Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #26

Hello you great and WONDERFUL bunch of people you!  How are your respective weeks going thus far?!  I spent most of my day off on Monday convinced that it was Tuesday (the perils of working all weekend - it produces some kind of crazy day-jetlag if there is such a thing!) and so i feel like this week might start to feel a little longer than it should!  As i sat tip-tapping this post, i have my cotton scented oil burning away, Tom Odell up loud and the biggest glass i could find filled with ice-y water and torn up mint and wedges of lime. It would be a little slice of Summer-shaped HEAVEN was i not also flipping through the Boden AW14 goodness that has gone live this week. Aherm.  I may have fallen in love with a glittery collared breton tee and a cotton tartan pinafore.  Must. Resist.  Do not fear though!  There has been plenty of summer-y shaped goodness going on around Tangle Towers to keep a smile across those freckle-y cheeks of mine this week…

*  Summer FRECKLES.  I used to hate haaaate my freckles when i was a whipper-snapper.  Now i rather like them.  I only get a little smattering on my nose and cheeks, save for the one stubborn little devil that resides in the centre of my bottom lip! When i get out of the shower i almost don't mind my skin with just a slick of moisturiser.  And i have been braving myself foundation-less (but SPF-ed up to the max!) with just a dusting of rose-y blusher and sunnies on days off.  It feels all kinds of liberating and i can kind of pretend i am on my holibobs too!  That can never be a bad thing.  

*  Skylights.  I bloody LOVE that we have skylights in both our bedroom and in our sweet little office.  It goes a little way towards making the fact that we have no actual green space to call our very own.  I have been standing on my tip-toes and opening them both and our almost floor to ceiling windows in our livingroom and relishing in a lovely cool through breeze on the days i am working from home writing and the like.  I do live in trepidation that one day a humongous seagull will swoop in and steal my walnut whip from right under my nose though!  

*  My new black rose candle.  It fills our livingroom with the most decadently rich spicy rose-y scent even when it's not lit. What is it about candles?!  I do love them so.  I have been enjoying having tealights in old jam jars and various other DELIGHTFUL transparent receptacles dotted about on these light summer evenings.  It makes working after dinner not so bad you know?

*  Peanut butter.  Golly GOSH i have been feeling all of the love for peanut butter slathered on just about anything lately.  I have always been much more of a sweet gal, but lately crunchy peanut butter spread thickly on bright orange chopped carrot, celery sticks or a tart granny smith apple is the bees knees thank you please believe me.  And it's a filling kind of afternoon snack too.

*  Scents of summer.  I love how my skin SMELLS after a day out and about on those two-wheels in the sunshine:  faint coconut-illy scented and mixed in with damp grass, sunny daisies and a cool twilight breeze.  Can someone bottle that please?!  Eau du Tangle Toilette has a certain ring to it don't you think?!

*  Fresh FLOWERS that last way, waaay beyond the time you expect of them.  I gathered more of the sneaky wild hydrangea heads i spotted along the river last week and they are just as bright bluebell-ey blue and beautiful as the day i picked them.  My humongous bunch of ballsy bright yellow roses are also still going strong and they are way over a week old.  They keep a sunshine-ing feel about our little attic even when the sun goes down.  

*  Ebay bargains #1000, 000.  Okay that might be a little exagerration!  I can't help myself.  Due to my downright indecisive nature i often miss out on the things that i fall for clothes-wise.  Whilst i know there are far more important things in life there is a certain satisfaction when you know you have paid a third for something and it's brand new and winging its way to you.  HI FIVES!

*  Chocolate.  Sometimes (read: most of the time any time) its all that will DO.  I wish i mixed it up a bit, that i craved crisps, chips or takeaway once in blue moon.  Truth is, chocolate will always have my heart, closely ever so closely followed by a slice of carrot or coffee cake.  Nothing hits the spot for me like chocolate washed down with Lady Grey.  These longer shifts and earlier starts have had me really appreciating a handful of hazelnuts and a few squares of chocolate.  Mmmmm!

*  Finding out that one of my very very dear friends has got ENGAGED and better still, that i am going to be a briiiiidesmaid!!!!!!! I am beyond excited.  That my friends shall be an emotional day and a half.  
Tell me, tell me tell meeeeee what has been FLOATING your pretty boats this week and keeping you going until the weekend?!  Are you a sweet or savoury snacker?!  Are you LOVIN' the freckled lobster look as much as me?!  Got any ebay bargains to boast about?!? I'd love to know!  Remember you can tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday too.  I am @sallytangle.  

Monday, 21 July 2014

Sunshine-ing

It feels ever such a long long time since i just sat here and WROTE.  Just put the kettle on, made myself a big floral mug of Lady Grey and wrote down all that has been going on around these parts.  It's not great or grand but lately has simply been all consumed with work related paraphernalia.  This time of year sees the launch of our Summer sale which this year has brought mixed emotions.  I have so been enjoying this summer sunshine; long lighter days and nights and feeling so inspired with everything around me that i am not quite ready to let it go just yet.  It's been exciting seeing the first peeps of AW14 trickle into Monsoon Towers but at this moment in time i cannot bear to think about jumpers, cardigans and tights. No no, not until at least September.  Are you with me?!  
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The launch of our summer sale inevitably also brings with it some very long LONG days and odd working patterns in order to get it all off the ground and running smoothly and so i am just starting to adjust back to a normal 9am-6pm shaped day.  Those precious moments i have had free have all been spent out and about in the sunshine.  There is forever a British feeling that whenever it is sunny we must all rush out and bask in it because its never certain or dependable on our shores.  So when in Rome and all that jazz…
^Colour co-ordinating my breakfast^
^The way all day off's start ^
My mornings have been of the spectacularly super SLEEPY variety.  Energy has been an absolute must and so i have been saving toast and pastries for my days off and piling pretty floral bowls high with spelt muesli, blueberries, chopped banana, chai and sunflower seeds and a great big glug of ice-y cold almond milk for those days at work.  Consequently days off now always start with a mug of Lady Grey in bed, whilst i check emails and compile a list of things to do for the day.  It's a new day-off shaped routine that feels a little more LUXURIOUS and a slower wake up is never a bad thing.

Days off have been spent in in any kind of cotton-printed ANYTHING that i can get away with!  I finally took the ever so beautiful Jack Wills for Liberty print strapless sundress out for a spin and i think it could go up there as one of my very favourite dresses ever and that's one mean feat!  My trusty straw panama hat has been worn pretty much every day and wins the award for best hot sunshine shady piece with a distinction in covering up messy 'i have just done five laps of the park' type tresses.  
^Green and wild flowers as far as the eyes can see!^
^Pimping my…ride?^
^a new friend
My morning bike rides have been just what i needed to COOL down in the early morning breeze and gather my thoughts for the rest of the week.  I have collected a pretty little seasonal collection of wild flowers from my cycle EXPEDITIONS through the forest-y part of our local park too.  In much more exciting news, i also got to know the kind gentleman i mentioned HERE and HERE above (except for his name…sometimes i can be a real dolly daydream!) a little more.  I see him on most of my days off now and he always pops over to say hello and to ask how i am.  On Monday he showed me a little photograph of himself a long time ago with his Parabike.  My beautiful Pashley Penny pushbike is based around the design of a World War Two ladies Parabike and we struck up an uncanny kind of friendship when he stopped me to compliment me on Willow a few weeks back.  He is the sweetest man and has so many lovely stories and tales about his adventures on his bike throughout the war.  I have really been enjoying hearing them!  

^the summer skies of dreams^
I can't help but fall more and more in love with this GLORIOUS weather we have been enjoying lately.  Despite the odd rain shower last week, it's been a little like heaven and the way i remember summers when i was a little dot.  I have replaced post-bike frothy cappuccinos with the largest iced soya latte i can get my paws on.  It's about the only way i can drink soya milk.  I rather like it in hot chocolate too but that shan't be making an appearance anytime too soon!  Its lighter and much less rich on my tummy than full fat or skimmed dairy milk, especially in a latte, and the nutty flavour is a nice addition in an ice cold drink.  


^twilight love^
 For those days when i have been working later or starting later the very next day, i have relishing in late summer evening laps of the park in a much cooler and crisper breeze with the most breathtaking sunsets you can ever imagine!  It really is a wonder i haven't rode into a tree or off the path into the river yet.  
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In other news,
*  One of my very best friends in the whole wide world got engaged a couple of weeks ago and has asked me to be a bridesmaid.  This made my tired and exhausted self very emotional.  I am so excited!

*  Oatcakes, chopped strawberries or hunks of juicy donut peaches with a huge and whopping spoonful of cottage cheese on top is my favourite lunch right now.  If i need an extra boost i sneak in a little handful of walnuts too.  Mmmm!

*  I can't get enough of Lana Del Ray's new album 'Ultra Violence.'  The Mr doesn't get it.  Sometimes i don't either.  Her music is rather slow, sleepy and a little sad at times.  But somehow her sultry songs are my summer time ear worm time and time again.  

*  The Mr announced he was making bangers and mash on saturday night.  I got in a grump. I was hot.  SO DAMN HOT that if i was by myself i might have cried.  You know that sort of 'i've been at work aaaall day and i'm so tired i just don't have the energy to shower' type strop?!  Bless his heart he cooked it and we ate what might well have been the very best pork and fennel sausages slathered in pear and apple chutney; mashed buttery potatoes and onion gravy of our lives.  If not also the most un-seasonable meal ever.  It felt decidedly Autumnal.  We are calling it a dress rehearsal…he's a keeper.  

*  Eating the best gluten free walnut and caramel shortcake slice of my life!  It was from Marks and Spencer's and i ate it on a break on one of my very long shift-shaped days.  Man it was good.  In a 'don't talk to me' sort of way.  I got through the rest of that shift purely because of it and i know it.  It shall now be my weapon of choice for those long and sleepy days.  
So tell me DEAR faces, what's new with you all? It's been an age since we all just caught up over a cuppa and had a good natter.  Have you all been enjoying the sunshine too?  How have you been spending your days?  I am forever jealous of those of you on school or uni summer holidays.  I want five weeks off dammit!  

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #25

Good day dear ones!  How is this week treating you?!  Whilst you are casting your pretty little PEEPERS over this post i shall be knee-deep in preparation for our gigantic summer sale at work!  Cripes! I cannot believe that it is here already.  And not only that but that we have started to see AW14 hit down too.  I am choosing to cover my eyes because well i love Autumn just as much as the next person but i am really loving this summer and i am not ready to let it go just yet!  That's the perils of working primarily in retail i s'pose.  There is plenty more to celebrate and be grateful of so far this week though i can tell you, autumn aside <aherm>…

*  Remember the DEAR and SWEET old man i told you about HERE ?  Well i bumped into him again this week!  He is so lovely.  I noticed him just as i was wheeling Willow across town and so i waved and he waved me over.  He said he had been hoping he might see me again because he had found some old photos of his WW2 parabike (which he told me is what Willow's funny shape is based upon) and that he had wanted to show me.  It was so lovely to talk to him.  He told me all about his war time adventures and how he used to ride his parabike home and how he wished he still had it.  It really did warm my heart!

*  For THIS song and THIS song for MOTIVATING me on my monday day off.  These are two of my very favourite songs for the kinds of days where i feel like i need a shove in the right direction.  

* Paolo Nutini's new album for making my every day much BRIGHTER, sunshine or not.  I watched Paolo play T in the Park (from the comfort of our sofa with some camomile tea) and his entire set was phenomenal.  I adore him.  Especially the way he just falls wholly and completely into each song he sings.  I saw him live a few years ago at a festival and despite being ankle deep in mud, i was utterly mesmerised.  Does music ever do that to you?!

*  Making my own homemade lemon iced TEA.  It's dead easy and really fulfilled that zesty, ice-y craving i have been having of late.  I steeped two Twinings Lemon Grey (a lemon flavoured earl grey designed to be drunk black) teabags in half a pint of boiling water for ten minutes.  I then topped it up with a sliced lemon and another half pint of iced water and decanted into a glass bottle to store in the fridge.  Its the lovliest thing to drink!

*  Finding the quilted throw to match my new toile duvet set in the sale for 80% off! Of course i had to INDULGE.  It now feels as if we are sleeping inside a teacup.  Thats not a bad feeling i can tell you.  

*  Summer RAIN.  For being that fine drizzly sort of a shower and for smelling so so damned good whilst i was tip tapping away working at home on Monday afternoon.  I had the office attic window open just enough to stop the rain coming in; I had Lana Del Ray up loud and my rose scented candle burning away on the desk and a huge mug of Lady Grey tea.  It made for a cosy corner of productivity and inspiration.

*  The flakiest PERFECTLY cooked cod for Monday's supper.  Served alongside freshly podded garden peas and jersey royal potatoes with butter and chopped mint.  That my dear ones is delightful summer food at its very best.  

*  Really ENJOYING writing July's column for Carlisle Living.  I love writing each and every one but this months just flew right out and i feel as if i could have written for pages and pages.  I love it when that happens.  Sometimes i write, re-write, start all over and start right back where was an hour ago and still don't think it's the best i could do.  I really loved this piece!

*  Bananas.  Yep that simple.  I love FRUIT but i go through such phases.  Sometimes bananas and i just don't get along.  Lately though i can't get enough.  They are proving a perfect 4pm pick me up when i am at work (sometimes coupled with a little handful of almonds if i'm really hungry!), i am loving them mashed with a splash of almond milk and a handful of sunflower seeds when i really want something sweet and pudding-ey or even sliced on top of oatcakes when i have got the munchies!  Which i feel is pretty much always lately.  My hunger patterns are so up and down sometimes.  Sometimes i nibble and graze for what feels like all day; and other times i don't feel the need to eat in between meals at all.  Does anyone else ever feel like that?!
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Wow this was a good list!  Especially since we are only at Wednesday.  How ARE you? What has been the highlight of your week so far? Where do you currently stand on the whole banana thing and have you ever made your own iced tea? I know i'm just plain nosey but i love to read your comments on these kinds of posts!  Remember you can always tweet me (im @sallytangle) your #wonderful wednesday too.   

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Always & Forever

Sometimes COMFORT can be found in the strangest places.  Often for me comfort is the the routine, the little things i do and enjoy each day and dotting them throughout my day almost means i feels as if i could do them in my sleep.  I am all for adventure and excitement and for little helping of the unknown on occasion.  But sometimes its my ordinary, and my mundane odds and ends that feel as if they keep me sane.  


In so many things i have become a creature of HABIT.  I wake at roughly the same time each morning {8AM incase you were wondering} whether i am at work or not.  I seem to have lost the art of being able to lie in.  I always sit in the same spot, curled up with my thoughts for the day and what i need to achieve; and always accompanied with a large cup of milky lady grey tea.  I wash, attempt to construct my messy mop into something resembling 'neat' and powder my cheeks with blusher and then i sit in silence and eat breakfast.  It's the perfect way to prepare for a busy day and i find it so soothing that i could do these things in my sleep and don't have to think too much about them.  



 Whilst my love of colour, print and texture never wanes; i do find myself leaning towards a much cooler, calmer and DELICATE palette in most things.  Soft pale cotton printed willow-patterned playsuits with crumpled cotton smock blouses thrown over the top is perfect for daydreaming days away from the hustle and bustle of work.  Slept in hair calls for the distraction method! This always hides in the form of floral garlands!  Fool proof!  And evenings are for curling up in pretty patterned trousers and bare feet.

Fresh FLOWERSare always a weekly treat.  I have been treasuring what will probably be my last bunch of peonies this year and filling what other old jam jars and chipped glasses i can find with hydrangea clippings.  And i am forever watching the light dance through the leaves above.  In fact i could sit and watch it for hours.  Sometimes i lose track of how much time has passed and i get a little bit lost!







CHASING the sun on its descent behind the clouds and into tomorrow before it gets too late.  I feel like i can really clear my head when i am racing between the trees and along the streets on late evening bike ride.  The world always feels so still and peaceful and it's a little bit like heaven.  
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What do you do to unwind?  What makes you feel the most at ease?  Where is your happy place?! I am sure we all must have one!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wonderful Wednesday #24

Hi-de-hi CAMPERS!  How do i find you all?!  I am finding myself extremely poor!  Well that is not exactly the case, i just feel as if i have spent an awful lot on myself lately. In all fairness, said purchases have been fully considered for a long time and duly put off.  Only to be snatched excitedly in the sales!  Whilst i am not a massive lover of the sales, if i see something i had lusted after for many months with half off, i'll fight you for it!  Materialism (mostly) aside, there have been a fair few other things that have been making me happy so far this week…

*  Bloc Party.  Hello to my YOUTH!  I adored Bloc Party for most of my teens and through uni and I have spent a good handful of evenings clutching on for dear life in amongst an unintentional mosh pit of sweaty teens in my life.  Those were the days!  I sort of re-discovered them lately and.  I.  Can.  Not.  Get.  Enough. I have been cycling my sandals off on warm balmy evenings with them playing loud in my ears; enjoying the catchy riffs and electric guitar superstar moments in the bath surrounded by candles galore and fighting the urge to dance in public whilst waiting for the red light en-route to work in the morning!  I love re-discovering music.  It suddenly takes you all the way back to exactly how you felt when you very first listened to them.  Magical! 

*  Boiled eggs.  I know, weird right?!  I just cannot get ENOUGH of boiled eggs lately.  Not just wandering about the house though, i mean at meal times naturally!  My very favourite day-off lunch lately is warm boiled eggs (i have perfected them so that i can just get the melty yolk in the middle the perfect…meltiness?!) crunchy warm fine beans tossed in butter, salt and black pepper and torn up leftover chicken.  Absolute heaven in a little bowl i tell you!!!!

*  Almond milk. I promise this isn't going to be an entirely food-based Wonderful Wednesday, honest-john!  Why has no-one ever let me in on this Almond milk SECRET?!?  This gal is beyond late to this little shindig!  I adore cereal, and i adore milk. So much so that i can drink it ice-cold by the glass.  Sometimes it gives me terrible tummy-ache and i have always just thought it was a 'me' thing.  I had never considered cutting down on it.  I say cutting down because one thing almond milk does not work well in is tea.  And you lovely lot know how much i love my Lady Grey.  Out of curiosity i have been using almond milk in most other things and i feel so so much better!  More to the point it is delish over homemade nutty granola and a perfect milk for porridge.  It's ever so creamy and yummy and well i think i am converted! 

*  Bed linen-caving.  I LOVE bedding.  no i mean i really love it.  It's a serious business too.  I am extremely fussy when it comes to fabric and thread count (there is far too much horrid polyester floating about the bedding-sphere for my liking!).  I haven't bought bedding for such a long time.  Our current sets are Jigsaw, Sisley and M&S.  All are 100% cotton and it makes such a difference sleeping with cotton bedding.  I have been stalking the M&S 'Toile' print duvet set in sky blue for months.  This week i indulged.  I have no shame.  It was expensive but man alive, i have been sleeping like a baby!  Plus the pretty 'Toile' print looks rather pretty against our cream wrought-iron bedstead.  It feels sort of like we are sleeping inside a teacup...

*  Picking a sneaky few sprigs of a random wild HYDRANGEA bush on my evening cycle ride and falling a little bit in love.  Whenever i pick wild flowers and pop them into water, they last but a few days.  I picked this little sprig on Friday last week and it is still as bright, beautiful and lilac-ey blue as the evening i picked it.  I may sneak back for more…especially since Peony season is all but over…le sigh.

*  Feeling GRATEFUL for good friends.  Work is all a bit mad lately, what with sale and one thing and another and it makes me ever so grateful that i am incredibly lucky to call all of those beautiful girls i work with every day, some of my closest friends.  It's pretty amazing to be able to work with your best friends each day  and i am lucky for that!

*  Feeling HEALTHIER.  I adore riding about in those two wheels of mine and it has always been a bonus that it also keeps me fit too.  I have never ben a gym bunny and i can't run to save my life.  I can swim, but if my life depended on it, it's safe to say i would die.  I love how i have found my 'thing'.  My happy exercise.  Something i want to do and something i get pleasure out of.  Since its been so warm lately i have been swanning about in cotton dresses, silk smocks and floral crowns.  My day off Tuesday was a little grey and dreary so i squeezed into my slim indigo jeans for the first time in months.  I have really begun to notice definition in my legs and waist and i feel so much healthier and toned because of it.  

*  A HAIRCUT…finally.  I hate getting my haircut.  I love my hairdresser and have been going there for years, but i just hate having it cut.  When my hair was much longer i could put it off for months and months 'cos it was easy-peasy lemon-squeezy to pile it all on top of my head and pin a silk flower on top!  Now my hair is much shorter i can't.  I finally gave in and got a good inch off my rats tails and i do feel so much better because of it and i can tell my hair feels happier too.  Is it just me or does anyone else hate getting their hair cut?!
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What has been keeping you lovely lot alive this week?!? I love to read you Wonderful Wednesday comments so please share!  I don't care if it's your favourite book or a particularly amazing icecream i should be getting my hands on, i'd love to know!  Don't forget you can also tweet me:  @sallytangle with your #wonderfulwednesday bits too!  

Friday, 4 July 2014

A bicycle ride: vlogged

So it's been a little while coming, but today i wanted to share with you not only one of my very favourite places, but also my very first TENTATIVE dip into the world of vlogging!  Cripes!  Somehow this feels like much more of a big deal to me than sharing snippets of my little life in photo/word form.  I am not quite sure why. I think that it feels a lot more real, a little less filtered and just me being ME!  I have never really been into watching vlogs, largely because in the past i have found them to seem to always witter on about make-up, shopping sprees and the like.  Which is all fine and dandy for those with an avid interest in all of those kinds of things. But for someone like me who is just plain lucky if my make-up looks vaguely like i have even tried upon leaving the house in the morning, its not something i can relate to.  
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Over the last few months i have noticed that a handful of my favourite lifestyle bloggers have begun sharing SNIPPETS of their life through vlogging and such.  And i have loved watching them, i am a real nosey parker at heart.  I want Sallytangle to be an INSPIRATIONAL place;  a place which encourages you to treasure the tiny little things and a place which shows that.  I wanted my first vlog to be a little celebration of that, but in a video form!  Don't expect Tarentino-esque editing skills, as i am still very much LEARNING!  And excuse me for the slight loss of sound for a few seconds - turns out camera+wind+nervous me= a silly finger over the speaker moment!  But here is a little peep into my morning bicycle ride in my favourite place, Bitts Park.  Hope you enjoy it!  


The music used throughout my video is Bent: 'Always' which, if you like, you can find HERE .  If you liked my little vlog, you can subscribe to my channel right HERE .  Have a wonderful weekend lovely faces!  

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