Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuscan Sun...a meagre wardrobe, and thoughts of Seattle.

One of my favourite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun
the cinematography is rich,
the scenery is beautiful,
the story wonderful.

I put myself into the story and imagine what it might be like if I were to live Frances Mayes' adventure in Tuscany.

After watching the film a few years ago I immediately got my hands on the novel by Frances Mayes.
The novel was devoured in record time and I was left craving red wine and pasta!

Little did I know that she had written a cookbook...
one of the year end gifts I received was this lovely book.
A big thank you goes out to my teaching partner!

Mr. HB loves short ribs so the first recipe I have prepared is Short Ribs Tuscan style!

Lucky that we own a vast Le Creuset ovenproof pot
the recipe filled this almost to the brim.

In a freshly cleaned oven 
the weight of the pot 
sagging racks
 contents are weighty.

The Humble Bungalow smells divine.

The windows inside the Humble Bungalow are all spotless and shining.
Now all we need is some sunshine to prove it!

I went through my meagre wardrobe and found a few pieces that needed further weeding.
I have been wearing the same few basics over and over.
It makes getting dressed fast and easy.

It surprises me that I do not mind having a minimalist wardrobe.
Would you be comfortable living with less?

Changing the idea of what constitutes a workable wardrobe has been a slow process.

is definitely working...
streamlined to the basic workhorses
add those brilliant accessories
seems to fit my simple lifestyle.

Black and white are the neutral basics left hanging in my closet.
There are some spaces that could be refilled which would inject some energy
and a splash of colour might be fun.
I plan to keep an open mind when I go shopping.
I have been avoiding the stores lately in preparation for the trip so it will be fun to see what they are showing.

I do "need" shoes
and I am not exaggerating!

Seattle will certainly have some shoes
and a few basics
as I need to replace some tees and tanks.

There's a new wheel on the Seattle waterfront 
which looks far too ambitious for either Mother or myself...
it looks a bit like the millennium wheel!
I think we'll do the Space Needle
and perhaps "ride the ducks!"

Summer often means a holiday...
tell me what are you planning
a stay cation
or a vacation?


  1. It's a great time to see the space needle! 50th anniversary and it is Galaxy Gold! (orange) We had brunch there not too long ago. Have a lovely trip!! We leave for an East Coast adventure soon. Also, must look for that cookbook. My Le Creuset is orange and I love to use it also :-)

    1. Oh then we have timed it well 50 years sounds like a good time to visit!

  2. WE've been away twice already but still hoping for a few days away in September. I must get my mitts on a Le Creuset casserole dish, I don't have one and want to make stews for autumn.

    I need more clothes! I cleared out a lot recently and didn't buy anything for a couple of years before that, I'm looking for more grown up, less tight less short clothing now.

    1. I really like Le Creuset..
      I get some serious weight lifting exercise in my kitchen!
      I am in agreement with you on less tight and not too short...
      check out my beef daube recipe on the blog
      it is comfort food for chilly days.

      Look at the tags to search...

  3. You picked such a fun color for your dutch oven. I have a Staub - wanted a fun color but the husband convinced me to select black. Sort of wish I had stuck to my guns when I see yours.

    We just returned from a big trip - so only little things on the horizon. I am taking my stepdaughter to Lake Tahoe next week for three days, then seeing my high school best friend in Las vegas for a couple of days in late July.

    As far as a small wardrobe goes, I go back and forth about that. My problem is I like to have choices lots of choices. I am such a mood-based dresser. At the same time, I don't like to have things I am luke warm about staring back at me from the closet. Ideally, I would have a mid-size wardrobe filled with clothes and accessories I truly adore. Oh, and that fit and flatter me. Wouldn't that be lovely?

    1. I should trade you ....I love black!
      The lime is fun though....

      Dressing for your mood sounds like a book project...
      are you up for that project?
      I read that you are looking for change and a book might be just what you need!

  4. Seem to spend most of my weekends in London,off again this weekend to watch tennis at Wimbledon.
    Have a loose plan to visit Holland in September then on to Paris for a few days.What have you planned for your Summer hols? Ida

  5. I loved the book "Under the Tuscan Sun". I recently saw the cookbook in the bookstore, but as it is too hot to turn the oven on I may wait till autumn to pick it up. I love Seattle. It is actually on our list of "may move there". Your style is always inspirational. Bonnie

    1. Bonnie Seattle is a very energetic city, the location is wonderful...
      I hope that you love coffee :-))

  6. I saw the movie and loved it. I want to live there.

    I may have to find the cookbook!

  7. Next week we go to the finger lakes in upstate New York, I'm looking forward to getting away.
    I don't think I am a minimalist wardrobe person, I have my edited regular closet, but my storage closet is another story. I love party dresses.
    I love the lime green Le Creuset. I have blue and orange. It's the best stuff!
    xo! Have fun in Seattle!

    1. Dani you have some amazing clothes. I always am impressed when I see your posts.
      I think a variety of colours in LeCreuset is the way to embrace cooking!

  8. Staying home this summer. Moved into a new home yesterday and my daughter is getting married this summer also - no time for traveling. Loved "Under the Tuscan Sun" and didn't know about the cookbook - thanks, will definitely be getting it. I don't think I'm a minimalist wardrobe person either, although I do dress in a sort of uniform, so I should be.

    1. Happy unpacking and decorating, I hope it goes smoothly.
      I am really excited that you are going to have a rose garden...
      roses can transform your garden.
      If I lived closer I'd bring you a huge bouquet and a bottle of bubbly to welcome you to your new home.

  9. Your dish looks divine.

    I enjoyed under the Tuscan sun. Our friends loved it so much they purchased a home in Cortona Italy. They now find it an effort travelling back and forth from the USA and I believe they are putting it on the market.
    I love clothing and variety and would not be considered a minimalist.
    We plan on a trip to Europe in the Autumn. Like my wardrobe I love variety and love travel.

    Have a great week

    Helen xx

    1. What a temptation...
      a property in Tuscany!
      Variety as they say, is the spice of life.

  10. I loved the book too!
    The self discipline you've imposed on yourself will make the shopping trip to Seattle all the more fun.
    I'm taking a solo, wandering trip around the UK, France and Belgium in September and I'm quite determined to do it with one carry-on bag. We'll see!

    1. Pondside your travels are not uncommon as I know quite a few women who have travelled solo on walking treks...
      there are so many great walks in the UK.
      I hope you will blog about your experience.

  11. You know by now that I favor as little clothes, accessories, etc., as possible. And in reality, I have only the essentials.
    It does not bother me to wear the same pieces over and over. And this is possible, if the items are of fine quality.
    With all my heart, I am encouraging you to follow the path, you have chosen.
    As for holidays - there are none, there have been none for too many years. This is bad, in the long run; I am fully aware of it.
    But the live of a entrepreneur is, what is it.
    However, living nearly " in the countryside ", is fulfilling, and I can always make a short visit somewhere.
    No shopping this summer ( I hope ).
    Just yesterday, I was asked, what material thing would I find hardest to depart from.
    There is nothing.
    The privilege to make my own decisions, is something I value most. If that were taken away from me, I believe, I would not be nothing..

    1. mette,
      You live honestly with beautiful things in your life.
      It sounds like you are grounded and secure with your life in the countryside.
      Being free to make decisions is the ultimate goal.
      Wishing you a very happy summer.

  12. P.S.
    The last sentence was supposed to be-----. there would not be anything.

  13. Hopefully, I will be in Cape Cod for a few days next week with family. Then some surgery which will be a forced stay-cation. I belong to a swim club and will be anxious to return. Trip to Ireland in the fall (first time). So being out of commission for awhile will be followed by a long awaited vacation. While home, I may try the 333 Project or at least try a very refined closet.

    1. I wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery. I hope that you've got some great books to entertain you while you recuperate.

  14. Hi Hostess! Thanks for leaving such nice comments on my reawakened blog!

    I'd love to be a minimalist, but I'm not organized enough ... with my luck, those perfect black pants will be at the dry cleaner's just when they're needed most.

    The short ribs sound great ... I usually cook James and Martha Villas's from My Mother's Southern Kitchen. I'd love an alternative. Do tell us how they turned out. (Even though Chicago is experiencing its fourth day of over 100 degrees, and I'd really rather curl up in a tub of ice cream.

    1. They were delicious Poppy!
      We had two meals and then some so this would make a great dish to make for company.
      Wow you are experiencing a heat wave...
      sounds like cold lemonade is needed!

  15. I forgot to mention that I bought my first piece of Le Creuset 40 years ago. Flame was the only color back then, and I still have my first Dutch oven. Have added to the group over the years and am thinking to mix up the colors some.

    1. Le Creuset lasts a long time...
      I've seen collections of all different shades and love how they look.
      I chose all chartreuse and have the fry pan, a wok, a smaller saucepan and the Dutch oven. I feel like my arms get a bit of weight training when I use them!

  16. I used to work for the architect who designed the Space Needle. I was head of Accounts Receivable. Our company designed the 100 foot level when I was working there.

    I am sure you must be going to Nordstrom. I like the one in Bellevue Square even better. I got a nice complement on my Halogen boyfriend sweater a couple of days ago. I bought a bright color because I have a lot of black, too. I just button three buttons in the middle.

    I can't believe the Space Needle is orange again. I get a kick out of it when they do that. It had my college's emblem on the top for a while when we gave more money to charity than the other state college. LOL It wasn't there for long. It is awkward having my school's mascot be a cougar. Lately it just doesn't feel the same saying, "I'm a cougar." :) I mostly say I went to WSU. LOL But not a lot in Seattle.

    Well, A trip to Seattle always gets me talking. Have a blast and kind wishes to your mom. :)


  17. Sheree,
    I had no idea that the Space Needle was having an anniversary!
    Mr. HB went to the World's Fir when it was on and he's been up to the top. I never have so it will be quite thrilling to see the panoramic views.

    You've got some great memories.
    Nordstrom is on the agenda and colour might be invited to join the black brigade!

    Do you live in Seattle?