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.  

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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!

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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

 

A Colourful Friendship

A big shout out to those who have been patiently waiting for my blog. I obviously set quite a precedence when I launched this back in September. Throughout the last few days I have had numerous people contacting me asking for the latest instalment, including my very special Godmother who was convinced she was having technical problems because she couldn’t find it!!!In essence, it has been a couple of weeks since I posted and there has been a pretty good reason why!

Part of the reason for launching my blog was to teach myself new skills, which in turn, should hopefully contribute to my personal growth. So this week I set myself the challenge of recording a piece of audio to upload onto the blog in an attempt to build a better relationship with you the audience, making my thoughts more engaging and personal. A special Thank You to the person who has forgiven my blondness on more than one occasion and helped me to get this live. Recording this episode was completely out of my comfort zone, which is the whole point I guess!

This week’s piece contains a podcast, which is a digital audio file, typically available as a series. I wanted to try to create a series of podcasts about topics important to me and hopefully meaningful to you guys too. I have drafted in one of my best friends so that we can both share thoughts and ideas. Some of you who went to school with us will remember her as Hollie Slaytor. The first episode is called A Colourful Friendship.It’s ironic because as I write this, one of my favourite songs is playing in the background and it is called ‘Circles’ by a band called Passenger. If you get chance you should listen to it online. Singer, Michael David Rosenberg, wrote it about a friend he had grown up with. They lost touch at the age of 16 or 17 and have since re-kindled a special bond.

This is a very similar story to me and Hol. Our friendship growing up was fulfilling and comedic. We lost touch through College but have come together again through motherhood. I recall Hol comparing it to that of the recent Spice Girls reunion! We have picked up where we left off and still have lots in common. Friendships are the key to happiness, in my opinion. It is imperative to have fun, recall stories and talk about how you really feel.

Have a listen here:-

N.B It is not perfect by any stretch but hoping to improve my editing skills with practice!

In future episodes, we will chat about how friendship links into having a healthy state of mind. The topic of mental health is extremely important to Hol and we will hear about her experiences and how I can relate to some of what she talks about, particularly when it comes to anxiety. In sum, we are just having a friendly tea and talk sesh but deeper than that it is critical to have friends who will support and encourage you in life.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments on my blog. If you have one take-away from this it is to get back in touch with an old friend and make their day! x

Golden Sands

The weather has been super during this October Half Term. I would almost go as far as describing it as an Indian summer; a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather ☀️

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We spent the week along the Lincolnshire Coast, nestled on a Sandy Shore. The children enjoyed donkey rides on the beach and even a paddle in the sea!

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The reason we chose Lincolnshire was because we are forever trying to find a mid-way point between us in Norfolk and  lifelong friends in Lancashire. The journey typically is around 5-6 hours if we travel all the way – which is quite frankly an endurance test with 2 children in the car, especially if we encounter delays! It can be super stressful!

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I took this photo of the sunrise, when out on an early morning run. I only managed to get out once – just a token gesture really so that I could enjoy a glass of wine, or two, without feeling too guilty!!!

 

We set up camp for 5 days in a seaside town called Mablethorpe. I probably only see Kerry once a year for high days and holidays. They say true friends are never apart, maybe in distance and never in heart!

We go back many years; playgroup, primary school and brownies. I moved away at the age of 10 but we continued to spend summer holidays together. Our parents would meet near Newark, Nottinghamshire to do the hand-over.

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This weekend the clocks have gone back and we have seen the last of the summer sun. The children have returned to school and the plans for the Christmas festivities are well and truly underway.  

Time to put the kettle on and enjoy a cup of coffee in the peace and quiet, whilst embracing the week ahead.

Happy Halloween to you all! x