Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #94

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Happy mid-week all!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #93

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending LOVE to you all!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy mid-week lovely ones!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #91

{Is there a sight more glorious then an orange-tinged colour wheel of sycamore leaves?!}
By JINGO and bloody beyond how the devil is it now already?!?!?  I'm not ready for it to be Wednesday!! Why i hear you ask?!?  Well i feel as if i've hardly got going this week and this week is already half over.  My week so far has been a LOVELY one - being creative and photographing some jewellery for work and trying to do so in a 'not so clearly all Christmas-ey' just yet.  That one's harder than you think.  I've got some funny looks trundling around with some silver bells in the bottom of my bag i can tell you: Jingle jingle jingle.  It's a little bit too soon for all of that just yet!  That aside it's been a week for good and deep sleeping, the kind that comes from the hottest showers, the warmest pyjamas and a mug of camomile tea as big as my head!!!  Rocket-speeding week aside, what ELSE has been good, great and wonderful…?!?!

1.  Coldplay 'The Scientist' on loop.  For no other reason than that it crept up into my ears on a foggy Monday morning when the air was damp with mist and dew.  It's the kind of song you fall right into, lose track of everything around you other than to remember to put one foot in front of the other.  Thinking about it, it's actually not such a wise thing to listen to wandering to work when you have several busy roads to cross….

2.  New underwear.  Because i need it like a whole in the head and really should be buying or at least starting to buy Christmas presents.  I blame M&S for the 20% off discount code.  I could have really gone to town as there was so many pretty bras.  I think i was actually rather reserved in the one i purchased….

3.  Clean hair.  I'm a scoundrel, a little raggamuffin, or a lazy bones if you will when it comes to my hair.  I remember the days when i would get up early enough to have time to shower, wash, dry and style my hair before work.  Now i get up as late as possible and leave exactly the right amount of time for only washing my face {i shower each night before bed}, applying make up and drinking an extra large mug of tea and eating a bowl of porridge the size of my head.  How things have changed.  Now the thought of washing my hair seems such a chore. Tell me it's not just me?  But oddly enough as soon as it's done and i've dragged my feet into the bedroom to dry it a couple of hours later, i can't stop smelling it.  Yes i might survive on hats and far too much dry shampoo or carefully placed hair scarves, but you can't actually beat the waft of clean hair.  Unfortunately you also can't beat an extra forty minutes in bed not washing it brings either….

4.  Window shopping.  I'm not really much of a shopper.  Ho ho ho you wouldn't think that looking at the three wardrobes of paraphernalia i have 'curated' over my thirty years of life!   What i mean is that i rarely choose to spend a whole day doing just that - shopping.  But there is something about this time of year:  Autumn.  It's all foggy and damp starts, warming breakfasts, coffee tasting better sipped from a paper cup and laced with spiced syrup of some description and just meandering through shops:  Crunching upon leaves as you go, soaking in all of the colour.  Because it sometimes feels like it's all you're going to get until Spring and right now that feel like a very very long way away, don't you think?  Shopping no. Autumn meandering and simply pretending what you might buy if money was no object and there were months and months of bright russet-coloured leave-spiked days stretching ahead of us all with no other kind of commitment.  That, is my kind of 'shopping.'

5. Pineapple and ginger.  Two ingredients that joined each other so blissfully in syrup-shaped embrace in a light as a feather, as sweet as they come kind of a sponge cake topped with bright yellow custard.   A spicy and sweet in equal measure sort of a pudding made perfectly for Autumn's dark nights.

6.  Planning Christmas windows at work.  Because this year we can be ALL kinds of creative and imaginative and simply sparkly without abandon {the perks of an independent retailer} !! It might of been the most excited i've got about anything Christmas related so far.  Well save for deciding upon my wrapping 'theme' for this year already despite not even given the tiniest thought to what i'll actually be wrapping….

7.  First goosebumps.  Okay well obviously not in the whole of ever, but it's been a little while since i've felt cold.  We're talking properly cold, the 'watch your breath linger in the air first or last thing' sort of cold and the kind that's been so very absent for the whole of autumn so far.  To start with i didn't complain.  I loved the lingering summer late temperatures that lasted for so much longer than we all expected.  But now Christmas is creeping in, tell me it's not just me who is longing for frost and a real icy cold and bright snap?!?!

8.  Pasta.  Because when we're short on time {read - i'm home slightly later from a meeting and haven't given supper much thought at all} and feel so very hungry all of a sudden out of nowhere, there is something ever so satisfying in filling your 'tum with a hot and spicy bowl of pasta on a damp late autumn night.  I just need to get past the urge to curl up and go straight to bed afterwards…

9.  Tights all colours of the rainbow!  Or if we're being really honest simply just the 90 denier variety, that pull almost up to my chin, in maroon, slate-y grey or black.  Worn simply with everything alongside a tan chelsea boot or a battered brogue.  Made for autumn days and surely for those winter-shaped ones rocketing towards us all!  Tights season is one for celebrating surely?!  

10.  Good hair days.  We don't celebrate and shout about the things enough.  We're quick as a flash to complain when it doesn't go quite right.  Except can we just pause to say, why is it that you suddenly start loving your hair and revelling in good hair days galore as soon as you book an appointment to get it cut?!?!  In exactly the same vein, why as soon as you book an appointment to get a trim do you suddenly start pinning all kinds of adventurous haircuts, styles and inspirations even if you know very well that you'll pop yourself down in the seat and say 'oh me?  Yep just a little trim and tidy up please.'  That really probably is just me….

11.  Singing.  The top of your lungs as loud as you like kind.  I don't think i'm a great singer, i mean i can hold a tune and all but i really do think that even if i couldn't, how do people not sing?!  Belting out a brilliant song in the shower or who cares where is the fixer of everything and feel good feeling extraordinaire!  It's so  very therapeutic to make that much noise and get all caught and wrapped up tightly in a sweet melody and a scattering of words.  Will you try it for me?!  

Roll UP!  For now it's your turn!  To share your happy snippets, lovely moments and pieces of positive that are powering you through to Friday.  I'd LOVE to know about the best bits of your weeks so far.  You can leave me a sweet comment below, or you can tweet me or tag me on Instagram using the #wonderfulwednesday hashtag.  I'm @sallytangle on both.

Have a wonderful rest of week favourite faces!

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