Fashion, Outdoors, Scotland, Sea, Winter

A Golden State Of Mind

Ahhhh Scotland! One day I’ll live here and stop harping on about how amazing it is, knowing me though I’ll never stop being amazed by this little corner of the world. Its definitely the place I feel most at home and I love to come back here again and again. One place I always like to come to visit when we are here is St Andrews, I love the little town full of pretty streets and grand old buildings with its lovely craft shops and the best book shop ever to have existed! But one of my favourite things is definitely the beach with Tensmuir forest facing you as you walk down and the beautiful towers of St Andrews facing you as you walk back. So when deciding where to give my brand new Christmas coat its first outing it was no contest really. 
I’d been wanting this lovely mustard yellow coat for ages, incredibly comfy and cute it is also 100% waterproof and has a hood. Unfortunately it was quite a bit out of my budget so when my lovely in laws to be bought it for me as a Christmas present I was super excited. I can’t wait to wear this on my honeymoon, I’m almost hoping it rains so I can test out its waterproofness. 
The walk we had was busier than normal being Christmas week but we managed to find a quieter spot right down at the bottom to splash about in the waves and chase the dogs round. Its moments like this when the sun is starting its slow journey to bed, the sky goes a pastel purple colour and Russell is there beside me holding my hand that I feel really blessed. Time stop stills for a minute and I can enjoy everything God has given us. 

What I Wore…
Coat – Joules | Top – Joules | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters | Hat – New Look | Scarf – H&M

Autumn, Fashion, Love, Outdoors, Vintage, Wedding

I Have Found The One Whom My Soul Loves……

The other day we had our engagement photoshoot and although it is almost a year since we got engaged we are so glad we decided to wait until autumn. October holds a special place in our hearts as not only is it our favourite season it is also the month we started dating two years ago. I also love the way autumn coats oxford in an array of mustards, burnt oranges, golds and browns and so we soon decided an autumnal photoshoot in Oxford would be a perfect keepsake of our time here. One thing me and Russell love is the 50s and 60s, we both absolutely love the fashion from that period and just the sense of style that emanated at that time. I used to say that in the beginning of our relationship when Russell was courting me it felt like we were in an Audrey Hepburn movie. We really wanted to try to capture this and give our engagement photos a real vintagey look. Luckily our amazing photographer Sarah from The Salty Sea Blog is incredibly talented and managed to capture exactly what we wanted. 
These photos are even better than I ever could have imagined and I am so pleased with them. We are definitely going to cherish these for years to come and I look forward to one day being able to look back and show our children our time together in Oxford. Sarah was so amazing on the day and made us feel so at ease even though we were incredibly nervous and embarrassed at the beginning. If you’re looking for a photographer I would highly recommend her and I am so excited to see the photos she takes of our wedding! 

What I Wore…
Dress – Lindy Bop | Shoes – George | Bag – Vintage | Coat – Primark
Sarahs Blog -http://thesaltyseablog.blogspot.co.uk/
Autumn, Fashion, Food, Slow Living, Style, Travel

The Best Autumn Day

Oh Autumn I cannot get enough of you! I know some people can’t wait for summer, for bare legs, bonfires, beach trips and sun kissed skin but for me there is no better season than autumn. I spend the summer months waiting in anticipation as autumn creeps closer and closer. Although I was watching very careful autumn in Oxford definitely suddenly appeared. It seemed one day it was beautiful September sunshine warm enough for ice cream and sandals, and then over night the temperature dropped by 10 degrees and the bright orange and mustard colours began to appear in every tree. It seemed autumn was especially prevalent in Hereford last weekend when we went up to do wedmin, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. We had decided to spend Friday and Saturday inside doing wedding jobs and then take a day off to enjoy the season outside on the Sunday. Luckily we were blessed with the most amazing weather, my absolute favourite type – bright blue skies, cold crisp air and low golden sunshine. It was glorious.

We decided to go back to one of our favourite spots to go walking in Hereford, the Brockhampton Estate and were extremely excited (well as least I was, not sure about Russell) to find out it was apple day! The National Trust definitely put on some of the best events and this was one of them. We enjoyed wandering around the house where we tried spiced mulled apple juice and sat in the 1950s sitting room – my outfit that day definitely blended into the surroundings. I’m wearing my lovely new dress from Lindy Bop that I got in the sale, I wanted some clothes in more autumnal colours and this definitely fitted the bill. We then wandered through the court yard where the cider pressing had been going on and got a good whiff of apple. After having a look around the shop we went in to the orchards and spent the best part of an hour jumping around trying to grab the shiniest juiciest apple on each tree. I have never actually been apple picking before so it was a new experience for me and I absolutely loved it. We decided to get one of each variety we thought looked the nicest including a massive apple almost the size of my head.

After carrying our apples back to the car we went to the lovely little tea rooms in the old apple store, we decided to continue our theme and bought a cider for Russell and an apple juice for me with a scone to share. By the time we’d finished it was almost five o’clock and the sun was beginning to descend and glow golden over the fields. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and even stumbled across a private Georgian mansion which I decided must be Netherfield Park (I really wanted to knock on the front door and ask for Mr Bingley).

To end our day we piled back into the car, turned the heating on and drove part of the way back to Oxford stopping in the Cotswolds for the most amazing meal at Bitter and Twisted in Chipping Norton. I love living so close to the Cotswolds, everything was lit up with beautiful fairy lights and for the first time this year it started to feel really Christmassy.

What I Wore…
Dress – Lindy Bop | Cardigan – M&S | Shoes – New Look
Autumn, Fashion, Style, Travel

Stow on the Wold

I recently started a new job that I absolutely love, I get to spend my days singing, dancing, crafting, baking and playing games with elderly people. Its the best job I’ve ever had being an activities assistant in a care home and it might sound like a total doddle doing all the things I love all day but it can be very hard waring emotionally, physically and mentally. When you’re working with people with dementia you have to be constantly switched on and, although when I get home I feel very satisfied and happy with what I’ve achieved that day, I am tired. In previous jobs I have gotten so excited by all the new things I’ve been learning, I’ve totally thrown myself in and come home brimming with ideas that I then start to research which has led to me completely over whelming myself. Having lived with anxiety now for over a year, I have become wary of giving myself too much and am a lot more aware of chill out time. I have approached this job cautiously and as much as I love it and like talking about my day with people I have managed to leave my work at the door when I leave. This is quite a big achievement for me and I am hoping this is my mindfulness, something I’ve been really working on, finally coming into play. 
I have also had to be careful that once work is done and dusted all my spare time isn’t taken up with wedding stuff. A lot of people when we started planning our wedding gave us the advice to make sure we take time out and remember all the reasons we want to get married and it was honestly the best advice we got. When you’re getting married your whole life can become about the wedding and for me and Russell that’s really not what it is about. We are so much more excited for the marriage and often find ourselves feeling guilty for prioritising time together doing other things rather than wedding planning. But I think it is definitely really important the closer we get that we take more time out together and that is exactly what we decided to do the other weekend. 
Living in Oxford means we are close enough to visit so many places for the day including London, multiple amazing National Trusts and of course the beautiful Cotswolds. We definitely haven’t made the most of living so close to the Cotswolds and one of our plans for the new year once we are married is to try and get out there more. This time around we decided to visit Stow on the Wold for the day, I have never been however as soon as we arrived Russell recognised it as the place he’d visited with his family a while ago. Unfortunately being a Saturday it was quite full with tourists (we prefer to go at quieter times or just avoid the tourist places in general) but that didn’t stop us from having a love day out. 
We started off by having a delicious meal at the White Hart, a very quaint Cotswolds pub and hotel with lovely old beams and squishy leather chairs. We then set off around the town, we dipped into small book shops, little gift shops and because I had stupidly misread the weather we ended up rooting around in the charity shop for a cardigan. I found these super cute little black jumper that was originally M&S but was now only £4.50. I used to be very into finding a bargain in a charity shop but in later years haven’t been so much, this trip definitely rekindled my love for rooting around for those little gems.  

We had a really lovely day out and it was exactly what we needed to take out minds off wedding stuff for a little while. 
What I Wore…
Dress – Cath Kidston | Jumper – M&S (Charity Shop) | Shoes – Primark | Bag – Old | Sunglasses – Tribe

Autumn, Fashion, Outdoors, Scotland, Sea, Style

Tentsmuir Beach

Wow these photos seem a life away and really these were only taken a few weeks ago. We took them on the last day of our Scottish holiday, I kind of knew that once we got back to Oxford things would get very busy and so I made a conscious effort to try to enjoy this time of relaxation. I definitely wasn’t wrong, the closer we get to the wedding the more and more I find all my spare time wrapped up in planning. Which would be fine if I hadn’t also had a new job starting, an evening course, a very ill family member and no where to live. Thankfully life its starting to settle down and although I still feel pulled in many directions I feel i am able to cope more. Its been hard not having the time to blog or write or just spend some time doing the things I love to do. I am trying to make time for the stuff I love amongst the wedding planning but the feelings of guilt and like I should be doing something “useful” often stop me from relaxing. 
I wish we lived by the sea, I find water so calming and just hearing the waves roll onto the shore and watching the foamy white sea bubble as its pulled in and out seems to just take a weight off my shoulders. I think we definitely need to make more of an effort to get down to the Thames more often, water seems to possess magical relaxing properties. These photos were taken at Tentsmuir forest beach in Fife, the forest is really beautiful and I love that it is right next to the beach so you can get a bit of both in your walk. I am greedy like that. 
I find myself with a weird mix of excitement and trepidation of the next few months. I can’t wait to get closer to the day I get to marry the love of my life but I am also well aware of all it entails. As much as for me it is all about marrying Russell and really I don’t care about much else than that I’m also aware that this wedding means a lot to other people. I find myself doing all these jobs less for me and Russell but more for the people who have spent a lot of time and effort bringing this lovely day together. I am very thankful to God that he has blessed us in so many ways with a wonderful family, loving friends and a chance to celebrate our wedding in such an amazing way. 

What I Wore…
Top – Joules | Jeans – New Look | Wellies – Hunters

Fashion, History, Style, Summer

Brockhampton

The days are getting shorter, the weather colder and the leaves are starting to turn, my favourite season is definitely on its way. I am so excited for wellies, hot chocs with whipped cream and kicking leaves but we still getting the odd summer day as you often do in September and I have to remind myself to get my legs out and enjoy it whilst it lasts. September is a gorgeous month with golden sunsets, bountiful harvests and an air of excitement as the seasons change and we get closer to that special day in December. I’ve really enjoyed being on holiday these first few weeks of September watching the seasons change and soaking up the last few rays of sunshine.

These photos were taken on a very golden 1st of September in the beautiful grounds of The Brockhampton Estate. Owning National Trust membership me and Russell often find ourselves here when in Hereford as its only down the road and a lovely place to go for a walk. Last time we came it was quite a lot wetter than expected (we got totally soaked through in the woods) so it was nice to see it bathed in golden autumnal light. We arrived late afternoon and enjoyed soaking up a bit of warmth in the gardens. We both felt it reminded us of a fairytale cottage where you might find the sorcerer and his apprentice. I quickly made plans to come back another time with a suitably fairytale dress to take some magical photos.

We really enjoyed our little week away in Hereford, it was a really lovely chance to just catch back up with each other and relax just the two of us before the craziness of the next 4 months ensues. I am so excited that our wedding is in 4 months but this holiday definitely feels like the calm before the storm. I am just going to keep reminding myself to enjoy this time and be present in every moment.

What I Wore…
Dress – Cath Kidston
Fashion, Style, Summer

Summer Holiday

August has been busy! I feel slightly like a headless chicken running around, moving house, planning our wedding and trying to start a new job. Its been a good month but also for some one with anxiety, dealing with a lot of things all at once isn’t the best. Luckily I was clever enough to book myself some holiday time at the end of the summer before the madness of Autumn begins. We have taken two weeks off in total and spent one in Hereford and one in Scotland. Its been really great to get a bit of chill out time just the two of us and catch our breath after the business of the last two weeks of August.

Some of you may remember I left my job in June and took a massive leap into the dark, spending the summer the writing has been amazing but I am also quite relieved to start a new part of my life. I will be starting a job later on in September as well as a part time course in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford which is very exciting. I honestly didn’t know what a summer of writing would mean for me or what God would do but it has certainly been a learning curve and something I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve also found that staying around in Oxford during the summer has been quite good for me as I’ve discovered a way of enjoying my time here. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about my struggle with living in the city in the South and so we have decided to move out to a village outside of Oxford which is quieter and suits us better. I’m hoping this will help me to learn to love Oxford and not be always pining for the wild countryside of the north.

We took these photos just before going out for dinner and it was then that it really felt like a holiday, the air was warm from the last few rays of golden sun and we both had that satisfied feeling of having relaxed all day. These few weeks off have definitely been needed not just to catch up with each other but also to catch up with myself and spend some time feeling like me again. I’m excited for the next few months but for now I am just enjoying the last few days of summer.

What I Wore…
Top – Fatface | Skirt – Asos | Sandals – Old 
Fashion, Slow Living, Style, Summer

I Want To Live Where The Green Grass Grows

I’m back! Sorry for the lack of posts in the last two weeks, it wasn’t planned but when I went on holiday for a couple of weeks I decided to take a break. I had planned on posting whilst on holiday but I soon decided actually the best thing would be to have a bit of time off from the online world and I really enjoyed spending the week just chilling on the sofa with a book and walking round the beautiful hills of Keswick. I’m sure I will do a post on my holiday in Keswick and share some of the photos I got but for now I wanted to share these gorgeous photos Russell caught the other night.

We decided to go for a picnic after he finished work as the weather in Oxford continues to be bright and warm so the two of us grabbed our picnic rug and some fish and chips and headed over to Shotover. Its a beautiful park on a hill that over looks Oxford and its a great place to watch the sun go down. We sat in the warm evening sun enjoying its golden light whilst catching up, we are both really excited for our wedding but it does tend to dominate your life and so it’s quite nice to take a bit of time away. After taking one week of my two week holiday to do wedmin it was nice to actually not talk about it and just enjoy each others company.

We love being able to get away from the business of the city and enjoy a bit of calm, I have started to enjoy our time in the city more but I still spend my days longing for open countryside however, evenings like this help to keep my cravings at bay.

Dress – Old | Sunglasses – Tribe
Fashion, Style, Summer

Lyveden

And the summer continues! I am loving this glorious weather and not just because it gives me a chance to wear all my pretty summer dresses. Unfortunately Russell is working full time at the moment to save some money for our wedding/honeymoon and so he has missed a lot of the sunshine but we are still managing to catch the odd day off and the warm air tends to continue into the evening here. I’ve really enjoyed our new summer habit we’ve been making of going for a walk after dinner, its a great way to get some fresh air, catch up and sort my thoughts out a bit before bed. The city seems a lot calmer as dusk falls and we’ve even spied a few rabbits whilst watching the sun set in the distance.

These photos were taken on our last day of our mini break to Rutland, we decided to extend our holiday by stopping off at a few places on the way home and of course that meant a National Trust. Lyveden was an interesting National Trust and very different to most we’ve been too, it’s a beautiful Elizabethan country manor house that was never finished due to the owner dying before its completion. It was very interesting to wander around and see where floors would have been or fireplaces and I thought it would make a fabulous location for a fairytale style photoshoot in the future. The gardens and grounds around the estate were very pretty with a moat surrounding one half and we enjoyed the beautiful wild flowers everywhere as we wandered around. It was a lovely stop off on our way home and I’d definitely like to go back.

What I Wore…
Dress – Hell Bunny | Shoes – Old | Sunglasses – Tribe 
Christianity, Fashion, Style, Summer

Tuscan Yellow

Finally some real real sunshine! Not in Oxford unfortunately but in Rutland where me and Russell have been enjoying a few days holiday with his family. We stayed in a lovely little cottage on a golf course surrounded by streams and woods and fields full of wild flowers, it was a nice change to busy Oxford for me and a chance to catch up with family. It was also a week of excitement in the Bearn household as Russell’s sister graduated from medical school!

This summer I’ve worn a lot of black and white but I feel like this is the time to be in bright colours and so have been trying to make more of an effort to brighten up my wardrobe. So when I saw this gorgeous blue skirt with bright yellow roses whilst at Spitalfields market in London the other day I knew I had to have it. Its a great length for me as I don’t like anything too short and it nips me in it at the waist which is always a plus. The sun was out in full force that day and whilst on our walk Russell and I decided it looked a little bit like Tuscany in the surrounding fields and the weather definitely made us feel like we could be sunning ourselves somewhere further afield.

Having a few days off away from Oxford has definitely been good for me and Russell, we are both trying to make big decisions particularly about my future and taking some time out from the stresses of daily life and the worries of decision making has been nice. I feel that since Mondays post, where I felt a bit lost, things have sort of begun to fall into place. There is still a lot to do and I am still doing a lot of soul searching but I feel God is teaching me through this time. I am reading, praying and learning so much more by seeking God rather than an answer to my questions. I am still worried and confused but I am trusting in him to lead me down the right path.

I have struggled with the direction of the blog in the past few weeks becoming a little obsessed with numbers and I have found it necessary to take a step back, look at the big picture and remember why I started. I’m not going to be like every other fashion blogger with hundreds of outfits, a fabulous instagram account and millions of subscribers because thats not me. This blog is about sharing a love for a Christ filled life and all the beauty and wonder that brings. I love fashion, food, lifestyle photography and travel and I love to share those things on here but the most important thing to me is God. And so yes I could just share those things but then I wouldn’t be doing what I want to do, what I feel God has set me out to do. Maybe I won’t get as many followers or likes as other bloggers but thats okay, it’s important that I be who God designed me to be and not what the world tells me to be.

What I Wore…
Top – Next | Skirt – Spittalfield Market | Shoes – Primark | Sunglasses – Tribe