Sunday, January 29, 2017

Update on the weight loss journey and a reunion.

It has been several weeks since I started a health and wellness journal.
Several readers have asked me to elaborate on what I write in it.

The daily habit helps me try and stay accountable
it acts as a motivator...

It is a convenient way to document my thoughts,
to track my Weight Watcher Points and to record my weight.

Its been a busy few days
so writing has been brief and done just before bedtime. 

I like to set the mood before writing by lighting a scented candle
brew a pot of decaf tea
(caffeine later in the day does not contribute to my sleep)
I will sit in the quiet and reflect upon my day.

Here is an excerpt from the journal when I started...
A few snippets
my weight
the meals.

I often add any food temptations
 how I coped or did not cope with them.

The exercise that I did that day.

Thoughts of gratitude, things that made me smile, quotes that inspire...
the journal is very personal and I am free to write a rant if I so desire.

When I write first thing in the morning 
I often write my goals for that particular day.
If I start my day with a positive theme it continues throughout the day.

It also helps me to exercise if I put my fitness gear on right after my shower.
This is a signal for me to get that out of the way before commencing with the rest of my day.
Exercise is on the agenda and I am not going to change into my dressy clothes
until I go for my walk or do my kettle bell workout.

Fruit makes up the bulk of my snacks and is the basis for any dessert.

I track my WW points with the handy counter.
If you are keen to change or influence your health and wellness
I firmly believe that a journal can help.

The support that you get at WW meetings is incredibly helpful 
if you are struggling with your weight I would not hesitate to recommend WW.

My weight is not moving very much and I admit that I am feeling frustrated...
I may be signing up for WW again but plan to up my exercise first.

I try not to obsess about a few extra pounds
 but I do feel much better, 
have more energy 
and like how my clothes fit when I am lighter.

A reader emailed me about a gym in Oak Bay that offers classes for 55 and older 
they have exercise machines and a punch card is available for a modest cost 
so I have made an appointment and will see if it is something that I would enjoy.

A bunch of former alumni got together for a reunion at the home of one of the teachers.
There was a great turn out and it was lovely seeing so many of the staff.
We all worked together at a local community school and it had been quite a few years since we had everyone gathered together.
So much history, so many shared experiences and oodles of memories.
The animated chatter and laughter filled the afternoon to the brim.

How was your weekend?
~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, January 26, 2017

OOTD and a few snippets from The Humble Bungalow

Blue skies, sunshine and fresh air greeted us this past Monday.
 The weather put me in a happy state and I felt I had a bounce in my step 
with oodles of energy.

The garden is in transition...
bulbs are popping up and things are looking lush and green.

The freesias are still as fresh as the day that I purchased them...
their fragrance is out of this world.

a closer look
offers me the opportunity to
breathe in their intoxicating scent

Flowers from the local merchants are particularly welcome at this time of year.
The garden has not yet emerged from its winter slumber 
 so it is nice to have a few vases filled with blooms in The Humble Bungalow.

I have been busy cleaning out closets, drawers, the pantry cupboard, 
 weeding out my books and cosmetics 
washing and ironing
donating goods to the thrift and charity shop.

Life here is ticking along...
nothing out of the ordinary.

My OOTD today is pedestrian and simple.

I am channelling a matronly vibe...
it is comfortable, cozy and conservative...
well maybe a hint of a rebellious woman wearing leather boots and vest.

I expect there will be critical comments as a result of me putting myself out there...
that happens on the blog these days.
(moderation will weed out the rude and blunt from the constructive and polite)

Grey tights
grey boiled wool skirt
white top with lace at the hem
vintage leather vest
chelsea boots
It is a challenge trying to take a decent selfie...
(in the laundry room with the graphite grey LG washing units behind me)
I am still lacking in this area but you get the general idea.

How about this Topsy Turvy image?

The Diptyque Ambre candle is almost finished...

How is your week going?
Any highlights that you care to share?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dinner in the dining room of The Humble Bungalow...

We are fortunate to have a decent sized dining room in The Humble Bungalow.

In the home where I grew up, we had a sardine can sized dining room where guests were squeezed in around a table, and once you were seated you had to stay until the meal was over.

The white fairy lights are plugged in for special occasions
opting for simple white Sophie Conran china 
French Bee glasses.

There is plenty of crystal and Royal Albert china tucked away in the buffet.
Those pieces come out for bigger gatherings like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Fragrant freesias from Thorn and Thistle Flower Merchants,
my favourite spot in town for fresh flowers and plants. 

We gathered together with darling daughter and her husband to watch their honeymoon video.

For starters
a plate of cheese, crackers, fig jam and olives were served.

Beef tenderloin cooked on a bed of mushrooms 
in a black bean Asian fusion sauce. 

Recipe is in Susan Mendelson's cookbook page 135 
(I cannot find her recipe online and for copyright reasons I cannot print the page so I hope you can find a copy of the book in your local bookseller or library)

Served with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.
The garlic mashed potatoes are from The Barefoot Contessa's Paris cookbook 

Mixed fruit and berry crumble which we topped with coconut ice cream.
I used Ina Gartens's basic recipe from her Paris cookbook 
substituting apples for the plums.

Late Evening Tea Time
decaf Yorkshire Blend and a scented candle.

Time to reflect on the day
count my blessings 
then write in my journal.

It was a lovely evening...

Mother and I walked the Esplanade this afternoon 
then we went for a coffee.
Our usual cafe was closed for holidays.

The blue skies and sunny weather were a tonic 
I am feeling a bit unsettled and persnickety.

I seem to have developed 
a headache
after purging our filing cabinet 
which took me several hours...
has left me with a stack of shredding
that I need to attend to in the morning.

also need the dishwasher motor to be replaced
we could opt for the whole new machine but I do not think that very green or eco friendly so we will replace the broken bits and hope for the best.

I plan to wake up with a fresh attitude
brew my cafe creme
sit and reflect on the good things.

put on a crisp white shirt, pearls and my NYDJ boyfriend jeans
and seize the day!

Do you ever have a day where you just feel like someone has hijacked your life?
Don't be shy...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Shoes...the basic low down.

A reader asked me to write a post on my thoughts about shoes...

Before we go too far let me just say that shoes are not my forte...

I don't really know what my forte is...
seriously, I am not an "expert"

Maybe I could be considered "gifted" at growing roses
making the most of enjoying doing the laundry
or washing dishes at my farm house sink..


Well you asked, so I am going to share my thoughts...

Shoes MUST be comfortable for walking.
I cannot condone discomfort when it comes to footwear...

bleeding blisters and bunions ugh!

If I were to own shoes that I only wore to sit and look beautiful on my feet,
like jewelry,
I suppose I could justify buying seriously high heels
but that seems like an extravagance
not a reasonable or justifiable expenditure with my budget.

Shoes that cost over $250 are considered too much for my budget...
I like to buy mine on sale.

(BTW I am still lusting over those long wished for red Ferragamo Varinas.)
Yes they are on my "lottery win list"
IF I won, do not think for a second that I would not run out and buy a pair...

if the lottery was vast I could buy two in different colours and then I would have to distribute the wealth to my family and local worthy organizations.

Fashion and style come second over comfort.

Colour for me is may already know where I am heading...
yes it is classic black...
I deviate once in awhile and buy a cheery colourful pair of walking shoes for spring and summer but for Fall and Winter I do not stray.

Conservative, practical, affordable.

Fall and Winter Shoes...

2 pairs of boots
3 pairs of flats
2 pairs of short sturdy heels

not shown
(one pair of black kitten heel pumps are in the downstairs closet)

Vintage shoes
these are years old and still going
Amalfi and Stuart Weitzman
(did you notice that I like gross grain bows?)

Flats that I wear with my jeans and ponte knit black pants.
(more bows!!)

Clarks are what I like to wear when I walk many many kilometres.
These came with me to Paris and my feet were happy even after 8 hours of walking.

My current crush
are these Chelsea Boots
by Clarks

I wear them with dresses and skirts with tights, 
and with socks and leggings, pants or  jeans. 

I have black Sperry rain boots and Saucony walking sneakers 
but that's it for my footwear.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Do you like to wear heels?

What do you consider when you buy new shoes...
comfort, style, fad, fashion, price, designer brands?

Will you pay upwards to $1000 (or more) for a pair of shoes?

I won't be offended if you think my collection of shoes is boring and unimaginative...

So please share your thoughts.

We had a fabulous weekend...

Bad news is our dishwasher is on the fritz,
good news is that the repairman is coming by...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, January 20, 2017

Spring Beauty

The Humble Bungalow Garden is showing some signs of life as the bulbs are starting to poke their heads up through the soil...
I have seen some snowdrops up in neighbouring gardens and I love their pure white blooms, so fresh and new.
I found a few images from the Humble Bungalow Garden archives to share with you today.

I feel energized and hopeful when I see these wee flowers...
Spring cannot be too far off when the snowdrops are blooming.
One cannot help but feel encouraged when the garden emerges
from its winter slumber.

Hellebores are hardy plants and they are stalwarts in January
 bursting forth with colour.

Daffodils are soon to follow...
the flower vendors have oodles for sale and I am tempted to buy a few bunches.

I adore this black Hellebore with a spot of sunny yellow in the centre.

Isn't yellow the most cheery of all the colours?
When it comes to spring time flowers yellow blooms are a ray of sunshine.

The Magnolia will be flowering in a bit too...
the buds are plumping up.

One day I hope our Humble Bungalow will have masses of these snowdrops.
We have planted clumps of them and each year they multiply.

For those of you who were curious 
here are a few more snapshots from the archives of the renovated laundry room...

Hope that you have some fun planned for the weekend.
There is a dinner party to prepare, some errands and chores...
 we will be spending some time with the grandchildren 
which always makes me happy and my heart full.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ups and downs in The Humble Bungalow

in The Humble Bungalow
in the laundry room is
where I spend a lot of my time.
hanging clothes to air dry
 heavy duty things go into the dryer
folding and ironing
all jobs that I do almost every day.

I run UP and DOWN the stairs many times in a day.

The bathroom downstairs is compact
 it has a shower, toilet and sink.

It is very handy when we work outside in the garden and need to come inside
even more convenient 
when we have house guests.

Did I mention that I run up and down the stairs many times a day?

It feels like I get a lot of exercise actioning the domestic chores but not enough to keep the pesky pounds at bay.

My new fitness regime with kettle bells is also done downstairs
in the laundry room as there is ample room to move about.

The space is bright and the cats like to sit and watch me go through my paces!

I am wearing casual clothes.

NYDJ boyfriend style jeans
Town Shoes quilted black leather flats
a simple short Joe Fresh charcoal grey T shirt

Upstairs and downstairs we have shelves for our fluffy white towels.
I am partial to white towels.
Are you?

Storage in The Humble Bungalow is abysma
it is minimal as our arts and crafts era home has very little space.

Our closet is tiny and so naturally my wardrobe is small.
That is actually a positive rather than a negative.
I do not like having too much stuff.
I like to see all my clothing choices which makes getting dressed so much easier.

BTW while we are on the topic of clothes...
you responses to the last post were interesting and informative.
I appreciate the time and energy that you put into your comments.

the kitchen is the hub of our Humble Bungalow.

Besides doing the laundry I cook a lot.
I love to create healthy meals and enjoy experimenting with new recipes.

Simple Omelette

2 farm fresh eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk
salt pepper

Melt a knob of butter in a flat crepe or omelette pan 
when bubbles form pour in the eggs.
Add toppings
herbs or arugula as I have used here.

When the edges are setting up 
run a spatula around the edges and gently coax one end
fold gently over
rolling as you go 
until you have a picture perfect omelette.

One of the "UPS" in this post is that I ate a sensible lunch.

Omelette served with a salad
a low Weight Watcher point count lunch.
A tasty pear sliced thinly and savoured with a cup of tea.

"Guilt free" eating and yet it is filling.
(protein is key to keep me feeling satisfied)

On the DOWNside...
Walking has been hit and miss with the recent inclement weather but we are expecting a warming trend so I will be lacing up my sneakers and pounding the pavement with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Have you started with a 2017 health and wellness journey ?
Are you writing in your journal?

Are you feeling more energetic and enthusiastic?
Words can be so important when motivating and engaging in change.

The Nike slogan "Just Do It" comes to mind.

Another "DOWNfall"...
There was a small cello bag of chocolate bark coated in candy cane sprinkles 
a gift from Christmas 
hiding in the drawer that I "discovered" last Sunday while watching Victoria 
on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.

Dear reader, I am weak, I am human.
 I ate it.

The UPside of this is that there is no chocolate left in The Humble Bungalow!

So it is your turn...
have you been disciplined with your fitness and food regime?

Have you been tempted by treats ?

were you clever and cleaned out your pantry of those naughty things
restocked it with only healthy foods?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~