Monday, May 28, 2018

Book Quarterdeck Cottage

I devoured the book Bella Figura written by Kamin Mohammadi
It "spoke to me" on many levels and the author included Italian recipes at the end of each chapter...I am going to keep it and put it on my cookbook shelf!

I was so inspired by her descriptions of the food 
that I made the pasta dish for dinner at the cottage.

Kamin describes the Italian city of Florence and the hills and villages of Tuscany so exquisitely that I felt that I was right there with her...

I am not going to give away any of her "secrets" but I did take away some very important tips that I will be incorporating into my daily regime.

I highly recommend this book...

Look at these fresh heirloom tomatoes!
Seriously flavourful and an easy salad to prepare...
you could dress it with a smidgen of good quality olive oil or do as I did.
I used Julia Childs' basic vinaigrette that I mix in a Bonne Maman Jam jar.

'Tis the season for Farmer's Markets and fresh produce...
I love the variety and availability of these roadside stands
 my basket is stuffed full to the brim
with healthy tasty veggies.

The bounty of beach combing is the expanding collection of sea glass.
Fresh air and exercise are benefits of this hobby.

Clam Shells with barnacles dot the local beaches.

The twinkling light bouncing off the Salish Sea
 a million diamonds dazzling....
the melodic waves are licking the shore
the seabirds are swooping
the cacophony of songbirds is music to my ears

contentment found in the beauty of nature

to slow down
to notice
to be silent and observe

these are times that I treasure
for they present me with
 for reflection and gratitude

Do you find solace in the beauty that surrounds you?
Are you able to be still, sit quietly and absorb the gifts of Mother Nature?

We had a busy weekend here in The Humble Bungalow Garden...
there is a bounty of flowers
a riot of roses blooming 
the wee hummingbird babies can be seen in the nest...
two very tiny beaks pointing skyward waiting for food from their parents.

Hope you have a lovely week.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quarter Deck Cottage in May

We are enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and warm days
here at Quarter Deck Cottage.

It's a wonderful respite and relaxing is what we do best here at the cottage.

Swimming laps each day in the pool has made my muscles ache...
I don't swim fast but I have been out of the habit of late.
The outdoor pool is so much nicer that the recreation centre and there appears to be less chlorine which is kinder to my swimsuit and skin.

There is a small garden center here where I go mostly to browse.
But any serious gardener will tell you that it is hard to resist buying plants!
I have been watching the BBC coverage of The Chelsea Garden Show 
wouldn't it be grand to visit in person?

In the spirit of gardens and gardening
I've been adding a few things near the cottage.
Deer resistant and drought tolerant plants are essential.


Rock Roses

Carex grass, an Icelandic poppy plant and variegated lavender

Variegated lavender

Poppies and a Euphorbia

Bowles mauve wallflowers


Hope that these plants will survive and flourish.

I purchased a new book which sounds interesting...
 the clerk mentioned that it was similar to Eat Pray Love.

I have not started the book but I may set aside Life After Life by Kate Atkinson for a wee bit and pick this one up.

Sitting with a mug of coffee watching ferries ply the waters of The Salish Sea early in the morning has become part of our routine.

Overnight oats with banana for breakfast.

Loved this issue of Victoria magazine
I read it cover to cover in one sitting.

Dinner after a busy day...quick and easy.

Salad made with fresh produce from Raven Rock Farm on Pender.
Julia Childs' vinaigrette made in a Bonne Maman jam jar.

Fresh halibut topped with mint and lemon slices served with roasted carrots.

These mauve rhododendrons were just buds when we arrived on Friday and now they are in full bloom.

Can you see the bee?

Close up and working hard at 6:30am...
spied when I wandered out to take a picture


I am going to close for now as the day awaits...
many opportunities for activities...where to start?

A beach combing walk, a swim in the pool, some time to read and water the new plants, shop for veggies at the farm stand and decide what to make tonight for our dinner.

Thank you for dropping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits and Snippets in the Humble Bungalow Garden....

We have a well established patch of Lily of the Valley out front 
of The Humble Bungalow.

Its' quite the luxury to be able to walk outside and pick a bunch.
I found these bonsai secateurs at the local garden centre.

 What drew me to them was their simple style.
They are super sharp which is great when one cuts flowers for the vase.
Crisp clean cuts make it much easier for the water to be absorbed
which helps keep the flowers happily hydrated.
They last longer!

Muguet des Bois 
scenting the Humble Bungalow bathroom...
such an intoxicating fragrance.

Raindrops on the Lewisia Cotyledon
We have several of these charming plants...
 a few shades of pink, one white and another in apricot.

They seem to like dappled shade and do well in pots.

Montana Ruebens
a stalwart clematis in The Humble Bungalow Garden.
One of the first things that we planted years ago 
after ripping out the thorny blackberry brambles and invasive Morning Glory.

What a lot of work it was taming this garden in the early days...
I get tired now just thinking about it!
Its so rewarding now to see the fruits of our labour.

Our garden has been and is a work in progress...
as are many of the gardens of gardeners that we know.

Changing to suit our tastes and needs...'

One of the first roses to bloom 
Joesph's Coat, 
a climbing rose near our back door.

One of many Alliums standing tall above the perennials.

One of my morning routines
 at this time of year 
is to go outside and hand water the potted plants 
and anything else that looks like it needs a drink.

I can pick a few weeds and check on the condition of the plants.
See what might need dead heading and perhaps pick a few blooms.

Its quite relaxing slowly walking about in the garden listening to the birdsong.

Our garden has been home to hummingbirds for many years and this year is the first time that we have seen one of the nests.
Its been exciting watching the mom sitting on her nest.

The nest is so tiny and looks like it is made with dryer lint and lichen.

She gets a bit anxious if we get too close so we are trying to weed and trim things quickly and quietly so as not to make her nervous.

My garden apparel is not worthy of a picture...

my former neighbour 
a lady
who gardened in pearls, a pretty floral print dress and a straw hat.

I wear yoga pants, a tee shirt and a linen apron with pockets in front.
I use the pockets for secateurs, my IPhone and Kleenex...
for some reason when I bend over my nose runs!
Not at all glamorous or worthy of comment.

I tend to be a messy gardener...
smeared with dirt
leaves in my hair
not even remotely 
in my dreams.

Hope that you enjoyed this wee garden tour of The Humble Bungalow Garden.

I have a stack of books to read and am having trouble deciding which one I will read next...

the kettle is about to be boiled, 
there will be tea poured and a new chapter awaits.

Which book would you choose?
Have you read any of these books?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Remembering Mom and the trinket box...

Remembering Mom...

My sister and I get together regularly and we frequently go for a walk,
followed by a bite to eat and then we do some thrift shopping.

Mom told us, before she passed away,
that she wanted us to make time for each other...
it was her wish
that we both see each other weekly
just as we had done when Mom was alive.

We would all get together for an "outing."

Shop, then go for lunch, tea, or dinner...
it may have been a pot luck at mom's condo or a light meal out in one of Mom's favourite spots...
The Oak Bay Marina or The Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

Mom loved her jewelry and she had a large citrine ring that was designed by local jeweller Tony deGoutiere. Mom wore this ring a was a "signature piece" not unlike her opera length baroque pearl necklace that Dad had given her one Christmas.

My sister was given the ring by sister had it made into a pendant as she felt the stone was "too big" for her hands.

I cannot remember if I wrote,
that Mother,
before she went into Hospice,
asked us to go to her bedroom and get her jewel box?

She had us sit close to her chair in her living room and she alternately handed us an item from her jewellery collection until only costume pieces remained...
she said we could do "whatever we wanted" with them.
Some we kept, some we gave to family, and others we donated to charity.

My sister and I cried throughout the entire process...
we weren't really "ready" for this...and today as I look back,
I cannot help but think how much strength it must have taken Mom to do this...
she did not cry.

Mom was a very determined woman, a no nonsense kind of gal,
whose years of nursing had helped her come to terms with her cancer diagnosis and prepare her for death.

I miss mom,
I think of her fondly...everyday....many times in a day.

So when this wee trinket box caught my eye...
I knew at once I had to buy it.
The stone reminds me of the ring...

 Mother's Day 
is going to come and go
the second one without Mom.

Memories will keep me company.

 I will wear some of Mom's jewels
on Sunday in her honour.

Hope that you have a lovely Mother's Day!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, May 7, 2018 shoes

I've been to several shops looking for some new sneakers...
Comfy, casual shoes to wear with my current spring and summer outfits.

I tried on maybe a dozen different styles...what a fabulous selection they have this Spring!
How does one decide?

With so much variety...
everything from a classic Keds sneaker,
to a Converse Chuck Taylor
and more...

I opted for a metallic slip on.

They are a bit bling-y

Will the "Fashion Police" give me a ticket when I wear them?
Do I really care?

 Is this the look of disapproval from Chester?

I plan to wear these with jeans, white linen pants and striped boyfriend cuffed ankle jeans.
They inject a little bit of fun
which I like when purchasing clothing.

A rainy day OOTD
Saint James raincoat
black tights with Chelsea boots
 V neck Black Goat cashmere sweater and a Jigsaw mini skirt.

I am in the process of putting my winter clothing downstairs into the guest room closet
then bringing up the summer clothes.

This process has been slowish because I check each item carefully,
launder and iron them
and discard anything that is pilled or looking tired.

I try all the summer things on to make sure they still fit
look decent
  that they are pieces that make me feel confident.

There are a couple of dresses
several pairs of white pants
(white NYDJ jeans, dressy white UPP pants, and a cropped linen pair)
a few tops, most are white and a couple are blue
 a longer white linen top with grey stripes 
shirt style with abalone buttons which I layer over tank tops.

White V neck Eileen Fisher sweater
grey short knit jacket
I keep my denim shirts, skirt, jeans and a jacket in rotation fall and summer.

I need to find a black skort as I do not like wearing shorts anymore.

Other than that I have very few things to buy.

My hair is undergoing a messy growing out stage...
as my frozen shoulder is in the thawing process 
I can now use the blow dryer 
 so with my hairdressers' help 
we will be teaming up and working through the tedious process.

My goal is to grow it back into a wavy bob...
it may take months but I am willing to put in the time.

Here's the Ann Taylor straw bag that I ordered from Etsy.
It is not exactly the same shade of red as my ballet flats but it works...

In order to kick up my exercise
I've been walking farther and in different areas of town.
Trying to increase the pace of my walk without exacerbating shin splints.
I think the change of scenery is energizing!

What have you been up to these days?
Are you enjoying the weather?

Thank you for popping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Black and White....

Black and White seems to be the colour theme here right now...

Hermes scarf
Saint James striped top
Barbour vest
NYDJ boyfriend jeans

Red shoes !
Josef Siebel ballet flats!

New lipstick in a brighter shade...
inpsired by Kathy KSL on Instagram.

(she is the talented artist from whom we purchased our most recent piece of art)
I love it!

Not always easy taking a selfie...
but you get the idea of the new shade of lip colour.

Hope that your week is ticking along nicely and its nearly the weekend.
Do you have something fun planned?

Thank you for popping by my Humble Bungalow Blog...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~