Our Favourite Five – March 2016

I know, I know, March has been over for nearly a week already. Where does the time go? Here are just some of the things Family Savage have been loving in March 2016!

1 Holidays

March for us was largely focussed on Easter and going down to Plymouth to stay in the same apartment we stayed in at Christmas. Our plan was to spend some time as a family in our childhood home town and to also celebrate Oscar’s birthday (a week early). And did we ever. You’re never sure if staying in a place that was brilliant before, will be so good a second time. But this time, at least, it was just as awesome.

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The beautiful view from our apartment in the Royal William Yard, Plymouth


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On the top of South Hessary Tor, Dartmoor


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Jellyfish at The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth


I even had a night on the town with my good buddy Helen!

I even had a night on the town with my good buddy Helen!

We watched the boats in the marina, we went walking up on the Dartmoor, we had take-out Wagamamas (twice!), we visited the Aquarium, we celebrated Oscar’s birthday and we saw all the people we love. It was only a short break but it was wonderful. And leaving was just as hard as it was at Christmas!

2 Cybex

I’ve known that Oscar was growing out of his Maxi Cosi Axiss car seat for a while now, but I was so desperate to keep him in the harness style seat for as long as possible, that I kind of ignored it. I was convinced he’d just undo a plain old seat belt. Anyway we recently realised we were having to force Oscar’s shoulders under the headrest to get him in and that the buckle between his legs was starting to strain. I had to capitulate. He needed a bigger seat.

So after extensive research, both online and talking to other parents we decided to go with the Solution M-Fix by the German company Cybex. We just felt it looked more like a seat than some of the more open style ones. More comfortable and more protective.

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The Solution M-Fix by Cybex. His big boy car seat

When it arrived I was so impressed – it was really lovely. But I couldn’t get over how big it looked. It should last him until he’s 12 (apparently), and the first time he travelled in it I could see how much more space he had. But it also made me realise how big he is getting. And how much he’s not my little baby any more 🙁

Too grown up for his own good in his Cybex car seat

Too grown up for his own good in his Cybex car seat

I have to say though he’s loving the space the seat affords him. And he’s never once tried to undo the seat belt! Although he has worked out that he can lean forward in it and pull the belt loose. What can I say, its a work in progress!

3 Just Being Me T-shirt

Last year a lady I met through Instagram, Chrissy, collaborated with the illustrator Cheryl Rawlings to produce two t-shirts to raise money for The National Autistic Society. The charity is one close to my heart obviously, but also to Chrissy’s as her daughter Esme is also autistic. I desperately tried to get hold of one of the tees for Oscar last year, but they sold out in record time and despite them having more printed I just wasn’t able to get one.

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Anyway this year Chrissy decided to reproduce the t-shirts under her new company Raspberries and Raindrops. Proceeds now go towards her daughters private ABA therapy. I was thrilled I could finally get one for Oscar. I’m not a big fan of ‘Autismwear’. I don’t agree our children need branding. But I love the sentiment of this one. Because it’s all Oscar ever is; just being him! You can find this t-shirt at Raspberries and Raindrops

Oscar just being him in his gorgeous Raspberries and Raindrops tshirt

Oscar just being his gorgeous self in his Raspberries and Raindrops tshirt

4 Royal William Bakery

We discovered the Royal William Bakery when we stayed at the Royal William Yard at Christmas and were so excited to go back again when we returned this Easter. It’s such a wonderful place. The food is superb and generous (croissants as big as yer ‘ed anyone?) and the staff relaxed, knowledgeable and friendly. I love their ethos of ‘talking’ and building relationships. The seating is all benches and the service, well you have to get in that kitchen and talk to the chefs. And there are no ‘bills’, you have to talk to the staff when you’re ready to pay and tell them what you had. I know this might make some people uncomfortable, but I think it’s awesome.

Seating in the Royal William Bakery is designed to start a conversation.

Seating in the Royal William Bakery is designed to start a conversation.

When we visited over Easter the guys in the kitchen were really helpful in selecting the right loaf of bread for Oscar’s party, keeping it to one side fresh out of the oven. And I can seriously tell you it was some of the most delicious bread I have ever tasted and not a scrap was left by the end of the day. We love the Royal William Bakery and wish we lived closer (even if our waistbands are grateful that we don’t)! If you’re anywhere near Plymouth, I urge you to pop down to visit them. Especially for breakfast!

Royal William Bakery sourdough. Picture from Royal William Bakery

Royal William Bakery sourdough. Picture from Royal William Bakery

5 Joules Knitted Poncho

At the very end of February, I had a day on my own shopping in Guildford. As I am want to do in these situations I sidled along to Joules, just to have a little look you understand, nothing more. While I was doing just that, I happened to brush up against a poncho. Grey, cable knit, chunky as you like and oh so soft. It’s definitely not something I would normally look at. For one I am highly sensitive to wool and most commercial knitted garments make me want to scratch my skin off within minutes. And really it’s just not my usual style (whatever that is!). Any who I looked at it, thought how lovely it was and moved on. Then, I went back. I decided as I was on my own and with time on my hands, I’d try it, just to ‘see’.

Joules Tessa Poncho. I have to say I thought it looked better on me than on their model ;)

Joules Tessa Poncho. I have to say I thought it looked better on me than on their model 😉

Well I was slightly bowled over by how much I loved it. Although it did have a small wool content, I tried it on with only a vest underneath and it didn’t make me itch once. I was in love. Only trouble was the price. I knew I needed other stuff that day so I sadly put it back on the hanger and carried on. Problem was I couldn’t stop thinking about it and a few days later decided if I used my freelancing money and a discount code Joules cleverly sent me, I could just about afford it. So I ordered it online. And I’ve worn it pretty much every day since! It was the best purchase I’ve made in ages. I wear it everywhere and with anything. I really do think it was worth every penny. A friend of mine recently was able to get a navy version in the sale (clever girl), but on closer inspection, neither are available on the website now. They may still be available in the shops though 🙂

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So excited when it first arrived!


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My lovely poncho – it really does go with anything

What have you been up to this month? Anything you’ve fallen head over heels with? I’d love to hear all about it!

 

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

Our Favourite Five – October

Once again I’ve been caught unaware by the end of the month. Why is that? October has been a whirlwind of happiness and some sadness. An explosion of activity, with a sprinkling of relaxation. I’m exhausted from trying to keep up with what’s been going on. So this is a great place to recap on the things that have made us happy this month.

Without further ado, here are my family’s faves

Pumpkins

I’ve mentioned before that we have a big garden, but this year we finally accepted that, for the moment, our garden is Oscar’s domain and trying to keep him from trashing playing with growing plants is both frustrating and futile. So at the beginning of this year, Ben took an allotment and alongside the potatoes and French beans decided to have a crack at something a bit different. Which is how we ended up this month with four home grown pumpkins.

This came in handy for decorating our Autumn window, but even more so for carving at Halloween. We haven’t bothered carving a pumpkin for years, but look at this beauty Ben did this year. Isn’t it fab?

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And I’ve discovered Pumpkins aren’t just for carving (especially when you’ve grown them yourself). So far I’ve made pumpkin chutney and discovered the boy adores salt and chilli roasted pumpkin seeds! There’s so much flesh in these beauties that I’m now looking into other recipes. Soup maybe? Or how about Pumpkin Brownies?If you’ve got any recipes, let me know!

Salt & Chilli homegrown pumpkin seeds - the boy's new favourite

Salt & Chilli homegrown pumpkin seeds – the boy’s new favourite

Mirror

I decided a few weeks ago that I was sick of checking my appearance in the glass panels of the front door as I leave the house. I realised what our lounge needed was a mirror. We don’t have a hall so it would need to be something that fitted with the room. Of course I had something in mind straight away and couldn’t find it anywhere. Actually that’s a lie. I did find one I liked. An old season Pottery Barn one on a Pinterest type site. Typical. I want something that no longer exists. Hmmm.

Then one day I found myself in Haslemere, childless and with time. I stuck my head in The Ark, an antiques shop (or as Ben calls it an upmarket junk shop) I’d never dream of going in with the boy. And there she was. Hanging on the wall, peeping out from behind cabinets and covered in dust. You know when something catches your eye and you do a double take? That. She was a bit more ornate than I pictured but she was perfect. I put her aside and we collect her with the car the next day. And she’s already made herself at home 🙂

Isn't she gorgeous? I added the candles and I cant wait to decorate her at Christmas

Isn’t she gorgeous? I added the candles and I cant wait to decorate her at Christmas

Winchester Science Centre

Ben took a week off work this month, to spend time at the allotment and with us. I’ve already written about how fantastic that was and how nice it was to have the opportunity to do stuff I’d never be able to do on my own, but I couldn’t not include Winchester Science Centre in this month’s faves.

We had soooo much fun. The exhibits are all hands on and while the two floors of buttons and levers was enough for Oscar, older children (and parents!) would also love the exhibits. The Centre also has a Planetarium, which we didn’t go in (he’s not ready yet), but I really would love to one day. The Centre seemed to have a good understanding of Autism, with detailed floor plans and social stories available on their website. As Oscar’s carer I also got in for free, which was great. I had no idea how he was going to react and had it not worked out, and I’d had to pay full price, that would have been an expensive experiment!

As it was, the boy loved it and I cant wait to take him back!

Oscar at the controls!

Oscar at the controls!

Yankee Candles

If you follow Mrssavageangel on Facebook you’ll know this month has been all about Yankee Candles for me. I love a good Christmas candle and last year I revelled in their Red Apple Wreath scent for months. However, this year I wanted to see if there was one I liked more, or at least as much! There isn’t anywhere local that stocks all the fragrances so instead, I decide to buy a load of sample candles to burn at home and see for myself. Its been so much fun, I’ve really enjoyed having different fragrances every day and discussing them on Facebook. I’ve not found a Christmas fragrance I like more than last years Red Apple Wreath, but I have discovered Pain au Raisin. I’d wear that as a perfume! Not particularly christmassy, but definitely a new fave. I’m a bit sad all my samples have been burnt now. I may have to buy some more 😉

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Soup

I love cold weather. I means I can legitimately eat stews and casseroles (I mean I’d eat them any time, but people think its weird eating stew in June!). Yum! I’m not usually a soup person. I always felt they left me bloated and made me feel uncomfortably sleepy. However this October I’ve been giving them another try. My favourite so far has been homemade Ham and Lentil. Delicious! And now we have so much pumpkin, I need to give that a go too. Filling, nutritious and warming, homemade soup has been a revelation for me this month.

Ham & Lentil soup

Ham & Lentil soup

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