Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #44

 Darling wonderful POPPITS! How the bobbins is it Wednesday again already?! I cannot believe that this time next week, yesterday i shall have turned thirty.  I have MIXED feelings about the whole she-bang to be completely honest.  I have days when i think 'yay we're going to Edinburgh and it's my birthday and it's three whole days off together  woo' (an extremely rare treat) and then days where i think 'heck i am thirty and not married, a house owner or know anything at all about the boiler in our kitchen.'  The latter part was proven on Monday night when we arrived home to a broken boiler.  More on that another time because this little post is all about POSITIVITY and there aint nowt positive about a broken boiler at this time of year!  How are your weeks going?  Mine is set to be a l-o-n-g one.  A late finish tonight and a 7am start on Thursday has me already looking forward to my day off on Friday!  Lets get on though shall we?  Time is precious!

* GLITTER.  It's the only time of the year that it become completely acceptable to add glitter to the every day without looking like you never left the nineties behind. This week i bought two sparkly tinsel-ey crowns and a super duper glittery Essie nail polish.  And that is not only totally fine, it's bloomin' exciting!

*  Christmas TREES.  I have started to notice the garages and supermarkets around and about us stock piling up their Christmas trees and it has made me a little bit giddy!  I love decorating our sweet little tree.  Each year we get a little teeny tiny real Christmas tree and i get to play around with where to hang all of the little ornaments we have collected.  It's also an excuse to have fairy lights that aren't just in the bedroom and to make paper chains too.  And all with a glass of mulled wine.  That's become a little tradition too.  Eeeeee!

*  The arrival of my most recent (and the last - well until after Christmas at least ) Ebay-shaped BARGAIN:  A rose gold brand new Cambridge Satchel!!  I shan't reveal the price but let's just say it was under £30!!!!  It might be my best find ever!!!  I gave her, her first outing on my day off on Tuesday and she was a little dream!  It's the size up from my minty green one so i can fit a little more inside and i just love the rose gold metallic leather.  No more ebay-ing until after Christmas now…promise!

*  MAXIMO PARK.  I mean i listen to them again after what must be at least…three years…?  Suddenly i am back at uni dancing like a lunatic until four in the morning.  If i stay out past 11pm now i need a week to recover!  It makes me wince to think i did that and made my 9am lectures.  Crikey.  I have been playing Maximo Park up loud all week - i just can't get enough.  I just love it when you rediscover a gem and suddenly you can be right back when, in just a few notes, just amazing.  

*  Sausages and mashed potato.  After last weeks macaroni cheese efforts i was sure i really couldn't manage sausages and mashed potato.  But since the Mr has worked pretty much the last ten days in a row i felt i owed him his request.  Man ALIVE i could have eaten it all over again as soon as i had finished!  I do not know where the hunger monster inside me came from!!!  It was just HEAVEN and came along on a perfect damp and drizzly day.  It was just delicious:  We bought our favourite pork and fennel sausages which i browned off first and then popped in the oven to finish off, alongside a little caramelised onion and a slathering of pear and ginger chutney.  Mmmmm!  We had them with colcannon, green beans and onion gravy.  Perfect Autumnal food if you ask me!

*  Warm MINCE PIES.  I haven't got around to making my own first batch yet…mostly due to the time factor but i also always worry that making a dozen mince pies means that we will polish off a dozen mince pies…Are you sensing a theme?!  We treated ourselves to a couple of mince pies, warmed them up in the oven for a five minutes and served them with a dollop of double cream.  This is all just insulation you realise…you know for the up and coming cold snap that we are bound to witness at some point?  

*  STRETCHES.  Silly simple really! You just can't beat the first s-t-r-e-t-c-h of the day you really can't.  I have been sleeping especially deeply this week - each day has left me throughly exhausted - and i feel as if it's taking me a good while to wake up on a morning.  A long stretch is just the ticket before you admit defeat to the day ahead and have snoozed your alarm for as long as is possible.  

*  SLIPPERS. I havent worn slippers for….well for years.  At least not since we have lived here and that's coming up to four years.  Our house just isn't very cold, and it's quite new and so i have always been happy padding around in bare feet.  Plus because our floors are mostly wooden, i quite like walking in bare feet on wooden floors.  I recently treated myself to a little pair of Boden's sweet pompom slippers and OH MY.  I am a slipper convert.  I might not be cold but man alive slippers are just the bees knees whatever the weather. Hands down the best feeling poppin' them pretty pompoms on first thing in the morning.  They are like a hug for my tootsies!

*  PEANUT BUTTER.  Always crunchy.  Always spread on toasted cranberry and raisin bread and always, perfect alongside a hot cup of chai tea on a morning.  Mmmm!  

*  Yellow ROSES in jam jars.  For brightening up our little attic bedroom when the daylight just doesn't last long enough.  

*  Christmas coffee DATES.  'Cos we don't really do dates.  But a cinnamon latte and sharing some kind of christmas confectionary novelty 'something' or other is just lovely lately.  Later opening hours means that we can sneak them in after work.  It reminds me of when we first met and we would sneak in coffee dates like this every day almost.  Now it's nice to tell each other about our respective days and watch the Christmas lights twinkle.  It's one of my very favourite things to do.  

*  A new HANDCREAM.   And remembering to apply it and to wear gloves to boot.  It makes my little paws smell just like Palma Violets and is packed full of cocoa and Shea butter and really helps keep my hands soft.  I just need to keep it up to avoid the sandpaper type hands that i always seem to acquire come this time of year!

What has been making your week all the more WONDERFUL so far then?  It doesn't matter how little or insignificant it might seem, being mindful of all of these things when other things get you down is what counts really.  In the grand scheme of everything, it's so easy to forget the tiny little pleasures, so I hope that by reading my little Wonderful Wednesdays, you shall learn to appreciate your special little things too.  Remember if you feel like sharing them you can drop me a lovely comment below, or you can always tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday too.  I'm @sallytangle.  

Enjoy the rest of your WEEK dear faces!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Miscellaneous Moments

INEVITABLY, when life and blogging go alongside each other so very closely - especially also given that this is in fact a lifestyle blog to boot - there will always be some photos that don't make the grade; moments captured that don't really have their place in a post cohesively thought out, planned and put together.  Who am i kidding?  Most of my posts come to be because of a certain photo I snap when out and about adventuring.  Most of my favourite posts to read however are the ones that really are just a selection of SNIPPETS out of a persons life - come on we are all a nosey parker at heart aren't we?  So this is just that.  The last ten days or so, all in one place.  And so a little bit about life at Tangle towers lately too.  See now i'm just SPOILING you!
This is what most of my camera roll consists of lately:  leaves and sky.  Sometimes, if i'm feeling really ADVENTUROUS, it will be leaves and feet.  The Mr joked last night that i'd never ever had a picture on my blog with my feet and the sky.  He's right you KNOW.  Why have i missed such an INGENIOUS opportunity?!  Once we realised said photo would involve me rolling around on my back with my feet up in the air and a camera in public we sort of went off the idea.  Especially given the time of year and all.  I can't help myself where out and about is concerned.  Everywhere is looking so flipping pretty this year.  Each time we slide into another season i am forever adamant that it is more BEAUTIFUL, more lovely and more enjoyable than it was this time last year.  Does anyone else feel that way?  I'm never sure if actually i just forget quite how wonderful it is until it comes around again.  
I am always in AWE of how much the light changes too.  I feel as if my days off are spent as outside as i can be for as long as i can be too.  Just because i know how little daylight there is now and how my days are only going to get shorter and shorter.  We have been so LUCKY with the weather and really only had the odd hazy, drizzly day.  It has to be a really awful day to stop my trailing those two wheels outdoors - it's my very favourite thing to do.  It clears my head, gives me time to think and gives my legs the exercise without me having to use too much brain power.  Over the past week or so i have also SPOTTED my fair share of squirrels, baby rabbits and the odd heron alongside the river.  It seems taking those two wheels out first thing has its benefits!
I'm not ALONE when i tell you that i love being cosy.  Whilst we can all also admit to loving bare legs, feeling the wind in our hair and slipping flip flops onto your feet for the first time; there is equally also nothing like the feeling of the FIRST time sleeping back in proper pyjamas complete with hot water bottle and the sweet little weight of a blanket across your legs.  When i haven't been outdoor lately, i have been PADDING about our little somewhere being cosy and getting accustomed to all my very favourite knitted layers from last year - with just a couple of new additions.  I have made it a ritual that any days off i have now, i start them with a big mug of tea in bed.  Funnily enough its a ritual that i am having no problems becoming accustomed to!  I have been adding BITS and BOBS to my Autumn and Winter mood boards too.  I am particularly enjoying putting together the Winter one:  Lots of cream cable knits, metallic touches and messy hair.  Which is your favourite?

Of COURSE i haven't been neglecting those wonderful skies that i love snapping so very much. Truth is it's just harder to get out and get them at their best now the nights are drawing in.  So less cloud-spam for your pretty faces i am afraid.  Lately our little rooftops seem to be where all of the birds gather to WISH each other sweet dreams.  The last few sunsets i have been lucky enough to be at home for (i do love watching the sun sink behind those sweet rooftops so) have been so beautiful.  The light in our living room is just MAGICAL.  Sunbeams dance along the wooden floors and it is the perfect place to curl up with a hot spiced chai tea and a walnut whip and a little blanket.  On the nights where i don't catch that sweet sunset i have been walking the slightly longer way home from work just so i can MARVEL at all of the fairy lights in the trees.  It sort of makes it a little bit more worthwhile!
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How is your Sunday LOOKING?  I am working today after a lazy Saturday off yesterday.  I had intended to do a little bit of Christmas shopping but that one didn't quite go to plan.  I had forgotten how busy Saturdays are!  I think i may have a mid-week wander next week.  I really need to step on it as i have hardly got any yet!  Tonight i shall be enjoying a bubble bath and hopefully a catch up with the Mr who has also been working all weekend.  We booked my BIRTHDAY trip to Edinburgh in December at the end of last week and so now we are just working out some kind of itinerary.  If we have a vague idea of what we are doing it reduces the risk of me spending the whole three days in Anthropologie…

Enjoy your LOVELY Sunday dear and lovely faces!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Currently #28 - In Pink

{All images taken from my Pinterest HERE}
I have been rekindling my love of PINK lately.  It's a colour i always come back too, one which  i turn to for comfort, cosiness and for general well-being.  Do you have a colour like that?
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What more do you need from your day then JM Barrie quotes, rose and pistachio icecream; and an afternoon lolling about in the softest pink knitwear and beautiful underwear alongside a window view with a sky like that one?!  It might be getting colder, and everywhere might be filled to the brim with rusts, oranges, reds, golds and greens; but sometimes a day in PINK is all you really need to warm your heart right through.  

What's your happy colour?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #43

HAPPY mid-week dear and lovely faces!  How do i FIND you at the halfway then?  Has your week been brimming with productivity and piled to the very top with positivity?  Or have you been struggling to get through this week a little?  I'm here to RESCUE you! *dons magical Wonderful Wednesday cape accompanied with the most sparkly of magic wands!*  I should probably think that mine has been somewhere in the middle if i am being honest.  We have a new starter at work and whilst this has been exciting and wonderful, it has also been all-consuming and i feel like i have been suffering from a sore throat most of the week.  Not (hopefully) due to any nasty viruses, just because i have talking alot more than usual - if you can believe it!  Inductions are exhausting business!  In amongst the restless nights spent worrying i'll get things wrong or mix things up just come across as a blithering idiot, there have been many little glimmers of lovely to keep me powering through!  I am hoping this little list inspires you to do the same about your own week so far:  

*  Spotting my first sweet little ROBIN friend whilst stood gazing aimlessly out of the window, cradling my first cup of Lady Grey on Monday morning. What a sweetie he was.  I first heard his chirruping - such a loud little song.  I wonder what he was shouting at such an hour?  Then i spotted him flitting back and forward between the trees and teasing next doors big fat ginger cat.  Such a sweet little thing!  It made me feel a little Christmas-sey all of a sudden.

*  Blogger FRIENDS.  I know anyone else who has a blog will relate to this case in point, but i am forever overwhelmed by the kind sorts, lovely people and true real-life friends i have made since making this little space of the world wide web my own.  Whilst it is not possible to meet, have tea or nibble on walnut whips with each and every one of you; i am rather lucky to have stumbled upon the kindest bunch of local blogger ladies that you could ever wish to meet.  We have met a fair few times now and get on so so well that it sort of feels like we have known each other a lot longer.  We are never short of things to say each time we meet and i always come away feeling inspired and in admiration of them all in equal measure.  It is definitely one of my very favourite parts about having this little blog.  

*  Toasted spiced fruit BREAD with stem ginger curd breakfasts.  Was this on last weeks?!  Sometimes i worry i'll repeat myself you know.  Oh hell well if it was, it flipping deserves it because i swear this stuff is the reason i'm still alive after my, now seven day stint at Monsoon Towers!  Warmed through and crisped ever so slightly in the toaster, it fills our kitchen with the most delicious Christmas-sey smell:  all cinnamon, cranberries and clementines.  I have been enjoying it with a little cup of milky spiced chai tea in the mornings on the days when i fancy a little change from porridge.

*  'Old Money' by Lana Del Ray.  I know i know, every week a different SONG!  Ipod shuffle and Spotify are my go-to mid week musical motivators of late.  Try and say that fast i dare you!  Lana can do no wrong she really cannot.  'Born to Die' has always been my pick for late and lazy summer day bike rides.  But this song is taken from 'Ultraviolence' her most recent album and oh, i just adore it.  It's a soft and sultry, velvet cushion of a love song that is just magic.  You can just float along on it and become lost for its whole entirety.  Please give it a listen HERE

*  HEARING the Mr utter the very best words he can ever utter when food shopping on Tuesday evening:  'I think its got to the time of year when we should treat ourselves to a macaroni cheese.'  If we weren't right in the middle of the supermarket i may have whooped.  It's dangerous macaroni cheese for us you see.  We could exist on just that and not even care.  We'd be so happy and full of warm cheesy pasta-ey goodness…that we probably wouldn't fit through the front door!  It's a treat-type dinner and i cannot wait.  Served alongside a huge pile of tender-stem or purple sprouting broccoli, it could very well be up there as one of my very favourite dishes EVER.  Ever, ever EVER.

*  Birthday-shaped PLANS.  So I might have mentioned that I'm 30 at the start of December.  I'm not a fuss-maker, i really can't bear the idea of a big and whopping fancy pants party, or anything overly extravagant.  I just don't feel like it's me.  So we have found the most beautiful little flat to rent right in the centre of Edinburgh for a few days and i am so very excited!!  After months and months of the Mr asking me what i would like to do and everyone insisting that 'can't not do anything' it suddenly came to me.  We both love Edinburgh a lot and i have never ever been at this time of year.  I am so excited to explore, have lazy lie-ins and beautiful meals in sweet little places and to wander Christmas markets!  CHRISTMAS MARKETS!  Can you imagine?!  Sipping on mulled wine, wrapping up warm in tartan and holding hands and outdoor skating?!?!?  I might just burst with excitement.  We'd both be ever so grateful if you've got any Edinburgh recommendations for other things for us to do?  Museums?  Galleries?  Favourite restaurants?  I am also thinking i might film it.  Well parts of it anyhow.  So i can make a little memory VLOG and something for us to look back on.  

*  Ebay EXPERTISE.  I go through phases with Ebay.  Lately has been a good phase.  I managed to find a beautiful dress i have been hankering after for years…okay at least two years.  Any way, i snagged a brand new one for £4 on Monday and i am eagerly awaiting it's arrival. High fives all round!

*  Finally lighting my huge and whopping Neom Organics CANDLE.  It was expensive and to be honest it was keeping our little bedroom prettily scented just as it was.  I told myself i'd wait, wait until it was frosty and cold enough to really appreciate the full effect.  It was worth the wait.  I have been lighting my 'Enchantment' candle most nights when i am finding it hard to switch off.  Sitting flicking through Alice in Wonderland with camomile and honey tea and my sweet candle makes the sweet dreams come a little easier.  

*  The MR.  For not minding that on Tuesday nights shopping escapade i wouldn't let him buy the chicken in the supermarket because i didn't like not knowing where it had come from.  Or the fact that it had a very long date on it.  (Is that just me?  Does anyone else do this?!)I am trying my very hardest to buy locally and we are usually good at this.  Most of our meat comes from local butchers etc, when we do eat it.  The temptation to just get everything in one place is hard though.  Especially when we both work full time.  Bless his heart for putting up with my chicken education/slight rant in the middle of Morrisons.  Sorry to anyone else who had to witness it or was put of their tea.  Whoops.

*  Naked bars Christmas Pud flavour.  The BOMB!  I love the Naked Bars in general:  all pressed raw ingredients with no added nasties and a great taste.  My favourite has to be the Chocolate Orange.  A great alternative to chocolate or other sweet treats when the munchies start.  Their new festive Christmas Pud flavour is just YUM.  

*  HOT WATER BOTTLES.  No explanation needed.  The very best sleep is achieved when you sleep with your tum against a hot water bottle in a hot water bottle cover that is bedazzled with pom poms.  Fact.

*  WILTING roses.  There is something so beautiful about a rose as it starts to wither, droop and bow its sweet little petal-ey head.  I couldn't bear to throw away last weeks pale pink baby roses from our bedroom side table.  Instead i dried them off, trimmed them down and sat them on my little desk under the window in the office.  Such romantic little beauties. 
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Now it's your TURN!  Tell me what's been making your week so wonderful below.  Or if you have been having a tough one, dig extra deep and find those hidden GEMS that have been cheering up your sweet cheeks.  There is always something, no matter how small and that is exactly why i write and enjoy these little posts quite so much.  It's not often i stop (ever!) and take time to remind myself of the positives.  This is my place to do just that, no matter what else is going on in my day-to-day.  Let me tell you something, doing it is really rather cathartic.  Why don't you give it a go?  Leave me your week's best bits below, or you can tweet me with your #wonderfulwednesday.  I'm @sallytangle.  Don't forget to link me up if you write anything similar, i'd love to have a GOOSEY GANDER.  

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Great & Green

MOMENTS captured on last weekends most un-planned excursion.  I got the feeling the Mr wasn't really too fussed what we did.  Just like some days i'm not either.  But days off together are precious and whilst lazy days are welcomed sometimes, last Sunday was not one of those days.  Last Sunday i woke up with an insatiable urge to be outdoors;  to feel the damp Autumn air fill up my lungs and to breathe it all in and SAVOUR it for a good few hours.

Do you ever feel that way?  After a week of busy-ness, and deadlines and general day to day and an overwhelming feeling of the '9-5's' - i just knew i NEEDED to be outside.  'I just want to go somewhere wide and open and green and…vast.' I told him.  And just like magic and the persevering and wonderful self that he is, he couldn't have taken us anywhere better.  
We walked up the sides of small hills, climbed the STEEPEST of steps and marvelled at the clearest iciest looking water RUSHING and GUSHING down between gullies and valleys alike.  We wandered back along the way we came, just as the low cloud was sneaking in and the Sunday sun was beginning it's descent into the day after.  And it was JUST what i needed, even more than you can ever imagine.  I shall never ever take for granted how lucky we are to have such magical and beautiful places to visit right upon out doorstep.  
{All photos taken on a sweet amble to Aira Force waterfall, Ullswater, Lake District}

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #42

Isn't it a SIGHT to behold, that photo?  I wanted to save it for something else but just a moment looking at that view and i feel filled with smiles.  That view is the sort of view that makes you GLAD to be alive and glad that there is such a thing as Autumn.  That my friends is Autumn in all her glory:  Golden leaves so brightly crisp against a blue sky that you almost have to squint to hold the look for more than a few precious moments.  Of course Autumn's female.  God knows she's too damned beautiful to not be female.  Handsome?  No no, that just doesn't cut it!  How are you all?  How has your respective weeks gone so far?  Mine has been a tough one.  My body doesn't want to wake at an ungodly hour.  Or to sell clothes.  This week i wish for my job to be part cloud watcher//photographer; some writer and lots interior or lifestyle stylist or customiser of clothes and general paraphenalia…..Oh what SORRY you're still there?! Sorry i was lost in a sweet little dizzy daydream ;)  there has been plenty keeping me happy this week so far so let's focus more on that shall we?

*  TEA.  I genuinely couldn't function without my tea.  You'll probably know that by now.  Nothing else has quite the magic effect on me that tea does.  It's almost like i am on auto-pilot first thing in the morning.  I slip on my pom-pommed slippers, and WRAP an oversized and over-bobbled pale blue cardi on and my journey to the kettle is the most important thing for the first few moments that my eyes are almost open.  I fill up the kettle, and whilst it boils i pull back the huge cream curtains of our floor to ceiling windows, fluff the too many cushions on the sofa and adjust to being awake.  My perfect cup of Lady Grey takes just the time it takes me to wash and splash my face, apply serum and a thick layer of face cream and dot make-up onto my pale cheeks, for it to be ready with just a drop of milk.  Then i allow myself a couple of minutes to stand and sip gently, usually whilst watching the big ginger cat that lives opposite us; negotiate the garden wall and for the sky to stretch and wake up too.  How do you take your tea?  Is it just as SPECIAL to you?

*  CHOCOLATE viennese biscuits and chai tea before bed. It's a sweet little routine that we have sort of settled into.  Then i fill a hot water bottle and tip toe to bed and sleep the best that i ever could.  What I eat or drink right before I go to bed has a really big impact on how i sleep.  This little concoction is really working for me right now.  As the nights get even colder, i have got high and mighty plans to attempt an almond milk and raw cacao hot chocolate.  That day can't come soon enough my friends i can tell you.  

* NEW MUSIC of the slower kind.  I'm all for a good bass-line.  Especially when it comes to those early morning, mitten-wearing bike rides this time of year.  But sometimes i can quite happily fall wholly and completely in love with a slower accompaniment.  Especially to write along to, to reply to emails when i really should be heading up the apples and pears or just to savour in a hot rose-y bubble bath.  Lately has been all about Damien Rice's new album:  'My Favourite Faded Fantasy' - because whenever or however i listen to his beautiful music i am in my very own little film.  I get LOST in the most beautiful little way and his new album does exactly what his music always has to me:  let me escape and you know, sometimes we all need that.  I have also recently discovered a young lady called Jess Glynne.  If you are a fan of London Grammar i think you will fall fast for this gal's beautiful and breathtaking tone.  I cannot stop listening to her stunning cover of 'Real Love' by Mary J Blige HERE .  You might also know her from her single 'Rather Be' with Clean Bandit.  She only has an EP out at the moment but i am eagerly awaiting her album.  Lastly and by no means leastly, i was recommended the delicious Agens Obel by an instagram follower - how great is that?!  Her voice and piano skills are just enough to MELT right into and i have had her album on loop all weekend and right into this week.  Take a sneak peak of my favourite track 'Chord Left' HERE .  

*  DISCOVERING old treasures.  I stumbled across an old and barely worn little cream and black dress with the sweetest little peterpan velvet collar, nestled away riiiight at the back of my wardrobe at the start of the week mid, well, sort of a wardrobe strop to be honest.  You know the kind where everything goes everywhere and you just cannot get it all back in and begin to wonder how it even got in there in the beginning.  That's not just me is it?!?  WELL, i now have my Christmas party frock nailed and that makes me happy.  No Christmas presents purchased, so to speak as yet, but fear not 'cos at least i've got my frock sorted.  Phew!

*  DECIDING upon my Christmas wrapping colour scheme/theme.  As you can tell Christmas prep is well under way here at Tangle Towers!  Jokes aside, wrapping is one of my very favourite things about Christmas and it's important for me to get the right bits and bobs to make it all look as beautiful as can be.  I should probably get my skates on with the actual gifts though…

*  Having an elderly man hold OPEN the door for me on my way through Marks and Spencer's on my lunch break on Monday.  He wore the sweetest camel coat and a tweed flat cap and he called me young lady.  So i told him to have a wonderful day.  It made my day.  Why aren't men like real gentlemen anymore?!  It reminded me of my grandad Joe:  the kindest most lovely gent you could ever meet.  He kept a comb in his back pocket and had the most beautiful quiff of snow-white hair and he was never without a shirt and tie.  They don't make 'em like that anymore!  

*  Since its been taking me a while to adjust to being back at work, i'm not ashamed to say i have been rising a little LATER than i probably should.  Breakfast was cobbled together quickly on Monday morning and then it was so good that i've risen later every morning since and made it each day too:  Toasted cranberry and cinnamon bread.  One piece with black cherry jam and the other slathered in almond butter.  Oh and a handful of blackberries on the side for a bit of balance.  I dare say i'll be back on the porridge express some day soon but for now i am rather enjoying my cinnamon-ey journey!

*  Turning my HAIR just a liiiiiitle bit pink.  I quite like it you know?  I may even take it a little pinker.  Not bright pink, more unicorn tinted. I reckon it shall look the bees knees with a little slick of gold eyeshadow.  You know if i ever get up in time to do anything vaguely interesting with my face other than put blusher on! And devour cinnamon toast….

*  Talking of UNICORNS…Every year i say i wont buy anymore Christmas decorations.  We have the sweetest but littlest attic flat and so we always get a real, but honestly only about two foot high tree.  You see last year i found a beautiful handmade little knitted fox deocoration wearing a fairisle knit.  I couldn't not.  This year, i've found a beeeeautiful pale pink wooden unicorn with legs that flick up when you pull a sweet little cord attached to her tummy.  One more won't hurt will it…surely?!?
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How is the halfway point looking for you then?  Have you had a jolly good week or one that can't be over quick enough!?!?  The rest of mine is looking HECTIC:  I've a Monsoon Christmas window to install towards the end of the week and my monthly column for Carlisle Living to write too!  But i've promised myself us warm mince pies and cream come Saturday night so i'm rather excited for that.  I'm off today, and i think i am coming down with a cold and so i'm hoping for a sunny day so i can cycle it away.  Then i am spending late morning meeting a Twitter/blog friend for Rose hot chocolate.  

Remember to share the best bits of your week so far in the comments below. Or you can tweet me your #wonderful wednesday on Twitter too.  I'm @sallytangle.  Have a wonderful week lovely faces!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Currently #27 - 'Four Right Now'

{Images taken from my Pinterest HERE}
MONDAYS are tough.  Tough for those of you lucky ducklings lucky to enjoy that thing we like to call a weekend.  Spare a thought for me today though.  Not only have i had the last two weekends off work (if you work in retail you'll know how very rare and unheard of that is) but i have also had the five days off sandwiched in the middle of those two DELICIOUSLY glorious weekends off too.  But it's ok.  My total of nine days off was more than worth it.  I feel suitably recharged and spent my week immersing myself in as many inspiring things as i could muster; of course interspersed with much tea drinking and many 8:30am lie-ins.  I have sewn pom-poms on an old tapestry jacket; given my beautiful white ceramic bulls head which hangs on our bedroom wall some beautiful bobby-dazzler copper horns; oh and i have sort of turned my hair a very pale candy-floss pink.  But more on THAT another day.  It's been a delight just to rest.  To wake up to cuddles, fall asleep watching films and sneak in 4pm Christmas-sey coffee dates and mince pies with my Mr.  
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Here are some SLICES of Sallytangle inspiration for your Monday.  It took almost an hour to narrow it down to just four.  I could of quite easily added an extra zero on there and we are being serious here…

1.  Audrey Tatou::  The epitome of Parisian-Chic and possibly one of the very reasons i got my hair cut short.  I watched 'Amelie' on a very miserable afternoon this week.  It was a little bit like heaven:  I curled up under my very favourite lilac blanket and dipped Viennese biscuits into Lady Grey tea and fell in love with Miss Tatou all over again.  

2.  Golden, glittery tassels galore.  As if there is any room left on our walls for such fandanglery!  Somehow these are the new pom-poms for me.  I went through a bit of a pom-pom phase a bit ago.  There are still traces tucked away all over our little somewhere - namely the multi-coloured paper pom-poms attached to the ceiling in our spare room…Suddenly i wish to pin rose gold, lilac and peach tassels from every available orifice.  Is it just me?!

3.  A simple cream cable-knit jumper.  The sort of jumper i have kind of convinced myself that i need.  You know despite owning probably every other kind of jumper it is possible to own in the whole wide world.  You name it, i've probably got it:  Breton to bobbly, Arran to Fair-isle; we are certainly not short of a jumper or ten million in Tangle Towers.  Yet i can't stop thinking about how beautiful a plain cream cable knit jumper would look worn with my black skinnies, cuffed at the ankle and worn with my metallic brogues and beautiful cossack hat.  It may be one for the list of Saint Nic.  

4.  A quote.  A short simple collection of words arranged in just the right way to tug at my little heart strings.  I love this.  It sums up my week:  No frills, certainly not fancy-pants and just simply spent making the most of the day-to-day and to do as i please when i want to.  Sometimes the simplest things really are the best things.  
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Are you ready for MONDAY?  How have you spent your weekend and what has been inspiring you lately?  I'd love you to share.  Maybe you're a bit of a Pinterest-er like me (who isn't!).  Leave me your links below, the more the merrier!  Remember you can follow me on Pinterest right HERE .  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Breakfast of Champions: Chocolate & Banana Super Hero Porridge.

I'm quite surprised i haven't managed to CONCOCT one of these kinds of recipes so far on Sallytangle - heaven knows that i am forever tinkering with what i like to eat for my breakfast. If you've been a reader of this little spot for…well more than a couple of weeks, or you happen to follow me on any other social media, you'll know how often i profess my love for the first meal of the day.  I'm not altogether SURE where this deep love of breakfast comes from.  I guess from living alone for a bit after uni, i honed my breakfast-making skills to pretty much perfection.  Heaven knows eating breakfast for lunch and for dinner is far easier when there's just one of you!  I like breakfast because it's quite often the easiest meal to make, the most simple and for me (an especially busy-bee - whether that be cycling or fizzing and whizzing about Monsoon Towers) the most important because it ultimately fuels me and keeps me going right through until lunch. 

For the most part of my diet i am relatively healthy.  As we all know by now i am keen celebrator of a walnut whip here and there (or in fact MOST days!) but the key thing for me in what i eat is balance:  a good balance of fruit, vegetables, grains and good proteins.  But if i want a piece of cake i'll have a piece of cake.  I just wouldn't have a piece of cake every day.  I love eating and luckily for me I have always enjoyed those things that are good for me.  My breakfast logic is that if you start the day putting GOOD into your system, you're far more likely a) to feel better and b) to make better choices throughout the rest of the day.  So lets stop wittering shall we and get to how to make one of my all time favourite breakfasts i like to call:  Chocolate and Banana Super Hero Porridge. 

Ingredients (serves one)
One small cup of unsweetened almond milk
One small cup of rolled oats
One small very ripe banana
Two teaspoons of raw cacao powder
Two teaspoons of chia seeds
Mixed seeds (optional)
 Method
1.  Add milk to a non-stick milk pan and warm through on a medium heat.  Just as you would if you were making regular on-the-hob kind of porridge.

2.  Whilst the milk is warming through, mash the banana to form a smooth paste.  You could leave it more chunky if you like, i just prefer the smoother texture.

3.  Once the milk is hot, and just before the point of boiling; remove from the hob, add the oats and mashed banana and combine.  Return to the heat and keep stirring.

4.  After a couple of minutes add the raw cacao powder.  Again you can add more or less than i have recommended - i just have a particularly sweet tooth and like an extra rich and chocolate-y bowl ;)

5.  Keep stirring for about three to four minutes or until the oats are cooked through and you are happy with the consistency.  I like my porridge quite thick but if you prefer it a bit runnier you could add a touch more milk and warm a bit longer.

6.  Remove from the heat and pour into your favourite breakfast bowl.  'Cos we all have one of those don't we? Add two teaspoons of chai seeds and stir well.  Garnish with a handful of mixed seeds (i use sunflower, pumpkin and golden linseed) - this just adds a little bit of texture.  Et voila:  Chocolate and Banana Super hero Porridge!
 See i told you it was EASY-PEASY.  It's superhero because Almond milk is packed full of vitamins and plant nutrients and is much kinder on your tummy than dairy milk.  Oats are an excellent slow-release form of energy which will keep you going until lunch, aswell as being jolly good for your ticker.  Using raw cacao is much better for you as it is completely natural, unrefined and contains no sugar.  Cacao in its rawest form means that none of the super hero antidoxants are lost and stay inside and so it does wonders for your insides.  And chia seeds are just bursting at the flipping seams with good proteins which will keep you nice and full, especially combined with the oats.  I add the seeds for an extra boost of happy fats and also for a bit of texture but you can always leave that step out.  
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This recipe can be adapted at least a MILLION ways - no jokes.  Although it takes five minutes or so in total to make, you could always substitute the oats for the microwaveable kind.  You just add the cacao in with the oats and cold milk.  I just prefer original rolled oats as there's nothing added.  It's equally yummy with hazelnut milk and topped with chopped hazelnuts - a sort of nutella-without-nutella porridge.  I have also been known to add a teaspoon of peanut butter, or coconut flakes or even top with fresh raspberries or strawberries.  It's the most delicious way to start the day, especially if you have a sweet tooth like me!  You really don't need to add any sweetener - the banana adds just enough, whilst also working with the almond milk to make the creamiest bowl of porridge you'll have ever eaten - trust me!
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I'd love to know if you give it a go!  And also if you'd like to see more of these kind of breakfast-ey posts from my little self!  Remember to hashtag any tweets or instagrams with #Sallytanglemakes so i can see if anyone gives it a go!  
 
Happy breakfast-ing!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #41

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening - depending of course at which time of the day you stop by this LITTLE spot.  How has your week been so far?  Mine has been one of the BEST yet:  blissfully spent sleeping in until 8am, eating breakfast lazily before first enjoying a mug of Lady Grey beneath the duvet and cycling come rain or shine (but mostly rain!).  It's been very SIMPLE but also just what I so desperately needed i can tell you.  Over the past few days i have felt awash with inspiration and a lot more like my usual self after feeling just a touch under the weather and just plain exhausted!  I expect i shall find it hard to narrow down this weeks bloody brilliant bits but here goes….

*  SLEEP.  Or more to the point, stirring to an alarm that is not mine at 8am!  The best treat that ever was.  Especially when you can hear torrential rain hitting the attic window above your head and the furthest you plan on travelling is to the kitchen to make tea.  And then to enjoy it with the latest copy of Simple Things magazine back in bed for a good hour.  Bliss!

*  Turning off the TV.  I've never been too big on television to be honest.  Before the Mr and i lived together i'd often go all week without even switching the thing on!  I often much preferred listening to the radio or reading, or doing some cutting or sticking over watching TV.  Now of course we have Sky, and at least a SQUILLION channels.  And then there's Netflix too.  In the past i've found myself flipping the TV on out of habit more than anything.  then realising i'm not even in the same room as it for half of the time.  These past few days i've RELISHED that ^extra time in bed^ and getting washed and dressed and sorted to the sound of BBC 6 Music.  And you know what?  I haven't missed aimlessly watching TV at all.  Infact it's been something i think i'll get into the habit of not doing every morning.  

*  The SMELL of colder weather.  You know what i mean don't you?  It gets to this time of year and outside just smells like bonfire night, the cold and of Christmas all in one go.  Once the sun sets the air feels heavy with the scent of damp coal, log fire smoke and of sodden ground.  And it's a little bit delicious.  

*  Wildlife SPOTTING.  On yesterdays morning bike ride, i had the pleasure of stopping for a good ten minutes to watch three tiny baby rabbits hopping about on the embankment right next to me.  Then a little later on i saw two little brown squirrels hop and skipping up and down a tree.  I hedged as close as i could and it didn't even faze them, brave little munchkins! Watching their sweet little tails SWISH and SWOOSH about as they ran up and down the tree was the sweetest thing.  I love that i get to see these kinds of things - pretty much on my doorstep!  

*  Taylors of Harrogate Lemongrass and ginger TEA.  Ok so i sneaked this from the Mr and when he reads this i shall have been caught!  He picked this tea up last week when he was feeling under the weather and has proclaimed over and over how much he LOVES it.  I'm forever on the look out for interesting teas to sip when it gets colder.  I really struggle if i don't drink enough and when it's colder its much harder to drink ice-y cold water!  This tea is YUM.  It sort of tastes like sherbet lemons with a spicy ginger-y kick and its even better with a drizzle of runny honey when you crave something a little sweeter.  

*  SUPER HERO PORRIDGE!  No really.  I am a bit of an expert when it comes to porridge.  Whilst i don't want to sound like i am too full of myself i know how to make an amazing bowl of porridge trust me.  Lately i have really ramped up my usual recipes and have perfected the most magical, delicious bowl of healthy, fulfilling and super-rich porridge you could ever taste.  Do you want to know my MAGICAL recipe?  Almond milk heated up, a cup of rolled oats and one large mashed banana added.  Cook through, stirring constantly so it becomes smooth and creamy.  Pour into a bowl and add two teaspoons of chia seeds and one teaspoon of coconut oil.  Stir and combine throughly.  Drizzle with runny honey and sprinkle with flax, sunflower, linseed and pumpkin seeds and enjoy!  Trust me it is MAGIC.  Adding the banana and cooking it in with the oats and almond milk makes for the creamiest taste.  Packing in lots of chia seeds means its jam-packed with good proteins to keep you full up.  And the seeds and honey on top add a toffee sweetness and a little bit more texture.  I'd love to know if you try it.  Maybe i should start a porridge series on here…

*  New CANDLES.  I know i know i'm a stereo-typical blogger!  In my defence, when its warmer we can crack our huge windows open and relish the feeling of a fresher feeling home.  But when its colder i rely on incense and scented candles to make sure that the air doesn't feel so stale.  I am loving burning Sainsbury's Vanilla and Oatmeal incense oil in our hallway so that it waft's throughout our little bedroom and i picked up a peppermint bark scented candle from Tk Maxx on Tuesday which smells like HEAVEN.   I'll have to admit i first fell in love with the vintage typography on the front and half expected the scent to be all artificial and overly sweet.  Instead its a richly scented minty smell - almost like peppermint oil with little notes of spicy vanilla peppered through.  It's one of my favourites and i'm already considering a return trip to see if there are more…RACE you!

*  CLEMENTINES and ORANGES and quite frankly anything citrus.  I always get the munchies a couple of hours after we have eaten dinner.  I usually quite enjoy chunks of apple and grapes, sometimes a mashed banana with ground almonds and honey; but lately it's all been about sweet little clementines!  I adore the smell of orange zest - it's even been making its way into my chocolate-y porridge recipes (along with a teaspoon or two of raw cacao - it's like Terry's Chocolate Orange-come-porridge!).  There's something so festive about the scent of oranges isn't there?!

*  M&S STEM GINGER CURD.  Yep you read that right - we are ALL about the seasonal brekkies at Tangle Towers!  This stuff is like Christmas breakfast GOLD.  I had it slathered on a toasted fruit teacake yesterday and i'm thinking it would be quite the thing spread on toasted brioche with chopped figs scattered on top too.  Mmmmmm!

*  Falling ASLEEP in the softest brushed cotton printed jam-jam bottoms, a crumpled silk cami with a hot water bottle between your knees.  I feel as if this needs no further explanation.  

*  Late afternoon magazine READING with a blanket wrapped around your shoulders, a mug of hot tea and your feet balanced on the hot radiator.  Utter.  Bliss.  And while we're appreciating all things radiator can we also take a moment to applaud quite how wonderful it feels to put clean pyjamas on the radiator while you shower/bath of an evening; and slipping them on straight after? Oh my DAYS.  
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So as you can see we have been CELEBRATING all that comes as part of the much colder weather - with a little bit of relief i can tell you.  The tail-end of October was far too mild for my liking.  I now feel suitably and seasonally balanced again.  How about YOU?  What has been making your week wonderful?!  Have you been welcoming the colder weather?  Have you ever tried Lemongrass and Ginger tea?  Fancy trying my porridge recipe?  Remember you can leave me a sweet comment below or tweet me with your #wonderfulwednesday greatness.  I'm @sallytangle.  

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