I have felt for a while that I probably need a desk to work from. My blogging jobs are becoming more and more frequent and most days I feel flustered when I have to keep moving from room to room to find a suitable work space. I have commented to Nathan on several occasions recently that what I really need right now is an area to call my own, with space where I can lay out my planner and if needed leave my laptop mid writing. It would also be great to sew on too!

I recognise that it’s impossible to have my own room for all of this, and so the idea is that we find a discreet place in another room to create a space for working and as this years main interiors goal is to do the lounge, we are thinking of finding one that can nicely slot in to the design of that! The last thing I want is an eyesore of a desk taking focus off what the functionality of that room is.

There are 3 I have my eye on that are all really affordable and that I found via Lionshome – a great website where you can search for many furniture items and accessories from various stores all in one place. I loved looking on it because I could easily compare prices from competitors and therefore know I am getting something I love for a reasonable price. Both very important things to me and discovering this site saved me a lot of time too.

So the ones I am considering right now are…

First – the cheapest one at £65.99 (sale price) from VidaXL is this lovely contemporary grey one. I love it because its really simple and stylish and will totally do the job! Its very different to other furniture we have and would be a nice statement piece in our tropical themed lounge! When not in use for work, my stuff can be stored in the 2 little compartments, and it can be used to display pictures and plants on! This one really does appeal to me and at the moment is my fave.

Secondly – This Bel Etage desk from Wayfair at £123.99. I like because its white, simple and would go with other furniture we already have. It’s a rather safe option as isn’t too different and the drawers look useful. It looks as though it wouldn’t take up a huge amount of space either so therefore would blend into the room nicely.

Finally – The more expensive of the 3 and yet one that would be super practical being in the lounge too. I like it for all of the extra storage it would bring to the room, and the fact that it is white, means it will fit in most places. It’s £230.99 again from Wayfair, but my only reservation is that perhaps it will look too overpowering and therefore become a bit of an eye sore to me!

 

I am looking forward to finally getting out lounge done, and finding the right desk for me. Whilst we have other rooms that need touching up and finishing, In some ways the lounge will certainly be the biggest of jobs. Mainly because we would like to fit a wood burner, and are contemplating taking the porch down in order to make the room bigger and better use the space with a corner sofa, and hopefully a desk for me too.

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Aside from the gorgeous flurry of snow we had at the weekend, it hasn’t been the best of weeks. Nothing too major, just more of life (you know?) and probably a feeling of being done with January now! And so when you feel like that, it can be quite hard to remember the good things can’t it? I know I have struggled initially to remember them all, and so for that reason it is good, and has been good for me to find time to ponder and pick out what actually went well and worked out this week. As I have done this in preparation for this weeks update, I have found myself feeling thankful for the fact that I started this weekly update of goodness to remind me “It ain’t so bad” and that there is always something to smile about.

Grateful For…

A bit random but stay with me on this one. This week I am most grateful for Winter, and it meaning we wear big jumpers and puffy coats! On Tuesday (in attempt to be more a fun mum with the toddler) I took Alice on the train to the coast for some swimming. I wanted to take her there because they have little pools to paddle in, and slides, and all kinds of fun watery things!

Aside from the initial screaming her head off due to the ridiculously loud music from aqua aerobics, we had a great time! Then we got out, and then I realised – WE HAD NO TOWELS!!! There I was with a dripping wet, chilly tot and no towel to wrap her in! The absolute biggest mum fail (who goes swimming without towels?!). Thinking on my feet I stripped her off and wrapped her in my long sleeved Tshirt, and I “air dried” whilst getting her patted down and dressed!

Of course I was so grateful to put on a big jumper and coat as I no longer had my Tshirt! And I was especially grateful that I hadn’t got my hair wet!

Succeeded At…

My biggest success of the week is accomplishing my goal to cut out refined sugar and eat better! I started last Monday, (so we are now on day 12) and whilst initially it was so hard I am feeling so much better for it. I haven’t eaten any junk since then and have been able to lose 4lb so far which is fantastic. It feels such a great accomplishment because I think I am actually addicted to Sugar!

Found Beauty In…

I think the biggest beauty of the week was most definitely as a result of snow! We went across to Chorley on Saturday and as we passed over the snow covered Pennines, glaring at us in the morning sun, it was spectacularly beautiful. I wish we would have had time to stop to take some pictures because it really was gorgeous.

Then of course at the weekend, we had some proper snow here too and the village looked so lovely draped in a blanket of snow! I really do love snow, it’s such a pretty thing, and the kids go wild in it! I love how beautiful the world looks when clothed in it and how cosy life feels looking out on it.

I hope you have a lovely weekend… Feel free to join in below or on Instagram, and let me know what was good and beautiful about this week for you! There are always moments despite the stresses and worries!

#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 am an emotional eater! There I said it!

When I am stressed, down, grieving or just hormonal I gauge on chocolate, cookies, pizza and ice cream, and boy is it good. But since the hell that is September (Poppy’s Anniversaries), I am trying to establish when emotional eating ceased and just general gauging began? All I know is that in recent weeks my clothes have felt more than a little snug!

You see since September I have been slowly gaining weight and when I dared get on the scales at the beginning of this year I realised I had gained just over 10lb! Thankfully since clean eating last Monday I have already lost 4lb of that and hope by the end of Feb to be in better shape than I have been in a long time.

I wish i could say I didn’t care about being 10lb heavier and that I have body confidence whatever but that is totally not true. That extra 10lb puts me over 11 stone and it makes me feel unhappy! My mum tum was so podgy and bloated that I felt I was probably deceiving people to think I could be with child again, and whilst I have had 4 kids and some stretch marks and loose skin is natural, a spare tire, over hang of belly fat, back fat and rolls under my bra strap certainly are not!

I don’t say these things lightly, but I say them to make the point that I am not happy with these areas of my body and whilst I see many people posting about body confidence and embracing what they have, I actually want to make a change, because the reason I am like this is no other than eating crap day in day out and that is not something I want to embrace!

I want to feel happier when the sunshine comes and free to wear less layers comfortably and confidently. I have always been content around the 10.5 stone mark (if not slightly under), and I have always been content as an average/medium UK12. I carry it all well with my height and look healthy but slim. This size gives me confidence and at this size my clothes fit well with no unwanted bulges. At this size I can say yes I have had 4 kids and look… I’m still the same size as when I got married and the same size as I was in my early 20’s.

But its not just about size for me. Yes this is one reason I want to lose at least 10lbs, but it’s also a lot about Self control! I realise I eat too much refined sugar and general rubbishy foods and whilst I want to not cut out treats all together, I do want to have greater balance and self control at what I am putting in my body. And so self control and curbing cravings is just as much of a motivation to eat better as well as shedding lbs to look better and feel better about myself.

Clean eating 

Clean eating refers to eating foods in their most natural state and cutting out carbs where possible, as well as refined sugar, processed foods and alcohol (never an issue). It Is a lifestyle choice that really works for me once I am into it and able to rid myself of sugar cravings! I saw the benefits a few years ago when I lost all of my baby weight (and more) after Megan, just by eating more naturally!

Calorie counting on the other hand stresses me out and makes me feel anxious. I hate over thinking food and counting every morsel, I much prefer to know whats good for me, what will help my body get rid itself of stored fats, and then eat it in abundance! I did try calorie counting right at the start of the year but ended up deleting the app as it took up far too much of my thoughts and made me carry guilt for the sake of 50 blumming extra calories!

I am confident with clean eating – it isn’t a diet, its about changing your thoughts and eating habits to make good choices for plant based foods, and when I do it gives me a boost and makes me feel that I have more self control and am putting good things in to my body. I will of course still have the odd pizza now and then, or a chocolate bar because I enjoy these things. Ill even enjoy a KFC or McDonald’s every now and then too when on the road. But the truth is the more used to eating clean you become, the less you want these things anyway. And its all about remembering that to have these often, and alongside other Carb heavy (Pasta mainly) easy foods on an evening leads to being sluggish and therefore more chubby than I’d ever like to be!

So here’s what I’ve been enjoying this last week and a half that has helped me to shed 4lb already and Nathan 3.5!

Breakfast

I’ve always been poor with eating breakfast and go through peaks and troughs with it. I understand though that for energy and a good day I really do need to eat well right away. I also know the benefits, and so I always start the day now with a big glass of water and then eat one of the following, which are all things I love…

Poached eggs with spinach
Porridge
Berries with Honey Greek yogurt
Banana and almond milk smoothie

Lunch 

Before I decided to commit to eating cleaner, my lunches were anything from some sneaky chips (not often) to the more usual sandwich and some crisps. Occasionally I’d have a healthy wrap, or just skip lunch altogether if I was mega busy! Most recently it was Quesadillas or tinned tomato soup – Heavy on the cheese and 2 wraps whilst delish isn’t the best!

But now I have cleaned up my act and lunch has been..

Homemade Soups (Butternut Squash, Lentil & Tomato or Parsnip)
Poached eggs and asparagus
Falafel wrap
Tuna salad
Hummus and Pitta with chopped raw veg

Dinner

I’m very good with dinners and mostly always have been. I really enjoy cooking and making a hearty family meal.

It’s usually healthy and made with fresh ingredients but as I have already mentioned – pasta is a staple, and that’s been the biggest challenge! Most of the dinners I have made over the last week or so have been our family faves with a twist to make them cleaner. Its essential that you have very minimal carbs on an evening as your body doesn’t have the time like it does in the day time to burn them up!

Butternut Squash Lasgna
Red Pesto Quorn Pieces with veg cous-cous
Chicken Tikka and Mint yogurt
Bean and lentil Chilli
Coriander/Lemon Fajita Salad (The kids had it in wraps as normal)
Roast Dinner with out the mash
Gluten free Chicken pesto Pasta
Quorn Bolognese with small Jacket and salad
Quorn Bolognese with Courgetti

And Snacks 

Wholeearth Peanut butter with apple slices
Smoothies
Nak’d Bars
Banana

I wish I could say I’m happy whatever my size but that’s certainly not true. I don’t like that I have rolls and generally knowing I am not in my best shape. I don’t like being able to wear what I want to because it makes me self conscious or feels tight! And so I am really excited about being more trim and not needing to hide under layers, but being happy with how I look in fitted clothes and especially T-shirts!

I plan to clean eat strictly as a kick in the forth coming weeks to reach my goal and then just be sensible in my choices and eat well all week with the odd treat now and then. I will likely introduce a bit more pasta or wraps but the key is that I don’t want to be gauging any more, and that I will have way more “on” days than “off”!

I basically don’t ever want to look in the mirror and feel naff with what I see and know that it is a result of my own doing! I want to feel energised and well and I am doing this for self control and to be my best self. I don’t mind my C-section scar or faded stretch marks anymore from my 4 kiddies, but I do mind my self inflicted rolls and sluggishness, and therefore whilst I can do something and take control, I will!

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Majoca – the largest of the Baleric Islands is a great location for a budget family holiday, with the added bonus of only a short 2.5 hr flight. I visited a few years ago when I was single with my now sister in law, and before you think it was an 18 – 30’s kinda trip, It wasn’t!

We stayed just outside of Palma in a quiet resort near the beach and it was far from the partying Magaluf type of trip one would expect for a pair of girls in our early 20’s. Rather it was an opportunity to get away from the day to day life and just chill. And Majorca for this ticked all the boxes. It was sunny, warm, cheap and chilled, and we loved wandering to the local shop for essentials.

When I look back on this spontaneous little holiday, I think what a great destination it would make for a little break as a family now. Here are a few reasons I have come up with as to why I’d take my kids back to Majorca, and why you might find it a great option too this year.

Why I’d return with the kids

1.Great beaches

If you are looking for a beach holiday then Majorca is great for this. It has some of the best beaches and a wonderful scenic coastline. I loved having evening walks on the beach and dipping my toes in the Med, as well as sat on the walls of the harbour in Palma looking out to see. It is such a beautiful spot and found that there is something rather exotic and calming about knowing you are on an Island!

2.Great weather

Obviously out of season it isn’t that warm, but with mid 20’s in the Summer months you can catch some much needed rays without it being too hot for the kiddos!

3.Short flights

I don’t know about you, but when travelling with kids, where possible we try for shorter! The great thing about Majorca is that it is just over a 2.5 hour flight, and with kids that’s great. 2.5 hours to lovely beaches and sunshine and a nice Mediterranean holiday – Blissful!

4.Cheap

You can get flights for around 50 – 70 pounds each at the moment in June/July time from Sky scanner and there are many holiday sites that offer reasonable accommodation to fit your families needs. If you prefer to book it as a package Holiday for security and peace of mind, with added extras or just the basics then you can find out more here. They have some great offers and ideas of things to do too!

With both things being affordable for families you can get a great little holiday this Summer not too far and with lovely weather and beaches.

5.Lots of history and cool things to see

Palma is a fantastic city boasting many historic sites; including a castle, caves and most famously its beautiful Santa Maria Cathedral, which is a Gothic landmark quite close to the coast built in the 13th century. It also has shops, and little markets as well as an aquarium.

I loved seeing Palma and its marina, I loved staying in the quiet little spot that we did by a beautiful beach, and would love time with the family there to explore it more and see the sites togther! It is both and interesting and beautiful little Island with something for everyone!

I loved my little trip to Majorca in 2008 and would gladly return with the kids and Nath for a sunny chilled beach holiday with lots of things to see and do together. If you are looking for a budget and family friendly holiday, why not check out Majorca this Summer!

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