Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #216



 {Wild garlic as far as the eye can see...}

Oh well HELLO THERE.  So kind of you to pop by and read along with this weeks #wonderfulwednesday list!  If you read this early-doors i'll be all curled up asleep as today is my unscheduled day off.  I do like a day off-shaped surprise.  Especially when i was convinced i was working for eight days in a row and now have only worked a total of five. Hurrah!  I'll mostly be catching up on jobs, willing the rain to buzz off so i can get out for some fresh air with my two-wheeled partner in crime and doing a little bit of Spring cleaning.  If the rain hangs around i'll no doubt go for a walk and buy myself some fresh flowers because #yolo.  How has you week been?!?  Catch me up!
In the mean time let's get listin'....


1.  Sleeping with the window open.  Maybe i'm late to this wild party but it's been too blinking cold to have any kind of window open when there's no certainty of sunshine on the horizon!  Until these past few days.  I mean after last weekends short, sweet burst of almost 20 degrees {albeit for one day only!} i've been almost lulled into a false sense of security summer where the weather has been concerned.  I mean it's been 10 degrees at best but i don't care.  The air smells like only Spring can:  All grassy-green, fresh and clean - and so i'm just working with what i've got.  Nothing beats the smell of a Spring evening as you drift off to sleep.  Is there any better lullaby than the sounds of the trees and the distant hum of a sleepy Spring night?!?


2.  Rhubarb and custard.  You know when you just get a notion for something?! I've eaten neither in their true and actual capacity since as no supermarket or green grocer near me seems to have any of the stuff.  I thought it was still around and about but alas, maybe i have missed the Spring rhubarb flourish!  I am being spoilt by having some freshly picked stuff from a friends garden at the end of the week {cross ALL of the things!} but until then i'm getting my rhubarb and custard 'fix' anywhere else i can!  Namely in my breakfast:  Creamy almond milk porridge cooked with vanilla and topped with sour rhubarb jam, a great big zig-zag of peanut butter and as much toasted coconut as i can get away with!  I mean it's not a crumble but it'll do for now.  OH!  I should also tell you that the 'Nakd Rhubarb and Custard' bars are the bees knees also.  Oh OH!  AS is Yeo Valley rhubarb yoghurt.  I mean don't feel sorry for me anytime soon...i'm getting by....




3.  A fresh fringe.  I mean a fringe trim is as good as a face-lift and a haircut if you ask me; only with far less.....mess and worrying!  |The best thing i ever did was a) get said fringe {covers a multitude of spots sometimes sins} and b) jump right on in and learn to cut it myself.  Heavens i'd be at the hairdressers every other week if i had to get someone else to do it!  There's nothing like a lovely straight fringe to completely perk you up and make you look far more like 'you' again.


4.  Mantras.  Words to live by.  Sayings.  Oh heavens knows what you call them but earlier on this week the ever lovely Peta {fellow #wonderfulwednesday writer and loveliest lady in the whole of the world wide web, no really} posted a quote that really and truly resonated with me:  'I am me and you are you.'  Isn't that brilliant?!  I spend so much of forever wishing i looked like that person, wrote like this person, had the clever-ness of who knows what person, could cook 'xyz' like who knows who.....the list is exhausting but this little snappy phrase isn't.  And i love it.  Thank you darling Peta!


5.  Various pestos.  Who knew there were so many?!?  I mean i've made standard pesto for years and love using it through fresh pasta, tossed through warm baby new potatoes or drizzled on roast veg right at the last minute, even swirled on top of a summer veggie omelette BUT who knew you could make pesto from...*drum roll* {are you ready because i'm currently planning on eating pesto for the foreseeable...}:  Carrot tops {yep that green bit you throw away}; watercress {peppery wonderful-ness - i imagine it would be lovely with fresh dill thrown in too and served with fish}; kale pesto {bloody LOVE kale - i think this would be extra yum served with a squeeze of fresh lemon and maybe even crumbled feta on top at the last minute};  cavelo nero {pretty kale-ish - heavens maybe you could be a rebel and mix the two!!} and eeeven avocado and rocket together {creamy and peppery and apparently extra delicious with fresh lemon and ricotta at the last moment}.  Be right back.....i'm just off out to stock up on ALL of those things....

6.   A new plant mister.  That's right, now i'm a real grown up.  Is that even what they're called?!  Who knows.  This week i reached the dizzying heights and absolute epitome of green-fingered chic by ordering a sweet little golden plant mister.  For our three house plants.  Who i haven't killed yet.  Have i told you that i haven't killed our THREE house plants yet?!  Oh what i already said that?!  Sorry i'm just excited.....

7.  Carrot falafels.  AKA:  chopped onion and garlic, smooshed up leftover roast carrots, equally smooshed up leftover chickpeas; a whole host of spices {ground coriander, cumin and a little mixed Italian spices} made into sweet little balls, rolled in seasoned polenta and baked for fifteen minutes or so.  Served with a rocket-y, coriander-y salad and more houmous than is probably socially acceptable.  HEAVEN.  

8.  Planting.  Since ordering said plant mister i'm obviously now convinced i have the skills and know-how to create and grow a vast menagerie of plants and flowers.  You know, instead of just buying plants and....planting them.  So far i've planted peas and sweet-peas indoors aaaand Anemones and wildflowers in the garden.  Please cross your fingers and toes for the outside plants to actually grow.  Don't worry yourself about the peas and sweet-peas as both are currently taking over the kitchen wondow-sill and growing at break-neck speed.  So much so that i'm quite worried i'll wake up to a kitchen in bloom and a window blind that has un-intentionally become a garden trellis overnight without any choice in the matter......Is it too soon to plant eager-beaver sweet-peas outside yet?!?!?  Asking for a friend....
*  *  *

And i'm-a DONE!  What.  A.  List!  And it's made me hungry.  I'm off downstairs to sulk at the lack of creative pesto in the kitchen {could be a day off job for tomorrow me thinks} and cobble together something with leftover carrot falafels; a lemon-y parsely dressing and far too many green vegetables to mention.  I'm sure something'll come together.

Don't go forgetting to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's  blogs and catch up with their very own #wonderfulwednesday weekly installments.  Because who can ever read too many happy lists?!!  I mean is there even such a thing?!?

See you next week you lovely lot! 

 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #215

 {Beautiful, beautiful Magnolia blossom!}
 
I DID IT!  I'm here and more than that i'm ALIVE!  You join me here this week after a bit of a stressful eight whole days in a row at work and i feel like i am very much running on nothing but tea and porridge!  I'm feeling surprisingly a-ok but i am little bit convinced that's actually just because i haven't really stopped yet.  I just know that as soon as i eat supper tonight and just be, i'll likely be asleep before you can say #wonderfu-----


It's okay i'm here!  I've not gone yet and i'm ready and raring for some happy listin'....


1.  Sleep.  The kind you where you can't remember actually falling asleep and also the kind where you wake up each morning wondering where you are, who you are, what day it is and what is that incessant noise?!?  Oh it's the alarm and i have to get up.  Feeling very thankful for falling asleep pretty much as my head hits the pillow this week since as i've needed all of the energy and all of the sleep i can get!  I'm very much looking forward to the same kind of sleep later, only adding about two hours extra on top because incase i haven't mentioned already this week:  IT'S MY DAAAAAAAAY OFFFFFFFFF this #wonderfulwednesday and Thursday too!



2.  Chocolate porridge. I'm not sure why i crave the stuff even more when i'm sleepy and feeling a little less than myself but i just do.  Maybe it's a comfort thing.  This week i've been cramming the stuff into anywhere and everywhere that i can.  I grated leftover {who even am i, leftover?!?} darker than dark chocolate into our lentil chilli at the very end of last weekend.  I've also been adding one very heaped tablespoon of ground cacao powder into each bowl of porridge this week AND i've been snack, snack, snackin' on homemade date, raw cacao and coconut balls this week with mugs of tea galore!


3.  Coconut.  Maybe it's the incoming sunshine or maybe  it's the fact that i spent most of my childhood avoiding the stuff like the plague {my only coconut-shaped childhood memory is Bounty chocolate bars bllleeeurgh!!!} but these past few months i've been cramming the stuff into everything i can and it might even be up there with one of my very favourite flavours/things to eat.  INFACT i don't think you can get much better than toasted flaked coconut on anything.  Lately i've been snacking on the stuff right out of the jar but i normally use it to coat my date and cacao balls {extra crunch!}; scattered across any kind of cereal, porridge or toasted 'anythings' or sometimes piled high on the thickest, creamiest greek yoghurt i can find with a handful of chopped walnuts and a drizzle of runny honey.  I love the stuff!  I also use coconut oil in most of my cooking and also add that into my porridge right at the every end too.  I'm surprised i haven't turned into a coconut yet!


4.   A basket bag.  I finally cracked.  Again i'm blaming it on the incoming sunshine and milder temperatures that we keep being promised over here in the U.K BUT, after much research; I have bought a sweet round wicker basket bag.  I'd been searching for a new 'warmer weather' kind of a bag anyway and hadn't had much luck so i feel like i know i'll get lots of use out of it.  THIS is the one i picked in the end.  I can already see it filled with flowers and fresh bread on a weekend hooked over my bike handle bars or worn across me with faded slouchy dungarees, a plain white tee and an embroidered cropped jacket.  Summer here i come!!!!! 



5.  Bedtime.  Okay so it's not a secret that i love my sleep and my bed {i know what you're thinking:  I just get more and more rock and roll as these posts go on....*cough*} but lately it's not even that:  Can i call it my wind down routine?!?!  After supper i love the little routine of taking off my make-up, having a hot and steamy eucalyptus-y shower with my favourite bergamot and sea-salt shower-gel {i've been using THIS one for ages and i'm hooked - ps ALL of the range and scents are beautiful} and then putting on a softly scented body cream; a face oil and clean pyjamas and curling up with a chai tea and my favourite book on the sofa with some scented candles lit.  It's the perfect way to unwind and de-stress and i'm pretty sure my sleep has been better because of it!



6.  White cotton 'everythings.' Because when it's not raining and the sun is shining and the temperature are anything but any kind of minus variety; nothing beats crisp white cotton tees and blouses.  They go with anything and everything and are so versatile and the combination of my favourite jeans and a white blouse or tee just has me feeling all Spring-y and happy!


7.  Sweet-peas!  They're GROWING!! My baby sweet-pea seeds that i planted only a week ago seemed to have also picked up the Spring memo and are shooting up at rocket speed!  I'm so pleased!  Cross your fingers and toes that they keep up the momentum so that i can plant them outside in a tub on our patio and have them climb up our pretty trellis and give us sweetly scented sweet-pea flowers all summer long!!!!  


8.  Mum chats.  I'm so lucky to call my mum one of my very best friends.  We're so similar in so many ways and i sometimes wish that there were more hours in the day and days in the week AND that she lived a little bit closer so that i could spend even more time with her BUT all of that aside; sometimes there's nothing better than a long chat with your mum:  Putting the world to rights and laughing until you cry.  Am i right?!?


*  *  *


I did it!  I'm alive and more than that:  I'm not asleep!  Don't forget to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's oh, OH and Ellie's  #wonderfulwednesday posts and to read all about there respective weeks and what miraculous rocket fuel they're using to power them through until the weekend!  Also don't forget you can always follow along with all of the #wonderfulwednesday chat across social media channels and get involved yourself too! 


See you same time next week?  Where i'll beeeee on day five out of another eight..?!?
*bangs head on keyboard*

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #214

{Almost blue skies and beautiful blooms you say?!  I'm THERE}
Well hello there and how the devil do you do?!  Do fill me in on your week wont you!  You join me with a little bit more 'get-up-and-go' than i had this time last week {but that could  be to do with a little bit of an extended long weekend - i highly advocate booking both a Friday and i Monday off work especially if like me having even a weekend off at all feels like a luxury.}.  There is something indescribably lovely about not getting that Sunday night feeling and stretching out in bed with a mug of tea on the one day of the week that most of the worlds population {myself included} dreads.  Maybe i'll make a habit of it if makes this much of difference.  What's the chances of four day weeks becoming an actual 'thing' do you think?!


Let's get #wonderfulwednesday listin'....


1.  Rest.  I used to feel guilty for just that:  For letting myself just be; for admitting that i needed it and often used to feel like i had some how 'admitted defeat' of something by just admitting that i needed it.  Over the years i've learnt that it's a good thing to be able to realise when you need rest and moreover to making sure that i include it as a given.  Why is this something that comes more naturally as you get older?!  I can't help wishing i might not be such an over-worrier if i'd realised this sooner.   I booked last weekend off and then Monday too. I did lovely things and spent time with friends and the Mr but mostly i took time to just potter; do odd jobs and rest a little.  Even though i spent all of Tuesday feeling like it was Monday it was more than worth it...


2.  Toast.  I mean always.  I say always when what i actually mean is 'always when not porridge' as that will mostly always be my forever love.  This week though, my snacks have been various toasted 'things'.  I'll forever be a snacker and not someone who can only eat three square meals a day and feel as if my energy levels are much better if i eat three smaller meals a day and a couple of small snacks too.  I'm often hungry between supper and going to bed and this week it's been all about the toast.  Usually just with butter and marmalade but sometiiimes with a little sneaky zig-zag of peanut butter too.  Because whoever needs an excuse for that?!?  Oh! And always with tea.  Because you can't have toast without it, am i right?!


3.   Warmth.  I said last week that i felt like i'd been cold since October last year and i really wasn't kidding! On Monday this week though{couldn't have booked it off work more accurately if i'd tried} it was the first day where it has been sunshine and blue skies with a great big slice of real life WARMTH alongside it too!  It was infact so warm that i dried two whole lines of washing AND padded around outside on our patio in just jeans and a t-shirt AND even sat and drank my afternoon mug of tea outside too!  I mean it was back to three degrees and pouring with rain when i woke up today {Tuesday} but it's all progress.....


4.  Clean hair.  I can't believe i used to wash my hair every single day!  Now i try and make it last aslong as i can {dry shampoo and hats are my very best friends.  Well you know aside from porridge, toast or tea...}.  The thought of doing it is always the absolute worst and is also quickly replaced with the sheer joy that comes from softly scented, swishy and shiny clean hair and the ponderings of why i leave it so long.  And then the cycle begins all over.....


5.  Planting seeds.  Done so on a sunny and warm Monday afternoon on the patio.  It was quite the therapeutic task:  filling teeny tiny pots with sweetpea seeds and tucking them up in little compost blankets.  They're currently living on our kitchen window-sill and i'm crossing everything crossable that there is to cross that they grow and i can fill our little somewhere with the sweet scent of summer for months on end!


6.   Spring clothes.  I mean i've only really bought a white cotton ruffly blouse {which shall become one of approximately ninety-two billion, squillion thousand} but is it even Spring if you don't buy or want to buy one extremely crisp blue or white cotton 'something?!'  I say this but if there's one thing surer than....sure {?!} it's that i'll spend most of the Spring and Summer in some form of white cotton blouse.  Paired with slouchy indigo jeans and sandals and messy hair on a lazy Sunday; or tucked into high-waisted skinny jeans worn with ballerina pumps, a beret and a trench coat for pottering about on days off.  Or sometimes just tucked into a skirt with flip-flops.  It's something that easy-breezy and fresh!  Just like Spring should be..... *cough cough*  Come back warm sunshine pleeeease.....


7.  Pink blossom.  *Writes/says approximately five million people either in a blog post......in a text, emaaaaail or on twitterrrrrrrr orrrrr Instagraaaaaam*  I know.  I get it we're all blossom MAD!  But when the weather is NOT predictable or particularly dependably seasonal at any given moment up and down the U.K can you blame us?!  It's the anti-dote to a grey sky, the great big 'Cheerer Upper' of looking up {even if you are tentatively peeking out from your umbrella} and a sure-fire way to cheer up even the most miserable of days.  This year the beautiful cherry and hawthorn blossoms seem to be everywhere i look; defiant and buds and flowers of ballsy bloom and pom-poms.  And it's  nothing short of happy making, isn't it?!


8.  Less make up.  Why is it also only really when you're older that you learn two really important things?  The first that really for your skin to be it's very best version it takes not very much at all and even in most cases, the less you do to it and the more simple you keep 'things' the better it will be because of it.  And two, that regardless of how your skin is - on good and  bad days - it's your face and you shouldn't wear a mask.  You should learn to take gentle care of it; make the most of your best bits and stop seeing the less 'magazine perfect' bits as flaws but more as.....you.  We're not genetically all the same and neither are our faces.  I've spent most of my life hating my skin and spending far too much money trying to make it look a way it just isn't designed too.  And that's okay.  I've learnt that and i've accepted it and even if it's taken me the best part of thirty-or-so years to realise it; it looks, feels and IS better than it's ever been with or without make-up and i feel more comfortable in it than i ever have.  Well that went a little deeper than i'd first imagined......




*  *  *



And we're all done and dusted for another whole week.  Consider this a wordy-dose of rocket-fuel to see you through until the end of the week!  Better than that, write your own and eeeven better than that:  TELL me so i can read it and share it too!  Writing a mid-week happy and thankful kind of a list makes me not forget the good bits in the great big vastness of time and means that the days and weeks and months don't just merge into one vast expanse of simply only being.   What is life without memories...?


Since as you're here you might also want to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's oh, OH and Ellie's lovely blogs and catch up on their very own #wonderfulwednesday.  Because who's ever heard of too many lists of GOOD things?!?


Happy mid-week!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #213


 {Where you'll find me, until Spring comes back...}
I'm sat here writing to you and already it's a 'stop-start; stop-start' kind of a writing rhythm and it's not really looking good since we're only one overly long and terribly punctuated sentence in.  Truth is, it's been one of those days and the mug of tea that is sat in front of me is such a good cup of tea and i'm in need of it more than anything else in the whole wide world right now!  I can feel it's bergamot-y zesty goodness traversing through my little veins and already bringing me back to life as i speak type.  It's been the kind of day where i feel like i've done everything back to front; upside down or inside out.  Each of the littlest things have felt like mountains to climb and they've all felt like hard work and as if i've really had to think and concentrate more than usual.  Only to achieve them in a haphazard and inefficient way.  Is this even making sense?!!  
But enough of that!  What i can be sure i probably  need is to collect all of the truly treasurable bits of this week so far and piece them together in what i can only imagine {and apologise in advance if correct} might become the most scatty 'all-over-the-place' sort of a #wonderfulwednesday that there was...hold tight!


1.  Warmth.  I don't want to rant or rave or go on about it too much but man ALIVE am i SICK of being cold and of The Cold!  I sat the other evening {wearing my winter pyjamas in April; alongside socks, a chunky cardigan AND a blanket across my knees} and calculated that i'd probably likely been cold since at least last October.  That's SIX MONTHS!  I can't tell you how icy my walks home from work have been but what i can tall you is how very grateful i've been for warmth in whatever way i have been able to find it:  Hands wrapped around  mug of tea, a hot water bottle clutched between my knees as i fall asleep {in APRIL, did i mention it's APRIL}, a random and last minute burst of sunshine on Tuesday evening as i walked to the supermarket to do our grocery shop - I stood still in it for five minutes; head lifted up to the sky, eyes closed and everything.  Did i mention i was next to a busy road in rush hour?!?  BUT I WAS WARM.  S'all about the warmth folks.  Am I cold old?!?


2.  Warmed lentils.  I'm back on the wintery salad bus.  Whilst it made me a little bit sad, said sadness didn't last too long when i remembered how much i loved leftover peppery black lentils tossed in a pan with crispy kale and spinach and served with chunks of sweet roasted beetroot, chunky of feta and toasted seeds.  Whoever says salads are boring clearly has never been properly introduced to a lentil....{or me!}.


3.  Light and bright.  Or neither at all.  I mean, my {possibly} over-joyous Spring enthusiasm once the clocks had changed may have been short lived {or a little bit on holiday} but despite the freezing temperatures {have i mentioned this week i've been mostly cold??!} solace has been {extra} sought in bursts of bright and extra {grey-ish tinged} light when i could snatch it.  Even feeling daylight on your cheeks and waking up in actual real life daylight is better than those dark mornings and short days.  Am i right?!?


4.  Sleeping until you wake up.  One of the best things!  I've felt a little bit out of sorts all week this week and just incase me mentioning the weather in each point already wasn't quite  enough, i'm most certainly and naturally blaming those feelings all on it all over again!  On Saturday evening i was so exhausted from work that i decided to have an early night and sleep until i naturally woke up {i know, we certainly know how to party around here there's no doubt about it!} on Sunday.  I woke, bleary-eyed after a solid twelve hours sleep and felt so much better!  When i'm Prime Minister i'm going to make it the law that everyone starts their working day whenever they naturally wake up and i shall ban alarms of all kinds!  It's most certainly the way forward.


5.  A new face cream.  I'm a fussy customer when it comes to skincare and i have mentioned a few times that i've been trying my best to only use products on my skin that are only cruelty free and as natural as possible.  I picked up a new face cream last weekend as my current one has been discontinued and i am in LOVE.  It's made with roses and smells like heaven and is THE nicest cream to use after a hot steamy eucalyptus-y shower before bed as the scent is so relaxing.  Skip to HERE if you'd like to read more.


6.  Honey.  For being my other non-caffeinated lifesaver this week!  I swear by it for every single thing and as something i use only really as a 'Fixer' and less of just a condiment.  I have a simple organic local honey i use for porridge, pancakes, toast etc BUT use a special {little bit more expensive but so very worth it AND lasts forever} unfiltered raw runny honey for when i'm feeling a little more run down and little less....'Me.'  A take a teaspoon first thing in the morning whilst i'm waiting for the kettle to boil and doing a few stretches to wake myself up.  Raw honey has lots of antibacterial properties and it's so sweet and soothing and i just feel like it helps a lot when i'm feeling a little out of sorts.  It's saved me so many times when i've felt like i was coming down with something or wasn't quite myself but couldn't put my finger on why.


7.  Talking to the plants.  It's a habit i always remember my mum having and i think i've inadvertently picked it up from her without even realising until this week!  We've only got a couple of plants inside but this week i've really been enjoying talking to them in the morning when i draw back the curtains and check on them.  Is this weird?!?  I mean i haven't killed them yet.  Although i'm pretty sure that's mostly only down to remembering to not over-water them and not just asking them how they are.  What do you reckon?!?


8.  A slow-baked potato on a really rainy and miserable evening with lots of candles lit for extra cosiness.  The dream.  I mean on what level do candles and any kind of jacket potato-inspired supper not make any kind of a day infinitely more.....brilliant?!   These were rubbed with olive oil and then rolled in a mix of polenta, dried rosemary and sea-salt and then baked for almost two hours.  We served them with lots of flaky sea-salt, black pepper and salty butter and piled them high with leftover homemade smoky beans and avocado and they were HEAVEN.   
Golly gosh i feel almost 'cured' just by writing this whilst also being fairly worried i haven't used nearly enough punctuation; wrote too many 'over-long' sentences and wonder how many spelling mistakes will dodge my spell checker this week in my 'wonky' state?!?  But it's done!  And i feel a gazillion times better and i'm about to hot-foot it downstairs to eat leftover carrot and sweetcorn falafels with a cobbled together grain-y salad with a big drizzle of lemon-y Tahini dressing and what could be better than that?!?!?


Remember there's a whole other collection of 'Wonderful' over on Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's oh, OH and Ellie's blogs as they write and share their very own #wonderfulwednesday posts each and every week too.  I'm not off until Thursday this week {where i'm actually off for a couple of days, hurrah!} so i predict that there will be much #wonderfulwednesday catching up and many a mug of tea drunk.  I'm already excited!  I might need to get out a bit more......
As always, thank you SO much and we'll catch up next week, yes?

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