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

Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-sunset-sea-light-mikewilson

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! 

lift selfie

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

 

 

Yellow Vibes

Hey you colourful lot,

I wrote a blog at the back-end of last year about running.  I think I called it crimson?! This was mainly due to the colour of my face at the end of a little 5k jog round the block! At that point in my life I recall writing about how I had no ambition to race or run any kind of distance. 

Since the start of 2019, I seem to have stepped up a gear. This wasn’t intentional, it was the natural need to increase time and speed.

I have been regularly doing the Eaton Park Run on a Saturday morning, mainly for fun, but it does get a bit competitive! Interestingly, my personal record was on a week when I had the hangover from hell! Upon discussing this with some of my running colt, they claim it’s because alcohol contains carbs! I am not sure Usain Bolt uses this approach but it works for me! 

One thing I have learnt in life is that you have to push yourself because nobody is going to do it for you! So, with this in mind, I have entered myself into the Norwich 10k race in July. I will be there, along with 7,500 others, racing past some of Norwich’s most iconic landmarks. 

Naturally, as a fairly new runner, I was feeling a little anxious about whether I could actually achieve this having never ran 10k in my life before. I like to push myself in the 5k park run so much that when I get to the finish line, the thought of doing double was giving me heart palpitations!

In order to address this,  I decided to take it slow and run as far as I could. The conditions were absolutely perfect one day last week. The sky was blue and I could feel the spring sunshine on my back as I did a loop around our local town. I did it! 10.5k in 1 hour 7 mins. I feel so much better after having done it because psychologically I know I can do it! The target I have set myself now is to complete the Norwich 10k in under 1 hour. 

There are soooo many benefits of running. One of the biggest for me is that it’s an accessible form of exercise. I am a busy working mum and time is precious. You also feel more in control of our life, a lot stronger and it can lift spirits. I chose the colour yellow for this week’s blog because it portrays brightness, light and optimism. These are all words I would associate with my spring running goals. 

My advice is to stay motivated and set yourself a target. It always seems impossible until its done! 

Enjoy the Half Term Hols.

Soph x

Green Business

Hey followers,

After a quick Google search on what the ‘colour’ for mental health is, the results came flooding in as green! The colour green promotes health and wellness, something which is vital to this weeks story.

I have something very special to share with you…

I met with a colleague from work over a lunchbreak last week. This incredibly strong woman is called Camden and has battled an eating disorder to the point where she is living proof that we can achieve anything life throws at us. 

Camden has shown me nothing but support since I launched Life in Colour back in September. I am honoured that she wanted to share her experience and open a dialogue with me and my followers.

Have a listen here:

The key message from this podcast are no emotions are wrong. It becomes difficult when we arrive at our workplace to switch off and pretend that we are OK. We discuss how it would be a good idea to have Mental Health First Aiders in all workplaces. The reason for this is that we feel it is important to address any issue as early as possible. There is lots of work to be done to break the stigma and we hope that this weeks blog will help to raise the profile.

Camden talks about her life long battle with anorexia and how, at certain times of the day, she can feel quite anxious. It would be great if we had people in business who we could all talk to when we feel low.

People are complex and are battling things you have no idea about. As a Manager myself, this is certainly a challenge I face. I conclude by saying I don’t have all the answers but equally I would like to think I am an approachable kinda person who will always listen and support any of my co-workers #itsoknotobeok

Mental Health is probably the topic which people contact me about the most on my blog. I didn’t intend for the subject to feature so highly but it always gets lots of traction. I love hearing from anyone who has any feedback and I know Camden would do too. Please send us your comments via the blog.

Soph x