Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #176

{Flowers make everything better...}
Do you ever have a day, or week where you feel like your head and body aren't quite connected and working together in the harmonious way that you imagine they should {but hardly ever do anyway?!}.  This week has been all about being the clumsiest, most forgetful and generally dizziest so-and-so that there ever was!  I mean it's only Wednesday and i've got too many bruises to list, a food shop that was only really half completed since i only realised the other half of what i needed when i got all of the way home and a head that feel like it just won't switch off.  I'm looking forward to listing the best bits this week if only so that my head will think of nothing else other than what it's doing, even of only for half an hour or so......  How are YOU?!
 Let's get la-la listin'!

1.  Music.  It's been what feels like forever since i went to see a band or any kind of live music {*makes mental note to sort quick-march*} so this week i've been mostly loving catching up on Glastonbury on the BBC Red Button or online.  There's something ever so magical about watching one of your very favourite artists live - nothing quite compares to it.  And my Glasto highlights?  Got to beeeeee Elbow, Goldfrapp and Ed Sheeran.  What were yours?!
2.  Energy balls.  I'm forever a snack fiend and I'm also SO easily lured into a new type of 'on the go' snack bar!  The costs mount up though, and since i try to eat as naturally as possible; when you actually  look at the ingredients list you can pretty much replicate it at home!  Or better still make up your own!  This week i have mostly been whizzing uuuupppp:  Dates, almonds, almond and coconut butter and cacao powder and then rolling the little balls in toasted coconut and it's the BEES KNEES.  
3.  Pots of flowers.  Okay so after my pretty little daffodils and snowdrops died far too long ago to admit too {aherm}, i've been forever meaning to grow something, anything even.  But some how the few months ran away with me and then all of a sudden it's Now and I'm still empty plant pots central over here!  So i sort of cheated and did a quick run to the garden centre where i almost bought a baby wisteria plant, an apple tree and a trellis to attach to our garden wall.  In the end i settled on several bedding {?} plants that i cannot remember the names of at all.  BUT in other good and great news this weeks they have started to flower and look beautiful and all of a sudden i feel vaguely like an adult.  Allbeit one that can't plant a seed or bulb and make it grow.....
4.  A productive day.  It's rare these days so i feel it needs documented.  This weeks day off {after working a whole seven days in a row - two of which were twelve and fourteen hour days respectively - was the most productive day from start to finish.  An early start after a restful sleep; two loads of washing hung out and dried resulting in an empty laundry basket; two bathrooms cleaned, the whole house tidied and hoovered, baking AND dinner made PLUS a five mile round bike ride!  I was flipping flopping EXHAUSTED come bedtime though....
5.  A cooler breeze.  Because it;d be rude to go a week without chit-chatting about the weather, don't you agree?!?  This week i have been mostly glad about the temperature dropping a little bit.  Yes I'm one of those people who complain if it's too hot or if it's too cold:  i.e most of the British population!  I've worked out my optimum happy temperature for this time of year is roughly 22degrees and no more!  This week it has been rather lovely to be able to snuggle back under the duvet and to feel a cool breeze tickling my cheeks from the open window.  
6.  Turmeric and split pea hummus.  As if this even needs explaining!  I've been piling it high on toasted rye bread with sundried tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts for lunch almost everyday.  And failing that i've been dunking whole radishes into it a any given opportunity!  SO GOOD!
7.  Granola.  I'm on the hunt for a great homemade granola recipe if anyone can recommend any BUT this week i finally stopped the porridge - for now at least - in favour of one of my favourite granolas:  Rude Health Coconut and Chai granola.  It's been Lately's go-to breakfast with a good scoop of oats, a sliced banana and a good glug of almond milk.  
8.  That indescribable LOVELY feeling when you are sat sipping your favourite tea in your very favourite mug, in your pyjamas and you know that you're off work the very next day.  I wish i could pause that feeling for far longer than it lasts.
9.  Going down a hill on your bike after a really hard uphill climb and after a really long day.  God bless that little bike of mine for carrying me home!  There's nothing that beats going down a hill on a bike!
10.  Dungarees.  Because they have been my 'at home' outfit almost each evening this week so far and most of last week too!  Praise be for the fact that they go with everything - summery or otherwise and are so soft and comfy and slouchy that really they're just one jump up from your pyjamas.  HURRAH!
 *  *  *
SO come on!  What has been making you smile this week!?  What has been making the fact that it's still three whole days until the weekend that little bit more bearable?!?!?  SHARE do SHARE!  Also whilst we're all here and talking happy lists; 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 read their own #wonderfulwednesday lists!  Because let's face it, you can never have too many lists of good and great!
Sending love!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #175

{Because cloudless blue skies are happy-makers times a MILLION!}
When you read this, i shall be a couple of hours into working a 12 hour shift.  Not only that, said 12 hour shift will have followed a 14 hour shift the day before.  If there was a some kind of award for services to retail/retail olympics than i definitely feel like I'd be more than in the running for a gold medal/highly commended 'something' right about now.  Those my friends are the woes of summer sale time!

On a different note, before said mentioned grueling many hour-shaped shifts, i have indulged in seven whole days off work.  So i can't really complain too much as it stands.  The weather has been mostly kind to me {hayfever has reared it's oh-so-sneezy head but WELL, you can't have everything and wearing sunglasses indoors just so you can have every single window and patio door open really isn't that bad!}  

I'm mostly feeling a little bit dis-jointed this week - in the way that a little upset to your usual routine can make you feel!  But I'm sure once my few   L-O-N-G   days are done, I'll get back on it.  The seven days previous to this little post have spent indulging in a little much needed self-care and down time and i really do feel SO much better for it.  I just need to find some way of fitting this into my working week instead of feeling like i need a whole seven days off just to properly switch off.  I think sometimes we rush, hurry and dash this way and that - often merging one week into another - that we lose track of ourselves - at least i do, far, far too often.  I'm forever missing the signs and leaving myself feeling exhausted, burnt out and like I'm just not the best version of me.  I'm always too hard on myself, too critical even and i need to learn to slow down a little and to step back.  I'm working on it i promise. But any steps to fit this in would be gratefully appreciated?!  How do you switch off?

I feel like it's time to count some of the gems of the past few days...heavens by the end of this week i might have re-visit this post just to remind myself what they were....

1.  Homemade ice-lollies.  This time last year we didn't have a freezer.  Scratch that this time just a few months ago we didn't have one either.  Don't ask.  I'm not sure how we coped but we did and it was okay.  But the addition of a freezer this summer definitely meant i was realising some of the ice-lolly recipes I'd been 'Pinning' for last three million years.  First of all, how EASY?!?  It's almost not worth the effort of getting in the car or wandering along to the shop to pick up over-sugary ice-lollies filled with all funny ingredients that you can't quite pronounce/have no idea what they are.  Our favourite so far?  The simplest of them all:  Frozen blueberries, a drizzle of raw honey and a good glug of creamy Greek yoghurt.  All 'zoozed up' in a blender and frozen.  DELICIOUS.

2.  Sleeping with damp hair.  When it's so warm that you worry you'll never ever get to sleep no matter how many windows and 'through breezes' you can cultivate at 11pm.  Praise be to three things:  Going to bed with wet hair therefore not having to use a hot hairdryer aaaand being off work so it really doesn't matter too much what your barnet looks like anyway!

3.  Tzatziki.  There's just something about natural yoghurt combined with fresh torn mint leaves that's just the epitome of summer for me.  I'll dip anything in it or could quite happily eat it icy-cold straight from the fridge if it's warm enough outside.  Sunday evenings supper was cobbled together lamb kebabs, flat breads, window-sill tomatoes and a great bit bowl of Tzatiki.  We also quite often make it as an accompaniment to curries, to go alongside nice breads instead of oils or other dips {or when i've eaten all of the hummus} or to have zig-zagged across pea and mint soup.  It really is the summery bees knees.  

4.  New pyjamas.  Beautifully printed ones at that.  I'm a fuss pot when it comes to nightwear.  I'm not someone who will ever wear pyjamas that don't match, or even a pair of leggings and baggy tee.  Even at this time of year, even if i don't actually sleep in my pyjamas in favour of a soft bra and ruffly knickers {who sleeps in very much at all when it's still 20 degrees outside?!} i do still like to put a pretty pair on after my evening cool shower to lie on the sofa with some camomile tea before bed.  Whilst i was gallivanting about last week i picked up a pair in the sale from Cath Kidston in the prettiest blue and white floral.  I haven't even worn them yet but i can't wait.    I need to make sure i get my timings right.  New pyjamas definitely call for a clean hair, clean sheet sort of situation, don't you think?!?

5.  New bowls.  If you stick your pretty head by here often you'll know how much i ADORE Anthropologie.  So expensive, but so, so beautiful.  It's a jolly good job i don't live close by a store or I'd most certainly be bankrupt.  Last week i also treated myself to a couple of new bowls I'd had squirrelled away in my wishlist that had gone into the sale.  I can't wait for them to arrive!   

6.  Summer mornings.  There's just something beautiful about the scent of a summer morning, don't you think?  I'm so much more of a morning person over an evening one and at this time of year i find myself naturally waking up so so much earlier, purely just because of the light.  When i'm not at work and plan-less i love nothing more than tip-toe-ing downstairs and flicking on the kettle and opening our little french doors whilst the kettle boils.  It's so lovely to just perch on the step and listen to the city waking up.  We're so lucky that we're right on the outskirts and also at the very end of our little courtyard too.  All you can hear first thing are the leaves in the trees and the birds.  It's the most relaxing way to start the day!

7.  ALL of the citrus!  You can't help but crave fruit come this time of year.  And even though I'm a tea-bean through and through and couldn't get through the day without my morning cup of tea made in my favourite mug just how i like it; lately i've been so much more thirsty when i wake up!  I've been squeezing the juice of half a lemon and a wedge of lime into a large tumbler and topping it up with a few mint leaves and some ice and it's THE most refreshing drink!  I've also been known to have a couple more throughout the day too if i can.  It's such a hydrating little thirst-quencher and lemon is such a good fruit for flushing out any toxins too so it's perfect for the morning.  Plus it's kind of mojito-y too. And that can't be bad!

8.  Freckles.  DEFINITELY something to celebrate.  I spent most of my teenage years and first-foray's into make up badly trying to cover them up!  Now as soon as they make an appearance, it means i don't have to wear anywhere near as much make-up! HURRAH!

9.  Sleep.  SO much affects the quality of sleep that i get.  I'm such a dweller and worrier and general over-thinker that switching off for me is SUCH a challenge!  On the upside i really notice a difference when i get good quality, decent sleep and it's something i just can't scrimp on.  No matter what! Amen to those nights where you're ready for bed early, sip your favorite tea in your favourite pyjamas after a lovely cool bath or shower and get the chance to sleep until you wake up.  Bliss!

And we're only flipping DONE already! 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 and catch their happy lists and #wonderfulwednesday -shaped goodness!  I already can't wait for the end of the week so i can have some time to do just that!  Right about now i've convinced myself i need to go and make one of those lemon-y lime-y concoctions with ALL of the ice!

Much love!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #174

{When the grey clouds make way for the prettiest wander home after work...}
Hello.  How do you do?!  Remember me?  Just askin' 'cos i feel as i lost my way a little bit with last weeks post.  I mean i know that this post is all about digging deep and finding the goodness and last weeks still was, but it was hard for me to write that with what has been happening in the world.  Whilst i feel a little bad for that probably being the least happy-reading one I've ever written, I'm in equal parts half-comforted by the fact that i was honest and upfront with exactly how i was feeling.  I'm struggling a little bit lately, it's hard to not be overwhelmed with the real world somehow?  I just need to remember how lucky i am, to continue to be grateful and thankful and to count my blessings each day.  Sometimes in a world as big and as....uncertain as ours; it's counting the littlest bits of lovely that keep us all sane.  Me at least! Shall we get going...?!?

1.  Looking froward to things.  Is it just me who thinks that sometimes the process and run up to things is a lovelier feeling than the things itself?!?  What are YOU looking forward to this week?

2.  Crumpets.  Back on that bad wagon SO hard.  After those few sugar and yeast-free weeks {yes i promise I'll stop harping on about them sometime soon} this week was my first crumpet-shaped breakfast {soon to most likely be breakfasts} after almost six whole weeks.  Say whaaat.  I did myself proud by piling one high with coconut and almond butter and fresh strawberries and the other with the most perfectly ripe banana aaaand crunchy peanut butter.  Amen to crumpets.  No REALLY.  

3.  Pink.  Such a comforting colour for me.  Do you have certain colours that make you feel happy too?  Or is that just me too?!  Now we're not talking bright fushia pink - although there is definitely a time and place for that shade in my life even if right now is not it.  I mean that perfectly pretty dirty dusky kind of a pink.  It's the colour of some of my very favourite things:  a well-worn over-sized jumper, my favourite quilt cover and some of my very favourite crockery too.  Isn't it interesting how much of a part colour plays in our lives?

4.  Destiny's Child.  Listening to them up LOUD walking from work on Monday and feeling like i could power-walk for miles purely because of them.  Hurrah to music that makes you feel like you could rule the world!

5.  Tea.  Again for comfort.  What is it about a mug of milky tea in your very favourite mug?!  You could fix the world with that stuff.  In fact I'm pretty sure if more people new of it's magical properties then the world would be a noticeably nicer and friendlier place....

6.  Sundried tomatoes.  Which i somehow only ever remember exist over the summer months.  Not sure what that's all about!  This week they have been re-discovered in abundance!  I ate a late day-off-shaped breakfast on Tuesday so lunch was a little lighter and involved chia rice cakes piled high with turmeric houmous {thank you Sainsbury's} and scattered with basil leaves and sundried tomatoes and it was YUM.  I've also been known to finely chop them through a pasta sauce or whizz them up with pine nuts and more basil and make a quick pesto to toss through warm wholemeal pasta.  Either way lately i just can;t get enough.  

7.  Coconut shampoo.  A 'sort of' right of passage come this time of year.  If i can also find a coconut shower-wash and body cream then even better!  There's something lovely about coconut-y smelling hair over the Summer months.  It's a little bit holiday without the expense...kind of?  

8.  Peonies.  I know, i know I'm not the only person in the world going on about these little devils lately.  But they're one of my favourite flowers based purely on the fact that they look like a massive pom-pom and are as bright, beautiful and gutsy as a flower gets and i just LOVE that.  You can't miss them!  We've currently got three jam jars full dotted all over the house in varying stages of flowering and just glancing at them makes me SO happy!  

9.  The wind in the willows trees!  It's been the blusteriest up here these past few days!  A little joy has been found listening to the wind whistle and whoosh through the trees walking home {the scenic route!} through the woods or simply just lying in bed at night - which is literally all you can here in our bedroom at night.  It's a lot of lovely!
*  *  *
I did it!  I'm BACK!  Back and putting a #wonderfulwednesday -shaped fist high, so high in the air and hoping you do exactly the same!  Big love and thanks go out to everyone who stopped by and read last weeks post and for all of the love and kindness on both Twitter and Instagram.   This little #wonderfulwednesday community is pretty special.  OH!  Go go and catch up with the rest of the gangs posts and delight in Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's posts and what's been making their pretty little faces happy this week.   

Sending so much love and week-shaped well-wishes!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #173

{Without a little rain, there would be no green!}
I have had so many mixed feelings about writing this weeks post.  I'm going to, because I'll be damned if the world or the world's events or anyone puts a stop to any kind of positivity, happiness or good feeling, in whatever form that may come.  

Without going into great depth and detail, I feel a little bit like I've lost my way with the world at the moment - almost as if that faith that i have is the wobbliest it has ever been and being positive is hard.  That mixed in equal measure with feeling so grateful for what i do have and for each day and feeling like i need to work on those kinds of feelings and use them to somehow propell myself through...?  As someone who claims that words are her 'thing' {well you know that and porridge, crumpets and wearing as many colours and prints all at once!} - they're increasingly hard to put together and to make sense of at the moment.  Whilst this post is forever a positive one; i also wanted it to be a real one too.  This list is hard this week.  And it's bloody raining to boot!  I'm drinking bottomless peppermint tea and have mostly eaten an entire bar of hazelnut chocolate as big as my head this afternoon {Tuesday} though so that's helping in small amounts....

Let us dig the deepest that we ever have and share some silly, little and happy bits!  

1.  Good sleep.  The heavy-headed, nothing can wake you kind that only comes from being absolutely worn out.  But one that you wake from feeling like a new person entirely and also in the exact same position that your head hit the pillow the night before!  

2.  Editors.  Because; and here's a little story for you; i saw them live in the rain at V Festival many moons ago and so for that reason alone, they're my rainy day go-to playlist.  It was a wet festival and i remember being soaked.  So much so that water was actually running down my nose!  But nothing else mattered but the music and it sort of seems to fit greyer days.  Go forth and listen to them today - especially if it's raining where you are too.

3.  Kindness on Twitter.  I've said this a million time over but i genuinely wish i could get all of my Instagram and Twitter followers together for a jolly good knees up - oh okay a tea party with crumpets a plenty and bottomless caffeinated beverages.  Either way, they're great and i wish i could tell each one of them face to face.  They inspire me, cheer me up and make me feel normal as much as any of my real-life friends do.  The internet is pretty special at times, no?

4.  Peanut butter and banana.  I know, i wonder how many times i have mentioned this one?!  It really is a no-brainer and for the girl who up until just under a week ago couldn't eat bananas, well that deal just doubled - TRIPLED even - QUADRUUUUUUPLED.  Okay you get it, i love bananas!

5.  New diffusers.  Since most of our home is open-planned downstairs I'm always over-concious that it doesn't smell of last nights supper!  As you can imagine this does nothing for my over-zealous candle purchasing {ho ho ho!} but lately i've also been loving diffusers.  My favourite place to pick them up lately is Sainsbury's {I'm forever lusting after most of their home department already anyway!} and this week i picked up a new one in an Orchid and Coconut scent which i've carefully tucked away behind the television on the sideboard.  It's currently diffusing all of our home with what can only be described as the scent of Summer:  a little bit vanillary, coconut-y and clean - sort of suncream-y.  ANYWAY it smells lovely and it means at least it smells like Summer inside especially when outside just smells......wet.

6.   Hugs.  Never underestimate the power of a bloody good hug.  Especially one that you weren't really expecting and one that you apparently just looked like you needed.  Hug someone today!  You'll make their day.

7.  Love.  In ALL of the many ways it sneaks upon us and especially those silly little ways that aren't always as simple as a straight forward 'I love you' and probably mean the most:  Kisses on foreheads, hand-holding without even giving it a second thought, tea made in your favourite cup and not needing to explain things always - Love  and togetherness are the most powerful things lately:  Tell someone you love them and better still - hold them the tightest that you ever have.  If you take anything from 'Lately' be it that life itself is the most precious that it's ever been and that you should take nothing for granted. 
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Go go!  Go and wander right on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, Mimmi's, Martina's , Peta's , Kelly's spectacularly #wonderfulwednesday posts because lately we need all of it - all of the great and good and happy things and we need to treasure each and ever single one of them!  Huge and whopping thank you's to each and every one of those ladies for taking part too.  Here's hoping they articulate a post much better than i have this week.......{FYI normal much more positive service will resume next week i promise}
Sending love to each and every one,


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