OK so May brought along A LOT of fun times and shenanigans (and work too!) so I’ve had to up my 3 highlights rule this month because there are too many awesome things I want to write about. Go and pop the kettle on before you read on if you like… I promise to keep it word-light and photo-heavy though!
On my birthday eve I had the opportunity to do something I’ve never done before and it involved pushing myself out of my comfort zone in more than one way! On the 14th May, I put my big girl pants on and drove myself to the Peak District to meet a bunch of people I didn’t know and trial some kit for an awesome brand.
We got given Salomon OUTline shoes and backpacks to trial on a mini adventure and hiked near Castleton, enjoying the evening sunshine. We had tasty picnics but had to earn them with some running and a mini boot camp sesh from @wizleesfitness first before hiking a bit further for some sunset yoga with @yogi_in_the_lakes on the hill top.
It wasn’t your average Tuesday but what a way to see out my 34th year and I can’t thank Team @Salomon enough for inviting me to be part of such an awesome group of women on the perfect adventure!
Before meeting the Salomon team and other girls on the mini adventure, I had some time to myself to pop my tent up at one of my favourite campsites (North Lees) before heading into Castleton for a solo wander up Cavedale and to recover from the drive! (I’m not a confident driver at all so the trip from Cambridge felt like a big achievement for me!)
So as well as going to meet a bunch of people I didn’t know and driving all that way on my own (two hugely uncomfortable things for me) I also spent the night alone in my little tent. Now I LOVE LOVE LOVE camping but have never gone it alone so was a tad nervous but after such an exciting day and armed with a couple of beers and treats, I snuggled up in my tent and slept like a baby!
I awoke the next morning (my birthday!) to beautiful Sunshine and enjoyed a peaceful brew sat in my tent before packing up and heading down into Hathersage for a cheeky bit of snack shopping for the journey home.
OK, so some of the snacks didn’t make it home… it was such a nice day I couldn’t help but pull over into Surprise View carpark as I left Hathersage to take in the view and enjoy one of the best scotch eggs ever! Whenever we visit Hathersage I make a bee-line for Colemans Deli because they have the BEST sardines and scotch egg selection - this one was black pudding and the best birthday cake I could ever ask for!
happy birthday to me
After my long drive home from Castletown, I was treated to a little tandem cycle ride along the river to Thirsty, where one of my favourite food vans was parked up for the evening and I enjoyed the BIGGEST, dirtiest, most delicious Steak & Honour cheeseburger I’ve ever had! Needless to say I had a very happy, food-filled birthday!
SUP-er fun times
May brought some epic paddling times for me this year and I couldn’t have been happier! From solo paddles on my NEW BOARD (if you haven’t already meet her in my last blog post HERE)…
… and a Birthday SUP party with some of my fave Cambridge gals thanks to the awesome Anna & Wilma (@whale_super) …
… to the biggest social paddle I’ve ever been to, again organised by the lovely Anna (@whale_super), where I met the most ADORABLE little Sup Pup, called Fidget - my heart well and truly stolen!
1 year married
This month also marked a whole year since I promised to give this one the same love and support I give my cats... AND make sure I'm not just yelling at him because I'm hungry! Thankfully his vows were much more beautiful and heartfelt!
To celebrate we packed up Buddy the Sunshine Van and headed off to the Lake District for a long weekend. As I’d recently got my own board, Will had booked us into a campsite that was right on the waters edge at Coniston. It was perfect and we enjoyed plenty of paddling, (getting us both on the board at the same time was a particular giggle-fest) and waking up at 6am to glass like water and only the birds singing was the perfect way to start my mornings - especially with a brew on board!
We also enjoyed some strolls around the Lake, playing on the nearby rope swings, fizz in tin cups and general lazing about by the waters edge. Normally we’d be up and down whatever mountain was closest but after such a hectic few months for us both, it was actual bliss to just chill out and take each day as it came.
The day before we had to head home we met up with our wedding twins, who were also celebrating their first wedding anniversary in the Lake District. Honestly, the crazy coincidences between Will and his best friend are spooky - from sending out our save the dates on exactly the same day, only to find that they had both picked the same date to save to getting new jobs! SPOOKY I TELL YOU!
Anywho, we very much enjoyed meeting them and exploring the trails around Tarn Hows and some of the old mining caves along the way before reaching Chesters by the River for a feast of a lunch!
I almost didn’t make it up some of the hills on the way back because I was so full! It was a delightful way to spend the last full day of our trip and I didn’t want to leave the sunshine, hills or waters behind!
fun colour rush
It’s been a few years since I did a colour run and I was VERY excited when I heard that one was coming to Cambridge. I was even more excited when a couple of my Cambridge pals said they’d be up for doing it too!
For anyone who hasn’t heard of a colour run before, it’s usually a 5k, family friendly run/walk/dance/jog/skip around a local park or green space and along the way stewards through coloured powder in the air and at you! You end up looking like a unicorn has farted on you and it’s SO MUCH FUN!
We all completed the route and crossed the finish line together in a puff of rainbow (actually mostly pink) smoke and happily collected out little medals before going our separate ways to start the washing and scrubbing - some of those powders do not wash off easily!
It was an ace way to spend the last weekend in May and made even better by a cheeky post-run trip to La Latina’s with The Beard! There’s a definite theme developing with the whole running and eating to stones…
Believe it or not there was actually a lot of work going on in May too, from finalising new wholesale stock lists and order forms to getting account in order and cracking on with some secret commissions and exciting projects. These were the best work-related bits from the month for me though…
It was time to get ’The Shoes’ out again for another wedding and I was VERY excited about the shiny new pencil case I had to match for this one! Nikki McWilliams not only makes the BEST biscuit related wares but also has an AMAZING stationery business too, called Nikki’s Supply Store, which is where this beat of a pencil case came from!
Awesome accessories aside, I was invited to paint portraits at a beautiful wedding in Stow Market at the start of the month, at the Museum of East Anglian Life. It was a lovely and very interesting venue and my little set up in the corner of their marquee made the perfect spot to sit and chat to guests whilst painting.
With the wedding being out Stow Market way, The Beard and I decided to make a weekend of it and packed up Buddy for a cheeky overnight trip. After the wedding we hopped in the van and headed to the coast. It was a bit hit and miss weather wise, with plenty of ominous looking clouds and heavy rain showers coming and going but it didn’t stop us getting to Aldeburgh and having a chippy tea on the beach.
The intermittent showers and sunshine also made for some cracking rainbows and a couple of INCREDIBLE photos (if I do say so myself!) We very nearly drove home when we saw the forecast but I’m so glad we didn’t!
more sunshine bargains
With it being my birthday month I ran a cheeky little birthday sale, which went down a treat. I can’t thank everyone enough for all their lovely orders over my birthday, even though I totally abandoned you all when I ran off for my camping trip! So I just wanted to say THANK YOU again!
ICC x CC colour walk
Claire and I had the pleasure of hosting another walk in Cambridge but this one was a bit different as we were working with the lovely Toni and Zabby from In Colourful Company. Now you’ve probably read about the Colour Walks I’ve attended before from Nottingham and Sheffield to London and Glasgow - they’re always SO MUCH FUN and full of the nicest people so it was a honour to be asked to host one in Cambridge.
Claire and I met a group of lovely, colourfully dressed folk at Parker Piece and we wandered through Cambridge, stopping for ice cream at Jack’s Gelato, hunting for Dinky Doors along the way, and of course taking lots of photos of the beautiful building, flowers and backstreets Cambridge as to offer.
It was a lovely day and although the rain tried to join us I think it’s safe to say everyone had a lovely time and we ended up having a little picnic in the sunshine on Jesus Green. It was ace to hang out with Zabby and Toni again too and even more exciting to be part of their launch for Stumped Press.
In their own words, “Stumped Press is a place where we will be celebrating all things print and all things adventure! We love the feeling a new book can bring and the joy you have when you finally find that perfect print for your home. We’re hoping we can inspire you when you're feeling a little bit... Stumped.” Make sure you check them and their lovely city guides out!
Here kitty kitty
After dilly-dallying about getting the popular enamel cufflinks made in silver and grey tabbies, I finally did it and they arrived this month! I LOVE THEM! My photos are a bit shit so far, they don’t do them justice at all but until I can get myself organised and ask the lovely Holly Booth to take some profess shots for me, they will have to do.
I can’t really share a lot of the Sunshine Portraits and commission projects I’ve been working on this past month but I can share this very special Sunshine Portrait. It’s special because it was for our wedding twins and to celebrate their first anniversary.
It’s also special because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone cry so much when I’ve given them a gift and I’ve certainly never cried myself giving one! Happy Anniversary again to O & B, the best wedding twins, adventure buddies and camping pals we could ever hope for!