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. 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 39

Hello!

How’s your week been? Mine could have been better but hey it could have been worse and I’m getting a bit sick of looking at the lows every week, when there’s also highs to talk about! I’ve really struggled to find the motivation to stay focussed this week, but on the other hand I’ve eaten some great ‘on plan’ meals and hung out with some top friends. So yeah the snacking’s been a bitch this week, but I’ve started this year’s tan off. This week could have practically been a Slimming World write off but I’ve helped out friends and discovered new local parks. I got told the gall stones I have really mean my gall bladder needs removing, but I’ve also watched my son play pee-po with a friend’s baby completely unprompted. Sometimes I think it’s about the setting of your emotional compass more than anything – which way do you want to view things? You have to make a choice.

And this week I choose to see the good.

I wasn’t hopefully for weigh in this Thursday – seriously. In fact I actually prep’d my entire speech as to why I’d had a gain – even started to plan this weeks post in my head. But I lost 0.5lb. Weird huh? That makes a total loss of 5 stone 5lb (75lb).

I was so surprised I barely knew what to say when it came to me in group. So I was asked how I felt now my consultant at Liphook had left. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here before, partly because when it happened a few weeks ago, we all discussed how it was the members who make a group and not the consultant. And I was down with that concept. But the dynamic has changed, regardless of what anyone said. People have stopped staying to group, some faces have left altogether, new ones have joined. The consultant we have now is temporary cover. Regardless of what Zoe said before she left, it has made a difference. And it was nice to get that off my chest. I know that ultimately my motivation lies with me and I can’t use things like this as an excuse, but it was good to discuss it and I appreciated the space in which to do it. Cheers Sara for that. What this means for my choice of group moving forward I’m not sure. It’s really given me something to think about though.

Anyway!!!! Staying with the theme of choosing to see the good I have had several hints as to how well I’m doing in the last week. I’ve explained before that the numbers on the scales are invaluable, but its the physical signs that make the real difference to me.

1) I’ve had to tighten my Birkenstocks.

I love my Birkenstocks and spend my summers in them every year. Last years pair are starting to look a bit battered and I could really do with a new pair, but I realised this week that they’re too wide now. I’ve had to take them down a notch. Did you know you could loose weight off your feet?

My battered, beloved, Birkenstocks

My battered, beloved, Birkenstocks

2) I’ve had to have my glasses adjusted.

I had to get my eyes tested last Saturday – it’d been two years and actually my prescription has really changed, for the first time in years. Anyway while I was there I asked if they could take a look at my glasses as they were constantly slipping forward and sitting in the bridge of my nose – so much so that I was getting a line! They did and said they were far too big. They readjusted the arms and also had to put new, bigger pads (is that what they’re called) in the nose rest. Did you know you could loose weight from your nose?

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Did you know you could lose weight from your nose?

3) I’ve had to get more bras

Despite forking out a fortune in November for some beautiful undergarments with the structural capacity to hold up the Empire State Building, I have found myself feeling less and less comfortable in the past few weeks so decided to get refitted. I chose Bravissimo this time, for two reasons. 1) they are a hide sight cheaper that the wonderful but cripplingly expensive Rigby & Peller and 2) I’ve never found bras to fits my back size in there before and wondered if I might now. I did – up to two back sizes down from the Rigby bras! Same cup size though – these ladies would appear to be with me for the duration!

The lovely Guildford branch of Bravissimo

The lovely Guildford branch of Bravissimo

4) I bought a new pair of jeans

I love my relaxed skinny Next jeans. In fact they are probably one of the things I am most proud of about this journey. And last week I bought the next size down – a size 16. They are snug don’t get me wrong, but they fit (Ben agrees no embarrassing “hoofage” to be seen). I continue to be especially proud of them and I actually don’t know when I last owned size 16 jeans – seriously.

Size 16. Honestly a 16! Eek!

Size 16. Honestly a 16! Eek!

In a week, 0.5lb can seem like such a small number. Had I had a better week and lost 0.5lb I might have been annoyed or downhearted. As it happens I was thrilled, but I have been there before. The numbers in isolation can seem so important yet can sometimes give us so little satisfaction. So I try to focus on other things, tangible things to keep me going. Moving the belt (or a sandal 😉 ) up a notch, catching a glimpse of myself and having to do a double take, noticing my collar bone. It’s not an easy journey, but these are the things that will get me through.

So the plan for the coming week? This is not the easiest of weeks. Easter, well it’s like Christmas isn’t it? So yes we’ve done what we did at Christmas and bought one beautiful egg between us. I can’t wait for Sunday! But I’ve really thought about it. I’ve chosen to do this and I intend to enjoy it. I know I said I wanted to lose 7lb by the beginning of May, but at the moment if I can keep going at all, then I’m happy. This week I’m going for a maintain. That’s my choice and I’m happy with that.

Have an amazing Easter people.

xxx