Hello from Arizona! I was considering not blogging whilst away (I am on holiday after all), but then decided that it was important for me to capture our little moments of joy and gratitude along the way, and see the goodness in the small moments of our journey, as well as the big posts I will most likely write when we get home. So here we are – another week of #MyHeartyLife!

This week has been so out of the Ordinary for us, as after lots of excitement and anticipation, here we are in America. On Wednesday we left our home in Yorkshire at 7am and drove to London. We then flew 11 hours from London – LA, had a mega long wait at boarder control once arrived (with an extra helping of me near to a meltdown), found the car rental place, navigated American highways, and eventually got to bed about 24hrs later in a rather shady looking Motel!

We have had already had a lot of fun, plenty of sunshine, and are so pleased to be here together.

Grateful for…

The biggest things I am grateful for this week are friends and safety! I am grateful that our flight was uneventful, but most of all that it was safe. I am grateful we have driven over 400 miles from LA to Arizona safely and that as yet, no injury or drama has come our way, and the kids are happy and enjoying it. Alice isn’t a fan of the heat, but she is adjusting well.

I am also grateful for old friends. They have been so welcoming and hospitable to us all, and its been so lovely to see them, catch up and hang out. One of my good friends here in Arizona has opened up their home for us, and given up their room for us too, and another friend made us a lovely picnic dinner last night. Small things like this make family travel simpler and I am thankful for such kindness in my life! It’s nice to have a home from home!

Succeeded At…

My biggest success this week is most definitely travelling to America with 3 kids in tow, battling jet leg and staying sane! We are just about evened out to this time frame, and getting in some good chunks of sleep.

I haven’t tried driving here yet (translate as Nathan won’t allow me to lol), but he has successfully driven many many miles and its been quite the adventure already. We love our rental car and especially love how unbelievably cheap the fuel here is – it only cost £24 to fill the tank and that gets us over 400 miles. We didn’t know which “Gas” to put into it, but again we eventually succeeded at that too. It’s safe to say that we are basically being ripped off in England when it comes to fuel!

Found Beauty In…

It has been a beautiful sight to see the kids playing so well with each of my friends kids, but mostly the beauty has been seen in the gorgeous rugged desert scenery and my favourite – The Arizona sunsets! I miss them and never tired of them when I lived here. Its such a beautiful skyline.

The kids have been going nuts over seeing such massive cactus everywhere, and it’s so beautiful to hear and see the awe in their little faces over all things American. Whilst we haven’t done a whole lot (aside from across state driving and socialising) we are enjoying cruising around, spending time together with our friends and eating lots of treats!

#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 you want 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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As you read this post, we are hopefully cruising down the M1 somewhere, on our way to Heathrow airport. Today is the big day – our holiday to the USA begins and we have all been super excited for adventures galore, sunshine and friends awaiting us on the other side of the Atlantic!

Packing for this trip has been quite different to recent ones. Usually our holidays are somewhere in Europe, budget airlines and the good ol carry on only option to save us a few quid. So normally because of that, I pack rather minimal as I have just a small wheelie case to get it all in. I find for a week in a sunny spot in Europe though that this is ample.

This time though, with it being a long haul flight, we have a lot more baggage allowance, which is good with all of the English treats we are taking over too! I have used this space wisely and packed rather sensibly in the sense that my baggage allowance and Ethans are combined (and we have even fitted Alice’s in too) – his case is our stuff for Arizona and mine is our stuff for Utah. Because we will be in 2 different climates throughout our 2 week stay, it made sense to pack one with Summer stuff, the other with spring/Cooler weather, rather than rummaging in either place through clothes that weren’t weather appropriate.

I have been really precise and Ethans stuff is packed individually for each day with Alice’s little outfits too, all in Ikea zip lock bags. These line the bottom of the case, along with treats in zip lock bags labelled with each families names, and then my stuff is rolled/folded on top – again all in outfits!

Arizona Wardrobe

In Arizona we expect it to be like a decent Summer’s day here – if not a little warmer! I want to dress cool and comfortably, as we will be rather busy and out in the sun a lot. As we will be in warmer weather it is the perfect excuse to dress more colourfully, and I have been making more effort to buy and make outfits that are more colourful and patterned too. I love these things in my life and want to wear more of them generally. I am very excited to dress for Summer!

For footwear in Arizona I am taking my new sandals from Primarni – these were bought a couple of weeks ago and are in a Birkenstock style (with added bling) but unlike the real deal, they were only about £5/6. For church I am taking my gold block heel sandals (again from Primark last year) and then I will have my grey Nike and Bronze trainers from Office, that I will wear when we go on a Hike/off into the Dessert!

Clothing wise, in this case I am taking my light wash ripped Zara Jeans with red striped/embroidered Zara T-shirt. My linen striped trousers from New look with a simple white Peplum T -Shirt from Tesco, My new comfy Zara dress (available here) and my Topshop wide legged (an a little mental) jumpsuit! I have also packed a black logo T Shirt and embroidered top from TU as an extra option for our overnight stay up to Utah after the Grand Canyon.

Utah Wardrobe

In utah I will be wearing more jeans and jumpers as the weather will be more Spring like! I don’t think I will be wearing sandals here, and so have put in my black suede heeled ankle boots from New Look and Next white leather high tops for casual!

I will be wearing these with either my black H&M leather look skinnies or just my primark blue skinny jeans or black skinny jeans. I have packed my Zara Denim shirt, Red Zara hoodie, H&M pink knitted Jumper and Primark Yellow sweatshirt. I have a red stripy T-shirt from Zara (I want to wear with the yellow sweater) and my grey “Living the Dream” T-shirt from DP! I have also packed my black T shirt with frilled bottom from H&M, My ASOS colourful jumper dress and leggings, and several pairs of cool earrings for both weeks!

When we head to Vegas, I will be rewearing whatever I loved in AZ and as I am travelling in my black Zara jumpsuit (its mega comfy) with my leather jacket and Nike trainers, of course these will be extras to mix in when we’re there too!

The good thing about taking all of these gifts is that it will free up space for my years supply of peanut butter M&Ms and taco seasoning! I am also hoping to bag a deal on some Levi’s and who knows what else will make it’s way home with us to add to my wardrobe?!

Now here’s keeping everything crossed our flight is on time and the kids fly well – for the whole 11 hours to LA!!!!!! See you on the other side!

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My week at a glance feels like it has been dominated by laundry and ironing, as I have been trying to get all caught up ready for our holiday in a few days. The cases are just about packed (bar a few toiletries and shoes) and I am now working on getting the house in order as I want to be able to return to a lovely clean and organised home, following a 2 week vaycay in America! I don’t know if perhaps I am expecting a little too much, but I don’t particularly fancy the idea of returning to piles of laundry and tat everywhere whilst we all fight jet lag and have cases of laundry in tow!

Alice has been great during all of this…playing and scurrying around on her little indoor bike, and watching me closely as I move from room to room gathering things. She is an absolute pleasure to spend my days with!

Grateful for …

Sisters! I am grateful to have grown up with my 3 sisters (1 older and 2 younger), and that we now live in closer proximity to strengthen our relationships and be more involved in one another’s lives. I am grateful for my sisters because not only are they useful for babysitting, and to be the focus of many laughs, but because in them I also have dear and treasured friends! And, whilst we are each vastly different from each other in a lot of ways, we also share similarities and I love to share all of the facets of life’s journey with them (and of course the inside jokes and banter).

On Monday evening (in celebration of Mother’s day), we had a great girly night out with our mum to the cinema, fuelled by plenty of chocolate! It was such a laugh, and made me thankful to have such great friends in my sisters.

Also these last couple of days I haven’t been very well – emotional and some anxiety mainly – and I am grateful for one of my sisters in particular coming over for chats and sitting with me whilst I tried to make sense of life!

I am also grateful for my kids and husband, and for their efforts in appreciating me on Mother’s day last weekend. It isn’t the easiest of days for me anymore, but a box of lindt and a yucca plant later, along with lovely kisses and handmade cards certainly made it nicer! I love being a mother (though sometimes I might say I don’t), and I especially love being theirs. Thank you!

Succeeded at …

I think my biggest success this week is showing up for life when I wanted to hide away! It’s been really hard this week, and realising that I put far too much pressure on myself and that I need to accept help (and that I might need a rest now and then) is totally fine. I cannot handle what I once could, and am not the resilient person I once was either, and as a result I seem to compare me now to who I used to be (or even others that haven’t walked my path). I am hoping that I can soon be successful in letting these things go too, in order to make way for me feeling lighter and happier!

On a less deep note I have been successful in getting everything packed for our hols! Last week was all about getting it together, and this week has been in successfully organising it into cases, in a neat and orderly manner. I can’t believe we have fitted it all in with the oodles of English chocolate and Harry potter merchandise in the mix too!

Finally, I found success in ticking off my first Spring Cleaning item on the “Let’s get organised” agenda (yeah it’s a real thing over here). I pulled everything out of the airing cupboard and re-folded it all, whilst purging many unwanted bedspreads and outgrown clothes that were shoved in there too! It felt really good, and I am proud that despite struggles I have accomplished rather a lot this week!

Found Beauty in…

On Tuesday evening Megsie took her little Rainbow promise and was welcomed into our local Rainbow’s unit. It was so lovely, and such a beautiful little moment in such a busy/crazy day! It is a step down a path I hope she will remain on for many years, because I loved Guides when I was about 10, and I feel it builds strong, kind and confident girls! We both hope it is something she will continue to embrace and will have many moments of achieving and growth.

I also found beauty this week in the singing and dancing of those involved in the spectacular performance of “Flashdance – the musical“, which I saw on Tuesday night with one of my good friends. It was so good and the music and dancing were so much fun. It was nice to have a break doing something I so very much love and hope to see more musicals as they make me so happy!

This time next week I hope I will be far more relaxed and enjoying time as family in Arizona! I am in desperate need of a break from life and lots of sunshine, and I feel that that will be just the thing I need to reboost! I do hope to (and plan to) continue blogging here and there whilst we are away, especially keeping up with this linky at least. And I hope you will pop on by to see what we get up to, or follow along on my Instagram.

Have a lovely weekend.

#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 you want 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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Last night waves of Joy, high energy and incredible singing and dancing crashed through the Bridlington Spa, as strictly come dancing champion Joanne Clifton took to the stage with A1’s Ben Adams to co-star in the sensational musical of “Flashdance“!

I have never seen the movie (and from what I hear it might not really be my thing) but I was no stranger to the 80’s classics “What a feeling”, “I love Rock & Roll” and “She’s a maniac” that shook up the theatre! The whole thing was full of energy, laughter, awesome 80’s gear, and spectacular dance moves.

It was a musical performance that the entire cast and producers should be incredibly proud of.

Flashdance The Musical

Flashdance tells of the inspiring story of 18 year old Alex – a welder by day, “Flashdancer” by night – who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer.  When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream.

“Alex” – played by Joanne Clifton – was such a great character and had wonderful presence on stage. Her moves were impressive, and I spent half of it with my jaw dropped at how effortlessly she took to the floor! The chemistry between her and “Nick” was lovely to see, and it was exciting to see their relationship unfurl with the story.

The whole cast were seriously amazing, and everything was executed with top class performances throughout. The singing was brilliant, and the set, whilst simple, was used effectively and I just loved how inventive it was.

Whilst I hear the film is a little racy in places, this was not. The story line was presented in a tasteful and mostly clean way.

What we loved…

First things first … the choreography in this musical is phenomenal! Like seriously amazing. And this is what truly stands out from start, right through to the grandest of all finales! I could not believe how those super stars could move, and what amazing shape they were all in. It was beautiful!

The music, singing and dancing were all so brilliant and I loved that it oozed so much talent!

Being a babe of the 80’s I personally loved the bright 80’s costumes, and style of the whole show. It has since ignited my love of the 80’s again, and all things retro, and today my Youtube playlist has reversed back 30 years!

Overall it was just a whole lot of fun to watch. Of course the music and dance is what stands out here, but not previously knowing the storyline, I loved that too. Tales of friendship, romance, hard work and family – The sacrifices people make to fulfil their dreams, as well as the mistakes they fall in to in trying to make it big too! Overall it captures the love and support that fuels people to succeed, and the help of friends/family to get there. It was truly inspirational and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it unfurl!

What I didn’t …

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this musical, because on the whole I was blown away with how absolutely amazing it was throughout. But being LDS I would have to say that there was a little bit of language I found awkward, and of course it covered topics about drug use and dancing semi naked for money! If you are not a prude like me then these things will probably not be an issue at all for you, but as I know I have readers who are – I am putting it out there now!

I wouldn’t take kids to see it, or even younger teens, because it really isn’t for them. But for a night out with the girls or ya mum, then grab it with both hands and get yourselves there! It is really good; full of energy and well loved 80’s classics, and produced in a very tasteful way too.

Flashdance The musical was spectacular, with one of the best finale’s I have possibly ever seen. It was so much fun to be a spectator of, so with limited tickets, I would highly recommend you get yourself to the coast as soon as possible to catch a glimpse of this classic and memorable musical!

*Thanks to Brid Spa for the invite to see this – all thoughts are my own! 

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