Our Favourite Five – May 2016

The summer is well and truly under way in our part of the world. And this is what the Savage family have been enjoying this month.

1 Eurovision

Of course! What else could start a list of things my family has enjoyed in May? My husband put the televised song competition in our shared diaries as soon as the date was released! This year we found out our neighbours were as bonkers about the show as we are, so invited them to come down and watch it with us. It’s so much fun sharing the madness with someone else. Although to be honest, there was a lot less crazy in Eurovision this year. Much more slick and a little bit less fun for it unfortunately (I mean Justin Timberlake, while the votes were counted? Seriously? Sigh) Anywho, we had a lovely time just hanging out, drinking wine and commenting. Much as we all agreed we like Graham Norton as host, we were also in agreement that we miss Terry Wogan getting gently sloshed and more acerbic as the evening went on. And as a fitting tribute to the man, who died earlier this year, we were sure to raise a glass of his favourite tipple at song number 9 (his personal cue to start the evening’s drinking). It was an emotional moment. And yes, tears were shed!

To Terry

To Terry!

2 Ribs

Whenever I used to have friends over, pre Oscar, my go to choice of food was always ribs. They never failed to please, but I haven’t made them for years.  So, I decided to do them for our Eurovision shindig. In the past I have always marinated the ribs overnight (a Nigella recipe) and then baked them in the oven. What a faff! This time I decided to utilise my slow cooker and boy were they a massive hit! Tender and juicy and sticky and delicious. And so much easier to make. I bought the ribs from the butcher instead of the supermarket for a start and that made such a difference. They were so much bigger and had so much more meat on them! Then I just chucked them in the slow cooker with the following ingredients. Blooming gorgeous!

Spicy BBQ Ribs

  • 1 X 500g bottle of BBQ Sauce (I used a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray Barbecue Sauce)
  • 50g of brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1.3 lbs of pork ribs (I got a rack from our local butcher who cut them into individual ribs for me)
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Combine the bbq sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and chilli powder in a bowl.
  2. Salt and pepper the ribs. Place ribs in slow cooker, and cover in sauce. Cook on low for eight hours or high for four hours
  3. Devour.

I served them with coleslaw, roasted new potatoes and sweetcorn.

No, they weren’t Slimming World in any way, but saved for a special occasion, I’ll definitely be doing these beauties again. Only I may have to make double quantity next time! Yum!



3 M&S Food Hall

A month or so ago Haslemere got it’s very own M&S Food Hall. Regardless of your opinion about whether our town needed a M&S Food Hall, you can’t deny that their food is good quality and often different to what’s on offer in the ubiquitous chain supermarkets (one of which is just over the road if you’re that bothered by it). I’ve found myself popping in throughout May. I bought some of the nicest and biggest (they were a ‘King’ variety) Strawberries I’ve ever had, to take to a friends house, a beautiful bouquet to say a big thank you to a neighbour, and on days when it’s all been a bit much and I need somewhere to take five, I am happy to admit I’ve been Found wandering their aisles. I’m not saying I’d get my weekly shop there, I wouldn’t. But for occasional nice ‘bits’, it’s been a boon.

The M&S Haslemere Coffee Shop has made a nice occasional change.

The M&S Haslemere Coffee Shop has made a nice occasional change.

4 Our deck

I’ve mentioned before that our garden is bigger than our house and as soon as the sun came out at the beginning of May, we were straight out there, tidying up the garden for the summer season. We have a long lawn, but a few years ago we also built (with the help of some very kind friends) a deck. Big enough to take a decent table and chair set, it’s becoming my favourite part of the garden. It’s definitely where I spend most of my time out there, so this month I’ve been adding a few sweet little touches. Cushions for the chairs, a parasol, a wall mounted planter and wild flowers in a jar have all made this corner of the garden a lovely little nook for eating, writing and just hanging out!


Bright, comfy cushions from Sainsbury’s.


Bluebells and rosemary, all picked from the garden.

Is this not the cutest planter you've ever seen? A perfect spot for my Thyme and Oregano

Is this not the cutest planter you’ve ever seen? A perfect spot for my Thyme and Oregano.


I wanted a cream parasol, but picked up the wrong box in Homebase. Hey ho! Oscar doesn’t care and asks me to put the ‘umberella’ up as soon as the sun comes out!

5 Driving Lessons

I wrote about learning to drive a few weeks ago (you can read about why I don’t already have a licence here). It’s been a big part of May for me, although to be honest I’m not sure I’d call it a ‘favourite’ as such. It’s hard learning a new skill any time in your life, but the older you get the harder it is (not my words, words of clever science type people in white coats) and I am finding it hard. But every week I’m noticing little things improving and my anxiety (which behind the wheel has been at a spectacular all time high) slowly fall. Slowly. I’ve done four lessons and now I have a two week break. I only hope I don’t forget everything in that time!



What have been your family favourites this month? I’d love to know!



Slimming World Update – Week 43

Hi guys

What a week! We’ve been super busy what with all the playing we’ve been doing. In the last week, we’ve been to the new local soft play cafe three times (and have another sojourn planned for today!) Oscar adores it there and I have to say, having somewhere I can let him loose and still be able to relax either alone, or with friends is amazingly good fun. They also do fab food in there and cake. So much cake! These enormous whole cakes are lined up on a shelf right in eye line and call to me every time I go in. But I haven’t yielded to their siren song. Despite, really, really wanting to 😉

I’ve had a good week food wise, writing everything down, as promised and even managed to plan to very low syn Eurovision party feast for me and Ben on Saturday. I know it was just the two of us, but Eurovision is a big deal in our house and we love a party vibe to go with it. However, traditional party fare can be ridiculously calorific. Not to mention boozy! But I was able to find really easy, low syn alternatives. Enter syn free Hummus and Veggie sticks, followed by 1.5 syn Scotch Eggs and syn free Slimming World Chips, with low syn light chipolte mayo. And no booze! I know – right!


Syn free red pepper hummus and veggie sticks - delicious and surprisingly filling!

Syn free red pepper hummus and veggie sticks – delicious and surprisingly filling!

I worked so hard all week to ensure I lost the 1.5lb I gained last week and the extra 0.5lb I needed on top of that I needed to get my 5.5 Stone award. So you can imagine how disappointed I was with just 0.5lb off 🙁 That makes a total of 5 stone 5.5lb (75.5lb) in total.

Before you start, I know it’s a loss and for that I’m grateful, really I am. I just felt I’d put more than that in this week. Also I’m sick of fannying about at this weight. I want that bloody certificate! Hahaha I’m OK really. No really I am. Now. Last night I was pissed off, but this morning I’m more objective. Sometimes it’s just the way it goes and I understand that.

A small loss didn’t stop me fitting into clothes I never thought I would (and producing my most popular post ever). I wore my dress to weigh in last night, as I said I would and got so many lovely compliments. In fact can I just take a moment to say how blown away I was with the reaction I received to my Fat Face achievements? Thank you all so much for reading and saying such wonderfully supportive things. I can’t explain how much it means to me – I really do appreciate it!

So looking forward to this week, I’m going to continue to give it my all. I’m also going to be upping my super free intake, ensuring I give myself my very best chance of losing the 1.5lb I want to lose this week. Also this week is going to be a short one, as our group isn’t on next Thursday (bloody MEP Elections!) so I’ll be weighing in on Tuesday at my old group Liphook. So expect next weeks update on Wednesday.

Have an awesome week