie)

Dealing with misinformation, miscommunication, and incompetence with various health care agencies = frustration

"Code Red" in the imaging area of the hospital where we were in a room with other people waiting for an X-ray with not enough seats for all the clients which meant standing room for a few folks
 = noisy alarms, agitated clientele and wondering why the staff were so relaxed and complacent?

Code Red means there is a FIRE!...
the doors were sealed off, the elevators stopped, the alarms were ringing loudly and constantly until the fire was extinguished before we could leave...
why would we not be evacuated?
(I guess we would lose our place in the queue!)

the bundt cake I was baking at 6 am when I could not sleep overflowed it's pan in the oven and made a huge mess

the 3 litre can of olive oil spilled on the counter and ran down the front of the cupboards onto the floor...
can you imagine dealing with an oil slick of that magnitude?

so in the whole scheme of things it's really not that bad

I get that too...

I could sit around and feel sorry for myself but that is not my style...

I get busy...

BTW this Method cleaner is a serious work horse in the kitchen.
I love it for cutting through grease and grime.

Beauty is out there just waiting to pick up your spirits when they flag, you just have to look.

Happy is just one dance away...

there is a special place in my heart for pink

I love the pink roses that we have in our Humble Bungalow Garden.

I love wearing pink when it rains...

When I am feeling low I put on my linen apron and get busy in the kitchen.
I cook for others and it helps me regain perspective, 
gives me something positive to do,
 and before long any negativity has dissolved like butter in a hot pan.
(picture from the archives)

(I think that working in a soup kitchen would be such a rewarding volunteer job.)

sipping coffee while working over a hot stove gives me a much needed boost

You've got to love simmering a large batch of soup to freeze for a rainy day.

All the chopping is great exercise and if you can lose yourself in the process you've won!

You can light a scented candle...

sit and knit for a bit...

put on a pretty shade of lipstick

spritz a bit of your signature scent

indulge a wee bit...
(but be careful!)

read some of your favourite blogs!

go for a walk somewhere scenic...

listen to some music....

read a good book

and guess what?

I received an email today that made my heart soar...
I am going to be on Jamie Cat Callan's Ooh La La Tour in Paris next May.
I am doing a happy dance!

So dear reader I am going to need help figuring out the best carry on case to buy and any packing tips that you care to share...

I feel a little bit like I just won the lottery...

I sincerely hope that your weekend is full to the brim with good stuff and that the nasties stay out of the way...

Thank you for stopping by...
merci beaucoup

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