Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #194


{Fairylights = cosiness}
I'm writing to you this week feeling as if i'm definitely not winning the 'let's NOT get a cold this winter' battle that i seem to get into with myself each year.  My little self feels as if it's throwing all of it's little soldiers at it that it can do, and as a result i'm feeling well and truly cream crackered this week.  I had a long weekend of Friday to Monday this weekend just past and promptly ran out of my usual vitamin cocktail on Friday morning and knew i wouldn't be able to get hold of them until Tuesday at the earliest and so have spent the weekend adding ginger and honey to my morning warm lemon water, guzzling Elderberry and Echinacea tea by the gallon and eating satsumas and clementines until they're coming out of my ears!  Cross everything that i manage to fight off the nastiness because i am definitely far too busy to be ill right now!


But enough, enough of the grizzly and grim because that is NOT what this little post is about at all.  Plus, it's actually not a bad thing to be eating as much citrus as you can manage and drinking as much herbal tea and normal tea either {especially if there's a couple of buttery sultana cookies with my name on here and there too}.  PLUS i have a flowery mug full of the good stuff AND Adele up loud as we speak to keep me company whilst we talk happy.....


1.  Coffee eclairs. I know who am i?!  And not even coffee eclair flavoured hummus or some strangely concocted breakfast porridge flavour either!  Sunday last weekend called for a hearty slow cooked pork casserole and most definitely some kind of dessert due to my under the weather state!  I picked up some coffee flavoured chocolate cream eclairs spread thickly with sticky coffee fondant and dotted with dark chocolate coffee beans and stuffed generously with coffee flavoured creme patisserie.  I don't think i've ever written the word 'coffee' so many times on this little corner.  That just shows you how good they were and tells you how very sad i was when mine ended.....


2.  Breakfast dates.  I had a dental appointment very first thing on Monday morning which meant we were up and out of the house for 8am on a day that we really didn't have to be.  My dentist is a twenty minute drive away and so as a great big thank you to the Mr for driving me meaning that i didn't have to cycle in the iciest weather or get a bus, i said i'd buy him breakfast afterwards.  If you know me you'll know how much i love breakfast.  Me offering to buy or make you breakfast is a sign i like you a lot.  We had the most LOVELY time and ended up quite by accident going to the place where we had our very first date almost SIX years ago!!!  How time flies.  Toasted bagels with mounds of soft fluffy and whipped cream cheese and bottom-less tea were just the ticket.  Breakfast dates might actually be my new favourite thing.  It means there's every chance i'll be in my pyjamas by 9pm too.  It's win win if you ask me!


3.  Harissa.  You know when you've never really eaten something before and then all of a sudden you buy it and then it's so good and so you put it in everything in celebration?!?  Well that was me this week with this dream of an ingredient.  Google tells me it's a Tunisian paste crammed with spices such as carraway, chilli, rose and garlic but i shall tell you NOW that it is HEAVEN.  We first bought it to make lamb koftas a week or so ago and loved the flavour so much that we've been squirrelling it into everything:  Greek yoghurt with pitta bread; through a homemade spicy baked beans concoction; into a last minute 'there's nothing to eat' sort of emergency supper when only a quick-quick Shakshuka will do and i'm even thinking i might whack a little bit in our quinoa spaghetti bolognese supper this week too.  Try it, please try it.


4.  Frosty mornings.  Those that are {mostly} on the right side of the glass because on Monday mornings' early -2 degrees escapade i got so cold that it took me hours to thaw out!  But sunrise dancing upon little tiny ice crystals and pretty blankets of white...?  Give me all of that.  But you know for maybe an hour tops.  Or risk fuelling me with endless tea for hours afterwards.....



5.  Sundays.  It's taken for me to get a little bit older to really and truly appreciate the joy of a Sunday and even of the magic that comes from allowing yourself to move slower and to simply be and to not feel one jot of guilt for it.  Whether i'm lucky enough to be off on a Saturday and Sunday {#retail} or just a Sunday on it's own, turns out however it comes to be it really is to be treasured and loved and relished:  Waking slower and to your own body clock; dilly-dallying over a luxurious breakfast of your favourite things; a long walk in the great and green and filling your lungs with all of the fresh air and then a hearty supper of something warm and rich followed by a hot bath and clean sheets.  That's pretty much a Golden Sunday as far as i'm concerned.....


6.  Lipbalm.  'Cos heavens this gal is suffering from dry lips this year!  Maybe it's all of that 'whishing' and 'whooshing' from here to there on two wheels or gulping in too much fresh air {disclaimer:  pretty sure there's no such thing to be honest} on 'quick-marches' to and from work.  Either way give me ALL of the lip balm-y recommendations please!  You also get extra points for any natural ones!  I'm mostly loving/applying every thirty seconds Dr Lipp Lip and Nipple balm {don't laugh - this stuff the biz}, Lush Cosmetics Ultrabland Cleanser rubbed around my mouth as a cleanser-come-balm-y superhero and not as harsh as some cleansers aaaand Lucas Paw Paw lip balm which is equally the bees knees.  But you know there's always room for more....



7.  Slippers + cardigans = my usual every day at home 'uniform.'  I feel there's no other explanation required.  It's chilly.  Cosiness is more than key for ultimate cold weather happiness. I've actually found myself looking forward to getting changed when i get in as i start my 25 minute walk home from work.....Loser?  ME?!?  Nooooo....
8.   Toast and marmalade.  Which may or may not have been inspired by a certain blue duffle-coated bear you might have heard of..... the heart wants what the heart wants and it's been so long since i have had toast and marmalade!!  It was just as good as i remember and tasted even better when i remembered we'd been given a jar of Christmas marmalade last Christmas and had clean forgotten all about it!!!  Something tells me it won't be the last toast and marmalade-shaped snack i'll be crunchin'....

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And we're all done and dusted!  I feel like this is a good list.  I mean i think they're all good lists but this one, well i'm just nodding my way all of the way down my own list soooo....I JOKE!!  What is making your week marvelous?!  Come on and share!  I love to read what it is that brings you joy and happiness best of all.  Feel free to give me a nudge on Twitter or Instagram {as always i'm @sallytangle} or drop a sweet comment below. Whilst we're here, bob right on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs because they too write their very own #wonderfulwednesday lists and nothing is better come this time of year than curling up cosily with a cup of something hot and reading happy lists.  Sort of makes you grateful for the small and reminds you that 'things' don't have to be great and huge to mean millions, somehow?!  


I'm off before things get far too deep and philosophical.... 


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #193

{I'll just be here if you need me...}
I'm trying to distract myself from the slight tingle of panic in my tummy that comes from the realisation of quite how close we are to Christmas now and how little thought i have given it.  Tell me it's not just me?!  It's notoriously my very busiest and most stressful time of year {retail workers unite - c'mon don't leave a gal hangin'} and even though i know this should make me more organised; what it actually does is push me into denial!  I want to be that person who hand-makes everything and spends hours and hours thinking up genius Christmas giving gift ideas.  In reality, i never will be.  And that's okay.  We're not all perfect are we?!?  I know i'll get there, that it'll all come together and that i'm listing the longest list of Christmas-shaped cliches that there ever was BUT does anyone else {even more so than usual} feel like they've been scooped up out of Summer and dropped head-first into Winter and Christmas and a mild delirious panic?!?  If you could let me know that it's not just me well wouldn't that be kind?!  



I'll just be over here denying all knowledge if you need me.....hiding in all of the very best bits of this week here {you have all been here before, you know it's a #wonderfulwednesday dontcha?!?} and not looking at the long list that is growing by the very second....



LET'S LIST!


1. Pukka 'Elderberry and Echinacea' tea.  Just the most soothing 'now' kind of tea.  I've got quite a collection of tea and this one is easily one of my favourites as soon as the temperature starts to drop.  It essentially tastes a little bit like hot Vimto but instead of being packed full of artificial things that i can't pronounce; it's jam-packed with all of the good stuff:  Liquorice, aniseed, elderberries and echinacea.  They do say {whoever 'they' are - maybe i should find this out.  They're clearly wise whoever they are - maybe they've got some Christmas ,motivational 'somethings'} that both elderberry and echinacea are two things that are naturally meant to help support your immune system and help protect it from cold and flu bugs.  I try and drink a mugful after my walk up home in the cold each evening and if i'm feeling a little under the weather or like something is brewing {ho ho ho!}, then i swirl through a teapoon of manuka honey once my tea has cooled and is ready to drink.  It's DELICIOUS!


2.  Frost.  Is there anything more magical than waking up and peeking out of the curtains to see a pretty white and crispy blanket of frost covering everything and only slightly lit by the first rays of the sun.  If only each day come this time of year could be so.....right...?!  


3.  Perfume on a scarf.  Because happiness definitely comes from snuggling your chin into your very favourite over-sized scarf after it has been pulled out from the big box that lives under the bed all summer long, washed and lightly sprayed with your favourite scent.  You can't beat that cosy feeling on what feels like the longest walk home after the longest day when all you really crave are your slouchiest clothes and to wrap your little hands around a mug filled with your favourite hot drink.  


4. Salted caramel and chocolate porridge.  Okay now this porridge recipe is still being sort of tested and tweaked and i don't think i'm quite there YET but i just know i am on the brink of greatness!  This week's breakfast porridge has been made with hazelnut milk, one mashed banana {the ripest most caramel-y flavoured one i can get my hands on}, a teaspoon of Maca powder{very rich in vitamins and minerals - also great for balancing hormones and slightly toffee-y in flavour}, two teaspoons of raw cacao powder {again jam-packed with vitamins and minerals but also the richest, purest form of chocolate flavour minus any additives or sugars} and a teeny sprinkle of pink salt.  All topped with a zig-zag of maple syrup and as many seeds as i can also cram on for extra crunch.  I'm a hop, skip and a jump away from getting the texture just right and i am very much enjoying the testing stage....


5.  A satisfying grocery shop.  One that was a 'from one end of the supermarket to the other' kind of a one, ticking and crossing as we went and the whole weeks meals all sorted in less than an hour and only one little thing to pick up elsewhere.  If i hadn't been in a public place i'd have totally high-fived my organisational skills!


6.  Mittens and Whitney Houston.  Because nothing says a successful walk to work better this week than the cosiest pair of mittens that there ever was and Whitney Houston's greatest hits up loud!


7.  Sofa, blanket, tea and candles.  I'm not even ashamed to say it's been our 'every night' this week!  It gets to 'Now' and i could quite happily become my most unsociable {without the odd nudge in right direction} because these shorter days, longer nights and snowball of busy-ness as people start to Christmas shop at work just has me wishing i could hibernate!  In our defense we were out all last weekend.  But lately i love nothing more than curling up on the sofa watching something on Netflix or reading a book.  I think i might have been a dormouse in a past life....


8.  Kale and Spinach-shaped yumminess!  I am huge lover of fruit and vegetables.  But mostly vegetables.  It seems i've come full circle since growing up as the girl who would have to chop vegetables as small as they could possibly go in order to mix them into something else just to be able to eat them and so i forgot they were there!  Now i often say i could be a vegetarian and it really wouldn't bother me at all.  We tend to only eat meat maybe once a week and more often than not eat fish or veggie meals.  This week i have been really craving greens.  I've piled wilted spinach into everything imaginable and sauteed kale until it's crispy and delicious and topped as much as is....toppable {?!} with it too!  I've also been enjoying cramming any leftover greens into a big nutty salad made with leftover quinoa, tenderstem and shredded spinach and kale and a big handful of toasted almonds and  zig-zagged with a tamari and tahini dressing.  I've even been stuffing extra greens into little balls of leftover risotto and baked in the oven.  I'm wondering if there's a green porridge recipe that i'm missing here..... {just joking! Turns out there are some things that shouldn't be green!}.  


9.  Snagging a little piece from the Erdem and H&M collaboration at the end of last week.  It arrived at the weekend and i still havent opened it!  The whole collection had pretty much sold out in an hour and i didn't get my first choice item BUT i did pick up what i hope will be a beautiful floral silk blouse.  I'm a bit scared to open it incase it's not as beautiful as i'd imagined!  I'm generally not someone to follow trends too much but Erdem has forever been one of my favourite designers and it's as close as i'll ever get to one of his pieces.  I'm calling it an early birthday present....
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And just like THAT i'm done!  All happy-listed out for another whole seven days!  These weeks are careering forward at such an alarming rate that i fear that if i just so much as blink suddenly i'll awaken and we'll be knee-deep in *whispers* Christmas and all that comes with it.  I'm trying my very hardest to not get overwhelmed and and to take some deep breaths.  This time of year is the busiest and most stressful for me and it's moments like these above, that keep my two feet on the ground and stop my thoughts from floating away to who knows where!  Do join in and share the very best bits of your week below - don't tell anyone but your kind comments, allbeit on here or on Twitter or Instagram are the best bit of my whole week.  Also please go and check out the rest of the #wonderfulwednesday gang - they're GEMS each and every one of them and i wish i could meet them all for tea and cake each and every week!  Hop on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's  blogs and see what's been keeping them sane this week!  Remember you can chit-chat with us all using the #wonderfulwednesday tag always.  Remember i'm always @sallytangle!


Until next time... 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #192

{Berets&blue skies!  Is there anything better?!}
I'm writing this post with one eye that keeps trying it's very best to close!  I'm so tired.  In fact i'd go as far as to say i'm the tiredest i've been in a long while and that i *think* i'm getting too old to work seven days in a row without a day off.  As you read this though, it WILL be my day off and it will ALSO be the 1st November.  The FIRST of NOVEMBER! Who can even believe that?!? Is it me who thinks it only feels like yesterday that it was Summer and all of a sudden there are *whispers* Christmas cards everywhere !!!  I can't comprehend it so instead i'm going to skip right on past that one and tell you some great and good and just marvellous nuggets of greatness from the past week so far.....
 
 
1.  Tea.  For i fear i really and truly wouldn't have survived these past seven days or at least ever without my favourite drink in the whole wide world.  It'll always be tea for me you see - you can keep your 'frocka-mocca-whippacinos' with extra 'this' 'thats' and the 'rest.'  For me there is nothing more comforting or fixing than a cup of Lady Grey tea drank out of my very favorite mug.  There's nothing that it can't fix.  My mum wasn't wrong when she used to refer to it as a 'Cup of Magic'.  And infact she still does!
 
 
2.  Berets!  I've got about a million.  No i'm joking.  Maybe half a million...?!  I wear them each year when the temperature starts to drop.  If you know me you'll know i'm a bit of a hat person {AKA really someone that is actually rather lazy/useless with their hair} and there's rarely a day that goes by that i don't have one covering my messy bed hair!  Berets are my go-to hat when it's a little cooler but i want to look smart, like i have made an effort or just that little bit more pulled together.  For me a beret does that no matter what you put it with.  At first i was a bit annoyed that they seemed to be everywhere this year but actually it means i've been able to add a couple more to my 'repertoire.'  This week i picked up a dusky pink one aaand a navy blue one covered in pretty little embroidered silver stars and i feel all kinds of fancy!
 
 
3.  First frosts.  Ah Monday morning {and the first morning since the clocks skipped backwards} was SUCH a pretty one up here.  It's the very first time it's felt really and truly cold in the morning.  The sun was peeking through the curtains, the birds were singing and when i drew back the curtains on our little french doors downstairs, the garden lawn was a pretty white and crispy blanket of icy frost!  With the orange and amber leaves still dotted here and there too it was the prettiest!  If only every Winter day could be this way!  I filled my tummy with the hugest great big bowl of creamy porridge, pulled my tights up to my chin and got ready to leave for work.  The icy air caught at the back of my throat as i left the house and it's also the first time i've bundled up in my proper Winter Coat {yes it deserves capital letters!}.   It was BEAUTIFUL!
 
 
4.  Cashew nut butter.  More to the point Pip and Nut Honey and Cinnamon Cashew nut butter.  This will forever be my 'Winter Nut Butter.'  If that wasn't a thing then i've just made it one!  It's runny and creamy and spicy and sweet and is the perfect accompaniment to zig-zag across a big bowl of cinnamon, banana and nutmeg porridge.   
 
 
5.  Rosy cheeks.  I'm the palest of the pale!  Even if i did spend any time whatsoever in any kind of sunshine with some real heat behind it; i know i'd go pink and then just freckly!  Whilst i'm not a big wearer of much makeup, one thing i do hold dear is a good dusting of dusky pink blusher across the apples of my cheeks!  But one thing you can't beat is the rosy-posy glow you get from walking out and about in the fresh air on a cold and crisp day!  Hurrah for rosy cheeks, au naturel and the pretty winter time glow it gives you!  Or me at least!
 
 
6.  Rediscovering my sleep mojo.  Yes it might be the dullest few words that i have ever typed here {sorry not sorry} but i cannot manage without good quality sleep! That pale face isn't just pale, let's face it i could easily be almost tranluscent if my sleep isn't up to scratch!  The past few days i've really been struggling to sleep at the right....depth...?!  I'm getting the hours i need but somehow my quality of sleep has just been awful.  Praise be to last Saturday onwards where {without really even trying} i managed to get right back into feeling like i slept as soundly as can be, curled up underneath the duvet with all of the pillows and cushions and feeling refreshed each morning. Good sleep is absolute MAGIC!
 
 
7.  Blue Planet series two.  If you didn't curl up with a hot beverage, several blankets and all of the candles lit on Sunday evening and watch this mind-blowingly and quite frankly downright phenomenal nature documentary then who even ARE you?!?! I was in awe throughout and feel like i could watch hours and hours of this programme and never get bored or stop learning new things about our beautiful planet and all of the creatures that inhabit it.  And for little miss 'very little attention span and sometimes gets impatient at how long the kettle takes to boil' me, that is a true testament to it!
 
 
8.  Toast.  Or more to the point, the smell of toast.  Because you can be really not very hungry at all until you smell toast and then it's virtually impossible not to want a slice!  Am i right?!?  This week it's been my very favourite M&S Rye Sourdough stacked high with cottage cheese and black sesame seeds and dotted with damson chutney or simply spread with salty butter and tangy thick cut orange marmalade.  Actually also the very perfect accompaniment to my favourite orange-y bergamot-y Lady Grey tea...
 
 
9.  First satsumas.  Yesss!  Hurrah for citrus season!  I've gobbled up a couple each evening after my long walk home from work and i'm convinced they're keeping at bay the cold that feels like it's looming at the moment....
 
 
10.  A change.  And by this i mean a blog change.  Exciting!  I feel like i have well and truly outgrown this little layout by so so much!  Apart from the fact that the photo hardly resembles me at all anymore i do also feel like the whole design needs a shake-up!  Is there anything you'd like to see layout-wise?!  Anything you like on other blogs in terms of layout {headers, sections, reading lists}.  Any feedback would be greatly welcomed!  I've got some rough ideas in my head but i'm always open to more!   
 
 
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And by jingo you know i think we're DONE!!  My ever so sleepy self is sorry for any spelling mistakes!  Rest assured this post has been proof read and then some but my eyes are struggling to stay open and my tummy is grumbling and telling me it wants some supper and i'm not sure i know which i want more!  Do you also ever wish there was a 'Feed Me' or 'Bed' button you could just press and somehow something would read your mind and instantly feed you anything you wanted in the world, remove your make up, wash you and put you to bed...?!  Just me then!  I digress!  Don't forget to pop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs to see exactly what's making their little hearts happy and full!  Better still tell me YOUR happy things below, or chit-chat over on any social media channel with us using the #wonderfulwednesday tag!  We'd all love to know!
 
 
 Have a lovely rest of week!

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