Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #47

Happy restful-sort-of-a-Wonderful Wednesday dear and sweet ones.  Thanks kindly for sticking by this little spot throughout the last six weeks or so - life has been HECTIC.  Working in retail means my end-of-November and December sort of just vanish into one big blur of early starts, late nights and not knowing what day it is from one day to the next!  I hope you shall PARDON me for taking a break from the Wonderful Wednesday bus last Wednesday?  It being Christmas eve and all, i had worked a twelve hour shift the day before and was ever so looking forward to just curling up with mulled wine, mince pies and the Mr.  Which i successfully did and it was jolly and good and so very needed.  

Anyway, how was your Christmas?  Ours was quiet and LAZY and filled with cuddles, long lie ins and sneaking whisky into afternoon coffees and for eating breakfast gone 10 o' clock.  It gets WILD around these parts come this time of year i can tell you!  The Mr cooked the most delicious and tiniest of Christmas lunches and we watched films and spent time with each other.  And then i threw myself right back into work to launch our sale the day after Boxing Day!!  This week i am off Tuesday, (Wonderful) Wednesday and Thursday and i am so very ready for it i can't even tell you!  But what has been keeping me alive (excuse the dramatics!) in the first few days of this week?

*  Stillness.  Tuesday was my first day off by myself doing NOTHING in what feels like a long, long time - even if it wasn't actually.  I spent it out on those two wheels, on a bright sunny day.  I gulped in as much icy air as my lungs could manage and then snacked on flapjack and a large cappuccino.  I sat on the wall by the cathedral and watched crazy sale shoppers race between shops, laden with bags, and enjoyed my own company.  It was HEAVEN.  

*  Clean sheets, clean me, clean pyjamas and a quilted hot water bottle every.  Single.  Night.  Also HEAVEN.

*  Witnessing what might be our COLDEST day so far on Monday.  Falling asleep with all of the ^above^ on Sunday evening and leaving the skylight blind open just enough to watch the frost sparkle in the moonlight on our sweet window and feeling so warm and toasty.  

*  The Mr.  I feel as if sometimes I don't tell him enough quite how GRATEFUL I am for the good soul that he is through and through:  for making our two-person Christmas magical, for not minding my festive/sale/work grumbles and crashing and banging about sleepily at silly o'clocks in the mornings lately.  For keeping me all TOGETHER and for giving the best hugs.  

*  Tea.  God yes TEA!  How do people not drink tea?!  It has been keeping me alive lately it really has.  Dark mornings sipping strong, hot tea in only the light from the Christmas tree.  The only way i function on early starts, honest-John!

*  Freshly WASHED hair.  Silly simple!?  I used to be the sort of person who got up, showered and washed and dried their hair every morning.  Pah!  Not anymore.  Sleep is like nectar!  Now I always shower/bath before bed and try and stretch washing my hair out for as many days as is humanly possible.  I don't know what i'd do without dry shampoo.  Often the thought of having to wash and then dry my hair feels like the worse thing in the whole world (drama queen much?!).  As soon as it's done though, i am forever reminded of how good freshly washed hair feels and smells and along with clean sheets, it's a recipe for the sleep of your life if ever there was one! 

*  Frost.  You can tell i don't drive anything other than a pushbike.  I am the FIRST person to get excited at even the smallest hint of snow.  Whilst we haven't been blessed with any of the white stuff (yet, YET!  It'll come i'm sure of it) we did wake up to a blanket of white and icy frost on Monday morning.  Watching the sun come up by the Christmas tree, clutching a sweet little bowl of dark chocolate and hazelnut porridge and seeing the frost glisten and everything sparkle was just MAGICAL.  Even if i did slip a few times on my wobbly walk to work… 

*  PROPER hot chocolate.  I'd never been much of a hot chocolate fan until i met the Mr.  Which for one is odd, odd, odd as i pretty much live, eat and sleep chocolate (walnut whip anyone?).  But as it turns out i just hadn't ever had the Mr's ultimate hot chocolate.  I knew that man was a keeper from day one.  Last night we settled down after a chilly late night food shop and a quick thrown together soup kind of a dinner and decided our tummies needed liquid gold chocolate.  Now i don't quite know the ins and outs of this recipe (maybe i'll do my research and fire up a mid-January recipe post on it for your lovely tums?) but basically, this extra SPECIAL hot chocolate is made solely from Green and Blacks Maya gold chocolate, warmed organic milk, cinnamon and cardamon and……the sweetest little drop of whisky.  The type of whisky is apparently crucial.  But i know nothing about that sort of thing.  What i can tell you is that stuff is the FIXER of everything ever.  

*  Sale TREATS.  I know I know.  The last thing i should be doing is scampering about other kinds of sales when i am moaning and grizzling and grumping about our own BUT i managed to snag a beautiful Orla Kiely pot and the sweetest dark purple velvet round cushion decorated with pompoms and a woollen coat i had been lusting over for at least three months.  *cartwheels*

Now thats IT.  I am done and January can stretch out ahead of me and i shall live on chocolate porridge and tea and actually be rather jolly happy.  Just joking.  Is it wrong i feel ready for Spring already?!  
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How are you all? I've MISSED you.  I wish we could all go for a frosty walk and have a proper catch up.  And then fill our tummies with hot chocolate afterwards.  But you shall just have to leave me your Wonderful Wednesday…wonderful-ness (?) below!  Or remember you can give me a nudge on Twitter or Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both !

Have the most Wonderful of Wednesdays all!  After all it is the last one of 2014!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Keeping Up

I had INTENDED to call this post 'Catching Up' but since that is the furthest i can possibly be in any sense of the word, i changed my mind and settled on 'Keeping Up' instead.  I have just had a mild, blind panic on laying out all of the Christmas presents i have squirrelled away over the past two months or so.  By blind panic i mean, the sudden realisation of all of the things i have to wrap in precisely…5 days.  All of which i am working.  One of which will be a ten hour shift whereupon afterwards i shall be fit for nothing other than a cup of tea and a slice of spelt toast with stem ginger curd.  I daren't even think of the food shopping.  Actually scratch that, food shopping is all in hand and most of which shall be completed on Monday evening after work.  Which means Monday evening is out for wrapping too. Oh bugger.

This is what happens when you work in retail you see.  Okay well this is what happens when I work in retail.  Christmas starts way, waaay back in August - work prep-wise at least.  Which in theory you'd think would make me an super-duper organised Christmas bunny.    NEVER.  If fannying around was an olympic sport i'd hold a platinum medal.  I don't even know if that exists!  Safe to say the busier i get at work, the less i want to go anywhere near a shop when i'm not at work.  But i get there - somehow it all has a knack/miracle of all coming together in time!  I thought we'd have a little catch up ahead of the big day and that i'd let you know what else has been GOING on around these parts.  Are you comfy?
Since we returned from my BIRTHDAY galavant to Edinburgh; i have sort of been thrust head-first into Christmas - legs stuck out and flailing helplessly.  Days and weeks have merged into one and my working week has been a little erratic.  But we have enjoyed making our little somewhere Christmas-sey.  I'm not an 'all out Christmas eveywhere' sort of Deck the Halls-er.  Our little attic is teeny TINY, so we always get a real Nordic Pine tree but opt for a much more realistic 3ft one.  We have collected ornaments in our few years together and so each year we I add a few more and this makes for a little traditional tree of handmade, wooden and keepsake-y kind of decorations.  As we have such huge and massive windows in our main room, i picked up some beautiful red and white paper decorations which i have hung in the centre of each one.  A string of rose-y red paper chains, a baby Poinsettia and a million festive scented candles and we are good to go!  My very favourite candle this year is Lilyflame's ''Warm Welcome''.  It's sweet but not too sweet and a little bit of a change from the clove-y/cinnamon scent that every Christmas candle seems to smell of.  Hop over to thier sight to get your fix HERE.  But word of warning:  It's impossible to just buy one candle.  I'm currently coveting their 'Blue Hyacinth' for after Christmas!  But to tell you the truth i'd be happy to have any of their candles on my little window ledge!  
I love dressing for COLDER weather and rare days off have all been about the brightest and biggest of pom-pom hats and mittens to match!  I love to layer - is that WEIRD?!  I like to think i am a bit of a pro.  The Mr can often be heard exclaiming -  'How many tops do you have on?!'  I relish pulling my tights up as far as they can go, slipping on some fair-isle socks and sneaking a vest, a long sleeve tee and throwing a smock dress over the top.  Life is only complete when i can throw a cardigan or jumper over the top and then slide into my sheepskin coat, a hat and some gloves.  Then and only then can i leave the house safe in the knowledge that i'll be WARM enough.  For the girl that has the spacial awareness of a fly in a match box, it's a good job Winter dressing is my thing.  Nobody needs to see my bruise-y knees and elbows!
This year we are having Christmas Day at our little ABODE - just the two of us.  I'm hoping we'll squeeze in visits to both sides of the family in and around Christmas too though.  It's exciting to plan our own little Christmas Day:  Lemon-ey and rosemary roast chicken, goose fat roast potatoes, sprouts, red cabbage, honey-roast parsnips and carrot and swede mash.  I just can't wait!  The Mr EXCELS at anything roast-dinner related and so i am quite happy to help prep and leave him to work his Christmas-sey magic come Christmas Day.  I am still undecided what to make for Christmas morning breakfast though.  At home my dad would always be on toast DUTY.  It was always thick white flour-y bread, served hot and spread thickly with salty butter and distributed among us all along with strong, sweet tea whilst we tore into our presents.  Maybe we might go for toasted brioche and Christmas jam.  I haven't told the Mr but if it's mild and dry, i might see if he FANCIES a little drive to find some snow - maybe into the Lakes.  We can go armed with a flask of hot chocolate and a couple of minced pies.  Because what's Christmas without frost or snow?!
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In other much less-EXCITING and far more MUNDANE news:  

*  My beautiful birthday PRESENT to myself landed this morning and it is all that i imagined!  By a sweet little company called 'Vintage Style Me'.  It is handmade from the most pretty William Morris 'Strawberry Thief' fabric and i cannot wait to wear it with some black opaques and my Christmas present from the Mr:  Some beautifully soft black leather Chelsea boots and of course my sweet little sheepskin gilet.  That could be my Christmas Day get-up sorted i think.  

*  We I've been sort of getting a little bit ADDICTED to 'Inside Tatler' on BBC Two.  Such an interesting programme all about behind the scenes at one of oldest magazines.  It's a magazine i pick up from time to time and i love to see how it all works behind the scenes.  It's really interesting and has been my go-to watch each night with a big floral mug of camomile and honey tea just before bed.  

*  I spent a good hour and a half RESEARCHING/googling Christmas puddings today.  That's an unhealthy amount of consideration given to a pudding isn't it?  I only want the best for us.  I can't decide which to opt for after our Christmas Day dinner and wish i'd got my bum in gear and made one this year.  We usually try a few out before-hand but this year we are severely un-organised in the pudding department.  

*  I've been pretty much LIVING off my 'Super Duper Hero Chocolate and Banana Porridge' recipe i posted HERE lately.  When i am so busy at work, it takes moments to make in the morning and really keeps me going until lunchtime.  It's well worth a try if you've got a sweet tooth like me!

*  I've also been TOYING with my hair colour.  I've been a pale baby blonde for as long as i can remember.  Now it takes a little helping hand to keep me this light and my natural colour is probably much more mouse-y.  Lately i have been thinking about toning it down and letting my natural colour come through…the thought is in equal parts both exciting and terrifying though.  I am thinking of a balyage - a natural base colour with slices of blonde through and lighter toward the ends.  A bit like THIS  What do you think?!

*  I've got an EXCITING couple of collaborative posts with the lovely lot at Loaf over Christmas for your pretty faces.  So i've been enjoying getting creative of an evening too and can't wait to share the results.  If you haven't heard of Loaf, pop over and say hello HERE.  They make the most wonderful beds and furniture and it's safe to say if every single thing in our home could be from there, it definitely would be!  We've particularly got our peepers on their Bagsie sofa and sweet little matching Love-seat HERE .  
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Now it's your TURN!  What have you been up to?!  Are you ready for Christmas?  Have you got five million days off from school, work or college?  If so i shall choose to ignore that part!  What have you all been up to lately?  I'd love to know!  

I'll be BACK with you for a little 'Wonderful Wednesday' action next week - cripes the last for 2014!  How did that happen so fast?!  But until then i shall WISH you a lovely weekend of shopping, wrapping and spending time with your loved ones.  Tonight the Mr and I are off to watch the beautiful Fiona Clayton Band and Mylittlebrother at The Brickyard!  We've been looking forward to it for aaaages and it'll be jolly nice to have the Mr standing next to me and not on the stage for a change!  

Happy WEEKEND-ing!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #46

Happy HALF way through the week dear and sweet faces!  Are you all done and dusted with Christmas shopping and feeling full of a festive rose-y GLOW?  I do hope so.  Whilst i love this time of year for the obvious reasons (read:  spiced, mulled and roasted everythings, fairylights, Christmas films, open fires and copious knitwear combinations) it is the one time of year i feel as if i lose a grip on this little spot more than ever.   I shall never post anything on here that hasn't come full of love and been given the thought and the attention you deserve, but truth be told at this time of year it's tough.  I feel so very full of festive CHEER and physically do not have the hours in the day to give this little spot more than i already do.  As sad as that makes me, i do hope you'll bear with me.  Working in retail means my hours and days just vanish come this time of year - in fact it feel as if they are all merging into one lately and yet there is still so.  Much.  To.  Do!

Busy-ness aside, life has been JOLLY good.  Mince pies have been consumed, Christmas plans have been neatly ironed out and wrapping has sort of begun (if you count purchasing newspaper and brown paper and some beautifully printed ribbon).  We have decided to spend Christmas day at home this year and so we are quickly making a plan of action (read: several carefully curated lists for the Mr to follow whilst i am working my socks off at Monsoon towers).  How are you all?!?  I feel i owe you a bit of a life update to be honest.  Maybe we'll have a catch up at the end of the week yes?  Is it a DATE?! Let's get down to business shall we….

*  Berries and blue skies.  Is there a more HOLLY jolly sight?! (See what i did there?!)  I am keeping all that is crossable crossed for a bright, white and frosty Christmas Day.  Just the way it should be.  

*  Words.  Gosh how i LOVE to write.  I dream of writing for a living one day and dipping my toes in with my sweet little column with Carlisle Living is a lovely way to get some of my words in print.  This months article was tip, tapped out alongside some Classic FM Christmas music on Monday afternoon and you know what?  It just flew out.  No delete, detest, re-plan or re-think.  It just came out and landed on the page just how i'd envisioned it would on that mornings frosty little bike ride.  It's not often that happens but when it does it's worth celebrating.  

*  A brand new and fluffy black cashmere BERET to keep my ears warm and to make me look like i scrubbed up a little better than my usual bobbly bobble hat.  And it doesn't hurt that i feel just a little bit Parisian too…

*  Christmas CREAM.  Because well how the bobbins are you supposed to know which cream you would prefer on your mid-afternoon mince pies on Christmas day unless you jolly well try a few?!  So far we have tried a heather honey and whisky cream, a clementine and pomegranate channel island cream and in last nights food shop we might well have snuck in a spiced gingerbread cream too.  Might have i said though.  Oh sod it i love Christmas okay?!

*  My trusty fur TIPPET.  Dug out deep from the big box of hats, mittens, gloves and scarves i have stashed under the bed and worn slung over my favourite mustard cable knit and soft skinnies for padding around our little somewhere on Monday as the rain poured down outside.  A little bit like heaven if you ask me.  

*  Watching THE HOLIDAY when it was on television on Monday.  Even though i have it on DVD twice (don't ask).  I may or may not have also been listening to The Love Actually soundtrack en route to work too - but that's just between you and i okay?

*  Late SUPRISE birthday presents.  So far this 'being thirty malarky' is working out okay for me.  I have managed to stretch out the whole presents thing for almost two whole weeks.  And i have still got one more to come!  And then it'll be CHRISTMAS

*  Christmas CAROLS. I am not particularly religious but when i was small we all went to a church school and so Christmas and carols go hand in hand for me.  I have so enjoyed listening to Classic FM pottering about and getting ready for bed on an evening.  You just can't beat it:  The Holly and the Ivy and a beautiful rendition of Silent Night sung by a male voice choir had me a little entranced.  

*  Awaiting a late birthday TREAT-shaped package to myself.  So i had some kind birthday money given to me.  And whilst there i was nothing i needed i did happen upon a lovely sight through Asos Market place that hand make beautiful dresses with vintage fabric and they have only gone and released a small William Morris collection.  Can you believe it?!  I have ordered the sweetest most perfect smock dress made from Strawberry Thief fabric and i am beyond excited to receive it!  Imagine how perfectly it shall go with my extra special rose gold satchel?!? 

*  Breakfast in only the LIGHT of the Christmas tree.  This needs no further explanation i am afraid.  What's not to love i ask you?!
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What has been making your week more WONDERFUL so far?  Surely the thought of Christmas day has got to be one of them?!  Are you RELISHING all of the Christmas-sey things too?  I'd love to know.  Please feel free to share your positives in a little comment below or shout your #wonderfulwednesday out on twitter or instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both.  

Friday, 12 December 2014

Currently #29 - Four Right Now

{All images taken from my Pinterest HERE}
It takes a little while for the festive-FEELING to find me.  Not least because most of my day-to-day is spent working:  Helping others choose Christmas presents - wrapping other people's Christmas presents.  Often helping stressed Christmas shoppers out with their Christmas party outfits, Christmas day or New Year get-ups or simply advising on accessories to accompany things.  You almost go into auto-pilot and actually forget that Christmas is all but around the corner.  But now that i have sufficiently got my birthday done and dusted for another year, and i have added a few more Christmas presents to the bulging boxes in the spare room; i can feel that FUZZY festive feeling seeping in - albeit slowly! Here are four things that are making me happy right this very second and four reasons to fall a little bit in love with this time of year…

1.  Crisp Winter mornings.  Whilst i hate the wind and the rain, i can quite happily get along with 'proper' Winter weather:  The brightest ICY-white sunlight, grass and green-land covered with a gentle blanket of frost and air so icy it makes you catch your breath and colours your cheeks the prettiest of pinks.  That is proper Winter weather and one that i am hoping for lots of now the temperatures have definitely dipped decidedly colder…

2.  Red.  RED should love me - in theory. I am pale skinned and have fair white-blonde hair.  For some reason it's a colour i just don't warm too - it feels too daring.  I'll quite happily wear a get-up so haphazard in print that you might find looking at me gives you a headache; but RED?  No hardly ever.  Except at Christmas time.  Somehow red just works come this time of year don't you think..!?  Now we are not talking head to toe here - that's too much even for me.  No this time of year i'll occasionally sport a simple slick of red lipstick; Feel oh so seasonal in my favourite cherry-red angora beret and red cable knit mittens or enjoy tying a red ribbon through my messy hair.  It's just enough to make me feel festive whenever i catch a little glimpse…

3.  The brightest of decorations!  There's no colour co-ordinated Christmas at Tangle Towers i can tell you.  Where's the FUN in that?!  I guess each to their own and all of that Christmas-sey JAZZ but i much prefer to mix it all up.  Over the years I have collected my very own Christmas ornaments and then we have accumulated a small selection as a twosome.  I like to think we shall keep these forever and look back on them and remember when and where we got them.  I love to put the brightest most sparkly decorations on our sweet little fir tree.  It's just the ticket for these shorter, darker days.  The bright and sparkly colours do wonders to cheer us up after a long day.

4.  Sparkle!  Christmas is the time of year for SPARKLE!  I love to read in bed with clear fairy-lights twisted and twirled around our wrought iron bed, my favourite scented candle lit and a hot water bottle rested on my tum!  And there is nothing better than eating SPICED winter porridge and drinking hot tea on an icy morning before the sun has even woken up, in only the light of the Christmas tree - it's the ultimate start to the day.  And whilst i am no make-up wonder-woman for sure, i do love a dusting of glitter upon my cheeks and my favourite gold eyeshadow smudged along my eyelids on nights when i am not curled up in front of a Christmas film with a sweet little goblet of mulled wine and nibbling on clementines.  But to be honest that's my very favourite place to be!
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What are your very favourite FOUR things about this time of year?  I'd love to know!  Feel free to pop a sweet comment below and share yours too.  If you'd like to have a goosey-gander at what else i have been pinning lately, you can pop over HERE .  

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #45 - The Edinburgh Edition

Well my dear and WONDERFUL l lot i really cannot get my cheeks around the fact that i am hear tip tapping away with another Wonderful Wednesday already.  I feel a little dizzy with quite how FAST  the last seven days have gone!  I can't believe that this time last week i was eating croissants in the prettiest little flat in Edinburgh with the Mr in celebration of my birthday on the Tuesday - how i WISH i was still there!  In the spirit of things - and well because there is just so much to share with all of you about our beautiful little getaway - today's Wonderful Wednesday comes at you in an Edinburgh-shaped fashion.  A little indulgent maybe?  I do hope you don't mind.  So here we go with a little list of all of the little things which made our few days away together, and my 30th birthday no less, so extra special.   
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*  TIME. Something which there is never enough of at home, more accurately in my working life.  I expect that is something we all struggle with:  The correct work and life balance.  Our few days away were really and truly savoured.  We had only vague plans of an itinerary and chose to just go with what we felt like doing and when we felt like doing it.  The most precious thing was the fact that we got to spend these days with just the two of us.  Even-though we live together and see each other each day; it's not the same.  No matter how mindful you try to be, you really can take each other for granted and real quality time together gets eaten up in the name of jobs, catching up on emails, work you shouldn't really be doing at home or just with sleeping.  I felt so much like i truly valued each and every minute we got together and like we gave each other our full attention always.  It felt lovely.

*  You! And you! And you and you and YOU!!!  All of you.  I was truly overwhelmed by your kind, thoughtful and beautiful birthday wishes on here and on Instagram and Twitter.  I am such a lucky lady to be a part of such a sweet and thoughtful community and i am ever so grateful.  It most certainly didn't go unnoticed so thank you so very much for all of your wishes and all of your support for this little corner of the internet, you are all wonderful!

*  EXPLORING.  If you have ever visited Edinburgh before, you will know what an architecturally beautiful city it is.  Whenever i visit, i try to make a point of just wandering and walking everywhere on foot.  If you can do this (and luckily despite the freezing cold weather, we were blessed with bright blue skies and winter sunlight for the entirety of our stay) you really get to appreciate the quirks and wonderful-ness the city has to offer.  My very favourite part of the city is the Old Town:  so much of it is just as it was:  all old-y world-y wonderful and twists and turns of high-hilled cobbled streets.  Exploring at this time of year in bright winter sunshine, or on a crisp evening after dinner walk - always holding hands - might just have been one of the very best parts.  Each evening we were exhausted and slept full and heavily,  but wandering along cobbled streets of the prettiest townhouses with streets lined with fairy-lit trees was worth the achey legs a million times over.  

*  LILIES.  On the Saturday before my birthday, my parents surprised me by popping into work with the hugest bunch of white lilies you have ever seen.  It made me fill up!  Whilst i love fresh flowers, i always think lilies are a little too extravagant for just me and so i tend to stick to jam jars filled with roses, anemones or peonies.  So I arranged their long slender stems into the biggest clay jug i could find and trundled off up to Edinburgh first thing on Monday morning.  When we arrived at our sweet little Air BnB flat to meet our host, she had kindly covered the pretty wooden floors with pink balloons and left us a huge bunch of fresh lilies and a big bowl of oranges to juice for breakfast.  It was so thoughtful!  So as the days passed in Edinburgh, each day upon our return the lilies had opened a little more and began filling our little flat with their sweet flowery scent.  It was beautiful.  After a long train journey home, tired and hungry we climbed the stairs to our little attic and when we opened the door we were met with the exact same sweet scent of lillies. Whilst we were away they had opened up beautifully and scented our sweet little space just the same.  Now whenever i smell lilies i shall think of our lovely few days away and my birthday and i love that so much.  

*  The MR.  For just being himself.  For taking me to Edinburgh, for nothing in the world being too much trouble; for putting a candle in an almond croissant on my birthday morning; for knowing where we were going always and for being Chief Map Holder.  For putting up with the hour (and some!) that i kept him in Anthropologie while i tried to decide what to buy when everything was so very beautiful that i wanted it all.  Or in fact would have been happy just sitting down in there and gazing around for a bit.  For holding my hand tight always.  For not minding that i wanted to film/photograph it all even if it was minus 10 (exaggeration).  For always holding each and every door open.  For being the best hangman partner in a flat with no television (which i secretly loved) and for looking so handsome wearing a black and white fairisle snood that he finally gave into buying along with a pair of gloves after thinking he'd be fine without either in December in Edinburgh (Pah!).  

*  Feeling CHRISTMAS-SEY.  For once Christmas wasn't about work; or about prepping for January sales or about filling things up and being nice for nine hours a day.  Christmas came in a rose-y-cheeked bundle of festive markets; mulled everythings, mince pies, ferris wheels, fairy-lights, cold noses, carol singers on a random street corner (the BEST!), the smell of waffles and vanilla, hot lattes, red wine and standing back and just taking it all in.  For those few days, a little blink in time; i was on the other side for a change.

*  Early train TRIPS.  It's been so very long since i've been on a train.  We decided to take the train and not the car and our early trip was so pretty.  As we got higher up into Scotland, the train tipped and twisted through misty frosty fields and dipped in and out of low cloud.  Watching the hour or two go by with my head on the Mr was a little bit lovely.  

*  SUNSETS.  Or more accurately, taking an unplanned visit to Edinburgh Castle because we were up that way anyway. As we got to the top we were greeted with the most magically orange and amber skyline as the sun set and fell away.  Even-though we were both so so cold, we stood and drank it all in for as long as we could manage.  I could have stayed there forever.  It was perfect.  
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Now it's your TURN!  While i get my head out of the Edinburgh clouds; i'd love to know the little things that have been making your week wonderful?  Leave me a sweet comment below - better still tag me in a photo on Instagram to show me or tell me on Twitter!  I am @sallytangle on both - remember to use the #wonderfulwednesday too.  

I shall be coming at you with a sweet little VLOG of our pretty trip and a little pictorial slice of Edinburgh loveliness for you over the next little while.  I have definitely not been spending my evenings on Right Move looking at flats in Edinburgh this week…just incase you were worried or anything...

Love and kisses to you all!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Being 30

So, today is my 30th birthday.  This week i decided not to publish my usual Wonderful Wednesday tommorrow.  That's because from Monday to Wednesday of this week i shall be doing some birthday-shaped galavanting around and about Edinburgh in celebration of such a milestone.  It would have felt wrong to try and pre-empt those wonderful moments i like to jot down for a Wednesday so instead i thought that today, on my special day, i'd rather like to share something different with you all.  I do hope you don't mind too much?
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I find it funny and equal parts AMAZING that i have been on this earth for 30 years. It sounds like such a long time!  Turning 30 comes with so, so many preconceptions, and it's so easy to feel as if you are forced to judge where you are in life, what you have achieved and what you haven't done that others have. So today, instead of a list about what i havent done, i wanted to share a list of thirty things i have learnt a long the way, both about me and about life itself.  Maybe you'll relate, maybe it'll help you in some part or maybe it'll just be jolly nice for me to look back on in another ten years.  Let's see shall we…?

1.  Music will always make me cry.  And that's ok you know? The very first song that made me cry was Barbers Adagio of Strings by Samuel Barber - before the dance world got its hands on it.  It's just a beautiful arrangement of strings and when i was little my mum quite often used to listen to opera and to classical music.  One day she had played this song whilst pottering about the house.  I remember sitting upstairs in  my room and feeling little tears trickle down my cheeks and goosebumps on the back of my neck.  I wasn't sad at all and it still brings me to tears when i here it now.  As do many other songs, but the list in endless and we must get on.  

2.  It's okay to not have a life plan.  I never have and i'm not unhappy.  I follow my heart with pretty much every last thing that i do and so planning to much of anything just isn't how i work.  And eventually i have learnt that it's okay to be that way.

3.  You don't grow to love seafood.  I have always hated it.  I imagined that i would grow to see the appeal as i got older, like good wine and…sprouts..?  (both of which i love now).  It didn't happen. I don't think i'll ever see the appeal of swallowing a mussel.  Ever.

4.  I'll probably always have a fringe.  Over the years my hair has been each and every colour under the rainbow.  Yet still my fringe has proven consistent.  I once tried to grow it out but even when i had almost managed it, it just didn't feel like me.  I worry that i'll end up old and bald but just with a fringe.  I don't know why.  But it's pretty tough that fringe of mine.   

5.  I'll never easily be able to talk about my feelings with anyone. I just can't do it.  I am the best listener to others, i can give sensible and respectable advice like a pro but i find opening up about me, in a serious way, harder than anything.  I always thought that was something that would come with age.  It hasn't and it doesn't.  Am i lost cause?

6.  I'll always over-apologise for most things.  I'm not sure when that started but it's just how i am.  I bet it annoys most people to the ends of the earth and back but i find it hard putting myself first above anything else.  Again i am also not sure when that one started.

7.  Making a decision also isn't something i have got better at.  But that's okay because it's not a bad thing to just want to think about something a lot before you decide is it?  I like to be sure i have covered each and every avenue before i commit to a decision you know?

8.  You really don't ever forget riding a bike.  I really promise you don't!

9.  Time really does get faster as you get older.  My mum used to forever ask me where the day had gone and i always remember feeling as if i didn't understand quite what she meant.  Now i'm worried that if life goes any faster i might fall over altogether.  

10.  Having no spacial awareness doesn't go away.  I mean you learn to manage it:  you wear tights for as long as possible - wish you could wear knee-pads sometimes - and just when you think you have done well for not having a bruise on your elbow, knee or shin;  you'll drop something on your foot or walk into a door.  Que-sera.

11.  Your relationship with brothers and sisters goes full circle.  Both my brother and sister are my closest friends now and i can't imagine not having that special bond in my life.  We all went through various stages of hating each other but we have now come full circle and both those two are the people i look forward to seeing more than anyone when i can.   

12.  Cooking does get easier and more enjoyable.  But maybe that's just me.  I was lucky to grow up in a family that pretty much home-made most things and i think that has certainly rubbed off on me as i have got older.  If i can i try my hardest to make food from scratch and properly and i just keep getting better and better at this.  This gives me a little bit of hope for the future if we ever do have any tiny Tangles!  

13.  Multi-tasking becomes ingrained in your being.  I am not really sure where i learnt to be able to do so many things at once.  Maybe it's my job, maybe not everyone can but i certainly think that this one is definitely something that gets better with age!  Whilst i regularly get myself in a tangle of jobs at work and at home, there is certain delight from collapsing of an evening knowing that you juggled that much stuff and still lived to tell the tale.  

14.  Whilst my taste for nice wine has definitely developed as i have got older, my ability to pick them hasn't.  If i am buying for myself, there are about three wines that i know i like and i tend to just stick to those.  If i am ever forced into choosing something else the choice will largely depend on the name and label.  Not because i know what i am looking for, usually just because the name sounds exotic or the labelling is pretty. 

15.  Make-up most definitely improves as you get older and i think this is something that really just comes with realising that orange is not the colour your face should be.  Or that it is generally better to vaguely resemble yourself still once said make up has been applied.  

16.  Not reading books always isn't a bad thing. When i was younger i read non-stop.  I could devour books in hours.  Now i really have to be in the mood.  The past few years i have spent time trying to force myself to read because i have spoken to people who are reading this or that and felt i was missing out.  I have come to realise that i shall read when i am in the mood and if i am not in the mood then its pointless even trying.  Reading for me used to be a necessity, now it feels much more of a treat and a luxury as it's something i have to devote my whole and entire attention too and that rarely happens.

17.  Relationships are so much more simple than you could have ever imagined.  I am not sure at what age i had this epiphany, heaven knows i can't help wishing i had got the memo sooner.  But with relationships i think you almost have to learn the hard way.  As the saying goes, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.  I think when you do, all those complications cease to exist.  

18.  Your skin really does react to what you eat and how you treat it.  Unless you are part of the minuscule part of the population who's doesn't.  And drinking water does help too. 

19.  Sleep is the fixer of everything in the whole world.  Well okay a cup of tea and then sleep. I definitely need my sleep alot more than i ever used to.  Who remembers the days of being out galavanting with friends and dancing to silly songs until the early hours and still being able to make that 9am lecture?!  Safe to say, now that would kill me.  If i don't sleep enough and i don't sort it out i almost reach a point where i just shut down.  A complete switch off where i just have to go to sleep or i feel as if the world might end!  

20.  Looking after your teeth is also important.  I learnt the hard and expensive way.  Now i am ultra protective of them.  I just can't help wishing i hadn't been so precious and had got a brace many moons ago and then i'd have straight teeth too.  Woe is me!

22.  Seeing your mum and dad never gets old.  Or, more to the point, no matter how close or how faraway they are they will always, always have a miraculous and magical power to say the exact right thing at the exact right moment to make you feel better.  Whether you are three or thirty.  

23.  Being cool or popular isn't worth the bother.  Being you is much better.  It just takes a long time to figure this one out and it's one of those things you really do have to figure out alone. 

24.  As Baz Lurhman once said:  'Friends come and go.  But with a precious few you should hold on.'  Wise words.  You can't be friends with everyone.  The ones that are special and that mean as much to you as you do to them will be there no matter what.  No matter how faraway they are.  

25.  Aubergines taste like old teabags whether you are ten, twenty or thirty.  While your taste for fruit and vegetables does mature as you grow up - ie:  you stop wanting to live on solely syrup sandwiches (i know, don't ask) - aubergines are an exception to this rule.  I am sure there are more…

26.  There will alway be one part of your body - at least - that you dislike.  That's just life. But as you get older there is a certain acceptance that comes along with your body.  Well there is/was for me.  I know i am not going to look a certain way, or be a certain shape because quite frankly if every single person looked the same then that would be pretty dull.  I feel the happiest in my skin now than i have ever been.   I know my best bits and i make the most of those.  

27.  As you get older you learn the meaning of true love.  Not the rose-y pose-y film kind of love.  That's okay sometimes but we are talking real love.  Knowing what you are feeling without uttering a word.  Being there and saying the right words at the right moment without any encouragement.  Or just being there full stop. Time makes you realise how even that is special in itself.  

28.  Confidence gets better through time too.  You learn how to just 'be'.  You don't have to be the loudest in the room to be confident.  But a confidence in your own ability is something that really can only come by just living life, and dealing with each and every thing that it throws at you in the best way that you can.  

29.  Learning the hard way is often the best way.  This applies to so so many parts of life.  Sometimes, at least for me, the best way to learn is to just jump right in.  What's the very worst that can happen?  

30.  The worst thing you can ever do is compare yourself to others.  It's also the hardest thing to not do.  If you learn how, i'd appreciate any hints and tips!  You're you.  You don't need to be a part of someone else as well because you are already pretty fabulous just as you are.   I promise.

Have a wonderful week dear and lovely faces. I shall be back with a birthday update with you towards the end of the week! 


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