Friday, December 30, 2011

Quicker pasta and the menu for New Years Eve.

There's a happy Hostess in the Humble Bungalow these days!
Pasta making just got so much easier...

My first ever Kitchen Aid attachment,
it works like a dream.

It only takes minutes to run it through
and it is so easy
I cannot believe how fast this happens and with very little effort on my part.

I use the food processor to make this pasta
Adrienne from La Vie Quotidienne
gave me the recipe and I love how easy it is to make.

I made a simple sauce
saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil
add a can of DOP Italian tomatoes
some red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
and simmer for about an hour to allow the flavours to meld.

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente
fresh pasta takes less time
so check often

sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top

I am getting ready for New Year's Eve dinner
several couples are celebrating at the table
on the menu...

antipasto assortment 
(my BFF calls this a "picky plate")
Caesar Salad
fresh Dungeness crab
served in the shell ready to pick
drawn butter, lemons, and ginger mayo dip

(which my BFF is making)

I haven't thought of any resolutions to make just yet...
self improvement is one that I often consider
giving back to the community is another
and I think there's a new hairstyle in my future
and possibly redesigning
 The Humble Bungalow Blog...

What resolutions are you making?


I hope that you will pop back in 2012.

Best wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White Wednesday and more...

It's White Wednesday today...
and I have not posted on this theme for ages.
While one might expect snow and all it's pure whiteness
we are experiencing a very torrential Wet Wednesday!

Here in The Humble Bungalow we love to give gifts
and at Christmas, especially to our children.
It's a habit that goes way back and one that gives us great joy.

The gifts needn't be expensive nor do they need to be new.

I love finding second hand Mid Century Modern pieces...
this year I was able to source
a Dansk teak tray,
a Festivo tall art glass candlestick,
a set for four vintage linen place mats and napkins in their original unopened package
a matte white Rosenthal embossed vase
a Catherine Holm black and white covered casserole dish.

Our adult children collect, live with, and use mid century furniture and accent pieces.

Look at these shiny sterling babies!

sterling hoops
white pashmina

they look like they were made for each other!

I love the elongated form
thank you son and DIL!

My sister gave me this soft and lovely Pashmina,
Mother received one as well
and Sis bought herself one too.
It will be funny when we all show up wearing them together on one of our lunches!

I snapped up this interesting vest in charcoal with black accents.
(like my sister and Mother I usually find one thing for myself)

Lovely daughter knows how much I love Vintage White Ironstone....

a trio of small oval platters

a jug

some hand crafted magnets...

a crown

lovely daughter is on an economy kick right now 
she found the most amazing treasures in her rounds
and those lucky enough to be recipients were thrilled!

I look quite tired here
and I am!

I find that after Christmas day and dinner it takes me a few days to rest up.
I am loving the Chanel Triomphal that I bought for evening
here it is making an appearance in the daylight
in an attempt to add some energy 
and colour.

Lip colour is the one of the quickest ways for me to perk up
besides drinking lots of Perrier.

What your Wednesday White or Wet?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OOTD and then it's leftover Turkey Tuesday...

As the Hostess and cook I like to wear cool "food friendly" attire.
(it's hot in the kitchen)

My Christmas OOTD was a sleeveless LBD with black beaded flowers,
charcoal hose and black slingback shoes.

A black apron protected me from splatters...
I added a little bit of bling just because I felt like it...

Rhinestone Sherman pin
circa 1960

The Humble Bungalow Christmas table....
set in black with some silver accents.

Plain and simple.

Pepper wanted to jump up on the table
 so we had to put her downstairs until dinner was finished!

On a walk in our neighbourhood
 we found some cedar cuttings
and I popped them into some matte white vintage pottery.

They sit on the window ledge above our sink.

I put the reindeer on the boughs
they were the centre piece
they looked lovely flickering in the candle light.

It's the Tuesday after Christmas and we have dined on turkey sandwiches with gravy dip...
decadent and tasty,
if it were not pouring rain I would have gone for a long long walk today.

We sat in front of the warm fire in the Bungalow living room and read books this evening.
There is such luxury in reading and relaxing.

The paper whites
 are pretty and perky 
and have shown no signs of wilting.

I, on the other hand, feel like crawling into bed early 
between the cool sateen sheets
cocooning with my book
sleeping long
to awake refreshed
ready to greet the day
with energy and an optimistic view.

I received the DVD 
"Midnight in Paris" 
and am keen to watch it.

Mr. HB gave me a Spa Package at my favourite hotel.
I am going to savour that gift...
Thanks darling!

I'd like to take a moment to thank you all 
for your gift of visiting me here in The Humble Bungalow.
I value your comments
and hope that you will keep coming back.

I hope that you have been enjoying your time with family and friends.

Happy Holidays
Sweet Dreams

Hugs from the Hostess

Friday, December 23, 2011

All is calm....all is bright...

The festive season is in full swing and for those of us who embrace family, friends and food we are happy.
We are content, that's it.
It's all we need.

Pepper is up to her tricks!

Perfection is unattainable and who really wants perfection?

I say let's dance and let the light shine on us as we weave our merry way....let's embrace the imperfect and accept life as it presents itself, foibles and all.

Joy is found everyday...

Hot water
indoor heat
food in the fridge
friends calling by
a good book
greetings from afar
clean sheets
a surprise visit from the best of the best...
a red headed star
the sweetest little munchkin that ever graced the Humble Bungalow....

We could never wish for anything better than to be in her company.

Happy Christmas!
I hope that you are all snug in the arms of those that you love and hold dear.

Best of the Season,

I would LOVE to share an image of the sweetest little angel with you as she gently lays her head on our shoulders and says "Meow" to Pepper, opens our cupboards and plays with her toys but I promised her parents that I would not post her image here....
I respect their perogative...
you'll just have to use your imagination!

Trust me, I do know a beauty when I see one!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shampoo Spa...a tonic.

A lazy start found me sipping tea in bed
the sun streaming in through the windows
with no definite plans...

What luxury!

It's been awhile since I have indulged in a professional facial and I thought my complexion looked liked it needed an intervention.
I got out my home spa potions and gave myself the royal treatment.

Microdermabrasion scrub which is gentle and safe enough to use on rosacea.
Moisten skin first
 portion out a small amount using a light hand
 move in small circular motions all over the face 
and don't forget the lips.

Rinse well and gently pat dry.

Mix Burt's Bees Mud Mask
with a little water and make a thick paste
sweep over face avoiding the eye area
let dry 5 -10 minutes and remove with warm water 
a dark coloured facecloth is needed for this job.
(as this has stained my white ones before!)

Mist face with water 
or use toner
then slather on moisturizer.
Do not apply make up 
let your skin breathe and glow in it's natural state.

The blood will have been flowing with this attention so you might be a wee bit pink.
Do not worry this is temporary and I have the same reaction when I go to the spa.

This scrub is divine!
(thank you DIL and son)
It sloughs off those unsightly bumps on elbows...
but I use it all over for a silky transformation.

Be careful to wipe out your tub or shower after 
as this product does make it slippery!

Now it's time to moisturize head to toe...
I love Shea body butter for it's luxe spa effect.

Wrap yourself up in a cozy robe...

The robe is not glamourous or chic
but it does have a soft plush feel and is so very cozy 
that I will wear it until it wears out!

It's a humble robe.

Hostess approved Aveda Shampure.

This wonderful shampoo washes my hair, all my cashmere and my brushes.

The middle brush is from Aveda 
the other two are so old I cannot remember where I got them...
I do know though that it pays to buy the best brushes that you can afford 
as they will last forever with the right care.
 (like great lingerie)

 free from product build up
now air drying in the sunshine.

Did you ever see that classic movie Shampoo?
I love it and will watch it anytime it's on TV.

Here's a montage of clips from the film...
there is some harsh language be warned before you go

Don't forget to keep hydrated throughout your in home spa day
pour sparkling water into a glass with a wedge or two of lemon for a refreshing drink.
Put it in a pretty glass, perhaps a champagne flute
your spa day should be a rich luxe experience 
one that soothes and rejuvenates
and restores.

During this busy festive season it makes sense to slow down.
Finding some time to pamper yourself 
which restores a sense of calm will go a long way toward
achieving a relaxed state of mind
which is much more attractive and chic than a tired and frazzled one!

Take care and be kind to yourself and to others.
Use gentle words and be mindful...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hostess gifts, OOTD and a recipe for mette!

When it comes to choosing Hostess gifts my favourites are:
natural beeswax candles
French milled soaps
white potted orchids
floral arrangements
olive oil and balsamic vinegar wrapped in a pretty tea towel
or occasionally a specific gift item that I know the hostess would love.
More often than not I give consumable gifts.

I love giving and receiving a thoughtful token of appreciation.

I was asked recently by mette, who writes the fabulous blog metscan if I could show her an easy recipe.
This one is for you mette, I hope that you'll enjoy it!

Chocolate Cranberry and Nut Bark

500 g good chocolate
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup nuts (I used almond slices)

Gently over medium heat melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring as it melts.
(I used the microwave)
Mix in cranberries and nuts and pour onto a foil lined baking sheet.
Chill in fridge until firm.
Remove from foil and break into pieces.
Store in a tin that you keep in a cold cupboard or the fridge.

My family love this bark!
I hope that you will too.

I indulge in small portions of chocolate as a little goes a long way.
I prefer to let this melt slowly in my mouth savouring the flavour.

Pepper the Fashion Police is giving these new walking shoes the once over...
they look rather serious
and they are sublime when it comes to support and comfort.

Not the most fashionable but they serve a purpose.
Josef Siebel does make great shoes...
 in my humble opinion 
they are expensive.

Thankfully I balance out cost with thrift.
Here's the Saks Fifth Avenue cardigan that I found for a song.

I am wearing it with dark denim Vanderbilt jeans 
(purchased on sale for under $40)
and my new shoes.

I'm adding my Eddie Bauer down jacket 
my cashmere scarf from ClubMonaco
as there is frost on the ground
the skies are brilliant blue
and the sun is shining 
can't wait to get outside!

Christmas is just around the corner...
I have only one gift left to buy
I'm meeting up with some of my besties for lunch this week
and need to pick up the free range organic turkey from the butcher 
and get fresh veggies and then I am done.

If you celebrate Christmas as I do
what is your favourite part?

For me it's friends, family and food.

Happy Holidays to you and yours...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Hostess is feathering the nest...

The Humble Bungalow gets a wee make over for the holidays.
Nothing drastic, just a few natural touches are brought in to play.

Paper Whites are blooming
sweetly scenting the kitchen.

An amaryllis stands tall on the Bungalow mantle in the living room.

Hosting the annual turkey feast for the family means a fancy dressed up table.
I like to change up the colour of the cloths and napkins.
This year I am using a black and silver theme.
The cloth and napkins are black,
the accents silver.

I needed some sparkle so I went shopping for some bits and bobs.

Reindeer votive holders will be placed in the centre of the table 
and I will find some fresh cut boughs to add a touch of green.

Some bling for the napkins!

Beaded rings will wrap the black napkins...
a touch of icy sparkles.
I'll take a photo when I have the table ready before the guests arrive and post it after Christmas.

I wore black leggings over a long black tunic top and the grey and black striped sweater
bow toed patent leather party flats

we were off to a brunch with friends
our hostess makes entertaining look effortless
she put on a sumptuous feast for 20 or more
(I didn't count)

We were greeted at the door by her husband 
who had Caesar's mixed up and ready to pour
we had one in our hands 
almost before he shut the door!

After mingling and chatting as everyone arrived our hostess laid the table with a colourful array of tasty food.
Quiches, fritttata's, ham, cheeses, bagels, greek yogurt, fruit salad, beans, artisan sausages
juice, coffee and tea.

It was a wonderful chance to socialize and a great way to jump start the holidays.
Thank you L!

Here's Pepper taking a break.
She is one of those cats that doesn't like to drink out of a bowl.
I might have mentioned this quirky habit of hers before on the blog.
She has been a bit naughty with the Christmas tree as she likes to sit underneath and bat at the baubles.

I am making rum balls today
here's the recipe if you want to try them.

Hope that your week is off to a great start.

Award from Sue at The Great Island.

Sue from The View from Great Island passed on an award to me today.
Thank you Sue!

This award is given to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.

The award has these stipulations:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your 5 blogger picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you have sent the award to will forward it to their favourite bloggers.

Here are the bloggers I'd like to hand this award on to---

Rebekah at Cupcake Caramel

Rosemary at Share My Garden

Belinda at Wild Acre

I hope that you'll pop over and visit these lovely ladies.
I visit them often.

Thanks again Sue for thinking of me and sending the award my way.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Family matters

Our annual traditional tree decorating Pizza Party was on Friday.

Our tiny  Charlie Brown Christmas tree was draped with vintage ornaments and glass garlands.

Vintage birds

German pine cones...
small glass baubles.

The littlest angel helped keep our spirits bright
her smiles and charms worked their magic.
She is the shiniest star in our lives.
We are so blessed.

Mr. HB's Mother had a fall and her caregiver thought that she needed to have an X-ray.

One phone call and
everything changes.....

Mr. HB spent the better part of his day sitting in the Emergency Ward waiting...
trying to keep his Mother calm and reassure her.

It's good that they went to the hospital because the X-ray showed a broken elbow.

We are getting advice from the orthopedic surgeon,
and await a consultation with her GP.
Surgery can be risky and  hospitalization will be somewhat unsettling for her as she is almost 94, likes familiar surroundings and a predicted routine.

I was at home preparing for our annual Family Tree Decorating Night while Mr. HB was with his MOM at the ER.
We had no inkling that her fall had been so serious.
I am so grateful that I could be kept updated by texting...
because my first reaction was to postpone the pizza party and rush up to help out...
it is so hard not knowing what's going on in a situation such as this one
and the waiting just escalates worry and fear.

The kids arrived and we ordered pizza and munched on appetizers until Mr. HB made it home.
The darling Miss Isla kept us entertained!
She had fun opening and closing the kitchen cupboards and taking out the contents and putting them back.
She repeated this many times and what a twinkle she had in her eyes...
she also left me a wee tomato lipped kiss mark on the glass at the front door
a sweet reminder that I will leave up for a few days because it brings me joy.

It's times like this that remind me of how grateful I am for our family and dear friends.

Friends and family really do matter.
hold tight
stay close
and hug often.


Wishing you a Happy and Joyful Weekend.