Saturday, July 30, 2011

Luxury is in the simple things...

Luxury for me is in the simple things.
Triple milled soap, beeswax candles, body lotion, high thread count cotton sheets, a down duvet, linen tea towels, fresh herbs, flowers inside the bungalow, fluffy white towels and hot water for bathing everyday.

Pure linen tea towels
a Bungalow staple.

My tastes are really very simple.
I do have a passion for fashion and the price of so many luxe lines are really beyond my reach.
After all one can only carry one bag at a time!

The desire to acquire is waning...
I feel that this is because I am feeling more at ease with the choice of lifestyle that I live.
I do not need to compete with anyone.
It is very freeing for me coming to this conclusion and it has taken me many years to get to this place.

Getting off the spending treadmill and consuming less feels appropriate for me right now.

My minimalist wardrobe is working for me.
Getting dressed is much simpler as there are fewer items to choose from and the pieces that remain are the ones that fit well and make me feel comfortable and confident.

Food is an area where I need to be more mindful...
I have a tendency to over eat as I love to cook and love the tastes!

If I approach eating with that same philosophy that I applied to my clothing
"less is more"
I might be able to embrace the concept more readily!
I read constantly about Chic French femmes staying slim by eating mindfully and walking daily.

Fresh homemade Batard
oil and balsamic vinegar

I am working on improving my eating habits....
Eating slowly and savouring each morsel, putting the utensils down between bites.
New habits take a few weeks to enact,
so I will persevere and see.

Rome wasn't built in a Day!

I have been very inspired by Adrienne at Rich Life on a Budget
I think that you might be too...go over and say hi, please tell her I sent you!

Breaking bad habits is done one step at a time
baby steps, that's where I am at.
Putting one foot in front of the other
a work in process....

Fresh Heirloom tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven!
I love a bit of salt, pepper, and balsamic drizzled over top.
A simple salad that is pure luxury.

What says luxury to you?

Friday, July 29, 2011


One of the things we enjoy living close to the ocean here in the pacific Northwest is the wildlife.
Birds, porpoise, seals and whales are sighted frequently.
Often though our cameras are not in hand...but when they are it's an opportunity to capture the image and share.
It is always a delight when wildlife is sighted and somehow feels like a gift,
as if Mother Nature herself was saying "surprise"!

This little seal popped his head up and looked at me before diving down to feed on some fish.

Two swans swam by...

They seemed quite eager and friendly
I think they were hoping for food.

When I was a child 
I was at the edge of a pond in a park and one rushed up to me and bit me.
I still feel a sense of unease when I see them and keep a safe distance away.

we fed them some bread

and then they swam off into the sunset.

There is not much going on here...
as you can see by my post.

there is
plenty of reading 
relaxing and good food.

al fresco lunch
my girlfriend calls this a "picky plate"
little bits of this n' that
easy peasy

Pepper's actioning some serious napping!

 What are you doing these days?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shoe buddies...

Summer is a time for walking barefoot in the sand
or wearing sandals
showing off pretty polished toes.

putting our best feet forward
here 3 generations of our family
are all wearing sandals
and baring our toes.

Do you have a favourite pair?
I know I do!

Our darling grand daughter Isla is almost walking!
She has been teetering and taking a few tentative steps 
before she realizes that she is accomplishing this feat all by herself
and then she promptly sits down.

Speaking of toes, she likes to stand on her toes
like a wee ballerina
it is so cute to watch her arching her feet
wee little pink toes that are kissably perfect.

Conversation slows when she is around
we all watch and marvel 
with her every move
it is enough 
just to be in her presence 
she brings such joy 
to our family
in our Humble Bungalow.

 I discovered a great shoe assortment at the children's shop on the Avenue.

It was quite an adventure
there's so much to choose from
everything from
Bolch ballet flats
soft leather Mary Janes
even Hunter Boots !
all manner of styles, colours, and designs...

When my children were young there were only a few standard styles
Buster Brown made a sturdy and reliable leather shoe for girls
 Mary Jane's
they also made a shoe that was considered a boot
 for boys.

We bought new shoes every six months back then as their little feet grew so fast
my MIL took us shoe shopping
she didn't have many shoes herself but took great pleasure in buying shoes for her grand kids.

bronzed baby shoes
these were their first shoes
son's on top
daughter's below 
a cute bell on hers

As I perused the selections 
I found myself picking up various pairs and studying their construction
touching the soft leather
getting excited at the thought of Isla wearing them.

I am hoping that one day I will be shoe shopping
with Isla
maybe she'll love shoes as much as I do.

I like the idea of being known as 
The Shoe Grammy.

It sounds better than being 
The Bag Grammy!

having said that
I'll be whatever she wants me to be.

Grammys aim to please!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Crabbing...hunting and gathering food and flowers.

Queen Anne's Lace...

I love this frothy bloom
and to some it might be regarded as a weed.

I have captured it's beauty for you to see with my camera.

ship board flowers
and a lovely vintage tray 
a thoughtful gift from my BFF

With that Black Bear on the loose 
I am walking around in circles!

I am reminded of a quote that was something like... 
everywhere I go there I am!

Which is so true...
you can walk away from many a situation but the thoughts and memories will stay with you
there is no escaping that fact
(unless you develop amnesia or dementia)

Gosh what a thought.
I am writing without direction, just typing away madly in the heat of the day.

There is a lot to see right here on the ocean
and plenty of distractions...
I stop to look outside the window and see gulls flying
flags flapping
the water shimmering
and I feel gratitude

Can you see Mr. HB sitting aft reading?
I hope that he won't mind seeing himself here when he turns on his laptop!

He devours historical fiction
happily sits in the sunshine on a warm summer afternoon
doing what he loves best.

In front of one of the houseboats 
there is an elaborate garden
 a maze of coloured pots in various sizes 
haphazardly arranged with an artistic flair....
(depending on your taste it might be a nightmare)

are such hardy drought tolerant garden plants...
they grow fast in all manner of conditions 
caring very little if they are in pots or in the soil
and are the most amazing acrobats in their growth patterns.

Fresh caught cooked crab
our simple lunch on the weekend
some rather wilted dahlias
(which have been tossed out and replaced with Queen Anne's Lace)

Pink Himalayan Salt in a self grinder
(which is fun to use)

Mr. HB is  great at catching crab!

He catches it
I cook and clean it...
(I am a happy galley slave)

Did I mention that the galley is small?
It has a converted ice box
two propane burners
a small sink and a minimal countertop.

Two crabs cooked and cleaned

Pearl Island Crab Cakes

Formed and ready to be chilled for a few hours
then sauteed carefully

We had a cob of fresh corn for a starter
before devouring these tasty cakes...

served with freshly grated ginger and soya infused mayonnaise
I could only eat three
so there's one for the breakfast omelette tomorrow!

Pepper hunkered down in the heat of the day.

Adrienne asked how she is doing...
she naps a lot when it's hot and sleeps on my bunk beside me at night
wakes very early for food and plays with her toy mice while waiting for us to get up!

I hope this sunshine sticks around for awhile
I am enjoying the warmth and it finally feels like summer has arrived.

Oh Oh!
the weather forecast is calling for thunder and lightning...
we better batten down the hatches.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Star gazing...

In an effort to put the recent world events in perspective I must have a heart to heart with myself.
I can so easily get overwrought with worry about the state of affairs over which I have no control.
I read Dr. Andrew Weil's book many years ago and he suggests having a no news week.
We are so connected by radio, newspapers and the internet.
Facebook, Twitter and Blogger all link us in the social media.

In an effort to relax I am putting negative events out of my mind for awhile and focusing on the NOW.
The reality that is here at this moment in time...
not thinking ahead,
nor looking back,
just being,
focusing on what is before me.

Cowichan Bay Sweater 
hand knit by Arlene
a First Nations woman 
who spins and dies her yarns 
before knitting tribal patterns 
that have been passed down through the generations.

Cuddling with Pepper
pets help us with stress
unconditional love is what they offer.

No make up on
bare faced
humble hostess
not putting on airs
sharing a simple moment in time
encouraging you to be who you really are 

thank you for stopping by as I 

share my innermost thoughts and insights


Friday, July 22, 2011

A sign of the times...

Cruising aboard our classic Chris Craft  is a great way to enjoy the quiet life.
The ocean tides lull one to sleep and relaxation is a sure thing.
With plenty of time for reflection and book reading one does need to make the effort to move the body. Daily swimming, kayaking are weather dependent so walking is my favourite option.
I like to walk on the beach and explore the areas surrounding the marinas and marine parks.

I was not expecting to have my walks curtailed because of this...

I thought it might be safer to explore the docks and gardens of the local houseboats.
I'd be scared stiff to encounter a large black bear.

A sunny planting
I am particularly fond of this foliage
nature looks like she has been painting the leaves.

Any chance that Johnny Depp is about?
I'd love to catch a glimpse of him!

This industrious honey bee is collecting pollen on this allium alba.

I followed an interesting walkabout 
dotted with metal sculptures...
someone has been very crafty and creative recycling all this metal.

Have a Happy Friday
it's the gateway to the weekend.

What are your plans fro the weekend?

My husband and I are belatedly celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary 
(July 20th)
with dinner out 
which just happens to be at a restaurant with a water view
and while it might be onboard our boat
it's not!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The domestics just got more glamourous!

Domestics in this old bungalow are never done.
Which makes it often difficult to sit and relax
particularly when I spy
dust bunnies and cat hair gathering on the dark wood flooring...
If it were a dull grey day I would not notice but they are
illuminated by the warm afternoon sunshine...

Our cleaning gal has been on leave and I am not keeping up her standards.
I now see dirt where I have never seen it before.
I had no idea that we were so messy and I consider myself organized...

I honestly do miss her weekly visits.
The good news is that she is coming back very soon!

I decided that I needed to do a more thorough job 
that meant buying some newer 
fresher and better tools...
 Oh! look at the lover-ly prep inspired label 
 Boston Warehouse has glamourous products
the gloves have polka dot frilly edging
prints and flowers 
in a rainbow of colour
I could have bought the entire stock of gizmos
and revamped my dull utilitarian cleaning cupboard
it could stand to be made over!

Broom in black and white!
(Pepper approves)

She "helps me" sweep...
which takes much longer
I do appreciate her "being on the job"

I replaced my worn out scrubber
with this new one
it's in a happy lime green colour.

Let's dress up domestics a bit!
I wonder what Elizabeth Taylor would say about these...
do you think she ever pushed a vacuum
scrubbed pots?

Remember to wear your gloves when doing heavy work
your hands will thank you for the protection.

Speaking of protection...
 it's a good time to discuss SPF
we need to save our skin from the sun's harmful rays
 chemicals cannot be good 
baked by the intense heat of the sun
so it is a safe solution 
that I seek...
and have found

Organic Mineral Sunscreen
SPF 30
recommended by a girlfriend
 complexion is looking radiant these days
I think this might be part of her secret!

Break time is over...
I am off to massage the tub with a micro fiber cloth...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weekend recap...

Summer weekends in the rain onboard the Chris Craft is a time for cocooning with a great book a mug of tea and a cozy blanket.

Vintage 1957 Constellation
 original for the most part

Our weekend getaway
I like to think of it as our floating waterfront cottage!

The stresses of the city leave the minute we step aboard.

Life on the boat is easy.
Domestics are quickly finished
meals are simple and tasty
slumber comes swiftly after all the fresh air.

I love the hum of this lifestyle
and could easily fall into a routine of quiet 
where the only clock is an inner timepiece
dictating meal times based on hunger
and bedtimes based on fatigue.

I am halfway through Cool Water
which is set in the prairie town of Juliet, Sask. 
Dianne weaves an interesting story of eccentric characters whose lives are intertwined
with such deft skill that you are pulled into the town life 
and feel like you are sitting amongst them watching from the front porch swing!

Pepper is at ease
she has settled in quite nicely now that the noisy motors have stopped!

Bobbing on the calm ocean she has found many spots to snooze.
She has been brave enough to come up on the back deck and explore
we need to keep our eyes on her as she is fascinated by the water
and we really do not want her to jump in and go for a swim!

Twinkling crystal encrusted Lily Blues
and a sparkling rippled sea.

A floral bouquet painted for the sole purpose to remind me of my garden
(one of my early works)
when the garden bouquet wilts 
I still have these...

The rain has stopped for now
and there has been some sunshine
there are grey clouds gathering
I plan to finish my book and start in on another.

I enjoyed Isabel's novel A Vintage Affair 
I am looking forward to this one.

My wardrobe for the boat is very minimal and practicality not fashion sets the tone.
If I were to give my nautical attire a theme it would be active wear.
It all fits into a medium size sturdy Lands End tote.

Lands End tank tops
one in in navy and one pink 
both with white polka dots
white Joe tank tops
quick dry pants for kayaking
a waterproof anorak cream with grey accents
 that folds into a pocket size 
a Lululemon hoodie in grey and cream
Buffalo grey cargo pants
a fleece jacket by Royal Robbins
a grey and white jersey dress
2 bathing suits
one black with white polka dots
one black and white print
flip flops
Sperry deck shoes
nightie and warm socks.

I need to close for now and catch up on some blog reading...
before I get back to my book!