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WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE

As a lot of you requested an update on my winter capsule wardrobe I thought I'd get everything all in one place.  Im well aware I am already 1 month into my winter capsule wardrobe but its better late than never.   I have made a lot of changes to my winter wardrobe including lots of new items and have added more skirts and dresses to the mix to try and steer away from my usual uniform of jeans and a top (although I really don't think you can ever go wrong with that look). I've tried to link everything but obviously some things are old and so I've tried to link something similar.

Top Left - Boden // Top Middle - Joules // Top Right - Topshop
Bottom Left - Topshop // Bottom Middle -  M&S // Bottom Right - Topshop (similar)

Top Left - H&M // Top Middle - Old Topshop (but I like this one) // Top Right - Topshop (similar)
Bottom Left - Topshop // Top Middle - Topshop // Bottom Right - Topshop
Left - Mint Velvet // Middle - Topshop // Right - Miss Selfridge 
Left - Hollister // Middle - Hollister // Right - Newlook (similar)


Left - Topshop // Middle - Topshop // Left - Topshop (similar)
Left - Topshop // Middle - Newlook // Right - All Saints 

Leggings - Topshop // Leather Look Leggings - Asos (different to picture) //Floral Midi Dress - Zara // Embroidered Dress - Zara (sold out - similar)

Left - Hollister (similar) // Middle - Zara (similar) // Right - Topshop (similar)
Top Left - Kickers // Top Right - Dune 
Bottom Left - Clarks // Bottom Right - New Look (similar)
Top Left - Red or Dead // Top Right - Vans Oldskool
Bottom Left - Adidas Gazelle (similar colour) // Bottom Right - Dorothy Perkins (similar)

I'm definitely still learning with this whole capsule wardrobe malarky. I've added more knitwear and long sleeve tops into my winter capsule wardrobe as I found myself reaching for these throughout autumn and barely even wore my short sleeve t-shirts.  I'm looking forward to my spring wardrobe the most.  

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what i'm wearing. I'll continue to post my outfits over on my Instagram page so don't forget to take a look on there.

Keep Smiling
xxx

DIY HULA HOOP WREATH


I was browsing through the H&M Christmas catalogue recently when I noticed a beautiful large wreath with twinkly lights hanging from the wall in one of the shots. I instantly had the idea to make this myself using a hula hoop. 

Things you need
  • Christmas tunes to get you in the mood (get Michael Buble on) 
  • Hula Hoop
  • Battery fairy lights
  • Foliage 
  • Brown paper
  • Sellotape
  • Wire
  • Scissors 
  • Pliers 
  • Ribbon & Bows to decorate

Trying to find a hula hoop in a shop was impossible at this time of year (apparently they only come out in the summer) but thanks to good old Amazon I managed to order THIS one.

Next on the list of things I needed were lights (which I picked up in Tesco) and green foliage which I went foraging for in the woods and successfully brought a large bag home with me.
I started off by cutting strips of brown paper and wrapping it around the hula hoop securing it with sellotape.
Once I had covered the whole hula hoop in paper the fun could begin. I carefully selected the greenery and attached it to the hula hoop using some wire that we had kicking around in the garage.
Once I was happy with how the greenery was looking I carefully wrapped the battery lights all around and secured the battery pack to the back of the wreath using cable ties so that it was hidden when attached to the wall. The only thing left to do was to attach the ribbon and baubles and voila. A simple wreath that was incredibly fun to create (especially when you have Christmas songs playing in the background)

Keep Smiling
xxx


COSY IN MUSTARD

Mustard - Its one of those colours that I'm drawn to but it doesn't always suit my skintone.  You definitely have to find the right shade. I find the more browny shades suit me better than say the more yellow tinged.  This cardi from Romwe is just the right shade for me and lovely for staying nice a cosy throughout these cold winter months.

These photos are from a couple of weeks ago when Dylan was still away on his 3 month detachment. Fletcher and I definitely created an even bigger bond whilst daddy was away. The first month of Dylan being away was so tough and Fletch missed his daddy terribly but I feel like the last month and a half we literally had the best fun together and got into our own little routine. It's so nice having Dylan home now though.

Keep Smiling
xxx

TOPSHOP | NOT JUST FOR TEENAGERS

Whenever I need to update my wardrobe my first stop is ALWAYS Topshop. I've been shopping there since I was about 12 years old.  I will never forget my first Topshop purchase. It was a purple t-shirt with blue piping around the cuff and neck. I remember feeling so stylish every time I wore it. Fast forward 22 years and it's still my go to shop in fact I'd say 80% of my wardrobe is Topshop (it's not just for teenagers and students after all)

As we've just moved into the new season (I can't believe its December) I've picked up some real gems  from Toppers for my winter capsule wardrobe and have also dragged out some old faithfuls too.

I'm really into skirts this year and absolutely love a bit of denim and I think the zip at the front just gives it that something extra. I've paired it with this gorgeous cherry print shirt which I also think will look fabulous with jeans, my red trousers and also my leather skirt.
I simply love the Clueless vibe of this checked kilt skirt. I really need to get me some knee high socks and a matching blazer so that I can channel my inner Cher (not the singer btw)
Speaking of blazer's this is an oldie from last year and the t-shirt is even older but I just love how putting a blazer over a plain white tee can make such a difference to an outfit.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I styled some of the pieces from my capsule wardrobe and no doubt I will be sharing more with you over the coming weeks.

Keep Smiling
xxx

*This blogpost is in collaboration with Topshop and contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, then I may make a commission from that purchase. 


FLYING SOLO


3 months ago I waved goodbye to my husband as he set off on his detachment to Cyprus with the RAF. It was an incredibly emotional day and both Fletcher and I cried inconsolably for quite some time. It feels so strange that it was still summer back then, we had just spent the weekend at Poulton's Park and I was swanning around in shorts and a t shirt and now I'm sat here at my desk in my pjs with the heating on, a storm is brewing outside and I most definitely wore a scarf around my neck today.

In 6 days time I drive up to Dylan's base to collect him.  I've been waiting 87 days for this moment, I miss my husband terribly and making parenting decisions on your own is hard.  In fact parenting in general is hard when you're flying solo, hats off to all you single parents out there you guys deserve a medal. Throw in some diabetes too and it makes the situation even more challenging. Dylan and I are the only 2 people that are trained to change Fletcher's cannula for his insulin pump and this has to be changed every 3 days. In this 3 month period I would have changed his cannula 30 times and Fletcher would have pricked his finger over 600 times to check his blood glucose levels! Thats just insane.

So how have I coped? I honestly don't know what I would do without the support of my family and friends. My mum in particular  has been absolutely incredible. I've spent so much time with her and I truly love her company. I've spent nearly every Saturday night at her house and she's got up with Fletcher most Sunday mornings so that I get a bit of a lie in, she's been my saviour.

I've managed to keep myself busy painting, decorating and moving furniture around. I started my capsule wardrobe the week after he left, i've been on days out to the woods, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, The Eden Project, the beach. I've been running with my friends. But now I am so ready to be reunited with Dylan. 3 months is such a long time for any little boy to be away from his daddy and I know i'll be a blubbering mess next week.

I cannot wait to have my husband back, he really is the missing piece to our little puzzle.

Keep Smiling
xxx  




& NOW TO SLEEP


WOW It's been so long since I blogged that I feel like I've forgotten how to do it. 

So I just wanted to quickly pop on here to talk about the new pillow spray by REN which was released this month. It has a beautifully calming scent of frankincense, lavender and hops and just 3 spritzes on your pillow each night will help calm the mind to sleep. 

I think its so important to set a peaceful atmosphere in the bedroom.  I absolutely cannot fall asleep if I have clothes all over the floor, smelly socks in the corner or just any mess in general.  I like to turn my bedside lights on, fold my sheets down much like a turndown service in a hotel (minus the chocolates on the pillow), jump in the bath, take my time massaging my skincare products in, spritz my pillow and sheets with pillow spray and read a couple of chapters of my book. I find it definitely helps if I switch off my phone 30 minutes before going to sleep (ideally an hour before). Its so easy to grab your phone and check Instagram just one last time (i'm a sucker for this) but if your phone is off it reduces temptation.

I've been spritzing & Now To Sleep on my pillow every night over the last week or so and the scent is just so calming and soothing its makes drifting off a doddle. This combined with the Headspace app which I listen to most evenings definitely helps to calm the mind before my head hits the pillow.

And on that note...........i'm off to get ready for bed

Keep Smiling
xxx


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. 


awin