Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF and my newest scarf trick

Gosh I am so happy that it's Friday.
Nasty pain has been an unwelcome issue plaguing my upper back and neck.
I have had one massage and am scheduled for another one later today.
My masseuse has magic hands you'll have to trust me, she really is worth her weight in gold.

I think it must have been swimming laps at the pool that made these muscle seize and go into spasm.

I have been avoiding the computer and so there has been a lack on my part of commenting on the comments that you have so kindly left...
my shoulders seem to be up at my ears when I type so please accept my humble apologies...

In a magazine I was perusing I saw a new scarf trick which I liked very much because it felt less structured than my usual ties.
So I grabbed one of my Hermes scarves and simply tied in once and then on the second knot I didn't pull the end all the way through...

I'll pop a jacket over this and the scarf will add just a dash of colour
it will certainly say "rain rain go away"
and I hope it does!

The garden flowers are enjoying the moisture...

Last week when I went to the Spa 
(salt scrub, massage and wrap)
they offered me fresh fruit and yogurt 
tea and sparkling water.

Nibbling in the posh atmosphere wearing a plush white terry robe made me feel like royalty.
I did feel spoiled...
(thank you Santa!)

I have been indulging in French Vanilla Activia here in The Humble Bungalow
ever since...
I try to seize these snippets and savour them.

I wish you all a weekend with many moments of happiness and JOY!
Be Well.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Google format is changing...OOTD

I got a notice that Google was changing it's format in April and my style of learning is the experiential type so I have been practicing with this new layout and find that I prefer the former one.
It's not up to me what Blogger does I am just expressing my humble opinion for what it's worth.
Will anyone at Blogger care?
I doubt it!

Meanwhile things are ticking right along here in The Humble Bungalow.
The rain seems to be endless this week...

the view from my kitchen table this morning

I have hired a strong fellow to help me whip the garden into shape.
He has uncovered the patio which was overgrown with creeping thyme.
I must say that I like having help as he has cleaned up a big mess in two days.

The deer have been feasting on the tulips out in front of the Bungalow and I am not amused.
I know they need to dine but I am not providing a salad bar for them.
Short of digging up and moving all my bulbs I will just have to grin and bear it.

More of the garden views will follow on a sunny day.


Remember that shopping day at Superstore?
I purchased the blush pink tank top for $2.97 and this soft sweater for about $20.

I spoke with my BFF and she went shopping and bought lots of Joe Fresh stuff too.

For my job it makes so much sense to wear clothes that look good, are washable and do not cost the earth.

It's been eons since I have worn any pink but I am loving this combination.
The pearls are soft and glow...

that's about all that's happening here
I'll be back soon

 One of my readers is having some health issues and I 'd like for us to collectively send her some positive thoughts.
She and I were going to meet for tea and some thrift shopping this week but something showed up on an x-ray and her doctor is fast tracking her for a Cat Scan...
Be strong
be positive 
 entertain optimistic thoughts.
Thinking of you and please take care.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Let there be light....

The weekend was sunny and there was a feeling of lightness in the air.
Lawn mowers, people laughing, children playing, sounds heard while I got outside and busied myself in the garden.
The birds were singing non stop and I saw a pretty little yellow bird which I believe is a Common Yellowthroat.
The sunshine went a long way to perking up the spirit...

My muscles are sore and I am weary.
It's a good feeling that one earns and owns
knowing it's the reminder of a hard days work.

The light inside the bungalow was simply too bright to ignore.

the cross and olive crystal cake stand
came to life
reflected it's rays on the walls

it's the little things that make our daily round worthwhile
if I get too busy I often forget to pay attention
slowing down does have it's benefits

simple white vessel
a newly found vintage piece
light and shadow
play upon it's sleek finish

Pepper slept most of the day on our bed 
a south exposure means it's one of the sunniest rooms in the Bungalow.

It was a busy weekend and the time flew by...

Friday we dined at our favourite Italian restaurant with my sister and her husband and our daughter J
Saturday saw us hosting a BBQ 
with our lovely DIL, son and that super special little Miss Isla
grand daughter extraordinaire

Sunday was an at home day of domestics 
and gardening for me.

I laundered some winter woolens
the Lands End cashmere sweater really washes well and holds it shape...
 the gross grain ribbon on the inside of the buttons and button holes is brilliant
no wavy edges 
I used the zippered mesh delicates washing bag in my washer 
with cold wash and cold rinse
my sweater is as new.

Mr. HB was working hard "down under"
painting the newly renovated bathroom, hall and laundry room!
Sometime soon I'll post some more images of the reno
just in case you are curious we are using Benjamin Moore's
 "Simply White"

Are you watching Julian Fellowes Titanic series?
Life above deck ~ below deck...
IMO it's not as good as Downton Abbey but we are watching just the same.
Good news...
Mad Men is back!

We do not sit glued to the tube 24/7 we PVR and watch when it's convenient.

Thank you all for those positive and encouraging comments about my friend's husband and his recent diagnosis
I've been online doing some research and so has she.
I sent her a floral garden planter and I think it perked up her spirits.

Take care
Be Well.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pretty Tulips and then some sad news...

Did you know that Tulips stand up straighter if you place a copper penny in the vase?
Flowers arrived from a friend...
Lovely daughter popped the penny in the water and arranged the tulips.
Thanks darling!

My sister mentioned at her Garden Club, when introducing the guest speaker Des Kennedy,
 that "Viagra would make tulips stand at attention"
the audience snickered and whispered excitedly amongst themselves...
I wonder if this really works.
(I think some of the audience might have had access to some of those little blue pills!)

Tulips ~ Day 4 
still standing...

why not try the penny trick and see if it works for you.
Spring tulips are for sale and right now they are very cheap.
The Bungalow Hostess cannot be without them
as they raise my spirits until my garden flowers can take over.

Did I mention that our cleaning gal has returned?
We really missed her visits.
She's wonderful and I love what she does to help keep our Humble Bungalow looking presentable.
But I digress.

A friend who lives up island and I had lunch together and we were enjoying 
our food when she started to weep...
it seemed sudden and I was rather perplexed
what was moving her to tears?
as menopause affects us all so differently I didn't over react
(I can cry at the drop of a hat)
I offered her a tissue and waited...
she caught her breath, visibly shaken 
she told me her husband has been diagnosed with leukemia....
she said if you have to get leukemia get the kind my husband has 
CLL a type of chronic leukemia which has a longer time to develop
but it will get worse eventually and require treatment.
He may have 5 to 20 years before that happens
In the mean time he is scheduled for an MRI, a CAT scan, and various other tests...
they have quite the challenge ahead
and there are lots of friends who will help and be there to support them through this journey.
It's a shock for sure for all of us.

Life can be so fragile
it really shakes things up hearing of a loved one who is diagnosed with this wretched disease
and all I keep thinking is
"it's not fair"

Adele's CD 21 
has been getting a lot of play
 gorgeous and talented
she's perking things up here
I just cannot get enough of her sound...
in case you haven't heard 

I love that YOU come by 
and do me the honour of your company...
 an ordinary woman 
with a desire to write
about the mundane
 the serious
the simple things in life
learning to accept my limitations
moving forward
nudging closer to 60 
 feeling gratitude in every pore of my being
and possibly learning to be comfortable in my own skin one picture at a time.


Hug and hold tight someone you love today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Re ~ addressing denim with yellow and a lemon cake recipe by request.

I have had this Blue Willis Danish denim jacket for years.
It was an "investment piece" so I have never parted with it
but I must admit that it has not gotten out of the closet much...
until I rethought what I'd wear with it.

I found the scarf and thought that yellow would be a cheerful shade to pair with denim...
then I found a simple cotton U neck T ~ shirt
and it gave me a psychological boost.

Sure I'll still resort to my basic white tanks and Tees underneath the jacket 
and I'll probably wrap this scarf around my neck to perk them up.

I remembered that lovely daughter made these earrings for me several birthdays ago
and they are perfect with the scarf, T~ shirt and jacket.
I love how girly I feel when I put on dangly ear ornamentation.
It's an instant shot of feminine charm.

I bought some new foundation garments
think loads of lace...
you'll need to use your imagination!

I've decided that images of these will remain modestly hidden.
Valisere European Romantic Emotion and Bali 
bras and panties
in shades of white and ecru...
It was long overdue,
my favourite lingerie shop has closed it's doors
 as the English Gal who owned it retired.

I picked up my birthday freebie from Sephora.
Nice that some companies will still give away something for free.

Happy Birthday Sugar 
(lip treatment and gloss)
by Fresh

These are creamy and full of moisturizers.
Fresh is a familiar company name...
I was given the Fresh Brown Sugar Scrub a few Christmases ago and it has become a Hostess shower staple.
I love how fresh I feel after using the scrub. 
It gets my circulation revved up and my skins feels amazing and soft after using it.
(just remember to wipe the tub out after using it or someone's going to slip!)

I have been feeling rather sniffly lately.
My doctor thinks that I have developed allergies...
seasonal air born pollens are the likely culprits.

 Huge amount of empathy now for allergy sufferers...
really had no idea what a drag it would be to be sneezing and stuffed up round the clock.

My eyes have been puffy as a result
not a good look
 so I had to take action.

de ~ puffing roller to the rescue.

So far it's working...

if you suffer from seasonal allergies what have you discovered that helps keep the symptoms at bay?
Please share your thoughts and ideas 
I would love to hear what works for you as it may help me.

Donna asked for the lemon cake recipe 
the one I served at the recent "Tea in the Afternoon"

I have photographed the card and it can be enlarged by clicking on it...
I hope you'll enjoy it!

I used a larger spring form pan than suggested
because the first time I made this recipe it took much longer to cook!
so be prepared to cook it longer if you use the 9 inch pan.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Home cooking, a caterer's web launch and robots reading blogs!

Mr. HB is busy fixing up my laundry room and the basement
and to keep him going I have been indulging his palate with tasty dinners.

His new favourite is Giada's Chicken Cacciatore...

Served atop spaghetti noodles

Here's the method...
in pictures.

This made a lot so invite friends or family over
or be prepared to enjoy leftovers.
Mr. HB raved about this dish and he mentioned that he thought it was better the second evening!

BTW my friend Julie the talented caterer has her website up and running.
I have posted a picture on the side bar you can easily check it out by clicking on the picture.

Bon appetit!

Is anyone else frustrated with Blogger making me prove that "I am not a robot" when commenting on blogs?
I disabled that feature on my blog a long time ago
 and those were the days when one word was enough and now we are asked to type two!
I wonder if that has reduced the amount of comments on certain blogs.
Have your blog comments dwindled?

Why would a robot read blogs anyhow?
Blogger are you listening
or are you a robot?


The weather is not Springlike or warm 
and when I was away it snowed....
and that was during our Sun Salutations at the island Yoga class !

my Christmas cactus is blooming too...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Abkhazi Garden Pilgrimage

Oh I adore gardens of a certain age...
those that have great bones and mature plantings.
Historic Gardens of significance are few and far between in our neck of the woods.
One garden that never fails to inspire is the Abkhazi Gardens situated on a rocky plot of land in a Garry Oak meadow.
This space is such a gem and a favorite spot for a meander and a cup of tea.

A friend and I walked over and met for lunch in the tearoom before touring the magnificent grounds.

Lunch was a  delicious hot pot of Abkhazi Tea and salad Nicoise served on fine china in the sun filled living room that once was the home to Prince and Princess Abkhazi.

This garden will come alive in the next month when the  Rhododendrons and Azaleas bloom.
Here we see the "bones" of the garden.

The water feature or pond is home to two elderly turtles.

I have seen the turtles basking in the sunshine on a sunny day.

ancient and vast.

Terrace adjacent to the living room which serves as a tearoom.
The Land Conservancy owns and runs the garden and they are now serving breakfast as well as tea and lunch.

On a warm sunny afternoon this spot is a lovely place to spend time.
It's an oasis of loveliness.

The terrain is rocky and there are many levels
the paths lead the visitor on...
and there are many spots to sit and observe.

The Hellebores were putting on quite a show for us.

a simple euphorbia looks bright against the rocks

creeping plants hug the rocks and grow in very little soil

A rare Tasmanian bush with purple seed pods
the volunteer opened one up to show us 

She gave me several and I am going to try and grow one.
I'll need lots of luck as I do not have a knack with seeds.

The day we chose to wander the grounds started out as a sunny one but quickly turned grey and overcast.
You'll have to trust me when I tell you how amazing this place really is 
as the images that I have taken really do not do it justice.

I posted about this magical place a few years ago and you can see it here in full bloom.

Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls:  
all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, 
seductive surprises and then still more curves. 
 ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

Must run along as I am busy busy
going on a wee adventure

I'll be back soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tea in the afternoon...

Invite a dozen women
prepare some simple trays of fruit
make stuffed eggs
bake a lemon cake
buy some pretty pink roses and napkins
set the table with flowery patterned  china
boil the kettle
and make the tea...

Lavender Rose China by Royal Albert
Silvery Lace silverware by Rogers

The eggs stayed in the fridge until the first guest arrived
by gosh they were popular
I made a dozen eggs which when halved and stuffed made 24
they are so retro and I make them often because people seem to love them.

fresh fruit
even ladies who diet indulge...

in the "powder room"

just because...

salmon top
black tights
ballet flats

an easy outfit to move about while serving tea

now try to get a word in edgewise 
when you've invited a dozen women to tea!

It must have been a success because they came at 2:00 and left at 5:00.

Let's get this weekend rolling...