Friday, June 29, 2012

OOTD among other things...

Do you love a dress in a pattern or a solid shade?
I am partial to black, black and more black.
It hides a multitude of sins.

Besides all my LBD's,
I have a couple of reliable patterned dresses which I can pop on
and in a flash be out the door.

One such dress has had oodles of wear and is still going strong,
 the pattern is a marriage of unlikely colours,
daubs of colour that look as if they have been splashed on by a paint brush.

I have owned this dress for several years
when I bought it it was on sale 
 the CPW (cost per wearing) 
down to just a few pennies!

I wore a Sherman pin that I've had for eons,
a co worker said it reminded her of a coral reef in Hawaii 
where she and her husband went scuba diving.

I used to wear brooches everyday
I think that was before I discovered scarves and when my only strand of pearls was a small faux pearl choker.
Change is the one constant...
preferring real to faux
I have very little in the way of jewelry.

I do love how fashion conscious younger women accessorize.
They are not afraid of taking risks and seem to have a sixth sense of what looks great.

Vickie is one amazing blogger and she is on the cutting edge of fashion

~ ~ ~

I will be opening this bag soon...

I purchased this as I have been seriously craving some crunch, sour and salt...
as the end of term closes I plan to indulge
(the first in over 2 months)
 naughty yes, but I feel I have more than earned them...

Poppy patterned Mikasa vase
I snatched it from the free pile from down the street
it's just waiting for some fresh cut flowers...
~ ~ ~
The cats have been racing around the bungalow
most of the time they are friendly.
Nose to nose greetings are common

Pepper has been keeping Chester in line when he gets too rambunctious
Chester likes to run full steam ahead, pounce and leap on Pepper's back...
a swat lets the little guy know he's out of line.
 ~ ~ ~
I have been arranging flowers for the year end ceremony this week
tick tock the term is coming to a close...
~ ~ ~


Who knows what the months will bring....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Go Big or Go Home...

It was an occasion of honour, one of our near and dear colleagues was hanging up her hat.
Taking her leave at 55 to travel the world with her husband of 35 years...
they are embarking on a trip of a lifetime and plan to do it in style.
We gathered to wish them bon voyage...

I watched from the wings and had a few moments of envy.
These two have invested in revenue property, paid off their mortgage, and saved their money.

A lively party was held in a heritage home filled with local art.
The gals on staff did the decorating, catering, serving and clean up.

I offered to do the flowers...
something I am able to contribute
and enjoy doing.
(don't even ask about the skit ~ let's just say I was the one wearing the silly costume!)

I use a very sturdy crystal wine bucket
so the flowers do not threaten to tip over.

dusty miller
lady's mantle

I build it big
work from all sides
bulking up with fillers like Lady's mantle
turning the vessel 
as the shape takes form.

I must apologize as it must be dead set boring
 to read and see these roses again...
feel free to 

 I never tire of roses
(no surprise!)

apricot and chartreuse
a lovely marriage of colour

There were lots of comments on the flowers
but I really didn't notice
my focus was on the happy couple
both embarking on their dreams
of travel and a life of adventure 
on the doorstep of their future.

Best wishes J and S.

This quote speaks to me

(I hail from some hearty Irish potato famine survivors)

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

~ Irish Blessing ~

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nature's antibiotic...Hail to Kale Caesar recipe included.

Did you know that garlic is Nature's antibiotic?
It can keep those blood sucking vampires at bay too...
We grew a crop this year and Mr. HB has harvested the crop and braided it for storage and easy access...

hung up to dry by the sink
I think it looks quite arty
perhaps even Italian

The simple Caesar salad recipe follows
substitute kale for the romaine.

Wash and spin dry a bunch of kale
remove the tough ribs and tear into bite size pieces
place in a salad bowl.

Our fundraising cookbook from 1992

I was the Parent Advisory President that year and we were fundraising crazy back then...
chocolate sales, fruit by the box, chicken breasts, cards and giftwrap, hot dog days, the annual Spring Fair
and let's not forget those evenings in the smoke filled cage of the local casino counting out money!

We bought a computer lab with 30 brand new state of the art Mac's
and we gave each classroom teacher $150 a year for incidentals and paid for fun days and field trips
as well as special events for the entire school to enjoy.

Those were the good old days 
when our children were young and we had masses of energy and time to share.

My cookbook is falling apart 
the kids have grown up and flown the nest.

It's just us and the cats now...

It's a wonder that I even get a blog post written...

someone is very sleepy...

I am so smitten with Chester
he is just a bundle of loveliness!

I have permission from our son Stewart to share an image that he took of their one and only garden rose...
and it's a stunner.

a song from one of my favourite all time movies...
have a listen and walk down memory lane with me.

Mr. HB and Mother are both down with a nasty cough and cold.
Apparently it is making the rounds and many people are home 
sidelined with boxes of tissues and cough syrup.

Nin Jiom 
is on the job in both our households...

Personally I think there is a better time to get a cold
that would be winter
no one likes to be sick come summer...

I do hope Mother rallies as we are planning to zip off to Seattle in July for some fun, food and shopping.

Hooray it's my last week of work until September!
I am delighted...

Hugs, health, and Happiness.
(and a Happy Birthday shout out to Natalie!)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday morning chit chat...

Lovely DIL and I hit the mall for her pre-birthday shopping last evening.
The weather was positively beastly so it was great to be under cover and the mall was quite quiet.
Two hours and a Starbucks latte later we had bagged a few bargains.

I found a new belt for summer season...
my other belt is from Olsen and I love it to bits.

it has a nautical safari vibe going on
~ ~ ~
African Queen meets Out of Africa
a belt that will be with me for a long time coming...

it very nearly was the belt that wasn't coming home with me
as it's tag had fallen off and the clerk had no idea how much it was so...
we scoured the displays, mannequins and shelves looking for another with a tag
and our search paid off for in the bottom of a wire bin lay another one with the tag!

a visit to the Clarins counter 
for the Wonder Perfect Mascara
and a bag full of samples
(I do love freebies)

I'll report on the mascara after a reasonable test drive.

Hail to Kale Salad 

Behold the magnificent Kale Caesar
it's delicious and so healthy.

I shared one with my sister when we all took Mother out for her birthday dinner,

I must get cracking as I have a busy day and the weekend is here 
it's a slew of domestics mixed with social events with friends.

If I don't say it often enough
I appreciate you stopping by and I do love to read your comments
 by sharing your thoughts you are expanding an ever growing network of friends
all gathered together in a remarkable cyberspace journey.

in gratitude
Your Humble Hostess
~ ~ ~

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Constance Spry...a pink scent~sation.

The wicked wind has pummeled the Constance Spry climber on the front pergola
and her petals are scattered along the front path.
Littered sadly and a few blooms were sheared straight off...
Never being one to waste the blooms I gathered up a few.

Constance Spry
a David Austen Rose

frothy pink

masses of petals wait to wilt atop the gravel path

just looking at this rose makes me feel calm

like a mound of pink sherbert

Looks good enough to eat!

I'm surprised that these tall foxgloves didn't get blown over in the storm.

Life has amped up to a rather frenzied and hectic pace these past few days and for the next few weeks will be more of the same...
so please bear with me as I go with the flow!

Chester and Pepper 
have had close encounters of the feline kind.
They are really interested in each other
and have been sniffing each other's noses.

Chasing and racing around the Bungalow
scatter rugs and carpets flying in their wake...

Pepper is never far from Chester's side,
she's behaving like a mother cat 
which must be instinctive because she has never had a litter of her own.

Chester has made himself right at home in The Humble Bungalow!
It's been just over two weeks since we adopted him and he already feels like family.

I cannot imagine our bungalow without a pet
it would feel so empty.
~ ~ ~
Adrienne has a new addition to her family
go over and meet Miss Twiggly she's adorable.

Hope that your week is ticking along nicely.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheap thrills...

Luxe comes with a high price and it always isn't the best bang for the buck.
Take cosmetics for example...
I feel that we might be paying for the name brand or the packaging, not necessarily the product.

I've done my own research by testing certain brands and comparing them with less expensive options.
For example...

Chanel lipstick and gloss
which cost about $32 each
(the shades are brilliant and the formula lasts a long time)
~ vs. ~

Revlon Shea Butter lipsticks
which retail for about $9 each

I found the lip butters to be much more hydrating
than the Chanel lip products
 (available in 20 great shades)

I have used Lancome Definicils mascara and Aveda's Mosscara
over the years and found both to be fabulous products.

My eyes are very sensitive so I need to be careful...
Consumers swear by Maybelline Great Lash mascara which is cheap as chips but it irritates my eyes.

I am looking to replace my mascara
and wondered about the new mascara 
Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara
apparently it does not contribute to lash loss
and mine are thinning.
($27 available locally at The Bay)
I'll be giving this one a test drive in the next few weeks.

My go to make up is organic Sun Defense by Eminence
it has sunscreen with an SPF of 30
goes on easily
with the built in brush

can be layered for more coverage if desired...
lasts about a year and costs around $60.

French scents 
cheap thrill on the left, luxe is on the right
~ both are lovely ~
(Durance) retails for about $20 (Hermes) $115

My skincare products are Avene from France.
I use their sensitive line and am really pleased with the quality and the results.
They are readily available here and are sold in drug stores.

What brands and products are you loyal to?
Do you splurge or skimp?
Spend or save?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Humble Egg, Saturday's roses and body image.

The Humble Bungalow stuffed eggs make the rounds.
It really mystifies me that these retro basics are requested for events and always gobbled up quickly.

They are simple, healthy and easy to prepare.
I've been making these for years and probably could make them with one hand tied behind my back.
Good thing too as I have my hands full with Chester these days.

I mix the hard boiled egg yolks with relish, mayonnaise, worchestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Mix well and fill the eggs, top with parsley, chill and serve.

The great thing about these stuffed eggs is that you can customize them to suit your palate.
Be creative and have some fun.

Joy is in tatters
(Ode to Joy)
Mr. HB gave this book to me when we were married
 it is a month short of 38 years old.

I wonder what the designer of this egg dish had in mind for the centre section.
I mix it up and often I place olives or cherry tomatoes in the middle.
Today it's a bed of parsley and a few thin slices of orange pepper.

A jolt of coffee has been brewed 
it's helping me to jump start this cloudy Saturday morning.
Molly Johnson is hosting the CBC radio 2 drive...
she's taking us on a trip down music memory lane.

The coffee is Drum Roaster from Cobble Hill
if you love a smooth tasty brew this is the ticket.
This mug was a gift from the student that I sponsored this year.
She shadowed me for 3 weeks and I wish her every success.
It heartens me when I see young women who are wise, capable, sensible
have patience and have realistic expectations of the special needs students.
In a few years I'll be retiring and it's good to know that our kids will be well looked after.

Saturday Roses
Climbing Royal Sunset

I'm Really Not a Waitress

I cannot believe that I need to return some Land's End clothes that I ordered...
they are too big.
I will reorder them in a smaller size.

Don't think that I am wasting away because I am a size 10-12
still register as overweight by the online BMI calculator.
I'm just whittling away at the middle section
which was making my clothes feel snug and uncomfortable.

Weight and body image are a mine field for many women...
perceptions, reflections
impressions, misconceptions
comfort, confidence

Life is such an interesting journey
it startles me often when I stop and reflect.

How we women never stop growing
how we are constantly reinventing ourselves
learning to love and be joyful in the now
the everyday simple things that keep ticking along 
whether we are fat or thin
tall or short 
pretty or plain
introverted or extroverted
 weak ~ strong
who will you choose to be?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Embrace the beauty that is within
you are an original....


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walkabout...and the California Cat connection...

I thought you might like to tag along on one of my walks...
the weather was a wee bit wet

misty and sprinkling
not wet enough to wear a hood or put up an umbrella...

fear not you won't get damp.

street tiles are disappearing

some quicker than others!

arts and crafts bungalows are frequent in our neighbourhood

gardeners are passionate around here
and the gardens are a feast for the eyes

granite pillars and stonework 
are popular

lovely flowers line the streets

some homes are larger

some smaller

some have been made into suites and condos

the evening was quiet
 I only met a handful of walkers and most had their dogs on a leash

this poppy stopped me in my tracks...
pretty and pink.

The Humble Bungalow is softly quiet
life is ticking along in time with the tick tock of the clock
night is drawing nigh and the street lights are aglow...

it's time to crawl under the warm duvet 
settle in for some luxurious slumber
sweet dreams

tomorrow is another day...
and Chester is an early riser
5:30 - 6:00

I found out that Chester is from sunny California...
he and his mom and his 7 or 8 siblings along with another mom and her large litter were 
rescued from 30 degree temperatures
near a freeway 
close to a cat shelter
they have hopped over the border and are looking for homes.

No Passports
are needed!

I am so happy that Chester has landed on his feet
so close to mine...

Chester drinks from the tap like Pepper does!

Don't get me started about not being responsible pet owners...
SPAY and NEUTER your animals.

Just in case you are wondering how the transition is going...
they were face to face tonight
a low growl from Pepper
a submissive hunker down from Chester.

They have their own spaces...
they are sneaking around.

Pepper has eaten most of Chester's dry food
Chester has tried to eat Pepper's food but the kibble is far too big!

Pepper has eaten gobs of Chester's wet food

They are co- mingle ing
all looks good so far....

if I get more than 6 hours sleep tonight I will consider myself lucky!

(as I type...Chester is on my lap and Pepper is a stones throw away)
wish me luck
I am very tired.....

I am seriously close to calling in sick...