Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #172

{A last glance at Spring before it's June and Summer all of a sudden!}
I'M sorry but how is it now already?!?  How is it Wednesday when Saturday only feels moments ago?! How is it that we're nearly in JUNE and so pretty much dipping the edges of our little toes into SUMMER?!?  It genuinely doesn't seem that long ago since it was Christmas ?!?  Do you feel it too?!  This week has flown by at lightening speed and in the way where i barely feel as if my two feet have touched the ground.  It's weeks like these that i am grateful for this little post:  Stopping, even if it is jut for an hour on a Tuesday evening; it's an hour to think, to reflect and to count my blessings in a week that might have sped by and hurtled into another without me even realising!  Having something happen at the same time each week; whatever that may be is a good 'stopper and marker' of even just time itself.  

Shall we count some goodness?!?!?  My little soul needs it!

1.  Chocolate CoYo coconut yoghurt.  I bought a tub ages ago in a fancy pants hipster deli shop and haven't spotted it since.  This week i spotted it on our weekly shop in Sainsburys and it was on offer.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to eat it yet {if you read last weeks, the week before that aaaand the week before thats post you'll know that I'm cutting out yeast and sugar for a little while} and my next appointment with my Naturopath is tomorrow {Wednesday of this week} so please cross all of everything that i can eat sweet once more because i cannot wait to tuck in!  It's the richest, creamiest pot of lovely that you'll ever eat!  

2.  Energy.  Something i have so rarely taken for granted.  This whole 'lack of sugar' lark hasn't massively affected me in terms of missing things - in fact the only thing i've really missed are bananas and raw cacao powder {do i need to get out more...?} but this last week i have really, really been struggling energy-wise and it's the sort of time where I'd naturally reach for something sweeter to give me a bit of a boost.  I have never cut anything out of my diet before and had never noticed it before how much not having sugar made a difference to me until it wasn't there anymore and not even the bad kinds of sugar either!  I have been feeling woozy, light-headed and like i needed to eat twice as much food just to get through the day!  It was only on Monday this week that i have started to feel a little bit more energetic.  If you need me I'll just be quietly sitting here, hopefully counting down the hours until i can eat a banana....

3.  A new pot of cleanser.  I use Lush Cosmetics 'Ultrabland" cleanser {could not and would not ever live without the stuff - it's a miracle worker, have you tried it?!} and you just can't beat opening a new tub.  It's a rose-y, honey-y, beeswax-y treat for your cheeks!

4.  Frozen blueberries.   One of the very few 'sweet things' i can nibble at the mo' and so rightly, i've been putting the little blighters into and onto every single thing you can imagine!  Scattered on top of rye bread slathered with cottage cheese and mint leaves......dropped into warm almond-y porridge with a jolly great drizzle of almond butter or even warmed up and swirled into greek yoghurt and scattered with toasted nuts and seeds.  I'd never really picked up blueberries so much until these past few weeks.  Turns out they're rather yummy!

5.  A cool breeze.  Last week was lovely - warm and sunny and lovely but as it headed into the weekend it got SO humid and muggy.  God bless this week's slightly cooler temperatures and delicious evening breezes that are much more sleep-friendly and kind!  Even if you do have to have the odd shower along the way....

6.  Pip and Nut Almond butter.  For being the perfect amount of runny and thick which is a perfect nut butter consistency for dipping and zig-zaggin' in and across anything and everything or sometimes {let's be honest!} straight from a spoon!

7.  Sleeping in your under-crackers.  With the window ever so slightly open and the softest, whisper of a light-cotton duvet cover.  Heaven!

8.  Spotting a surprise Elderflower bush right at the bottom of our little garden and already pin, pin 'pinnin' away all of the ideas on what to make with them!  Anyone got any lovely ideas...?!

9.  The most perfectly ripe avocado.  I know, i know but these kinds of things never get old, am i right?!  So perfectly ripe in fact that i was able to mash it in its skin, save on the washing up and i also ended up eating the whole lot because it was so damned yummy not to.  

10.  Scrambled egg-shaped suppers.  The kind of evening where you just don't know what you want, you can't be bothered to really go to all that much effort and so decide on making scrambled eggs.  The kind of supper that also turns out to be just what you wanted all along and really; any kind of breakfast-come-brunch shaped meal for supper is always going to win awards in my little book!

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SO come on, do share - tell me what's been making your week lovely so far please?!? Answers below or better still chit-chat with us on Twitter or Instagram using the #wonderfulwednesday tag.  I say 'Us' because there's a whole lovely LOT of great gals writing happy lists of their very own!  Skip to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's blogs and make sure you have a nosey at their #wonderfulwednesday lists too!

 HAPPY mid-weekin' all!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #171

{Favourite shoes and sunshine!}
Well oh well what have we here then?!  ANOTHER #wonderfulwednesday and list of silly happy making nonsense designed to propel one through to the weekend you say?

Oh okay then.  So far this week has been higgledy-piggledy for one, having not had my usual day off and routine.  You know me and my routines, one little deviation and I'm all over the place.  There's some kind of comfort in knowing where you are and what you're doing in the world, as lovely and inspiring as a little spontaneity can be at times.  I like to know what I'm having for breakfast in the morning, you know?

It's worth noting i felt compelled not to share a list this week due to the recent events that unfolded on Monday evening and into Tuesday - the day that i usually tip-tap out this little post.  I was born in Manchester and have a lot of friends and family there.  Then it struck me that i should go right ahead.  Because as heavy-hearted and as sad as i feel, more than ever it seems important to count the little things and my own blessings and be very grateful for everything.  Even more than ever.

Shall we....?

1.  Kindness.  In the many guises it takes every day - little and large.  This weeks 'notes of kind' so far?  A lovely gentleman not only holding the door for me as i meandered through M&S on a mission to pick up a mirror, but also for saying 'Good morning' too. People don't do that often enough, i don't do it often enough.  And telling somebody that they looked beautiful in what they were wearing for no other reason than they did and i felt they should know it.  I want to make a point of counting the kind more often. We all should.

2.  A through breeze.  The kind only achieved by having the kitchen window, the french doors and both bedroom windows open all at the same time {and crossing everything that no doors slammed shut in the process} on a warm almost Summer-feelin' afternoon.  Because fresh air fixes everything.  

3.  Saturdays spent together.  I know it was last week but since my days off are all-muddled and be-fuddled i hope you'll excuse me.  We never get a Saturday together.  It's just the way it is and that's okay, we work around it and make Sunday's extra lovely because of it!  But last week i was off the Saturday and back in to work on the Sunday.  The Mr went into work for a couple of hours leaving me curled up in bed.  Then i walked to town in the pouring rain to grab some bits and a coffee and he picked me up and we went a wandering around an old salvage yard and then had a lovely chat over coffee.  It was just nice you know?!

4.  Nectarines.  Because you know when you just get that Summery feelin' and want to live off nothing but fresh strawberries and nectarines?  Yes that.  I've got a bowl of the little dreamboats on our kitchen windowsill and i can't wait for them to soften and ripen and to eat them sliced on top of cottage cheese with torn mint leaves.  Mmmmmm!

5.  Hearing nothing but the wind tickle the leaves in the trees on a sunny afternoon bike ride.  That and nothing else.  

6.  Perfectly cooked scrambled eggs.  There's such a small window between perfectly creamy and still soft,  and over-cooked isn't there?!  This week i nailed them!  And had them with fresh Dill, avocado and a peashoot-y salad for supper and it was DIVINE.

7.  Natural greek yoghurt.  It's all i've been craving lately and I'm enjoying using it as a vessel for anything and everything but mostly strawberries and chopped hazelnuts.
8.  Coffee sipped outside on a sunny day.

9.  That feeling when you've cleaned the house top to bottom, emptied the laundry bin and sit down with freshly washed hair, clean pyjamas and the treat of also clean sheets.  That my friends is winning at everything and a sure-fire way to have the very best sleep of your whole life!

 And just like THAT, we're all done!  Don't forget to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's blogs to catch up on their happy lists!  'Cos you can never have too many happy lists, can you?

Happy mid-week folks!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #170

 {When ^that's^ your commute home...}
Hello's all round and big waves too and even bigger hurrah's for the fact that we're already halfway through this week!  For me it's a week that feels so flippin' long because i haven't had a day off since last Wednesday - I'm all discombobulated and today feels far more Friday and far less Wednesday than it should and quite frankly all kinds of upside down! 

If you are casting your pretty peepers over this sweet spot on Wednesday morning as keen as the keenest bean then i shall be jetting up to the pretty city of Edinburgh for a work meeting.  I've booked an earlier train that gets me in an hour earlier than i need to be purely because it made me SO sad the last time i went up for work and meetings ran over and i ended up spending the whole day in a hotel before leaving and getting straight back on a train.  What can you even do in Edinburgh for just an hour?!?  Gosh i feel i could spend a week there and only scratch the surface!  Nonetheless, I'm going to arm myself with a big cup of tea and wander - cross your fingers and toes that its dry will you?!

Enough about gallivanting and more, more, MORE happy things 'cos this week this gal needs all the extra rocket fuel...

1.  Waking before my alarm.  Not the best and yet lately it seems to have become a bit of a habit!  Instead of rolling over, grumbling and sleeping terribly for an odd half hour, i've been getting up and moving a little slower; sneaking in an extra mug of hot water, ginger and lemon and doing a little bit of stretching.  It seems to make me feel lots better:  Less thrown into the day and more....ready?

2.  Brazil nuts.  If you read last weeks post you'll already know I'm switching up what i eat for a few weeks in a {to give you the ever so brief and edited version} bid to reset things a little.  This week Brazil nuts have been my go to for in between meal snacking.  If I'm being really honest i've only ever really given them the time of day when they're covered in dark chocolate.  This week i picked up a little bag of them and I'm hooked.  They're meatier {?!}, a little more substantial and great crunched alongside a really sour green apple.

3.  An accidental too many snips of my fringe.  Anyone else with a fringe will know and appreciate the daily struggle of maintenance.  Heavens often it's a miracle if we leave the house without mine standing up on end or looking like i've slept face down and rubbed my face in a pillow all the live long night through!  After having had a fringe for many years, i've sort of got the hang of trimming it myself - good job since it seems to grow at least 50% faster than my actual hair!  But last weekend i slipped and cut it far too short.  It's one of those things, there was nothing i could do to hide it and i knew it would grow back but i still felt a bit conscious.  Ironically SO many people have said nice things about it!  And without me even explaining the slight 'excitability' with the scissors a few days before.  Who knew?!

4.  Cottage cheese.  For being so blooming simple and brilliant and again being another 'something' i can do many things with:  for being a great all round dunking vessel for many a chopped carrot, radish or stick of celery.  For being the PERFECT accompaniment to a seedy rice cake {or TEN - because let's face it, you do need a fair few of the little devils!} and for even being just the ticket to stick a spoon right in straight from the fridge after a long walk home.  If you ask me, cottage cheese is underrated.

5.  Berries, berries, BERRIES.  Because nothing else quite tastes like summer than a big bowl of berries with torn up mint leaves and an almighty scoop of the thickest creamiest greek yoghurt you can find.  FACT.

6.  Rain.  No your eyes AREN'T deceiving you, there i said it:  RAIN.  The weather up here has gone all kinds of funny peculiar:  All angry showers that can't come fast enough followed by the brightest 'eye covering' bursts of sunshine for mere moments before it all happens again ten minutes later.  Walks home through the little cut and up through a sweet hidden forest have smelt AMAZING.  Even if i've had an umbrella up and down and UP and DOWN.  I'd quite happily bottle the smell of damp rainy green and flowers and smell it all day long!

7.  Porridge.  Because since things have gone all topsy turvy food-wise around here and i've been finding my feet, i'd sort of abandoned the stuff in favour of rye toast and nut butter.  Largely since I'm not allowed to eat bananas and everyone knows that porridge isn't half the porridge it could be without a mashed banana through it.  Turns out stirring through coconut oil and frozen berries and topping it with toasted seeds and a great big drizzle of almond butter is actually okay too.

8.  Bare legs.  That's right.  As it turned out in ended up to be a bare legs in the rain kind of a day in the end but still it was bare legs all of the same.  Luckily i wore sensible shoes.  Nothing quite beats the feeling of fresh air tickling your knee-caps!
9.  Really late evening birdsong.  I mean we're talking 11pm here which I'm sure is way, waaay past a little birds tweet/bedtime no?  Either way, with our window open a little crack and on a night where i couldn't seem to stop the 'noise' whizzing and whooshing around between my ears of thoughts and such like; it was a welcome and pretty distraction that sent me straight off to the land of Nod!
*  *  * 
What's been making your week memorable then?!  Better still, what's your secret rocket fuel that's keeping you going until the weekend?!?  Tell me because i'd love to know!  Don't forget to go and bob right on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's  #wonderfulwednesday 's and wrap your peepers around even more kinds of lovely happy lists.  What more do you need from a Wednesday?!?
Happy mid-weekin' folks!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #169

{Because there 'aint nothin' a blue sky can't fix!}
Hello and good morning, good afternoon or good evening to you - depending upon when you cast your peepers over this sweet post.  How the devil are you?!  Here's hoping that some sunshine has found you wherever you are because heavens do i wish there was a way to bottle the stuff!  What a difference it makes to an almost three mile walk to or from work - sometimes both!  Not only that, i find my spirits lifted; a spring in my step and even for me - little miss 'rush-a-lot' i find myself slowing down, not rushing from one place to the next quite as much.  Often just because the view of a blue sky and the feeling of a little warmth on your cheeks might be one of the best things ever. Are you with me?!

I feel a happy list coming on.....

1.  Challenges.  Without going into huuuuge details, I'm on a strict diet at the moment.  Not the losing weight kind of diet, one designed to give my tummy a little rest and reset.  I've had a painful tummy for as long as i can remember and nobody seems to be able to work out why or any kind of pattern or link to it.  So lately it's been about going back to basics, stocking up on supplements and the real ingredients and committing to eating this way for three whole weeks.  I'm almost a week in.  If I'm honest i have good days and bad days - i've never ever restricted what i eat in any shape or form and cutting out anything processed, refined or vaguely sweet is harder than i ever thought.  And this is from someone who was convinced she didn't eat very much processed food anyway! But with each tough day, comes a really positive, good day.  The kind where i have bags of energy and i don't notice my tummy all day long.  So much so that i forget that it's ever caused me any problems.  And then i remember why I'm doing it and it's the little burst of rocket fuel that i needed.  {PS before anyone goes getting all concerned, this has all been advised and approved by a natural practitioner and homeopath.}  

2.  Hummus.  Never has such simple thing been such a life-saving and hunger fixing JOY.  I mean i love the stuff and could happily live on it anyway but since, in it's most basic state and rubbish-free it's one of the things i can eat, we've gone through a fair few cartons.  Since I'm staying away from any kind of sugar {natural or refined, apart from some fruit} it's the snacking I'm struggling with! Hummus and celery or carrot have been saving my life!  Plus when i think of Summer and sunshine it goes hand in hand....

3.  Lavender pillow spray.  Since I'm also trying to dial down the stress factor a little here at Tangle Towers, because naturally that can also contribute to lots of other things; i've been trying out a little lavender spritzed onto my pillow each night before bed.  That, combined with a little open window and {thankfully} I've been sleeping like a baby....

4.  A garden.  I mean i knew i was missing out not ever having had a garden to call our very own but I'm not sure i ever realised how very grateful I'd be for our teeny tiny patch of green.  On Sunday afternoon i was feeling a bit fed up.  I remembered I'd bought a magazine a little while ago that had been unintentionally buried underneath some mail in the kitchen and forgotten about.  As the grey sky started to lift on Sunday afternoon and gave way to a brilliant blue and cloudless sky; i made myself a big mug of tea and dragged one of our big printed floor cushions out into the garden.  I curled up in the fresh air, wrapped my fingers around my cup of tea and read that magazine cover to cover in the fresh air.  Afterwards i felt SO much better.  Hurray for many more afternoons spent in the garden.  I quite fancy a hammock.  Is that utterly ridiculous?!?!

5.  Masterchef.  I wanted to write 'I can't help it, it's my guilty pleasure' until i realised there's no shame in it!!!!  It's sort of taken over our evenings lately as it feels like it's on every blinking evening!  Except that i can't risk missing even one night because it's so bloomin' addictive!

6.  That Mr.  For always being the most supportive of everything and not tiring of tolerating my 'i really want chocolate but i can't have chocolate' moans over the weekend.  Or just being really jolly well good at pretending....

7.  Pea soup.  I know, i was skeptical too.  I mean i love my soups, but when the Mr announced he was making a pea soup our of nothing but shallots, peas, mint and chilli even I had to wonder if it would be worth eating.  Turns out i was wrong.  Whizzed up until it's silky smooth and dolloped with natural yoghurt and pea shoots and served with rice cakes and cottage cheese - needless to say we'll be having it again.  I even ate a bowl cold for lunch the next day.  Is that acceptable?!

8.  A new routine.  It's no secret that I'm a lover of a routine:  Of knowing where I'm going, what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with.  A little upset to it and i can feel all.....funny and unsettled. Lately has taught me that in life you can't always stick to a plan, and that sometimes going with the flow is actually okay.  I'm already making a mental note to compromise more.....

9.  Frozen berries.  For being just what i want lately.  Dropped into ice-cold natural yogurt and topped with crunchy cacao nibs and seeds.  Sometimes oats.  What can i say I'm a rebel and there are ways and means to get a chocolate-y fix!!!!

*  *  *

Go go!  Go cast those pretty peepers over Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's #wonderfulwednesday loveliness!  And of you've got any recipes for refined sugar-free{and natural sugar free!}, yeast free and un-processed snacks then fling them my way.  I need all of the help i can get!  Today is my day off and i think I'm going to try out an apple soda bread....sounds delicious don't you think?!?

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #168

{Hangin' onto the prettiest carpet of cherry blossom over here...}
I feel that before we all get started tip-tappin', that i should tell you now that this #wonderfulwednesday edition might come 'atcha with a little bit of a Bank Holiday tinge.  Now i know not everyone in the world gets to appreciate a Bank Holiday weekend BUT most of the time neither do i!  Working in retail means that these kinds of holidays off work and weekends themselves aswell are pretty much rare and unheard of.  So i hope you'll allow me a little bit of indulgence since i booked this one off and the whole weekend {oh and also until Saturday *cough*} entirely by accident and purely to use up holidays.  Just incase you thought this post was getting far too smug already, if it helps to balance things our oven broke last night, mid-way through cooking soooo I'm-a need all of the positive thoughts for the foreseeable 'little bit' until we know what's what and if it's fixable/saveable.

Before i get all sad that tonight won't be our usual 'Pizza Tuesday' shenanigans, let us get a grip on reality and count some happy shall we...?

1.  Cliche 'schmiche'  BUT this past few days have been mostly bright and blustery and warm enough to not need an actual warm-keeping kind of coat so naturally I've been racing in and out hanging out washing to dry like my life depends on it!  Happiness this week has been a shower/hair wash and clean line-dried PJ's and bedding.  If they could bottle that feeling/scent I'd keep it in my bag forever.

2.  Slower breakfasts.  You know the kind that starts with a mug of tea under the duvet, listening to nothing but the world waking up and the birds-a-singin' and leads to breakfast munched sat with your little feet resting in the garden and the french doors open.  There's nothing like it!

3.  First sleeps with the window open.  Which also quite nicely coincided with clean me, PJ's and bedding night too.  I've been sleeping like a baby all week and I'm convinced that this has alot to do with it.  

4.  Berries.  ALL of the berries!!!!  With the sun naturally comes the cravings for summer fruits and nothing, nothing nothing tastes lovelier than in-season fruit and veg picked up on a long lazy weekend.  I've been stacking strawberries as big as my fist onto crumpets spread thickly with cashew nut butter.  Or piling them on top of the coconut yoghurt thick and creamy enough to stand up a spoon in!  Summer in a bowl!

5.  Project DIY.  If you dip in and out of Insta- Stories you'll have noticed that we spent a fair amount of time paint pickin' over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Who even am i?!  The sign of a Keeper is one who doesn't really object too much at how long it takes you to get down the pain aisle in Homebase and B&Q and equally quite how important it is to pick exactly the right kind of creamy grey.  FYI i actually wanted a light, muddy, chalky pink but had to compromise.  We've got an old Victorian chest of drawers with little feet which i ADORE but it has been needing a sand down and TLC since we picked it up at a scrap yard abooooooout four years ago?!?!?  I can't wait to show you.  We've painted the top and sides and now i just need to faff a bit with what's going on top of it..... {BEST BIT!!!}.

6.  Time spent.  With each other.  I've had the LOVELIEST time just being with the Mr and having a pottering-pal over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Yes we live together, sleep together and see each other every day BUT often our heads are down and buried in the 'Nine to Five' world and it's rare that we just faff around, tinker at home, eat nice food and stay up later and watch things we both want to watch.  It's done wonders for that little heart of mine you know!

7.  Colour charts.  Am i the only one who loves a colour chart?!?!  Maybe it's the Mood-boarder, serial 'Pinner' or crazy creative 'faffer' in me but there's nothing i love more than laying them all out and looking through all of the colours and their names.  I came away at the weekend with the prettiest little bundle of them and I've currently got a few of them pinned up on our notice board for who knows why!

8.  Turning over the calendar.    And the start of brand new month and the 'fresh-start feelin' that brings.  The neat and tidy beans inside me also loved that the 1st of May also fell on a Monday this year too.  It really is the littlest of things....

9.  The anticipation of a {probably too extravagant!} Anthropologie order coming.  Eeeeep!!!!!! Can you tell last Friday was payday AND that the little charmers at Anthro know the way to my little heart and snuck a cheeky 20% off discount code into my inbox on Saturday morning?!?  AND i accidentally also smashed one of my very favourite Anthro plates early Saturday morning when i was 'umming' and 'ahhhing' as to if i should even make an order.  Not one to not listen to the universe and all that of course i HAD to oblige......

10.  Longer, longer,    L - O - N - G - E - R    feelin' evenings.  Okay so i've been off work since Saturday anyway BUT the lighter brighter days are having me rise earlier and the lighter, brighter evenings just make it feel like lately lasts forever and it feels like just the tonic to lift my spirits and make me feel happy!

And just like that we are all done and dusted for another week.  Sometimes, like this week; this post comes out quick-march and is just as easy as the best Sunday morning.  Other weeks i really have to dig deep.  Either way, just doing it, writing it down and the time and energy spent collecting the best bits of my week and finding a place for them to rest; well it's sort of become just a little bit therapeutic somehow you know...?  ANYWAY go now!  Go fill your eyes, head and heart with more good and great and indulge in Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's #wonderfulwednesday loveliness.  Talk to us online on any social media channel and don't forget to use the ^^^^tag up there^^^^ so we can all see and we can all join in!

Sending LOVE!


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