Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ups and downs in The Humble Bungalow

in The Humble Bungalow
in the laundry room is
where I spend a lot of my time.
hanging clothes to air dry
 heavy duty things go into the dryer
folding and ironing
all jobs that I do almost every day.

I run UP and DOWN the stairs many times in a day.

The bathroom downstairs is compact
 it has a shower, toilet and sink.

It is very handy when we work outside in the garden and need to come inside
even more convenient 
when we have house guests.

Did I mention that I run up and down the stairs many times a day?

It feels like I get a lot of exercise actioning the domestic chores but not enough to keep the pesky pounds at bay.

My new fitness regime with kettle bells is also done downstairs
in the laundry room as there is ample room to move about.

The space is bright and the cats like to sit and watch me go through my paces!

I am wearing casual clothes.

NYDJ boyfriend style jeans
Town Shoes quilted black leather flats
a simple short Joe Fresh charcoal grey T shirt

Upstairs and downstairs we have shelves for our fluffy white towels.
I am partial to white towels.
Are you?

Storage in The Humble Bungalow is abysma
it is minimal as our arts and crafts era home has very little space.

Our closet is tiny and so naturally my wardrobe is small.
That is actually a positive rather than a negative.
I do not like having too much stuff.
I like to see all my clothing choices which makes getting dressed so much easier.

BTW while we are on the topic of clothes...
you responses to the last post were interesting and informative.
I appreciate the time and energy that you put into your comments.

the kitchen is the hub of our Humble Bungalow.

Besides doing the laundry I cook a lot.
I love to create healthy meals and enjoy experimenting with new recipes.

Simple Omelette

2 farm fresh eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk
salt pepper

Melt a knob of butter in a flat crepe or omelette pan 
when bubbles form pour in the eggs.
Add toppings
herbs or arugula as I have used here.

When the edges are setting up 
run a spatula around the edges and gently coax one end
fold gently over
rolling as you go 
until you have a picture perfect omelette.

One of the "UPS" in this post is that I ate a sensible lunch.

Omelette served with a salad
a low Weight Watcher point count lunch.
A tasty pear sliced thinly and savoured with a cup of tea.

"Guilt free" eating and yet it is filling.
(protein is key to keep me feeling satisfied)

On the DOWNside...
Walking has been hit and miss with the recent inclement weather but we are expecting a warming trend so I will be lacing up my sneakers and pounding the pavement with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Have you started with a 2017 health and wellness journey ?
Are you writing in your journal?

Are you feeling more energetic and enthusiastic?
Words can be so important when motivating and engaging in change.

The Nike slogan "Just Do It" comes to mind.

Another "DOWNfall"...
There was a small cello bag of chocolate bark coated in candy cane sprinkles 
a gift from Christmas 
hiding in the drawer that I "discovered" last Sunday while watching Victoria 
on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.

Dear reader, I am weak, I am human.
 I ate it.

The UPside of this is that there is no chocolate left in The Humble Bungalow!

So it is your turn...
have you been disciplined with your fitness and food regime?

Have you been tempted by treats ?

were you clever and cleaned out your pantry of those naughty things
restocked it with only healthy foods?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Clothes Shopping has become a problem....

"You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince..."
                      ~  The Frog Prince ~
                                        by Brothers Grimm ~

That is how I feel about clothes shopping...

It may be due to my mid life figure,
my current budget,
my colour preferences,
my age,
my personal taste
or that I have the basics currently hanging in my closet.

I can stroll through a store and easily dismiss about 95% of the items.

So when I spend an hour perusing the store and end up with only 5 or 6 things to try on that may or may not work, that is a considerable amount of time and effort.
Am I being too picky?
Am I looking for a needle in the haystack...that hidden gem?

Style and Co. top
Clark boots

(Excuse the hair - weather was so icy that I had to wear a hat.)
I resorted to do my walking in the mall for several hours.
The blue Calvin Klein puffy vest on the hook in the change room is mine.

I like this swing shape of this top (above) as it camouflages all manner of sins.
I bought this blue top when I was in Vancouver last year.

Here is a 
Calvin Klein soft soft sweatshirt...
not loving the overall look
oh how I LOVED the feel of it...

almost like sleepwear 
I could wear this around the house.

Do I want to spend $60 on it just to wear it at home?
No I don't think so...

Skinny striped swing top
Style and Co.
reasonably priced
(covers the hips)
can be worn with skinny jeans, leggings or pants.

I didn't take pictures of the other tops as they were total rubbish on me.

You can see here how height challenged I am at 5'1
in clothing terms that makes me a "petite."
Not skinny though...

Let me be honest I'd like to lose 10 pounds.
So its working out with the kettle bells, walking,
monitoring what I eat and drink.

At my age, almost 62,  results take longer and I need to work harder so
it might be a few weeks away before I see significant results.

Drove to Willows Beach after the ice melted and walked along the Esplanade.
The fresh air cleared out the cobwebs and I felt energized.
Later I stopped for a skim milk latte.
A low WW point indulgence.

I will often take myself out for a coffee.
I don't mind being alone at a table in the coffee shop.
Years ago this would have felt very uncomfortable.
  but now 
perhaps because I am older 
or that I spent time in Paris alone at the street cafes
I feel relaxed and I am able to just be calm and enjoy the experience.

Back to shopping...
 wish that there were more petite shops in our town.
I do not like online shopping very much.
It costs so much to send back garments that do not fit
and one does not get to feel the fabrics or try on more than one size.

Oh and while I am wishing,
 how about some petite shops that cater to women of a certain age?
Travelling to Vancouver or Seattle to buy petite garments is expensive!

Are you a petite or tall woman?
Are you "average?"
Where do you like to shop?

What do you think about sourcing clothes for us over 60 gals?

Do you have a seamstress or do you sew clothes for yourself?
Do you find it frustrating to find things that fit and flatter?

Please chime in on this discussion
 I would love to hear from you on this topic.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cleaning obsession...

Oh my goodness...I am becoming a clean freak!

I gave these cloths to several of my friends in gift packs
and since hearing their raves reviews I purchased one for myself.
I am a wee bit obsessed and so impressed with this cloth that I have to share it...

BTW, in case you were wondering...
I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I receiving any remuneration from them.
The opinions here are all mine.

Made by a Canadian Company

This simple cloth is a game changer here in my kitchen.
I love how it works on the stainless steel appliances 
I don't know about you but our stainless appliances show every finger print
and this cloth works on windows...
I was total rubbish at window cleaning but now I am successful thanks to this cloth.
(Weird to be so excited about something so simple but it works so well.)

January is a month for purging...
I clean out drawers, closets, the fridge and pantry cupboards.
Make note of the "best before" and expiry dates on foods and medicines.
Toss out old condiments in the fridge and wipe the shelves.

I go through things in my closet 
recycle anything that may be pilled or looking shabby.
Make note of what I need to replace and lingerie is one thing I usually replace in January and lots are on sale.

Looking forward to seeing our hellebores bloom

Santa brought this magazine....
love looking at the beautiful pictures and reading the articles
dreaming and planning 
for the garden.

Gardeners love to peruse books for ideas and inspiration in the winter months.

I need to buy some cheerful forced Spring bulbs for the Humble Bungalow.
A colourful treat perks up our home on these grey days and lifts my spirits.

Hope your week is ticking along nicely.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Knit Mitts...not Knit Wits! (pattern included)

Knitted mitts for the oven are fun to make...
the pattern is easy to follow and they knit up quite quickly.
I like to have a knitting project on the go as it keeps my hands busy and out of the cookie jar.
Knitting is relaxing, rewarding and is a portable craft...

Bernats cotton comes in a very large skein, at just a tad under $10 at Walmart.
I am not normally a Walmart shopper but they have such great prices on this cotton that I make a special trip to the store and stock up. It comes in a variety of variegated of colours, I chose this green blend and I plan to return to buy the black, white and grey blend as well as the red pink and cream colour blend.

I took pictures of the pattern and I think you will be able to enlarge them.

I received an email from a reader who was concerned that I was violating copyright laws by posting this pattern...
Joan is an elderly woman in our knitting group and she has shared her pattern countless times so please do not worry that I am posting something illegally.

I have one more mitt to knit.

These mitts are a great Hostess gift and I like to add a few "granny style" dishcloths and some nice dish soap. One skein makes two pairs of mitts and many many dishcloths so these are a budget friendly gift.

Happy Knitting!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Wellness Journal...recollections from the dark moving towards a brighter future.

Have you ever kept a journal?

When I was going through a rough patch in early menopause I wrote in a gratitude journal and found it very helpful and soothing. Making note of 5 things everyday that I was grateful for was a positive attitude shift. This simple exercise was surprisingly very motivating and ultimately incredibly empowering.

Back then, my weight was "out of control" my self esteem was at rock bottom.
I had hit a wall...and felt overwhelmed and powerless.

When I was in the thick of it,
I had NO CLUE whatsoever why I was feeling this way.

Looking back, I now realize what was happening to my body and why my emotions were all over the map.
Menopause can cause so many ups and downs and unfortunately it does not come with a guide book to help us navigate this path.

I was not in tune to my own body.
I was giving so much time and energy to others who needed my help,
that I neglected to take care and do what was needed
in order to stay balanced, happy and healthy.

The tell tale symptoms were there...
low energy
sleep disruptions resulting in fatigue
mood swings
mind fogs
food cravings that resulted in binge eating loads of carbs and chocolate

"Oh Woe is Me!" felt like my mantra.
I'm not proud of this period of my life but it must have happened for a reason.
This experience taught me a lot of valuable lessons...
it taught me how to establish boundaries and I had to learn to say no.
Very difficult for someone who was raised to give before receiving.

Shifting my focus from obsessing over my symptoms,
I took charge...
reading books on menopause, fitness, healthy foods and meditation.
It was hard work, took time, but I needed to do something to turn things around.
Acceptance and action was much more attractive over self loathing and self medicating.

So back to the journal...
it was a powerful tool in my journey back to wellness.

The journal was instrumental in instigating change.
So I am reinstating my habit and am starting a new journal.
It will be wellness and fitness focused and I will write in it every day.

Documenting my weight, walks, workouts, weight watcher points
and making notes of any emotions that may be contributing factors that threaten to derail my success and giving myself a written pat on the back when I succeed.

BTW ~ The kettle bells are an amazing workout and I am devoting 30 minutes every other day to this new routine, while still trying to walk everyday.

Will you join me on this road to wellness?
All you need is a
pen and some paper...
let's make our journals a beautiful and gentle record of our continued journey to better health.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~