Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anonymous rants and a day of beauty....

I am wondering why on the previous post anonymous at 11:33 felt the need to vent.
It's curious too that all the rude comments are signed anonymous...never a name to stand behind their words.
It's so easy to throw stones when one is invisible.

My blog voice has never been one that aspired to anything too serious...
"elevating the pedestrian to equestrian through Hermes scarves"
 should give the reader the notion that it is not a blog dedicated to frugality or that I am trying to change the world.

I am curious why the commenter thought that he or she might see pictures of our fair city here.
It's true that I randomly showcase a bit of the scenery but that is not a regular occurance.
I think that the reader must have stumbled here quite by accident.

I considered removing the ability for anonymous comments but decided against it.
This brought out some great support by readers who found the comment completely out of line and unfounded...and I must thank those readers who addressed this on the blog and those who emailed me privately.
You are so appreciated and I am very grateful!

Anonymous if you are reading, perhaps you would like to elaborate on your comments.
I would be happy to openly discuss your comments here on the blog.

I could not pass these pretty tulips by without taking a picture.
Do you think Mother Nature had a red brush in her hand when she made these blooms?

The boulevard on this quiet byway in Oak Bay has been planted with bluebells.
I stopped the car to take a picture...
the oak tree overhead cast it's shadow on the road.

I think the deer have been nibbling these tulips...
well we all have to eat.

I chose a Cobb Salad when Mother sister and I went to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel Pub for dinner.

It was delicious!

We went for a walk along McNeil Bay after dinner.
Mother told us that she wants her ashes scattered here when she passes on...
Father's ashes were scattered here 7 years ago, she showed us where she put them.
We were not invited to that farewell to Father.
Mother just up and decided that because she was his wife she would do it by herself.
 She never told my sister and I until after the fact.
We now know what is expected and she is working on her obituary for the newspaper.
She is thinking of her mortality more often these days...

Views to Trial Island and the Olympic Mountain range in Washington State.

Signage in Oak Bay is quite creative.

Talk about the dog whisperer!

Wild sweet peas...at least that's what we think they are...no scent to speak of but they look like they are related.

Grey lambswool beaded cardigan
white Coldwater Creek tank top
dark wash skinny jeans G21
Mee Too black ballet flats

I wore these to meet up with a reader from Salt Spring Island this afternoon.
We met up at Pure Vanilla and chatted for over an hour about books, gardens, blogs, travel and France!
It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with a lovely reader...
I think I will hop on the ferry and pop over and visit her before we take the boat over this summer.
I think that there is much to see and do by car and I would be delighted to visit her mediterranean styled garden.

Thank you A for taking the time to come across the pond and spend some time with me.
It was an honour to meet you!

Hope that your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Blah blah blah....blog.

Are there any new thoughts that I can type that would inject some excitement to The Humble Bungalow Blog?
Yawn...maybe I should make something up?
I am in a writer's funk and wonder what I can do to spice things up...
Do you ever get yourself in one of those moods?

It's like school when struggling and emergent writers are ready, pencil and paper poised to start and then realize that they are stuck...it's time for a story starter!
Those random few sentences that inspire and fuel the imagination...
"Leslie was sitting in her car when a police car sped by at top speed side swiping her Volvo estate with such force that her Starbucks coffee spilled all over her beautiful Hermes scarf!"

It's kind of weird for me...not having anything that I feel excited to write about...

Maybe I am ebbing low...like Springsteen sang "man I'm tired and bored with myself"

So here goes people...
I am attempting to cobble together a post with a cup of tea and a lemon shortbread cookie in my mouth.
Don't judge me too harshly if it is a crummy post!

I treated myself to some flowers...actually it's a limey shade of white hydrangea.
I'll keep it in the house for a bit and then plant it in the garden.

The morning light filtering through the blinds...

Love the size of these blooms.

Distressed and funky jardinere...
a freebie from the boulevard.
Someone has polished the silver so much that the base metal is showing through but I thought the pattern was nice.
I think it might be a Tudor Rose.

Our new DKNY coverlet on the master bedroom bed...
chrysanthemum like blooms stitched to form a pattern.
The cats seem to like it and one of them threw up on it within the first 30 minutes...
I was able to wash the spot and thankfully it did not stain.

I haven't seen Mother for over 3 weeks now and she tells me that she is feeling tired...
I have asked her to make an appointment with our GP and see if her B12 is low.
Perhaps it is her heart?
It's such a worry.
She says that she misses seeing me and I reassure her that I will see her as soon as the last of my cough has gone.
I do not want her getting ill with this nasty business.
I think it will be this week that we can arrange an outing...it is long overdue.

Lovely daughter and I had a delightful thrift shopping adventure this weekend.
She found some great vintage leather boots, some modernist Finnish glasses and we were able to buy her a retro sapphire ring which I might add is stunning.
See for yourself...

She has a great eye for design and manages to find quite a few bargains.
This was a wee extra gift as she just had her birthday and we have yet to celebrate due to illness.
I am looking forward to our dinner out and getting dressed up and enjoying a glass or two of bubbly.

In the meantime I am off to the nursery to buy some plants and perk up the deck and porch.
There is nothing like digging in the dirt and getting my hands dirty to perk things up.

What do you do to shake things up when you are in a funk?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Denim Love ~ or is it Lust?

How excited are you about your clothing purchases?
Do you get a wee bit of a rush when you find the perfect piece?
Or do you feel rather hum drum and so so when buying clothes?

Well I got really excited when my new Gap denim jacket arrived and I immediately put it on to find it fit perfectly and I love the lighter wash. I bought the Petite but in a large as I have some "considerations" up front that necessitate a bit more fabric and I do want to be able to close the jacket without it gaping.

Can you picture this with white jeans? a printed skirt? a black dress with sandals?
I can and am already imagining all the combinations possible with my current wardrobe.

Hermes scarf with a pop of red...
which reminds me I must replace those red ballet flats that wore out.

JCrew necklace gets two thumbs up.

Sherman brooch oh yes!

The jacket is soft and already distressed so my work is done people.
Now I just need to get out and wear it.

~ ~ ~

I've done the seasonal closet swap and tried on all my Spring and Summer clothes.
The good news is that there will be lots of room for clothes!
 The bad news is only two things fit!
Going from a size 14 to a 10 or 8 is exciting but it means that shopping is going to be very much on my agenda!
I have laundered and ironed all those too large items and have booked an appointment with the consignment shop in Oak Bay. I received several hundred dollars last season when I sold my clothes....it is not a lot of money but it will get me started as I need to replace the basics.

My walking partner and I are hosting a baby shower for a fabulous teacher friend who is expecting her first child in a few weeks.
It will be fun to see all the gals from work and catch up on all their news.
I had so much fun shopping for a baby gift!
Have you noticed how cute the baby clothes are these days?

What have you got planned for your weekend?
Hope you've got some time set aside for a wee bit of fun.

Thank you for stopping by...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring ~ Skincare, habits and tackling "the list."

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and well wishes during my recent bout of flu.
I am so glad that I am over it....and the weird thing, is that I had a flu shot earlier this year.

If you had told me that having a week "off" with nothing much to do but lay in bed would be "productive" I would have shrugged and shaken my head. I am not accustomed to lying around and find it quite a challenge.
Drowsy from cough and cold medication I managed to leaf through many magazines reading articles on everything from lingerie, lotions, sunscreen and shoes. My husband was willing to pop over to the market at my request and buy food, boxes of Kleenex and fashion magazines. Thank you Honey!
I discovered, as many of you already know, is that sunscreen is the most important anti aging product on the market. I have never found a sunscreen that worked well under my foundation and the brands that I tried were thick and often left a white residue...until now.

This formula is light and blends easily so there is no excuse not to use it every day.
Good 'cuz anti aging skin care is now up there on my radar.

I read that the second most important ant aging product is Retinol...
it has been scientifically proven to minimize wrinkles.

I thought that Retinol was too harsh for my skin until I read the latest Allure magazine.
ROC make a Retinol cream for night 
(which apparently is the best time to use it)
the ROC formulation has some "buffers" which make it gentle to use on the skin.
I am following the directions and using it every other night for 2 weeks to make sure my skin will not over react.

This is the extent of my invasive skin care action...no fillers, or Botox for the Hostess.
(I have had some IPL treatments for my rosacea in the past but they are expensive.)
I plan to book a microdermabrasion treatment in the next couple of weeks..

Moisturizer and hydration are both very important and I have always focused on these habits.
Drinking lots of water and using an emollient cream or serum to plump up the skin just seems like common sense.
I've just received L'Occitane's Divine Cream in the post, just in time as I am scraping the jar to get the last bit out!

I had lots of time to mull over focusing on a healthier regime.
There is always room to tweak one's diet, amp up weekly activity and add a new proven skin care product.
Eating. walking and skincare all things that I try to be mindful of and embrace.

The downside of being out of commission is that my stamina for walking the 5 K and 10 K routes have been reduced and so my pace is much slower and I am much more aware of fatigue.
Fortunately my walking partner is understanding so we are working up to my former speed.
So that's about it on the health front...

I like lists and use them regularly...
what I really love is crossing off the things as I complete them.

Not bad work!

Our mushroom coloured coverlet looks so shabby it's actually embarrassing.
How can things like this hover just under the radar without getting noticed?

 I zipped off to the newly opened Marshalls and found a suitable replacement.

The white towels were purchased online from Lands End at 30% off and will be arriving shortly.
The new shower curtains are installed and the old ones were bleached and will be ready when it is time to launder the new ones.

The Gap denim jacket should be here any day now and I need to spend a few moments on the phone with my day book so I can book those appointments.

The de-cluttering has started and I took a bag of things to Good Things Consignment in Oak Bay.
Stuff that just collects dust and offers no Joy is on it's way out of The Humble Bungalow!
I've declared war on dust.
Makes it easier to keep on top of the house work with fewer knick knacks.
Mr. HB likes it better this way too.

Re-arranging is a Spring time activity...
Our Pacific Northwest First Nations Baskets were moved about.

I've washed a few of the windows and am working in one room at a time.
But not trying to overdo things ~ I am pacing myself.

Going through my book shelf looking for titles to donate.
If I don't plan to re-read a book it needs to go to a new home.

I'm excited just thinking about how good it is going to feel to have reduced the clutter in The Humble Bungalow.

What Spring things are you doing in your home?
Are you doing a major clean or a total purge?

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Watch and Learn...

Do you like to learn new things?
Are you constantly seeking ways to stimulate your brain?
You know what they say use it or lose it!

We all are different when it comes to learning and so there are many ways to teach someting new.
I learn best by doing..."experiential learning" is important for me to do it to remember what I have learned.
Others can see something once and they've got it...I envy those gifted students.
Some learners require a multi pronged approach...a combination of reading, watching and doing...
and repeat these many times until the concept has been adopted.

Here are a couple of videos to encourage you to learn something new today.
The first video is on scarf tying... a subject near and dear to my heart!
Thank you to my friend D who shared it with me.
I've watched the video several times and have a few new ways to tie my scarves...I hope you will enjoy it too.

The second video is bit more fun than educational...but nevertheless I wanted to share it with you.
I linked to it several years ago but it still feels "current" after rewatching it this morning.
The Secrets of Style French Chic....

I hope to be back in action posting some new OOTD shots when I swap out my winter closet for my summer one.
I plan to walk over to the consignment shop today and see what they have in stock for Spring and Summer.
It's a sunny day and I feel motivated to dress a little lighter.

Is the sun shining where you are today?
What are you going to wear as you go about your day?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday...flower show.

There's a beautiful Anglican church located in the Metchosin area a few miles out of Victoria that every Easter time has the most spectacular display of native lilies and shooting stars.
The heritage Garry Oak meadow offers the best conditions for these wee native plants to thrive.
Mr. HB and I took a drive out to have a peek yesterday and I thought it fitting that I share the pictures with you.

"Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness."

~ Eckhart Tolle ~

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

You wouldn't want to go traipsing about in the garden though for fear of trampling the plants.
En masse they look quite stunning don't they?

"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."

~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~

Native garden flowers naturalize in areas undisturbed by the hand of man.

shooting stars


Camas and buttercups

In our Humble Bungalow Garden Spring blooms are popping up at every turn.
I look on Spring as a time of renewal in the garden.
An opportunity to edit, and perhaps to add some new specimens.

The Magnolia that we purchased last year is blooming.
I love the pure white waxy petals.

I love a hellebore and have had my eye on the new burgundy black variety.
They seem to sell out as soon as they arrive at the garden shops.
Gardeners love a new varietal, something different and unusual, we may be frugal when it comes to our plants but show us something new and radically different and we open our wallets wide!

These yellow lilies are naturalizing in various beds in the garden.

We enjoyed our first harvest from our asparagus bed.

Mr. HB assembled our new deck furniture this weekend.
This is where I hope to spend many hours sipping tea and reading.
We'll certainly want to have some comfy chairs to sit on after a day spent working in the garden.

The garden posts are going to pop up more frequently as the season progresses...
hope that you will enjoy seeing what our wee plot produces.

Hope that you are well and making the most of your weekend.
Happy Easter!