Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #181

 {Genius sweetpea-growing right there!}
Hey hello-a and how do you do?!  I'm feeling like i have BAGS of energy and that i'm full of beans lately and i'm putting it solely down to having two days off together at the end of last week.  Not only that, instead of hurrying and rushing and sort of nearly running myself ragged on those two days.  I took it extra   s-l-o-w  and you know what?!  I think i needed it and that i really should learn to listen to my body a little bit more.  Far too often we're made to feel bad for being a little bit lazy when actually from time to time, it can be just what we need.  I feel like i've approached this week with extra steam power and felt all the more motivated because of it.  Or maybe it could be thought of ten whole days in a row off work from Friday...?!  Sorry..i couldn't not mention that.  

Either way, let's celebrate the extra super powers with a pretty lovely list of happy, #wonderfulwednesday style of course!

1.  I'm always harping on about looking forward to things and the fine line between that and wishing the time away.  It really is a balance i'm yet to really master fully! There's nothing wrong with looking forward a bit though, right?!  Especially when it's because one of your very best friends in the whole wide world returns from Australia to visit this week and you haven't seen each other in just about two whole years!!!  I am BEYOND excited to be reunited with one of my partners in crime!

2.  Beetroot hummus.  Piled high on flippin' everything but particularly on top of an actual beetroot and lentil vegetable burger and served with an almighty salad of the loveliest most sweetest tomatoes from the window sill, peashoots and toasted sunflower seeds.  Could be one of my favourite concoctions to date!

3.  Cinnamon in porridge. Ok i'm sorry but YES i went there.  Okay so i know it's August too but it's been really mostly torrential rain up north since Sunday evening AND i thought i was coming down with a cold on Monday evening and so on Tuesday morning i thought SOD IT.  I'm going in with the creamy, warming and spicy-type porridge and i don't care who blinkin' knows it!  I made my usual porridge but instead of my usual mashed banana; i added one grated apple {skin and all!}, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Then i topped it with pumpkin seeds and a great big table-spoon of Pip and Nut's Cinnamon and Cashew Nut Butter.  I'm not even sorry.  Infact i might even eat it all week.  For medicinal purposes you understand....

4.  Pinterest.  Because i love nothing more than losing myself on there for a little while when i'm on my lunch at work or have a spare hour or so on an evening. There's something about an impending change in the season that makes it such an inspiration.  Even if it's just looking back at my own boards.  Is there anything better?!

5.   Slug-shaped victories.  Not sure if i mentioned on here last week {?!} - i do know i pretty much ranted about it to every customer i served at work and had a bit of moan about it on Twitter!  My poor baby sweetpea plants that i have nurtured, and talked to and watered each and every day got ferociously nibbled by slugs at the end of last week. I was so sad!  They're just about to flower and are one of my faaaaaavourite Summer flowers in the whole wide world and they looked so sad and sorry for themselves!  After a few recommendations {and about a million inches of rain interspersed with bouts of glorious sunshine} they are fighting back and have grown SO MUCH.  Hurrah!  Sorry slugs, i know you've got a job to do and all of that BUT if you could stick to the bigger plants and flowers and lave the baby ones alone that would be grand.  Thanks.  

6.  Fringe games.  I love my fringe.  In fact when i pin it back to wash my face or shower and catch myself in the mirror i look so unlike me!  I think i've had a fringe since i was ten.  Oh well apart from a brief notion to 'grow it out' aged nine and also around the time when it was fashionable to wear those really thick padded headbands that had your name written on? I used to have to push it right back with one of those and even then, bits would creep back through and get into my eyes.  I think i only lasted a little while and had to beg my mum to cut it back in. This week i trimmed my fringe for the billionth time and it is really straight and even and lovely and even when the rest of me is a total MESS, it somehow stays neat and lovely.  Hurrah for fringes!  

7.  *whispers*  A new dress.  But not just ANY dress:  A LIBERTY printed dress.    I had a big clear out and had to say goodbye to some of my favourites that i had worn until they were quite literally falling apart and i've been on the look out for some replacementsTransitional ones, the kind that i can happily scamper about in now with tan sandals and a cardigan and then that i can layer up with opaques, brogues or boots and a woollen coat when it gets cooler.  I mean i don't mind skirts and tops and jeans and tops but well; i'm always much happier in a dress.  I accidentally fell in love with a green Liberty printed one which came this morning {Tuesday} and that i almost daren't open incase it's too beautiful and isn't really practical somehow..?!  I just fell in love with the print and thought: 'I'll make it work i will, I WILL!!!'.  And now i can't quite remember if it'll be okay for what i want.  I'm going to save opening it until my day off on Thursday...I'm quite enjoying the excitement.....

8.   Clouds.  I often think if i could be any one random thing, it would be a professional cloud-watcher.  Not even the meteorological technical kind that studied the weather.  No, no just someone that found really pretty ones and took photos of them, for a living.  There's been some beautiful clouds around these parts lately; what with all of the erratic weather.  I take photos and photos and photos galore and it's only when my phone memory tells me that it's full that i realise quite how much i photograph clouds.  Oh, clouds and crumpets in equal measure actually.  Think that's what i might call my autobiography:  'Clouds and Crumpets' what do you think?!?

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And just like that, another week has whooshed right on by.  Who can believe we're heading for September - between you and I i'm really rather excited as i can't help but still think of September as a new start month; even if i'm not at school or university anymore.  Plus i'm feeling ready for a new season too.  Anyway, enough getting too far ahead!  Remember to pop yourself right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs so you can catch up on their weeks and fill your boots with another happy fix.  Remember to join in yourself online with the tag #wonderfulwednesday and share what's been making your week so flippin' lovely!

Have a beautiful rest of week!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #180

{'saving' summer in as many ways as possible! }
Well oh well how do you do?!  I'm like the most broken of broken records i know but how the bobbins are we careering through this year so flippin' floppin' fast?!  I'd like to say i've got lots to show for the fact, or a great feeling of accomplishment bubbling away in my little tummy but, well; i havent.  It struck me all at once this morning, juuust as i was about to sleepily add cinnamon to my porridge.  Something inside of me went 'PING' and all i could think was 'no, no don't do it.'  Because what?  I add cinnamon to my porridge for the first time since - maybe February - and before i know it the central heating thermostat will be crancked back up from zero degrees and i'll be knee deep in buying Christmas cards!  I feel like it's only August at the same time as feeling a 'golly-gosh it's AUGUST already' and both with equal excitment/terror/when did time speed up quite so much?!
So without further ado, time to    s-l-o-w   down and count some little happy gems - before i forget them entirely for another week and already it'll be 2017 and OH.  THAT.  Well that doesn't bear thinking about yet.  Not quite yet anyway.....  Time to happy list....
1.  Sour blackberries.  Not fresh from the hedgerow i'm afraid - as much as i would love to say that they were.  The wild birds are far to 'on it' up near us and get to them before we even get a look!  But there is something just as lovely about a sour blackberry or two, as there is a ripe and juicy sweet one.  When i was little, as soon as we'd been blackberry picking my mum would wash the fruit in a big colander, tip it into a huge bowl and cover it with sugar.  Then it would sit in the fridge overnight and the next day, you were treated to the syrupiest, sticky-sweet blackberries that you can imagine.  We piled them onto everything but usually snatched them straight from the bowl.  Which you could never getaway with since as you could always spot the purple ring around your lips and stained tongue a mile away!  But sour blackberries...?!  Somehow they feel like even more of treat since they were such a foreign concept until recently.  This weeks' have been mashed up and swirled into honeyed porridge or piled upon toasted ryebread and creamy cashew nut butter.  The perfect balance of sweet and sour is a joy in itself, don't you think!?
2.  Helping someone.  I mean i probably do it quite a lot during my working day anyway.  So much so that it just feels...well normal.  I get paid to afterall.  But seeing someone struggle, in the supermarket and helping them reach and then carry said things to the till - all the while chit-chatting to them about their day?  It felt LOVELY.  We should all look up, take notice and help more often.  I'm making my own mental note to aswell.
3.  A misty morning.  The first of it's kind in....well i can't remember the last so there you go!  There's something lovely about a misty morning.  A quiet misty morning where your only company is a hot cup of tea, a big bowl of blackberry porridge and a large side order of silence. 
4.  Dried hydrangeas.  I've heard there's some kind of 'art' to drying hydrangea flowers.  For me it's the art of luck.  Utter luck!  This years' first try has proven a success but i have no idea why.  Last year i tried at least three times and failed miserably.  All i did was keep the flowers in water until they started to slightly wilt.  Then tipped said water away and left them in an empty vase.  Et voila!  A simple {ish!} way of preserving one of the prettiest parts of summer!  See photo attached for effect ^^^
5.   Courgette and chickpea 'burgers.'  The bees knees, elbows and armpits as far as i'm concerned!  A quick 'mash up' -type supper served on a huge pile of peashoots and spread with a big spoonful of {more than was probably acceptable} spiced yellow split-pea and turmeric hummus and topped with toasted seeds and baby tomatoes.  In all honesty?  I could have eaten it twice over.  It was THAT GOOD.  
6.  A new tv 'fix.' I'm not a massive TV watcher and if you can get me to sit, and pay attention through the entirety of a whole film then, well consider yourself LUCKY.  But i do like a good TV series.  We recently finished watching the third season of Fargo which - how can i put it?  I didn't mind.  I just found it hard work and felt as if i didn't understand a lot of it.  The Mr though?!  It's the first time either of us have watched it and he LOVED it.  So much so that over the weekend he announced he wanted to watch the last season.  I wasn't particularly excited but i thought i'd give it a go.  Oh MY WORD i'm HOOKED.  SO much better than season three!  We've watched {and had to 'ration'} two episodes a night we're both so hooked!  It's all i can think about and i don't want it to end! What can i watch when it does?!?  Send over any recommendations to keep me going until the new season of Stranger Things comes out in.....October?
7.  Baby new potatoes with dill, lemon and salty butter.  Can i eat them with everything please??!  No really?!  I've been trying to 'work' them into as many meals as i can before they're no longer in season.  The YUMMIEST!
8.  The thought of two days off in a row!  Sometimes {and proabably} better than the days themselves SO i'm relishing the 'looking forward-ness' and feeling that i'll get from actually feeling just a little bit rested in amongst the chaos of busy sale time at work.
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And just like THAT!  I'm done listing for another week! Don't forget to hopscotch right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs and sneak a peek at their very own #wonderfulwednesday lists.  Because if there's one thing you can never have too much's a good thing! 
Happy mid-week lovely ones!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #179

{**Proud 'grower/keep alive-r' alert**}
I woke up this morning {Tuesday}, to bright-as-it-comes, blinding sunshine on what was to be the 1st of August and i felt all ready and raring to fire out oodles {SUCH a good word - why don't i use it more often?!} of happy bits about lately.  Except that time was short.  I was to be at work and generally only really have enough time to get myself up and out the door in the morning.  My day quickly disappeared before my eyes and any hope of jotting down any kind of points or ideas as i went and now i'm sat here {7pm, Tuesday evening} and i feel like i can hardly string a sentence together in real life due to being completely cream-crackered so lord and ONLY know how this weeks post will read!  I'm going to apologise in advance for any kind of dis-jointed excitable-ness that comes your way.
I'm sure that once i get to the end of this post i'll feel much better and if not, by the time i've got to the end of the rest of the gangs posts tomorrow they'll sort me out!  I feel as if i hardly know one day from the next!  Shall we roll with it and dig for some gems?!
1.  Blackberries.  I feel as if i won't be the only one mentioning these little devils this week in my post.  They're only just starting to ripen up here and being the impatient bean that i am i couldn't resist a couple of punnets from the supermarket. I don't feel quite so bad since they are British ones!  I LOVE blackberries at this time of year.  We've really been making a conscious effort to eat in season all of the time now and apart from the fact that it makes things much, much cheaper - there's also no denying that everything tastes SO much better!  This week blackberries have been dropped on top of apple-y porridge {usual porridge-shaped recipe, only add a grated apple - skin and all - in to warm through}; stacked high on toasted rye bread on top of cottage cheese with a few torn mint leaves for good measure.  Or often just eaten straight from the fridge as a 'i've walked all of the way home in the sun and need something refreshing and zingy.'  I'm also thinking i might make a compote.  But not sure if that's a bit Autumnal..... Sorry it's only point one and i've already said the 'A' word....
2.  Pea soup.  Not your usual 'pea and mint' or 'pea and ham' malarky either.  I can't even take credit for this one since it's all of the Mr's good work.  He announced he was making us soup on a rather warm day after I'd walked all of the way home.  As you can imagine I was less-than impressed expecting to feel even more hot and bothered then i already did right after eating it!  But this soup is DREAMY!  It's a simple pea and chilli concoction made with nothing other than good quality veg stock, frozen baby peas, shallots and fresh chilli.  We serve a small bowl of it with a zig-zag of natural yoghurt and a little handful of chopped peashoots.  And usually find it goes great with beetroot houmous, rice cakes and chopped radish.  Mmmmm!
3.  Sunshine.  I know i know how many times do i harp on about this stuff?!  But lately the weather up here has been nothing short of chaotic and that sunshine?!  Well it's the least dependable thing around i can tell you!  On the days where it's hung around long enough to mean i don't have to swim out on my lunch; i've not been able to resist a walk out and about - even if i haven't needed to!  Sometimes i just stand with my face in the sun and my eyes closed.  Just for a minute or two.  I try and shut everything else off and just be.  And that simple little few rays, well it's been doing wonders!
4.  Goals.  It's good to have something to aim towards in many aspects of life, don't you think?!  Lately's little mission is make more of an effort to use cruelty-free, paraben/sulfate-free and natural and organic products in every aspect of life.  I've slowly but surely been replacing each item i/we use in our day to day as best i can.  And do you know what?!  Progress is slow.  You get so used to using what you know and have always known that a lot of the time you barely think about what's in it and where it came from.  I'm always so careful and thoughtful about what i put into my body food-wise - that it only makes sense for this to follow through in every other aspect of life.  I don't know why it's taken me until now to realise.  I didn't want to simply throw everything away, so I'm just making sure to make better choices as each item needs replacing.  This also spreads the cost too.  Hurrah!
5.  A little walk.  I'm proud to say that i have never ever got the bus up to where i live from the city centre, despite the fact that it's at least three miles to walk.  There are odd days where the Mr and i finish at the same time and i do usually get a lift into work with him each day but truth is?!  Well I'd just rather walk.  Last weekend i woke up in the oddest mood:  All grumpy, unsettled and....antsy?!  I sort of couldn't keep still or work out what was the matter in equal measure!  It was torrential rain and my plans of spending the day tootling about on Willow the bike had been ruined!  So i set out to walk to the city centre, knowing that i had a few errands to run too.  I walked the long way round:  skirted through some woodland and went via our local park by myself.  I got soaked even with an umbrella but i felt SO much better afterwards.  I still don't know what was up, but that little couple of hours wandering sorted me right out!
6.  A cooler breeze.  Now i'm not going to say it i mean it i wont.  But, well the past few evenings, before the sun has set and the past few mornings, when i've been huddled up with a cardigan strewn over my pyjamas and clutching a mug of hot lemon; well there has been a little nip in the air.  That's all i'll say.  I've been taking slow, deep breaths of it all and it has been WONDERFUL.     
7.  Being thrifty.  This week, squirrelled away right at the back of our cereal cupboard, i found a box of Dorset Cereals 'Bircher Muesli.' i couldn't even remember buying it and wondered why i'd bothered since making bircher muesli is easy-peasy.  I glanced at the use by date and realised that it expired in August this year.  Not one to waste food {ever} i decided i to try and use it for porridge.  Essentially all it has in it are porridge oats, flaked and toasted almonds, dried apple and raisins.  And do you know what?!  My GOODNESS it makes the very best, most deliciously creamy porridge with a good glug of my favourite almond milk and topped with almond butter and seeds.  And i feel all kinds of virtuous!  I'm wondering if it might also make a nice crumble topping orrr flapjack/breakfast bar base...?!?
8.  Tidiness.  The thought of it is awful.  Almost as bad as the thought of washing your hair.  The thought of drying your hair.  The thought of putting away the dishes or leaving the sofa to go all the way upstairs to brush your teeth and go to bed when you're tired right NOW gosh dammit and wish for there to be a 'Bed Now' button that would do all of those things for you.  Just me?!  Oh okay where was i?!  In short, in my ideal world i'd be tidy always. But sometimes life gets in the way and tidiness takes a back seat.  But know one thing, I will always, always feel a million times better when everything is put away and tidy.  There is no greater joy!  Okay well apart from ALL of the previous points....
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And with a whoosh and a whizz i'm only all done!  Oof this list has made me want to do cartwheels in the sunshine and then eat porridge for supper!!!  It's a good list this week, don't you think?!?  Hurry right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs and fill your boots with even more #wonderfulwednesday goodness and happy-listin'!  Don't forget to also join in online on Twitter and Instagram by tagging #wonderfulwednesday so we can share and join in too!

Happy halfway through the week!


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