Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Unexpected and so welcome...

Mother has been busy helping me from the other side of the The Humble Bungalow Front Door.
She's working the outside while I am marooned in the sea of a downy duvet.
The tables have turned and I am so grateful that she wants to be of assistance.
She never asks for help herself but is the first one to give it.
I do the same for her.

She picked up library books that I had on hold when she was in the Village.
She called ahead and said "I'll ring the bell twice and run!"
Sounds like a secret agent code to me.

When I opened the door to pick up the books she was just getting into her BMW and there on top of the stack of books was a bouquet of pretty roses!

They fit perfectly in this vintage ironstone jug.
Mother was with me when I found it hiding on a dusty shelf in a local shop.

This book was a quick read and I found myself salivating when Amy describes the various sweets that she eats.
Her list of recommended Paris boulangeries and pastry shops are listed in the back of the book.
I do love a good piece of chocolate and have a crush on salted caramel chocolates.

Quarantine has it's ups and downs.
I don't want to share my germs but I do not want to be a burden or take advantage of my family.
 I did text Mr. HB and asked him if he would mind picking up some lemon shortbread when he picked up the BBQ chicken at the market. 
No problem.
I tried a sample last week and was quite impressed and thought how delicious it would taste with a cup of tea.
They are yummy!

The shortbread did not disappoint and there are several cookies left in the box on the counter for later!

I always have lots of fruit on hand...
fresh pineapple, grapes, bananas, oranges and apples.
My go to healthy sweet treats.

Besides reading, resting, roses
there's been a wee bit or retail therapy involved...
I know I am vulnerable when I am under the weather but we all need a pick me up once in awhile.
So try not to judge me harshly.

With that out in the open...

GAP had a 30% off sale and I wanted to buy a denim jacket so all I needed to do was decide which wash to order.
Do you think I could decide?
I opened the page several times and closed it again.
I wanted a jacket that I could wear with my white jeans, dark jeans, regular wash and skirts or dresses.
Having such a fuzzy brain meant I needed to ask for help.
So I did what I usually do when it comes to fashion I ask the daughters.
I did not want to disturb my DIL as she would be busy with her two children...
bedtime, books and baths.

I did text my daughter even though I knew she would be watching the hockey game.
She got right back to me.
Thanks J!

She decided the lighter wash was more versatile. 
I have to agree.
Not too "matchy matchy" even though double denim is not an offence with The Fashion Police this season.
(I've noticed that they rarely leave comments on my blog anymore...
maybe I'm not guilty of as many infractions as I used to be.)

I am thinking of pinning on a sparkly Sherman brooch.
The JCrew rhinestone necklace will work as will one of my Hermes scarves or pearls.
I am going to wear this a LOT!
Cannot wait for the parcel to arrive.

The highlight of my day was a lovely Thank You card and a gift from Jeannine.
You might remember that she was the winner of the most recent giveaway.

She made this rose patterned coaster especially for me.

Jeannine, I hope you don't mind me sharing this with the readers.
It is such a lovely gesture and it made me feel so good.
I will think of you whenever I use it.
Thank you.

It amazes me how many wonderful connections and friendships have come about through this little blog.

Four bloggers that I follow, all from California are meeting together for 4 days in Napa.
Can you imagine how much fun they are going to have?
Adrienne of Rich Life on a Budget organized the trip...
perhaps you'd like to drop in and see what the gals are up to!

Thank you for stopping by...
don't forget to wash your hands as the germs out there are particularly nasty right now.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blogging from The Humble Bungalow Bed.

Spring is in the air...
I can hear the birds outside chirping and singing and the bees are buzzing just outside our bedroom window.
I have the blinds pulled all the way up so I can see the sunshine and tree blossoms.
I'd much rather be outside than huddled under the duvet...but I must not complain as I have not been sidelined with nary a sniffle since retiring last June.

Looking seaward from our table at the Oak Bay Marina where lovely daughter and I enjoyed a delicious lunch a while back...
I never got around to posting this what with all the family illness as things got put on the back burner and rightfully so.
Thank goodness everyone is on the mend.

We started with prawn and crab spring rolls...

I chose a salad with beets, quinoa, arugula, goat cheese and pecans....
love the presentation and it tasted so fresh and delicious!

Lovely daughter opted for the Caesar Salad.
I had a bite and the dressing was the perfect balance of garlic and anchovies.

We went to Vanity Fair Antique Mall after lunch and purchased a couple of birthday gifts for J.
She loves modernist jewelry and there are a few vendors in the mall that specialize in this style.
We had a great mother daughter outing...
I feel so blessed as it is particularly special for me to share a day with her.
Like old times when we would steal away and drive up island stopping at all the antique and thrift shops on the way and coming home with our loot and laughter...great memories!

The planters around town are blooming with cheery spring flowers.

The view from our Humble Bungalow living room window in the morning.
The garden is coming to life.
Spring is such a welcome tonic after our grey wet winter.

It's been a very quiet weekend of reading and snoozing.
I read an entire book in 24 hours and I highly recommend it.
The Birth House is her first novel and The Virgin Cure is her second one.

In between cups of tea and bowls of soup I have had the opportunity to rest and imagine what my summer wardrobe might look like.
Not sure why my mind wanders to fashion whenever I feel ill.
 I even had to stop myself from buying a handbag online yesterday.
Shopping that is masquerading as medicine when one has a fever is never a good idea!

I am not too sure what I actually "need" until I do the closet shuffle.
That's when I take my winter clothes downstairs to the out of season closet and bring the summer clothes upstairs.
For now I am toying with the idea of a denim jacket and some funky sneakers.

 I saw Jennifer's post and am inspired by her minimalist approach to dressing.
Check out her video fashion show.
I think she has great style. 

She has written a fabulous book which I enjoyed reading and there is another one on the way.

As I close this post I will be picking up a Louise Penny book, another in the Inspector Gamache mystery series.
I hope that you have had some fun this weekend.


"'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes."
Henry David Thoreau ~

Friday, April 11, 2014

Memories and thoughts on skincare products....

This no name straw bag hopped into my cart.
I cannot say what possessed me to buy it as I have been looking at the Kate Spade bags recently.

Isla might like playing with it when she gets over her pneumonia.

I have fond memories of my Grandmother's handbags...
she would patiently watch as I emptied out each item slowly and carefully.
She never carried a designer handbag as she was a woman living on a very modest income.
He purses were leather and when the metal clasps closed they made a loud snapping sound.
I loved that clack and would open and close her bag repeatedly.
I can imagine that it might get tedious listening to that racket but she would simply smile as she watched me.

I remember a few things that she carried in her bag...
 Kleenex, big white peppermints, a mirrored compact with powder for her nose,
her lipstick which was a dark shade of red...
(I used to get red lip marks on my cheeks after she kissed me!)
She had a small leather coin purse with an equally wonderful snapping closure inside with her change.
I know that she had some house keys but other than that I cannot think of anything else.
Those were the days before credit cards and loyalty cards...
she was an avid reader so there must have been a library card somewhere in her bag
and perhaps a bank book.

I bought this top as it fits in with all my black and greys...
will even look good with my white jeans.
I like the mid section panels as they help to camouflage a few of those wobbly bits.

I might wear this with my black skirt when we take our lovely daughter and her significant other out for dinner next week.
I am thinking of wearing my cowboy booties with some fishnets.

Giddy Up!

I bought some new hose and they are rather a departure from my usual gear.
                                    I hope they do what they say they will or I'll be in trouble!

I'm staying close to home and keeping rested and hydrated as my throat is sore and I think I am getting a cold.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am not getting that nasty bug that turns into pneumonia.
Popping zinc and echinacea lozenges and drinking Perrier, green and black teas.

I could be napping like Pepper.

Or dozing like Chester...

I am absorbed in the latest issue and all the opulent lotions and potions that Holt Renfrew is selling.
La Mer lifting and firming mask which I have never tried is a hefty $260.
La Mer cream is touted as one of the best...but I would not know.
Have you tried it?

Chantecaille La Creme a la Rose is an intense moisturizer,
a radiance boosting moisturizer infused with one of the world's rarest roses from Grasse France...
it's $250 for 50 ml.
A bit steep for my budget.

One product that has me curious is Aerin's rose balm.
It is crafted with an extract of more than 350 rose petals and great for lips and cuticles plus it can be used as a radiant highlighter.
It sells for $64.
I do love roses!

The jar of L'Occitane Divine Cream in the bathroom cabinet is almost empty and I need to restock.
It has been a reliable cream and I love it.
But every now and then I wonder if I should try something new.
I placed my online order as I think it delivers on it's promises.
It hydrates and sinks into the skin and disappears under my make up.

One wonders how many of us succumb to the power of advertising...
having a soft fresh dewy complexion has always been my goal.
It's where I spend money...thrift shop for most of my clothing but splurge on skincare!

With age comes lines and wrinkles and I am not overly concerned about them.
I do want to nourish and maintain hydration as my skin tends to be dry.

I'm just a wee bit curious...
what products do you use and are you faithful to them or do you dabble in other lines?
Do you spend a lot or try to use budget friendly products?

Grandmother used Noxema for years.
 I still remember that scent when I would snuggle up in her arms.
She was a no nonsense kind of gal.
She had a great influence on my life and I think she helped to shape me into the woman that I have become.
 I miss her and I think of her often.

Hope that this post finds you well and in good spirits.

Take care.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blogging and thoughts of gratitude...

"Blogging has become a bigger part of life than I could have ever imagined. When I embarked on the process over 5 years ago it seemed so scary and I was afraid that I was taking a huge risk by putting myself out there.
My life is ordinary, pedestrian if you will, and truly humble.
I wondered then, as I do now, if anyone would be interested in reading my thoughts and experiences.
Could the simple everyday things that we all have in common be interesting material?
Would I have followers?
I took a leap of faith and I have not regretted my decision as it has enriched my life.
Writing is rewarding and gives me a sense of accomplishment and I derive a great deal of satisfaction when I am  actively being creative and putting it all together with pictures and words.
I look at everything around me with an eye to the possibility of it being blog worthy...
inspiration is at every turn.

I feel very supported in this blogging arena and I have met up with some wonderful people as a result of the blog.
One of the most surprising spin offs is that I have a network of women friends that I exchange emails with on a regular basis...they are a diverse circle and have been particularly supportive in view of the recent health issues with the family.
I feel so much gratitude for your kind thoughts and concerns and the comments and emails are really very special to me.
Thank you sincerely...

I have been helping out the best way I know how and that is by cooking up a storm.
This pot holds a Vegetarian Chili.

Homemade focaccia bread.

I delivered some clam chowder this morning and plan to bake a vegetarian lasagna next.

Having had pneumonia 4 times myself I think I am susceptible so I am not spending much time at the house.
Last year I was down for a month and it was weeks before I got back on my feet.
Not wanting to willingly go down that road again if I can help it.

It is difficult for me not being able to offer more help.

My days have been very quiet.
I have been very introspective and cocooning at home with the cats.

Fortunately I have been getting out for walks and just being able to air my worries has been very theraputic.
I have faith that the medicine is working and it will just take some time before they all bounce back.

I'm not sure that if I had been told that Mothers would still worry about their adult children after they left home
that I would have believed it....but it's true!

The weather has been quite wonderful.
Which has helped, even though I am gazing out the salt spotted windows.
(I must phone the window washer)

The Easter Lilies are blooming...
another one of Nature's gifts.

Woodland Native Flowers bloom in areas undisturbed by development.
The Garry Oak Meadows are a beautiful place to glimpse these wee flowers.

The city has a bounty of baskets and planters.
Victoria used to be known as "The City of Gardens."
Spring Cheer is never far away...
I am so grateful for these oases of colour.

Chester our "resident trouble maker" looking very innocent here has been climbing up the wooden slats of the blinds by my laptop trying to get closer to the birds that are nesting in our eaves...
he's pulled off the big valance and it crashed down on my head...
it must be time to close for now and give him some attention.

He is very clever when it comes to getting what he wants!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough, and more. 
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. 
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."

Melody Beattie

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Family stuff...

I bought this little fellow to cheer up our Little Miss Isla who is ill.
I love his soft squishy body and those long ears just beg to be patted.
(I'd like one too!)

Both of the grandchildren have pneumonia and naturally I am worried.
They have been to the doctor and were sent for X-rays and are now on antibiotics.
I am trying to do what I can to help.

Making meals for them is easy and so that's what I am focusing on for now.

Two new books are waiting for me to peruse as I continue my research for the Paris trip.

It's difficult to focus right now though...my thoughts are elsewhere.

I'm still in my bathrobe and must get a move on...
I need to get out and go for my walk then go grocery shopping and keep my phone close by and wait to see if I am needed to help out today.

I hope that the antibiotics work fast and those two little ones are better asap.
There is nothing like illness to stop us in our tracks.

Do something nice for someone you love today....

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