Friday, 29 May 2015

Dear Hair

Dear HAIR,

We've not always seen eye to EYE, you and I.  I'd be lying if i said our relationship has always been plain sailing - far from it in fact.  As soon as i could hold a hair brush, i hated your boring straight-ness, the way you just hung around my rose-y pink cheeks and blew in my face, sticking to my lips.  I ENVIED those who had a head of crazy curls and would never ever know the pain of having to have your hair brushed when you were little.  If only i knew then that i would waste an embarrassing amount of time throughout my teenage years trying; willing you to curl, twirl and to hold your own in anything other than your lank, straight and unimaginative state.  Only to step outside and be right back to square one and almost a whole can of hairspray the worse off to boot.    

Until one day, in a moment of MADNESS i discovered that my hair took quite nicely to bright blonde hair colour. It seemed you could do something AFTERALL!  There was hope for us yet!  And i never ever looked back, not even once.  We were a match made in heaven you see:  The girl with eyebrows and eyelashes so fair (and skin to match!) that it felt like my natural dark and mousey blonde hair was always giggling behind my back anyway. With hair so bright and so blonde i matched, i FINALLY matched.  But you were more than that.  With hair as bright as the sun i felt like I too, radiated a little bit of warm sunshine wherever i went and whoever i touched.  I felt much more 'me' then and, as a seventeen year old it's ironic really because i hadn't got a clue who i was then.  Not really.  I was still a baby and i was still learning how to master this thing called LIFE.  

But you made it easier, there's no doubting that.  You don't have to have much to say when your hairs so BRIGHT that you could probably be spotted from the moon.  Combined with a gradual love affair with anything colourful and printed and i didn't even have to utter a word most of the time.  And that suited me just fine then you see.  When you already feel awkward in your own skin and you're still learning about the things that go on inside your body, it makes sense that it's a welcome relief to not have to give quite SO much thought to the outside.  It didn't matter if i preferred to be quiet, to listen and to simply think because even if there was nothing to say there was always you:  Bright, blonde and forever something i was known for.  Because if you ask people what they know me for, i can bet you that they'll probably recount my bright blonde hair, my precision and perfectly straight fringe and my brightly coloured creations.  They might not even be able to tell you my name.  

So if you ask me what CHANGED, then i have to hold up my hands and tell you that i really don't know.  But last week i looked in the mirror and i didn't see me looking back anymore.  So as quick as the decision to turn you the bright, bright blonde that i did came about; so too did the decision to ditch it.   

And so TODAY, on the day that marks a week since i took what was, for me, a huge and hasty step, i want to say thanks for hanging around. And for not falling out too i guess.  There's no regrets whatsoever.  Of course they were there at first: Everything looked different, it even felt like people looked at me differently.  But maybe it's all in my HAIR HEAD.

I'm not quiet anymore. I haven't been for what must be at LEAST ten years.  I've got things to say, opinions i'm proud to have and places I want to go in my life.  But more than that I know longer feel like i need to hide under that sweet little blonde bob.  I'm still ME regardless.  But something that might seem such a small and silly thing to somebody else has really changed my way of thinking, about every aspect of me and of my life.  

There's no denying we've been through a LOT, everything really, you and I:  I'd go as far as to say that we grew up together.  You were my protection, my helmet and my safety net.  Even if i hardly realised it at the time.  You've got me where i am today.  But the end of one thing marks the very beginning of another, don't you think?  I'll miss you at times, i'm sure. But i'll remember our time together as a good and great one and one which, i was able to hide and figure this all out.  

Coco Chanel was once very famously quoted as saying 'A woman who changes her hair is about to change her life.'  

And I for one feel like i know exactly how she felt.  

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #68

Good day to one and ALL!  I can't quite believe we are on Wednesday again already and that i have been back at work for exactly a week after my odd Wednesday to Wednesday week off.    Time has whizzed by and i also don't mind telling you that i am so very READY for a day off!  I worked both the Sunday and the Bank Holiday too which i don't usually mind as when you work in retail your days sort of just merge into each other.  I think i feel ever so tired because i have done a long stretch of days straight after a week of mostly pottering and scampering about picking wild flowers, re-arranging furniture and enjoying open windows, planting things and simply being. What else has happened since we spoke?!  For one i impulsively decided to get my hair dyed a little darker than the bright platinum blonde i have been rocking for the most part of my life.  Well since 18 at least and i am now 30.  You can do those sums to save me having to!  I have been SO suprised how much the whole thing affected me and i actually felt a little emotional afterwards.  What a silly bean!  More on that later on in the week though.  Hair aside, my evenings have been spent curled up reading magazines and drinking camomile tea.  They have been a welcome contrast to fizzy busy days spent careering around and about Monsoon Towers and the Half Term/Bank Holiday chaos.  I am waffling.  Shall we get TO it?  The #wonderfulwednesday awaits!

1.  Blustery days!  A silly positive but it's my positive corner and so be it!  My evening bike rides haven't been as frequent as i should have liked due to some very changeable 'can't-quite-make-it's-mind-up' style weather.  But the evenings i have scampered out have been bright and blustery in equal measure and it's made my heart happy watching flowers bob, branches wave and green, green grasses dance in a sunny Spring breeze.  All with a backdrop of bright blue and cloudless sky.  It's somehow how seemed even more beautiful because that sky hasn't been quite so constant….

2.  Hummus forever.  We've just done our grocery shop last night and there are currently three tubs of hummus plus a little 'three mini pot' sort of set(?!) in our refrigerator.  Houston do we have a problem?!  The Mr also informed me he was band practising for their next gig on Thursday and i may or may not have answered 'That's ok i'll just have some hummus for dinner.'  What's more than worrying is that he didn't really bat and eye…. I've been loving the stuff.  My lunchtime salads have been all the better for it!  I've been squirrelling sweet packed lunch boxes of quinoa, roasted sweet potato, baby kale, avocado and a great big spoonful of hummus to swizzle my carrot sticks in.  Mmmmm!  

3.  Baby Kale.  See previous point.  The bomb of lunchtime!  Well save for the hummus. I spotted this little gem in M&S recently and i'm a little bit in love.  I love Kale but i find i much prefer it cooked through a butter-bean and chorizo stew or marinated in lemon and tamari or better still all sweet, crispy and toasted in a hot oven.    In short Kale requires thought and effort which is sometimes okay.  Baby Kale requires no effort whatsoever.  It's much, much sweeter and is sort of a hybrid between Kale and and lettuce.  It's also a much softer texture and it's extra fab because you can whack it as a side to bulk up a salad or you can wilt it down (much like you can Spinach) a-top an omelette or stirred through Puttanesca pasta at the very last minute with a good glug of good olive oil.  Mmmm!

4.  Not having a fringe.  Something else that was initially met with much trepidation!  I decided that since my hair was quite a bit darker at the roots now, my full blunt fringe against my pretty much tranluscent white face wasn't really doing it for me.  So i'm going to grow it out.  Wearing it tucked back and messy has proven so low maintenance!!! So much so that i've enjoyed extra sleep because of it!  I never knew a fringe was quite so much work because well, i've never not had one.  Genius.  Jeepers maybe i really am growing up after-all!!

5.  First sleeps with an open window, even if it is just a little crack!  Just indescribably lovely.  To fall asleep with the sweet tickle of a Spring breeze on your nose, buried under a cotton duvet and with bare legs and arms.  The recipe for the sweetest dreams of your life i can promise you that much!  

6.  Ebay Summer dress bargains.  Because, well clearly i'm delusional and under some sort of weather spell?!?!!  Either way, the whole she-bang cost me a fiver, including postage and it's a Topshop summer dress from a good few years ago which i wanted so much at the time. Even if she hangs on the wall in our spare room for a wee while yet, i know i'll wear her one day and my little heart will flutter.

7.  The most bitter, tart and zesty marmalade slathered on toasted rye bread.  It's the breakfast that's been ever so floating my little sailboat of late.  If i'm feeling extra hungry i'll sneak two slices and have one with marmalade and the other with crunchy peanut butter.  All washed down with my signature orange-y Lady Grey tea.  Matches made in heaven right there for sure!  

8.  Discovering old and forgotten beautifully pressed flowers!  I had this idea to press some lavender and white wild flowers in a book a good while ago.  I stumbled upon them recently and i'm just deciding upon a way to incorporate them into my most recent botanically-inspired moodboard.  They've really worked and look so sweet and pretty!  Any idea what else i could do with them!? Every cloud and all that….

9.  Tidying up my Pinterest boards.  All kinds of 'productive' or a terrible case of procrastination extraordinaire?!  You decide.  Either way i had the same kind of 'i've cleaned the house from top to bottom and emptied the wash basket' feeling after so i think i win.  

10.  First bare-legged bike ride.  If you live up north you'll know quite how much of a big deal that is.  I sometimes wonder if Cumbria is actually a whole season behind London and the rest of the world…Either way this was all kinds of great and totally worth the midgey bites!

11.  Beetroot.  On everything.  Ok well not everything but as much as i can squeeze it into.  Cooked and grated through salads is my very favourite and easy-peasy go-to and a little salty feta crumbled though is extra amazing.  This week i also enjoyed a beetroot and blackcurrant juice that was so yummy and i'm sort of determined to make a beetroot and chocolate cake too. The only problem when making such a thing is that when there are only two of you, one cake is a lot of cake.  Maybe i shall treat the gals at Monsoon Towers to some chocolate-y beetroot-y greatness too.

12.  Instagram;  For it's pretty pictures but also for the inspiration, positivity and wonderful people it has brought into my life. Because it's hardly news but we're sort of going steady now, our love for each other has become a bit of a big deal!  I flippin' love it.  I can take or leave most social media as long as i get my Instagram and Pinterest fix.  What can i say, i love a pretty picture….

13.  Feeling ice-cold cotton sheets against bare legs.  The kind of thing that feels like the absolute worst come Autumn or Winter but now suddenly feels like the greatest and most simplest slice of greatness that there can ever be!    

14.  The excitement that a perfectly ripe avocado brings.  It's sometimes the very best part of my day really and truly!  I seem to have had a bumper run of late and the sweet little bowl of baby Hass avocados that have been sitting pretty on our windowsill in a printed china bowl are just the perfect amount of ripe that i've been half tempted on several occasions just to eat one with nothing but a spoon and a little sea-salt.  So far i've resisted…but i can't promise you that one's going to last for the rest of the week…

  15.  Tinkering with Willow the push-bike and making her feel better. I'm not going to lie, sure i looked a little bit at the technical side of Willow when i got her two years ago.  But it was really all about the looks and as soon as i saw her she could of been made out of cardboard and i'd still have brought her home.  When i was little dad always fixed our bikes:  Pumped up our tyres, oiled our chains and tended to anything out of the norm.  Over the last couple of years i've really enjoyed learning how to look after that pretty green bike of mine like it should be.  She was a little under the weather at the start of the week:  Some strange clinking and clonking coming from underneath her front mud-guard.  A little tlc and some bolt-tightening later, she rides like a dream and feels happy all over again.  And i sorted it out all by myself!  Huzzah!
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So hows about your LOVELY selves?!  Did you have a wonderful Bank Holibob?  Have you been basking in tropical temperatures-galore?!  If so can you please send some northward?  I'd love to know what's been making you smile so far this week.  It doesn't matter how little it might seem, sometimes those are the things that are the most happy-making!  Leave me a little comment below or better still, tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday.  I'm @sallytangle!

Enjoy the second part of your week DEAR faces!

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Wildest

I've always loved WILD flowers over anything preened and pruned neatly into a border in a pristine sort of a garden.  Wildflowers are like colouring outside the lines {or hating colouring in a preferring drawing and painting instead, or better still:  scrap-booking} or messy bed-hair:  The unruly sister of topiary, neatness and abiding by the RULES.  There is something free and rebellious about a patch of wildflowers.  And i guess that's why i've been TEAM WILD for as long as i can remember.  I found telling the difference between weeds and flowers difficult when i was a little dot.  I can remember never quite grasping why we had to pull up plants with what i thought we're just as pretty flowers in favour of planting our own plants neatly.  I remember forever being told that it was because they were weeds and we were planting plants and that weeds just grew where they wanted to and not where they were told to.  I secretly always preferred the weeds.  

Of course what were always deemed 'weeds' to me as i was growing up, are things that i actually find myself ADMIRING now:  Dandelions, clovers, cowslip, gypsophelia, buttercups and wild garlic.  Lately i've been spending a lot of time feeling inspired by them and making a point of looking for them along roadsides, snuggled up under hedgerows and blanketing the floor of the small forest in the park where i cycle.  It's all i seem to photograph lately.  

Whilst i know that the birds and the bees are happy BUSYING and BUZZING around and about any plants or flowers that they come across there is something much more heartwarming about seeing them fizz and whizz about their pollen-ey business in their natural habitat:  Unspoilt, tangled and a mass of colour and activity.


Wild garlic is one of my very FAVOURITE things about this time of year.  It always grows in such abundance in parks, verges and fields and is something that i hadn't even realised you could eat until last year - and it's right on my doorstep!  
And what's more LOVELY than that?  Being able to use up something that just grows naturally right there for everyone!  I've got some exciting recipes up my prettily-printed sleeves and maybe something a little more creative planned for you and I and those pretty white blooms so stay tuned!
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This week has been a LOVELY one:  Restful, slow and potter-y and my favourite kind.  A selection of terracotta pots have been purchased to brighten up our sweet little yard outback.  I'm starting some wild lavender plants inside as we speak and i have some sweet wildflower seeds to scatter in those pots outside.  Keep everything crossed for me that Jack Frost stays away!  After this weeks….changeable weather, nothing's certain!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #67

{Taken last thing last night - Tuesday.  Who could believe how horrid it's been looking at that?!}
Happy #wonderfulwednesday campers!  How's things?  What's new?!  What kind of lovely jolly things have been occurring in your life this week?  Or has it been one you'd rather forget?  Mines been a slower, much more restful week after almost-but-not-quite a week off work - well i've been gallavanting about since Saturday and i'm not back in until tommorrow. Restful-ness aside, it's been a positive and productive one in equal measure and so i {for once!} feel like i'm firing on all cylinders {instead of you know, just half of one} and ready to give you the best from a jolly great bag so far this week…

1.  Charity shop clearouts.  I always toy with selling clothes.  But in reality the time it takes to photograph and list and blah blah blah - well i lose interest.  And if we're being really honest, my taste isn't everyone elses and the odds and ends i do tend to donate to charity are always a little past their very best.  I always tend to wear things to death before i'll give up on them altogether.  In short, donating clothes to our local charity shop is a nice feeling and i'm glad they are going to someone who might actually need it more than me and that the pennies go towards something great and good.

2.  Getting green-fingered.  Despite this weeks, what can only be described as erratic at best, weather i have been feeling ever so inspired to get out and plant something.  Whilst we are limited on our outdoor space, i've got the go ahead to plant some pots and such outside in our little yard and so i have been gleefully purchasing seeds, various sizes of terracotta pots and perusing Bee houses and if i could probably make one myself.  Yes they really are a thing.  Today is meant to be a much better, dryer day and so i'm hopeful to get out and get started properly.  I am thinking more tangled wildflowers, crazy crawling plants and less perfectly symmetrical greenery.  Thank you ever so much to everyone who has given advice via Twitter and Instagram.  Who knew this gardening malarky could be so exciting?!?

3.  Morning snuggles.  I'll spare you the details.  But safe to say that not waking up to an alarm means it's nice to not have to get up with the birds and race out of bed at break-neck speed.  It's felt like Sunday every day!

4.  Not getting drenched.  I say this and i've probably gone and jinxed myself beyond belief and you'll never hear from me again because i shall have been washed away on those two wheels down the River Eden and out of sight forever.  It's been glorious sunshine, great big gusts of wind impossible to cycle against, followed usually by torrential downpours and hailstorms.  I've somehow miraculously {as of Tuesday evening writing this} remained unscathed/dry.  And i've pretty much run all errands {including precariously balancing several terracota planters} on my two wheels.  If only i could say the same for Willow….she's seen her fair share of water whilst i've been scampering about in and out of shops and markets.  So much so that she now has her very own towel….God bless prettily printed old-lady shower caps and thier usefulness to cover my pretty Brooks leather saddle!

5.  Having someone refer to my bike by it's name.  Silly but happy-making at it's simplest and very best!

6.  Getting laundry up to date = major ongoing life goal.  I am forever in awe of quite how much laundry we accumulate as a twosome.  Happiness is found deep, deep at the very bottom of an empty laundry basket.  

7.  Pinterest.  For the endless inspiration it throws up.  This weeks it's been my evening entertainment for all garden related styling ideas when the Mr has been watching rubbish on television.  And to think that this time a wee while ago i could be heard exclaiming:  'I just don't get Pinterest.'  Oh Sally….

8.  Torn up mint leaves in ice cold water.  So simple.  So good.  And so Summery-feeling and thirst-quenching for when it's not so Summery outside.  In your face rain!  

9.  Reaching a decision to finally let somebody else colour my hair which ultimately lead me to believe that i have the best hairdressers in the whole world.  And i'm a tough {read: scared,wimpy, hasn't changed her hair colour for like EVER} kind of a customer.  I'll spare you the details {maybe we'll save that one for another rainy day ho ho!} but my hairdressers have been trying to persuade me to let them colour my hair for me and to do it properly.  But i've always been put off by the expense and upkeep.  I've finally found a solution that i'm excited about.  When i rang up on Tuesday to ask what they thought, they asked me to pop in.  I grabbed a coffee and headed down and we all did a little dance in celebration of such a  milestone kind of a moment!  My appointment is at 6pm on Thursday night.  Eek!

10.  Numbering my #wonderfulwednesday points.  Err why have i never done this?!  Suddenly this post feels a lot more organised!  It really is the simple things.

11.  The most heavenly Rose and Black Pepper hot chocolate.  Enjoyed over a marathon Tuesday morning catch up with a dear,dear friend i haven't seen for so long.  But who i actually first 'met' through Twitter and i'm so very glad i did. She is inspiring, creative and all kinds of wonderful and each time we meet, i always feel like i could do anything in the whole wide world.  

12.  Abba.  On Magic Fm.  Because that bloomin' radio station should be sponsored by Tangle Towers lately.  It's been the soundtrack to my whole week and my love for all things 70's, 80's and 90's shows no sign of waning.  And i'm not even sorry!
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Aaaand it's over to you!  What has been making your week wonderful so far?!  What have you been looking forward to each day?  I'd love to know, even if it is just your breakfast, or your bed at the end of the day!  Is there something special that you're looking forward to?  Remember you can leave me a sweet note below, or you can tweet me your #wonderfulwednesday over on Twitter.  I'm @sallytangle!!!  But you probably knew that already...
Have the most wonderful rest of week dear and sweet ones!

Monday, 18 May 2015

In Four:: via Instagram

Good day or i SUPPOSE i should say, good evening?  It's not often you'll see me popping up in your reading list of an evening {or very often at all save for my religious #wonderfulwednesday-ness} but i've been thinking alot about this space lately.  I spend an unsociable amount of my wind-down time flitting through instagram and pinning my life away on Pinterest and whilst i know there are some of you lovely souls who follow along with me through multiple platforms {dedication!} in large, i have quite a varied following on each and so today is the day i decide to put two and two together.  

It's not ROCKET science really is it and i'm hardly the first person to do this but think of it if you will, like introducing friends from different circles with me in common - although in a totally less-vainer way than that sounds!  Time is not always on my side and sometimes i find that i spend more time posting snippets of my life in Instagram than i do here - simply because it's just that, it's instant!  By bridging the gap {or snap if we're being really witty!} these little updates can be a way to have a mini catch up on things, through the most recent moments captured through my Instagram feed.  And it means i can stop feeling so sorry for myself when it pours down on my only day off and any outside photo-taking opportunity is washed away for another week!  Shall we TALK about these four then?!

1.  My face.  Which if you follow me on Instagram you'll know doesn't actually make an appearance that often.  It's more my feet, clouds, skies, fields - man i'm really selling myself now aren't i?!  This is my very FAVOURITE get up of late:  Black or blue super-duper soft skinny jeans; a grey or white t-shirt and a printed cotton shirt thrown over the top.  It's something i've never tried before:  The whole open shirt thing.  While it's hardly a fashion revolution, it is proving a reliable daily sort of a uniform. Especially when the weather seems to be the least reliable thing in my life right now….  

2.  Okay so i've got a soft-furnishing problem.  I ADORE bed-linen.  And cushions.  Oh and also throws, blankets, any kind of pouffe….you name it; if it's colourful and printed then you can bet your bottom dollar it'll find it's way into our home.  I also love my bed.  When i lived by myself i saved up for the wrought iron bedstead straight after i left uni.  And i've had it since.  I've been lucky that the Mr seems to let me getaway with being a little bit more girly in the bedroom.  My very favourite thing to do on a day off is to scamper off and make some tea and curl up with the Mr and drink it in bed.  

3.  Peonies are hands-down my VERY favourite bloom.  I know; me and the rest of the world right?  But it's true.  Since their season is so very short i have to make the most of it.  This is my very first bunch of coral-ey, peachy pink and perfect Peonies.  Aren't they the dream?!  I keep telling them how beautiful they are.  I just can't help it.  

4.  This sweet capture was as unexpected as all or most Instagram snaps are.  I was on my way to Sainsbury's after a few early evening hazy-lit laps of our sweet park.  The sun was just about to slip behind the hill and it cast the most magical little glow on all of the daisies and dandelions.  I'd just that very second been thinking to myself how very sad i was that all of the pretty blossom had all but gone and this sweet scene reminded me that i shouldn't be! And that the rest of Spring and Summer have so much more to give yet. 
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Are you as much of an Instagrammer as me?!  If so, leave me your links as i'd love to follow along.  If you haven't yet stumbled across me on there yet, you can find my face HERE if you should like to follow along properly.  

Hoping that you have all had a lovely start to the last week in May?!?!? I'm not even sure i know how that is even possible that we are almost in JUNE

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #66

Bonjour oh dear ones and #wonderfulwednesday visitors!  How do i FIND you all so far this week?!  I am sat tip tapping to you today after having the most lovely Tuesday spent with my sister for her birthday.  We chatted for hours, drank much coffee and nibbled on coffee and walnut cake that was as light as a feather and as rich and decadent as it should be.  A birthday well-spent!  My week has been such a busy one and so yesterday's day off and time spent with that super-duper sister of mine was much needed!  I worked all weekend again and so i feel my head isn't quite ready to accept the fact that is mid-week already!  It still feels a little like i am in last week!  So many of my weeks just feel like they merge together, do you ever feel that too?!?  This week has brought much loveliness and has also given me LOTS to look forward to aswell, and that's always nice isn't it?!  Shall we….?  Let's get going on the gem that is my #wonderfulwednesday!

*  Sourdough crumpets:  An extra SPECIAL day-off breakfast.  I always have porridge or granola and muesli with almond milk when i'm at Monsoon Towers - namely because i feel like i need all of the energy help i can get and i find if i munch toast or anything smaller it just doesn't fill me up.  So i save my toasted teacakes and that kind of paraphenalia for slower, later and lighter eating days off.  This week we discovered M&S 'Ultimate Crumpets.'  They are the dreeeeeam.  They are much, much lighter than usual crumpets and made with a sourdough base and are just FAB.  I enjoyed my day-off brekkie of toasted sourdough crumpets slathered in crunchy peanut butter and scattered with sliced banana:  The day off-shaped breakfast of champions if you ask me!

*  Plaiting all OVER the shop!  It's been 'damp' up North lately and that's all i'm going to say on the weather matter.  My hair, therefore has felt mostly three times its actual size and has been a complete and utter un-maneagable fluffball.  When such an instance occurs there is only one thing for it:  PLAITS.  I have taken to plaiting my hair each night before i got to sleep and embracing my extra 'volume.'  Not only does my hair then tend to at least look intentionally wavy, but it also means it takes no time at all to ruffle and go come morning which is a big and whopping win-win in my morning book.  Are you with me?!

*  Warmer evening skylight-LOVIN'.  Whilst it's been damper than we'd all care for it to be up here lately, oddly enough in between said showers it's been quite the mild and a lovely temperature most evenings.  I have been loving cracking open our office skylight of an early evening and watching the seagulls and pigeons swish and swoop whilst i tip-tap away at my keyboard.  It sort of makes you feel like you're actually sat on the roof with only the birds and clouds for company. And you know i can think of worse places i'd rather be.

*  Paloma Faith's 'Only love can hurt like this.'  For it's pop-y catchiness and downright SING-ABILITY.  I've been loving singing it at the top of my lungs in the shower {sorry neighbours!}.  If you've heard it before you'll know that it's just one of those songs that you really can just hurtle at the very top of your lungs and make yourself feel so much better!  

*  Coriander.  I don't want to go all 'FAVOURITE HERB' on you because i know how rock and roll that sounds but lately it's all been about that lemon-ey green-ey leaf-y gem!  It's a real herb-divider that coriander but we've been loving here at Tangle HQ.  It's a lunch-time salad maker:  Torn spinach, watercress and coriander scattered on top of bulgar wheat, grated carrot, chickpea and raisin-ey lunchtime salad.  Errrr YES PLEASE!

*  Guzzling my H20 like there's NO tomorrow!  I find it so strange when people say that they don't like water.  How can you not like water?!?!  I really notice if i don't get my litres of water into a day.  I feel tired, grumpy and just plain restless.  Since the weather has warmed up ever so slightly, i love nothing more than gulping ice cold water.  I really notice the difference in my general well-being from just making sure i keep up each day.  How about you?

*  Wind so strong that it blows you SIDEWAYS!  It's been so windy up here lately {how many times have i spoken about the weather so far?! Yikes!} and i remember when we first moved into our little attic-shaped home, our very first windy night was a little terrifying!  Being on the very top floor means we have the prettiest light and loveliest views but it also means we have the noisiest little somewhere when those blustery days and nights strike!  Now i find the sound rather comforting.  On Monday night i didn't even close the skylight blind properly.  I lay underneath it watching the clouds race with each gust of wind.  Being all tucked up and cosy and sleepy made it a little bit lovely.  

*  Apples.  Ice-cold from the fridge.  I go through phases with fruit.  Whilst i'll always have bananas knocking about our sweet somewhere, lately i had disregarded my humble apples in favour of the sweetest juiciest strawberries.  I recently picked up some British Braeburn's from our sweet fruit market {along with said Strawbs!} and i have been LOVING munching and crunching them sliced and ice-y cold from the fridge. Mmmmm!

*  Spotting first swallows.  Okay they may not be the actual first swallows as i'm not sure when you should spot a swallow {?}  BUT i pottered out on my two wheels the other night, taking full advantage of the fact that it was both dry and sunny after work.  I stopped to watch sweet swallows swooping and swishing against the bright blue sky in the crazy, erratic 'how-come-they-don't-crash' way that swallows do.  It reminded me of being little and of Summer holidays.

*  Underwear-ish SLEEPING.  Is there anything more lovely than feeling cotton sheets and duvets against bare, bathed skin?  Nope i thought not.  I'm a bit ahead of the game as it's hardly tropical up here but i was done with my cosy pyjamas and felt like i needed to remove a layer!  Bliss!

*  Watching blossom BLOW off the trees!  Whilst the end of blossom makes me a little sad, seeing it's pink and white confetti strewn across our cobbled streets like a sweet little Spring blanket is rather pretty.  It also makes me excited to start a new season and for all of the new things that shall bring.  I love the world's way of showing us the change in seasons through the little things around us.  It's pretty amazing when you think about it and it's lovely to think that, that has been happening since time pretty much began and that no matter how we have evolved and changed and the world around us; this little marvel has always remained.  Is it just me or isn't that LOVELY to think of?  Shall i just let myself out then!?!?!
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So what have you got for me then?!  Share your #wonderfulwednesday moments for this week so far or what you are looking forward to this week.  I always love to know!  Not because i'm just a nose-y parker but because it's nice to share positive and lovely things and i'd love for this regular post to not always be about just my positive things, you know?

Remember you can SHARE by leaving a sweet comment below or by tweeting/instagramming your #wonderfulwednesday.  I'm @sallytangle.

Have a wonderful rest of week!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wonderful Wednesday #65

Hi-de-hello and how do you do one and all?!  This week has left me feeling all kinds of upside down and inside out so far.  I worked all weekend and was off Bank Holiday Monday.  So today feels like Tuesday and yesterday was most definetly Monday-shaped as apposed to Tuesday shaped and i just feel like i do not know where i am with anything!!  Is it just me?! That said, this week has had its highlights for me.  And since i feel like a day behind myself already then this week of discombobulation should whizz by in a hop and a skip.  You'd think yes?  Here's hoping.  Or here's also hoping that i feel a little more like my organised self before the end of it.  Shall we #wonderfulwednesday….?

*  Wonderful traditions!  Even if that 'tradition' in the loosest sense of the word; is that we have 'Pizza Tuesday' each…errr Tuesday..?  It was invented long, long ago as we always do our grocery shop on a Tuesday evening after work.  Long may it reign supreme 'cos after my upside-down start to the week, i need all of the help i can get!

*  Seeing progress.  Which is miles away from feeling it.  My morning stretches and arm exercising have started to show results and my persistence is paying off!  Even if that 'success' is only measured by the Mr remarking "Check out you and your swan arms." to me the other evening.  It's a small start….

*  Wearing flower crowns inside.  'Cos hells' bells that pretty little thing called Mother Nature has been playing havoc with our weather up north of late:  All glorious bright blue skies and sunshine made for short sleeves and then torrential rain and the angriest grey clouds!  I can pretend that's not the case inside always though.

*  Filling some jam-jars on our window sills with blossom cuttings and being amazed that they stayed alive!  With my history with all things green i'm feeling rather lucky!

*  Making pot-shaped plans.  I'm certainly no green fingered goddess {see previous case in point} but i am excited to pot some sweet plants out back.  We arent lucky enough to have our own outdoor space {the lows of living three floors up!} but we have got a little yard.  Since it's all been properly cleaned and tidied up i have been daydreaming about filling some huge terracotta pots with a mix of wild flowers and even seeing if might be able to squeeze somewhere for a Bee house!

*  Lemon and ginger in warm water to start the day right.  Okay so i've been doing this little trick for at least a year.  So much so that i feel a bit funny if i run out of lemons and don't have my morning fixer. I missed a few days last week due to one thing and another and i swear to god that my skin went severely downhill!  It somehow just lost it's sparkle and the little dewy glow that i sometimes get if i'm sleeping right and getting all of the water i should.  Since there were no other changes to anything last week other  than missing my zesty morning wake up; i am determined to never miss one again!  Sometimes i keep it simple with half the juice of a lemon in some warm water.  Sometimes and especially if i am feeling tired, i add a few slices of fresh ginger.  And sometimes if i'm feeling a little run down and under the weather i'll add a teaspoon of manuka honey and sliced ginger to my morning cup. It really does work wonders.

*  Pretty woven baskets adorned with pom poms. One of which may or may not be winging it to me as we speak!  I can't wait to tell you all about it!  Now if that sun can just sort itself out now then that would be great please!

*  Seeing my sweet little instagram snap in this months 'Simple Things' magazine.  It made me beam from cheek to cheek even if it is silly!  It's my favourite magazine - so much so that my little 'collection' actually doubles up as a 'shelf' in our livingroom.  Ahem!  One day my written words might adorn their beautifully curated pages…one day i'm just sure of it!

*  Aussie Three Minute Miracle Reconstructor.  Because you can bet your bottom dollar that if the weather doesn't know what the bobbins it wants to do then my hair shall behave in exactly same way.  This week and it's drizzly rain has made my hair feel three times it's size!  It now feels suitably calmer and smoother and smells exactly of that yummy 'Aussie' scent that i love so much.  If you've ever used any Aussie products then you shall know exactly what i mean.

*  Time spent with the Mr without even thinking.  Ok well that's a lie straight off.  Once we discovered we were both off Bank Holiday monday; we spent many an evening, before-bed sort-of-a-conversation deliberating, on what we should do with a rare whole day together.  After a little later than usual lie-in, our plans came to nothing but having a wander through town, picking up bits and bobs to make burgers for tea and having a big frothy coffee together and talking about our 'Nows.'  It was nothing fancy or fan-dangled, but i had the loveliest day in a long time.

*  Gold.  I've always been a sterling silver jewellery gal through and through.  But i recently picked up some dainty bits and bobs from the 'Z from Accessorize' range at work.  It's all fine and delicate and wonderfully beautiful.  It's also gold plated and has precious and semi-precious stones in most of the pieces.  I'm currently living in my rose quartz sweet and tiny pendant and it's travelling along with me everywhere i go!

*  Digging out old silk scarves and fastening through button holes, on the side of satchels and sometimes around my old black fedora…just because.  Sometimes it's nice to be a bit more creative with things.  
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So how's about you guys?!  Is your week already shaping up pretty peachily since you had a sneaky Bank Holiday off from the 9-5?!?'  Or are you feeling as equally upside down as i am?!  I'd love to know what's been bringing you back down to earth, making you smile and feel on top of the world!!!  What are you looking forward to this week?!  Share your sweet comments below with us all, or tweet me with your #wonderfulwednesday too.  I'm @sallytangle.

Have a super duper and smashing rest of week dear faces!!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lately in Senses

I can't remember the last time we all sat down and had a jolly good catch up:  Just all curled up, with our favourite beverage {mine shall forever be a huge printed mug of Lady Grey with milk and a walnut whip on the side}.  But you probably knew that already.  Sometimes life gets in the way of this sweet spot.  My ideas for posts are lately cobbled together on bumpy pre-dinner bike rides whilst blowing away the cobwebs of the day.  I can't remember the last time i just sat down, notepad on lap and just scribbled ideas down like i used to.  Lately has been busy:  Filled with goodness, fresh air and cuddles.  
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I spent some time up north, in South-West Scotland visiting my parents and brother and that crazy spaniel of there's.  Mum hasn't been well at all so it was nice to take flowers, feel the sun our cheeks and talk lots.  It was also especially nice to catch up with my not-so-little brother.  He's preparing for life as a grown up after he graduates this Summer and has already snagged a job in his chosen field.  I feel so proud of him and exciting for what his future holds.  I remember that feeling well:  All heady excitement peppered with mild trepidation!

One of my longest and most special friends was over visiting from the land of Oz {lucky duck!} and so we squeezed in time for lunches, coffees and catch ups and even a day trip up to Glasgow where we spent more on our lunch than anything else.  We're a good team and have got our priorities right!  It reminded me that wherever we are in the world we'll always be close and our friendship will never change.  Spending time with her was just like it always was and it felt good for my tired little soul.  
 Home, Home - my parents live in the sweetest little village.  Just behind this sweet view is a park on a hill which over looks all the rolling hills and bright yellow bracken.  There's also the sweetest little bench placed perfectly in view of the setting sun if you time it just right.
More Home, Home:  The view from the bridge set over the river Dee in another village a two-minute walk down the windy lane and around the corner.  I didn't appreciate any of this nearly enough when i was younger .  


And me?  Well here's my 'Lately' expressed in the most concise, simple and creative way and one which we all forget too often:  In senses:

SEEING
*  Blue skies galore and feeling all of the better for them  *  Chaffinches, blue-tits and Swallows {Summer is coming my friends - the sweet birdsong told me so}  *  peachy-perfect sunsets and only just beating the sun home of an early evening bike ride  *  my arms more often on the days when it has been warm enough to roll sleeves up and wander outdoors with only a soft woollen cardi across my arm  *    flowers everywhere and doing my very best to fill our sweet attic with them too.  It's a sure-fire way to make sure it feels Spring-like on even the greyest of days  *   Much more green on my plate!!  Isn;t it so much easier to fill up on raw veg and creative salad come this time of year?!  *  bunches of bananas and bowls of multi-coloured tomatoes on our windowsills.
Is there anything better than bright blue sky and sunshine?!
A little bit further along the river Eden - my very favourite cycle route first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  

SMELLING
* Raw garlic on evening and morning bike rides  *  our first homemade burgers of the year cooking {mmm!}  *  Green, green grass after a torrential downpour - i wish i could bottle it, it smelt that delicious  *  clean sheets, dried in the sun and falling asleep all of the better for them  *  Flowers - any i can or even just breathing deeply as i cycle past them  *  damp hair with coconut-ey conditioner  *  coconut oil stirred into thick and creamy porridge  *  lavender shower gel on a warm evening and the way that the scent fills our little hallway afterwards.  
Wild garlic is lining the riverbank as far as the eye can see lately.  Have you tried it yet?!  It's super duper delicious torn up through a Spring salad.  Seeing so much green everywhere lately is just the absolute loveliest.  

TASTING
Wild garlic  *  marinated kale  *  earthy beetroot alongside salty feta  *  grilled haloumi  *  buttery brioche bread-buns  *  My {probably} squillionth mug of Lady Grey tea  *  the perfect cappuccino  *  lemon and sliced ginger in hot water after a long morning stretch  *  homemade Lasagne  *  Also homemade macaroni cheese {Mum's make everything taste better!}  *  Toasted rye bread and crunchy peanut butter  *  lemon lipbalm *  walnut whips {!!!}  *  various midges on evening walks and cycles - BLEEEURGH!!!!!
See that beautiful wall and grand building up ^there?^  That's called West Walls and it's the oldest part of my little city and you can cycle pretty much the whole length of it and see the city from so high up.  It's pretty lovely on a clear night as the sun sets.  
I've taken so many blossom-shaped snaps over the last month or so.  I'm squirrelling them away to look at when grey days loom.  Why can't there be blossom all year round?!  But then maybe if there was then we wouldn't appreciate it nearly enough!

HEARING
*  Endless birdsong  *  Spring rain against our skylight  *  the radio hum along from the shower  *  Damien Rice, London Grammar and Lemon Jelly before bed  *  the Mr tinkle away on his acoustic Guitar  *  The day wake up:  birds, breezes and eventually buses, children chattering and clip-clopping footsteps on pavements  *  Sheets blowing in the breeze  *  The blinds rattling with an early evening breeze.   
 Early evening perfect light.  This photo just makes my little heart sing!  Have you ever seen anything so pretty?!  Cycling at this time could be my favourite ever:  Perfect for switching off, for appreciating the little things and for tiring out your little legs before a big camomile tea and bed.  
More early evening lovin'!  The wild garlic smells so much better as the sun sets and the little droplets of dew start to gather on the grass.  

FEELING
*  Lighter fabrics against my skin  *  The wind in tangle my hair without any kind of hat  *  Lighter from coats, scarves and gloves in just cardigans, cottons and sandals  *  A misty light evening rain on my cheeks which turned out just a little bit delicious {and made my hair three times it's size!}  *  Well-rested  *  Thirsty:  For colder, icier drinks and wondering if it's too soon for Pimms and Ginger Beer  *  Better for sleeping in less:  Lighter layers forever!  *  More in love than ever and grateful for having that feeling  *  Worried about not being closer to Home  *  Grateful for good friends *  Inspired by the change in seasons - always.
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So that's me! How have you been?  What have you been SEEING, SMELLING, TASTING, TOUCHING or HEARING?!  Have you written a post about what you have been up to lately?  Leave me a link below as these are my favourite kinds of posts to both read and write.  

I hope that your Bank Holiday was long and lazy and full of good food, great people and a bright blue sky!  I'll be back tomorrow with a #wonderfulwednesday as usual!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Letting Go

I will forever be an ALL or NOTHING kind of a girl.  You've either got my full and divided attention or else you've not got me at all and you might as well be talking to yourself.  When you have got me though; rest assured that i'll put every inch of every single thing that i've got into whatever i'm doing to see it through to the end.  Or else i wont start it all.  
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Lately i have been giving an awful LOT of thought to letting go:  To being able to wholly and completely let go of something:  drop it, leave it as it is, switch off, feel fully and truly like a task has been accomplished and finished.  And what i have realised is that it's not something i can do very easily at ALL.  In my head, i can always improve.  I fiddle, tweak and fanny with everything.  I can't start one task and finish one task and sit down.  Instead i spin several 'plates' all at the same time and as each plate falls, i pick up another.  I convince myself that i'm being super productive.  I should end each day feeling full, satisfied and like i have taken on the world and conquered it.  Yet often what i do feel is burnt out, exhausted and worst still;  like i do nothing but run the day through my head over and over and work out what i can do better to achieve more the next day.  Does it sound FAMILIAR?  Please tell me i'm not the only one!
Lately there's been so much talk of being more MINDFUL:  of accepting and being non-judgemental about our thoughts and feelings in the present moment.  It seems that the speed of life around us and sometimes the magnitude of tasks that we set ourselves to accomplish day in and day out is causing us to rethink how we deal with our own emotions because of it.

For me it's about breaking the CYCLE. And more than that, it's about easing off on myself a little.  It's about finding the balance between productivity and proactivity.  And i'm determined to change my mindset, starting now! 
*  I'd like to start LETTING GO of something when it's finished and recognising that i am only capable of so much.  And that piling more and more on top of my already towering workload, doesn't make me more productive.  

*  I think that i should focus more on what i have achieved, completed and done well and to the very best of my ability rather than over-think those things that i haven't had time to accomplish. 

*  I'd like to learn to LEAVE work at work!  Instead of constantly thinking about work when i'm not there, i'd like to be able to keep my mind on what i am doing away from work instead of constantly wiling away the hours mindlessly!

*  I want to make more of a HABIT to do the things that CLEAR my mind, unwind my little head and help me switch off.  Instead of sitting for an hour on my phone on Instagram {okay well maybe just fifteen minutes instead!} i'd like to spend more time outside on my bike; cutting, sticking or using my creative juices.  

Okay so it's a SHORT list, but it's a starting point right?! 
  
How do YOU switch off?  Do you find yourself adding ten things to your daily to-do list each time you cross off one?  Can you remember the last time you just got lost in the moment?  Or better still the last time you felt really and truly happy?  

I'd LOVE to know.  I'd also love to know if you have any tips for letting go and doing just one thing at a time.  Even better if you are like me but have DISCOVERED a magic remedy that might give me some hope!

*  All photos taken on a recent trip northward to my parents in Scotland where i let go and felt all of the better for it!

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