Monday, 30 June 2014

Currently 18

(All images taken from my Pinterest HERE)

I feel like i am really appreciating this Summer.  Embracing it fully and taking each and every lovely thing it gives me.  The fruit and vegetables in season (for I am trying to better myself at eating what the world wants to give me when it does.  I am also learning how much better it all tastes too!), the extra hours of sunlight and as many flowers as i can fit into my messy mop!  What makes your summer summery?!  If you could bottle up all of what goes into your perfect summer, what would you pick?  Here are mine:  

1 Flowers as far as the eye can see!  Jam jars adorned with pretty pink and blousy peonies; wild flowers twisted in around windswept hair and floral printed cotton smock dresses worn with bare knees.

2  Eating outside whenever the chance occurs.  Salads dotted with edible flowers and torn up leftover chicken.  Crusty bread and homemade houmous.  Chopped raw vegetables for on the go munching!  Icy mineral water filled with chopped cucumber and torn up mint leaves.  Tomatoes, sweet from a little window-sill sunshine and eaten with crumbly cheese and chutney and oatcakes.  Baby new potatoes served warm with melted butter and chopped dill. Doesn't it all taste so much more wonderful outdoors?!

3 Sunshine! Freckled arms and noses and the sweet scent that a day in the sun leaves on your skin.  The most golden sunsets that you could ever imagine and the prettiest shadows dancing along the grass of an evening.  Mornings that you wake up naturally refreshed, rested and ready to go and days that feel like they last forever and ever and the kind that you don't want to end anyway!  

4  The seaside!  Salty air and windswept hair, bleached gently in the coastal sun.   Bare feet on warm sand and the feeling of the waves lapping at your toes.  The smell of coconut sunscream.  Salty chips on an evening wander along a harbour.

5  Any kind of bike ride at any time of the day.  Whilst autumn and winter rides are all kinds of beautiful, it feels like the days hold much more opportunity through the late spring and summer months.  Mornings are lighter, bike rides can be squeezed in before the rest of the world wakes, when the world is still and it's just you and a swallow or two.  You can be back home, and curled up with plenty of time for hot Lady Grey and warm buttered toast before you have to start your day properly.  Evening bike rides are just as indulgent.  There is nothing like riding bare-legged through that extra special golden hour sunshine.  The air feels cooler but heavy with the smell of damp wild flowers and wild lavender.  It's magical.  

I could quite happily go on and on but i'd like to know yours!  What to you, means that summer is here?!  And what's making you smile because of it?!   

Friday, 27 June 2014

Summer lovin'

I have come to the conclusion that it's as you get older you learn to APPRECIATE the simplest things.  I can't imagine my teen-self getting quite so excited by freshly laundered cotton sheets or being quite as ecstatic at ^a big huge ice-cold glass of water filled with torn mint leaves and slices of cucumber.^ I am not sure when it all changed, if i think back i can't pin it down to one particular moment.  I have never seen myself as a particularly materialistic person anyway.  Whilst my heart skips a beat at the sight of a beautifully printed anything i like to think that i invest wisely and use things i do indulge in, well, in many ways and right up until the bitter end.  

When we were little we didn't get or have everything in the whole wide world, not the material kind anyway.  What i do remember is silly SIMPLE things:  making cakes from scratch altogether; having adventure days out to rivers, lakes and beaches and playing out most nights until the light disappeared behind the trees.  We were an IMAGINATIVE lot (there are three of us - i am the eldest and have a younger brother and sister).  We always read books and so there was usually some kind of 'den' constructed outside in the garden or around a set of bunk-beds.  I am inclined to think that maybe my pleasure in the simple things stems from way back then.  Lately i can't get enough of Summer and all of the simple pleasures it's bringing.  I feel as if i have wholly embraced it this year:  thrown myself in head-first. And it's making me so HAPPY!

We took a little road TRIP up to see my parents on Sunday.  They live right by the Solway on the West coast of Scotland.  Since our new little family puppy dog hadn't been to the beach properly yet and the day was such a beautiful one, we decided it was a must!  When we got there the tide was a fine blue stripe on the horizon and since Storm is still very much getting used to not being on a lead (and galavanting at a million miles per hour at anyone he sees because he wants to play) we decided a stroll out the find the sea might be in order.  It was the most PEACEFUL, blue skied and beautiful afternoon and i really could have stayed until the sun went down.  I can't remember the last time i wandered bare-foot on a beach or paddled in the sea!  Storm was doing ever so well until he spotted a big seagull (that cheeky little mr loves birds!)  and took off way, way ahead of us.  Into the waves he jumped, compleeetely oblivious to the fact that he had never swam in his little life before.  He proceeded to ignore us and luckily my brother wasn't too precious about wading in and scooping him up, and bringing him back to shore!  Little scamp!

Continuing my love for all things GREEN, especially against a bright blue-skied backdrop.  I couldn't resist snapping mum's beautiful lilac bush (?) in the garden at the weekend.  I miss having an outside space so much at this time of year!  It was so beautiful to sit out on the patio at my parents and eat tea and catch up.  I can't help but revisit the pretty little patch of wild LAVENDER that crops up each year in our sweet little park.  You can smell it before you see it!  Especially on an evening bike-ride.  I have some hanging up in our kitchen at the minute and a few sprigs tied to Willow's handle-bars.  I have also been enjoying the shade.  I am pale as a milk bottle and so any sign of sunshine and i go bright pink and cover in freckles!  Sometimes it's rather nice to sit on a little patch of grass, admire the pretty sunlight shapes dancing over it and just have a little break.

Morning MOMENTS.  Incase you don't follow me anywhere else, let's just take a little moment to marvel at how beautiful my sweet new Lady Grey cup is shall we?!?  My tea tastes wondrous from it and it has the sweetest little feet underneath!  Even better you can actually get the black version in the sale HERE for half price!  My mornings have also been made much easier after finally discovering the pleasure of overnight oats.  This little pot of delicious-ness is made up of oats and almond milk as a base.  And then topped with vanilla yoghurt, chopped strawberries and a good sprinkle of mixed seeds.  Mmmm!

Pops of COLOUR as bright as can be!  I have finally finished my little cushion project of turning an old fluro-embellished skirt into a scatter cushion for the bedroom. I am so proud!  I love it so so much!  Whilst i love the fluro trend alot, it's not something i feel i'd want to cover the whole house with.  Cushions are perfect for just hinting at the trend.  Next upon my list is to dip-dye or fabric paint a white cotton duvet with some neon…eek.  I have also been wearing bright colours and PRINTS as much as i can too.  This oversized-come-over-the-top floral crown is a sneaky treat. Whilst i feel a bit like i have a hanging basket on my head, I am alot in love!  What do you think?!
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The last day or so has been a little on the cloudy side so i am keeping everything possible to crossed that it isn't the last i see of those bright blue skies!  Have you been enjoying the SUNSHINE?! What are your jolly weekend plans then?  Unfortunately i am working all of this weekend and the Mr is playing a gig on Friday.  So i shall it shall be a lazy-evening-ed one.  Maybe with some chocolate and a pile of magazines to cut up and add to my moodboards.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wonderful Wednesday 22

Happy 'HALFWAY through the week' dear and sweet faces, i do hope that you all enjoyed a beautiful and restful weekend and that this week is is proving not so bad after all.  The thought of a whole week on a Monday morning always seems like it may last forever, but it hardly takes anytime at all and here we are meandering through another Wonderful Wednesday!  As you sneak your little peepers over these words i shall hopefully be tucked up in the land of 'zzz's' as today is my day off! I am rather enjoying this week so far though. After a week or so back at work I have managed to keep up with my mini 'me' resolution to not let the small things get to me and to try and remain calm and not let myself get stressed too often!  Here's to it lasting and lasting! Although i have yet to get through Summer sale yet…yikes!  There's been an awful lot of LOVELINESS lately, so let's get going…

*  FAMILY time!  I am always a little jealous of those who live only a hop skip and a jump from their loved ones.  Mine are only 55 miles or so away but fitting in the time to spend time with them around work and stuff and things can prove tricky!  I so much enjoyed spending last sunday-gone, with the Mr and my family at the beach on the Solway.  A little bit like bliss.  I wish i could have stayed for a week!  I am always so jealous of the stunning coastline right on their doorstep!

*  (sometimes soggy) Puppy CUDDLES. ^See above!^ It was only my parents puppy's second time at the beach.  He did so well until he clocked some seagulls on the horizon.  Safe to say that day we learnt that he could swim and that my younger brother still could too.  Cheeky little puppy!  He is the sweetest most happy little puppy you will ever meet. It is so hard to stay mad at such a sweet little thing.  

*  Finding a NATURAL nasal spray.  I know, lovely eh? Man alive i have been suffering so so much with my hayfever since it got a little warmer.  No tablets seem to touch it!  I had always opted not to try nasal sprays as i had heard that most of them contained steroids.  Massive thanks go out to the kindest Boots Pharmacy lady who showed me a new one which contains all natural stuff and is essentially mostly peppermint powder.  I was sceptical but the lady did good.  It has made such a difference!  

*  Ice cold thickly sliced CUCUMBER.  I swear i could eat a whole and entire cucumber!  Hands-down one of the most refreshing things to munch on sticky humid days.  The only downside is that it gives me hiccups.  Oh well you can't have it all can you?!

*  Filming my first little VLOG.  Okay so not so much a vlog (as it turns out), more of a precious ten minute peep into being me!  It turns out that filming for over an hour doesn't always mean that you'll get quite so much footage as you had originally hoped!  I am hoping to get the editing tidied up over the next few days.  It's a little rough around the edges and i am shocked at how very northern i sound in comparison to every other vlog i have ever watched, but it's me i guess!  Excited to share as i really enjoyed having a play.  

*  Overnight OATS. I am so late to this oat-y bandwagon!  Why didn't i jump on it sooner?! It's just my kind of thing.  I adore porridge.  Not only the taste and variety of toppings and types i can conjure up but also the power it has to fill me right up until lunch time.  I have recently started dabbling in the overnight oats world as it has been far far too hot to stand over a hob or eat a bowl of hot porridge lately.  I am addicted.  I was sceptical at first, and also convinced there was no way it would fill me up.  My oh my was i proved wrong!  My current favourite combo is made with whole oats, almond milk and chia seeds as a base.  In the morning i add a small chopped banana, a spoonful of organic vanilla yoghurt, a handful of mixed seeds and a good sprinkling of raw cacao nibs.  It's so yummy!

*  SOUVENIRS.  On the way back from the beach the other day the Mr and i made a diversion to stock up on some snacks to munch when we got home later.  We purchased the yummiest hand-cooked haggis potato crisps and strawberry shortbread.  Scotland knows how to do snacks and beaches trust me!

*  SMOCK-rockin'.  'Cos who wants clingy, sticky clothes in this heat?!  I have treated myself to a couple of new smocks lately.  They add to an ever expanding collection!  My favourite is a black and white cotton gingham Topshop number.  Aside from the fact it was less than half price in their sale, it's perfect for summer bike rides, for lounging about on a cool evening in the garden and is generally rather super for being the perfect amount of 'summer' with an exceptional swingy, cool factor.  I think it might be my very favourite dress shape, ever.  When i wore it recently with my beachy panama hat the general consensus was that i looked a little 'Armish'.  Who cares, i was cool.  

*  Having shorter HAIR.  I go through phases where i miss my long hair.  Phases where i look at others flowing long locks and wish i hadn't had mine cut much shorter.  Lately i have not missed them one bit.  Showering and leaving my hair to dry naturally takes no time at all!  It leaves me much more time whizzing round that pretty little park of ours, or you know, sleeping.  Either way, it's here to stay!

How are you all? How has your week been so far? Has it also been filled with SUNSHINE and SUMMERY-ness?!? I do hope so! Please share what's been making you smile so far this week or what's going to get you through to Friday.  Remember you can also tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday on twitter.  I'm @sallytangle .  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Mostly inspired

So it's been a pretty RELAXING few days around Tangle Towers and i cannot tell you how much better i am feeling.  You know sometimes i don't realise i need a rest until i have one i see how good it feels! Not to just sit back and do nothing, but to potter and to do all of the 'nice to do's' and to do those things over the 'must to do's.'  Am i making sense? Not to go all hippy on you, but it always amazes me how much better i feel about everything when i just make time to do the things i love, as simple and as little as they are.  To just truly surround myself with what i love and to take it all down a notch.  It's always times like these when i feel my most inspired, and usually when i sleep better, look better and feel at my happiest.  

The difference i have felt in myself over these past few days has encouraged me to make a mini mindful life RESOLUTION:  to take time over things i love, to really relish them and not to rush through all of my life at break neck speed.  Its good for my soul.  Life is too short to get wrapped up in the things you can't do.  I want to spend more time feeling happier about the things i can do.  Hippy rant over! Thought i'd share some of what has been making me feel mostly inspired around these parts…

 An especially large helping of VITAMIN D.  This never happens.  Not the consistent sort anyway.  But lately we have been ever so lucky up North, and had the warmest bout of sunny summery few days filled with the brightest BLUE skies.  Since our relaxing drive through the Lakes together on Sunday, it's felt a little like i have been on a real holiday.  I honestly cannot remember when i last felt so relaxed.  Waking up naturally early, feeling well-rested and seeing the sunlight beaming through our skylight is the best way to start a day in a positive way.  I have loved having bare legs.  I don't care how milk-bottle white they are!  Rifling through my summer dresses, cotton playsuits and old linen smock dresses and getting excited all over again has been a treat.  Sitting on warm afternoon grass with an iced coffee and people watching.  It's one of my favourite things to do!  Just to sit and watch people potter about their day to day. 
Seeing more of the GREEN.  After realising how much more full of energy and relaxed i felt after our Sunday adventures i feel as if i have been extra appreciative of the stretches of green right under my nose.  Our parks and little woods feel so bright and awake and cycling through them makes me feel so very happy!  

Spotting (quite all of a sudden) that the wild LAVENDER in our local park had sprung up almost overnight!  Aside from attaching a sweet little bundle to Willow's handle bars, i also kept a little bundle for myself!  I plan to press a few heads, hang up a few springs to dry for who-knows-what and then enjoy the odd sprig to make my rose lemonade look even prettier!  

Im always a little bit sad that we don't have our very own green space to call our own.  But i am making do by filling every possible container with FRESH FLOWERS!  These beautiful pink peonies change each and every single day and get more beautiful each time i look at them!  I wish i could look at them all year round! Eating my breakfast underneath a wide open skylight and a bright blue morning sky is also pretty special too and goes a little bit of the way to making up for that lack of outside space.  

Always keeping my head in the CLOUDS - no really!  I could sit and watch the days go by quite happily from all the way up here, everything always feels so much more still and peaceful.  It's my special little thinking spot come the warmer months. 
I am keeping everything crossed, that is possible to cross that this beautiful bout of sunshine sticks around! And i hope that you have been soaking it all up as well.  I just feel like i do everything so much better with it hanging around, don't you?!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wonderful Wednesday 21

HELLO all! I think the start to this week has been one of very FAVOURITES for a long long time - I shall find it extra hard to pick out a handful of goodness for you for i feel like i could just write and write about all of the little things that have been bringing a smile to my cheeks lately.  I booked Sunday to Thursday off this week, simply to use up holiday days at work, and so my week so far has been a little blissful!  We have been lucky up here in Cumbria to have such beautiful sunshine-y weather since Friday last week - give or take the odd bout of grey cloud.  The rain showers have just been kept at bay and it has completely re-energised me.  What a difference half decent weather makes?!  I am always in awe of that.  I have been completely plan-less, apart from riding those two-wheels as much as i can squeeze in, and so it really has been just what i needed as the dreaded summer sales loom at work.  But less of the paragraphs, lets get down to the good stuff!

*  BARE FEET.  I wish i could always be bare foot. There is something so relaxing and lovely to pad about bare footed.  Lately i have loved wafting about from one room to another in airy cotton smock dresses and bare feet.  I love our beautiful wooden floors, it was one of the reasons i fell for this little place:  The fact that there was so much visible wood and so much light.  I am even enjoying our icy cold bathroom clay tiles.  Which is usually one of the things i hate first thing in the morning!  

*  Tealights in jam JARS.  I really am having a little love affair with old fashioned typeography lately (along with the rest of mankind) and so saving our old jam jars for peonies, tealights and other kinds of paraphenalia that has no place (read: everything) is sort of perfect right now.  Having our massive livingroom windows open as wide as can be come sunset, with tealights twinkling on jam jars is so cosy.  I would like to take a moment to tell you i do not appreciate the moths that comes with those pretty window sill tealights.  But i am willing to compromise.  

*  LANA. Oh Lana, what is summer without you?!  Most people i know find Lana Del Ray a bit depressing.  I am quite happy to have her all to myself though.  She isn't someone who i'd make a real effort to see (sorry Lana) but somehow her music is just Summer all over for me. She released a new album this week too.  Its just perfect for lazy, hazy Summer afternoons or twilight bike rides.  

*  Donut PEACHES and cottage CHEESE.  Before you judge, please try this award winning (okay so just House of Tangle award winning - i might have made that up) combination.  I struggle for lunch inspiration when it gets really warm.  Just in the way that i don't feel quite as hungry and i am constantly craving sweet and juicy ice cold fruit.  I long for something refreshing but something that will also fill me up.  I am much more of a snacker over Summer time, rather than being able to eat a big meal.  Great mouthfuls of sweet juicy peaches with spoonfuls of the kind of cottage cheese you can stand a spoon up in is my kind of heaven.  A few oatcakes or walnut crackers on the side and it just does the trick.  You could also swap the peach for strawberries and torn up basil or even a tart granny smith apple and a side of chutney.  

*  Freshly picked LAVENDER and ELDERFLOWERS.  The smell alone is all kinds of lovely.  For now a few sprigs of each are in a little jam jar (man alive we get through the jam!) in my our office.  I am undecided what to do with elderflowers this year…i feel like i want something more exciting than an elderflower cordial.  In my head i reckon an elderflower gin might be quite nice.  As much as someone who has never drank gin in her life can think.  I reckon it could be all kinds of delightful swizzled through a tall icy glass of raspberry lemonade?  As for the lavender, well I am quite just enjoying having it sprinkled into my rose lemonade.  This could be a Pinterest kind of project.  

*  PEONIES.  The week before last I couldn't find any peonies left anywhere.  They are like gold dust around these parts - and its not hard to see why.  In a 'my windowsills are flower-less and i must find something to rectify this' i bought three small bunches of sweet williams. Whilst they were beautiful and so colourful, they also filled about six different containers and our little flat ended up looking like i belonged to the sweet william appreciation society.  And since then i have seen peonies everywhere.  At least it felt that way.  On Monday i finally gave in.  The sweet williams had run their course and had been condensed down into two glass jars and so there was room once more! The peonies are now taking over our side table.  So much so that i had to put my tea and toasted teacake on the rug this morning as there was no room.  Man alive they are beauties though.  My very favourite flower in the whole wide world.  Is there anything more beautiful than a bright pink pom-pom peony?!

*  New CUP.  I had a devastating moment the weekend before last:  in a sleepy stupor (and after too many days in a row at Monsoon Towers and not enough sleep) i dropped my favourite china cup.  Luckily it was empty.  But it scattered across the floor into a million pieces! Despite the fact that we own close to twenty cups, none of them make my morning lady grey taste quite right.  So i have ordered the most beautiful blue and white china oversized teacup from Anthropologie.  It took a while.  Not to choose as i had been eyeing up said cup for longer than i should care to admit.  I just kept adding beautifully printed plates with bumblebees and owls on and stationary in all colours of the rainbow until i realised i didn't need any of that kind of stuff.  

*  SUNGLASSES.  For saving my life. Which might seem a tad OTT but anyone else that suffers with hayfever at this time of year will hopefully feel my plight.  I have always felt like a wally in sunnies.  Like they draw too much attention to me.  This makes no sense for a gal who will happily wear what resembles half of a garden centre attached to her head, or a dress inside out, upside down or fastened around somewhere it shouldn't be.  I can't explain the reasoning behind this one.  Anyway, since my eyes have been itchy, scratchy and mascara-less (since it ends up halfway down my cheeks anyway) sunglasses have been a godsend.  Also useful for nosey people-watching with a large cappuccino. 
Jeepers i have been on a bit of a ramble with this one!  Can you tell that i have spent a lot of my time alone lately? Its a good job i've got you lovely lot or i'd go mad i think.  Now it's your turn! What has been making you as happy as Larry lately?  Whoever Larry might be that is.  Please share, i do love reading all of the little things that keep you smiling whatever they might be.  Or you can tweet me @sallytangle using #wonderfulwednesday It would make my whole week!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Wild & Free

When i was YOUNGER, i wasn't always fond of the outdoors.  Or more accurately, i didn't truly appreciate quite how stunningly magnificent it could be.  We moved to the West coast of Scotland when i was twelve.  I didn't appreciate being dragged up and down hills and along beaches when i was twelve.  I was convinced i was destined for the big lights of the city and all of the glittering opportunities it might bring me.  A land that always felt so faraway and so much better than always being in the middle of nowhere.
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Fast forward eighteen years (but we'll just skip right over that part) and i find myself feeling the complete and polar opposite of how i felt so many years ago.  I am incredibly LUCKY to call Cumbria my home.  It's perfect in the way i get a little of the hustle and bustle of small city life (the only thing that really makes Carlisle a city is its beautiful cathedral and the fact it has a Starbucks, Costa and Nero - it is essentially a big town) and yet at the same time i am only minutes away from miles and miles of green landscapes in any direction.  

Nothing empties my head, has me feeling perfectly and completely PEACEFUL or happier than being in the most remote, beautiful green landscape that i can get to.  And it's taken me a good few years to realise quite how much love i have for the empty places i used to sulk about in years gone by.  Yesterday we took ourselves as far up as our sweet little Henry Ford  automobile would allow, up on to Honister Pass, just along from Keswick and Derwent Water.

^Just casually feeling all kinds of blown away all the way up there^

^This artfully edited snazzy photo is courtesy of the Mr^
The lighting was hit and miss and most of our wander was covered by an almighty blanket of grey low CLOUD - so the photos are a bit inconsistent and do not by any means do this place justice.  There was a camp site on the way back down, which just looks like heaven.  Can you imagine opening up your tent and having this as your breakfast view? To be able to sit on the grass and toast crumpets and drink earl grey tea from a flask? Or how quiet it must be to sleep under a blanket of stars up there?! 
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Afterwards we had a drive back down (which the car found much easier!) and stopped for a few hours in Keswick where we re-fuelled on steak sandwiches and elderflower fizz.  We both said how CALM and 'on holiday' we felt for the rest of the day.  We also spent the rest of the evening searching the Honister pass hashtag on Instagram and marvelling at how much more beautiful (if you could believe it) that place looks in Autumn, Spring, Winter…in fact just the whole year round! 
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Yesterday was by far my FAVOURITE day in a long long time.  It's a luxury to spend the whole and entire day together  and i was left feeling so content and relaxed and feeling ever so grateful for somewhere that is almost quite literally on our doorstep! 

Are you a lover of the GREEN?  Or is your happy place buried deep in the hustle and BUSTLE of city life? 

Thursday, 12 June 2014


I love the above quote by Sylvia Plath.  And it's true, for me at least.  My mum always said i could 'talk until the cows came home'.  And i can.  And so when nobody is there to listen i write.  When i was younger i kept diary after diary, full of everything from what i had for tea to what games i played in the playground.  I wrote my first 'novel' when i was only ten.  So  starting this little space it was a no-brainer as it was a way for me to write and write about whatever the bobbins i liked and combine it with another one of my dear loves:  taking photographs.  I never ever imagined the love and support i would get because of it, and that which keeps on growing and giving.  You imagine writing a blog to be quite a lonely thing:  me sat in our little office with the skylight cracked wide open and only the birds for company. Well sometimes Beyonce too.  But the birds aren't too keen.  

The truth is, if it wasn't for this little slice of the internet i wouldn't have met and 'met' half of the special people that i have.  Those special friendships and that special community means such an awful lot to me - wiling away the hours tip-tapping out my nonsensical words and hoping that the pictures match.  I wanted to start a way of sharing on here.  A way for me to share who is inspiring me. And who's writing i really admire.  Because whether you discover another a new blog to read, find out something interesting or feel inspired enough to get out and create something yourself, its my way of sharing and giving back to a community that has welcomed me so kindly.  So sit back and have a goosey gander through my first little selection:  

The Cup and Saucer:  Comparison is the thief of joy.
I adore the way Alice writes. This post really tugged at my heart because it is relatable in so many ways that it made me want to invite her up for the weekend and have a really good talk.  It's that kind of special writing and emotional connection that keeps me going back to her blog.  Her subjects can be so varied and yet each post is dealt with in such a warm, sort of vulnerable and magical way that i could while away all of the hours flipping through her posts. 

Nishaantishu:  The freedom of travel and how to keep that feeling going when the holiday is over. 
Freyas blog is always an inspiration to me.  Although i would guess that we are not years apart in our age, i always come away from her blog feeling like i have learnt something, be it about myself or life itself.  Her writing has  away of feeling ever so soothing and calming and thought provoking and i find reading her beautiful blog a real piece of escapism. Warning:  this blog may cause serious wanderlust.   

Prattle and Froth:  Things they don't tell you about being pregnant.  
Anna's blog is a smile from start to finish.  Not even a little smile:  one of those cheesey ear to ear grins! I love reading her perceptive, witty writing and quirky take on the day to day.  I have also had the pleasure of meeting the lady herself and felt as if i could of chatted away to her for an age!  This particular post made me laugh out loud so many times. 

Fill My Little World:  I've got something to say.
Where to begin! Ever since i first stumbled upon Beeta's blog, i became a little bit emotionally attached.  Well as emotionally attached that you can be to a person that you have never met and don't want to sound weird.  She wins the award (countless times over) for making me fill up and feel happy and inspired and sort of want to run out into the street to cartwheel -  all at the same time.  Her writing is so far beyond beautiful and the kind that you really can just fall right into and completely be exactly where she is and relate to her every word - and that comes through whatever she writes about.  And that's another thing i love.  That her blog is such a wide range of topics. I go away feeling strong, inspired and like i could do anything each time i stop by.  That girls' an inspiration!
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So that's my first edit.  It is by no means the last.  And if i am honest it really is only the very tip of the iceberg.  But it's where we shall start!  Do you read any of the above?  Or have any blogs that you think i should check out?!  

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wonderful Wednesday 20

Golly gosh what a week it has been, and we are almost only half way! It feels twice as long as ever since i have worked both Saturday and Sunday of last week, and then also Monday and Tuesday.  It's a never ending-feeling kind of a week! It really has been one of those kinds with an ever-growing to-do list.  You know the kind you proudly cross three things off and then add six more? THOSE kinds.  I shall surely be ready for my Thursday and Friday off i can tell you!  Amongst all of the busy listing and never-ending days, you'll be pleased to know that there has been plenty keeping me smiling!

*  The SMELL of Summer rain. Who can deny that it is actually Summer now?! Surely it might not be the 30 degree consistent heat we all want, but then we do live in Blighty so who are we to even expect such a weather-shaped commitment!?  There is a reason Cumbria is so green and that would be the frequent bouts of rain.  This week has seen a different kind though.  The epic kind that plummets so fiercely from the clouds above that it power washes the pavements below and anything else in its path.  But man ALIVE the smell.  The smell of warm summer rain.  The kind that i wouldn't mind getting caught out in…if i wasn't at work and all.  

*  Ferrero Rocher CHOCOLATES  Who am i?! My grandma in the 80's?!? I have recently (actually wait didn't chocolate feature in last week?!) been really craving chocolate. And i don't really have a chocolate 'off' button and so its only safe to keep small quantities about our little somewhere.  Just to avoid a chocolate-related coma and all.  Although to be fair i can't think of anything nicer….These little treats of creamy, chocolate-y heaven-come-grown up-nutella type loveliness have been keeping me ALIVE.  

*  Getting back in my SLEEP groove.  I had a few stressful days at work last week which led to my usual sleeping pattern going all to pot.  A few quiet nights and a gallon of camomile tea infused with heather honey and i'm BACK.  And feeling so much better and re-realising for the squillionth time quite how useless i can be sans sleep!

*  Receiving pretty new Topshop-shaped PARCELS.  We fell out a bit, Topshop and I. Not for any other reason except that everything lately was either a cropped top or made out of horrid scratchy viscose and overpriced.  Online i found the sweetest smock blouses - one in lilac and one in cream.  I felt all Glastonbury just swooning over them online that i just had to order them.  I also accidentally knocked a new heather flower crown in there for good measure too.  I picked up the parcel today.  I am going to save opening it until my day off on Thursday.  Yes yes i am that sad.

*  COLDPLAY.  After last weeks shenanigans and total and complete failure at getting tickets for the two lightening quick sell out dates at The Royal Albert Hall in July (and the miserable meltdown which followed that awful day) i have been re-loving old old albums and enjoying my evening shower in a lovely little Coldplay-shaped bubble.  It doesn't make up for not getting tickets but we shan't dwell. 
*  COMPLIMENTS.  I have never been very good at receiving them.  But the other day when i was wandering through town with a superbly huge floral crown perched upon my blonde mop, an elderly lady stopped me and told me i looked beautiful.  And that i reminded her of Frida Kahlo.  I wanted to hug her! Imagine, little me?! Instead i told her that she had made my day.  And then she told me i had brightened hers.  Then i really wanted to hug her.  I am blushing just thinking about it.  Sweet little lady!

*  Lush 'BIG' shampoo.  The most loveliest scrubby soapy smelling shampoos for those days when its humid and sticky and you just want your hair to feel oh so clean and smell a little bit like the seaside.  

*  Icy cold morello CHERRIES.  As if i need to explain.  

Tell me tell me tell meeeeee what has been making your week so magical?! I love SO much to find out.  Reading your Wonderful Wednesday comments is the perfect end to my mid-week.  I hope you are all well and enjoying some sunshine…even if not the consistent reliable kind…

Friday, 6 June 2014

All in

I have never been someone who PLANS to take a photo.  Even before this little space existed, i took photos, but i didn't plan them.  For me that ruins the magical-ness.  The thing i have always loved about photos is that they capture a split second, a magnificent moment in time that disappears as quick as a flash.  Taking a photo means you can keep that feeling forever and remember that special little second whenever the fancy takes you.  Of course if i know i am off for a potter somewhere beautiful, i take along a camera.  But i don't always use it.  If something jumps out at me as beautiful, i'll snap it.  But you wont catch me framing things perfectly, fanny-ing around with the composition too much or making it something its not.  If i try too hard it doesn't quite work the same.  

Lately i feel as if i have been capturing so so many LOVELY moments that i couldn't not share them.  But not really moments that have a co-hesive, sensible order to form a post separately.  So i thought i'd fire 'em all at you:  ALL IN!  With some explanation too of course.  It's been a busy bee of a week i can tell you!

Late last Sunday afternoon we took a wander to a pretty little place called Kirklinton Hall.  It is the PRETTIEST ruin of a very old stately home which they have cleaned out and use for opera showings, local theatre companies and folk evenings.  you can also just have a little meander through its grounds and the woodland surrounding it, which is exactly what we did. The sky wasn't as blue as it could have been, but we took sandwiches and ate them outside and we climbed through a windy, mossy woodland walk which was so very pretty.  It followed the sweetest little stream and eventually came out into a little sandy river bank.  

GOLDEN hour bicycle rides when i can grab them are fast becoming my favourite way to unwind lately.  I always feel much more of a morning person but sit me aboard those two wheels on a sunny evening and i could stay there forever, just warm enough in that golden glow and last flickers of summer sunlight.  

Skies to fall in LOVE with:  over and over and over again.  The top photo was taken on a lunch time wander through the historic quarter of our little city, en route to pay bills and sort other life-shaped laundry.  This more than made up for that.  Just look at those cotton-wool ball clouds.  I didn't want to go back to work.  I wanted to get an ice-cream and lie on the grass by the cathedral and people watch!  The second was taken on a whim as i was sticking my head out being nosey and closing our office skylight before i had a shower.  I adore the green and flowers and trees and suchlike but something special happens to my heart when i see the silhouette of sweet little victorian house rooftops against a magical sky like that.  That is a sunset of dreams right there my friend.  If i could, i would swing my legs over and sit there until it slid away forever.  
I'd like to say its my first PIMMS of the year…if truth be told as soon as the daffodils are out i am partial to a sneaky Pimms if i happen to be out and about with friends.  But its Summer when i really feel like i could drink it always.  It's funny.  I really am not much of a drinker, neither is the Mr.  And aside from a few little bottles of merlot by the fridge (reserved usually for spag bol), and our seasonal mulled wine or cider, we only really drink if we are out.  After the Mr's shocking admission that he had never had Pimms (i mean really!)  and my shock at having not known this, i decided it was high time i showed him the Pimm-sical way to happiness.  Pimms topped up with sharp and fire-y ginger beer, and chopped cucumber, strawberries and black cherries is the YUMMIEST of summer beverages.  The cucumber counter-acts the sweetness and the ginger against the Pimms is a little bit special.  I think he is sold ;)

Photographic loveliness from this morning's eleven'o clock two-wheeled adventure on a day off that was so so very needed!  I started the day with rhubarb yoghurt topped with toasted almonds and linseeds and then too many pieces of brown soda bread toasted with butter and blueberry jam.  I went round and round our pretty little park until i lost count and my legs started to hurt a bit!  I sported my overly summer-y floral crown which has felt too summery to wear until today.  Today has been so so lovely and HOT.  I came home, hung out washing and gave Willow the bicycle her very first bath of the Summer.  Then i spent the afternoon with the skylight as wide as it would go, drinking icy water with torn up mint leaves in, and nibbling on banana cake.
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Tonight i am home alone! The Mr is playing a charity gig in town and as yet i am undecided as to if i should go.  They aren't playing until midnight which is way past my bedtime, especially also as i am working Saturday and Sunday…le sigh.  I might get a sudden burst of rock and roll energy and grab a taxi down.  If not, i shall be catching up with the latest Simple Things and Red magazine and probably doing some cutting and sticking.  

What are your weekend plans you lucky DUCKS?!


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