Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More and polish

I have been living in Yoga wear lately as I am going to Yoga 3-4 days a week. It seems silly for me to change clothes when I get home just to action domestic chores, read and prepare dinner. Besides, my Yoga pants are comfy and the tops I wear are Tees topped with a grey cashmere that Mother owned...
and the cats do not complain!

My mid section has expanded and I am finding the zippers on my pants do not lay flat anymore and that bugs me so I purchased a pair of Ralph Lauren pull on jeans that are a slimming and flat at the waist...very comfy.
I hope to whittle down my midsection a bit given time...
but I am taking "baby steps"
giving myself permission to lose slowly to avoid added stress.

The top seen below is navy and white stripes with a white under layer showing fits loose but not baggy so it should be cool in the summer.
I can wear this with my white NYDJ jeans too.

This bright and cheerful Columbia raincoat apparently "breathes" 
Do you see how the colour caught my eye?
(its not black!)
This happened innocently 
while I was looking for new deck shoes to wear on the boat. 
The jacket was marked down almost by half and it fits and flatters so I bought it. 

It will be great for walks and with the boating season almost upon us I could not resist.

I own several pieces of Columbia gear for walking and cruising.
I appreciate the quality of these garments.
Whats not to like about active wear with a bit of style?

Here are the deck shoes...also by Columbia.
Not on sale but oh so comfy and I needed them...
somehow last season my deck shoes were lost
I rarely lose things and when I do it drives me a wee bit crazy trying to figure out what happened...
it is a mystery and one that I cannot waste any more time thinking 
obsessing about!

Lisa at a mid life of privilege showed us her freshly painted toes today.
and I got to thinking that I should have a pedicure.

Most of the women at the Yoga studio have their toes painted and I usually indulge in a pedicure from May to September during sandal season.
It is too late to get an appointment at the Spa this afternoon but not to late to try my hand at an at home pedicure. 
The main reason that I get pedicures is because I am not that flexible and my eyesight is dodgy...

well I surprised myself 
Yoga must be helping me with flexibility as I did not find it at all difficult bending over and applying the polish.
I am quite pleased with the results
 not as professional as I would get from the Spa but they are OK.

So Lisa, I must thank you for sharing your toes...
I used Formula X "Thrilling" 
The next time I am in the "downward dog" position I'll enjoy looking at my toes!

It is a long weekend here in BC and we have the Victoria Day parade this Sunday.

I'll be taking a few days off and will catch up with you all next week.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Skincare and make up Hostess Style ~ in response to a reader

One of the many things that I enjoy about blogging
is receiving private emails from readers.

Once in awhile, a question is posed or a specific request slips into the mail.
Often that prompts or inspires me to write a blog post.

This past weekend I was asked my opinion and recommendations on "green" skincare products. This is an area that I cannot address without a significant amount of time and I will leave that to those who are much more qualified.

I bow to the experts at The Environmental Working Group.

This site is user friendly and one can look up many of the products currently on the market and read about the pros and cons of the ingredients.

If you are interested in what I have discovered that works for me
I am happy to share...keep reading.

My skin is mature, sensitive and I have rosacea.

I have discovered that skin is a reflection of genetics and general health.
Our skin says much about our lifestyle and what we eat.

Cosmetics can augment and enhance beautiful skin,
or they can cover up a problematic complexion.

I indulged in a professional Hydra Facial at the Spa and it was amazing...
a specialized machine was used to cleanse my skin,
a gentle peel was applied that unclogged pores,
emollient serums followed and when the facial was finished
my skin felt soft, supple and it glowed.
I plan to go back for another facial in a few months...
perhaps after the summer season.

Hostess Skin care Tips...

Start by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables,
drinking lots of water and eating small portions of protein.
Exercise (for me that means walking and also practising Yoga),
Aim for 8 hours of sleep
Reduce stress as much as possible
Wear sunscreen and or avoid the sun altogether.
Embrace joy and beauty everyday
Adopt the attitude of gratitude and give thanks...

For things that you can buy pop into your local pharmacy
or the beauty counter in your department store.

I opt for a mix of high and low priced potions.

For those that do no "stay on the skin" I use a less expensive but a quality line...
there are many good ones out there you just need to experiment to see which ones work for your skin type.

My skin is prone to rosacea so I need to treat it kindly...
Gentle Avene products work for me.
Anti redness cleansing milk and mask are two in my skincare arsenal.
I avoid hot water.

The more expensive Spa line by Methode Physiodermie...
for the products that stay on and those that need to perform. 

I love the Bio-Gommage 
which exfoliates efficiently with a minimum of irritation.
I use it once a week.
My skin gets slightly pink but it doesn't stay that way for long.

The anti redness emulsion I use sparingly each morning
 followed by the Emulsion for Sensitive Skin.

Then I wait a few minutes before applying my make up.

Make up is light and takes 5 minutes.

5 products for daytime = 5 minutes

Mineral make up
Eye brow tint
eye shadow


SPF 20 mineral make up
use with a light hand or for more coverage it can be built up
used with a big brush it is easy to apply.

Amethyst eye shadow by La Bella Donna
an everyday colour for my hazel coloured eyes.

For evening
I simply add blush and eye liner for a bit more of a dramatic effect
and apply a darker shade of lipstick.

I have posted before about skincare and make up...
to read previous posts please scroll down on the right hand side bar to the "labels section"
click on the titles "skincare" and "make up"

I love the following quote...

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. 

~ Audrey Hepburn ~

Hope that your week is off to a great start.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Tulip mania...and some "happy" habits.

The local markets are overflowing with buckets and buckets of colourful Tulips.
Priced so low, that they practically hop into my shopping basket...

Even after Tulips have fully blown open they are quite lovely.

One can buys masses of these or settle for a bunch as I have done here.
It depends on your budget, how big your vases may be and how many bouquets you want to display in your home.

Flowers in the home have always been a prominent accent in our home decor.

Personally I feel it essential that one has something of natural beauty in the home
 it helps keep ones spirits up...

it can be a single stem
some woody branches
a fern frond
plants or orchids
a bowl of lemons
pine cones

These natural adornments are particularly helpful for our long rainy winter season.
The season here where sunshine is rationed and the gloom can be oppressing...
for some it is debilitating and depressing.

I look for "guaranteed mood lifters"
 like flowers that add elegance and ambiance.
Scented Candles are another one of my essentials for the home.
They do not need to be the posh Diptyque or Cire Trudon brands
many scented candles are affordable and readily available.

I find that it is the "little things" make our everyday life richer.

linen tea towels
triple milled soaps
quality chocolate
soft cashmere sweaters and wraps
cozy socks
plush robes
a hot cup of coffee
a great fitting pair of jeans
framed family photos
pretty china cups and saucers
emollient hand lotion
bath salts
fluffy white towels

Those are a few of my favourite things...

I also like to keep our home tidy
free of clutter
pleasing to the eye.

I am also a big fan of lists. 
Which help to motivate me and keep me up to date on things that need to get done.

I love using "rolling ball" ink pens 
better still, but more expensive, a beautiful fountain pen.
Writing feels effortless using these inky writing implements.
Great for cards, grocery lists and letters.

I keep stocked in our writing desk a variety of pretty cards and stamps.
I buy them in bulk when they are on sale.
I look for the most attractive stamps from the post office.
Lately they have had floral stamps which are simply lovely.
Why opt for boring when one can have beautiful for the same price?

Friends gave us an arts and crafts copper letter opener one year for Christmas. 
I use it for every bill and letter that we receive...
it slices envelopes open swiftly and evenly
a bit of affordable luxury that I enjoy.

Surrounding oneself with little affordable luxuries
things that make one feel good
are well worth the time and effort it takes.

Getting in tune to what "small things" that you can cultivate...
things that may add to your daily round. 
Those that augment and beautify your environment 
it is an exercise worth the time...
listen to your heart
make notes.

You'll soon discover which things make your heart soar 
household habits that make you smile...
perhaps they will change the way you feel about a chore...
like ironing.

Buying some lavender linen spray
use a pretty floral ironing board pad.

It is so much more satisfying
drinking sparkling water out of a vintage etched goblet.

Imagine how pretty it would be
storing your cosmetics or perfumes on a silver tray.

What do you like?
Do you have any tips for cultivating beauty in your home?

Wishing you a wonderful, rich and bountiful weekend.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The last "Mother's Day" with Mom.

May morning vista from a walk in Oak Bay.

My sister and I got up early
and soon found ourselves dressed and ready to head out the door.

Yesterday was a very important day for my sister and I
 as we said our final goodbyes to to our Mom.

We spread Mom's ashes
enjoyed massages
dined in The Snug
drank a few flutes of bubbly 
swam in the outdoor mineral pool several times.

The Buddha Bowl was amazing!
Mango, tofu, veggies atop quinoa
drizzled with a soy sauce balsamic reduction...
this is so tasty that I am planning to find an excuse to go back very soon!

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is opulent and elegant 
very well appointed which provides the ultimate in comfort...
beautifully located
on the edge of the shoreline looking east to the San Juan Islands.

The mineral pool was so inviting and warm...
we swam twice on Monday and once today. 

This is the view that overlooks McNeil Bay
a few short blocks from the house where I grew up.

The snow capped mountains of the Olympic Range in Washington State.
Freighters use the international shipping lanes located in Juan de Fuca Strait.

Trial Island and the lighthouse are a short boat ride from shore.
The currents in this narrow passage can be fierce...
they are often referred to as rip tides.

My uncle Owen used to be the lighthouse keeper.
My aunt, uncle and cousins spent quite a few years on the island.
My cousins were home schooled and there was a supply ship that delivered their groceries.

There were some amazing stories of sea rescues. 

The Ham radio was the essential lifeline...
which linked my family to the boats, the Coast Guard and others in Victoria.

If you look closely you will see the Native flowering camas
which is happily growing in the Garry Oak Meadow and rocky outcroppings.

Memories and thoughts are often jogged by scenery...
the power of suggestion is so powerful
that it can transport us back to the past.

The neighbourhood where I grew up has changed quite a lot.
Houses, new and modern, are mixed with the traditional and the heritage styles.

The workers next door are building the forms 
for the foundations of the new homes under construction.
The sounds of saws and nail guns repeating are louder than the drone of the bees or the hummingbirds staccato chatter.

It has not been as invasive as I first expected...
or perhaps
I am getting accustomed to the noise.

Muguet des bois in The Humble Bungalow Garden 
is thick with fragrant blooms.

A handful of flowers popped into an icy vase
make a room fresher
and more beautiful.

These wee white bonnets are so delicate and dainty...
perhaps the loveliest of May flowers in our garden.

My sister and I may make an annual pilgrimage to the OBBH and Spa
sometime close to Mother's Day 
to celebrate our Mom
share memories and relax.

I had never heard of this book.
 I saw it on the shelf at the book sellers on Pender Island...
and was immediately intrigued by the description on the inside cover.

It is a delightful story...
easy to read and very entertaining.
It's "light enough" to be considered a Beach Book
and very hard to put down.

Fingers crossed it is a quiet week...

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Beach walks...scenery snippets

The vibrant blue native camas is in full bloom.
This plant grows in and around the Gary Oak Meadows here in Victoria.

The First Nations Peoples used the root for food.

My walking partner and I went out for lunch at Lure
then we sauntered along the ocean front near Victoria's Inner Harbour.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and there were lots of people out and about enjoying the fine weather.

The scenery is aways changing on the waterfront...
boats, sea planes, kayaks, the Coho Ferry,
seals, otters, gulls, blue herons

Along the wide walks
we jostle for position
 baby carriages, joggers, walkers, and runners all share the space.
People sit on park benches and admire the view.
Picnic blankets are spread with snacks.
Tourists take photos.

The snow covered peaks of the Olympic Mountain range look so close
their stunning beauty frames the vista.

We chatter as we walk and gather speed...

I made the mistake of wearing my new periwinkle blue shoes without socks and today I have blisters on my heels.

(I should have worn my Merrell walking shoes with socks.)

I wore the same shoes to the beach on the previous day outing with the grandchildren.
They were fine on the sand and easy to transition back to the gravel lined playground where we played on the swings.
Mount Baker, which usually is in full view, was shrouded by low lying clouds.
The afternoon was chilly and the sky was grey.

The Willows Tea Room reopened for the season on April 29th.
This was where I would take mom.
Often we would sit with a pot of tea 
watch the passers by and sail and power boats on the sea...

Mom would smile
she was happy here.

Mom always loved an outing to Willows Beach.
 The Esplanade was a picturesque and gentle walk...

on a windy day she'd laugh at us braving the walk

in the rain with our brollies
she'd say how silly of us to try and walk 
in this beastly weather

Yet we would finish the walk and somehow feel energized.

When I revisit places that Mom and I regularly frequented
I feel a sadness creep in...
it is
not anything too overwhelming 
but my throat gets tight
and then I breathe as I picture her there beside me.

Our summertime picnics at Willows were always an adventure.
My basket with silverware and fine bone china
made passers by stop and comment.

My sister and I will be spreading Mom's ashes this coming week.
We have finished most of what we need to do for her estate and are ready to toast to Mom and dine in her favourite spot.

First we will swim in the pool
followed by a massage
and relax...

perhaps we'll even hop in the hot tub after dinner.

Mom and Dad in the early 1950's.

Dad died in 2007 and Mom in 2017
I'd like to think that they have been reunited and are watching over us as we remember, honour and celebrate their lives.

~ Love and Family ~
 the greatest gifts that I will cherish forever.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend.
Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.