Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tisket ~ tasket ~ a picnic basket....

Summertime means spending more time outdoors with opportunities to dine al fresco.
BBQ's and picnics
and for some of us it's tea time!

Mother, sister and I walk once a week along the Esplanade in Oak Bay.
As we saunter along we look at Mount Baker to see if there is a clear view of the snowy peak
we take note and comment on the water and weather conditions.

Our simple walk usually precedes dinner out.

As the weather has been hot and dry we cannot help but notice the happy families picnicing on the sandy beach. Picnic are fun...people of all ages love them.
Eating slowly, taking in the sights and sounds around, savouring the tastes and sharing some conversation...
what could be simpler?

Sis and I had a conversation about inviting mom, who is 86, to have a picnic next time we go for our walk...
we discussed how she might not want to sit at the picnic tables or she might be wearing clothes that aren't suitable for a picnic.
This week when I was out with Mother I suggested we try having tea at the seaside and see how we get on.
She's keen!

Hat and tote

a tisket a tasket ~ we have a basket
some pretty china dishes
 the makings for a tea party

I love a floral pattern for tea.

I will brew a pot of tea
add milk and keep it hot in a thermos
make some stuffed eggs
pack some fruit
and some crackers and cheese.
Tea's made.

I hope Mother will enjoy herself...

Are you finding joy in simple things everyday?

Be Well
until next time...

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Victoria bistro with a twist...

Darling daughter and I love to go out for a bite to eat at this artsy bistro in the James Bay Neighbourhood of Victoria. The food is delicious, the menu is chock full of interesting combinations of seasonal ingredients and the food is plated attractively.

Live entertainment adds to the ambiance...
great music and an energetic vibe combine to make this bistro very special.

The Superior Supper Club hosted film noire evenings a few years ago and darling daughter and I went to almost every showing...they served themed dinners based on the movie titles and the wait staff dressed in costume in keeping with the movie.

the decor is rather edgy and unusual

they have a beautiful outdoor area which I neglected to photograph
it is lit with fairy lights and larger flood lights
a green oasis 
Japanese maples
with tables set underneath a canopy of leafy trees

a perfect spot for a romantic dinner
or a warm Sunday brunch

they have recently launched their outdoor donut service
a fun spot to go for a coffee and a sweet
perfect on a summer day

water and wine were sipped while we perused the menu

brushcetta with fresh cherry tomatoes and goat cheese 
drizzled with balsamic crema
arugula salad on the side

organic greens 
pine nuts
goat feta
tossed with a light orange vinaigrette dressing

salmon with couscous and pesto
I ate every morsel!

If you find yourself in Victoria looking for a rather unique dining experience I suggest that you come here.

is one of my favourite spots to dine in Victoria.
If you go please tell Lisa that I sent you!

Weight Watchers update...
17 pounds and a few ounces lost so far with 8 more to go before I reach my target goal.
These 8 seem to be the most difficult to lose...
perhaps I have hit a plateau.

I was able to enjoy this meal and stay within my allowable WW points.

Good luck to those readers who have emailed me saying that they have been inspired by my success and have embarked on their own WW journey.
I wish you every possible success and please feel free to drop me a note and let me know how you are progressing.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

OOTD ~ Parlez vous francais?

My OOTD is a classic French Breton striped top and white pants with a Lanvin silk scarf...
it is a warm sunny day and I am running errands.
The dry cleaners, bakery, grocers, and shopping for baby gifts.

I popped on this casual outfit and decided that it would be just fine to mix up the colours.
The striped top is black and cream, the pants are white and the scarf, white orange and navy.

Lanvin silk scarf
tied cowboy style
Banana Republic striped Breton top

White pants
Franco Sarto sandals

there is better light in the bathroom 
unfortunately the full length mirror is in the laundry room

bangling up an arm party of silver
Mother and sister gifted me two new bangles for my recent retirement.

silver hoops
had them for so long I cannot remember where I bought them
you can see the tinsel flashes in my hair
(no hair colour or highlights for about 3 months)

Did I mention the noisy road work that is going on up the street?
It starts around 7am and continues until nearly 5pm.

The crews have replaced the water pipes and are preparing the road bed for paving.

Shaking our Bungalow
freaking out the cats 
crystal glasses are tinkling
window panes are creaking
 floors are vibrating
our bungalow is not a peaceful place!

I need to escape as often as possible
I have even resorted to taking my book and knitting
 parking the car at the lookout
at the top of King George Terrace and sitting there in peace and quiet
sipping Perrier and gazing across at the mountains of Washington State.

I am told it will be finished by the end of July...
I can hardly wait!

What's happening in your neighbourhood?

Thankfully we get a break as the crews will be off for 2 days so we can enjoy the peace and quiet.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Humble Bungalow Garden is in bloom....

Gardening is a passion and one that offers a great deal of pleasure.
Working outside in the fresh air with birds chirping and bees buzzing calms and centres me.

Granted it can be hard work keeping the weeds at bay and digging in the dirt but still it does something for my soul that keeps me coming back...and that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day, weary but content.

My garden attire is usually some stretchy yoga style pants and an old Tee shirt...often I wear my Ralph Lauren denim shirt over top with the sleeves rolled up and a straw hat. If you were to see me you'd notice that I have dirt on my face and that I look quite the sight! Yet passers by frequently stop to ask questions about the plants and comment on the roses. It is only later when I go inside for a bite to eat and a cool glass of water that I notice what a state that I am in!

Today I want to show you what is blooming in the front of our Humble Bungalow Garden.

looking down from the porch
not clearly visible in this shot
white, blue and limelight hydrangeas
sum and substance hosta
various roses

coreopsis and a heliotrope
purple and yellow together is one of my favourite flower combos

Dierama ~ commonly known as Fisherman's Wand

agapanthus ~ about to burst forth and flower

romneya coulteri

David Austin rose which I have forgotten the name of...

crocosmia lucifer

grasses, hostas and a variegated iris
a dry patch at the end of the gravel drive

more rose blooms

Hey Jude!
Jude the Obscure
a David Austin rose

lovely cupped petal formation

a bud

I'd show you the backyard but it is in a state of chaos...
Mr. HB is rebuilding the sundeck and the outdoor furniture is on the patio, lawn and there are wood piles and tools
which really do not look that attractive or photo worthy...
when the deck is finished that will deserve a post of it's own
until then...

 It's another glorious day full of sunshine
we are so fortunate to be enjoying such a wonderful July
one that might just be a weather record breaker.

Take care

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

OOTD Black and white copy cat dressing...and a word on anti~aging potions.

I couldn't resist buying this super soft and cuddly stuffed toy for Isla.

kind of squishy
looking very relaxed 
I think he has made himself at home.

He is very long in the body
great for popping under a little ones arm and carried around with ease.

I think this little fellow's face is adorable.

Isla seems to like him and that's what counts
today we played with her toys
read some books
had a snack
played some more 
ate lunch
BTW I got lots of cuddles...
she is a sweet little gal.

I am a very Happy Grammy.

Gilmour high low dress
hem is higher in the front and longer in the back
cool bamboo for summer heat

Lily Bleu flip flops which I have been living in
linen scarf used here as a shawl to keep my shoulders from burning

white and charcoal loosely woven scarf

love the nubbiness
I laundered this scarf in Aveda Shampure to see if it would soften
it has but I think it will take many more washings before it is super soft.
in the meantime it has body and stays tied without slipping...

Many of our linen tea towels are whisper soft
and I do love the way linen takes on age
it seems to just get better all the time...

it's rather like the patina on antique furniture
it develops over time and should rarely be refinished
the history is all part of the piece

rather like us!

While I am not personally interested in a total facial refurbishing
I do like to think that I am making the most of what Mother nature gave me...
I am thinking more on the lines of preservation and conservation!

Clay mask
night time serum
day cream

Plant Stem Cell technology
at my age I am all about the moisture
keeping my skin soothed and supple
I like the feel of it when it is hydrated and that is one reason that I drink so much water
hydrating from the inside out
with a little help topically morning and night time after a gentle cleansing
there are so many products on the market and I have tried lots
this line is my current fave
and it is seriously a budget friendly choice.

Kiss My Face Lotion
is new in the Humble Bungalow
I have yet to try this 
 lotion with aloe and olive oil.
(I use their shave cream and love it)

I bought this for Mr. HB who needs it after a day outside working on the deck 
or a long day driving in his convertible.
He is fair and has freckles
remember I mentioned that he was a red head when I met him about 43 years ago...

I'll ask him for his opinion after he's used it for a few weeks.

Take care 
remember to wear sunscreen and keep well hydrated.
~ ~ ~

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Royal British baby and books...

The Royal Baby has been born!
It will be exciting to see pictures of little prince and watch him grow...
I am sure that he will be very handsome as he has such good looking parents.

They must have a few names in mind...nothing radical I would imagine,
something dignified as tradition would dictate that they name him after one of his ancestors.
The BBC news is completely focused on this event...there's a huge paparazzi buzz.
I am waving my own flag here and toting around my bag joining in on the fun.

I buy books all year to read in the summer when I have more time and fewer demands...
whenever I see a title or book jacket that sounds interesting I bring it home and pop it inside my bedside table.
That was until I realized that the bedside table was full so I filled up my summer straw tote.

I am currenty reading this novel and it is set just after the end of WW II. 
A Polish couple separated by the war are reunited in England
It follows their day to day lives in England and flashes back to their individual struggles during wartime.
It is well written and enjoyable,
I am far from being finished but I can recommend it.

My summer books 

Santa Montefiore's godfather is the Prince of Wales!

Her books are light reading which I prefer in the summer 
especially when there are so many distractions
 I am unable concentrate for longer periods of time...

This is an odd title but the jacket cover says that it is a funny book 
and comes with many rave reviews so I'll give it a try.

What books would you add to my list?
Now that I am officially retired I should be able to read more frequently all year long!

What name do you think Kate and William will name their little prince?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Date night or celebrating anniversary #39

We enjoyed a lovely evening out...
officially date night but this time we were celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary.

Clive's is in the Chateau Victoria Hotel
and is one of the best spots to sip a drink
as the barkeepers really know their business
and have won many awards.

we walked downtown
 as the weather was warm and there was a gentle breeze blowing
we had just finished walking the route of the Art Gallery's Moss Street Paint In

an air conditioned oasis 
with comfortable seating

a Junipero gin martini for the Hostess
a marguerita for Mr. HB

Junipero is small batch gin made in San Francisco
by Fritz Maytag
it's lovely and so smooth!

after a refreshing drink 
we proceeded to Zambri's for dinner

Salmon for the Hostess

Pasta for Mr. HB

A delightful evening all in all...
thanks for the special date night honey!

It's home cooking tonight and I have no idea what I'll prepare...
the memory of the tasty meal is still very much on my mind!