Monday, October 16, 2017

OOTD mixed with some Netflix suggestions...

Mod-O-Doc patchwork top
worn here with the skinny knit Calvin Klein knit pants

Cut Loose top and the Calvin Klein skinny knit pants
Clarks shoes.

to play bridge and take lessons at the club.
They are simple easy pieces that can be dressed up with accessories.

Authentic, honest clothes that reflect my no nonsense approach...
(sometimes I might be a tad too serious)
I have been considering buying a fun Tee shirt...
not sure exactly what it will look like
noticed a few women "of a certain age" 
wearing interesting Tees with variations of patterns 
some with writing
which for years I have never considered.
Perhaps there is a Tee for me 
that would look not quite as "out there" worn under a simple sweater
like Mom's cashmere waterfall sweater
 that I wear often as
it feels just SO COZY! 

Speaking of cozy
that reminds me of "comfort food."

French Toast for breakfast 
 our garden grown apples with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Cafe Creme
of course...

We just finished watching the Netflix series Atypical 
which I can highly recommend...
it is about an autistic boy and his family.
Jennifer Jason Leigh is the lead actress.

I am now glued to the Netflix series "This is Us"...
and loving it!
The show reminds me so much of "Thirty Something" 
a series that my husband and I watched with our friends 
many years ago
 I discovered that Ken Olin is involved...
he was in Thirty Something 
and it has a similar vibe
perhaps that must be why I love it so much.

Hope that you have a lovely week.

I am looking forward to a slower pace after our busy weekend cleaning out the basement!
We found all kinds of things that we could get rid of, things we will never use
 things were popped outside on the boulevard for passers by to take 
 the rest is off to the thrift shop.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A quiet weekend, focusing on our home....

Autumn brings chilly days 
and it's time to do some work inside the Humble Bungalow.
The garden will have to wait!

Mr. HB and I are "deep cleaning" the storage area and workshop downstairs where the furnace is located in our home...
it is an area that tends to be a catch all and because it is behind "closed doors" 
we do not look at it often...
 extra stuff gathers
  it mounts up 
one can be happy ignoring 
the bits of debris and recycling and cardboard only for so long!

Exhausting work but certainly satisfying...

I needed to take a break late in the day and have a cafe creme 
 now writing this blog post before starting dinner.
My tummy is grumbling!

Sharon Santoni's new book...
she lives in such a pretty home and her garden is beautiful
and how wonderful that she has shared some of her favourite recipes!

Speaking of recipes...

I took this book out of the local library and I love the recipes so much that I have placed an order with the booksellers in Oak Bay.
I have read most of Jane Green's novels and find them very entertaining.

Tonight I am making Jane Green's Maple Glazed Pork Chops 
served with my whipped potato bake
shown here ready to go into the oven...

I recently shared the recipe...
this time I had no cottage cheese so I substituted some cream cheese.

Must get on with the rest of the dinner prep so I will close.
How is your weekend going?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mistakes happen...what was I thinking?

Oxblood embossed leather bag
thrift shop find
very reasonably priced
I hoped that this was going to be a spectacular forever bag.


It was too awkward to close 
magnetic closure that one had to align perfectly every time to close
the two compartments inside were too narrow for my wallet and sunglasses
and the bag looked far too big overall.

This small Mulberry backpack bag is perfect...
love the embossed leather
love the colour 
 the inside holds all I need and it is a hands free bag.
But I was hoping for a cross body bag option that was more like this one
and did not really want to pay a lot...
but now looking back it was money wasted.

Coach Vintage Court bag
(not embossed leather)
immaculate condition
cross body style
(hand hold option)
Two inside compartments big enough for wallet and sunglasses.
Two outer options for keys and cellphone.


I donated the frustrating bag...
will try to learn not to be wooed by the exterior looks of a bag in the future
I will be smarter and think more about the functionality.

One needs to try placing the wallet, glasses case, lipstick and keys inside 
BEFORE buying the bag!

Fortunately I did not pay a lot for the thrift shop bag and  hopefully someone will enjoy the donation.

Do you make mistakes when shopping?

Not too much excitement here this week...
seems like I am spending a lot of time doing laundry and cleaning.
But that's just fine with me.

I do love the routines as they really help me from getting overly anxious about all the crazy stuff that's happening in our world....
stuff that I cannot control or change.

My heart is with those people in Sonoma and Napa where devastating fires keep burning many still not contained and fanned by high winds.

I follow Adrienne who writes the fabulous blog A Rich Life in Wine Country and she has been evacuated from their home in Santa Rosa...
her husband is the local fire chief and is busy fighting the fires.

I have been keeping in touch on Face Book
and it is heart breaking reading how many people have lost everything.

Social media has been vital to many people who are displaced and trying to find a place to stay.

The kindness of strangers 
who lend a helping hand in times like these 
are truly the best kind of people.

I plan to do something nice for someone today...
perhaps we can all do something.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, October 9, 2017

Recipes for Thanksgiving...and what I wore to cook.

I wore my mother's pearls this Thanksgiving...
it was a bit of an effort but I did it.

It was the first time that I put them on since she gave them to me the week before she passed away...

It felt right wearing them as I worked in the kitchen preparing the food for our family was as if she were there right beside me...and knowing that the pearls were a very rare and special gift to my Mother from my Father makes them a treasured family heirloom.

Masai dress 
Mother's baroque pearls
black tights

I plan to wear these with my new denim shirts and jeans too!

As a few of you requested our Thanksgiving dinner recipes...
I tried posting the links for some of the recipes that I used at the Thanksgiving family dinner but due to copyright issues some would not work.
I used Barefoot Contessa Braised Carrots in orange juice from her Foolproof Cookbook.
The recipe is on her site and it is listed as Orange Braised carrots and parsnips
(I omitted the parsnips)

The whipped potato bake is one that I have had and used for so many years that I have forgotten where I got it...I will share my recipe card with you all.

I made an apple crisp using my rhubarb crumble basic recipe...I doubled this recipe so it was enough to serve all the family. I opted to serve it with coconut bliss ice creams...they are lactose free and come in some delicious flavours.

This versatile recipe works for most fruits.

The crab cakes are made by a local company called Mrs. Fridays and I buy them at  Peppers the little shop in Cadboro Bay but I know that they are carried by the larger food chain Thrifty Foods.

The roast beef was a prime rib 3 ribs high and 6 pounds.
I roasted it at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then reduced the heat to 350 degrees and roasted it for about 3 hours and took it out and let it rest tented by foil for 30 minutes while I made the gravy and cooked the frozen peas.

It is important to use a meat thermometer as all our ovens are slightly different and you may want to serve it rarer than we like in which case you would reduce the cooking times.

The weather is so lovely outside and I need a good walk and a dose of fresh air so I will say goodbye for now and please don't be a stranger and do come back again to visit another day...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thanksgiving and some Autumn Colours

It's Thanksgiving weekend and I have been very busy cleaning the Humble Bungalow and preparing for our family dinner...

I went to the local nursery and bought some lovely plants and things to add some Autumn colour to our home and front porch.

A simple chrysanthemum in a terra cotta pot
which I hope says Welcome to our home.

A white pumpkin and a mixed planter with mixed foliage plants.

A new orchid which I popped into a vintage white planter.
These orchids last for years and re-bloom several times each year...
the blooms usually last for 3-4 months.

I purchased 5 of these wee white pumpkins to use on the dinner table.

A sweet little Kalanchoe in a wee pot for the powder room.

Mr. HB has been busy outside 
harvesting the apples from the dwarf trees that we planted a few years ago.
I am making an apple crisp for our Thanksgiving dessert.

Greenhouse tomatoes are finished for the year but this last harvest will be enjoyed and the green tomatoes will ripen in a few days.

I must get back to my cooking...

The menu for the family feast:
Prime Rib of Beef
whipped mashed potatoes
carrots cooked in orange juice with parsley
macaroni and cheese 
(4 year old Henry's favourite)
crab cakes 
(for the non meat eaters and extras for those who like both!)
my sister is bringing a veggie dish
butter buns

Apple crisp with coconut ice cream
banana bread
salted caramel truffles 
coffee and tea

Must get back to the duties at hand.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cozying up at Quarter Deck Cottage

With all the chaos is going on in our world these days I decided that a quiet post was in order...

Quarter Deck Cottage...
a cozy place where there is ample opportunity for reflection...
time for daily walks exploring the local beaches and country roads
a place to quietly sit and read our books
watch the ferries pass by
and to cocoon and relax.

A welcome respite in these troubled times...

Salish Sea shimmering in the sunshine.

Autumn foliage

Quarter Deck Cottage

Welcome Bay
a beach walk not far from historic Hope Bay on Pender Island.

Someone has been busy making a driftwood shelter.

The view from the living room of the cottage.
Ferries come and go and we watch as they pass by on The Salish Sea.

This larger ferry in the distance is one of several that carry cars and passengers from Swartz Bay To Tsawwassen on the lower mainland.

The smaller ferries service the Gulf Islands of
Pender, Mayne and Galiano.

It is Cozy inside the cottage...
a gas fireplace and in floor heating really make a difference 
as there is an autumnal chill in the evening.

Arbutus trees are now shedding their bark...

A pod of orcas swam by this morning...
there must have been a dozen of them.
It was difficult trying to capture a picture of their fins
you can just glimpse a small tip of one fin in this snapshot.

Sunset last night watched from the deck outside...

Life takes on a gentler rhythm at the cottage.
Grateful for this place of peace.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Meat Pie for the Mister

Lately on my WW regime I have been eating different food than my husband.
Mr. HB likes to have a hearty meal and I have been avoiding heavy meals, preferring to nibble on salads with a small amount of protein.

The reduced point plan has definitely been a success as I am closing in on my goal weight and have about 5 pounds to lose.
Last week, or rather the past 10 days I hit a plateau and the scale stayed at the same weight which I find rather discouraging, but I press on...

Encouraged by the results so far I continue to be mindful of what I eat and the portions that I put on the plate...if I have a larger lunch, I'll opt for a smaller dinner.

The meat pie recipe that I served Mr. HB follows...

Meat Pie

Brown 1-2 pounds ground and stewing beef in a small amount of oil.
Add 1 large onion and cook until soft.

Chop and dice:
3 carrots
3 ribs of celery
3 medium sized potatoes
1 parsnip
1 small turnip

Add to beef and onion mixture 1/4 cup flour,
blend to coat and cook for a few minutes then add 2 cups beef stock.
Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add all the vegetables and simmer with the lid on until they are cooked.
Pop in a cup or 2 of frozen peas and put lid back on and let simmer while you make the pastry topping.


In a bowl measure 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp salt then mix it together.
Cut in 1/2 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until butter is coarsely blended.

In a cup measure
beat 1 small egg with 1 tsp vinegar
add just enough ice water until it measures 1/3 cup.
Drizzle into flour and butter mixture and mix to form into a disc.
Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.

Place stew mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Roll pastry put on a lightly floured board large enough to cover stew and leave a little bit overhanging the edge to crimp and seal it in.

Cut vents in top of pastry and bake at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or just until pastry is golden brown.

Before baking

Dinner is served !

I highly recommend this wee Weight Watcher calculator.
It has simplified my shopping choices and makes it fast and easy to calculate the points of any products using the nutrition information on the package.

My favourite snack these days is a tart crisp freshly sliced apple 
served with 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese and 2 Wasa rye crisp crackers.
I will opt for this mid afternoon with a cup of tea and it keeps me satisfied until our dinner is served  around 7 o'clock.

How is your weekend going?
Anything fun and exciting to share?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 25, 2017

Thrift shopping...OOTD

The Thrift Shops have been so good to me lately...

This freshly purchased vintage leather bag is coming home.

I have posted about how I have been lusting after the Mulberry Amberley bag.
 The Oxblood leather is sumptuous
the details are simple 
classic and stylish.

I have been slow...
hesitating to make a move 
for several reasons...

there is no store here in Victoria or Vancouver 
where I can see and try on it on
the price point is higher than what I usually spend
so I have been re-evaluating
so when I saw this vintage bag 
which is made with embossed leather
about the same size
with a flap and similar interior compartments
I decided to give it a try.

The new Ralph Lauren denim shirt 
with my skinny NYDJ jeans
Clark flats

Casual dressing making the rounds at the thrift shops 
paired with a silk scarf tied at the neck.

This shirt will get plenty of outings...

I am considering wearing it with:

 a boiled wool grey skirt and pearls
black skinny Calvin Klein knit pants
white denim NYDJ jeans
Ralph Lauren pull on denim pants
black leggings and a black Barbour quilted vest

Not sure why I have not had a denim or chambray shirt in my wardrobe for so many years...
I feel like I have been missing out on a major workhorse in ones repertoire!

I also found a lighter blue Tencel shirt with similar features...
am wearing it today with black leggings.

Feeling such gratitude for so many reasons...
friends, family, grandchildren, a roof over our head, our cozy home, the cats, flowers in our garden, the veggies that Mr. HB so lovingly cultivates and grows,
I vow NEVER EVER to take life for granted.

It's a beautiful rainy morning
one of the first Fall days.

Hope you have a fabulous week!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Inspired by Janet at The Gardener's Cottage

Janet writes the beautiful blog The Gardener's Cottage from Redlands California.
I've been an avid reader and follower for many years and every time I see her new post pop up I get excited! I know that I am in for a treat!

There are many reasons that her blog is a favourite of mine...
from the charming cottage that she and her husband Larry have lovingly restored, to her exquisitely curated furnishings and home decor,
the tasty recipes,
her beautiful garden and oasis of calm,
and of course her refined and honest personal style...
Janet's is a "must read blog" in my humble opinion!

Janet has recently redesigned her blog...
and she has been posting more frequently which thrills me no end!

Janet posted about an outfit that we probably already own here..
I do own jeans...but did not have the shirt.

It's been on my radar ever since I read this post and I must admit that I have been obsessing about finding the right shirt...

I discovered after trying on several styles that I need an extra large size.
The buttons and snaps were gaping at the chest and everywhere else
the shirts would fit, so finding "The One" proved to be a challenge...
but I do love a challenge!!

Yesterday I found a shirt that fits and flatters.
It's by Ralph Lauren and in a Petite size
and it was on sale!

It has pearl snap details.

Which made me think of my bubble gum pearl necklace.

Pearls and denim 
perfect paired
with my skinny NYDJ jeans.

A new look for this Hostess thanks to Janet at The Gardener's Cottage.

How's your week going?

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, September 18, 2017

New dress...

The black bamboo dress that I donated left a void in my closet that begged to be filled. A few empty hangers are now languishing in our closet...

That bamboo "understated" black dress was the one that I wore to many events...
from my retirement the theatre, dinners out, Christmas, a staff party, a funeral, bridge luncheons, date nights....

I knew that I needed to find a replacement dress
but I had no idea that I would find one so quickly.

The dress I found is patterned and has body and weight so it hangs well.
I plan to wear black or grey tights with it and depending on the event either my new Chelsea Boots or black shoes.
 For a dressier look I can opt for sheer charcoal hose and black kitten heels
and add a vintage brooch for some pizazz.

Hard to capture this well as the fitting room is so tiny.
(I also am wearing my NYDJ boyfriend jeans underneath!)

You can see the jeans underneath 
but I was in a hurry 
as I was meeting up with my DIL and the grandchildren for a lunch date!

pockets come in handy

sleeve detail

Made by Masai and purchased at a consignment shop in Oak Bay.
Not everything I own has to be new.

New Clark's Chelsea Boots
I'll be wearing these most days every week for the forseeable future.

It has been a wee bit of a shopping frenzy lately...
not my usual habit but I have been fortunate to find some of the things that I need to replace the tired and worn out pieces that I have purged from my closet.

I've been very lucky at the thrift shops too...
several new key pieces have been found at bargain basement prices.
I'll post more on these soon.

Have you found anything on your list for Fall and Winter?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~