Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Guo Pei Exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery

We ventured across the pond to Vancouver for a few days.
To shop, attend a workshop and enjoy the sights and sounds of a big city!

One of the highlights was to see the Guo Pei Couture Beyond exhibit.

We were in line up at 10:00 am when the doors to the Vancouver Art Gallery opened and were able to take it all in on the very last day of the exhibit.

I will share a few pictures of the magnificent gowns...
IF you ever get the opportunity to see this show I highly recommend it.

Guo Pei is China's "preeminent couturiere."
There were over 40 of her haute couture designed gowns on display from the period 2006 to 2017.

Most of us will never wear a hand made gown such as the ones that were on display.

It was amazing to see the intricate bead work, the embroidery, details that would have taken many many hours if not months to create.

I'll share the photos next and hope that you will enjoy seeing them.

After seeing all the gowns and shoes we explored the rest of the gallery and then ventured out for a long walk in the sunshine.

A friend mentioned that she uses the IHealth app on her IPhone.
She showed me how it works and I am so excited as it tracks walking stats!
I am so grateful as it is going to be a new motivator in my goal to better fitness.

This was an exceptional day for walking...
I plan to aim for between 8,000 and 10,000 steps each day.

Hope that your week is off to a fabulous start...
thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

 ~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Travel wardrobe and simplifying the closet.

Its that time of year for me...
The time when I look at my clothes closet
and wonder how I can simplify my wardrobe.
What can I purge? What should I keep?

I don't need many clothes for my casual retirement lifestyle.

Looking tidy, age appropriate, but not frumpy, are my priorities when it comes to putting an outfit together.

With a couple of trips on the horizon I am looking at pieces that will pack well and be versatile.

My wardrobe is basically black and grey so everything can mix and match...which makes for many more possible outfits with fewer items.

The one thing that I would like to find is a trench style coat, single breasted in a charcoal or black...one that I can add a layer underneath for warmth should the temperatures dip. I have not found one that I like yet...so many are double breasted and they do not work for me at all...far too wide on my short frame.

I plan to hop across the pond to Vancouver to see if Nordstrom's or other shops may have something that will work for me.

In the meantime, I did find a new basic that will travel well...

Bryn Walker swing coat
I like the weight of the fabric and it skims and flatters my curves.

Are you familiar with the brand Bryn Walker?

The pockets are handy!

I like to roll up the sleeves.

I've got some Eileen Fisher basic black pants and one of her black tank tops.
I will add a layer over top...
perhaps my denim tencel shirt worn as a jacket
or this jacket by Bryn Walker.

The other option is a cashmere cardigan or a vest.

I am already thinking of a minimal travel wardrobe
for 3 weeks taking only a carry on.

We travel this fall 
 fly to Rome
then we will go to
attend a week long cooking vacation 
(with daily excursions)
rent a car 
drive to Provence
stay in a villa near Aix en Provence
explore the surrounding villages
drive to Auvillar to visit our friends for a few days
hop on the TGV to Paris 
where we will spend a couple of days before flying home.

I am already madly "pinning ideas" from Pinterest 
that focus on travel and packing.

The planning is so much fun!
I'd forgotten...
it's been several years since my trip to Paris and the South of France

What are your "go to" travel items?
Do you travel with a carry on or do you check your bag?

What would you pack for 3 weeks in a carry on?

I welcome your thoughts and ideas...

Take care and thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Life at the cottage ~ easing into 2019

After a busy festive season I felt the need to relax and cocoon.

Taking life a wee bit slower 
as we ease gently into the New Year.

We were fortunate to be able to go over to the cottage for a week of relaxation.
Its such a peaceful place...
there are many opportunities to "just live in the moment"

to  listen to the birdsong

watch the raindrops 
while listening to the howling winds

taking note of the tides
the ebb and flow of the waves 
as they lap upon the Salish Sea

a bouquet of fresh flowers 

nibbles for dinner 

sharing them with the neighbours from across the road

They joined us for the Juniors Hockey Gold Medal Game

USA vs. Finland
one of our neighbours is Finnish 
so it was much more exciting watching the game!

Finland won the gold!

Heritage barn
seen on our walk.

My BFF came over for a few days.
We played crib, chatted, walked, drank tea and enjoyed each others company.

My BFF has a Fit Bit so we knew how many steps we took...
7,000 on our walk and by the time time we had picked up a few groceries
then returned to the cottage
it read out 10,000 and fireworks exploded on her screen!

Self care is so important...

it can mean different things for each of us:

eating mindfully
dabbling in a creative hobby
learning something new
taking time to dress in clothes that make us feel good
indulging in a spa day
putting on a pretty and flattering shade of lipstick
savouring a piece of good quality chocolate
going out for lunch
saying yes to things we love and no to things that rob us of joy
we can choose those
opportunities that fill our days with meaningful "feel good" moments

listening to our heart and paying attention to what we need

reading a good book

Thirty More Chic Days by Fiona Ferris
an inspiring one that is starting my year off on a positive note.

Thank you to Fiona who sent this to me...
I am embracing many of her ideas from the book.

Wishing you a peaceful 
Happy New Year!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year thoughts and shiny bright lights...

Happy New Year!

The bright and shiny day dawns and it feels like a fresh start...
turning the page on my day timer offers an opportunity to put the past year behind, but not forgetting the events, experiences and adventures but taking note and learning from them, while moving forward with a spirit of renewed energy, optimism and positivity.
As this new year unfolds, my plan is to live simply, honestly, compassionately, while embracing beauty and slowing down to consciously look for the bright spots in my daily round.
Making small changes that will help contribute to a healthier, happier year ahead for myself and our family.
I am grateful for so many things in life and will continue to give thanks...

We spent some time on New Years Day at Butchart Gardens.
The gardens are lit up for the festive season with lights and their popular
 "12 days of Christmas" displays.

I don't make many resolutions...
I will try to walk more and moderate the amount and type of food that I eat.

The New Year will include a couple of trips.
I have not felt inclined to travel much since Mom passed away 
these past few months. 
I am in the process of planning a cruise to Alaska this summer
followed by a 3 week adventure 
to Rome, Tuscany, Provence, SW France and Paris.

I will be packing for three weeks in a carry on!

Italian lessons for travellers are on the agenda for the next few months.

What plans do you have for the New Year?
Do you make resolutions?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve

                         Seasons Greetings from The Humble Bungalow.

Our Island and many of the southern Gulf Islands are recovering from a devastating storm last week that blew down trees and power lines.
Many people are still without power. We never lost our power and I am so grateful that we are warm and cozy snug in our home.

We are ready for the festivities...
time to enjoy our family and friends.

Our faux Christmas tree is lit with plain white lights
"cat proof" 
with no baubles.

Chester climbs it most days 
he has not knocked it over (yet) 
he got stuck once 
with the wire of the lights stretched tight across his belly
fortunately I was able to extricate him.

                    Like many of you, I have been busy these past few weeks.

"It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. 
But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, 
you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. 
Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul. "

                                       ~ Caroline Kennedy ~

I love the message on this Emma Bridgewater tote!

It's not quite time for me to hang up my gloves...
the cooking is not finished.

The baking is done

The rum balls, citrus shortbread and butter tarts are ready for the tins.
The deliveries are in process...

Stuffed devilled eggs are ready for the party.

Christmas Day 
we will serve a simple brunch 
followed later by a small turkey dinner.

Thank you for your comments 
on the recent passing of my husband's mom.

"The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than in things."

~ Thomas S. Monson ~

Best wishes for a Peaceful and Happy Holiday.