Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #27

Happy halfway through the week dear and sweet faces, how do i find you all?  I don't wish to boast but week has been THE BEST so far.  That might largely be to do with the fact that i have been off from Sunday to today this week. Now i think you'll agree that is one of the very bests starts to the week for anyone.  'Cos despite loving my job and feeling grateful to work with the loveliest bunch in the world, a few days off, in a row; is a bit of a dream.  I have spent them well and i feel rested and yet ENERGISED in equal measure.  It's amazing what an hours extra zzz-ing can do for you isn't it?  Hello 8am wake ups!  So i have plenty of goodness to fill you up!

*  Getting our food shop DONE in the middle of the day on a sunny Tuesday instead of half-arsed after work at 6pm, 'cos you know i wasn't at work - did i mention that?!  We always do our food shop after work.  Which usually results in us me spending far too long in the biscuit and, or jam or nutella aisle.  It felt highly organised and got done much quicker on Tuesday afternoon since the Mr finished work at lunchtime.  I made a list and stuck to it and everything.

*  Sunday PLANS - sort of fulfilled.  We are HOPELESS at decisions and so we fall a little bit apart when it comes to making a plan.  (Can you see even more so, why the food shop was a triumph?!) But it's been forever since we have both been free on a sunday and so because of all the lovely sunny weather and bright blue skies, we decided a trip out was in order.  We used to adventure out somewhere into the Lakes each sunday but we have sort of fell out of the habit - as you do - and so it was nice to wake up and know where the day was taking us.  We had a drive down to Hutton-in-the-Forest to an annual pottery fayre.  Before the Mr started making basses he used to be a Potter and so he likes to visit each year if he can.  We wandered the fayre, and then explored the huuuuge house and all of its walled gardens and grounds.  It was lovely.  We then had planed to drive over to Lowther Castle for a bite to eat and another walk.  Except they'd had a power cut and were closed!  Just proves that you can't plan everything doesn't it?!  It was lovely to spend proper time together out and about in the green and fresh air.

*  A new favourite COMBINATION.  I swear i am the queen of combinations lately. I feel like i should start a mini-series.  I like to take my lunch to work each day and it can easily get boring taking soggy sandwiches each and every day and yet it's expensive to buy your lunch each day too.  I can't remember the last time i even took a sandwich BUT my latest favourite lunch-shaped combo are fine milled oatcakes spread thickly with organic cottage cheese.  Cottage cheese has this odd 80's/diet food stigma attached to it but i love the stuff.  You have got to get the real organic, no rubbish added, 'i can stand my spoon up in it it's so thick and creamy' type though or your'e stuffed.  So where were we?  Oatcakes, cottage cheese on top and raspberries or blackberries and a touch of thinly sliced mint.  I usually take along some slices of cucumber too.  I have also tried it with strawberries and basil.  And i have also mixed it up and used ricotta cheese too.  It's mighty fine and travels well in a little lunch box.  But I might have munched it on Monday at home this week just because i wanted it so much. Let me know if you give it a go.

*  Face-timing with one of my BESTEST friends aaaall the way from Oz on Tuesday afternoon.  Man i miss her.  It was so nice to chat and laugh and catch each other up on either persons lives.  It was also lovely to see around her fancy pants new house that she has just bought with her fella.  I guess there's no coming back now then! Boohoo!

*  New SMELLS.  After a lovely lovely blog comment from a reader suggested a new and exciting perfume brand to me after she had read how much i love the way sunshine makes your skin smell, i headed online to track it down.  The perfume itself proves rather price-y but they offer mini-sample bottles so i treated myself to a couple and i am SO impressed.  I shall be sharing much more another day but smelling it made me so happy.  And it also made me even happier knowing that a kind reader had got in touch and recommended it.  It blows me away daily this lovely and kind community i tell you.  

*  CHOCOLATE pudding.  The kind thats so smooth and soft and rich on the outside and filled with a molten lava of warm gooey goodness on the inside.  The Mr's decision.  What a keeper.  I contributed with a little pot of extra thick double cream.  We ate in total silence.  I told him i didn't want the moment to end.  He left half of his.  I more than contemplated eating that too. I didn't but this made him shocked.  Until i explained that i have a separate stomach for anything chocolate-y and it never fills up.  This isn't strictly true but it might aswell be.  I spent the rest of the evening more deliriously content than i had been in a while.  

*  New summer skincare UPDATES.  This made me so happy! I purchased a few summery takes on my otherwise regular skincare staples. I am so impressed that i am thinking of including them in a little post.  Check me out knowing things about skincare?!? Well hardly, i know what i like (i.e. what i have been using for an age and know works!) and it might be quite nice to share this with your lovely faces you know?!

*  Pearl BARLEY.  I tried it in a risotto recently on an evening i was in eating alone.  You know what i was a bit sceptical but it just works.  It's a much lighter take on usual risotto rice and its a creamy yet really fresh dish packed full of baby leeks, spring onions, baby carrots and garlic.  With a couple of baby new potatoes on top and some finely chopped thyme for extra measure.  It left me feeling full enough without feeling uncomfortable and sleepy in the way that a heavy normal risotto can. I may or may not have it again later this week…
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What have you all been up to? Do you fancy trying my alternate take on a humble sandwich for lunch?  Have you got any other lunch-shaped alternatives i should be giving a go?!  Do you also have a separate stomach dedicated to just chocolate or is that really just me?!?  I'd love to know.  Or if you just want to let me know something that's been making you happy this week so far remember you can also tweet me.  Im @sallytangle and don't forget to use the #wonderfulwednesday hashtag too.  

Monday, 28 July 2014

Currently #19

All images taken from Pinterest HERE
I'm feeling all kinds of sudden urges to be right by the SEA.  Call it the sun, beating down on my little blonde head and bringing a smattering freckles across the bridge of my nose or just the fact that i feel especially drawn to all of things blue and a fresh crisp white lately.  I just do not know.  But i am craving DIPPING my toes in deep blue frothy waves and licking the salty sea air from my lips.  I feel as if i want my hair to blown all kinds of which ways; this way and that, in a warm salty sea breeze. I would give anything to wriggle my bare feet in warm sand right this very second.  
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I have got a few PRECIOUS days to myself the weekend after next and so i'm planning a trip north to Scotland to see the family and to catch my brother before he pops back to uni for his final year.  I am hopeful for dry warm weather so that we can FROLIC by the sea with that daft spaniel puppy dog, and go walking up in the pine forest and maybe do some deer spotting. I can hardly WAIT.  

I also love the above quote.  Lately i feel as if i am not quite sure of the direction everything is going.  Almost like i am never too sure where i will end up.  I have never really minded that and have always gone wherever the breeze has taken me.  But as i get a little older, and i realise how precious time really is, it just makes you THINK you know?  

Do you enjoy a visit to the seaside and have you got any little JAUNTS on the horizon anytime soon?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Not Feeling Blue

As i sit here in our little office with the skylight held as WIDE as it will go with a roll of brown paper parcel wrap holding it in place (read:: a recipe for disaster waiting to happen right there!) it is 28 degrees.  To my overseas-shaped friends or anyone possibly not in Blighty or anywhere near Cumbria, i can tell you that's positively tropical.  For us at least.  Lately though my twitter feed and instagram has been choc-a-block with people complaining its too hot.  

And its not hard to see why.  We're not accustomed to such constant heat and blue sky BRAVADO and we are a nation who likes to share our thoughts on the weather more than any other i am sure.  And you know what?  I don't work well in the heat either.  Im mostly milk-bottle white with pale blond hair.  Anything above 20 degrees leaves me looking like a lobster in a wig.  But MAN, those bright blue skies?  Aren't they worth it?!  

Beautiful bright blue cloudless skies as far as i can see, in any which way or direction goes pretty high up on my HAPPY-MAKING list lately.  Whilst my little self isn't made for more than half an hour of direct sunshine, a little slick of SPF factor one million, a straw hat and a sweet cotton dress and i'm good to go.  I have been spending moments in between turning those two wheels of mine sat under trees and searching for sneaky spots of shade when i can.

I may or may not have sat and DIPPED my toes into the river for a little while on a sunny morning bike ride earlier this week.  I feel so lucky to have this little patch of green and blue right on my doorstep - well down the road on two wheels for a few moments.  It's good enough for me. You can always find a quiet spot too.  This time of year and with all those rays of bright yellow sunshine it looks so BEAUTIFUL.  
I feel as if i am constantly DRINKING something lately.  Whilst i have cut back a little on the warmer drinks, i have more than made up for them with my own version of iced teas, fruited ice cold teas and simple icy H2O with wedges of lime or torn up mint and cucumber slices.  I really notice if i don't drink enough in this heat, i feel as if my productivity really suffers as i just want to curl up out of the sun and sleep!  I have re-used a huge and whopping passata bottle to fill up with whatever cold beverage i fancy and keeping it full in the fridge means i can guzzle it back and refill easy peasy.  

Blue and white have been my go-to colours lately, i feel much COOLER and CALMER in paler colours come this heat…whilst still maintaining a little print love also.  I am not ashamed to say that i have worn this cotton playsuit two days running this week already.  It's perfect for BREEZY summer days, especially when i spend so much of them on two wheels.  There's no under-garment flashing in sight!  Which means i am free to focus on the loveliness around me!
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So let's all not start wishing away this glorious-ness too soon please.  I don't want to hear a peep about jumpers, scarves or cinnamon anything's until at least September.  Let's all enjoy exactly how a summer should be.  Being typically British, you just never know when little Lady Weather shall snatch it right from under our peepers! 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Sharing #2

^All photos taken from Pinterest HERE^
A little while ago i wrote about SHARING.  You can sneak a peep HERE.  Whilst i feel as if i would write all of my tangled thoughts and share all of my silly and cotton candy cloud photos on this sweet little spot of the internet whether i was writing to two people or twenty squillion, it's safe to say that the reason people stop by these parts is because some kind soul somewhere (blogger or otherwise) has shared this spot with another.  If its one thing i have learnt about this industry is that it shares.  It shares the love and support of its fellow writers, photographers and bloggers alike and unlike any other i have ever experienced.  And that's SPECIAL to me and something i am forever grateful for.  So i'm back here once more doing a bit of loving and sharing myself.  And you are in for a treat i can tell you.  
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I just ADORE the quote ^above^ and the way it describes seeing the positive in even the darkest times.  As bloggers and writers we are pretty damn good at that.  And the print?! Well it's vintage Liberty - as if i need to explain that one further.  I'd quite like my duvet to look like that thanks. And the bottles are just pretty and well, i am a little obsessed with up-cycling old bottles and jars and such lately, be it for fresh flower holding receptacles or just for a humble tealight or ten.  But these fab faces have been inspiring my cheeks lately too…

*  The Tea Drinking English Rose and most recently Charlotte's 'Will You?' post. This blog never fails to INSPIRE me.  It's an indulgent Alice in Wonderland of thoughtfully curated posts in a wonderfully whimsical and beautifully worded way that you just can't help but fall right in and and want to meet her for a cup of tea and a white chocolate mouse.  This particular post tells the tale of how she asked her closest gals to be her bridesmaids for her wedding to her handsome Mr next year.  It's beautifully photographed and so THOUGHTFULLY written.  This ladies eye to detail is beyond beautiful.  

*  Pierre le Cat and Helen's recent post Travel//OOTD//Shoreditch Hipster . I loved this post so much and really felt that i knew exactly where Helen was coming from.  Being part of such a big industry where it feels like every man and their miniature daschund has a blog; it's hard to find your NICHE and to find what really makes your heart sing.  It's also hard not to compare yourself to everyone else; to feel as if you are missing out by not residing in the Big Smoke where it often feels like the centre of the universe; or to feel like you should be eating at the latest instagram hyped burger joint wearing the latest ASOS 'xyz'.  Most of my favourite blogs (this lady's included) are the ones that are a bit DIFFERENT from the rest and less mainstream and full of personality.  Helen's blog is just that.  And it doesn't hurt that she's got a way with styling jewllery and outfits a little different from everyone else too.  Oh and she's a fellow Cumbria blogger. Not that i am biased at all whatsoever…

*  Cider with Rosie and her recent post A summer walk in bluebell woods (even though the bluebells have long since faded) .  This lady has a LOT to answer for.  She is the very first lifestyle blog that i read, way waaay back when.  And the fact that i still get a little bit excited when a new post pops up in my feed speaks for itself.  Rosie forever manages to get the perfect balance between such beautiful beautiful photography and equally fantastic writing, whether she is telling the story of a weekend well-spent or sharing a new recipe.  I always go away feeling driven and inspired just by reading her little space and i love how much of her personality shines through each and every word she writes.  This post is a story BEAUTIFULLY told in words and pictures and a perfect example of why i love her blog so much.
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Are there any bloggers that INSPIRE you? What are your favourites, the kind that you go back to again and again and always go away FEELING all the better for it?!  I'd love to know!  Plus i love a new read as much as the next person...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #26

Hello you great and WONDERFUL bunch of people you!  How are your respective weeks going thus far?!  I spent most of my day off on Monday convinced that it was Tuesday (the perils of working all weekend - it produces some kind of crazy day-jetlag if there is such a thing!) and so i feel like this week might start to feel a little longer than it should!  As i sat tip-tapping this post, i have my cotton scented oil burning away, Tom Odell up loud and the biggest glass i could find filled with ice-y water and torn up mint and wedges of lime. It would be a little slice of Summer-shaped HEAVEN was i not also flipping through the Boden AW14 goodness that has gone live this week. Aherm.  I may have fallen in love with a glittery collared breton tee and a cotton tartan pinafore.  Must. Resist.  Do not fear though!  There has been plenty of summer-y shaped goodness going on around Tangle Towers to keep a smile across those freckle-y cheeks of mine this week…

*  Summer FRECKLES.  I used to hate haaaate my freckles when i was a whipper-snapper.  Now i rather like them.  I only get a little smattering on my nose and cheeks, save for the one stubborn little devil that resides in the centre of my bottom lip! When i get out of the shower i almost don't mind my skin with just a slick of moisturiser.  And i have been braving myself foundation-less (but SPF-ed up to the max!) with just a dusting of rose-y blusher and sunnies on days off.  It feels all kinds of liberating and i can kind of pretend i am on my holibobs too!  That can never be a bad thing.  

*  Skylights.  I bloody LOVE that we have skylights in both our bedroom and in our sweet little office.  It goes a little way towards making the fact that we have no actual green space to call our very own.  I have been standing on my tip-toes and opening them both and our almost floor to ceiling windows in our livingroom and relishing in a lovely cool through breeze on the days i am working from home writing and the like.  I do live in trepidation that one day a humongous seagull will swoop in and steal my walnut whip from right under my nose though!  

*  My new black rose candle.  It fills our livingroom with the most decadently rich spicy rose-y scent even when it's not lit. What is it about candles?!  I do love them so.  I have been enjoying having tealights in old jam jars and various other DELIGHTFUL transparent receptacles dotted about on these light summer evenings.  It makes working after dinner not so bad you know?

*  Peanut butter.  Golly GOSH i have been feeling all of the love for peanut butter slathered on just about anything lately.  I have always been much more of a sweet gal, but lately crunchy peanut butter spread thickly on bright orange chopped carrot, celery sticks or a tart granny smith apple is the bees knees thank you please believe me.  And it's a filling kind of afternoon snack too.

*  Scents of summer.  I love how my skin SMELLS after a day out and about on those two-wheels in the sunshine:  faint coconut-illy scented and mixed in with damp grass, sunny daisies and a cool twilight breeze.  Can someone bottle that please?!  Eau du Tangle Toilette has a certain ring to it don't you think?!

*  Fresh FLOWERS that last way, waaay beyond the time you expect of them.  I gathered more of the sneaky wild hydrangea heads i spotted along the river last week and they are just as bright bluebell-ey blue and beautiful as the day i picked them.  My humongous bunch of ballsy bright yellow roses are also still going strong and they are way over a week old.  They keep a sunshine-ing feel about our little attic even when the sun goes down.  

*  Ebay bargains #1000, 000.  Okay that might be a little exagerration!  I can't help myself.  Due to my downright indecisive nature i often miss out on the things that i fall for clothes-wise.  Whilst i know there are far more important things in life there is a certain satisfaction when you know you have paid a third for something and it's brand new and winging its way to you.  HI FIVES!

*  Chocolate.  Sometimes (read: most of the time any time) its all that will DO.  I wish i mixed it up a bit, that i craved crisps, chips or takeaway once in blue moon.  Truth is, chocolate will always have my heart, closely ever so closely followed by a slice of carrot or coffee cake.  Nothing hits the spot for me like chocolate washed down with Lady Grey.  These longer shifts and earlier starts have had me really appreciating a handful of hazelnuts and a few squares of chocolate.  Mmmmm!

*  Finding out that one of my very very dear friends has got ENGAGED and better still, that i am going to be a briiiiidesmaid!!!!!!! I am beyond excited.  That my friends shall be an emotional day and a half.  
Tell me, tell me tell meeeeee what has been FLOATING your pretty boats this week and keeping you going until the weekend?!  Are you a sweet or savoury snacker?!  Are you LOVIN' the freckled lobster look as much as me?!  Got any ebay bargains to boast about?!? I'd love to know!  Remember you can tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday too.  I am @sallytangle.  

Monday, 21 July 2014


It feels ever such a long long time since i just sat here and WROTE.  Just put the kettle on, made myself a big floral mug of Lady Grey and wrote down all that has been going on around these parts.  It's not great or grand but lately has simply been all consumed with work related paraphernalia.  This time of year sees the launch of our Summer sale which this year has brought mixed emotions.  I have so been enjoying this summer sunshine; long lighter days and nights and feeling so inspired with everything around me that i am not quite ready to let it go just yet.  It's been exciting seeing the first peeps of AW14 trickle into Monsoon Towers but at this moment in time i cannot bear to think about jumpers, cardigans and tights. No no, not until at least September.  Are you with me?!  
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The launch of our summer sale inevitably also brings with it some very long LONG days and odd working patterns in order to get it all off the ground and running smoothly and so i am just starting to adjust back to a normal 9am-6pm shaped day.  Those precious moments i have had free have all been spent out and about in the sunshine.  There is forever a British feeling that whenever it is sunny we must all rush out and bask in it because its never certain or dependable on our shores.  So when in Rome and all that jazz…
^Colour co-ordinating my breakfast^
^The way all day off's start ^
My mornings have been of the spectacularly super SLEEPY variety.  Energy has been an absolute must and so i have been saving toast and pastries for my days off and piling pretty floral bowls high with spelt muesli, blueberries, chopped banana, chai and sunflower seeds and a great big glug of ice-y cold almond milk for those days at work.  Consequently days off now always start with a mug of Lady Grey in bed, whilst i check emails and compile a list of things to do for the day.  It's a new day-off shaped routine that feels a little more LUXURIOUS and a slower wake up is never a bad thing.

Days off have been spent in in any kind of cotton-printed ANYTHING that i can get away with!  I finally took the ever so beautiful Jack Wills for Liberty print strapless sundress out for a spin and i think it could go up there as one of my very favourite dresses ever and that's one mean feat!  My trusty straw panama hat has been worn pretty much every day and wins the award for best hot sunshine shady piece with a distinction in covering up messy 'i have just done five laps of the park' type tresses.  
^Green and wild flowers as far as the eyes can see!^
^Pimping my…ride?^
^a new friend
My morning bike rides have been just what i needed to COOL down in the early morning breeze and gather my thoughts for the rest of the week.  I have collected a pretty little seasonal collection of wild flowers from my cycle EXPEDITIONS through the forest-y part of our local park too.  In much more exciting news, i also got to know the kind gentleman i mentioned HERE and HERE above (except for his name…sometimes i can be a real dolly daydream!) a little more.  I see him on most of my days off now and he always pops over to say hello and to ask how i am.  On Monday he showed me a little photograph of himself a long time ago with his Parabike.  My beautiful Pashley Penny pushbike is based around the design of a World War Two ladies Parabike and we struck up an uncanny kind of friendship when he stopped me to compliment me on Willow a few weeks back.  He is the sweetest man and has so many lovely stories and tales about his adventures on his bike throughout the war.  I have really been enjoying hearing them!  

^the summer skies of dreams^
I can't help but fall more and more in love with this GLORIOUS weather we have been enjoying lately.  Despite the odd rain shower last week, it's been a little like heaven and the way i remember summers when i was a little dot.  I have replaced post-bike frothy cappuccinos with the largest iced soya latte i can get my paws on.  It's about the only way i can drink soya milk.  I rather like it in hot chocolate too but that shan't be making an appearance anytime too soon!  Its lighter and much less rich on my tummy than full fat or skimmed dairy milk, especially in a latte, and the nutty flavour is a nice addition in an ice cold drink.  

^twilight love^
 For those days when i have been working later or starting later the very next day, i have relishing in late summer evening laps of the park in a much cooler and crisper breeze with the most breathtaking sunsets you can ever imagine!  It really is a wonder i haven't rode into a tree or off the path into the river yet.  
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In other news,
*  One of my very best friends in the whole wide world got engaged a couple of weeks ago and has asked me to be a bridesmaid.  This made my tired and exhausted self very emotional.  I am so excited!

*  Oatcakes, chopped strawberries or hunks of juicy donut peaches with a huge and whopping spoonful of cottage cheese on top is my favourite lunch right now.  If i need an extra boost i sneak in a little handful of walnuts too.  Mmmm!

*  I can't get enough of Lana Del Ray's new album 'Ultra Violence.'  The Mr doesn't get it.  Sometimes i don't either.  Her music is rather slow, sleepy and a little sad at times.  But somehow her sultry songs are my summer time ear worm time and time again.  

*  The Mr announced he was making bangers and mash on saturday night.  I got in a grump. I was hot.  SO DAMN HOT that if i was by myself i might have cried.  You know that sort of 'i've been at work aaaall day and i'm so tired i just don't have the energy to shower' type strop?!  Bless his heart he cooked it and we ate what might well have been the very best pork and fennel sausages slathered in pear and apple chutney; mashed buttery potatoes and onion gravy of our lives.  If not also the most un-seasonable meal ever.  It felt decidedly Autumnal.  We are calling it a dress rehearsal…he's a keeper.  

*  Eating the best gluten free walnut and caramel shortcake slice of my life!  It was from Marks and Spencer's and i ate it on a break on one of my very long shift-shaped days.  Man it was good.  In a 'don't talk to me' sort of way.  I got through the rest of that shift purely because of it and i know it.  It shall now be my weapon of choice for those long and sleepy days.  
So tell me DEAR faces, what's new with you all? It's been an age since we all just caught up over a cuppa and had a good natter.  Have you all been enjoying the sunshine too?  How have you been spending your days?  I am forever jealous of those of you on school or uni summer holidays.  I want five weeks off dammit!  


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