Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #86

{A capture taken en-route home, chasing the last of the sunshine into tommorrow}
I find it flippin' HARD to believe i've written eighty-five of these little posts.  What's that?  A year and a half's worth or thereabouts?  Whilst there's no doubt been a little bit of repetition or overlap probably, i feel proud as PUNCH that i've sat down eighty-five times and wrote to you about the little things that have been making me happy in my little corner of the world.  

This week feels like half of it's gone before it's barely BEGUN!  I really cannot believe it's Wednesday again already {i bet i've probably said that phrase or it's likely equivalent about a billion times since this post began!} after genuinely feeling like it was only a moment ago that i sat and wrote to you this time last week!    This week has been a busy one!  I've been in my new job for almost exactly a month and I feel like i'm FINALLY getting settled into a little bit of routine {lord knows i love my routines!}.  And even-though i will forever wish i was further on than i am and already knew everything there is to learn; when i look back i do feel like i have learnt and progressed from where i started and so that is the main thing.  

Life-wise we spent the weekend down in Manchester at the Mr's family and then the beginning of this week has been all about racing home from work each night and scampering out on my two wheels as fast as my little legs will take me.  It's been SO beautiful and sunny up here {again!} and so i've been RELISHING in that perfect early evening light as much as i can.  I digress, {for probably also the billionth time!} because we can have a proper catch up later on in the week and this post is really for #wonderfulwednesday business only……
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1.  SUNSETS.  The kind that come out of nowhere and take you by quite by surprise when you were simply popping to close the skylight after thinking it had suddenly got a little nippy!  Monday's sunset was IMMENSE.  There really are no other words to do it justice:  All perfectly pink and cerise and striping this way and that in sweet trails of cloud across the horizon.  Man i wish i'd been up a hill in the lakes or right by the coast because i can't even begin to imagine the beauty!  September is throwing up some AMAZING sunsets so far!

2.  The PAIN that comes from exercise outside your usual comfort zone.  When i first rode Willow i could hardly walk afterwards, no jokes!  But in all fairness before getting that sweet bike i'd not cycled for what must beeeeee…at least twelve years.  Gradually my regular cycling means that whilst i get the feel-good feeling from riding Willow, it no longer hurts the way it used to.  Lately i've been persevering with some more of the Mary Helen Bowers short ballet-based exercise routines {you can find them HERE}.  I like them because they're just that:  Short!  My attention span indoors wont last much longer than fifteen minutes!  Eventhough they hurt like HELL at the time {and a little bit after!} it's a pain that's a little bit addictive and one which you hate, hate, hate…..then BOOM you sort of feel flippin' great soon after.   If only my younger P.E hating self had known that this feeling even existed….

3.  FLAPJACKS.  Because quite often chocolate, biscuits or cake just don't do it for me.  I quite often crave something more….muchy {?!}, fulfilling and yet sweet and sticky at the same time.  Flapjacks made with oats, honey and toasted seeds are the bees knees this week.  Alongside a big mug of camomile tea before bed and i'm a happy bunny with a full tummy.  And i *almost* rhymed right there!    

4.  The SEVENTIES.  For lots of reasons to be honest but now is not the time or the place to get into David Bowie, Roxy Music or Duran Duran.  I'm not a big follower of trends, at least not intentionally. I think it's hard to not be influenced by what colours, style and shapes happen to be in the shops but i like to think that i know what i like and what works for me…most of the time.  All this harping on about the Seventies lately though well i'm sort of hooked, as much as i wish i wasn't.  I've so been enjoying prancing about in my cream fur waistcoat and floaty-sleeved concoctions {because lord knows i've plenty of those things already knocking about!} and i shamefully {since i'm not really meant to be buying anything new!} bought THE most heavenly printed, ruffled, floaty-sleeved 'almost-Liberty-esque' dress in Topshop this week.  I can't WAIT to show you.  Also do you know what just went RIGHT to the top of my Christmas list?!?!? {forgive me for the 'C' word *hides head in shame*} a pair of clogs!?  CLOGS!  Who do i think i am?!?! Abba?!?!?

5.  Maple SYRUP.  Or, maple syrup and blueberries to be more precise, and on everything. Okay well not on everything but at least on toast or porridge.  What is it about maple syrup and blueberries?!  The sweet little balls of tart and berry-ness sit so perfectly against the caramel-ey sweet treat don't you think?!  I'm already thinking that Sunday could be pancake-shaped…?!

6.  CLOUDS.  For being so amazing lately that they deserved their very own shout-out faraway from that of sunsets and the like.  I often get told off for standing and making everyone wait whilst i try to take a photo of the sky or clouds.  I like to think it's worth the wait.  But when i'm scampering around later trying to show everyone my handiwork, they don't seem half as pleased as punch as i do!  I could cloud-watch for-always you know.

7.  FIRST DATES. Do you watch it oh please tell me you watch it?!?!  It's on Channel 4 at 10pm on a Thursday and it's heart-warming beyond belief!!!!!! I struggle so much with television and film and my attention span in general to be honest but do so LOVE this show.  It's essentially a restaurant of people set up on first dates and paired up after submitting an online profile and it's GENIUS.  Watch it go go GO!

8.  A new white T-SHIRT.  I feel it's also probably important to mention that said t-shirt cost a measly £3!  It's a size large and is 100% organic cotton and might be softest one i own!  I tried it on largely because it was £3 and because it was SO flippin' soft.  Despite being obviously a little big, it's HEAVEN.  I've room to roll up the sleeves a little, tuck it half into my favourite faded denims or wear it mega-slouchy inside my black dungarees.  And the best bit?  It's got the loveliest round-neck-come-v-neck sort of shape going on.  I really don't suit a v-neck usually {hello no chest, oh yes there you aren't} but this softer 'V' is so flattering and a little bit nifty.  Just shows you that you shouldn't always be governed by the size label…

9.  Feeling INSPIRED.  I won't go into mega-whopping details BUT being around other people either professionally or otherwise who just bounce off one another and speak the same kind of language is just rocket fuel for feeling like you can and will achieve anything and everything, don't you agree…?!?!

10.  Coconut and jam MACAROONS.  Because sometimes you just need a really good cup of tea in your favourite floral mug, your favourite pyjamas and what's *actually* just a bloody great grown-up version of a jammy dodger if you think about it.  

11.  HATS.  Because where would we be without dry shampoo and hats?  Tired that's where!  Sometimes i feel all the better for an extra half an hour 'zzz-ing' and a quick fizz and a ruffle of dry shampoo through my messy hair and a floppy fedora plonked on top.  It's just quite hard to snap out of the quick-fix once you try it……
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How the DEVIL is the rest of your week looking dear ones?  Have you got grand plans or are you keeping it easy breezy and going with the FLOW?  I'm looking forward to my first mid-week day off to myself in a little while.  I plan to cycle in the sun, visit the dear faces at Monsoon Towers and see how they are getting along and then have a meander and a wander with a big frothy coffee to go!  After a little more of a lie-in first of course!  I do so love to hear about your happy-making things, or what's been keeping a big smile right across your pretty faces.  Remember you can pop a sweet #wonderfulwednesday comment below or nudge me on Twitter or Instagram.  As always, i'm @sallytangle on both!

Happy halfway to the weekend FAVOURITES!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Eye Spy...

In typical 'ME-style' i'm about to sit and tell you about how bloody lovely and 'catch your breath' beautiful the start of autumn has been up here in Cumbria, and as i write to your dear faces; i have the heating on for the very first time since….probably March…? 

It rained rain so urgent, dramatic and quite simply wet right in the middle of my ten minute walk home.  The frustrating thing is that if i'd faffed less before leaving and left when i intended i'd have arrived home a good deal dryer than i did.  Which was for the record:  Not at all.  But Que. Sera!  There is MUCH to be happy about!  It's *almost* the weekend {I've adapted to what was once a foreign concept well you'll note!}, my new cream cable jumper from the dear faces at Olive Clothing arrived this morning, almost like they just knew i would need it quick-march and there is plum-ey flavoured duck with noodles and stir fried vegetables on the menu for tonight.  So what is a little rain?!  
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What follows really are a miscellaneous selection of photos taken over the last 'some-time when who-KNOWS and who's checking anyway' along with bite-sized updates of life around these parts.  I'm a horror for squirrelling away photos and simply forgetting about them you see and so we'll call this post an ode to that:  Either my un-organisation or creativity - you choose!

{The barley field of dreams.  Which we walked a fair way along so that i could see if i could climb over the fence to get a better shot.  Or better still an attempt at a shot of me in said golden wondrous field of joy.  There was no logical way in or over without risking our my life {or dress}.  }

Adventures of the green variety because, well you never need an excuse do you?  Since the weather has been a-okay we still haven't lost that Sunday 'quick, quick it's sunny and dry therefore we MUST get outside' nature which is INSTILLED deep under our thick British skins.  I doubt we ever will!  This is our 'can't be bothered to go far' place.  Which to be truthful isn't such a nice thing to call it when really it's pretty special in it's own right!  It's a little lake about ten minutes away.  The catchy name probably actually refers to the fact that you can easily get there, park up fuss-free and walk easily all the way around it with a promise of an ice-cream from the boat-house on your way back.  What more do you need from an adventure?! Living right on the doorstop of the Lake District you often feel like you should GALLIVANT somewhere far more jaw-dropping and epic come the weekend.   But this sweet spot should never be under-estimated because it can be equally beautiful in it's own little humble way, don't you think…?!
  {The first of the elderberries bright, shiny against tufts, whisps and whooshes of cotton clouds}

Changes so 'all of a sudden' but little in comparison, at least at first.  It wont be long before those few meagre tussles of amber leaves blanket our EVERYWHERE'S.  Darker mornings creeping in balanced perfectly with the absolute JOY that are golden amber and perfectly sunlit evenings galore.  Like bouts of sunshine on a day off, there is nothing to do but gallop out {preferably on two wheels!} and revel in them for as long as they might last.  To feel like you're chasing the sunlight all of the way home as it sinks into tomorrow is a lovely thing to cherish and a great way to bring about great 'ZZZ's'

And lastly a selection or collection of my favourite thing in the whole wide world {non-living of course…} that dear sweet two-wheeled charmer, ^Willow.^  Scuttling about our sweet city wouldn't be half of the fun {nor would i have the thighs of steel that have graced me over the past few years!} without my trusty side-kick.  Everything looks prettier sat aboard this sweet one, where you can ride at a leisurely pace, drinking it all in, trying hard to keep your eyes ahead and not to look up, or down…or left…or right.  That very last photo, see ^up^  there might be my most favourite photo i have ever taken of that sweet two-wheeled companion EVER.  And, like all of the best photos {in my case at least!}, it came about completely out of the blue:  Riding to meet the Mr in town for Sunday coffee-shaped fun, i rode past a wall so red that it reminded me of my bag, that i just HAPPENED to have slung over my handle bars, full to bursting with silly girl paraphernalia!  And so 'the picture that you just can't not smile at' was born.  
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Sending glorious weekend WISHES full of lie-ins, leaf-crunching and much tea to you all!
Here's to TREASURING every last drop of it!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #85

{My obsession with Hydrangeas continues...}
Oof it feels NICE to be writing this little post to you at the usual time {Tuesday evenings!} from my usual spot {under the big skylight at our rickety little desk in our 'office'} instead of in fits and spurts in and out of wifi and in amongst trying to sort out an extra ticket for Flo!!  

This week has been a good' un so far!  So quick and yet it equally feels like Florence and the Machine this time last week was YEARS ago.  I'm sat with Lucy Rose up loud, my slouchiest ripped-too-much-to-be-considered-trendy type jeans on and my favourite grey tee.  Life is good.  My new job {which i PROMISE i'll share much more about once i feel like i've fully got to grips with it!} is getting better by the day.  This week i've been photo-graphing outfits for the weekend for our Facebook page and working on a special transitional coat edit which we'll be sharing over the rest of the week.  OH!  And i shall be spending my #wonderfulwednesday putting together some mood-boards for above each of our brands in the shop.  So my week almost feels a little too good to be true!!!  Enough about that for now, let's get down to the extra special parts of this week so far in the hope it'll give you the gentle nudge to do the same….
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1.  Homemade banana BREAD!  It's been about a year {i joke!} since i made banana bread but we had bananas coming out of our ears on Monday evening and since i had the early evening to myself as the Mr was out at an evening class at college, i decided to banana bread it up!  We use THIS recipe and it's got to be my very favourite.  I like that it uses just honey and banana to sweeten it and the fact that you can very easily incorporate a different flour too instead of the usual recommended Self Raising Flour.  We usually use a mix of wholemeal and spelt flour which gives it a lovely nutty taste and makes it feel much more like a legitimate 'bread' and less 'cake-y' than usual and means it's totally okay to slather it with almond butter first thing.  

2.  First TIGHT-wearing of the season!!!  I know i know i promised myself i'd hang on until October {it's usually September that heralds the start of being 'allowed' to wear tights and the whole letting go of Summer thing but it's been so flipping lovely up here that i've been trying my hardest to hang on} but i cracked! It felt pretty lovely pulling tights up to my chin and sliding on my favourite black Chelsea boots again after all of these months!  I'm already mentally creating new outfits in my wardrobe….

3.  PORRIDGE.  Sorry i do solemnly swear that i'll shut up telling you how yummy my porridge is and flipping flopping share with you what i do to make it so, soon!  But it's really been floating my breakfast boat lately.  I always have a tussle between toasted rye bread slathered with almond butter and sliced banana or porridge.  Porridge wins this week though.  I sometimes wish I could eat it for every meal.  I even went to bed excited the other evening because i had a new topping to try.  Somebody needs to get out more…..

4.  A new JUMPER.  Okay so I seriously need to get out more!  But i've been coveting this jumper for two weeks.  It's HEAVEN:  A perfect ivory shade and cable knit to-boot:  Do you need any more perfect ingredients to make THE JUMPER OF DREAMS?!?! I finally gave in and placed my order on Tuesday lunchtime.  It's from a dear sweet brand called Olive Clothing.  You can sneak a peek HERE.  Since discovering them i've built a wishlist as long as both my arms and my legs!  Such a pretty, affordable and ethical collection with really thoughtful details and a real point of difference from everywhere else.  I'm in LOVE!

5.  New SALAD combo's.  I usually take a salad to work for my lunch.  It's easy to transport and the type of thing i can do lots of different things with so i don't get bored.  I like to change it up every so often {usually along with the change in seasons} and this week i've been experimenting with the yummiest collection of orzo pasta, wild rice, roasted carrot and chopped walnuts with a dressing made from orange and chilli and handfuls of chopped coriander and wild rocket.  For the days when i'm extra busy i'll add flaked salmon, chopped avocado or cubed feta.  It's stupendous!!!!  It's also really rather filling and wholesome which i think is the mis-concpetion when it comes to salad-shaped lunches.  They keep me fuller for longer and then any kind of sandwich ever has.

6.  Buying wrapping PARAPHENALIA.  Sometimes it concerns me quite how much i love wrapping gifts.  I'd go as far as to say that i *almost* love conjuring up wrapping ideas and sourcing sweet little bits of ribbon, present toppers or prettily thought-out colour schemes more than i do the actual present!! I've got a few occasions coming up over the next few weeks and whilst i haven't actually got any of the gifts nailed down quite yet, i sort of already know my 'scheme.' Please tell me it's not just me?!?!

7.  The addition of a BLANKET.  It makes everything much better if you ask me.  Sort of like the biscuit to your tea, or the jam to your toast you know?  Now the evenings are cooler it's perfectly acceptable to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa watching TV {Anyone else love 'First Dates as much as us?!} drinking camomile tea and eating banana bread.  My favourite blanket is my cotton fringed pale lilac creation but i'm always on the look-out for more.  Tell me that's also not just me?!  You can never have too many blankets…cushions….duvet covers…..oh you know the drill by now ;)

8.  Finishing a little EARLIER.  Okay so it's only an hour earlier than i used to finish but i swear it's like a whole new world and it's safe to say it's probably my most productive hour of the day!  As the Mr generally isn't home until 6pm in that hour i can often get washing put in, hoovered and tidied and a good head-start on dinner all before he gets through the door.  That's a pretty good feeling and a real novelty to me!

9.  Glittery NAIL POLISH.  Dug out from a little case under the bed and discovered when hunting and searching a few weeks back for glitter to dust across my eyes when going to see Florence.  Whilst i can't really get away with that on the day to day i did stumble across the most glittery Barry M nail polish and thought 'Sod it, i want glittery nails!'  It's like a little party on my hands and the novelty is showing no signs of wearing off…

10.  SPICEDthings.  Because what is autumn without cloves, cinnamon, orange and star anise?!?  I've been loving smelling all of the seasonal candles, deciding upon which spicy incense oil will waft through our attic come the cooler nights {we're still burning Soft Linen yet!} and keping everything crossed that M&S make their Spiced Ginger curd again this year because i swear to god i lived on the stuff for at least three months solid.  It was delicious on anything and everything:  Warm croissants dipped in, spread on brioche or wedges of apple alternated with almond butter or even on a digestive biscuit….aherm.  Raise your hand if you're also a ginger fiend…?  No?  Just me then…

11.  A sweet SONG.  In our sweet abode you usually get woken up by a) the weather or b) seagulls.  Neither are particularly exciting and both usually have us getting up with a frown on our face, at least for the first few moments of the day!  This week though i've been woken {usually five or ten minutes before my alarm} up by the sweetest little bird chirruping, chirping and singing his little heart out on our little roof and it's the LOVELIEST!  I'm not quite sure where he is exactly, what he's singing about or even what kind of bird he might be and why nobody's answering him or sitting alongside him BUT i could lie there and listen to him for ages!  He sounds so happy and sings the sweetest little tune!  And it makes a change from squawking seagulls or torrential rain!  More sunshine and songbirds please!
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C'mon THEN!  You all know the drill by now.  This sweet post began it's life as a way for me to journal the little moments that make my weeks happy.  The idea behind them was that no matter what kind of a week i was having i'd post the best bits:  the smaller, sillier and more creative the better.  By doing so it would make me remember how lucky i was and make me feel better if the week was a long and tiring one or even happier if i was skipping along happily.  I hoped that by sharing MINE, you'd all share YOUR happy moments:  Those getting you through the day, the week or the things that you're always grateful of that can often get lost in the busy-ness of the 'Now.'  If you'd like to play along you can leave me a sweet comment below, tweet me or even tag me in your #wonderfulwednesday moments on Instagram.  As always i'm @sallytangle on both!  

Have the LOVELIEST of weeks!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #84

Well this a funny feeling!  I'm sat tip-typing to you a little later than usual.  I always write my darling little #wonderfulwednesday post after dinner on a Tuesday evening.  I couldn't write it any sooner simply because all of the wonderful things stacking up as we get towards the mid-week simply wouldn't have happened just yet.  But this weeks' been a little different!  I tootled over to Newcastle yesterday lunchtime with my sister with grand and great plans to dance the night away to the mighty Florence and the Machine!!!! {I'm sat writing to you with her up full blast, in our little office, our skylight wide-open and the last of the glorious Wednesday sun flooding in - trying to keep still, resisiting the urge not to get up and twirl around and around!!!}. 

 Without going in to too much detail here {since i do have tendencies to get carried away/easily distracted and this is a #wonderfulwednesday etc etc} i'd bought the tickets months back.  I remember sliding them out briefly when they came, doing a happy dance and squirrelling them away carefully in our little bureau.  They hadn't seen the light of day since.  I packed the envelope into my bag and skipped off into the sunshine and met my sister at the station.  Halfway to Newcastle i decided to check the tickets to see what time we had to be there.  In the envelope there was ONE ticket.  ONE.  TICKET.  We wont get into the shenanigans of the panic, terror and devastation that ensued over the next half hour, neither of us able to get a wifi/phone network on the train to see what had happened.  Had they not sent my other ticket?  Had i left one at home somehow?!  Had i bought one, or two?!?  

Turns out amongst the sheer delight, excitement, brief cartwheeling and happiness that tickets were still available way back in June, i'd bought ONE ticket and not two.  By some sheer and damned lucky-duck-shaped stroke of luck there were still some standing tickets available yesterday and my phone signal held out long enough on the train to enable me to buy another.   And to expell the biggest sigh of relief that i think i ever have in my whole and entire LIFE.  

SO as you can imagine since then everything in the whole and damned world has felt pretty amazing and fantastic and glorious and so i do hope you'll forgive me this rather delayed mid-week pick you up this once…..I think we should probably get going with the wonderful bits of this week so far….i'm just warning you now that this all might go a bit 'Flo-shaped' since if i'm pretty honest with you i can't actually remember anything before yesterday…..

1.    Sisters.  Or in particular my younger sister who, despite being generally wonderful and amazing all of the time anyway, was pretty much the life-saver of the whole past couple of days.  She was calm, collected, practical and an ANGEL.  All of the things i inevitably wasn't.    And even when we had sorted everything out and it was all going to be okay, she confessed that if we hadn't been able to find another ticket she would have let me go by myself because she knew how much it meant to me.  I might have filled up a little then.  I might have just filled up a little just now…..

2.  Autumn sun.  I'm sorry if you live much further south and are experiencing a much wetter start to autumn but i feel like we're owed this crazy almost autumn but gloriously sunshine-y weather we seem to be having up north in Cumbria.  Our summer has been almost non-existent without exaggeration.  Whilst i'm ready for autumn wholeheartedly, i'm a little bit relishing the beautiful light, warmer days and how much more beautiful everything seems with a few rays of sunshine.  

3.  Missing things.  I'm not an incredibly adventurous sort, i've always been a bit of a home-bird and so i'm not often away galavanting about, not the overnight sort anyway.  As i type this i haven't seen the Mr since he left for work at 9am yesterday morning and i was curled up under the duvet with my Lady Grey.  I'm so excited to see him!!!  That's the loveliest little feeling right there and one which i don't get to experience all too often.  

4.  Live music.  Sorry dear ones, i feel like i'm on a Florence-shaped high of the highest orders mixed in with absolute appreciation and gratitude times a MILLION that i actually got to go in the end since it was almost so ver nearly snatched away!  It's been SO very long since i went to see someone live.  Whilst i'm open minded and will happily give any live band a go {within reasons - we're not talking No One Direction here!} you can't deny the BEST live gigs are the ones where the artist's music really tugs at your heart-strings and you can't help but want to sing your heart out and throw your arms in the air with complete abandon.  This was one of those times:  Of heart-wrenching, lump in the throat, 'don't care if you lose your voice' or the use of any of your limbs you danced so hard!  

5.  Glitter.  Because when you're thirty {ssh} you can't really get away with glitter and not  look….well just plain daft.  But somehow going to see Florence made me think 'stuff it.  I'm going to cover my cheeks with silver glitter and silver stars and i'm going to sing until i have no voice.'  And so we did.  And it felt bloody FANTASTIC beyond belief!!!!

6.  Tea.  Because you don't realise how much you love it until you don't have it for…what 24hours?  Seeing Florence we'd booked an odd little economy concept hotel which was literally a postage stamp-sized room with a little bathroom.  It was bright, modern, clean and perfect for what we needed but there were no other facilities other than the very basics.  This mornings many pots of tea over honey and banana on toast in the sweetest little cafe, regaling the night before and all of the drama that went before was a little bit like a big magical hug-in-a-mug!!!

7.  Accidental pretty wonderful {if i do say so myself!} photo taking extraordinaire-ing!!!  Over the weekend i snapped a sweet photo of my beach bag-come-carry overspill items that wont fit into my main bag' against the most beautiful wall of the brightest red leaves!! I was one of those photos that came along completely by accident and really from being in the right place at the right time {and with all of the right colour co-ordinated items to!}.  It sent my Instagram into a little meltdown!! It was the funniest most surreal thing to happen since if you follow me on IG you'll know my photos are largely silly snaps of my feet, the sky or other nonsensical paraphernalia.  This was a big deal!  If you want to see what all of the fuss is about and really if it deserved the insane amount of likes it got, you can find my face on Instagram HERE.

8.  The thought of a hot shower in my own shower and a long, long sleep in my own bed.  Because going away and dancing until every part of your body aches and your voice disappears is the very best feeling.  But it does make you appreciate your sweet home comforts and little bubble of familiarity when you do return.  

9.  'You've Got The Love.'  For being my favourite ever cover in the whole of the world anyway, but for definitely being one those moments i'll never ever forget and for being all silly and definitely getting goosebumps, a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.   You can't beat the feeling that comes from hearing the first few notes of one of your very favourite songs in the whole world played live, you just can't.  

10.  Exploring.  Because it's easy to go to a new place and just stick to what you know, where you know or to even just stay on the main streets.  I feel like these past two days we adventured further:  we ate at independent off the beaten track-type places, admired quirky buildings and took ourselves a little bit outside our comfort-zones {read:  sometimes got lost!} but i really felt like we got under the skin of Newcastle.  It's honestly not a city that's ever been high up on my places i've particularly warmed to until now.  I shall definitely be back….you know but with BOTH tickets next time and all….
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So dear and sweet ones, it's over to you!  I'd love to know all of the little things that have been making your week maneagable so far.  Be they small, huge, whopping and wonderful; or as Florence and the Machine-shaped as mine, i'd love to know.  Remember you can leave a sweet comment below, or share your #wonderfulwednesday moments on Twitter or Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both.

Have a super DUPER rest of week lovely faces!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #83

{^Hydrangea bush//window//house of dreams^}
Good day dear and LOVELY ones!  How has your week been so far?  Mine has been a lovely one.  I met my sister on Tuesday to finalise plans for our couple of days in Newcastle next week seeing Florence and the Machine {!!!!!!} and we had a lovely long catch up over autumn-spiced hot coffees.  I say it each and every time we sit down and both give each other our undivided attention instead of Whats-apping pictures of our dinner or liking each others photos on Instagram; but i don't see NEARLY enough of that girl!  Time just seems to escape us when we are together and i am forever getting home only to realise that i didn't tell her about this, this or that.  Where does the time GO?!  On top of that i'm starting to feel a lot more settled in my new job and starting to imagine ideas, and lovely things we could all do.  But we can have a better natter about all those kinds of things another day for todays' post is solely for the WONDERFUL and fabulous moments of my week so far!  Here's hoping you'll share yours with us below or that i'll inspire you to at least think of the great things in your week so far.

1.  PORRIDGE tweets.  Or more to the point porridge tweets and emails!  I've had a sweet tweet about my porridge skills {or over-kill of mentioning the darn thing if you sit on the other side of the porridge hedge} AND an email asking me to share my fool-proof recipes on this sweet spot and this makes me SO  happy.  Largely because if you don't know already i flippin' LOVE the stuff!  Heavens if i lived by myself i'd eat it for every meal.  But also because feedback and interaction because of this little blog, or through Twitter or Instagram or ANY kind of way makes me feel all warm inside.  I don't want to harp on too much about the good stuff here {believe me i'm finding it HARD} except that it's so flippin' easy to make and the reason i love it so, is because you can cram SO much goodness into one bowl of it and starting with it in the morning hands-down makes a huge difference on how i feel and what i want to eat for the rest of the day.  The porridge-cogs are already in motion…stay tuned dear ones!

2.  WET WET WET.  You heard me right!  Call it my guilty pleasure if you will but lately i can't get enough of Wet Wet Wet's Greatest Hits.  I'm playing it now, as i type and i've had to delete and re-type a fair share already since i keep typing what i'm singing!  Wet Wet Wet were such a MASSIVE part of my childhood.  My mum adored them and whilst she also loved other stuff {think Marvin Gaye, David Bowie, Ultravox, Erasure…i could go on forever} their music always reminds me of our long car journeys north to Scotland {before we moved up there} for our summer HOLIBOBS.  We'd sing at the top of our lungs and with the music up loud and it always made me so happy!  I've said it a million times before, but i just love how magical music can be and that by listening to just a few moments of something, you can be transported way-back-when to where you were when you first heard it.  And that my friends is magical!

3.  PROGRESS.  Because i'm a pretty easy-going sort when it comes to others but i'm mostly my own worst and most harsh critic to date.  New job-wise i want to already know everything, to have learnt it yesterday and to be further ahead than i am.  In short i'm rarely satisfied with my own progress, even when it is good.  This week has TAUGHT me that i'm getting there:  I'm better than last week and more confident than yesterday.  And i need to start thinking that way more often!  I'm only human afterall!

4.  SWEET-PEAS.  Because i say, chop 'em while they're still-a-comin'!!  Call it a FLUKE but for some silly reason our dear sweet and quite tiny pot of sweet-peas are still blooming and smelling like HEAVEN.  Just as a jar of them start to curl up, there are enough blooms to fill another.  I say keep 'em comin'!  Whilst there's no denying that i adore autumn, this summers' changeable temperament has meant that i've not quite felt like i've got my money's worth.  For as long as they're there, it can be summer inside our little attic bedroom.  

5.  First APPLES.  For some reason it's only come this year that i really start to crave apples:  Ice-cold from the fridge as an evening snack alongside a floral mug of camomile tea with a drizzle of honey.  During summer, come rain or shine i predictably can't get enough of seasonal berries, citrus and tart-er flavours.  But come autumn it's all about the figs, pears and apples.  Call it a ploy because let's face it these autumn treats are more readily available when they are in season, but i rather like to think that my body craves what's NATURALLY in season. It's nice to think that despite usually being attached, using or dependent on some form of technology; that deep down i'm a little bit in touch with the season and with nature.  

6.  Adding a LAYER.  Whether that be a cardigan slung over my pyjamas {is it wrong i'm already excited to wear my slippers again?! I'd imagine it probably is!} a light jacket first or last thing or simply wearing socks with my shoes {i haven't quite dipped my feet/legs in tights just yet}, it's a strangely content feeling that i'm more than ready to embrace.  Alongside the fruit and veg' selection that a turn in the season inevitably brings us.  

7.  Feeling INSPIRED.  It feels like a little creative spark has been re-ignited in me lately, which is largely down to my new job.  But in general, it's so easy to just get sucked into doing the same thing each day, having your head down and not letting things in or simply not having the head-room to fit them in.  The fact that i'm starting to feel a lot more inspired and switched on to the things i've missed for such a long time is a lovely feeling to have.  

8.  A hint at the 'SMELL' of autumn. Someone said to me this week 'It even smells like back to school.'  And she was right, it does.  Walking to work yesterday, under a blanket of heavy damp fog and burying my chin into my little sheepskin waistcoat; it smelt wonderful:  Hints of a coal fire lingered in the air, TICKLING my nose as i breathed them in.  The air clung to my hair and smelt heavily of dew, of fallen leaves and nipped at my fingers and ankles.  Whilst my walk to work was much quicker, every last breath was a little bit lovely all of the same and it got me thinking about coats, and hats and mittens and Bonfire Night…..

9.  Nakd Chocolate Orange BARS.  Because i love them all always and to be honest i love chocolate always too.  But lately i've really been craving the rich kind of chocolate-y decadence and these sweet bars have been really ticking that box for me.  And it doesn't hurt that they are pretty good for your insides TOO.  Somebody recently told me that they are pretty amazing melted into porridge.  I'm not sure my little heart could cope with two of my favourite things in one place like that!! And not first thing in the morning!! Consider my mind rather BLOWN!  

10.  FENNEL.  Which might go down in history as one the most underrated vegetables in all of the land.  It's one of those things that i love the idea of, but one which i never really know what to do with.  Until we SLICED it so thinly, dressed it's aniseed-y sweet little self with a little lemon, oil and chopped coriander and tossed it through a left-over as they come-shaped salad:   Wild rocket, asparagus tips, cubes of cucumber and courgette and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  I've eaten it PILED a-top cous-cous for my at-work lunch since last Friday.  

11.  Curling HYDRANGEAS.  Like roses, i'm not shamed to put it out there and say that i prefer both when they are a little bit….on their way out…?  Since acquiring a baby hydrangea bush from my boss at work when i left as a lovely leaving gift, i've been ADMIRING the change in it's colour as it's been fully bloomed in its' cerise-y purple glory right through to it's faded lilac-ey petals it now bears.  I want so BADLY to snip a few to dry out, or even to just have inside in a sweet jam-jar of water.  But i'm so worried that i damage it and that it won't come back next year!  Any hydrangea-shaped advice would be SO greatly received!
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And now it's YOUR turn!  I'd love to know what's been making your week a little bit better than last, or just generally lovely for now, or EVEN what's been making the rest of the week and the fact that {depending on when you read this sweet post} we've got three days until Friday yet. I always feel like the end of the week still feels so very faraway whilst almost not quite believing it's ALREADY halfway through, or is that just me?!  In addition to sharing your happiness as a treat for nosey me, to inspire others to do the same OR simply because it's such wonderful stuff that you can't bear NOT to share; i wondered if i might ask a little favour?

If anyone happens to know Newcastle particularly well and could suggest some lovely places for tea or coffee or even some sweet eateries that would be extra kind of you!  If you ALSO happen to know anywhere that might satisfy a fussy vegan {not me!} i'd be EXTRA specially grateful.  Oh YES and hydrangea tips RE: snipping, drying or ensuring that it comes back just as pretty next year i'd LOVE you for! 

You can leave me a sweet comment below or tweet me on Twitter or tag me on Instagram with your #wonderfulwednesday bits and bobs.  As always, i'm @sallytangle on everything!

Speak SOON favourite faces!

Monday, 7 September 2015

A sweet potter

I'm a SIMPLE sort really.  As long as i get plenty of sleep and i've got a full tummy then there isn't much else i care for to make me HAPPY.  I'm not one for galavanting to far-flung places {not at the moment any how - maybe one day the wanderlust bug will catch me} or spending my weekends being fancy pants or extravagant.  What i really like to do is just POTTER:  Meander, mose-y about or TOOTLE slowly around and about and explore some hidden little treasure close to home.  I guess we are lucky in that we have plenty of little treasures not too faraway from our sweet doorstep.  And if i don't fancy doing that, well then i'm quite content just exploring new streets and sweet routes on my two-wheels.  Last weekend though, i discovered that garden-envy was definitely a 'thing' and that my sweet-peas were not as grand or as great as i'd kept telling them that they were.  The photo above shows you just that!  As it turns out sweet-pea envy is totally a 'thing' too…must try harder next year!  

Last Sunday we took ourselves on a little ADVENTURE to a food festival nestled just outside the town of Penrith and in the grounds of a beautiful old country house called Dalemain.  And, predictably; became far more excited by the site of a HUGE and whopping open to the public-type garden than we did the actual food festival itself - lovely as it was.
{You could smell these roses before you could even see them!  Why don't roses smell this way anymore? }
{The prettiest greenhouse that you ever did see and then me and my knobbly knees and tatty jeans!}
The gardens were filled to the BRIM with all kinds of weird and wonderful greenery that my little eyes had never even set eyes on before.  There were pear trees and the TWIRLIEST most wonderful of apple trees twisting their ways prettily up the ancient walls that housed the beautiful garden.  What i fell in LOVE with most though, aside from all of the pretty colours and sweet-peas that almost felt as tall as little sky-scrapers in comparison to mine, was the old and crumbly old-fashioned greenhouse hidden right at the back. It was SO full of charm and was surrounded and part-concealed by the lovliest-leafy wall of greenery.  I couldn't get close enough to see what was hidden away inside or even if the pretty greenhouse was still in use now {the sweetest little sign above was also a hint that maybe i was a little closer than i should have been anyway!} but i imagined sweet vine tomatoes curling up its insides or pots of summer-sweet berries sitting ready to be picked.  It looked just as i might have imagined a Victorian greenhouse from years gone by to have looked.  Ladies might have sat, embroidery on their skirted-knees or TWIRLING their summer parasols, whilst gardeners worked away in this sweet spot.  You can have all of your modern bits and bobs but isn't there something ever so LOVELY about getting a little bit lost in the past sometimes…?
{The sweet-pea skyscraper in question!}
We eventually managed to tear ourselves away from exploring the magical little garden and the house {we were short of time but vowed that next time we must explore the insides of the house and not just the garden!!} and re-visited the food festival, filling up on warm toasted pitta-bread piled high with salad, homemade falafels and the most generous scoop of delicious hummus, from the most beautiful little van hidden away at the very back of the field.  
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It was a pretty perfect way to spend the end of the weekend. It didn't even matter that the sun decided to stay away because so did the rain which looked like it wanted to drench us from the get-go!
{The sort of sunsets that all of the dreams are made of!}
And despite the angry skies all day, the end of the day turned out to be really rather BEAUTIFUL after-all!  We are always so LUCKY with the skies out of our little flat.  Whilst the weather this summer-time has been less than ideal, we've really been treated to some magical sunsets.  Which sort of makes up for it…kind of!  

Have a WONDERFUL week dear ones!  And remember to stop back through on Wednesday for my dear sweet #wonderfulwednesday nonsense!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #82

{Sky of champions right there!  Hasn't there been some magical skies lately?!}
Good day and happy #wonderfulwednesday on a week that feels as if it's barely begun before we are technically half way and already looking for the very best bits.  My week has been a lovely one so far:  A LAZY start in the form of a Bank Holiday extra long weekend and then starting my new job yesterday.  It wasn't planned but i must admit that starting on the 1st of September and also at what we can legitimately refer to as a new season since autumn officially starts now; fitted quite well.  It was a fresh start in more ways than one and one which i have jumped into wholeheartedly! And may i just take a little moment to say a huge, whopping and LOVELY thanks to each and every one of you who sent lovely good luck tweets, emails or Instagram messages of support - i was blown away by the kindness and support and i feel proud to be part of such a lovely little blogging community.   But without further ado, shall we get on and get talking about the best bits of this week so far?  

1.  Ripped jeans.  For a while i didn't get the whole ripped jean fuss.  But then we visited a Gap Outlet {FYI the only jeans that fit me in a 'i feel like i'm not wearing any and could kind of quite happily sleep in them' kind of a way} and i tried a perfectly faded but not too faded perfectly ripped pair and we fell in love and I haven't looked back since.  They've been my go-to on these much cooler 'nippy-er' evenings with my favourite grey marl tee and hair tied up in a printed scarf.  Low maintenance and lazy, comfy sort of dressing at it's very best!

2.  Long weekends. Because the Bank Holiday *technically* runs into this week and so is a perfectly legitimate inclusion in my #wonderfulwednesday.  They're a foreign experience for this little bean.  I've always worked some part of them:  Always the saturday and then either the Sunday or the Monday unless I actually made a point of booking them off.  The fluke that was finishing at Monsoon last Wednesday and not starting my new job until yesterday meant that i had the longest of weekends and two whole days off with the Mr.  It's the world's hardest task to prise him away from work since it's only round the corner from our sweet attic and so this was  an extra special treat.  Now i sort of understand the fuss over a long weekend!

3.  Darker evenings.  Well there's little point in being all sorry and melancholy for the lighter variety is there?!  There is a little joy in embracing the nip in the air {laying a soft blanket over bare knees in pyjamas watching tv} and the darker evenings.  We I like to put off putting our sweet lamp on for as long as possible and instead light some candles of the scented variety and enjoy the soft glow and the fading sunlight through our huge high windows.  

4. Tartan scarves.  Because i need anymore of these devils like a hole in the head but *somehow* i find room for another colour-way come each autumn.  This one was an absolute steal which i felt very peculiar buying all dressed in my cream cotton sundress and sandals on Saturday afternoon!  It's the dreamiest colour-way:  Dusky rose-pink, mustard, cream and navy blue and is so big and soft that it will more than double as a little blanket too.

5.  Sheepskin-love.  For so long i've dreamt of the perfect sheepskin rug.  Shall i tell you a story?  We bought an antique table and battered little chair for our office not long after we moved in.  We promised ourselves we'd do both of them up.  The desk not quite so much, but the chair?  Well i had visions that i'd have it re-upholstered in a beautifully printed fabric and the wooden arms and legs sanded down or painted.  Over time i've grown to love it's faded minty-velvet fabric and i've always thought it would look perfect with a sweet printed cushion and a cream sheepskin rug slung over.    So after i bought my new scarf^^^ at the weekend i treated us me to one.  It's the LOVELIEST little thing and you know, it really does bring the room together. It's also so comfy to sit on too. And you know, it;s only taken me about four years to finally make a decision so that in itself is worth celebrating.  

6.  Uninterrupted sunshine.  If you are further down south and have been subject to a slightly soggy long weekend then may i apologise.  But i can honestly tell you that before this weekend i cannot remember the last time we had more than one day of solid blue sky-shpaed sunshine. I'd quite forgotten what it was like!  And even if it wasn't hot hot; we persevered with bare legs, didn't wear coats and drank gallons of ice-cold water with torn up mint-leaves in if only to give summer it's final fair-well.  

7.  Messy hair.  Because isn't that the best kind no matter what time of year it is?!  It was quite the feeling to be a little bit more care-free and embrace the messy bed-head style 'do' over the past few days:  A silk scarf tied here or there, a messy bun, windswept-come-sun tickled locks or just tipping you head upside down and letting dry shampoo stretch another day out of your hair.  I find it ever so funny to think that a few years ago i'd get up every morning and wash and dry my hair.  I much prefer this low-maintenance malarky and the extra 'zzz's' it brings.

8.  First soups.  I know it's not against the law to eat soup during the warmer months but somehow i forget.  It gets replaced with hearty salads and garden leaves bulked up with grains, fresh herbs and scatterings of feta, salmon or sliced avocado.  But autumn brings the very best in soup flavours {my favourite:  spiced butternut squash, sweet potato and sage}.  This week we bought the last of the summer leeks and new potatoes for a soup-y supper later in the week.  Isn't there something ever so comforting about buttery potato and leek soup?!  Served with warm buttered baguette….mmmmm!

9.  Being made to feel welcome.  I shan't harp on too much about this post {we'll have a proper catch up later on in the week dear ones} BUT my first day at my new job was more than lovely!  It felt so nice to be made to feel so very welcome and to be part of such a wonderful and inspirational bunch of ladies.  I am feeling a very lucky lady!  

10.  Homemade spaghetti bolognese.  Because it's getting to *that* time of year:  Where tummy's need a little more than grains and leaves, lovely as they are.  Made with locally sourced meat, wholewheat spaghetti and served with garlic and herb ciabatta and torn basil. And followed by a long, long sleep and a lazy get-up.  It's the littlest things it really is!

11.  Spending time with the Mr.  Because even when you live with someone, time time, the kind away from television, from screens and just out in the fresh air, holding hands and chit-chatting is precious beyond belief.

12.  Seeing all the autumn/winter lines trickling through into my favourite stores.  Sometimes just a little lunch-time wander, and a peep is enough, don't you find? Oh of course there are a million things i'd buy if i had the money or the spare wardrobe space.  But sometimes just seeing the new lines gets you thinking about what you've already got, how you can update it and change it and make it feel new again.  And i love re-inventing older things, isn't that the very best feeling?  It's almost just as good as brand new buy after all.  

13.  Porridge.  Because let's not even go into what the best way of making it is:  what milk, what topping or even what bowl you should eat it out of {although FYI these are all pretty crucial} let us just take a moment to rejoice in the fact that the start of september and the nod to the fact that it is officially autumn out there means porridge is fully back on the menu.  Huzzah!
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And now DEAR ones, it's your turn once more!  I'd love to hear what's been keeping a smile on your face this week so far and what you are looking forward to for the remainder of it.  It doesn't matter how little, how TEENY tiny that something is, if it's making you smile then i'd love to hear about it.  You can share your #wonderfulwednesday shenanigans below in the comments or you can say hi on Twitter or Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on both - just don;t forget to tag me with the #wonderfulwednesday hash-tag so i can SEE.

Have a super-DUPER rest of week all!


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