Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Raindrops keep falling....thinking of MOM.

It has been a pretty wet, wild and windy week.
I have felt rather out of sorts...
not blue, 
just kind of irritable...

Despite these feelings
I've managed to be quite productive.

Frequently when the rains set in I tend to "cocoon"
laying low 
reading, knitting and taking tea.

One advantage of these blustery days is that I prefer 
 staying close to home...
I did go to bridge lessons and play bridge and I made a Grand Slam!

I have baked several dozen batches of sugar cookies 
sprinkled with red and green sprinkles.

I wrote out our Christmas cards while sipping tea by the fire.
Picked up and worked on my knitting project, 
the large lap blanket that is quite large and awkward to manoeuvre.

Of course there has been some reading...
laundry and ironing.
There is always a lot to do here in The Humble Bungalow.

The newest book is by Mary Lovell 
who also wrote The Mitford Girls 
a book that I devoured and savoured reading...
so I will be expecting the same quality and interesting subject matter.

I broke one of my dental crowns
it fell apart as I was nibbling coleslaw.

There is a temporary on my tooth right now as I wait for a replacement crown.
The crown was 2 years old and apparently they come with a 5 year warranty
so I am relieved that I do not have to pay for another one.
Must say that this was a welcome surprise...

Evenings we have been sitting by the fire in The Humble Bungalow
keeping warm and cozy
makes me appreciate our tiny home so much more.

The dark wood in our bungalow glows with the lamplight
it looks best 
during the Fall and Winter months.

Drafts seem to disappear when the fire is roaring
lovely to hear the sounds of the crackle and pop 
as the wood burns.

Comfort foods and the cold weather seem to go hand in hand.
Soups, Stews, Roasted Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes
all have been cooked and eaten this past week.

Craving warm dishes, 
I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast most mornings.

French inspired...
yogurt with a tablespoon of jam stirred into it, 
a quick and easy bedtime snack.

The sun popped out one day
my spirits lifted
it was so good to see some colour.

Green moss encrusted pillar

close up of the moss 
with the Garry Oak Tree in the background

Lichen and moss on the trees near the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

Our small tree on the front porch
dressed up with white lights
a few festive touches are slowly being added...

I wonder if I am experiencing some of the melancholy that frequently surfaces at holiday time when one is missing a recently departed family member.

It has only been 8 months since mom passed away
I do not weep as often but she is in my thoughts every day
many of her things are here
I am wearing her cashmere sweater
her pearl necklace and using some of her kitchen gadgets.

This Christmas may be more painful than I am expecting...
I know in my heart that she would not want me to be sad 
but how can one not think about the love and the memories
after spending 62 years together?

I try to be positive and optimistic.
No point being gloomy, 
but I do have days
where the sadness is more acute than others...

In the meantime I do not ignore the feelings 
they will ease with time.

I always feel rejuvenated when I get outside on my walks.
The shin splints are less painful so they must be healing.
 I should be able to resume my usual route soon, though I plan to walk slower as I want to avoid exacerbating those pesky shins.

What is new with you?
Are you reading something fabulous?

Have you started to decorate for the Festive Season?

lovely as they hang tentatively from the branches.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hostess style Holiday Wear....in Basic Black

The holidays and the festive season are weeks away and I have been thinking about what I will be wearing...I do not plan to buy anything new this year.
I have most everything that I might need right here in my tiny closet.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you'll already know how I rely on garments in Black..
those items particularly the classic styles with the ability to be transformed with accessories and textures.

Black is such a versatile neutral...
I gravitate to it like a moth to a flame!

If you can wear white it is another great option...
winter white is another softer choice that works.

I prefer black with my complexion and salt and pepper hair colour...
with bold red lipstick, eye liner and mascara I am ready for an evening out or an evening at home hosting guests.

Accessories are fabulous on a basic black garment.
I think of it as a blank canvas just waiting for some decoration...

INC black tunic top

Brooches, necklaces and scarves are your best bet to dressing up the simple understated black garments.

Baroque strand of Pearls

Artisan designed necklace.

I purchased it years ago and have worn it many times.

It is SO versatile...
I have worn it with a simple white Tee and Jeans
 under a denim shirt
with a leather Moto jacket
accent with a LBD
and here again with the tunic top.

I love having a funky artsy option in my jewel box.

You could wear some sparkly statement shoes or keep it simple with these Ferragamo flats.

A clutch would be another way to add a fun accent.
I have two black textured evening bags...
 vintage eel skin 
sourced at thrift and consignment shops at a great price point.

Textured hose is fun and feels less conservative...

I keep my wardrobe simple and small.
Owning specific Festive Holiday wear would be a luxury.
If I had to dress for a fancy ball or a "red carpet event" I would most certainly need to go shopping.
(however I feel that a red carpet event is highly unlikely)

Do you have a  favourite colour to wear for the festive season?
Will you add a pop of bright colour to your outfit?
How do you approach dressing for the holidays?

Hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Yummy recipes from The Humble Bungalow Hostess

 Good Morning from The Humble Bungalow!

I have a morning routine that I have pretty much kept constant since retiring.
Do you?

Morning coffee is sipped while browsing Instagram and my email.
Once dressed I pop a load of laundry in and tidy up the kitchen and have my breakfast...
if I am staying at home I'll open my Lap top and read some blogs or perhaps write a blog post...Chester has other ideas!

Chester sat on my laptop and conveyed that he had an ulterior motive...
how could I resist those eyes?

Positively beastly weather out there today
 gloomy grey and rainy 
a perfect day to stay in and bake while keeping warm inside the kitchen.

No, I am not drinking rum I am making my Mother's Rum Balls.

The Eiffel Tower souvenir comes in handy when I need a ring holder!

You can coat them with icing sugar, cocoa, or chocolate sprinkles.

I also made the dough for cranberry citrus shortbread cookies.
Recipe can be found here.

Lots of noise is coming from the job site next door as there is a backhoe levelling out the dirt around the two houses.
The windows are in and the crews are putting gypsum on the walls inside of the house right next to ours.

Can you see the raindrops on the kitchen window?
Its raining sideways!

My Mother would have said 
"It's raining cats and dogs!"

I plan to cozy up in the living room later with my knitting and a cup of tea.

I am still working on that lap blanket...
it is taking me a long time much longer than I would have predicted
as it is awkward juggling all the stitches on the circular needles
and the weight of the project is not comfortable to work on for too long.

This summer tote was a hostess gift from our DIL's mother.
Isn't it fabulous?
I love using it as a knitting bag too as it is commodious enough for the yarn as well as the lap blanket.

Time to close and put the kettle on...
Thank you so much for popping by The Humble Bungalow Blog today.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, November 20, 2017

DIY Christmas Wreath

While many of you in the states will be preparing for your Thanksgiving Feast...
here in Canada those of us who celebrate Christmas 
are looking ahead to the Festive season.

Our lovely DIL and I recently took a wreath making class
which was offered at the local garden centre.
I have never made a Christmas wreath, I usually make swags or buy a pre-made Christmas wreath.

I'm posting pictures of the evening.

You know what they say...
pictures are worth a thousand words.

You will need :
Wreath base, wire, secateurs, heavy string, moss, assorted boughs, pine cones.
I wore my garden gloves to keep the sap off my hands.

Hot coffee and apple cider were available to sip while we worked
as we were outside (BRRR!)
  we were dry as we were underneath a canopy.
Next year they assured us they would have heaters!

First you fill the wire base with moss
then cut all your boughs to a similar size and lay them on top
of the base at an angle overlapping them
wrapping each bough to anchor it to the base as you go.

Fill in any areas where the string shows with short pieces of greenery.

Wire the pine cones and attach them to the wreath secure the ends 
then cut off excess wire.

Natalie's wreath...I love the eucalyptus and the touches of gold.

You may add baubles, bows, ribbons, glitter accents 
anything that you like.

attach a zip strap at the top for hanging and enjoy your newly decorated festive wreath!

I am pleased with the results and will be able to make another one next year.

Hope you enjoyed this post.

 I'll be back with more on the continuing wardrobe edit soon.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wardrobe edit: Scarves...those that made the cut

I've recently been editing and culling my wardrobe.

I like to do this regularly as it helps me refine my style, allows me to see what regularly gets worn, who are the key players and what features make them the workhorses in my closet.

My wardrobe is kept small...the closet is also small and I share it with my husband! One day we will redo it and install some features that will improve its storage capacity...in 1913 a "pedestrian bungalow owner" would not have had many clothes...daytime wear (house dresses) and Sunday best.

First on the chopping block are the scarves...

Too many scarves and they were spilling off the shelf in my bedside cabinet
not enough space so some had to go...
7 scarves were donated to the charity shop and two were consigned.

Silk Hermes collection
 (which I wear mostly in the Spring and Summer)

Three orange boxes

Small square purchased in Paris

Black and White silk from Vancouver Hermes store

The original from the San Francisco Hermes shop.

Long scarves
some worn in summer and some in the Fall and Winter

Large white scarf (shawl size) from the Monoprix 
 St Germain, Paris

Burberry print infinity scarf

Two Linen scarves:

black and grey 
blue and white 
(purchased at the Pharmasave in Oak Bay)

Burberry cashmere
(gift from my husband)

I tend to wear the Burberry cashmere all through the Fall and Winter as it offers warmth and is so cozy and goes with my wine coloured puffer coat.

That's all the scarves and they neatly fit inside the cabinet now with some "breathing room!"

The new Bosch dishwasher arrived and was installed today...
looking forward to clean dishes and no more leaks!

I am taking a wreath making workshop this week with our lovely DIL
Hopefully my efforts will be worthy of a photo and if the wreath looks OK
 I will share it here in a future post.

Have you started decorating for Christmas?
For some strange reason this year I feel like putting up our decorations and tree already and it is not even December!

I recently read this book the subject matter was quite disturbing...
extremely well written but rather graphic
 a NY Times bestseller.

I'm reading a much lighter book right now...
(Chick Lit)

Set in London and the South of France...
love the style in which it is written
just the thing to put a smile on my face as I sit with my mug of tea on these rainy afternoons.

What is new with you and 
what are you reading?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fading beauty...and my personal thoughts on aging

This beautiful rose was once a stunning bloom
but she is fading in her beauty
but still worth a look...

This rose got me thinking about aging...
aging gracefully
perhaps with some elegance.

How does one age well?

And I do not mean Botox or plastic surgery...
its not for me.

How do I
ease into my advancing senior years
with the face that I was born with 
embracing the lines and wrinkles 
that are the result of years of laughter?

There are certain things that we can all do to help us look more "radiant."

Ali McGraw looks the picture of health and she glows.
She is such a radiant beauty both inside and out...
a fabulous role model.

Thoughts that may help navigate the road ahead are basics like...

eating healthy 
getting a decent night's rest
alleviating as much stress as possible
experiencing joy and happiness whenever the opportunity arises
listening to our "hearts" 
expanding our horizons which may be travel or going to local cultural events
learning something new to keep us fresh
helping others
staying in touch with friends and family
finding and making time for creativity

"First impressions"
  tell those who meet us about ourselves 
(whether we like it or not) 
how we dress and what we say conveys a lot...
good manners and kindness
go a long way.

At 62 and not the freshest rose in the bouquet...

I try to focus on
wearing neat, comfortable and (hopefully) flattering outfits
paying attention to style
dressing in clothing that is honest and genuine 
a reflection of my personality...
some days it may be a classic LBD
jeans and a Tee with a cashmere sweater and Chelsea boots
which just happens to be my "uniform."
I try always to look put together...
some days it is more difficult than others!

The word "Frumpy" scares me.
My Mother managed to look well dressed well into her 80's and I never thought that she looked frumpy or dowdy.

 has always been important to me.

People look at our faces when we meet and greet each other.

From the time that I went to The Hudson Bay's Saturday charm school 
where among other things
we were instructed on how to wash and care for our skin.
(in that era it was Yardley's oatmeal soap and Noxema or Nivea)
I have been preoccupied with taking care of my complexion.

we have thousands of options...
and how does one choose?

I have been testing a new moisturizer.

It is super emollient, which my dry skin needs, but is not greasy.
The results are a dewy rosy glow which I quite like.
I think that my skin looks healthier...
but maybe I am just hopeful
seeking a fresher rose
one that is petal soft and blush pink!

Two rose scented hard working products from a previous delivery of
they are almost gone
 are truly quite amazing...
 I have been using them on my hands and feet with really great results.

I'll have to see if I can buy them online.

In the whole scheme of things our inner beauty traits 
are far more important 
than how we look on the outside...

a giving nature...

They are the real super stars when we really think about it.

While I like to buy new things 
I plan to cultivate and focus on some inner improvements this month...

What are your thoughts on aging gracefully?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Popping in to say Hello...and please enjoy the roses.

November Roses....

Sharing a few roses from The Humble Bungalow Garden...
It's been a crazy busy week with lots happening
unfortunately not all "good things."
We have had a death in my husband's family
a dear friend has been diagnosed with cancer has undergone major surgery.
I have been preoccupied with other "more pressing things" and I have not been able to find much time to sit at my computer.

I'll be brief with this post and share some pictures instead of a lot of text.

McCartney Rose

Jude the Obscure

Jude The Obscure

I picked one to cheer up the bathroom.

I grabbed my brush and acrylic paints the other evening when I was suffering a bout of sadness.
I was thinking of Mom and I played some of my favourite music and let the feelings flow through to the canvas...
I think Jude The Obscure is with me here!
Not a masterpiece 
I know, but "I own it"
 it felt good to push the paintbrush around on the canvas...
that's probably why they call it Art Therapy!

Cheap and cheerful chrysanthemums
in a simple terra cotta pop dress up our front porch.

Dressing up myself...
in a uniform of sorts 
for the recent chilly days.

A long sleeved top
skinny jeans rolled up
Chelsea boots
a puffy vest
my cashmere scarf

Vintage Coach Court bag...

Relaxing and reflecting in a quiet chair...

The Humble Bungalow Garden is getting a face lift in the back area...
this patio area will not be touched but we have big plans and the top stars will be:
 magnolia trees
black mondo grass
and stay tuned for more.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~