Our Favourite Five – August 2016

August is over already? Whaaat? Shaaadup! It’s too soon. How can the summer, which only just started like last Tuesday or something, be done? Oscar doesn’t start school for a few more weeks, but the beginning of September always feels very much like Summer is over. Sigh!

So anyway here’s what we’ve been loving this August.

1 IKEA

We had two days this month in which Oscar went to Challengers, a play scheme especially for disabled children, in Farnham. In order to get him there Ben had to have the day off work, so we took advantage of the situation and on both days went, childfree, to IKEA. We don’t go to IKEA often. It’s an hour’s drive away and the one time we did try it with Oscar was an unmitigated disaster. However, with the boy starting school soon, we are looking at the house and how we use the rooms on a daily basis. We have all sorts of changes we’d like to make and so decided we needed some extra furniture to help us achieve this.

Both times we went with a clear idea of what we wanted and both times we got what we went for. Along with a whole heap of other things we didn’t need know we needed. Both trips were successful in that neither ended in divorce (a win for any trip to IKEA in my experience) but the second trip, to buy me a desk and Ben a worktable for our new garden office, was definitely more fun. I have come to the conclusion that IKEA brings out the worst in people when they visit rarely. It puts a lot of pressure on everyone to get it right, especially if you don’t know when you’ll next get a chance to come back. When we’d already been the week before, it felt like we’d got that out of the system and therefore enjoyed it all the more. Weird huh?

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IKEA Southampton. Can make or break a relationship!

The dresser we bought to hold all Oscars toys, games and craft supplies. Decorated with the artificial cherry blossom from our wedding.

The dresser we bought to hold all Oscars toys, games and craft supplies. Decorated with the artificial cherry blossom from our wedding.

2 Day out with Thomas

You may have already read my post about our trip to The Watercress Line to spend a Day out with Thomas, but I couldn’t not include it here. It really was the highlight of our month. We had such a great day and I can’t explain how much Oscar enjoyed himself. Days out for my little guy can be unpredictable. His Autism can make things that would seem fun to your kids just the worst for him. But the Day out with Thomas was a real winner. Once he got over the fact that he wasn’t allowed to actually drive the train! Bless his heart. Thank you to The Watercress Line again for the Family Ticket, which I won on Instagram!

I've never seen Oscar so excited. Literally!

I’ve never seen Oscar so excited. Literally!

3 New Glasses

I’ve been getting reminders from Specsavers to get my eyes tested since April and this month I finally got round to getting them done. And while I was there, I also decided to get some new frames. I still liked my old ones, but I realised I’d had them for over four years. I know exactly how long I’ve had them, because I got them first time I ever left Oscar, a few weeks after he was born (when I say left, Ben took him to Starbucks up the road from Specsavers, but you know what I mean!) Anyway the point is although my old frames were, and still are, perfectly nice, I felt it was time for a change. I am after all a very different person now to the one who chose those frames four long years ago.

The ones I went for are very different to those I had last time, but I absolutely love them. They’re so pretty and just so, well, me! I love them every time I catch my reflection 🙂

New glasses from Sepcsavers

New glasses from Sepcsavers

4 Paddling Pool

We’ve had some SHAMAZING weather this month, something you can’t always bank on in August anymore. And one of the things we’ve enjoyed the most on these balmy summer days is to get our new paddling pool out. I decided to get Oscar a new pool at the beginning of the holidays and it was the best £20 I spent all summer. He loves me to fill it and will spend hours jumping off the side into the water, to make the biggest splash possible. That there was just hard earth underneath didn’t seem to bother him. We had days where he played alone, days where his favourite game was to splash me (“come here mummy, closer mummy” sigh!) and another day when his little buddies came over and splashed with him. Clothing was always optional and the water always ended up filthy from the mud and the grass, but it just made him so happy.

A pool? A monkey towel? Clothes hanging in the sun to dry? We could have almost been on actual holiday!

A pool? A monkey towel? Clothes hanging in the sun to dry? We could have almost been on actual holiday!

I just love his face here

I just love his face here

5 Apples

I have something of a love hate relationship with apples. I love when I find the right ones, but I cant stand powdery ones and I hate if I ever get a bit of core in my mouth. So this month I have finally invested in an apple segmenter, that also cores the apple. It’s a bit of a knack to get the corer directly down the middle, but when you do you’re left with delicious apple segments to pick at. Its been great for snacking and even works with pears. Why I didn’t get one years ago I’ll never know. What a boon!

My latest kitchen gadget, my apple slicer and corer.

My latest kitchen gadget, my apple slicer and corer.

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It’s like a work of art!

And just like that summer was over. What have you enjoyed this August? I can’t wait to see what September holds!

 

I paid for all the items mentioned here, except the Day out with Thomas which I won in a competition. I was not paid to write this post, I just enjoy sharing the things I love. 

 

Our Favourite Five – August

Who would have thunk it? The end of August is in sight. Wow, man that went fast. Not the sunniest of summers I’ll grant you, but fun none the less. And with the end of August comes the time to look at this month’s family favourites. So I’m joining in fellow Surrey mummy Suburban Mum‘s link up Our Favourite Five.

The Joules’ Sale

I love a good sale and I looove a sale in my favourite stores. This month has seen the summer sale at Joules and boy oh boy do they throw a good sale. I got a couple of t-shirts for me and the boy then I saw the handbag I’d been drooling over for months. Half price. I would never have the money to spend on a full price leather handbag in Joules, but do you know what? July was a super busy month for me and so I decided to treat myself. And I love it. It’s just the right size AND it has a pocket especially for my iPad. When I drop Oscar at preschool and head to Dylan’s to write, it’s with my iPad and it’s wonderful to have a handbag that carries it perfectly. And it’s slightly prophetic that I got it this month, because by the end of August we’d started potty training Oscar. This means I no longer take the change bag out with me and need a handbag more than I have done in over three years. Hows that for timing? Joules are still selling the same design of handbag, only in tan for Autumn. Unfortunately the sale is now over!

Joules Padstow Handbag in Coral. My treat to myself

Joules Padstow Handbag in Coral. My treat to myself.

 

The Great British Bake Off

Seriously. How could this not be in here? My reality TV faves nearly all revolve around food (except for Strictly!) and a bit of Bezza, the Silver Fox and Mel ‘n’ Sue every week is getting me through the miserable weather at the moment. Who wouldn’t love a bread lion made by a prisoner governor? My man of the moment is Stay at Home Dad Ian, but I also think Nadiya is one to watch! What I’d give to work on GBBO. Just think of all the goodies you’d get to try!!

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BBC’s The Great British Bake Off.

 

See Me Go Potty

As I mentioned above, and in my recent post, Oscar decided we were going to start potty training this month. He seemed to get the hang of the logistics quickly, as long as he had no trousers on. But we were really struggling to get him to understand the concept when dressed. Thankfully a fellow Autism Mama suggested the See Me Go Potty App. It’s a social story app that breaks down the process, using an avatar that you design to look just like your child. Written specially for children on the spectrum, this app would work amazingly for any child who’s about to potty train. Oscar played with it constantly for the first day and by the second day understood the concept of pulling his trousers up and down! Amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. It uses some Americanisms, meaning we have changed our potty training lexicon a little (they’re not trousers, they’re pants), but if that’s what it takes for him to feel comfortable about the situation, I couldn’t care less. There is a situation for wee (or pee as it is in our house now), for poo and one for not getting to the potty in time. He’s taken to telling me when he needs to go by saying “uh oh, accident”, rather than “go potty please”, but hey it works and we’re so proud of him. Best 1.49 I could have spent and if you’re about to potty train I highly recommend it! Available in iOS and Android!

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Oscar’s See Me Go Potty Avatar. Looks just like him! Apart from the shoes – what’s with the shoes?!

Bravissimo PJ Tops

Long time readers will know that good support in the bust department is important to me. I’ve talked about my trips to Bravissimo before, but this month I’ve taken a step beyond bras into their fitted pyjama tops. I’m going away next month, sharing a bedroom with my pal Bethany, and much as we are friends I didn’t want to embarrass myself with the “What I call Breast Clap” 😉 I decided to invest in a Bravissimo vest fitted with a non wired integral bra and boy oh boy was it comfy. I slept in it then as we were staying in the next day I didn’t take it off. I usually find spending a whole day in my pjs uncomfortable (and some what unwieldy!), but in my Bravissimo top I was comfortable all day. Comfortable enough to even do some baking! So comfortable in fact that I went online and bought another one in the sale! Don’t get me wrong, I can still wear t-shirts and vest to sleep in, but if we’ve got people staying over or we’re staying somewhere else, these vests are fantastic. Definitely something for the larger busted among us to check out (particularly those of us who have had children 😉 )

Wearing my new Bravissimo pj top is a truly uplifting experience!

Wearing my new Bravissimo pj top is a truly uplifting experience!

The US Office

Yes, I’ve seen the whole 9 Seasons of the US version of comedy show The Office before, but I came to it quite late (2012 actually), while I was on maternity leave. At the beginning of the month Ben and I were talking about something or other and referenced the Office Olympics episode of Season 2. It made us giggle, so we decided to watch it on Netflix. And the next one and the next. And then somewhere along the way Ben realised he hadn’t seen any of Season 3-5. Well we had to rectify that, a few episodes a night. Every night! We’re loving it all over again and have just reached season 7, which is the season I first found while tiny baby Oscar napped. I loved the banter back when I didn’t have an office of my own and I still love it now that that I don’t miss it as much. I adore Jim and Pam, Dwight makes us guffaw and despite Michael being a complete tool most of the time, his desire to love and be happy are obvious. I think that’s what makes his character different to Ricky Gervais’s odious (and brilliantly played) David Brent.

The Office Olympics episode. Flonkerton anyone?

The Office Olympics episode. Flonkerton anyone?

 

The cast of the US version of The Office. We're hooked all over again.

The cast of the US version of The Office. We’re hooked all over again.

 

What did your family enjoy in August? I’d love to know.

I was not paid to endorse any of these brands. I paid for my bag, vest and Oscar’s app myself. I just like sharing the things I love.