I woke up on Monday at the start of a brand new week, and decided it was time to fight the flab! I have gained quite a few L.Bs in the last couple of months (which I want to talk about more in a seperate post) and it’s now got to the point where I just feel blaaaahhh about my body! And so this week has been all about eating better, drinking loads of water, and doing a terrible job at sit ups!

Grateful for…

I have been so grateful this week to own a pair of decent wellies! I got my lovely Joules ones (after a recommendation from friends at playgroup) for my birthday, and I love them! They keep me warm and are so comfy.

They came in super useful this week with the couple days of snow we had, and more so on Wednesday when I decided to go for a spontaneous country walk after taking the kids to school. The sun was shining, there was a dusting of snow, and it was super muddy! I felt in that moment, both grateful to be living where we do now and to be in my wellies so I could trek off to my hearts content.

Within 2 minutes we are in fields and open spaces of great beauty and it was so refreshing. So grateful for my decent wellies to make the journey easier!

Succeeded at…

This week I successfully made and uploaded my first proper YouTube video (you can see it here). It isn’t the best quality, but I feel so pleased with what I created.

On another note, but by no means less significant, I got to the bottom of my laundry basket yesterday for the first time since Christmas (Hooray), so for the brief 1/2 day we have no laundry I shall high 5 myself and enjoy this great achievement!

Found Beauty in…

This definitely goes to the views I saw on my country walk on Wednesday! Every time I wander those fields and little lanes, and every time I explore the woods and take it all in, I have to take a deep breath and pinch myself that this is my new life now. Its such a contrast to city living. Whilst I loved living in Leeds with all its greatness, I love this stage of life for the easiness of life here and how we have so many lovely views right there on our doorstep to spontaneously discover!

I have started to dance a lot around the lounge with Alice during the day, and it makes me laugh so much! She tries to copy my “awesome” moves, and it is incredibly cute to see her efforts and bum wiggles!

#MyHeartyLife Rules

You can link up one post a week that fits into either or all of the “Prompts”, and I ask that you at least comment on mine and one or 2 others too. Kindness costs nothing and a comment on your blog feels amaze!

Please use the #MyHeartyLife on Social media whenever to share the goodness and cheerful moments in your life that day! It might also help when summing up the week into a blog post to link up!

The Hearty Life

 


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I don’t know about dry January, but being Teetotallers (and LDS) our lives are dry yearly! We drink mainly water with our meals, fresh juices, most soft drinks and juices, and very much enjoy the odd “Posh Pop” for special occasions and date nights. We of course know what we like and have our favourites, but we are always on the lookout, and excited to discover new & tasty soft drinks to add a little fizz to our lives!

Last week Fentimans kindly sent us a gorgeous hamper filled with tasty goodness, and of course at the sniff of anything more than water the kids and Nath were sniffing round them immediately like bees to honey!

We tried them over Sunday dinner and then of course sneakily reserved some for date night too. There’s something so good about supping on a tasty chilled bevvy once the kids are in bed, and I must admit these really hit the spot! They are light, fragrant and fresh!

Fentimans drinks have been around since 1905, so they know what they’re doing here! They’re that little bit different to others as they are blended and infused with natural ingredients and botanical’s from around the world, and it is those ingredients, and how they blend them in such a creative way, that gives some unique and generally delicious flavours.

Their packaging is so much more beautiful now it comes in clear bottles as opposed to the old greener styles! I feel it makes it more obvious it is a soft drink, and looks way more appealing for a classy family drink. The beautiful colours of both the packaging and drinks themselves, along with crisp clear bottles make them look so fresh and appealing, and as we read each one we couldn’t wait to crack it open!

Thoughts on the taste 

Yes they look pretty, but how do they taste? Well since we’re experts in the soft drinks department as it’s all we drink, we can say that they taste pretty delicious indeed! You can certainly tell they have quality ingredients and flavours.

My most favourite was the Rose Lemonade! My oh my, this could be my new favourite drink across the board. It tastes like traditional lemonade but with an aftertaste of Turkish delight! Its so blumming tasty and I was intrigued to read recently on their twitter page that it contains real rose petals! So yeah… it’s pretty cool (and very delicious) stuff!

Second to this I enjoyed the Wild English Elderflower – we are quite partial to Elderflower drinks so this was great, and Nathan loved this one too. Next fave was the Ginger beer. To me personally the Ginger beer smelt stronger than it tasted unfortunately, but it was still really nice and light! Ethan did think it was more than strong enough though and promised he “really” liked it?!

Nath loved the Elderflower and Ginger beer as I say, and also really liked the “Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger” which apparently is super fresh and tasty and nothing like you’re average “orange fizzy drinks!”.

They were possibly wasted with the kids, but what I love about any new drinks we try is that we can all sample and enjoy them because they are always soft drinks! They too enjoyed the Rose Lemonade, and informed us that “Tonic water is a tricky drink – it starts off nice then is really disgusting!”. I think they missed the part where I said wait until I’ve mixed it!!

As well as the Soft drinks, they also have mixers to make mocktails (or cocktails – whichever side of the fence you stand), and it was great to try their elder-flower syrup with both the tonic water and mixed in with the Rose lemonade for an incredibly delicious drink! (Add a sprig of mint and you have a pretty splendid mocktail for your weekend get together’s or meals in)! It tasted so fresh and fragrant and we very much enjoyed the combo.

After sampling these and looking at the rest of their product range, I have on my list is to try next the Grapefruit tonic water and the sparkling lime and Jasmine! (Don’t they just sound so gorgeous?). But for now I am so glad to have discovered a new option of posh soft drinks with a great range to enhance our get togethers and family meals. They are such a treat for date night and I would certainly recommend these as a tasty, crisp beverage for all the family!

Whether you are designated driver, attempting dry January, or like us are a no go with Alcohol, then you too might just love the fresh and creative flavours of Fentimans soft drinks!

* Thank you to Fetimans for sending us this lovely hamper of products for the purpose of this review! All thoughts and pictures are my own. 

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I remember when Ethan was a tot, and a friend passed on some toys for him. In them were some lovely wooden building blocks, and for days on end we built anything from buildings, to animal houses for his toys, and forts. As he grew he used them to launch at his sister (?!), and they built all sorts together too. Soon they became too tatty and lost, that we decided to get rid of the remaining ones to de-clutter and make space for more age appropriate toys!

How much fun they brought us, and how they drove their imaginations!

Move forward a few years, and little Alice entered our lives! Then, last January whilst sale shopping, I found some lovely colourful building blocks in Wilko for £1.25 and bought them for her 1st Birthday! Like anything you buy for that major milestone of turning 1, it’s often more for the foreseeable future for them to grow in to. And only now (at almost 19 months), has she really shown an interest and a love for them.

Almost every day this week we have had them out. Stacking, carefully placing, clapping and laughing together. We have built all sorts and taken risks with which block goes where! I have loved her meticulous concentration as she balanced one on another. I have loved her eager noises of excitement and cheeky grins as she succeeded! But mostly I loved that I made time with her to play, to build and to share these ordinary moments of childhood development. It was so lovely to spend a good 40 minutes on Wednesday, when the kids were in school and the house was quiet; to be together and giggle, clap and play with building blocks.

Too many times I set her on task with toys so I can do laundry, clean the kitchen or tidy up. But this week I have chilled out and played more. I have tried harder (in line with my goals) to be a more present parent and make more ordinary and lovely memories in the moment.

Alice loves her building blocks – there are so many things she can do with them, and they bring hours of fun. I am excited for more days of building, laughing and “ahhhhhhh-ing” as they fall, as we play together and bond over the blocks!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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This week has seen been all about new starts! The kids started back at school and Ethan back to Judo on Tuesday. Megan finally started Gymnastics, and then last night they both started swimming lessons. Its been rather busy and full on, but I am excited that they are getting active and throwing themselves into some new interests and extra-curricula activities! They’ve been delighted with each thing, and I have loved seeing it.

Grateful for…

This week I am grateful for my mother in law and one of my sister in laws (I have 6).

On Tuesday I was planning an “Alice in Wonderland themed” night for the 11 year old girls at church that would be moving up to my class this year when they turn 12! We call it “New Beginnings” and it is an opportunity to tell them about the programme for 12 – 18 yr olds, as well as welcome them. I had a whole list of things that needed to be done, and things I wanted to include and by Monday I was feeling a little under pressure.

With the kids back to school and so much to do, I asked my sister in law to help me with the baking for it. She was delighted to, and we had a lovely day making a Victoria sponge, butterfly buns and brownies, that all went down a treat!

I was grateful that she not only helped me, but that she came in the evening to help me set up for it too. During our baking sess, Nath’s mum had Alice so I could just get on and also made me a gorgeous Pepper, lentil and chilli soup for lunch! I felt well and truly looked after and helped, and I felt so blessed to have them close by.

Succeeded at…

As well as the aforementioned evening going well, I would have to say that my biggest success this week has been with getting the kids to their individual activities on time and by public transport! It’s not ideal not having a car midweek, and to add to that there has also been a train strike!

One of the classes (Judo) is at 8am…the others over dinner time (hello potential whining!), and it’s blumming hard work with 3 of them in tow, as well as to get them changed and fed. But we’ve done it! I felt a great sense of achievement last night that they’ve been able to get to all of these great classes with very little drama, and (the biggest success of them all) – on time!

Found Beauty In…

I thought it was really beautiful to see Alice sat reading with Grandma by the AGA for warmth! It was like a scene out of some oldie film, and was just lovely. She doesn’t tend to like being with anyone but Nathan or I, so to see her there happy and content was a gorgeous sight to see this week!

I am so glad that this week has come to an end. At the start of it I was a little anxious and now I am just worn out! I have a bit of a cold, but I am looking forward to our new routine, and all of the things the kids will be learning and experiencing in their new classes.

If you would like to share any achievements and nuggets of gratitude from your week, then please do link up below! I will comment before next week!

 

#MyHeartyLife Rules

You can link up one post a week that fits into either or all of the “Prompts”, and I ask that you at least comment on mine and one or 2 others too. Kindness costs nothing and a comment on your blog feels amaze!

Please use the #MyHeartyLife on Social media whenever to share the goodness and cheerful moments in your life that day! It might also help when summing up the week into a blog post to link up!

The Hearty Life
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