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!!


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!


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.



Slimming World Update – Week 60


Sorry I spent most of yesterday going all Japanesey and I think it’s rubbed off a little. I definitely want sushi this weekend (where we live we only get fresh sushi on Saturdays! If that doesn’t class an area as rural then I don’t know what does 😉 )

So yeah, yesterday. I wasn’t planning to weigh in last night, as I was up in London. I was planning to wait until Thursday morning and to be honest I wish I had. But I made a concerted effort to get back last night and although I arrived late, Sara very kindly weighed me after everyone had gone. Which was lucky. As I never, ever weigh in in jeans I decided to take them off. Yes that’s right ladies & gentlemen. I weighed in in just my pants and tshirt. Didn’t make any bloody difference though. Still gained 0.5lb (Total lost 6 Stone 2lb).

So I could use the event in London as an excuse (sushi, nibbles and lots of drinking mostly of the non alcoholic variety). But to be honest I’ve had a shitty cold all week and I know I’ve gone over my syns. I’ve been tired to my very core, but whilst in my pre child days I would just moan and mope about, retreating to bed when I felt truly terrible, that just isn’t possible now. Not even a little bit. So what do you do? Dose yourself up and carry on, ignoring your body’s pleas to lie down. And occasionally having more food than you need. It’s not like I went out and gorged on cake or anything I swear, but I’ve had big bowls of bran flakes and sultanas when I know I haven’t had the syns for it, that sort of thing. Meh I could make excuses all day, but thems are the facts and there’s no point mithering over them.

What I have done this week is achieved LOADS. Yes I’ve had a so so week at the scales, but in real life I’ve had a great week (apart from the crappy cold of course). I kept my son fed, watered, entertained and interested for most of the week and blimey that in itself is a triumph when feeling like pants! I managed to get our shit together enough to go out on various days and not only that we also had people over. One day I fed two toddlers and a baby all at the same time. Big up me!

I wrote three full size blog posts, one more than normal, which have all be incredibly well received. No mean feat when your toddlers naps are getting shorter by the week.

I cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom (for some mad reason) including cleaning the cooker. What the hell? I honestly cleaned like the Queen was coming to tea. Which is possibly why Ben’s mum is now coming to visit at the end of the month. She saw I’d been cleaning and felt it best to come while it would still be in a fair state. And after once coming down with the winter vomiting bug during one visit, who can blame her!

I got myself some freelance work administrating a Parent Blogger Leaderboard. So it’s using software I’ve used previously, working with a community I’m already involved with. What’s not to love about this? It’s only a few hours a month, but it’s some kind of income again. Hoo flippin’ Rah!

The washing machine threw an epic fail last week, chewing one of my Bravissimo bras up in the process. Seriously, it ripped that sucker to pieces! Vicious! So on Saturday we went back to the lovely Bravissimo shop in Guildford to get me a new one. I thought I’d better check my size while I was there (as the cups on the existing ones were starting to look a bit like they had room for storage at the top!) The lovely fitter, Hannah (who fitted me last time funnily enough) immediately told me the cup was too big (which I knew) and went to get me another couple of sizes to try. Going down a back size was even mentioned, but in the end we kept the band the same and just went down a cup size. The difference was obvious and immediate. And so comfortable. So in the end I guess the washing machine did me a favour!

Bravissimo  - Guildford

Bravissimo – Guildford

Little treasures!

Little treasures!

I went up to London, on my own, to meet a group of people I’d never met. If that doesn’t deserve a little pat on the back then what does? Seriously Let me know. I went to The Beni Girls Bash, a blogger event at Benihana in Chelsea. I will write more about it soon, but suffice to say I had the most amazing day, meeting the most interesting people (one of which I ended up chatting to about SW – haha I find them where ever I go!) and eating some, not always the most optimised but, truly delicious food!

Boats full of sushi - now that's a flotilla I could get behind

Boats full of sushi – now that’s a flotilla I could get behind

Chicken Teryaki - which they placed directly in front of me. With a fork!

Chicken Teryaki – which they placed directly in front of me. With a fork!

I took this selfie on the way into town and received THE most overwhelming response.

July 2013 to Sept 2014

July 2013 to Sept 2014

I liked the picture, but oh my life the response has been incredible. People I’ve never met have been commenting on it and Slimming World Head Office sent me this tweet. I’m a little bit bewildered by it all if truth be told, but I am so grateful.




So yeah it would have been nice to be able to come here today and tell you about a loss, but hey – look at the week I’ve had! And after all, isn’t that what this journey’s been about all along? The numbers are just that and yeah you want them to move in the downwards direction on a mostly regular basis, but for me, the life losing weight has given me is so much more than a number on a scale.

Have great weeks people!