Our Favourite Five – July

Its that time again and I’m joining in fellow Surrey mummy Suburban Mum‘s link up Our Favourite Five. The idea is to look back over your family’s month and pick out five things you’ve enjoyed. Here’s my five for July.

Magnificent Stanley

I came across children’s clothing company Magnificent Stanley over a year ago. Becky specialises in handmade, customised items, using the most gorgeous Liberty fabric. I first bought from her last summer, when I ordered a tshirt and baby vest, in matching fabric, for Oscar’s friend Isabelle and her new baby sister Mollie. I loved them so such I knew I was going to have to get one for Oscar one day. It took me a while, but last month Becky introduced some new fabric. Coupled with the summer yellow tshirt, I just knew the time was right. And what a result! How gorgeous does he look in this Yellow T-shirt/JennyFan combo? He’s received so many compliments when wearing it . His teacher even told me it was her favourite tshirt! Praise indeed.

The shirt in its first outing, before it got covered in chocolate ice cream! FYI it's washed up brilliantly!

The shirt in its first outing, before it got covered in chocolate ice cream! FYI it’s washed up brilliantly!

My happy boy in his Magnificent Stanley original.

My happy boy in his Magnificent Stanley original.

MasterChef

While only the celeb version, I was still thrilled to have MC back on our screens. It’s the one thing we always make a point to watch on real TV these days (we sometimes even watch it while it’s being broadcast! I know right?!) I don’t know why we love it so much, but I think it’s something to do with the inner judge in me. Ben and I have become worse than Michelin Inspectors over the years and I can tell you now, I know whether a piece of meat is under or over just by looking at it! This series we both developed a grudging love of Rylan and were sad he didn’t win. You’ve got to hand it to Kimberly though. She started the programme with a 15 WEEK OLD BABY! When Oscar was that age I was still surviving on toast. Literally!

Kimberly Wyatt - Winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2015

Kimberly Wyatt – Winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2015

HappyBox

Towards the end of July, I really wasn’t very well. Nothing serious, I just felt rough. And down. It happens, but it’s not fun. My buddy Bethany came over to see me while I was feeling particularly rubbish. I thought I was holding it together pretty well, but I guess I wasn’t. Because the next day the most amazing gift arrived.

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It was a Happy Box, from the company of the same name. I’d never heard of them, but boy, what a gift. A gorgeous box, filled with little trinkets to cheer the soul. In mine was a trio of body creams, a set of Beefayre candles and a bracelet I’ve worn every day since. Totally unexpected and totally adored. Thank you Bethany and thank you HappyBox for helping me out of the dumps!

I smell look and feel beautiful. What else could you need to make you Happy?

I smell, look and feel beautiful. What else could you need to make you Happy?

Barbecues

July has truly been the month of Barbecuing for us. We started the month we our very first July 4th cookout, held for our American buddy and her family. It was AWESOME. The food was great (you can read about my Layered Flag Dip here), we had some amazing American beer (Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale was my favourite) and the weather couldn’t have been any kinder. We sat and talked and ate and drank all afternoon. Oh and the children had fun too (I assume 😉 ). I would happily do that every year!

All the food and the flags! U.S.A. U.S.A ;)

All the food and all the flags! U.S.A. U.S.A ???

As well as hosting our own BBQs, we also went to several hosted by other people. What is it about cooking outside that brings people together? We had an awesome time towards the end of July, when we went to a BBQ held in honour of some old friends who were visiting from the US, where they now live. It was great to catch up with everyone and particularly lovely to see Lou, Noel and Leia.

Super fun get together

Super fun get together

Ahhhh friends.

Ahhhh friends….

Bringing people together. With alcohol ?

…friends with alcohol ?

John Mayer

OK, this is mine alone. I don’t have a favourite kind of music. I’ll listen to a fairly eclectic mix and it mostly depends what mood I’m in. Thank god for Spotify right? Any who, I recently heard an old tune of John Mayer’s a couple of times in various places and ended up looking it up. And fell a little bit in love. I don’t know much about him, other than he seems to go through women like socks. But I can’t stop listening to his music. Does anyone else like him? Any recommendations of further listening gratefully received.

It's his music I love. Honestly!

It’s his music I love. Honestly!

What did you enjoy in July? I’d love to know.

 

I was not paid to endorse any of these brands. I paid for Oscar’s tshirt myself and the HappyBox was a gift from a friend. I just like sharing the things I love.

Our Favourite Five – June

This months I’m joining in fellow Surrey mummy Suburban Mum‘s link up Our Favourite Five. The idea is to look back over your family’s month and pick out five things all of you (or some of you, see #1!) have enjoyed. Here’s my five for June.

1. Team Umizoomi

Milly, Geo, Bot and YOU! Yes, I’m singing the theme tune in my sleep. Sigh. The pattern making, number counting cartoon is the boy’s new favourite and we’ve been watching it most days this month. In some respects it’s incredibly sweet to watch him running down the garden (or across our bedroom!) shouting ROLL, JUMP, RUN with all the actions included. But on the other hand if I have to listen to Milly singing badly, one more time, I just may cry. I shouldn’t complain I suppose, it’s got him counting everything (he still has a blind spot for 7, but he made it up to 13 this morning!) and at least it’s not Thomas again. But I have to say, I’m kinda happy he’s just discovered Dangermouse. Hopefully Team Umizoomi will be a brief phase. Everybody craaaaazy shake?18-00016

2. Dylan’s Ice Cream

You probably already know how much I love this place. I’ve been going to Dylan’s Milk Barn every week to sit peacefully, use their fab wifi, drink their great coffee and write, since Oscar started preschool in January. However recently Oscar has discovered that he loves and I mean LOVES ice cream. The unbribeable child, is still unbribeable, but can suddenly be ‘encouraged’ out of a situation by the promise of an ice cream cone. He can also ask for it. ‘Eye chick a Mom’ anyone? I think I’ll be heartbroken when he starts pronouncing that properly. Anyway we’ve been finding ourselves in Dylan’s at least once a week throughout June for a chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. We even took grandma on her recent visit. She was most impressed. It’s simply the kind of independent business I love to support, with a great team behind them. The owner, Ben, is always friendly and when I promised the boy an ice cream the other day then realised I’d left my purse at home, he was kind enough to let me pay later. What a great guy and what a great asset to the community.

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3. Netflix

We’ve had a Netflix subscription since Oscar was born. It was a god send then and over the years we’ve become more and more reliant on it. I’m not a big fan of any of the biggies. Ben loves OITNB and House of Cards and Breaking Bad, you know, all the series with the hype. Me, I’m more of a comedy girl and I love a good documentary. However this month I’ve noticed we hardly ever put the real telly on any more. If it wasn’t for Masterchef I don’t know if we ever would! Ben’s been enthralled by the new series of House of Cards and I binge watched Grace and Frankie. Oscar’s favourite on Netflix (for what feels like years) has been Thomas and Friends. However this month Netflix removed all it’s Thomas content. When I realised, I was panicked. How would I explain it to the boy? How would he, or I for that matter, cope? But do you know. He’s been fine and easily distracted with new favourites of Team Umizoomi (see #1), the beautiful animation of Eric Carle’s stories (narrated by Roger McGough and Juliet Stevenson, set to the most relaxing music. He can now say ‘caterpillar’. Only he pronounces it Bagaladar. Biiiig Fat Bagaladar.), and the 80’s kids favourite Dangermouse. Phew! It’s worth every penny of the subscription just to be able to sit down and say ‘what do you fancy?’. Yeah we love Netflix.

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4. Gin Bunny Prints

Nothing to do with the liquor (I’m not a gin drinker myself) but rather the fabulous online greetings card and print store. I’ve had call to buy several cards this month. We’ve had our Anniversary and it was Father’s Day (I know those of you with older children can probably rely on a card made grudgingly lovingly by your children, but I couldn’t be sure if Oscar would perform on the day, so needed an alternative!). I’ve spoken before about how much I’m trying to support independent traders more and when I discovered Katie’s Blog Hurrah for Gin and her online print store Gin Bunny Prints, I just knew she had me covered this month. Her cards are so simple and so funny and just so much more relevant to today than anything you’d find in the shops. In fact I loved them so much, that while buying the anniversary and father’s day offerings I couldn’t resist one for my awesome friend Bethany, just because it was hilarious and I knew she’d also find it hilarious! I promise you I’m not on any kind of commission, but if you’re looking for beautifully made, relevant cards I urge you to check out Gin Bunny Prints. Surely the name alone tells you how awesome this store is 😉 .

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5. The Royal Oak, Haslemere

Hahaha, I know what you’re thinking and no I haven’t been sneaking off for a crafty gin in the day (see above, I’m not a gin drinker 😉 ) but The Royal Oak has become my new favourite hang out with the boy this month. Last week, I decided I needed to stop being so scared of taking Oscar out on my own, beyond the places we are already familiar with (park, Children’s Centre etc). Because he can be somewhat unpredictable, and because I don’t have a car to bundle him into should things go awry, I’ve been somewhat reticent to try new places, without the back up of daddy. But last Thursday, it was a beautiful day and I decided to just go for it. As it happens the Oak is only four doors down from us, but has a large garden with lots of toys. I figured a) it was likely to be quiet and b) if it all went wrong I could probably carry Oscar home. Baby steps as they say. But seriously it couldn’t have been a better place to start. He walked there holding my hand and once in the garden just played and played and played. He occasionally came back to the table to eat a chip and get a drink of water, but other than that he was in his element. I was right, it was quiet, but he didn’t bother the few people who were there. As long as I made sure the gate to the car park stayed closed and bolted (it did) and that he didn’t head towards the pub itself (he didn’t) I realised the Oak’s garden was a fantastic place to take him. The food is OK, it’s no gastro pub for sure and I’m not sure I’d want to take him on a weekend when it’s likely to be much busier, but a lunch date in the week? Yeah, I think we’ll be frequenting the Oak this summer 🙂

The Royal Oak, Haslemere

The Royal Oak, Haslemere

I promise there is only coke and water in this picture!

I promise there is only coke and water in this picture!

Lunch with my guy

Lunch with my guy

The playhouse is pretty shabby chic, but makes for awesome photos ;)

The playhouse is pretty shabby chic, but makes for awesome photos 😉

Playing nicely with the one other child there

Playing nicely with the one other child there

Have you enjoyed anything new this month? Any revelations? Let me know – I love discovering new ideas of things to try.

Wicked Wednesdays 15th April 2015

We love the warmer weather in our house. I’m definitely a bare foot person and I think Oscar’s taking after me.

Bare foot, yes, but bare everything else? I take his jeans off to change him and he’s out the door.

This is how I found him in the garden.

Such an exhibitionist!

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Although that’s more likely to come from his father 😉

I’m joining in the wonderfully wicked Brummymummyof2‘s link up #WickedWednesdays

Happy Wednesday!

brummymummyof2

Wicked Wednesdays 18th March 2015

Ahhh he’s asleep

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Look how peaceful and serene he looks. My baby.

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Look at him, so beaut…. err, what is he doing?

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Seriously?

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Sigh

Happy Wednesday!!

I’m joining in the wonderfully wicked Brummymummyof2’s link up #WickedWednesdays

brummymummyof2

Silent Sunday 25th January 2015

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