Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #20

{^^'Cos it's all i seem to rant and rave about lately!^^}

Hello, hello, helloooooo! Golly gosh folks - do you know what i've learnt first and foremost this week?  Don't book for decorators to come and plan a little house re-shuffle of furniture and DIY when you're working all last weekend and up until the middle of this week.  I.  Am.  Cream.  Crackered.  I'm not going to lie, i walked through the door on Sunday evening after work, took one look at everything everywhere and boxes filled to the brim with stuff and promptly announced that i was going out on my bike for an hour.  God bless that kind Mr of mine for all of the packing up and sorting and generally putting up with me!  A few days on and we've made progress.  

Walls have been painted and new furniture has been {almost} picked.  It's been a bit like starting afresh and once i got over the shock of quite how upside down everything would be, I'm actually beginning to enjoy all the de-cluttering and blank canvas-ey feeling each time i potter in from work.  If i don't look at eh three boxes of 'stuff' in the hallway.  Hey well Rome wasn't built in a day was it?!?  
I've surprised myself with actually how much energy i've still got as i sit and tip-tap this up on Tuesday evening.  I'm putting it down to another sunny day {and another pre-dinner bike ride enjoying a little bit of it!} and the extra cup of tea i had today for extra rocket fuel.  It worked.  I feel like this week has been FILLED with great things......
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1.  Colour.  Because all of a sudden {and maybe down to a fair few torrential Spring rain-shaped downpours in the early hours - the delicious kind that you can smell drifting in through a slightly open window} it seems like everywhere there is a riot of colourful flowers!  All the beds in our local park are filled to the brim with neatly organised floral abundance, the Wisteria that climbs up the walls along where i ride my bike are *just* starting to bloom and i even saw a Hydrangea bush starting to flower the other evening too.  Seeing so much colour in the sunshine is serious happy-making!

2.  Donut peaches.  Spotted in M&S on a quick early morning scamper in to pick up some milk.  I hurriedly grabbed a couple of cartons and had them resting in the sunshine in a pretty bowl since the weekend on our little windowsill.  The start of this week saw the first couple start to ripen and man ALIVE were they delicious.  I ate two in a row {over the sink - the true measure of peach/nectarine ripeness!} on Monday and sliced another on top of toasted rye bread spread generously with crunchy peanut butter this morning {Tuesday} and telling you all about how yummy they are is making think i might slice another into some coconut yoghurt later.....

3.  The sound of 'now.'  Not to go all 'zen' and 'mindful on you' BUT lately i've really been relishing not listening to any music on my bike rides. I initially stopped as i had a few problems with Willow the pushbike last week making some odd noises and since she's been fixed i've been worried she'd get poorly again and I'd not notice.  Do you know what, as a serious music fiend {I'm listening to Corrine Bailey Rae as i write this} i am surprised to tell you how much i've been enjoying really switching off and just enjoying being in the now:  the wind whooshing through my ears, early evening birdsong, the clinks, clonks and general cog-turning sounds that bike of mine makes {turns our she's a noisy little madam!} is really sort of lovely you know?

4.  Getting wavy with it.  Discovering i can still wave my hair now it's shorter.  A totally vain point but it means stretching out washing it a little longer and means i can embrace the mess that it inevitably becomes anyway.  Plus there's something rather lovely about being able to enjoy the opposite of how your hair behaves when you do nothing to at all and its normal state.  Don't we always want what we haven't got?!?!  

5.  Exhausting myself physically and not mentally {for a change!}.  When i was younger i hated P.E.  And i mean i really hated it.  To the point that I'd have voluntarily participated in double maths instead.  And if you know me you'll also know that i hated maths too.    But since i've grown up i've really begun to appreciate the power of really and truly exhausting yourself:  Feeling your heart thud in your chest, your legs ache like they might give up on you any second and best of all?  This, outside in the fresh air - and it thundering into your little lungs and filling you with what should probably be terror - but actually, the very best happy 'i can do anything in the whole wide world' feeling even for just a few moments.  I never ever would have thought exercise would have that effect on me.  Of course I'm talking about riding those two wheels....but i do think that everyone has one exercise that they could enjoy just like this.

6.  Watching Chelsea Flower show each night while eating dinner.  Because well...Flowers.  That is all.

7.  Eating colour.  It makes total sense i guess BUT when there is so much colour around and about and the days are so light and bright and downright sassy-pants sunny it makes total and complete sense that i crave even more colourful foods.  This weeks' highlights so far:  butternut squash ribbons, grated courgette, great big wedges of sticky sweet beetroot and as much citrus as i can get.  In other much weirder citrus-related news, yesterday i ate something called a 'Pamplemousse.'  I thought it was a grapefruit.  In fact it tasted like a cross between a mandarin and a grapefruit and was bloody lovely!

8.  The thought of a day off all to myself.  Is it just me or is sometimes the thought of a long awaited day off even better than the day off itself?!  Sort of like the thought and run up to Christmas day?  Just me then?  That's my tomorrow {Wednesday} and I'm so flippin' ready for it!


9.  Summer skin. I know i know that bloody sunshine, it's all i harp on about lately!  Even my little face has been looking a little lovelier because of it.  I feel like all of those early evening or morning bike adventures leave me needing less makeup, less blusher - well less of everything. And since i'm not really all to clever with anything make-up and don't really think it suits me somehow {?} this is definitely something to celebrate! 
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Remember! If this isn't enough of a slice of happy pie for you then hop on over to Michelle, Helen, Kate, Jo, Cat, and Katie's blogs to read their very own #wonderfulwednesday.  Better still join in too and tag me in your happy posts on both Twitter and Instagram.  I'm @sallytangle on everything!

I'm off to have another donut peach....maybe with a few wedges of grapefruit....Have the jolliest most lovely of weeks!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #119

 {Pretty prints upon even prettier tiles....}
Happy MID-week!  I'm sat here wondering to myself quite why I'm so flipping flopping cream-crackered this week and it's just dawned on me that i have worked the last seven days in a row.  This happens quite often and actually isn't half as bad as it sounds.  I love my job, but dare i say it...when you work in retail and part of your job is to be accommodating and lovely and efficient and all of the other things expected of you by customers; for eight whole hours a day?  Well let me tell you it is EXHAUSTING.  I sometimes worry that I'll run out of 'nice' and 'helpful' for those times when I'm not at work.  Luckily it's not happened yet!  So I'm more than looking forward to my day off today {Wednesday}.  There's no grand and fancy plans:  simply to sleep until i wake {which will probably be annoyingly early! No matter - sipping hot tea under the duvet is far better than careering around and about worrying that you might have put your mascara in the fridge!}  The forecast aint great {le sigh!} so i expect much tidying and sorting to be done and maybe some cycling if it's not as wet as it's predicted to be.  
How ARE you?  Has your week been as full of longer lighter days as ours have up here?!  It makes everything seem so much more do-able with some much needed vitamin D don't you think?!  Shall we press on and get cracking on the best bits of my sleepy, sunny week so far?!?

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1.  Feelin' alfresco.  We've not braved a picnic this year yet.  That's largely due to recently selling our little car and the fact that i've also worked a fair few Sundays and when i haven't....well life has just got in the way.  Pleasure has been found in tip-tapping away at our little computer with the skylight cracked wide open, the radio on and a hot cup of tea and a biscuit for company.  It sort of feels picnic-y and also a little bit like you're sat up in the clouds.  It's as alfresco as it's got lately food-wise and I'm not complaining!  

2.  Not having a cold.  Since last week i've been the snottiest little madam that there ever was!  I couldn't quite tell if it was hayfever or a cold and so i've been echinacea-ing, vitamin c'in and adding various hayfever remedies to my day-to-day in an effort to rid myself of it!  As of Monday i've been finally starting to feel 'me' again and convinced that it actually was a cold.  Here's to being able to breathe through my nose, smell the flowers i picked the other evening and to being able to taste again!  Hurrah!

3.  Homemade cookies.  Technically made last Sunday night but eaten right through until almost the middle of this week for 'medicinal purposes'.  Boy did they do the trick!  They were the most perfect ratio of soft and squidgy in the centre and crispy and buttery around the outside and hell I'll just come out and tell you that maybe just maybe they actually fixed me just as much the endless extra fruit and vegetables i have nibbled on the past week!  

4.  Pixi by Petra 'Glow Mist.'  Do you know what?!  Put the word 'glow' onto anything and I'll buy it.  I'm forever on the hunt for something that makes me look ethereal and wonderful.  Despite me actually falling in love with the idea of this stuff first, after researching it and reading reviews to see if it was worth picking up and having now used it for a good few weeks i can confirm it's amazing-ness.  It's a light mist you can either spritz on before applying make-up or afterwards as a way to set it and add radiance.  I use it for the latter and it's just FAB!  It adds a slight dewiness to my face whilst ensuring that my make-up lasts until the end of the day.  And it's packed full of natural ingredients and buckets of Argan oil etc etc and general happy skin stuff.  I'll never be a beauty blogger....buy it, it's ace!

5.  Grapefruit and orange.  Better still grapefruit and orange wedges served alongside toasted rye bread with crunchy peanut butter for the breakfast all champions are made of!  I swapped my usual banana for some extra vitamin c {during 'Cold-Gate'} and i might like it more!  The tart citrus is the bees knees alongside the salty nut butter and it's just the yummiest on these sunshine-y mornings and yet i can imagine it really cheering up a grey start to a day too.  What's a #wonderfulwednesday without breakfast chat hey?!

6.  Pom poms.  Put a pom pom, a tassel or fringing on something and I'll buy it.  Last week i treated myself to a little cover up from Zara {here} that's adorned with brightly coloured pom poms and i ADORE it.  It makes me feel happy whenever i swish and swash about in it and even though i have been paring it with skinnies and a grey marl tea {and sometimes a scarf tied amongst my messy mop!} i can imagine it really working over a plain cotton sundress or with a denim skirt and little tee.  It's just beautiful!  

7.  Getting all green-fingered.  ** Herb update**  If you've read along with at least the past couple of posts you'll know i've been trying to grow some little pots of herbs on our window sills ready to pot in the tubs outside our little attic.  They've absolutely shot up and despite my losing the little cards which said which was which, it's now becoming a little bit easier to decipher between the three!  Our little baby basil pot is actually starting to smell all 'basil-y' and fragrant and i can't wait for it to be a bit bigger!  I'm keeping everything crossed that they survive!  Anyone got any herb keeping alive/re-potting tips to share?!?

8.  Mascapone cheese.  I can take or leave cheese.  Don't hate me!  I mean, i love it in it's rightful place but you're unlikely to find me eating it on crackers or just little squares of it or worse still, choosing it as a dessert {chocolate all of the way thank you please!} BUT there's a time and a place when the right cheese on the right thing is just the bees knees!  This week mascapone cheese was dolloped generously across a pizza which was piled high with portobello mushroom and torn up ham and a heavy-handed helping of dried oregano and fresh basil.  The truth?  It was HEAVEN and i wish that I'd made two pizzas for us and not one because i pretty much begrudged dividing it in two....

9.  Water.  I know i know but sometimes the very best things are the very simplest.  I've been drinking gallons of the stuff lately.  Largely to try and flush out the cold discussed in point two.  I already drink a fair bit anyway and can never understand those who say that hardly bother about it at all.  If i didn't i think I'd be asleep before midday and have a face as grey and miserable as who knows what.  We are so lucky in this country to have fresh water on tap {sorry!} and i know if i don't drink enough i really do feel it!  Those fair few gallons of water have certainly helped propel me through the past seven days in a row at Monsoon Towers i've no doubt about it!

10.  Singin'!  I just love it.  For me though there's no middle ground.  I sing...okay well i sing most of the time.  But if I'm honest i consciously sing when I'm either really very happy or if I'm feeling a little blue or down in the dumps.  Favourite thing to sing?  Impossible to answer as it varies so damned much.  Just like when people ask you for your favourite song.  How do you ever answer that?!  Depends purely on how i feel at the time or what's been whizzing around my ears lately.  I'd love to have a proper go at writing a song.  For someone who loves words and writing so much, and music it seems ridiculous that i never have.  Apart from the teeny tiny insignificant detail of me not being able to read music or play any kind of instrument.  Last thing i sung?  My own accoustic-y take on Bowie's 'Rebel Rebel'.  I like that the Mr has plenty of guitars lying around and about so i can pretend i know what the heck I'm doing!
 
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 Go go!  Head right on over to  Kate, Jo, Michelle, Cat, Katie, Em, and Helen 's respective blogs and catch their lovely #wonderfulwednesday 's!  Better still tell us about YOU!  What's making your week fab?  What are you looking forward to?  What is powering you though?  Heavens we'd all love your hints and tips on rocket fuel for the rest of this week for sure.  Remember to follow along on social media using the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can all chit-chat about the jolly great things until our merry hearts are content as can be!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #118

{Golden-hour bicycle rides are evenings well-spent lately}
Hello and good DAY good afternoon or i suppose good night to you!  How are you?!  Man alive it feels good to be back, on time and in my rightful 7am posting slot.  Posting this later last week left me feeling all kinds of discombobulation!!!  My week's been a lovely one.  Filled with about six watermelons {i exaggerate - but i do feel like I'm living off them lately!}, lots of sunshine, moving a little slower and feeling all kinds of happy summery-ness.  Oh and being and getting outside as much as i can! In that 'you never know when the weather might change' typically British kind of way that we all do.  I'm crossing everything that you've all had some rays of sunshine somewhere this week so far.  Let's get down to the good stuff shall we?!
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1.  Sunshine, sunshine, SUNSHINE!  Not even the half-arsed {sorry Cumbria but sometimes it really feels like you could try harder} hazy, not really warm enough for anything less than a t-shirt.  No no, the real and lovely  'pretty freckle-inducing actually' kind that has you walking, cycling - just being slower so as to soak in each and every last drop ray as often as possible.  I forever harp on and on about how much difference a peep of a blue makes to mine and everyone's' moods, so throw a twenty-three degree temperature into the mix and we've all been positively giddy as all of the kippers!  Hurrah!
 
2.  A 'through' breeze.  Most likely the most 'old lady sounding' sentence i've ever written.  Incase you don't already know, we live in an attic cupboard flat.  Our little bedroom gets the sun until about 11am and then it moves right the way around to the back of our little rooftop dwelling.  This is super duper since it's got the biggest almost floor to ceiling windows {excellent sky/cloud/general sky spotting for me!} and so it's the lightest room most of the day.  But when it's hot, hot, hawt it can be a nitemare!  The only way to rectify this dilemma {i mean it's only taken us the five years we've lived to discover said solution - just shows you how many 'hot hot' days we get!} is to prop both back bedroom attic skylight open and leave all the doors open and the livingroom ones as wide as they'll go.  Hence creating a 'through draft' of cooler air that tickles your cheeks and keeps you all lovely and cool.  Add great big wedges of watermelon and ice cold tumblers of water with torn mint leaves and slices of cucumber for extra effect.  
 
3.  Peanut butter.  Because, you dear and lovely faces; what's #wonderfulwednesday without some kind of a)food and b)breakfast-shaped mention?!  Now i love a nut butter {i do want to say probably more than the next man/woman?} - any kind of nut butter {I'm lately feeling all kinds of love for a particularly fancy pants jar of maple and pecan pie nut butter that cost me far too much money {i know, say whaaat?!  It's as good as it sounds i can tell you} but sometimes, sometimes just crunchy peanut butter is all you need and all you want.  This week has been filled with mostly peanut butter:  Spread {never liberally} on carrot sticks, eaten straight from the jar in times of desperation need and especially served on toasted rye bread with great big wedges of pink grapefruit on the side.  It's a taste sensation of sweet, sour and savoury that's almost so good i have to stop myself eating it for lunch as well as breakfast.  No jokes!
 
4.  Coconut shampoo and conditioner.  I very rarely match my shampoo and conditioner.  not out of choice, i just can never get both to run out at the same time and i am forever trying new flavours {scents?}.  This week i spoiled myself and bought the coconut conditioner to match the shampoo i've been using for the last month or so.  The excuse?  Well it's legitimately summer now right?!  For this week at least....
 
5.  Sleeping in less attire than usual.  Just like the joy that comes from those first few nights snuggled up in warmer nightwear with a hot water bottle and fluffy slippers; so too does that of sleeping with a lot less than usual.  Is there anything lovelier than crisp cotton bed linen and curling up underneath it in just a pretty pair of cotton smalls and a light, lacy whisper of a bra-let or little vest?  I think not.  Throw a night-time open window into the equation and you've pretty much got the best night sleep lined up right there....
 
6.  Ombar coconut milk chocolate buttons.  The bees knees thank you please.  Remember how i've wittered away about my taste in chocolate changing?  Was that last week?  The week before?  Last month?!  Who knows.  I'm on Wonderful Wednesday one-hundred and eighteen now, i think I'm allowed to forget.....  WELL when i was in need of a chocolate-y 'fix' somebody recommended Ombar chocolate to me.  It's not healthy as such but it is dairy-free and made and sweetened with coconut milk and coconut sugars.  So it's better for you.  And my oh my it's dreamy.  I don't think i've ever had a milk chocolate that's tasted so rich, so creamy and so.....well flippin' lovely as this.  I picked up the chocolate buttons from our health food shop but they do larger and smaller bars of milk, dark and white chocolate too.   Have you tried them?!
 
7.  White cotton.  I would run out of fingers and toes if i tried to count the number of white cotton tops i own.  I always manage to find an excuse to squeeze in another couple each Spring/Summer too.  They're the easiest, most lovely things to wear on warmer days and layer up with dungarees on cooler evenings too.  And essentially wearing them alongside prettily printed trousers and skirts kind of feels a lot like you're just wearing your jim-jams.  It's a win-win all around i guess. 
 
8.  Summer evenings.  Aren't they the best?!  Of course the sunnier they are the better {some of my very favourite bike rides lately have all been about the later evening sunshine} but even if it's less than sunshine-y, doesn'tt it just feel like you've got almost half a day to just be after getting in from work?!  I spend mine on two wheels, pottering with our little terracota pots outside, having a longer lazier and somewhat cooler bath-bomb bath or sometimes taking a spur of the moment wander out for icecream.  It feels like these kinds of evenings do something special for my little soul.  
 
9.  Some kind of porridge-shaped genius idea.  I know, i know after what i've just said about Summer what am i talking about porridge for?!  Because i eat all year round so there.  Last weekend i made cookies and after realising i didn't have any vanilla extract to pop in i remembered having some vanilla pods in the cupboard which actually worked all fine and dandy.  The genius part comes in sticking the used pods in my big jar of porridge oats after.  They smell amazing and you get the littlest, sweetest hint of vanilla when you heat them up with a little almond milk. It's really rather flippin' good!
 
10.  Freckles.  Because {and i suspect rather like the rest of the world...or woman-kind at least} when i was a little dot, i used to hate my freckles beyond belief.  Now despite slathering on factor one million {no jokes, i'm so milk bottle white that i'm practically transparent!!} they do still peek through on my cheeks and also on my arms come this time of year.  And you know what?! Just like others that have come before {read:  bottom, hips, funny 'not quite straight nose', my height, slightly crooked top teeth ' i should have listened and got a brace when i was little' teeth and my natural hair colour} i actually rather like them afterall.  It's a shame your thirty-two-shaped self can't go back and tell your aged thirteen self that it'll all be alright in the end isn't it?!?!
 
11.  New hair.  Which I'm still not entirely convinced isn't a little bit too short.  All of the same i love it. Thanks going out to all who said kind and lovely things on my Instagram photo or twitter feed or guess also to my real life face recently.  I don't think my face has ever had so many 'likes' ....it's usually all about my feet...or the sky......or my porridge.  So thank you thank you!
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And we're done!  I'm out of breath.  That was a wordy one this week.  I'm excited to hear about everyone elses' week.  How has yours been?  What's been great and good and what is powering you through into the weekend?! I'm working all this coming weekend so do share your rocket fuel!!!
 
Remember to bob on over to Michelle, Jo, Cat, Katie, Helen, Kate and Emma's blogs to read their #wonderfulwednesday loveliness to.  And don't forget to join in with the chat across all social media using the ^^^ hashtag as usual.  I'm @sallytangle on everything in the whole wide world!!!!!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #117

{Just hangin' out with handsome friend:  ^Edinburgh Castle^}
Howdy CAMPERS!  I write this half peeping around the corner...half sort of hoping that not too many people mind that it's a little on the late side.  I'm never late you see.  I'm the weirdo that turns up half an hour before everything just incase.  Being late worries me.  But if the truth be told, this lateness was caused by a sudden decision from myself yesterday morning, to take my little self off up to Edinburgh for the day alone.  I always write this post on a Tuesday evening but returned from {the loveliest!} five or six hours scampering around and about Edinburgh town with the mother of all headaches.  I've only got myself to blame.  I walked alot {but you've got to in Edinburgh - most of the charm is in just meandering around} and didn't drink enough knowing that I'd got a train journey home to contend with.  Me and train toilets?  No, just no.
Anyway, enough of that!  I'm feeling jolly refreshed and actually a little bit eager to get back to work on Friday!  And more than that, ready steady go-ing to share a super duper list of lovely things from this week so far!  And then I'm going to procrastinate from hoovering and tickling our little somewhere and drink tea and eat a chocolate brownie!  On your marks.....
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1.  A new 'do!'  I've been putting off getting my haircut for at least a month and a half now.  We've spoken about my dislike of hairdresser visits before so i won't bore you with the details BUT i recently changed hairdressers and couldn't be happier! Today {Wednesday} i had an appointment and decided to go shorter....and a little bit different from my usual 'just take the smallest amount possible off and keep it all the same length' {i know rebel}.  I'm not going to lie, I've had free time during my few days off and i have spent alot of time on Pinterest {aherm}.  At the moment i LOVE it and cannot stop swishing and swooshing it all of the time!  Big thanks go out to Louise at the lovely Violet White in Carlisle.

2.  Green Fingerrrrrrrs.  Sort of sang like 'Goldfinger'.......i digress!  My herbs are growing!  I SAID MY HERBS ARE GROWING!  In a typically un-green-fingered manner i have totally forgotten what the hell I've planted, or least which is which so we're playing this fun game where we're both guessing what's what the more each pot grows.  I know what you're all thinking:  We know how to party right?!  We've definitely got good growth in each pot and i know they're either basil, coriander or parsley.  All bets are on...

3.  Happy lunches.  We all know I'm a creature of habit but one of my very favourite things about being off both last week and into this week has been being able to eat better lunches.  I've largely lived off avocados, hummus and sundried tomatoes interspersed with various leaves, herbs, grains and vegetables.  It's been all of the yum!

4.  Me time.  I work with a big team of lovely girls at work and i love them all dearly.  We're all very different and a good mix of ages too but we all get on and it's like a jolly great family at Monsoon Towers.  But spending a good few days mostly just being quiet little me:  Pottering, film watching, reading, scrap booking and sorting through life has been just the ticket.  I guess I'm just one of those people who needs a little solo me time once in a while. In fact, scratch that, i actually think that no matter how busy you are or how sociable your little life is, that we should all make time for ourselves once in a while.  It's good for the soul....

5.  Adventuring.  I guess sort of as a sub-point to ^above^ point.  Taking myself off up to Edinburgh yesterday was something i toyed on and off with ever since i started my time off.  I made excuses most days:  the weather, feeling tired still, having too much to do at home etc etc.  Not because I've never done anything on my own - far from it - but just because i wasn't sure if I'd have as much fun!  I woke up to sunshine yesterday morning and thought 'stuff it I'm doing it!' and off i popped.  I got some lovely eatery recommendations and enjoyed a day of mostly walking {in glorious sunshine!} and taking in the beautiful buildings in the Old Town.  I visited the castle and stood and watched the city hustle and bustle from the top, armed with a big takeout coffee.  I did a little bit more people watching sitting and eating my lunch in Henderson's in the New Town {gorgeous food!} and also managed to treat myself to a few little things in Anthropologie {aka 'The Mothership'} and generally just experience Edinburgh in the Spring. I've only ever been in December, ever!  Weird but true!  A day well spent i think.

6.  Booja Booja chocolate truffles.  100% vegan and dairy free.  Except don't let that sway you because {and if you don't know by now} I'm the world's hugest most massive chocolate cheeks trust me.  I'm not sure if I've chit-chatted to you on here before about my taste-shift in chocolate over the last year or so.  In short, I'd started to fall out of love with your general run of the mill chocolate and started to realise that a lot of the time i ate it out of habit and not because i actually wanted it.  So i stopped.  And when i did eat chocolate i made sure it was the really good stuff.  It was more expensive but i noticed that i hardly ever wanted the stuff and that when i did, i really enjoyed it.  Enter Booja Booja.  Trust me these truffles are the bees knees thank you please!  So rich, dense and......well they're heaven in one little mouthful.  I found a little deli in Edinburgh that stocked mini-packs {the boxes are pretty pricey!} and so last night we curled up with spicy Chai tea and a toasted hazelnut and a  champagne truffle each.  Oh.  My.  Word.  Please do try them!

7.  New routines.  Gee-whizz I'm like a broken record!  We all know i love a routine {so it would seem, of any sort} and i've been doing the same arm workout {mixed in with various other bits and bobs and my cycling} for the last......almost a year?!  It's fab.  It really does work in toning and sculpting your arms and really builds up you strength in your upper body too.  {wait, who am I?!}  This week i added in another workout i stumbled across by the same wonderful lady {Mary Helen Bowers - search on YouTube - all ballet and barre-based exercising - she is FAB} and again it's another short and easy to fit in one at a little around 11minutes.  It's also very different from my other arm workout too and so mixing it up has been fun!  I've decided to do both of them back to back twice a week {about 25mins in total} and so far, well don't judge me but I'm sort of loving the burn.....

8.  Learning.  I religiously buy The Simple Things magazine monthly.  If you've never heard of it where on earth have you been?!  Go forth to the newsagents and buy a copy now!  It's an order!  I love how much i learn from this sweet little magazine.  In this months issue there is the loveliest article all about birds and why they sing at dawn and dusk and how to pick out the birds you here and whereabouts in the country you'll find all of the mentioned birds.  Now I've read this back it sounds totally geeky!  But i love it and so i don't care!  

9.  Toasted rye bread slathered in crunchy peanut butter and piled high with the sweetest, juiciest British Strawberries that there ever was.  What you thought there'd be a Wonderful Wednesday where i didn't mention breakfast?!?  As.  if.  This ticks all of my sweet and savoury boxes and more and it's just flippin' delish!

10.  Later nights and lazier mornings.  By that i mean hardly any different to normal really but isn't one of the very best things about being off work is that you can go to sleep when you're tired - stay up later drinking tea and just chit-chatting or watching a film all of the way through safe in the knowledge that you can just wake when you do {which is barely a lie in and is usually 7:45am anyway} and tip toe into the kitchen and make tea and then take it all of the way back under the duvet and be nice and cosy listening to the wind whistling and the birds singing...?!  I don't even wake up that much later, but some how coming too when i wake up instead of being disturbed by an alarm is just bliss!
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And that's that!  I can barely believe a week has whooshed past my little ears since i hit 'publish' on last week's post!  But that's life, 'Que Sera' and all of that jazz.  I mean I'm late, but it's still here *waves hands manically and jumps up and down on the spot*.  I hope you didn't mind too much!?!  I'm off to tackle several big piles of laundry that need putting into their correct homes and not just moved from one spare chair/sofa/bed to another.  Tell me it's not just me who does that?!? 
Remember if you're on the hunt for more happy {and quite frankly who isn't?} then skip on over and read along with Kate, Cat, Michelle, Katie, Emma, Jo & Helen, 's #wonderfulwednesday posts.  Better still, join in yourself and leave a sweet comment below to tell me what the best bits of this week so far have been for you.  Or join in the chit-chat on any social media platform.  I'm @sallytangle on everything and remember to use the #wonderfulwednesday tag so we can all see!
Have a tip-top rest of week!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #116

{Feasting on the bluest and brightest of icey skies lately}
I'm having one of those weeks.  The kind when you wonder how on earth you got to today:  How you your little legs carried you from the start of one day onto another and how much each of them have fast become and felt like one long day.  I'm a little bit tired and as you read this, I'll hopefully be curled up under our 'soft as a cloud' duvet having worked eight days in a row.  Before you go feeling all sad and sorry for me, I'd just like to add at this moment that I'm also now off for ten whole days!  TEN!  I'm beside myself with excitement!  There are no grand plans as such. Just to wind down, catch up and potter around and about and hopefully pedal as much as is possible.  Did i mention that the weather forecast is snow for the rest of this week...?!  I feel like we should probably get onto the good stuff from this week fast..... SNOW in APRIL?!?!?  
*  *  *
1.  Sleep.  Take my sleep away from me and I'm pretty much useless.  I sometimes envy those who only need a handful of hours of the stuff.  For me it's at least seven or you're in dangerous territory.  I'm grumpy, lack lustre and not really worth being around if I'm not sleeping properly. But when i am i feel like i could run the world and more!  Lately's long stretch of days at work has meant my head has barely touched the pillow each night this week and already I've been asleep!  The heavy and deliciously deep kind where nothing on earth disturbs you and if it wasn't for an alarm clock you feel like you might sleep for years.  Pretty flippin' great if you ask me!

2.  Exercise.  I don't mind telling you {heavens we're all friends here!} that this week I've really struggled.  I've really really had to muster up the want to turn those pedals, to stretch during those workouts and to want to do it with gusto.  But despite really rather wanting to make another cup of tea and not move at all; I've pushed myself to do it.  Each time it's been within in just a few moments that I've been grateful:  grateful to feel fresh air thundering into my little lungs as i pedaled faster and faster around our little park just before dusk.  Stretches that i could just feel doing my little ache-y muscles some good after what often felt like the longest day.  And always, always feeling better inside and out afterwards.  With rosey cheeks to boot!  

3.   Freshly washed hair.  Is it just me or is the thought of washing your hair pretty much the worst thing in the world ever?!  I've perfected the art of only doing mine once a week now {lifesavers come in the form of dry shampoo, waves and many hats incase you're wondering!} but even then the thought of washing it, leaving it as long as is humanely possible before taking a hairdryer to it and then having to make it look half decent is often the most unappealing of thoughts.  I spend far longer not looking forward to it and then quick as a flash, as soon as it's dried, smells all mmmmm and is as swishy and shiny and silky as it ever can be; i forget it quick as a flash.  {I'm hair swishing as i type....}.  Is there anything better than clean hair?!?  Probably realistically but lately it's been right up there with some of my favourite things.  I can't wait for it to be warm enough to go to bed with it slightly damp....

4.  The smell of green. That's right you heard me, it exists for sure.  Since the weather has been less than consistent up north this week, and i've been feeling all sleepy-eyed too - it's been more about appreciating the little green shoots and splashes of colour than it has real and actual rays of sunshine.  You can't not love how lately smells.  I'm forever grateful to live somewhere close by so much green space and i especially love how at this time of year, even if i am living in a city, you still get sweet wafts of grassy and green loveliness as you walk to and from work.  You can even smell it's sweet scent as you sit with the window open just before the sun sets.  Is it just me who loves the scent of grass at dusk?! Reminds me of being little and playing in the garden way past bedtime.... 

5.  Purple Rain.  You'd have to be living under a rock if you didn't know that the great genius and musical legend 'Prince' sadly passed away last week.  Words cannot describe how special this man was and how much wonderful music he tickled my little ears with throughout my life so far.  My mum would listen to Purple Rain turned up so, so loud when i was little and so it's mostly been on repeat lately.  That and pretty much his whole back catalogue.  I'll admit to shedding the odd tear too....such a magical talent.  I feel privileged to have known his music and to be able to have something to keep with me always afterwards too.  

6.  Sundried tomatoes.  I'd live on them if i could lately.  You know when you just get a craving for something?  The kind of craving that has you 'allowing' yourself a certain number of, 'so' many spoonfuls/scoops or pieces of for the only reason that if you don't you fear you might find yourself consuming the whole jar, tub or pot in one sitting?!  I'm allowing myself three a day.....but i could quite happily eat the lot.  I tossed them through fresh pasta on Monday with avocado oil, fresh basil and black pepper.  I've been enjoying them mixed through feta, dipped in hummus or even straight from the jar with a handful of basil leaves.  That Mr of mine is a lucky, lucky man.....

7.  Favourite jumpers on cold, ccccoooold days.  Have we spoken about the weather?!  I mean this time last week i scampered out on my bike without a coat and yesterday we had rain, sleet, hail and the coldest iciest wind that I've felt in forever.  I'm going to breeze {see what i did there?!} right past THAT and tell you that the very best part of yesterday was scampering home as fast as i could, putting on my favourite dark grey skinny jeans, my little pom-pom slippers and my most favourite cream ruffle-y jumper.  And filling my cheeks with a hot bowl of pasta spiked with chilli, capers and oregano.  Where would we be without knitwear?!  Oh and pasta......

8.   Nuts and raisins.  I'm a snacker.  Always have been.  I can't eat a huge and whopping meal or i just want to curl up, render myself 'a lot of useless' and fall asleep.  I eat little and often and that's just that.  This week I've been loving nibbling on mixed nuts and raisins.  They're so easy to pop in a tupperware first thing when I'm making my lunch for a day at work and the addition of a few raisins curbs my sweet cravings without leaving me wanting more ten minutes later.  My favourite nuts are walnuts and pecans....I'm not a squirrel honest! 

9.  The thought of a day off.  Okay I'm not going to be smug but the thought of TEN DAYS OFF {aherm} or honestly even just one day off is the bees knees.  Sometimes the actual thought of it is better than the thing itself.  Unless you know, it's TEN days off.  You really can't beat sinking into bed the night before a day off and knowing that you can spend the whole of the next day moving a little slower, being a little gentler on yourself and maybe adding a chocolate brownie into the mix.  

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Aaaand it's over to you!  Write your own little list of happy today; tell me about something good and great that's been making you smile ear to ear all week or share something you're really looking forward to or that's been making your mid-week that bit easier.  Remember to pop on over and wrap those peepers around my lovely and inspiring bunch of #wonderfulwednesday recruits:  Kate, Michelle, Katie, Jo, Em and Helen and Cat who also write a weekly post just like this one.  Reading a lot of lovely happy lists each week really does brighten my week and really helps - especially if i'm having a tough one!  Remember you can find me as @sallytangle on both Twitter and Instagram if you fancy a natter.

Happy mid-week-ing!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #115

{Just give me all of the colour lately!}
Oof.  I mean really April where are you going?! Scratch that, life where are you going?!  Wait that's a bit of a deep way to start a post isn't it?!  It's not just me who wonders it though, surely?!  Remember when you were just a little dot - how the Summer holidays really did feel like they lasted about a year.  I remember always worrying that I'd forget how to write or worse just absolutely everything I'd been taught so far.  Worse still maybe even my eight times tablesThey were my least favourites.  I still have 7 x 8 ingrained into my little head and even now i know it's a sum I'll never forget.  My mum would shout it at me at every available opportunity so that it would stick.  Well stick it did.  The answer's 56.  Incase you were wondering...

I digress.  Where do you find me?  Well in this exact moment, as i sit and collect my little bits of happiness from my week so far, ready for this week's #wonderfulwednesday i'm half examining the ends of my hair and wondering how much longer i can put off getting it cut.  I'm also a little bit singing to Last Shadow Puppets most recent release and looking forward to a long hot lavendar-ey shower.  Because mid-week it is but it's felt like a long way to get to it.  And after today's day off....well I've got seven whole days in a row before my next day off.  I think i might need those happy bits like you wouldn't believe.....send help!  Or just tea and a really big brownie.....

*  *  *  

1.  Tea.  Not just any tea - because there is no such thing may i have you know as just any tea.  This:  Taylor's 'Rose Lemonade' has been something I've been sort of re-falling in love with all over again lately.  Since i seem to be spending a large proportion of lately convinced some kind of cold or flu is brewing, this concoction has been just the ticket.  Think.....warm Vimto with less sugar and a hint of zesty lemon.  It's the bees knees, elbows and armpits it really is. Better still i can totally imagine it working scrummily when if the weather warms up ever, served iced with huge wedges of lemon and maybe a little bit of torn basil through.  Mmmmmm!

2.  My new fancy pants #Archivebyalexa Marks and Spencer's blouse.  If you haven't heard about the Archive By Alexa range that M&S launched last week then really where have you been?!  I'm not usually one for bandwagon jumping where clothes are concerned BUT i made a rather large exception to pick up the 'Harry' blouse in pale rose pink from Alexa's collaboration.  I'd been stalking it everywhere since i first heard about the collection and it was the piece i was most excited about.  I'm probably going to see the whole wide world wearing it but for once i don't  care.  It's a soft, cotton-ey ruffle-y piece of perfection that i know I'll treasure forever! Even if i do look a little bit like an Eighties cream cake wearing it...

3.  Vegetable fajitas.  I sometimes think i could be a vegetarian you know.  We eat vegetables, pulses and the like pretty much all week and only really tend to pick up meat when we have got time to spend shopping for it and picking out the really good stuff and have the time to do it justice {Sunday night roast lamb shoulder with a parsnip crust I'm totally looking at you!}.  This week we both craved the spice of fajitas, but not the meat.  So we concocted much the same kind of dish but with courgette, rainbow peppers, red onion and garlic and served them piled {far too high - is it just me or don't you always over-estimate quite how much you can fit into a floured tortilla?!} high with grated carrot, rocket, torn up coriander and a great big dollop of creme fraiche and pineapple salsa.  That salsa by the way?!  Pure.  Genius. It totally made the whole meal.  So great that i took another tortilla, a good few spoonfuls of it, a great handful of coriander and the most perfectly ripe avocado with me to work the following day and made the best sandwich for my lunch.  Don't you love a dish that just keeps on giving?!

4.  The best/most 'geeky but i love it so i don't care' TV show to ever be invented:  'Hidden Britain:  By Drone.'  Oh. My. Word this programme is SO good.  Does anyone else watch it?!  It's essentially a peep into all of the places in the UK that you're usually forbidden to see.  There's been so many interesting places on it!  A little sea fort in the middle of the ocean which has it's own flag, currency and football team.  A gated neighbourhood in London that you can't enter unless you live there - it's MASSIVE.  Or last weeks cottages in the very most highest part of Scotland that were abandoned but were so hard to get boats etc to move all of the owners possessions that they just left them as they were.  They were INCREDIBLE:  Just left, like little mini time capsules of days gone by - biscuit packets,tinned food just preserved as they were.  Am i sounding a bit too excitable?!?  Give it a search...It's well worth watching.  

5.  Bulb buying and herb-shaped hopin'.  Despite the fact that it's felt positively arctic up here sometimes lately, this week i took myself off in search of bulbs to fill our pretty ceramic planters out back.  I didn't get around to planting last year and ended up just buying some bedding plants in a hurry but there's something lovely about the thought of nurturing a little plant from a bulb.  In theory!  I've picked up Ranunculus and Anemones so far, OH and also some herbs to pot on the window-sills before it gets too hot.  Hmm don't think i need to hurry up too much with those!  Speaking of herbs....

6.  Fresh basil.   One of my very favourite herbs and one which I'm always more drawn too come the warmer {ish} months of the year.  I'm embarrassingly excited for the first few crops of British tomatoes to start appearing but for now I'm teaming my favourite leafy companion with the first British strawberries, torn roughly through fresh pasta, added to lemon-ey infused water for pottering at home on warmer {ish} afternoons off and sometimes {between you and i} even just nibbled as it is.  I just love it!  

7.  Early morning or later lighter evening birdsong.  I don't know if it's just me but there's something ever so lovely about birdsong first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  Maybe it's because i actually make a point of standing or sitting still and listening because I'm usually winding down or gearing up for the day.  Or maybe it's simply because there is precious else going on first and last thing and birdsong is usually {at least around our parts} reduced to one little bird chirruping alone to another.  There's something ever so calming about listening to nothing but just that.  

8.  Avocado Oil.  You heard me right!  It might be one of my very favourite other things to eat lately.  Because somehow completely and totally unintentionally this week's post seems about all of the fooooooood!!!!! I'm putting it down to the change in seasons and the change in variety of things that are around and about.  What can i say?  It gets me excited.  I picked up this little dreamboat in our local M&S.  It's apparently made in small batches, cold pressed and is 100% Avocado oil and nothing else.  You know me and my avocados.  I've so far used it to wilt some spinach with garlic to go along last night's pasta-y dinner and also mashed through avocado itself with heaps of dried chilli, sea-salt and lemon juice and spread generously on top of toasted rye bread for lunch.  It's dreamy!

9.  Pink.  There's no doubt about this one's totally down to the time of year.  The other day i wore a pink top {see point 2}, pink underwear and drank my pink tea {see point 1} from a pink cup whilst simultaneously considering re-adding little bits of pastel pink to the ends of my hair.  Some blame it on the boogie.....I'll blame it on the blossom!

10.  Smiling.  I'm generally a smiley person and spend a large part of my day smiling at strangers {for work - okay that's not my actual job description but it comes with the territory!}   and it's so lovely smiling at people on a sunny day.  Is that a bit weird?!  If it's wet or grey or cold generally people come into work huddled into their coats and scarves or are rushing in and out as quick as possible.  This time of year leaves extra room for people smiling back, for people lingering and simply for people being generally nicer back.  Go Spring!

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And that's it!  This weeks {somewhat chatty over wordy- sorry!} best bits so far.  Care to join my gang and i?!  That's right there are only now blinkin' SEVEN of us curating little posts all about our very best bits of our weeks so far.  Go read them all {Kate, Michelle, Helen, Cat, Katie, Jo & Em  }  Because do you know what?  There's nothing more heart warming and nothing that puts things into more perspective than reading all about someone else's happy things. Try it.  Better still, join in too!  Tag us in your #wonderfulwednesday tweets or photos or join in and leave a lovely comment below.  I'm @sallytangle on both Twitter and Instagram and i'd love you to get involved too!
Happy half way all! 

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