Saturday, November 26, 2016

Greenery and good manners....

With the festive season just around the corner we are focusing on greening up our Humble Bungalow...


A simple wreath hangs upon the door.

I love to use natural accents when it comes to decorating for the holidays.
Scented green swags with fir boughs and pine cones that one can gather outdoors feels much more genuine than buying the plastic ones sold in stores.

Our arts and crafts bungalow lends itself to organic and natural elements.
From the wood walls and beams
to the granite fireplace

we live in an unassuming space
one that does not lend itself easily to shiny silver baubles and tinsel.



We all have our own personal tastes and I appreciate that we may disagree on certain topics...
 in our disagreements we need to be mindful of our manners
carefully monitoring how we conduct ourselves
there is no excuse for rudeness or bad behaviour.


The lobby of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel is looking dressed up for the holidays.
Mother loved seeing all the decorations on our lunch date this past week.
I dressed up for the luncheon.
I wore my black top with a grey boiled wool skirt, some textured tights and my Chelsea style boots.

Mother schooled us on manners from the time we were toddlers.
She insisted that we pay attention to our choice of words, our tone of voice and how we behaved, especially important when it came to our elders and when we were out in public.

We were expected to say please and thank you 
to listen politely
 to send thank you cards in the mail.

We were also sent to Charm School...
 I doubt that many youngsters are sent to charm or etiquette classes these days.

We teach children by modelling good behaviour and by comporting ourselves in a manner that is beyond reproach.


I wore a vintage Sherman rhinestone brooch the other day when I played bridge.
It was a grey rainy day and I craved a wee bit of sparkle.
The ladies that convene to play cards take care in their choice of clothes and wear pretty jewellery.
Dressing up has its rewards...it does elevate the spirit.

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” 

~  Yves Saint Laurent ~


“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.” 
~  Bill Cunningham ~



Stir frying oodles of veggies has become a bit of a habit
which helps keep my WW points within my daily allowance.
The scales are not reflecting my efforts as quickly as I would like but I am keeping my eye on the goals that I have set.

The WW cookbook giveaway contest from the previous post closes November 30th
 Good Luck.

I wish you a weekend filled with JOY and good things.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

43 comments:

  1. I find your simple wreath simply beautiful
    There is so much love and tenderness when you write about your mother- and I could identify with your upbringing-it was not only in words but with my mother as everyday role model.
    Charm School sounds charming :-)
    Have a nice weekend
    Dottoressa

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    1. Mother is very much a lady...she still dresses up each day and often when she is greeted in the elevator her neighbours they will say where are you off to today all dressed up? And her reply more often than not is to pick up my mail!
      The Charm School was actually a lot of fun at the time...we were very young 13 year olds but our teacher treated us as if we were much older...she was a gracious woman herself and we received great advice on skincare, how to walk, sit and get in and out of a car wearing a mini skirt! It was quite modern and up to date at the time...we had free samples of Yardley's oatmeal soap and LipStick that the ever so chic the one that Jean Shrimpton was promoting...I think that was a London Look.

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  2. I'm fairly new to your blog but love your attitude and approach to life. I won't enter into the contest for your lovely cook book as I am in the UK, and although on my own weight loss/healthy eating plan I am following Slimming World instead which has its own eating plan which I gather is similar but slightly different to WW. I hope the person who does really enjoys it though!! Regards Ruthie from England

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    1. Welcome to the Humble Bungalow Ruthie.
      I have never heard of the Slimming World but perhaps it is only in the UK. Programs that are balanced and healthy lifestyle regimes that offer support and encourage are much better than crash or fad diets. I hope you are enjoying your experience and seeing positive results.

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  3. We sure could all take lessons in manners and civility after our recent election. Social media has been anything but measured and polite, just hostile and rude. I know life isn't all tea parties, sparkling brooches, and lovely clothes, but, hey, it's a start . . . I also love the natural elements in decorating. But have to admit I also love my bright pink and aqua vintage Christmas baubles on a shiny silver tree, as well! xo Deborah

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    1. I could not help but notice that "the gloves were off" during the political campaigns...it was difficult to watch. I know what you mean, and life is a mix of the good and the not so good...
      Our darling daughter has a tree and shiny baubles much like yours...I embrace the opportunity to admire those in other peoples homes!

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  4. Your wreath looks beautiful! I love seeing your house at the holidays! The greenery all looks so lovely with the wood!

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    1. And I love seeing your bright open and spacious home with all your decorations!

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  5. What a nice and thoughtful post. Your green wreath is wonderful, and how I would love to do the same. Alas, we are in the climate where a fake one is the only option, and mine is hanging proudly on the door too. The hotel Christmas tree is a sparkling wonder, and I am looking forward to working with the grandchildren to do our tree this week, repeating the woodland theme I began last year. And I love lots of veges too, and in fact the only way I can lose weight is to increase the fruits and veg, and severely restrict the carbs. (memo to self: do it before Christmas!)

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    1. I never considered that the heat would prevent you from having a natural wreath...that is a good point that you raise.
      Yes those darn carbs are not as friendly as they are tasty!

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  6. I was also taught to be "lady-like" and to respect differing points of view. We share the Charm School experience and in all my teaching years, I tried to model " polite and intelligent" behaviour to girls. I enjoy my time that I spend with my mother each week as we share concerts, craft sales and Christmas lights. I'm striving to prepare healthy and (hopefully) slimming meals each day. I believe, as you do, that attention to details of dressing and to life goals are so important. Enjoy the week-end!

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    1. Lady-like, CHARM SCHOOL? Polite behaviour ? We need to roll over you and take this election back!!! To heck with being nice and polite...and in general stop addressing grown women as "girls".

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    2. First of all, I taught elementary school so I never address grown women as "girls". Next, Hostess and I are Canadian so we have played no part in the election. I believe as Leslie believes in polite and gracious behaviour under all circumstances.

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    3. And we are well pleased with ourselves today, aren't we ?

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    4. Madame La-bas...thank you for chiming in on Charm School and your thoughts on teaching school. You and your Mother like to enjoy the same kinds of outings that my Mother and I participate in...this year we plan to go and see the decorated trees at The Fairmont Empress and perhaps the gingerbread hous display. Tonight we went with our son, DIL and the grandchildren to the Santa Claus parade...
      Thank you for mentioning to anon that we are Canadians...I would have done so earlier if I had been online.

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    5. Tonight, I noticed that your PM has called Fidel Castro a great leader, and a remarkable man, in paying tribute.
      Yes, Canadian manners on display at all times, no matter what!

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    6. Gloria
      I know that Justin's father Pierre Trudeau and Castro met when Trudeau was our PM. Canadian political relationships with Cuba were considered cordial...
      we ARE a polite nation and a peaceful one too and I am a proud Canadian...thank you for reminding me of that fact.
      Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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    7. I love this living example of good manners in action in this particular thread. Well done!

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    8. Oh dear, I am reading many terrible things about Cuba under Fidel Castro, I never knew about. In many parts of the US people are celebrating, but also mourning family members who died before Castro did, a forever lost chance to be reunited. They're saying Castro ruled over "a prison state". How sad and distressing. I do wish our PM would not praise Castro so.

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  7. We're the same age Leslie, and "good" manners were also expected of me by my parents. I don't recall ever learning etiquette. it's just something I always known, and a feeling inside, if that makes any sense?
    I love Christmas, and sparkly decorations. I with I could keep them up all year. lol
    Your meals look delicious, as always.

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    1. You must have had etiquette modelled for you and absorbed it as you were growing up...not everyone has been as fortunate. Perhaps you were a keen observer or just gifted in that area!
      Some people have not learned the importance of manners and kindness.

      We keep our white fairy lights up all year inside the bungalow...they are hung up high on the plate rail near the ceiling...we turn them on for special events.

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  8. "A rising tide lifts all the boats" is an aphorism that I think can describe the change we can make in the world with civility and courtesy and a thoughtful and respectful manner of dressing. It lifts the tone and elevates the discourse. How refreshing to hear one speak of "polite and intelligent" as a way of being! The little kindnesses truly do matter. Thank you for a blog that embodies these values that so many of us subscribe to. We are building not only for ourselves but for those who come after us. I am looking forward to all the beauty and music and joy of the season. And I wish you much joy, too, as you celebrate.

    Please know that you are a very special person and that you contribute so much to this blogosphere.

    Gratefully,
    Honey Bee

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    1. Thank you Honey Bee...
      I hope that we are not a dying breed of polite and intelligent beings...
      if we do not set an example to those following in our footsteps I shudder to think of the tone that will be set.

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  9. Nothing like a great big pot of vegetables to make the world seem a friendlier place:).

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    1. If a pot of vegetables could uplift us and heal the woes of the world I would offer to prepare and cook them!

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  10. Love the whole blog. Love the wreath, the tree, the brooch and the veggies. Thanks!

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  11. I so agree with you on manners and consideration for others. I was complimented on my son's manners when he was growing up, which always filled my heart, and I watch him now religiously nurture his children in the same way. And I remember an uncle who called everyone "sir", e.g. the waiter on Eurostar when he was off to celebrate his 80th birthday. Good manners cost nothing but they do require nurture, example, thought, restraint and respect.
    On a lighter note, I do so wish we could see your OOTD occasionally, Leslie, your descriptions always sound so nice.

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    1. Mary I have tried taking selfies and the results are not great but I will try a few more...the mirror that I have is situated in a dark part of my laundry room and so the pictures are grainy and I do not usually have a "photographer" at home when I am dressed to go our for the day.

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  12. Your wreath is lovely and your home must be so festive this time of year, cozy and welcoming. I do love to hear about how your mother is doing, she certainly has lots of style and elegant manners which she's passed on to you. xx

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    1. Mother is 89 and is starting to show her age...she gets confused and is easily overwhelmed by unexpected events. Most of her friends have passed away and she is quite lonely. She is still driving her BMW convertible, pays all her own bills and does her grocery shopping...my sister and I do notice some changes which are distressing but they are not significant enough for us to take drastic action.

      Mother is light years ahead of me when it comes to her manner of dressing up!
      I often have a day "at home" when I will wear my Yoga pants, tee and a fleece jacket...and I do have a niggling voice inside me that does not approve!

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  13. What a inspirational post - truer words were never spoken ! I also believe that kindness to all and good manners always are so important, but they seem to have fallen by the wayside....Your home is lovely and I agree that the natural "from nature" decorations are beautiful and bring a calmness to our homes. And I agree with Mary - I always enjoy your OOTD - always so classy !

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    1. I must see if I can find a better mirror and place it in a brighter location...will see what I can do but it will have to wait until the New Year as I am busy getting ready for the festive season!

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  14. I went to a private school until I attended grammar school (aged 13) and we were taught to walk, not run, and at grammar school we had deportment girdles for those who walked well. Table manners, indeed, good manners in general, were taught by my parents. Not so speak with mouth full, elbows off the table, to use a knife and fork correctly. I had Elocution lessons so that I didn't speak like the locals, and ballroom dancing lessons, so that I was able to accompany parents to dinner dances in the late 1950s. HOw all this sounds so staid now, but at least I know how to behave in public which is not something which can be said of some people today.
    I love your greenery wreath - did you purchase this, or make it yourself?
    By the way, Leslie, I am enjoying wearing Jour d'Hermes, a fragrance I've not used before. My initial reaction was that it smelt of orange peel - perhaps you smell something quite different? I've not had this immediate reaction since because I'm not familiar with the fragrance, but I don't think it's particularly floral, more spicy. But I do like it!
    Margaret P

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  15. I, too, attended charm school. My single-parent mother saved her hard-earned money to send me to those classes. It was important to her that I receive a well-rounded education. I'm thankful for it. Knowledge is power.

    D.

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  16. Margaret P I purchased the wreath at our local grocery store. The price was so affordable that I could not resist...
    The Hermes scent does have a citrus note to it...I like it too!

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    1. Leslie, I've just written my latest blog post and it's about perfume (www.margaretpowling.com) Perhaps you might like to have a look-see?
      All good wishes,
      Margaret P

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  17. It can be so disheartening. I wonder "What is wrong with people?" on a fairly regular basis. It is sad when you notice good behavior, civility and polite manners because they seem so rare these day. Everyone seems to think their wishes are paramount.

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  18. Oh please. Yes good manners are very important but honestly you and your mother sound like complete snoots.you have Leda very sheltered life in Oak Bay and Fairfield. You have no idea how hard things can be for those not raised behind the tweed curtain. Of course it is easy to be oh so gentile when a hard day is polishing the silver and deciding which Hermes scarf to wear.

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    1. Just to let you know a wee bit about my earlier life...
      I worked from the age of 13...babysitting then at 15 waitressing after school and on weekends and nights, then off to work at the Government to put my husband through school and I worked until my first baby was born, then I operated an in home daycare for several years while at home and then went to work in the school system after my kids were at school and stayed there until I was 57...so I think I have an idea what it is like to work hard and appreciate what money can buy...My retirement lifestyle has been earned and I am grateful...and yes I do own a few Hermes scarves one of which I recently auctioned off to send the proceeds to The Red Cross to help the victims of the Fort McMurray fire.

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  19. Manners were very important to my mother and we had lessons as well. I was the same way with my children and am pleased to know they have lovely manners.

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  20. Thanks for the thoughtful posts. I think there is a difference between having good manners and being polite and speaking up for what we believe is true. Women have been socialized for so long to be "nice" that it can be uncomfortable for us to be in situations where there is conflict and clashing points of view. I really believe that it is possible to disagree, to oppose bullying of all types and still be kind and respectful. If we don't model that for young girls, what chance do they have of growing up to be everything they can be?

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    1. I agree that we can disagree without attacking each other...there is a time and a place for action but it need not be disrespectful. I am not suggesting that we adopt a meek demeanour or that we become pushovers...women can be strong in spirit and in action, but I do think that we can still act while retaining our composure and manners.

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