Is there anything more lovely than seeing kids enjoying their childhood and running wild? I just love it! I love to see my kids enjoying the outdoors, in the fresh air and running around, because not only is it a fantastic natural (and fun) form of exercise for them (and it’s free), but it makes me happy to see them letting off steam!

On the 24th of April 2018, children from across the Humber region will be getting together to participate in the Humber “GO Run For Fun” – A FREE event taking place at Hull Ionians Rugby Club, in partnership with Active Humber! It will span across 2 KM and is promised to be a fun free activity, where children can enjoy themselves and achieve something, all while taking part in physical exercise. The organisation is also providing a Health & Wellbeing Programme alongside the event to educate young children about the importance of diet and regular exercise, which I think is fantastic. 

With 21 schools taking part from across the region, including the run, a fun warm-up for the kids, and an appearance from the mascot, it looks like so much fun, and I kind of wish my kids were going to be there too (I know they would love it). 

GO Run For Fun is an organisation set up and committed to helping kids between 5 and 10 to get more active and healthy through their free running events. Their aim is that simple – get more kids running! And since starting in 2013, they have already welcomed over 200,000 young runners across their events in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Mexico and the USA.

Children’s health has been hitting UK headlines recently, with Public Health England suggesting 22.6 percent of children aged 4-5 and 34.3 percent of children aged 10-11 are overweight or obese. As a parent this is so troubling to me and we have always tried hard to help our kids be active and eat well to avoid the problems that come with kids being overweight. GO Run For Fun not only aims to deliver these fun, mass running events but, as mentioned, is also delivering a full Health & Wellbeing Programme to support the initiative. 

How we help our kids stay healthy …

We are quite an active family, who enjoy a lot of things outdoors, and so often our weekends will involve a walk of some description in nature! My kids, however have always been active and keep healthy by scootering or biking to and from school every day, by doing sporty extracurricular activities, and by us monitoring their snack/sugar intake.

We all enjoy a treat, but often at home we eat mainly vegetarian, and their main snacks after school is fruit, a wholemeal wrap with natural peanut butter, or raisins or something similar. We occasionally have crisps but I only ever buy enough that they would get them twice in the week maximum! All of our meals during the week though are fresh, cooked from scratch and mostly veggie. It’s something I really enjoy, and cooking for me is such an enjoyable thing, that we eat a wide range of foods and flavours! I find that this is not only a cheap way to eat when feeding the 5 of us, but I also find that the majority of things I make are also colourful and therefore have the healthy factor.

Just last night I made an insta-worthy dish that everyone thoroughly enjoyed (and lots of people asking for tips). It was honestly so quick, fresh, full of flavour, and healthy too, so I thought I would share it to give you a sense of some of the things we love – I present to you “Falafel with Giant couscous salad & Tzatziki sauce” – Yum!

Falafel & Giant CousCous Salad with Pitta & Tzatziki Sauce

You will need:

*Falafel (my falafel is shop bought from Tesco/Lidl and you can get them in all supermarkets. You can also step up the health factor by making your own, but my homemade ones have always been a little dry!)
*Giant Couscous
*Fresh Spinach
*Baby plum tomatoes (sliced)
*Feta
*Fresh Coriander
*2 Lemons
*Wholemeal Pitta
*Greek Yogurt, Cucumber, minced garlic, dill and lemon juice for the Tzatziki (or again buy it if it’s easier)! 

For the Salad – cook and cool the giant couscous, then add a couple of handfuls of shredded spinach leaves, sliced plum tomatoes, cubed feta, and chopped coriander

Pour over the juice of 2 lemons and mix it all up well

For the Sauce (If you are making it from scratch)

Combine chopped cucumber with 2 cups plain greek yogurt, 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/3 cup chopped dill, 1/2 tsp salt (add more to taste) and 1/8 tsp black pepper

Then serve with warmed pitta and falafel (again cooked), and enjoy the deliciousness! 

Our Favourite Humberside spot to get some exercise…

Moving to a new area means you have both the privilege and challenge of finding new favourite spots to enjoy with the kids/as a family! Whilst we are fairly new to the East Riding/Humber region we both grew up here and have obviously visited family here too over the years. There are many places that are lovely to walk and cycle, and we especially love the coast. But one of our faves (not far from Hull City centre) would have to be The Humber Bridge Country Park!

I love that it is right on the edge of a city and yet once in there you feel worlds away! It is a nature reserve and a place where you can walk and relax together, have a picnic, play at the park, and the kids can run free or take their bikes and scooters. I also love that because it is next to the Humber Bridge, if the weather is nice you can also factor in the option of a walk or bike ride together across and back – covering an easy and fascinating 2 miles!

Helping kids to stay healthy can be such a natural and fun thing. I love to see my kids being active and enjoying the outdoors. We all love a treat, but I love that this is in moderation and they appreciate the taste and benefits of fruit and vegetables. They are always willing to try new foods, new experiences and as a result are finding things they enjoy whilst staying active and healthy!

Check out the GO Run For Fun mission statement and see if there are any areas you might be able to improve on in helping your kids and family be a little more healthy this Spring/Summer!

Ready, Steady, GO! – Run each day of the week

Bin the Sugar, Win with Water – Drink 8 glasses of water a day

Eating the Rainbow – Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day

Keeping Going and Not Giving Up – Use the word Yet when you can’t do something, be resilient, not giving up

Team Spirit – Be a team player

Improving Fitness – Be active for 60 minutes during the day

 

*In collaboration with GO Run For Fun

 

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When cousins come to stay (or just play for that matter), my food supplies deplete significantly, our home becomes untidy (insert trashed), and my ears ring with all of the extra noise and madness! We often joke in my family that when we have any of the nieces or nephews over collectively, It’s like a swarm of locusts have invaded our houses!

When cousins come to stay, the kids turn extra nutty and wild, and talk super loud and fast. When bedtime rolls around it’s like an invite to party for them all! And when cousins come to stay, they chat all night, and all they want to do is all be squished into one bed or den they previously made for the occasion.

When cousins come to stay, we get extra treats, we watch films and we have lovely walks. They play outside for hours, play lego and invent games and scenarios!

And when cousins come to stay I rarely see much of anyone because they are so engrossed in their games and clubs, and in their play and laughter, that they think it is completely the best thing ever and mum is only needed for food and snacks (Hello Locusts)! My Kids love each of their 14 cousins, they are their little playmates and these are the ordinary moments of when they get together with any of them.

This weekend, Ethan and Megan had 3 of their cousins come to stay; 2 on Friday til Sunday as my sister and her husband enjoyed some kid free time celebrating their 10th Wedding Anniversary, and then one tonight whilst my sister works a night shift at the hospital. And whilst it is all very chaotic, later than we would like nights, and food depleting by the second, we love that they have such a great bunch of cousins on each side and can spend time with their special friends. We love to see the growing bonds, the friendships, the understanding simply because they come from the same nutty family and we love time to get to know our nieces and nephews and have funny chats, and build memories.

Yesterday we took the kids and their 2 cousins to Burton Agnes Hall here in East Yorkshire, and let them run wild in the grounds for a couple of hours. It was a lot of fun in a beautiful place, and despite the madness of the weekend, we are all grateful for the extra fun and general ordinary moments we get to have when cousins come to stay with us.

The Ordinary Moments
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Welcome back to another week of #MyHeartyLife – an opportunity to celebrate the small moments of gratitude, success and beauty from the previous week. I love recording and noticing the beauties and small hearty moments in life, because together these things make me see that life is good and blessed despite the really hard days.

I hope you will join me, either by linking a blog below, or sharing something on Instagram with the # “MyHeartyLife”. I love to see all of the little moments that are bringing people Joy!

THIS WEEK…

I have run out of foundation, and so have been looking a little worse for wear, but the house is reasonably tidy, we’ve had a couple of adventures on the train seeing friends, and a village walk yesterday, and so I suppose you could say it’s been a good week!

Mostly this week has seen Alice and I have taking it easy and getting organised whilst the kids try and get back into a new term at school. I have enjoyed catching up on a couple of favourite programmes whilst she naps, and catching up with friends and neighbours around that. If I could sum up this week in a couple of words, I would certainly choose “Chocolate” and “tired” – We are all super tired from travelling and have only just about got back into some kind of normal sleep pattern, as well as our regular routine of school runs and clubs!  The kids have been late for school most days (whoops), as it has proven to be nigh impossible to wake them and we are just generally a bit slower than normal in our everyday life. Consequently, with the madness of trying to get back to normal and lazing around feeling meh, I have been gorging on reduced Easter chocolate (to make up for what I missed) and overall doing very little outside of cooking, cleaning and clubs!

Grateful for…

This week I am very grateful for veggies, lentils, beans and homemade food – they are a welcome treat following the amount of fast food we had, and it has been lovely cooking for the family again! Whilst I loved the treats we enjoyed on holiday, there is such a thing as having “too much of a good thing”, and diet wise I have been happy to come home to familiar and more wholesome foods!

With that I have to say that I am also very grateful that I only gained 1lb on holiday from the excessive aforementioned diet, and whilst this was a victorious feeling on Monday, here on Friday I am questioning if perhaps I have sabotaged that after all of the chocolate I have scoffed since being back (I just can’t help myself). I was, at the beginning of the week, very grateful to find reduced Easter eggs still in Tesco, yet now I am wondering what the heck I was thinking because I seem to have adopted scoffing Easter chocolate into my nightly routine -The struggle is real. Despite this I am truly grateful for the Sunshine we had on Monday, Lunch with a friend Wednesday, and my mother in law for helping us with a lift to swimming yesterday. Each point has made the week a little more joyful!

Succeeded At…

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about my “secret course” I have been doing, and whilst I still don’t feel like sharing all on that front yet (soon my friends I promise), I would like to say I was delighted to find out on Wednesday night that my first unit was passed! I also successfully went back with renewed energy (and a powerpoint presentation I had created), after feeling like I wanted to quit before Easter. This was the ultimate success because I had been rather anxious about it all before, but then whilst away, and some encouragement from Nathan, I decided it was only a few more weeks and that in the long run it would be most beneficial.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that it is incredibly hard to study with young kids (like seriously hard), but now I am feeling great about it again, I am more motivated and look forward to handing in my next 3 units over this fortnight. I only have a few more weeks left, so hopefully that will be a mega success right there to look forward to if I can keep on keeping on. For now though I feel each week I go, and each piece of work I complete is a little success in itself with how much I am balancing around it all.

I also successfully got on top of holiday laundry, successfully got the kids to school every day (despite their exhaustion), and successfully made a tasty lasagne and Lentil-bean chilli this week!

Found Beauty In…

Daffodils are everywhere at the moment around here and my oh my are they beautiful! They line the roads, and all over green patches in the village their little yellow heads bop around as if to greet us! They are a sure sign of Spring (though the weather would have us believe otherwise), and I feel like they really brighten up the place! I have loved looking at them on the school runs, and also whilst I have been out and about with Alice…I think they make everything that little bit more bright and beautiful.

Now if we could just have some milder and more sunny weather …

#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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It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote an Ordinary Moments post. Remember my weekly blogs that talk in more depth about those little regular and ordinary moments in our lives that make life what it is? The moments that make you smile, and the moments you notice your children grow, achieve and change. The milestones and the traditions, the little habits of the family unit and our little ordinary love’s that day in day out all seem just that – so ordinary. But when focused on and remembered, accumulate to become the grand picture of life together!

We have had a rather extraordinary few weeks, and I suppose when you are busy packing for a holiday, and travelling, life is far from the ordinary and as a result those things are just taken for granted or overlooked. Life is dominated by the new, and the exciting and the ordinary moments just go with the flow. It’s only now as I look back on these weeks and adventures that I see that there was one obvious and constant ordinary moment that couldn’t be overlooked. There was one particular thing that throughout all of the new, all of the excitement and long drives from state to state that was ever present, and it was the thing that everyone noticed and commented on (aside from our English accents), and that was our little Daddy’s girl – Miss Alice!

I often joke with people that once I finished breastfeeding her at 9 months, that she deemed me as useless to her and began to gravitate towards Nath. But seriously, I swear she just tolerates me during the day til he comes in from work, and will often squirm when I pick her up or just scowl at me and toddle off!

We of course have lovely moments during the day; our silly mad moments of laughter and play, and we take wanderings around the village and adventures on the train. We have little dance sessions in the kitchen or lounge, and fun with snacks and games. But it is plain to see that despite these moments, she would much prefer to have her Daddy rather than Mummy, and that is just the way it is!

When she’s sad it’s always “Dada” first before me, and when he leaves the room she chases after him in a mad panic.

She cries when he goes to the bathroom (and waits outside if she can), and is heartbroken when he goes out to work.

She repeatedly kicks me out of the way if he brings her into our bed for snuggles, and dhe literally sprints to the door when she hears him return from work or a trip just to the car.

Alice will follow her daddy with her eyes around the room whilst he goes about his business and soon as he makes a wrong move, she jumps down to investigate where he went.

She is always watching, always wondering, and always following after her Daddy!

As soon as Nathan is in the room she lights up and a huge grin spreads across her face. If she is able to then she will run to him, and if not she whines with outstretched arms and wriggly legs; beckoning to him to come get her! When he picks her up to his 6ft 3 height, she nestles on his chest and looks so smug  snug!

She wants to be by his side always, or up on his shoulders, or just sat on his lap. She yearns to have him hold her in his arms and whatever he is doing she just wants to be a part of it.

She is allowed to play with his watch, his phone, and whatever she wants really. All she has to do is look at him with her pouty lips and big blue eyes, and much to her siblings dismay, will usually get her own way because she’s just “so cute”!

At bedtime she will lay in her cot crying “a-dada….dadaaaaa” until he comes and reassures her. If I go into her she is more sad, and then points at the door asking where “a-dada” is?!

She misses him when he’s out of sight, and adores to have him near when he’s home. She is the ultimate Daddy’s girl and is most content when by his side – it has been a dream for her to have him “home” for the last 2 weeks!

Megan and Ethan didn’t particularly favour either one of us in such a fierce way as Alice does with her Daddy, and even now it’s whoever didn’t say no, or made them do a chore that is the fave (it changes hourly)! But Alice on the other hand is all about Nathan, all of the time and has been for a while. Everyone sees it and most people comment on her being “A daddy’s girl”! Even from being with us for even a short few hours (sometimes minutes) they start commenting on how Alice is “A daddy’s girl”, and we all laugh and nod along that she totally is.

To us it is ordinary now – she adores her daddy and wants to be with him always and he is often the answer to her tears and despair! He is way softer with her than he was with the others and will often give in quicker too. He panders to her more than we ever did with Ethan and Megan, and it’s plain to see that the tiniest member of the family has him round her finger and wrapped up in her heart!

I find it quite funny sometimes, but mostly I love the ordinary moments of seeing Nathan with his cheeky little “Daddy’s girl” by his side! Its really cute and beautiful and also is rather convenient at bedtime and when we are out as it means I am hands free!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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