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. 

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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

Neon

Half term is in full swing so I can’t promise this week’s blog to be too long as Flo & Ted are keeping me busy with Halloween costumes! They have also carved their pumpkins ready for 31st October! 

I thought I would continue the theme from last weeks blog – which was exercise. I had some amazing feedback from friends who told me it was ‘beautifully written‘ and how they were ‘glad I had found my love for the pavement and the therapy it can bring.’ 

Coupled with running, I also like to keep fit by attending a Zumba class once a week. I have taken part in various Zumba classes over the years but there was something special about the class I walked into 12 months ago. I went with a friend to a class only 10 minutes from home and I was instantly made to feel welcome. For those of you who don’t know what Zumba is, its an aerobic fitness class featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance. 

This particular class is run by a very special lady called Rachel Evans. It is basically one big party, where we all wear extremely bright neon colours and dance for an hour! Team Rachel is like one big family and Wednesday evenings are often the highlight of my week! No matter how tired I am from 2 days commuting to Ely and back, I always look forward to my workout. 

zumba

Rachel (and Lucy) run the show together and work hard to organise events outside of our exercise class. Over the last 12 months I have attended 3 masterclasses run by 3 different International presenters. I love it! We really do have such a laugh and it really is a super way of burning calories, making new friends and finding new confidence. 

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Thank you Rachel – our class really is much more than learning a dance routine! I think you and Lucy are both beautiful people inside and out x

 

The Colour Crimson

Wow – my blog, Life in Colour, has been live for a month and you are all still reading it! Thank you so much for all of your support and to all the people following me!

This week I have been asked, by a friend at work, to write about my exercise journey and running in particular. It is ironic really because the two things I hated the most at school were reading and cross-country. Now I am working in the publishing industry and running is the highlight of my week! Crazy how life changes!

My journey started roughly around a year ago, which coincided with a promotion at work. I found myself running once or twice a week; not to get fit or lose weight but to reduce stress. It is true that if you are feeling anxious, stressed, tense and/or having trouble sleeping then running ticks all the boxes. In my opinion, the mind and body are not separate; what affects one affects the other.

I track my fitness via a mobile app called Strava. It’s an online social network for like-minded cyclists and runners. I don’t have any big ambitions with running, I merely just like getting out for half an hour to clear my head and listen to some music. My stats are currently telling me that this year, I have run for an average of 57 minutes a week. I average 5 miles and I have done 56 runs so far. In 2018, I have run 181 miles!

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I started off just doing 1 mile at a time, my race, my pace. I have built it slowly from there and am happy just doing a few miles a week. At the end of the day, running is cheaper than therapy and this is the main reason I pound the tarmac! It alleviates all the stress of work and triggers a positive high.

Strangely enough, I enjoy my own company so up until about a month ago I would go out running alone. In recent weeks I have started running with some of my best friends and it is a totally different experience. We never plan a route, we just meet up at 9am on a Friday morning and run for around half an hour. We have a good old catch up on the week’s events. Popular topics usually include work, children, insecurities, school dilemmas and more (but that’s a whole new blog!) What is discussed on the weekly run, stays on the run, right ladies?! Our cheeks are the colour crimson by the end. As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘there is a shade of red for every woman.’

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I bet you can’t guess which trainers are mine?!

My best advice for anyone starting to run is to make it a habit. It is also a great idea to keep a log of your distance and time. Running is also extremely popular and I am always amazed at how it connects people. Connecting with people is a basic human need. Focussing on common goals is a good way to start conversations and build relationships. There are literally so many benefits, as well as putting the colour back into your cheeks.

Next week is the October half term holiday and I am looking forward to a week off work with the Flo & Ted Show. There will be plenty of new content for the blog, I am sure 😉

x

 

Orange Blossom

This week’s blog is dedicated to my sister, Charlotte. If I had to pick a colour for her, I would choose orange. She is optimistic, independent, adventurous and fun. She is 14 months younger than me but has towered over me since as long as I can remember.

CHARL

We were born in Lancashire, where we lived for the first 10 years of our lives. We made some of our best friends, some of whom we are still very close to today. We moved to Norfolk as Dad worked in the shoe trade. Norwich is famous for a shoemaker called James Smith. The company he founded was called Start-rite Shoes and are still successfully trading today. Dad joined them in 1997 as Export Manager and I worked there briefly in the sales office whilst studying and Charl worked in the factory shop. Inevitably Dad travelled the world with his job, leaving Mum to bring us both up on her own.

Charl is the complete opposite to me. Not only does she look a lot different, she is an extravert. She is incredibly strong physically and emotionally. She is adventurous and independent, often not having a care in the world. Some would say, we are different flowers from the same garden!

I will never forget the day she told me she was pregnant! I don’t think I can recall being so shocked in my life. I mean, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be pregnant, aged 31, she lives with her husband at ‘The Manor’ in a modest village outside of Norwich. Having been the older sister, I have experienced most life events before she has, including motherhood. I just could never imagine her settling down and compromising her lavish lifestyle! This consists of eating out multiple times a week, going abroad several times a year and continuing with her gym routine and HD Brows. She has always had her #ownagenda

On Thursday 13th September, she gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby boy called Hugo! I am an Auntie! He weighed a healthy 8lb 7oz and perfect in everyway. That evening, we drove to the hospital waiting for her to be discharged from the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit. I felt like I was waiting for royalty outside the Lindo Wing at St Marys Hospital in London! Hugo appeared in a tangerine coloured car seat, carried by a very proud Daddy. Hugo was peacefully sleeping, undoubtedly exhausted from birth. Flo & Ted were over the moon by the first sight of their baby cousin.

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During Charl’s pregnancy, she never had any strong opinions on birth or parenting a newborn. She has obviously watched me bring up Flo & Ted and managed hundreds of children within a nursery setting so must understand the routine? She will agree with me in saying, I don’t think anything can prepare you for life with a newborn! It is a game changer! Sleep is definitely over rated!

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Charl is doing amazingly, breastfeeding on demand, baby wearing, lots of skin to skin contact and co-sleeping;- all contributing factors of a strong attachment. I couldn’t feel more proud of her. Breastfeeding is a subject very close to my heart, as I fed my babies for 10 and 14 months respectively. It was possibly a bigger achievement than my BSc Hons Degree in Business Management!

I love the fact Charl can call me for advice. Mum is a Health Visitor so I am hopeful that between us we can give her all the love and support she needs to flourish into motherhood – something I never thought she would even consider! There was once a saying that …‘Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite their struggles.’

Super Proud of you Charl x