Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #24

Well hello there, one and all!  It was very tempting to start with "good evening", but who knows what time of day you will be reading this (especially bearing in mind it will not be posted until tomorrow morning...)!

Anyway, I digress.

Here we are again, another Wonderful Wednesday stretching out before us! I feel quite under-prepared today as normally I've got a set of notes of little bits and bobs that I want to write about, but I didn't get that far I'm afraid! So what follows is all news to me too... I wonder what I'll come up with!! 😂

✩ Casserole. It's all about convenience and comfort food lately.  I made a sausage and bacon casserole on Saturday evening for dinner (with yummy Heck Chicken Italia sausages) because we had been busy all day so it was easy to just chop stuff up and chuck it in the oven. I love a good casserole, especially ones made in the slow cooker that you switch on in the morning and come home to that wonderful smell of dinner ready and waiting for you. This weekend's experiment was tasty (but not everyone agreed) but my point about a casserole is that it's a hearty meal and just so very easy to do and is perfect for busy bees.

✩ Gardening. I think I mentioned in last week's post that I would be planting apple trees at the weekend, and plant I did. We happened to see them in Tesco of all places, and where we initially almost failed to get one (when we remembered that we wanted to buy one there were none left), we ended up with three! I planted them all on Saturday afternoon, in between the pouring rain.  I'm not going to lie, it was tough going, but at least the rain meant the ground wasn't still frozen.  Our garden is sort of over 2 levels, in that there is a steep slope down to the lower path by our garage, with decking above at ground floor level of the house. Digging out some of the soil to put into two pots and then a hole big enough to plant one in the actual garden has aggravated a shoulder issue and awakened my eternal back twinges, but I was so proud! I just hope that they grow and produce us some lovely juicy apples... (*I should add here that the Boy was busy doing stuff in the garden as well while I was doing all this, he wasn't just sitting inside watching me!)

✩ Not caring what others think. When I was doing the said digging and planting, the Boy started laughing and said "Do you not get out much, or something?!". It transpired that I was singing the theme tune to the Poddington Peas (anyone else remember that?!) while doing my thing. That soon turned into whistling the theme tune to the Magnificent Seven. No idea what else I was humming but when he said that I realised that I was just really happy. I didn't care what anyone thought, clearly, and just carried on. Really felt good to let it out.  I was talking to my Mum today and she was saying about how she doesn't like doing things in her front garden (which is quite big and open) as she is self-conscious about what the neighbours will think and I laughed.... Most of the time I am conscious of what other people think of me, but I was so engrossed on Saturday that I couldn't give a stuff!!

✩ Pancakes. Yep, it wouldn't be Shrove Tuesday without mention of pancakes! These days, pancakes aren't made just once a year, but there's something quite naughty-feeling about having them in the middle of the week. At the weekend we go for fluffy pancakes with a variety of toppings, but I'm used to having thin pancakes at this time of year with simple sugar and lemon. Tonight, though, (since I write this on a Tuesday evening) I'm eating just some plain mini Scotch pancakes as I don't have a frying pan or other facilities for making them... How have you enjoyed yours this year?? (The pic is from a few weeks ago, but you get the idea...)

✩ Chocolate. I can't ever go too long without some chocolate. I have a real addiction to sugar - honestly - and really would like to change that but it's that fat spotty little devil on my shoulder that turns all my efforts to nothing. I am working on it, but it's hard. Anyway, I think a lot of people would agree that chocolate is wonderful as a treat every now and again. I am enjoying a little with my Scotch pancakes this evening in readiness for giving it up for Lent. I am hoping that it will help break the habit of it and mean that I don't crave it so much afterwards.... I'd better tell the Boy not to buy me any Easter eggs 😆

✩ Being loved. Valentine's Day falls on Wonderful Wednesday this year and as I write this out of the corner of my eye I can see the gift the Boy left with me just before I set off in my car on Sunday, unopened. I wasn't going to mention the day this week, given that it hasn't actually happened yet, but actually now I think about it, just knowing that he got me something is enough, don't you think? He often does little gestures to show me that he cares, so it's not even about Valentine's Day itself, but all those things whenever they happen: that feeling of being loved. It's not even necessarily the romantic love, either, but the love you get from a good friend or from your Mum, even. There's no denying that Wonderful feeling from being loved... Here's one of my favourites giving me some love...

I think that's as good a place to end it for this week, folks. Big love to everyone reading this little post of mine and I do hope your week has been full of Wonderful, too. 💕

I'm looking forward to reading the gang's posts this week. These are the ladies I follow to give me all of the Wonderful: SallyCat, Peta, Michelle, Helen, Kate, Jo, Sam, ElLynsey - and you can find even more I'm sure and share your own using #WonderfulWednesday

See you next week!!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #23

Hello, dear friends, and welcome to Wednesday! 

After last week's rush-job, this week I am being a little bit... slower... more considerate of all of the positivity that there is around me. I'll admit I have been struggling a little bit this past week or two. Feeling homesick as I wasn't at home at the weekend (so no doggy updates, #sadface) and have been thinking about my Dad and pondering particularly whether he would be proud of me if he could see me now. 

So, I've been consciously noting all the good things this week - of which there have been many and I must not forget that even when I'm feeling blue!  Anyway, without further ado...

✩ Stocking up. It's been all over the Twittersphere about how long January was this year. It genuinely did seem to be the longest, ever. I get paid at the very last week day of each month and I've been hanging on, and on, to replenish stocks of toiletries, washing liquid and all that sort of boring stuff. I had a bit of a blitz in the shops this week to restock and it felt amazing, like supermarket sweep (except that I had to pay for it at the end!). It's the simple things in life, eh?!

✩ Picky bits. I really enjoy cooking, but when it's just for me and without all my usual cooking implements (of which I am sadly very proud), it does get super boring. I resent the time that it takes me in the evenings during the week, so I treated myself to a picky tea including some Italian meats, mozzarella, smoked salmon and sundried tomatoes. Not really the healthiest dinner, but I really loved the fact that I could sit in my room and get on with other stuff while I picked away. 

✩ Train Station Rendezvous. Part of the reason why I was an emotional wreck last week was that the Boy was in South Korea for work. It was a last minute thing for him and the weekend he was due home was a weekend I'd planned to be staying at my Mum's, so I've hardly seen him for AGES (when you only get weekends together, you really, really notice it when you skip a few). Anyway... I digress... On Saturday he arrived back and we had an hour at Paddington before he got the train home. It was possibly my favourite hour of the week so far... 

✩ Dancing Dragon. Nope, not an actual dancing dragon, or even something from Game of Thrones. This was the tea I chose when I went for afternoon tea with my girl friends at the weekend. I saw it in the menu and I had to go for it as I had seen a lotus flower used in a similar way at a tea ceremony in China a few years ago. This was just so beautiful and the tastiest yummiest white tea. I have bought a fair few teas from travels I've had, but need to find out if I can buy this stuff anywhere here without it breaking the bank (or one for the birthday list perhaps!!).

✩ Birdsong and fresh air.  Even in the depths of winter, I find it difficult to sleep without the window open in my room. I find that I wake up all bunged-up if I don't. Now that we are slowly, slowly, coming toward spring, I've noticed the tweeting birds in the mornings as I wake up. I've been making a conscious effort not to snooze my alarm this week, to embrace those few minutes that I can spare to stretch, breathe and listen. With my window open, it ensures I gulp in some lovely fresh air and hear all those birdies and it's a great way to start the day. 

And with that, I think I'm done for this week's #WonderfulWednesday! I'm typing this on Tuesday evening but it makes me so happy to think that it's Wednesday tomorrow and that it's getting closer and closer to the weekend. I really shouldn't wish my life away, but I'm looking forward to seeing my Boy and our gorgeous puppy-but-not-really-a-puppy dog. It's going to be a weekend of planting apple trees and buying home furnishings but at least we will be together 😊💕😍

See you next week, lovelies, but before I go... tell me about your week so far, has it been full to bursting with Wonderful??

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #22

Hello everyone and thank you for joining me this week! 

I write this all in a bit of a rush, to be honest, but I didn't want to skip a week even though I can't spend the time that I would like to have spent on my post. I will mostly be letting my photographs to the talking... there is far too much adulting going on this week so far to allow me to stop and breathe...And Yet. There has still been plenty of Wonderful...

✩ Being organised. Last year, I started bullet-journaling and toward Christmas I sort of started tailing off a bit. Things are too manic to be THAT organised, I thought, plus I wasn't juggling as much as I had been at the start of the year (er, I beg to differ this week!). Anyway, I've come to realise that I need to be that organised, else I feel totally snowed under all of the time, even if I'm not. Does anyone else get that? So anyway, this week, I sat down (in the quiet time before the storm) by candlelight no less, and got going with it again. Felt really good to lay out my week in the way I have designed the journal for this year. Hopefully it will help me get back on track!

✩ Blank canvas. We moved into our house in October last year and it wasn't long before we started pulling out and digging up the garden, as it hadn't really been looked after (an ex-rental property). Not got too far into planning what we will do with it, but I've taken some photos to start the inspiration and I'm excited for spring already!

✩ Broadwoodwidger. (And other funny place names). I drive past this place on the A30 on my way home each week and I do find the corners of my mouth turning up. There are so many quaint place names down in this part of the world. Fingle Bridge, Fenny Bridges.... Any funny places in your neck of the woods?

✩ The Archers. I don't know if I should be admitting to this as I'm not quite sure if I fit the desired audience, but I found on my long drives that I couldn't listen to music for the whole time and listened to a lot of Radio 4. After dipping in and out of the Archers over the next few weeks, I find myself listening to it every day!

Sunday breakfasts. There's something so nice about slowing things down and enjoying a long lazy breakfast when you have the chance. This week, it was pancakes and I loved every second of them...

Playtime. Yep, this week's obligatory dog-reference.... 😍😍

And that's it I'm done for this week! I really hope you are well, I'll see you next week for a slightly more well-thought-out #WonderfulWednesday 😊

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #21

Well, hello there and thank you for stopping by! How are you doing this week? I must say I've been better, but at least we are finally on the home stretch now of this long long loooonnnngg January. Doesn't it just stretch out forever? Doesn't it just feel like the last pay day was years ago??

Anyway, one or two things to shout about this week, so let's get on with the Wonderful...

✩ The colour of that sky.  I don't think that this photograph really does justice to the beautiful blue in the sky that I captured first thing one morning toward the end of last week. It really was wonderful, though, drinking in the brightness of it after all of the dark mornings we have been putting up with of late.

✩ New nail polish. I absolutely hate feet. My own feet as well as everyone else's (#sorrynotsorry).  In order to try and reduce the shock from the ugly every time I bare my feet, I always - and that really is always - ensure my nail polish is tip top.  I try to give myself a little pedicure at least every 2 weeks, touching up as necessary in between. I've not got too many different nail polishes as I'm good at chucking out ones that are beyond using, but I do seem to have most seasons covered with a variety of nude, pastel, bright and dark shades in my palette. I can't help but feel like they are all boring though. Like, I've used them a million times and want something that's just a bit different.... but I can never find a new shade that I haven't already got something similar. UNTIL NOW, my friends! I came across this beauty last week; it's a bronzy metallicy shade and it's stuck to my toe nails very well without chipping for almost a week now (without top coat as well!). 

✩ Freddo's. You know, the little Cadbury's chocolate frog? I think these are the best for when you just want to nibble on something sweet and chocolatey without feeling the slimmer's guilt afterwards. Trouble is, I rarely see them sold individually now and if I stocked up with a multi-pack, let's face it, they wouldn't last 5 minutes. There's no shame in that, I'm told.  I was so happy to see them loose in a tub when I was doing my weekly shopping last week and I grabbed one which I enjoyed on my drive back to work on Sunday evening.  Hell, something has to give me a glimmer of joy on that drive and what better than a little bit of chocolate?

✩ Compliments. This isn't a humble brag, let me just say. I don't mean the general compliments we get from those who love us, but ones that you weren't expecting. This came from a 10 year-old and I'm pretty sure when a compliment comes from a child, it's more likely to be genuine than just polite... though I did question it for a good hour afterwards!

✩ Home. OK OK, this is also my way of shoehorning this little face into this week's post, but can you blame me?  I arrived home on Friday night and got a lovely excited welcome from this one, who took hold of his little Andrex puppy soft toy (should we be worried?! Like, cannibalism type concerned given how much he chews it?! 😄) and brought it straight to me before I was all the way through the door and let me give him a good cuddle. Anyway, it really brought it home to me (pardon the pun) that I was home. Ours may still be a bit of a work in progress, but it really does feel like home now and it just felt even more wonderful when I arrived last weekend. 

And with that gorgeous bundle of fur, I am done for another week! It's Tuesday evening and time for me to get my hot water bottle filled up and climb into bed before a spot of reading to wind down for the night. I have such a rock and roll lifestyle, but I don't care! It's got me thinking I ought to try some meditation again - I tried a couple of free apps last year and it was good, but I'm not really sure where to go from there... Anyone got any advice or suggestions I can try??

See you next week, hope you're all wonderful!!


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #20

Hello you lovely lot, you. On a roll now - 2 weeks of Wonderful Wednesday-ing in a row! This one is going to be a longer one than last week's effort, plus I have photographs (*toot toot*) to make it even betterer!

I'm feeling a bit blue today (Tuesday) after getting back to work from a 4-day weekend, which was just the most lovely few days, as you will see. Glad I made a mental note as I went along of all of the good and great things life brought me so that I can pick myself up now in sharing all of the Wonderful with you....

✩ Surprise Flowers. It's easy to get a bit stuck in a lovely comfy rut when you're in a long term relationship, so to be surprised with the loveliest bunch of blooms by the Boy without prompting made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can't help my female hormonal brain playing havoc with confidence in the strength of my relationship from time to time, so it's most definitely the little things that shine through!

 Cody. Everyone, meet Cody, our lovely adorable cuddly labrador. He's not quite a puppy, but he's a rescue dog and still young and entirely lovable. I will let the photos say it all.... (He gets his own very special star!)

I've never ever had a dog before so I'll admit to being quite anxious on the drive to collect him from his foster family on Friday. I know the Boy has had many dogs in the past and his twinkles have also had dogs, but I couldn't help but worry what if Cody sensed my fear and decided he wouldn't like me?! What if he would forget about me and not bond properly given that I spent all week away from home?! WHAT IF EVERYONE LOVED CODY AND NOT ME?! All rational thoughts, obviously. However, the Boy and I arrived to collect him and he was as adorable and laid back as he had been when we first met him and all my worries went away. And that face when he is just so pleased to see you, even though you only went away for a few minutes!  It hurts my heart every time I leave to drive 250 miles back to work and this time was, well, SO much worse *sigh*. Still, I can't wait to get home again on Friday even more than normal 😊

✩ Early Starts. With the winter nights drawing in, we've got into terrible habits of staying up a bit later than normal at the weekends and then laying in a bit longer than normal. Having Cody in the house turned that around this weekend and it's amazing the difference it makes. Granted, getting up at 7am on a Saturday does seem a little excessive, but by midday we'd got most of our jobs done and had been so productive, it meant that we could go out for a long walk in the afternoon and curl up in the lounge with a film all before it was time for dinner! I may have to stretch things until 7.30 or 8 from now on, but the principle is one to be repeated! 

✩ Being Comfy. I'd love to be one of those women who always puts in an effort all of the time, even when lounging, but seriously, I defy anyone to find anything better than slumming it in a pair of comfy jogging pants. That feeling of getting in after work and taking off the suit, or even simply taking off your nice skinny jeans when you get in from the shops, and putting on the comfiest pair of pyjama or jogging bottoms. I'm doing it now. I'm currently like a newsreader before High Definition graphics: Smart work-suitable jumper on top that I wore to the office; pyjama bottoms and slippers down below. 

✩ Wintery Days. It just didn't stop raining at all on Saturday. We still got out for a ramble across the countryside with Cody, but it's the "getting home" part that's the worst - with rain-soaked coats, shoes and socks to deal with, as well as the added wet dog to contend with (even with jacket - see photo). I say that, but it was still the best feeling. Being well prepared and getting out despite the weather - there's something that feels so virtuous about it, don't you think?  Then, compare that with Sunday - the Boy's birthday - which was, conversely, just the most crisp and bright day. The feeling was just the same, but not so well prepared - Cody forgot his sunglasses *snigger*.

✩ Pancakes with Bacon. I know pancakes with bacon and maple syrup is a "thing", but I've never tried it myself. Pancakes are for fruit or sugar and lemon, or they always have been until now. Someone wanted bacon for breakfast and someone wanted pancakes, so we put the two together. No maple syrup, but I used some golden syrup and - wow - it was delicious! 

✩ Giggles. By this, I mean really silly childish laughing, mainly about bodily functions. Doggy wind is just NOT the one. I mean, it's POSSIBLY the worst thing I've ever smelled and there was a lot of it while we haven't known what agrees and doesn't agree with Cody. If it were a human, we'd be very British about it and keep quiet - perhaps - but we were in absolute fits of giggles as there was simply no escape from it and the little mite just had no idea! Laughter really is a wonderful thing, we know, but silly giggles where you're face gets redder and redder as you're trying to stop are just addictive!

✩ Blueberries. I've always liked blueberries - on porridge, pancakes and even in salads. However, for reasons I won't explain, I've avoided them in recent times as other berries and melons have had preference. However, I read something last week that has meant that they have now made a reappearance at breakfast time. I love these little blue fruits. They go with everything and are so low maintenance... just pour them in and you're done! Yummy!

And with all of that I am done! What a Wonderful week it has been! I'll try to limit the doggy tales next week, but let's face it, he's likely to have a role in all that is good and lovely 😊

Hope you've all had good weeks??

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #19

Wow, it's been a long time since I've been here, isn't it?! How IS everyone??  It's late but it's still Wednesday...

Last year was a bit, um, busy... if that's the right word... and by May I was really struggling with getting here in time to capture all of the small and lovely. It was the year of getting over 2016 and life is just so different now than I ever could have expected. By the time I left this little spot on my, erm, hiatus, I was exploring a radical change in my career and facing a future in a place 250 miles from home.  Well, now, I'm well and truly down that path and as much as there is still some heartache in some aspects of uprooting and starting again, well one aspect really, I would have regretted it forever if I'd have stayed where I was.

Sorry for being all cryptic - this isn't the space to offload all of the detail to make it make sense! I guess what I'm saying is that 2018 is a completely new year in my new life and I think it's really important to make it a year that counts and not one that just blurs into the last ones which were my toughest yet in this little life.  So, it's as important as ever to take note of the wonderful, no matter how small. I can't promise that I'll be here every week, but I surely will be when I can.

Without further ado, then....

Cleaning. Say, what?!  Seriously, I can't be the only one who finds having a damn good clean of the house to be so satisfying? This isn't strictly this week, but after the Christmas festivities were over and we were looking forward to the New Year, we had a good old clean of the house and it was hard on my injured shoulder but it was so worth it! It's important not to leave it until next Christmas until we do it again, mind...

✩ Finding lost things. A couple of months ago I had the unmistakable feeling that I'd lost my most favourite scarf. I couldn't find it anywhere and even after moving house and properly unpacking, it was nowhere but I had this feeling in my tummy that it was gone. Anyway, after I got back to the Vicarage, which is where I stay during the week near to work, with the thrill of having cleaned the house and the excitement of having a new hoover to take with me (yup, I'm THAT rock and roll), I gave my little room a good old clean and the scarf poked itself out from a drawer to say hello! This made me so happy you would not believe!

✩ Pickled onions. One of the things that get left over from Christmas and one of the things that I can eat in abundance without breaking my *whispers* diet. They may not be to everyone's taste, but I've always had a thing for them and I've rekindled that relationship this last week with the final jar that was left in the back of our fridge. I MAY have brought them back with me to the Vicarage and the jar MAY have leaked over some of my things, but that hasn't stopped me loving them.

Hello, my name is LT and I am addicted to pickled onions.

✩ Pilates. I may have already gushed about the benefits of Pilates for anyone with any kind of aches and pains. I do have a lot of these a lot of the time. After 3 weeks off over Christmas, this week was the first session of the new year and I just love that feeling afterwards.  You know, it's that feeling you get after any kind of workout or even a simple stretch when you're in bed. Like your body is just sitting all in the right place again and it's not groaning from the strain of being, well, "off".

✩ Three 4-day weeks in a row. Sorry for the humble brag, but I've got this Friday and the following Monday off work so I get 4 whole days at home instead of 2. The first 4 days of work of the New Year were a struggle and I'm only just feeling like I'm back into the groove, so I feel quite glad to have a little bit more of an easy introduction to a full working week this January, even though those days haven't happened yet. I have a very specific reason to have the days off, which I'm sure I will tell you all about next week, but just knowing that I have some more down-time is so precious.

And just like that I am done. Nothing particularly spectacular even though it is my first one back for so long. However, I'm glad I sat and thought about what's been good this week. I'm hoping I can do more of this during the course of 2018.

I've been keeping up with the other lovely #WonderfulWednesday ladies since I left this space last and they are always good to keep some warmth in my heart. I hope they let me back in to the gang 😊

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #18

I'm so proud of myself this week. The bank holiday didn't catch me out! Here I am, on Tuesday evening, tapping out this Wonderful Wednesday post!

That's enough introduction from me, I shall give way to the real star of this show...!!

✩ Breakfast. I absolutely adore breakfast. During the week, I end up having the same old thing every day, but actually, after such an early start and a long commute, this week I've realised just how lovely that melon and Weetabix combo truly is (as well as coffee from my mini caffetiere which had a starring role in this post from a few weeks ago!). At the weekends, though, I do like to treat myself with something a bit more interesting... crumpets... scrambled eggs and smoked salmon... bacon and a healthy full English.... the possibilities are endless! What's your favourite breakfast?? Maybe I can take some inspiration from you lovely lot...

✩ Quiet time. Don't you think this comes at a premium these days? I certainly do. I noted this down at some point this week but now I can't remember where I was when I thought about it. Clearly, it was a very short period of quiet time!!  Anyway, it really is quite a wonderful thing to enjoy a bit of "me" time and quiet time... relaxing in a bath with plenty of bubbles and some lovely scented candles to light the room.  Mmm I need to make time for some more of that this week coming!

✩ Wildlife in the garden. Lately we've been visited by a fair bit of wildlife in our corner of the Kentish countryside (well, as much as you can get on the far edges of suburbia). It's so much lovelier than when I was in the middle of a town and all I was surrounded by, it seemed, were horrible old rats. Anyway, we had a big bushy-tailed fox that sadly didn't make it after sustaining a rather horrendous wound on its back. Then we had a baby woodpigeon that seemed to have fallen out of a tree, but it turned out it was all very normal behaviour of a pigeon learning to fly. This week, though, we've been joined by a very cute wild bunny-wabbit - probably taking control of the land now that Mr Fox has gone! On top of that, we've found ourselves the adoptive home of a racing pigeon. It's got that gorgeous turquoise-hue around its neck and is very stunning. Bit worried about him as he just wouldn't leave the garden. Reported him online and got the details of his owner - in Hull!!! Poor thing, no idea how he came to be here. Anyway, he's still standing on sentry-duty outside our back door, perched on our hose reel. I feel very sad for him, because I suspect he's poorly and isn't able to make the flight home, but let's think positive thoughts and all will be well!

✩ Bank holidays. Specifically, ones where I can spend the whole of the weekend with the Boy... Even if it did involve a lot of work in my Mum's garden, as we were together while doing it! That extra little day really does make a difference, and the May Day bank holiday is one of the best, because it's never long after Easter and 3 weeks later and we get yet another!

✩ Second wind. The last thing I found Wonderful this week was experiencing that second wind while I was at work this afternoon. Do you ever get that? I was so tired and found it difficult this morning to be productive and keep up my concentration, then suddenly at about 3pm, wham! I ended up staying an extra hour as I was well in the zone and I felt pretty amazing after leaving the office, knowing I'd got a few extra things ticked off my never-ending to-do list!

And as if by magic... well, hardly, but you know... I'm done for another week! Please please tell me what's made your week Wonderful, send inspiration my way so that I can be sure to always have some Wonderful to share!! Toodles....