Making friends

Guests at the Sali Hughes and Sam Chapman October  event  (pic by Emily Gray Photography)

Guests at the Sali Hughes and Sam Chapman October event (pic by Emily Gray Photography)

If you follow me on insta stories, you may’ve seen my nervousness about Sophia starting school, for me! Well we’re in our third term and I’ve met some lovely women and am still meeting them too. It’s not easy though. The school run, I realised, is TEN TIMES a week. That you didn’t do before. The day is so short! However I am starting to enjoy some of the time after school when we can relax, and I’m starting to get a rhythm with school help etc. It’s still a bit of a culture shock. The paperwork! Our class is very big which makes it almost like crowd control and a little intimidating (the kids are fine!), but we’re getting there.

Here are some options for making friends if you haven’t found “your people” yet, at whatever stage of the motherhood journey you’re on…(I have direct experience of the local groups, there are probably more!)

1  - Mummy Social. Sarah Turner who visited us in July is one of the founders - there are lots of mums in Norfolk on the app

2 - Mush and Peanut - kind of like dating for mums

3 - Come to a We Got This event, even if you’re the only one interested in the speaker - I can match you with others! We have tickets available in Norwich for Anna Newton and Erica Davies, which is about editing your home, work, wardrobe etc, available here. We also have tickets available in Norwich for Annie Ridout and Steph Douglas about finding work that works round you and your family, click here for tickets.. In Twickenham, there are tickets available for Fashion Re:Boot, an EXCELLENT way of shopping with friends for high street and high end preloved fashion, tickets available here. If you’re worried about coming alone, we can often connect you with people who are in the same position, just email us.

4 - Follow Norwich Mumbler, Katrin runs a super active Facebook group, fab events and knows every event happening in Norwich

5 - Follow Sarah at Mummanmore for workshops and markets, she also runs a Facebook group called Women Helping Women Support Group here

6 - Rowan House run a breastfeeding cafe twice a month with Sian (who I’ve been told is “brilliant”) - and Motherhood Matters Cafes, follow them here

7 - Knackered and Norwich is a social club for the ‘knackered of Norwich’ run by Sophie at @muffinandpuffinmarketing and @vickicockerill, a great way to meet local people you may usually chat to online, this is where you can follow them

8 - Nourish Networking by The Orange Grove Clinic hosts business networking events for women

9 - If you’re in the Parent and Baby industry, the Alex at PAB hosts networking events and a Facebook group here

10 - Watch this space for We Got This Power Hours for freelancers and entrepeneurs - Hannah and I did one in April, and I’m still using the info, and lots of you have signed up for a list for the next one, the list is here if you’d like to join it, or just drop me an email at

Other places:

Norfolk Mums has a lively Facebook Group

Sophie at fab business The Night Feed has opened a pop up cafe called The Day Feed, click each link to follow her.

Any more to add? Let me know!

If you’d like to blog for this website, with corresponding social media posts, please email me with an article and high quality image.

Guest Blog: Why I have chosen employment over freelancing...

Photo by Emily Gray Photography

Photo by Emily Gray Photography

I’ve read lots recently about freelancing mums and wanted to add to the debate and talk about why I have chosen flexible employment and how it works for me.

Since having my children in 2010 and 2014 I’ve (nearly) always been employed. I’ve tried 3 days, 4 days, and 4 days over 5 days (phew!) and many combinations of nurseries, after school etc. For me the boundaries and routines of regular employment are actually really helpful to parenting. Perhaps it’s my personality type but for me stability and consistency are really important-and when thinking about what to do for the best in your career after children I think is important to recognise your own values.

Earlier this year I took 3 months off between jobs- I considered freelancing and even not working - but weirdly during this time it was the first time we had ever been late for school or missed a crucial appointment. Without a focus and timetable in the mornings my routine really went to pot. Not that it’s perfect now- but when you have to get out at a certain time you really can do it.

I work full time now and I’m a mum of two - one at school and one pre school. I’ve found a senior Marketing Director role where I can work from home 3 days a week- though it does mean some nights away from home. My husband also works from home and without a shadow of a doubt I couldn’t do my job without the flexibility he also has. After motherhood it might not be just you that has to change your work pattern and if you and your partner (if you have one) can both have some flexibility it can make a real difference. 

For me working with a steady income, predictable hours and the ability to shut the laptop at the end of the day and switch off is so important.

So for me what’s good about being employed:

  • Security (as much as you’ll ever get anyway)

  • Switch off- you can usually just leave it til Monday.

  • Switch it- if it’s not working there are other jobs out there

  • Training- helping you get where you really want to be

  • Community- others in the same boat or just other adult humans

What’s not so good

  • Other people will rely on you and this can sometimes feel too much on top of family life.

  • You sometimes have to make very hard choices about who gets your time.

  • Not all employers understand the struggle of the juggle

Ultimately whether freelance or employed you will probably know in your heart if it is working or not for you and family. There is not a right or wrong answer it is much more about how it fits with your values and personality.

Liz Cobbold is Marketing Director at Broadland Wineries and has nearly 20 years experience in senior marketing roles for Adnams and Tesco. She has two sons aged 4 and 8. Liz works flexibly and has been through the process of deciding whether to go freelance or not and chose the employed route.

If you’d like to blog for this website, with corresponding social media posts, please email me with an article and high quality image.

Resources for working motherhood, January 2019


I had a few women contact me who are considering their next moves post relocation to Norfolk or post maternity leave. I don’t feel 100% confident to advise as I’m in it right now, and some might say I have good days and bad days (!).

For the past couple of months I’ve been learning to integrate new clients into our lives, with less childcare than normal. It’s been “interesting” (meltdowns, late nights) yet now we’re in a sweet spot as it feels, fingers crossed, that as long as I “keep going” and as long as the system isn’t rocked by illness etc we can muddle along. These are some resources below that might help.

I see three options for working: freelance, business owner and being employed. As a career minded mum of two small children, I’ve found it impossible to find employed work at the level (and corresponding salary) I’d be happy with. I think it’s due to a lack of advertised senior Job Shares in this area. I am trying to talk to people about that.

I already own a business, which is my third baby, this one, We Got This (Sometimes!) which is a passion project. If I hadn’t started this business, I wouldn’t have the skills that have led me to my current freelance clients, which is lucky, as I love doing it.

I’ve been a freelancer for ten years, I act as a marketing manager for clients and sometimes as an agency account director. It’s incredibly rewarding having control over my time (although, at the end of day, if there’s a meeting, I need to go.) It’s interesting, and varied and actually taps into my skills really well. What is difficult is shoe-horning it in to childcare slots, as life doesn’t work like that. And all the other non chargeable things that are not paying the nursery bills, like finding clients, pitching to clients, chasing invoices, etc. Also the ‘personal branding’ element, which is new vs ten years ago. Am I meant to have an instagram for my work? How can I fit that in!

I also struggle with sharing the “load” aspect. My husband works more than full time, and is often away. He has stepped up and now does the food shop and meal plan which I LOVE, and does the washing if it needs doing, however he doesn’t see the blocks of our kids lives that are constantly shifting like I do. The party invites, the swimming lessons, the childcare juggling, the bill paying, the family visiting, homework, school admin. And I’m not really saying he should as he’s flipping busy BUT because I freelance, I am the flexible one who does the running around. One way we’ve recently found is if I work from 6 til 1 or 2pm on a Saturday, I feel better. Rock and roll.

Resources I have come across:

Returning to work after maternity:

1 - Guilty Mothers Club - Rock your Return online courses

Setting up a business:

2 - Selfish Mother - online courses

Finding out what you want to do:

3 - All Bright Academy - I’ve just been accepted into an online course

4 - Step Up Club

How to do it:

5 - The Little Black Book and The Multi-Hyphen Method have helped me. Podcasts: The Janet Murray, She Means Business, Show Me the Way, Nicky Raby, The One Girl Band Podcast


6. AND NOW also The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout (totally spotted that a few months back!)

7 - Doing it for the Kids Facebook Community

Mind soothing

8 - Sam James Coach - she’s a mum, she’s a coach and she’s ace.

The February event to me shines a spotlight on why I set this business up (admittedly Steph has been a huge influence on me!) in that I want to find my groove and ultimately not be stressed, be a good mum and a nice person. Hopefully it will do the same for you!

If you’d like to blog for this website, with corresponding social media posts, please email me with an article and high quality image.

Save the date for Weds 13th Feb....

We Got This Power Hour .JPG

So I had a coffee with @mrshannahroutledge in March 2018, and she imparted such great advice to me, (not just about Linkedin, basically grow a pair, still work to do but she definitely made an impact on me, even I started listening to Oprah’s audio book a few weeks ago Hannah!) and I thought, she could help others like me.

So I organised a #powerhour all about LinkedIn. In keeping with my intention to be honest I didn’t really feel I could chat about the night on here as it took me SIX months to apply any of the learnings! Just the reality of working motherhood. Anyway this is a pic of the evening when a hardcore group of business women came together to sip wine and dessert at @the_library_norwich_, and learnt about LinkedIn.

For me personally, it has given me the confidence to start using it in a professional way for my freelance work (despite loving the gram, LinkedIn is where business is made), and it's helped me win a short term contract which I hope will lead to a longer term contract in the new year👏🏽 (clapping myself is a bit weird, but I guess when you're self employed 😂).

You can also see a little gift I bought from @doingitforthekids_ who I love, which @rootsandtootsblog won.

Now I would love to do some more #powerhour sessions as it's 100000% more effective doing stuff in real life than digital courses (even if it takes months to action it!), HOWEVER the event on Weds 13th Feb that you’ve saved the date for will kick it all off I think

#totallybuyingmoretime #freelancemum #workingmotherhood #linkedinforthewin #jugglejuggle #workthatworks #flexappeal #womeninbusiness #parentsinbusiness #meninbusiness?! #hashtagsgoonabit

Free Norfolk Gin cocktail on arrival at 'Edit your life'

Artisan Norfolk Gin

Who wants to talk gin this weekend? I’ve distracted myself from almost weeping at the comments on Mother Pukka’s latest post about inflexible working 😭, to being much more positive about lovely gin.

I’m so pleased to have Norfolk Gin on board as a sponsor for the “Edit your Life” event with Anna Newton and Erica Davies. Love a gin😜. And I love small businesses too, especially when you can just see the passion, craft and dedication poured into them. So here’s a little shout out for them. I approached Jonathan last year when planning the Hurrah for Gin event, as you know, it was about gin. He totally got it, and gave me an original canvas piece of Norfolk Gin art which lucky Sophie at The Night Feed won.

At the event on the 31st Jan, every guest will receive a Norfolk Gin cocktail on arrival, amazing! (There are still tickets available as we’ve already moved into the larger room as Benjis sold out overnight!)

We should be really proud that Norfolk has such a strong gin making crew. Norfolk Gin is artisan, created by Jonathan and Alison Redding in their kitchen. Every batch is still made by hand in the gin studio, and the beautiful bottles are designed to be treasured, re-used or re-filled. Aren’t they beautiful!

Just in time for Christmas, they’ve launched gorgeous little 10cl mini decanters. Currently exclusive to Jarrold (until the 17th December) at £18.50 these make a great stocking filler or Secret Santa gift for any gin-thusiast. Find the bottles in the Jarrold Food hall.

After 17th December, the mini decanters will also be available at selected independent retailers in Norfolk, including Goodies Food Hall (Diss), Beers of Europe (King’s Lynn), Arthur Howell (Wells-next-the-Sea) the Norfolk Deli (Hunstanton)

Happy Friday people! If you feel you might like to get a bit more organised in the new year, check out the next event, tickets are here😇, thank you, thank you.

Tips if you’re feeling overwhelmed in the lead up to Christmas👀

How I wish I could make Christmas look

How I wish I could make Christmas look

The school dates are numerous, it’s birthday party season (giving and going), and the realisation that you feel (even if you’re not) responsible for all the “the planning, the buying, the wrapping, the stockings, the cooking, the cleaning, the wrapping, the cleaning, more cooking, the clearing up, the laundry, the cleaning, clearing up toys, the washing up, the dish washer emptying, bed and bath, the cooking, the clearing up toys, the wrapping, the shopping, the laundry” (Cherry Healey). Oh and work is getting busy, and it’s nearly the end of term!

I’m trying to go for low expectations but in my head I am swanning around with a glass of fizz as my kids play happily and there are sparkles in the air. If you’re the same, this is what I’m learning….

1 - Have a look at The Organised Mum, she has a week by week guide on how you can be done and dusted by Dec 1st. (I caught up, and by that I mean I feel very happy we have Santa trips booked, we know where we’re going, and it kick started me into gift buying. So it might make you feel worse to begin with, but at the end of the day, you will have to do it all. Might as well start now!)

2 - Write down everything that’s happening from 2nd Jan backwards.

3 - If you run a business or blog, schedule in some downtime over the festive break, (maybe switch to airplane mode) to properly switch off and enjoy family time. Be clear about what your trading period is over Christmas. The sooner you let people know, the better (note to self, note to self). 

4 - Schedule in some time off for you - a run, yoga, read in a darkened room.

5 - Have very very low expectations.

6 - Don’t try and do stuff that you never normally do (like bake). Think about the things you really enjoy and do them – ditch as much of the rest as you can.

7 - Breathe and find the magic, remember what it felt like when Santa had been, how lucky that we can see our kids enjoy it! Breath some fresh air, feel the sunshine, look up at the stars…

8 - Create a Christmas cocktail (Pimped-up Prosecco , Treacle Cocktail, Christmas Pomegranate Punch for the non alcoholic drinkers and kids, and here’s a Healthy Christmas Cocktail).

9 Play some Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. Helpful Spotify list here.

Makes meal planning easy, healthy and affordable


Suzy, founder of Bace Foods has put together a meal plan just for us! She’s given us a breakdown of the cost for each dish which feeds 4 people and includes the cost of sides where appropriate. She said she’s based the prices on buying quality ingredients such as premium sausages and British beef mince.

Ok, get your shopping list ready - click on each image to get the recipe:

Setting up a food brand - Suzy Smith

How did you come with the idea Suzy?

I came up with the innovative idea for Bace Foods when my son was weaning. I was trying to give him food that would get his palate used to a variety of flavours, and made purees that I weaved into family meals, like soups and chilli. It meant they were all getting the veg they didn’t normally eat.

Founder Suzy Smith

Founder Suzy Smith

When did you launch?

We’ve been going for only seven months now.

What advice would you give a parent about to set up a business different to their previous job?

Talk to people who are already doing it, people are so helpful. Do as much as you can yourself. Don’t wait - lots of people think they need to write a business plan and delay launching for 6-12 months, we advise to just launch. Get feedback, and tweak as you go. We’ve done over 30 shows, it has been a rollercoaster! We sometimes wonder why are doing this, and then the creativity, the freedom and ownership feels good.

How do you manage the business round the school run?

We literally pack up the van with all our equipment two mornings a week after the kids are at school, we head to our kitchen and produce as many pots as we can. The other days (and nights) of the week, we’re contacting potential stockists, building our social media, devising new recipes, planning and actually, we never really switch off!

More info here

Kitchen hacks for people who want to spend less time cooking but want to be healthy (catchy headline!)


Being a food marketing person who can’t cook, and is defeated by meal plans, food shopping, cooking, all of it, these products are genius. In fact, it’s safe to say my husband has been doing more and more of the cooking. When you know you’re no good at it, there’s little motivation. HOWEVER I came across Bace Foods in the EDP in the summer, and then met them by chance at a local school fete. These products are helping us, so I went to meet them so I could share this kitchen hack with you.

It’s a range of base sauces made by a mum and dad in Hethersett. I LOVE them. It’s a cooking hack that saves time chopping veg, and gets a variety of veg into your cooking that your family might not eat in its natural state. Suzy and Steve spend hours and hours cooking British beans and peas, blending with vegetables and hand filling tubs - and that is the base for your chilli, curry, soup, baked eggs, pretty much anything!

They are totally on trend - plant based, helps reduce meat consumption, vegan, British, healthy, they tick all the boxes. Before I go on - you can buy at their online shop (free delivery if you spend more than £10 in Norfolk), and at tonnes of farm shops round the county. I asked Suzy to make us (as in, you and me) a meal plan using Bace. So the idea is, you have a stock of Bace Foods in your fridge or freezer, and you can turn your hand to these easy, easy recipes. I know in general food bills are high, so I asked Suzy to cost each recipe per head, and they range from £1.03 per person to £2.17. Not bad!

When you use these sauces instead of your own chopped veg, it gives a better depth of flavour, makes it tastier and gives your meal more nutrients. There are no preservatives, the sauces are hot filled which makes them last without preservatives.

The process is a real labour of love: pulses are soaked the night before, all the stones are removed, the veg is prepared, peeled and cleaned. The pulses are pressure cooked to all have the same tender consistency in three huge pressure cookers. The veg is cooked and then blended to a smooth consistency, and the herbs and flavour is added now or after. After blending the veg in the pan with the pulses, it is all heated, and then carefully hand filled into pots.

Not only are busy mums like us finding it a good kitchen hack, but schools and care homes are buying catering size packs - imagine all our kids and relatives getting such goodness, easily.

The products are:

beans with benefits

carlin peas with perks

green peas with perks

You’ll find Bace Foods at a variety of stockists in Norfolk and they sell online across the country.


We Got This (Sometimes!) - Audience Survey

We would like to find out more about YOU and what YOU would like from our events. 

Please take part in our short audience survey, it will take no longer than 9 minutes!

  • As a small thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a £40 voucher to spend with any of the brands in the Norfolk Gift Guide, a bottle of Adnams Copperhouse Gin AND two tickets to our next event 

  • Survey will be open from 8th November - 23rd November 2018