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 ~

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Holiday mode for a wee bit longer....

Greetings from The Humble Bungalow.
I am still very much in holiday mode but thought I would share a few of the holiday snapshots with you.

Our faux tree with simple white fairy lights.

Boxing Day 
before the gifts were opened...
(most of these parcels are for the grandchildren)

Fraser Fir candle adding to the ambiance with the scent of a real tree.

Our tiny living room

Dining Room 
lunch table set 
food prepared 
we are ready for the family's arrival.

We had a fun filled day and the grand children were such fun to watch.
We had a small turkey with all the trimmings and a kale salad.
 Grammy's home made macaroni and cheese as the wee ones seem to like it!

This Hostess is quite pleased as Santa decided it was time to replace our 15 year old Volvo with a newer one!

That's Kyle, the salesman at Volvo of Victoria, standing beside me.
The staff at Volvo of Victoria are very knowledgable and helpful.
They made our purchase experience so relaxing and easy...

V60 Cross Country

The car has so many wonderful safety features...
and is a quiet and comfortable car to drive.

It's a fun ride.

If we are lucky 
it should be another 15 years before we need to buy another car...
Volvo's are made to last a LONG time.

So that's it for now...
I'll be posting more soon.

If I don't manage to write another post until after New Years...

Wishing you a healthy
Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading my humble blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, December 23, 2016

Seasons Greetings...

The Humble Bungalow is dressed up with twinkling white lights.
We are ready for the Holidays.
Food has been purchased, presents have been wrapped, the baking is finished.

This year
Our Christmas tree is a faux one.
 (blame the naughty cats who climb the tree, drink the water and munch on it)

The faux tree came with lights and has a handy foot pedal that turns it on.
There are 11 different programs for the lights,
 I prefer to have them on old school style rather than waving on and off or pulsating!

We have been enjoying casual seasonal get togethers and creating some new family memories.


Gingerbread Men for the grandchildren to decorate.

We had fun decorating the cookies!

Many of the candied decorations were munched before they made it onto the gingerbread cookies...
This Grammy had such fun...
we will have to arrange to do this again next year.

This week a friend and I met for morning coffee in town.
we went to a book store and this book tree caught my eye.

Many of our neighbours have dressed up their gardens with lights and baubles.
The holiday spirit is very much alive in our neighbourhood.
Walking along our street I noticed that more homes are decorated 
than those that are not.
I love that people take the time to participate in making our street a wee bit brighter.

Colourful lights look so pretty strung up in a tree...
a simple idea that really adds ambiance.

Our holidays in The Humble Bungalow focus on the things money can not buy.

It is not all about gifts, but rather the memories...
those that we create today and those we remember from years gone by...
the people who are no longer with us always have a way of popping up in our minds at this time of year.

We toast to their memory...

stories follow
some are funny, some sad
the stories are not all "happy" 
they are part of our history

our festive season is made brighter by 
 connecting with friends and family...

 if your family is far away
unable to get home
you can give of yourself 
with so many opportunities out there 
it fills ones heart to help the less fortunate


you can invite a group of other friends whose families are unable to get together this year and celebrate with a simple meal
it could be a pot luck event
keep it simple.

Festive food and feasting...
treats, baking, chocolate.

Friends, who now live in France, sent us some chocolates.
We nibbled a few last night and they live up to their tasty reputation.
BETA5 is one of the top 5 chocolate makers in all of North America!

With all these extra treats I will need to be vigilant and keep up with my walking,
perhaps walking longer and farther to compensate for these delicious seasonal indulgences.
Weight Watchers will still be there for me after the holidays!

This post is a bit discombobulated and I am trying to rein it in,
 in a cohesive way,
 but I think it has gotten away from me so I had better close.

I am grateful that you are my audience and that you visit and listen...

Thank you so much for reading The Humble Bungalow blog.
Your comments and emails throughout the year are really appreciated.

Wishing you a Joyous and Festive Holiday. 

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday dressing ~ Hostess Style

Today I want to chat about my thoughts on dressing for the holiday season.
Views are strictly my own and I am not professing to be an expert on fashion...

Hostess Style aka Grammy Style,
is an honest, comfortable, and affordable way of dressing.
I have new, vintage, and thrift shop finds in my closet.

Essentially, I dress to camouflage my figure flaws,
drawing focus on the better bits and minimizing the mid section!

My wardrobe is small, curated, and bordering on spartan,
and it leans decidedly toward conservative...
The colours tend to be mostly black and grey.

Black is so versatile that I keep getting drawn back to it time and again.
It looks dressy in daylight and elegant at night. You get a lot of mileage out of black clothes as they go with everything...that's the "practical" coming out in my personality!

Black is rather like a backdrop,
a black canvas perhaps, just waiting for accessories.

The iconic LBD is still as popular today
as it was when it was first introduced many decades ago...

I own several little black dresses and they are so easy and effortless to wear.

I recently purchased a simple black skirt that sits slightly above the knee.
It will get worn quite a bit over the holidays and can be dressed up or dressed down. I already own several pairs of black shoes; flats, kitten heels and pumps as well as Chelsea boots.
This budget friendly addition is a welcome garment for the festive season.

At this time of year I like to add a bit of sparkle...

St. John black knit top with beads...
great with my new skirt or pants.

Can you imagine this top worn with my boyfriend jeans
black leather "moto jacket" and Chelsea boots?

Vintage wool and sequin top from Woodwards,
It's party time!

Sparkly jewels
J Crew necklace and two vintage Sherman brooches.
Festive dressing can involve a few bling-y pieces and at this time of year I like to play at bit more with accessories when dressing up.

I also like to take some extra time with my skin care regime.
A morning spent quietly sipping tea and giving myself a facial 
is my idea of luxury.

Sleep has been hit and miss for me for the past few months 
I go to sleep but wake in the night and I do not fall back asleep easily.
Unfortunately this pattern of waking seems to show up on my face...
it is actually bugging me as I used to be such a great sleeper.

As a result 
I have been focusing more on healthy eating 
making sure that I stay hydrated

taking time to set aside a few minutes to meditate
and focus on my breathing

I also think that I need to get back to practising Yoga in the New Year.

Bone broth with turmeric

Nourish, just as its name suggests, serves healthy nutritious food. 
Many of the options are dairy and gluten free.

Poached eggs on a bed of kale, mushrooms and sweet potatoes 
topped with a cashew cream hollandaise.

Nom Nom!

So how do you like to dress for the holidays?
Are you drawn to bright colours or do you prefer neutrals?

What, if anything, are you planning to add to your wardrobe?

I like to add a splash of scent everyday
and two of my favourites are
Mitsouko by Guerlain and Jour d' Hermes

Hope your week is off to a great start...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Snow Day...

We enjoyed a dinner out with friends this week,
on the drive home we marvelled at the large orange moon hanging low in the sky
it looked like it was suspended just above the houses
and the reflection on the ocean was just so beautiful...

Not quite the image that I was hoping for...
it was difficult to capture the detail with my IPhone.

I cannot believe it but we have more snow...
we awoke yesterday to a light dusting and it continued to fall all morning.

This was the view on my walk the other day and I thought for sure that we would be enjoying warmer temperatures.

I noticed that there were a few late forming rose buds...
they must be frozen and ready to drop by now.

A study in black and white
Black Mondo grass poking out of the snow.

I decided that some comfort food was needed so I made a chicken pot pie.

The Food network had Ina Gartens' recipe.

Fresh and hot from the oven.
Can you see the snow outside?

Mr. HB put up a string of white lights on the Climbing Royal Sunset rose.
They look so pretty at night
I can see them when I am working in the Humble Bungalow Kitchen.

reminds me of a string of lustrous pearls

We went to an open house and a birthday party last night,
held in a heritage home of a young family.
There was quite a crowd and I think that the children outnumbered the adults.

This black cat clock hangs in the kitchen and the eyes move from side to side.
The young children are quite taken with are many of the adults who have memories of these vintage clocks.

I've woken up with a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat and I am hoping that it does not turn into a cold. Today I plan to lay low, drink lots of fluids and keep warm.

I have a great book

The Midwife of Hope River
by Patricia Harman
I am halfway through and enjoying it immensely.

Have you had a good weekend?
What's new?
Are you busy with all the Christmas preparations?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~