Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #99

{The way that most mornings start lately.  Quite romantic….from this side of the glass!}
I write this post SNIFFLING as i go after seemingly contracting the worst cold of my life since Christmas day last week.  Whilst i am struggling to taste anything {or breathe come to think of it} i am ever so excited because as you read this i shall {i hope!} be still tucked up under the duvet with three whole days off stretching ahead of me!  I am beyond ready for it, pausing only for Christmas day off this year.  The whole of last week itself has felt like a little bit of a blur and i am getting anxious and keen to clear our little attic of Christmas.  Is that awful?!  As soon as the day is done i feel instantly ready to clean everything and for Spring to be there already.  It seems it just slips my little mind that Winter tends to last until at least March on our shores.  For me Christmas is as much about the build up as it is the big day and once that's gone, i'm already toying with how soon is too soon to buy a bunch of tulips or daffodils!

Tell me it's not just me?!?  ANYWAY shall we get on with why we're all really here because i could quite clearly sit and natter until the cows come home!
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1.  Team work.  I hadn't really realised quite how much i love being part of a big team until i wasn't anymore.   In my job, the run up to Christmas and the launch of our sale would be nothing {and utterly useless} were it not for a bloody great team.  This week has been a bit of a snowball and got steadily busier each day and it makes me grateful how well our little team works together.  

2.  Left over toasted Panettone slathered with salty butter.  Munched by the light of the Christmas tree on silly 8.30am work starts and having to rise at stupid o'clock. It's the only thing worth getting up before the sunshine for.  Well that and a strong cup of tea!

3.  Sale bargains.  Okay so i said it!  I hate sale shopping which largely stems from having to work in that kind of environment at this time of year.  That said, you can't beat the smug feeling {and little pat on the back to yourself!} that comes from stumbling upon a couple of things online that you had your eye on full price and that are now in the sale.  Merry belated Christmas {and well done for not indulging before the big day} to meee!

4.  Brandy butter.  Okay so inside i promised myself that i would try so much not to write all about food in this weeks' post but at this time of year?!  Well it's nigh on impossible to not indulge a little more than usual!  I'd never ever tried brandy butter until this year.  I'm not sure why…i guess the literal thought of it didn't appeal somehow.  Until we got a MASSIVE Fortnum and Mason Hamper for Christmas jam-packed with so many lovely treats!  Including a beautifully decorated jar of cognac butter.  We tried it for the first time spread on warm mince pies on Christmas Eve and oh MY goodness!!!!!  Where have i been?!?  We've since been discussing what else we can spread it on.  Toasted teacake anyone?!?!

5.  Two whole days without any kind of rain!!! An absolute novelty!  And i've been kicking myself that i wasn't already off just so i could finally get out on those two wheels of mine!!!  I'm beginning to think i'd have got a little more exercise if i'd have had a canoe lately…. Please keep al things crossed that i get out and about on that sweet pushbike of mine over these next couple of days!

6.  New Year plans.  I say that in the loosest possible way as i really don't like New Year. If i had my way {and, you know all of the money in the world} i'd have two Christmas Days any day i really would!  This year we plan to stay in a make a little festive cocktail to toast the New Year.  We'll get in our pyjamas and watch a film and then snuggle up and watch Jools Holland with the last of our mince pies…and you know maybe a little brandy butter!  And then on New Years Day we're hopefully off for a lovely long walk somewhere green and then home to make a roast chicken dinner. 

7.  Writing dates and engagements in my new diary.  Is there any better feeling?!  Whilst i'm not a fan of New Year per say, i do love the fresh start feeling that comes with it.  That part i can get on board with!

8.  Iced water with segments of clementine and torn up mint leaves, because well, i'm ill and all that.  Just joking!  It's a refreshing thirst-quencher for my sore throat and feels a little more seasonal to boot!

9.  Facial oil. This is only something i started using a couple of months ago as the temperature started to dip and it's made such a difference to my skin!  I use a few drops a couple of times a week instead of my usual night time serum. I massage it gently into my face and neck and I've it a little while to sink in.  My skin feels and looks much brighter, more refined and well….just lovelier than usual.  And come this time of year and my longer hours well i need all of the help i can get!!!!

10.  Eucalyptus oil.  Because it's been saving my little life this week:  Dropped into a hot bath, inhaled over a little china basin and a towel before bed or simply dropped into a little tissue before bed.  Whilst clearing my little pipes a treat it's also sort of comforting somehow and lasts so so much longer than Vicks Vapour Rub.  

11.  Putting clean pyjamas, straight from the radiator on after a hot bath.  Is there anything lovelier?!?!?  Especially when you're feeling a little under the weather.  I can't tell you how well i slept that night, sniffles or no sniffles…
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Tell me tell me TELL ME how was your Christmas Day?!?  Here's hoping you had the most magical one!  We lay in late {well until 9am} and then opened our presents here over toasted Panettone and tea.  Then we hopped in the car and scooted north up to Scotland to my parents.  We swapped presents and did round two and then had Christmas dinner followed by silly games and long catch ups with each other.  Then we drove all the way back home again and collapsed into bed at 2.30am!!!!  

I'd love to know your very best bits from this week so far i really would!  Remember you can leave a sweet comment below or share your #wonderfulwednesday -ness with my on Instagram or Twitter.  I'm @sallytangle on both.  

Happy Happy HAPPY New Year to each and every one of you!
See you on the other side!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #98

{The sight o f a little festive greenery forever has my little heart in a flutter!}
Good day to one and all!  I still can't quite BELIEVE that the day after tommorrow it will be Christmas day!  And this year especially i really will be saying that right up until i collapse into bed on Christmas Eve - you can bet your bottom dollar!  I'm half blaming my return to Monsoon Towers - and having myself fired instantly into the Christmas shopping experience instead of the usual build up i get from mid October.  I think i'm still in SHOCK!  And the weather isn't helping!  Can you believe it was sixteen degrees up here last Saturday?!  If it wasn't for the Christmas decorations and fairy-lit windowsills on my walk to work i'd have really believed that it was Spring!  Madness!   That aside i'm fairly finished on the Christmas shopping front; minus a few odds and ends needed to grab for the Mr {why are men forever the hardest souls to buy presents for?!?}.  Then there's just the wrapping…..but it wouldn't be my usual Christmas eve if i didn't have some wrapping left to do.  But as usual {how many years before it's officially a tradition?!} i plan to accompany this with a large glass of mulled wine and a mince pie! 

Shall we get Wonderful Wednesday-ing with a little festive slant?!?!?  'Cos heaven knows i need all hands on deck to muster up some festive spirit i really do!

1.  Helping customers to find the perfect gift.  Heck there's no where enough time to spend with customers as usual {it's much more 'help, sell, wrap, next'} BUT it's ever so lovely to offer help when it really does feel a little bit like the end of the world at work at the moment.  If you don't know what it is you're looking for than Accessorize is a little bit daunting!   

2.  Christmas DIY-ing.  Well i say DIY-ing but it really is more arranging things in a festive way - one of my very favourite things to do!  I mentioned last week that this year we havent really got a big tree as usual.  Instead we've got the sweetest teeny tiny real tree and i have fiddled and faffed all over the place to make up for it!  We have lots of sweet white paper snowflakes dotted about and fairylights strung from floor to ceiling to add a litle more of a festive feeling to our livingroom.  I've also filled some old vintage glasses on our kitchen tea-shelf with teeny tiny glitter baubles and battery powered fairy-lights -  they look magical!!! And ive strung up a white paper garland of turtle doves round our bedroom skylight which i've fallen in love with.  On the rare morning that i'm still in bed as the sun rises {few and far between of late!} it makes the prettiest shadows.   I actually rather like that our whole home looks festive instead of just one little corner of the living-room.  

3.  Clementines with leaves on.  Well any kind of clementine will do the trick but i've been loving filling our fruit bowl with leafy Christmassey clementines almost as much as i love eating them.  Is there any better snack at this time of year?!?!?

4.  Digging out my glittery tinsel crown when i was rummaging through our Christmas box.  I love its tiny tinsel stars and little jingly bells and i'm so excited to wear it on Christmas Eve at work and for spending Christmas Day with my parents.  

5.  Anticipating spending Christmas Day with my family and the Mr.  Because your mums' Christmas dinner is always the best in all of the land isn't it?!

6.  Laying all the presents out on Christmas Eve.  I can't lie them out before because some people can't be trusted around them and will try and guess what they are!  Even after you've grown up there's still something magical about seeing all the presents twinkling under the tree on Christmas morning isn't there?!

7.  Roast lamb.  More to the point Roast lamb with a honeyed parsnip crust and served with tender-stem broccoli and spicy roast potatoes followed by spiced ginger and pineapple and sponge and custard.  Even more to the point, coming in from the busiest most tiring day at work so far and having this ready for you.  Spoilt!

8.  Chocolate porridge.  'Cos it's what's keeping me running through these longer and busier days lately and i'm sure of it!  It's easy-peasy and only calls for a basic porridge recipe {made however you usually do} and by adding two teaspoons of raw cacao powder just before you take it off the heat.  I also add a teaspoon of coconut oil and sprinkle toasted coconut, caco nibs and goji berries on top.  Just for extra super powers…..

9.  Feeling useful.  A totally not festive-specific point BUT something i'm grateful for all of the same.  It's now been a touch over a week back in my old job and i'm so proud that i've forgotten nothing - despite jumping back in head first at our very busiest time of year.  It feels so lovely to be back and a part of our special little family again.  It doesn't even feel like i've been away!  And i mean that in the loveliest way possible.  I'm feeling ever so grateful.  

10.  Christmasey tea, drunk curled up under the duvet on Mondays' day off {the last before Christmas Daaaay!!}.  A new slant on my usual cup of Lady Grey but one which i greatly welcomed even if the snow and frost that i imagine would set the scene perfectly are a little absent of late.  Bought hurriedly from M&S foodhall:  a tea spiced subtly with cloves, cinnamon and a little orange and drunk strong with a dash of milk.  Sort of like Chai tea but more…..zesty.  Delicious and perfect company for that chocolate porridge of mine!  
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It's officially over to you!  Fire at me the moments and little joys that are making your heart simply sing 'Christmas' so far this week, for my tired and weary self would love to share in them too, as i'm sure shall anyone else who whizzes by this sweet corner of mine.  Remember to drop a sweet comment below or you can tweet me over on twitter or better still, tag me in your #wonderfulwednesday Christmas moments on Instagram - i'd love to share along with them too.  I'm @sallytangle on…well everything! 

Whilst we're all here together too, may i just thank you from the very bottom of my heart and more; for forever supporting this little space and being the best bunch of lovely faces that anyone could ever be lucky enough to get to know.  I am forever grateful for all of the RT's, emails and Instagram comments and conversations that i have with the little community i have been lucky enough to find myself a part of.  And that is all thanks to this little blog!  And you!  

I'll be back before 2016 BUT, i just want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a super duper New Year!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #97

{Just a little sneak peek of our sweet fairy-lit kitchen.  There's no such thing as too much…right?!}
Hello!  It feels like a terribly LONG time since i wrote last weeks' post.  Maybe that's because last weeks' post wasn't in its usual guise - but anything other than what came out of my little heart and onto the page wasn't really an option!  I can't thank you all enough for your kind comments on last weeks post or for your lovely tweets of concern, they really did mean the world.  Almost a couple of weeks gone and it finally feels like a little bit of normality has returned to our little city.  Although as i write this the rain is once more urgently beating against the skylight above my head and the wind is tugging at the beams up in the roof of our little attic flat.  

I digress.  This week has also brought DIFFERENT bouts of topsy-turvy-ness!  Incase you hadn't heard as yet, i returned to Monsoon Towers on Monday of this week!  To the job i left just short of three months ago.  It all came about quite quickly to be honest!  Without getting into the ins and outs {and sparing you a heartfelt jumble of words!} sometimes it takes stepping away from something to make you realise how much you took it for granted and {maybe} how much you'd learnt and could do because of it.  And sometimes it takes stepping away from something you had done for so long that maybe {just maybe} you'd taken it all a little bit too much for granted.  I feel like i've really learnt a heck of alot about myself over these past few months.  And starting back at my old job this week has thrust me head first right into Christmas!  And am i prepared?!  Am i heck prepared.  But what's Christmas without a little festively charged stress bubbling away in your tummy?!

Without further ado, shall we get CRACKING….?  I've got some wonderful 'somethings' to share!

1.  Great friends.  Working back with some of my closest and oldest friends has felt wonderful and a little bit like the feling you get after taking your very first sip of tea first thing in the morning.

2.  Sunrises.  Starting work at 8:30am again instead of 10am has meant layering up in old cardigans and stumbling about trying to find the switch for the fairylights {who can stand anything more pre-6am?!} and heating thermostat in pitch black darkness.  I'll admit for the first fleeting moments i find it ever so hard to leave our cloud of a duvet {and the Mr still sleeping soundly!!} but then once i've set a mug of hot tea to brew; splashed my face with a little warm water and sat down to a hot bowl of porridge with the sun just starting to peep out:  I remember how much i love this time of day.  In fact i'd go as far as to say it could be my very favourite part.  

3. Mascapone cheese.  Or more to the point mascapone cheese flicked and dolloped across a pizza laden with sliced portobello mushrooms and speck ham.  The.  Best.  Thing.  Ever.  Well as far as pizza toppings go at least.  The few odd teaspoons of pesto dotted about was inspired too.  Long may 'Pizza Tuesdays' reign supreme!!! 

4.  Prettily printed Christmas wrapping paper.  'Cos let's face it you all know i'm a sucker for a pretty print.  I can't wait to get wrapping our christmas gifts this year - well you know when i finish getting them!  They're going to be a hotch potch of William Morris and Liberty-espque printed wonders all fastened up with golden twine and bedecked with white pom-poms!  Isn't wrapping just the very best part?!?

5.  Decorating alternatively.  This year we've sort of not really gotten around to getting a main tree.  Truth be told i'm not quite sure how it happened.  Time has just….well gone.  Yes, remind me where has this month gone?!?  What we do have though are several strings of clear fairylights strung along the walls and around the beams;  a couple of red-as-you-like prettily potted poinsettias and a couple of teeny tiny christmas trees.  And on my day off this week {obviously when i've finished - aherm - the gift shopping} i'm going to string up our red paper chains and white paper snowflakes. And maybe more fairy-lights.  And i'm thinking i might put some more lights in a bowl with the clementines and pomegranates.  Does it sound like i'm over-compensating?!?  

6.  Being wished merry Christmas for the first time.  Because wherever you are, whatever you are doing and however you are feeling;  those two words are a game-changer.  You can't be annoyed, tired, stressed etc when somebody says that to you.  If even for a split second, those two little words take you to a magical little place:  All warm and fuzzy and festive.  It's a little bit magical.  

7.  Egg custard.  Eaten alongside a big mug of chai tea and right before bed.  The perfect coupling of vanilla and spice all in one go.  

8.  First bike rides.  For well, what felt like years.  What with incessant rain and then our sweet little city being all blocked off with floodwater, that little bike hasn't seen my face in at least two weeks.  I fixed that the other day and heck did i suffer for it the day after.  It was worth it though, a thousand times over!  You can't beat the feeling in your lungs after a little pedal power on a frosty winter afternoon.  Once i got going i felt like i could cycle forever.  Which, given how much it hurt to climb our three flights of stairs the day after clearly isn't true at all!!!

9.  Belated birthday presents.  When your little, these seem like the worst thing in the world.  That feeling, knowing that you might have to wait a little while for a present because you haven't managed to see someone on the day of your birthday.  Once you get older, isn't it the best?!  

10.  Wearing teeny tiny gold stars dotted upon the top of my cheeks.  Why?  Just because i can.  A little bit of sparkle never hurt anyone did it?!

11.  Feeling well and truly inspired.  Exhausted - but inspired.  With a head thats been full of ideas and a tummy that's been alive with flutters too.  I'd like to feel like this always please!
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Over to YOU!  I'd love to hear all about the very best bits of your week so far!  You can drop me a sweet comment below or tag me on Instagram or Twitter with yor #wonderfulwednesday best bits.  I'm @sallytangle on both!

Have a super duper rest of week DEAR ones!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #96

{Taken on Sunday afternoon - the calm after the storm!}
Welcome to what we're calling 'THE LATE EDIT'  I write my #wonderfulwednesday on a Tuesday evening you see.  If we're being really honest i leave it quite late for two reasons.  The first being that i need to have squeezed about as much goodness from Monday and Tuesday as can be before i can write it.  The second is because i can't miss 'Masterchef:  The Professionals' every Tuesday and that doesn't finish until 9pm.  But last night, as prompt and on the dot as can be, at 9pm our power went out.  And shortly afterwards both of our phones and the Ipad battery died.  As you can appreciate scrabbling for candles and the like seemed a little more important than trying to work out the #wonderfulwednesday conundrum!  

This weeks' post is a little bit different anyway though.  Unless you've been living under a rock, you will have probably seen that the city i live in, CARLISLE; was very badly hit by flooding over the weekend.  We are counting every blessing that there is to count that we weren't affected by it at all - not directly anyway.  But seeing the devastation, sadness and sheer tragedy caused by it has been a tug on both of our heartstrings.  These past few days have been nothing but a blur to me and watching it all unfold over the weekend was quite frankly terrifying.  Nobody could have predicted what might happen and sitting there on Saturday night, as the wind rattled our attic beams and the rain fell with a persistence and force that i've never ever heard before; all we could do was wait.    

None of us were able to sleep so we stayed up late, watching News 24 and hoping that we'd all be okay.  Waking up on Sunday morning was something impossible to describe.  There were no cathedral bells, no traffic, no people - not even a breath of wind or a drop of rain.  The sun was trying to force it's way in between the blinds covering our attic window.  The city was silent - apart from fire alarms, sirens and helicopters.  Apart from walking out to stock up on candles, a little extra food and a few bottles of water, we spent most of sunday watching what the weather had done to our city on the news.  We were gripped, speecheless and sad and it honestly felt like we were watching a film, like none of it was real at all.  

It seemed wrong to sit here and tell you what's been good and great about my week so far today when so, so many people i know have lost everything - their worldly possessions: irreplaceable things and homes they have lived in for all of their lives and so close to Christmas.  I'm not from Cumbria, i was born near Manchester and moved up to Scotland for secondary school and back down to here to study at university.  But this city is my home and one that has welcomed me with wide open arms and made me feel like i've always lived here.  Seeing it struggle and be torn in two is heartbreaking.  

To help those affected by the flooding in Carlisle and surrounding towns and villages across our county a two million appeal has been launched.  As of today, Wednesday 9th December 2015 the total stands at a fantastic £624,000 and for that we are so, so very grateful.  It will go  to those directly affected by the floods and will aid cleaning up, emergency repair work, clothing, food and drink, heating, childcare equipment and furniture.  

If you'd like to donate - as much or as little as you can you can click HERE.  
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And in the spirit of positivity and of the usual #wonderfulwednesday, here are five things that have cheered me up over the last few days and restored my faith in humanity - whilst also wiping away a fair few tears!

1.  Seeing photos of a little donkey being rescued over the weekend and it's big 'smile' at the end once it was on dry land!

2.  Witnessing our community pull together and help everyone out:  Facebook posts offering help:  clothes, food and water, to those in need and those offering to help clean up businesses affected by the flood water.  

3.  Small businesses supporting each other and offering work space, sharing of facilities or help and advice for free to those who might need it.  {Especially Amanda's dedication to supporting local businesses and companies and suggesting people 'Shop local' to help those affected by the quieter city centre at the moment and in the run up to Christmas and what should be one of the busiest times of year. 

4.  The lovely folk at Ashbridge & Brown { a beautiful old fashioned, quirky gift shop in our city centre} offering a £5 donation to the Flood Appeal for every Cath Kidston bag they sell.

5.  THIS post by Jo.  For making me fill up, and feel proud as punch all in one go.

Because if you take away one thing from this post, be it that Cumbria is well and truly open and getting back on its feet.  Please come and visit us, show us some support and lend a little bit of help to those local businesses and people needing it at this tricky time.

We'd be ever so grateful.  And if you can do one more teeny, tiny thing for me - heavens if it's the only thing you do then i'll be so grateful - SHARE this post as far and as wide as you can and on as many platforms as possible!
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I'll be back this time next week {only on time and earlier!} with my usual post.  In the mean time, you can follow along with me on Instagram HERE.

Thank you!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #95

{The first real winter sky spotting on a blustery late afternoon wander through the city}
Yesterday marked the start of ADVENT and the first day of WINTER {in my book!}.  And today it's my birthday!  I can't believe it's a whole year since i sat and wrote THIS post about how i felt about turning thirty.  I feel like whilst my life has largely stayed the same this year, give or take the odd thing; it's really my heart and soul that i feel have been stretched outside their usual fluffy box and that i've learnt alot about myself this year.  I haven't completed a bucket list, or any grand plans for the future and i've tapped my feet steadily along to the beat of my own little heart just like always.  I feel stronger inside and like i know who i am a little bit more than last year.  Im slowly learning the art of how to listen to my own body - not somebody else's and to know what it responds to and what it doesn't.  I still find comfort - more than ever - in words and songs and quite often relish getting completely lost in them and still sit with tears running down my face after hearing a certain song!  Better than all of that, i'm learning to just me be and to be sort of proud of that.  

And on a much lighter, tickety-BOO sort of a note - still more than ever i am enjoying writing these lovely little posts.  Shall we get on with this week's instalment….?

1)  My own pillow.  There is NOTHING better.  Okay well unless you're talking about hot chocolate pudding with custard and a big cup of tea then there *might* be some things that are better.  This week i tried to use new pillows.  What's worse is that i tried them on sunday night - which is always my worse night's sleep of the whole week {tell me it's not just me?} and had to get up at 1am to dig out my old pillows out of the cupboard.  My advice?  Don't do it, just don't do it.

2)  First mince pies.  When i was little i never even tried a mince pie. i hated the smell of the mincemeat and i went years and YEARS and didn't try my first mince pie until….well look i can't give you a date but it was after university.  Since then the first one of the season is an event to celebrate!  Those who tell you that you can't eat them too soon because you'll get sick of them don't know what they're talking about!  I've got ground to make up!  At least almost twenty years of it!  What *is* dangerous is breaking the seal because now i want them all day every day.  We haven't had them with a festively spiked cream yet….i'm not one to peak too soon!  And i'm wholly tempted to create a mince-pie inspired porridge recipe so that i can get my fix and not knock my cholesterol off the chart!  What do you think?!

3)  Gloves and hats.  If you're one of those people who say they 'don't suit hats' then there's no hope for you.  You will never know real warm until you've wrapped up in the biggest blanket scarf, cosy cable knit mittens and a winter hat.  I actually don't know how people don't wear hats.  What is wrong with you?!

4)  Tomato and basil pasta served as hot as the sun with lashings of oregano and the sweetest tiny cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.  Simplicity at it's very, very best!

5)  Sneaking on the heating in the morning!  There is no greater joy than standing watching the sun get up, with your little hands wrapped around your favourite floral mug of tea and your knees or bottom rested against a hot radiator.  There just isn't.  

6)  Blusher.  I'm never sure if i over apply my blusher sometimes.  All i'll tell you is that when i've had a sleepless night and i look in the mirror after washing my face i can't count the number of times i've thought:  Thank goodness for blusher.  If no other make-up existed in the world, i'd be happy just having my blusher.  It's a perfectly powder-ful pot of pink sleep!  And amen to that always!

7)  Your favourite perfume on your favourite winter scarf.  Is there anything nicer?  The perfume:  Paul and Joe 'Rose.'  The scarf:  A woollen inky blue and rust Fairisle creation.   

8)  Olive green.  It's a colour i just can't get enough of lately!  I fall for it come autumn every year and i've never fully celebrated its wonderful-ness due to mostly always being white blonde.  Since i'm now heading toward little miss darker blonde i'm embracing it wholeheartedly!!!  Hurrah for olive green and gold!  Quite possibly my new favourite colour combo!  

9)  Locally made Ginger and Fennel dark chocolate, broken generously into chunks and eaten alongside hot spiced chai tea before bed.  Mmmm!  I've hidden the rest of the bar in a place i know that the Mr wont ever find it.  Tell me it's not just me who does this?!  Not for *everything* just for the really good stuff!

10)  Discovering pressed flowers that i knew i'd pressed way back at the start of summer when my very first sweetpeas flowered but couldn't remember where the heck i'd pressed them!  I came across them prettily sandwiched in between a few pages in my jolly great big Celia Birtwell book!  They're SO pretty!  And incidentally i bought some teeny tiny completely glass frames recently and can't wait to pop them in and dot them around and about our bedroom.

11)  Hot water bottles.  Not only in celebration of the fact that it's legitimately okay to sleep with one between your legs now seen as it's December and therefore Winter but also for medicinal reasons!  If there is one thing that being thirty has brought it's the mother of all period pains like never ever before!  It's like the universe is trying to remind me that i have a womb and have not yet used it.  Just incase i happened to forget you know? Nice.  
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Now it's your TURN dear ones!  Hows the rest of your week looking?  Do share with me, you - us even - what has been making your week tickety-boo, wonderful or the best beyond belief!  Also please do feel free to contribute to the post-thirty wisdom or to add any horrendous monthly pain-shaped 'fixers.'  Right now i feel like a mint Aero would really help me out.  A mint Aero and a third hot water bottle….there's no shame in already using two is there?!  Remember you can also share your #wonderfulwednesday paraphenalia on Twitter and Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both!

Wishing you all a WONDERFUL one!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #94

{Forever looking up.  This week mostly admiring the last of autumn}
WHAT is wrong with me?!  Well there's a way to start a blog post whilst opening the largest can of worms that there ever was eh?  I can't seem to stop falling in love with things for me lately.  I went through most of Spring and Summer with hardly anything really catching my eye.  But now the time has come that i should be focussing my shopping energy {and all of that cash!} on others, i seem to keep stumbling on things that i am convinced  i have been searching my whole life for.  It's getting to reach fever pitch!  I am exhausting myself.  Have you started your Christmas shopping?  Please don't tell me you have. What's worse is please don't tell me that it's all wrapped and everything.  If it's true then i'm afraid me and my bulging online shopping baskets and you are going to have to break up!  Just kidding. 

I'll tell you ONE thing, i'm keen to get stuck into this post this week.  I feel like i need a jolly great big dose of special little moments to remind me that *in fact* it doesn't matter if you find the perfect chartreuse-y green shaded cardigan in the softest shape or a skirt with a print that could *actually* rival a Liberty London print or even that if a cup has your initial on in gold then you must have it.  Jeez i'm really up against myself this year! Shall we get on with the good stuff?!

1.  Blog friends.  Which may i add the Mr has to say back to me in a way that you can imagine somebody out of The Inbetweeners saying - if that makes any sense whatsoever.  He thinks it's the funniest thing in the world.  So YES YES!  Lovely friends made wholly and completely from creating this little space and actually discovering that there are a lot of them in my sweet city.  Cocktails and pizza and putting the world to rights with like-minded souls is the BEST feeling!

2.  Stem ginger sponge and custard.  Who knew such a thing even existed?!?  It's like…what's it like?  How can i explain the sheer delight of it and what scale it's on??!  It's LIKE sticky toffee sponge ramped up beyond belief:  Sweet and spicy in perfect equal measure with heavenly wedges of stem ginger.  Served with the most vanilla-ey custard WHICH, i definetly delighted in eating a few odd spoonfuls of when it had cooled down and a little skin had formed on top.  Doing that defintely makes me question if i really prefer custard cold to hot.  OH WAIT STEM GINGER SPONGE!!!!  Oh it's okay we're back…there we go!

3.  Learning the guitar.  I've decided i really want to give it a go. A real proper 'throw everything at it' sort of a go.  The last time the Mr tried to teach me i wanted to learn a particular song {Oasis - 'Don't Look Back in Anger.' It's got my name in it for goodness sake - don't judge} and he was stubborn and told me that i had to do it properly and practise chords before any of that.  I tried but, ARGH i just wanted to make a tune. Then one day {after too many days sulking and not practising} i noticed he'd taken his pretty acoustic guitar back around to work.  I havent enlightened him with the news i want to learn again -  but i've been so enjoying singing lately and i would LOVE to be able to sing and play guitar.  Don't you think it's the most perfect thing?!

4.  Dry, bright and crisp weather!  Hurrah for Winter and it's all too sudden out of nowhere arrival!  I'm so enjoying cold morning laps of our park and feeling the icy air catch in my little lungs. It's the sort of weather that really does make me so glad to be alive!  I'm secretly crossing everything that its like this now until…April?  What are our chances?!

5.  First mitten wearing.  Best.  Feeling.  Ever.  I feel it needs no further explanantion.

6.  Sliced ginger, the juice of half a lemon and a jolly good swirl of lemon peel alongside a generous drizzle of honey.  It's saving my bacon lately.  There's a flu-y feeling in my bones and my throat feels sore.  I will not get a cold or flu, i will not get a cold or flu….*repeats every single day.*

7.  Pushing myself.  Whilst i can't reveal too much, i'm learning that pushing yourself hard is healthy and that you can exceed all of your expectations if you do.  

8.  Bottoms against radiators and hot water bottles sandwiched between knees.  Being so cold makes you ever so grateful for being warm again, don't you think?!

9.  A musical pillow!  After harping on about my erratic sleeping methods lately, i've been given a musical pillow to road-test by the lovely lot at Sealy.  More on that soon!  

10.  Chocolate brownies and tea.  If ever there was something that needed to be crowned The Ultimate Fixer of Anything and Everything this would be it.  On my Tuesday afternoon off i was feeling pretty horrid - i just could not keep warm and just felt ache-y and not me.  I ate lunch half-heartedly.  Then about an hour later remembered there was a chocolate brownie left.  I swear after eating that and two cups of strong as you like Lady Grey one after the other i felt like i could conquer the whole world!!!!!!!  Magic, it's all i'm sayin'.

11.  Green.  Olive.  Chatreuse if you will.  You know that perfect shade of muddy, mossy delightful green.  I just can't get enough of it lately.  I *may* have just treated myself to the prettiest long-line alpaca cardigan in said colour……oh dear me!

How are you all?!  Tell me, catch me up! I feel i'm a little out of the loop lately.  I did spend a lovely couple of hours after my rocket-fuel of a brownie yesterday just reading some blog posts and sharing my favourites.  It's been so long since i did that, it was extra fuel to my little creative fire as it always is.  I do love this creative little blog bubble!  

Remember to share your happy stuff by commenting below, reaching out on Twitter or Instagram and by using the sweet #wonderfulwednesday tag! I'm @sallytangle everywhere!

Happy mid-week all!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #93

{Because, doesn't everything look better with a little sparkle?!}
It feels a little STRANGE to sit here a talk to you today about all of the silly, little moments from my week so far.  I feel almost guilty doing so given the turn of events at the tail-end of last week.  For once my heart wasn't consumed by those moments, treasured and dear to my heart as they always are; but by the bigger picture and the land outside of the little bubble i live in.

I began to think about it, to over-think it even.  I even considered not posting these little moments this week or in fact not posting at ALL.  Simply because nothing else would be fitting and none of my words quite enough.  But then, it occurred to me that in some ways what i should do is be here, be my usual grateful - heavens even more than grateful -  over-descriptive self and count these moments just as i ALWAYS do - except count them louder, more gratefully and with purpose.  Because if i'm really honest with you, this week has probably been the week i feel more grateful than i ever have and where these little things have meant a lot more than usual.  

It's not a nice thing to think that a terrible tragedy must happen to make you count your blessings but it's sure enough a fact that it does.  So dear ones, here are my weekly little moments of lovely.  I do hope that you'll take a moment to share or just THINK about yours too!

1.  Being warm.  This one comes about largely because it's been a long while since i felt chilled to the bone!  Finally the cold that i've been wishing and waiting for has arrived!  There's a very special feeling that comes from sliding on your winter coat for the very first time, slipping on a wooly hat and burying your chin into a chunky knitted scarf.  

2.  Routine.  Because it's something I'm a little too passionate about!  Which is actually probably just another one of those signs i need to get out more!  We've been sleeping terribly around these parts.  Largely due to one of us having a terrible cold (Him.) and the other just getting out of the habit of falling asleep at the usual time and being disturbed by wind, rain, rattling beams and a snotty Mr!  Perseverance has been key and i've been sipping camomile and honey tea at 10.30pm each night like a trooper.  After almost a whole week of feeling the busiest sleeper i can report that we're now back to a solid eight hours and feeling like we could take on the world because of it!!! Huzzah!

3.  A curried shoulder of lamb, so very soft and tender that it melted in the mouth.  Served alongside cardamon-fragrant rice, the fluffiest coriander naans and a generous dollop of creme fraiche.  I can often take or leave meat and we probably only eat it once a week. But it's safe to say we make that 'once' count!

4.  Christmas lights.  Not because i'm feeling particularly festive *just* yet but just for the sheer fact that the weather has been so very nasty, wet and windy up here that seeing a little sparkle here and there first and last thing on my wander to work does my little soul some kind of good!  I'm meeting my sister for my first proper festive coffee date tonight after work so i'm hoping that might give me a little more festive feelin'!!

5.  Toasted coconut atop porridge.  I know heck am i on about flipping porridge again on here?!  It deserves the regular slot trust me because it's been rocket fuel in both getting me out of bed in the cold, grey and down right horrid mornings and for keeping me warm and full up until lunch time!   Since coconut oil and coconut cream makes a regular appearance in a lot of my porridge recipes, i can't believe i had never thought of a little sprinkling of the toasted variety on top!  Needless to say it is the bees knees thank you please!  It goes perfectly alongside a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of seeds.  Mmmmm i'm already excited about breakfast for the rest of the week!  I'm excited to try it sprinkled on top of my chocolate porridge.  How amazing will that taste?!?  

6.  Digging out old classics.  After a jolly good wardrobe sort out on last Wednesdays' dreary wet and grey day {every cloud!} i came across a couple of beloved wintery dresses i'd completely forgotten i ever owned!! I've been re-falling in love with them this week by sliding a roll neck underneath and joyfully pairing them with black opaques that almost pull up to my chin.  Is there anything better than tights in winter?!?

7.  Out smarting the weather.  I'm getting ants in my pants at not being able to get out on my bike as much!  I've been yoga-ing and working on some short ballet-based You-tube exercise classes but it's not quite the same.  My heart doesn't beat nearly as fast and i can't feel the cold air careering through my little lungs!  On sunday evening, right before the sun began to slip into Monday, there was a brief respite in the horrid-ness.  I got blown around our sweet park a fair few times and cycled until the sun set and my legs ached.  I felt so much better afterwards! If you can keep everything crossed for me that this weekend is dry please!!  

8.  Rosemary!  The herb of winter and one of my all time favourites! Torn up alongside smashed garlic cloves and tossed through buttery potato wedges.  Sometimes sprinkled on top of soft ricotta, speck ham and portobello mushrooms all piled high on a doughy pizza base.  It just makes anything and everything seem wintery and i can't get enough.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with it in a sweeter recipe.  I've got a craving for something with lemon and rosemary and thyme.  Any recipe suggestions?!

9.  Wearing your very best silky separates underneath your slouchiest, scruffiest jeans and favourite oversized cable knit jumper and feeling all kinds of cosy!

10.  Dark chocolate and black cherry jaffa cakes!  M&S no less!  Of course they are! Don't tell me that it's just me who gets a little bit excited when i can legitimately start buying their festive foods?!  Don't you remember my love affair with their Stem Ginger Curd last year?!  I think i ate a vat of the stuff!  This year i can't wait to try their spiced Christmas Breakfast tea, Christmas cake curd and Black Forrest Conserve.  Imagine either slathered upon toasted panettone or brioche?!?  I think our Christmas morning breakfast might just be sorted…

11.  First mitten/glove wearing.  And hoping that i haven't peaked too soon!  Is there a greater joy than wearing mittens?!?  Well you know apart from the other ten things in this post that is made up from….
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Over to YOU my friends!  In a week that has felt a little like not celebrating the good and great and sometimes silly happy moments, i ask that you dig DEEP and be grateful too.  I'd love you to share with us you're happiest moments from your week so far.  You can pop a sweet note below' or simply tweet me or tag me on Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both.  Don't forget to use the #wonderfulwednesday#tag!

Sending LOVE to you all!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #92

{A shameless snap from what must be a month ago and to remind me that blue skies do still exist}
1.  Tea.  Citruse-y, strong Lady Grey with just a splash of milk and drunk out of my favourite, favourite floral V&A mug.  We all have certain mugs and cups and receptacles for each beverage right?  That's not  just me is it?!  What's your perfect tea or coffee mug like?!  Tell me for i want to know! Mines a blue and white chintzy floral print {of course it is!} and has a handle big enough to slide two fingers through and cup my hand right around it {no silly small handles in this house!}.  It's a thin china but with a wider brim which means your morning brew cools to sipping temperature in exactly the time it takes to apply your make up.  I've got that much down to a fine art….

2.  Pizza on Tuesdays.  Which is pretty much become a life-long habit around these parts.  It came particularly well received this week after far too many nights of wind and rain over the course of the last week.  There is always that time when it's raining and windy outside and you relish simply not  being outside and the fact that you're cured up in bed. But when the rain wont hold up and the wind only worsens by each night and you live in an attic WELL.  This week i've mostly felt a bit dazed and sleep deprived!

3.  Hazelnut nougat.  Discovered quite by accident in our sweet whole-foods store in our local market and something which i picked up on a rainy lunch hour dash.  It was a quick smash n' grab designed to get some slightly more virtuous snacking material for the week.  In amongst the raw nut bars, cold pressed cacao….smooshed up things and another jar of almond butter {we're going through that at a rate of…well LOTS at Tangle HQ lately…} i'd accidentally picked up a bar of hazelnut nougat covered in dark chocolate.  Words cannot describe how much of a treat it was finding that little gem yesterday.  It was sort of a grown up Milky Way but lots richer, denser and just 'Mmmm-er.'  I'm telling myself it was also good for me since it was from a health food store AND it had hazelnuts in….  What i can tell you is that i'l be intentionally picking up that little sweet treat again for sure.

4.  Anticipating the arrival of a perfectly pretty soft charcoal pinafore for me.  Which i shall relish in wearing over the top of cable knits, mustard striped tees or soft rose or lavender shirts.  Which i don't really have any of {minus the cable knit} but you know there's nothing wrong with a little aspirational dreaming.  This purchase was made at the weekend and since then i have also enjoyed placing various lettered stationary, enamelware and pretty scissors into my Anthropologie basket and taking them out again because you know CHRISTMAS and all.  

5.  First citrus.  We were meant to be enjoying our first foray into the mince pie season at the weekend but since it was mostly all about upside down rain and sideways winds and the Mr contracted some sort of dramatic life-threatening cough/cold type illness {the kind which apparently means he eats anything and everything and spends his days and nights snuffling and moaning} i decided to sort of make up for it in citrus.  They don't taste nearly as good as i know they'll taste once we have a Christmas Tree up {yes i *did* just go there} or i can slice them into something mulled but they were good enough.  There's just something magical about satsumas, oranges and clementines at this time of year, don't you agree…?!

6.  Liane La Havas.  On loop every where anyhow.  I watched her on Jools Holland over the weekend and was re-transported back to her lovely music having sort of forgotten about her in the usual musical 'soup' and depths of my Ipod.  Sometimes i stand in my bra and knickers in the bathroom, whilst the shower is running, and sing along waving my arms gracefully {for me} this way and that pretending that i'm also some sort of soulful, honey-voiced, timeless singer….. sometimes.

7.  Looking at wrapping ideas on Pinterest.  I swear to god most of my evenings this week have been spent doing just that.  Like i'll have the time to dry spruce sprigs to attach to gifts.  Like i'll have even a molecule of patience to attach tiny copper sleigh bells to every gift i wrap.  Or that maybe i'll make colour co-ordinated pom-poms to perch atop everyones presents.  But what is life without a dream or two…{thousand?!}

8.  Planning for a drastic re-style.  Which more than 99.999999% won't actually happen.  But sure as day becomes night and night becomes day you can bet your life that when i'm due to get my hair trimmed it re-ignites this urge to get an under cut, to ask them to chop it all off ever so short or to {terrifyingly} tell them to 'just do whatever you think.'  I'll actually  emerge with a jolly good trim and it'll probably rain and i might even wash it when i get home straight away just to check that it looks okay sans actually being dried properly with a hairdryer and not just sat in front of a radiator for two hours and then blasting it for a few minutes upside down and hoping for the best.  But where would we be without certainty?!

9.  The kindest gesture in all of the land.  Which actually happened at the very end of last week but this is my Wonderful Wednesday and i'll cry if i want to and rules are meant to be bent!  Last week was long, and hard and wet and miserable.  And well, i was just having one of *those* kinds of ends to the week.  Early in the week i'd had a card from the Post Office to tell me that a parcel was sat waiting for me at our sorting office.  I hadn't ordered anything and was a little puzzled!  I eventually braved the elements and cycled up in the rain one night after work and picked up a mysterious box.  I got home, sat cross-legged on the floor and opened it up only to find the sweetest most thoughtful handwritten note from the lovely lot at LOAF thanking me for my support and telling me that they enjoyed my little corner of the internet.  Buried even deeper in the box was a beautiful new season catalogue, some sweet little fabric samples for their new season {which have already been ear-marked for my latest mood board!} some hot chocolate, and the most beautiful Loaf Botanical Rose Candle from their new range.  I filled up.  Thank you ever so much you kind, kind faces!  Once you get a vacancy for out of office mood boarder i'll be applying quick as a flash!

10.  Tea-lights in jam jars.  Because you don't always want to light your very best candles do you?!  But everyone loves a little twinkle here and there now don't they?!
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And it's over to YOU!  I do so very much love to read your #wonderfulwednesday comments, thoughts, tweets, emails and love!  If you'd like to share what's been making you smile so far this week, or what you're using as rocket fuel to get you through until Friday then i'd love to know!  Remember you can leave a sweet comment below, tweet me or tag me on Instagram using the #wonderfulwednesday hashtag.  I'm @sallytangle on everything!!!!!!

Happy mid-week lovely ones!


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