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....

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #17

I would like to dedicate this week's Wonderful Wednesday to the lovely Sally, without who's little tweet, I'd have missed it for a second week running!!

So I made some notes ready to do last week's post, but thanks to all those Easter Bank Holidays, I confess that I forgot it was Tuesday when I got home from work and by Wednesday I was just too busy!  You'll forgive me for including twice as many Wonderful things this week!

Without further ado... let's get on with that Wonderful...

✩ Home cooking. I made a big batch of Bolognese last week, the first time cooking a proper dish rather than meat'n'veg or some-such mishmash of food. Can't beat it - home cooking, that is. Give me a full home cooked Sunday roast any day of the week (literally!)!

✩ The promise of fruit. I bought my Mum a dwarf pear tree a few years ago and it sits on her patio all year round. In the last few week's it's been blossoming, which will be followed by fruit. In fact, this week, there's actually a teeny tiny pear starting to form!! Can't wait for it to develop fully - it gives a good dozen pears each year... yum yum,

✩ Children's playtime. On Good Friday I met up with my dearest friend and her 5 year-old (with our respective other halves) and it was just so adorable watching her little one get all over-excited and just running and jumping everywhere! We were at a family fun park and she has very little fear so was going for all the rides without hesitation (except for the odd wobble just before going on, which we can forgive). Her parents love theme parks and have even gone abroad specifically for theme parks, so they have trained her well!

✩ Being natural. My hair is the funny sort of hair that sometimes has difficulty knowing if it wants to be straight or wavy. It's quite good to mix it up sometimes as I don't dye it so there's not a lot else to do to give it some variety. Since moving jobs to a different firm I've become quite lazy with my hair, meaning that more often than I ever used to, I decide to leave it to dry naturally and it doesn't always go well. However, I think my hairdresser has FINALLY created a layer pattern that works, so this last few times it's looked half decent and it feels so much better to just leave it to its own devices and not ruin it with product or heat.

✩ New things. Not very exciting in the scheme of things, but this week I've bought a new pair of running shoes and some new clothes for work. May seem boring, but it actually has given me a bit of a boost in both of those areas. I've made sure I set aside time to exercise again and I've put more effort in to getting ready in the mornings (see above too), despite the 5.20am alarm.

✩ Perfume. OK so it's kind of an extension of the last one, but for years I've worn the same perfume day in and day out. Even my "special occasion" perfume has been the same for years. For my birthday I was bought a few different perfumes and this week I've been wearing them a little bit in rotation. Makes me feel better to have a nice smell wafting around me!

✩ Salad. In all honesty, I think the salad is probably my least favourite lunchtime food. However, this week - somewhat stupidly given we've returned to Arctic conditions - I've broken out the salad box to take to work and been making up some lovely salads with spinach, beetroot, pickled onion and all kinds of other yummy goodness. I think for a limited time each year the salad is welcome and can't be beaten - seems that this week has been that time for me!

And I think I'm done for this week!  Bit of an odd collection this week of things that have been highlights for me; some from a while ago and some from right now. Let me know if anything strikes a chord with you!  See you next week lovelies...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #16

Hello there you lovely lot! I think summer is over... our one day of glorious weather on Sunday may well be it for this year! Still, at least we had it and I got to spend it in the garden - with my suncream on, of course, now I'm praying to the sun Gods that it will be repeated this weekend!

Anyway, it's Tuesday night and it's late, so I'm going to speed-type my way through this - but that doesn't mean the wonderful is any less Wonderful!

✩ School holiday traffic. First-up this week is the absolute joy I get when the traffic is light on my journeys to and from work each day. I am stuck with an horrible commute by car into SE London every day as the train route is so convoluted (and expensive), but when the kiddliwinks are off school, the traffic is just so much better and I make it door to door in 1 hour 10 minutes - a record. Next week they go back to school, but that's next week and I will revel in this week's joy for as long as I have it!

✩ Summer in Spring. Yep, I've mentioned the glory of the wonderful weather we had on Sunday (That counts this week, right?!) but it went beyond just a lovely spring day, but full-blown summer!

Painted nails. When I had time in my life (see reference to God-awful commute, above), I would paint my toenails once a week and my fingernails every couple of days (I have yet to learn the trick to avoid them chipping). This habit has slipped somewhat, in that my toenails will remain the same colour for a good couple of weeks at a time and my fingernails - vulnerable to splitting and breaking down to the quick - will be plain and unpolished or with remains of a base coat I put on days before (*shudder*). However, this week I managed to give myself a mani-pedi (is that the right term?!) so am sporting a pretty salmon colour on my toes and a most inoffensive pale pink colour on my fingernails (the latter chipped already, but we'll brush over that for now).

💕 Birthdays! 💕 This one deserves it's own little fanfare and needs no further explanation for it is the most Wonderful thing of all to be made to feel so special by all your favourite people!! 😊

And I am done! I end up all reflective around my birthday, so I've been thinking more this week about needing to start looking after myself more and I've found it's been hard to look at the little things! Does anyone else get like that at times other than New Year? What about your week anyway - how Wonderful has your week been so far??

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #15

Hello and merry Wednesday to one and all!

I'm typing this between mouthfuls of breakfast this morning, as I completely forgot about doing it last night until about 10:30pm and there was no way I was going to do it then. After having a 4-day weekend it felt very much like Sunday, not Tuesday. Thankfully, I'd been keeping track of the sparkles from my week so this morning it's easier than it might be...

Without further delay, on with the Wonderful!

✩ Eyebrow threading. One for the ladies, this.... There's something so satisfying about getting your eyebrows tidied up and waxing just doesn't cut it. Make-up sits so much better around an eye with a freshly-threaded eyebrow.  Up until this last week, I haven't had my eyebrows threaded for, oh, MONTHS. I can't find anywhere in my home town that offers eyebrow threading, so I'd had the odd tidy up with wax, but generally speaking I just left them alone and plucked them when they needed plucking. It's those little white downy hairs that you can't get from plucking - if you see one, all you have to do is turn your head to look for your tweezers and you simply can't flipping well see it again after that. Or that's my experience anyway.

✩ Ladybirds. I had one crawling along the windowsill of my office at the end of last week (does it count if it was last week?!) and I do think they are marvellous little creatures. So tidy and neat, with their wings all tucked up under those red and black spotty shell-like flaps of theirs.

✩ Mooching. Inspired by the ladybird, just mooching along my windowsill (where on earth did it end up anyway?!), made me think about mooching being a rather wonderful thing. Did that myself at the weekend and it is such a splendid pastime, no?!

✩ Making up and dressing up. The older I get, it seems I go out-out far less than I used to. I don't often have that many events with work or weddings, etc, nowadays, either.  However, at the weekend, I had the opportunity to get all dolled up for a wedding party (see later...) and it reminded me of how fun it is getting all made up for a shindig. Being complimented for it? Even better... 😏

✩ Family Weddings. (Especially when it's not your family but the other half's family.) The last family event I went to was a funeral, so it was great to have something happy to celebrate. The couple had got married quietly about 3 weeks before, with just 2 witnesses, but they threw a big party at their house with a marquee and a band. It was really good fun. PLUS, I got to see what some of the Boy's family are like when they're drunk... AND, I got some somewhat drunken compliments from some of them which I take as being 100% honest given their inebriated state, obvs.

✩ Long weekends. Last, but by no means least, it's the simple pleasure of a long weekend. a 4-day weekend in fact. Lie-ins to catch up on long-lost sleep, TV and coffee in bed with the Boy, visiting National Trust sites (Castle Drogo, near Exeter, to be precise - well worth a visit), aforementioned mooching and family weddings... simply Wonderful. A 3-day week at work this week, followed by 2 4-day weeks because of Easter, really can't complain at all!

And I'm just about done. Have to crack on with some work now... playing catch up from the days missed (the down-side to a Wonderful long-weekend...). Turrah for now!!