Pretty Primrose

 

primrose

Welcome to this weeks Life in Colour blog, which happens to include another little gardening feature. This weekend I managed to bag myself a couple of hours of child-free time (thanks to Mark) and spend some time in the great outdoors.

I felt like I needed to inject some colour into the garden, in the hope that Spring will soon be here. There were certainly signs of evidence as I pottered around the garden, including green daffodil shoots in every boarder!

I purchased some yellow primroses and yellow pansies from the local garden centre. I am not sure why the colour yellow, but I guess its because I associate it with spring. It is also the colour of happiness, hope and sunshine – the perfect choice for this weeks life in colour blog!

primrose 5

A couple of hours in the garden can totally change the way you feel. I have written previously on the blog about the benefit of being out in the fresh air, both mentally and physically. It is very therapeutic and can lift any feeling of isolation. My new plants on the front doorstep also make me smile each time I walk past them and into the house. Do you think they look pretty?

primrose 2

One other thing I should mention on this weeks blog is my new herb garden! It is just about up and running ready for the ‘odd’ gin night with the girls. Gin and herbs work amazingly well together, possibly because plants and botanicals are at the centre of how gin derives its flavour? Mark made it for me from an un-used crate. I love a little upcycle project! I took inspiration from my best friend who also has something similar.

primrose 4

I will keep you all updated on anything which grows in this little gem. You will also be the first to know when I have enough greenery to host a gin cocktail evening!

Wishing you all a good week ahead. Make sure you keep warm in these freezing temperatures. I am recording a podcast this week with a friend from work on mental health so ensure you check back to listen to that as it goes live.

Soph x

Chalk Paint Pastels

Happy New Year to all of my lovely bloggers. I hope you enjoyed the festive period and had some much needed rest and recuperation?! 

As you have packed the Christmas decorations away, I am guessing some of you will be thinking about a spring clean or giving your home a lick of paint? I know I certainly do at this time of year because its nice to freshen the place up and look forward to the lighter days and warmer weather. 

For those of you who have been to my home, you will know about the slight addiction I have to chalk paint! In particular, the Annie Sloan collection 🙂

annie sloan

Annie Sloan chalk paint is revolutionary and well-recognised by experts in paint and colour. She is one of “Britain’s most influential female designers.” – The Telegraph (UK)

I never feel like I have much creative flare, but I do have a keen interest in home interiors and my style is 100% shabby chic. In the past, I have renovated dressers, tables, side-boards, mirrors, clocks and frames. For the purpose of this week’s blog, and with spring in mind, I have up cycled a set of old pine tables. 

I worked with colours including French Linen, Antoinette and Old White. Here are a few pictures of the process and the finished product. 

old pine

process

finshed

The biggest advantage, in my opinion, of working with this chalk paint is that there is no rubbing down involved! I literally renovated these tables in an hour – a nice therapeutic job for a dull January morning. I love the finish! I actually use a light sanding pad after the paint has dried to give the distressed look. 

I have decided to sell this little nest of tables (as we can’t fit anymore up cycled furniture in our house!) As I sit here writing this blog, my Gumtree selling page is flashing at me with enquiries to collect tomorrow! How exciting! . 

As always, if you have any questions on anything I have mentioned in this weeks blog then send me a message – I would love to hear from you. 

Soph x

Red over Heals!

What a busy week!

It is Christmas Eve and I have finally sat down to write my blog.  This week was my works Christmas party held at Ely Cathedral, in the Lady Chapel. Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel is one of the most artistic and architectural achievements of medieval England. It is stunning! We sat down to a 3 course lunch, followed by mince pies and coffee. I wore red on red as the picture below portrays. Perfect for this time of year! I think the red courts were a hit…

Me and Gem

Another highlight this week was the Hippodrome Circus. Personally I think it is one of Norfolk’s hidden gems! The Hippodrome is Britain’s only surviving total circus building, built in 1903 by the legendary circus showman George Gilbert. We went along to the matinee performance with a family whom are very close friends. We sat on the front row with all the children and had an absolute blast.  

circus

This Christmas is extra special, with the arrival of my little nephew Hugo in September. I managed to get a 5 minute cuddle with him today ahead of his first Christmas. He is 3 months old now and weighs approx 14lb! We love him to the moon and back!

hugs

I am writing this blog with a large glass of Australian Red. The house is silent, the vegetables are prepped and the mince pie has been demolished by the big FC! I guess this means it is time for me to sign off and go to bed. Flo & Eddie will be up super early tomorrow for the excitement of Christmas Day. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. 

Soph x

Green Fingers

This weekend I attended a wreath making workshop, run by a local florist. I love doing anything creative and this seems like the perfect time of year to indulge in some Christmas crafting.

I was greeted with a mince pie and hot cup of coffee. I had arranged to do this workshop with a close friend and it really was a relaxing Saturday afternoon. As the Christmas songs played in the background, we got underway with attaching our foliage to the wire ring. I went for a variegated holly design, conifer and blue spruce.

It seemed to take forever to cover the moss, adding the foliage in groups of 3 at a time. The 8 inch frame took approx 15-20 bunches before it was complete.

Once I was happy with the shape, I started to add my pine cones, cinnamon sticks and dried limes. I completed the look with a glamorous dusky pink bow.

Today, I am going to send it on the 300 mile journey up to Lancaster, the place where I was born. This is also the place where my grandparents were laid to rest. I have made it especially for them this Christmas 🌲

I was extremely close to my Nanny Holmes and I know she would appreciate this handmade decoration. My grandad passed away many years before she did and I was always intrigued as to why she never visited him. She used to tell me that she didn’t need to go there to think about him! She did, however, always visit him at Christmas with a wreath so I am trying to keep up the tradition.

From a religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most often used in making wreathes, represents growth and everlasting life. This thought is especially comforting at Christmas time.

Here are the finished arrangements, handcrafted by me and Mrs H. It was bitterly cold and my feet were numb by the end. I am even wearing my Nannys fur hat for the occasion!

This weeks blog is dedicated to my Nanny & Grandad Holmes. Thank you for all the love you gave us and for the scrambled eggs every morning 🙌

Sophie Lou

X

The Tropical Art of Make up

Welcome to another week on the Life in Colour Blog. I hope you have all spent the weekend getting started with the Christmas festivities?

This weeks blog certainly has a festive theme and includes a Christmas make over. We went live on Facebook with it a couple of weeks ago and I had such great feedback that I wanted to share it on my blog 🙂

A couple of years ago one of my Mummy friends, Amy, introduced me to a make up and skincare brand called Tropic. Since then, it seems to have taken the world by storm. My sister is an ambassador for the brand and so is one of my oldest school friends, Hollie.

Hollie successfully runs her own beauty business called Hollie Lou Li Beauty. She rents a room in a local village called Long Stratton and as part of her business, she uses Tropic. For those of you who are unsure what this is, essentially it is natural beauty products, derived from plants and botanical actives. Not only do I adore the products, there are many which actually present health benefits. For example, I suffer with cold sores and the  Tamanu balm has been life changing for me.

Enjoy this festive make over by Hollie. As always, if you have any questions then I would love to hear from you.

hol

Soph

x

P.S I love a red lipstick!

Mental Health

Last week ended on a sad note for me. We lost our family pet, Barti the Golden Retriever. He died very suddenly after a short illness at the age of 9. I am not a massive pet fan and he was primarily Mum and Dads dog. However, he came to stay with us for high days and holidays and furthermore, Flo and Ted thought the world of him. Pets become part of the family and I was very attached. 

bart

I felt it was important to mention this because it fits in very nicely with this weeks blog on mental health. The one thing that has helped me, in the start of my grievance process, is to talk about him to basically anyone who will listen! Talking is therapy, just like writing. In turn, it is the art of putting negative energy into something more positive. 

This weeks blog features another podcast recorded between myself and close friend, Hollie. We talk about both the mild cases and extreme cases of mental health. It is important to note that we don’t claim to have all the answers when it comes to dealing with this subject but we are able to give subtle hints on things that could help. 

me and hol

People are very complex, including friends and family. It is important to sense a change of personality or behaviour in those who you are close to. In the simplest form, this could be providing a listening ear. Certainly since I became a manager at work, I learnt that I have to have a huge amount of empathy when it comes to dealing with people. I believe my personality naturally carries this trait but still you have no idea what people are dealing with behind closed doors.

It requires some skill to engage with people on a level in which they feel comfortable. My way is to put the kettle on and try to encourage people to talk. I know this certainly helps me in difficult situations. Times have changed and actually, as a society we are better informed on mental health. A simple tea and talk session with those closest to you could just be enough to portray the message of it is ok, not to be ok. 

To summarise this weeks blog and podcast, please encourage those around you to take comfort from an activity they feel will calm their inner self. This might include a friendly chat and coffee, an energetic run, some time for yourself, a new haircut, time to put on your make-up or a relaxing massage. In turn, your chosen activity will release happy endorphins and make you feel like you can face the world again. Try it and let me know how you feel afterwards 🙂 

My next blog will feature a make-up tutorial, just in time for the festive season. 

Soph x