Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve

                         Seasons Greetings from The Humble Bungalow.

Our Island and many of the southern Gulf Islands are recovering from a devastating storm last week that blew down trees and power lines.
Many people are still without power. We never lost our power and I am so grateful that we are warm and cozy snug in our home.

We are ready for the festivities...
time to enjoy our family and friends.

Our faux Christmas tree is lit with plain white lights
"cat proof" 
with no baubles.

Chester climbs it most days 
he has not knocked it over (yet) 
he got stuck once 
with the wire of the lights stretched tight across his belly
fortunately I was able to extricate him.

                    Like many of you, I have been busy these past few weeks.

"It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. 
But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, 
you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. 
Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul. "

                                       ~ Caroline Kennedy ~

I love the message on this Emma Bridgewater tote!

It's not quite time for me to hang up my gloves...
the cooking is not finished.

The baking is done

The rum balls, citrus shortbread and butter tarts are ready for the tins.
The deliveries are in process...

Stuffed devilled eggs are ready for the party.

Christmas Day 
we will serve a simple brunch 
followed later by a small turkey dinner.

Thank you for your comments 
on the recent passing of my husband's mom.

"The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than in things."

~ Thomas S. Monson ~

Best wishes for a Peaceful and Happy Holiday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December ~ love, loss and memories.

Are you ready for the Festive Season?
No matter how hard we try to make Christmas special 
we cannot be prepared or predict what might happen.

Christmas has always been one of my favourite holidays.

Family, friends, giving to others, baking, bright lights and song.
It's never been a picture postcard storybook Christmas 
but that is what makes it special
we try 
because we are human things can go sideways...

This past weekend we went over to the cottage and rode on the Salish Orca.
(our regular ferry is out for annual maintenance)

While we were driving onto the ferry my husband's cellphone rang
it was the nurse from the care home.

 Mr. HB's mom, who is 100, took a turn. 
The next morning
my husband boarded an early ferry and returned to town...
his mother passed away within a few minutes after he arrived.

We have lost our beloved matriarch
the last of the long lived Scottish family.
It is the end of an era...

Elaine lead a long and rich life 
she was a spunky woman, 
"a force to be reckoned with"
her gifts and talents were many
she will be missed by all of us.

I feel blessed to have met her when I was fifteen 
 she taught me so much...
she was generous with her time, fiercely loyal to her family,
 she shared so many wonderful things with all of us
her tried and true recipes
boat skills, crocheting, card games,
how to live within a budget
everything from hostessing tips to the full on turkey feast.

She will be missed...

Fortunately we all have many years of great memories to recall.
I am confident that they will help comfort and sustain us 
in the days and weeks ahead.

I made a pasta dinner for my husbands' return to the island.
I knew that he would need a warm hug and a hot meal.
We rely on comfort food to help soothe us in times of distress.

We hunkered down in the cottage as the skies grew dark and ominous...

The weekend weather was very stormy...
rain pelting sideways with powerful gusty winds
the seas churned up with choppy waves covered in white caps.

I started reading this new book by Beatrice Colin...
it is set in Paris around the time that the Eiffel Tower was under construction.

We spent most days quietly thinking of her
 reminding each other of our favourite memories.
Laughing and weeping.

We were cozy and warmed by the fire
while outside the storms raged on...

We ventured out when there was a break in the rain...
for a welcome breath of fresh salty air.

We went to the Chocolate Shop where Mr. HB enjoyed a rich hot chocolate 
I opted for a salted caramel mocha...
I've never tasted one before today!
(it was so tasty!)
I purchsed some of their delicious chocolates for a few people on our Christmas list.

Dessert in a mug.

Looking to the light...

Holding fast to the memories of Christmases past
when all our loved ones were gathered...
several generations at the tables
wearing our paper hats from the Xmas crackers
an older family member saying grace
 we dined on turkey and all the trimmings.

This year there are many empty chairs...
we will gather around
in their memory
toast to them.

Wishing you a Very Happy Holiday Season.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Vancouver weekend

We recently spent a weekend in Vancouver...
attended the AGM for the cottage strata, shopped, walked, enjoyed lunches and dinners out.
We also met up with friends we knew when my husband attended school over there...
we have kept in touch...over 40 years!

The view from our hotel.

A wee bit of snow on Grouse Mountain.

We did not stop for tea...

We opted for a Chinese dinner at a small restaurant on Robson Street 
after our afternoon walk and shopping.
The food was delicious and obviously a popular spot with the locals 
as there was a steady line up outside the door.

A fresh new candle...
and a few goodies in the bags.

Some loose tea...

A refill for my Hermes fragrance.
Mr. HB bought his Hermes scent as well.

We dined at an Italian restaurant called Cin Cin and the food was amazing!

Grilled lettuce with pancetta...
a WOW moment for this Hostess!
It was actually more like a "Meg Ryan" moment.
(the scene from When Harry Met Sally!)

Mr. HB enjoyed Osso Bucco
and I opted for the lamb chops with lentils.

A single bloom in the bathroom packed a powerful pop of colour.

We enjoyed our weekend getaway in the big city!

We will be busy getting ready for Christmas here in The Humble Bungalow.
The wreath has been hung on the front door 
inspired by the Country Living Christmas issue there will be more festive touches coming soon.

Hope that you are enjoying your week.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Stylish French Box...unveiling the elegance

My favourite luxurious splurge is my annual subscription to
My Stylish French Box

The November box arrived a couple of weeks ago and I was so thrilled by the contents...
Sharon Santoni and her team do such a fabulous job of finding special items
all are sure to please.

Vintage silver sugar tongs

attention to detail
 the shipping box is beautiful

Chester enjoyed the box too!

I keep the inner boxes and use them for storage.

The booklet that accompanies all the boxes gives us the information and details of the products and the companies and artists that are behind the luxury wares.

Beaded votive sconces...
the beads will reflect all the light from the candles
by Merci Louis

Candle by Secret D'Apothecaire 
ornaments from Merci Louis

a whisper soft wool scarf by Petrusse
( I have been wearing mine everyday!)
Love the soft feel of the wool and its so cozy
in the perfect colours for my basic wardrobe too!

Festive linens...
tea cloths by Serie Limitee Louise

Lovely necklace from Belle Mais Pas Que
set with a stone of Labradorite

If you want to treat yourself or give one as a gift 
here is the link to order.

The next box will be sent out in February 2019...

I read that Sharon is currently adding a few extra boxes from the November 
issue if you are quick you might be able to snap one up!

I would have posted this last week but our Internet was not working and my IPhone was getting used so much that I went over my data and incurred substantial fees so I had to curb my usage!

Hope you have a wonderful week.

 ~Be Well and Be Kind ~