Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cottage life...weathering the storm.

Quarter Deck Cottage
a relaxed and casual getaway
that we enjoy for a week every month 
and two consecutive weeks in the summer.

This little piece of paradise has been a much needed tonic...
a place to dream and live simply 
among the beauty of Nature
 The Salish Sea at our doorstep.

The rains have been torrential this past weekend.
We were soaked right through our raincoats after an hour walk.

On the mainland there have been floods and roads were washed out...

When we arrive on the island
the first stop 
(after we unpack and set up the cottage with our personal bits and bobs)
is the local flower shop.

I choose some flowers for our week at the cottage.
The owner and I are on a first name basis now and she tells me what we have missed while we were off island...
Power outages, wind storms, ferry cancellations, trees blown down blocking the roads...

We shop for our food at the local market and usually do this each day.
It gives us an opportunity to mingle with the locals and deciding on the spur of the moment what we will have for our dinner based on what is fresh feels right.

Living in "holiday mode" encourages a spontaneity...
where we relax over our morning coffee
stare out at the views beyond
taking in the various sights
 ferry and boats
marine life and birds.

We awoke to sunshine this morning and what a glorious sight after 4 days of rain.
The cottage is bathed in warm sunlight and there is a shift in my mood.
I feel a surge of energy...

I have vacuumed, done the laundry, run the dishwasher and am now sipping a mug of tea as I sit here at the dining table typing on my laptop.
Taking time to look out upon the rippled sea and beyond...

A beautiful day awaits...
there is no need to rush

a gentle walk
a nourishing meal
gazing out to the Salish Sea

content with the simple routines
of cottage life

it is in the quiet moments 
that we are able to restore, restock, and renew.

"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift. "

~ Albert Einstein ~

"There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature. "

 ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Slow down this week and observe the beauty that surrounds you.

When I walk in Nature I always find something beautiful that surprises me...
even on the darkest of days
I may have to look a little bit farther or a wee bit longer 
 if I persevere 
I am not disappointed and for those gifts I am grateful.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday Flowers...

Friday Flowers...

I spied these pretty pink blooms on one of my walks this week.
They are just so cheerful
set against the grey cedar fence they seem to glow...

These colourful primulas are perfect for the front porch.
They are a welcome sight with just the right amount of "happy."

There are many different varieties of these plants available.
Did you know that the only ones with a scent are the deep amber yellow variety?
I always purchase some of the yellow ones as their scent is quite lovely.

I've been searching for a vintage silver champagne bucket for quite some time and this week the stars aligned and I found one in a second hand shop for a reasonable price.
I wasted no time and popped into the local flower shop and bought a new orchid where it now sits on our dining room table.

Flowers are such a tonic for the grey gloomy weather...
we have had a few patches of sunshine which raises ones spirits.
At my weekly bridge afternoon many of the women were lamenting about the weather...it seems to be a common complaint.
Some were eager to share their travel plans as they are booked on flights 
off to warmer sunnier climates.

Travel to a sunnier spot is not on my radar...
so I add colour in my daily round and seek out "pops of colour" on my walks.

a lovely blue green mix in this sumptuous yarn...

I have been learning a lot about knitting with my new sock project.
The heel flap, turning the heel and the gusset have been a wee bit challenging but thanks to You Tube knitting tutorials I have been able to work through the pattern.

 Do you challenge yourself by learning new things?

Thank you for popping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cocooning...keeping cozy during the raging storms.


The gale force winds have been fierce 
the ferries have been cancelled
 the stormy weather 
is rainy, grey and generally dismal.

These kinds of days are perfect for cocooning with a pot of tea 
curling up with a good book and my knitting.

The Boneyard shawl free from the Ravelry website.

Looks a wee bit like chainmail!

I am embarking on a new knitting project...

I am using a pattern from Ravelry called super simple socks
the DPN's are a wee bit hard to get used to using
so far have ripped the socks out 3 times!

I will definitely need to get some expert help if I am to be successful with this project!

A kind and thoughtful reader from Vancouver sent me these earrings 
 I think they go perfectly with my black and grey wardrobe!
Thank you Rosemarie!
 I sent you off a wee token of my appreciation...
hopefully it has already arrived on your doorstep.

 I managed to find some sunny patches in between the storms and have ventured out to seek out some of Nature's beauty.

Hope that your week has some bright spots in it and that you are healthy and able to avoid the colds and flu that have been making the rounds.

Remember to wash your hands!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Focusing on Calm

Are you aware and take note of the beauty that crosses your path every day?

Focusing on a bright spot of colour or something beautiful from Nature...
can elevate a flagging spirit and change the way we see our world.

Each morning I sit quietly sipping my cafe creme and consciously count my blessings.
I embrace the "attitude of gratitude" and it helps me set the tone for my day...

A bouquet that I gave to a special someone!

This wee yellow flower was blooming on the side of the Esplanade
at Willows Beach where I have been taking my daily walks.
The day was grey, cold and gloomy but this wee pop of yellow 
acted like a lightbulb
 radiating cheer and warmth.

The sun has been trying to come out...
three cheers for trying!

I've noticed that people who walk this route smile a lot when they pass...
much more friendly than the serious joggers and runners on my local route.

Sending you some sunny yellow cheer...

Chicken piccata
a comforting dinner on a cold blustery night.

Here is a link to a similar recipe on Epicurious.

A hot cup of tea...

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

Take care

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, January 15, 2018

Renewal: refreshed, recharged, re-energized and "retail-ed!"

The past weekend was full to the brim with simple joys and bright moments which have left me feeling energized.
I have come out of a dark mood and into the light...

My morning cafe creme routine starts with counting my blessings,
I sit quietly reflecting on all the good things in life embracing and adopting the attitude of gratitude to set the tone for the day. I have found this to be very powerful and it changes the way that I see and interpret life events.

Mr HB and I walked in Chinatown...through Fan Tan Alley.

Victoria's Fan Tan Alley

My husband took me out for lunch at The Fan Tan Cafe, a popular Chinese food restaurant in our city's historic chinatown. It was busy, the service was great and we sipped our tea and chatted while we waited for our food. The food was not "totally WW friendly" (noodles were involved!) but the seafood chow mien was chock full of veggies which were so lightly cooked that they were still rich in colour, crisp and delicious.

Here's my fortune cookie and the fortune inside...

I did a wee bit of shopping at the Fan Tan Home Decor and Style shop.

A black dress by Angela Mara made in Italy.
Soft, cozy and the fabric is heavy enough that it does not cling but skims the body which is just the way I like a dress to fit.
It feels like a warm hug.

It was 50% off so I pounced on it and I said YES to the dress!
I plan to keep my eye on this shop as they have quite a few styles that I like.

I wore it out to dinner on Saturday evening when we dined with friends.

This lovely bouquet was a thoughtful gift from my nearest and dearest friend.
She bought it from those darling gals who run Thorn and Thistle Flowers.
They carry such pretty flowers and their plants are amazing...
our Christmas Amaryllis is an indication of their high quality plants.
They sell other things too and now offer coffee and treats
and they now located are in my old neighbourhood.

Sunday I cleaned house and went for my walk.
I opened a new bar of fragrant Verbena soap 
 it is currently scenting our main bathroom.

This soap was from my Mom's condo...
she loved the Verbena scent but she never used it as she loved her Pears soap.

While on the topic of fragrance and scents...

It was time to open a new scented candle.
This one was in the box from 
My Stylish French Box.

I am busy trying to finish my latest knitting project so that I can start my new one!

Have you got a project on the go?

Hope that your week ahead is positive
and filled with 
 lightness and cheer.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, January 12, 2018

Easy peasy dressing...
it's not a salad dressing!

It 's a simple minimal curated wardrobe
that has evolved since retiring.

This boiled wool skirt gets worn at least twice each week.
The Chelsea boots are my go to for Fall and Winter.
Opaque Hue tights offer warmth and help to create a longer silhouette.
I have a pair in grey and another in black.

The cashmere V neck sweater by Black Goat was a Christmas gift from my husband.
I prefer a cozy longer sweater for extra warmth 
 the length is versatile 
allowing it to be worn with leggings 
the skinny ponte knit pants that I wear frequently.

I've been wearing my Masaii print dress weekly since I found it in a local consignment shop.

 Newer Eileen Fisher striped dress 
priced quite reasonably so another workhorse joins the group.

 Knit pants and a Cut Loose top...
so simple.
This cut loose top pairs well with the boiled wool skirt.

Having separates that mix and match helps to stretch the budget and makes it easy to put together many versatile outfits.

Previously jeans and a tee top with a cardigan were my "uniform."
Recently I have felt a shift...
in how and what I wanted to wear.

Black Goat cashmere have a lovely soft grey cardigan that I have my eye on...  
it may be a wise purchase sometime soon as the grey shade fits into my wardrobe effortlessly.

Blogging from the kitchen table 
while Jane Green's Mom's rib recipe bakes in the oven...
(copyright laws do not allow me to post her recipe)

easy peasy dinner tonight

Must close now and work on my knitting project.

Hope you have some fun things planned for the  weekend.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday thoughts January. 2018....

I finally purchased a new IPhone case...
my other one was chipped and the coating was peeling off
 every time I looked at it it made me cringe so why it took me so long to find a new one is beyond me.

I'm experiencing disrupted sleep
it is most likely stress
like many women of my age 
who frequently find that our sleep wake rhythms change
the nights feel rather long when one lies awake 
listening to the ticking of the clock
I am trying to come to terms with these new sleep patterns
but it is not easy.

In the morning when I wake up and look in the mirror 
I see that my eyes are puffy 
and my skin has creases on the side of my face
from lying on my pillowcase.

I  googled "wrinkles on the face from sleeping" and to my surprise discovered that if one uses a satin or silk pillowcase that these wrinkles will be reduced.
I was really skeptical 
but with several leading dermatologists endorsing the product 
I thought that I better give it a try...
 after one night of sleep
I am thrilled to tell you they really do WORK!
I did not wake up "Feeling Glamorous like the box indicates 
but I woke up and was happy to see that the deep creases were not imprinted on my cheek!

I also have introduced a healthy product into my skincare regime
At bedtime after cleansing my skin
I apply a small amount of coconut oil on my face.
It is super emollient and feels so soft in the morning.
This large jar was under $10 and it will last a long time...
and you can use it all over the body.

I am taking life one day at a time...
seeking small comforts and snippets of beauty
where I can find it in my daily round...
it is a lot harder to find than it used to be
if I had a magic wand I would wave it and erase all the bad stuff in our world.

I will continue...

to do my best.

Home keeping
taking care of my husband
offering support to our family
tending to our cats 

sharing random acts of kindness

Cocooning and recharging....
behind closed doors.

Its also the time of year when I like to replace some of my lingerie
so this is on the top of my list of things to do 
perhaps I'll get around to it this week.

Have you got a long list of things to do this month?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~