Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #187

{Jumping feet-first into that magical golden autumn light!}
Well good day to you!  How the devil are you and what's new?!  It actually feels like a little while since i was sat writing out last weeks' post - so much so that i had to quickly check the day of the week and also make sure that i hadn't in fact missed a week and not realised!  I once had a dream that happened and my Twitter and Instagram accounts got deleted because of it and i had to go to court to 'redeem' them!  Oddest dream ever AND living {or dreaming} proof that i should really spend less time online!  

Tangents aside {oh but what's a weekly #wonderfulwednesday post from yours truly without diverting from the original case in point at least a few times?!} this week has been really rather lovely.  I've been off work since Friday last week and i feel a trillion times better for it.  Why do i never learn to take it easy?  When will it not become hard to stop worrying over things i can't do anything about and when will i also to accept that i always do the very best that i can and that, is enough.  I know all of this but often {read: always} in the thick of a busy working week i just forget myself and get into such a flip and a flop.  This gal is seriously ready for a happy list! 

1.  Being still.  I've got such a short attention span coupled with no patience whatsoever!  I'm forever wishing something that couldn't have possibly yet happened was already done with.  Or that everything would just be faster.  It likely stems from having to juggle several squillion things at once at work for the past eleven or so years.  This week i have chosen to be 'still-er' if there is such a thing.  Because what is time off and rest if not for slowing down, not missing things, noticing things and simply being easier on myself?  It honestly takes a good few days for me to truly wind down, but this week i'm just really enjoying that process.  

2.  Tinkering.  I'll forever be a 'faffer' and 'fluffer' and a 'tinker-er'.  I'm truly at my happiest when i'm simply pottering along doing something silly like re-arranging a room, making my food look beautiful or tinkering with new food recipes and combinations.  Usually this starts with breakfast but actually, this week i made the yummiest lunch.  So delicious in fact that in true 'me style' i've eaten it for the past three days!    I had two pots of leftover pre-made salad pots to use up.  I'm not really a fan of pre-made 'anythings' unless i can look on the back of the packet and recognise exactly what the ingredients are.  This is a little salad pot from M&S that is literally just a pot of green:  Rocket, edamame beans, broad beans, mangetout, peas and green beans.  I've been really enjoying warm salads for at-home lunches lately so i simply chucked all of this in a frying pan on a low heat with a teaspoon of coconut oil and warmed it through.  Then i added a massive handful of spinach and once it had wilted, i turned down the heat and added a teaspoon of mango chutney.  I piled it high in a bowl, seasoned it and topped it with slices of avocado and toasted black sesame seeds and it was HEAVEN.  The next day i did exactly the same except i had the sticky, warm spicy beans on toasted sourdough with a poached egg.  Mmmmm!

3.  Figs.  Lately they're all i want.  They've been my morning crumpets very best friend every day so far this week - obviously topped with peanut butter and a drizzle of runny honey.  I've also been enjoying them chopped into chunks and dropped into a bowl of the thickest creamiest greek yoghurt; again with a great big drizzle of runny honey.  Did i mention that i'm also loving honey?!?  Well you've probably guessed.  I swear i could write this whole post about food this week.  I love the change in the seasons.  I'm forever inspired by ingredients and food and eating to nourish that little machine of mine; but come this time of year it's ever so nice to switch things up and to have a bit of a re-boot, don't you think?! It's not quite cold enough yet but i'm already excited for celeriac mash, sticky sweet cinnamon potato wedges and turmeric-spiced roasted cauliflower.

4.  An unexpected warm day.  Today in fact:  Tuesday.  It's the day that i write this little post and so far the weather has been GLORIOUS.  I just checked for exact temperature info and it is an amazing 18 degrees!!!  Naturally i did what all us British folk do at any sign of warm weather - i got outside!  I've spent most of the day out and about on two wheels running errands and gulping in great big 'lungfuls' of fresh air and blue skies and feeling the sun on my little cheeks and it has done WONDERS for - well just all of me!  Gotta get that vitamin D fix when it's there folks....

5.  Pink.  Lately it's my absolute favourite.  Okay so it's pretty much always up there somewhere in my list of favourite colours, but lately more so than ever.  But not just any pink:  a veritable dusky blush pink....sort offffff the colour of a pink rose just as it starts to crisp and curl up.  Somehow that colour, well it's my calm colour and the one i'm forever drawn to.  I spend my life {no exagerration} searching for bits and pieces in that colour.  Why?  Because it makes my heart happy.  Do you need any more reason that?!?

6.   Candles, blankets and biscuits.  Okay so it's not cold cold yet but any excuse to celebrate three of my favourite things even more so than usual.  I say that because i pretty much celebrate this trio of wonderful-ness every month of the year but Autumn, well it's most definitely the season for winding down things a little.  Today i picked up some almond, cherry and oat shortbread biscuits to crunch alongside watching The Great British Bake Off later.  I thought they'd go perfectly with our usual mug of spicy chai tea before bed.  And even if i just pop the blanket over my legs.....well you get the same effect.  

7.  The smell of outside the morning after a night-long rain storm.  That was my Monday.  Luckily the grey damp mist and heavy sky lifted within a couple of hours but the smell very first thing:  Well it was delicious.  Everywhere felt so still and quiet and in the distance all you could hear was a cheerful chirrup of sweet birdsong.  It felt like i was the only person in the whole world {okay couple of mile radius} that was awake.  I stood with our french doors open and sipped on my mug of tea, watching the steam from the hot tea curl up and out of the door.  It was a little bit lovely.

8.   Clean fluffy line-dried towels.  I mean this is one of the best things in LIFE let alone just this week only.  Truth be told, now being the proud owner of a teeny tiny garden and washing line, it's something we've been quite accustomed to this Summer.  There's no greater joy than a 'good drying day' let me tell you.  BUT i thought our luck had run out and on the return of Autumn we'd have to resign ourselves back to hanging duvet covers on doors and pillowcases on stairwells BUT ALAS.  There was today {Tuesday} and it's amazing re-appearance of not only double digit temperatures BUT ALSO SUN.  So i predictably washed ALL OF THE THINGS and even some things that didn't need washing at all because THAT SMELL my friends, is heaven in itself.  

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And how about you?  What's been cheering up your cheeks this mid-week or better still, what ounce of greatness are using as rocket-fuel to power yourself right through until the weekend...?!  Do share - because i'm nosey and i'd love to know.  Whilst you're here, put on the kettle and hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs  and catch up on a handful more happy lists from some of my very favourite internet people.  Because if there's one thing you can't have too many of, it's great big twisting and twirling lists of great and good things!  
Have the loveliest rest of week!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #186

{Falling for all of those golden beams of light lately...}
Hello there and how the bobbins do you do?!  I'm writing this on a Tuesday afternoon instead of an evening since it is my day off this week.  I've currently got London Grammar up loud, the window open and bright golden sunshine peeking through the gaps in the blind in our spare room. Life is good.  London Grammar are. Just. The.  Best.  Her voice.  It travels up and down my spine in pretty waves of lovely and gives me goosebumps all over.  It's just beautiful!

This week has been a funny one.  The kind where i havent really noticed it start but one which i'm definetly looking forward to it ending! I feel like my head's been busy:  like my sleeps have been long and heavy-headed and maybe even IF it was a thing i've been sort of busy in my sleep too?  Do you ever get tha?  I'm ready to count some happy and to sit still, if only for a an hour so and just think about one single thing.  God bless this little haven of a post!

1.  Squirrels.  Actual real life squirrels.  Spotted on this mornings bike ride through the park; scampering around and about and completely oblivious to me and my two wheels parked close by.  They were racing up and down the hugest tree, pinching conkers and swishing their big fluffy tails.  So lovely!

2.  A suitable coat scenario.  Silly but oh so true.  I'm dying to break out my tweed woolly wintery-ish coat but it's also not really that cold once the sun creeps up and has been warming up the sky for a few hours.  This week i re-discovered an old rusty brown trench coat i'd completely forgotten i had and re-remembered {is that a thing?!} how put-together and chic i feel wearing it, no matter what's underneath it!  Today i threw it over my favourite blue jeans and striped navy breton tee and even popped on my sunglasses.  There's something so lady-like and timeless about a good rain mac/trench coat, don't you think?!

3.  Lemon, honey and ginger.  I feel ever so slightly like i'm getting a cold.  It sort of comes in waves.  An odd day or two i've woken up with a scratchy throat.  Then last night i could NOT get warm no matter how hard i tried.  I've been firing everything at it in a desperate bid to deter any kind of looming illness and one of my favourite things has been lemon, honey and ginger.  I mix a teaspoon of manuka honey, some roughly grated ginger and the juice of half a lemon together and top it up with warm water first thing in the morning.  Standing sipping it, and watching the sun slowly peep up from behind yesterday is doing all of the magical things:  ie:  so far ensuring I havent yet caught a cold!  Little victories!  I used to have lemon and warm water every morning when i was working but sort of fell out of the habit in favour of Lady Grey....

4.  Bonfire plans!  One of my favourite times of year.  Is it weird that i might like it more than Christmas...?!?  {retail worker woes}.  This year we've got plans to go to a bonfire set in the grounds of a castle ruin and I'M SO FLIPPING EXCITED!!!!  I can't wait for hot jacket potatoes, for mulled anythings and for cosying up and watching fireworks.  Who can believe we're halfway through September already?!?!

5.  Butter beans.  If you know me you'll know i pretty much like any kind of bean in any kind of way but this week i elevated that love to another level by randomly tossing some leftover butter beans in a pan with some coconut oil and leftover greens {baby kale, peas, sugarsnaps, edamame beans and fine beans} and served them piled high on some mixed leaves and drizzled with sweet chilli dressing and chunks of half of an avocado i needed to use up and it was the BEES KNEES!  It reminded me of how much i LOVE warm salads come this time of year and also reminded me to get more imaginative with my leftovers and my meals more often!  I think it would also be lovely piled on toasted sourdough or with some rice noodles tossed through and some chopped coriander.  Mmmmm!

6.      Kindness.  This point could stretch for miles/words.  I feel a little bit like i've lost my way lately - in a job sort of a way.  Without going into too much detail or boring you to the ends of the earth i feel a bit trapped.  I'm SUCH a creative person and always have been.  But the problem with wanting to do anything vaguely creative for a living is how vast and wide open a path it can be - especially if you've never ever known which path to forge, which direction to take or even if anyone would want to pay for the kind of creative talents that you have.  If i could sing, make and eat porridge, write long and tangling descriptions about anything and everything, take photos or work somewhere preparing nourishing seasonal food {especially breakfasts!} and making it look beautiful then i would feel content.  But all of those things...?!  Where to start and where to stop?!  I digress.  As i usually do!  But this week i have had so many kind words about my writing:  Instagram comments, even a lovely email and a private message on Twitter and i can't even tell you how lovely a feeling that is.  It might just be my natty description of an amateur snap of my feet or the sky but writing the words, well that's my very favourite part and those that take the time to read and talk to me?  Well you're all just the BEST and i can't thank you all enough.  

7.  Golden-ness.  It's that time of year, or at least it's very almost is that time of year:  When the light changes; gets caught up in the first scattering of fallen leaves and casts a magical golden glow wherever it touches.  If i could press pause on now then i surely would.  Aren't the seasons just magic?!  It's been making me crave butternut squash, sticky sweet potato wedges with spiced paprika; ginger and oat crumble topped fruit and figs!  Because cinnamon baked figs with runny honey are just beyond heaven!  If there was a time of year to roast, caramelise or toast everything it would surely be now.  

8.  Porridge with honey.  Nothing else.  A simple, piping hot bowl of creamy porridge made with hazelnut milk, a pinch of pink salt and a really good drizzle of heather honey across the top - perfection!

9.  Meal planning.  This is something we don't really do but something i'm trying to change.  Largely so i don't end up going to the market and three other supermarkets just to get what i want for the week's groceries.  This is the second week of meal planning:  recipe books, scribbled lists and many a post-it AND i'm already wondering why we haven't been more organised for the last seven years of our relationship!  Am i turning into my mother yet?!?

10.  Meridian peanut, chocolate and honey butter.  I bought this today {Tuesday} and havent tried it yet BUT do you know what?  I've never met a Meridian nut butter i didn't like!  I already know i'm going to love this and i'm beyond excited for breakfast tomorrow!  But then that's nothing new....

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And that's that.  Another #wonderfulwednesday -shaped happy list sat, pondered and tip-tapped out in an effort to spend a little time each week counting the littlest bits of lovely in my week.  Why not pop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's blogs  and have a read of what's been making their very own weeks wonderful?  Better still join in with the chit-chat online across all social media channels using the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can see.  As always i'm @sallytangle  everywhere!
Have a lovely rest of week!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #185

{Autumn is that you?  Yes, yes i do believe it is...}
It's official folks:  We have Autumn.  I am sat here, tip-tapping out this little post to you on Tuesday evening gazing out of our office window into the greyest, darkest sky that there ever was and listening to the rain hitting the window and gushing so fast down our tiny drainpipes.  Also, of it's own free-will and without any encouragement from yours truly {who always gets the blame for putting on the heating when it's not quite cold enough!} the heating has clicked on all by itself - it's the very first time since i can't remember when!  There's something magical about curling up, getting cosy and piling on the layers come this time of year though and i feel more than ready for ALL of that! Don't you??!

I feel as if this weeks' list might come to me quiiiite easily you know...

1.  Changin' up my scents.  I'm already steps ahead with wearing my more 'colder-weather' fragrance and have sprayed most of my lighter early-Autumn scarves already.  But this week we also said goodbye to some candles that i'd been burning over summer and had all but ran out and replaced them with heavier, richer and deliciously cosy scents.  I picked up two new candles:  One 'Tobacco Pipe Smoke' a heavenly heady sandlewood scent with smoky undertones of....almost leather..?!  And i also snuck in another candle in 'Midnight Air' which smells exactly like the smell you get wandering home on an early autumn night:  All first coal fires entangled with dampened grass.  They're really doing the business in putting me in a cosy mood each evening.  We've also swapped our reed diffuser from coconut to vanilla and that too is a deliciously lovely scent to breathe in when we're cosied up on the sofa.  

2.  Toast and jam.  You know me, give me a jar {or ten!} of nut butter and i'll spread it on anything and everything imaginable or just sit on the kitchen floor and eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon.  But sometimes, a slice of hot, salty buttered sourdough bread with as much jam piled high on top as you can muster before it leaks through the holes and you have to lick your own wrists {#toastfail right there} alongside a mug of tea is just the bees knees!

3.  Lamplight.  The worst part for me about the colder months is definetly the lack of light.  I've been staving off the possible vitamin C deficiency and certain glumness by making sure i light some lamps and candles as i'm pottering about after my evening shower or getting ready in the morning. It does a little in cheering my little cheeks just before bed or when i have to be up before the daylight tickles the windows.  

4.  Red cabbage.  You know when you suddenly just crave something?!  I didn't want to peak too soon as have red cabbage the way i usually love to:  cooked low and slow and braised with apple and redcurrant jelly.  Instead we made it into a quick pickle by mandolin-ing it, seasoning it well with sea salt and black pepper and scrunching in a generous slug of red wine vinegar.  We made enough to last us a lifetime all week almost and have been eating it at any given oppurtunity!  We made some lamb koftas at the start of the week and rolled them up in floury tortillas with red cabbage and cottage cheese and it was SO GOOD!

5.  Cuddles in the morning.  Or anytime really because who can beat a cuddle as the ultimate way to cheer you up, make you feel cared for or simply just warm you up?!?  It doesn't help me want to get up on these darker mornings {what does?!?} but it is a lovely way to start the day/warm my toes!

6.  Nutmeg.  Have a peaked too soon?!  I couldn't get my usual brand of almond milk for my porridge this week so i picked up hazelnut instead.  Even on it's own it's so hard not to get a chocolate-y taste from it or to want to put it alongside anything and everything chocolate!  I tried to be imaginative and shook in a great heap of nutmeg alongside my usual mashed banana and it was INSPIRED.  So much so that i'll be most likely having it until the end of the week!  If i could eat porridge for every single meal then i genuinely would!

7.  Old favourites.  Is it just me or does anyone else have a handful of favourite clothes items that no matter how worn, loved or tatty they might be; that they couldn't even entertain ever getting rid of them?!  I've got far too many really but top of the list and something i dig out every year without fail {infact i actually dug it out a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the cooler months just so i could wash it and give it a freshen up!} is my over-sized grey and cream speckled cable cardigan. It's made from wool and has to be the softest, cosiest thing i own and i wear it with anything and everything:  Pyjamas included.  It's also sadly the bobbliest thing i own but each year i hunt for a new  one and can never find one quite as lovely!  

8.  First tight-wearing.  I'm actually rather proud i lasted until the 11th of September this year!  Now there's officially no going back and i'm fine with the fact that i'll most likely be wearing tights from now until at least May next year!  What's not to love about something that you can pull right up to just under your bra and be the toastiest that you'll ever be?!?  

9.  Rain on the darkest, coldest night so far.  Okay so there's been a couple of them lately.  But lying in bed, in only lamplight with the rain thundering against the glass and the wind howling is one the the BEST feelings.  Are you with me?!?
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And we are DONE!  All happy list-ed up and ready for the rest of the week!  Don't forget to bob right on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's    respective blogs and read all about what's been making their weeks' really rather lovely!  And join on online with the #wonderfulwednesday chit-chat on any other social media platform - as always i'm @sallytangle everywhere!
Have a wonderful rest of week!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #184

{S'all about the berries!}
Good day to one and all!  How the devil are you?! I'm just going to be a squillion percent honest with you from the get-go and tell you that until about precisely 0.5 seconds ago i was in the HUGEST grump to end ALL grumps.  For absolutely no apparent reason and out of completely nowhere!  Sometimes I can be the oddest bean that there ever was.  BUT as quick as that little grey cloud enveloped all 5 foot 3 inches of me, it has just vanished without even a trace!  I've got no doubts whatsoever that it's purely down to the big mug of the hottest most perfectly brewed tea  {which i have just finished} and the fact that i have Destiny's Child up loud and i'm singing and typing altogether at once!  Anyone mind if this weeks' post is just the lyrics to 'Bugaboo?'  Thought you wouldn't.  Isn't the human mind and body an intriguing thing?!  

For a little moment there i was worried that this weeks' happy list was going to take a while!  But off we go!  HURRAH!

1.  A new primer.  Scratch that, my FIRST primer.  I've made no secret of the fact that i'm the most useless when it comes to make-up.  I also don't really have the energy to put the effort in and would much rather spend my time picking out the perfect scarf to match with what i'm wearing in the morning.  Who am i even kidding here?!?  I'd much rather spend the time stuffing my face with porridge and nut butter.  This week though i tried Lush Cosmetics first ever primer:  Magical Moringa.  And magical it is.  Not only is it 100% natural, self-preserving and smells BEAUTIFUL; it makes my skin feel like velvet and look so lovely that i actually need less make-up.  You know what that means...?!  More time for breakfast....

2.  A new candle.  I know 'blah blah blah' how many times do i harp on about candles?!?  But for me they're just the ultimate feel-good 'picker-upper' anytime of year.  I've got into a little day off routine now where i always burn one in the morning and somehow it feels even more luxurious than ever!  This week though i picked up a new scent for our livingroom candle:  'Tobacco Pipe Smoke' which is MAGIC:  All woody, smoky, deep and rich and perfect for ever-so-slightly edging into the cooler weather.....

3.  First acorn spotting.  Remember when you were little and used to collect little trinkets like acorns and conkers and pretty leaves just because?!  Well on one evening walk home from work this week i spotted the most perfectly formed little baby acorn, still wearing its sweet little acorn hat {i'm sure there's a more technical term for it!} that had fallen from the hugest Oak tree that i'd never ever even noticed before.  Not quite sure how i missed it!  I stuffed it into my cardigan pocket and it's sat on the desk in our little office.  Not quite sure what to do with it yet.....But looking at it is making me happy soooooo.....

4.  Afternoons spent with my sister.  I love that girl with all my heart and whenever i spend anytime with her i leave feeling full of inspiration and.....just guts!  Like i could take on the whole world in one stride!  There's forever never enough time to cover everything i want to talk to her about, ask her advice on or tell her but the time that we do spend together is one of my very favourite things in the whole entire world!  She's one of the very few people who is forever on my page and it's the BEST feeling ever!

5.  The anticipation of good bread.  I don't really eat a lot of bread.  I am forever vowing that i will learn to get better at baking my own but apart from a try at soda bread - the easiest of them all - which actually turned out to be delicious i've never quite gotten around to it!  Patience you see - it's not something i have in volume.  Or at all.  It's awful but i always want everything yesterday!    SO this week i stumbled upon the NICEST loaf of dark rye sourdough in a bakers.  It smells like HEAVEN and i'm already excited to slather it in salty butter and pile scrambled eggs on top.  Or zig-zag it with tahini, honey and ripe peaches OR maybe spicy tomato-y butterbeans.....the world is my TOASTER!

6.  Celebrating the very last of summer.  By buying myself the very last bunch of scented stocks on my lunch-break the other day. They have filled the kitchen with the prettiest floral scent and i've been breathing it in over and over whenever i get a chance.  Soon it'll be time for jam jars of eucalyptus, red berries and the like.  Don't go thinking i'm not as equally excited for those though....

7. A hat!  Any hat!  Okay so between you and I, I might have bought a winter hat the other day!  But it's the prettiest wintery purple shade and it's the softest angora beret {which technically is more than appropriate in late autumn also too, am i RIGHT?!} which goes magically well with my grey woollen coat and soft woolley scarf from the last few years.  Is it just me who finds an AMAZING sense of satisfaction when you stumble across something in just the right shade to go alongside something else...?!?

8.  Porridge-y mornings. Let's not go fooling ourselves here. I've been eating porridge on and off all summer.  But i've been 'summer-ying' it up {read:  stopping myself melting} by topping most bowls with frozen berries.  This week was the first time i've curled up, on a grey and drizzly Monday, with a hot bowl of honey laden porridge made with the creamiest almond milk, mashed banana and a little ground cardamon and it was HEAVEN.  So heavenly infact that i've stocked up on all i need to ensure i can eat it every single day this week.....
9.  First scarf wearing. Just a lightweight soft leopard print scarf but all of the same, you can't quite beat nuzzling into one of your favourite scarves, sprayed lightly with your favourite perfume, on a drizzly wet pretty-much-autumn morning, can you?!

10.  Blackberry picking. I'm mega late to the party here but just hadn't really spotted any in enough abundance to get excited about.  Until the other night. I filled up my lunch box and scampered home.  I ate far too many of them dunked into creamy greek yoghurt and wildflower honey later that night and i've frozen the rest for now.  Fire your favourite blackeberry recipes this way!  

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And we're DONE!  All happy listed out for another week can you believe it?!?  Quick-march your lovely self right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's  blogs to catch another lot of happy listing #wonderfulwednesday -style orrrrr join in too!  Chit-chat online with us over on Twitter and Instagram {as always i'm @sallytangle} and remember to use the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can all see!
Happy mid-weekin' !!!


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