Keep Your Powder Dry

Aylsham 3

Today, Sunday 13th October, I completed my second ever running event; The Colour Run in Aylsham Norfolk. 

I woke at 7.15am, drew back the curtains and the rain was pouring. It was a pretty grey and miserable Sunday morning. Immediately I was regretting signing up for something labelled as a ‘fun run!’

For those of you wondering what a colour run is, basically runners begin dressed in clean white T-shirts, and pass through 5 colour stations, one every kilometre. Each colour station is associated with a different colour, with volunteers throwing coloured powder at you. 

It was a really good atmosphere, lots of families and really well organised. I had made a conscious effort not to have a glass of wine the night before. In fact, the complete polar opposite, I sat watching Strictly Come Dancing with a pint of water! It wasn’t quite the same but I was determined to enjoy my run. 

For those of you close to me, you will know that I have lost my running mojo a little since Run Norwich 10k back in July. You have to be in the right frame of mind to run. I once read that running is 90% mental and 10% physical and I truly believe this. When speaking to fellow runners, they all advised me to book another event. They say its key to getting back into it. 

This colour run seemed like the perfect opportunity for me so I embraced the event and signed up. It had pretty much stopped raining when the Race Director gathered us all for the briefing and warm up. The music was playing and the rainbow finish line was in sight. 

finish line

The title of this weeks blog, Keep Your Powder Dry, means take on the challenge but stay alert and take care of yourself, which originally alluded to keeping gunpowder dry so that it would ignite.

I felt it was poignant for how I have been feeling recently with regards to running. Hopefully this means I am back in the game and looking to book my next event. Mind over matter!

me covered in paint

I will keep you all updated with my progress. 

Thank you for all your support, you totally know who you all are and I love you all to bits.

Now does anyone have any tips on how I can get this powder paint out of my trainers??? 

Soph x

A Celebration of Life in Colour

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Wow – where did that year go?!

My little blog is officially 1 year old. I have managed to write 22 blog posts, I have had 3,617 views and my most popular blog was read 263 times!

This caused for a celebration. I have never advertised My Life in Colour or indeed done anything to promote it (other than social media). I certainly don’t make any money from it, or maybe I should? It purely started as a hobby to fill a couple of hours on a Monday – my only day off during the week. I love writing – I just wish I could devote more time to it!

On Friday, one of my oldest friends Hollie treated me to a make-over. Hollie has featured on my blog several times, mainly through podcasting.  It has been a really tough few months and I was delighted to be part of her ‘Make Up Your Mind’ Campaign which was launched to support better mental health.

With our lipstick on, we decided to hit the City and have a few drinks to celebrate 1 year of My Life in Colour.

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Thank you to you all for your support over the last 12 months. I have had some amazing feedback. Here are a few of my favourites…

‘Absolutely amazing! I’m so proud to be a part of your podcast and I don’t think there could have been a better way to bring our friendship closer again and to be so honest with one another. Love you Soph’ Hollie Neve, A Colourful Friendship, 12/11/18

That was great you two! You are proper professional podcasters! Very real and honest.’ Julia Dutton, Green Business, 29/01/19

‘Well done sweet another great blog. The three of us are proud of everything you mange to squeeze in everyday!’ Mark Sayer, Colour Works, 08/04/2019

‘Well aren’t I lucky to have made a friend like you!!!’ Georgia Lambert, Welcome to my Blog, 27/09/18

‘Sayer – Love this! And good for you. I’ve missed your enthusiasm for life and your colourfulness. My life needs a bit of you back in it 🙂 xx’ Alex Thurman, Welcome to my Blog, 27/09/18

‘I absolutely love an upcycle project Soph! I have only managed to do a couple of things in our house but it’s so incredibly therapeutic! Love the blog! 💖 Xx’ Charlotte Holmes, Chalk Paint Pastels, 06/01/19

Soph xxx

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you…

Hi to all my colourful followers,

I hope you are enjoying the summer holidays? The biggest advantage for me is not making packed lunches every night in preparation for school the next day! The biggest disadvantage is the chaos it brings to working parents! Childcare seems like a massive juggle and we are literally just taking it one week to the next. On a positive note though, we have just returned from a fabulous summer break in Portugal with the Haddens. It really was total relaxation and a very much needed break from the daily routine.

Before we jetted off, I had one final mission to complete. Do you all remember me talking about the ‘Run Norwich’ event that I had booked earlier in the year? It is a 10k run through the historic city of Norwich with 7,000 other people.

run 1

The lead up to the event was taken very seriously. I had spoken to a few running friends who had advised a little 5k run during the week would be a good idea to keep the legs moving and then the plan was to rest up and eat pasta on the lead up to the race. This is exactly what I did, bar a little work night out on the Friday which involved a couple of alcoholic beverages! I am pretty sure there must be a few carbs in a glass of wine anyway!

Race day came and I was up early to hydrate myself and go to the loo (very important). We headed into the City with the whole family. We had tonnes of time to kill so we ended up in a Cafe, drinking coffee, and soaking up the atmosphere.

The weather conditions seemed perfect. It was dry, although a little warm and no wind. I made my way to my ‘pen’ 15 minutes before the start time anxiously awaiting my friend to join me. Miraculously, we found each other and did our own little warm up together.

The horn sounded and we were off! The streets of Norwich were lined with people all shouting and cheering. There were also lots of live bands and DJs providing entertainment on route. This all made a huge difference to the mood and atmosphere, providing masses of motivation for all involved.

I ran 90% of the route with Em and we separated slightly near to Norwich Cathedral. In the end, we only finished 10 seconds apart. It was amazing to see so many special people near the finish line, I couldn’t have got to that point without each and every one of them. 

Once I had crossed the finish line, it was very surreal. I stopped running (obvs) and then before I knew it, I was in the que for a medal and bottle of water! At this point, I seemed a long way from anyone I knew and almost felt like I had nobody to celebrate with. It seemed like a long time between crossing the finish line and finding anyone that I remotely knew. I headed back to the forum, bumping into old school friends along the way.

run 2

Eventually I was able to celebrate with my little family. We stood around taking pictures, wearing our medals and analysing our times. This was my second fastest 10k run and I was delighted with my time. I put in place this challenge at the beginning of the year and I feel great that I have achieved it. Who knows whats next… a half marathon?! It is true what they say, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. 

run 3

It was such a great experience and I would recommend all new and existing runners to enter for next year. Well done to Mark, Nancy and Paul who also completed amazing runs – all finishing ahead of me I might add! 

Keeping the topic on point, Flo & Eddie achieved their Half Marathon awards at Norwich Junior Park Run this weekend. They were awarded little wrist bands for running 11 times, which totals half a marathon! I felt really proud of them both and love that they are adopting a healthy lifestyle. We must be doing something right as parents! 

run 4

Have a good week,

Soph

x

 

Sail Your Colours to the Mast!

Hey followers,

I hope you are all well? It is that time of the week again where I have miraculously found some time to sit down and write about a new experience.

This week was pretty special as I landed a place on the Norfolk Broads with lots of local influential people, including bloggers like myself. It was a beautiful summers evening as the #Broadstours left from Wroxham. We set sail at 7pm, the sun was shining, the gin was flowing and the live music was pouring out from top deck! My advice is that you must take every opportunity in life #Getonbroad

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For me, it was an amazing chance to meet some like-minded people. I spoke to lots of local mums, who were blogging about all aspects of motherhood. We exchanged our writing experiences and the most common denominator was that we all struggle to actually find time to sit down and write. Posting a story on Instagram is a much quicker way of conveying a message. It is also a great opportunity to reach a higher number of people. You may be questioning why I am therefore so dedicated to my blog?

Well…one of the top answers includes improving my writing skills. In order to keep up in today’s competitive environment, we must all continually evolve and develop our skills. I am constantly analysing my writing with the view to improve. Instagram is not the forum for sharing knowledge and making a difference, although admittedly it can help build a brand. 

Writing is a hobby and meeting such a great bunch of people at the ‘#norfolkbloggers event just accelerated it. I feel more motivated than ever.

We all admitted that we don’t sit and write in a purpose built studio, den or workroom. Infact, I usually write while on the sofa or sat up in bed. This is the place I feel most comfortable and relaxed.

Writing is often interrupted by children needing a drink. Or perhaps to break up a small fight as world war II unfolds! It is not always as relaxing as I once visualised but I am sure lots of you can relate 😉

I would like to give a special shout out to those on the #Broadstours who were promoting their local businesses. My top 3 included The Rainbow Glitter Bar, Lee Van (Norfolks one-man band) and The Garden Kitchen (Independent cafe). The Canopes were devine.

Flo turns 7 tomorrow so I must dash and get some rest before the celebrations commence. 

Have a good week,

Soph

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee, Communication and Connections

It is my favourite time of the week! The house is quiet, all housework is up to date, which means I can finally relax, sit down and write.

Each week (or month) I cover a new topic. This week I am writing about communication and how it is fundamental to all aspects of life, whether at work or at home. 

During my last blog, I wrote about the enjoyment blogging brings and the conversation it sparks. I would like to continue on with this thought…

We were away last weekend with some life-long friends staying in Cleethorpes. One of my closest friends, Becky, asked me how the Life in Colour blog was going? It always amazes me how many people take time to read my blog and follow up with me afterwards. It facilitates valuable discussion and adds a sense of realism to life which can be portrayed  as otherwise on social media. Primarily, my blog was born to provide readers with unique thoughts and insights, but as I am becoming to learn, it is much more than this. 

Talking of valuable discussions, I met a very inspirational person earlier this year through an evening reception I attended for work. He is an International Director, non-executive director and strategist with over 25 years of experience in the business and management arena. He is also an influential blogger (on a completely different level to me) and has written several books. I am very lucky to have a signed copy of his book titled, Meaningful Conversations 🙂

One message which did come to light in this book was the importance of personal connections. My Life in Colour Blog has certainly brought this to the fore front of my mind and I truly believe that it has enabled rich communication and furthermore special connections. People in this category include friends, family, colleagues at work, business associates and strangers. The blog gives a starting point for a discussion. 

I guess my message here is to take time and physically connect with people, face-to-face if possible. I will always go out of my way to deliver flowers to a friend, have a meeting in a coffee shop with a colleague, catch up with family over Sunday lunch and personally respond to members of the public on my blog related topics. Communication can help improve happiness by providing a connection between 2 or more people. It helps build relationships, both in business and in personal life.

According to Geoff Hudson-Searle, research has proven that happy people usually:-

  • Are smarter and more creative
  • Are more likely to be in a stable and happy marriage
  • Make more money
  • Are healthier and live longer
  • Are more generous

Surely we all want these qualities in life?! Therefore my advice is to take time to see your friends for coffee, meet with colleagues (off-site where possible) and make connections. In my opinion, it promotes positivity and you will come away feeling happy. 

Furthermore, colour can often be used to communicate how we feel. This fits nicely with the branding of my blog and is probably a topic for discussion at another time. 

The chosen colour this week was the colour coffee! 

Have a good week,

Soph x

 

 

 

Colour Works

Hello to all my lovely readers,

It is the beginning of the Easter holidays and the children have just broken up for two weeks. Like most working mums, I am unable to take all the school holidays off work so I am compromising by working 2 days this week and 3 next week.

Work / life balance is a constant battle that I am faced with every single day. I know that I am not alone with this dilemma.

Listen to my Life in Colour podcast below, with friend Hollie, where we discuss the life of working mums.

It is really difficult to get the balance right. I have always worked and I love my job in publishing, which is why the boundaries have become blurred.

The other thing to consider is finding time for ME!  My life is mostly consumed by work and being a Mum and again I think many of you will be able to relate. I have written blogs in the past about what I do to break away from the stresses and strains of life. I definitely use running and Zumba as forms of escape.  I also get a lot of enjoyment out of blogging and the conversations it sparks.

In sum, I have no regrets about being a working mum. It is a hard balance, some weeks I get it right and some weeks I don’t. I feel it is important to work in order to pay the bills, but also to teach our children that if you work hard you can also play hard.

Enjoy the Easter Hols,

Soph x

 

Green – the official colour of Ireland

plane

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be flown to Dublin – as part of my Christmas present from Mark. This was something completely out of my comfort zone as I have never left the children for more than 1 night – let alone got on a plane and flown over 400 miles! 

I had very mixed feelings. I was excited to be going away and having fun but terrified about leaving my babies. I knew they were in safe hands and the ‘sitters’ were fully up to speed with the routine. As far as I was aware, I had done everything I could to reduce the separation anxiety. 

Once I had peeled my eldest off me, we made our way to the airport. It felt very strange. We could listen to normal stuff on the radio, no ‘baby shark’ renditions or ‘who let the dogs out!’ We even stopped and went through the McDonalds Drive Thru – just because we could! Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic!

The whole weekend went like clock work. We were in the Guinness Storehouse within a couple of hours of landing in Dublin Airport. Neither of us particularly like Guinness, but as its Irelands most popular tourist attraction, we needed to experience it. The highlight was the rooftop Gravity Bar, which gave the most stunning views over Dublin. 

guinness

We also spent some time shopping, enjoyed lots of coffee breaks, jumped on and off the sight seeing bus and had an amazing meal at the Hard Rock Café in Temple Bar. Furthermore, we managed a token 5k run along the river Liffey and had some relaxation time in the local spa. It was super busy but I believe that you must take every opportunity which comes your way and make your life a story worth telling! 

bus

Overall, we had a very action packed 48 hours away. The trip was tainted slightly by a long flight delay coming home, but I am determined not to let this by our last memory of Dublin! The biggest positives were a full (9 hours) uninterrupted sleep, eating a meal without getting up 100 times for various reasons, drinking a hot cup of coffee with nobody climbing all over me and being able to dry my hair and put my make up on without an audience! Like I said, its the small things in life which make the biggest difference! 

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I am not usually one to display public signs of affection but a massive shout out to the special people who took amazing care of our children to enable this trip to go ahead. 

Love Soph x