Welcome back to another week of “MyHeartyLife” – an opportunity to share in the goodness and positive points of the previous week!

Well this week I have been trying to catch up on programmes that I have missed with just been far too busy! I don’t have a lot of free time in the evenings mid-week anymore which is taking some getting used to, and yet I am aware I am in need of me time to just chill and not do much!

TV and films are my favourite go to for relaxing and chilling out with, and there are a couple of programmes in particular that I love at the moment and have enjoyed the odd hour or 2 to catch up on. I have been loving the new series of “Call the Midwife” and then “The Voice”, which just cracks me up all the time (and I find Wil absolutely fascinating)! I wouldn’t mind getting into some more Netflix seasons of something but I really dont have the time right now which is a bit annoying, but I am enjoying those 2!

Grateful For

This week I have been grateful for kind people in my life. I have had a hard time with a couple of emotional things and I felt truly thankful for people saying kind and positive things to me, and for generally thinking enough of me to want to lift my spirits.

I am also grateful to have found some great deals in the sales this week! My faves were a leather jacket in DP for £25 with fur trim, and a “Living The Dream” T Shirt for £3 – both of which are so me! The red skirt was also £3 from H&M I can’t wait to wear it with pumps for a more casual look!!

Succeeded At

Aside from my current 7lb weight loss success, my biggest success was yesterday evening and swimming lessons!

We realised yesterday afternoon that due to some meetings, Nathan wouldn’t be able to collect us from swimming lessons. We usually get the train up there, and then he brings us home after work, so the thought of that not being an option was a little off putting. I was a little anxious about the idea of doing both journeys via the train, especially as it would be dark and cold on the return, and they would likely be tired from swimming and therefore likely to be a little whiny with all of that in the mix! I expected it would take A LOT of effort to pull off whilst also trying to keep my sanity.

The reality however was bearable and fine! I used a little bribery and promised them a treat from Lidl on the way back to the station if they were good, and I was extremely impressed at how well it all went down. Of course I felt wrecked, but I wasn’t overly stressed and we all managed to get there and back with no arguments, crazy shouting mummy or accidents – an overall smooth and successful swimming sess!

Found Beauty In 

The thing I found beauty in this week was my sisters new home. It’s so cool!

Whilst she has lived there several months, I haven’t yet seen it (sister fail!) and so on Tuesday I headed over for a flying visit. It is like 40 minutes from us over the wolds and at the end of a winding country lane in the middle of nowhere. The building itself is unique and quirky as she lives in a castle tower and has made it so lovely for her and her gorgeous girls. I loved looking out of the little castle windows at the scenery all around and kept telling her how lovely and beautiful it all was, and how well she was doing since the split!

I had a gorgeous drive over to the coast to visit and it was a beautiful thing to see her new home and her and one of my other sisters too for chats!

#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 have mentioned before on here, but we don’t tend to make a massive thing of Valentines between Nath and I. We see it as just a bit of fun, and therefore usually buy each other a soppy or flirty card, and then a cheapo gift with some cheesy slogan on it. Our budget every year is always £5 max and we welcome how inventive that enables us to be in sharing our love through a gift.

I usually end up with some tulips (which are my faves) and chocolate of some description with a reason why he bought it (Eg, Milky Way stars with “You’re out of this world amazing”)! I of course enjoy the challenge of being creative, and making him some cute and fun love notes on a treat, and have in the past given him anything from a bag of chocolate bars to a pack of muffins saying “You’re such a Stud muffin”! Like I say – It’s just a bit of fun and it always makes each other smile.

We use the day now (since having kids), as an opportunity to teach our kids about dating and take them out on a family date somewhere special. We big it up and give them a little treat each, and then reserve the evenings for us to have a sneaky dinner date from M&S (or take out) whilst watching a Rom Com! We have had some lovely dates with them for Valentines and is a tradition we really enjoy.

We used to have a goal of going away together but with the more kids we had this kinda fell by the way side and we felt it better to turn it into a family event of love, which is working wonderfully whilst we share our love in our own way.

In true thrifty style I have been on the look out for lovely things to get for Valentines that are under £5, so I though as a bit of fun (and just in case you too want some frugal gift ideas), I would share them with you on the lead up to V-Day!

Valentines Gift Ideas under £5

M&S Sweets 

When I saw these sweets in M&S last week I literally jumped for Joy. I instantly felt they had stepped right out of my mind! Nathan and I will be getting them for the kids as we thought they were so cute, but for £2.50 each they make for a lovely little gift for a loved one.

Glasses and posh pop

I saw these glasses in Poundland for £1 each and thought they were really lovely. Whilst they go with nothing else in my kitchen I still had to have them and think they would be great for a date night tradition. Why not buy a couple with a bottle of something lovely and write a letter to your loved one about how they fill up your heart with sweet fizzes!

Love Frame and some chocs!

I love this little frame I found in Asda on Tuesday and thought it would make a lovely gift for someone with a special picture in it and perhaps a £3 box of chocolates or even £1 ones from the pound shop. They had it in 2 different colours but I loved the pink and gold.

I am going to find a picture of me and Nath from back in the day to put in the lounge on our soon to put up picture rails!

Chocolate gift basket with slogans

I did this for one of the first years of us being married and Nathan loved it. I bought loads of chocolate bars and then wrote a love note on each one and popped them in a little basket. I believe he still has the notes, though the chocolate of course is long gone!

Reeces Pieces – Love you to Pieces
Galaxy – You are the best in the Galaxy
Maltesers – You are such a tease!
Peanut M&Ms – I am nuts about you
Wispa – I want to Wispa sweet nothings to you
Mars – I’d go to Mars and back to show you how much I love you
Starburst – My heart bursts for joy each time I see you

I know I had a few others but I can’t remember them!

Muffins/Doughnuts 

Posh or not this makes for a lovely little gift for a loved one or crush! Buy them a pack of doughnuts from Krispie Cremes and slap on “Doughnut what I’d do without a hubby like you”! (Or Boyf, Girl friend, Wifey etc).

And then of course the one I already mentioned. I bough Nathan some Chocolate chip muffins from the bakery and left them with a card that said “You are such a stud muffin!” – He LOVED it!

Flowers/Chocolates

Whilst the old cliche of valentines, these always go down a treat! A traditional rose can be picked up cheaply and most supermarkets are doing boxes of Thorntons and other lovely chocolates for about £3.

Shopping in Aldi or Lidl, you can buy bunches of Roses, Tulips and other lovely flowers for about £3 and then maybe give them with a big bar of Galaxy or like their favourite pouch of chocolates. Use my slogan idea to make it more cute and fun!

Dates for the year 

This is a gift that barely costs anything and yet is rather romantic and shows commitment. Making a little box or envelope with monthly dates inside of it to give to your love shows how much you are thinking of them and that you want to set time aside to do these things with them.

You could include; The cinema, Massages, A picnic, Rock Climbing, Trampolining, Ice Cream Parlour, A new City, Golf, A new restaurant, Farm/Zoo, Chocolate making etc. Sit down and write out some date ideas and give them as gift this Valentines with a commitment to have proper dates each month together!

Valentines to me isn’t about money and isn’t an excuse to get a pricey item we’ve had our eye on. Its about love and sharing your feelings with others..sharing a day with those we love and making it memorable and a little out of the ordinary and special. I love the opportunity each February to be creative and find ways to tell Nathan how much he means to me through the cheesy gifts and laugh out loud slogans I give to him! I love our family day dates and making it a day the kids can be excited for too and I love that we also use it as an excuse to spread love to friends and neighbours through heart shaped baked goods and little crafts.

How will you spread love this February?

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For years now we have talked about going to America on a holiday to see the friends and family we have there! Nathan has family in Utah, and we both have friends there too, and then there is the major thing of me having lived in Arizona for almost a year and a half back in 06/07!! All are are, and have been, major factors in us wanting to visit those 2 states!

Living in Arizona was fantastic! I was there as a Missionary for the LDS church, and whilst life was a little different to normal every day life, the adventure was still huge and the people I lived with and met absolutely marvellous. After the first Summer I became a lover of the heat (except when riding my bike), and I have since looked forward to the day I could return with Nathan and our family to see more of the touristy things, and generally show them around a place that means so much to me.

Up until now we have never really felt justified in spending the money to go as we knew it would be on the higher end of our budget for a holiday. Nathan was a student for 4 years and then I have always seemed to be pregnant, and with another on the way it always just felt like the money would be best used elsewhere (not to mention who wants to do all that travelling whilst pregnant?!). Last year we obviously knew we were moving house, and so our finances were wrapped up in that major adventure, and whilst it was still a goal we had, it was just in the background as something we would do soonish. It got to the point, as we talked about our plans once there, that we decided that if we could we would definitely go this year!

Cheap flights

And so this year came, and with it lots of flight price watching on skyscanner! We talked everyday about it becoming a reality as they fluctuated up and down, and then on the last day of January we took the bull by the horns and booked it! It felt so spontaneous, but then wasn’t at all! We got a fab deal being that all 5 of us are flying (return) for £1,476 – an absolute bargain!!!

We are flying with Air New zealand from Heathrow to LA, and I have never known it to be so cheap. We seriously thought it would easily be £2,000 if not more! And so we are off – for 2 whole weeks to America and we are super excited for what awaits.

A mega road trip 

We plan on having a Mega road trip – the ultimate adventure thus far for us all!

Last year we did a lot of driving in Italy, and whilst we know that this is far longer, the fact that there are so many new and amazing sights to take in, and people to look forward to seeing, it somehow makes it a bearable and exciting prospect!

Our journey will start in LA with a day or so of seeing the sights and Hollywood. From there we will drive to Arizona and stay with friends for a few days in Mesa, where we will see lots of special people and places. In Mesa I will show them some of the places I lived, climb a mountain and see the dessert, and then the annual Easter Pageant too which is brilliant!

From Mesa we will drive north to the Grand Canyon for a few hours, and then continuing north through some of the other canyons, we will stop for a night in St George (Southern Utah) and chill there for a bit. The next day we will drive up to the Provo/Salt Lake areas of Utah where will spend a week with family and friends, and show the kids some major sites from our churches history. I expect we will just have fun, maybe head into the odd mountain but mainly just enjoy being with friends in America.

Finally we will head back via Las Vegas for a fun day on the strip and a night in a hotel – see the sights, all before reaching LA and flying home to England!

Our biggest outgoing will of course be travel, with the odd hotel in LA, St George and Vegas, which I have found some great deals on too. As we will be on the road a lot and have a bucket list purely with like 20 eateries on, and so we expect quite a bit will be spent on food that is no good for us but delicious all the same. Most of our days will be spent doing free things and seeing places of natural beauty, and as we are mostly staying with friends and family it will be home from home and a huge saver!

The whole thing sounds both ridiculous with 3 kids and yet absolutely amazing too. The kids are excited for all the root beer and giant portions, Sunshine, Pancake stacks and seeing giant cacti in the dessert. We are excited for a holiday and to be able to see so many incredible people and places.

I can’t wait to share in the beautiful Arizona sunsets with Nathan, and experience life on the road in America with my faves! Watch out peeps – we’re all coming to America and can’t blooming wait!

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With 2 of our kids in school I often wonder (whilst at home with Alice) what they are both getting up to, or how they are and what their little routines are. I wonder what school is like for them and if they are having a good day. I put my hands up and say that I do miss my kids most of the time they’re away from home, and wish we could hang out far more than we do in term time… days are so busy and we don’t often get time to sit and talk and catch up.

Of course I can usually battle to get snippets from them about their day and friends, over dinner or on the way home, but hearing about it and seeing it for myself just aren’t quite the same. So when we moved here, we were all excited to discover that parents were allowed to go in to school and sit and have lunch with their kids if they wanted to (or take them out for a picnic at the front), and whilst I am sure we all have tales to tell when we hear the words “School Dinners”, I couldn’t wait to go in!

For my kids anything around food is the highlight of their day and whenever I ask about how their day was, its always what they had for dinner that comes up first. We play a little guessing game of what was on the menu and what they chose (even though I usually already know) and this is followed up by them asking when I will be coming in for dinner!

To be honest I had half forgotten up until a couple of weeks ago, and when I did remember I thought that I would need someone to watch Alice for me. The truth was that I didn’t at all and they welcomed us both last Thursday for School dinners with the kids and it was a lovely moment in our week!

It was the cutest thing to see them lined up with their little trays, and how good they were at getting their cutlery. They had excellent manners and I loved that the dinner ladies knew exactly what Ethan prefers and how happy he was to get peaches instead of a pudding! I loved how kind the dinner ladies were to Alice and I, helping me to get our food and pouring our water. And I loved how Megan was trying to be so sensible but wiggled in her own little way as dinner was put onto her tray!

We all grabbed our dumplings and stewed beef with veg (and shortbread with custard) and sat down on the little chairs at the little tables! We instantly had friends battling to sit with us and it was so much fun sat chatting in school with all of them about their morning and about what they were looking forward to in the coming afternoon. I pretended to be mischievous and the kids were laughing their heads off – “You can’t do that at school”! And overlooked by a couple of teachers we snapped back into best behaviour!

Alice chucked food around whilst we all gobbled up the (mostly) lovely lunch before having hugs and saying goodbye til home time!

School dinners aren’t anything amazing but it was one of my favourite lunches because of where I was and who I was sharing it with. I think they have come on a bit since we were there, and the shortbread and custard was a tasty bonus, but this moment of being sat together at their school enjoying lunch was just brilliant.

I love the ordinary moments of motherhood where we get to have a glimpse into their independent little lives and share special moments in our days that are just a little bit out of our ordinary routines! I loved seeing them in their school setting and sharing lunch together. I loved the day we went for School dinners and I look forward to our next lunch date!

The Ordinary Moments
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