Thursday, September 29, 2011

What I wore to school...OOTD

Working in a school library requires lots of reaching and bending, it is more active than a desk job.
I dress for comfort and ease of movement.
Work appropriate clothing means washable and dressing in layers helps when I get hot...
which has been happening a lot more often lately...
and I thought I was so over that!

Roberto Vianni ballet flats
Gloria Vanderbilt dark wash denim jeans
Symplii black tank top in a jersey knit
Eddie Bauer jacket

An inexpensive ensemble, perfect for my pedestrian life.

Detailing here means no neck adornments.

everyday diamond studs
(a gift from Mr. HB)

wedding rings

a wavy do for the day
I am ready for school.

Sadly my brown cashmere sweater which has given me 6 years of cozy service
emerged from the sealed plastic storage container  
with two small holes 
(which I will mend)

I might need to seek out a suitable replacement,
after 6 years I suppose it's time...

Can anyone recommend a good line of cashmere sweaters?
I have looked at Eric Bompard so far...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

White ware and awareness...

Collecting things does not excite me the way it used to...
Over the past 30 years I  have been almost manic about obtaining decorative items for The Humble Bungalow.
It bordered on the ridiculous and I am now aware of how I was driven, in hindsight, it is an eye opener.
I'd seek out that perfect piece, buy in duplicate or triplicates spending money that could have been better used in other areas, never going into debt but using the grocery funds to feed my habit.
(can you say mac n' cheese?)

I feel so much calmer not "needing" to go out and find something...
not even knowing ahead of time what I was seeking....
perhaps instant gratification?

I have disposed of many of my collections and have kept a few.
The Ojibwa tamarack duck decoys are here to stay, they reside on the top of the Humble Bungalow mantle, and they are arranged and rearranged to suit my mood and the season.

One of my favourite collections is vintage matte white pottery.
I am wooed by the odd piece here and there if it crosses my path, but I do not go out intentionally looking.

What is white?
 beauty pure and simple...
and it feels honest.

fluffy white towels 
cotton balls
soft ice cream
"Chicklets gum"
polar bears
"White Out"
tissue paper
"Ivory Snow"
bridal gowns
cold cream
"Iceberg roses"

sweet peas
subway tiles.

It's good to be free of the desire for more, more, more.
content to live simply with less.

Mette has inspired  this post...

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. 
 ~Leonardo DaVinci

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Bungalow....

The Bungalow is one of my favourite places to shop.
Offering an amazing selection of quality cards and a wide assortment of wares.
When I need to find a gift I am confident that I will find something suitable.
It's got that small shop charm that begs one to come back again and again.
Often I go just to browse and chat with the owner.

It is located in a tony area of town on a strip dotted with cafes 
a wool shop, pharmacy, and toy store.
Parking on the wide street is of the angle type, 
a style that was quite popular when I was younger.

I know the owners,
they have shared dinner and wine at our table
and we have had the honour of being invited to their lush garden and home 
overlooking the bay.

The garden is a work of art, a true labour of love 
a hobby that rewards
balances a busy life in the retail business.

When GS bought his cottage a few years ago
 it was situated in a Garry Oak Meadow.
Naturalized with rocky outcroppings and filled with brambles and weeds.
He recognized that the property had "good bones."

He has painstakingly remodeled the space
and created an oasis of beauty.

I do not have any photos of my last foray in the garden.
One does need to look long and soak in all the details
which when viewed through the lens does somewhat diminish the experience.

There are so many areas where he has cultivated the unusual and eccentric plantings.
He is a master plantsman with an artists eye for creating beauty.
He weaves and mixes variegated foliage with attention to colour and texture
and is not afraid of "pushing the growing zones" as his garden has a Mediterranean zone.

We walk about snaking through sections 
along a gravel path as it winds it's way 
from one "room" to another as we climb higher up to the top of the land.
Surprises reveal themselves...
large planters spill forth with foamy flowers
rusted iron sculptures 
bowling balls 
bench seats
a studio / guest cottage
wicker chairs
where we can sit and gaze over the garden 
to the boats bobbing on the ocean below and beyond.

There's not a breath of wind and all is quiet,
it's a magnificent place
and I feel so lucky to be here
stopped dead in my tracks
witnessing beauty above and beyond.

Gardens Illustrated and The Canadian Gardener have come through and done photo shoots this past July.
The Korean Olympic Group came through too.
He's not too sure what his garden might have to do with the upcoming Olympics 
because not one of the group spoke any English!
Their film crew snapped photos and took videos for several hours 
I hope they make the cut when the Olympics air.

Keep your eyes peeled for his Garden in these publications 
I am confident that you'll be inspired!

You never know what is around the corner...
 imagine for a second how great life is
when you least expect it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The winner is......

What's in the bag?

The name of one follower who will be receiving a copy of Shoe String Chic.

 I wrote the names of those who were participating in the giveaway on strips of paper...

with a little help from Pepper
I popped them into the bag.

I hope that you can read sideways as I forgot to rotate the image before uploading it!

Congratulations Lorrie please email your mailing address and I'll send you the book.
Thank you to all who participated.

Pepper could have picked the winning name 
she seemed very keen on this event but now that it's over she seems a bit blase.

Monday has brought with it gale force winds and rain...
  Hunkered down here in The Humble Bungalow
dressed casually in grey yoga pants and a hoodie
domestics are on the agenda
and not a chic thought to be found.

  Real life can't be all glamour now can it?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A lesson in scarf tying courtesy of the Hermes clerk...

Mr. HB and I were in the  Hermes shop browsing the scarf selection when a delightful young gentlemen came over and politely asked if he could show us a particular scarf.
I explained how lovely they all were and that I would never be able to chose just one!

He stood by patiently as we discussed the colours of my wardrobe and what my colour preferences might be.
As we hummed and hawed he pulled out a silky one in shades of light and dark blue not unlike this scarf, which is Italian and not Hermes but I am going to show you how he folded the scarf before draping it about my shoulders.

point to point
right side down

fold again and meet at the middle

fold over once more

this is where he left it
draped casually on my shoulders

I prefer to slip it through once
and let it simply hang
it can be arranged to one side if you prefer.

I find this works best if you are wearing a coat or jacket
as it adds a dash of interest and depending on the scarf
possibly a punch of colour.

To read more about the Hostess's first Hermes scarf

Blogland is abuzz with the colour orange
it seems to have taken us by storm
and captured our imagination
I feel it has something to do with the fall shades the leaves are turning.
Orange is not a colour that I own unless you count the Hermes boxes!

Do you have something orange in your fall wardrobe?

Annie has some lovely orange things over a her blog 
after you have checked out the oranges 
go see her most recent post
she's having a giveaway!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tonic for a tired soul....

Life has been rather fraught with challenges and work has been busy
so last night I gave in to fatigue and retired early with two of my favourite things...

I have not indulged in Chocolate for months
but I have not forgotten it's healing properties.

I love to pop a square on my tongue and let it gently melt...

I am just eating up this delicious read.
It's about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley 
and the days that they lived in Paris
hobnobbing with Gertude Stein, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald,
 and assorted other characters of note.

If you are like me you'll want to read this while you are cooking supper!

I slept rather late so I apologize that this post is a bit short on words
but considering the high calorie content I hope that you will not mind.

I hope that your weekend is of to a great start.

I am taking my lovely daughter for lunch
to be followed by an afternoon of pampering at the Spa.
What's on your agenda?

Don't forget the giveaway from two posts back...I am drawing a name next Monday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lip gloss, roses and a retro recipe.

Our robust climber Royal Autumn Sunset is putting on quite a performance this month with a full flush of peachy blooms.
This fragrant rose climbs up onto our sun deck and is reaching for the sky.
Pruning judiciously and tying up those wayward limbs is on the list of things to do in The Humble Bungalow.
In the meantime I have plucked a few beauties and popped them in a jug which I have placed above the kitchen sink.
I can inhale the heady and intoxicating scent while doing dishes.

These peachy blooms were tight rosebuds when I cut them
a day later they are billowy and full.

This delicate shade of peach is one that I also like to wear on my lips.

Chanel lip gloss in Legende 
adds a soft peachy shine 
which I have been wearing for over a year now.

It's a wee bit quirky that I must have my lipstick or gloss
even if it is a simple lip balm.
I dislike the feeling of dry lips and often I will exfoliate with a toothbrush and scrub.

Dry flaky lips feel like barnacles to me.

You might think that I go through a lot of lipsticks.
I suppose I do.
Is the Hostess a lip-o-holic?

While grocery shopping I recently discovered a new gloss
it's probably been around for eons but it was new to me,
 it was incredibly priced and without testers available
I brought two home to try.

They are very sheer with just a blush of colour
moisturizing and smooth
and on sale for $6 each
great for everyday wear around the house and garden.

I am pleased that shades work so I did not waste any money.

I'll be using the Chanel Gloss when I go out 
and I'll be saving money thanks to Burt's Bees the rest of the time.

Do you use any "bargain basement" cosmetics or skin care items?

Feeling lazy on a work night after a busy day in the library
dinner will need to be simple.
on the menu...
leftover chicken
a retro, home made (pantry friendly) Waldorf Salad
with baked potatoes.

Retro Waldorf Salad

2 cups diced celery
2 cups chopped apple
3/4 cup chopped walnuts 
3/4 cup mayonnaise

Toss together and chill before serving.

What simple fare do you offer up after a busy day?

Don't forget to enter the Humble Bungalow giveaway
see the previous post for details.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shoe String Chic giveaway, sweet peas and my OOTD.

The sweet peas that we planted in the spring have been giving us masses of blooms.
One big packet of seeds that cost about $3 have yielded dozens of bouquets which would cost several dollars for each handful.
I'd say that's a chic and savvy way to enjoy fresh flowers throughout the season.

Having a cutting garden is a great way to save money on floral arrangements.
In the winter when not much is blooming I buy a few blooms from the flower shop and then go outside to the Bungalow garden for variegated and unusual foliage to add interest and bulk up the bouquet.
It could be alliums, or rose hips, ferns or twigs anything that accents and enriches the total look will work.
Experiment with natural grasses or lop off small branches of shrubbery, you'll have fun and the weirder the better!

Speaking of chic tips Fiona has a Chic themed post every day for the entire month of September on her fabulous blog How to Be Chic.
I am enjoying her tips immensely and I think you will too.

I bought Shoe String Chic after I read about it on a blog.
It is written by Kerrie Hess and has some wonderful tips and thoughts for saving money and living luxe on a budget.
I decided that I wanted to pass this on.
The lightbulb went on and I thought it might make a great giveaway.

To enter you will need to sign up to follow my blog, and post a comment telling me what makes you feel chic.
I'll draw a name out of a hat (or perhaps a bag) and you'll need to stay tuned to see if you have won.
If you are the lucky winner you can send me your mailing address.

The giveaway will close on September 25th at midnight PST.
Good luck!

Today I am running errands and it's sunny outside.
This is my OOTD...

I'll put on some ballet flats of course 
I am breaking that rule about not wearing white after Labour Day!

"Chic is all about creating a style that is uniquely yours...
Don't be a slave to fashion and never take fashion 
or yourself too seriously"

LuLu Guinness
Fashion and accessories designer

"Chic is the confidence to follow your own path, 
to wear what makes you smile, and to break the rules!"

Deborah Lloyd
co president and creative director at Kate Spade New York

I am off to greet the shop keepers and buy a few groceries.
Smiling is so easy when the sun is shining!

I'm eager to read all your comments.
Bon Chance!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Perfect Pasta with thanks to Adrienne.

Adrienne from  La Vie Quotidienne emailed me her pasta recipe after she read my kitchen nightmare post on the pasta that was a major flop. It sounded easy and she gave me tips as well to insure success.

Lovely daughter came over and we rolled up our sleeves and got busy in the kitchen.

we set everything up on the counter

Adrienne's recipe calls for a food processor which made things easy

Blend 2 eggs, 1 tsp. oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 3/4 c flour
until it resembles cornmeal
(see above)

add 2 tbsp water and process until it forms a ball.

Form into a round and place in a plastic bag for 30 minutes to rest.

divide into 3 portions and put through the press
8 times using a smaller setting each time
cut into 10 inch lengths
then using the cutter
feed it through and use a bit of flour to keep the noodles from sticking.


Dinner is served

Thank you Adrienne
I am so grateful that you sent me this recipe it's a winner!

Many wonderful connections have been made in cyberspace.
Blogging has enriched my life in a way I had not foreseen.
An online community of strangers 
that share experiences and events

Thank you for leaving comments 
 for taking the time to read my words.

Working and a time crunch has prevented me from leaving comments 
on many of the blogs that I follow 
I avidly follow many.

I would love to follow more as I know there are so many more that I have yet to discover.

How much time do you spend blogging and how much time to you spend reading blogs?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Digging in the dirt...

What have you got planned for the weekend?

I have a bunch of top soil to dig into the front garden and I am planting some limelight hydrangeas.
We had our two large rhododendrons removed and have an area to redesign and plant.

I like mass plantings and repeats of a colour or plant dotted throughout the beds.
Several limelights are already established and I love their limey loveliness so I am adding more.
There will be some variegated hosta plants too...
and I am envisioning some white tulips or perhaps some lime parrot tulips but they will have to wait until I get the bigger pieces of the plan in place.

I plan to plant snowdrops randomly throughout the bed.
I adore snowdrops and am so elated when they show their lovely white blooms.

These are the variety that grow in The Humble Bungalow Garden.

They make a lovely wee bouquet.

I brought home a few packages of these from the nursery today.
(thankfully they are deer resistant!)

The nursery is gearing up for fall
clearing out annuals and some perennials 
it looked rather bare.
There are bins full of bulbs and though I am very tempted I decided to go back another time 
after I have finished this weekend work.

The weather forecast is for rain so I'll be mucking about in my boots

hair pulled back in a scrunchie
dressed in old jeans a white T-shirt
and a hoodie.

It is me at my most un-glamourous 
and I guarantee my face will be smeared with dirt.

I just might wear pearls.

You never know who might be walking by!

A girl can dream!

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I feel a little bit like this little guy...

Life has recently sent some curve balls our way.
Things usually run like clockwork here 
ticking along 
I am fine with that
some might call it boring
I like it that way!

We have had our share of trials an tribulations over the years.
No one is immune from stress or loss.

I feel frustrated and somewhat helpless
because the troubles 
are beyond my control.

Too bad life doesn't come with a manual 
for times when we are faced with challenges 
that are new and completely foreign.

I have said things 
that were misinterpreted
have raised the ire of someone whom I love dearly.

I have done what I thought was best.
I spoke my mind.
I may not have done it with as much grace and tact as I could have...
but that's hindsight.

I am hoping that things will settle down and the dust settles.

Disharmony and discord are a shroud of gloom that I abhor.

"To err is human, to forgive divine."

Seeking solace 
I wander outside in the Humble Bungalow Garden
where a bevy of beauty awaits.

the hydrangeas are blooming blue 

cranesbill geranium with such a dainty face

clematis wrapping it's vine around the honeysuckle

Romneya coulteri
a crepe fried eggy flower

moppets of white hydrangea
in the dappled shade

coreopsis in cherry yellow

I feel better when I walk outside 
brushing up against nature.
Kindred spirits.

Perhaps it's filling one's lungs with cool sea salty air
clearing the mind of thoughts that are sad
and replacing them with a respite
from fears.

Moving on one step at a time...
just moving in a new direction.

Mr. HB and I had a date!

I love the word "date"
 it reminds me that our relationship is still going strong
and that we carve out time to be with each other.
It could be a walk
a movie
or a meal out.

Recently we dined at one of our favourite restaurants
where we sat under a canopy of greenery 
in the sunshine.

Lamb, asparagus and pasta for Mr. HB.

Peppers, basil and goat cheese pasta for the Hostess.

The food was delicious and the company excellent!

Sharing problems with a partner or friend eases the burden 
the viewpoints they offer
shed light
allowing one to see 
another side of the situation.
(two heads are better than one)

I am grateful for the opportunity to share and appreciate the support.

"The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. 
In that lies hope." 

Frank Lloyd Wright 

Peace sounds perfect to me right now.