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.

My Liebster Award

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Last week I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Shannon over at www.shannonagains.com. The Liebster is a peer to peer blogging award, giving recognition to bloggers from within their own community and I’m thrilled to have been nominated.

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I’ve actually met Shannon in real life at my first ever blogger event last September. Her daughter is a couple of years younger than Oscar, but I was drawn to the ladies with the babies! She writes all about her experience as a first time mum (rather like me!) and about being an American living in London. Thank you so much for the nomination Shannon!

The Rules:

OK, the rules of accepting the Liebster are fairly simple:

  • Answer 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you
  • Write 11 new questions for the people I nominate for the award
  • Nominate 11 people

So without further ado, here is my Liebster post

My answers:

How did you decide on your blog’s name?

Oh man! I knew someone was going to ask me that one day! OK, here’s the god’s honest truth. Maaaaaany years ago when I first started needing a username for online stuff I chose the name Savageangel because a) my boyfriend’s name was Ben Savage b) I was his angel (I know, I know!) c) I thought it sounded kinda kooky and cool. Oh dear! But it stuck and became my username all over the place. Then I married that boyfriend, so any new usernames became Mrssavageangel. I am Mrs Savage and I guess I’m still his angel 😉

Yes, you may puke!

What’s your favourite blog post that you have written?

Ooo good one. I’ve written over 200 posts (no seriously I have!) and I’m incredibly proud of all of them. I think one of my favourites has to be this one. I loved writing it and I know it touched the hearts of a lot of people. Any fool can make someone laugh, but to make people cry? Ahhh, now that’s a skill 😉

What’s your favourite colour?

Coral. It suits me better than any other colour. Last summer I had t-shirts, nail varnish and knickers in this colour!

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Coffee or Tea?

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. I can’t stand tea.

Who is your favourite Disney Princess?

Wow, this is a good one. Part of me wants to say none, because they largely perpetuate negative female stereotypes. But I just can’t. Disney has been in my life, all my life and of course I have favourites. I think I’m probably going to have to say either Cinderella or Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). Old school Disney is the worst for ‘young woman with dysfunctional life circumstances + rich man = happiness’ formula, but I just can’t help it. I grew up loving these stories.

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Where would you go on holiday if money was no object?

Australia. I’ve wanted to visit since I was 10 and obsessed with Neighbours. Before we had Oscar I stipulated to Ben that if I were to die before having a chance to visit, he was to use my death in service money and take some of my ashes to Uluru. I don’t have death in service any more (hahaha can you imagine how much it would be if SAHMs got paid!!!) but I still really want to go.

Which TV/movie/book character do you think you are most like and why?

I can’t think of any that I’m like to be honest, but if I had to chose one I’d want to be like, I’d want to be Marge Simpson. She’s strong, resourceful, patient, loving, caring and sexy. I’d love to pull off a strapless frock like she can!

What did you have for breakfast?

Erm Slimming World police look away now.

Coffee.

How do you unwind after a difficult day?

My therapy absolutely used to be cooking. I would come home and cook and sing and enjoy the hell out of it. I still cook most nights, but I don’t find it as relaxing as I used to.

I guess now it’s to eat something delicious and watch TV with Ben. My faves are sitcoms, or factual programs, particularly those about other places or other times. Or food. Give me Masterchef or Bake Off and I’m happy.

God I’m dull!

Bake-Off

If you could send yourself a Tweet to the past, to when would you send it and what would it say. Remember the 140 character limit!

If the fact that I wasn’t on Twitter until 2010 doesn’t matter, then I’d send one to me in late 2006. I’d just been made redundant from a job I adored and was temping. I’d been consistently losing weight, but stopped trying so hard around then as I was so miserable. I also set up a blog I never wrote called ‘Lisa’sLosingIt’.

“Don’t let sadness undo all your hard work honey keep going. And keep writing the blog. Blogs are gonna be huge! #listentome #futureyou”

If you could have the power of invisibility or the power of flight, which would you choose and how would you use it?

Flight. I’d go to Australia.

So there you go. I hope my answers are as interesting as the question setter hoped they’d be!

Right so here are my 11 questions for my nominees.

My Questions:

  1. If you’d been born the opposite gender to the one you are, what would you have been called?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. Best birthday present you’ve ever received?
  4. Have you made any money from your blog and how long had you’d been blogging before you did?
  5. Pinterest or Instagram?
  6. When do you find you write the best and where?
  7. Most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
  8. Have you been to any blogging conferences/meet ups and did they help you as a blogger?
  9. Favourite book as a child?
  10. If you could give me just one social media tip what would it be?
  11. If you could be on a beach or up a mountain right now which would it be?

My Nominees:

I dip in and out of a lot of blogs and I find new ones almost daily. It’s such an exciting medium. But of all of them these are my nominations. I highly recommend you check them out:

 

The gals I’ve nominated all write blogs I enjoy, but I have no idea if they’ve already been nominated for a Liebster, so as with anything like this, I ask they only join in if they want to.

I just want them to know I think they rock!

xxx

 

One Lovely Blog Award

Guess what? I’ve only gone and been nominated as a One Lovely Blog! I know right?! How cool is that? I’ve seen others be nominated before and I’m so pleased to be included *blushes ever so slightly*. So what the dickens is it?

“The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by bloggers for newer or up-and-coming fellow bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines. These are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog”

So without further ado, I hereby accept my One Lovely Blog award.

I’d like to say thank you so much to Chelsea over at Mom Outside the Norm for the nomination. It was completely unexpected and I was very touched, so THANK YOU CHELSEA!

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Logo. Added. Boom! I’m on a roll here!

Oo the tricky bit. 7 facts about me. Hmm I did write a post a year ago with many interesting (hahahaha!) facts about me. So I guess I should think of some different ones. Hmmm let me see. OK how about this:

  1. I really dislike my carrots being cut into rounds. I much prefer batons. I have no idea why this could possibly be the case!
  2. I once bleached my dark brunette hair with an entire bottle of “Sun In” (pure peroxide bleach you probably can’t even buy any more). I loved it at the time. It then took two long years to grow it all out!
  3. I don’t really like mice, but I frigging hate rats. Even your cute pet rat. I promise, holding it is not going to change my mind. I tried it. It didn’t work!
  4. I had a Tamagotchi the first time round (’97). I called him Sydney and kept him alive for about 4 days. I killed the next one on purpose because he kept waking me up at night.
  5. I once met Jamie Oliver on a flight to Dallas and we had a chat in the queue for Homeland Security. He was unbelievably sweet and asked why we were in the States and what we had planned. He was on his way to Albuquerque to film for Jamie’s America.
  6. I’ve been to the top of Mount Sinai and have seen the dawn break over the desert. It so wasn’t worth it. Apart from the assent nearly killing me, the view was ruined by other people and a lack of respect. Although I guess at least I can say I did it.
  7. I don’t read even a tiny bit as much as I used to. I have three books on the go. I have had since before I had Oscar. They are all factual and the titles are Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater, Taste: The Story of Britain Through it’s Cooking and Freakonomics

There you go. Bet you didn’t know that!

And the final part, the 15 ‘lovely’ bloggers I admire and want to nominate. And they are (in no particular order):

  1. The Pintrested Parent – Crafting, cooking & learning through inspiration with a side order of real life
  2. Shannonagains – Californian in London, Mother to ‘Pumpkin’, writing about parenting
  3. Story Time with John – Sharing the tales of his travels, trying to turn frowns upside down!
  4. Story Shucker – a blog full of humorous and poignant observations
  5. Losing 100lb Plus – struggles with being a mom and trying to lose weight
  6. Mama and More – Life style and yoga through her eyes and more!
  7. Infinity and IVF – One family’s journey through the IVF process
  8. The Mother of All Autism Challenges – One mum’s quest to accept and adapt to caring for a child on the spectrum
  9. The Girl in the Little Black Dress – 17 year old Natalie, eye for the detail in fashion and life way beyond her years
  10. Ctl+Alt+Mum – Experiments in (Actual) Motherhood
  11. The Plant Strong Vegan – Food, photography and life, the vegan way
  12. Making Memories in the Chaos – A stay at home mum sharing life with her 3 bubbas
  13. Small Time Mum – Blogging about motherhood; the madness and muddles it can bring
  14. Misplaced Brit – Expat British Mama now living and raising her family in Sweden
  15. Slimming World is the Answer – One girl’s journey to lose weight and start a family

Et voila! That’s a real mixture. Some obvious, some not so obvious, but all fab. I urge you to check them all out!

I’d would also like to thank the bloggers above for their time and energy. I know how hard it can be to keep dragging yourself to the PC, to keep writing, to keep sharing; but I’m so glad that you do. Thank you.

I can’t wait to see who you nominate!

Have a ‘lovely’ day

xxx

 

 

Am I boring you?

I don’t know if any of you guessed this, but I very rarely plan my posts. I sit down on a Monday (or whenever I’m able at the moment) and wait to be inspired. I may process a few things in my head the night before and occasionally, when I’ve unexpectedly found myself with a few quiet minutes I might jot some lines down by hand, but I honest to goodness never write like we were taught at school – rough draft, revise, revise again, final draft, check, hand in. But then I never wrote anything like that at school either. Just ask my English teachers!

Its not always easy to know what to write about. I can have a list of things I think might make good posts in my head, or scribbled in my notebook, but sometimes when I sit down to write, none of them feels right. I originally wanted to use this as a space to discover more about me as a parent by reflecting on things I’ve learnt as I’ve gone along. And I really love writing my parenting posts. I’ve had so much positive feedback about them. But some weeks, I just don’t feel I’ve learnt anything “new” or different enough to write about. Some weeks life just confirms what I already thought. Or a subject that I’ve dealt with before comes up again. And I think that’s always going to be the case. Some weeks I’ll learn massive life lessons, other weeks we’ll bimble along, just doing what we do.

This week has been one of those weeks. We went back to our Toddler Groups. My main buggy went mouldy so I got a new one. We played with playdoh and cars and books. Friends came to visit. He was snotty. Then he was sick for a day. It was just a fairly average week. Nothing to get too excited about. I remember having weeks like that at work. Not boring as such – just normal.

So for those who think those who parent in place of paid work have so much more fun – yeah sometimes you’re right! But then sometimes you’re wrong. Sure I get to watch Despicable Me with lunch. But I get to watch it every day. Yes I get to go to the park and the leisure centre with him. But I get to stand around in the cold, pushing the swings for hours or wiping snot and dirt off him and me. Our lives can be just as mundane as they can be exciting.

But then I think this is OK. Its OK to be a bit boring as long as you’re happy and I know I am much happier than I was a year ago. I don’t feel like I’m missing out so much if I’m not doing something. A couple of weeks ago various things conspired to keep us at home for four days in a row. And it was fine. I wasn’t climbing the walls and shouting for help through the letterbox at passersby like I would have been a year ago. I was glad to go out when I did, but until then, it was all good.

The other day a friend asked me how I dealt with the particularly stressful (for us) transition from weaning to feeding. I told her, but said (without thinking) that I was a very different person then. I had to mentally stop and check myself. Was I? Am I so different? And I think I am. And I think that’s to do with contentment. I spent the first year of Oscar life thinking everything should be all singing all dancing and getting disappointed when it wasn’t. I’m much happier with the ordinary, the everyday than I can ever remember being in my life.

So yeah, sometimes I might struggle to know what to write and it wont just come to me every week. That’s OK. It might mean nothing exciting or truly life changing has happened recently. But it also means nothing awful has happened this week either. And for that I’m grateful.

Me & him. Every day.

Me & him. Every day.