Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #228

{Getting outside as much as possible in this GLORIOUS weather}
Well hellloooooo! How do you do and how has your week been? Catch me up!  Mine has been long-feeling {and saying that as i type this to you on {ONLY!}a sunny Tuesday evening is not a great way to feel!}.  That said, after working the last six days in a row i now have some much-needed time off!  Quite often when you work most weekends and don't have the same one day off though the week each week you struggle to realise the end and the beginning of your working week.  If it's super-duper busy {as mine has been lately} not stopping for long enough means you're left feeling a little bit sorry for yourself! 

Fear not!  It's nothing that some fresh air, some one on one time with those two wheels and little bit of TLC wont fix I can be sure of that! I've been off only one day and i already feel better!  

Let's get some happy listin' started shall we?!? 

1.  A light shower.  Now before we all get carried away i am most certainly not complaining about that glorious spell of sunshine and summer-feelin'-summer myself and most of the U.K has been enjoying BUT when i woke up this morning {Tuesday - the evening of the week i tip-tap this post out} the sky was heavy with rain clouds and the air smelt heavy, damp and delicious.  I made a mug of tea and sat with the french doors open and watched a misty warm rain shower fall on the grateful parched grass and our endlessly thirsty plants and it was really quite lovely.  Even though it continued to shower on and off all morning i threw on some jeans and a striped tee; scraped my hair back and took my bike out to run some errands all of the same.  It wasn't a fierce, angry, 'let's get home quick before we get soaked' sort of rainfall.  It was soft, misty, gentle and cool and calming.  And the few laps of the park i did before my few jobs was much quieter than usual first thing too. Even of my hair was three times the size upon my return home..

2.   Multi-coloured tomatoes from the window-sill; cold-pressed olive oil and flakey sea salt.  AKA Heaven.  

3.  A new rug.  I love a rug.  Sad but true.  I was actually sort of sad that our house only had wooden floors downstairs and not all of the way through when we moved in.  I mean of course that kind of thing is changeable but the carpets are fairly new and there's nothing wrong with them and so it seems almost wasteful {?} to spend so much time and money on ripping it them all up...For now *wink wink*.  But rugs!  I love them because they can change a room so much, bring a colour scheme together and really add warmth, cosiness and comfort to a space.  They're also a great way of breaking a big space up or creating 'zones' within an open plan space.  I digress.  We've got a long, long hallway and I've been looking for a runner rug long enough and lovely enough since we moved in.  This week i picked it up for £31 reduced from £95!!!  Maybe i'll show you once it comes?  It's berry red, inky blue and has a beautiful faded Moroccan print running all the way along it's length.  Since as our hallway and front door is white i thought it would be the perfect pop of colour to it.

4.   Rest.  It's so easy to power through when you feel less than best.  To not listen to the 'signs' and to push them back believing that you'll stop when you've done this, or that, or crossed off just one more thing off the list and before you know it you've got your head in a cupboard at work having a little cry.  Sometimes taking time out and admitting that you haven't 'got this' isn't a sign of the defeat it can feel like at ALL.  It's actually a sign that you're strong enough and brave enough to admit you can't do it all and that you're okay with that.  Huge great and whopping love to anyone that sent over a lovely DM this/last week regarding my teary tweets and know that every single one of them meant the whole and entire world.  Extra shout out to the ever beautiful Ruthie of 'Cawligraphy' who sent me THE most beautiful post.  There have been FAR too many tears since we were last here!  Fear not, there's not much but rest and loveliness on the agenda for the next few days.  

5.   Water.  I drink gallons of the stuff.  I haven't always and if i'm honest if i'm feelin' a little less than best - whether that's just under the weather, tired or a little less than best - i often want to drink tea:  My favourite mug, with my favourite citrussey, bergamot-y Lady Grey in.  And i do.  But know that it's mostly the gallons of water in between that make a difference.  It's genuinely one of the things i really notice if i don't drink enough of the stuff.  I feel tired, i can't concentrate; my skin looks dull, i struggle to sleep as soundly:  I am generally just not my very best self.  Lately has been so warm that i've been spiking that humble H2O with anythings and everythings:  Half a lime juiced into ice-cold water with torn up mint leaves.  'On their way out strawberries' halved and frozen and dropped into water with some leftover basil leaves.  Sometimes the juice of half a lemon and some fresh sliced ginger for extra 'zing.'  Sometimes {read most of the time} i've got an ice-cube tray on the go with one of these combos so i can have it on tap.  Ho, ho do you see what i did there?!  The lemon and ginger one is also great bobbed into an ice cube tray for the cooler weather:  Half freshly boiled water, half cold water and drop one in and you have yourself a spicy lemon-y concoction!  I always add a little raw honey for extra delicious-ness.  Water?!  Not so humble now hey?!!  Ps:  HOW have i written SO MANY WORDS ON WATER?!?  I need to get out more.....

6.  Rose. That smell, well between you and I, cliche or not cliche it's always had my heart.  Not the old lady sort of a rose scent - the deep, heady, rose absolut type of a rose scent.  I have an expensive rose body oil that i was kindly bought for Christmas last year and man alive do i wish i could bottle that exact rose scent.  I've been adding it behind my ears and dotting it across my chest and wrists on these warm summer days and smelling it all of the time has been the bees knees.  Somehow i just makes me feel better. Is that odd?!?

7.   Rescuing lavender.   I discovered only last week that most of the fairly reasonably priced bedding plants you buy at garden centres {ie:  for me the ones i buy when some of the plants i've grown from seed die a death in this hot, hot weather} don't actually have nectar, due to the way they are produced en masse.  So in effect, it's sort of false advertising to bees and butterflies and the like since it's bright and blousy blooms but no pollen!  Most of the plants i have - including the crazy out of control sweet-peas that i think i Instagram Story each day, and the Hydrangea plant that is just coming into bloom and a few other wild flower mixes should be okay but the bedding plants i do have, have all of a sudden made me feel awful for the bees!  On today's errands about town i spotted two big lavender plants reduced because they were just looking a little neglected.  Naturally i bought them both {because 'sorry for themselves' plants or reduced flowers in supermarkets are my kryptonite it seems} home balanced all of the way home {evenly!} across my handle bars and they are now sitting pretty on my patio after a little drink and some afternoon sun.  Be right back, i'm just waiting for the bees......

8.  Being outside.  I'm forever happier outside instead of in - no matter the weather!  Of course lately has been a little bit of holiday-shaped heaven - even if that outside time is my wander in the sun on my lunch hour for fifteen minutes; a leisurely 'take it all in' type of a scamper home after work or even sipping a cup of peppermint tea in the garden as the sunsets - it doesn't matter when or how i fit it in, it's just important that i do.  Just like my harp-harping on about drinking that water; being outside in the fresh, clean air does me just as much good mentally and physically!

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And i'm only done for another week of #wonderfulwednesday 'in and happy listin'! Life has felt a little....emotional and tiring and hard lately but i'm looking forward to slowing it right down and putting me first for a little bit.  Don't forget to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts OH - AND LU's TOO lovely #wonderfulwednesday happy lists when you've finished here!  There's no such thing as too much of a good thing in my estimation, especially when it's a happy list!

See you in seven days you wonderful bunch!  

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #227

{My nightly walk home from work view...}
Who can believe we're knee-deep in July?!  Who can also even believe that it's been pretty much solidly warm sunshine for what...over a month now?!  I've become so accustomed to it that i'm a little bit worried what might happen to me when it finally decides to leave us!  I genuinely can't believe how much more energy i've had, how much happier i've been and how much better i've eaten.  I mean i think i eat a pretty balanced diet all of the same but i feel like i've been much more creative and innovative with what we've eaten for supper and i've really enjoyed cooking from scratch and preparing food a lot more.  

Am i the only one who's not yet bored of the heat?!

I think it's high-time we cartwheeled right into this weeks #wonderfulwednesday happy list...

1.   Hummus. I mean i've always got love for this stuff.  I go through at least one pot per week - heavens sometimes two.  I'll put it on anything and everything and it's just an all-round great fridge staple.  Lately i'm all about beetroot and mint or split yellow pea and turmeric.  What's best about the stuff is come this kind of weather:  The hot, sticky, no energy to even turn an oven on let alone a stove ring; well you can pretty much build a decent and filling meal or snack from hummus.  Mid afternoon hunger pangs?!  Chopped 'whatever veg you've got' and hummus - win win! And if you're in a bit of a supper quandary, i love adding hummus to a big plate of salad, leftover sweet potato wedges, roasted veg cous cous etc.  We even use the stuff as a pizza base on pitta bread too.  I have also been known to just eat it from a spoon, sat cross-legged on the kitchen floor!  Sometimes hunger just comes out of nowhere...

2.  Summer mornings.   I just can't get enough.  Buzz off with your 'it's too hot' summer weather moaning.  I'm useless in the heat but that said i've just been making use of the cooler mornings and evenings and always making sure i have a cool shower before bed.  But summer mornings are just heaven.  I stand and drink a mug of tea on the patio first thing and just collect my thoughts for the day - even for just ten minutes.  It totally makes a difference to my mind-set for the day.  Then i sit and eat my breakfast at the table with the french doors open and the cool early morning breeze tickling my ankles and the birdsong my only company.  It's a little bit lovely.  I'm far too often sad to actually move and get ready and fear i could sit there and collect my thoughts for hours on end!

3.  Sleeping only half under the duvet.  Do you know what if it was a million degrees i'd still need some sort of duvet to snuggle up to or at least to be partially under!  As much as i wish i could sleep under just a cotton sheet or on top of the duvet entirely, i just can't settle!  Heaven is sleeping half in and half out.  Just enough to feel an evening breeze from an open window dance across my bare skin whilst having enough of the cool cotton quilt to snuggle up to.  I {weirdly!} have been sleeping really well in this weather!  Just waking up quite a lot earlier.  I am much more productive earlier on in the day though so i have just been going with it and getting up and just easing myself into the day a little more slowly and gently.

4.   Picking sweetpeas.  I'm vowing to grow even more things next summer since this years flowers have turned out so well!  Picking sweet-peas takes me right back to being little and i've been loving how much i can't keep up with the daily blooms creeping up our trellis in the garden and flowering overnight! I feel like i add a few more to the vase in the kitchen each morning before i give them a little watering.  I also love how the smell fills our kitchen - and i especially notice it first thing in the morning.  And on the odd day i miss picking the sweet-pea flowers that have opened, come early evening as the temperature cools, you can really smell the sweet scent in the garden.  

5.  Making my own lunch.  I'm feeling proud and really enjoying the fact that i've got back into making my own lunch to take to work each day.  I'm usually  so easily swayed by an extra ten minutes in bed and not leaving myself enough time or being organised enough to gather up ingredients that inspire me to want to create something for my lunch.  Also sometimes it feels like it's tricky enough to meal-plan suppers alone for two of us for seven days at a time, that often the thought of having to sort out lunches too can seem daunting!  That extra time in the morning though - born from this sneaky spell of beautiful blue skies and sunshine though is doing wonders for my mornings!  It's also quite meditative when i give myself the time to prepare my lunch and some snacks each morning.  I'm determined to keep it up as the months go on and summer slips into autumn.....

6.   Actually wearing summer clothes without hesitation or a single shred of doubt.  More than that, buying actual summer clothes to wear in this country and actually wearing them.  I went full throttle last weekend and bought a broderie anglaise white cotton sundress and i have actually lived in it.  When has this ever happened?!  When have we ever trusted the weather as much in our whole lives?!  Hurrah for bare legs every single day, for not taking any kind of cardigan or jumper {who remembers those things called coats?!} with you anywhere and not even giving it a second thought!  If only you could depend on every single season.  I mean i would two-hundred percent accept a long and cold winter like last years if i knew this was what i got come June.  Eeeeeasily.

7.   New potatoes and tomatoes.  Because there isn't a single time of year but right now -   maybe even this very second -  that both of those things taste like heaven on earth.  Oh and maybe strawberries and raspberries two.  I can take or leave tomatoes the rest of the year you know.  I prefer to roast them and have them piled on sourdough toast.  But come summer?  I could eat a bowl of baby cherry tomatoes from the little porcelain dish on our kitchen window-sill.  And new potatoes?  Hells bells they are dreamy tossed in nothing but salty butter and fresh torn up mint.  Hot or cold i'm not fussy.  HURRAH FOR SUMMER FOOD!!!!

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And i'm all done All!  Loved and listed and tip-tapped out before a Tuesday night supper of a great big summery salad with two kinds of hummus and maybe even some seedy flat-breads - you can't tell me i don't know how to live! Would you judge me if i told you i'd been looking forward to it since this morning?!?

Don't forget to hoppity-hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts OH - AND LU's TOO - blogs to catch up their very own #wonderfulwednesday -shaped happy lists.  And tell me what's been making your week  fantastic too?!  Leave a sweet comment below or give any of us a nudge on Twitter or Instagram {i'm @sallytangle} using the #wonderfulwednesday tag!    

See you in another seven days.....

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #226

{'Cos i've been living in white cotton sundresses!}
Hello, hello, and hello again there! How the bobbins are you?!  Tell me how has your week been...?  If you are an eager beaver and read this early-doors on Wednesday morning i'll be getting myself ready for a thirteen hour shift at work.  I am absolutely dreading it and worrying myself silly that even-though i have so much time, that i just wont get everything don't that i need to in those thirteen hours.  Crazy!  And stress is no good for anyone - at my most-stressed i'm mostly just useless:  My minds here and there and everywhere it shouldn't be and it takes me a million times longer to achieve anything because my mind can't and wont settle on just the one task!  I'm already thinking of the next thing and the next thing and the next thing after that and quite frankly it does nobody any good.  So tonight {Tuesday} i'm going to take it easy:  Have a long, cool lavendar-y shower and read my book and try and not think myself into an impossible dark little hole where i am no use to anyone!  

More than EVER, i'm going to list my little heart out and remember {and treasure} the very best bits of this week....  

1.  Melon.  Melon, melon, MELON!  I'll take whatever there is but my all-time favourite has to be watermelon.  I've been living off the stuff:  Storing chunks of it chopped up into tupperwares so it's easy-peasy to de-cant and transport to work with my lunch.  I've been saving it until right at the end of the day and eating it on the walk home in the sunshine.  Here's a game-changing tip for all you melon worshippers like me:  Chop up your melon into bite-size chunks and freeze.  When you take it out, pop a few chunks into a bowl and squeeze a wedge of lime over the top.  Torn up mint leaves are optional 'cos we're getting a bit fancy-pants and carried away over here but OH MY it might go down in history as THE most refreshing thing ever!  Word to the wise:  It's ridiculously easy to almost eat an entire watermelon this way also.  Chopping it all up sort of means you also lose track.  Don't do that.  Stomach ache is nobody's friend.....

2.  Pea pesto.  I mean WHERE have i BEEN?!  Pesto is one of my favourite things in the whole wide WORLD.  I don't know why i had never considered adding peas into the equation.  This kind of pesto will CHANGE  YOUR  LIFE, or at least your Summer.  If you're all like me lately, it's all about what can i make that takes barely any heat or time to put together at all but that tastes really rather amazing.  It's just cooked leftover peas {sometimes i also add in a few podded broad beans or edamame beans too if they're hanging around causing trouble} whizzed up with a garlic clove, a handful of spring onions, some olive oil, a great big handful of fresh mint and a little dried or fresh chilli and then salt and black pepper to taste.  IT'S HEAVEN .  Infact it's particularly yummy tossed through leftover baby new potatoes or spread thickly on top of toasted sourdough with a few dollops of as thick as you can get cottage cheese and crumbled walnuts.  I even used it spread on a tortilla wrap the other day.  I then piled in some spinach and boiled eggs and rolled it all up and it was YUM.  You are welcome my friends!

3.  Swallow-spying.  It's sort of become my evening ritual. Have a shower and pop on my pyjamas.  Then pop into the garden to water the plants and pick and any flowers or herbs i fancy.  Then to just stand and watch the swallows swish, and swoop up, up, up and and away, dancing so gracefully along the warm summer evening breeze.  It's actually quite calming to watch!

4.  Holiday weather.  It's worth noting that i am not one of those people who can lie out in the sun star-shaped.  My skin is so naturally milk-bottle white that it's nearly translucent.  I'm a restless soul at heart and so sitting still at any point is tough for me.  I like being on the go, doing things:  Fizzing and whizzing about.  Therefore i'm not naturally somebody who copes well in temperatures over, say 20 degrees.  All of that said, lately is LOVELY.  And despite all of the previous factors, i will NOT hear one single bad word said about the glorious and consistent holiday-feeling 'Real Summer' type weather that we have been so blessed with up in 'Never Quite This Sunny Consistently Cumbria.'  No i will not.  I will spread on the factor 50 SPF like the pale gal that i am, i will cycle in the morning or after 6pm and i will drink more water than i know what to do with - even if it feels sometimes like i am more water than human - I will eat all of the icy melon, be creative with all of the seasonal fruit and vegetables and be really and truly grateful.  Because i cannot actually remember a time when Summer has ever felt like this since i was at primary school.  And that's that.

5.  Blusher.  'Cos it's mostly all i've been wearing on my face, save for some SPF and if i'm looking really tired, a few slicks of mascara.  I used to hate not wearing make up a few years ago.  I got so used to my face being one colour, one solid samey all over kind of a colour.  And you know what?  News flash:  At any given time of year, {granted everyone's skin looks miles better after some serious vitamin D} nobody's skin tone is one shade all over!  Now i've come to terms with that i spend more time {and money, but not lots} on my actual skincare rather than my makeup.  A few laps of our dear sweet park and my walks to and from work in this lovely sunny weather mean that a little smudge of pink on my cheeks and i feel like i look like me.  Hurrah for sun!

6.   Summer mornings and summer evenings.  The two best parts of the day if you ask me although obviously the scales sway ever so slightly in favour of the AM vs the PM but i'll take either lately.  Mornings for the early morning light, the sound of chattering birds and for flinging open our french doors and stretching with the cool morning air dancing around my sleepy body.  And for breakfast in the garden, or tea in the garden - are you sensing a theme?!  Summer evenings for cool lavendar-y showers with my favourite scented candle lit.  For soft evening light and only fairylights to light the way.  For slathering coconut body butter on damp sun-kissed skin after a shower and curling up on the sofa in cool cotton pyjamas with the french doors wide open the smell of early evening grass  and listening to the sweet twit-twoos of swallows as they swoop and dip along on the cool late evening breeze.  And for sleeping with damp coconut-y hair and the window open as wide as it'll go. 

7.  Poetry.  By far my favourite medium, to read anyway.  Oddly enough, despite being a lover of the written word and one for always admiring a long and beautifully tangled sentence that i can get lost in, i've never tried to write a poem.  Maybe i should give it a go!  This week i've been reading through a few poems - the first time i have taken time to do this in years.  It's really affirmed my love for it and i think i might try and do a little more. Maybe i will even try and write a few verses.  Hey, maybe one week i'll write a #wonderfulwednesday poem!  I have considered a #wondefulwednesday Vlog or podcast but find just fitting in this little corner a tough job sometimes so wouldn't want to promise something i couldn't put my all into, you know?!  BUT POETRY!  Send me over your recommendations if you love it as much as me!

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And we're all done and dusted!  All listed-out for another seven days!  I do hope you're all well and that this proves useful as a little mid-week rocket-fuel for the rest of the week.  Or maybe it reminds you to, to take a few moments to count the little moments of lovely in your usually hectic, non-stop type week!

Remember to pop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts OH - AND LU's TOO and soak up even more lists of great and good and jolly glorious #wonderfulwednesday -ness that they have to offer.  I am eternally grateful to these gals for their continued support and contribution.  Warms my little heart it does!



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