Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #229

 {Because being a tourist in your own city is severely underrated...}
Good day to you!  I hope there has been much sunshine wherever you are but not enough that you feel frazzled to a crisp!  Spare a thought for me when you drop by here since as i have a serious case of the back-to-work-blues!  Ho-hum.  I returned to work on Tuesday this week after a delightful seven days off and i feel like a completely different person because of it!  I don't have much to show for it, save for maybe less under-eye-baggage and a much more patient and less-frazzled self and is it wrong to already be counting down the days until my next few days off?!?  I must stop that at once!  Forever wishing time away and looking forward to the next 'thing' and the next, and the next and the NEXT!

Time to hold my horses and list some jolly great stuff about right now...... Not the past, or the future - the Now.... 

1.  A garden.  I cannot even begin to tell you quite how much pleasure our little patch of green has given me this year.  Having spent most of my rented life in flats or shared houses with no garden spaces this was high, high up on why i wanted to move to this little house.  Yes it's only a patch of grass with a small patio BUT it's amazing how much better i feel for starting the day and ending the day in there lately, due to all of this lovely weather.  I'm slowly getting more confident with my green fingers and definitely want to try and grow some edible things next year and not just flowers BUT i'm convinced gardening has some health benefits.  I feel infinetly better tinkering in the garden.  And how many times have I raved on about line-dried washing?!  Plus is there really anything better than bare feet on grass on a summer day!?!?

2.  Summer clothes. Hands up if you've sort of bankrupt yourself this summer at the sheer excitement at actually wearing more than one summer outfit?!?  Okay so it's not quite that bad over here *cough* but i have been more than a little giddy at all of this warm weather we've been having and have picked up a few odds and ends here and there.  Yes even though it's the warmest summer i think i can remember in my whole life {yes, really} i'm pretty much still a bit of a cross between milk bottle white and translucent when it comes to any kind of 'tan' {i burn at even a whisper of sunlight, it's factor 5000 all of the way for this pale gal!} but that hasn't stopped me enjoying wearing *sounds summer klaxon* WHITE cotton dresses, wafty printed trousers and bare legs most days.  Sort of makes every day feel like a holiday...or is that just me?!?

3.  Lime pickle.  Usually something i'd only ever think of having with Indian food and usually  something that would never cross my little mind to think to buy just as an every day condiment.  I'm not even sure where the notion came from but all of a sudden here we are on jar number two in....ten days.  I might need to reign it in somewhat.  I've been having it on every thing you can imagine but here's my favourite few ways:  Baked curried sweet potato and turmeric wedges {just wedges of sweet potato tossed in olive oil, turmeric, cinnamon and roasted curry powder and baked - HEAVEN} topped with the thickest, creamiest cottage cheese, nigella seeds and a great big dollop of lime pickle.  A spinach tortilla wrap spread thickly with turmeric and yellow split pea hummus and filled with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, torn mint and coriander, toasted seeds and a great big dollop of lime pickle.  Toasted sourdough topped with curried turmeric tofu or eggs and topped with nigella seeds, fresh coriander, sliced avocado aaaand you guessed it:  Lime pickle.  If you cut me open now i'd mostly be lime pickle.  Anyone else not eat something for YEARS and then all of a sudden eat it all day every day until you're thoroughly exhausted from it and have tried every conceivable way to eat it in the whole wide world?!?!?  Except most of the time these 'phases' don't stop, so much as just morph into a new obsession.....

4.   Dusky pink.  IF somebody said to me, pick your favourite colour palette ever, i mean i'd really struggle because just like my dalliances, phases or downright obessions with foods; my love of colour can change with the wind just as much.  One colour that rarely leaves whatever colour combo is inspiring me or making me happy as a clam lately, is a soft, dusky rose pink.  I rarely find something it doesn't go with.  It's that colour for me:  It comforts me, makes me feel better and it's the one i gravitate to most at anytime of year.  This summer has all been about rose pink, mustard and white for me.  Maaaaybe with a hint of tan thrown in for good measure.  Do you have a colour you're always drawn to no matter what?!

5.   Chocolate porridge.  Yes i'm that gal:  No matter the weather there will forever be two things at breakfast:  Lady Grey tea and porridge.  Yes the flavour combinations become influenced by the seasons:  I've been adding coconut to it most days and fresh or frozen berries on top and often find i crave the fruitiness or zestiness of something fresher but it's still all about the porridge. Sometimes though, breakfast has got to be the comforting 'hug' of sweet, rich, delciousness.  The sort of hug you don't get from fruity flavours or from a rosey coloured 'anything'.  Sometimes the only thing for it is a bowl of rich, creamy chocolate, coconut and banana porridge and on my first day back at work on Tuesday, it was the invisible superhero cape i needed!

6.   Wavy hair.  Because dontcha' always want what you definitely don't have?!?  Naturally my hair could at best be described aaassss....'flicky.'  It's not perfectly straight, but there's also really not enough wave to work with naturally either.  Generally {and especially in this heat!} i'm a wash and leave it be kind of gal and only stick a hairdryer or heated appliance near my fringe {fringes are a different beast altogether!} BUT LATELY i've been wavin' it just a little bit.  It's been nice to mix it up a bit, and i do find that oddly once my hair has been waved, it does last and needs very little else done with it bar a few spritzes of dry shampoo here and there.  Sometimes a little change is a good thing....

7.  Silence.  There was a time when 'switching off' for me was playing music in my ears as loud as i could and running or cycling as fast as i could until i felt better. And there's nothing wrong with that.  That worked then.  But it doesn't now.  Now doing that feels like....drowning out the 'hum' of life and the things that are bothering me, worrying me or causing me stress.  Now calm comes in the form of total and complete silence.  Of hearing nothing but the breeze tickling the grass as i wander home and the birds calling to each other as the sun slips into tomorrow.  It's only in total peace and quiet that i can truly switch off and be still.  Any kind of noise and i can't help the urge to do everything quicker, and usually end up in a bit of tizz.  

*  *  * 
 And i'm all done:  Sat, listed and feeling much, much better for it.  I'm off to endeavor to make something for supper that doesn't contain Lime pickle....and then to have a long, cool lavendar-y shower and maybe some tea and biscuits before today becomes tomorrow and all of a sudden Wednesday becomes Thursday and maybe even before we know it we'll be knee-deep in August and thinking about things hat aren't white dresses and bare legs....maybe.  

Quick, quick right on over to  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's beautiful blogs and revel and roll about in a little bit more #wonderfulwednesday loveliness and catch up with what's been keeping a grin on their little cheeks this week.  
Thank you SO much for reading.....

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #228

{Getting outside as much as possible in this GLORIOUS weather}
Well hellloooooo! How do you do and how has your week been? Catch me up!  Mine has been long-feeling {and saying that as i type this to you on {ONLY!}a sunny Tuesday evening is not a great way to feel!}.  That said, after working the last six days in a row i now have some much-needed time off!  Quite often when you work most weekends and don't have the same one day off though the week each week you struggle to realise the end and the beginning of your working week.  If it's super-duper busy {as mine has been lately} not stopping for long enough means you're left feeling a little bit sorry for yourself! 

Fear not!  It's nothing that some fresh air, some one on one time with those two wheels and little bit of TLC wont fix I can be sure of that! I've been off only one day and i already feel better!  

Let's get some happy listin' started shall we?!? 

1.  A light shower.  Now before we all get carried away i am most certainly not complaining about that glorious spell of sunshine and summer-feelin'-summer myself and most of the U.K has been enjoying BUT when i woke up this morning {Tuesday - the evening of the week i tip-tap this post out} the sky was heavy with rain clouds and the air smelt heavy, damp and delicious.  I made a mug of tea and sat with the french doors open and watched a misty warm rain shower fall on the grateful parched grass and our endlessly thirsty plants and it was really quite lovely.  Even though it continued to shower on and off all morning i threw on some jeans and a striped tee; scraped my hair back and took my bike out to run some errands all of the same.  It wasn't a fierce, angry, 'let's get home quick before we get soaked' sort of rainfall.  It was soft, misty, gentle and cool and calming.  And the few laps of the park i did before my few jobs was much quieter than usual first thing too. Even of my hair was three times the size upon my return home..

2.   Multi-coloured tomatoes from the window-sill; cold-pressed olive oil and flakey sea salt.  AKA Heaven.  

3.  A new rug.  I love a rug.  Sad but true.  I was actually sort of sad that our house only had wooden floors downstairs and not all of the way through when we moved in.  I mean of course that kind of thing is changeable but the carpets are fairly new and there's nothing wrong with them and so it seems almost wasteful {?} to spend so much time and money on ripping it them all up...For now *wink wink*.  But rugs!  I love them because they can change a room so much, bring a colour scheme together and really add warmth, cosiness and comfort to a space.  They're also a great way of breaking a big space up or creating 'zones' within an open plan space.  I digress.  We've got a long, long hallway and I've been looking for a runner rug long enough and lovely enough since we moved in.  This week i picked it up for £31 reduced from £95!!!  Maybe i'll show you once it comes?  It's berry red, inky blue and has a beautiful faded Moroccan print running all the way along it's length.  Since as our hallway and front door is white i thought it would be the perfect pop of colour to it.

4.   Rest.  It's so easy to power through when you feel less than best.  To not listen to the 'signs' and to push them back believing that you'll stop when you've done this, or that, or crossed off just one more thing off the list and before you know it you've got your head in a cupboard at work having a little cry.  Sometimes taking time out and admitting that you haven't 'got this' isn't a sign of the defeat it can feel like at ALL.  It's actually a sign that you're strong enough and brave enough to admit you can't do it all and that you're okay with that.  Huge great and whopping love to anyone that sent over a lovely DM this/last week regarding my teary tweets and know that every single one of them meant the whole and entire world.  Extra shout out to the ever beautiful Ruthie of 'Cawligraphy' who sent me THE most beautiful post.  There have been FAR too many tears since we were last here!  Fear not, there's not much but rest and loveliness on the agenda for the next few days.  

5.   Water.  I drink gallons of the stuff.  I haven't always and if i'm honest if i'm feelin' a little less than best - whether that's just under the weather, tired or a little less than best - i often want to drink tea:  My favourite mug, with my favourite citrussey, bergamot-y Lady Grey in.  And i do.  But know that it's mostly the gallons of water in between that make a difference.  It's genuinely one of the things i really notice if i don't drink enough of the stuff.  I feel tired, i can't concentrate; my skin looks dull, i struggle to sleep as soundly:  I am generally just not my very best self.  Lately has been so warm that i've been spiking that humble H2O with anythings and everythings:  Half a lime juiced into ice-cold water with torn up mint leaves.  'On their way out strawberries' halved and frozen and dropped into water with some leftover basil leaves.  Sometimes the juice of half a lemon and some fresh sliced ginger for extra 'zing.'  Sometimes {read most of the time} i've got an ice-cube tray on the go with one of these combos so i can have it on tap.  Ho, ho do you see what i did there?!  The lemon and ginger one is also great bobbed into an ice cube tray for the cooler weather:  Half freshly boiled water, half cold water and drop one in and you have yourself a spicy lemon-y concoction!  I always add a little raw honey for extra delicious-ness.  Water?!  Not so humble now hey?!!  Ps:  HOW have i written SO MANY WORDS ON WATER?!?  I need to get out more.....

6.  Rose. That smell, well between you and I, cliche or not cliche it's always had my heart.  Not the old lady sort of a rose scent - the deep, heady, rose absolut type of a rose scent.  I have an expensive rose body oil that i was kindly bought for Christmas last year and man alive do i wish i could bottle that exact rose scent.  I've been adding it behind my ears and dotting it across my chest and wrists on these warm summer days and smelling it all of the time has been the bees knees.  Somehow i just makes me feel better. Is that odd?!?

7.   Rescuing lavender.   I discovered only last week that most of the fairly reasonably priced bedding plants you buy at garden centres {ie:  for me the ones i buy when some of the plants i've grown from seed die a death in this hot, hot weather} don't actually have nectar, due to the way they are produced en masse.  So in effect, it's sort of false advertising to bees and butterflies and the like since it's bright and blousy blooms but no pollen!  Most of the plants i have - including the crazy out of control sweet-peas that i think i Instagram Story each day, and the Hydrangea plant that is just coming into bloom and a few other wild flower mixes should be okay but the bedding plants i do have, have all of a sudden made me feel awful for the bees!  On today's errands about town i spotted two big lavender plants reduced because they were just looking a little neglected.  Naturally i bought them both {because 'sorry for themselves' plants or reduced flowers in supermarkets are my kryptonite it seems} home balanced all of the way home {evenly!} across my handle bars and they are now sitting pretty on my patio after a little drink and some afternoon sun.  Be right back, i'm just waiting for the bees......

8.  Being outside.  I'm forever happier outside instead of in - no matter the weather!  Of course lately has been a little bit of holiday-shaped heaven - even if that outside time is my wander in the sun on my lunch hour for fifteen minutes; a leisurely 'take it all in' type of a scamper home after work or even sipping a cup of peppermint tea in the garden as the sunsets - it doesn't matter when or how i fit it in, it's just important that i do.  Just like my harp-harping on about drinking that water; being outside in the fresh, clean air does me just as much good mentally and physically!

*  *  *

And i'm only done for another week of #wonderfulwednesday 'in and happy listin'! Life has felt a little....emotional and tiring and hard lately but i'm looking forward to slowing it right down and putting me first for a little bit.  Don't forget to hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts OH - AND LU's TOO lovely #wonderfulwednesday happy lists when you've finished here!  There's no such thing as too much of a good thing in my estimation, especially when it's a happy list!

See you in seven days you wonderful bunch!  

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #227

{My nightly walk home from work view...}
Who can believe we're knee-deep in July?!  Who can also even believe that it's been pretty much solidly warm sunshine for what...over a month now?!  I've become so accustomed to it that i'm a little bit worried what might happen to me when it finally decides to leave us!  I genuinely can't believe how much more energy i've had, how much happier i've been and how much better i've eaten.  I mean i think i eat a pretty balanced diet all of the same but i feel like i've been much more creative and innovative with what we've eaten for supper and i've really enjoyed cooking from scratch and preparing food a lot more.  

Am i the only one who's not yet bored of the heat?!

I think it's high-time we cartwheeled right into this weeks #wonderfulwednesday happy list...

1.   Hummus. I mean i've always got love for this stuff.  I go through at least one pot per week - heavens sometimes two.  I'll put it on anything and everything and it's just an all-round great fridge staple.  Lately i'm all about beetroot and mint or split yellow pea and turmeric.  What's best about the stuff is come this kind of weather:  The hot, sticky, no energy to even turn an oven on let alone a stove ring; well you can pretty much build a decent and filling meal or snack from hummus.  Mid afternoon hunger pangs?!  Chopped 'whatever veg you've got' and hummus - win win! And if you're in a bit of a supper quandary, i love adding hummus to a big plate of salad, leftover sweet potato wedges, roasted veg cous cous etc.  We even use the stuff as a pizza base on pitta bread too.  I have also been known to just eat it from a spoon, sat cross-legged on the kitchen floor!  Sometimes hunger just comes out of nowhere...

2.  Summer mornings.   I just can't get enough.  Buzz off with your 'it's too hot' summer weather moaning.  I'm useless in the heat but that said i've just been making use of the cooler mornings and evenings and always making sure i have a cool shower before bed.  But summer mornings are just heaven.  I stand and drink a mug of tea on the patio first thing and just collect my thoughts for the day - even for just ten minutes.  It totally makes a difference to my mind-set for the day.  Then i sit and eat my breakfast at the table with the french doors open and the cool early morning breeze tickling my ankles and the birdsong my only company.  It's a little bit lovely.  I'm far too often sad to actually move and get ready and fear i could sit there and collect my thoughts for hours on end!

3.  Sleeping only half under the duvet.  Do you know what if it was a million degrees i'd still need some sort of duvet to snuggle up to or at least to be partially under!  As much as i wish i could sleep under just a cotton sheet or on top of the duvet entirely, i just can't settle!  Heaven is sleeping half in and half out.  Just enough to feel an evening breeze from an open window dance across my bare skin whilst having enough of the cool cotton quilt to snuggle up to.  I {weirdly!} have been sleeping really well in this weather!  Just waking up quite a lot earlier.  I am much more productive earlier on in the day though so i have just been going with it and getting up and just easing myself into the day a little more slowly and gently.

4.   Picking sweetpeas.  I'm vowing to grow even more things next summer since this years flowers have turned out so well!  Picking sweet-peas takes me right back to being little and i've been loving how much i can't keep up with the daily blooms creeping up our trellis in the garden and flowering overnight! I feel like i add a few more to the vase in the kitchen each morning before i give them a little watering.  I also love how the smell fills our kitchen - and i especially notice it first thing in the morning.  And on the odd day i miss picking the sweet-pea flowers that have opened, come early evening as the temperature cools, you can really smell the sweet scent in the garden.  

5.  Making my own lunch.  I'm feeling proud and really enjoying the fact that i've got back into making my own lunch to take to work each day.  I'm usually  so easily swayed by an extra ten minutes in bed and not leaving myself enough time or being organised enough to gather up ingredients that inspire me to want to create something for my lunch.  Also sometimes it feels like it's tricky enough to meal-plan suppers alone for two of us for seven days at a time, that often the thought of having to sort out lunches too can seem daunting!  That extra time in the morning though - born from this sneaky spell of beautiful blue skies and sunshine though is doing wonders for my mornings!  It's also quite meditative when i give myself the time to prepare my lunch and some snacks each morning.  I'm determined to keep it up as the months go on and summer slips into autumn.....

6.   Actually wearing summer clothes without hesitation or a single shred of doubt.  More than that, buying actual summer clothes to wear in this country and actually wearing them.  I went full throttle last weekend and bought a broderie anglaise white cotton sundress and i have actually lived in it.  When has this ever happened?!  When have we ever trusted the weather as much in our whole lives?!  Hurrah for bare legs every single day, for not taking any kind of cardigan or jumper {who remembers those things called coats?!} with you anywhere and not even giving it a second thought!  If only you could depend on every single season.  I mean i would two-hundred percent accept a long and cold winter like last years if i knew this was what i got come June.  Eeeeeasily.

7.   New potatoes and tomatoes.  Because there isn't a single time of year but right now -   maybe even this very second -  that both of those things taste like heaven on earth.  Oh and maybe strawberries and raspberries two.  I can take or leave tomatoes the rest of the year you know.  I prefer to roast them and have them piled on sourdough toast.  But come summer?  I could eat a bowl of baby cherry tomatoes from the little porcelain dish on our kitchen window-sill.  And new potatoes?  Hells bells they are dreamy tossed in nothing but salty butter and fresh torn up mint.  Hot or cold i'm not fussy.  HURRAH FOR SUMMER FOOD!!!!

*  *  *

And i'm all done All!  Loved and listed and tip-tapped out before a Tuesday night supper of a great big summery salad with two kinds of hummus and maybe even some seedy flat-breads - you can't tell me i don't know how to live! Would you judge me if i told you i'd been looking forward to it since this morning?!?

Don't forget to hoppity-hop right on over to Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's #wonderfulwednesday posts OH - AND LU's TOO - blogs to catch up their very own #wonderfulwednesday -shaped happy lists.  And tell me what's been making your week  fantastic too?!  Leave a sweet comment below or give any of us a nudge on Twitter or Instagram {i'm @sallytangle} using the #wonderfulwednesday tag!    

See you in another seven days.....


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