Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bits and Bobs today on the Blog...

A small bronze Eiffel Tower sits on the shelf above our Shaw farmhouse sink.
I look up when I wash and scrub dishes and pots and I ponder my trip to Paris
and the south of France
it feels like yesterday in so many ways...

I recently received a lovely diamond eternity band from my husband and I do not want it to get caked with soap so I took it off while doing dishes and popped it atop the bronze Eiffel Tower.
(thank you darling!)

We keep our humble bungalow decor in the arts and crafts style...
not very many "modern accents" dip their toes in our heritage listed home.
That might surprise many of you but we try to be purists.

Cookbooks take up an entire shelf in our kitchen.
I will put Ina Gartens' newest cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey
on my Christmas Wish List.

The kitchen table is a quarter sawn oak mission arts and crafts trestle table
distressed by over 100 years of wear.

This is
where I sit and blog...
a Diptyque candle
adds to the ambiance.
(Mr. HB is watching the hockey game)

I enjoy cooking and feel very content in the kitchen.

I made a delicious Caesar Salad tonight...
if you want a seriously garlicky dressing this is the one for you!

I have several Caesar salad recipes and have shared them over the years.
If you want to see any of the recipes on my blog just scroll down on the right of my sidebar until you find the labels and click on the title recipes...

Caesar Salad Dressing
Place all the following ingredients in a blender
1 egg
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
 1/4 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
then with the machine running add slowly
 in a continuous stream
3/4 cup good quality olive oil

arrange washed and dried romaine lettuce on a tray 
(or in a deep bowl)
bacon or anchovies over top
(if desired)

I like to plan dinner early in the day so that I can walk to the market and buy what I need.
Pacing myself is much easier now in retirement than when I was working.
Its one of the best perks of retirement.
Time to accomplish things at a slower pace.

I write what we eat for dinner in my day timer so that I can easily see what I have made and I try to rotate the menu so that we get a variety.
Browsing in my cookbooks 
helps to inspire me to be creative and try something new and different.
Increasing my repertoire is always an adventure and not every new recipe is a winner... but I never give up on trying to find new and tasty dishes.

Mr. HB is planning to try a new recipe this weekend.
He seems to be enthused about cooking after his successful Saturday fare last weekend.
I feel so fortunate that he is getting his "chef hat" on.

Finnish mid century "FINEL" mushroom bowl
one of the few "interlopers" in our humble bungalow.

Have you got some fun planned for your weekend ?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Minding my own a point!

Things have been quite busy today in and around The Humble Bungalow.
Sorting out some drawers that were too full, moving summer whites to the guest room closet for storage, wiping crumbs from the cutlery drawers in the kitchen.
Taking Mother to the flu shot clinic for our annual vaccines.

Mother has been under stress lately, which has necessitated that my sister and I offer her more support dealing with everyday events.
She has had some plumbing problems in her condo and now her fridge is on the fritz...phoning for plumbers and repair firms are the easy part. There are things that she needed to do to prepare for the tradesmen and she is a little overwhelmed by all the fuss. I totally understand and empathize but now I realize that we are on a very slippery slope...
I take over lunch, make tea and sit and knit while keeping her company.
We frequently work on the crossword puzzles...she starts them and when she gets stuck we finish them together!

Mother has been proactive about her financial affairs and is still able to go out and purchase food and her medications. She still drives a few blocks to the plaza and to the Avenue.

I am very sensitive not to "take over" things that she enjoys and looks forward to doing, there is a fine balance and I feel that I must respect her wishes as much as possible but I do not want to see her overwhelmed is a challenge for me not to take charge!
One must be mindful and keep an watchful eye on the subtle clues and cues.

The weather here is overcast, cool, and rainy today...
perfect for spending time in the kitchen.

I find it so soothing cooking and baking...its not unlike a form of meditation.

Casual Week day dinner

~ On the Menu ~

'(recipes found online)

Chef Johns' BBQ ribs

Broccoli and Carrots
Scalloped potatoes

Nigella Lawsons' Chocolate Olive Oil Cake 
served with whipped cream.

Picked this book up from the local library 
ready to pop the kettle on and sit for a wee bit and escape...
to the 1930's in Provence with Ondine and Picasso.

Company should be here in a few hours but I have time to read a few chapters.

How is your week going?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, October 24, 2016


Bridge is one of my favourite card games.
It helps keep me on my toes.

I love that it challenges my brain by utilizing those "grey cells."
Scientists keep reminding us to use it or lose it...

Our club hosted a fund raising bridge luncheon last weekend and I got a wee bit dressed up for the event. It puts the fun into fundraising.

Many of the ladies who attend are much older and they take such care to dress in smart outfits, beautiful pearl necklaces, silk scarves and pretty rings.

On a regular weekday bridge game I wear..."casual clothes."
Like this black top and dark denim skinny NYDJ rolled up at the cuff
with short boots.

JCrew tassel necklace with a simple black top adds a little bit of oomph.

Clark boots  NYDJ

For the luncheon and the afternoon I wore...

Amalfi shoes with Nygaard velvet dress pants.

Burberry print scarf
Wilfred top

We had a fun afternoon and raised money for the club.

~ Win Win ~

Our darling grand daughter Isla came over on the weekend.
We had fun "playing school" made some banana bread and walked to the park.
She jumped in the leaves, swung on the swings, slid down the slide, climbed on the monkey bars and rode on the merry go round.
We collected some of the leaves...

Isla picked this "special leaf" for me...

I placed some of the leaves under the white pumpkins on the table 
on the front porch of our Humble Bungalow.

As I sit here tying on my lap top  I am wearing a new ring...

Darling daughter who is gifted at finding gems and jewels found an eternity ring in my size and we met up for coffee so that I could try it on...

It fits and was such a great price that I could not resist...

Hope that your week is off to a great start...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall Friday in The Humble Bungalow...

Isn't this a bodacious looking feline?
The sculpture sits in front of the wool shop Boutique de Laine in Oak Bay.
(I am remiss in not making note of the artist)

I am close to finishing the Church Mouse poncho that I started early in the year.

My knitting project was stalled when I developed a frozen shoulder 
which after months is in the thawing stage.
 I am so grateful as I have not been very stoic with the chronic pain.

As I am able to knit again...
and the cooler weather inspires knitters.

I have joined a local knitting club.
We meet once a month at a local cafe and drink tea, chat and knit.
A wonderful group of women who gather to share their projects, 
help each other with knitting techniques and show off our finished items.

My next project...
which looks like a simple pattern by Church Mouse.
One that can be worn as a scarf or a shoulder warmer.

It is time to get out the sweaters and woolly scarves and socks.
Fall is bringing with it some cool and foggy days.

The light is changing...
foliage is taking on a new patina...

the leaves are rusting...

roses are wilting...

Spiders are coming out to play...
it is time to cocoon inside.

Our Humble Bungalow interior is dark with all the wood beams and wainscotting 
 we need to turn on many lights during the daytime.
Task lights are crucial to illuminate areas in which we read or knit.

~ Pepper ~
sits on the arm of the Morris Chair and blocks the light!
Both cats like to sit close when I read or knit, they are great companions.
I need to hide my yarn and knitting bag as they think it is a toy!

Hope that you have a great weekend.
Thank you for popping by the Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies

Mother gave me a recipe for peanut butter cookies awhile ago,
I filed it in my recipe box for a rainy day.

That rainy day happened and it turned into 3 days of rain...

On those three days I tiptoed outside for the briefest of walks,
the rest of the days I read, did laundry, made soup, a tasty shepherds pie and when my eyes were fatigued from my reading
I found Mothers' speedy peanut butter cookie recipe in my recipe box.

When I read her recipe I was in doubt...
had she forgotten something?
Can one make cookies using only 3 ingredients?

So I thought hmm maybe I would try...
what have I got to lose?

Speedy Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups light Peanut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

Mix together, roll into balls, flatten with a fork on an un-greased sheet pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to a rack to cool

Using a scoop for cookie dough is quite possibly my favourite trick that Martha Stewart shared with her viewers from her TV show.

Cookie dough balls on an un-greased sheet pan.

Flatten with a fork.

After baking cookies place on a rack to cool.

Invite someone over to share
a pot of tea or a coffee 
maybe even a glass of milk with the grandchildren
put the cookies on a plate and see how long they last!

I should have never doubted MOM.
I have learned so much from her over the years.
She will always will be a special person in my life.

Thank you again for popping by my humble blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, October 16, 2016

OOTD and some budget friendly ideas

My "new to me" thrifted cognac coloured vintage Due Fratelli bag inspired me to take out my old Burberry jacket which I have not worn for ages.

This jacket was an "investment" piece.
I purchased it when I was working.

It was worn almost every chance I got when it was new 
but of late it has languished in the closet.

I have a weakness when it comes to coats and jackets...
Quite a few are in hanging my wardrobe, a mix of casual and dressy.
Some new and others thrifted.

Walking jackets make up a good portion of these and there are a few cold weather down options in the closet too.
A priority for me "being prepared for all kinds of weather."

~ OOTD ~
Burberry jacket, NYDJ, Jessica Simpson flats, Due Fratelli bag

what you cannot see is the 
thrifted crisp white shirt by Northern Reflections and my baroque pearl necklace.

"Retirement dressing"
Mixing high and low priced pieces help me stay within a budget.
I have a book where I record all the garments that I purchase so I can keep track of my expenditures.
It is surprising how it adds up!

My retirement budget also requires me to mix high and low priced cosmetics and skincare products.

The newest items in my arsenal of products...
Jane Iredale Dream Tint with an SPF of 15
100% natural Brilliant Lip Shimmer by Burts' Bees in Cherry
I love a pop of red in the Fall and Winter.

this is not a sponsored post
 opinions are mine, and are posted for the convenience of my readers

I switched from the powdered Jane Iredale foundation to the tinted moisturizer 
it adds a soft glow and boosts moisture levels
works with my dry skin.

The Brow Drama is like mascara for the eyebrows...
I have found that a spa eyebrow tint lasts only a few weeks 
then the coarse white hairs are visible again...
This product is under $10 and lasts for months.

Spa visits are few and far between...
pedicures in sandal season and possibly one or two facials each year.
While I love the pampering I cannot afford to indulge as often as I would like.

I have fun doing my own facials.
Often I will dedicate a morning to some self care
using products similar to those available at the spa.

This red rose looks so pretty against the soft yellow siding of our neighbours' home.

Thankfully the wild storm that was predicted did not hit us as hard as we expected.

The book that I have been waiting for at the library arrived!
In the spirit of thrift I have been reserving books at the library instead of purchasing every book that I want to read...

Hope you are having a fun weekend.

Are you saving for something special?
Do you try to live within your budget?

Thank you for stopping by my humble blog.
~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, October 14, 2016

Rainy daze....

 "Money Plant"

Also known as Lunaria or Honesty, the silver dollar plant is rather like a weed.
It self seeds and thrives on neglect here in The Humble Bungalow Garden.
The Pilgrims brought this plant over with them on the Mayflower.
Thomas Jefferson grew it in his garden at Monticello.

What a difference a day makes...
these rose blooms were looking lovely until this stormy weather blip hit us.

Jude The Obscure wearing raindrops

The soft sand at Willows Beach as seen earlier this week when the sun was shining...makes me want to take off my shoes and walk barefoot in the sand!

There is an eagles nest in this massive oak tree.

Mount Baker is seen off in the distance.

Loads of kelp has washed ashore.

Snow capped Mount Baker is seen across Haro Strait.

Few people were out walking on this sunny afternoon so I had most of the beach to myself.

This toddler was exploring the beach structure
I can just imagine what fun he is having...

This beach scene looks completely different today...
torrents of rain are falling and the waves are crashing along the shore.

I am escaping this positively beastly weather by dreaming...

Enjoying making notes from this beautiful book on Provence.
Janelle McCulloch has written an informative book on the area and the photographs of the enchanting villages are so lovely.

There is a pot of soup simmering on the stove
the cats are snoozing in their respective spots
it is cozy inside our Humble Bungalow.
Pelting rain and the winds are howling just outside the door...

I will don my boots and raincoat and venture out into the storm.
I have a cheque to pop in the post and I could use some fresh air...

Thank you for stopping by...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~