Starting the Next Chapter // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love Re-cap

Welcome back sisters, did you miss me?! It’s felt weird not having to publish a post every day. I don’t think I will be doing it again any time soon! I am ready to focus on sharing some new content with you on the blog, building my YouTube channel AND creating some new, more natural, minimal and zero-waste-promoting products for my Etsy shop!

Before we move forward, below is a recap of every single post from my 14 day challenge, in case you missed any! Make sure you don’t miss another post by following my blog. It would mean a lot to me! (Simply click the menu/three lines in the top right corner, and hit the blue follow button.)

  1. Launched my first Instagram giveaway
  2. Celebration of my love story
  3. Love themed playlist
  4. Assessed where I am and where I’m going, along with some anxious thoughts
  5. Happy Birthday to my love
  6. The beauty of handmade cards
  7. Alternative gift giving; skip the flowers and chocolates
  8. Some problems with love being misused
  9. My favourite self-love and learning resources
  10. My recommended love themed films
  11. Step 1: love yourself
  12. Step 2: love others
  13. Step 3: love the planet
  14. My YouTube channel launch! (see below!!!)

Have you watched my first ever YouTube video yet? I had a lot of fun making it, and video number two is in progress already. I hope you enjoy my new creations!

So now that we have covered what’s happened, let’s look at where the Sunray Sister blog is heading next…

From now on, my blog schedule will be as follows:

  • Fridays and Sundays – a fun or serious post about a subject I feel strongly about, a new topic I’ve been learning about, new creations and designs I’m working on, an upcoming event, a personal story, or a list of cool stuff (like great music or books).
  • Last Friday of each month – ‘Happy Highlights‘, a short and sweet post showing gratitude for the things that made me smile during the last month.
  • Last Sunday of each month – a business/personal update and review of my goals. Plus a celebration of any milestones I reached.
  • Wednesdays – a YouTube video and brief written overview of the content. I shared a whole post about the type of videos I will be creating; you can expect craft tutorials, discussion on alternative living, sketchbook flip-throughs, adventures outside and more.

I will see you back here on Sunday for yet another special announcement, involving some new handmade creations and a few other artists!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Day 14: LAST DAY! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Self-Love

How are you sisters? I hope you are feeling super loved right now! Because you are brilliant and you deserve to be loved.

On this final day of 14 days of posts, I would like to share something SUPER special with you…


It’s here! Sunray Sister is all about positivity via creativity, so my channel is going to be all about leading a creative life by: making stuff, learning stuff and finding alternatives in order to love yourself, others and our planet as much as possible.

To make a paper heart bunting…

You will need

  • Newspaper to protect surface
  • Paper – I used 3 sheets of cold pressed watercolour paper
  • Paints – I used red, white and gold acrylics from WHSmith
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Shape template – I made a heart, aprox. 12cm square
  • A sewing machine and thread, OR
  • A hole punch and ribbon


  1. Prepare paint
  2. Paint paper and leave to dry
  3. Trace template onto back of painted paper
  4. Cut shapes
  5. Set up your sewing machine
  6. Sew shapes together on sewing machine, making sure you leave extra thread at either end for hanging up
  7. OR, if you don’t have a sewing machine, simply punch holes either side of each heart, and thread the hearts onto some thin ribbon.


Starting a YouTube channel is such a massive step for me, so it would mean the world if you could share my video on social media, tell your friends and let me know what you thought! Find me on social media!

After all those posts, I’m feeling rather exhausted, but I have just hit 50 published blog posts! Wow! Thank you so much for being here, and following my journey, I love you all! See you on Friday for a round up of all 14 days, in case you missed any.


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 13: How to Love the Planet // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Hello sisters and welcome to the start of a brand new week, but the penultimate day of my 14 days of love! If you need to catch up on any posts, simply click ‘Sunray Sister’ above to get an overview of all my content. Plus I’ll be doing a re-cap of all 14 posts this Friday.

Over the weekend I shared some advice on how to love yourself, and how to love others. The final piece of the puzzle is our planet; our home, our surroundings, the physical space in which we exist, a spinning rock in an infinite universe, the reason we are alive today.

In my eyes, a lot of the larger world around me is completely out of balance. What I need to remember is that I have a little piece of that world, and through small actions, and through influencing others with those small actions, I could make a small difference which could lead to a collective huge difference.

Today I would like to share my tips on how to love the planet, so that it might be a happier place for all…


Reduce waste

In the UK alone, we send millions of tonnes of waste to landfill every year. The world is not getting any bigger. We need to take responsibility. Stop and ask yourself, what do I throw away everyday? Where has it come from? How can I reduce this?

Refuse waste

Reducing waste is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t the ideal. The ideal is having no waste at all. There are so many simple things that we can refuse so easily: no carrier bags, no plastic bottles, no disposable cutlery, no take-away cups, no plastic containers… Learn to say no.

Research the alternatives

Know your options. Find out what happens to your recycling. See if there are any extra solutions. Create new habits and find the alternatives. For all the things you refuse, there are reusable replacements. Use tote bags, reusable water bottles, bring your own metal straw and cutlery, use glass containers to store food, make your own toothpaste, use cloth napkins. The list is endless! And exciting!

Ditch consumerism

Avoid the need for new. Find it second-hand first. Clothes, furniture, books, electronics… Another endless list! Discover artists and makers who use reclaimed materials or natural ingredients. Learn to make things yourself. Learn to ignore the lure of advertising and sales.

Respect your personal world

When our surroundings are clean and tidy, we can be more at peace with ourselves. We can see clearly, once the clutter is cleared. Treat chores and cleaning like sacred rituals; to give thanks to the items that you use, and the enjoyment they bring you. Look after them all. When things break repair them, or find someone who can.

Accept the physical world

Be at peace with everything. Even though I am aiming towards a less materialistic life, we still exist in a physical world, where physical things happen. With love, kindness, knowledge and responsibility, we can avoid the bad things.

Re-consider your travel

Cars are clogging up the planet. When you can, use your feet instead; walk, run, pedal, skate, scoot! Also consider public transport for longer journeys. If your route is not part of public transport, look into car shares, perhaps with work colleagues.

Reconnect with nature

Switch off and spend time in nature. Walk in the fresh air, and remember that we are natural. We are not plastic or electronic. Plant seeds, grow vegetables, pick berries from hedges and collect pretty leaves.

Use your vote and your voice

Sign petitions, donate to charity, fundraise, get involved with the community. Support independent markets and businesses. Vote for the people you believe in, because they might listen and help to make a bigger change.

With little steps and small changes, we could all make a big difference to the monumental imbalances in the world. What advice do you have? What do you already do to show your respect for this world?

Tomorrow is the final day of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, NOOOOOO! I’ve loved exploring some new topics, and digging into things that I think are really important, as well as fun and silly stuff.

In the final post I will have that special surprise that I mentioned way back at the start of the two weeks, and I have already talked about it in a previous post, any guesses?! You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. See you then sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 12: How to Love Others // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Happy Sunday sisters! Now that you feel more at peace with yourself, you will be more able to connect with and respect other living beings. So today’s post is about how to love others…

“You cannot love others unless you love yourself first; how can you give away what you don’t have?” – Swami Prem Priyadha


Smile at strangers

Smiling makes you feel good, even if you are grumpy. Smiling connects you with other people, even if you don’t know them, even if you don’t speak the same language. A smile is universal, and opens up a welcoming world.

Hug often

Physical connection brings us positive emotions and improves wellbeing, so just give someone a hug!

Be kind

Let someone go first, open doors, give compliments… just be there for others, and leave the rudeness in the bin.

Show respect

Treat all creatures as equal. This is partly why I decided to become vegetarian, and explore veganism at the start of the year. I no longer want to harm another living being. Of course this is not what everyone wants, so find a way to show love to all beings. Acknowledge their lives and be grateful.

Be patient

We all have our own pace. Remember that everyone is experiencing their own separate lives, and sometimes we need to change our pace to accommodate others; to go faster or to slow down.

Be interested in others

Always be curious, always ask interesting questions. Skip the small talk. Skip the gossip. It’s boring! When you show interest in another person, they will feel more at ease, and you will get to know them better. We love to talk about ourselves!

Put your phone away

You knew it was coming, but how could it not be on this list? Disconnect in order to connect. When you’re not around others, phones and the internet are great (ahem, she says, writing a blog, and sharing it on social media…), for spreading your message to others, and for staying in touch. When you are around others, enjoy the moment together, absorb the atmosphere. I get such a rush when I’m in a crowd with a shared purpose: all hypnotised by a bonfire, or listening to incredible live music. (If it’s a normal crowd of people rushing and being their boring busy selves, then I freak out.)

Say thank-you

Literally say thank-you more, say sorry less. Show gratitude, show appreciation. Recognise the effort someone has taken for you, and feel special.

How do you show love and respect for other people and creatures? What changes are you making? Do you already follow my tips above? Let me know what you think in the comments or via social media!

I’d love to see you again tomorrow for the penultimate day of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love. I will round off this little trio of ‘How To’s’ by showing you how to love the planet. See you tomorrow sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Day 11: How to Love Yourself // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Welcome back! We’re into the home straight of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, and today I have the first of a trio of posts all about how to love. The first step is to love yourself sisters!

This can mean many different things for different people. Whatever is healthy, peaceful, simple yet significant… whatever is true to you; make time to do those things. Below are some of my ideas on how to show yourself some love and respect… 

“The tools for happiness are within you” – Leo Babauta, Zen Habits


Eat healthy food

What you put in, you will get back. So give yourself wholesome and natural food; you will feel so much better! I dream of growing my own food one day, and being totally connected to the earth.

Make time for tea

The tea ceremony goes back centuries, and is something I am fascinated by. So simple, so overlooked, yet so important. Take a break. Take time to be mindful of this small ritual and appreciate every hot sip.

Move outside and connect with nature

Inspire. Expire. Feel renewed. When I am stuck inside all day I feel horrible, and often forget how healing a quick stroll can be. But I long for a huge hike through the woods and up a mountain somewhere!

Explore mindfulness, meditation and yoga

Be still with yourself for a few moments everyday. Sit and observe. Listen to your breath, consciously take your mind through every part of your body, notice how every part of you feels. Repeat positive affirmations and mantras. Radiate positive thoughts. Then stretch! Also try to bring a new awareness into everything you do everyday, try to be mindful of every move, and grateful for small things.

Release your thoughts in a journal 

There are always difficult thoughts and painful feelings. But they should not be squashed and hidden. They should be observed and released. Do this in a journal with words, or with images too. I adore collage; the physical action of cutting, arranging and sticking is very therapeutic to me. I’ve also been using an old typewriter recently, giving me a fresh angle for putting words on paper.

Express yourself through creativity

As well as letting out thoughts in a journal, try expressing yourself through other techniques. Paint, draw, sew, build, bake, plant, dance, act. Let your imagination go wild, and find others who share your passion.

Read everyday and learn something new

There is nothing more wonderful than constantly building upon your knowledge of the world and all the wonderful things in it. I seem to find a new subject to explore every week! My current interests include: small business, self-love, slowing down and crystals.

Schedule a regular self-love session

All of the ideas above should be incorporated into your daily or weekly life. But when you can, maybe once a week/fortnight/month, set aside a specific day/morning/afternoon/evening, when you just stop and pamper yourself! Take an even longer walk than usual, blast out your favourite music when you get home, create a magnificent wholesome lunch. Then read all the books and articles, watch all the YouTube videos, play all the podcasts. Whilst you’re at it, steam your face, apply a face mask, do a manicure. The most important part is that you specifically book this appointment with yourself, to make it just as important as all your other plans.


I am still at the beginning of my self-love journey. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, I just want to learn and develop. So always remember this is a journey, and always remember to forgive yourself. How do you love yourself? How do you make peace with yourself? What are your favourite ways to relax and reconnect with what matters? I’d love to hear about your self-love rituals.

Tomorrow I will be looking at how to love others; from your closest companion, to a stranger on the street. There’s only three days left of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, I hope you can join me!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Day 10: Favourite Films about Love // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Happy Friday sisters! Welcome to the 10th day of this 14 day blog challenge, celebrating all things love. Hit ‘Sunray Sister’ above to see an overview of all my previous posts!

Today I have put together a list of my favourite films on the theme of love, (in no particular order), so you can get prepared for a cozy weekend, or a romantic Valentine’s evening. Snuggling on the sofa with your love interest/gal pals/fluffy companion is recommended for optimum enjoyment!

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  1. Moonrise Kingdom – oh Wes, you have my heart. His films are just so unique and special. So much detail, so much creativity.
  2. Miss Potter – Yes, she wrote Peter Rabbit (and many other stories), and was extremely successful in many ways. But Beatrix Potter also has a heartbreaking love story, tissues will be required!
  3. Amélie – Just the kind of quirky film that I love. All the little moments and cute clues. It’s just so beautiful.
  4. Romeo & Juliet – A classic reinvented. The juxtaposition of Shakespearean language with a modern setting is stunning. Added bonus of a brilliant soundtrack.
  5. West Side Story – Another take on the Romeo & Juliet story line, as an awesome musical, with even-more-awesome dancing. This film makes me want to learn to dance.
  6. Pride & Prejudice – I love costume dramas. I’m not sorry. I just get seduced by the longing looks, and the striding through fields, and the giggling in the ballroom. It’s all so dramatic! Thank you Jane Austen, I can always rely on you.
  7. A Room with a View – I studied the book at school, and then discovered the film. This story by E. M. Forster is one to learn from: reject what society expects, follow true love and passion.
  8. Chocolat – I was captivated from start to end. Any character trying to change stubborn old ways, whilst celebrating ancient tradition, has got my vote. And the leading lady Vianne does just that. Now I need to read the book by Joanne Harris.
  9. Atonement – Keira strikes again. Ian McEwan’s story is so clever and complex; I am a big fan of an unreliable narrator.
  10. 10 Things I Hate About You – Finishing off the list with something a little less serious, but also based on Shakespeare! Kat is just so cool. A cool Kat.

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What are your favourite films? How many of them are about love? Have I left any essential love films off my list?! Leave your recommendations in the comments or on social media; I love Instagram at the moment.

Tomorrow is the start of my three-day countdown to Valentine’s Day, when I will have an extra special surprise for you all, (stay tuned to find out what it is)! During the three days I will be covering three aspects of how to love: yourself, others and the planet. We’re almost on the home straight sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 9: Top Love and Learning Resources // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Hello sisters, and welcome to day 9 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love!

Today I have brought together all of the resources that are guiding me on my journey of self-love and learning. From meditation to zero waste, the people I have been following have various beliefs and messages. They have books, blogs, images, social media, podcasts, videos, speeches and magazines. They use many different methods to get their points across, but they all do so with skill and real-life experience, and what they have to say is seriously important. So read on!

Gala Darling

This lady is powerful! She focuses on self-love, spirituality, positivity, laws of attraction and exercise. Gala has been writing her blog for 10 years (yes 10 years!), and last year she published her own book which was later re-released by Hay House.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Better known for her novel ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Elizabeth has most recently written a non-fiction book called ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’. She also gave a TED talk on creativity, fear and genius, and has a brilliant podcast series called ‘Magic Lessons’ where she helps individuals break through their fears to live a magic life.

Kris Carr

Coming from the perspective of diet and health, Kris has a lot to share. A cancer survivor and a true warrior, she is endlessly positive and calming. I purchased her ‘Crazy Sexy Love Notes’ to give me some perspective and encouragement each day. Plus the artwork by Lori Portka is stunning.

Holistic Habits

Sarah is a recent discovery, but someone who has already been on a long journey of self-discovery and healing. She has so much to share, and she does it so beautifully in her YouTube videos (my favourite is above). Sarah’s voice alone is enough to put me in a calm and happy place, but her advice is so useful and interesting, and has opened up so many new areas that I had no idea about.

Meghan Livingstone

Another YouTuber, Meghan is all about nutrition, reducing stress and listening to your body. Above is an example of one of her videos all about simplifying your life. I love her pure and natural take on life.

TED Talks

Of course, how could I write a post about my top resources without mentioning TED talks. There are too many great videos to link here. Above is one of my favourites, by Andy Puddicome of Headspace (a brilliant meditation app), all about making time for yourself and finding peace.

Flow Magazine

I have always had a bit of a thing for magazines. Recently I found Flow magazine and instantly knew it was special. Flow magazine was founded in the Netherlands and is also available in English. “A magazine that takes its time”; every issue of Flow seeks to celebrate creativity and imperfection, and encourage self-development and slowing down.

James Clear

On his blog, James (image above) seeks to answer the question: ‘how can we live better?’. He has hundreds of articles, and is a great example of self-discipline. Additionally he has links to lots of recommended books, organised into useful categories. Needless to say, my reading list is now much longer than before.

Zen Habits

Similar to James Clear, this blog by Leo Babauta is essential reading for serious self-development and building new, healthy habits for a more balanced life. On top of the amazing content, I just love the total visual simplicity of this website. It feels so pure and authentic.

Be More With Less

Courtney Carver writes about minimalism and simplifying your life (image above). My favourite subject she has written about is ‘I don’t know what’s best for you’; read all of the books and blogs, listen to the podcasts and talks, but ultimately, take what you need from them, and build your own path to where you need to go.

Be Zero 

Last, but not least, is Andrea Sanders’ organisation ‘Be Zero’, all about living a zero waste lifestyle. The first thing to clarify when finding out about ‘zero waste’ is that the ‘zero’ does not necessarily mean ‘none’. The zero signifies a circle, which in turn represents the aim of a circular economy, instead of the standard linear economy. Through her website and Instagram account Andrea spreads this message with honest images and real life lessons. Right now she is wearing the same dress for the whole of February; go check it out! I will be writing about this subject more in the future as I feel it is so important, and not enough people know about it.



Who inspires you to be and do better? What books would you recommend for personal development and self-love? I would love to know and I hope my suggestions have been useful to you.

Tomorrow is day 10 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love. After a few slightly heavy posts, it’s time for a little fun! In the past I’ve brought you lists of my favourite tunes, but for day 10 I have put together a list of my favourite films (about love of course). See you soon!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 8: When Love is Misused // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Welcome back sisters! Wednesday is here, and it is day 8 of my fortnight of blogging about love. So far I have covered mainly positive and fun stuff, but today I want to look at love from another angle.

This is most likely going to be a topic to return to in the near future, as it will be hard to get all my thoughts into one comprehensive blog post. It might come across as a little negative, but I want to represent the other side of my message of positivity. Basically I aim to adress the problem of too much love and not enough love. The lack of balance. The lack of authenticity.


Sometimes love can be misused. Often we say we ‘love’ something, when really it is not love at all. Let’s try to change our thinking…

When we love people too much, we become idolisers, fanatics, stalkers, extremists. We call it love but it turns into obsession. I am thinking of celebrities in particular, and the extreme focus put on their personal lives and every little thing that they do. They are just humans like you and me! Stop looking up to others in this way. Stop wanting to be like others. Love yourself first, spread love to those around you.

When we love food too much, we can become unhealthy, obese, lazy. Food is so necessary to our wellbeing. When we stuff our bodies with poison, we feel terrible and look terrible, and a vicious circle of self-destruction begins. Respect your body like a temple, worship it and bring it healthy, wholesome offerings. This is a lesson I am still learning.

When we love material things too much, we become suffocated, and damage the people and planet around us. This creates not only the direct result of more stress, less money, and less time to enjoy ourselves, but also unseen and indirect results. This includes harming the environment and the lives of people who have to deal with the results, especially in less developed countries. Respect what you have, consider where your possessions come from, and where they might end up. Give up the devotion to new and disposable things! Use your voice and your skills instead, influence and teach others to do good.

When we think we love, we can become blind and patronising. When we think we are looking out for others, we are not actually listening, we are only making ourselves feel better. The number of times some random person has said to me “sorry love”, or “are you alright love?“, is endless and drives me crazy. The fact that they couldn’t care less about how I am, or are not truly sorry at all is bad enough, but then they have to add love in the most un-loving, highly patronising way possible. When someone uses love to suggest they are superior, that is their weakness. True strength will always come from vulnerability and kindness.


Balance is crucial to life. Life and death, past and future, joy and pain; these are all the extremes of life that must be accepted. Balance can be found in the moment; no comparisons, no worries, no obsessions.

Love people you know, get to know new people, find good teachers.

Enjoy food and learn what is best for you.

Have only the useful things that you need and the small treasures that bring you joy.

Only ever love truly, and wholly. Be your authentic self.

In the final few posts of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love I will be digging deeper into these subjects, as well as a couple of fun things. For tomorrow’s post I will be sharing a list of some amazing influencers and teachers that are helping me; I think they will help you to progress on your self-love journey too. I hope you can join me!


Peace and true love,

Rachel x

Day 6: Send a Handmade Card to your Valentine // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Happy Monday sisters! It is the start of a brand new week, and a new chance to give yourself and others even more love than before.

So this Valentine’s, why not send a card to your loved one(s) to tell them how much you love them?! Just make sure it’s handmade; by yourself or an awesome independent designer. The featured image above is a card by Re:made. Below are a few more of my favourites for day 6 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love.

Simple and quirky, with a fun pun. What could be better? Real Simple have lots of similar ideas on their website, including ‘we just fit’ with two jigsaw pieces!

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Place is everything, so find a map of the location that is important to you and your loved ones, cut it into a heart and put it on a card. Just like Swoon Studio did.

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Instead of maps, try cutting up old books and include your loved one’s name, like this card from Re:made. An alternative colour combination is shown in the featured image at the top of the blog, which just happens to use my name!


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For the more statistically minded, try a pie chart of your heart. This card by Connie Clementine can be personalised with your own text.

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These notecards are super sweet and easy to make with this tutorial by Little Birdie Secrets. There are ideas for other shapes for other occasions as well.

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Get stitching to show someone you really care with this DIY kit by Stitch Kits.

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Artist Brittany Davies has some awesome anti-Valentine’s cards! Her drawings are incredible too.

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For similar humorous yet beautifully designed cards, try Fiona Clabon’s clever collage creations.

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If you make your own cute card, why not try this heart envelope to put your creation into?!

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One final recommendation, check out this book on the art of sending beautiful letters and cards by Michelle Mackintosh.

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I hope that’s given you some cool ideas to spread some love this Valentine’s, and not just in a romantic way; send them to your friends and family too! Maybe even give some out to strangers!!!

Come back tomorrow for day 7 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, where I will be talking about handmade and alternative gifts to give at Valentine’s and all year round.


Peace and love,

Rachel x

Day 5: Happy Birthday Fraz! // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

It’s day 5 of Sunray Sister’s 14 days of love! I have a short and sweet post for you today to say Happy Birthday to the most caring and silly man I have ever met!



These photos are a few years apart; he is still just as awesome and silly, just a little more hairy! I love birthdays as they are a chance to reflect on how far you’ve come in a year, or two years, or five or ten years. Plus they are a great excuse to make someone feel extra special and spoilt, and have even more fun than usual!!!

If you like, come back tomorrow for day 6 of Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love, where we will be celebrating handmade and the beauty of snail-mail!

Peace and love,

Rachel x