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.

A green by any other name…

We moved into our house in 2011, just after I found out I was pregnant (and I mean literally. We signed the contract on the Thursday and I found out the following Tuesday. That sort of ‘just’). Anyway. We’d bought the house with all sorts of grand schemes of how we’d like to decorate and things we’d like to do and within days every plan got put on hold, as all finances had to be focussed on baby stuff instead. We did get Oscar’s room painted (I just couldn’t live with the highlighter shade of fluorescent pink the previous owners had for their little girl) but that was pretty much it. We’ve lived here three years now and actually the fug of new baby is lifting and we’re starting to see (read: get bloody annoyed with) the bits around the house that really could do with, well, doing.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done a couple of odds and sods around the house. We have shelves in the kitchen where none used to be and a mantle piece fitted that everyone who visits comments on and loves. We even have a new deck recently built by Ben and some of our manliest friends in a weekend. But we haven’t done any real decorating and to be honest there is so much that could be done that it was hard to know where to start! Anyway a few months ago we decided the only room in the house that had been shown no love at all since we moved in was our bedroom, and actually of all the rooms in the house, this one needs some serious TLC. The plaster is old and I mean really old and has been patched, badly, over the 100 odd years the house has been standing. The carpet is OK, but not fantastic and the wardrobes, which have cleverly been built over the alcoves either side of the chimney breast, aren’t actually that pretty to look at and, in my opinion, far too dark a colour for the space. And by space I mean lack of space. I mean it’s not minuscule, but once you add our king size bed and our ‘bought on the hop in the absence of anything else 8 years ago’ Ikea drawers and bedside tables then it’s not great. So we’ve decided to gut the entire room and start again, hopefully making more of the space available.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture. Its a mess alright.

Which was fine, until I realised I had to arrange it all. It’s a proper project to manage, with time pressures and all sorts. We knew we wanted to remove the inordinately large radiator for good (we don’t use the heating now we have the log burner) and add more power sockets to the room (I’m sorry but four is just not enough for any modern household). Getting that sorted by the respective tradespeople was easy. It was the co-ordinating the plasterer with the decorator I was having a problem with. Thank god I managed to find someone who does both and can co-ordinate himself! We’re also having the wardrobes ripped out (hooray) and rebuilt by our friend Richard and will include drawers, so the Ikea delights can go to the tip. I’m so excited to see it all come together that I almost don’t feel the fear of having to completely clear the room and deposit the stuff we remove around the rest of the house for as long as the refurb takes. Almost.

So anyway the only decision I’m having to make the moment is the colour of the walls and my god am I struggling. The trouble is I know what colour I want. I just can’t find it. The house is awash with colour charts and the walls have various tester patches, none of which are right. I had the same problem with my bridesmaid dresses. I want green. How hard can it be. Oh you’d be surprised.

Nope, none of them.

Nope, none of them.

Colour chart madam?

Colour chart madam?

While we’ve got the decorator on site, we’re also going to have the front door and outside windows stripped and painted. I can’t bloody wait. They’re an absolute disgrace and I’m sure having them done will stop us being the scruffy herberts of the street (we really are!). The windows will be white and the door a Farrow and Ball colour called Chappell Green. Lovely. Well that was easy enough to chose. So why can’t I find the bedroom colour?

In my mind, it’s going to look something like this. Green, with lots of white woodwork, only with a slightly darker floor – if I can ever find the paint I want!

Love it!

Love it!

Work starts next week.

Wish me luck!