Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Staying Alive

I cannot remember i sat down at our pretty little desk that didn't involve a credit or debit card.  Lately has just been crazy and fast and hectic and it has felt like all the days, hours and weeks have just merged into one.  That is the joy of working in retail at this time of year.  Despite how fast i know Christmas comes and what is involved, i somehow get surprised and are un-organised each year.  This year i excelled myself by having all of my Christmas cards sorted and putting far far too much thought into wrapping and colour schemes and flipping ribbon!  Damn you Pinterest! After two days off in row (SUCH A DIFFERENCE) and chain-drinking hot chocolate from costa like it is going out of fashion, i finally feel like Christmas is coming together and i am enjoying myself.
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I have missed being here and sharing my little snippets and reading all my favourite blogs - i cannot remember the last time i did that either!  But that shall have to wait for a bit.  I hope you shall bear with me in this extra busy time! I cannot thank you all enough for stopping by here and for all your lovely comments.  I wish we could all go for Christmas hot chocolate together.  So i am sat poised with a huge floral mug of camomile and honey tea and my Christmas playlist tinkling away, ready to show you what's been going down when i haven't been 'elfing' along at Monsoon Towers…
GOOD mornings.  Getting up when its dark is the hardest thing in the world.  Breathtaking sunrises and breakfasts in only the light of the Christmas tree make it almost bearable.  I have been squeezing in an extra cup of lady grey tea and staying in my pyjamas right until the very last second.  
Making the very most of later starts and the last couple of days off.  Usually mornings are dark, cold and the Mr is fast asleep when i have to sneak out of bed at 'silly o'clock'.  A quick trip from under the duvet to flick on the heating and the kettle and enjoy a lazy cup of lady grey in bed as the sunrises, with a lovely CUDDLE too, means the world on a rare lie-in.  I flipping love being in bed in my pyjamas with a cup of tea, it's the best feeling.  
An UNEXPECTED but thoroughly satisfying colour combination.  I love it when a plan comes together.  There is nothing that makes me happier than bright colours and prints that shouldn't really work (READ: ALL OF MY OUTFITS) but just DO.  Loving teaming my new Boden spotted pinafore with the softest fluorescent tartan birthday present scarf.  Layers and layers for icy blustery bike rides.  

BUNDLING up in barest of parks with the blustery-ist wind.  I am seasonal cheat.  I swore in Autumn that this park was at its prettiest.  I also did this in Spring and Summer.  Now it is Winter for sure, and i have fallen for it all over again.  Everything is so bare and i just love all the different trees and branches and their beautiful grey (OR SOMETIMES BLUE!) cloud sky canopy.  As long as i have a scarf and mittens and something nice to play in my ears, i am a pretty happy bunny.  
A cheeky TRANSITIONAL treat or two.  It is at his time of year when we start to see some transitional Spring pieces drop into Monsoon Towers and as i usually have birthday money burning a hole in my tweed pockets, i can never help myself! I know i shall wear both these beauties to death now and when Spring rears its pretty little head.  I treated myself to a very William Morris-esqu printed silk long sleeve dress and a chunky folky embroidered statement cardigan which is so very pretty.  I have been wearing the cardigan around our little somewhere with the softest well-worn white tee and faded printed skinny jeans.  I cannot wait to team the dress with my rose pink oversized cardigan, woollen tights and my fringed tan cowboy boots.  

Sticking down Christmas on my latest festive-inspired MOODBOARDS.  Please excuse the grainy photos in the next few.  Most of my life is spent in darkness lately and taking photos by Christmas tree/lamplight is not the best!  I adore these mood boards so very much.  I love the idea of a slick of red lipstick on Christmas day - that's what i shall be rocking, whether i am in my jeans or not!  I also can never get enough of a fair-isle knit - whether that's on socks, scarves or hats, anything will do.  I have also been loving the festive look books dropping through our little letter box lately.  They have been devoured and are slowly finding their way on to my little boards. 
SPOTTING Santa Claus on the greyest, gloomiest and wet wander from the royal mail sorting office.  Lately it feels as if i have been living between Monsoon Towers, costa and the sorting office.  This little sight made me smile cheek to cheek.  I wanted to wave back.  But then i realised it might receive a funny look or two more than i am used to!

Pre-Christmas shopping breakfast fuel with the Mr - Toasted panattone with lots of butter and a festively-dusted COFFEE.  Then we (I?) have been spending our evenings decorating that tiny little devil, enjoying our first bottle of MULLED wine (which may or may not have resulted in a slightly fragile me the day after, after adding a glug too many of the Mr's delicious Jura whisky) and our first mince pie of the festive season.  This time last year i think we had jointly kept M&S food-hall afloat with the bottles of mulled this and that and various Christmas pies and pastry delights.  We are a bit late to the party this year, but somehow it hasn't felt cold enough?!?  We are diving in head first from now on the make up for it!
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In other news…*i am not so much looking forward to the present opening on Christmas day but just seeing all of my family actually on Christmas day this year, i cannot remember the last time that happened! *Feeling smug at finishing all of the Mr's (READ:  HARDEST PERSON TO BUY FOR IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF MANKIND) Christmas presents but wishing i had endless amounts of money to spend even more on all the people that mean the world to me. I know it's not about how much you spend, but i just love the feeling of spoiling everyone and making them feel special.  *Getting far too excited at the prospect of starting to WRAP everything.  Wrapping is most certainly one of the very best parts. I love to spend ages finding the sweetest most perfect EVERYTHING to make it all look beautiful.  I don't care if you all tear it off and throw it all away in a jiffy. Know that i have loved making it look like that.  *Feeling especially loved.  I always think that Christmas is a time for making an effort with everyone and not being angry no matter how busy, stressed, noisy or hectic it all gets in the run up to that big day. 

Afterall it is not really about the presents, fuss and fluster it all causes (TELL THAT TO MY WRAPPING PAPER!) it is about showing the people closest to you that they mean the world to you.  

Are you all feeling festive too?  I think it has finally got to me.  Hang in there with me over the next few weeks as i may not get back here before the big day!  Rest assured you can always find me over on twitter or instagram if you miss me too much.  Just search 'Sallytangle'.  There is only one Me.  I hope!!

'MERRY CHRISTMAS' and huge big love and hugs to each and every one of you!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Currently 2...

CURRENTLY loving to layer.  To pile on the prints, pops and TEXTURES as much as i can manage.  It needs to get colder!  I love the idea of a folk-y winter PRINCESS and mixing up faux fur tippets, cossack hats and the softest, hugest chunky knit all held together with a love-worn brown leather belt and a tasselled satchel slung over the shoulder.   

Even though i like to think i am experimental with what i wear and always open for trying something new, this sort of look is my fall back.  A CLASSIC thrown together look that looks so effortless and looks all the better worn with slept in hair and a little bit of attitude.  This girl doesn't care what anyone else thinks and this kind of get up is all about breaking the rules because there aren't any!  

What LOOKS are inspiring you at the moment?  You can have a sneaky peak at what else is inspiring me on PINTEREST HERE.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Twinkle...

LATELY has been about first little twinkles of Christmas mixed in with a healthy helping of birthday celebrations and an unhealthy volume of hot chocolate consumption.  I have been enjoying a little four-day shaped rest from work for my birthday.  Tomorrow i am back in the land of  'WOULD YOU LIKE SOME MITTENS TO GO WITH THE SNOOD?'  'CAN I WRAP THOSE UP FOR YOU?' and 'DO YOU NEED A GIFT RECEIPT?'  A long, steamy Lush Snow Fairy shower, clean sheets and lots of cuddles are the order of the evening please.  
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Despite really having to DRAG myself out from under the prettiest duvet and far too many pillows in the dark like the rest of the world; once i am up, there is nothing nicer than starting breakfast as the sun just starts to peep its little head over the rooftops.  I love to sit in complete SILENCE and just watch all of the lights in the distance flip on and the chimneys start to smoke whilst the rest of the city wakes up.  Usually by the time i have eaten i can switch off the lamp and enjoy my Lady Grey under the blanket and warm my cheeks in the sunshine.  This is usually when i have to throw all manner of things in different directions and try and make myself look respectable for work.  These past few days i have particularly relished another cup of tea and an extra slice of CRANBERRY and raisin toast before my morning cycle. 
 Layering up is the best thing.  Vests tucked into JEANS and slouchy big jumpers over the top and soft breton tees worn underneath an EMBELLISHED silk dress and wearing a man's shirt tucked into jeans and a little bow tie just for fun.  
The MAGICAL golden hour.  It is a little sad to see the sun set when you feel as if it has barely been awake any hours, but this is my very favourite time to wander and watch our pretty city twinkle.  I love shopping at this time.  Even if my little arms feel like they might just drop off with all the bags and bundles of treats i am carrying; it's worth it just to grab a big hot chocolate and park your bottom on a little bench and just watch all the bustle and breathe in the smell of Christmas.
New treats and old sparkles.  The sweet little jacket was a little treat to me from Monsoon Towers.  I own an almost identical multi-colured one from a good five years ago and i have worn it so so so very much.  When this arrived i was already lining up the outfits.  My favourite combination of late is my faded patterned paisley print skinny jeans, a soft white t-shirt and my black fur cossack hat and this very very old accessorise embellished velvet bag slung over my shoulder.  I feel like a little WINTER HIPPIE!
Recent evenings have been spent creating a beautiful CHRISTMAS inspired mood board and going through our little box of decorations (AND SNEAKING IN THIS LITTLE FOXY FACE). I am hoping we shall get our little tree tomorrow evening and i can show you all our pretty little decorations.  I cannot wait to much my breakfast with just the Christmas tree lights on and the sunrise for company.  Is there anything more perfect?!

Have you got your CHRISTMAS tree up yet? Are you feeling FESTIVE?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Yesterday was the 2nd of December.  Yesterday it was my birthday and i am now 29. I have made an executive decision that from January i am going to be a grown up.  This time next year i will be 30 and then it will no longer be acceptable to eat porridge for lunch in the last few days before you get paid because you have wasted money on something beautiful and printed.  This year i am going to learn the value of money and i am going to save it (another foreign experience). I want a house and a garden and a miniature daschund called Edward or Agnes. And i want to go to Paris and Bruges.   Maybe even both.
Here are 29 silly or quite interesting things that you might not know about me:

1 I don't like seafood.  I haven't even tried it.  I just look at it and i don't want to put it anywhere near my mouth.  

2  Im not a vegetarian but most people think that i am.  Apparently i just look like one.  

3 Until at least the age of ten i believed that my dad had been to the moon with Kylie.  

4  Im scared of being sick.  Not just scared even, i am quite literally petrified.  Quite honestly i would rather be shot.  Harsh but true.

5  I don't like mayonnaise. In fact i hate it.  It's in everything in the whole wide world and i just can't stand it.  

6  I know most of the words to pretty much every rap song from the Nineties-ish.  And i don't sound half bad rapping 'em either.  

7  I rarely get proper hiccups or burp.  Instead i almost always hiccup two or three times after eating.  I think its usually because i eat too fast, talk too much and rarely sit still long enough for food or drink to go down properly.  

8  I wrote my first book aged nine.  I still have it.  It was a little tale of two Victorian girls.  I even took time to illustrate it and bind it with sewing elastic.  Who knows why.  I call it my first book as i do like to think that one day i will write another.

9  My favourite chocolate are walnut whips.  Infact i have at least one a day.  I feel a bit funny if i don't have one and i always have a secret stash somewhere.  

10  I don't really like cream.  Unless it has alcohol in it so that it doesn't taste of cream. I just think covering something in cream takes the taste away.  I am not an alcoholic.

11  I used to present on local radio.

12  I am useless with makeup.  I can just about manage foundation, blusher and mascara but  anything else and you have lost me.  I think i just need to practise…

13  I used to have a hamster called Hamish.  He lived for almost four years.  That is good going for a tiny bundle of hamster let me tell you.

14  If i could look like anyone in the world it would be Kate Foley.  Not heard of her? Google her at your own peril.  She is heaven.

15  When i was small i hated hated hated vegetables.  Whenever we had them i would stir them up with everything else just to hide them.  Or artfully distribute them around my plate so that it looked like i had eaten some.  Ironically now i love them.  

16  My first ever perfume was Tommy Girl.  
17  My natural hair colour is actually really rather dark.  Well a very dark blonde.  However i have very fair eyebrows and black eyelashes.  So if i dye my hair dark it actually looks more unnatural than it does now.  Seems i was destined to be a bit of a mix up from day one.  

18  I am a complete chocoholic.  I can take or leave crisps, chips and most other savoury related junk food.  Chocolate is definitely my thing.  Little and often is my munching motto.  I always have some squirrelled away in the house and in my bag.  

19  I have a very short attention span.  I am finding this hard!  So i am also a nightmare when it comes to finding a film that captures my attention for more than ten minutes.  

20  I couldn't do a forward roll until i was at least ten.  I just didnt know what would happen when i tipped forward and i wasnt prepared to risk it.  Despite watching a class of at least thirty over and over again, i wasn't convinced.  When i eventually did it i realised i was right and that cartwheels were much better.  

21  I am addicted to toast.  Sweet or savoury, anytime of day.  In fact i would eat it for every meal if i could.  I love finding new and interesting bread and new topping ideas.  Yes i am that sad. 

22   Im useless at telling people how i feel.  As in really awfully useless at it.  When i was small i used to write my mum letters or poems instead.  Now i just have to wait until i have had too many glasses or merlot (JOKE).  

23  I used to love coffee. Up until a few years ago when i had a bit too much and it sent me all funny.  Now i have to drink de-caff, just incase.  It scared me.  I make up for it with Lady Grey and hot chocolate though.

24  I love singing.  If i could get paid to sing it would be my idea of heaven.  If i am sad, or angry or just not feeling right, singing just fixes me.  I especially love to sing anything soulful and loud.  Maybe one i shall let you listen…

25  I don't really have a nickname.  Most people call me Sal.  My brother and sister call me Saz.  And for some unknown reason my Dad calls me Razzle Dazzle and i call him Squiff.  I can't even remember when that started or where it came from.  Thanks Dad.  

26  I am the worlds worst procrastinator.  Mostly everything in the whole wide world gets left right until the very last minute imaginable.  Except breakfast.  That's made as soon as i can open my eyes.

27  I can't write in lower case.  Well i mean i can but i don't.  I am also not sure when that started either as i always had to write essays for school and i coped.  Now i create a strange curly capital-joined-up sort of writing which people can rarely read but always comment on how beautiful it is.  

28  My karaoke song is En Vogue's 'Don't Let Go'.  I kill it.  Whether or not i sound any good is debatable but its karaoke right?!

29  My middle name is 'Anne'.  Well actually as my mother likes to remind me, my full name is Sally-Anne.  I prefer Sally becuase i think that Sally-Anne sounds a bit like a hill billy or a ragdoll.  Sorry mum!

So there you are.  This was HARD.  A lot harder than i thought.  Maybe now you might feel like you know me and my craziness a little bit better.  Feel free to leave me a little fact about yourself in the comments.  I would love to read them!  

Friday, 29 November 2013

Gold n' Cold

Despite that this week has been the first week that i have started to get the hint of frantic retail type Christmas stress at Monsoon Towers; i have rather enjoyed myself.  This year i am going to make an extra EFFORT to not fall too far into the stress and try to see the bigger picture (ie that huge and lovely Christmas dinner at my parents with the Mr) and to see everyone's lovely faces when they open the presents that i have not yet got them.

But don't worry.  I have my Christmas CARDS and all of my wrapping paper and 'bits' and so whatever those i love and care about get, be sure to know it will look BEAUTIFUL.  I exaggerate a bit as i do have a few odds and ends but i do feel like i really need to up the ante and not be doing the usual Tasmanian devil type 'sweep' i always do on christmas eve.
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That said, this week has been jolly okay you know.  I feel like Winter might play fair this year.  We are teetering on the very edge and this week saw a bit more of a tease and tickle of frosty mornings, so so bright skies and a hint at what i hope will shape up to be a flipping freezing, dry and BRIGHT Winter please…

If you pop by here ever so often you will no how much i love my BREAKFASTING.  Breakfast is always something i have to set aside time for.  Even when i am working and time in bed is precious, nothing breaks my heart more then the thought of skipping breakfast or not devoting the time to it that it deserves.  If i am working, everything else in the world gets done ultra fast - make-up, hair, clothes and more thought goes into what i put onto my TOAST than what i wear.  I also have to allow at least half an hour to sit and munch.  Anything less and my day feels unsettled.  When i am off, i make breakfast stretch as long as is humanely possible, often enjoying several cups of tea and two smaller breakfasts popped together.  Sometimes i even allow myself a second breakfast, for lunch.  I know i am wild.  I know how to live, what can i say.  

Early bike rides on my day off this week were the CRISPEST i have seen so far this year.  I layered two tops, a jumper, extra wooly blue tights and a tweed kilt up so much that i could barely cycle.  You will be pleased to know that i wasn't cold though.  I love how the air feels as it hits your LUNGS when it is this cold.  I am weird like that.  I love how warm and cosy my mittens keep my hands and how icy my little red nose gets and despite how silly i probably look, a day like this one makes you just feel so good and healthy inside and out that i don't care.

Each time i go cycling my usual route i fall in LOVE with it more and more and at the moment it changes so much in just a short space of time.  You can see the last few leaves holding on tight, the stubborn ones that wont give into Winter.  They are so bright and golden that staring at them too long hurts my eyes.  Its almost as if they hold all the sun and loveliness that our long warm summer brought.  They are such a huge contrast to how cold and icy i feel that just looking at them warms me right through.  How can you not want to be outside when it looks this damn lovely?!
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In other less descriptive news:  My third column for Carlisle Living is out now.  So if you live locally to me you can grab yourself a copy and get a bit lost in my Christmassy ramblings.  I think this might be my favourite piece so far and i am loving WRITING for them so very much 

 * This week saw the end of my summer perfume.  I need a new winter perfume as my usual wintery scent (PHILOSOPHY 'FALLING IN LOVE')  has been snaffled by a few people i know and it has started to remind me more of them than me.  I don't like to follow the crowd but i am thinking of dipping my toes in the Jo Malone pool. Thoughts? 

*  I wrote a little guest post for the BEAUTIFUL Beetas' blog this week.  I am quite a new reader to her little space and have really fallen in love with the way she writes.  She is now firmly at the top of my favourites.  Go and say hello  HERE as she has been under the weather recently and you would make her day.  

*  It is my birthday on Monday of next week and i am really struggling with knowing how i want to spend my day.  I shall be twenty-nine.  Except i don't feel like i should be allowed to be that age as i am a little bit of a dizzy donut and struggle to think of myself as a 'grown up'.  The Peter Pan inside me still thinks i can survive on no money and that it is okay to blow a lot of money on something if its beautiful enough.  This year might be the year i get a grip.

Tonight i am excited for pea-shoot stirfry with duck spring rolls and noodles, and also the fact that we have the best cookies to dunk in Lady Grey before bed.  See? One needs to get a grip.  Tomorrow evening, the Mr is out playing and so i have a hot date with a LUSH bath bomb and i am going to try and concoct a ROSE G&T to keep me company.  

But for now, the spring rolls are a callin'!
Have the most splendid of weekends dear readers!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sky Diver

For someone like me who is a bit of a wimp when it comes to heights, it is a little ironic that i feel like i have spent most of this week (dangerously) 'ooh-ing' and 'aah-ing' at various cloudless, cloudful and just down right stunning SKIES recently.  I would like to say i am not going to bore you with the pictorial evidence, but then i would be telling pork pies and if you stop by here often, you will be well accustomed to the sky action by now.

I am sat here with a tummy full of carrot and swede mash and all the goodness of cottage pie lovliness. You will be relieved to know i have managed to squeeze in a little CLEMENTINE though.  You know CHRISTMAS is on its way when the oranges are good and everywhere you turn.  Life is pretty sweet.  I have plans for a hot Lush Snow Fairy filled shower yet, and i am sure i shall need a biscuit to dunk in my tea before i rest my little head.  But let us not get carried away with Now as this week has been a delight too…
MORNINGS have been all the more manageable when they are as BRIGHT and beautiful as the ones we have had up here this week.  Waking up in the dark is a miserable existence, but watching the sunrise over frosty rooftops with a hot cup of Lady Grey; and CRANBERRY and raisin bread toasting away is a little bit special.  I get by. Wearing the softest pastel brushed cotton pyjamas right until the very last minute before leaving the house is also a talent i have become quite accustomed to recently.

Being out in fresh air when the skies are so flipping flopping BLUE you could forgiven for mistaking it as a summer's day.  Catching the most perfect LIGHT at just the right moment.  Golly gosh how i love to take pictures.  Looking up (again) and realising that the branches are baring and the wind is burning the back of your throat. WINTER is coming and she is going to be a stunner.

White skies, bare branches and BERRIES.  Frosty bike rides, bare hands and forgetting 
mittens…brrr! Being a russian hippie when layering goes too far - two pairs of tights, T-shirt, dress and jumper.  Oh and a little tweed blazer.  I should be pacing myself! What was i thinking?!

Playing with stars because, well why not? Perfectly PINK and AMBER sunsets to watch, sat on the floor with back against the radiator and the cosiest socks and oversized knit for good measure. It doesn't get much better than this.
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This weekend i am working both Saturday and Sunday so we shall mostly be having lazy nights all curled up under a big blanket with chocolate digestives and lots of tea.  Tomorrow night we are watching The Great Gatsby (MY CHOICE), which will certainly beat the endless episodes i have had to endure of Walking Dead this week.  I am also considering my first mulled wine of the year too.  If not at least a really fabulous hot chocolate made with melted Green and Blacks Maya Gold and a cheeky slug of whisky.  Either would suffice.

What's everybody else up to?


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