Friday, October 9, 2015

Thanksgiving...October Oranges.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with that in mind,
 there are a few autumnal features in our Humble Bungalow.

Small simple additions are creeping in...
orange mini pumpkins.
Given that I prefer natural seasonal touches to those made in factories
it's relatively inexpensive and easy.

A dried allium bloom from the garden is housed under a glass dome
on top an arts and crafts copper tray
hand hammered copper arts and crafts Roycroft "Princess" candle sticks
Objibwa First Nations tamarack duck decoys

Canada's Thanksgiving is on Monday, a month before the US celebrates their Thanksgiving.

We are hosting dinner here in Our Humble Bungalow
So I'm looking through my cookbooks
and planning ahead.
Some dishes are prepared in advance so that I can enjoy visiting with our guests.

I like to set the table early
lay the tablecloth and linen napkins
arrange the silver
the glasses and plates.

I'll be wearing my linen apron and "fussing in the kitchen" for most of the day.

I'm looking forward to dinner with our family.
We all live in the same city, which makes it easy to gather together often and share a family meal.

Giving Thanks
honouring family
in a humble and simple way
with a home cooked meal
served with love

remembering thanksgiving feasts from the past

carving out and creating future
for the elders 
and the wee ones.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What a difference a day makes...OOTD

What a difference a day makes...24 little hours.

This was the view on my walk yesterday.
Dallas Road bathed in warm sunshine and not a breath of wind.

Calm seas ~ still reeds ~ Peace and Quiet

A lone sailboat on the horizon towards Port Angeles and Port Townsend in Washington State.

I passed only a handful of walkers.

There is evidence that Fall is here but with yesterday's spectacular weather one truly wonders...

The mums are about to burst forth and bloom.
~ But ~
I spoke too soon as 
there is a distinct chill in the morning air.
One that requires an extra layer of wool...

~ OOTD ~
Black Merino Tee ~ Cloudveil is topped with a black woolly sweater vest ~ Zara
Denim skinny jeans ~ g21 
I 'm loving this shawl collared style vest which allows me freedom to move about 
yet provides me with warmth to my core.

It's the perfect day for a comforting bowl of hot soup

and a chance to plan the menu for the Thanksgiving Feast!

Walking today I'm going to need to wear my Barbour quilted jacket.

Hope that you are all Keeping  cozy!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sunny daze...OOTD

We've been enjoying a sunny Saturday.

It started out quietly with the sun streaming in the windows.
I sat and leisurely sipped a mug of tea while I perused Sharon Santoni's newest book. I keep it on the coffee table in the Humble Bungalow living room so it's easy to pick up. If you haven't had an opportunity to browse through the book which features elegant homes and chateaus of Sharon's wonderful friends you might want to add it to your reading list.

We scurried off to Oak Bay Avenue for a coffee with our family...
our mission was shopping for Hunter boots for pink.(of course!)
Afterwards we went off to the park for some fun and games.

~ OOTD ~
Banana Republic skinny jeans
Cloudveil wool tee from Costco
Barbour vest
scarf in a Burberry style pattern
(Xmas gift from lovely daughter)

comfy leather loafers
new from Winners

I have never bought anything by Coach.
(My son and his lovely wife gave me a Coach silk scarf one Xmas)

They also gave me this J Crew Venus Flytrap necklace.

After our park play time we got into our gardening clothes...
that particular OOTD will not be seen on the blog!

We've been outside for hours prepping the site for our new greenhouse which is due sometime in the next week or so...very exciting to think that we will be able to extend our growing season and that we will be able to grow heirloom tomatoes!

I'm going to freshen up and rustle up some super quick (and easy) chicken burritos.

~ Chicken Burritos ~
Saute sliced onions, red and green pepper strips until soft, 
add 1 pound of ground or thinly sliced chicken to the pan and cook until soft and chicken is no longer pink.
Add a Tablespoon of chili powder and 2 teaspoons of cumin and stir
(Red chili flakes or a glug of Frank's Red Hot Sauce are optional)
stir in some regular ketchup, enough to make a sauce.

Grate some cheese, cube some tomatoes and shred some lettuce.
Arrange on a platter and the burritos are almost ready to assemble.

Heat burrito shells in microwave one at a time for about 60 seconds.
top with a small amount of the chicken mixture
garnish with veggies and top with cheese.
Roll up and eat!

Now how much easier could dinner be?
Quick and easy
clean up is a snap
~ then ~
it's time to hit the couch for some relaxation and Netflix .

Wishing you a Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Seeing Red ~ could this be the fortune cookie prediction?

Red has been popping up on my radar lately...

It's been a star performer in the Humble Bungalow Garden for years...
I plant red geraniums every Spring and place them in a zinc container on the front porch.
They are planted in black pottery planters in the back yard and on the sun deck.

My fortune cookie suggested something new is on the horizon.
While I don't put a lot of stock into fortune messages I did consider what it might mean...

I perused Home Sense and this shiny red Chantal kettle caught my eye.
Could the fortune be "Project Red?"

I like the pop of red.

It goes with the Le Coq towel I purchased in the south of France.

We don't have many red things here in the bungalow.

The guest room's red theme is because I fell in love with this Toile de Jouy bed linen.
It was quite expensive at the time but I didn't care...I was still working and earning good money.

Hence the red pop of colour with the pillow and red hand knitted shawl on the wicker table.
I'm not a "decorator" so I am cautious with home decor items...
I subscribe to restraint over clutter.

Bedside table in the guest room.
Clock, Kleenex, a book and two antique vessels ready for fresh flowers and chocolates.
I place several bottles of Perrier on the table as well.
I want our guests to feel comfortable and welcome.

There's an extra wool throw on the luggage stand at the foot of the bed.

Look at the adorable feet on the Herend piece!

The crude staple repair on this antique bowl persuaded me to buy it.

Pink Roses or peonies are pretty pairing with this cute vase.

Oops this turned out a wee bit's hand painted 
made by Herend,  a Hungarian Company.

"The Art of Being a Woman
a simple guide to everyday love and laughter."
by Veronique Vienne

Original watercolour painting found at a community fund raiser on Thetis Island several years ago...
I wonder what that new "fortune predicted project" might be.
 ~ I am waiting ~

I must close for now as
my sister and I are going to take Mother out for a walk and a browse in the shops.
Perhaps there's a pair of red shoes in my future!

“Book your life choices in advance the same way you would book flights, car rentals, hotels, and excursions. Figure out early on in your career whether you intend to be financially independent or marry a rich man, join the ranks of the professional elite or be the stay-at- home type, postpone having children or find part-time employment. Then fasten your seat belt and sit tight as you watch your trajectory veer off course.” 
~ Veronique Vienne ~
The Art of Being a Woman: A Simple Guide to Everyday Love and Laughter

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A reader asks for my thoughts on creating a basic Wardrobe.

I am flattered a reader asked for my thoughts on creating a small and workable wardrobe.
But I'm not sure that I am up to the task!

Anne I hope that this post will help get you started.
By asking yourself the right questions you might get some direction...
I appreciate you having faith in me...and I hope that I do not disappoint you!

Do some homework before going shopping.
On the internet is so quick and easy...
so many fashion savvy bloggers are online I have learned a lot by reading their posts.

Pinterest is another great place to find inspiring fashions..."Parisian Chic" is one of my favourites.

Window shopping and browsing magazines will give you some new ideas.

Observing the way that garments are put together and styled in the fashion magazines inspires me to "make the effort" to keep my wardrobe fresh and feeling current.
Books on the subject can be found in stores and your local library...
Jennifer L. Scott has written several books on this subject and has many videos on You Tube, she's well known for her 10 piece basic wardrobe.

Every Fall and Spring I go through my closet and look carefully at the clothes that I am putting away in storage until next year.
I mend and launder any garments needing attention before hanging them downstairs in the "out of season" closet.
Then proceed to retire and donate anything that is worn or no longer thrills me.

When bringing out the current seasonal wardrobe I look at each piece with a discerning eye, try them on and decide if they are still in good nick or if they need to be replaced.

I'll ask myself how can I wear these garments in a variety of ways so that I get more mileage out of them.

I go through my accessories and look at the scarves, belts, shoes and boots.
Are they looking tired or worn, do the heels need to be replaced at the cobblers?

Can I update an outfit by simply adding a brooch, necklace or pairing it with tights and boots?

Do I have all the basics covered?

Lifestyle factors big in this...I am retired and lead a fairly quiet life.
I need clothes for walking, playing with the grandchildren, playing bridge and MahJongg at the seniors centre, for dinners and lunches out, the theatre, and casual get together's with friends.
(No gala balls or red carpet events!)

Next I make a list of things that I "need" to purchase...
and I make a small list of things that "might be nice to add."

Remembering that I have a tiny closet helps me rein in my tendency to buy too many pieces.

When I am out shopping I consider...

Does the garment fit well?
Is it flattering?
Can it be worn with other things that I currently own?
Is it good value for the price?
Will I love it for the next few years?
Is it easy care? (I rarely buy "dry clean only" garments)
Does the fabric feel nice against the skin?
Are the details like buttons, darts and seams neat and tidy?

Look in a 3 way mirror and be honest...
if the item matches with your criteria it's probably a good choice.
Ask about the store's return policy in case you have second thoughts when you get it home.

If like me, you enjoy shopping in charity and thrift shops you will not be able to return it if you change your mind so be sure...usually the garments are priced reasonably and therefore if you make a mistake you will not be out of pocket too much money.

Consignment shops are a different kettle of fish...each store has it's own policy on returns and you may be able to take it home "on approval" or put it on hold and bring a friend who will give you an honest opinion. Consignment stores are generally more expensive than thrift or charity shops because they carry "higher end labels" and often designer goods.

Another factor to consider is your budget...
Overspending is not advisable...
if you are living within limited means you'll need to mindful of quieting "the wants."
I mix higher end clothing with less expensive brands...
my g21 skinny jeans from Walmart are a prime example.
I regularly wear my Hermes scarves with inexpensive white tees and jeans.

Start with the basics in a neutral colour.
They need to mix and match so that you get more mileage out of them, making many different combinations possible with the same core pieces. CPW...cost per wearing wins here.

Consider your lifestyle.
Opt for simple classics with clean lines...they allow for accessories where you can add a personal touch.

My core basics would be in black with some grey pieces all in solid shades (no patterns) and include:
 a classic LBD, skirt, pants, jeans, a cashmere sweater, several tops and Tees, tank tops for layering, and a dressy jacket, and a white shirt. You'll need outer wear and depending on your climate you might need several options.

Once you have your core wardrobe you can add more depending on your budget.

If you are looking to personalize your wardrobe with accessories...
shop in ethnic, museum and gift and craft fairs.
Antique malls and charity shops often have unusual pieces of jewelry and scarves.
You will find some fabulous items on ebay and etsy too.

Thank you Anne, for asking for my thoughts on this subject...I like a challenge.

I hope this has given you some ideas and that you have fun searching for those perfect garments!
Please email me and let me know how you are doing with this project.

Readers please share your ideas and perhaps list the fashion blogs you enjoy and follow.
Leave a comment about how you approach putting together a wardrobe and addressing the various challenges that we come up against when starting from scratch. We are all in this together.

Thank you,

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