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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I began blogging about 2.5 years ago as a form of therapy and as an outlet. It was during in our 3rd pregnancy when we not only found out we were having another girl, but that she also had a serious form of congenital heart disease. Half of what we were told I had never even heard of and I could barely make sense of what was going on, let alone reiterate it to friends and family. I also found that life suddenly was heavy and the foreseeable future would be spent in hospital with major surgeries, followed by a life of uncertainty. It was awful, it was hard, it was nothing a pregnancy should be, and it was just all emotional.

It seemed to be a natural time to begin blogging as I needed a place to tell the details concisely to everyone without always having to repeat it, (and a place to let it all out). It was to be my space to share the highs and lows of life, and something to ensure I drew the positives from family life to maintain a sense of normality and balance – And so “The Hearty Life” was born.

It was less about image quality and more about just getting it all out. It created a channel of communication, but also as a way of focusing on our blessings despite the trial we were facing. It was a way to say how I felt when I couldn’t vocalise that to the people around me, and it was a way to release the ever building pains of our life! Sometimes it was the trigger for a day out instead of staying in, and sometimes it was just my journal.



As things progressed, and she was later diagnosed with a life limiting syndrome (Trisomy 18), and then later born sleeping, my world as I knew it began to collapse and was changed forever. My blog was now my life line.

I began to look for positives to write about…the beams between the clouds, but I mostly wrote about the pain of losing a baby at term; the darkness and loneliness of grief, and the struggles of never meeting her alive or getting to raise her with my other kids.

There were angry posts, desperate posts, raising awareness posts and down right sad posts.

Some posts offended people. Some posts helped and inspired people. And some posts seemed to be an invitation to people to tell me how I should I be handling my loss…

But as much as it upset me to have negativity and nasty comments, I didn’t care really because it was helping me to survive my loss. Writing it all down gave me a voice and a place to express it. It helped me, not only to show people what life after loss was and is like, but it helped me to try and make sense of what was going on in life. The loss of a baby cannot be fluffed up, and unfortunately that isn’t always easy for people to read. Grief has many elements aside from sadness, and that isn’t easy for people to read, but its not easy to live through it either, and unless you have experienced such a raw grief as that of burying your baby the week after their birth, I believe you have no authority to judge another’s journey or how they handle it. To not write it at fear of upsetting the people around me, and to not get that out would have certainly killed me.

My blog helped me through the worst experience of my life, and each passing week and month it helped to navigate me slowly through the foreign lands of baby loss. It helped me to function as it was a place to focus my depleting energies into something I enjoyed – writing and taking pictures! Grief stripped me of everything yet my blogging helped me cling onto my passions and beliefs… it helped me to stay afloat by sharing the moments of joy we were still able to enjoy as family despite the crippling pain we were carrying. In a strange way it all made me feel a little better and see my healing journey, and yet it confused me that people were sure I shouldn’t be writing it?! Surly the benefits far outweighed the clumsy or angry words of a grieving mother?

From therapy to hobby…to passion

Blogging now is less focus about awareness and more about sharing my life and our family as a whole. Writing our story is one of my favourite hobbies, and the longest journal I have ever kept! Working with brands and online work, most certainly is a fabulous job and I have realised over the last couple of years that I just love to write; be it about emotions or our family life, a product, place or our adventures. I truly love it.

My blog has given me a way to really identify what my passions in life are, and to gain joy from experiencing and sharing them with others. Yes whilst it still includes a chunk about baby loss, grief and parenting after loss, (because this is still a major thing in my life), it is also a place to share my life as a mother and individual, my personal loves of theatre, food, style, bargains and just all of the little joys along the way that make life great (“hearty”!). To remove any of those would remove its roots, my beginnings, my journey and my life now.

I enjoy my connections with other bloggers and I have developed great joy in photographing and capturing moments and the things in life that make me smile! I adore reviewing places and products and working on campaigns with brands. I love it all from my musings to my reviews, because the bottom line is that through writing I have found myself in the darkest chapter of my life. I have gone from having a blog for therapy and in 2.5 years become a passionate blogger and content creator very much aware and confident in what in life make me happy and creates “The Hearty Life” for us!


So everyday that an email drops into my inbox with an opportunity, or a fellow blogger or reader comments or tweets me, my soul does a little skip and happy dance because I am just so incredibly grateful for my blog and my life as a blogger. It is never something I saw myself doing, but it is something I now love and am very passionate about. I am especially grateful for my daughter Poppy, because having her meant that I chose to start it, and whilst her life is a tragedy in our history, this is her legacy…the way I keep her memory alive to the world. It is a good thing that has come from her brief life, to not only save me, help others and raise awareness of loss, but I see it as her gift to me and our family through the beautiful moments we can remember and the simply wonderful things we get to work on and experience together!


Blogging in 2017

As I stand at the start of the road that is 2017, I am hoping to stop faffing with my ever changing header and colour scheme, and rather channel my efforts into improving my photography (and hopefully invest in camera)! I need to be better with my time management so that I can read more books on an evening (another goal I have) and not feel stressed over something I love so much. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a dabble in video and vlogging too (though I cringe at myself with this one).

I wish for a year of more adventures, more fabulous opportunities (and little ones too) in the areas I love, and more connections in the blogging community. I have several specific blog goals regarding my stats and social presence, and some personal one too about travel, reading, being more stylish (ha), but overall from 2017 I want to feel this continued joy and satisfaction from my life as a mother, and of course a writer and blogger. I want to relish in the fact that something wonderful for me and my family grew out of something so devastating, and I would hope that the people that love us, see what a huge blessing that is.

I dont think I will ever (at least for the foreseeable future) stop blogging, tweeting, and writing about my life, our adventures and our loss…it is my passion now, and it is my life. This is me! Blogging is something that makes me smile and brings me a lot of joy, it reminds me who I am and what I love in life, and it is very special as it is a legacy to my daughter. I like that for the first time in my life that the majority of my personal, and “work” goals all intertwine in the same thing and can be accomplished by that same medium – My blog!

I am, for the first new year since she left, excited to see what 2017 brings to us and creates for us.

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Run Jump Scrap!

I have been thinking a lot recently about the word inspire and wondered what or who is inspiring to you?

Next I’d ask Is it little old me? Really? Because believe it or not some people seem think so But…Do I really inspire people with my little piece of the web and the way I approach life, or is it a word misused in a moment where there is nothing much else to say?

Since starting my blog almost 2 years ago and being so open and honest about every emotion and step of this journey, there is one word that is recurrent in peoples description of me, one word that is used when the most emotional and painful posts are published, a word that at times makes me feel a bit awkward and at other times very humbled… that word is “Inspirational” and often comes from people I barely know as well as those that know me well.

I at times laugh sheepishly when hearing this as I would never, out of all of the words to describe ME say that I was an inspiration to anyone, a mess maybe..scatty? Emotional? A joker? Of course but inspiring..never, yet for some reason in telling my story of baby loss and grief and of our family life around these terribly difficult topics, there are moments that seem to inspire others and however that happens (I don’t know) I can say I am pleased that my experiences are helping another in some way..it is all I ever hoped. When I looked upon Poppy’s beautiful face before we said goodbye for the remainder of our lives, I just wanted her in some way to have an impact in this world. I wanted her to not be forgotten and I wanted to feel like all of this was worth it and had had some purpose.
I started my blog initially to raise awareness of 3 things; Trisomy 18, Congenital heart disease and the eventual baby loss that would result from these 2 serious conditions. I wanted something to focus my emotions into during my pregnancy and have a voice about how it felt to be carrying a baby with an uncertain future and how our family were affected by this.

I also wanted something to show the world how beautiful life still is, how many adventures there are still to enjoy and how great family life can be despite the stormy and very low periods which we unexpectedly find ourselves thrown into and especially the long and painful journey of stillbirth and baby loss. I knew deep down how ever hard it was at times to find, there is always something to be grateful for and smile about, and the things I blog hopefully show that.
fam time
It since has evolved into more of my interests and our family life generally, but these beginnings still are very much engrained with in the content I share.

When I look at me, at my blog and the things I write and share with people, Of course I wouldn’t say I was inspiring or inspirational. I would say I am just telling our story honestly and at times that is very sad.
I am a mother now of both living children and an Angel child that just wants to tell her story and that just wants her daughter to be remembered. I want life to be portrayed as the roller coaster it is, with all of its joys and struggles, and I especially want my living children to love this world; to have and seek adventures and to not let the troubles with in it and that come into our lives beyond our control, define them and make them live in sadness or despair. I want them to look at us and how we handle things and know its okay to cry and struggle but then we must also fly high and love life. I want to live life to the full and fight for joy despite the hardships we have faced and do face from loosing our daughter…but to me this is a natural human trait when put under pressure isn’t it? Or am I doing things others deem as impossible?

Since loosing her we have done a couple of things to help raise awareness and help others, and you can read about them below:

Poppy’s Gift
The yorkshire 3 peaks
Raising Awareness and Funds for SANDS 
Sharing our Story on BBC Radio Leeds

But yes, most things are just our life story and so every time I am described as an inspiration it blows me away. “Am I really?” I ask myself!

SO… If you read or follow my blog, if you have at any step of this journey thought me to be an inspiration through the words I write or things we have done, then I would ask ever so nicely if you wouldn’t mind taking a few moments to VOTE FOR ME IN THE BIBs THIS YEAR PLEASE, I would love to be nominated in the Inspiration category for sharing our story and having enthusiasm about life despite.

Many thanks x x (Just click the image to be taken to the nominations or click here)


I don’t know about you, but I really love this time of year of newness, ambition and a clean slate.

I love the time we have to reflect on what has been, what we have learnt. lost and achieved, and what lies ahead and what can be created. I like that we can be whoever we want to be through goals and work and that life never has to be the same, and this is really a focus for a lot of people at the beginning of a new year!
422fbe5dbfc62202c8873392664479212015 was possibly one of the lowest years of my life, and with that a very difficult season for me. It held for me months of just surviving the 1sts and ploughing on in life following the stillbirth of our daughter at the end of 2014. I had a lot of run in’s with people as I tried to make sense of everything and deal with various stages and emotions that came with grief, but I also saw the immense kindness and love of people (family, friends and strangers) as they helped our family and tried day in day out to support me in my pain!

I found being out with my children made life great, the clarity the outdoors brings helped me breathe again and see the beauties that were still there in life and the world. I felt joy and appreciation as we had adventures, fun and travels and these helped me take steps forward in my healing.
instagramcapture_4c960f9d-9b1e-4f38-a358-ab0c515fe9c1I am grateful for a new year, that whilst I still carry pain from loosing Poppy, this year I do not have to face the 1sts, because I have conquered those. I have started traditions and little things that help me remember her, keep her close and alive within our family. I look forward to this year to new memories, new adventures and new experiences.

Whilst I do not make news resolutions, I do make goals, but these are not bound to the new years.. I find evaluating my life every so often and making a plan for the foreseeable future with measurable goals helps me to feel confident and have direction. Last year I missed that in my life and felt I was very much drifting, but despite wanting to have goals my energy and mentality couldn’t take on anything other than survival!
wp_20150630_15_10_38_proI hope this year, as I say, is different though. We have some obvious goals to reach which are exciting and life changing, those being Nathan finishing university and the prospect of a new Job and home! Then We have Megan Starting school in September and a family holiday in the summer with Nathans side, which are all exciting things to work for. In addition to these family goals and milestones, I also have some personal goals to bid farewell to the old and bring in the new and a hopeful 2016 they’re not my usual lofty ones of learn a new language, instrument and who knows what else, but they are things that will stretch me and help me in my new normal and loves:

– Continue to grow my blog, work with brands and raise awareness of loss and Trisomy 18, both via my blog and other ways
– Become a SANDS befriender and help on their committee
– Improve my photography and invest in a camera – It brings me more joy than I ever realised
– Start my own book! Its about loss that’s all I am saying, but not what your might expect!
– Read more and watch less – I bought some books recently and really want to get into them!
– Use my phone less when with my kids – make the moments count
– Visit a new country (one I have every year)
– Look at having a number 4 baby (Did I just write that?) and hope its not 4,5 & 6!!!

And that’s about it, take each day as it comes but always try and make it better, find joy in life and be grateful, and finally look after myself… if I need a rest, a break, a cry, a chocolate bar… im doing it guilt free!! I still battle grief and so time outs are needed. I also have small character things and habits I am always working on, and don’t think these need to be titled “Goals” as its a working progress. The things above however are things that next year can be ticked off as “Yes I did that” just as for 2015 I can put a big fat “YES” next to “survive baby loss and its 1st year”!!
What about you? What do you hope this year will bring your way?

Run Jump Scrap!