After a not so ordinary start to the week with Nath and I taking a trip to Prague and the kids hanging with Grandma and Grandpa, it was nice to get back to the crazy reality of life with E and Megs.

Ethan has a “music player” (CD player to the rest of us), his 1st was a Thomas one for his 3rd bday from my Mum and Dad and he LOVED it..until he pulled the lid too far and broke it off. So his Grandma bought him a new one for Christmas and just like the other it dominates the house – he carries it around to every room he’s in, listening to his tunes and he and Megs having their own little dance parties! Its not uncommon for Nath and I to be woken suddenly at 6.30am to blasts of Frozen and nursery rhymes followed by “look Megan -Elsas voice gets louder now” and unfortunately for us, yes it does! It’s a great thing at bed time as we can put stories on and he also enjoys a “Mozart for babies ” Cd that Naths Mum bought him when he was teeny, but the rest of the time its usually Frozen and Nursery Rhyme Cd’s.
wp_20150129_11_39_17_proThursday morning as we had missed out for a few days they decided to grace us with a dance show (Please ignore our messy room – we just got home )

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I love this daily part of life and I love most to see their little dance moves and sheer joy to listen and move to music..its a most brilliant ordinary moment in life that was a wonderful welcome home!

For my sanity I may have accidentally left out my glee soundtrack and a few others after uploading them on to my I-tunes and maybe just maybe DJ Ethan found them and now we smile that mint tunes as oppose to “10 fat sausages” and “The grand old duke of York” are blasting out.

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Yesterday we returned home from a 2 night city break in Prague. It was so nice to be away together from the norms of life, wander without an agend, eat a meal without little hands grabbing and wake up naturally and see some places of great interest to us both.

Since being married and more so since having kids it has become really important to Nath and I that we have a weekly date and at least one night away together per year. Its usually not too adventurous, a hotel not far from home (within an hr) so that its not too much faffing getting them to Grandparents. So far in our marriage we have managed it both around Valentines and around our Anniversary (October). We are very blessed to both have parents that see going away together as an important part of ones relationship – especially with Kids. Whilst we love taking the kids on adventures and trips we also treasure being away together; relaxing, exploring and going on our own timetable as oppose a 2yr olds!

We are lucky we finally made it as things just seemed to be going wrong the weekend leading up to it, the main thing being that the car wouldn’t start – don’t even talk to me about cars as these days its causing us such a headache. I was also gutted I had to rethink my wardrobe choice after my fave black boots decided to give up on me and whilst I did consider wearing them anyway I thought wet feet on a city break wouldn’t make for an enjoyable time. A minor set back but in the end it all seemed so insignificant when we landed and realised how great it was just to be together and to not think of anything else but relaxing and enjoying ourselves.
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Whenever we go away we like to make use of public transport, one because its cheaper than Taxi’s and two because we like to see and be apart of the culture. We made full use of our £3 24hr travel passes which we purchased as we left the airport – it covered trams, metro and buses and overall was straightforward, well until we took a bus in the wrong direction and got slightly lost!
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transportThe first thing we noticed, and the main thing we had heard so much about, was the beautiful architecture, we both walked the first half hour or so with our heads upwards and mouths open looking at how amazing it all looked.

WP_20150126_09_43_34_ProWP_20150126_10_18_17_ProWP_20150126_10_12_29_ProWP_20150126_10_14_15_ProWe were very surprised at how cheap everything was, food especially. We enjoyed some delicious meals; a 2 course italian and drinks £9, a gorgeous panini in this little bakery £1.75 and then we splashed out on a 2 course Mexican on our last night and spent £14!! The hotel buffet was a treat too each morning with delicious poached eggs on toast and a yoghurt on my radar to set me up for the 6/7 miles of walking we did daily.
foodfood2I would say that Prague is a very fascinating city, with a very sad history! I am very much into WW2 history and post war and to be among it and feel that rawness of everything id read in books was both humbling and educating. The 2 places that impacted us the most were Terezin (a concentration camp / Jewish Ghetto which I plan on posting about to give it more recognition) and The Museum of Communism. You learn about these things in school history (at least we both did) but the magnitude of it all and how peoples lives really were can’t be seen or understood without seeing it with your own eyes.
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This trip was greatly needed for us both after the last few months of pain and grief, it was great to just be together and even to miss the kids, as we headed home we made plans of where we can take them this summer and were excited to see them and be a family again. I believe every couple needs time together to do the things they enjoy, to relax and rejuvenate and we have certainly being able to that with the help of our families.
What to you do to spend time together and where was the last place you took a trip just the 2 of you?

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WOAH – I have been going a little nuts the last couple of days as I was very excited to receive a nomination from Jess over at Mummys Crochet World  for the liebster Award – I have seen this on a few other blogs and floating on the twitter-sphere but now its my turn I get to see what its all about! Thanks so much Jess, I have enjoyed reading yours and others that were linked and now to share some random facts about myself and answer a few more specific questions you have asked myself and some fellow bloggers! I love to link up with other bloggers and see a little more into their lives and hope mine too brings interest.

The rules are :
Post the award on your blog (like so)

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Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog (done above)

Write 11 random facts about yourself
1. I hate being woken up
2. I can’t go out without make up (though occasionally I do and whine about it the whole time)
3. I have 3 sisters, Nath has 6 and 4 brothers – together our kids have a tonne of amazing aunts and uncles
4. When I drive without kids I crank up the tunes and pretend im a “girl racer”
5. I love bright coloured things – they make me happy
6. My guilty pleasures are Keeping up with the Kardashians and Mr selfridges
7. We eat mainly veggie for no other reason than its healthy and cheap
8. Im a Mormon
9. Nearly every course I’ve started I haven’t finished – I still can’t figure out what I want to do when I grow up!
10. My husband is my bestie
11. One day we want to build a pimped up log cabin to live in 

Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers (where possible!)

1. Mothering Caroline Grace
2. Castle Avenue Blog
3. 23weeksocks
4. haus frau blog
5. Hysterically ever after
6. Pyjama school
7. elelibee
8. Diary of a home Ed family
9. Home Ed with the Gibsons
10. Inside out and about
11. Gemma the family girl

A couple of my nominees deffs break the  ” 200 followers barrier” But I love their blogs and feel them deserving as they have inspired me in my blogging so far!

And finally answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees a set of new 11 questions
Questions I was asked by Jess:
1. Do you have any kids? If so how many?
Yes I do –  I have had 3 children; Ethan 4, Megan 2 and Poppy who was born sleeping last September
2. What is your creative talent?
My husband says probably scrapbooking (though not done any in ages) Id like to think im pretty good at cooking though
3. What is your Favourite Disney film?

Definitely “The Lion King”
4. Beach or forest?
Beach all the way – I love the sea, the smell, I love to walk in the sand and love the noises of the waves and seagulls
5. Where are you from?
I was born in West Yorkshire, spent about 6 years in Essex and then most of my teens/early 20s in East Yorkshire.. I now reside in Leeds, West Yorkshire
6. If you had to do one, which would you do? Snowboarding, surfing or Parachuting out of a plane?
I have always wanted to go snowboarding so I will go with that
7. What is your Favourite food?
I think at the moment its Pizza – I am strictly clean eating and its thing I miss the most and a real comfort food 🙂
8. Why did you get in to blogging?
I started blogging to keep people updated with out 3rd babies illness. At 20 weeks she was diagnosed with severe congenital heart disease which would require immediate surgery. As you can understand this was a lot to take in and talk about and I found by writing it down it helped me not to have to repeat myself and also raise awareness. I then set out to share the reality of life with this diagnosis and how we still try to enjoy it.
9. If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
Catch up on some sleep, have some pampering and go to the theatre!
10. Eat out, or takeaway?
Initially I though “Eat out” but honestly I think i’d choose takeaway, that way I can chill in my joggers, with a film and not have to keep telling someone that “yes everything is okay thanks” !
11. How did you choose your blog name?
“The hearty life” came about because her problems were initially all heart related and that became out life yet we also wanted life to continue in a joyful way and have fun despite these hard things – hence we sought a hearty life amid hearty problems.

And finally 11 questions I’d like my nominees to answer:
1. What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
2. If you could live in any Era which would you choose and Why?
3. What is your signature dish?
4. Where would you most like to live in the world?
5. How long have you been blogging?
6. Why did you start blogging?
7.  What is your favourite thing about blogging?
8. What is your current ringtone?
9. What makes you smile?
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 yrs?
11. Do you prefer to text or call?

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I decided to post my January update during this final week as me and the hubs are going to Prague (yahoooo) and for a healthy mind and enjoyable trip I don’t want to restrict myself from holiday treats and local delicacies, so I plan on eating not as great or strictly as I have been doing but also hope that with all of our walking and exploring it shouldn’t cause too many problems , of course I will still be healthy in my choices but I won’t be saying no to things I fancy!

So how have I been doing since I gained a few L.Bs over Christmas? Well I quit sugar and started Marathon training (half that is).
On the 5th of January myself and the hubs decided to quit sugar. I love sugary treats and have made no secret of that fact; doughnuts, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, I seriously love it all! But I knew deep down to rid the bulge and to fit into my spring / summer wardrobe it was necessary to get rid. And so we have been stricter with the clean eating and cut out refined sugar. Combined with this  my sister in law also suggested a 1/2 marathon for those in the family that were up for the challenge and so I decided why not… I am not the best runner but completed a 10k with little training, so if I can work my butt off I should (a) be able to complete it and (b) in an okay time and maybe, just maybe I might be able to raise a few quid for the hospice and/or Leeds Sands.
I have spent the last few weeks trying not to die as I get my body used to running reasonable distances, I have a 14week training plan and am currently running twice a week. I swapped my fitness and swim membership to gym and swim so whatever the weather I can run run run! I wish I was running more frequently and longer distances but my busy mum life and Asthma issues are making it nigh impossible!

The 1st week was the hardest with both, but the occasional apple slices with natural peanut butter have diminished my sugar cravings and now i’m pretty strong with that, I have only caved once – for a KitKat Chunky Peanut butter after our SANDS meeting (but I felt that that was justified) and the morning following my 1st 20min run I was in pain! My body is certainly getting used to it all and now I hope that come February my cardio vascular system can deal with a further distance and I can start clocking a couple more miles.

Here is my weight tracker since then – Just shy of a 7lb loss.. I cannot explain how mint this feels, how toned I am getting and how great I feel. At last I have broken through the 160 barrier and now in the 150 region – I CANNOT WAIT to see the difference another month will bring! AHHHHHHHH at this rate I will definitely reach my goal weight in my goal time – 140 by the end of March-  oooooooo fingers crossed!

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And how I am looking from the pic that made me cringe to now :
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I still have work to do on my arms and that sneaky “tire” region but I am feeling good and pleased with how I am looking these days (less wobbly)!

P.S Mr Smith has also lost 7lbs YAY

Did you have any weight loss or fitness goals this year? what are they and how are you getting on?

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