Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Slow-Mo day in the Humble Bungalow

I am enjoying a very quiet day here in The Humble Bungalow.
Relaxing in the sunshine between domestic chores.
I am working in slow motion and I like it!
This just might be the most boring post ever...
you might be yawning
and that's great if it's your bedtime.
Sleep and relaxation are not to be underrated.

Bees are buzzing about busy at work gathering pollen.

Hosta and spurge competing for space in a pot.

Look at all these smiling yellow blooms
they are an instant mood lifter.

Molyneux is blooming 
the newest David Austin Rose to set up shop in the Bungalow garden.
The fawns like her buds, their mother prefers Jude the Obscure.
As a dedicated Hostess it is my duty to feed my guests and feed them I am.
The buffet is a virtual salad bar that the local deer population seem to be enjoying.
Oh well
live and let live.

I love chartreuse green
it fills me with joy.
The blog was chartreuse in the beginning
before my love affair
with black white and grey

Do you love it too?


Limelight Hydrangea
showy pom pom blooms
greedy for water but excellent performers
masses of flowers.
"proven winners"

Two more have made their way into my possession.
I highjacked them when I saw them at the nursery
they were the last two standing.

I will be planting them soon.

Unfortunately a bloom snapped off in transport
so I popped it in some water,
funny thing
it looks too large for the vase
a rather awkward arrangement
but I am not bothered.

All is calm

I have actioned some comfort food for dessert.

It tastes much better than it looks
the creamy coconut flavour is lip smacking good.

"He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate."
Henry David Thoreau

Take a few minutes and just breathe....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teatime with Parisian and Shoe String Chic....

If you have been following my blog you might recall that I have given up caffeine for health reasons.
I have been a tea drinker since I was a young girl. My grandmother used to make me cups of "Boston Tea" which was a tea cup of mostly milk with a small amount of tea from her Brown Betty teapot.

I have not given up the ritual of tea I have simply replaced the tea for a decaf version of my regular brand which is Typhoo.
I decided that I needed to make tea time more attractive and so I pulled out my silver tea service and polished up the tray which was downstairs in "my room" and voila we have elevated tea to another level. It tastes better too!

Lovely and delicious 
 the silver pot keeps the tea hot for a long time
one cup is never enough!

Taking tea has been a custom in our family for as long as I can remember.
Our family matriarchs were known as "tea grannies"

Tea tastes much better when it is served in a bone china cup and saucer.
I use them from time to time but opt more often for bone china mugs for everyday.
I love the English Dunoon line of arts and crafts mugs.

I keep my tea in a caddy for freshness.

Pisces my birth sign
 Portmeirion  Stoke-on-Trent England caddy.
I am sipping tea as I type,
perhaps you are sipping tea as you read these words.
It's a Blog Tea Party!

I received these in the mail this week
and I am looking forward to reading them...
that recommended both of these books.
Thanks Tish!

It will be fun comparing these two books on Chic Style.

Sweet Peas
in the Humble Bungalow Bathroom
I wish you could smell these
they are so lovely.
I wonder if any perfume has their scent in a blend.

I am working hard around the Bungalow
touching up chipped paint

Like Kristin of Faux Fuchsia fame
 I abhor chipped paint!

Besides dressing well, cooking and decorating
 she has an adorable baby boy 
so pop on over and say hello
you might never want to leave her lovely place
she does motherhood in a royal style.

We are planning a renovation downstairs which is exciting me no end.
I am jumping out of bed early to get rid of all the "junk" that has taken up residence in the basement.
Stuff that we have kept in case we might need it "one day" and many "one days" have past and we have not used them!

I'm off to de-clutter...

To the woman who complained that riches hadn’t made her happy, the Master said “You speak as if luxury and comfort were ingredients of happiness; whereas all you need to be really happy, my dear, is something to be enthusiastic about.

Anthony de Mello

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Room of Her Own...

Chris Casson Madden wrote a book a few years back, "A Room of Her Own."
This book was the inspiration behind my choice of carving out some "personal " space.

When the children were at home it was a small corner of my bedroom that had an assortment of chocolate treats, some scented lotions, a candle, a pretty teacup and some richly illustrated books on home decor and a large collection of magazines that calmed me as I leafed through them in a dream like fashion.

(Chocolate and caffeine were never far from my side back then and now I rarely have either)

Dressed in a cozy nightgown sitting in bed with the pillows plumped and the door slightly ajar taking some "Me" time before turning in for the night. Morning came very early in those days and sleep was a luxury to behold.

A room of my own had to wait.

Bittersweet in it's own way...
because when it came into being was when my son left home.

It is his childhood room that I now use for my hobbies and healthy pursuits of Yoga and the occasional session of weight training. It has become a place where I can go and sit and peruse magazines, read books, listen to music and ponder and more recently to paint.

Steiff teddy sitting in the linen slip covered armchair
a cozy nest to curl up in.

I opted for soft neutrals to invite serenity and peace.

I put down an old rug from upstairs to add warmth
the floor is painted concrete and is chilly in the winter.

Here is where I play...
Pepper loves it when I am down stairs 
she runs around like a super charged energizer bunny.

She has climbed the easel and tried to bite the paint brush,
"steady on Pepper."

  The recent knitting project is going rather slower than I hoped as I need to be "on guard" 
for she likes to stalk the yarn and then pounce with all claws bared before the attack.
Picking up slipped stitches are not my forte and so they take forever to fix.

Pepper does have cat naps throughout the day
I think that is her secret...
I should adopt a napping habit 
but there is always so much I want to do.

Like knitting....
I have used up 2 skeins of the Alpaca yarn so far...
slow and steady.

Image from a birthday card
which my sister bought because it reminds her of Pepper.

Vintage keys
a tarnished tray
weathered weary cabinet
glass dome
and a pair of silver candelabras
all things that I like because of their quirks.

Do you have a place or a space of your own?
I'd be interested to see some images of where you find peace and inspiration.
Is it inside or out of doors?

You might be like my friend LM who meditates deeply
in a quiet place wherever she happens to be...
she always has that zone 
so very close
whether she is in Hawaii, 
 or the UK.

Be true to yourself this weekend
and try and soak in some loveliness
after all it's free.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shopping; Sephora, Lands End, Amazon and Zellers

I took the opportunity this afternoon of perusing the mall near my Volvo dealership
while my car was been serviced.
It was a sunny afternoon and it might have been better to go for a walk along the seafront but I had a few things on my back to school list.
Sephora was my first stop...

NARS makes a great colour stick 
which can be used on the cheeks, eyes, lips
in a shade that works for many women.

It gives us a soft blush of colour...
do you know the name of the shade?

I'm not kidding!

Rosebud Salve 
is great for cuticles 
and my lovely daughter uses it on her lips and loves it.
I am test driving it on her recommendation.

If you read my last post with my list of needs and wants
you will see that this vest was not on either list.

OK I admit it I was swayed!
the weight and sturdiness of this simple vest
from The Gap
(on sale)
gorgeous grey
just had to come home with me.

Imagine this simple vest with a with a long sleeved white Tee

and look
there are some "vest friendly" friends waiting inside the jewelry chest...

 A Modernist 1970's necklace with two faces
a bipolar pewter pendant!

Canadian designer Guy Vidal

Some creepy extra terrestrials 
hanging out on a vintage pin.
E.T. call home!

Students lean in a little closer to check these out at the circulation desk
and these pieces open up the opportunity for dialogue...
any excuse to engage with these brilliant young minds!

I try to find out what books the students love to read.
Enthusiastic readers keep me energized.
Young, keen, bright students 
make my days worthwhile.

Cheap jeans...
40% off the regular price
95% cotton 5% lycra
Gloria Vanderbilt
who knew?

The fit is extraordinary
looks sturdy
I am pinching myself at discovering this bargain.

I saw some cute shoes but I want to see more styles before I decide on a pair.
I may end up with more than one pair but I am embracing frugality
and being mindful of my closet space.

Ralph Lauren
 I love your shoes!

your boots rock my world
I cannot decide if I want to be a biker chick or a cowgirl!

I have been testing out some online shopping at the Lands End website.
Pedestrian and plain
but perfect for work.

I have ordered two cardigans, a long sleeved white Tee.
I am crossing my fingers that they will fit and be to my liking...
I seldom order clothing on the net..
do I hear laughter?

Books online Yes!
I have some coming soon from Amazon
I'll post about these when they arrive..
books always fit 
so there is little risk...

I am getting together with my "girlfriends" for "coffee" 
(mine will be decaf it has been over 2 weeks now!)

Three of the four of us are grandmothers
and in a few months
there's going to be another grandmother in the group...
congratulations D!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to school wardrobe....basics that might bore you and a lip dub that won't!

The rain today reminded me that summer is slowly turning to fall.

In just a few weeks we will be back to school.

I have been giving some serious thought about what clothes  I "need" and what I "want". Embracing minimalism and thrift without suffering.

In the Library of a Middle School, one needs to dress age appropriately, professionally, and look polished.
The clothing needs to be comfortable for the physical aspects of the job. Everyday bending and reaching for textbooks and shelving of books necessitates that clothes do not gape or are too low cut to expose too much flesh.

Think of the "dress code" which dictates what is acceptable for students and it does transfer to staff.

I have spent enough money over the years to know that washable is preferable to dry cleaning and sturdy fabrics are worth their weight in gold.
Many a cashmere cardigan has been lost to the wear and tear of the job.

Dressing in layers is necessary...
heavy lifting, air conditioning and floor to ceiling windows factor into this decision!

My back to school basic need list:
Black fitted denim jeans, unadorned for versatility.
Black shoes which might be loafers this season.
White tops in a jersey knit, one with long sleeves one short.
Grey cardigan professor/boyfriend style in a short petite length.
Black cable knit V neck cardigan in wool for warmth.

I already have dressy pointe skinny leggings
a crisp white shirt
black jersey short sleeved top
black knit A-line skirt
several work appropriate black knit jersey dresses
grey tunic top with zippers (NEW)
undergarments (NEW)
Several long waterfall sweaters in black, grey and tweedy knits
and flats in silver and leopard print

Pearls, bangles, brooches, colourful scarves, and a few belts are waiting to add some interest with what might sound like a very boring work wardrobe.

Vintage baubles make up most of my brooch collection.
This was a gift from Lovely daughter
Thanks J!

Vintage boots

I would like some red shoes and new boots...
but they are on my "want list" not my "need list."

Behold the Bungalow Romneya
blooming on a sunnier day.
Lovely contrast of texture in yellow against that frothy papery dress she's wearing.

Or maybe a mustard yellow cardigan might be fun!
What would you add?

Any thoughts or suggestions?
What are your impressions of how the staff at your children's / grandchildren's school dress?

P.S. If you want to see an energetic campus lip dub....check this out
and I hope that put a smile on your face...
our young people have so much energy...
I think we've got to love that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

PH level eating...who knew?

The Humble Bungalow Garden is providing us with some great produce this summer.
Zucchini, swiss chard, potatoes, and red and yellow beets to name a few.

I love yellow beets and not just for their sunny colour 
they taste delicious.

We use the beet greens too.
No waste here, 
just rinse well and gently steam them in a little water 
until slightly wilted.
Vitamin packed with goodness,
and one of Mr. HB's favourites.

I've been reading about inflammation in the body.
The kind that causes aches and pains.

If the body is too acidic it is inflammatory and can cause all manner of troubles...
who knew?
Apparently some problems can arise that are much more serious than just an occasional ache or twinge.

Reducing the consumption of meat, grains and dairy helps rectify this situation.
Greens and veggies are touted to be the body's best friend.

If you want to
Town and Country published an article in the September 2011 issue.
Amy B. Thomas discusses going alkaline
and she mentions a book by Robert O. Young 
 "The PH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health"

I am not prepared to give up all meat, grains and dairy.
My thoughts are to have a wide variety of all the food groups.

As Mother and Father used to say...
"everything in moderation"

Avocados are very alkalizing...

tomatoes too...

Here is an alkalizing tasty salad recipe...
(thank you BFF!)

If you have a mandoline slicer 
you might like to use it for the zucchini 
you'll save some time.

Fresh goodness in a bowl
which accompanied a BBQ Sockeye Salmon dinner.
I served the Whitewater Cooks recipe for Arugula Salad
Vegetable Rotini Pasta Salad 
Stuffed Devilled Eggs
with artisan bread
Cantaloupe melon slices with
 "homemade chocolate cookies."
(Thank you to lovely DIL!)

Whitewater Cooks Arugula Salad

Hope that you enjoy this interesting salad
it has a peppery flavor from the arugula 
and the sweet dressing is complimented 
by the Manchego cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

It really works well together.

Dishes are loaded in the dishwasher
counters wiped
all is quiet
even Pepper has gone to bed.
I'll be turning in very soon myself
It's been a busy day.

I love having the family come by for visits
the house feels more like a home when my kids come by
the sounds of young voices
the laughter...

The lovely Miss Isla's visit was a highlight!
I have to admit I am totally under her spell.
I could sit and watch her every movement for hours
she is perfection.

The Westminster clock has chimed 10 bells
so I am off to slumber.
Sweet dreams to all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. HB

Mr. HB is celebrating his birthday.
Last evening we dined with friends and lovely daughter at a waterfront restaurant outdoors.
I should have snapped a few images on my new IPhone but I was engaged in the conversation and enjoying the view.

Mr. HB comes from a Scottish background 
and he does love single malt scotch.
 Lagavulin is his tot of choice.

I thought this card was suitable for this occasion.

I am having the family come by for an afternoon and dinner.
I am immersed in food preparations so without further ado I must run.
I've got to harvest some beets, make a few salads, stuff a few eggs, and go buy a salmon for the BBQ.

Have a lovely weekend
and stop and smell the flowers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

That 70's Show...

If you have been around as long as I have you probably have some relics from your past.
I cannot part with certain oldies because they are truly goodies.

Happily the avocado appliances have long worn out and been replaced with stainless steel!
There are a few reminders of days gone by that I unearth every so often when I go foraging in the dark recesses of the cupboards.
I have a twinge that stops me in my tracks a startling reminder of my youth when I spy these pieces.  I marvel at how much water has gone under the bridge!
Older, wiser, and a wee bit wizened...

Lavender freshly picked and popped into this circa 1970's pottery vase.

Mr. HB and I were married in 1974 and this teak salad bowl was our first wedding gift.
It has a few bumps and scratches 
but considering how many salads we have served in it since '74
it is remarkable that it exists today at all!

Crisp romaine lettuce washed, spun and torn...
the beginning of a great easy peasy meal.

Caesar Salad 
a Humble Bungalow staple.

I use a Braun whisk to blend this in a tall container.
I have one by Baumix called ZauberStab
 it is like many that come with the Braun whisk.
Whatever you use it must be taller and slimmer or you'll end up 
spattered with olive oil
trust me on this!

I dress the salad just before serving and often omit the croutons.

Remember potpourri?
I had bowls of the stuff and kept it until it got truly dusty and musty.
Today I throw a few rose petals in a bowl after the current rose bouquet starts to droop
and leave the scent to waft about the room.

What relics from your past do you have in your possession 
that you cannot bring yourself 
to part with?