Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Enchanted April....Dare I dream?

A few weeks ago I posted a pork tenderloin roast recipe and I have another one in my repertoire...
This one has an asian tangy taste and while I LOVE it Mr. HB is not as enamoured with the flavours...not sure why, but we all have our favourites.

So here it is if you would like to try it...
cook and baste the tenderloin about an hour at 350 degrees.
If you try it and like it please leave me a  comment.

My favourite bridge player Meg at the club has had a serious fall...
she is 94 and she broke both her hip and her arm
her mind is a sharp as a tack and we are missing her so much.
She is in rehab and we are planning to go to the hospital
and play some cards as soon as she is able.

I am hoping that she will recover from her injuries.
Her bidding and advice on bridge is so valuable...
she has been playing bridge since she was a teenager 
she encourages us when we are bidding our hands and nudges us to bid game.

I always wear my wedding rings...
one notices hands when seated at the bridge table.
My hands have been dry of late and so I have made a point to keep the hand lotion by the sink to remind myself to use it.

This vintage art deco diamond does not get as much wear as it should.

I don't own a lot of jewelry...
unlike darling daughter, 
who has oodles and oodles of the stuff!

She works hard to find the most amazing pieces...
she has a full time job!

I have very few pieces of "costume" jewelry and opt for real gemstones.
Sterling silver bangles, pearls, vintage, ethnic, and modern artisan jewelry.
One need not break the budget when choosing a new piece,
 there are so many gorgeous jewels on Etsy and Ebay and in antique shops.

At my age I wonder if I should acquire more gems or save for holidays abroad?

Recently I met up with a friend for lunch.
 We both LOVE France and have fond memories of our trips to Paris 
we got to talking in between bites of our salads
and mentioned that we should arrange to have our own 
"Enchanted April" 
 perhaps Provence would be our destination...

Can you imagine a group of women sharing a home in Provence?
Savouring the countryside for a month?
I can!
 I am dreaming about this possibility.

So with that in mind I am off to find more local French language classes...

if you know of anyone who has a home to rent in Provence or has rented one that they enjoyed please email me
merci beaucoup!

 ~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 26, 2016

Royalty amongst other things...

The young royal family Kate, William, George and Charlotte are here in Victoria for the week and they are staying at Government House.
Government House is on Rockland Avenue just a few blocks north of The Humble Bungalow.
Government House has a tea room where Mother and I go to in the summertime and where we sit on the patio to have lunch and share a pot of tea.
I love to walk through the rose gardens and smell the beautiful roses...
the gardens are tended by an army of volunteers and it looks splendid.

The gates are closed for security this week while the Royals are in residence...
our SIL is busy working on the tour providing audio tech support.

I did not take the following picture but wanted to share it with you...
it is a wee bit fuzzy and I think it must have been taken with a zoom lens.

Kate looked radiant in her Royal Blue dress and exquisite hat.
She wore sapphire (I have been advised that they are actually tanzanite) and diamond earrings with her lovely sapphire engagement ring.
On her dress she pinned a diamond studded Maple Leaf borrowed 
from HRH Queen Elizabeth.
It was a gift from Canada to honour Queen Elizabeth (another error on my part, they were given to the Queen Mother) on one of her visits to Canada.

I apologize for these errors as I took the information from the local news reporter who obviously had not done her homework...
we have amended the info thanks to reader and royal watcher Patricia!

Helicopters are in the sky in our neighbourhood
hovering above the motorcade.  
Security is serious business and there are strict protocols in place.

One of our orchids is flowering and the rest are dormant...

We have settled into a slower pace 
as Fall nudges its way into The Humble Bungalow...
the garden will be put to bed in the next few weeks and then I plan to pull out my knitting.

I made a lettuce soup.
Have you ever heard of lettuce soup?
I had a tub of lettuce that was almost wilted and knew that we would never eat it all by its best before date so I looked online and found a recipe.

So quick and easy and really low in Weight Watcher points!

Cook a diced onion in a wee bit of oil until soft.
Add 6 cups of veggie stock and 1 cup of diced potato
simmer for about 20 minutes until potato is cooked.
Add 6-8 cups of mixed salad greens and cook a few more minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, and 1 or 2 tbsps. of a good curry powder (to taste)

Use the immersion blender and process until no lumps remain.
Serve hot topped with a dollop of yogurt if you desire.

I wore my collection of bangles out to lunch last week.
Darling daughter, Savvy son and Mr. HB met for a family lunch.
Talk about one for the memory books...we cannot remember the last time we went out just the four of us!

Mr. HB and I enjoyed a recent date night.
We went out for dinner and a movie...
we saw the new Bridget Jones film and I laughed out loud so much that I had tears rolling down my face.
It is a light comedy and a "feel good" film.

Darling daughter and I went to Aritzia and perused their new stock.
I love their lines of clothing as they are very classic, simple and are suitable for the young and the old.

I purchased a simple off white Wilfred top that is very soft and cozy.
It has a low V neck which is perfect for featuring pearls or a scarf.
I will layer this when the weather gets cooler under my black leather vest or a sweater or jacket.

Darling daughter purchased a fabulous pair of jeans by Citizens of Humanity.
She referred to them as"mom jeans" and we laughed because I was wearing my NYDJ.
(Not Your Daughters' Jeans)
Coincidentally we both had our leather "moto" jackets on with our jeans and tops.
This is the second time in a few weeks where I have found myself dressed in the same style outfit as my companion when out and about!

Today and I have a few chores on my list which will keep me busy
and I am trying to decide what to cook for dinner tonight.
When the weather gets cooler I like to make a cozy meal of roasted veggies and possibly cook a roast of beef.

I need to go for my walk and I may just pop into the grocery store on my way home and see what inspires me...
Keep cozy people.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Blooms and walking the walk.

My week has been quite quiet so far...
domestics seem to have worked their way up on my list of things to do.

At the very top of my list is walking.
I need to make it a priority or it does not happen 
too many other things can get in the way. 
After my morning shower I dress in my walking clothes so that I am ready to go.
Sunscreen, sunglasses
House keys and my Iphone in a small hands free cross body bag.
The orthopedic surgeon advised me to swing my arms when I walk.

These beautiful grapes are growing on the boulevard just down the street.
I am surprised that the birds have not been munching on them.

Hydrangeas are still putting on a spectacular display...
more blooms are on their way.

There is a second flush of flowers on the Romneya coulteri...
also known as "the fried egg plant."

I have been busy deadheading the roses and sweeping the porch.
Garden chores never feel finished but thankfully the rewards continue to delight and encourage me until the dreary rains of the winter set in...

Streaky windows, messy cupboards and too many things in my bureau drawers have side tracked me
from relaxing and sitting down
and devouring reading my book.

Why do I succumb to that nagging voice in my head?
I think it was my upbringing...
Work before pleasure.

The story line is quite different from what I usually read 
but I read and enjoyed Garth Steins' book "The Art of Racing in the Rain"
 So when I spied this in our wee library on the Common across the street
I grabbed it...

The wee library is getting a lot of use and the turnover of books is quite amazing.

Many of these small neighbourhood lending libraries are popping up.
There is a website and maps showing where they are located...
ours is on the map!

Hope all is well with you.

The Royal Family are going to be sleeping just a few blocks from Our Humble Bungalow for the next week!
I hope that they love our city as much as we do!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Getting My Happy On...

Have you heard the news?
The Royals are coming to visit Victoria.

Yes indeed, they will be staying at Government House just a quick 15 minute walk from our Humble Bungalow...
It is exciting and I hope that we might catch a glimpse of the young family...
Justin Trudeau will be in town too...the city is all a flutter.

Hermes scarf
Betty Barclay striped top
White NYDJ
Black Sam Edelman ballet flats

Leather moto jacket
vintage Italian leather bag
red lipstick Maybelline #547
(purchased at Monoprix Paris in the 6th eme)

I met up with a long time friend for lunch and we sat outside on the patio at the Inn overlooking beautiful Brentwood Bay.

Being a bit of a rebel I broke the rule about wearing white after Labour Day...
Coincidentally my friend B, who recently returned from Paris, was wearing white pants and a striped top as well!
We had lots of catching up and our Paris trip highlights were shared.

This week I treated myself to a relaxing facial at The Silk Road Spa
its been quite awhile since my last Spa visit and I really enjoyed the pampering.

 I wandered around China Town exploring the wee shops
the sunshine and hot tea were just what I craved...

Hooray It is apple harvest time!
 we have been enjoying a few of our crisp and crunchy apples...
Liberty and Chehalis are both relatively young dwarf trees in The Humble Bungalow Garden.

I unwrapped a Diptyque candle,
our Fall and Winter favourite fragrance
ready to light and enjoy on these cooler evenings.

A good book, a candle...
life's little luxuries.

I wonder if we are in for a cold winter as the rose hips are huge and plentiful...
does anyone make rose hip jelly anymore?

Black and white make up the bulk of my wardrobe...
I never seem to tire of the combination.
Grey also plays a role in my small closet.

I must be off and get some things done around here...

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

If I get close enough to see the Royals I will snap a few pictures and share them with you.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 19, 2016

A wee bit of shopping...

I have found that retirement dressing is so much simpler than when I was dressing for work.
Fewer clothes are needed and as a result I am living with less.

Several dressy garments are reserved for date nights and dinners out.
The bulk of my minimal wardrobe is focused on casual and active wear.

I went shopping mostly to browse...
and to replace some socks that had worn out.
The shops were busy!

I perused the shoes as I would love to find a new pair of flats for winter.
Then checked out the new Fall and Winter stock on the racks...
lots to choose from and oodles of sweaters and outer wear.

This light jacket accompanied me to Paris...
I am wearing a simple blue top and the skinny NYDJ that are worn several times every week 
I frequently roll up the cuffs and wear with black Sam Edelman flats.

Checking out the charcoal grey skinny pants that did not make the cut...
too long and the fabric is not weighty enough.

I may regret not buying these pants...
they are not as sturdy as I would like but they would be useful.
Buying wisely, carefully with thoughts of not wasting money...
I already own two pairs of pants like these in black 
so do I really "need" another pair?
I think not.

This Kenar skirt did make the cut...
not the look I would go for with this longer top 
but the fit is good and I am planning on wearing it with tights and short booties.

Will wear it when I take Mother out to lunch,
on date nights for dinner, bridge at the club, and at the theatre.

I find it is difficult taking photos, especially "selfies" in a dressing room.

A cozy puffy jacket for walking in a pewter shade made by Columbia.
In the style of the Michelin Man!
I like the asymmetrical zipper detail and there is a hood for windy days.

It feels light and will help keep me warm during those cold winter walks.

The Kenar wool skirt is going to get a lot of wear this season.
I have only two other skirts in my closet...
one is a black knit 
 the other is a mid calf length dressy skirt in metallic grey and black accents.

I am looking forward to swapping out my summer wardrobe for Fall and Winter garments but we are still enjoying a bit of an "Indian Summer" so I am waiting for a cool patch when the rains decide to stay awhile before I do the switch.
All the garments are checked for wear and I will repair any that need attention and donate a few things that I feel are at the end of their lifespan.

Having only a few items hanging in the closet make getting dressed so much easier...besides our closet is so tiny that we can hardly see what is inside if all the clothes are squished together!
I rely on scarves and accessories to add a personal touch.

Are you shopping for anything new this season?
What's on your wish list?

big as a dinner plate
seen in a garden on my walking route.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September Snippets...

We are very fortunate to live in such a pretty city where gardens are carefully tended by enthusiastic gardeners....
There is a glorious garden along Hollywood Crescent in which many gorgeous flowers is a riot of colour.
My favourites are the dahlias...I do not grow dahlias in our garden but I am very tempted to plant some next year.
I cross the street to get closer so that I can admire their exquisite details.
Such vibrant colours, each slightly different, some with frilly petals.

This dahlia is the size of a dinner plate!

A small feather had landed on this crimson dahlia.

a symphony of pink and white almost a mauve shade

orange with a smattering of red

The sun shone brightly before the rains came...
with a chilly breeze and the downpour I cocooned indoors and sat in a comfy chair to read my book.

This is a very interesting story that spans several generations
I am eager to find out what happens at the end.

I made a huge main dish salad 
served it with some homemade "jam jar" dressing.

The jam jar dressing is easy...
taste it while you mix in the ingredients 
you might want less jam or honey depending on your preference.

large dollop of grainy mustard
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
a couple of tablespoons of jam or honey 
salt and pepper to taste

Shake well and lightly dress the salad just before serving.

Later in the afternoon the winds got fierce and the rains were hitting the windows sideways...
feeling chilled I decided to make a comforting roast for dinner.

Pork tenderloin coated with grainy mustard draped with bacon.
Vegetables ready to roast alongside the pork.

Brussels Sprouts
Yellow Peppers

We had a yummy dinner and I used the leftovers to make a Cottage Pie.

Recently there have been some concerns raised by an anonymous reader regarding my linking to a company that makes a product that I have had great results using and I shared it with my readers.
This reader thinks that I am somehow linked with the company and I can assure you that I am not...the same reader suggests that I am "silly" advertising and promoting products when I am not receiving anything in return!

 I will continue to link to websites and share my experiences with products that I enjoy using.
I do not receive any money or gifts when I do so...
the opinions shared here on my blog are mine and I am not affiliated with any company.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Skin Dew a Hydration booster

Generally speaking I am happy with my Eminence skin care products
but in the past few weeks my skin has been feeling a wee bit dry.

I drink a LOT of Perrier so I don't think that I am dehydrated...and our summer has been long and hot so maybe that is a contributing factor.

It could also be aging, or hormones, or a combination of both...

While my friend Cheryl was stocking up on tea at Silk Road Tea Company...
I was browsing their skin care items.

When I spied their "cult favourite" Nourishing Dew popular for over 20 years...
 a sample was offered to me.
 I was impressed by the consistency and the key ingredients...
a little goes a long way.

Locally made which makes me feel even better about my purchase.

Taken from their website...
skincare benefits

Renowned for its radiant effect, NOURISHING DEW is a beloved cult favourite. When you use it regularly you’ll discover why. Happy clients of all ages & skin types have used this product for over 20 years, & their beautiful skin is a testament to the amazing benefits.

- regenerates, repairs, nourishes, re-balances & restores 
- gives skin an instant, luminous glow
- optimizes skin to function at a peak level while moisturizing
- powerful antioxidant, nutrient rich oils & botanicals encourages a healthy, glowing complexion
- prevents & diminishes visible signs of aging (combine with JADE ANTI-AGING SERUM for best results)

mindfulness benefits

- designed to have a soothing, powerfully harmonizing, mood balancing effect 

how to use

Apply NOURISHING DEW after washing face, before make-up (as a primer), before bed & anytime your skin needs hydration or a radiant, healthy, youthful glow. 

I am applying a few drops before bedtime and it feels wonderful,
my skin feels softer after just a week and it smells absolutely wonderful!

Now I am tempted to buy the Jade Serum for an extra punch of potency...
it was sold out as it is so popular they have trouble keeping it in stock!

I booked in for a facial in the Silk Road Spa and will report back on my experience in an upcoming post.

Hope that you are having a great week.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 12, 2016

Food, friends and flowers...

Glorious pink rose blooming in The Humble Bungalow Garden.
Pretty pink shade and an intoxicating fragrance...

It has been a lovely weekend with friends and family.

We enjoyed having our dear friends from France visit 
we spent hours chatting and catching up....

There was an abundance of food and the wine flowed.

Beef Daube with a baguette followed by a green salad and rhubarb crisp for dinner the night that they arrived.

Tapas following a cruise up the Gorge waterway on the Harbour ferry on Saturday
then dinner out at a French Bistro.

We met our children and grand children for brunch on Sunday
so our friends could reacquaint themselves with Isla and Henry and meet Mira.
After brunch we drove out to the Marina and took our Sea Ray out for a scenic cruise off the Sidney waterfront.

I have a fridge full of food and will not need to cook for a couple of days!

You can see how much food played a major role in our weekend!

I refuse to step on the scale today.
I do not want a shock.

We enjoyed a cocktails on the deck of The Humble Bungalow

The weather cooperated, the sun shone and there was only a hint of a breeze...

We hosted a casual dinner party and invited a long time friend of our house guests.
The menu was simple and tasty.

veggies skewers with goat cheese in balsamic creme
grilled lamb chops 
a dollop of lemon and dollop of mango sorbet 
served with a square a locally made chocolate for dessert.

A reader asked me to post some of my meals and this one is easy quick and tasty.

My plate has a healthy portion of vegetables
1/2 cup rice
small pork chop in a mustard marmalade glaze.

Brown chops in oil and butter.
Cook until no longer pink and remove from pan, cover with foil.
 De-glaze pan with orange juice
stir in grainy mustard
add thyme and Worchestershire sauce and blend.
Add chops back into mixture and cook a few more minutes.
Serve immediately.

Domestic jobs await...
and they will not get done if I keep typing!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~