Sunday, December 30, 2012

THe Humble Bungalow makeover...

It's been about a year since we embarked on a major restoration and renovation
of the lower level of The Humble Bungalow.
It's been a labour of love and a long and arduous undertaking.
Time, energy, sub-trades and money...not necessarily in that order.

Mr. HB has the design sense and vision, I had a desire for a more finished space, something that was not a basement as such. A bright light place where I could be comfortable while accomplishing domestic chores like washing and ironing.

There are two other rooms already finished that are functioning as a guest room and a hobby room. (where I dabble in paints)

Please understand that we have not put all the finishing touches on the space just yet.
There will be some more "decorating" or "feathering the nest"items as we find things and are in no rush.
At the moment I am considering painting a few more rose paintings and hanging them
above the washer and dryer.

back entrance
laundry area

washer and dryer set
I am contemplating a shelf or future paintings
for the wall above the LG workhorses.

view at bottom of the stairs
in laundry area

zinc bucket for flowers cut from the garden
basket for leafy greens
colander for rinsing beets and potatoes from the veggie patch
bowl for rinsed produce

all handy waiting for next summer's bounty

hallway to guest room at the end
hobby room on the left at the end
storage area on the right at the end
bathroom on the right

storage area
awaiting organization

I am so delighted with the full length mirror



black and white
keeping things simple and understated
employing the rough edges
the imperfect 
not trying to be anything but honest.

I hope you've enjoyed our wee tour...
this small home shelters and helps to keep us happy and cozy.

Have a great New Year!
Hugs from The Hostess

Friday, December 28, 2012

OOTD...dressing up for domestics!

This Christmas I received a fabulous JCrew necklace from my son and his lovely wife...
thank you my sweets.

You might remember that when I went shopping to the mall before Christmas I found a GAP tee top that was sprinkled with sequins. My DIL encouraged me to splurge and buy it, she also suggested that I could wear it watching TV. I wore it Christmas Eve to an open house where I was with close friends and family.

It's a whimsical foray into FUN.
One that pushes that proverbial fashion envelope a bit when one takes into account my age.
I never want to look dowdy or frumpy, it's a bit of a concern and one that I hope I'll always have the good sense to "know" what is too "Mummsie."

On the opposite side of the scale...
I hope that I do not look like I am dressing "too young."
I wonder what The Fashion Police would have to say on this number.
They may chime in and report if they are not on holidays...

 JCrew and GAP paired together to make my domestic duties more of an event.

worn with basic LuLuLemon black yoga pants

they go with the graphite grey LG machines

my feet are cold though 
as the in floor heat needs to have the electrician install the thermostat
soon I'll have warm toes!

I'll check in with you later as I am working on a renovation post.
All is not yet complete but we are nearly finished.
It's been a long haul and we have worked very hard.
It's such a wonderful space now.

I am like a dizzy little school girl
wanting to do laundry at every opportunity
I washed and ironed my husbands work shirts!
( we've been sending them out for ages )

Are you keeping well?
There are some nasty bugs out there and many family and friends are bed ridden.
Take care.

What fashion styles give you energy?
The kind of energy that one needs to perk you up when "down in the dumps"
 sick or tired.

I'd love to know.
~ ~ ~

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Domestic Bliss!

Hope that you have been enjoying an idyllic festive season.
It's been very busy busy busy here in The Humble Bungalow and I needed a "slow-mo day" today.

That meant staying in my robe until just before noon...
the second load of Christmas china in the dishwasher, washing and ironing the table cloth and napkins.
I know it's all the glamour around here 24/7...
seriously, our lives are so very ordinary it's absurd.

I am having such fun with the new Steam Turbo series LG workhorses...
they work very well unsupervised.

Look away if you are expecting a fashion post,
I am wearing my cooking uniform, a black apron
with my holiday bling Club Monaco earrings!

I am on the IPAD learning curve
an IPAD mini was in the bottom of my stocking
and my IMAC needs to get with the program
Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard...

I am able to play games, search the internet but not able to sync my new device...
(don't fret)

Did I ever mention that I am tech challenged?
I want it and I want it now!

Clever son,
darling daughter, 
Mr. HB 
are my tech supports.

Thanks guys, 
I love you lots :-)

~ ~ ~

Mr. HB and I went for an invigorating and refreshing post turkey trot
on the waterfront for an hour today,
it was loverly.

More of those brisk promenades in my future as I am going to be getting fitter
retirement plans are scheduled for this June...
I desperately need to get back into shape as I have let my team down.
I know
 I had the best intentions but I have been remiss.

~ ~ ~

Chester had an appetite for the tulips.
He was banished to my hobby room for the better part of Christmas Day.
Tulips might be poisonous for kittens.

Will be back when my technical challenges can be rectified.

Happy Days my lovelies.

Be Kind

See you as soon as we can get the technical stuff sorted,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It's the festive season!
I am nearly ready to host the family for our annual holiday feast.
I've got a few things left to get done...
so I am going to walk away from my laptop for a bit and put on my apron, roll up my sleeves and get busy in the kitchen.
Christmas music playing on the radio and all is calm...

I want to let you know how much I appreciate your comments and emails.
They connect me to you in a warm and fuzzy way and honestly they often are the highlight of my days.

The Bungalow is decorated in a simple green fashion...

The wee Charlie Brown tree
white lights and vintage ornaments.

Vintage wee pine cone baubles 
and glass garlands.
~ ~ ~

Wishing you a Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
The Hostess of The Humble Bungalow

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Baby!

Christmas came early to The Humble Bungalow.
Santa has delivered some pretty nice gifts with the Hostess in mind...
Thank you Santa!
Our renovation is almost finished and the rest is mostly decorating and reorganizing the storage areas.

This has been what I have been living like for about 2 weeks....
it's not our usual bathroom look.

Welcome to the new Humble Bungalow workhorses
LG steam machines

They are heavy duty so I can wash our duvets and covers instead of sending them out.
They are lined in stainless steel and are very quiet.
Nothing like my ancient ones which sounded like a 747 landing!

We are so pleased so be able to start putting things back in order.
We'll work at this over the holidays in between hosting Christmas dinner and attending a few social events.

When all is in place I'll do a post on the various improvements.

It's a very busy time for me as I am sure it is for many of you
 I have a few things left to purchase and wrap
and shop for all the food needed to put our annual Turkey dinner on the table.

So I must keep this post very brief
I need to pop by and check in with the blogs I follow as I have been offline for a couple of days.

Enjoy your weekend
Be calm and don't forget to smile.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Cat in the Hat!

I've got a new hat (I'll show you later in this post)
which I wore when we went to see the Christmas lights at Butchart Gardens.
If you have never been to the Gardens it is a must see if you ever get to visit our fair city.

Butchart Gardens Christmas display December 2012
(picture courtesy of lovely daughter using her "fancy pants" camera)

(lovely daughter's image)
~ ~ ~
the rest of the pictures are mine
~ ~ ~
the lights are spectacular
there is also a carousel
an ice skating rink

thousands of lights are wound around the trees
I particularly like the white ones

they look so crisp silhouetted against the dark night sky

The Twelve Days of Christmas are on display
here are the "Three French Hens"
you can see the Eiffel Tower in the back!

The Gardens have been open since the 1920's
please visit at any time of year you won't be disappointed 
there is a fabulous restaurant
The Blue Poppy
which has amazing high teas and delicious dinners.

It was a chilly weeknight evening 
but there was not a breath of wind and there was no rain so it was a perfect time to wander about
I wore my Lands End down coat, leather boots, leggings and my black Lands End cashmere sweater
I wore wool gloves and a new hat.

The hat has a feline flair...
it's an animal print
snow leopard perhaps?
soft wool and angora
cozy and warm
can you say MEOW?

The Cat is in The Hat!

Wearing my new hat 
with my 
wear them everyday 
diamond studs.

I embrace our festive Christmas traditions 
and am always on the look out for more meaningful ways to mark the holidays
with family and friends.

What are your Christmas or Holiday traditions?
Have they been passed on for generations or did they become tradition in recent years?

What is the silliest tradition that you have?

~ ~ ~
Hope that you are keeping your cool this season
there are tempers flaring at every turn 
as evidenced by erratic drivers
cranky pushy people in line up
rude comments made by the stressed and impatient shoppers.

Let's try and be calm and collected shall we?
There is nothing attractive when losing one's manners in public!

If you need to vent...
try singing Christmas carols in the shower at the top of your lungs!

~ ~ ~


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Standing in line...

I've found myself standing in line quite a bit lately.
It's a busy time of year at the post office, bakery and the small shops.

In the line up at the bakery an elderly gent was dressed so fine that I did a double take.
He had a grey wool coat which must have been cashmere and a jaunty plaid scarf red, black and white on a grey background. His black shoes were shined and smart. He had snow white hair and a sparkle in his eye.
He was very animated and chatted with the clerks as he bought a loaf of bread and some scones.

The woman behind him was overdressed in my opinion...she looked like she was trying too hard to impress.
She obviously had money as she was wearing designer duds head to toe.
Coach bag and shoes and a Burberry coat and scarf. She was in a hurry and was rather inpatient with the clerk which made others in line up roll their eyes. She bought quite a few pastries and sticky buns. When she turned around I could see how pretty she was...soft features and on her lips she wore a deep shade of crimson but she had an air of sadness about her, perhaps she was grieving.

The woman directly in front of me had 3 kids in tow, all in private school uniforms, jumping up and down like Jack rabbits. She was buying them after school treats. I thought she looked amazing...simple denim jeans, a red cardigan, her hair pulled back into a pony tail, huge pearl studs a simple wallet and her car keys. She looked too young to have children of this age.
(I wonder how she tends to her complexion, whatever she does it's working.)

I was next in line and having rather an "off day" I was tired and had not taken much care with my choice of clothes as I ran out the door before the bakery closed. I had on LuLu black capri length Yoga pants, a pair of teal Ben Simons, and my black puffy down coat, a grey scarf and my hair was a mass of tangles from the wind.
I'd even forgotten to put on lipstick...

Thinking to myself as I studied the customers while I waited ~
I wondered what ~ or if people even looked at me...
and if they did what would they be thinking!

I should have done what Mother would have...
which would be 
dress your best even if you are going down in the elevator to the lobby to pick up the post!

I am so glad I didn't let Mother see me that day!

~ ~ ~

Take care

Do you strike up a conversation with strangers while waiting in line
or are you an observer?

~ ~ ~

My heart is heavy after hearing about the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.
It is all just too horrible to imagine...
question on my lips is why?
I'll never understand it.

Friday, December 14, 2012


It's the festive season
a time to get dressed up and I'm opting for some major bling.
Pushing the fashion envelope just a wee bit in the spirit of FUN!
Glittering, sparkling and twinkling all the way...

silver shimmer


the marriage of heather grey and silver
a pleasant palette
with a  twist

a top 
from the 

if this doesn't say BLING I don't know what does...

and that's not all...
lovely DIL and I both bought some chandelier earrings from Club Monaco
(we were shopping together at the Mall for gifts last weekend)

Hostess style faux fun
they will reflect the light when the candles are glowing

icy crystals

~ ~ ~

I'm thinking of wearing these at Christmas and on New Years Eve.

In case you were thinking that's a major overdose of bling and have your hand poised to call The Fashion Police 
rest assured I would not do double duty
by wearing the top and the earrings at the same time.

What are you planning to wear for the holidays?
Have you got something in your closet or do you need to pick up a little something?

Will you be choosing classic or conservative
Bohemian or Chic?

I'm all ears
(and they are dressed up for the holidays!)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Signs of the Season

Decorating The Humble Bungalow...
is rather simple.

We never have gone overboard and I often wonder why.
I suppose keeping things simple and stress free is what's behind our minimalist philosophy.
I love seeing beautifully decorated homes at Christmas and often go on the annual Art Gallery fundraiser which showcases homes dressed to the nines.

We will have a live tree in the "Charlie Brown Style" and decorate it with vintage ornaments that we have collected over the past 40 years but that happens very close to Christmas Eve.

We tend to opt for natural flourishes rather than the artificial.

I will be purchasing some red twigs with red berries or rose hips to add to the greenery...
maybe some variegated holly but I haven't found an abundance of it in my travels yet.
My BFF told me of a new shop that has opened up and I am planning to pay them a visit this weekend.

Cones collected from the heritage trees in the cemetery after a gale force storm.


Arts and Crafts Weller jardinere

The traditional wreath
hanging on the newly crafted door which is in the same style as the 100 year old one which delaminated.
As we are a designated heritage home we need to maintain in the original style all the exterior details.
I have used a plastic suction cup on the glass to hang it from as Mr. HB did not want to put any holes in the wood.

Chester broke off a stem from the poinsettia (!)
so I added it with some dusty miller and made a bathroom posy.

They don't look too naughty right now...
when we have the tree decorating I am sure that they will be up to their usual tricks!

Hope that your week is off to a great start.

Be Well, Be Kind and Be Lovely!