It's a funny thing 'TIME' isn't it? It's something we all have something say about, just like the weather. Some want more, some have too much (seriously though who ARE you folk?!) and some are happy with their time-share (GETIT?!). For me, time is something i shall always have a love/hate relationship with: ie there is never enough of it! Being in a job that keeps me endlessly busy: the non-stop 'do one thing off the to-do list, add six' kind of busy; means i really struggle to sit still and to switch off when i am not at work. I am so accustomed to running and careering at breakneck speed that I always feel guilty when i am not doing that. It can often take a good few days in a row off work before my mind and body can really switch off. And my attention span has virtually disappeared when it comes to just sitting still and paying something attention that is un-work related.
Lately TIME has slipped away from me at a frightening speed and it was really only when i sat down and flipped through my camera role that i realised quite how much loveliness had whizzed past my ears and that i had not even had a spare second to write about here. So here goes a particularly pictorial post with a little life update to boot too!
^Pretending he doesn't realise i'm pointing a camera in his face^
^Room with a view^
At the beginning of the month we both had a little overnight ADVENTURE to Yorkshire to attend one of my closest friends' wedding. I over-wrapped the present a little bit (if that is even such a thing? I mean if you can't go overboard with wrapping a WEDDING present then when can you?!) and i sort of fell in LOVE with the windows in our hotel suite! The room itself was bloody freezing but the old features were too pretty so we just curled up into a ball and slept with ice-y noses! We also went for dinner at THE most beautiful country pub and B&B - the decor was STUNNING. I wish i had snapped more but it was very busy and i felt like a bit of wally waving my camera about like i was a bit of a tourist. The walls were papered in the sweetest leaf-y printed wallpaper with little golden keys hidden amongst them and the walls had the sweetest little prints, old-fashioned adverts and photos hung around and about. None of the tables and chairs matched and everything looked like it had been up-cycled with all of the love in the world. They also had a roaring little woodburner that made me want to curl up and fall asleep after my dinner. Which was the most delectable handmade steak burger served on a brioche bun and eaten alongside a large glass of merlot. It was heaven and if i could have moved in right then and there then i would have!
^Waking up before Mr Sunshine is getting to be a regular thing^
^Autumn at it's very best^
^The hugest tree making Willow seem teeny tiny!^
AUTUMN has been spoiling us with some beautiful weather up this end of the country too. There has been rain, and there has been the fiercest most gigantic gales on occasion but it sort of feels like the weather can get away with it lately. After all we were spoilt with weeks and weeks of lovely summertime weather and even if it is rotten, when you get little glimpses of jolly GOOD autumn days - like the real deal - then you don't mind so much. I love how everything in autumn seems cast in an orange-y, amber glow, whether it's morning or night. The temperature has just started to drop over the past few weeks and so old tartan throws, checkered scarves and trusty cashmere and woollen wonders have been dug out and carefully hand-washed in Lush bath bombs. Nuzzling into a freshly washed scarf is a little bit like HEAVEN. It's not quite cold enough for gloves and mittens but rest-assured they are on standby to whip out at only a moments notice!
I have been loving getting back into warm-breakfast mode too. Porridge is forever the way forward! I could eat that stuff for lunch and dinner too if i was allowed! You can't beat a bowl of hot porridge LACED with honey, toasted sunflower seeds and a mashed banana to keep you powering through until lunchtime. Evening meals have also been ramped up autumn style too. A few days ago we enjoyed the most BUTTERY crunchy savoy cabbage alongside creamy dauphinoise potatoes and roasted chicken and we have also racked up roast lamb (Yes i DID just say that!) at least once this month. Whilst i love to pick over salads, fresh ice-cold fruits and to mix up crazy salads during summer time, you really cannot beat autumn and winter foods.
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In other far much more MUNDANE news i have also been:
* Getting sort of - wait, ALOT addicted to 'Bang Bang' by Jessie J et al and it has also become my favourite power walk to work company for days when i have got lots to get done!
* Feeling a little bit teary at the new series of 'Super Vet'. I can worryingly sit through most other things without shedding a tear, but this programme gets me every. Single. Time, fact.
* Not killing my little succulent plant. I was convinced i would kill it, just like i killed the herbs, the cactus and pretty much anything else living that i bring into this house, bar us. Turns out it must be bloody hard to kill a succulent. Maybe i might turn out to be a crazy succulent lady….
* Getting on the 'bandwagon' that is Copper. I have sort of fallen for all of the things copper-y lately - i blame Pinterest. And Anthropologie. I have just got my paws on some copper spray paint…oh the DIY possibilities!
* Really loving Whitestuff under-crackers. Hands down the very best pants outside the Mecca that is M&S knicker department, honest John. Such pretty, pretty fabrics and mostly all made from cotton which is a big tick in my knocker box right there…and probably a little too much information for this little space.
* Using Lush Christmas products at every available opportunity! I use thier skincare anyway, but i always look forward to their seasonal treats - so unique and beautiful. My favourites are OBVIOUSLY Snow Fairy, Rose Jam, Buche de Noel and the most glittery bath-accompaniment i can get my mitts on. I have also just this very second pre-ordered their new Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo-bar. I am a little bit too excited. It's a shampoo bar which carries the scent of Rose Jam which may possibly be one of my very favourite smells in the whole wide world.
SO what's new with you?! It feels like FOREVER and a day since we all just sat down and ate walnut whips and drank tea. I have really missed being here! There really are not enough hours in my days, and days in my weeks lately! Do you ever feel that way too?!
How do you DOODLE-DO sweet and dear faces?! Has your week been one of productivity? Or the kind spent CURLED up from the cold and tucked away inside, nice and lazily…? If it's the latter i am more than a bit jealous. This week has felt far more productive than last for me. Jobs have been ticked off and work-wise, i am learning more to have faith in my own judgement and to stop fannying around. Sometimes i think i worry about what others think and how things will impact those around me and because of this i lack faith in my own decision-making skills. I am getting there though. That FEELING when you get it right is worth the stress a million times over. How is this week's slice of positive-pie shaping up though? That's what we're all here for let's not beat around that bush!
* CURLING up and being the warmest that warm can BE. Whilst i am the first to celebrate Spring and Summer and all of the light and heat and endless-feeling days, after such a mild few months, falling asleep to gusts of wind and rain beating heavily on our sweet skylight in our bedroom has been a little slice of bliss.
* Rose and black pepper hot CHOCOLATE - no really I MEAN REALLY! Imagine the most delectably rich, and indulgent piece of belgian chocolate covered rose and lemon turkish delight - in liquid form. Hells bells and beyond i could become seriously addicted. Drank on a planned but looong overdue catch up with one of my bests. At a sweet little spot called Coffee Genius - right up at the top of the ^above^ little lane actually. I can't wait to find an excuse to have another. I wonder if they do takeout…
* An un-expected late night FILM-A-THON on Sunday. Ok well just sitting still and watching ONE film really. For me this is a miracle because i cannot sit still for toffee, or for walnut whips for that matter. For the record it was Castaway, starring Tom Hanks. I realise i am way, waaay behind on this BUT how does he NOT get back with the girl in the end?!
* First-Aid Kit. Every night before bed and for pottering in pj's with chai tea and a cosy cardigan slung about my shoulders. Pretty PERFECT actually.
* New BOBBLE-HAT alert!! The BEST bobble hat in fact and quite possibly in the whole of the land too come to think of it. Navy blue, with a big huge red pom-pom and embroidered with tiny little London soldiers wearing red jackets and big black helmets. Bought as a consolation for having to pre-order the amazing tartan scarf i raved and raved on at you about. It's more than making up for it too, just incase you were worried about me or anything like that.
* SORTING out old gloves, hats and scarves and having a mini hand wash-a-thon using Lush Snow Fairy and various left over bath bombs. A no brainer and since the weather has really got colder this week this makes me very happy. Nuzzling into some of my favourite scarves with a sweet, soft and soap-y Lush-y scent is happy-making in all of it's GLORY
* A piping-HOT strong cup of English Breakfast tea with a handful of McVities Digestive biscuits for dunking. Sometimes it's all you need on a damp afternoon, it really is.
* Darker mornings and any excuse to LIGHT a few candles. Lighting a few candles as i am pottering about making my lunch, making porridge and getting ready in the morning makes the darker, colder mornings that little bit more bearable for sure.
* A surprise coffee date with my sister. The best kind of surprise!
* Multi-coloured knobbly CARROTS of the brightest purples, yellows and oranges grated into work lunches and pots of vegetable cous-cous or simply slathered in crunchy peanut butter. The best!
* Spotting the FIRST sweet-peepings of Christmas decorations around and about our pretty city. Sssh…
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So what's been FLOATING your boat this week so far? Are you a biscuit dunker? Have you ever seen Castaway or tried a purple carrot?! Or share what's simply been making you smile so far this week. You can leave a sweet comment below or pop over and tweet me with your #wonderfulwednesday on twitter, i'm @sallytangle.
I must have READ this piece of writing at least a million times. From the first read i FELL right in and let it swallow me up wholly and completely. Isn't it one of the most beautiful pieces of writing that you've ever read? I love the POWER that words have, and the magic that comes about when they are STRUNG together in such a perfect way that everything else going on around you is suddenly forgotten.
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I hope that one day somebody falls right in to MY writing and loses their way for a little bit too. Is that vain..? I do hope not.
Either way I hope it BRIGHTENS the start of your week as much as it does mine.
I'm here i'm HERE *waves frantically* remember ME?!? Whilst i shan't rant and rave about my lack of 'being' here of late, i will tell you that i am MISSING you all and missing firing my creative fireworks in this direction. Truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way. I am currently running work on extremely minimal staff - AKA being three people. I love and hate it in equal measure. And i have been having ever so frustrating days alongside equally productive and kick ass kinds of days where i would high-five myself if it were possible! But here and this post especially is not for focussing on what has been bothering me, it's all about the good and great and don't we know it. 'Cos it's number thirty-eight! THIRTYEIGHT WONDERFUL WEDNESDAYS!! Can you believe it?! I am grateful for all of you who stop by i truly am, i cannot tell you enough. ANYWAY, let's get on, my emotional self needs no encouragement to burst into 'i'm happy, i'm sad, i don't know what the devil i am' sort of tears this week. Whats been keeping me afloat then?!
* SPOTIFY and more to the point: Spotify PLAYLISTS. For some unknown reason i have only really listened to artists' albums on Spotify. Recently though i stumbled upon the 'discover' feature. This recommends artists and also playlists to you, based upon what you have already listened to and what it thinks you might like. This week i discovered THE single most amazing kick ass playlist in the world!! I may or may not have been dancing, post shower, in my under crackers, around our bedroom to old old Destiny's Child, All Saints, Eternal (ETERNAL!) Lauren Hill and TLC. Altogether now: 'I don't want no scrubs….!'
* TREATING myself to a big bottle of Lush Cosmetics Snow Fairy and Rose Jam shower gels and really appreciating the power of a really hot, steamy shower followed by the softest, freshly washed towel AND pyjamas pre-warmed on a hot radiator. Don't ever say i don't know how to spoil myself…
* ACHIEVING. Our team at work is a small one. Which recently got even smaller. This means i have to trust what i think much more. I cannot tell you how lovely it feels to accomplish things a little bit outside your comfort zone and for it to actually turn out pretty okay. Sometimes it's good to push boundaries a little.
* A little Anthropologie TREAT. Whoops. It's been a really exhausting week for me so far. One that has been immersed in work, and long, long days and a little bit sleepless sorts of nights. I may or may not have ordered a few more plates to add to my ever-expanding crockery collection…I do however feel like i deserved it.
* Glittery nail polish. I am not a glittery person per say. But when it gets to this time of year i love any excuse to add the tiniest bit of sparkle to my day to day. It's a bit too soon the mention the 'C' word. BUT it's never too soon to paint your nails in a soft pale pink glitter polish. Especially when said shade is named 'Unicorn.' My TOOTSIES can hide happily inside my printed socks and nobody would ever know any different….
* La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. A mouthful in its own right! And yet also the one SKINCARE item that has completely changed the appearance and surface texture of my whole face - no jokes folks. It is a serum which i apply after cleansing on an evening with both Lush Ultrabland and Angels on Bare Skin. I apply it and then a good dose of Good Things Miracle Mattifier moisturiser and my skin has never been clearer, more even and just generally LOVELY. Since i have used the other three products forever, i am holding this transformation entirely down to La Roche Posay. It's an added bonus that their skincare is also paraben free and so extra kind to my chubby little cheeks too.
* PORRIDGE and dark MORNINGS. Whilst i miss waking up to bright rays of mr sunshine, there is a certain comfort that comes from wearing your cosiest pyjamas; wrapping yourself up in the softest oversized and rose-pink bobbly cardigan and stirring a big pan of porridge with a wooden spoon. Porridge is the perfect start to hazy, darker and much cooler mornings. And a fule which leaves me running right up until lunchtime. My current favourite recipe is made solely with unsweetened almond milk and oats. Once the oats are cooked through and deliciously creamy, i add a table spoon of ground almonds, some chopped dried apricots, a table spoon of chia seeds and a teaspoon of coconut oil and then a sneaky drizzle of runny honey on top. Man alive i could eat it right now…..
* SORTING through my knitwear cupboard and stumbling across a handful of loved-and-forgotten jumpers. This has lead to various new and excitable combinations imagined, some excess knitwear shipped round the corner to the charity shop AND a jolly lovely pile of cardigans well past their best but dearly loved. I am excited to welcome these in to my winter pyjama wardrobe with huge open (and cold!) arms. Does any one else do this?! Sometimes i love a cardigan or jumper so SO much that i can't bear to let it go but it is holed under the arms, or bobbly beyond belief. Wearing it to 'winter up' my nightwear is the perfect solution.
* The mysteries of STATISTICS. Whilst i know numbers really aren't everything, it is lovely to have the reassurance that when i cannot be here as often as i would like; you lovely lot still bob on by. That is the loveliest feeling. Weirdly over this week my blog has rocketed a little bit. Who knows why! Maybe silence really is golden.
* Making the MOST of the autumnal crop. These past few days i have loved slicing chunks of fig into creamy greek yoghurt sprinkled with chopped nuts. It's also so nice to be able to get hold of British apples and to cook down granny smiths with brown sugar for swirling and whirling into porridge. We also had dauphinoise potatoes recently - the ultimate luxury potato dish made for warming little selves on colder darker or damper days. I could eat it for tea alone. We served it alongside roast lamb and tender-stem and it was the bees knees!! I can't wait to bake our first pie, make our first crumble and eat custard until i want to burst!!
* Window SHOPPING. Sometimes it really is enough. I love wandering around home and interior stores at this time of year. Re-imagining our whole decor, wishing to deck everything in tartan and cascade fairy-lights from every crevice. Right now though i'm quite happy adding a few throws to our cream sofa and a plaid pastel blanket to the end of our bed. It does't stop me dreaming though...
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How the flipping heck are you?! It feels like an age since we really caught up. What have you all been up to and more importantly, what has been making this week most excellent for you? I'd love for you to share. You can pop a few words below or tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday i'm @sallytangle. Whilst i am here, if you miss me too much, you can follow along with my day to day over on Instagram. I'm Sallytangle over there too!
Spot the Wonderful Wednesday! Do you know WHAT, for my Wonderful Wednesday posts i always use a photo that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else; that is left over or didn't come out quite as well as the rest. This photo is not one of my best at all and is also probably the very worst photo i could have picked to try and add text to so that it looked vaguely readable! But you know what?! I flipping LOVE it. Its leaf-crazy, colour crazy and also might win the award for the most Autumn-ey photo i have taken of late. What do you THINK?! Do you know what we are all friends, you all know this is a Wonderful Wednesday post by now right? So what's been happy-making so far this week then..?!
* Feeling a LOT like Autumn has really and properly hit Cumbria. The littlest signs have all been there for a while: drifting fallen leaves, the nights slowly drawing in and all of the jazz that you expect. But the temperature just hasn't been quite cold enough. I did just say that. After a DELICIOUS day of wind and wet at the start of the week, the leaves really started to fall. The air felt heavy with the smell of wood burners and coal fires and i enjoyed flicking on that thermostat for the very first time. IT'S HERE!!!!!!
* Monday WEDDINGS. On Monday we had the pleasure of attending the wedding reception of a very close friend of mine all of the way down in Yorkshire. Seeing her in her wedding dress made me fill right up and realise that i miss her more than ever whilst equally feeling over the moon times a million that she had got her happily ever after. As someone who is not a raving romantic, I always surprise myself with how emotional i get at weddings. It really does just come out of nowhere!
* A BLAST of Armand Van Helden's 'You Don't Know Me' on a busy Tuesday afternoon. The kind of Tuesday afternoon that involved unpacking, cleaning, changing beds and all of the things. I often wonder how we accumulate so much stuff as just a twosome, and how everything gets so flipping messy! This song took me right back to my dance music loving phase (mid-nineties - it was all about dance music and scrunchies FYI) and i danced myself through all of the jobs and more and rewarded myself with a cup of Lady Grey and TWO walnut whips. Girl knows how to party…
* LOVE Tea. Well should i say Pukka's 'Love Tea' which is made up of lavender flower, rose oil and camomile and is just the ticket before bed. I even sneaked some into our bag to take away on Monday night. It did just the trick after a long, long day. This tea has me out like a light and having the very best night sleep. It also doesn't hurt that the packaging is pretty beautiful at the same time.
* FINDING the very perfect tartan scarf and not even minding having to pre-order it. It's really that beautiful. I can't wait until it gets here. I already have a dark green and red check scarf and an odd but so beautiful lambswool lemon, bright blue and cream tartan one too. I have been searching for a scarf just like the one I have ordered for what feels like FOREVER. You know the kind of scarf that appears over and over again in various Autumn-ey pictures on Pinterest?
* Closing the CURTAINS. Because our sweet little attic is so light, it's a dream during the warmer months because it acts like a little greenhouse: Just a bit of sunshine and a warm day and there is never any need for heating for days on end. It means from May through to September we often live with the windows open, the curtains too and no need for any kind of heating at all. As soon as the cooler days come, it's a little bit lovely to close those massive curtains, light a few candles and curl up under the blanket on the sofa.
* PORRIDGE. Along with the Autumn comes the excitement of warm breakfast! I had proper porridge for the very first time on Monday and MAN it was good. Since trying to switch up my milk and be more open to almond, hazelnut and coconut milk over the summer months, i decided to try and see if almond milk worked in porridge. It is the BEST! I have never had porridge so creamy, and yummy ever ever ever! I used one cup of oats, one cup of almond milk, a splash of water and a mashed banana and simmered until the liquid was absorbed and the oats were soft and cooked through. Then i stirred in a tablespoon of chia seeds, a table spoon of coconut oil and a liiiiittle drizzle of runny honey on top. Go!! Go and try it right now if you love porridge as much as me! It had me full until lunch and i left the house feeling like i was really ready for the day you know?
* Buying a greetings CARD just for me. It isn't just me that does this is it?! I am forever buying myself greetings cards. In fact anywhere that sells them - supermarkets, stationary shops, gift shops - you can lose me for a good ten minutes just so i can look. I bought the sweetest Rifle Paper Co. card to stick up in my our little office. I swear i could wallpaper the walls with greetings cards in this little place and it'd make me so happy! Sometimes i buy them for the beautiful illustration, sometimes for the colours or print; sometimes even just 'cos of a really really good font. I like a good font i do.
* Feeling PROUD and excited all at once. I am off to see my darling younger sister play the lead role at the theatre this Friday. Whilst it technically hasn't happened yet i can't tell you how proud i am of her. She is forever amazing me with her bravery, courage and 'just do it' sort of an attitiude. I could learn a lot from that BEAUTIFUL lady sometimes i can tell you!
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So DEAR faces, do share. What on earth has been making you SMILE so far on this beautifully Autumnal week..? I would love to know! Leave me a sweet comment below or you can tweet me with your #wonderfulwednesday . I'm @sallytangle .
Do you REMEMBER a long, long while ago i wrote my first 'Firsts' -shaped post? If you'd like to refresh your peepers you can hop along to it HERE. I wrote a post about the very first peepings of summer time and i enjoyed it so much that i decided almost then and there that it would become a little bit of a series: that i would write one to record the start of each and every season and all that it meant to me.
It feels like a squillion years ago, because the last one marked the start of British summertime and all of the good things that came along with it. That, my friends was a l-o-n-g time ago. Not that i am complaining. But if i am really HONEST with you, i have always counted 1st of September as the start of Autumn. Except here in Blighty this year there has been somewhat of a month long extension to our usual summertime. So we find ourselves right at the beginning of October instead. I don't mind telling you that i have been chomping at the bit to get started on my second 'Firsts' post: a few words on the first peepings of Autumn, some pictorial-pie and some natterings on what's been going on around these parts of late. Pull up a chair, cross your legs and WRAP your hands around a warm drink…cinnamon optional.
Whilst a part of me DELIGHTS in sleeping in my almost-altogether throughout the summer months, i can't tell you how much i ADORE curling up in layers and layers of soft brushed cottons and well-worn oversized cardigans instead. Whilst we are not quite at 'take a hot water bottle to bed' time just yet up here, i have been relishing requring to slip on a pair of soft pastel socks come morning, and sling a cardigan and soft blanket around our knees on lazy sunday morning breakfasts. It's the ULTIMATE in wake-up shaped comfort for me.
What else means AUTUMN though? For me everything just feels warmer, richer and that little bit heavier. I get excited at the thought of switching up what i eat too. It's always a pleasure the very first time i get to get stuck into back porridge and to dream of all of the exciting toppings i can lace it with too. I also can't wait to AUTUMN-up my bread recipes and to have toast slathered in ginger preserve. Summer salads are eagerly replaced with wilted spinach, kale and buttery leeks. And i never need an excuse to crave a roast chicken and leek pie. Baby new potatoes with torn mint leaves are replaced with buttery colcannon mash, savoy cabbage with salted butter and roasted carrots drizzled with honey. And i might need to start adding in an extra few laps on those two-wheels of mine while we are at it if i carry on like this!
Sunsets come fast and SUDDEN and i am left chasing the sun home for the very first couple of weeks of Autumn. Soon my evening park route shall be no more as there simply wont be enough light left by the time i return from work. With that comes the temptation and in equal measure, big sigh at the thought of FORCING my little legs round and round on those pedals before i start work in the morning. More often than not i'll settle for the extra hour in bed and resign myself to adding on more laps to my days off. It's all about balance and i am a Tasmanian devil without enough sleep!
The LIGHT is one of my very favourite parts of Autumn though. Even of there is less of it, the hours we do get are pretty spectacular. It's rich, amber glow breathes magic into each and every thing it dances upon and no matter how cold your hands and feet become, it's all worthwhile.
Bike ride re-fuelling is always NECESSARY and it's time to kiss goodbye to iced coffees, freshly pressed juices and smoothies and yoghurt and crumbled nuts and seeds. Autumn brings hot drinks laced with a syrup of cinnamon or ginger, and heavier oat flapjacks or granola bars wrapped in foil and SQUIRRELLED away at the bottom of satchels.
Autumn SHOWERS too, are heavier, filled with might and persistence. Gusts and WHOOSHES of winds blow leaves and fasten them like glue, dotted prettily along walkways and pavements. The air smells of coal fires, dampness and of forests.
Soon it shall be time for socks, tights, more layers and for hats and mittens. And i am more than ready to take it all in, each and every last drop.
What's your very favourite thing about AUTUMN and what does it mean to you? I'd love to know!