Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Our snow event has become known as
"Snow~ mageddon!

The Humble Bungalow Garden
is covered in snow!

Looks like a Winter wonderland.

Iced tea anyone?

That's my husbands' car under that blanket of white!

Our red chairs look quite comfy with their thick white cushions.

I've been spending most of these snow days indoors.
Knitting, reading, sipping tea, and making hot soups and curries.

The front steps are swept clear of snow
 the sidewalk gets shovelled...
we have been keeping the fire in our fireplace going 
as it really takes the chill off.

Our single paned windows let in so much cold air...
sitting next to a window one can feel a chilly draught!

My husband has been busy.
He's kept up with the supply of kindling and wood.
Walking back and forth to and from his office downtown.
Many of the staff are unable to get into town to work.
Schools, UVIC, Camosun College and the Naval base at Esquimalt are all closed.

Buses are delayed or not running...
roads are icy and covered with snow
its pretty to look at but is proving difficult "getting around."

It is still snowing 
we are expected to get another 5 inches today...
more predicted for the rest of the week and into the next one.

Stay safe and cozy.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Snow and soups...

It's COLD!
Not as cold as our neighbours back east or southeast of us...

The temperatures are quickly dipping and the forecast is calling for more snow...
tomorrow and throughout next week!

            When its really cold I like to serve a hearty meal of homemade soup.

I discovered this book at the library while perusing the soup cookbooks...
the authors suggest that drinking bone broth has many health benefits.
I have tried bone broth at restaurants and love the flavour.
So I figured I might try making it at home.

Many of the recipes in this book suggest using a crock pot.
You cook the bones with a mirepoix of veggies, and several quarts of water
 for 12-24 hours on the low setting of the crock pot.
( I used a large slow cooker)
You can use beef, pork, turkey or chicken bones.
(No salt is added during the cooking process)

The bones are removed and cooled
( I picked the meat off the bones and set them aside for my soup)

strain the rest of the ingredients
cool on the countertop
putting it into the fridge
the broth can be used in soups or heated up as a drink

it can also be frozen 
in quart mason sealer jars
(fill only 3/4 full)

Ready for the freezer.

Hearty beef and vegetable soup
simmering on the stove.
Smells delicious!

I used the meat from the soup bones, the mirepoix and added a bit of pepper.

When it snows here...
there is very little in the way of snow removal equipment
so if we get a big dump of snow 
getting around town is quite the challenge.

Snow is really beautiful to look at...
so pure
 it muffles any noise 
a white blanket that covers us

kids love it

So much fun
making snowmen
snow angels

I remember 
when I was a child 
 a snowfall was so exciting.

Almost 64 years ago 
I was born on a snowday.

My father had to shovel the driveway, 
which was on a slant, 
before he could get the car out.

My mother was quite worried that she would not make it to the hospital
before giving birth to me.

They made it in time and for many years (in March) 
it snowed on my birthday.

Is it cold where you live?
Do you have snow?

What do you like to cook when the mercury drops?
Do you make a big pot of soup or stew?
Perhaps you bake bread or buns?

Do you have a favourite recipe that you can share?

Stay warm and cozy!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Thank you to Eileen Fisher for creating timeless fashion choices...

Eileen Fisher designs and makes lovely clothes...
her ethical practises of reusing fabrics and recycling ring true.

In addition to her seasonal pieces she offers a "basic group of clothing" in a couple of key colours and styles...
they are mix and match classics that make getting dressed so simple.

Recently I purchased a couple of her pieces...
with my fall travel wardrobe in mind.

I bought slim ponte knit black pants...so smart and comfy.

You may remember that I already own a basic pair in black rayon which are quite dressy. I also have the black tank top which is perfect for layering.

(For summer I have the white linen tank and linen V neck sweater)

Before I found this jacket
I was really frustrated...

For several hours I tried on numerous trench coats
various jackets 
 not one hit it out of the park for me.

I am a curvy short woman 
so I need to be careful of extra details 
and the shape of a coat or jacket must be slimming.

Here's the new EF jacket...
this looked good on 
the colour is a nice change.

This jacket has room for a vest or sweater underneath
which will make it a great choice for travel.

While we are on the subject of layering...
I found a great vest.

Eileen Fisher cozy vest in black.
So my carry on is taking shape...

I have a bamboo dress and a knit skirt.
Will add a couple of tops
a sweater
 one or two scarves
which should round out my minimal travel wardrobe.

Do you like Eileen Fisher clothes?
Perhaps you have a favourite designer?
 Or do you have a company who makes clothes that you love to wear?

The closet is looking much more organized too...

I have sorted and hung things in colour groupings;

they were in sections;

The colour idea helps me reach for things that pair well together.
Plus with a really small wardrobe i
fewer choices to distract my focus
it simplifies getting dresssed.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Beauty in Gardens and My Stylish French Box...a treat from France

I walked in one of my favourite spots last week...
Abkhazi Gardens.

The temperatures were mild, the skies blue, and the sun was shining.
It felt like a gift after a few days of rain.

A lovely display of naturalized Crocus flowers popping up from the soil...
or is it croci ?

Love the way that the light illuminated their petals.

Gnarly trunk and twisted branches above a bed of snowdrops and cyclamen.

This is such a sweet structure on the site...
it was a place where the original owners would take tea and eat their picnic lunches when they were first designing the gardens.

I've been dreaming a lot about garden design
  the beautiful spaces that people have been able over the years to cultivate.
A well designed garden, once established, is a living legacy.

I try to visit many of the local gardens and join in on the various garden tours.
Some of my favourite things to do are to peruse the garden centres
 leaf through gardening books
watch TV shows on gardens.

Are you familiar with Sharon Santoni?
Her garden in France is stunning.
She is the founder of My Stylish French Box...
I have subscribed to these boxes and they are a real treat to receive...
the current box theme is focused on a Parisianne woman.
One of the partners is the renowned perfume company of Annick Goutal!

The February Box is almost sold out 
you might be able to order one if you are quick!

Go here to get more information and good luck!

I am excited as Sharon has just launched a new digital magazine.
She has a giveaway on her Instagram page.

As I sit here at the table in my Humble Bungalow Kitchen 
I can hear birds outside singing
the clock chiming
the fridge humming
the keys on my lap top 
tap tapping
a rumbling motorcycle speeds by
the neighbours dog barks

taking time to stop and notice the little things
those moments each day that can easily slip by if one is not present

Hope that your week is ticking along nicely!

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Recipe for fabulous pork and beans....

My long time friend Leslie, who grew up and attended the same schools as I did in Oak Bay, shared her classic recipe for pork and beans. Leslie is a wonderful hostess and invites many friends over to her heritage home for dinner and cocktail parties. The food is always delicious, the home that she shares with her husband is warm and inviting, the guests always feel welcome and she is relaxed and makes these events look effortless.

I tried to make her recipe for pork and beans once before but with no success. Now I know why...
I rushed the cooking of the beans and put them in the slow cooker
before they were soft.

This past Christmas my BFF served the bean dish at her Christmas Eve Event where they were a huge hit!
Her brother went back 3 times for more! He raved about them to me.
(I can say this as he doesn't even know that I write a blog!)

One of my New Year goals was to master this recipe.

You'll need a crock pot.

Leslie's Beans

3 cups of dried Navy beans soaked overnight in 6 cups of water
Rinse then drain them and place in a pot with 6 cups of water 
Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender
soft, but not falling apart.

Drain the beans and place them in a slow cooker 

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1 large onion chopped
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
12 slices uncooked bacon diced
(or sliced salt pork)

Cook on low for 8 -10 hours.


Bon Appetit!

Hope you enjoy this classic that is a favourite in our circle of friends.
The men in our group absolutely LOVE this dish!
My husband is happy too.

Thank you to Leslie A., 
"a Hostess with the Mostess!"

We are enjoying the leftovers tonight...
they make a lot and can be frozen.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~