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BUILDING A CAPSULE WARDROBE


I've been wanting to create a capsule wardrobe for quite some time now and a couple of weeks ago I decided to just go for it, I mean what have I got to lose (apart from a few items of unwanted or unloved clothes). 

I did a lot of research into a capsule wardrobe before I got started and found Caroline from un-fancy.com had the most helpful information around the subject including a downloadable Capsule Planner. I cannot stress how important this step is. Filling out the capsule planner gave me a real insight into my style, my lifestyle and items that I was missing.

So what is a capsule wardrobe I hear you say? Well essentially it is a downsized wardrobe full of seasonal items that you can switch around to make lots of different outfits. I set myself a target of 40 items max including coats and shoes. This doesn't include underwear, sportswear, lounge/nightwear, handbags or accessories. You are allowed to buy new items at the start of each season (so every 3 months) and then thats it.....once its in your capsule, no more spending until the next season when you do it all over again.

As we're transitioning into Autumn I felt this was the perfect time to start. I started by emptying the entire contents of my wardrobe and drawers onto my bed.   I was then able to give the inside of my wardrobe a good wipe down and hoover. Its at this point where I began to think "what the hell have i started" there were clothes everywhere! I also bought some fancy new velvet hangers from Matalan for the occasion. 

I made 3 piles -  a capsule pile, a keep pile (seasonal items) and a ged rid pile.  The capsule items went straight back into my wardrobe on my lovely new hangers. The keep pile was carefully folded and placed in 2 boxes and stored in my loft.  The get rid pile was then either tossed straight into the bin or was put to one side to sell or give to charity. It took me an afternoon to sort through it all and I was so surprised at how much fun I had doing it. I carefully selected the items for my capsule keeping in mind the change in weather, my lifestyle and my personal style. 

Here's the items that made the cut (apart from a pair of leggings not pictured).  I've tried to link all the items that are still available or i've put similar items where I can but please bare in mind that a lot of my items are years old. I have a total of 37 pieces. GO ME!
Top L to R - Topshop / H&M / NewLook 
Middle L to R - Topshop / Topshop / H&M
Bottom L to R - Primark / Marks & Spencer / Boden
Top L to R - Topshop Jamie / Miss Selfridge / ASOS
Middle L to R - Hollister / Topshop Lucas / Topshop 
Bottom L to R - H&M Kids / Hollister / Topshop
Middle L to R - Topshop / All Saints / Zara 
Bottom L to R - NewLook / Zara / Zara
Left - Topshop / Right - ASOS similar 
Top - ASOS
Middle L to R -  New Balance 420 / Red or Dead /Converse 
Bottom L to R -Kickers / ClarksDune 

I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now and I have to say, it is life changing. It's so nice to be able to open my wardrobe each day and pick an outfit with no fuss. Whereas previously I would open my wardrobe and be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clothing (a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear). 

It would appear i've inspired a lot of others on Instagram to sort their wardrobes out too including my sister whose wardrobe I helped sort out just last weekend. If you're interested in seeing how I'm styling these items then head over to my Instagram (sunshinesamblog) where I've been uploading regular pics.

Keep Smiling
xxx


FAMILY SUPER SUP | NEWQUAY ACTIVITY CENTRE

Last Friday I did something that i've been wanting to try FOREVER. I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time. But it wasn't just your basic SUP........ oh no no, this was SUP with a twist, this was SUPER SUP where up to 8 people can all be on a gigantic SUP board at once. 

I managed to persuade my family to tag along with me (it didn't take much persuasion if i'm being honest, we're all quite an active, adventurous bunch). We got to Newquay Activity Centre for 9am and was greeted by our fabulous instructor Brendan. Once all the relevant paperwork had been completed we got wetsuited and booted.

It was an absolutely stunning morning, the sun was out in full force and it felt great to be up early making the most of a beautiful day. 
We set off with our massive paddle board and walked it down to the old lifeboat station at the gazzle (which is now an art gallery) and believe me when I say that board was heavy, we had to stop and swap arms on a couple of occasions. 

After Brendan explained the ins and outs of paddle boarding and showed us the technique he then gave us a little history lesson about the old lifeboat slip way (honestly he was like a tour guide.... I told you he was fabulous) and then explained what the gazzle actually was because we all had no idea (it's Cornish for armpit btw...... who knew!) we got the board into the water and started swimming out to it. Swimming in shoes is very weird and I haven't done it since I did my lifesaving swimming course when I was a teenager. 
Once on the board we got going, working as a team to get the board moving. We immediately spotted a seal bobbing her head out of the water but she swam away before we could get a bit closer. We started off on our knees which was nice and steady and we got a good rhythm going but when it was time to get up onto our feet,  well that was just hilarious. Trying to get 6 people steady on a board is difficult, we wobbled all over the place, I think mostly due to Brendan shaking the board on purpose! But boy was it fun. Dylan was the first to fall in and it wasn't long before we were all in. 
After a bit of cave exploring and finding out some more history about the smugglers caves we then played a few games which involved us pushing each other off the board, it was so much fun. Fletcher was crowned King of the SUP after being the last man standing on the board. We then had a bit more fun jumping off the board. My niece, Morgan did a cartwheel off the end, Fletcher, my sister Laura and I all dove off the end and Dylan made a pretty good attempt at a somersault. By the end we were all tired out and I felt like I'd completed a full body workout. 
It was genuinely a great day had by all, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did and we're already looking at returning to try the coasteering, I've even been on the hunt for my own wetsuit as I'd quite like to get in the sea a little more next year. 

So if you're looking for something fun and a bit different to try with your family, in a group or even on your own there is something for everyone at Newquay Activity Centre. They also offer all types of surfing lessons depending on what level you're at. They are the friendliest staff and have so much knowledge about the area. 

Thank you so much for having us NAC we honestly had a blast. 

Keep Smiling
xxx

NB This was a complimentary experience offered to me in return for a review. All opinions are my own, genuine and completely honest. Please note that I would never recommend anything that I didn't truly love or enjoy. 


JEANS AND A TEE FOREVER

Anyone else have a fail safe outfit. Mine is most definitely jeans and a t-shirt. As much as i've been loving changing it up this summer with jumpsuits, dresses and skirts, I will alway feel safe and feel like "ME" in a very casual outfit of jeans and a tee.

I love t-shirts with something a little fun on them.  I have a pretty good collection now ranging from lips, lemons, slogans and now my newest addition the banana milkshake one from Romwe. Its very casual with that little injection of fun embroidery and its very "me". I've paired it here with my super comfy Hayden Jeans from Topshop and a simple pair of Havaiana flip flops which I have had forever! 

I'd say this is my typical mum uniform if i'm totally honest. It's what I feel most comfortable in and I feel like it will never go out of fashion EVER!

What's your fail safe outfit?
Keep Smiling
xxx

STYLE TALK

Skirt - SHEIN // Vest - H&M // Sandals - Saltwater 
Ok so can we talk about personal style for a minute. I absolutely love fashion, I think its a great way to express your personality and just like the weather can really reflect my mood, my mood can also reflect my outfit choice (I generally wear a lot of black when i'm feeling insecure).

Last Thursday I took Fletcher to the beach and whilst I would ordinarily wear shorts and t-shirt to hit the beach, I was feeling particularly fancy on that day and decided to take my new skirt for a whirl along with my husbands hat (which I bought for him last year and he never wears so now its mine!)

I've definitely been experimenting more with my style this summer. Although I will forever be a "jeans and a t shirt" kinda girl. This skirt is something I would never normally go for but I absolutely loved the colour and the style so decided to try something a little different and i'm so glad I did because I really love it, I think it fits my casual style.

Living in Cornwall we have a very laid back approach to fashion, nearly everyone's style is very casual and whilst it looks perfectly normal to nip into town in your heels if you live in a big city, it would look a bit daft here in Kernow, but saying that I have no problem with anyone going to the supermarket in 6 inch heels......each to their own and all that! 

Ultimately I would love to hire a stylist to take a look at me and tell me what would suit my frame, my age and what colours would look good on me.

What's your signature style? Do you follow the trends?

Keep Smiling
xxx

SELF CARE

As someone in there early 30s I think it's incredibly important to look after your skin and have a good solid skincare regime. 

I've always been fascinated by beauty and makeup from a very young age. I remember having my 'cleanse, tone, moisturise' routine down by the age of about 13. I still remember I absolutely loved The Body Shop tea tree oil face wash (oh the smell of it takes me back) . I also remember buying Bliss and Sugar magazine (remember them!) and jumping straight to the beauty pages. I loved finding out how to give myself at home manicures and how to give myself a facial or seeing what the hairstyle of the month was......typical girl.

Fastforward 20 years and i'm still that same girl, loving all things beauty related. I even went to college and studied Beauty Therapy a couple of years ago and am a fully fledged Level 2 Beauty Therapist although I am yet to use this qualification for anything other than sprucing my friends and family up, but thats fine by me, its something I genuinely love to do.

This weekend I made some time for myself and actually gave myself a really decent pedicure. I soaked, scrubbed, exfoliated, got rid of the cuticles and gave myself 2 coats of Essie Altitude Attitude (gorgeous colour btw). I also gave myself a little 'at home' facial using some products from Biore that were sent for me to try.

The Baking Soda Cleansing scrub reminded me a lot of the Dermalogica Microfoliant (which I also use and love) so if you are looking for a cheaper alternative this is a good dupe of that. My skin felt very clean afterwards and it didn't break my skin out or leave it feeling too dry which I find powder scrubs often do with my skin.

The 1 minute self heating mask was LUSH. It instantly warms up as soon as you start rubbing it in to your skin and its a really lovely feeling. It doesn't burn or sting, it just feels really good. After 1 minute of massaging in you just rinse it off (I like to do this with a flannel) and it then gives a cooling effect on the skin afterwards which just makes you feel so fresh and so clean.

The most exciting part for me though was the pore strips OH MY GOODNESS! There is nothing more satisfying than pulling a load of old dirt out from your pores and seeing the evidence on a white strip. The thing is, I didn't even think my pores where that blocked........how wrong was I. My skin has never felt so clean.

Keep Smiling
xxx

SUMMER SUMMER SUMMERTIME



I am so incredibly excited about the summer holidays this year and I'm not entirely sure why. I mean we've already had our family holiday to Portugal so its not as if I have that to look forward to. I think its just the fact that we have 6 weeks to play with. I'm really hoping for plenty of beach days, coastal walks, making the most of our National Trust membership and attempting to keep everything alive in my garden apart from the weeds, although I seem to be particularly good at keeping them alive.

Speaking of gardening. I feel like each year that passes I get a little bit better at this gardening malarky. Don't get me wrong I still forget to water my plants on occasions and don't even get me started on the slugs LOVING my Dahlias.....I must remember to keep topping up the slug pellets. But all of the above pictures were taken in my garden and I'm pretty proud of my David Austin Olivia Rose which is just about to flower for the third time this summer!

A few things I'm planning to do this summer include:

- Go to the beach
- Picnic in the park
- BBQ with friends
- Drinks in a beer garden
- Go away in the camper van
- Try a new watersport
- Use my National Trust membership as much as possible
- Go on a bike ride
- Read a book in my deckchair
- Eat ice-cream
- Visit the farmers market and pick up some local produce

Wishing you all the best summer ever!

Keep Smiling
xxx

 

FEELING CRAP ABOUT MYSELF


Top - Primark//Jeans - Gap//Flip Flops - Havaianas 

It's safe to say i've been feeling pretty shit about myself these past few days. I can't really put my finger on what triggered it but I would hazard a guess that its a mix of the holiday blues, time of the month and the grey drizzly days we've been having.

We came back from Portugal on Tuesday evening and after a pretty good nights sleep we woke to another beautiful sunny day so I managed to catch up on my laundry and then lie out in the sun for a good portion of the day, Wednesday was a pretty good day. I'd say the crappy feeling started to happen on Thursday afternoon and then just spiralled from there. Literally everything was getting on my nerves. The house was a shit hole with remnants of our holiday in every room, our Dyson hoover stinks of dog shit so every time you use it it smells like the dog took a crap in the room, I felt plain ugly, hot and irritable. I was continuously being asked questions from Fletcher which I just couldn't be arsed to answer. I even had to take a little break from Instagram because I felt like my feed looked so rubbish compared to everyone else and I literally had nothing to talk about other than how crap I felt which I didn't want to do. After obsessing about it I decided I just needed to stop looking at it and do you know what, the break was just what I needed. It was also nice to still have 88% battery before going to bed haha.

Im slowly getting back to feeling my normal chirpy self but I just felt like I needed to share with you that I also have off days.  The little things that really helped me to get out of this funk were:

1. Music - Namely Paulo Nutini Pencil Full of Lead, that song never fails to cheer me up
2. Dancing - I love love love dancing to anything, anywhere. Zumba on Thursday is my sanctuary
3. Smiling/Laughing - Even if you don't feel like smiling it really is a mood lifter
4. Getting outside - Even if it is drizzly rain and your son wants to go to the park
5. Roobis Tea - Its soothing, delicious and caffeine free
6. Headspace app - Taking 10 minutes out of your day to be mindful is always a good idea
7. Getting my hair done - Nothing gives you a boost like getting your hair done
8. Bath and Book - Pure relaxation
9. Cooking - I cooked a delicious butternut squash chilli from Clean Eating Alice
10. New sports gear - The brighter the better

I'm hoping being back at work is going to get some structure back into my life (ever the optimist, trying to find a positive of going back to work)

Keep Smiling
xxx

HELLOFRESH | FLAVOUR GENERATOR

"What's for tea"  That's the first question that Fletcher asks me when he gets home from school every day. Now I don't know about you, but I struggle so bad with deciding what to have for dinner. I nearly always stick with the same sort of food week in and week out. Thankfully HelloFresh have taken the hard work out of deciding what to cook with their new Flavour Generator. Its a very clever littlew tool that picks a recipe based on what kind of food you fancy.

Last week I fancied Italian.......ok ok most nights I fancy Italian but I would ordinarily just go for a pasta dish but the Flavour Generator pushed me out of my comfort zone and convinced me to try the Chimichurri Steak with potatoes and baby spinach, something I never would have ever thought to make. Mmmmmm.
It's so easy to use (try it here) simply pick the food you like between Italian, Mexican, British, Indian and Middle Eastern and then what you fancy from spicy, sweet, tangy, herby press the generator button or you can pull the lever, whatever takes your fancy.  I like pulling the lever because it's like winning a prize every time. If the recipes that they suggest don't tickle your pickle then don't panic you can simply spin again until you find something you like the look/sound of.

Having used HelloFresh before I already know that their recipes are really easy to follow.  Once you've got all your ingredients together it's just a case of following the simple step by step recipe and it really is as easy as that. What I love about the HelloFresh recipes is that most of them are quick and this meal was super quick (about 25 mins) and easy to make and was very tasty as well as healthy. I can see me using the Flavour Generator every day at this rate!

So what are YOU having for tea tonight?

Keep Smiling
xxx

LIVING

Anyone else start thinking of a new project before finishing the last. I've just started to make a dent in painting and decorating our main bedroom and i'm already thinking about what I want to do in our living room. We still haven't even bought interior doors yet because my husband has a problem parting with large amounts of money........i've stopped hassling him about it now and accepted that I am never going to have the beautiful white doors that I dream of. Sometimes I dream of living alone and having exactly what I want in my house, you know, decor to my taste, but then I remember that he's pretty handy to have around when my car breaks and I am kinda fond of him.

Anyway here is a mash up of all the little things i'm loving for our living space but I will never be able to buy because Dylan will either a. not like it or b. not want to part with the money! Our living and dining area is all in one which is why there are some dining bits on my wish list

LIVING ROOM | INDUSTRIAL MODERN

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CORNWALL


My most frequently asked question on Instagram is "what's good to see and do in Cornwall"? I've lost count how many times I have replied to these kinds of messages and thought wouldn't it be much easier if I just dedicated a whole blogpost to my personal favourite things to do in my home County.

I was born and bred in Cornwall, as were both of my parents so I'm what you would call "Proper Cornish". I've done my fair share of exploring Kernow in my 33 years but I know there are still so many places i've not seen and so I will continue to explore and also continue to share my favourites along the way.

BEACHES
GWITHIAN
GWITHIAN 
PORTHMINSTER
PORTHCURNO
PORTHCURNO - PEDN VOUNDER BEACH
PORTHMEOR
PORTHMEOR

Gwithian - Hayle
Gwithian beach will always be top of my list. It's the beach that my parents always took my sister and I to every summer. But not only does it hold a special place in my heart it genuinely is a beautiful beach and if you put the effort in and walk across the dunes you will always find a secluded spot.

Porthminster - St Ives 
Again another beach that holds special memories for me as it was the beach we used to visit every year for Sunday School Tea Treat (yes I went to Sunday School).  Tea Treat is another Cornish thing, I won't get into it but you can always google it if you're interested. Everyone would get a Tea Treat Bun which is basically an enormous saffron bun and soooo good, you should all go try one. Porthminster is an absolutely stunning beach, pure white sand, crystal clear water and it has a lovely little beach cafe which I am still yet to try (it was closed the last time I tried to go).

Porthcurno - Nr Lands End
A stunning little bay near Lands End with golden sand and good surf.  The  Minack Theatre which is a beautiful outdoor theatre is just around the corner, you could spend the day at the beach and then catch a show at the theatre to make a real day of it. Minack has the best views of the bay and you can often see dolphins jumping out of the water.

Sennen Cove - Lands End
A bit of a trek to get to as Lands End is the most westerly point of mainland England but if you can get yourself down to Sennen Cove it is real treat. I don't think I've seen whiter sand in all my life. I need to go again soon, its  been a while.

Carbis Bay - St Ives
If I'm being totally honest, I don't think there is any beach in St Ives that shouldn't make this list. Carbis Bay is another beaut of a beach with a really lovely beach cafe.

Porthmeor - St Ives
I spoke about this beach in a recent blogpost. Its my favourite beach to sit and watch the sunset.

Watergate Bay - Newquay
A beautiful beach with golden sand and home to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant and the incredibly stunning Watergate Bay Hotel which I am determined to stay overnight in this year.  This is a popular beach for surfers and the perfect place to learn to surf via The Extreme Academy.

CUTE TOWNS/FISHING VILLAGES
ST IVES
ST IVES
ST IVES
ST IVES
PADSTOW
LOOE
LOOE
LOOE
FOWEY
FOWEY
FOWEY
FOWEY
MOUSEHOLE
MOUSEHOLE
TRURO
TRURO
TRURO CATHEDRAL
FALMOUTH
FALMOUTH

St Ives
Top of the list without a shadow of doubt. If I could recommend any town to stay in in Cornwall it would have to be St Ives. It's by far my personal favourite town in Kernow. The cutest cobblestone streets with a cool coastal vibe in all the decor. St Ive's is known to have a special quality of light which makes it unique. Its simply the prettiest little town and I just love it.

Padstow
Rick Stein has really left his mark on Padstow, you literally can't turn a corner without seeing his name somewhere. Padstow is such a cute little fishing village and home to the rather special Paul Ainsworth at No 6 Restaurant  which I am still yet to try.

Port Isaac
A very picturesque fishing village.  Doc Martin fans will recognise the little village as it was filmed in Port Isaac.

Polperro & Looe
I'm putting these two together as they are so close to each other that you could visit them both in the same day. We went to Looe a couple of weeks ago and had a really lovely lunch in The Lookout On The Quay 

Fowey
I love love love all of the interior design shops in Fowey.  Its a great little town to have a mooch around and get lots of home inspo. There are some really lovely walks too with the most beautiful views.

Mousehole
Until recently I had only ever visited Mousehole at Christmas in the evening to see the legendary Christmas lights but it's so incredibly gorgeous in the day time. You must visit the Mousehole shop whilst there too, it has the sweetest resident cat that sleeps next to the till.

Truro
Truro is the City of Cornwall. It's probably the smallest city in the world but I feel it deserves a mention as its where I spend the majority of my time (and my money). I actually work at Treliske Hospital in Truro so i'm there quite a bit. The city doesn't have the greatest selection of shops but it does at least have Topshop, New Look, The White Company, Joules, Boots and Superdrug to name a few and the Cathedral is beautiful.

Falmouth
I love Falmouth, i think it's because again it's a town right on the River Fal (I love being around sea, sand and boats). There are lots of lovely restaurants in Falmouth and the National Maritime Museum is something to do on a rainy day.
RESTAURANTS/CAFES
LUSTY GLAZE
PORTHMEOR BEACH CAFE
THE BEACH HUT
THE ROCKPOOL
THE ROCKPOOL

I've got a bit of a thing for beach cafe's/restuarant's so you will notice that the majority of my faves are beside the seaside. Here are just a few.

Lusty Glaze 
Gylly Cafe
Porthmeor Beach Cafe
Hub Box
The Beach Hut
The Rockpool
Sam's (best name for a restaurant)

EVERYTHING ELSE
WHEAL COATES
EDEN PROJECT 
HELIGAN
HELIGAN
HELIGAN
MARAZION - ST MICHAELS MOUNT
ST MICHAELS MOUNT 
CAMEL TRAIL
CAMEL TRAIL

Chapel Porth/Wheal Coates Mine - St Agnes 
An absolutely beautiful picturesque walk along the coast. The Chapel Porth Beach is fab too.  If the tide is out you can walk all the way around the rocks and see the Engine House from the beach.

Lost Gardens of Heligan - St Austell
My favourite gardens in Cornwall to walk around. The jungle part of the garden is incredible, it has an "I'm a Celeb" style bridge that you can walk across and it literally feels like you are in a jungle not Cornwall. They put on some really great activities for Children too during the holidays so its a really great family friendly day out.

Trebah Gardens - Nr Falmouth
Another stunning garden which leads down to Durgan beach. Perfect day out when its a lovely sunny day.

Eden Project - St Austell
One of those places that you just have to visit. The biomes are pretty spectacular. I've been a few times and I have to admit the biomes are even prettier if you can go later in the evening. We went to a laser show at Christmas in the evening and it was insane! I've also been to quite a few gigs at Eden and they always have the best atmosphere.

Lanhydrock House - Bodmin
A stunning victorian house in the most beautiful grounds. You can have a tour of the house which I always find fascinating.  I love seeing how people used to live back in the day. National Trust Members go Free.

St Michaels Mount - Marazion
Definitely worth a visit. Walk across the causeway to the castle and you can walk around the village and harbour for free. Or you can pay to have a tour of the castle and learn all about the legend and find the giant's heart.  Free if you have National Trust Membership.

The Camel Trail - Padstow
Hire some bikes and get cycling from Padstow to Wadebridge. The Camel Trail is a completely flat cycle trail with the most breathtaking views. Fun for all the family.

So there we have it - sorry it was pretty lengthly but honestly I could go on an on about lovely places in Cornwall, i mean there are just far too many! I hope this has given you some ideas if you ever decide to visit Cornwall.

Keep Smiling
xxx







awin