Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January daze...

This blog is a personal one and it is not one where I discuss politics or world events.
It has come to my attention that many of my readers come here for a "rest"...
a quiet respite from the hectic life that they lead.

It was never my intention to be a radical or significant voice on current affairs.
Dissecting serious issues are not my forte...
this humble blog revolves around family, home and garden...
Things that I know well.
Simple uncomplicated living experienced at it's fullest.
Looking for the finer things in life...

Blogging is a venue for self expression.
Emails and comments from readers are an added bonus...icing on the cake.
Through these communications I feel much more connected to my audience.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you all.

Flowers found their way into the Humble Bungalow as a tonic for the grey January daze.

A few days ago Mr. HB and I stopped for brunch at Bridgeman's Bistro at Mill Bay.
The view of the Marina was pretty despite the grey skies overhead.
The bistro was packed!
We sat at the window and sipped our beverages while waiting for our brunch to arrive.

Boats bobbing 
gulls soaring 
kingfishers diving
swans swimming

the scenery was calming and serene.

After lunch we perused many antique shops.
 We are on the hunt for an arts and crafts mission style small side table
 for The Humble Bungalow living room.
Our current table is wobbly and the wood is curved in the middle so it is not very practical.

We have seen one that we like online in Pasadena but it is $450 US and with the added shipping and our low Canadian dollar makes it far too expensive.

We are planning a trip south to Seattle and will look around when we are there...
arts and crafts furniture was only made for a very short period so pieces are often a challenge to find when you do find them they are usually quite pricey.
(supply and demand)

January is the month I dedicate to re-evaluating my health 
to focus on my day to day regime.
The annual visit to the doctor revealed that my thyroid medication needed changing...
other than that everything seemed in order, except my weight was up 5 pounds.

After Christmas it did not come as a surprise.
 I was eating more sweets and having more cocktails and wine.
With that in mind I am eating much more mindfully and drinking more water.

This article in The Guardian was of interest to me.
 I hope that abstaining from alcohol for a few weeks will give my skin a boost and help me shed a few pounds.

Witch hazel blooming a cheery yellow
peeking through a fence on my walk.

Orange witch hazel further along on the same street.
Flowers and blooms are few and far between at this time of year.
Eyeing a pop of colour in my periphery quickly turns my head!

"Did you ear about Van Gogh?"
a putty shade that is a bit edgy and is a neutral shade.
Painting my nails is my newest accessory.

Pavlova on the menu for dessert when our darling daughter and her "kiwi" fiancee came to dinner.


It looks a bit messy but it tasted delicious!

We started with a tomato, bocconcini, and basil salad drizzled with balsamic reduction.
Roast free range organic chicken, scalloped potatoes, vegetables and flaky dinner rolls rounded out the meal.

~ Healthy Focused Eating ~

Breakfasts ~ oats and fruit or yogurt and fruit.
Lunches ~ soup or salad.
Dinners ~ a small amount of protein served with lots of fresh veggies and a salad.

~ Daily Walks ~

This sign hangs on a gate in our neighbourhood
recently seen on my walk...

With so many wonderful bloggers and blogs online
 it is with gratitude that I thank you
 for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog and spending a few minutes here.

Be Well and Be Kind.
Hope that your New Year is off to a healthy Start!



  1. Yes, your posts are restful - not a sleepy-making restful, but a calming sort of restful. I am always happy to see a post, and hope that in this new year I will be able to visit more often.
    Coffee or tea? Yes, soon!

    1. Looking forward to tea and or coffee...just tried the Matcha place on Oak Bay Avenue...matcha is full of antioxidants, have you ever been there?

  2. Thank you for such a lovely blog! I love visiting here!

  3. Your posts are a calm spot in the day. I enjoy reading about your daily activities.

  4. Thank you for my moment of calm today, L! Your words and images are always so restorative and soothing.

    SSG xxx

  5. I always enjoy the aesthetics of your posts:lovely photos, some daily observations and a positive ending. I have really increased my vegetable intake this week and decreased carbs.
    I have a birthday and one of my friends is treating me to a fitness session. This is a good time of year think about healthy living.

  6. I so enjoy seeing a new post from you! Your photos are always lovely. I was given a Pavlova recipe when in NZ, but never had much luck with it. Yours inspires me to try again!

    1. Oh do try making it...not difficult at all and the toppings can be any fruit that you have on hand.

  7. I always enjoy your blogs Leslie. Keep them coming!!!

  8. A very rainy dull day here in Greece today so reading your Blog first thing in the morning really set me up for the day. I love the photo of the vase full of bright flowers

    1. Oh it is so rainy here...one can easily succumb to despair and depression!
      I force myself to see beyond the gloom and that is why I crave colour at this time of year...thank goodness for flowers and pretty scarves!

  9. I always look forward to reading your blogs, Leslie...words well written and beautiful pictures to go with them :)

  10. Sounds like you had a lovely day out. Good luck with the healthy eating.

  11. You are so kind to think of your readers. Your blog is one that I look for as it makes me feel good - words and pics are well chosen. I love stopping by! Looking forward to many more visits.

  12. A cup of coffee or tea, depending on the time of day, whilst reading you blog makes me feel I am enjoying a chat with a good friend. Your photos never fail to spread a little joy as well.

  13. "A rest" is a worthy and valuable thing. Your witchhazel photos make me dream of spring--lovely. Thanks to you.

  14. Speaking as a reader "South of the border" a respite from all things political is greatly appreciated!

  15. I enjoy everyone of your posts and what you write about. I love that nail polish color! It is so pretty. The dinner sounds and looks delicious.

    PS. Miss Twiggley drinks out of the kitchen faucet too...but don't tell anybody.

  16. Indeed, your posts are like a zen moment. Even though I don't always comment, I always enjoy. And how did I get to be this old without knowing that those charming yellow and orange flowers are witch hazel? I keep a bottle on hand all the time....very soothing. jenmiller

  17. Thank you for a pleasant, peaceful blog. It is a joy to stop in every day like a neighbor for soothing conversation.

  18. I enjoy your blog very much. Your lovely photographs and calm, interesting writing are a balm to me.

    I'm in the Midwest and have never seen yellow or orange blooms of the witch hazel. Maybe it doesn't grow here. The witch hazel blooms are pretty, rather exotic looking. It is fun to see some colorful flowers somewhere. It gives me hope. Snow is the only thing blooming around here right now.

  19. I am a new reader and I do enjoy your blog. I like your style and confidence. I give up on blogs that only show up when a pat on the back is wanted. I will continue seeking you out.

  20. You are so right. Your blog is different than others. It is the perfect combination of home, family, beauty, style, food, and respite. Don't change a thing. I love your blog. Don't comment much, but it makes me feel happy and calm just to read it.

  21. I also love to tune into your blog! For all the reasons everyone has stated. It's rather like visiting with a dear, positive friend!

  22. A cold day here in Connecticut. Just got in from cleaning the horse stalls and then walking my Golden Retriever around the pond. Shared an apple with the dogs, stoked the wood stove and checked my e-mail. Found your latest post, smiled, made some Earl Grey and sat and enjoyed life through your eyes. Hope you find your table. It's always so lovely when a sought after object finds it's way into your life. Part of the fun is the search and the story that comes along with the treasure. Keep writing. Your words mean more than you know.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      Your day sounds busy and full and tea time in the afternoon...bliss.

      Oh you are so blessed to have a Golden retriever! We had one and he was the light of our lives...such amazing dogs, almost human.
      Enjoy your weekend and keep warm...I hear that snow is in the forecast.

    2. Right now the sky is blue and the sun is out, but New England weather can change in the blink of an eye. Hopefully the snow will be less than previously expected and people will be smart enough to stay cozied up in their homes. Snow days are perfect excuses for a pile of books to read, sewing to do and hot cocoa to drink. Looking forward to your next post. I'm glad that you had the experience of the love of a Golden... sigh...there's nothing better in the world than the love of a dog.

  23. I love reading your blog in the afternoon after I'm sort of done with the day for exactly the reasons mentioned. So relaxing. And while I have nothing at all against blogs that monetize, and follow several, it is relaxing to read a blog without any motive to sell anything. A slice of sweet life.

  24. Your blog is a delight. While having lunch with @amidpriviledge, @awellstyledlife and @thevintagecontessa, we all agreed we love reading your blog. It's a pleasure of the day. Thanks for trying to keep me on the straight and narrow with your diet. I too need to deal with my thyroid but I am walking. Sandra Sallin www.apartfrommyart.com

    1. Oh my! I would have never even dreamt that you amazing bloggers, whom I put up on a pedestal, would have mentioned my blog...I am in awe of all of you!!
      Good luck with your thyroid...and walking is wonderful!
      It has been a challenge keeping my thyroid in the "normal" range...it seems to fluctuate a lot and my medications are always changing...it is a condition that many in my family have to contend with...Mother had hers removed when she was in her 20's. It affects weight and metabolism and many other body functions.

  25. I love that you make your blog "a quiet respite" -- something we all need!

  26. I can not add anything else. Everyone has said it all.
    Thank you Leslie for being you...


  27. I enjoy your blog and have for years. It is a restful place to visit, and I'm grateful that you keep at it. I know I always say something about your photos, but I especially love your flower shots. I've never seen Witch Hazel in anything but a bottle. lol It's very pretty.
    We are awaiting a blizzard in the Mid-Atlantic region, that they say will dump several feet of snow on us. I'm making a soup from the Joie de Vivre book in anticipation.
    Thank you again for your blog.
    Mary Lou

  28. As a fellow Canadian, I love reading your blog and looking at your photos. When I see you sign off with a "Be Well" it always makes me think of my friend Michael Tonello. That's how he sign's off too.
    I hope you're keeping well, Leslie!

  29. I once made a pavlova for my NZ born ex. I have a severe egg allergy and my hands swelled up but he was very appreciative. That dessert is apparently magical! I love your blog as respite from the sometimes harsh realities of life. I spent lots of time in Victoria with my grandparents as a child so love the peek into the bungalow!