Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween from The Humble Bungalow Hostess!

Loving the Orange  Pumpkins that are artfully arranged outside on Robson Street. 
The rain has just let up after two days of torrential downpour. 
My coat, bag and boots are drying out before we attempt another shopping expedition. 

The view from the 10th floor of our hotel...
More beautiful Orange Trees. 

I have been on a bit of a buying binge as I met up with a good friend and we had some jolly good fun shopping Robson and South Granville Streets. We enjoyed a fabulous healthy lunch at The Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe. Quinoa salad and a bowl of soup helped us recharge after dodging raindrops that fell with great fervour. We bought pretty cloth bags in the Gift Shoppe to protect our purchases, which were in damp paper bags that were threatening to disintegrate at any moment. 

The new iPhone 5S is getting quite the work out...I am snapping photos like mad!
Popped into Holt Renfrew and bought a new Kate Spade case  and some Diptyque candles. I couldn't decide between the two scents so Mr. HB said buy them both! 

I am using my IPad for this post and it is not as easy as I would have thought so please excuse me. 

Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. 🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Falling in love with nature but not in my wardrobe.

Fall colours are feeding my soul...
at every turn I see beauty.

A lush bush is vibrant with a riot of orange berries.

A gorgeous canopy of Autumn Leaves on a street in Oak Bay.

We move on to The Humble Bungalow Garden.

Jude the Obscure has bloomed all summer and now is offering up more roses and buds.

Hey Jude you must be a late bloomer!

Most of the other plants have decided to take a rest.
The garden is in transition.

The "bones" of the garden are showing through and it is a great time to enjoy the hardy grasses.

The Limelight Hydrangea's are fading...
but not before changing their floppy heads to pink.
Talk about turning heads!

This white hydrangea has turned pink too...
and the boxwood in the planter is turning amber.

One lone white bloom has popped out...another late bloomer.

Obviously it is "listening to a different drummer!"

McCartney rose is on the band wagon too...

A tardy limelight just coming into it's own...

A pot of yellow mums keeping the last of the geraniums company on the front porch.

The fruit bowl is empty and I need to go shopping...
I find it so much easier to shop for food than for clothing.

I think I am fussy...
fussy about fit
fussy about style
fussy about fabric 
fussy about the cost
fussy about how much I'll wear it.

My wardrobe could use a few new items to replace those tired well worn basics that I donated last spring.
I've found a great pair of Calvin Klein medium wash denim jeans. 
They are a slightly longer length and will be worn for dressier occasions with kitten heels.

I'm looking for some colourful ballet flats to add some oomph to my basic daytime look and hope to find them in Vancouver when we next visit.

The Colours of Fall are not infiltrating my wardrobe...

I eat colourful food, the brighter the better.

I'm still comfy and confident wearing neutrals.
Black and grey are the top stars.



I am blaming the cats and their mouse for my latest purchases!

Uniqlo tee in a blue grey shade.
A basic style that I love for layering in the cooler weather.
The fit is flattering and the weight of the top is just right.

On the days when I am not wearing  a tank top and a cashmere cardigan
I've been wearing down vests over these tees...

I've been smitten with grey sweaters.
 On a lazy morning, while sipping my tea, I went on a Pinterest binge hunting for chunky knit sweaters...
I pinned and I pinned and I pinned...
but that did not satisfy the urge to own one of my own.

I found this DEX sweater at our local Bay store for under $50.

I love the weight of the cozy.

I like the longer length in the back and the rolled up sleeves.
I'll be wearing this a lot with a cozy scarf wrapped around my neck.

Jeans and boots will complete the look.
~ It's my personal take on casual clothing ~

Retirement has it's schleppy moments and there is no dress code as such but one does need to keep up appearances.

I own some Yoga pants but no sweats...
I don't want to dress down just because I no longer work outside the home.

My after 5 wardrobe is small and as you might have guessed is mostly black!
I find that I can get by with several skirts and pretty tops and a few LBD's.

Most places that we go...
I have something in my closet that will work so that I am not panicked and muttering...
"I have NOTHING to WEAR!"

The cats are meowing for their dinner so I must close for now.
Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.
I hope you'll drop by again soon.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday Simple Supper for Six...and a Slow Soothing Sunday.

Today is Sunday and I am taking a bit of a break from "The Ugly Truth Series"
(the posts showing the radical transformation of Our Humble Bungalow.)

I posted this picture of succulents from The Deep Cove Chalet Garden on Instagram last week.
I absolutely love that succulents are drought tolerant.
 Are available in wide variety of shapes, colours and forms which add impact and interest to any space.

A walk about in Victoria's Chinatown would not be complete without a stroll through Fan Tan Alley...

or Fan Tan Gallery!
This shop is on my list of favourites...
full of 
lovely linens, soaps, pillows and things for the house.

Glorious colourful fruits and vegetables are out in front of the shops...
garden market style.

We hosted a dinner party this weekend for friends who have recently returned from various trips.
Morocco, France and Spain.

We served bubbly, red wine and lemon infused water.

Mr. HB put the fairy lights on...they stay up all year now, as was the tradition in his family.
His father would plug them in for family dinners and special occasions.

I went to the florist and brought home some white African Violets.
They are a humble, but very reliable plant, and they are not too expensive.

I splurged on a new Sophie Conran Portmeirion bowl.
This was labelled "The statement bowl."
I used it for our salad....but I can see it used as a pasta bowl as well.

On the menu...
Cambozola stuffed Grilled Figs wrapped in prosciutto 
(White Water Cooks At Home recipe prepared by one of our guests.)

I made a simple spinach and arugula salad with toasted pine nuts.
Tossed with a basic balsamic vinaigrette dressing and topped with a shaving of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Whisk together 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons good quality Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Makes enough dressing for a large salad.
You can halve the recipe for a smaller salad.

Home made Foccacia Bread served with oil and balsamic dip.

Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna 

Saute 1 large diced onion, several cloves of peeled garlic in a small amount of oil until soft.
Add 2 cups of sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
Remove from the casing and add in 1-2 pounds of Hot Italian sausage meat.

Add in a large can of San Marzano tomatoes and a can of tomato paste (or your favourite tomato sauce.)
 Season with Italian spices and red pepper taste.
 We like ours quite spicy!
Simmer for about 45 minutes and then layer fresh sheets of lasagna noodles and sauce with a layer of arugula and cottage cheese in the middle layer and top with another layer of noodle and sauce.
Top with grated mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour until bubbly and hot.
Remove foil and cook for another few minutes so chees topping melts and remove from oven.
Rest it for 10 minutes before cutting into serving portions.

We walked up a couple of blocks to our friend's home after dinner
where we watched a fabulous slide show of Morocco, France and Spain.
 We savoured a delicious pumpkin chiffon pie with tea and coffee before walking home.

This morning we got up bright and early after a late night...
and took the family out for Sunday brunch.
 When we started out the sun was shining over the Inner Harbour.

The sea was calm...
the grass green and the boats tied up snugly to the docks.

then the clouds moved in...

Torrential rain followed...
the wind whipped the sea and soon we have a stormy Sunday. 

I've been tidying up the blog roll as I realized that so many of the blogs I had linked to were no longer active.
It seems like there is a large wave of bloggers who are retiring...
many have opted to post on Instagram instead.
I see the appeal as it is quick and easy.

The Humble Bungalow Blog has been active since November of 2009 and the anniversary is coming up.
(I think I will host a giveaway in celebration of this event.)

The sun has just made another appearance and I plan to have a lazy afternoon sipping tea and catching up on my laundry and blog reading.

Be Well and Be Kind until next time...


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Ugly Truth ~ The Humble Bungalow Living room before and after

Renovation and restoration of our Humble Bungalow have kept Mr. HB and I busy for the better part of our "spare time" over the past 30 years...
The living room was a disaster when we moved in...
there was a big black stain on the carpet and the neighbours told us that a renter had changed the oil of his Harley Davidson in the living room....
maybe that's why renters often have a bad reputation!

We had wall to wall carpet installed in place of the stained carpet and knew this would be a temporary measure.
The front porch previously had been opened up and made a part of the living room.
Bungalows typically have porches so this was an unfortunate "muddle."
We made the best use of the space and then one year when we were on the train coming back from Palm Springs  visiting Mr. HB's parents' on their snowbird expedition we decided that we wanted to put the porch back 
despite the fact that it would make our living room tiny.


Fir wainscoting

Here you can see just how much space we are losing in order to restore the front porch
approximately 6 X 12 feet.
This wood window was made by Vintage Wood works 
you'll have to trust me when I say that it was an "investment" piece.
(Several thousand dollars and we got a deal!)

The wall backing onto the newly restored front porch....looking good!

These photos are old and we have had the Morris chairs reupholstered.
The wall to wall carpet is gone and has been replaced by area rugs.

We have a few more bits and bobs in the room now and you'll see when I post the next few images.

We are so comfortable sitting in our Humble Bungalow living room...
it is a great place to entertain.

Mr. HB did most of the work...
 I did do some of the painting, even though Mr. HB says that I am not "a very good painter!"
Good help is hard to find but the price was right!
(scary 80's hair)

More Ugly Truths to come...stay tuned.