Saturday, February 6, 2016

Flowers and the occasional treats...

The beautiful colours of this exquisite fuchsia stand out against the grey gloom of a February day.

After a delightful trip away in Seattle I am trying to get back on track and eat more modestly.
Focusing on lean protein, fruits, vegetables and salads.

Recently my daily dose of Thyroid medication has been reduced substantially.
It is interesting to me that our thyroid glands can fluctuate so much and I am curious as to why it has changed so radically in the past 6 months, I have done some research but have not discovered any answers.
The Thyroid affects many systems in the body and losing and gaining weight can be affected by an malfunctioning Thyroid gland.
If you have not had yours checked in awhile it might be a good idea,
all that is involved is a simple blood test.

While staying the course I have been rewarding myself with non edible treats...
floral bouquets.

Cafe au lait's 
which have helped keep me satisfied...
the skim milk foams up far lighter than regular milk and it is easy opting for skim over full fat cream.
One needs a few treats now and then so a bowl of coffee with frothy milk is something I enjoy.

I have paid extra attention to my hands and have started painting my nails
 it is fun trying out new and different shades.
I am getting better with the application of the polish.
Practise makes perfect!

Paying attention to details 
Wearing a variety of accessories with my basic classic outfits
scarves, jewelry, shoes, boots and interesting tights and socks.

The bangle collection has recently grown thanks to darling daughter...
she found me the new one 
(on the far right)
Thank you @thingfinder.

I've been walking and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Chronic pain is fairly new to me...
my right arm and shoulder are giving me grief.
The doctor has diagnosed me with Supraspinatus tendonitis and has suggested physiotherapy.
There will be exercises and a course of treatments and if they fail to provide relief there is talk of a cortisone shot.

No more heavy handbags for me!

Mr. HB and I have been savouring the last season of Downton Abbey.
Julien Fellowes has been writing such wonderful episodes for the past few years that we have come to expect that the Sunday evening PBS series will always be there...
we are a few episodes away from the finale.

We finished watching the English murder mystery River 
we started watching Lie To Me.
(both on Netflix)

Grand Designs is a BBC production that we are loving...
 behind the scenes stories and details during the construction of the architecturally designed homes.
We have enjoyed each episode and highly recommend the series.

What are you watching these days?

Have you tried these candies?
The "bad news" is that they are very tasty
the "good news" is...

They are just 1 Weight Watcher Point.
Guilt free pleasure that I am happy to indulge.

in moderation of course!

Pop over and read her post and the comments left by readers.

Lisa is happy with her 5 pound gain which still has her in a healthy normal BMI range.
I am working to shed 5 pounds as I am in the overweight category at 25.4 
My goal is to be at a BMI of 25 which is considered at the higher end of the"normal " range.
The Weight Watcher goal of 132 pounds for a 5'1 woman
 is not an unreasonable goal 
nor am I in any way going to look "skinny!"
I feel better at that weight...
less stress on my hips and knees
my clothes fit better
 in the end feeling good on your own skin is what it is all about
"bien dans sa peau"

Perhaps you will care to share your thoughts on weight gain and weight loss.
Does it matter to you?
Do you put your health as a priority?
Has weight gain or loss affected your confidence?
Has your doctor ever suggested that you make changes in your lifestyle to protect your heart health?

If you have been reading my blog awhile you might remember when my blood pressure went through the roof and I was on doctor mentioned that IF I could lose 10% of my weight that I would substantially reduce my blood pressure.
I lost 20% of my weight...and fortunately I no longer require the medication.

February is HEART month...

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

~ Lao Tzu ~

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bainbridge Island ~ a long awaited pilgrimage...

Seattle has been one of our travel destinations for many years...
it is close to Victoria and takes only a few hours by car or a high speed ferry.
We enjoy the sights, shopping and the fabulous restaurants...there is always live theatre, The Seattle Art Gallery, The EMP, Chihuly Glass Museum, Space Needle and various heritage sites.

We have not explored the areas surrounding Seattle very much...
we have been to Tacoma and travelled south to California.
On this visit I suggested that we take the ferry across to Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island is across the water from downtown Seattle.
It turns out that the ferries run frequently and the trip takes only 35 minutes.

The view as we are arriving at the Bainbridge Island Ferry dock
you can see the snow capped mountains in the distance...

Bainbridge is a beautiful island which serves as a bedroom community to Seattle and is linked to Poulsbo Washington at the far end by a bridge.
There are many large vineyards, luxurious waterfront homes and vast acreages that dot the island.

The streets near the ferry dock are lined with quaint shops, galleries and cafes.

My main reason for making the pilgrimage to Bainbridge Island 
was to visit the knitting store Church Mouse Yarns and Teas.

The shop offers lessons, sells patterns and yarn, 
Teas and Emma Bridgewater Black Toast patterned china.
Three of my favourite things all located under one roof!

You can sit inside at the great table or in a cozy chair and knit to your hearts' content.

I purchased this reversible poncho pattern 
I am using the Berroco Ultra Aplaca yarn in the same shade as the pattern.

The progress so far...
when it comes to the grafted seam I am going to be in need of some assistance.
Hopefully a few of my expert knitter friends will be able to guide me...
or else I will pop into our local wool shop The Beehive for a tutorial.

snapshots from our walk on Bainbridge Island

sign in a toy shop

stone figures along the waterfront

a beautiful heritage arts and crafts bungalow
circa 1913

I would have loved to have been invited inside.

We had lunch at The Harbour Public House
 sipped a tasty beverage from The Blackbird Bakery
perused many lovely shops.

Among my favourites were:
The Berry Patch
Pastiche Antiques

Petit and Olson 
(wow this shop is fabulous!)

Salt House Mercantile
Seattle Children's Hospital Bargain Boutique

Our stay was short and sweet and I would eagerly return.
The Gardens at The Bloedel Reserve are reported to be spectacular and I can imagine them on a sunny summer day...

there is a wee bit more to share  with you from our Seattle visit in the next post.

Hope that your week has been going well...

Have a lovely weekend! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fresh from Seattle...

My previous post generated an amazing number of comments and responses.
Thank You!

I had no idea that it would create such a flurry of emails and comments.

Thank you for taking the time to write and for sharing your thoughts...
Just knowing that google was responsible for the sudden drop in followers makes me feel better.

I write the blog as a hobby, not as a job and post only when I feel the desire.

Readers are important...I'd be kidding you if I said it didn't matter.
It is not for the "approval" as one commenter mentioned...
there is comfort knowing that there is an audience of readers out there.

So without further adieu...

Mr. HB and I have been away on a little jaunt to Seattle and we returned last night to our cozy Bungalow, which was well taken care of by our house sitter...who also took great care of our cats.

View from the BC Ferry crossing the Strait of Georgia.

The Clarks are super comfy and we walked a lot!

The new leather cross body bag by Maggie turned out to be a winner.
Not too big and the area at the front has a pocket for my IPhone which is handy for taking pictures!
My carry on bag had plenty of room as I packed light.

I wore my Barbour jacket
NYDJ skinny version
took various Eileen Fisher tops
a dressy pair of ponte knit pants 
my new coral top and sweater.
a warm grey knit pullover
Burberry cashmere scarf
walking shoes by Clarks Artisan 

It was chilly walking around downtown in Seattle and there were rain showers.
I got a chill and so I kept sipping hot beverages.
Turns out the chill was a warning of a cold coming on.
It is the first cold that I have had in over a year!

Pike Place Market is always on our list of spots to visit when we go to Seattle.

The flowers are really beautiful and so reasonably priced...

Love white bouquets with simple greenery.

We had lunch at a French cafe...
the menu was much like those I visited in Paris.
Ham, baguettes and cornichons.
Olives, salads, oysters, terrines, sausages.
We enjoyed a steaming hot bowl of French onion soup.

When we visit Seattle we always stay at The Mayflower Park Hotel.
It is comfortable, the location is close to shopping and situated close to many fabulous restaurants.
Valet parking, an award winning bar ~ Oliver's 
a restaurant  ~ Andaluca 
wonderful ambiance 
comfy beds
lovely decor
prompt room service
fresh flowers
The staff are efficient, polite and friendly.

Old world charm built in 1927...the same year that my Mother was born!

I'll be keeping close to home until I shake this cold.
Will work on a few more snippets from our trip and post them when I get time.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The writing on the wall...perhaps?

Something rather disconcerting is happening here on the blog...
while several thousand readers pop by daily to read The Humble Bungalow posts,
the number of followers on Google Friend have recently decreased...
not by too many but enough that I noticed...and am curious.
So the question in my mind is WHY?

Here are a few of my thoughts...
~ The Hostess has been here for too long and has overstayed her welcome ~
~ the writing is dull ~
~ there is nothing of value for readers ~
~ your lives are busy ~
~ Paris dreams and travel was an exciting time and now a distant memory ~
~ since retiring my life has become fairly routine, it is quiet, simple and I am content ~
~ I have very little to share that you find of interest ~

So I am going to take a break...
I will be posting on Instagram if you care to pop over on the pretty hydrangeas on the side bar and the link will take you to my page.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity
packed a lot into a weekday morning and afternoon.
Full to the brim with new things and above all ~ it was FUN!

I did something that I have never done before...
I had a professional make up application.

This is the "after" picture
at the Spa where I had a "makeover."

I am wearing more make up than I usually do.
The gal at the Spa used various Jane Iredale products...
primer was new to me and she used just a little and it covered my entire face.
Apparently it creates a base for all the other products.

Powder, eye shadow, blush, mascara, lipstick followed...

The results were quite startling, 
it was me under all those products...
my complexion looked even
my eyes stood out more
my brows looked fuller
it does feel like a lot of fuss and bother.
I like to keep things quick and easy 
~ Simple ~

I purchased two products that I was ready to replace...
powdered foundation and eye shadow.
The powder is in Satin and the eye shadow is called Supernova.
Lovely containers and all Jane's products are mineral based and safe.

Earlier in the day I went to the Tillicum Winners Store.
You can see my skin naked "before make up" here while I was shopping.
I do look a bit anemic without make up!

I bought a coral knit layering piece
not quite a jacket or a cardigan
something in between.
(very reasonably priced)

and this top
I have been craving colour.
(another bargain)

A light cross body bag was suggested by my doctor 
who recently diagnosed me with "supraspinatus tendonitis" 
a very painful condition that has reduced the mobility of my arm and shoulder.

I need to go to physiotherapy, do specific exercises, generally try to rest the arm and shoulder
 and if that fails to bring relief he will order a cortisone shot.

 He has advised me to stop carrying heavy things...
like purses and grocery bags.

I needed new boots and these were on sale.
Clarks, comfy and somewhat stylish...
will wear them with jeans, pants, skirts and tights. 
I wear boots almost every day and the Clarks that I bought last year are showing signs of wear on the soles, so before they fall apart I pounced on a new pair.

I did not overspend
everything I purchased was reasonably priced 
and having been very frugal lately I felt no guilt whatsoever.

This pretty pink rose bloom caught my eye on my walk...
this bud will open in the warm sunshine someday soon.

Heralding that Spring must be just around the corner.
Bring on the sunshine and roses!

As always I welcome your thoughts and comments.
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