Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #62

Bonjour dear, SWEET positive pals!  How has your week been?  Mine has been all UPS and downs and bursting, whizzing and FIRING on all cylinders or curled up under my favourite lilac blanket on the sofa at 8pm feeling like i could very well just fall asleep right here!  There seems to be no middle ground around these parts this week.  Do you ever get that too?  Even the weather has been following suit:  We awoke to big, fluffy flakes of snow come Sunday morning and yesterday turned warm and sunny late on.  So much so that i felt like a little bit of a wally in my orange duffle coat and sweet leopard angora beret.  I'm hoping to find some kind of balance along the rest of the week.  After todays day off {which shall mostly be spent in the dentist AGAIN getting part two of my treatment and a small operation} i have seven days in a row!  Luckily then i have a few days off.  I just can't wait!  But more on that another day, right now we've got #wonderfulwednesday business to attend to!

*  That ^there^.  Experiencing my first proper golden hour CAPTURE of the year.  Whilst there's no doubt that the nights are getting lighter and brighter, until recently i've not managed to get home, changed and out in enough time to capture that extra, special and magical light.  Until the beginning of this week.  I went all out:  No coat, summer sandals and a flower garland in my messy mop!!  I.  Was.  Frozen!!! Must remember i live in Cumbria and that it is not quite that warm yet.  It was worth it though - just!

*  Trying new combinations:  I'm TOUGH to break:  A lover of routine and an appreciator of the expected.  Sometimes it's nice to have a change, and it's especially nice to do it along with the change of the seasons as well.  Switching up my usual lentil based salads for lighter, greener ones:  Roasted chickpea, tahini and spiced cauliflower with red quinoa and spicy kale, bulgar wheat and peanut salad with a good helping of chopped avocado being my two new FAVOURITES.  

*  Appreciating SLEEP.  I don't know what it is lately, whether i am just feeling a little like I need a few days off, or just starting to wind down because i know i've got some time off coming up; i have just really been enjoying and appreciating my sleep lately.  That's not to say that i've been managing to squeeze in more of it {sometimes i do not know how people manage to get to bed early - i am such a faffer!} but i have just been feeling like i have been really valuing a good sleep.  And there's been a good run and lots of it.  Maybe it's the abandonment of the hot water bottle {tough!}, the change into lighter smock tops and cotton pyjama bottoms or just exhaustion.  Either way, my head has been hitting the pillow the same time each night and i have been falling into the most blissful, heavy and sweet bout of un-disturbed sleep for a little while now.  Yesterday morning the first thing i thought when i woke up was how much i couldn't wait to be curled back up in our little cloud of cotton, cushions and heaven.  Do i need to get out more?!?!?  

*  Celebrating the best hair conditioner find AND swishing and swooshing my hair all the more because of it.  We talked about switching up my hair care come this time of year and the need for less moisturising in last weeks #wonderfulwednesday.  When i popped to Lush at the start of this week, i decided to try another conditioner instead of my usual 'American Cream'.  There was no other reason other than i picked up another conditioner and fell a little bit in love with the scent!  It's called 'Happy Happy Joy' conditioner and it has made my hair the softest it has been in SO long!  The smell is much less sweet and very floral:  All heady damp roses and sweet orange flower. Try it!  It's MAGIC!!!!!

*  Magic FM.  I know, easy listening for the over 30's right?!  Lately i've sort of been LIKING a little bit of older music.  I love to pop on the radio or Spotify in the evening when i am pottering about getting ready for bed and having a shower or bath.  I accidentally set our digital radio onto Magic FM the other night and was halfway {or more! Ss!} through singing along to Abba when i realised.  I've only really neglected to change it.  I will….soon.  I'm still cool right?!?!

*  That GREEN headband.  If you follow me on various other platforms {read:  Instagram} you'll know the one because i've been HARPING on about it for aaages.  It's bright green and was a present to me on my 30th birthday celebrations up in Edinburgh way back in December from Anthropology.  In reality i wanted to buy the whole and entire shop {having only ever shopped on their website before and never set foot inside a shop}. I managed to narrow it down to some plates and that sweet headband.  It's fitting so perfectly into what i'm loving to wear lately.  When i bought it i felt i was forever wearing winter hats!  Now it's not quiiiite flower crown weather, but it IS bright green and lovely headband weather!   I love how it's bridging the gap.  I do love it when you re-fall head over heels in love with something all over again.  It sort of feels cathartic and charitable in equal measure!

*  Family.  Wherever they ARE, whoever they are and however your family is made up.  You should never ever take them for granted and always be grateful that you've got them.  You never know when you'll need them or more importantly, when they'll need you.  I often find myself getting caught up with life and forgetting that i haven't checked in with family for a good few days.  Life's too short to forget these things!

*  Hot chocolate. I mean it's no BIG secret that i'm a bit of a chocoholic but hot chocolate?  Well i've sort of got to be in the mood.  'Cos i've been feeling a little tired this week, i've REALLY been craving a mug as big as my head of milky hot chocolate.  The very best hot chocolate {i think!}  is warmed almond milk, two teaspoons or raw cacao powder and a teaspoon of almond butter.  It's HEAVEN.   Trust me!  It's nutty, smooth a little bit more filling and just plain LOVELY.

*  Great FINDS!  Snagging a brand new silk ivory embroidered peasant-y smock blouse for a fiver on Ebay.  I can't wait to wear it with my trusty Gap flares and a floppy hat or flower crown come Summer.  I'm a little bit addicted to Ebay lately!  

*  Scarf SWAPS.  Swapping over my woolly scarves for my lighter cotton printed and silk scarves worn alongside sweet little tapestry jackets, longer cardis and sweet little jackets adorned with pom-poms!  I'm making Spring-shaped progress slowly and it feels good.  

*  Treating myself to some sweet and dainty gold temporary tattoo transfers from Accessorize.  I can't WAIT to have swirls and whirls of golden flowers around my ankle and across the back of my hands.  Is it too soon yet?!
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What has your week looked like so far?  I'd LOVE to know what has been making you happy and smiley - no matter how little and insignificant it might seem.  Often they are the very best things.  What exciting things are you looking forward to?  I'm meeting a friend i haven't seen for a LONG time for coffee and a big catch up this morning.  And then i shall be spending my afternoon feeling sorry for myself after my dentist appointment.  Just for a bit though.  Maybe  i might  use it as an excuse to watch Paddington Bear on the sofa in my pyjamas.  Maybe.  Remember you can share your #wonderfulwednesday wonderful-ness over on Twitter too. I'm @sallytangle.
Have a super duper rest of week!

Friday, 10 April 2015

The love of green

I think we can all agree that if Spring was a colour it would be GREEN.  Whilst i can't get enough of pom-pom blossom blooms, ballsy, bright yellow daffodils or the striking scent and colour of a hyacinth or two; the very best thing about this time of year is the bright GREEN blanket it gives us which ever way you turn.  GREEN's not a colour that i find myself drawn to very much in my wardrobe {oddly enough if i wear too much GREEN i feel like i resemble a daffodil myself!} but it is a colour i love to surround myself with in other ways come this beautiful time of year.
I've had both this blouse and headband for quite some time now.  I'm very much a colour and print person - but if you've skipped in around these parts with me for a little while you don't need me to tell you that one!  Sometimes i just feel drawn to items in my wardrobe and the whole ensemble starts and ends exactly there:  No rhyme, reason or further explanation is required!  I love how the GREEN satin headband {and might we just also discuss that this may or may not also be the very first time i have stepped outdoors without any kind of hat in months} picks out the GREEN in this sweet Celia Birtwell silk blouse.  Paired with my trusty and well worn skinny jeans i felt the perfect vision of Spring and GREEN all in one!  It also made for perfect Easter Sunday exploring our favourite place too:  Lowther Castle and Gardens, just outside Penrith…
^Have you ever seen a prettier castle?!^

^The sweetest pond with the cutest little duck-couple^
^Someone snuck in on my symmetrical tree-shaped shot!^
^The view that all views shall forever be compared to^
I don't think i need to explain why we love it so; surely the photos tell that sweet tale all by themselves!  It's a castle ruin essentially, but beautifully part-restored and even if the castle wasn't there, you'd be hard-pushed to find a more lovely place to amble through on a bright Spring day - or any time of the year in fact. The grounds themselves are magical:  Hidden fish ponds {with SO many frogs!}, oriental gardens and sweet remnants of old stone buildings, little statues and quirky curiosities.  Despite the fact that we have adventured here so many times before; each time we visit we discover something new and we fall in love all over again with how beautiful this place is.  I wrote another sweet little post last Summer HERE and HERE {told you it was our favourite!if you'd like to see even more!  But it's not all been about the GREEN outside

My latest mood-board is all about GREEN too!  That colour is just peeping it's sweet head into each part of life lately.  It takes it's inspiration from the outdoors:  of the GREENest new shoots and tallest grasses.  It's a botanical frenzy of pressed flowers, fern prints, old fashioned botany drawings and natural fabrics - soft to the touch.  It's the smell of the outdoors on the brightest blue-skied day and the taste of freshly harvested wild garlic and asparagus - Spring's sweetest seasonal gems.  I am currently pressing some flowers in the hope that i can tape them onto here with a little brown washi tape too.   

What COLOUR has been floating your sweet Spring sail boat of late? And what has been inspiring you lately? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #61

Hullo and how do you doodle-DO dear ones?!  I nearly forgot this little post again.  I know i know *covers eyes* but if i'm honest, Monday and Tuesday have not felt like either of those things this week. In fact i feel all kinds of discombobulation!  I blame Easter.  Well except i don't so much as blame it as that makes me sound mad at Easter when in fact; it gave me a day off {Easter Sunday} and an excuse {as if we all needed one} to eat chocolate when maybe we wouldn't have usually.  Did i TELL you the story of how i thought i was big and clever and decided i didn't want any Easter eggs this year?!  Until i woke up on Easter Sunday and got quite sad about it.  I compensated with Ferrero Rocher chocolates and an endless supply of Lady Grey and a lovely adventure with the Mr in the sun around and about castles and pretty hidden gardens filled with fish ponds, frogs and ducks.  But more about that later on in the week.  It's actually where i took ^THAT^ little photo above.  It was taken at Lowther Castle just outside Penrith.

But let us STOP talking about last week and focus on this one which, has been a funny old one.  It's been a week of wishing i had long hair:  Lately it has just been sticking out every which way and just generally mis-behaving and looking a like a bit of a birds nest.  It's been a week of dreading getting two fillings at the dentist tomorrow *covers eyes again* and of feeling like i just want Spring to last forever, you know?  It brings out the best in everyone and everything seems so much BETTER.  Even if you've had a long day, just a bit of blue sky and fresh air and whizz bang:  Fixed.  Let's get ON shall we?  Here is what's been making me smile this week so far:

*  Caving in.  Ever since Sundays lovely adventure sans coat or woolly winter hat; it's like i've gone into Spring Summer panic mode!  Every year i tell myself i'll wait for strawberries to be in season.  I'll wait because i just KNOW they'll be sweeter, juicier and more lovely than anything else i've ever tasted.  And then we get a warm day and all that just goes out of the window!  After Sunday i had to buy a little punnet of strawberries.  I've been enjoying them sliced and carefully balanced on top of peanut butter slathered on toasted hazelnut bread;  eaten straight out of the fridge or dipped into natural yoghurt.  I might have also been thinking about how long before it is acceptable to slice them in half and DROP them into ice cold Pimms and ginger beer.  Just thinking though….

*  Listening to DEAR Lana.  Because she's my Spring and Summer jam.  These lighter and brighter days have meant Lana all of the way to work and all of the way back.  I don't know when we became musical Summertime buddies but her music just makes me think of hazy golden hour cycling; Pimms choc-a-block with sliced cucumber, fresh strawberries and torn up mint leaves AND lazy afternoons at home with the skylights wide open.  Isn't it funny how music can give you all of that? I just LOVE it's magical powers.

*  Counting down the days until one of my very best friends is back from the land of Oz for a whole MONTH.  I can't even put into words how very excited i am to see her and spend some time catching up on everything.  I fear our weather might not feel quite so tropical to her…

*  Freshly washed linens.  This one NEVER gets old come rain or shine, Summer or Winter but you can't tell me that sinking into a freshly washed duvet doesn't feel a million times better when your sheets smell of sunshine, outdoors and Spring?  A freshly changed bed is one of my very favourite things; but that rockets up a gazillion percent come this time of year.  Are you WITH me?!?!

*  Rich dark chocolate covered mini rice cakes.  I've never been a fan of rice cakes.  Whenever i have tried them savoury, they just leave me wanting something else half and hour later - no matter how high i pile them with delicious-ness.  This week i picked up a little packet of Metcalfe's dark chocolate covered mini rice and corn cakes just to try and my oh my are they DELICIOUS.  Made with nothing but rice, corn and a rather generous little slick of dark chocolate they are just the perfect amount of sweet, more-ish YUM for those times when you're a little bit hungry but not enough to make toast or fruit and yoghurt.  They are DE-licious!

*  That beautiful SMELL of Spring:  All cut grass, green, fresh clean air with just enough of a coolness to remind you it's not quite summer yet.  The scent of washing wafting in the afternoon breeze and the tickle of cooler morning air from a keen open window and the sweet scent of damp dew on early morning verges.  It's also little bit delicious.

*  Mums.  For knowing EXACTLY what to say in whatever situation whether you are twelve or thirty - like me.  I can't ever imagine imparting that much wisdom to someone.  But i do hope that someone one day looks up to me in the way that i always have and always will look up to my mum.  

*  Cracking out the Spring/Summer hair care!  HUZZAH!  My hair is a riot lately.  I think, that like me too it isn't quite sure what season it is out there quite yet.  We've had damp mornings up here north.  Mornings where you can't HELP but wrap up in your Winter coat and sneak a wool beret and pair of mittens into your satchel.  Lately nine times out of ten these mornings have given way to un-interupted bright blue skies and double digit temperatures and left me and my Winter coat looking a feeling a little silly en route home at 6pm.  But my hair has been feeling confused too, so i decided to plough on through and into my Spring and Summer lighter hair care bits and bobs {read:  Lush, Lush LUSH COSMETICS all of the way.}  I find that my becomes so dry through the colder months, especially if it's wet and windy when i am TOOTLING about on those two wheels of mine.  But come this time of year i can ease up on the moisture, go with more of my natural 'flick-ey' texture and use less product in general.  Spring and Summer hair care is usually a good scrub with Lush 'Big' shampoo for it's salty, volumising magical powers. I always follow this with a quick wash with Lush 'Daddio' a bright violet coloured and sweetly scented shampoo that brightens blondes as well as moisturising too.  Then I slather on as much Lush 'American Cream' as is humanly possible.  Not because i NEED too - it's as ultra moisturising without weighing your mop down as they come - it just smells like HEAVEN:  All vanilla and coconut cream and that special scent last for days afterwards too!!!

*  Early 7am mist and the PERFECT backdrop for my stretches before a big bowl of chocolate and coconut oil porridge and a mug of tea as big as my head.

*  The Mr.  For those times that you steal a glance or two when they're not watching and realise how much you LOVE their face.  

*  That first early morning post-switched off alarm stretch: The one where you simultaneously try and touch the top of the headboard AND the bottom of the bed at the same time and a little bit in the shape of a star.  The only way to start every day for sure.  

*  Keeping green…green?  Or more to the point, keeping a plant ALIVE since…oof it must be at least the start of December last year now!  Who cares if it's a miniature Poinsettia plant that looks the most ridiculous little pot next to jugs and receptacles filled with Daffodils, Hyacinths and Anemones.  She's alive and that's all that matters.  Maybe there is hope for me yet.  
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Now you're up!  It's YOUR turn!  What has been making you smile this week?  Have you also got a favourite Spring or Summer artist or a special playlist?  Do you stretch like a crazy starfish come the early AM's?!  Have you ever tried Lush Haircare and do you change your hair care this time of year too?  I love , love LOVE your comments on these little posts - they are honestly my very favourite things to read.  SO if you've never commented before and have read them for a while, or even of you're a new reader and fancy sharing your #wonderfulwednesday magic; i'm eternally grateful all the same.  

I often start these posts thinking that not much grand or great has happened in the first half of my week and then once i sit and take a moment, i am forever surprised at all the little things when i sit and put my mind to them.  That's a pretty LOVELY feeling!  Remember you can also tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday on Twitter, or tag me in your Instagram snaps with the same hash-tag.  I'm @sallytangle on both.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #60

Happy mid-week my dear and lovely WONDERFUL Wednesday-ers!  And happy 1st of April too!  How do you doodle-DO?!  I feel like a little cloud has been lifted from my shoulders over the start of this week and i am convinced it was down to having two days off in a row at the weekend.  Now i know what all of the fuss is about!  Even if i didn't sleep spectacularly well on Sunday night {what is that all about?!  I go to bed at the same time each night and i can never sleep on a Sunday night whether i have been working all weekend or not!} i hop, skipped and JUMPED out of bed on Monday morning and i felt all the better for it.  Over the weekend i treated myself to a hair trim, some prettily printed pyjamas and the sweetest tshirt that i cannot WAIT to share with you once it arrives - it's the bees knees!  We ate lovely moussaka and cous cous and homemade burgers in sweet little brioche buns.  But enough with last weekend {i'm sorry i just got a little excited there - they're a rarity for me!} let's get ON!  For there are Wonderful and Wednesday-shaped things we must discuss!

*  Daffodils and their HAPPY-making little selves!  You can't not smile when you see one daffodil, let alone a sweet little sea of them bobbing away in the breeze.  I've been filling all manner of receptacles around and about our little somewhere ever since they were a £1 in most supermarkets; but now they are bobbing happily all over the shop:  our local park, along the road sides and in peoples gardens.  I can't RESIST snapping a few sweet photos when i see them.  In fact i think they could be the happiest flowers that there ever was!

*  Heavy rain. I know what you're thinking, what?!  Is she MAD?!?  We've had our fair share this week up North and whilst it is a little depressing {especially when you walk to and from work each day.  Man am i glad i didn't buy the pair of white skinny jeans to wear to work this week!} it's not if you're on the right side of the window!  Curling UP in bed with just fairylights and a hot water bottle and hearing the rain beating down upon the skylight right above my head was the cosiest i've felt in a long time.

*  Coconut porridge.  Wait, not even just coconut porridge:  Chocolate AND coconut porridge.  I'm feeling all of the love for that concoction lately i can tell you.  I simply soak half a mug of porridge oats for ten minutes {usually whilst i am doing some stretches!}, then warm them through with half a mug of almond milk.  Once the milk begins to warm up and the oats start to cook i stir in half a teaspoon of cold pressed coconut oil and two teaspoons of raw cacao powder.  I cook it through for five minutes {pre-soaking the oats means that breakfast is ready  in a matter of moments!} and pour it into my favourite porridge bowl.  I stir in two teaspoons of chai seeds, another half teaspoon of coconut oil and then sprinkle toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top.  Then i try my very best not to burn my mouth!  It tastes SO yummy!

*  Old finds.  Did i have an old find in last weeks list?!  Oh WELL.  It's a different find all the same.  On trying to sort out more of my lighter scarves for this tropical Spring weather we are mostly NOT having this week; i stumbled across my super duper soft leopard print beret and rejoiced a little bit as i was convinced i had lost it!  Huzzah for reuniting with old friends!  I have been enjoying still keeping my ears and head warm, and it goes ever so well with my bright orange duffel coat.  I'm like Paddington Bear meets…Twiggy?!?  That's a good thing i promise!

*  M&S Fig and Hazelnut bread.  I try not to eat too much bread, largely because i find that too much does my little tum no good!  So when i do INDULGE, i try to buy the good stuff or make my own.  Marks and Spencer's baked bread always has my heart and if i'm too late for the bakery, that's where i get my fix.  Their Fig and Hazelnut concoction is my latest favourite.  If i'm feeling indulgent i'll smother it in honey and sliced figs.  But if i want a super duper yummy and quick breakfast, i'll toast it and spread a thick layer of almond butter and some sliced banana.  This bread also works particularly well with melted cheese…but that's an even naughtier kind of story for another day…

*  First Dates.  Do you watch it?!  I'm rubbish with TV - i really do have a short attention span lately and so it takes a LOT for me to finish or even sit still long enough to watch an entire programme.  If you haven't seen it, i'm sure 'First Dates' is on Channel Four…mid week sometime…?!  We tend to watch on catch up.  It's basically a restaurant set up for blind dates.  The customers apply by submitting an online profile and they are matched and then filmed on their first date.  Then after the date they sit them down and ask how they both felt it went.  It's highly un-intellectual telly, but it's equally HEART warming too.  And a shows got my full attention if there's a little of that involved!  

*  Bargain-ous bretons!  Remember my SWEET little voucher i received from Boden i mentioned in last week's post?  I debated for so long what to buy but in the end i opted for a classic navy and white striped breton WHICH incidentally ended up also having 25% off.  Huzzah!  It was practically free!  And you just can't go wrong with a Boden breton you just can't!

*  Seeing a new BAY come together at work.  I always love Accessorize's Spring Summer stock - it's always so beautiful!  This months new bay is called 'Ipanema' which is actually a small neighbourhood located somewhere in Rio.  It's a riot of bright colours:  Turquoises oranges and bright pink's.  There is beautifully BRIGHT jewellery with feathers, tassels and pom-poms and i am using all of my strength not to buy yet another tasselled bag!  Fingers crossed this Summer gives us some sun!  

*  The JOY that sometimes a solo dinner can bring.  the Mr was out band practising on Tuesday night and whilst we have similar tastes when it comes to most thing food-wise, i just know that he wouldn't have shared the same enthusiasm for my baked sweet potato, hummus, falafels and roasted vegetable and quinoa-shaped dinner.  It was YUM.  

*  New knickers.  No explanation is needed except to say that i LOVE buying knickers!!  The sweetest, prettiest and more printed the better.  These few new additions are from White Stuff which is my new underwear hot-shop.  Who KNEW?!  100% cotton and prints so beautiful they would rival a Liberty print…

*  Perfume on my favourite scarf.  My scent is Paul Smith Rose, and the scarf?!  A pale grey, lime green, cream and turquoise wool tartan scarf.  It clashes beautifully with my bright orange duffle coat and matches happily with my grey angora beret.  Walking home in hail stones {HAIL STONES IN MARCH} on Tuesday night was made more bearable by being able to snuggle into my scarf and smell my favourite smell.  The hood and mittens came in rather useful too….

*  Socks worn with pyjama bottoms TUCKED IN for those nights when you just cannot get warm!  Worn to lie on the sofa with my favourite lilac blanket, a mug of camomile tea and the latest Simple Things magazine.  That there?  That's what heaven looks like!

*  Baby rabbits.  Spotted DARTING excitedly in and out of the verges on the way to a quick supermarket DASH on my two wheels the other evening.  You can't get more Spring-like than that can you?  Now if we can just sort of this weather….
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How the FLIP are you all?  How has your week been so far?  I hope you have been free of hail stones, snow and icy winds and been enjoying some warm Spring weather!  Tell me, what does that feel like?!?  Have you got PLANS for the rest of the week?  Has it been a productive one or are you hibernating?!  I'd love to know, these comments and your KIND words are my favourite thing!  Remember you can leave a sweet comment below or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday things:  I'm @sallytangle.

Have the most MAGICAL of Wonderful Wednesday's and a jolly rest of your week!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Little Happenings

I am writing this having had a pretty LOVELY and perfectly needed sort of a Saturday.  A lazy late wake-up after having my eyes shut so tight that i had the smallest hint of a headache when i woke up and a dream about Mary Berry coming into work to ask me why i hadn't applied for The Great British Bake-Off!  Luckily my headache soon disappeared after a mug as big as my head of milky Lady Grey under the duvet and then three large slices of Fig & Hazelnut bread, toasted and spread with bitter orange marmalade.  Whilst LATELY has sort of wiped me out; i was flipping through my photos this morning and thought it just plain rude to not share them - they are HEAVEN!  Not at all because of my photo-taking ability; just because i think i was in the right place at the right time.  And you know sometimes you feel like you're exhausted and run-ragged and then really, in amongst all of that; there are SOUL-fixers like bright blue skies, temperatures that aren't below freezing and particularly lovely lunches.  And then there's always blossom too.  And if that doesn't cheer you up then you need to see someone about that, really!  In between the busy-ness, my LATELY has been pretty alright and looking at these photos instantly filled me with happy thoughts!
Getting OUT and ABOUT makes me feel better whatever the time of year but i'd be lying if i said it wasn't so much easier come Spring.  Whether you're lucky enough to own two wheels, four wheels or no wheels {feet like just as much of an adventure too!} there's no denying that being outside does WONDERS for those endorphins.  I'm pretty hardcore.  I'm the silly sausage you'll spot trying to cycle against a force-ten gale; or hiding my head under a hood and hat and a million layers on the frostiest day ever.  Or wearing a big high-vis sash and fairy-lights on an icy December evening just so I can get OUT.  Even if the thought of it is miserable, i just know i'll feel better afterwards.  It's not a coincidence that i tend to feel much happier throughout the Spring and Summer months, it's  a result of being out in the fresh air so much more! 
Feeling the LOVE for all things GREEN lately too - i think that's a no brainer!  In fact, there's even a green inspired mood board in progress at Tangle Towers which i'm excited to share with you once it's all done.  While we welcome the rusts and rich colours that the end of the year brings, i always feel so READY for some colour and first comes GREEN.  Isn't it just the colour of Spring personified?!  See ^that^ there?  That right before your eyes is a see of wild garlic.  Each year i vow to pick a bunch and whizz up a pesto.  I've heard wild garlic goes particularly well with walnuts too.  I'm definitely doing it this year.  We'll be eating our wild garlic and walnut pesto with spelt fusilli or spreading it on top of homemade pizza bases which we'll scatter with spinach, ricotta & speck ham.  I can hardly WAIT!  If you fancy in on the action, wild garlic is at it's peak in April and it's the leaves that pack the flavour punch; unlike the bulbs of it's traditional garlic sister.  Maybe i might share a recipe or two?

 If you don't already KNOW, i'm a little bit obsessed with blossom come this time of year - me and the rest of the world.  For me, nothing signifies SPRING like it.  I got some funny looks from an elderly couple sat to the right of the top photo.  I must have looked like some kind of proud cycle parent {?!} taking that photo.  But man ALIVE was it worth the bending and playing with light and different distances.  It could be my favourite photo in a long, long time.  Blossom and blue sky equal HAPPINESS times a squillion!
Eating LIGHTER and BRIGHTER go hand in hand with LIGHTER and BRIGHTER days don't they?!  I like to think we don't do too badly for eating quite well around these parts, but it's certainly much easier to eat better as the days get brighter and lighter.  I'll even go as far as to say that i CRAVE green come this time of year:  I had a real craving for raw carrot and peanut butter on Wednesday's day off and i've been loving taking a little pot of hummus and raw celery to eat alongside my work lunches over the last few weeks.  Saturday's quick lunch before a trip to get my hair cut looked like ^THAT^ and it tasted like heaven! 

 It was a cobbled together/what was hiding in the fridge sort of a lunch and these are always my favourites. It was leftover falafels crumbled; some cold steamed broccoli florets mixed into red quinoa, spiced cous-cous, mixed nuts and seeds, a small avocado and a generous spoonful of hummus and a drizzle of olive oil.  I felt like i could of eaten it again straight after but that's just my eyes getting a little big for my little TUM!  We quite often have this for a quick dinner if leftovers allow.  Except i usually cook some cinnamon sweet potato wedges to make it a little more dinner-like. Mmmm!
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What has your 'Lately' looked like?  Have you been snapping blossom-ey branches 'til your heart's content like me?!  Have you had a LOVELY weekend so far?  The Mr is off today and so weather pending {and everything crossed that is crossable} we might head out into The Lakes for an adventure tomorrow.  Either way whatever happens we have already planned that we are having homemade burgers for dinner tomorrow evening and that, makes me SO excited! It's all about balance you know…

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #59

See ^that^ ?  Isn't that just the PRETTIEST sight you ever did see?!  It's sights like these that are keeping me going lately.  Keeping me going because i feel a little bit like i am running on empty this week.  It's been a long, long   S-T-R-E-T-C-H   at Monsoon Towers and i feel a little bit like i've piled a little TOO much on my plate lately.  I am never satisfied by completing something and i always push myself a little too hard i think.  I am not used to sitting still and so on the evenings where i should have been just kicking back, i've been fizzing and whizzing and finding jobs that need doing.  Aren't there always jobs that need doing?!?  So as you read this sweet little offering; i shall be relishing in a day off SO extra special because i really and truly feel like i need it!  After an eight day stint at Monsoon Towers no less too!  There'll be hot cross buns for breakfast with hot tea and salty butter and there'll be two-wheels rode and if i'm really really lucky, Mr Sunshine MIGHT even rear his pretty head too.  It's on these weeks more than ever that i am thankful for the little rays of light in a long, long week.  I feel as if this weeks wonderful things might be particularly simple and humble.  But that's what it's about really isn't it?

*  Two digestives, dipped into a HOT mug of Lady Grey upon my return from work on Monday. Sometimes you need nothing but the plainest of biscuits to sate that 'i'm bloomin' starving but i need something' pre dinner cravings.  I sat on the kitchen floor, cross legged and it just really hit the spot. I felt like i couldn't drink my tea quick enough whilst simultaneously not wanting it to end AND also already planning that there would be another cup directly after it.  It was just one of those kinds of days!

*  A thrown TOGETHER sort of a dinner that could go down in history as one of the very best and one which we shall definitely be repeating!  Rough puff pastry spread with a tomato paste and scattered with left over bite-sized chunks of rosemary roasted butternut squash and sweet potato and crumbled feta cheese.  Popped in the oven for twenty-five minutes and served alongside buttery new potatoes and chopped dill and a tomato and rocket salad.  I am half tempted to make the filling into sweet little pasties for next time.

*  Visits from OLD friends to warm the heart.  Ok well this actually happened on Saturday but it was SUCH a lovely thing that i couldn't not mention it as it really cheered up my weekend working AND well it's my Wonderful Wednesday okay?!  One of the lovely girls i used to live with at uni ten years ago {ten years ago how has it been SO long?!?} popped into work to see me completely out of the blue!! I might have squealed and i might have also vaguely felt like i might cry!  It was so lovely to see her and even though we don't speak so much anymore, she hadn't changed at all and it was just the loveliest of feelings!!!  My little heart was well and truly warmed it really was.  My lovely darling Flora you made my long weekend SO much brighter!!!!

*  Listening to Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' album backwards, forwards and sideways.  If i shut my eyes TIGHT i am back in Edinburgh with the Mr for my birthday.  I listened to this album non-stop around, about and during our trip up to edinburgh and it makes me feel so happy when a song pops up on shuffle and suddenly i am transported BACK there.  I love so much how music does that:  You can be anywhere, doing anything and then WHAM, a few bars in and suddenly you are right back somewhere else entirely and everything else around you sort of disappears.  It's a little bit magical.  'Ghost Stories' reminds me of wandering Edinburgh's Old Town holding hands and marvelling at all of the beautiful buildings;  of tea and cake breaks bundled up in our bobble hats and scarves talking and talking.  And of nights spent curled up in the prettiest little flat eating warm mince pies and talking about how magical living in Edinburgh might be.  Obviously i'd get a job in Anthropology and i'd write in my spare time - naturally we'd also be in the middle of renovating a sweet little period house.  The Mr would make basses and ukeleles in a studio workshop and maybe i'd fetch him lunch every day and we could sit and tell each other about our days…….I fear i MIGHT have digressed.

*  Birdsong.  The kind that makes you pull your earphones OUT of your ears on your walk home just to listen.  I don't know what they were saying - maybe they too were marvelling at how suddenly Spring-like everywhere seemed.  Who knows, all i do know is that it was the sweetest little tweeting and chirruping that i was almost sad when i got home…almost.

*  Leaving the window open ALL day.  Even if it was just a little bit.  Our living-room has the hugest most massive of windows and once Mr Sunshine is up, it gets the light for all of the day.  This is why i love that room in the morning so much.  You feel just like you are watching the world wake up in front of you but because we are up on the third floor - you are just on the top of the rooftops and can see nothing but sky.  In the warmer months it can get rather warm.  This week saw the very FIRST day of leaving for work and leaving the living-room windows open on a bright sunny Spring day.  Even if i was still popping my angora a beret on my little head as i left for work…

*  A customer {albeit a slightly strange one} telling me that they 'loved my VIBE.'  Nobody has ever said that to me before - i wasn't even aware i had a vibe!  Or actually if this is even a good thing.  But i'm keeping it in my pocket for a rainy day that's for sure!

*  Coming home from a long day yesterday to find a sweet little gift-card from the LOVELY lot at BODEN!  Huzzah!!  *fills 'basket' with every colour of Breton tee and maybe some new snazzy pj's too*.  What a SWEET surprise!

*  The heaviest most fulfilling few days of sleep imaginable.  Call it exhaustion, call it whatever you like BUT hells bells i really have slept the very best i ever have lately:  All heavy, still and un-disturbed.  I wake up feeling so much better and i also don't feel like i have to snooze my alarm a zillion times before i get up.  Laundry has been popped in before work, exercise has been accomplished and a lazier porridge-shaped breakfast has DEFINITELY been soothing my morning soul for sure.  

*  Coming across OLD and treasured gems in a mini-sort out.  You know the kind of 'oh my gosh the sun's out and it's Spring and so i must go through my warmer weather clothes!!!' even if you are still wearing your Winter coat AND you daren't take your mittens out of your pockets just yet.  What is it about is Brits and the weather?!  I stumbled across some treasured little smock blouses and much loved tees in my mini sort out and i'm super excited to wash and wear them again.  Even if it is just indoors for now.  

*  Wearing my floral crown for the FIRST time since well, well before Christmas time.  ^see previous point^  I might have only been inside and been wearing a fair few layers but it was a jolly lovely feeling all of the same!

*  Chocolate 'milk' and accidental HEAVEN discovered!  I picked up some raw cacao powder from our little health food shop in our market on Monday this week.  Not surprisingly my Monday was a particularly slow starting one and i really felt i was lacking in 'beans' so to speak.  I was also really craving chocolate.  I picked up a chocolate milk that was made entirely of coconut water, date syrup and raw cacao and it was HEAVEN.  Rich like a chocolate truffle, creamy like melted chocolate and just the right amount of chocolate-y.  I swear i checked the ingredients list so many times because i just couldn't believe that was all that was in it.  I must find the name of the company for you so you can fill your cheeks with  a chocolate-y treat that is actually rather good for you!  
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Now it's your turn dear and lovely ones!  I'd love to hear how your weeks have been and what has been making them so much better?  What are you looking forward to?  What little tiny moments have been making you smile cheeks to cheek and what shall be getting you through until the weekend?!  I'M OFF THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!!!!I'm so sorry to shout but this is such a strange occurrence that i'm not sure i shall believe that it shall happen!  So far i am undecided of my plans but i am excited for more sleep and more hot cross buns!

Don't forget you can leave me a sweet comment below or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday shenanigans on Twitter.  I'm @sallytangle.

Have a super DUPER rest of week!


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