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 – January 2016

January has been and gone. That’s right 2016 is 1/12th done! And it’s actually been a much better month than I expected. Here’s some things we’ve been enjoying over at Casa Savage this month.

Woody and Florence

Woody and Florence is a mama run Etsy company I found on Instagram (anyone else love looking at independent traders on IG?). She makes various gorgeous things, but her bead bracelets really caught my eye. One of her best selling is one that spells out MAMA, which I loved and planned to get. Then one day I decided this wasn’t enough. I guess I’d spent quite a lot of last year grieving the loss of my chance to experience “typical” motherhood. I’m having no more children. I will only ever be an Autism Mama. I wanted to acknowledge that, whilst I was a mother, my motherhood was different. So I contacted Chloe and asked for a custom bracelet. It didn’t cost much more and I haven’t taken it off since it arrived!

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It’s a way of acknowledging who I am to myself, but also to others. I am an Autism Mama. May others of my tribe find me.

I have also recently bought a copper bead bracelet to go with it. Isn’t it gorgeous? I have a thing for copper at the moment. But truth be told, it’s my AutismMama one I love the most.

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Heck Sausages

I first came across Heck Foods when someone at my Slimming World group told us about their Chicken Italia sausages, which at the time were listed as 1/2 syn per packet! When Slimming World reviewed their syn values last year they changed these delicious delights to 1/2 syn each, but even so! Gorgeous, low fat and gluten free, what more could you ask for in a sausage? Anyway I can’t get their full range locally (and Ocado don’t stock them) so this month I decided to treat myself to a selection direct from the producer. I got 10 packets for £25 inc delivery and bought a real mixture. The 97% ones are for Oscar (although at 3 syns each not outside the realms of possibility for me either), the Chicken Italia ones are 1/2 syn each and the Paprika Chicken and Zesty Chicken 1/2 a syn for 2! And they’re all delicious. I’ve already made a jambalaya and a casserole with the paprika ones. And it’s so nice having some low syn yumminess in the freezer, ready to take out when the mood takes me.

And who doesn’t love receiving a huge box of sausages in the mail ?

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Slimming World

I’ve already written about my reasons for rejoining Slimming World here if you’re interested. But I couldn’t not include it here. I followed Slimming World for 2.5 years until mid way through last year when, for one reason and another, I stopped. Anyway, I went back at the beginning of the month and it has been soooooo good for me. Having something to focus on other than just mummy stuff was just what I needed. I’ve lost 6.5lb in January. Not bad huh? I’m also approaching it a little differently this time, being kinder to myself and never, ever putting any weight loss down. Half a pound is half a pound I no longer have to lug up the hill on the preschool run. Why wouldn’t I celebrate that?

If you’re interested I’d love for you to read my updates for Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

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The X-Files

I am just the right age to have been a fan of The X-Files the first time around (it started in 1993). While I occasionally watched it and knew what it was all about, I never really got that into it and stopped following after a few series. Ben on the other hand was a huge fan as a teen (which was in no way linked to Gillian Anderson, her red hair and her ability to kick ass, no sir!?)

Anyway Amazon Prime recently added the entire X-Files back catalogue to their collection, and we’ve been reminiscing. Apart from the dreadful hair styles they made poor Scully adopt (which we have come to the conclusion were to make Gillian Anderson look older than she actually was) and the glorious pant suits, it’s aged pretty well. We’ve watched the entire first series and are starting on the second now.

I’d like to watch all the old episodes before starting on the new episodes that are coming out (and that friends are so excited about), so no spoilers please!

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Bedroom furniture

In the summer of 2014, we gutted our bedroom and redid the lot. Rendering and plastering the walls, painting, taking up the carpet and staining the original floor boards. We also removed the ridiculously large radiator, had shutters fitted to the windows and pulled down the badly made and ugly fitted wardrobes, with the plan to have some more built in their place. Only we then realised we couldn’t afford what we wanted. We tried to save, but it took a long time and in the meantime we were living with piles of clothes on the floor. For 18 months! Anywho, this month we finally had enough money and started to think about getting the wardrobes. Then I had a brainwave, to buy ready made. One wardrobe and one chest of drawers instead of two built in wardrobes. And all of a sudden we were kicking ourselves of not thinking of that sooner (that’s what migraines do to me, they send my mind into a really creative space, weird huh?) So anyway, we bought some gorgeous pieces from John Lewis. But, when they arrived they couldn’t get the bloody things up our tiny cottage stairs!!! Suddenly it was obvious why the previous owners had gone for built it! But I was not going to be beaten, no siree! I found some actually really lovely flat pack on the IKEA website and convinced Ben to drive to Southampton to get them (less said about that visit the better I guess, but hey we got what we went for and no one died!). Ben spent all day putting them up and they fitted the alcoves in our room perfectly. Like more than perfectly. Someone even asked me if IKEA now did customised furniture!

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A perfect fit. And I’ve even been able to get my sheepskin rug out. For a touch of fancy!

It’s just amazingly nice to have somewhere to put our clothes. That isn’t the floor. The room finally feels almost finished. And I know it’s definitely taken a weight off Ben’s mind. It’s the peaceful space we’ve needed for so long. Who knew wardrobes and drawers could have such an effect?

What have you and your family loved this month? I’d love to know.

 

xxx

 

I was not paid to endorse any of these brands. I paid all my favourites myself. I just like sharing the things I love.