Sunday, 29 March 2015

Little Happenings

I am writing this having had a pretty LOVELY and perfectly needed sort of a Saturday.  A lazy late wake-up after having my eyes shut so tight that i had the smallest hint of a headache when i woke up and a dream about Mary Berry coming into work to ask me why i hadn't applied for The Great British Bake-Off!  Luckily my headache soon disappeared after a mug as big as my head of milky Lady Grey under the duvet and then three large slices of Fig & Hazelnut bread, toasted and spread with bitter orange marmalade.  Whilst LATELY has sort of wiped me out; i was flipping through my photos this morning and thought it just plain rude to not share them - they are HEAVEN!  Not at all because of my photo-taking ability; just because i think i was in the right place at the right time.  And you know sometimes you feel like you're exhausted and run-ragged and then really, in amongst all of that; there are SOUL-fixers like bright blue skies, temperatures that aren't below freezing and particularly lovely lunches.  And then there's always blossom too.  And if that doesn't cheer you up then you need to see someone about that, really!  In between the busy-ness, my LATELY has been pretty alright and looking at these photos instantly filled me with happy thoughts!
Getting OUT and ABOUT makes me feel better whatever the time of year but i'd be lying if i said it wasn't so much easier come Spring.  Whether you're lucky enough to own two wheels, four wheels or no wheels {feet like just as much of an adventure too!} there's no denying that being outside does WONDERS for those endorphins.  I'm pretty hardcore.  I'm the silly sausage you'll spot trying to cycle against a force-ten gale; or hiding my head under a hood and hat and a million layers on the frostiest day ever.  Or wearing a big high-vis sash and fairy-lights on an icy December evening just so I can get OUT.  Even if the thought of it is miserable, i just know i'll feel better afterwards.  It's not a coincidence that i tend to feel much happier throughout the Spring and Summer months, it's  a result of being out in the fresh air so much more! 
Feeling the LOVE for all things GREEN lately too - i think that's a no brainer!  In fact, there's even a green inspired mood board in progress at Tangle Towers which i'm excited to share with you once it's all done.  While we welcome the rusts and rich colours that the end of the year brings, i always feel so READY for some colour and first comes GREEN.  Isn't it just the colour of Spring personified?!  See ^that^ there?  That right before your eyes is a see of wild garlic.  Each year i vow to pick a bunch and whizz up a pesto.  I've heard wild garlic goes particularly well with walnuts too.  I'm definitely doing it this year.  We'll be eating our wild garlic and walnut pesto with spelt fusilli or spreading it on top of homemade pizza bases which we'll scatter with spinach, ricotta & speck ham.  I can hardly WAIT!  If you fancy in on the action, wild garlic is at it's peak in April and it's the leaves that pack the flavour punch; unlike the bulbs of it's traditional garlic sister.  Maybe i might share a recipe or two?

 If you don't already KNOW, i'm a little bit obsessed with blossom come this time of year - me and the rest of the world.  For me, nothing signifies SPRING like it.  I got some funny looks from an elderly couple sat to the right of the top photo.  I must have looked like some kind of proud cycle parent {?!} taking that photo.  But man ALIVE was it worth the bending and playing with light and different distances.  It could be my favourite photo in a long, long time.  Blossom and blue sky equal HAPPINESS times a squillion!
Eating LIGHTER and BRIGHTER go hand in hand with LIGHTER and BRIGHTER days don't they?!  I like to think we don't do too badly for eating quite well around these parts, but it's certainly much easier to eat better as the days get brighter and lighter.  I'll even go as far as to say that i CRAVE green come this time of year:  I had a real craving for raw carrot and peanut butter on Wednesday's day off and i've been loving taking a little pot of hummus and raw celery to eat alongside my work lunches over the last few weeks.  Saturday's quick lunch before a trip to get my hair cut looked like ^THAT^ and it tasted like heaven! 

 It was a cobbled together/what was hiding in the fridge sort of a lunch and these are always my favourites. It was leftover falafels crumbled; some cold steamed broccoli florets mixed into red quinoa, spiced cous-cous, mixed nuts and seeds, a small avocado and a generous spoonful of hummus and a drizzle of olive oil.  I felt like i could of eaten it again straight after but that's just my eyes getting a little big for my little TUM!  We quite often have this for a quick dinner if leftovers allow.  Except i usually cook some cinnamon sweet potato wedges to make it a little more dinner-like. Mmmm!
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What has your 'Lately' looked like?  Have you been snapping blossom-ey branches 'til your heart's content like me?!  Have you had a LOVELY weekend so far?  The Mr is off today and so weather pending {and everything crossed that is crossable} we might head out into The Lakes for an adventure tomorrow.  Either way whatever happens we have already planned that we are having homemade burgers for dinner tomorrow evening and that, makes me SO excited! It's all about balance you know…

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #59

See ^that^ ?  Isn't that just the PRETTIEST sight you ever did see?!  It's sights like these that are keeping me going lately.  Keeping me going because i feel a little bit like i am running on empty this week.  It's been a long, long   S-T-R-E-T-C-H   at Monsoon Towers and i feel a little bit like i've piled a little TOO much on my plate lately.  I am never satisfied by completing something and i always push myself a little too hard i think.  I am not used to sitting still and so on the evenings where i should have been just kicking back, i've been fizzing and whizzing and finding jobs that need doing.  Aren't there always jobs that need doing?!?  So as you read this sweet little offering; i shall be relishing in a day off SO extra special because i really and truly feel like i need it!  After an eight day stint at Monsoon Towers no less too!  There'll be hot cross buns for breakfast with hot tea and salty butter and there'll be two-wheels rode and if i'm really really lucky, Mr Sunshine MIGHT even rear his pretty head too.  It's on these weeks more than ever that i am thankful for the little rays of light in a long, long week.  I feel as if this weeks wonderful things might be particularly simple and humble.  But that's what it's about really isn't it?

*  Two digestives, dipped into a HOT mug of Lady Grey upon my return from work on Monday. Sometimes you need nothing but the plainest of biscuits to sate that 'i'm bloomin' starving but i need something' pre dinner cravings.  I sat on the kitchen floor, cross legged and it just really hit the spot. I felt like i couldn't drink my tea quick enough whilst simultaneously not wanting it to end AND also already planning that there would be another cup directly after it.  It was just one of those kinds of days!

*  A thrown TOGETHER sort of a dinner that could go down in history as one of the very best and one which we shall definitely be repeating!  Rough puff pastry spread with a tomato paste and scattered with left over bite-sized chunks of rosemary roasted butternut squash and sweet potato and crumbled feta cheese.  Popped in the oven for twenty-five minutes and served alongside buttery new potatoes and chopped dill and a tomato and rocket salad.  I am half tempted to make the filling into sweet little pasties for next time.

*  Visits from OLD friends to warm the heart.  Ok well this actually happened on Saturday but it was SUCH a lovely thing that i couldn't not mention it as it really cheered up my weekend working AND well it's my Wonderful Wednesday okay?!  One of the lovely girls i used to live with at uni ten years ago {ten years ago how has it been SO long?!?} popped into work to see me completely out of the blue!! I might have squealed and i might have also vaguely felt like i might cry!  It was so lovely to see her and even though we don't speak so much anymore, she hadn't changed at all and it was just the loveliest of feelings!!!  My little heart was well and truly warmed it really was.  My lovely darling Flora you made my long weekend SO much brighter!!!!

*  Listening to Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' album backwards, forwards and sideways.  If i shut my eyes TIGHT i am back in Edinburgh with the Mr for my birthday.  I listened to this album non-stop around, about and during our trip up to edinburgh and it makes me feel so happy when a song pops up on shuffle and suddenly i am transported BACK there.  I love so much how music does that:  You can be anywhere, doing anything and then WHAM, a few bars in and suddenly you are right back somewhere else entirely and everything else around you sort of disappears.  It's a little bit magical.  'Ghost Stories' reminds me of wandering Edinburgh's Old Town holding hands and marvelling at all of the beautiful buildings;  of tea and cake breaks bundled up in our bobble hats and scarves talking and talking.  And of nights spent curled up in the prettiest little flat eating warm mince pies and talking about how magical living in Edinburgh might be.  Obviously i'd get a job in Anthropology and i'd write in my spare time - naturally we'd also be in the middle of renovating a sweet little period house.  The Mr would make basses and ukeleles in a studio workshop and maybe i'd fetch him lunch every day and we could sit and tell each other about our days…….I fear i MIGHT have digressed.

*  Birdsong.  The kind that makes you pull your earphones OUT of your ears on your walk home just to listen.  I don't know what they were saying - maybe they too were marvelling at how suddenly Spring-like everywhere seemed.  Who knows, all i do know is that it was the sweetest little tweeting and chirruping that i was almost sad when i got home…almost.

*  Leaving the window open ALL day.  Even if it was just a little bit.  Our living-room has the hugest most massive of windows and once Mr Sunshine is up, it gets the light for all of the day.  This is why i love that room in the morning so much.  You feel just like you are watching the world wake up in front of you but because we are up on the third floor - you are just on the top of the rooftops and can see nothing but sky.  In the warmer months it can get rather warm.  This week saw the very FIRST day of leaving for work and leaving the living-room windows open on a bright sunny Spring day.  Even if i was still popping my angora a beret on my little head as i left for work…

*  A customer {albeit a slightly strange one} telling me that they 'loved my VIBE.'  Nobody has ever said that to me before - i wasn't even aware i had a vibe!  Or actually if this is even a good thing.  But i'm keeping it in my pocket for a rainy day that's for sure!

*  Coming home from a long day yesterday to find a sweet little gift-card from the LOVELY lot at BODEN!  Huzzah!!  *fills 'basket' with every colour of Breton tee and maybe some new snazzy pj's too*.  What a SWEET surprise!

*  The heaviest most fulfilling few days of sleep imaginable.  Call it exhaustion, call it whatever you like BUT hells bells i really have slept the very best i ever have lately:  All heavy, still and un-disturbed.  I wake up feeling so much better and i also don't feel like i have to snooze my alarm a zillion times before i get up.  Laundry has been popped in before work, exercise has been accomplished and a lazier porridge-shaped breakfast has DEFINITELY been soothing my morning soul for sure.  

*  Coming across OLD and treasured gems in a mini-sort out.  You know the kind of 'oh my gosh the sun's out and it's Spring and so i must go through my warmer weather clothes!!!' even if you are still wearing your Winter coat AND you daren't take your mittens out of your pockets just yet.  What is it about is Brits and the weather?!  I stumbled across some treasured little smock blouses and much loved tees in my mini sort out and i'm super excited to wash and wear them again.  Even if it is just indoors for now.  

*  Wearing my floral crown for the FIRST time since well, well before Christmas time.  ^see previous point^  I might have only been inside and been wearing a fair few layers but it was a jolly lovely feeling all of the same!

*  Chocolate 'milk' and accidental HEAVEN discovered!  I picked up some raw cacao powder from our little health food shop in our market on Monday this week.  Not surprisingly my Monday was a particularly slow starting one and i really felt i was lacking in 'beans' so to speak.  I was also really craving chocolate.  I picked up a chocolate milk that was made entirely of coconut water, date syrup and raw cacao and it was HEAVEN.  Rich like a chocolate truffle, creamy like melted chocolate and just the right amount of chocolate-y.  I swear i checked the ingredients list so many times because i just couldn't believe that was all that was in it.  I must find the name of the company for you so you can fill your cheeks with  a chocolate-y treat that is actually rather good for you!  
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Now it's your turn dear and lovely ones!  I'd love to hear how your weeks have been and what has been making them so much better?  What are you looking forward to?  What little tiny moments have been making you smile cheeks to cheek and what shall be getting you through until the weekend?!  I'M OFF THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!!!!I'm so sorry to shout but this is such a strange occurrence that i'm not sure i shall believe that it shall happen!  So far i am undecided of my plans but i am excited for more sleep and more hot cross buns!

Don't forget you can leave me a sweet comment below or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday shenanigans on Twitter.  I'm @sallytangle.

Have a super DUPER rest of week!

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Search

I've never been a FAN of 'separates.'  You know, tops and trousers or skirts and trousers.  I like them to look at and i can appreciate a jolly well co-ordinated top and bottom-type combo.  But if the truth be told, the idea of co-ordinating my top and bottom half has always stressed me out a bit.  Largely because i am very rarely EVER co-ordinated in any aspect of my life.  I like to think that the 'charm' of what i wear comes from the mis-matched nature of it.  It's my thing.   Don't get me wrong, i love my skinny jeans for pottering at home:  with printed cotton blouses covering my little shoulders or my favourite soft marl tee lucked in at the front.  But separates are something i have always worn when i don't have to put much thought into what i'm wearing:  Read:  slouching about at home.  But then that fateful day happened that was always going to happen someday:  I fell HOPELESSLY and completely in love with a pair of trousers.
For the sake of argument, we'll just call them The Most Marvellous Trousers Ever, or 'TMME' for short.  I mean ^look^ how could i NOT have purchased them?!  The fabric, an almost-but-not-quite jacquard.  Thick enough to hold a small slight crease down each leg, yet soft enough feel comfortable against my skin.  The length falls just above my ankle - so no silly high shoes required either.  And then that print?  Sheer heaven.  I want to call it a digital take on a meadow-ey Spring kind of a floral print?  Pansies even?  HELL whatever it is the colours are beyond beautiful and really spoke to me.  All of my favourites:  sunshine YELLOWS, candy PINKS, darker forest GREENS and pansy PURPLES.  Tick, tick, TICK!!!  They ticked every single box that there ever was.  

Except for the 'what the heck do you put them with?' one.  That old chestnut.  I've never been one to purchase something on a whim, really.  Usually when i spot something, i'll weigh up how it'll fit into my wardrobe; what i've got that could work with it; what else i could do with it in terms of colour combinations and different textures.  If it 'passes' i buy it.  I bought these without any of these considerations OR the fact that i'm really more of a dress person even entering my silly blonde head.  I committed the most sinful of crimes.  

I've had these trousers two years.  TWO WHOLE YEARS.  And that's two whole years of not wearing them on account of nothing in the whole WORLD feeling like it was right.  My first thought:  A chunky blush-y rose pink knit.  Then maybe be a striped breton:  In one of the colours in the trouser.  Then i thought maybe a dark purple plain cotton blouse.  I've spent the last two years searching for any of those things, to no avail.  Something, just something that would give these little pretties their time in the spotlight which they so richly deserved.  And then last week, when i had stopped looking:  The stars aligned and all of the TMME puzzle pieces fell into place…
Isn't it heaven in jumper form?!  And if i were a jumper, it most certainly would be me.  I always felt like i wanted whatever i popped those trews with to have print on it: I'm a print gal though and through and i feel SO unlike myself in a plain colour.  Except i never found a print that would sit happily with these trousers.  This little gem adds my signature pop of print while pulling out a colour from the trouser print perfectly and it doesn't go amiss that it's also one of my very FAVOURITE shades of green.  
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This gals a happy one!  And i know what you're thinking, why all the fuss?  It's just a pair of trousers. But one day you'll wear something alongside something else when the colours just work like a dream, even if by accident, and you'll experience that extra special happiness that comes from a little bit of co-ordination.  And that's quite a bold statement coming from the most un-co-ordinated non-trouser wearing bean that there ever was.

Maybe i'm growing up after-all...

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #58

Bonjour!  Ca va..?  That's ACTUALLY just about where my GSCE french knowledge ends.  I loved French, it just didn't love me.  For some reason i always found understanding French far easier than speaking or writing it down.  There's something ever SO romantic about listening to someone speak French, don't you think?  I remember listening to cassettes at school as part of our listening exam and feeling like they'd be quite nice to fall asleep too.  I was much better at English.  Which you'd hope i guess, it being my spoken language and all!  But that's not always the case is it?  I feel i'm digressing…oh YES WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY TIME!  Hold tight dear faces!  Here we go!

*  Playlisting.  I've never REALLY been one for creating playlists on my Ipod.  But I was fiddling the other evening {probably procrastinating when i should have been doing something else - let's be honest!} and I created the BEST little collection of songs that are floating my merry boat right about NOW:  Ed Sheeran - Bloodstream.  Best song off the album.  If you read last weeks Wonderful Wednesday i need go no further.  If not listen HERE.  Sia - Chandelier.  A bit late to the party on this one i know but MAN i can't play it without singing it so loud.  I had it up LOUD  on Tuesday morning's bike ride and thought i had the park to myself so i was Chadelieeeeer-ing all over the shop.  Then i discovered someone was cycling behind me….  I said "Morning!" and acted completely nonchalant.  I hate being smirked at.  Where was i, oh YES:  Rui Da Silva - Touch Me.  Total old school, late year 2000 dance music sort of a song.  I LOVED dance music back then {i can't believe i just typed back then bleeeurgh} and this song is just the BEST.  Wrap your ears around it HERE. Destiny's Child - Bills, Bills, Bills - as if i have to even explain this one.  I'm not even going to insult you by letting you click anywhere to listen.    Jess Glynn and Clean Bandit - Rather Be.  This gal's vocals know no bounds - her voice is just PHE-NO-ME-NAL.  I'm not going to even try and pretend i know what genre of music this is BUT it's hip-swivvelling and marvellous up loud i can tell you that.  Listen HERE and thank me another time, it's okay.

*  This little blogging BUBBLE and community.  I have had a lot of blog love over the past seven days and into this week and for that i just want to say that i am TRULY thankful times an infinite amount.  Blogging is tough, especially when every other person and their dog {no jokes} have a blog these days.  I never want Sallytangle to be like another blog, and whilst i know that is a tall, big and TOUGH statement, i hope that you never ever pop on here and feel like you've read something so very similar elsewhere.  I've met, 'met' and got to know so SO many bloggers and readers since i've started this little space and i am forever inspired by the little bubble that i have found myself part of and i hope that continues for a very long time.  Thank you to each and every person who takes time to let me know that they like what i'm doing or share this little spot.

*  Crispy chorizo.  Crispy chorizo so DARN good that we may or may not have given ourselves terrible indigestion by over-indulging in it a little too much.  We had one of THOSE 'can't be bothered to cook' nights on Monday evening.  Fresh pasta and homemade tomato-ey sauce laced with oregano was pimped beyond belief by crisping up some sliced chorizo in a frying pan.  Insanely rich, meaty and spicy.  Oh and indigestion inducing.

*  Skinny silk scarf wearing.  Err HELLO am i ninety?!  Just joking.  I have sold a bucket-load {do we store our scarves in our buckets?!} of pretty, floral and printed skinny silk scarves at work over the last couple of weeks; it being the run up to Mother's Day and all.  I can't get ENOUGH of them.  Scarves and I have a pretty serious LOVED-up kind of relationship:  I'm very rarely without one and they're something i always stock up on from work.  I bought two back in January and i'm only really just getting to wearing them since the weather has got a smidge milder.  I've been loving tying them long around my neck in place of my heavier woollen scarves a la Grace Kelly, Bridget Bardot etc.  The pink florals go PERFECTLY with my peach pink coat and seeing them against each other is a nice feeling.  I know i need to get out more.  I just know i'll get wear out of them as it gets warmer too:  tied through my messy mop or knotted around my bag.  I am serious proof that silk scarves are not just for the older lady…Aren't i?

*  Pukka Rose and Camomile 'Love Tea'.  I'm still not on board the ice-cold water boat yet.  It's still a little bit too cold.  But when i'm at home or at work i feel SO much better if i keep up my fluid intake throughout the day.  Whilst i'm a sucker for my Lady Grey, i like to try not to drink too much caffeine SO this sweet tea is perfect.  It's sweet, floral and quite soft in flavour and it's an odd thing to say; but it's actually a really lovely comforting tea to sip throughout the afternoon and a welcome change from my colder weather gingers, cinnamons and lemon teas.  It's SPRING tea!

*  Spotting my very FIRST Chaffinch on Tuesday.  The little scamp was far too quick for me and my camera and was too busy zipping and swooping in and out of all of the daffodils to let me take a picture but HECK was he handsome:  All sunshine and yellow-bellied with flashes of bright blue.  It made me so happy to sit and watch him for a minute.

*  Lighter bedding.  I don't mind telling YOU i've got a bit of a problem when it comes to bedding. Well soft furnishings in general, since we're being really honest!  I just can't say no to a beautifully printed cotton sheet, duvet, cushion…you get the gist.  I've been LOVING digging out our lighter coloured bed-linen this week.  We always change our bed on a Sunday evening and i feel as if i've slept SO much better since making a few changes:  I've started to leave our blinds open a little so that i'm woken by daylight now it's much lighter.  Our current duvet cover is white with a pale lilac and turquoise ditzy paisley print and our pillows are a mish-mash of pale pastel colours at the moment and it's the most perfect little corner of heaven to sleep in. I'm not wholeheartedly sure that the Mr would agree but hey ho…

*  Being bought a bunch of the reddest most BEAUTIFUL little miniature roses as a thank you from a customer at work.  I'd spent a little while helping her but certainly not above and beyond what my job is.  I was having the longest, most exhausting day and having these handed to me wrapped up in brown paper was the kindest thing.  Bless her little heart!

*  Singing.  I have always found singing to be a little bit therapeutic.  I remember when i was in secondary school and had a bad day, i'd turn up my music loud and sing my little HEART out until dinner was ready.  Not that my days have been difficult lately exactly, just so tiring.  I find i feel so much better after i've sung in a hot steamy, rose-scented shower and put my pyjamas on.  

*  Marmalade.  Or more to the point; the most tart, bitter and orange-y marmalade that there ever WAS, slathered onto toasted walnut bread for my day off lazy breakfast on Tuesday's day off.  It ticked every box imaginable and perfectly accompanied my citrus-ey Lady Grey tea. 

*  The MR.  Always, but especially this week for his musical amusement.  After i told him how much of a jolly good dance around the flat i'd had the other day when Eve's 'Let Me Blow Ya Mind' came on the radio; i got a lovely ukelele version on Monday night and it sounded SO good!  I must record it and let you all hear.  I joked that we should busk, because i could remember all of the words to the rap bit.  He wasn't so keen then...

*  Ink-y indigo Willow pattern plates and bowls.  The kind of bowls that you spend your whole LIFE searching charity shops and car-boot sales for.  And then you find them for £2 each in TK Maxx.  I had to stop myself buying them all. I settled for two wide-rimmed pasta/soup bowls, two dinner plates and a little side plate.  To be honest we need crockery like a hole in the head but as i told the Mr, i couldn't not have these gems.  Don't you just LOVE TK Maxx.  Except, who ever goes in there for one thing and comes out with just that one thing?!  C'est impossible! 
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Well here we ARE, now it's your turn!  I have been loving all of the lovely emails and tweets i have been getting telling me that you look forward to my Wonderful Wednesday-ing.  I can't tell you how much it warms my heart it really does.  This week shall be long and tiring for me.  After Tuesdays' day off, i have 7 days in a row at the beautiful Monsoon Towers.  There are floor-moves to do, new Spring windows to create and no doubt those 7 days shall whizz by before i know it! I plan to spend my evenings LAZILY:  Cutting and sticking or curled up on the sofa with the Mr.  

What does the rest of YOUR week look like?  What are you looking forward to and what has been great and grand so far this week?  I'd love to know.  Leave a sweet comment below or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday over on Twitter. I'm @sallytangle. 

Have a truly LOVELY rest of week you brilliant lot!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A Little Treat

A what you say?  A treat?  What kind of treat?  Well today I'm taking a trip across the blogging pond and my little round and rose-y face is appearing on Mark's lovely corner of the internet:  THAT GENT MARK.   Have you stopped by before?  If i'm honest, he's a new find of mine and one which i am very much enjoying reading every single post from the beginning catching up on.  He's starting a new series today you see and lucky lady Me, well i'm up first.
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The series is titled 'Take Three with a Cup of Tea.'  Let me TELL you i could quite happily take three, four and five when it comes to my cups of tea.  The series is based around peoples love of tea and why tea means so much to them.   You and I both know how much i LOVE my tea - i could quite happily drink it and write about it until the cows come home!  Anyway, enough of me here, do BOB your pretty faces over to Mark's blog and have a read.  Make sure you have a good goosey gander around the rest of his blog too.   Better still if you love tea as much as me, drop Mark an email at and you can see your own sweet CHOPS up there sometime soon. 

Tally Ho!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #57

I was sat here SCRIBBLING away in my little notebook; just the usual:  column ideas, blog post ideas - okay maybe some silly doodles of flowers and stars to break it up - and WHAM BAM suddenly it struck me it was Tuesday evening and tomorrow was Wednesday and that my Wonderful Wednesday had completely skipped my mind!!!!!  Whilst a gasp so huge rattles and creates waves around the globe and a little bit up to the moon and back again {i exaggerate}  i'm not going to LIE, i have nightmares about this kind of thing on a regular basis.  I actually woke up with such a jump on Sunday morning at the ungodly hour of 7:15am convinced that it was Wednesday and i had forgotten all about my Wonderful Wednesday.  I know what you're thinking…golly gosh she's dedicated to the cause!  Or actually, she just needs to get a grip and get out more!  But it's OKAY, we can all just caaalm down, i'm here; i'm here.  Phew that was close.  I blame it on the fact that time is just careering forward at such a pace lately.  It's not just me is it?!  How is it almost halfway through March?!  Let me STOP with the nonsense and get down to the nitty gritty of all things Wonderful and Wednesday-shaped shall we?!  

*  Dear old ED SHEERAN.  The boy can do no wrong can he?!  I mean i know it's not brand new information and that this party has been going on for ages BUT, even-though i can't tell one song from another if i have his latest {or any previous albums on} album on shuffle if i'm just pottering; man i just LOVE him.  I loved his second album when it first came out - there was no doubt in my mind that i wouldn't - he's dependable is our Ed.  In fact that's exactly what his album is DEPENDABLE.  I just know i'll love it no matter when, how, or where i listen to it or what kind of mood i'm in.  After watching his incredible Brits' performance of 'Bloodstream' a few weeks back, that song has been loop-de-looped on my dear Ipod every damn day.  

*  Open WINDOWS. I'm going to join in with the rest of the world and declare Spring well and truly here *fan-fairs, drum-rolls and rounds of applause ensue* even if it IS still ever so slightly chilly up in Cumbria from time to time.  Very small buds of blossom have been spotted {and well documented:  read:  instagrammed} and i am excitedly awaiting filling my instagram feed with nothing but everywhere to be filled with delicate pink and white cotton candy-esque blooms.  Earlier in the day on Tuesday i did a laundry catch up which is usually one of the more laborious of household tasks for us.  Largely because catching up is all well and good but when you live in a teeny tiny attic, and it's minus 'something' outside, finding a place to dry all of the laundry is a task in itself!  This week open windows brought a breeze of cool and crisp Spring air and made our little home and washing smell of HEAVEN.  

*  PROGRESS.  That's always a positive no matter what it's in, isn't it?  Remember i told you i was trying to mix in something a little different into my morning routine a few times a week, exercise-wise?  I read Rosie's EXERCISE POST and because of it i stumbled across Mary Anne Bowers BALLET BEAUTIFUL Youtube videos.  I love that they are all a really manageable length at around 15mins each - so easy to fit into my mornings - even if i am working.  Without trying much i am relatively toned and in a shape i'm happy with waist-down, just because i walk a lot, ride those two wheels a lot and don't ever stop at work {up and down a flight of stairs all day}.  But lately i've been wanting to STRENGTHEN my upper body a little.  Especially since as women we naturally have a weaker upper body than men.  The 'SWAN ARMS' series has been brilliant for me and i have gone from lasting only five minutes on my first try; to being able to do the whole fifteen minutes with no trouble in a little over two weeks.  HUZZAH!  It hurts, but {and if you're an exerciser you'll know what i mean here>} in a sort of satisfying way; and i've really noticed a difference along my shoulders and upper arms.  I just feel stronger and like i am slowly getting a bit more toned up top.  And i'm really PROUD of myself because this is something totally new to me.  I'm doing three fifteen minute sessions a week, usually every other day and that is a good balance for me.

*  Eating LIGHTER.  Again this is a no brainer.  It sort of amazes me how as humans, we naturally eat with and are influenced with the seasons no matter what.  It's like, the world today is so, so much more technically advanced than it was 100years ago, but 100years ago; the daffodils and crocuses still bloomed at this time of year and the days got lighter by the day.  And just like THAT, we start to move away from heavier hibernation food and start to crave fresh, light suppers that suit the time of year.  And isn't that a little bit amazing?  What this really means is that most of my lunches this week have largely been made up of some kind of hummus and some kind of raw chopped vegetable {favourites are raw tender-stem, raw yellow carrot or courgette sticks}. I've really been enjoying Eleanor's post on how to eat seasonally and sustainably in March HERE too.  

*  What a difference a LIGHTER, BRIGHTER days makes.  You know i'm right.  These precious extra moments of daylight at the start and end of each day are making all of the difference in not just mine, but the whole world's {okay a slight exaggeration} general positivity.   I think that combined with seeing so much more GREEN on each and every corner, is really making everyone feel so much better about being alive.  Do i sound mad?!  Customers at work have seemed happier, more relaxed and more chatty and i feel like i've really been appreciating life lately.  Ok now i'm going to shut up…

*  Enjoying a particularly grand return to good HAIR.  I know, shallow much?  What can i say, at the end of the day i am a woman and a good hair day once in a while does wonders for your self-confidence, no?  My hair was at it's wits end with the cold, wet, hail and snow-shaped Winter weather of past weeks.  It just felt forever tangled, lacking in everything and a little bit sad.  Along with the warmer, calmer weather days, my hair has returned to feeling balanced and beautiful and like i don't need to brush it a squillion times a day to stop it looking like i have just emerged from a bush no less.    There's been no super-secret weapon to this either.  I just gave myself a JOLLY GOOD fringe trim, treated my barnet to a homemade hair-mask of mashed banana and clear honey and let it dry for as long as i could before blow-drying.  Happy hair = Happy Sally!

*  Fresh lemon and fresh ginger. Just so you KNOW, if you have ever smelt heaven, you shall know that this comes pretty high up the list of the most super duper smelling things.  You just cannot beat the smell of a fresh cut lemon.  And fresh ginger root?!  Just the bees knees.  I'm still working on getting it into my morning routine BUT for now, let us celebrate the simple joy that the juice of half a lemon and several generous slices of fresh ginger in some hot water, in your favourite floral mug brings come 3pm shall we?!  Comfort and energy in one sweet little beverage RIGHT there.

*  Chickpeas.  But not JUST chickpeas my friends:  Oh no!  Chickpeas added to a mixed vegetable curry.  It's a transformation of champions beyond belief! WHY is this the very first time i am doing this?!  Vegetable curry has always been a favourite of mine but i always feel like i need a little bit more rice or an extra wedge of flat bread to fill me up you know?  Enter the humble chickpea.  Say goodbye to rice and bread and jam-pack your next coconut-ey delicious butternut squash and sweet potato curry with chickpeas and you'll feel so much more BOUNCY!

*  Seeing the MR on Monday night after his four days away in London town.  My life feels complete once more.

*  Whatsapp.  For generally being my FOREVER life-saver.  It makes essays to friends new and old so much easier and i love receiving sweet little videos and pictures from one of my very best friends all the way over the other side of the world in Australia.  I can't imagine life without Whatsapp and Facetime…is that terrible?!  

*  British knobbly and BOBBLY apples so juicy and crunchy!  I picked up in a sweet brown paper bag from our local fruit and veg market on Tuesday and popped them into the fridge for a couple of hours.  I go through phases with apples. LATELY we are having a bit of an apple love-in though.  Icy cold wedges of apple curled up on the sofa in my pyjamas with my favourite mug of camomile tea and the Mr…heaven.  What was that we were saying about me needing to get OUT more?!

*  Waterstones 'Map Print' WRAPPING paper.  I may or may not have stuck a great big piece of it on the wall in our office and bought myself a piece just for fun.  Actually just because it is SO beautiful.  Once i'd filled my boots a frantic google search of 'Map Print' dresses, trousers, skirts ensued with little results.  I suddenly want everything to be map printed!   EVERYTHING!!!!
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How ARE you dear and lovely lot?  Has your week felt lighter, brighter and much more Spring-shaped too?!  I jolly well hope so.  If not consider yourself sent some Spring wishes - most likely wrapped in map print paper!  What has been ESPECIALLY lovely about this week for you so far?  What are you looking forward to for the rest of the week?  I am TERRIBLY craving chicken and leek pie and so i hope to fit that into the rest of our week somewhere.  Mothers day is on Sunday {but you already knew that} and so i need to get on that.  My sister has been working away in Manchester for the last few weeks and so i am looking forward to seeing her face at some point this weekend.  And i shall be doing all of these things whilst doing a pretty little sun-dance to keep the Spring momentum GOING

How about YOU?  Do share your lovely things below, or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday nonsense.  I'm @sallytangle.  

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Forever Learning

I had the FUNNIEST back-to-front feeling couple of days off this week:  Monday to Friday.  Our holiday year at work ends at the end of March and so i had an odd couple of days holibobs to use up.  Since it wasn't a whole week, a weekend or around and about any special celebration; i left my week plan-less.  I was the REVERSE of what felt like everyone in the world:  Wanting the start of the week to lazily linger on as long as it could and then once it got to Thursday night i was ready and raring to go for the weekend back at work.  It felt a little odd.  Since i felt like my few days didn't physically achieve a great deal - apart from squeezing in extra bike rides; cooking and eating dinner at a reasonable hour and resting; i thought i might concoct a little list of things i learnt on a week which has felt like it has been two weeks long!  

There isn't a DAY that goes by where we don't learn something; whether that's something silly, a new skill or just something about ourselves or somebody else; as humans we are like little sponges and that's something i have always found fascinating!  Maybe i did the wrong degree after-all!  What have you LEARNT this week?

*  Not to be SMUG.  Especially where dentists are concerned.  This week was a little bit like a general MOT sort of a week.  I'm ashamed to say that after a very traumatic dental visit far too many years back, i have really neglected visiting a dentist as regularly as i should.  It's not something i am at all proud of.  I know it's so terribly wrong but i've always treated the dentist a bit like the doctor - i ring them if it hurts.  This week i decided to fix that.  Having to sit in front of a dentist who was definitely at least five years younger than me and tell him how and when i brush my teeth, what my diet is like and explain where the bobbins i have been all this time wasn't my finest hour i can tell you.  I felt like i was ten all over again.  But we are moving in the right direction, even if that does mean four fillings and possibly a hospital visit too…. *deep breaths 

*  That you really can do ALOT with sweet potatoes.  The Mr scampered off to a Bass Guitar Trade Show in London Town this week and so it's been dinner for one for most of the week - read:  i have been MOSTLY living off sweet potatoes:  Sweet potato and lentil curry, cinnamon sweet potato wedges alongside roasted butternut squash and sage quinoa; baked sweet potato with a massive dollop of lemon and coriander hummus alongside bulgar wheat, walnut and carrot salad and a great big helping of watercress and chopped coriander.  I think if you cut me open i could well be a little bit orange…

*  That there is an AGE where crop-tops become un-appropriate.  If we are honest i don't actually think i have ever worn a crop top…except possibly in my '90's i'm a Spice Girl' phase and i was about ten then.  I feel like if Topshop could just make all of the tops that they make in a regular normal 'i don't want to show off my mid-riff' kind of a length then i'd actually buy something bar flower crowns for my barnet.  I found two of the loveliest retro 1970's sort of band but not band, kind of tees in there this week - in crop top form.  I bought, tried on and returned.  They were perfect apart from the cropped-ness.  GRR!  I've always been lucky and have flat tummy but i still don't want that on show.  Who does?  Do fourteen year olds even?!?!

*  That just when you have come to TERMS with the whole 'turning 30 malarky', you see your age written down for the very first time and you're right back at square one.  

*  That my LOVE for dance music and RnB circa 1990-2000 will never ever die.  Ipod shuffle is a powerful thing my friends.  I know Mr Apple is a squilionaire, but the whole invention of the shuffle feature on my Ipod is something i LIVE for - no jokes.  That thing is a total game-changer and can turn a 'so-so' day into a magnificent one.  This week saw a re-vist to Coolio's 'Ganstas Paradise' {and remembering ALL of the words} and a particularly jazzy hipp swizzling groove around the living room to Rui Da Silvas 'Touch Me'.  I'm not even embarrassed.  

*  That perfume really CAN change your mood.  This week i opened up a new bottle of perfume. It was perfectly timed actually since my Lush 'Kerbside Violet' had ran out and i had been wearing that since Autumn last year.  For Christmas this year my parents bought me the hugest bottle of my favourite scent:  Paul Smith Rose.  Since it mostly feels like Spring has sprung {if we ignore the odd hail storm or so} i now feel like i smell like me again and of Spring too.  It's a sweet rose-y scent, a little bit 'jammy' but not at all 'old lady rose' and i just LOVE it.  I have promptly sprayed all of my scarves that i have been wearing lately and it is the very best thing to get a waft of your favourite scent each time you put them on.  
*  That i LOVE my job.  It's usually at this time of year i start to realise why i do what i do.  I'm going to be honest with you and tell you that from late September to…mid February i want to pull my hair out and i forever question why i work in retail when Christmas and January sales are so bloody stressful and all you want to do is curl up and eat and be merry with your family at Christmas.  But then Spring comes around, we launch new collections; i get to get my VM groove on and style up pieces, create magical window displays and help people feel amazing about themselves.  And that's NOT all bad is it?

*  That you shouldn't NEGLECT your bike.  Just like your teeth.  Willow the Pashley Penny Pushbike went for her own little check-up this week because she had been making some funny noises and it felt like her gears were a little bit unhappy.  Huge and whopping thanks goes to the lovely lot at Palace Cycles for giving her some much needed TLC and teaching me a thing or two.  We came away with a much better bike pump, some useful advice and moved so much faster afterwards.  I would say that we both had a spring in our step but i know she's not a person really…. *aherm*

*  That four to five days by YOURSELF is pretty long when you are used to spending always with someone without even giving it a second thought.  Once you get over the first day of being able to eat what you want, watch what you want and have a bath with the bathroom door open so you can watch a film in the bath {not just me surely?}, the novelty wears off.  I can't wait for him to be home so i can tell him about every day, have someone to lean on, someone to keep me warm and someone to start each day with.  Soppy much?! BLAH!

*  That one DAY your Prince will come.  I bought a pair of printed trousers last year.  I committed the classic crime of buying them without any idea what i already had that would go with them or even what i would put with them if the fashion world was my toaster.  But in typical me-style, the print was too beautiful not to buy them.  the kind of beautiful i knew i'd instantly regret if i left them there.  So i STUCK by them in the wardrobe.  They are too pretty to give up on.  And soon you'll see why because this week was the week where i FINALLY found the perfect top to team them with.  Are you excited?!
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SEE?  And you thought i hadn't learnt a thing during my relatively un-eventful few days off and time spent this week.  What have you LEARNT this week?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Moments of Pink

Imagine a world without COLOUR?  When Winter catches hold properly, we festoon our inside spaces with the brightest emerald greens, crimson pinks and ruby reds.  For Christmas and because outdoors becomes so very bleak.  Scents pack a punch:  all cloves, cinnamons and spices - there's no hiding behind them!  After a long few months though we are ready to EMBRACE every little outside spec of colour that the world delivers us.  It's like our self and our soul needs it; to nurture us gently back out of our cold weather COMA.
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I can't IMAGINE my life without colour, not one bit.  Lately PINK has been sneaking it's way into my day-to-day.  It's a colour i fall in and out of love with if we're being honest.  But Spring-time seems the perfect time for us to rekindle our on/off relationship, even of it its not one which lasts.
Come this time of year it feels GOOD and RIGHT to soothe my tired Winter soul with softer baby-pinks alongside off whites, slate-y greys and messy hair.  I have had my mood boards flipped open on these two pages this week. It's been inspiring the way i do/undo my hair {read:  messy}, my make-up:  let's not kid ourselves that i am much good at that kind of thing, but what this mood board has brought about are much pinker cheeks; iridescent powder dusted across my nose and a soft champagne pencil smudged into the corners of my eyes. 
Subtle SOFTER pinks have been making their way into what i wear too:  pale pink smock tops dug deep from the 'summer' box buried under the bed.  Worn with cotton vests underneath and a SWEET little sheepskin waistcoat worn about my shoulders - 'cos don't let us go getting too carried away yet.  Our pink fancying still requires LAYERS.

My usual morello cherry purple and crimson red anemones have this week been replaced by a soft pink rose.  I'm now on the hunt for a new candle...  

What colours have been INSPIRING you lately?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #56

I'm writing this WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY in a mood that can only be described as ARGH.  Which may be quite a bad idea.  Or on the flip side, a good one because the process of thinking about all of the jolly and good things that have been great so far this week might purge my ARGH's…AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

I should probably explain myself.  I have spent the best part of the last TWO hours shouting at the Mr's Mac screen, or more to the point:  imovie.  Let's leave it there by saying that imovie and I aren't friends and probably shan't be for the next million years.  ARGH.  Whilst technology is undoubtedly a very brilliant thing {where would I be without Instagram?!} me and 'It' don't very often go hand in hand!  I hope that some day someone will invent an app that you can just tell the computer what you want it to do when you can't figure out the right way to do it by just pressing and clicking.  See i feel better already just by talking to you guys.  I knew this was a good idea!  Right let's get ON shall we?  Another Wonderful Wednesday is begging to be written and let's all just be thankful that it doesn't require imovie shall we?

*  LEFTOVERS.  If you follow me on Instagram {if you don't where the bobbins have you been? I feel like i am more there, than here lately! I'm @sallytangle just incase you feel like you're missing out on some crazy-shaped Instagram party}, you'll know that this week i am off work and have also been living off leftover chilli.  What can i SAY?  What's not to love in a lunch that lasts you almost three days?  The Mr made a massive lentil vegetable chilli.  He is some kind of crazy chilli Master.  In it he crams so much yumminess:  sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash, peppers, lentils, celery - it sort of ends up becoming a 'whatever is in the fridge' kind of a chilli.  We had huge and whopping bowls of it for a late dinner on Sunday night and i am not ashamed to say i have had it for lunch on both Monday and Tuesday of this week already.  Yesterday i added some torn up coriander and on Monday i piled it high with mashed avocado and chilli flakes.  Mmmmm!

*  Wearing a pink COAT.  Because quite frankly coloured coats are just FLOATING my BOAT lately.  A warm pink coat at that and one that was purchased last year but that i didn't get much wear out of.  The weather here - like most of the UK i believe, has somehow reverted back to Arctic conditions.  Whilst the daffodils have been out in force and crocuses have been spotted peeking their heads out tentatively in at least two separate locations; the temperature has been anything but SPRING-like.  On both Monday and Tuesday we have had snow flurries and wind so icy it made my cheeks numb.  Wearing a bright pink coat as pink as the blusher i dust on my cheeks each day {and that stops me from looking like a boiled egg on a daily} has been just the TICKET to keep the Winter blues at bay.  My cream glittery scarf and rose gold Cambridge Satchel also didn't go amiss in keeping the momentum going either.  

*  Maroon 5.  Because hells BELLS we love a golden oldie sometimes right?  I'm talking 'Songs About Jane' -shaped Maroon 5 before you go getting all high and mighty on me.  I'm a non-supporter of most things post 'Moves Like Jagger'.  Apart from Adam Levine.  I'll happily support him unto his dying day.  Maybe just maybe not his musical career direction.  But you can't NOT love 'Songs About Jane'.  It takes me back to being a teenager.  How old does that make me sound?  Also did i actually just write 'golden oldie?!?!?' I think we'll leave that one right there…

*  Fringe-TRIMMING and all of the compliments it brings.  Okay well two compliments.  I always think i muddle along with my fringe.  I can't not have one, it adds to the boiled egg look i referenced earlier, if there's nothing above my non-brows.  So i trim it myself.  Mostly because i try to avoid getting my haircut as much as is humanely possible and taking trips to the hairdressers every other week {yep it grows that fast} is just exhausting!  Two people have complimented me on my fringe GAME this week.  Both asked where i got it cut and both couldn't believe that i did it myself.   So at least i know i have got an alternate career if mine fails…

*  Finding a big BUNDLE of old photographs.  Before i lived with the Mr my whole and entire fridge freezer was covered in photos.  I'm not sure why or when the idea to do it occurred to me but i always loved looking at them and it was always a bit of a talking point when people came around to visit.  Coming across a bundle of these photos made me realise that weirdly, i take SO many more photos than i ever did before, and yet i never ever think to print any out.  It's sad that i always think of framing photos as a bit dated - do you too?  Looking through these photos with a mug of tea, sat cross legged in our spare room on the floor for an hour {mid marathon sort-out} was a little bit lovely.  So many beautiful memories!

*  MARMALADE.  Because, well i am not sure why but March and Spring in general always feels much more citrus-ey 'curds and marmalades' than any other season.  Are you WITH me?  I kept it simple and went for a bitter orange shred {because the bitter shreds of zest are what makes it aren't they?! I've never understood shred-less maramalade.  Why that's like…what's it like?} which will be just scrummy on hot buttered toast. 

*  Kindness.  I took dear sweet WILLOW to the bike shop this week as i have been having an awful time trying to pump up her tyres.  We whizzed home ever-so-much-more-quickly than usual thanks to the KIND gentlemen at our local bike shop filling up Willow's tyres properly and helping me pick a much more  -aherm- girl friendly bike pump - even if it does pain me to write that.  

*  Pom-poms.  Because well even WRITING or saying that word makes you happy doesn't it?  I forgot that i had squirrelled away some bright pink and tiny pom-poms from our Accessorize window a few months back.  They were uncovered in the beginning of the weeks' clean out when i came across the photos and i'm excited to get a little bit creative with them.  I think i am going to TWIZZLE them around and about our wrought iron bedstead and hope that the Mr doesn't realise.

*  De-cluttering.  As you may have guessed i had a big de-CLUTTERING session at the start of the week {It's the Spring-effect i'm sureand our spare room-come-mostly my office' looks SO much better for it!  It's lighter, brighter, cleaner and just a much more useable space.  So what if it still doesn't yet have the wrought iron day-bed and a dressing table i had once hoped for!  Instead i have a BEAUTIFUL desk right under our skylight and have finally 'fashioned' some kind of neat way of housing all the clothes, scarves and general girl paraphernalia i have accumulated.  I think the trick is to keep on top of it and make sure i am regularly clearing out the old and re-using where i can. 

*  TOMATOES.  It's only about 18months since i discovered the benefit of not putting my tomatoes in the fridge.  I know, i know it's all party, party, PARTY over here!  I'd always not had much of an opinion on tomatoes - i could take them or leave them.  If they were stirred into something i'd give them a go, but raw?  No thanks. Until i stopped putting them in the fridge. I don't even think i know where that GEM-ful piece of advice came from - possibly my Dad - he's been growing tomatoes for as-long as i can remember.  If you leave this blog with one piece of game-changing {maybe even life changing} advice this week, let it be this:  Tomatoes off a sunny window sill are the BEES knees, elbows and…toes?  Do bees have toes?  Just TRUST me.  I could munch a whole bowlful now i swear.  One of my very favourite side salads is simply torn Rocket, sliced vine tomatoes, sea salt and a good drizzle of olive oil.  
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But now my FRIENDS, it's over to you!  Consider the Wonderful Wednesday floor your own!  TELL me about your week so far?  Tell me what has been good and great and warming your souls?!  Or what has been god awful and horrid and what it is that's keeping you going through a bout of awful-ness?!  I love to read your comments here i really do!  Remember you can leave a sweet comment below OR tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday over on Twitter.  I'm @sallytangle !


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