Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Walking, weather and waterworks...

Walking in the neighbourhood never gets dull as there is always something beautiful to look at, people to greet in passing and things going on...

Leaves have started to fall...
which is a sure sign that Fall is just around the corner.

I'll really miss the warm weather that we have enjoyed this summer.
It is so wonderful to be able to walk without having to wear a heavy jacket.

Our Humble Bungalow

The city crews have been on site digging up the front bed and installing a sewer clean out at the property line...
of course I have our plants growing on the city's 2 foot strip!
Why would I ever want to leave that 2 foot strip bare?

I can see the trucks and back hoe from my Morris chair in the living room...

The noise was freaking the cats out so they went downstairs
I took myself out for  walk.

Lovely and calm on the waterfront.

Victoria's finest were out practising their ladder skills at Clover Point.
A small crowd gathered to watch as three ladder trucks and crew went through their paces.

This artichoke flower looks so beautiful...
the plants are growing on the city boulevard down the street from us.
(Most of the gardeners on our street have planted things on the city's 2 foot strip)

I finished Elizabeth is Missing and think it was probably the best book I have read all summer.
It is about a woman who has dementia and there is a mystery woven into the storyline.
If you have anyone in your family who suffers from dementia or Alzheimers 
(we do)
it will give you an insight into how that person must feel.

How is your week going?
The garden centre is calling my name...
we need some new plants for our planters.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, August 29, 2016

Scenery and a recipe for salsa...

This morning fog rolled in and blanketed the seafront with a cool damp mist.
The scenery took on an ethereal look...
pretty fuchsia flowers growing along the rugged cliffs stood out in the haze.

There was a distinct chill in the air 
until the sunshine came out and burnt off the fog.
It feels like Summer might be fading and Fall is on the way...

The roses in The Humble Bungalow Garden are very happy.
They thrive in the heat and sunshine, provided they get plenty of water.

This vintage chair planted up with flowers at the garden centre stopped me in my tracks. 
I love how it was repurposed as a planter.
A very clever way of recycling an old piece of furniture.

We purchased some drought tolerant grasses for some of our planters in the front garden on the weekend.
Many new and interesting grasses are on the market.
They are often reasonably priced and they are an easy way to add texture, interest, and colour.
Usually the deer do not eat them...
time will tell.

If you are counting your calories or WW points you will like the low calorie and point count of this delicious salsa.

It is quick to make and adds a punch of flavour.

Chef John's recipe is found online at All Recipe's.com

I like to pair this with white fish for dinner.
I have also used it in a fish taco...
I opt for the small corn tortillas as they have higher fibre than the flour tortillas.

If you are following along with me on my journey to shed a few pounds...
I wonder how are you doing.

The brisker walking is really making a big difference in how I feel.
I must admit that my muscles are a wee bit sore but my feet are fine.
Decent walking shoes make a huge difference to my comfort.
I also put moisturizer on my feet before popping on bamboo sox.

Hope your week is off to a great start.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Good news...a quick update on the battle of the bulge.

Good news!
It has been a couple of weeks and I have visible proof of my efforts.

Weight Watcher point counting and walking have started to whittle away some of my wobbly bits.
I am toning up, the muscles on my calves are strong and my clothes have a bit more wiggle room.

Approximately 2 pounds gone...8 more to go.

Sunny yellow rudbeckia's are blooming in the front garden.

We also have the giant variety of rudbeckia plant out front.
The wind blew over a few stems...they are about 10 feet tall!
I clipped off a few blooms and brought them inside.

~ Waste not want not ~

I keep a variety of fresh fruit handy for snacks 
with my cottage cheese at breakfast.

When the weather gets colder 
I will be eating Roger's brand ancient grains hot porridge 
at my breakfast with fruit.

It has been fun these past few weeks getting more creative with salads.

The main ingredients...
head lettuces
spinach leaves
brussel sprouts

beets, garbanzo beans, radishes, celery cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peppers

topped with a small drizzle of a light dressing

Fill a big bowl with salad
a small sprinkling of feta cheese 
or a hard boiled egg 
which I find is very filling and totally satisfying.

All that chewing takes time and it relays the message to the brain 
indicating that you are full.

Are you following along?
Have you noticed that you have more energy?
Are your clothes feeling a bit looser?

Has the scale shifted or are you still waiting to see results?

Keep going and try not to get discouraged.

Persistence pays off.

Oh an don't do what I did one day.
I weighed myself wearing 16 sterling silver bangles and wondered why I had gained a pound.
(the bangles actually weigh a pound)

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rewards...spa pedicure, a purchase and a patio meal.

How is your week going?
Are you having a good one?
Mine is ticking along nicely...
lots of walks
a good book on the go
the sun has been shining
BUT wouldn't you know it...
the scale is stuck at 141

Pink McCartney roses
and my latest OPI painted toes...

"A Rose at Dawn, Broke by Noon"

Spring and summer pedicures are a must for me during sandal season.
They are a wonderful experience and I feel very pampered when I have one.
~ Pure luxury ~

This shade of pink is so pretty and fresh.
 I am tempted to buy a bottle and do my fingernails too.

While staying within my WW daily point count I try to find some non food rewards that help me stay on track.
Little things (rewards) that keep me on the straight and narrow.

Meeting up with my daughter for a day of fun.

I bought this wee engraved silver jug at the thrift shop 
when darling daughter and I went to Sidney earlier in the week.
It is tarnished but I plan to keep it in this state as I like how it looks.
Most of my silver gets regular polishing but this little antique jug just looks so pretty with this patina.

We opted to have lunch at The Brentwood Bay Pub on the sun filled patio.
Kale, quinoa and chicken salad with orange segments 
with orange juice dressing.
Beautiful presentation
 it kept me fuelled until dinnertime.

We purchased an arts and crafts quarter sawn oak table to sit between two of our chairs in The Humble Bungalow living room.
We never seem to have enough space for our guests to put their drinks.
"Someone" is giving it a once over...
Chester looks like he approves!

Anyone on Blogger having issues with their posts being delayed getting to the blog feed?
I have not figured out what is happening to my blog and it has been going on for over a month.
I hit publish it in the morning but it does not appear on the feed until late afternoon.
I am tech challenged and wondering if I need to hire someone to help me sort out the glitches.
Also the blogger spell check is not working either...

If anyone knows what i need to do I would appreciate you letting me know.

Thank you!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On a sunny Sunday we gathered...

I picked Jude the Obscure roses from our Humble Bungalow Garden
for the party.
Popped them in an icy modernist vase from Finland.

Picked some limelight hydrangeas for the centrepiece in a heritage tea house
set them on the table in a vintage enamel jug
placed the photograph in front
waited for the guests to arrive.

Sunday was memorable
as it was a celebration for the newlyweds.

a lovely venue 
in the garden of dear friends 
a vast green lawn
magnificent perennial borders

vintage lamps and lighting
with views to the garden beyond...

wicker chairs
plump cushions

colourful bunting strung from the rafters

boccee ball
children running about
blowing bubbles

The lovely couple...
Darling daughter and our son in law...
welcome to the family!

Feeling such gratitude and joy...
spending time with family 
there is no better way that I know of to feel the beauty of love.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week #2...and it is slow going.

Dining out this week and counting WW points has been a bit of a challenge.
I am not expecting the scale to budge at all, I just hope it will not go up!

Bistro lunches, a pub dinner, a garden party and a BBQ...
and wine!
( to burn off the points from one glass of wine I need to walk briskly for 5km!)

The view from The Oak Bay Beach Hotel where we celebrated Mr. HB's birthday.
The sun was setting in the west and this eastern exposure turned a soft pink shade.

The hot tubs were obviously "too hot" to use in this weather.

We drove home via the scenic route and stopped at King George Terrace lookout to take a picture of the golden sunset.

My walking route 
warm and bathed in sunlight about 8:30 in the morning.
The heat was increasing as I walked and I am so glad that I opted to do the 5km early rather than later...

Quite a few walkers and joggers were out and about...
the sea was calm and the air still.

This is part of the route that the Tour de Victoria cyclists peddled their bikes along...

I don't own a bike but have been looking longingly in the window of the Fairfield Bicycle Shop
The Pashley bikes from the UK are on display in their window
British Racing Green and Fire Engine Red
what would I choose?
And it absolutely MUST have a wicker basket!

The Humble Bungalow Garden is chock full of blooms.
A riot of of roses and loads of mop head limelight hydrangeas...

We are having a heat wave and the intense heat affects my energy level.
Despite drinking lots of lemonade and iced tea I feel rather sluggish.
We are not used to high temperatures and there has been very little in the way of cooling ocean breezes... 

We have kept the blinds closed and opened most of the windows a crack... 
(so that the cats do not escape)

I am totally absorbed with this new novel.
Sitting in a Morris Chair in The Humble Bungalow living room keeping cool
is not a bad way to spend a hot afternoon.

A dip in a pool would be nice...
but I will make due with a refreshing shower.

How was your weekend?
Have you got a good book that you can recommend?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Week #1 a challenge....

Week #1

It has been a hot week so I have had to go out walking earlier in the morning.
I wear my hat and take a bottle of Perrier with me.
I managed to walk 50 minutes on 5 of the days 
 1 1/2 hours on two other occasions with a friend.

Two lunches out this week with friends gave me the opportunity to study the items offered and try to make some sensible choices from the menus.

Tossed green salad with eggs on Monday and water
celebrating a reunion of former co-workers.

3 small appetizer sized Fish tacos on small corn tortillas 
the day I met and walked 1 1/2 hours with a friend.

(the fish was fried and about the size of an egg on each taco served with oodles of sliced cabbage and mango with a very small amount of dressing)

Eating a higher point count lunch
meant that I would need to eat a lower point count dinner to keep within my WW daily range.

I have been satisfied with meals and have not had any snacks.
 Homemade lemonade has been my go to drink this week to keep hydrated.

I made a tasty stir fry one night for dinner.
Green and yellow peppers
thinly sliced lean chicken breasts
hoisin sauce

I opted for only 1/2 cup of rice to keep my point count down.

I chew my food slowly
putting my fork and knife down between bites to take longer dining.
The messages that are sent to our brain that register our fullness take time.

Are you making your mealtimes as attractive as possible?
Are you sitting at the table focusing on the food and the table setting
instead of eating in front of the TV?

Kathleen Tessaro has a new novel out and I am really enjoying it.
I love her books...The Perfume Collector was so well written.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us how your week is going.
What are you reading?
Are you having any challenges with the weight loss challenge?
Have you been pleasantly surprised by the read out on the scale?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, August 19, 2016


The attitude of gratitude has been a huge influence on how I view life.
It has helped me gain perspective
feel joy
and taught me to be content.

Our bungalow has been a "gift" in so many ways.
We have embarked on many projects over the years to improve and maintain 
the interior and exterior in the historic arts and crafts style.

I had to learn to be patient as all the projects took time and money.
Time and patience have afforded me the opportunity to weed out and prioritize what is most important and helped me to figure out what I really wanted to focus on next.

I have been lusting after linen bedding for several years...
linen as you may already know is not an inexpensive undertaking.

I saved up for several months to purchase sheets and a duvet cover with shams.
When I found these at Lands" End on sale at 20% off I quickly placed my order.

We plan to redo our bedroom and build in a closet with drawers and doors.
The room is small and we plan to use wainscotting and paint the walls white.
The floor is dark fir and the bed and side tables are dark oak.
Blue and mocha will fit right in...

We slept on the linen bedding this week and I can say that I am so happy with the comfort and coziness of the sheets and they will just get softer with every washing.

Chester and Pepper are enjoying playing in the boxes...
I leave them in the kitchen on the floor for a few days as they love them so much.

How is your week going?
Are you following along with the new eating regime?
Have you been walking every day?

My leg muscles are a wee bit sore after amping up the pace on my walks.

  The scale is not rapidly reflecting my new habits but I am not discouraged
as it is going in the right direction!

Try not to be obsessive about weighing every day.

I know the temptation is there...
when you do step on the scale do it at the same time every day
and try to wear the same clothes so you get an accurate reading.
( you may want to weigh in wearing only your "birthday suit")

Remember to drink lots of water.

Hope that you have some fun activities planned for the weekend.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The "battle of the bulge"...a group effort.

"Women of a certain age" frequently find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to their changing figures.

Many of my over 60 friends have been commiserating about their thicker mid sections and those persnickety "wobbly bits." Several of my friends who work out regularly at the gym have complained about their "muffin tops" and "back fat."

It would appear that these areas become problematic as we advance in age...

Our bodies change...
we must graciously accept these changes and press on.

Making the best of what we have
accepting our limitations
working at maintaining our health
mindful of the foods that we eat to fuel our bodies
enjoying meals that are attractive, colourful and full of nutritious elements.
I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to opt for a happy balance.

While we are focusing on slimming down...
we might need to reassess our clothing choices.

Dressing in flattering clothes definitely makes us feel better about ourselves.

Consider looking at "camouflage dressing" to disguise our figure flaws.
We may wear a bright scarf at the neck to draw the eye upward...
or wear the same colour separates on both the top and bottom for a longer line.

It is important to choose clothing that is not too sheer, too tight and does not cling. Opting for heavier fabrics with more "body."

I prefer denim, bamboo and crisp cottons and linens in styles that follow the curves of my figure but are not too tight or too baggy.

Light cottons, sheer knits and some silks are not that forgiving as they tend to be on the clingy side
Make sure to buy the size that fits and flatters...
ignore the tag...
if you get all hung up on whether you think that you should be wearing a certain size you might be choosing a garment that is going to reveal more of those wobbly bits than you would like.
Check in the mirror...and do not forget to look at the front and the back views.

We cannot expect that our bodies will stay the same as they were when we were in our youth and we need to gracefully embrace the changes that come with age...

Keeping active is important for many reasons...
maintaining flexibility
bone density and heart health,
lower blood pressure and warding off adult onset diabetes.

Weight gain is inevitable when our metabolism slows if we keep eating as we did prior to menopause we will naturally put on weight.

I read somewhere that estrogen is stored in fat cells
and that is why nature adds the fat to protect our hearts...
I cannot remember what publication this was or even if it is backed by scientific evidence...perhaps one of your readers knows more about this and can comment.

We must be proactive if we want to keep those extra pounds from piling up.
Mother who is 89, eats smaller portions and avoids cakes and pastries and walks for 20 minutes each afternoon.

My hypothyroid condition that results in a sluggish metabolism is an issue that affects my weight and a constant reminder that I need to take charge of my eating and exercise habits.

Weight has crept up on me while I was turning a blind eye...

I was much more successful when I was actively attending Weight Watcher meetings and counting my points.

So I am back to tracking my daily WW point allowance and amping up the walking. Many of you are joining me on this journey and I hope that you are starting this process with a positive realistic and optimistic attitude.
We can succeed if we put the effort into the project.
My goal is to lose about 1 pound each week...the first week we may see more weight loss but it usually slows a bit after the initial phase.

My morning indulgence is a cafe creme.
Espresso coffee and foamed skimmed milk.


1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese and a cup of berries

Lunch is a salad with about 3 ounces of protein and a light dressing.

3 ounces of lean protein and lots and lots of vegetables.

Daily brisk walks of about 45 minutes to an hour along the seafront
provide me with plenty of fresh air and movement.
The scenery is quite lovely 
so while I walk I soak in all the beauty and as a result I feel joyful.

If you are following along on this journey to improved health please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

How is your week going?
Have you had cravings?
Are you walking or working out?
Do you have any tips for the group?

My journey may be very different from yours...
happiness and contentment within each of us is very personal 
what works for one may not work for another.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~