Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #150

 {Icy blue skies and the barest of branches!}
I'm feeling quite pleased that this week's post is a nice round number.  It somehow seems apt to end the year on one, tidier almost?  Or is that just me?!  What.  A.  Week.  I can't believe Christmas has been and gone and i honestly feel as if it was pulled from underneath me in the blink of an eye - a blink that was filled with longer-than-long days at work;  of getting tangled in ribbon and tape and wrapping paper and lists of lists of things to get or do and places to be.  And then WHOOSH.  That's it.  If it's true what people say, that time flies by faster and faster the older you get, i fear I'm going to have to start holding on a little bit tighter!

I thought it might be nice in this week's post - end of 2016 and all that - to list a little bit of the best parts of this year.  For reasons i can't put my had upon quite as i write this; it's felt like a year with a little bit of grey cloud hanging over even the sunniest of days, have you felt it too?!  Between losing some of my very favourite artists and greats of this world to generally feeling like i have been a little bit too hard on myself and tried to take on just too much; well I'm more than ready to start a fresh and learn to take things a little more....gently shall we say..?

But enough about grey cloud and fuzzy headed-ness and more about what has warmed my heart these past few months.  Surely when times are tough, being grateful for the littler things is even more important.

1.  You! And you, and you, and you and even YOU!  This little corner wouldn't be what it was - which let's face it:  A collection of #wonderfulwednesdays a not much more really.  It's no secret that i feel a little bit lost in quite which direction i'd like to take this little corner of the internet BUT i can't write a post about this last year without giving a HUGE shout-out and virtual hug to those that have climbed aboard the #wonderfulwednesday boat and embraced all and what it means with arms wide open.  If i could hug each of you i really would!  You make writing this post mean so, so much more and it's lovely knowing that a little team of creatives want to join in. It's heart-warming beyond belief and thank you doesn't even come close!  You know who you all are *wink wink*...

2.  Stepping back.  I've had a year full of so much this year that it's felt a little bit overwhelming to fit it all in.  I often set such huge lists, tasks and personal expectation upon myself that when i don't achieve them, i feel like i've let myself down.  It's only taken me thirty years or so to master the art of recognising this and being able to step back and say 'actually, yes there are a million and one adult-shaped and important things i should be doing and i will get to them BUT today i'm going to please myself and ride my bike and drink tea and eat brownies in my pyjamas.'  Learning to look after yourself is something I'm learning to get better at...

3.  Family.  I'm not lucky enough to live in the same city as my parents or brother but i am lucky enough to live just round the corner from my sister.  Family meant a lot to me when i was younger but it's only really taken the last year to realise how much the dynamic of us all has changed and what a special relationship i have with each and every one of them - all different but all really special.  I'm not huge on New Years resolutions but this year i'm certainly going to make even more of an effort to spend as much time as possible with them all, wherever we are.  

4.  Feeling comfortable in your own skin.  That's something that I'll never 100% master - i mean who does?!  But I'm definitely learning that this is how i am now.  I feel settled in having a good exercise/active balance and i know what my body needs to make it do the very best that it can - and also what makes it do quite the opposite.  It takes such a long time to tune into that - if only you knew all of this when you were a teenager and could tell your future self:  "It really will be okay, you'll work it all out."

5.  Giving less time to the material things.  This is a massive work in progress and a big learning curve for me but moving house - purging everything from our little attic flat and having all the extra room to keep it all has kind of made me not want a lot of it.  I'm always going get butterflies in my tummy if i see a Liberty print anything and want to live in Anthropologie but what moving this year has taught me more than anything is that what actually makes home feel like home is the person i live with and the items i've collected that have love and memories attached.  The rest of it is just...... fluff.  Pretty fluff all the same but still fluff.  I've emotionally hoovered up a lot of it and whilst that spare room of ours is a million miles away from the clean, tidy and simple space i want it to be - I'm getting there!

*  *  *
Golly gosh has that turned into a little bit of an emotional Spring clean come early!  Sorry if you were hoping for tales of birdsong, clean sheets and the best mince pies i ever ate.  Expect more of that in 2017 {2017 PEOPLE!!!!)'s first #wonderfulwednesday I'm sure.  But for now skip your little self over to that lovely bunch of fellow #wonderfulwednesday -ers   {Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's AND lovely Isabelle} and read all about their very best bits of the week so far.  

And from me and this little blog - a very Happy New Year and thanks times a squillion for still being here 140 {!!!} #wonderfulwednesday posts later?!?!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #149

{A rare moment of absolute calm}
1.  Taste.  You know me, i love my food.  And not to harp, harp, harp on about it BUT almost three whole weeks not being able to taste has had me fully miserable!  Behold taste-buds and everything tasting so much better than you ever thought it could AND the urge to just eat and eat and eat.  WELL it is Christmas after all.

2.  Quiet mornings.  Work is so manic come this time of year, frantic even.  And when you're around so many other people being frantic and stressed and trying to cram in as much Christmas shopping in as they possibly can PLUS try and work around them, it's nigh on impossible to find any kind of calm.  This week i've been loving my quiet fifteen minutes eating breakfast with only silence, the Christmas tree lights and my thoughts for company.  I've also been loving our quiet drives to work with Radio 2 Christmas music and the silence of the roads into the city come this time of year now that the schools are all broken up for Christmas and everyone is still asleep.  

3.  Eucalyptus oil and maybe mostly the kind pharmacist in Boots who told me to add a few drops of the magical stuff to a cotton pad and leave it in the floor of the shower, out of the way of the direct flow of water.  This has changed my LIFE. Or my sinuses at least.  Doing this creates the menthol-y shower that ALL of the dreams are made of.  Combined with rubbing my chest with Olbas Oil afterwards and before bed and OH MY.  These two tricks have made a world of difference to lately, let me tell you.

4.  First clementines.  Okay so I'm mega late to the citrus party this year but in all fairness, i've been without taste for the past wee while.  Praise be to the yum that is the Christmas clementine not only for being great anyway but for being the first thing i could taste at the end of last week.  Must remember to pick up some more....

5.  Kindness. I'd like to think that Mother Tangle brought me up well enough to remember my manners {they cost nothing!} and to always be mindful of others kindness.  Lately though, in my sorry state of a self; i feel like i have noticed it even more.  I'm a lucky duck to have so many lovely people in my life - online or otherwise.  

6.  Wrapping paper.  Packaging, it'll forever be one of my vices.  Sure enough i'm still massively dis-organised with present-buying this year BUT i did enjoy picking out my wrapping paper and cards earlier in the week.  Everyone might end up getting prettily wrapped clementines if i don't get my behind into gear!

7.  This.  That's right:  this little post.  I felt miserable and ill and quite frankly YUK last week but i soldiered on.  This week i'm almost there and praise be to being able to find more than a handful of good things already....

8.  Exercise.  Bike or yoga mat?!  Either!  That time out on my two wheels OR on my yoga mat is precious, hard to squeeze in but pretty downright essential to me lately.  Without going all 'peace man' on you all, it resets my little head, calms me down and gathers my thoughts all in one go.  Whether that's fifteen minutes or an hour.  I've been snatching moments as and when and not feeling even the littlest bit guilty.  

9.  Frangipan mince pies.  You heard it right!  Just when you though the humble mince pie couldn't get any better, right?!  Quick-march yourself down to M&S pronto because these bad boys are the best mince pies that i have ever eaten!  Delicious pastry cases filled with mincemeat and topped with a fluffy cloud of frangipan and sprinkled with icing sugar and flaked almonds.  You're welcome!
*  *  *
And I'm DONE!  It's strange to believe that this time next week we'll all be rocketting towards 2017.  This year has gone crazy fast for me, faster than any before.  I think i might use next week's #wonderfulwednesday post to document my highlights of the year instead of my usual weekly list, who else is game?!?

Don't forget to skip on over and visit the #wonderfulwednesday 's gang {Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's AND lovely Isabelle} and their very own best nits too.  It's exactly what i shall be doing.  Probably whilst simultaneously wrapping presents, watching Love Actually and eating Frangipan mince pies....
Merry Christmas lovely faces!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #148

 {Really rather loving all of the flashes of red and green every which way lately, aren't you?}
I'm here, I'm here. I'm heeeeerrrrreeee! Better late than never, right?!  Or something like that!  If you follow me on social media you'll have noticed i said I'd been a little under the weather this week.  *Might* be the actual understatement of my whole life.  Do you know what's kind of funny but not really?!  About two weeks ago i started taking an Echinacea and Elderberry supplement to give me a little bit more defense towards viruses etc at this time of year.  Work is manically busy, all of the day merge into one and knowing my typically un-organised self; well i wanted to be on top form for all of that last minute dashing and busy-ness.

Except since taking said syrup {it's probably not its fault but it's a pretty big coincidence!} i've had quite possibly the worst cold i have ever had in my whole life.  It started as a cold.  Quickly morphed into the flu and is now a full blown respiratory infection and viral sinusitis WHICH as of today {and finally admitting that my little bones just aren't beating all of this nastiness alone} i've finally got antibiotics for.  
SO excuse the late post and quietness on most social media AND now i really need to list some lovely to cheer myself up!  Let's GO!

1.  Tea.  Always and forever but mostly now.  I think i've drank buckets of the stuff.  There's something about cradling a warm cup of tea in your favourite mug and drinking it that just fixes everything, don't you think?

2.  Painkillers.  Boring but true.  Sadly you wont find much in the way of inspiring tidbits of info about what i've been eating lately since i haven't been able to taste or smell for over a week now.  Amen to painkillers though. No really.  For fixing the ear ache, jaw ache, headache, shivers and temperature which have been alternating over the past week or so.

3.  Friends.  It shouldn't be this way but sometimes it really does take for you to have a hard time and feel totally rubbish to realise that your closest friends and colleagues and family are even more lovely than you even thought they were.  

4.  Christmas tree-ing.  Finally something i don't need all of my senses to really appreciate!  We popped ours up at the weekend and we've only just got a new set of lights {ours blew when we plugged the devils in!} as of today.  I'm already excited for breakfast by the Christmas tree.  The light of a Christmas tree makes even the shortest darkest days seem not too bad.

5.  Sunlight. Golly gosh i've missed it lately.  It's been all grey and mild and drizzly up North and I'm ready for some sunshine and frost again please!  On today's day off {Wednesday} we were treated to blue skies and pretty cloud collections and it cheered me up no end!
*  *  * 
And {if you'll be so kind as to excuse the short and sweetness} we're done!  Don't forget to pop on over to   Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's AND lovely Isabelle's lovely blogs to feast your eyes on the very best bits of their own week's.  It's exactly where i'm-a-headin' this second!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Wonderful Wedensday #147

 {Prettiest light + winter berries = loveliness!}
Would you judge me if i told you that i *almost* stuck my head under the duvet and cancelled #wonderfulwednesday {imagines that the inward gasp of breath the world over causes some kind of climate-shaped disaster. Jokes!}.  But i DIDN'T.  I'm HERE!  I'm sort of falling apart at the seams from the most horrid of colds that there ever was.  And i NEVER catch colds, i NEVER do!  The appeal to just come home from work tonight {Tuesday evening} and have the hottest bath and the earliest night has been rescued by the promise of pizza.  I'm a fickle bean at times.  SO i've had a cup of Lady Grey as big as my head, I'm wearing my comfiest slouchy blue indigo dungarees and my sheepskin slippers AND said pizza is in the oven {speck ham, black pepper, rosemary and mushrooms with mascapone incase you're wondering - my favourite!} and we are going to DO this!  I need me some HAPPY people! Send forth all that is good and happy-making!


1.  Being warm. Something that hasn't come easy to me this week.  Scratch that, maintaining any kind of normal happy medium where body temperature is concerned has been a real effort.  I've either been about a million degrees {or felt it} or frozen cold to the bone.  Queue lots of 'i want a hot water bottle, no I'm too cold you can have it, no GIVE ME MORE DUVET.'  If i haven't said it already, that Mr of mine is a lucky, lucky man.  


2.  Soup.  If I'm honest largely for insulation purposes since as i can't taste a thing.  But actually I'd live off soup.  You know if i wasn't already living off porridge, Lady Grey and crumpets.  Is there anything more comforting than a huge bowl of soup and really lovely bread to dunk in it...?!  


3.  First mince pies:  Warm and slathered obscenely with brandy butter with little or no shame incurred whatsover.  T'is the season and all that.  Fun fact:  I went years and years before i even tried a mince pie - i mean we could be talking only in the last five years or so - purely because i really wasn't keen on the smell of the mincemeat itself.  Then i tried one and i have never looked back.  I feel as if I'm legitimately allowed to eat at least a couple a week purely on the grounds that I'm making up for lost time/pies.     


4.  Pukka Elderberry Syrup.  Ironically I bought a bottle a couple of weeks ago in a desperate attempt to boost my immune system and avoid colds like....oh the one that is currently residing in my little nose.  All the same i've been keeping up my daily spoonful and adding in another one when i get home each night and it's the most soothing little tincture of yum and it does make me feel better and keep me away from Beechams, Lemsip etc etc.  {Fun fact #2:  I always see it as some kind of personal challenge to get through a cold without medicine medicine.  Not sure why.  I'm not keen on taking tablets and so instead i ramp up all the green and good and try and be extra kind to myself.}.  It's a delicious mixture of Manuka honey, elderberries, echinacea, rosemary and ginger and honestly?  I could drink a whole bottle.  


5.  Chilli-shaped plans.  Don't tell him i said so but that Mr of mine makes the worlds' BEST vegetable and lentil chilli that there ever was.  It's crammed full of great things like celery, peppers, carrot - sometimes even squash or sweet potato - and lentils and we always eat it with tortilla chips and a wonderful pineapple salsa.  He's promised to make me an extra spicy one later on in the week in a bid to blast away this horrid cold and i am more than excited.  Better still it means I'll have leftovers for lunch for at least a couple of days after.  


6.  Over the top earrings.  Not surprisingly because of what i do and where i work i rarely buy jewellery and accessories anywhere else but Accessorize.  This week though i treated myself to the greatest, tassell-ey most OTT earrings form H&M to wear over Christmas.  They are black and gold and wonderful and i just know that Mr of mine will make some smart and sarcastic joke about them being like curtain tassels or who knows what but you know what?!  I don't care.  They're a bit OTT but if you can't go OTT at Christmas then really when can you?!?  


7.  Crumpets, banana and creamy cashew and cinnamon butter greatness.  Don't panic, i haven't fallen out of love with porridge but lately i can't get enough of crumpets.  I'm working slightly longer hours at work now {woe is me come this time of year and working in retail!} and have been sneaking any extra available time under that duvet of mine.  Crumpets have just been quicker and just as spicy and filling and yummy as i've wanted lately.  And the crumpets, the bests ones?!?  M&S Five Grain Sourdough Ultimate Crumpets hands down.  Better than any other trust me.  And i've pretty much tried them all now....


8.  Wearing golden stars on my face.  For no apparent reason other than i found them in a little drawer and Monday was grey and miserable and i thought well why the heck not?!  I felt all Abba-esque, snot or no snot!


9.  Belated birthday presents.  It was my birthday last week and so i took a few days of work to simply pootle about.  That meant going back to work on Monday i received several belated cards and presents and i've still got more to come!  Hurrah for birthdays that go on and on and on!  


10.  A day off.  I sometimes wish i could capture that feeling right before you go to sleep the night before your day off - pause it and savour it because sometimes looking forward to a little rest and not very much else other than keeping warm is better than the event itself.  I often think the same about my birthday, about Christmas or other things I'm looking forward to.  Life seems to zoom so fast lately that sometimes it's all just too fast!
*  *  *
      
And we're DONE!  Pizza is calling my name and a day off tomorrow is calling it even louder.  There might even be more mince pies but they'll definitely be crumpets and tea and hot lemon, ginger and honey and all of the hot water bottles!  Don't forget to fill your heart and soul with even more lovely by bobbing on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's AND lovely Isabelle's blogs and reading their very own #wonderfulwednesday 's.  Better still share what's been making your week so lovely down below in the comments.  Or chit-chat with us all online and over social media using the #wonderfulwednesday tag as per.

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