Well just like that our half term is over and this week the kids have returned to school! Monday morning we were eager beeves and surprisingly early for school (such a rarity), but by Wednesday we were back to our old ways of legging it up there with 2 minutes to spare!

Things have been rather quiet around here this week, both with the oldest 2 not around during the day, and here online! I am aware that I have majorly neglected my blog and not posted anything since last weeks #MyHeartyLife post, but I have been tired and busy getting on top of our home after half term, and generally occupied with the demands of other areas of my life. I hope to get back into the flow again starting today, as I have a lot of ideas of things I want to write about, as well as several collaborations building up that I need to crack on too!

Grateful For …

This week I have felt grateful for great old and new friends! I have loved catching up with old friends over in Leeds last week, and my oldest of school friends this week. I love (and am grateful for) those people you don’t always see very often, but make the effort to be interested in your life. I love when you get together you pick right up where you left off, be it days, weeks or months in between!

Our week has naturally fallen back into our term time routine, which means going to groups and soft plays, and it’s been lovely to see my pals from the village again and have some chats and laughs. I have been grateful for an overall really enjoyable week (made so by sharing our days with others) and I loved that yesterday we had a little lunch date at the farm shop with some mum friends! I feel grateful to have so many new friendships blossoming for Alice and I!

Succeeded At …

I think it’s high time I told you a little bit about what I am up to in my “Private Life” (yes I do have one!). I am rather open with my life online, it’s a given when you blog about your life/lifestyle, but there is one little detail I have deliberately left out, and that is that in September I started a college course at night school!

It’s been incredibly demanding (and some days almost impossible) around being a stay at home mum to 3, blogging, and general life, but so far I am clinging on and scraping by, and mostly enjoying it! I plan to write a post about this choice to return to education in the near future, but I will mention now that my biggest success this week was going back after half term and managing to complete and hand in my first (of 5) units to pass!

I have made some lovely new friends at college that seem to be so similar to me, and they make me laugh so much. I feel that each week I go, and each assignment I write, is a major success around all I do everyday with the home and family.

Found Beauty In …

This week has been filled with all kinds of beautiful things and moments! I loved laughing and singing with college friends midweek, and looked upon that simple moment as been such a beautiful thing. I have enjoyed lunch with old and new friends too, both of which were tasty, beautiful and treasured moments in my day!

Last Friday we met some friends in Leeds and went for a walk around “Golden Acre Park”. I have little memory of ever going there when we lived in Leeds, however being there last week made me wonder “why the heck not!”. It was such a lovely afternoon, and I found it all so beautiful to look at – the lovely woodland and water, the beauty of the kids having such a fun time playing with their friends!

The next day (Saturday) brought another beautiful moment when I went to take a picture of the kids, and Megan said “We are saving a space for Poppy”. Well me heart just melted! It was such a gorgeous thing to say!

If you don’t know our story then read it here, but in 2014 their sister passed away at term and was stillborn. It has been incredibly hard, and on some days impossible, but moments like this remind me of how very much a part of our family she will always be. It’s hard to live without one of your children, but I am grateful for the moment’s my kids remember with me, and love her!

#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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Hello and welcome back to another week of “MyHeartyLife” – an opportunity for us to share in the goodness and positive points of the previous week!

This week for us has been half term, and whilst I had great plans for a “No spend” week, confident in the fact I could muster up lots of free ideas and days out, by mid week we were headed to the cinema and I was more than ready to dish out the dough for some peace! I am not usually a parent to whine about the school holidays; I usually really love them and I love the bonus days we get to spend together again. But there has been something about this half term that has been incredibly hard and a real test of my patience!

The kids have spent a lot of time arguing and fighting with each other, nagging and making Alice cry! The weather was awful most days, and our washer broke, and so under the circumstances I have sadly been counting down the days until they are back to school, whilst clinging to the brief moments of peace and laughter!

Grateful For

Despite the rubbish weather, and contentious kiddies, I have been grateful for the lovely moments we have been able to enjoy together – The laughs when Ethan got soaked by a wave at the seaside on Tuesday, the lovely date at the Cinema to see Coco for Valentines… a great time walking in the muddy fields and puddles yesterday, and hanging with cousins on Wednesday.

Coco was such a brilliant film and I am grateful that we got to go and see it together. It was so thought provoking and touching, and I look forward to seeing again when it is released on DVD! Our tickets were only £4 each too, so I am grateful that it was cheap!

I am also grateful this week for the lovely day I had in London on Saturday with Ethan, and for my lovely husband and valentine – Nathan! I am grateful everyday for him and the love we share, but I am grateful to have a had a day to really stop and look at what has grown as a result of that love and express it a little more. We are not big celebrators of Valentines day, but we do have our little low key traditions that we enjoy. I love the reminder of how great it is to love and be loved in return and grateful for a bonus little date together!

Succeeded At 

My biggest success has been getting through this crazy hard half term without losing my mind completely!! I know I usually crack jokes with stuff like this, but nah – this is for real people. I feel it a great accomplishment, and I am hoping that the next school holidays are a lot smoother than this one has been!

Found Beauty In

The 2 most beautiful sights this week were on Tuesday and Yesterday. Both were outdoors and appreciative of nature!

On Tuesday we headed to the coast to collect rocks from the beach to paint, have some fresh air and a walk, and get a few things from the shops. Turns out the air was way more fresh than we anticipated and with a cold blustery day the waves were going nuts and with the added rain, we pretty much froze! It was however a beautiful sight as always to see the waves crashing against the harbour wall and rolling vigorously over the sand.

I loved watching the joy on Ethan’s face as he ran between waves to collect his much wanted rocks.

Yesterday I once again found beauty in our lovely village and surrounding countryside, when we decided to make the most of a lovely sunny day and go for a muddy walk. We did indeed have a muddy walk – after 3 days of heavy rain the fields were ridiculously muddy, yet having all of this beauty and space to breathe right on our doorstep, combined with blue skies and sunshine, and the kids enjoying themselves, was truly a beautiful thing indeed!

I am looking forward to a day in the city with the kids today and the fact that we have also booked a little night away for us all in a hotel (with pool). We all need to just unwind and regroup and so we are hoping for a lovely weekend and some lovely family moments!

#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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On Saturday I had one of the best moments of the year so far, when Ethan and I travelled to London for the day. We had a date in the capital and it was a fab being there and hopping on and off the tube trying to find our way! The main focus of our visit was to go see Pinocchio at the National Theatre on the South bank, but we of course manged to squeeze in a few of the sights and some sushi too!

Pinocchio

Whats makes us real? And how often are we led by others ideas, and bound by the strings of their opinions and control?

Do we live our life in all of its pleasures instead of with some honesty, accountability, balance and thoughts for others?

The moral lessons of life, love and family run deep in the story of the puppet boy that desires to be real, without really understanding what that entails. Brought to life on a giant set, with magnificent life like giant puppets, song, magic and edge of your seat action, both Ethan and I were hugely impressed and loved the stage adaptation of Pinocchio!

Pinocchio is the spectacular new production brought to the stage by an extraordinary team including John Tiffany the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dennis Kelly the writer of Matilda the Musical. It features unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film including I’ve Got No StringsGive a Little Whistle and When You Wish upon a Star in dazzling new arrangements.

From the moment the lights went down it was filled with magic, wonderment, adventure, illusions, familiar songs and to me – great symbolism and life lessons. Ethan’s jaw dropped and he was fixated on the set…the lights and the giant puppets. He marvelled at it all and told me afterwards how magical and amazing it was and how he loved it so much. He even had the opportunity on the way out ro chat to the light and sound guy who truly inspired him for a career in technical theatre!

It is a fantastic musical to take children to, truly enchanting, and the way it was created for stage was spectacular.

The adults and set were all done on a giant scale to help you feel the smallness of Pinocchio in his character as a little puppet. And each scene was captivating as we followed his new life which he has magically entered, the choices he has before him and the paths life takes him on, often influenced by the deceit of others.

It rather similar to the film and yet full of surprises too. I found it really interesting to see that the main human characters of the show were all played by giant puppets, and yet the only “real puppet” was actually played by a “real boy”!

Each of the puppets were so impressive and breathtaking and so fabulously made. They were very life like and had amazing stage presence. It all felt so life like and drew us in, and certainly helped put Pinocchio into proportion.

I really loved it all, but especially the depth and lessons that ooze out of the story through song, dance and general performance. It left me afterwards pondering on many of the lessons in life that it explores, and I suppose generally evaluating my own choices. I always love shows that leave an impact!

One of my favourite scene’s (aside from the ones with high energy singing and dancing), would have to be how they created the whale and underwater part of the story. You may remember from the film that Gepetto is swallowed by a whale and Pinocchio goes into the sea to find him. This part of the show absolutely fascinated both of us as to how the lighting and effects so perfectly gave the illusions of being under water. Jamie Harrison (who also worked on Harry potter and the cursed child in London’s West end), certainly knows how to amaze and enchant audiences of all ages!

Being in a London theatre on a date with my biggest of kiddies was an adventure in itself, but seeing a musical of such depth and amusement, with wonderful magic and mind blowing artistry was just amazing. Everyone involved did a brilliant job and as a result we have been on a high all weekend. It was an outstanding day, filled with several extraordinary moments, and I keep doing little jigs around the kitchen whilst singing “I got no strings”…

The Lyttelton theatre and all on stage, gave a magnificent show, and it was lovely to enjoy a day together that made us truly feel alive and joyful!

Pinocchio run at the Lyttelton Theatre at National Theatre London until 10th April! I would highly recommend it as it is so amazing. If like us you have a family railcard, then trains to London can be Mega cheap even from Yorkshire for a quick day trip of fun and some theatre adventures!

*Thanks to National Theatre for inviting us to review this spectacular show! 

 

Family Fever
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There is something special about being in a capital city… being in such a famous place that is filled with so many people, so many stories and spectacular sights. There is something special about taking your own kids to all of the places you have loved from being a kid and sharing in their excitement as well as holding your own, over all of the famous sights of our beloved London!

For a few weeks now Ethan and I have been excited about our approaching trip to London which took place on Saturday. We had plans to go on a date (just the 2 of us for just the day) and see a few sights, go to the theatre, ride the underground and eat sushi. I love that because we live in Yorkshire, going to London always feels like such an adventure for us, and whilst parent/child dates are becoming an ordinary for us – this one was certainly more extra ordinary!

I really love London these days. We used to live a short tube ride away as a kid, and I have fond memories of being on daddy daughter dates with my Dad there! I also remember in my early 20’s I spent a lot of time visiting my now sister in law at Uni in London and it was always a lot of fun. But as I have had my kids and entered my 30’s, I haven’t had that many opportunities to visit, and at times (with current affairs) I have also felt more than a little anxious to go!

However, since blogging more seriously over the last couple of years I have had many opportunities and reasons to go, and each time I have grown more in love with it again and found myself feeling way more comfortable there. I love that no matter how many times we visit, and no matter what the weather, London never fails to impress and excite me, and being in the capital feels so special!

Seeing London through the eyes of kids is something else though, and the moments spent there with Ethan this weekend were wonderful. It felt so much lighter and less rushed than it usually is. We wandered along those city streets avoiding puddles and laughed as we ran for the tube and through each barrier. We stood in awe at the London eye and the river Thames (because its “such an amazing river”). And we snuggled and sat mesmerized together at the theatre, before enjoying the lights of Leicester square in the evening (and a quick trip to Zara!!).

We didn’t see everything, but we saw enough. He got to see the River, Big Ben, the London Eye, and the main focus – We got to have a wonderful afternoon at the National theatre seeing Pinocchio. And then to tip it all off, we scoffed sushi and noodles on the train as we headed back north in the evening which is something we both share a love for, but that the rest of our little family turn their noses up to!

I really loved my date in London with Ethan. I loved how exciting things felt that I have seen so many times before, and I loved the moments we shared in the capital on our adventure together. I feel we bonded in a way that was much needed between us, and as we headed back to Kingscross station for our train home we made plans to return again very soon to see where the Great fire broke out (his latest interest) and to visit the pigeons and fountains of Trafalgar square.

Parent and child dates provide so many ordinary and special moments together and this is a special little date we will both treasure for a long time.

The main purpose of our visit was to see Pinocchio – if you would like a sneaky preview then you can catch it here. My review should be live in the next day or so if you want to pop back and have a read! It was a spectacular and magical show and we haven’t stopped talking about it!

 

The Ordinary Moments
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