Friday, April 24, 2015

Au revoir...

The Hostess of The Humble Bungalow Blog is on vacation!

The adventure starts here...

I think I'm ready...

I'm taking the plunge to boldly go beyond my usual comfort zone...

I'm taking off...

I've sipped many cups of tea sitting here in the peace and quiet of the Humble Bungalow contemplating
 this "once in a lifetime" adventure.

The Gardens here in Victoria are at their best in the Spring.
I'll miss visiting the glorious beauty of The Abkhazi Gardens...
but there will be The Tuileries...The Luxembourg Gardens and Versailles!
I hope to see The Rodin and Giverny and many more parks in Paris...

I cannot believe I will actually be in Paris.

I'll be nibbling on pastries...cheeses and sipping wine.

I'll be walking many many kilometers each day exploring and seeing the sights.

Springtime in Paris....

There will be beauty at every turn...
I will make it my goal to take note and capture these moments.

Being in the moment...present to receive nature's gifts.

Paying attention...

It will be wonderful to be in the City of Light...
they say that there is a glow about Paris.

So dear readers and friends...
I'll say au revoir for now.

If all goes according to plan I'll be back in a few weeks.
They say that Paris changes you...
I cannot even imagine it.
But soon
I'll know.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

White Wednesday ~ 4 more sleeps.

It's almost Wednesday and I thought I'd put together a White Wednesday post from Our Humble Bungalow...
something to distract me from watching the clock and counting the days as I prepare / wait for my departure.
I haven't flown in years so I might be a White Knuckle flier...

Antique knife set with silver and Mother of Pearl handles snug in their velvet lined box.

I love the intricate carved details of these pretty knives.
They are perfect for an afternoon tea party when serving scones and jam or a Victoria Sponge cake.

Cuisinart enamelled Dutch oven ~ inside simmering Lidia Bastianich's recipe for meatballs and spaghetti sauce.

I love Jane Cumberbatch's book, her simple approach to home decor is so fresh.
It's so different from how we live here in our bungalow with dark wood walls, beams and floors.

Pepper is back to her usual tricks and is gobbling her food.
She's been super social with us and has been keeping Chester in line.
So grateful to our veterinary team who gave her all the diagnostics she needed and the extra TLC.
The phone has been ringing every couple of days checking in to inquire about her well being.

Primulas are a reliable and hardy perennial in the garden borders.
They are putting on a great showing right now.

Hellebores are another stalwart...and they self seed so you can share them with friends and neighbours.
The Victoria Horticultural Society's motto is Show What You Grow and Share What You Know.
Green thumbs like to mingle together in groups with like minded growers.
Hence the popularity of Garden Clubs.
If you love to garden you will enjoy the club atmosphere with speakers, slides, the lending library, discounts at the local garden centres, the bus trips and the plant sale table.
(with almost free plants)

The lily of the valley is blooming...
the fragrance is heady and intoxicating.

Not sure which scarf / scarves to take with me...
 if I only take one I might have room in may case for a few new ones.

The weather forecast says it will be cooler and rainy next week so I might need to pack a cashmere sweater and swap it for the light mesh one.
I might pack my Barbour jacket instead of the vest and layer it under my rain coat.

Will be fun to observe Chic French Femmes...
I've read so much about how well dressed the women are and that the cut and style of their clothes is perfection.

Over the years I've read hundreds of books on Paris and France
history, fashion, love stories, relocation journals, fiction...
and many wonderful and informative French lifestyle bloggers.
Here are a few for you to enjoy...

I'm not sure that I will be "prepared"
for the emotional feeling that will experience by actually "being there."
(Ready or not here I come!)

"Paris is always a good idea."

~ Audrey Hepburn ~

Au revoir!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pepper update and some ParisTravel Notes...

Ah I can breathe a sigh of relief as Pepper our beloved cat has turned the corner and is on the road to recovery!
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and kind comments and emails...they mean a lot to me.

The Paris Planning File is bulging with papers, there are lists of things to see and do, clothes to pack and detailed information and the itinerary for the trip.
Pages of historic sites, museums, restaurants and shops that have been recommended by friends and guide books.
I can hardly wait to be sitting in a cafe,
sipping a beverage looking out onto the boulevard watching Parisians go by.

I've got to keep my carry on and my personal accessory to a 26 pound maximum so I'll be packing light and weighing everything before I go to the airport. I do not want a last minute unpacking and repacking fiasco.

I read this awhile back and am skim reading it again just to familiarize myself with some of the highlights.
This week I have hair, manicure and pedicure appointments booked and several bon voyage dinners out!
I've let my hair grow out a bit and am hoping my stylist can shape it into a shortish bob.

I've purchased an adaptor for the French plugs so my Iphone. IPad, and Canon camera battery pack can recharge.
We found an instant charger which was reasonably priced and can be used in a pinch.

Euro's have been ordered at the bank.
Small travel sizes of toiletries and skin care products are set aside ready to pack.
The carry on is sitting on the guest room bed empty just waiting for the contents.
I figured out how to set the lock on the case...
A You Tube tutorial helped!

I'll be writing in a travel journal each day so that I can remember the details when I get home and I will be able to refer to it years later. I did the same when Mr. HB and I went to Pasadena and LA...
I also recorded the details of our San Francisco trip...
(Mr. HB is in charge of writing up the days activities in the log book aboard our boat.)

A dear friend gave me this cheery red journal to record the details of my trip.
It is specifically designed for travel notes...
it even has a section at the back to record expenditures!

I'll be taking 14 basic items.

Vera Moda black and white striped dress
black skirt
 Eileen Fisher black pants
Gap Breton striped long sleeved top
Eileen Fisher black linen long sleeved top
 Wooden Ships black sweater 
 Barbour black quilted vest
 Lands' End cream and black tank tops
Uniqlo cream silk blouse
cream mesh pullover
Talbots black and white striped cotton cardigan style jacket 
Banana Republic jeans
Style and Co. light weight black jacket

silk robe and nightgown
underwear, hose, socks
beret, various scarves
short boots
walking shoes 

I'll be wearing my watch and pearls.
The small silk twill square is an easy accent piece.

I've been glued to the Weather Channel and the weather has been HOT in Paris!

Oh and the adventure is about to begin...
pinch me and tell me I am not dreaming!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dressing tactics...I wear red when I need energy ~ Saturday OOTD.

Some days one just needs a influx of energy when the physical and mental stores are depleted.
A day dawns when the kick of a coffee is not enough...

My cream in coffee habit has been replaced by foamed milk...
which is win win as there are fewer WW points and it's a fancy way to start the day.
I purchased an electric foam gadget at Starbucks and use 1% milk in it.
So easy and so delicious!
(you can see the base of it to the right of the microwave)

Our Humble Bungalow is bathed in warm sunshine this morning....
 we await word from the vet who is doing more diagnostics on our cat Pepper.
 Who by the way is celebrating her 5th birthday today.

Our lovely daughter is celebrating her birthday today...
Mr. HB's mother will be 97 today.
There are other grandchildren and great grandchildren celebrating an April 18th birthday.

When my energy is ebbing low I dress for comfort.
Opt for cozy worn in "boyfriend" jeans DKNY, a soft Tee shirt Gap, and some ballet flats Lands' End...
this will be my OOTD.

I grab my red shoes...wearing red shoes always puts a smile on my face and a little bounce in my step.

 I was out in Brentwood Bay yesterday delivering the cat to the hospital 
I perused some shops and found a new dress and belt...

Vero Moda dress
Jacob leather belt

This is an easy casual outfit and is super comfy for running errands, lunching with the ladies.
 Or perhaps strolling along the Seine...wandering on the cobblestones of the Latin Quarter or sauntering through the Luxembourg Gardens.

Hope you are having a lovely day.

I can hardly believe it but I'll be in Paris next week!!!
Ooh La La!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Retail therapy ~ a date with darling daughter, my favourite fashion advisor.

Life is handing us out some stressful days...
the kind of days where tension manifests itself in painful knots in the upper back and shoulders.

Pepper our elder cat is still not well despite the meds and it looks like surgery is imminent.
More tests, X-rays, blood work, urinalysis the list goes on...
There have been tears shed and sleep has become sporadic and restless.
And somehow a ray of sunshine appears on the horizon...and it's our darling daughter!
She knew I needed her support and so she accompanied me to the vet visit.
Daughters are so lovely...I am so very grateful to have her in my life.

After our appointment we went home and got Pepper settled and went out for a healthy lunch at Pure Vanilla in Oak Bay. The day was sunny and warm so we opted to sit outside on the patio.

I had mentioned to my daughter how I had been toying with the idea of a new pair of jeans so we popped over the the mall and checked out what the Gap had and I tried on a few pair but nothing had that Wow Factor.
As we were cruising the mall we detoured into Banana Republic where I spied a cute pair of petite sized jeans...
I tried them on, and well, the rest is history!

I want to tuck my cream silk blouse into the waist so I bought the 30 inch size in petite.
The jeans can be rolled up slightly or worn straight...depends on my mood and the footwear that I choose.
Thinking the red ballet flats will be a great pairing with these and the Breton striped Tee will be "Oh So French!"

Banana Republic "touch of cashmere" sweater
heavily reduced
 longer in the back
cozy like a warm hug.
I said Yes.

It looks much better on than it does hanging here.

Chester loves bags!

Pepper watched with amusement in her eyes...

Darling daughter shared some of her secret weapons with me...
thank you sweetheart!

The lip balm is AMAZING!
It smells like roses and moisturizes like none other...

The apricot cuticle cream is going to be a mainstay in my arsenal of tricks.
As a gardener I tend to have ragged cuticles despite wearing gloves the hands take a beating.
The pot of cream will be at my bedside and I plan to rub it into my nails every night before bedtime.

I replaced my brown leather watch strap with a new black one and it is like having a new watch.

Well I must get on with my day...I need to keep busy.
so more cleaning is in order
as we await news from the vet as to Pepper's fate.

Hope your week is ticking along nicely.