Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thank you Kate Spade!

Where do you stand on stripes and dots?
Love them or hate them?

Navy and white
Black and white
Red and white...dots or stripes I love them all.

I spied this Kate Spade dotty tote at Nicholas Randall in Oak Bay.
It took me all of two seconds to decide that it was coming home with me!

Kate Spade shopping tote
rolls up and fits in a pocket or a purse.

Black and white which goes with everything I own!
It's lightweight yet very strong.

Tested to hold 44 pounds.
I plan to take this when I go shopping as it is so much nicer than most plastic bags.

My good old Kate Spade IPhone case.
Here the colours are reversed...
black on white instead of white on black.
I'd like to think that they are related.
Cousins perhaps?

Kate must love pink...
her labels and tags and accents are often pink.

I had my brows tinted this week.
One of the down sides of having a thyroid problem is that one's brows thin and frequently completely disappear.
The esthetician suggested that I use some brow powder...
she showed me how it looked and it is super easy so I bought the wee kit.

It will last for years as a little goes a long way.

You can see my brows are defined and darker.
My hair here looks messy as I have just returned from a wild and windy seaside walk.

Banana Republic striped top that I have had for's big on me but I still love it and wear it often.

Seeing stripes?
I bought this early in January with some Xmas money and it was on sale.

Say yes to the dress!
Cannot wait for some warmer weather as I plan to wear this a lot.
Loving the zipper detail on the back.

More stripes...
I wear this boating in the summer...
it is made of velour and so cozy.

Styling stripes with a French flair just by adding a silk scarf.

Black and white are made for each other...

Hermes scarf
nary a dotted or striped one in my collection.

I wear this one more than the rest.
Shown here with a Barbour vest and Banana Republic top.

Kate Spade quilted handbag...
in it's 3rd or 4th season and still going strong.

Hush Puppies boots are old as the hills...
still getting their share of wear.

Reading this post I realize that it has been rather scattered...
a little bit of this and that.
It has been a busy day with lots of fresh air and walking and I realize that I must be tired.

So it's off to bed for the Hostess.
Thank you for stopping by and spending some time reading The Humble Bungalow Blog

until next time...
Be Well.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Puttering around the Humble Bungalow cleaning and sorting some neglected drawers and closets.
 I found myself staring at my pearls. 
I must commend Mother Nature, as she makes such beautiful gems.
The creamy iridescence glows from within each pearl and when strung together they are like wee lights illuminating the strand.
A joy to wear.

Outside weather was beastly cold and grey.
Wind and pelting raindrops beat like a drum against the windows.

 The Humble Bungalow was looking dim and I was feeling it was too dark and gloomy.

Looking on the bright side of cheer I wasted no time in lighting a scented candle.

I grabbed a handful of my pearls and started playing around with the camera.

I have a real weakness for scented candles and find myself buying them up at Home Sense when they are on sale.
 Mr. HB finds them a bit over the I usually enjoy them when I am home alone.

I will be wearing these when I finish taking pictures.
Nothing cheers a girl up like some pretty ornamentation.
In the case of pearls I like to think more is better.

Fresh water
salt water
 cultured classic round
whimsical baroque's
mixed together in several pearly shades.

They do wonders to light up one's face and look especially flattering in candle light.

I am enjoying my pearls mixed with the sweet scent of lilies.
The inclement weather does not bother me much when cocooning indoors with a hot cup of tea
two sleepy cats nearby, a good book to read and a warm scent wafting from a pure white light of a candle.

Hope you are keeping out of mischief.
If I didn't have a good book on the go I might have been tempted to do some online shopping today.

Goodness knows THAT could spell trouble with a capital T.
Spending time gazing at gorgeous things that we don't really need is not the best way to spend a few hours.
 Are you tempted by online shopping?

You know what they say...
"Spend in haste repent at leisure."

This week I met up with a reader and her husband who were here waiting for their flight to Europe.
It was a delight to spend some time with K and B and chat while sipping tea and coffee at Murchies.
You might remember that she generously offered to give me her copy of Mamma Never Cooked Like This.
 I could not find a copy locally despite months of searching.

Thank you so much K!
I will be wasting no time in making some of Susan's recipes.

Turns out that K gets her hair cut here in town and makes the pilgrimage every other month so I am hoping that we will get together again when they return from their 3 month holiday.

I am so grateful to continue to meet and connect with people through this crazy world of blogging.

Take care as you navigate through your week...don't forget to smile.


Monday, February 24, 2014

You asked...

A reader asked me to talk about what I eat on a day to day basis.
She wanted simple nutritional Weight Watchers point friendly food ideas and menus.

I seriously recommend that you first talk with your doctor before embarking on any plan.
Thyroid problems are responsible for a lot of weigh gain by women in their later it is good to have a test done just in case your gland is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone. (like mine)
Once you get the go ahead to start reducing I would strongly urge you to join Weight Watchers.
It is a sensible regime and one that my physician enthusiastically endorses.

Breakfast is the easiest meal and takes the least amount of time to prepare, plus I like to keep it simple.
I alternate between fresh fruit and yogurt, eggs and toast.

I opt for a variety of fresh fruits and berries with 1/3 cup of Source Yogurt several mornings a week.
Poached or scrambled eggs with Silver Hills Little Big Bread are served on other days.
Two slices of crisp bacon are a treat and I will add these on occasion.
Often I will top two slices of bread with sliced bananas or low fat peanut butter.

To make meals quick and easy I roast a tray of assorted vegetables once a week and keep them in a container in the fridge.

I use yams, carrots, peppers, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, whatever looks fresh at the market. I drizzle a small amount of olive oil and toss with the veggies before roasting them at 450 for 40 minutes.

They get a nice colour and have a nutty flavour when they are done.

Lunches are mainly wraps or salads.
I use these with Grimm Co. corn and flour tortilla wraps topped with roasted veggies or a scrambled egg with salsa for a quick lunch.
The roasted vegetables are nice topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar which can be used as a side dish or a main course.
Salads are great for lunches and I always serve mine with a small amount of protein.
Lean chicken or turkey breast, leftover salmon, tuna, soft or a hard boiled egg.
Dressing is used sparingly, about 1 tablespoon, which you can serve on the side and dip the tines of your fork before each bite or dress your entire salad. I use Paul Newmans' lite Thai dressing as I love the flavour.

Dinners usually call for some lean meat, poultry or fish with a salad and lots of vegetables.
A bit of starch on occasion, a baked potato topped with salsa or 1/2 cup of brown rice with a bit of Braggs.

I like to drizzle some lemon juice and sprinkle herbs on top of white fish which I bake on parchment paper at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until done. If I cook salmon I use a wee bit of maple syrup and soy sauce or grated ginger if I have some fresh on hand.

Chicken breast is my preferred choice but Mr. HB likes thighs and wings which I rarely eat because they have skin and more fat than I like to consume. I cook him these when I have lean chicken breast.
Remember that the suggested 3 ounce portion is about the size of a deck of cards.

Steak is a good choice but we don't BBQ much in the winter and I don't grill in my oven so we might have some ground hamburger in burritos, chili or spaghetti sauce.
I severely limit the amount of pasta that I have because it is so high in points and serve a big salad with it so I am not hungry and tempted to have seconds!

I make a big pot of chili with beans, peppers, corn and ground turkey...this is nice leftover served in a wrap for lunch the next day.

Stir fries are a great way to get lots of veggies and a just wee bit of meat. I use vegetable stock to stir fry instead of oil so I save points and still get a tasty result. Bean sprouts are used instead of noodles and I aways add Braggs, red pepper flakes, freshly grated ginger and some Chinese five spice powder.
You can use a bottled stir fry sauce that is low in calories for added flavour if you prefer.

Homemade soup with a tomato base is great to have on hand. Make a big batch and freeze it in small containers for when hunger strikes and you do not have time to whip one up from scratch.
I saute onions, carrots and celery until soft then add water and fish or chicken bones and make a broth.
Season with dill, salt and pepper add a can of tomato paste and simmer. You can add leftover vegetables or some frozen ones if you like.
Homemade soup is very filling.

Snacks mostly consist of an apple sliced with 2 wedges of lite Laughing Cow cheese.

Fresh carrot sticks, peppers, pea pods, celery, cherry tomatoes with a tablespoon of lite Dilly Dip made by the Lighthouse company. Great for serving to company too, and look how beautiful it looks!

Popcorn is a good choice too but with no added butter!

Remember to eliminate or drastically reduce the consumption of sodas, sweet drinks, candy, cookies and pastries.
Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.

I hope this helps and remember that the Weight Watchers have a website where you can sign up for a free newsletter to get recipes and ideas that help you eat nutritionally good food in portions that allow for weigh loss and maintain your health. Exercise is an important component when trying to lose weight. Walking just 20 minutes each day will help you to rev up your metabolism and aids in sleep. The more activity that you engage in the faster you will notice results.

One of the best things I did was buy the Walk Meter app for my IPhone which keeps track of my walk stats.
You can program it to talk and encourage you to step up your pace to walk faster if you need the motivation.

It is not a huge task if you start small.
Make a few changes a bit at a time and before you know it they become a habit.

Best of luck and thank you for posing the question.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

OOTD, snow flurries and snowdrops.

Most days I wear more than one outfit...
so I am posting two OOTD ~ Outfits Of The Day.

One Tooth Yoga top in a glorious shade of aubergine.
(One Tooth has made lots of LuLu Lemon's products over the years.)
Black LuLu Lemon Yoga pants.
Grey cashmere socks

OT Fit Wear shop in Victoria is located on Broad Street across from Pagliacci's.
If you have never eaten at Pag's you are missing a tasty spot for a bite.
It's a fun place to meet a friend and you never know who you might see when you are there.
It's a popular place so be prepared to go early or stand in line...
it's worth the wait.

I wore my "uniform" to the Yoga Studio for a 75 minute Gentle Hatha class with Jacquie...
this is not an "easy" class even though it sounds like it might be. Jacquie has us doing the plank for what seems like forever! (Much longer than I can hold.) There is a roomful of strong "warriors" who often sway on our mats.

Let's not forget about the sturdy tree...I am unable to keep my foot off the ground for very long and must plant it firmly beside my trunk! Not to worry, I will get better at this Tree pose in time.
The benefits are already evident as sleep is deeper and I'm feeling blissfully calm.

Vintage Spanner beaded sweater (thrift shop find)
white Coldwater Creek tank (thrift shop find)
skinny jeans g21 (Walmart bargain at $10)
Black leather belt 
(came with a skirt that I no longer own)

I love beaded sweaters and so does my sister.
She has quite a large collection and I have this one.
If a black or grey beaded one fell into my lap I would not turn it down!

I wore this OOTD to take Mother out for a drive and we ran some errands.
Snow was in the forecast but we dodged it in our neck of the woods.

Two years ago we got a serious snowfall.
Enough to make a snowman.

Our vintage Volvo wagon handles well in the snow as it has a "Winter" gear in addition to the regular gears.
The car has considerable weight so it feels safe and reliable in inclement weather but I usually opt to take the bus or walk when we get a serious dump of snow.

A gentle dusting of snow.

This image was taken a few years ago...

I simply cannot get enough snowdrops.
I plant some every year and am hoping to see the day when I have masses of them blooming in the garden.
I'm dreaming of a carpet of wonderful wee white and green bonnets holding their heads up high.

There is such beauty in the small details.

Emma Bridgewater mug, a gift from my husband.

Lunch wraps these days are my go to meal.
The Grimm Co. make corn and flour tortillas which are only 3 WW points so I have been filling them with fresh veggies and topping them off with a dollop of chipotle salsa.
Simple and delicious.

Quote for the day:

"To be beautiful means to be yourself. 
You don’t need to be accepted by others. 
You need to accept yourself.” 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~