Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #199

{Winter at it's most beautiful}
Heavens!  How did it get to now and where did then go?!?  I'm predictably only half-organised for Christmas and feeling a bit frazzled and exhausted if i'm being honest.  I can't tell you how very much i'm really looking forward to sitting down to my Christmas dinner on Christmas day surrounded by some of my favourite people.  But that right now seems both a long way off {and too many long and busy shifts away!} and only round the corner in equal measure! I'm sort of relishing hiding in this weeks' post for a little while:  Switching off the stressful part of my little brain and just thinking about the littler, lovely and things that i'm grateful for this week.  Are you ready.....??!?!

1.  Breathing.  Silly really but doing it properly has made a huge difference to my Lately.  When things {*cough* Christmas *cough*} feel like they're getting a bit  too much; taking the time to focus on nothing in the world BUT breathing, has been helping put everything back into perspective.  ie:  It really is just one day out of the whole year long and not worth getting oneself into a silly little tizz about.  

2.  Sour apples.  I'm blaming the bowlful's of sweet and sour citrus we've been devouring week on week over the cold months on the fact that this week i've been craving even more 'sour.'  This is a bit unusual for my sweet-toothed self!  I've fixed myself up by picking up the greenest, crispiest and sourest apples i could find and i've been enjoying chopping them into quarters and either slathering them in salty almond butter orrrrr eating alongside a few squares of crumbly cheese.

3.   Coal.  Or was it wood?!?  Who knows to be honest except to say that 'Lately's' wander home from work in freezing fog and skatier than usual pavements also found the air thick and damp with the smell of some kind of fire.  Walking slower {due to said ice and minus temperatures} and breathing in great big gulpfuls of Wintery Night  was actually really rather lovely.  I can't smell a burning fire without being taken right back to being small and staying with my Nanna and Grandad and they're sweet little coal fire.  

4.  Banking sleep.  This week is my busiest of the whole year at work and will see me doing a fair few twelve and possibly thirteen hour shifts so naturally i've been curling up and catching up on those Zzzz's as and when i can.  I notice such a difference in how i look and feel and how productive i am with enough sleep and as i've grown older {!!!} i've really learnt to appreciate the importance of it.  This week has so far been for not feeling guilty getting up a little later when time permits...

5.  Chocolate.  The coconut kind.  I know it's because i'm in a little bit of a 'Tizz' and feeling a lot stressed this week but i've been craving chocolatey 'everythings' all the live long day.  Shout out to Ombar Coconut milk chocolate buttons and for Meridian chocolate peanut butter for keeping me suitably 'Cocoa-ed Up.'

6.   The smell of freshly washed laundry.  I'm finding comfort every which way that i can this week, have you noticed?!?  What can beat it though, the smell of drying laundry as you step through the door after being out in the cold.  It's been the smell i have come home to most days this week since there's been washing hung from every possible hanging space imaginable!!!  It's also worked a treat at making me feel all warm, cosy and relaxed each evening too.   

7.  Nuts, nuts, NUTS!  They've been my go-to snack this week.  Well let's be honest they pretty much always are but this week i've needed even more rocket fuel than usual!  I always carry a little tub of them around with me as they're great for on the go pick-me-ups!  This week it's been all about walnuts and dried apricots!  

8.  Frangipane Mince Pies.  I mean i love a mince pie as much as the next person.  Okay maybe a little more than the next person.  So much so that i almost squealed in delight when i spotted Frangipane Mince Pies in Marks and Spencer!  If there's one thing i might like more than mince pies it's almond flavour anything and Frangipane always.  These crumbly little dreamboats didn't disappoint.  So much so that halfway through the first box i went out and picked up a second.....just incase they sell out!  They're that good. 

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And i'm done and with time to spare to sit awhile and maybe write some Christmas cards by the tiny tree i've christened Rodney:  Rodney Tree!  It's odd to think that this time next week as i'm writing my #wonderfulwednesday post Christmas will be all done and dusted and we'll be gearing up for New Year and all that comes with it!  I for one am ready for a new year, a fresh start-blank page feeling {because there's somethin' cleansing on the heart and soul about opening a new diary afresh, hanging up a new calander, don't you think...?!} and a chance to see where 2018 takes me.  How about you?

But enough of that for now, don't forget to skip right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs and catch their very own #wonderfulwednesday post's.  If there was ever a time to stop, think and be a little more grateful and thankful for what you've got, it's now.  Am i right?!?
Merry Christmas you beautiful bunch!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #198

{Magical 'Wintery wonderlands' for always please}
This week will forever be remembered {by myself at least} as the week when Winter came.  Not just Winter by the month.  You know in an 'oh it's December, it's officially the start of Winter.' No, we're talking 'Winter by weather.'  I genuinely can't remember the last time it was so cold or the last time my face ached from icy temperatures and that i couldn't feel my toes through 200 denier tights that almost went up to my chin aaand woolly socks over the top!!!  That said it's been pretty damned magical {in an icy Narnia sort of a way} and even if i have worked the past seven days in a row; i'm ready and raring {and a little bit more rested after today off, Tuesday} to count some good things...

1.  Real Winter weather.  It's been icy, icy for most of this week and it's been SO beautiful!  I can't remember the last time it's ever been quite as cold in my whole life.  I awoke on Monday morning with my phone telling me it was -8 degrees outside!  What has been mostly lovely though is the brilliant and bright blue mostly cloud-less skies that have accompanied said 'arctic blast' type weather {save for the odd swish and swoosh of white whisps here and there} and seeing a fair few days in a row of Winter sun.  I wish that all of Winter could be like this - right up until about March time when the snowdrops start to scatter across the grass and the first brave little daffodils poke their cheery yellow flowers up and out of the ground.  When Winter is Real Winter, it's pretty magical.

2.  Roasted tomatoes.  There's no denying that tomatoes taste their very best after being sat on a sunny July window ledge for a few days and served only with flaky salt, good olive oil and some torn basil leaves BUT, they've been something i've been craving this week, so i've taken to 'Wintery-fying' them {which is totally a thing may i just say!}.  Tuesday's supper was a simple one:  Slow roasted baby tomatoes with a little dried thyme and oregano and served smooshed, salted and peppered and spread on top of hot buttery sourdough toast.  And yes, yes they were heaven!

3.   Beret-wearing.  To be honest come this time of year and most definitely this kind of weather; there's no chance i'll leave the house without some kind of hat on my head!  Lately it's all been about berets!  I've worn berets for years {i blame Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City circa season fiiiiive????} and since they've suddenly become all 'Trendy Wendy' i've managed to add a couple more to my collection.  There's something about wearing a beret that just makes you feel all kinds of pulled together even if underneath your put together hat and coat combo you're wearing your bobbliest jumper and your scruffiest jeans...

4.  Feeding the birds.  A few weekends back i picked up some seeds and fat balls for the birds over the Winter and as of this weeks' cold-snap i couldn't have timed getting them, better!  It was so nice on my day off on Tuesday, to sit and watch the sweetest pair of little robins flit from bird feeder to bird feeder and fill their little tummies up before swooping away.  

5.  Shopping independent.  I'm trying so very hard this year to buy local or if not local, to support smaller businesses in the run up to Christmas.  Not just that but i've also been trying to buy less too - which might  seem a little odd!  I just feel so overwhelmed with Christmas  this year - i mean i do every year but the older i get the worse i think i feel about it somehow.  My very favourite part of Christmas is having a day off, spending it with some of my very favourite people and cooking and sharing a lovely little feast altogether.  I just don't believe in spending lots, getting stressed and giving lots of things all for one day.  It just doesn't sit right in my little heart somehow...?!  

6.   First mince pies.   I can't believe it's taken me until almost mid-December to have one!  But it has and i did and it was GLORIOUS!  I just wish i hadn't got quite so excited and forgotten to pick up some kind of rum butter or delicious cream or ice-cream.  But there's the rest of December for that...

7.  A day off.  As i forever used to hear my mum say when i was small:  'I'm meeting myself coming back' lately!!!  I also truly understand the meaning of the sentence too!  At work lately the weekdays disappear into weekends and the weeks themselves are just rocketting forward like nobody's business lately!  I think because i rarely work the same days each week or ever a Monday to Friday, i lose weeks even more than the next person.  This weeks' Tuesday and Wednesday off together are needed more than ever and whilst i have about a squillion things to do; i really am trying my hardest to take time to take care of me too! Lying in bed this morning {Tuesday} and not rushing to get up and sipping my tea back under the duvet was heavenTomorrow {#wonderfulwednesday itself!} is for putting together that wreath i keep wittering on about and for tying up some Christmas present-shaped loose ends!  All with cups of tea aplenty and maybe some candles and Christmas play-listing for good measure....

*  *  *

And i'm all done and dusted and a little bit in disbelief at how last week's post really and truly only feels like a day or two ago and wondering if there is a way that we could all just slow down a bit...please?!?  Don't you dare forget to hop, skip or jump right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs and catch up with their list of lovely and stories of happy because in the hustle and bustle and little chaos that has become of lately; well we could all do with stopping to smell the roses count the little things.  Don't you agree...?

See you here next week...?  


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #197

{Stillness & quiet at it's very best}
If there was ever anyone that just needed to sit and to be for a moment today then that person would be me.  If i could put both my hands and feet in the air all at once I would.  I feel so in need to just sit and be quiet this week.  The noise of Christmas is getting a bit.....loud and i can feel panic creeping in and what i really need to do is just take a step back and realise that Christmas is not about presents.  It's about being around the people you love and care about and showing them how special they are to you. And that doesn't need to be with things it just needs to be with you!!  I mean i know this, but oftentimes someone just needs to sit me down and remind me.  So as you can imagine this weeks #wonderfulwednesday couldn't have come at a better time....

Let's list some littler even more lovely things....

1.  Thoughtfulness.  Do you know what this is so very much something I {we!} should be grateful for and notice so much more often than I/you do, don't you think?!  Last weekend was my birthday and i was overwhelmed with how many people remembered, took time out of their day to get in touch and even pick me out such perfect and thoughtful gifts.  I try my hardest to thank anyone that shows thoughtfulness in whatever capacity it comes - and definitely not just on days like birthdays, Christmas etc, etc - BUT we're all guilty of sometimes just missing the tinier moments of it.  So here are my three {I'm pretty certain i could think of more but i'm trying my hardest to not digress as this as only point one of this weeks post...}mini thoughtfulness moments from this week so far:  Somebody at work remembering exactly how i like my tea {and i'm a fussy tea drinker, i can't help it!}; having the door held open for me by a kind elderly gentlemen on a quicker-than-quick lunchtime scurry over to M&S foodhall on Tuesday afternoon.  He also wished me good day.  They don't make 'em like that anymore, do they?  Oh and last but not least;  Somebody finishing off a job at work that i'd started, and got completely swept up in another {as my days at this time of year usually go!}.  I didn't ask her to.  She didn't have to.  But it helped me no end and i was ever so grateful.  At this time of year my job can get so hectic!

2.  Friends.  The good kind.  The simplest way to describe a really good friend..?!  The kind that you haven't seen for far too long {where does the time go?!} and you meet and all of a sudden it's like you only saw each other yesterday and pick up exactly where you left off.  ALSO the kind of friend that you leave and afterwards feel invigorated, inspired and the very best version of yourself.  These kinds of friends are solid gold, totally and completely. 

3.  Escape.  Whatever your form of escape is, this weeks mantra is:  'Do THAT or IT more.'  Maybe that will be the whole of next year's mantra...?  A quick escape for me is usually riding my bike - i'm forever slotting that in here and there and whenever i can simply because i just know it makes me feel physically and mentally better for it.  A treat escape is long and lazy walks somewhere quiet, green and beautiful with one of my favourite people.  That was my last weekend:  All i wanted to do on my birthday was just that:  No fuss, no great extravagance or expense, save for the petrol to get somewhere and the few pounds to fill our tummies with tea and scones.  The Mr and I spent a few delicious hours in Keswick doing just that and the icing on the cake was a little wander around the beautiful lake that is Derwent Water. It was peacefully quiet and the escape was just what we both needed.

4.  Sainsbury's 'Winter' incense oil.  It's not very often i'm swayed away from the comforting smell of their 'Line Dried Linen' oil because that stuff is just divine in itself and who doesn't want every corner of their home to smell like the outside on the warmest hint of a blue skied Spring day?!?  But i picked this up on a whim and it's beautiful:  All frosty winter woodland dancing along a little bit of an icy breeze.  It's not a million miles away from the linen's just more....icy?!?  Either way i can smell it wafting along our hallway as i type and it's making me happy!

5.   Hints of Christmas.  I know that everyone hurries to pop up their Christmas decorations as soon as December hits and due to the gloom and doom and little light of lately i've been almost tempted myself.  But traditionally we've always waited until after the 10th December as my birthday falls at the very beginning and my brothers the weekend after so Christmas has never really felt like Christmas until those two things have been done and dusted.  But i've already snuck in a couple of strings of clear fairylights - one that i particularly love scattered across our kitchen windowsill.     It's the room that at this time of year only really gets any kind of sunshine very early on and that all dissolves across the roof and around to the back of the house come midday.  The twinkly glow of the fairylights fix any kind of doom and gloom!  I also picked up some old fashioned paper ornaments in a soft dusky pink a few months back {purely because i adored the colour so much!} and i've hung a couple of them around the bedroom. Now i just need to pick up some more fresh Eucalyptus to make my little wreath....

6.  Citrus.  I mean call it the doom and gloom of shorter days and darkness all of the darn time BUT lately it's just all i want.  We scampered over to our favourite little fruit and veg market at one of local garden centres last Sunday and stocked up and we now have the biggest bowl of citrus known to man!  They're so so much cheaper than supermarket bought oranges and SO much nicer!  I even picked up some rainbow carrots to roast with maple syrup and mustard and some of the shiniest, reddest apples that i have ever seen!  All for about £3!  The heart wants, what the heart wants!

7.  Hair grips with days of the week on.  I picked these up on a website recently whilst trying  to do some Christmas shopping and i adore them.  Yes they're twee, and silly and i'll most likely only really use to pin up my pesky fringe on an eveningor  when having a wintery bubble bath BUT that's okay because they just make me ridiculously happy!!!

8.  Winter sunsets.  Because now we're officially in December, we're officially in Winter.  And, maybe i say this about sunsets or sunrises at every part of the year BUT there's something extra magical about a glorious amber and orange sunset in Winter. I think it's because of the definite lack of light and daylight in general come this time of year:  It's exactly why we festoon our little 'somewheres' with all of the jewel-like colours; all of the strings of fairylights and rosey-red and pine-green ornaments and decorations galore: It's to bring us light.  So YES, a Winter sunset, it's forever unexpected but boy oh boy is it something i'm grateful for lately.  If only i had the time to stand, head tipped back as far as i could, to just stand; gazing at it:  Watching the birds swoop and swish against it's unicorn-swirl of a backdrop.  They really are something to be treasured this time of year.  

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And i'm DONE:  With a flourish of gratitude and heart full of feeling just better for sitting and taking a moment in the hectic-ness of 'Now.'  Go and fill your own heart with even more happy and skip right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's  blogs and catch their very own list of good and great!

Better still share your own - let us all know and we can share it too!  Or just tell us what's been lovely about your very own 'Lately' down below in the comments or on any social media channel:  I'm @sallytangle as per usual. 

See you in seven?!?

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #196

{Icy starts making lately, lovely!}
Hello!  How do you doodle-do?!  You join me in a little bit of a sleepy state and after another seven day in a row stint at work which comprised of all of Black Friday weekend.  As we speak you read this though, i hope i'll still be wrapped up under the duvet, sleeping soundly and dreaming of the delicious breakfast of crispily toasted crumpets, crunchy peanut butter and sliced banana with a mug of tea as big as my whole head!  For today is my day off you see!

 What.  A.  Week.  If i've said it once, i've said it a squillion times - I really am getting too old for this seven day in a row malarky.  By the end of the weekend i could hardly co-ordinate my mouth and limbs together and bumped my head and 'self' on so many things during Sundays shift that i think i've lost count!  Not that spacial awareness is one of my strong points as it is {there's forever a bruise somewhere that i can't remember!} so factor a little sleepiness into the equation and you can only imagine!  

SO today's job {Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday!!} is for being wrapped up warm-so-warm and indulging in a little lazy!  But now is for counting, and remembering and maybe even for feeling like i have to dig a little bit deeper this week.  Regardless of any of that, the good and great {or little and 'lessy'} is what we are here to count are we not...?!?!

1.  Dungarees.  But not just any dungarees.  A pair i bought actually at the back end of summer in the sale and tried them on, wasn't one hundred percent sure i was cool enough to wear and promptly forgot about them *covers eyes.* I must stress to you that doesn't usually happen. But all is well!  Turns out i am cool enough, or a few weeks down the line have led me to believe that i am and now i feel all kinds of comfy and sassy pants and fabulous.  {AND have worn them pretty much the live long week!}.  Who knew 'comfy' and 'sassy pants' would even come together in such wonderful dungaree-y shaped goodness!?!  These are cropped flare-y ones in a dark slate-y black wash that fasten with a zip all of the way up.  They're my most favourite thing to wear lately:  with a pair of boots and a stripey little roll neck and a beret for extra snazziness.  

2.  Toasted teacakes.  If you're a regular around these parts you'll know that toasted 'things' make a regular appearance around these parts quite often and you'll also know quite how much i fully endorse the right to 'breakfast' at any given opportunity.  Lately i've really been craving marmalade and slathering across buttered and hot toasted teacakes on days that have been hectic and busy have totally  been my marmalade jam lately.

3.  Doing my make up in daylight.  Silly but true.  Lately my mornings are forever so dark and my days feel so short.  Getting ready in the morning in false light {?} isn't nice.  I get up exactly the same time all year around but find this time of year so much harder!  A little bit of later start {even if it was due to an even later finish} and pottering around getting ready in actual daylight perked me up no end!

4.  Blusher. If there's one thing that's made me at least look like i'm still living and breathing this week then it's a little smudge of rosey pink blusher across my cheeks. I'm not ashamed to say that when real exhaustiveness kicks in, most of my make up takes a back seat and i tend to favour a few dots of concealer, mascara {blonde eyelashes are not the one!} and as much blusher as i can get away with without looking too...flushed!!!!  Praise be to rosey cheeks!

5.  Picking a new calendar.  Call me silly, but i find it quite cathartic picking up a new calendar.  I'm fussy and i like to pick the right one and i get a little bit excited to write on all my important dates for the year ahead.  And just like the feel of a new diary, i guess to me a new calendar is just as important!  I know what you're really IS all rock and roll around these parts!!!

6.  Eucalyptus.  For me, it's the Christmas-sy flower.  Even if it's not a flower.  Since i still think it's a little bit soon for Christmas decorations; my little tradition is to start to pepper our little home with a few strings of clear fairylights and to pick up some sprigs of green eucalyptus to sneak behind the mirror in the bedroom; to display in a clear glass bottle in the hall and even to bob into shelf in the bathroom {the smell when the steam from the shower catches onto its little leaves is so lovely} to just start to build up gently to Christmas.  The leaves also look even prettier when they soften in colour and dry out and can last for months.  

7.  My BIRTHDAY!!! Hurrah!  Well not so much hurrah since as i feel a million miles away from the thirty-three that i'll be; but mostly HURRAH because i'm off Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and i just cannot wait to spend some time with that Mr where we don't both just work, eat and sleep.  Oh that and a very big Anthropologie-looking-shaped parcel arrived this morning and i'm BEYOND excited to know what's inside!!!!

 8.  Clean hair.  Oh so silly but oh so lovely.  Long gone are the days where i'd wash and dry my hair each and every morning.  Now i'm lucky if i fit it in twice a week. Please don't judge.  Nowadays sleep and breakfast come high above most other things!  In truth though, the thought of washing my hair is not the one.  The feeling right after though?!?  When it's all soft and shiny and swishy and smells like clean coconuts?!?  Well it's always worth it, isn't it?!!?

9.  Stars.  Lately nights have been so cold and crisp and icy clear.  I've loved nothing more than being able to see the stars above walking home.  They forever seem so huge and vast and so very faraway.  Which is because they are!  They still fascinate me now just as much as they did when i was little and used to stand look up at them.  

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And by jingo if you don't mind me telling you i'm so very glad we're done.  My eyes ache and i can smell honey roasted parsnips and well; i love you all ALOT but gosh do i also love honey roasted parsnips to the moon and back!  Don't forget to bob right on over to that gorgeous gang of gals: Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's  blogs and check out their very own #wonderfulwednesday lists of good and great things to be downright celebrated!  Betterter still, join in yourself and let us know!  Tag us across all social media by using the #wonderfulwednesday aaand remember always, i'm @sallytangle.  

Same time next week...?


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