Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Escape to the Cottage...

Dr. Bonnie Henry our official medical officer for Covid has informed us that we are in "Phase 3" which permits us to travel within our province of BC.

Mr. HB and I are enjoying a much needed week of respite at Quarter Deck Cottage on Pender Isalnd. The change of scenery is such a tonic and the fresh air walks are invigorating. We are feeling immense gratitude for this getaway.

Cottage life is relaxing and we get into the rhythm almost as soon as we drive off the ferry!

We brought some Graham Thomas roses from The Humble Bungalow Garden.

We eat quite simple meals here at the cottage.

Fresh French Radishes from our greenhouse for our salads.

Fresh from the Farm 
Strawberries, sweet tasting and delicious!
As a dessert or with my morning fruit and yogurt breakfast.

Fresh eggs from the Saturday morning Farmer's Market here on Pender.
The yolks are a dark orange colour and the flavour is outstanding.

My current book...
a page turner and a very interesting topic.
I have not read any of Jodi Picoult's books before and I am enjoying her writing.

Spaghetti and a glass of red wine from the local vineyard.
I make pasta once a week as it is my husband's favourite meal.

I make a batch of sauce that will last for two meals.

It's a very simple recipe.

Spaghetti Sauce

Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven.
1 medium diced onion saute until soft
then add:
 a cup of sliced mushrooms
 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic
1 pound of lean ground beef or spicy Italian sausage
sprinkle with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
(or to taste)
salt, pepper, dried oregano, a splash of worchestershire sauce
add a jar of good quality tomato sauce
small can of tomato paste

Simmer for about an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Top with the sauce and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

The roses are wilting in the summer sunshine...

Staycations and local travel are the New Normal for residents of BC.

We must be vigilant and stay safe to avoid an upswing in Covid cases.

We have to make our own fun 
at home, at the cottage, at a resort, a marina, a hotel or campsite.

How are you doing?
What are your holiday plans?

Please share any tips you have for coping during the pandemic.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

Wishing you a lovely week.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Roses on repeat...

I am finding it a challenge to write my blog during Covid.
There's not a lot of excitement here in The Humble Bungalow.

We are maintaining our small bubble of people to stay safe and not entertaining much...we have our closest couple over for social distancing happy hours in the garden but that is about it. We have not been "out" for a meal but have done take out about 4 times since early March.

I managed to get an appointment with my hairdresser...
the first one since mid December!

It feels so much better!

Voyage d' Hermes Arlesienne by L'Occitane and Figue Amour by Bastide.

I've been wearing perfume every day and pearls most days 
even if I am wearing jeans and a simple Tee shirt.

These "little things" help to keep me focused on the "positive."

Dressing up occasionally 
but mostly wearing casual walking and gardening attire.

I've tried harder to keep my FitBit steps up.

My weight is up 7 pounds.
 My doctor reduced my daily Thyroid medication last Fall.
He said that I would really have to amp up my activity 
drastically cut calories...to avoid gaining weight!

I am not happy about the number on the scale
but I will not perserverate on it right now...

I need comfort and less stress during the pandemic.
As we are constantly bombarded with grim news I turn off the TV and radio...
self preservation is a must.

I turn to the garden...
so inspired by the beauty of our glorious roses.

Graham Thomas

Claire Austin

Constance Spry

Jude the Obscure

Paul's Lemon Pillar

Taking Tea 
a daily ritual ~ so soothing.

Have you read this wonderful publication by Sharon Santoni and her team?

My French Country Home magazine is filled with beautiful homes, gardens, recipes from France. You can use this link to the website.

I also enjoy the subscription boxes
they are such a luxury.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, June 19, 2020

Life's little luxuries...

Diamonds, pearls and cashmere are definitely luxuries.
Luxuries worth saving up for but they are not the only luxuries that I love.

what do you think of when you hear the word luxury?

Online dictionary meanings as found...

"the state of great comfort and extravagant living"

"luxurious or of the nature of a luxury"

Luxury List

Having time to persue the things in life that bring us Joy
time to savour the richness of everyday living.
Spending quality time with family and friends.

good books

scented soaps and candles
fresh air

treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure

enjoying a coffee at a cafe

lunch out with friends

a long soak in the bathtub

a picnic in the park or at the beach

watching a classic film

trying a new perfume

finding the perfect little black dress

a fresh bouquet of flowers

There are so many things that we can embrace which elevate our days.

My latest luxury item will be delivered today and I am quite excited!

An apron made from Orkney Linen from Rough Linen

Watch the video of Tricia's story here.

I wear aprons in the garden and when I am cooking.

I am a messy cook!

I ordered the petite apron in charcoal.

Here is the corner of The Humble Bungalow Garden where I sit and take tea.

It is a calm space...
where I listen to the sounds of the birds and bees as they flitter about the flowers.

How are you faring these days?
Are you embracing this quiet time or are you missing the busyness?

Time to fill?
What are you doing to fill up your days?

Homekeeping tasks
garden beds to weed
roses to deadhead
there are a variety of jobs around our home and garden that need attention.

 I never really get caught up
the list is long
I make time in between jobs to rest
take tea
arrange a bouquet of garden roses
read a book.

I am grateful for the many activities that present themselves each day.

Thank you for popping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Everything's coming up Roses...

I am spending much more time in our garden during the pandemic...
focusing on the flowers and plants.
Listening to the birdsong 
chatting with fellow gardeners on the street.

Many of us are dealing with the urban deer and their voracious appetites.
One doe visits the front yard every day and has decimated most of the Hostas.

You can see in the first picture that its looking quite big!
This is what is left of Sum and Substance a large variety of Hosta.
I watched her eat two "salads."

She's nibbled the hydrangeas and some of the rose blooms despite the thorns!

We are going to build a fence...

Constance Spry and Paul's Lemon Pillar Roses
on the pergola at the entrance to The Humble Bungalow Garden.
High enough that the deer cannot reach all of the blooms.

Constance has a very deep rich fragrance and Paul's Lemon Pillar is a more sublte citrus scent.

The Heart Flag hangs in honour of all the frontline and essential workers.

Jude The Obscure 
(my favourite David Austin Rose!)
a stunning repeat blooming apricot rose with an amazing 
intoxicating perfume.

The pink rose in the background is the McCartney Rose
a hybrid tea rose 
rich scent
repeat bloomer.

Sir Paul!

William Shakespeare
our only red rose in the garden.
"In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends."

~ Okakura Kakuzo ~

Roses growing at the Cottage on Pender.

"Flowers grow out of dark moments."

~ Corita Kent ~

No scent to speak of but very attractive.

"It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes. 
Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. 
A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all."

~ Crystal Woods ~

Are you a gardener?
Do you have urban deer or other wildlife dining in your garden?

My current book borrowed from a friend.
What are you reading?

Take care and thank you for dropping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, June 7, 2020

My Stylish French Country box reveal!

What a treat to receive this beautiful My Stylish French Box.

Sharon Santoni and her team have outdone themselves yet again!
I don't know how they do it but I am very grateful that they put in the time and effort with this venture.

I want to share some of the beautiful items that were carefully wrapped up in whisper thin tissue and satin ribbons...

The theme for the May box was flowers.
I love those subtle soft shades of pink and grey.

Wee Espresso cups hand made by Sophie Masson 
 and the pretty Francoise Paviot napkins.

Rosa Damascena rose palettes by Carriere Freres
 add scent to a closet or lingerie drawer.

A recycled wine bottle by Q' de Bouteilles 
etched with "MFCH"
Will use this sweet vase for our wee garden bouquets.
I think it will be great in the green bathroom here in The Humble Bungalow.

Apica Exfoliant made with bee pollen...
I look forward to trying this gentle product to keep my skin glowing and healthy.

Look at this beautiful large floral silk scarf by Pertrusse!
It is so sumptuous!
I will wear this with my summer linen dresses...
and with my denim jacket and jeans.

I am a pearl girl and WOW check out these beautiful Gisel B earrings.

Love LOVE love the pearls...
 my two favourite items in the box can be worn together!

I also have the pearl pendant from Gisel B 
sent in a previous MSFB which will be lovely worn with these.

Such a luxurious assortment of treats to enjoy.

The timing of the delivery during this pandemic was most anticipated...

I would encourage you to try a box, they are now taking orders for August.
A little bit of French luxury delivered righ to your home.
You can visit their site to see more and read the comments left by box recipients.

Hope you are all doing well, staying healthy and sane.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, May 30, 2020

My Cup Runneth Over...with thanks and gratitude.

Hey Jude!
David Austin Rose Jude the Obscure
 a favourite rose in The Humble Bungalow Garden.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram 
will probably have seen the latest addition in The Humble Bungalow Garden.
It sits in the "work area" of the garden where we keep big bins of potting soil, the stakes, wheelbarrow and our bin filled with firewood.

My clever husband made this potting table.

I had shown him one I liked on Pinterest 
which was simply two sawhorses with and plank on top. 
 This deluxe table with shelves is what he designed and built!

I am VERY pleased and happy with this beautiful table!

I had fun getting things out of the shed and I made a trip to a vintage shop in The Cook Street Village called Kay's Korner.
With shop keeper Karin helping
we gathered together some charming pieces that will add ambiance.

The old broken pitchfork and shears that I have kept 
for whimsical garden accent pieces are finally getting used!

The shovel will be great for potting and repotting plants.

Karin sold me this cute chair which I spray painted black to go with the metal bistro table that I have had for several years.
It sits on the small north facing patio 
 in a "garden room" 
of hydrangeas, roses, lady's mantle, dwarf apple trees and hostas.

There was a knock on the front door as I sat reading my book 
 lo and behold it was Karin...
She brought me a gift!

Karin is a very talented artist and she makes cheerful whimsical greeting cards.
She made this sign for me to hang above my new potting table...
I knew she was one in a million and this just proved it!

David Austin's Graham Thomas Rose
the former "star of the work area"
the potting table has taken that new title!!

Hope that you are enjoying your weekend activies...

There is a light rain falling here
we've been reading our books
spaghetti sauce is simmering on the stove top
birds are singing cheerfully outside the windows.

At this very moment feeling content and calm...

feelings are fleeting and temporary 
 golden moments like these are a welcome respite from the 
horrific events that continue to occur in our world.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Poppy plants...pondering during the pandemic

Our first Poppy of the season!
Yesterday afternoon we sat in the back garden with our long time friends
sipping a cider and nibbling some fresh cooked asparagus with mayonnaise dip.

They brought their own beverages and chairs and we sat safely apart.

I pointed out this tall poppy plant that had grown in an unusual spot
right beside the shed door...
This morning one of the seed pods opened up to this fabulous flower!

I plan to save the seeds when the poppy dries and sprinkle them in the garden for more plants next year.

Japanese themed Garden at Butchart Gardens.

Four friends met up and we walked along the paths of the gardens 
 absolutely beautiful
so quiet this Friday.

Love the lush green mossy patches in this shady spot.

Blue Poppies are very challenging to grow.
They are so delicate almost as light as a whisper of crepe paper.

Blue Poppy seeds are sold at the Gift Shop.
 I grew blue poppies for several years before they vanished from the garden.

This formal garden area looks perfect for an Edwardian Film...
can you envision ladies and gents in period style clothing sauntering around on the grass?

Engaged in a game of croquet?

Sipping champagne from crystal flutes 
or perhaps an afternoon tea 
with vintage wicker chairs and tables
 fine bone china 
 tasty tea sandwiches and cakes...

 A gal can dream...

I am dreaming of these pleasures rather more often in these days of confinement.

Lusting after a more "normal" way of life.
Freedom and safety that we accepted and honestly, I think we took for granted.

Who could have predicted this world pandemic?

I suppose scientists knew it would happen sometime but I had not thought it would be in my lifetime.

Did you? 

What are you missing most?

Have you expanded your "bubble" to include family and friends?

What are the first things that you want to do 
when we get the "all clear" to open up some of the shops and services?

Enjoy your week and stay safe.

 ~Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Skincare, roses and books...

Pavement Series Rose
very fragrant with treacherous thorn studded stems.

While in isolation during Covid 19 
I have changed my daily make up routine.
Andalou 1000 Roses CC cream for sensitive skin. 

I like the soft dewy finish and the glow that I get while wearing this cream.
The added sunscreen protects me while I am out walking or playing in the garden.

Also new is the 1000 Roses body lotion by Andalou 
after my morning shower and love the light rose scent.

Flowers from our son's garden.

Focusing on Skin care from the inside out...

Roasting colourful vegetable for my lunches.
Upping my intake of healthy food 
by eating more vegetables and drinking lots of water.

Our heart in the window in honour of the frontline workers.

Reading during Covid has been a big part of my daily routine.

I have discovered so many new authors...

I love this book so much!
Am going to try and find Gill Paul's other books.
With our local library closed I will need to buy them. 

Climbing Royal Sunset Rose
a winning rose
stunning apricot orange shade 
a deep rich fragrance
lots of blooms
 repeat blooming throughout the summer season.

How are you doing?
With the restrictions easing are you out shopping in stores?
Dining out?
Going to the hairdresser?

Do you feel safe as we step out into the "new normal?"

I have a mask which I plan to wear on occasion especially when social distancing is not possible.

I am looking forward to meeting with my stylist for a trim 
when the salon reopens next month.

Stay safe.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~