Saturday, September 30, 2017

Meat Pie for the Mister

Lately on my WW regime I have been eating different food than my husband.
Mr. HB likes to have a hearty meal and I have been avoiding heavy meals, preferring to nibble on salads with a small amount of protein.

The reduced point plan has definitely been a success as I am closing in on my goal weight and have about 5 pounds to lose.
Last week, or rather the past 10 days I hit a plateau and the scale stayed at the same weight which I find rather discouraging, but I press on...

Encouraged by the results so far I continue to be mindful of what I eat and the portions that I put on the plate...if I have a larger lunch, I'll opt for a smaller dinner.

The meat pie recipe that I served Mr. HB follows...

Meat Pie

Brown 1-2 pounds ground and stewing beef in a small amount of oil.
Add 1 large onion and cook until soft.

Chop and dice:
3 carrots
3 ribs of celery
3 medium sized potatoes
1 parsnip
1 small turnip

Add to beef and onion mixture 1/4 cup flour,
blend to coat and cook for a few minutes then add 2 cups beef stock.
Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add all the vegetables and simmer with the lid on until they are cooked.
Pop in a cup or 2 of frozen peas and put lid back on and let simmer while you make the pastry topping.


In a bowl measure 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp salt then mix it together.
Cut in 1/2 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until butter is coarsely blended.

In a cup measure
beat 1 small egg with 1 tsp vinegar
add just enough ice water until it measures 1/3 cup.
Drizzle into flour and butter mixture and mix to form into a disc.
Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.

Place stew mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Roll pastry put on a lightly floured board large enough to cover stew and leave a little bit overhanging the edge to crimp and seal it in.

Cut vents in top of pastry and bake at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or just until pastry is golden brown.

Before baking

Dinner is served !

I highly recommend this wee Weight Watcher calculator.
It has simplified my shopping choices and makes it fast and easy to calculate the points of any products using the nutrition information on the package.

My favourite snack these days is a tart crisp freshly sliced apple 
served with 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese and 2 Wasa rye crisp crackers.
I will opt for this mid afternoon with a cup of tea and it keeps me satisfied until our dinner is served  around 7 o'clock.

How is your weekend going?
Anything fun and exciting to share?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 25, 2017

Thrift shopping...OOTD

The Thrift Shops have been so good to me lately...

This freshly purchased vintage leather bag is coming home.

I have posted about how I have been lusting after the Mulberry Amberley bag.
 The Oxblood leather is sumptuous
the details are simple 
classic and stylish.

I have been slow...
hesitating to make a move 
for several reasons...

there is no store here in Victoria or Vancouver 
where I can see and try on it on
the price point is higher than what I usually spend
so I have been re-evaluating
so when I saw this vintage bag 
which is made with embossed leather
about the same size
with a flap and similar interior compartments
I decided to give it a try.

The new Ralph Lauren denim shirt 
with my skinny NYDJ jeans
Clark flats

Casual dressing making the rounds at the thrift shops 
paired with a silk scarf tied at the neck.

This shirt will get plenty of outings...

I am considering wearing it with:

 a boiled wool grey skirt and pearls
black skinny Calvin Klein knit pants
white denim NYDJ jeans
Ralph Lauren pull on denim pants
black leggings and a black Barbour quilted vest

Not sure why I have not had a denim or chambray shirt in my wardrobe for so many years...
I feel like I have been missing out on a major workhorse in ones repertoire!

I also found a lighter blue Tencel shirt with similar features...
am wearing it today with black leggings.

Feeling such gratitude for so many reasons...
friends, family, grandchildren, a roof over our head, our cozy home, the cats, flowers in our garden, the veggies that Mr. HB so lovingly cultivates and grows,
I vow NEVER EVER to take life for granted.

It's a beautiful rainy morning
one of the first Fall days.

Hope you have a fabulous week!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Inspired by Janet at The Gardener's Cottage

Janet writes the beautiful blog The Gardener's Cottage from Redlands California.
I've been an avid reader and follower for many years and every time I see her new post pop up I get excited! I know that I am in for a treat!

There are many reasons that her blog is a favourite of mine...
from the charming cottage that she and her husband Larry have lovingly restored, to her exquisitely curated furnishings and home decor,
the tasty recipes,
her beautiful garden and oasis of calm,
and of course her refined and honest personal style...
Janet's is a "must read blog" in my humble opinion!

Janet has recently redesigned her blog...
and she has been posting more frequently which thrills me no end!

Janet posted about an outfit that we probably already own here..
I do own jeans...but did not have the shirt.

It's been on my radar ever since I read this post and I must admit that I have been obsessing about finding the right shirt...

I discovered after trying on several styles that I need an extra large size.
The buttons and snaps were gaping at the chest and everywhere else
the shirts would fit, so finding "The One" proved to be a challenge...
but I do love a challenge!!

Yesterday I found a shirt that fits and flatters.
It's by Ralph Lauren and in a Petite size
and it was on sale!

It has pearl snap details.

Which made me think of my bubble gum pearl necklace.

Pearls and denim 
perfect paired
with my skinny NYDJ jeans.

A new look for this Hostess thanks to Janet at The Gardener's Cottage.

How's your week going?

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 18, 2017

New dress...

The black bamboo dress that I donated left a void in my closet that begged to be filled. A few empty hangers are now languishing in our closet...

That bamboo "understated" black dress was the one that I wore to many events...
from my retirement the theatre, dinners out, Christmas, a staff party, a funeral, bridge luncheons, date nights....

I knew that I needed to find a replacement dress
but I had no idea that I would find one so quickly.

The dress I found is patterned and has body and weight so it hangs well.
I plan to wear black or grey tights with it and depending on the event either my new Chelsea Boots or black shoes.
 For a dressier look I can opt for sheer charcoal hose and black kitten heels
and add a vintage brooch for some pizazz.

Hard to capture this well as the fitting room is so tiny.
(I also am wearing my NYDJ boyfriend jeans underneath!)

You can see the jeans underneath 
but I was in a hurry 
as I was meeting up with my DIL and the grandchildren for a lunch date!

pockets come in handy

sleeve detail

Made by Masai and purchased at a consignment shop in Oak Bay.
Not everything I own has to be new.

New Clark's Chelsea Boots
I'll be wearing these most days every week for the forseeable future.

It has been a wee bit of a shopping frenzy lately...
not my usual habit but I have been fortunate to find some of the things that I need to replace the tired and worn out pieces that I have purged from my closet.

I've been very lucky at the thrift shops too...
several new key pieces have been found at bargain basement prices.
I'll post more on these soon.

Have you found anything on your list for Fall and Winter?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, September 15, 2017

September is a great time to curate one's closet.

September is a time of change...

the summer season is slipping away
fall is in the air
fresh starts, new beginnings
and a burst of colour in the foliage of the trees.

A great time to start some projects,
take a class,
shop for accessories,
clean out the closet
declutter the pantry
get rid of expired medications
polish boots, shoes and handbags.

Take stock of what is hanging in the closet...
what clothes get worn, what clothes do not feel right when worn.
Time to "observe trends" that may be in the magazines, on blogs, in the shops.
Can you rework what you have in your closet?
How about pairing separates in a fresh new way?

Perhaps it is time for re-evaluating one's personal style
how our current lifestyle might affect the clothes that we keep
those that we may donate, consign or hand down...

What new things could thrill or inject energy to what we have and love?
Vintage pieces?
What "speaks" to your inner muse?

Can you kick it up a notch?
Is it a genuine representation of your personal style?
Does it feel real or do you feel like you are wearing a "costume."

Shop at the charity and consignment shops for a splash of colour,
find something a bit unusual...a scarf, a belt, a bag are great pieces that don't have to break the budget and are ways to add a punch of colour or texture or style.
Have fun!

The least expensive accessory that I purchased so far this season is a lipstick.

L'Oreal trio...

The new kid on the block is #315 True Red
It is the first red that I have purchased since I was in Paris.

It will be fun wearing this shade with my crisp white shirt and jeans.
I have a lot of black and grey garments and this pop of colour will brighten up my pale complexion.

I've received numerous compliments on the Rose 31 scent by Le Labo.

Layering products makes a fragrance last longer so I phoned Nordstrom and ordered the Rose 31 lotion yesterday.

Wearing a new scent and a red lipstick is giving me a psychological boost.

Have you found anything new and exciting for the new season?

Une Femme has some new lipstick shades 
coincidentally I was working on this post when I read her blog post!

Great minds think alike!

The WW regime is really paying off...
almost 10 pounds down.
I am not hungry and have been pleased with how my clothes are fitting.
More energy and better sleep patterns have been wonderful side effects.
My skin has started to glow...
I think it must be all the water that I am drinking 
plus the variety of colourful vegetables and fruits on the menu...
less red meat 
a bit of fish, lean free range chicken and organic eggs.

What are you reading right now?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grandchildren ~ Play time and memories...

There's nothing quite as special as time with the grandchildren...
their seemingly endless energy, unbridled enthusiasm and love of spontaneity is part of what I love so much when we are together.

These precious hours never fail to put a smile on my face and time passes so quickly that I always snap a few photos to preserve these special moments.

Gyro Park Octopus
children can climb inside the head and slide down the arms of the octopus.

A glorious September afternoon for a some playtime at the park.
Henry loved the zip line!
(you can see it on the right of the image)

The mythical sea creature that has been seen over the years
swimming in Cadboro Bay.
(like the Loch Ness Monster)

Peek a boo!


Our darling Mira loves to play like the big kids.
She climbs up the steep steps of the slide and then delights in sliding down.

Henry sitting on the fin of a blue whale.

Dallas Road Beach
the waterfront staircase and turret painted by Victoria's artist in residence.

A driftwood hut
a great spot for the grandchildren to explore and use their imagination.
Buried Treasure?

Isla had fun playing inside the structure and after playing inside we hunkered down and got serious about digging for beach glass!

Our September weather has been mild and sunny which makes it easy to get out and have fun in the afternoons and on the weekends when Isla is not at school.

I remember start of the school years as a young student...
new pencils and fresh pink erasers
clean scribblers
pots of glue
new shoes
white socks
 new skirts and blouses
gym strip
a lunch kit

all the things that I needed to make a great start to the school year.

So many years ago...
but the memories are still fresh.

And now it's Isla's turn to experience 
the newness of her books
the fresh pencils
clean pink erasers
a new pencil box
a backpack

Time to forge memories of her own which she'll keep for years to come.

My goodness but time passes quickly...

At the age of 62
looking back...

I have countless memories and experiences
enough to fill up many many books!

Feeling so grateful that I am able to share such lovely days with my family.
September is fresh with newness and I am starting a few new projects of my own.

How about you?
Have you got something new on your radar?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, September 10, 2017

OOTD and random snippets from The Humble Bungalow

Our weekend harvest of home grown vegetables in Mr. HB's new wooden Trug.

The Trug looks very much "at home" with the wooden cutting boards.

Mr. HB tends to the veggies in the garden and grows tomatoes in his greenhouse.

The tomatoes are so tasty and sweet, 
nothing like those that you find in the grocery stores.
The potatoes were amazing too...we ate them for dinner last night.

Love being able to go outside and harvest some home grown veggies.

After much consideration and testing many samples I was finally able to chose a rose fragrance...the one that I opted for is Le Labo Rose 31.

It was a time consuming exercise testing all the samples.
Some were too sweet, some too strong,  and one made me break out in hives and I had a rash with a couple of other ones which was a surprise as I have never had a reaction to any perfume before.

Le Labo makes a "natural product" that is compounded fresh at the retailer 
 when one places the order.
Nordstrom's Fragrance Department in Vancouver were extremely helpful.
They sent me all the samples for free.

  I received the scent promptly after placing my order and a few samples of Le Labo Rose 31 lotion and shower gel were included.

The scent is subtle and can be worn by both women and men.

It is a subtle fragrance and layering the lotion with the eau de parfum makes it last longer.

Fall is in the air and our furnace came on this weekend when it rained.
We need the rain badly as there are forest fires still burning in our province
and the gardens are looking quite parched.

With the change of season comes the change of clothes from the out of season closet downstairs and swapping out the summer things in our bedroom closet.
Some pieces overlap and are worn all year long.

I do not have a huge list of things to replace.
(or a big budget)
 I did get rid of a pair of basic grey pants last Spring...
they had lost their shape and the seat pouched out making them look shabby...
 having worn them for 2 or 3 seasons they had served me well and owed me nothing.

I went out and did a wee bit of shopping this past Sunday 
after our family brunch 
and the beach play time with the grandchildren.

NYDJ boyfriend jeans
Cupio tank top
OM3 jersey jacket
Jungla shoes

OOTD without the jacket.

Calvin Klein sturdy skinny knit pants
a wide elastic waistband with a slim line
no extra details to add bulk
smooth across the tummy
I like these very much!

Gap long sleeved top
a basic in a neutral shade that is very soft and will be cozy for Fall and Winter.
Great for layering under my vests.

Patterned Mod-O-Doc tunic top in black, grey and white that will be paired with the skinny knit pants.

All three items totalled $130
plus they can be worn with several other things already hanging in my closet.

Machine washable
 hang to dry 
which extends their life 
keeps them looking new as long as possible.

Still on my list for Fall and Winter are a new pair of black leather Chelsea boots.
I wore out my last pair...
which is not surprising 
because I must have worn them 5 days out of 7 for the past 2 years!

The weight loss regime continues...
I have lost 6.8 pounds in the past few weeks.

Eating lower WW point count food and not drinking wine
coupled with more exercise has finally paid off.

It's hard work and dedication that make the difference.

It is my hope that the losing will continue and that the scale will reflect my efforts.
The goal is to get back to my WW goal of 132 pounds which is at the top of the WW weight range for someone my height.

If I eventually weigh 135 I will be content...
132 would be amazing.

My heart goes out to the people affected by the recent wild weather events.
The devastating earthquake in Mexico and that powerful hurricane Irma. 

There are so many things that are beyond our control.

 Watching the news it is encouraging the way that people are helping each other get through these troubled times.

Hope that your week is off to a great start.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Views from Here...

We have been away on the boat over the Labour Day Weekend and Mr. HB has returned home and I am at Quarter Deck Cottage with my sister.

Our cozy cottage has a lovely view over the Salish Sea towards Vancouver Island you can see part of Salt Spring Island on the right in this snapshot.

There is a smokey haze over the region due to forest fires in BC and Washington State...the sun looks like a big red fireball.

Binoculars are placed on the table so that we are ready to grab them.
Boats, eagles, seals and Orcas are frequent "visitors" off the deck in the distance.

Reading on the deck is punctuated by the passing of the boats...
from large yachts to the tiny crafts that ply the waterway
they capture our attention.

We cannot sit all day so we venture out walking.

We make time to explore the country roads.

This Old Manse is located in the historic Hope Bay area of the island.
There are some lovely heritage homes in this small bay.
At the end there is a small dock, an art gallery, a restaurant and a real estate office.
We spied a chocolate shop undergoing renovations and will soon be open for business!

Sheep farming seems to be a popular vocation on the island.
We hear the sheep as we walk and this curious fellow came to greet us through the fence.

Farm stands and fresh egg stands pop up along the roads.
This morning at Raven Rock there was a large offering of fresh veggies.
I could not resist the large oak leaf lettuce and the basket of cherry tomatoes.
Then the posy of cheerful dahlias just begged to be bought!

I've already planned my meals revolving around fresh eggs and the produce.

The no alcohol regime has become routine and I am not missing it at all.
Thought that I would but the "faux wines" are keeping me satisfied.

There is no scale here at the cottage to accurately monitor my weight 
but my clothes are feeling looser which is encouraging...
the daily laps in the pool and the walks are definitely helping.

 I am way behind reading all the blogs that I follow
holidaying at the cottage is not really conducive to computer time.
Will try to catch up over the course of the week.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~