Friday, October 31, 2014


5 DIY Halloween Costumes | Life in the Sunshine
I will admit, it has happened to me. Your friend calls saying that you are going to a Halloween party tonight and you didn't even think about getting yourself a costume this year. So, its time to throw together something in your closet and pray that it works. Well here are 5 super simple DIY Halloween costumes that can be put together with items from your closet. No one will even know you didn't take the time to plan your outfit this year, because they are that good!5 DIY Halloween Costumes - Audrey Hepburn | Life in the Sunshine
 5 DIY Halloween Costumes - Beetle Juice | Life in the Sunshine
 5 DIY Halloween Costumes - Queen Elsa | Life in the Sunshine
 5 DIY Halloween Costumes - Rosie the Riverter | Life in the Sunshine
 5 DIY Halloween Costumes - Natalie Portman - Black Swan | Life in the Sunshine
Do you have any DIY Halloween costumes?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tough Topics | Oh My Ovary

Hi everyone, I'm Llinos, I'm 27 and I live in Wales, UK.  While Kenzie rocks it over on my blog today, I'm here to share my story with you as part of the Tough Topics series.  But first, here's a little more about me.  I love lipstick, shoes, guinea pigs and crafting.  I'm writing my first novel and when I'm not writing, you can find me crocheting granny square blankets.  I've recently got into fitness and healthier living.  I am dedicated to living a bold and beautiful life.

The story which I want to articulate began 15 years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer as a 12 year old child.  A huge germ cell tumor had grown on my ovary, and I had both removed during major surgery.  After a course of chemotherapy, I recovered and went on to become a healthy teenager.  It took six months to eradicate cancer from my body, but emotionally I was changed forever by what had happened to my young body.  I had lost my ovary only a short time after I had learned about puberty, but I was reassured that my one remaining healthy ovary would still be able to give me a child in the future.  I promised myself that I would not let anything happen to my one remaining ovary.

Over the years, regular blood tests and check ups became a regular occurrence for me.  During a routine abdominal scan when I was 24 years old, I was shocked when the technician told me I had a growth on my ovary.  I was deeply upset but I was bustled out of the room and told I would need to speak to a doctor for any further information; the growth was identified as a dermoid cyst.

But life had to go on.  I had to go to work and pretend nothing was wrong, when this niggle at the back of my mind persisted in worrying that this cyst would become a cancerous tumor.  For two years I went back to hospital for scans every three months, which showed that the cyst was growing.  Still none of the doctors wanted to operate on a childless young woman with one ovary, in case the ovary had to be damaged or removed.  No doctor told me the cyst would become cancerous; but no one told me it wouldn't, and with my medical history all bets were off.

Finally I was told to prepare for surgery, but first I would need to consider IVF to freeze my eggs in order to protect my fertility, in case my ovary had to be removed during the operation, thus robbing me of my ability to have a baby naturally.  History was playing a cruel trick on me.

IVF was a huge decision, and after months of asking for second opinions and considering the options, me and my boyfriend decided to freeze embryos.  Our focus was on having the cyst removed, and we attended the IVF appointments and presentations with confidence that the IVF injections and drugs would cause no more than minor discomfort to me.  Once the embryos were frozen, the operation on the cyst could take place and we could move on with our lives.

I was not at all prepared for the hell of the IVF drugs.  The daily injections caused my ovary to swell to the size of a balloon.  The pain was unbearable.  I was admitted to hospital three times due to the pain and dehydration.  The drugs were poisoning me and I was so scared that I would die in agony due to my ovary bursting.  When my eggs were harvested, I hoped the pain would be over, but the agony persisted as my ovary objected to being poked with a needle, and the swelling took days to go down.

Three months later, in February 2014, I finally had the cystectomy operation.  It was a very smooth procedure compared to IVF.  The cyst was removed and my ovary was left intact.  I recovered well and since then a huge weight has lifted from my mind and I finally feel above to move on.  Six months after the cystectomy, I was discharged from the clinic; the first time since my cancer diagnosis all those years ago.  I wept with joy and relief.  

If you are considering IVF, please look into the side effects of treatment and be more aware than I was of how dreadful an experience it can be.  Our bodies are miracles; mine has healed from cancer, operations, IVF... it never ceases to amaze me and I am thankful for my life everyday.  I want to raise awareness of ovarian cysts and cancer in young women; it can be a very isolating experience but I want you to know that you are not alone.  From my heart to yours, I wish you well on your journey, and please reach out to me if you'd like to discuss anything further.


I do encourage anyone, to reach out and email me, if you would like to join. I would love to be able to share your voice. This series is about anything that you find as a Tough Topic to talk about. It could be something you deal with daily (mental, physical, or emotional), something that happened to you and you no longer deal with, a relationship (family, friend, or partner), a story about your child, children and/or pregnancy, this series is really meant for anything that you find hardships with. 

Please withhold and refrain from writing/commenting any harsh or unkind words. Any comments that I feel are unwelcoming and not supportive, will be deleted from the post and series. Thank you in advance.

Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Thing I've Learned About Bloggin

I have ‘officially’ been blogging since March of 2013. I say officially this way, because that is when Life in the Sunshine made its debut and I really started getting serious about blogging. Sure, I have blogged off and on for years, but that is when I really decided to jump with both feet and take it seriously. I have learned a few things since then.


When I started to blog, I never realized the amount of work and time I would put into every single post. Honestly, I thought that it would be something easy to do and not very time consuming. Boy was I wrong. I find myself spending hours making sure that I have good content to share with you all. Plus, I have to take the time organize it all. I learned a lot from Jana at Life Could Be A Dream about how to organize your blog posts. Since, then I can promise you that it has gotten a lot easier for me. Thank you Jana!


Like I said in the previous paragraph – I learned a lot from Jana on how to organize my blog. I take the time to write down all of my ideas on post-it notes and then organize them on a calendar. This way I can arrange my categories and not have back to back subjects. This is so helpful! Plus, I love that I put them on post-it notes – makes it easier to switch things around if I want too! 


I know that I personally don’t to read posts where I feel I am being lectured. I am sure that I have a few in my past, hope they weren’t offensive. There is nothing I hate more than feeling I am being talked down too or I am wrong because of my opinion. I like to read blogs that make me feel as if I am having this conversation with you in person. Keeping it light and easy, is key for me!


This is a huge thing for me. I am a people pleaser. I automatically want to make sure that my blog pleases everyone who reads it, but I have learned that it just won’t happen. I have to be myself and state my own opinion, obviously kindly. In the end though, not every single person who comes across this little space of mine will love it. When I stopped trying to please every reader that would come across my blog, I found that I enjoy blogging so much more! Yes, I put in a lot of time to this little blog of mine and I believe that I offer really good content. If I am happy with what I am posting, that is all that matters.


This is important; because I believe that people come to your blog and stay to read it because of the voice behind it. They want to read it because of the content and stories that you’re providing to them. Just be you, people love you for who you are, so share yourself with the world. Also, I think it is important as well to share with your readers/followers who you are; with introductions, stories and pictures about your life. They grow to love you, the voice behind the blog and love to watch your life continue to grow and change.

What are some things you have learned since you started blogging?

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Floppy Fedora Hat - Life in the Sunshine

I know that I have said it before, but I am going to say it again, I love these floppy fedora hats that are super popular right now. I just love how fun they can be to pair with different outfits! They really do add the perfect finishing touch! Southern Utah still hasn’t decided that it is fall yet. So, I have to find ways to incorporate the hats that seem to keep accumulating in my closet – oops. I just can’t resist them. 

 Floppy Fedora Hat - Life in the Sunshine

When I have an entire list of errands to run during the day – I always opt for a comfy and simple outfit. There is no way that I could get all of my errands done in 5 inch heels and something uncomfortable. I would probably end up stopping half way through to go home. That just can’t happen when things have to get done. So, I went for this comfy oversize t-shirt and an old pair of denim shorts. I topped it off with my floppy fedora and an adorable shade of pink lipstick – ready to conquer that long list of items.  

 Floppy Fedora Hat - Life in the Sunshine

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tough Topics | Posttramatic Stress and Its Effect On Children

This post is written on behalf of all children who have experienced trauma in their life. Thanks to McKenzie for inviting me to write a guest post for her series and thanks for being brave enough to talk about your struggles.

Everyone should be familiar with the research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Go here to learn more  Basically, the researchers identified 10 adverse experiences children might have. For each experience of the ten, your likelihood of disease and early death increases exponentially. If you have experienced four of the ten ACEs your life expectancy is 20 years shorter than someone who hasn't experienced any. Adverse Childhood Experiences are linked to things like obesity and cancer!

Currently our school and justice systems are not exactly what I would call trauma informed. Children who experience trauma are not able to regulate themselves. They are often given labels such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder. In reality, their brain's development has been stunted by their traumatic experiences. The brain literally develops differently in children who experience these traumatic events. Kids who act out in school or in the community often act out because their brain does not work like a regular brain! They do not react to situations the same way that most of us do.

The good news is the brain can change and heal. This is called neuroplasticity. It requires a great deal of time and effort and is not usually completed with just talk therapy. Often physical activities, like yoga, create sensory motor awareness that can bring about greater change than talking with a therapist. More research is completed each year and if you would like to learn more you should read about Bruce Perry and Bessel van der Kolk. They have done a lot of tremendous research on how to best help children who have experienced trauma.

Every responsible adult needs to watch out for the children in our lives. You can go here to learn more about keeping kids healthy and safe.

As an intern I counseled children who recently disclosed sexual abuse. Did you know that 1 in 10 kids will be sexually abused and 90% know their abuser? Often the abuser is a close friend or family member. Go here to learn more about child sexual abuse and how you can learn to prevent it or watch the trailer for the training. 14% of children in the US suffered some form of abuse in the past year and it's estimated to cost the US over $100 Billion each year (read about it here).

As someone who works with many traumatized youth, I am passionate about changing the way we deal with difficult kids. They need someone who cares about them and will ask them about the things they have had to go through. No one chooses the family they are born into and the family you are born into has an incredible impact on the person you become.

We need to have more empathy for people who act differently than we do. If we had experienced many of the things that they have, we might act a little differently too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lovely Layers

When fall finally hits the air, I love layering up my outfits! There is just something cute and cozy about layers! I think that is one of the reasons I love fall clothing so much! The Creative Closet's theme this week is Lovely Layers and since my photographer and I are on such opposite schedules lately, we didn't get together in enough time to shoot the outfit I had in mind for this week. So, since I can't share my outfit with you just yet. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Lovely Layers inspiration from Pinterest!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Check out Jana and Maegan's blog for this weeks link up and make sure to check out all the lovely ladies who have joined together to showcase their adorable fall layers!

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Ways To Get Protein Into Your Daily Diet

5 Daily Proteins

When I started the journey over a year ago to get to a healthier me; I knew that meant I not only needed to get into the gym on a regular basis, but also needed to start feeding my body correctly. I started searching the internet and learning from my wellness coach, the importance of a well balanced diet and how protein was essential!

In order for my muscles to grow and repair, I needed to consume protein every single day. Protein controls my metabolism, regulate my hormones and helps with resistance. The secret to building strong healthy bones, hair, teeth, nails, muscles, tissues and organs is the proper amount of intake of protein; as well as hydration and your daily vitamins.

I also learned that if you are not getting enough protein into your daily diet, it is destructive to your body. My body, as well as yours, need the nutrients from protein every single day. I never realized the importance of protein until I learned that if we do not intake the proper amount, our body resorts to practically ‘eating’ itself for the amino acids that it needs. In return, our immunity goes down and we become weaker. 

Today, I thought I would share with you 5 different ways you can increase your protein intake.

Side Note: Just because a food items has a certain amount of protein in it, your body doesn’t utilize 100% of that. A percentage actually becomes calories – which is why it is important to get the proper amount of protein for your body weight. You need 1 gram of protein daily for each kilogram of your body weight; a 140 pound woman needs a minimum of 60 grams of protein.

5 ways to get protein into your daily diet - Life in the Sunshine
Red meat, poultry and fish are the best choices to receive the best source of protein. Make sure that when you do choose to use this source though, you are picking fresh meat and not preservative meats. The leaner the meat cut is, the better it will be for you. Also, always choose white over brown when it comes to poultry.

If you are like me, I don’t consume meat every single day. I really like to get protein from eggs and milk as well. Remember to drink your milk, your bones will thank you for it! I love to fix my eggs different ways, but my favorite by far is to make stuffed bell peppers. Bake your Bell Peppers for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Then fill with some Diced Ham and Veggies + One Egg scrambled. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Soooooo Good!

Seriously, this is an awesome way of getting a little extra protein into your diet and not even realizing it. I will snack on some nuts for a mid-day snack with a thing of string cheese. Did you know that nuts are good for your brain and heart? Plus, they are loaded with fiber for you digestion! Score!

I learned this from a friend who was vegan – You can get all the protein you need for an entire day by just eating Soy, Beans and Legumes. I knew that they all carried protein and that is how vegetarian’s received their protein, but I had no idea that they contain that much protein in them. She recommends to try a Black Bean Burger or Tofu Tacos.

Don’t forget your veggies! Greens may be a sideline to that big hunk of meat or black bean burger you want to devour; but don’t let your greens fool you! Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Mushrooms and especially Spinach are great sources of protein when it comes to your veggies.

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash | 5 Ways To Get Protein Into Your Daily Diet | Life in the Sunshine Blog
.original recipe.
I love this Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash recipe for a couple of reasons. Sure, it the recipe itself I awesome just the way it is, but you can mix and change it to your own liking. Sometimes I want to add shredded chicken or beef to it. Sometimes I don’t add the spice from the jalapeno pepper. It is just a great way to incorporate Meat + Beans + Veggies into one single dish! Score for your protein! Plus, it heats up really well the next day for lunch.!

Are you getting enough protein in your diet? 
Do you have Tips/Tricks to adding more protein daily? 
I want to hear from you!