Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Years Eve and Hostess holiday style and a giveaway!

It is New Years Eve!
We are planning a quiet dinner here in The Humble Bungalow.

I have a few resolutions in my back pocket
am reflecting on all the good things in life 
sadly it was
a year fraught with so many unsettling events on the world stage.

It is my hope that we strive to be better
become more forgiving 
respectful of the differences 
that we share
 while living (hopefully) harmoniously on this planet.

The festive season is almost over and it has been a busy holiday.

I wore mostly black...

it is a matter of frugality 
my conservative nature...
even at my age
(almost 62)
 I do like to kick it up a notch.

Mesh tights feel a bit more edgy than sheer hose
short boots feel hipper than pumps
an armful of bangles seems like more fun than a watch...
they are shiny silver and make a bit of noise!

The black slim skirt is a basic style which sits just above the knee...
it is a "work horse" in my closet.
This new skirt is a recent purchase
 made in Canada in a knit and it is lined.

I wore my vintage mink jacket out to dinner on icy Christmas Day.
(Mr. HB is not a fan of fur and I DO have reservations wearing fur)

I posted this on Instagram and many commented on the fact that it is vintage fur and 
I should wear it without guilt.

I wore my St. John black top with a bit of sparkle
black skirt
mesh tights
Chelsea boots
grey pearl drops and diamond studs.

(Thank you to Mr. HB for taking the photos.)

My sister cooked us a fabulous dinner...
tenderloin steaks and assorted veggies.
Truffles and yogurt for dessert.

Mother loved the quiet and smooth drive in our new car.

Our kids came to us this year on Boxing Day and we enjoyed their visit.

I have been eating too much and I know I need to get on top of this situation.
(I will)

Blinders are firmly affixed as I am avoiding the scale.
(until 2017)

My jeans are feeling snug 
(which us never a good sign)
already exploring local fitness program schedules
 curious about  the new Weight Watchers program 
Beyond The Scale...
I saw an advert on telly with Oprah...
she has lost over 40 pounds.
I think I heard that she owns WW
anyone out there know if this is true?

Chester my trusty assistant 
is trying to squeeze in and get some attention as I type.
He tries to do this when I am my knitting and reading too.

Started reading this book after Christmas...
I am only into it a few chapters so I cannot really comment yet but the story on the jacket cover sounded entertaining.

I'll be posting with the knitted oven mitt pattern, I have not forgotten.

New Years resolutions:

Thinking about a weight loss challenge
 continued thoughts on living a beautiful, relaxed and simple life.

A New Years giveaway...
this lovely Kennedy Watson book
could be yours
just leave me a comment and we will randomly choose a name.
Leave your comment before January 4th at midnight PST.

Watch for the draw and then email me with your mailing address if your name is the one chosen.

Good Luck
Happy New Year!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Another year well done Leslie! I very much enjoy your blog. Happy New Year!

  2. Well, I am still in the same boat with weight as you are. My daughter is transforming her eating and exercise habits as a result of her surgery so I should (will) be as determined. I read The Three Weissmanns of Westport a while ago. It was an "okay" read. I don't remember much about it. I like your "black style" and I have found that simple colour schemes work best to simplify my life. I won't enter your giveaway because I already own that book as well as (quite) a few other lifestyle books. Our Calgary relatives have left for home now and I've been to too many happy hours so I think we'll just stay in the condo and appreciate the sunny skies for our remaining two days. Happy New year to you and to your

  3. Oprah owns 10 per cent of weight watchers apparently

  4. Happy New Year Leslie!

    Thank you for your always engaging posts. For years I read Victoria magazine...your blog has the same warm and welcoming feel.

    I too am considering participating in a community fitness programme in an effort to lose pounds. It's been a long while since aerobics at the local 'Y'....maybe a group class is just what my body needs.

  5. Happy New Year to you and your family as well. I always enjoy reading your posts! Lyn

  6. Hi Leslie, I had never heard of Ted Kennedy Watson before, just had a look at his blog. Very lovely, lots to learn. I took Christmas and New Year off from the gym; next week I have to decide whether to go back to the same one or join the YMCA - I think I need some group classes, which my gym doesn't do.

    Happy New Year, all the best to you and the family.

  7. I would love to win the book. A girl, age 70, still likes style and simplicity is my aim in 2017. Thanks for your great blog. I believe less is more.

  8. yes...Oprah does own a large amount of wow stock. I would love to have my name in the contest-Katie Dohring

  9. Yes she-Oprah bought stock in www last year. She looks happy in the ads.

  10. Yes, those mesh tights kick it up quite a few notches! Lovely outfit and I am big fan of silver bangles!

    Happy New Year!

  11. I would love to win that book. Your Christmas Day style is very classy. I inherited my mother's vintage furs. If I can lose some of these pesky pounds that I have crept on I would love to be able to wear them.

  12. Wishing you a wonderous 2017 in Canada from an Aussie reader.

  13. Always enjoy your blog...I'm from Victoria too!

  14. Happy New Year Leslie ....just under two hours to go here but I realise it's over seven in Victoria! Like you I've found the pounds have crept on over the last week or so. It's not that I've eaten much, more that I havent been as strict as I usually am :) and I'm sure the Gluwein hasn't helped! I hope that you enjoy your New Year Celebrations ....whatever you do and whoever youre with.
    Happy 2017 ... wishing you lots of happy days with your family and many relaxing on your boat with Mr HB :)

  15. Happy New Year! I love your blog!

    My jeans are a bit tight too... I actually haven't avoided the scale, so I know I need to drop five pounds to be where I was before the holiday season. If I lost another two on top of that, then I would be at my goal weight. What I'm trying to say is, you have my understanding and support.

  16. Hi I'd love to win the book. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year! I'm 62 also and struggling with weight that doesn't seem to want to go away no matter what i do. I find your blog very soothing and nonjudgmental at the same time you discuss so many things that matter to me. Thank you!

  17. Oprah has been a shareholder in WW stock for over a year (she doesn't own it, just shares). Don't stress about the weight for now - be happy, celebrate (in non-food ways!) and enjoy yourself. Beyond the Scale focuses on our non-scale victories, like making better choices, moving more, and doing things that nurture our souls - losing weight is a happy side-effect of taking better care of ourselves.

    Hugs to you for a Happy New Year in 2017, Leslie!

  18. Happy New Year to you and yours Hostess. I am a fan of Ted Watson Kennedy's style and would love a chance to win his book.

    Like there's have mentioned, the "D" word will be front and centre starting Monday ��

  19. Whoops - I meant to say Ted Kennedy Watson - I'm confused and it is not even midnight!

  20. Wishing you and yours a happy New Year, hostess! Love your blog.

  21. Dear Hostess, I have been reading your lovely blog for a couple of years but this is my first time leaving a comment. As 2016 closes out, I want to thank you for writing your blog. Because of you I have let my hair go gray (best thing I've ever done), enjoying the little things more and will be starting Weight Watchers in January. My main goal for the New Year is to be more present, more aware of beauty in daily activities and more grateful. I can't thank you enough for sharing your life with us. You have certainly been a huge inspiration and encouragement for me. Wishing you and yours a MOST wonderful new year!

  22. Happy New Year, Hostess and family! I believe Oprah bought a 10% share of Weight Watchers awhile ago because she was impressed with their approach. This looks like a lovely book to read, wrapped up in my faux fur throw with my cat on my lap. I, too, hope that 2017 brings us all peace, joy and abiundance. Best wishes.

  23. Happy New Year.
    Love that you let us know what you are reading. Hope to read The Midwife of Hope River after I finish A Gentleman in Moscow.
    Our local YMCA has mania classes to chose from and for me, it was a great place to meet new people in our new community.

  24. Leslie,
    Thank you again for your wonderful blog. I know you thought of stepping away at one time.....but we begged don't do it! I'm so glad you changed your mind! I can't tell you how your lovely photos enrich my life, I love nature and you capture it so well. Your lovely outlook on life, as well as always saying "Be well and be kind" reminds me of my father, who whenever I left him would say "Take care of yourself", what a simple lesson for life! Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year and I hope that the goodness of people will be the standout story for 2017!
    P.S. Please include me in the book drawing

  25. I love your simple living approach and try to emulate that even though I should still be out working (I am 57; my husband is 64 and retired at 60). But I really enjoy staying at home with him and working on our home and taking time out doing the things I never had time to do while working full time: trying out new recipes, working on my sewing/arts & crafts, reading, taking weekend trips, also watching my weight....thanks for your wonderful blog and a very happy new year 2017. Lamar from Texas, USA

  26. Thank you again for your lovely blog. I always enjoy a glimpse into your everyday activities as well as your joie de vivre. Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year !
    Suz from Vancouver
    Please include me in the book drawing

  27. Happy New Year! Your blog is always my first stop when I log on to browse!

  28. Happy New Year! Your blog is always my first stop when I log on to browse!

  29. Happy New Year! I am hoping 2017 is one filled with peace, joy and health for you and your family. I love your blog, and look forward to seeing what you write about in the coming year.

  30. I have to admit that I have had blinders on as well. I have gained weight---so will be with you in the new year committed to losing it!

    I've always loved your silver bangles!

  31. Today brought a new puppy into our lives. Very joyful. 2017 will bring an empty nest. Looking towards simplifying. Thank you for your leadership in this arena.

  32. Happy and healthy New year to you and all of your family.I have been reading a long time but this is the first time I have written to say hi.
    My mum lost 6 kg just by changing her plate size.It may work for you too.
    Please keep us entertained with your blog .Liz2B

  33. You look fabulous, such a classy and well thought out outfit. Mr HB did a great job, I hope he takes some more soon.
    My cat is the same, he gets so jealous when I "stroke" my other "pets", laptop, kindle, newspaper crosswords, knitting etc and storms in aggressively nudging the unfaithful hand off the interloping "pet".
    Wishing you and yours a beauty, relaxed and simple 2017 x.

  34. Love your outfit! I tend to wear neutrals too and like ankle boots. I am 72 and husband is 81 but there is no need to dress like an old lady!
    I once had that book by Catherine Shine, but I didn't get on with it - I will be interested to hear what you have to say about it!
    Happy New Year to you and your husband, Leslie, from the other side of the pond,
    Margaret P (Devon, UK)

  35. Many good wishes in the coming year. I enjoy and am inspired by your blog. I look forward to reading it in 2017!

  36. Happy New Year. Just wanted to say thank you for your lovely blog.

  37. Happy new year, Leslie. I really enjoy your blog, especially the book recommendations and that looks an interesting read. I see you like Ferraro Rocher, which is a Christmas treat of mine too! I'm trying to finish my box before the holidays end so there's less temptation to continually indulge... time to live (and eat) more simply again I think!

  38. Happy New Year! Thank you for writing your lovely blog. Your posts are always an inspiration. Now that the Holidays are over I need to be more disciplined. Happy 2017!

  39. I love your encouraging blog. I would also love to win this book. Best of luck to all who enter. All the best for the New Year, Robin in Umbria

  40. Happy New Year. I look forward to reading your blog in 2017.

  41. Happy New Year Leslie!! I enjoy reading your blog so very much. xo

  42. Happy 2017, Leslie. I'll be joining you on the weight loss trail from tomorrow and reviewing my fitness regime. I hope the new year brings you health and happiness in your bungalow.

  43. I joined Weight Watchers when I learned you did and we started out at the same weight. Your blog is very interesting and I feel we are soul sisters. I'm looking for a word for 2017 and have decided to use "Style & Simplicity". Would love to win the book for inspiration for 2017. Happy New Year.

    1. I need your name too, not just anonymous, in order to enter you for the book draw!

  44. The best to you and your lovely family in 2017.
    Your outfit is perfect. We upper "middle age-ers" have still got it when we want!
    No real exercise for me until knee is fixed, but I am thinking of picking up yoga again.
    My husband calls our two kitties the "Little Library Lions." In the morning when I stir, they walk up on the coverlet, one on the left and one on the right, heads ready to be stroked. Animals can bring such joy to our lives. Carol

  45. Looking around my house after a late New Year's Eve, I could use a bit of Style & Simplicity. I hope sometime in 2017 we'll get to meet for a cup of tea. Best wishes.

  46. You looked lovely for Christmas and wear black beautifully. I would be happy to join a weight loss challenge since I did overindulge during the holidays. But they were glorious! I don't always feel that way, but this year, for some reason, I had the right attitude. To simplicity and peace in 2017.

  47. I wanted to say that I so love reading your blog. Also the Volvo was a wonderful gift . My husband has one and it is terrific in snow. Happy New Year. Lis

  48. Happy new year hostess! Thanks for sharing the lovely pics, also must say your scones recipe is my go to wish I had it years ago. Cheers from Rita.

  49. Happy New Year, Hostess!! Wishing a joyous, peace-filled, healthy New Year to you and all whom you hold dear. Almost through with the scarf pattern you shared, so looking forward to new projects!!!

    with warm and friendship

  50. Love your outfit. Happy New Year!

  51. I wonder if you would share the brand details of your skirt. I would like to add a lined knit skirt of this style to my wardrobe.

    1. Made in Canada knit skirt sold at Taylor Lynn on Oak Bay Avenue for just a tad under $100...the label is M.I.K.O. hope that helps.

  52. Greetings, Hostess. I love your style, chic with an edge, just as you said. You look fabulous. I enjoy your posts very much. The past year had quite a few challenges. Here is to a happy, healthy 2017! Cheers, Violet.

  53. Dear Leslie (aka Hostess ) Thank you for your thoughtful and considered comments about respect and forgiveness. Many of us are reeling from the rancour and death threats expressed over politics (Trump and Brexit), racist attacks and generally hoping for a better year. I am also striving for thinner but have not started well
    Best wishes to you and your family from Western Australia.Deborah

  54. You look very glamorous! Glad to hear that you had such a lovely holiday season with the family.
    My jeans are also rather snug at the moment so it is time to get back on track. I have been very successful at losing weight by staying around 1200 calories per day, eating lots of fruit & veg and cutting back on carbs (my personal downfall) - have to honestly say that I rarely feel hungry following this routine and that I do have much more energy and simply feel better in general. I am feeling rate sluggish at the moment so that is a good motivator! Other than that, I think it will be small changes - learning to relax but staying within some sort of routine - getting all those nagging little jobs done around my apt. - getting a lot more reading done - and spending more time with friends rather than spending more time online or in front of a screen!
    And I would love to be entered in your draw - that looks like a lovely book!
    Happy New Year!

  55. I would love that book since part of my New Years resolutions are to simplify and live more elegantly. You are such an inspiration to me!

  56. I'd love the book and your fur jacket :)

  57. You are an inspiration in your quest to live a fulfilling, healthy, active life. This is so important as we age. We may be getting older, but we want to look good doing it! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  58. Dear Hostess. You are a part of my afternoon ritual. I always check in on you, your lovely home, your inspiring and photogenic recipes, your stylist wardrobe selections, your gorgeous garden, your nature walks, lunches, boat rides, flower shots and I am always surprised, entertained and delighted. You are a treasure.
    Thank you for continuing to post.
    Joi Caplen
    Philadelphia, PA

  59. I love your bangles. I wear three on my left arm that I never remove. Happy New Year!
    Donna Schomberg, Ontario