It’s been a while since I sat down to write a blog post and so much has happened in that time! Here’s a little update from Teacup HQ.
May was a SUPER month as I ran a “We Are Super Heroes” workshop at Darby’s Arts Lounge in Urmston. Children were tasked with designing themselves as a Super Hero, thinking about the powers they would have, the costume they would wear and how they could use their powers to help people. We talked about how we can all be Super Heroes every day by being brave, strong and kind. It was such a positive, empowering session and I was so impressed by the artwork the children created.
I’ve had some exciting meetings over the last couple of months with teachers and school leaders regarding doodle workshops in schools. I’m working with both primary and secondary schools and hope that this will be an area that continues to grow.
Spreading joy and positivity is a huge passion of mine and I’m very aware that mental health among children and young people is a big issue right now. Making a difference, even in a small way, is a priority for my business. My workshops provide a two prong approach; they offer mindful creative activities married with positive, empowering messages and themes of self-acceptance and self-belief which seems to be more relevant than ever right now. I believe we all have a responsibility to help our young people develop and nurture the mindset they need to grow into happy, healthy adults.
I had the pleasure of running another recent session with one of my local Guides groups; 2nd Flixton Guides. This was a new workshop idea that focuses on positive self-talk and inspirational words. I know from experience that positive self-talk has the power to lift us up and spur us on when we’re feeling low or need to nurture that all important self-belief. We created our very own ‘Believe In Ourselves Bunting’ by designing inspirational postcards to attach to coloured bakers twine with pretty craft pegs. The girls threw themselves into the activity and created some gorgeous bunting to take home as a positive reminder.
Conversations Of Inspiration
Every week I listen to a wonderful Podcast called ‘Conversations of Inspiration’ from NOTHS and Holly & Co founder Holly Tucker. Holly interviews independent business owners and entrepreneurs who share their personal business stories in an engaging and often emotional way. It gives me such inspiration and enjoyment tuning in each week whilst sketching away at my kitchen table. The series is sponsored by Natwest and each week they give away the chance to appear in an ad break. I was lucky enough to win the chance to be featured in the ad break in a podcast with the amazing advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, which aired on 3rd June (which you can listen to here). I must have missed the tag prior to the airing so I nearly fell off my chair when I heard my own voice coming out of my speaker. It was such a thrill and I’m super grateful to Holly & Co for the wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience.
We were lucky enough to get away for two fabulous weekends in May and June. In the Whit holiday, we visited Yorkshire and stayed in a gorgeous tree lodge on the Swinton Bivouac Estate. My partner and I each took our children who are 9, 11 and 13. They loved staying in a quirky house in the woods and exploring the surrounding area, playing with sticks and building dens. Their highlight was enjoying an outdoor hot tub in the rain! It was a really unique adventure in a stunning part of the country.
Our second weekend away was to beautiful Abersoch in June. We struck gold with the weather and amidst a fortnight of rain, we were given a day and a half of miraculous sunshine. We spent a full day on Whistling Sands making memories, building sandcastles, playing in the sea, digging holes, and creating sand sculptures. We ended the day eating divine fish and chips, lobster tails and crab legs in Aberdaron. The next morning, we headed to Hell’s Mouth with our body boards and wet suits to catch some serious waves. During the holiday, I had the self-confidence to brave the beach without my wig and it felt amazing! I’ve come such a long way since I lost all of my hair for good about 5 years ago.
Bone Cancer Research Street Party Fundraiser
July is #SarcomaAwareness month which is very important in our town as we sadly lost a very brave little boy to Bone Cancer last year. Jude was one of my son’s school friends and during his illness, he started raising money to help give other children with the disease a better chance to survival. Since his death, the local community continue to raise money in his name for The Bone Cancer Research Trust and recently reached the most outstanding total of £100,000. I was proud to be a part of this by donating proceeds from my ‘Wonderful Me’ doodles and running a doodle workshop at their #bemorejude Street Party on the 22nd June. It was an incredible day; there was lots of stalls, singing, eating, dancing and doodling, the sun smiled down and we raised an amazing amount of money. It’s wonderful what a group of people can achieve when they come together with a shared purpose that is born from love and compassion.
My Half Marathon Training
I’m raising further funds for The Bone Cancer Research Trust by running the Manchester Half Marathon in October. Training started off slowly and if I’m completely honest, at first, I was regretting my decision to enter, especially so publicly! So I had to give myself a good talking to and remind myself why I was doing it. Every day when I watch my son walk into school, I remember that Jude should be walking in there with him and it makes me feel so sad. I made the decision then to dig down deep and give it my all. I bought a new pair of trainers, some wireless headphones, downloaded some fab running music and committed to training three times a week. I wear my #bemorejude wristband to give me strength and I decided to ditch my wig when I was running to help me keep cool. This was a very big deal at the time and something I’ve never done before (I still got a red, sweaty tomato face though!) I’ve made it to just under 8 miles which is huge progress for me. I posted about my run on a local Facebook page and was overwhelmed with support and donations from local residents. If you’d like to donate to my Just Giving page, you can do so by clicking this link.
The Women’s World Cup Final
It’s certainly been a very lucky couple of months and I wholeheartedly believe in the power of gratitude. Being thankful for what you have, helps to attract even more positives into your life. This felt truer than ever when I received a call from a lady from Natwest a few weeks ago, to tell me I had won a weekend away to watch the Women’s World Cup Final in France. I’d entered a competition one day when I was daydreaming about travel and adventure!
So this weekend we’re heading off to Lyon to watch some amazing women compete for the 2019 World Cup. I’m sad that the England team won’t be playing in that game on Sunday but they should be so proud of their efforts. They have inspired a nation of young girls to challenge convention and follow their dreams, I can’t think of anything more important. They’re already winners in my book.