Outdoors, Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Grasmere

Oh Grasmere! So beautiful it took my breath away, I can definitely see why Wordsworth decided to settle there. We decided to go for another slow walk on our third day away and I quite fancied having a little wander round the town of Grasmere. We started off near Rydal water and followed the path along the waters edge until we reached Grasmere lake and then continued round the lake side. It was such a stunning walk with awesome views and gorgeous reflections on the lake. If you want to see some really beautiful scenery but want and easy walk I would definitely suggest the lake path around Grasmere.  

About two thirds into the walk we reached Grasmere and went for a nice drink at the 1769 pub, the food looked amazing but we had already decided to save ourselves for dinner at the local pub that night. We then stumbled across Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread, I had read about this place when I was looking up things to do on our honeymoon and so I knew it was worth a visit and was excited to try this famous gingerbread. We bought ourselves a little parcel of gingerbread, I love pretty packaging and it seemed to make the gingerbread taste even better. We carried on our walk, hand in hand, munching on “the best gingerbread in the world” with big smiles on our faces. It was another lovely day out in the quiet calm Lakes.

What I Wore…
Coat – Joules | Jumpers – M&S | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunter
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Outdoors, Travel

The Lake District | Elterwater

I am now an old married woman enjoying the joys of married life! I’m only just starting to get used to calling Russell my husband and myself a wife, but every time I do it makes me very happy inside. I’m loving the quiet calm evenings together as we slowly settle into married life. Work and university have already started back and I’ve been starting to put into place a few of my 2017 projects (super exciting!) so I’m still a busy bee. It seems like ages ago we were on our honeymoon but it was actually only last week. Already I am dreaming of future holidays together and where we can go on our next adventure.
We absolutely loved our stay in the Lake District, it was exactly what we needed after the busy weeks of Christmas and wedding prep. We were lucky enough to book ourselves a beautiful cottage surrounded by stunning countryside but very close to the lovely towns of Windermere and Ambleside. The cottage we stayed in was absolutely perfect with a little log burner, huge bath tub and under floor heating! (I was very excited about the underfloor heating). On our first day out we decided to go for a gentle walk somewhere, luckily one of our friends had given us a walks and pubs guide and after a flick through that we decided Elterwater would be perfect. I used to go to the Lakes a lot with my family as a child so I remembered the Britannia Inn at Elterwater and knew we’d get some good food and beer there.
It was the perfect walk, slowly taking in the scenery, holding hands and paddling in the water whilst breathing in the cool fresh air. We of course finished it off with a drink at the Brit and the biggest portion of chips I think I have ever seen. We finished off the day by going home and eating pizza in front of the fire whilst watching a film, it was a really wonderful start to our honeymoon.

What I wore…
Coat – Joules | Jumper – Fatface | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters

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

Christianity, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Slow Living

My 2016

It seems ages since I last sat down to write a blog post, it has been almost two months since the last time I posted and not blogging has felt a little bit like Im missing something. I feel a bit strange when I’m not writing, like theres a big part of me thats been tucked away in a corner somewhere. I know I should have prioritised it over the last few months but it seemed as though September started and my life moved into the fast lane. No sooner had I begun my new job, I was then starting a new course and the wedding jobs suddenly all needed to be done. It has been a completely manic few months and although we have had some time to relax over Christmas I am definitely looking forward to our honeymoon week. We have nothing planned other than relaxing and chilling out far away from everyone up in the beautiful Lake District. 
But enough of our plans for 2017! Today is about looking back on 2016 and all the things I’ve learnt over the last 12 months. I really enjoy other peoples yearly reviews and last year I did my own on the blog and I found it extremely therapeutic, I would really recommend each year looking back on what you achieved in the year gone by and setting some new goals for the next year.
2016 started off very differently to any other year as I had just left uni and had no idea what to do next. I knew I needed a job and luckily after lots of interviewing and applications I managed to land a job in beauty – an industry I though might be right for me and my future career. I worked as a skin care expert at The Body Shop, I love The Body Shop for everything they stand for and the difference they have made not only to the environment and animal welfare but also to the beauty industry itself. They have shown that it isn’t all superficial but can instead be about making a difference to our world and there products are actually amazing. I think had I really wanted a career in beauty this would have been the company but I soon discovered retail really wasn’t for me. The long hours and stressful days didn’t help my anxiety at all and I began to save up money so I could take some time out of work to figure out my next move. 
The summer was my time out from work to try to focus myself and figure out what I wanted from life. I also really wanted a chance to get some real writing done, my dream is to one day be a published author and so a lot of my time was spent writing my novel, creating blog posts and sending out articles to magazines in the hope some one would publish me. Unfortunately I heard nothing back from the magazines but I know most writers struggle at the beginning and the key is perseverance. 
It wasn’t a completely wasted summer at all though, not only did I write a lot and learn more about writing, I also applied for a course in Creative Writing at Oxford University. I had been thinking about going back to university to study something I actually really wanted to study but was struggling to find something in Oxford. Luckily my fiancé did some research and found the Diploma in Creative Writing at Oxford. I never thought in a million years I would get in to Oxford University but after an intense interview they offered me a place on the course. About the same time I also applied for a job in a care home. I had worked in care previously and something that had always been important to me was to have a job that made a difference to peoples lives. I found the job of Activity Coordinator at a care home in Oxford completely by accident and decided to go for it. I’ve now been doing the job for three months and am really enjoying it, its created lots of exciting opportunities for the New Year and fits perfectly round my course at Oxford. 
And of course this year has been very focused on one thing in particular – our wedding. I’m not going to lie it has been a pretty stressful, tiring and as times anxiety inducing experience but I am really excited to have got to this point. In two weeks time I will be Mrs Bearn and all the hard work of 2016 will have been worth it. 
Lots of other wonderful things have happened in 2016 and I feel I am in a much healthier and happier place than I was last year. I have started to lose weight healthily, we have moved to a village outside of Oxford which we love, I go swimming two-three times a week and I have made lots of new friends at the church we moved to in April. I definitely feel like God has taught me a lot this year and lead me into a deeper relationship with him. He has brought all aspects of my life together and I am feeling a lot more settled than I was this time last year. I am super excited to see what 2017 brings, I hope you all have a lovely New Years Eve and I will see you next year! 

What I Wore…
Top – Joules | Jeans – M&S | Jacket – Rydale 

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, 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

Lifestyle, Outdoors, Scotland, Summer, Travel

For Nature Made Her What She Is

It feels so amazing to be back in Scotland! I cannot tell you how excited passing the Welcome to Scotland sign on the motor way makes me. I’m not sure why but this is just where me and Russell feel most at home and once here its like we start getting back to being ourselves again. I think it probably has something to do with being back in the countryside, neither of us are really city people and so getting back to nature is definitely something we relish. I also love how the changing of the seasons is so much more apparent here, there is no mistaking it is September, you only have to look at the plum tree practically falling over with fruit to see that harvest time is well and truly here. 
These photos were taken in the village where Russell’s parents live. It is one of my favourite places in the world due to its quiet calmness and extraordinary scenery. I feel so blessed to be able to come and stay here, we are surrounded by woods, beach and fields meaning we can pretty much take our pick for doggy walks. The sunshine was incredibly beautiful on this day and we decided to go down to the beach to enjoy bask in its warmth. 
I really can’t wait till we get to move to Scotland, this is definitely my souls happy place. 

What I Wore…
Top – Red Herring | Jacket – Fatface | Jeans – New Look | Wellies – Hunters
Food, Green, Lifestyle, Outdoors

Foraged Jam | A Recipe

One of the things I wanted to do whilst on holiday was to cook and bake some things I’ve been meaning to try for a while but just haven’t  had chance. Jam is one of those things I’ve always fancied making but just never got round to, so when I saw a ridiculous amount of blackberries just going spare on the side of the road in the village we now live in I decided foraged fruit jam was much more fun than just buying the fruit. I love this time of year when all the fruit trees are perfect for picking and you can often find your local park becomes a haven for foraged fruit and blackberries are definitely a favourite.

Having never made jam before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was actually very easy and tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. Of course the only way to serve it was on a homemade scone with a massive dollop of clotted cream, what can I say, I’m very British at heart.

Ingredients:
Foraged black berries or any fruit you like
The same weight of caster sugar as fruit
A squeeze of lemon.

Recipe:

1. Put all your fruit in a pan on the heat with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of water, just enough to stop the fruit sticking. Leave the fruit to simmer until the fruit has stewed, I liked leaving a few lumps in as I like a bit of fruit in my jam.

2. Once the fruit has reduced down add your sugar and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved heat the jam up to 105 degrees. Once hot take off the heat, leave to cool a little then put it into a clean jar.

3. Leave the jam to cool completely and enjoy the satisfying pop of the lid when you open it.

Enjoy!

Fashion, History, Outdoors, Summer

Snowshill Manor

Another beautiful summers day in Oxford and some time off work can mean only one thing for me, time to visit another National Trust. If you’ve read my blog before I’m sure you will have seen that I spend the majority of my time off at National Trusts. Having membership means its just such an easy day out and we often just go to sit in the gardens or wander in the grounds away from the business of Oxford life. This time we popped over to Snowshill manor to catch up with family and see some of the interesting if not bizarre artefacts in the collection. We have now been to quite a lot of National Trusts but I have never been to one as interesting and diverse as Snowshill, Mr Wade the owner of Snowshill in the early 20th century was a collector of arts and crafts and the entire manor houses his collection of thousands of different items. There are some beautiful pieces and some down right wacky pieces but it was certainly interesting. 
I loved wearing this outfit, the skirt is a relatively new addition from Asos, it’s ridiculously comfy and seems to just go with everything. The top is a random one I found at home, I love the 50s/60s style neckline and the stripes. I love it as the weather gets warmer and I can start to get my legs out more, I’m definitely looking forward to wearing more vintage outfits this summer. 

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer sunshine! 
What I Wore…
Top – George | Skirt – Asos | Cardigan – Marks and Spencer | Shoes – Clarks | Bag – Old 

Adventure, History, Lifestyle, Outdoors

Wild and Free

I’ve always been  bit of a history nerd, ever since I was little I’ve been completely fascinated by the past – how people lived and what it was like, and I think my families obsession with period dramas probably encouraged this fascination. I loved watching things like Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Larkrise to Candleford and would often dress up and play that I lived in “the olden days” as we called it at my house. This fascination with history has followed me into my teens and adult life, so much so that I almost went to study Ancient History and Archaeology at University. Now, however, it mainly consists of me watching every period drama known to man, reading hundreds of classic and historical novels and visiting as many National Trust/Heritage sites as I can fit in. I am also lucky enough to be marrying a man who shares my love for history and is happy to go to every castle and stately home I can find. 
There is something quite exciting though about going to a historical site that isn’t teaming with tourists, it almost makes you feel a little bit like an archaeologist or in the case of the stones at Machrie Moor in Arran, a bit like Claire from Outlander. I have to admit I was a little bit apprehensive to touch the stones just in case – Outlander watchers you will know what I mean! Also if you haven’t watched Outlander you really should, it’s an amazing tv programme set in Scotland in the 1700s full of burly, ginger Scottish men in kilts with six packs (if that doesn’t entice you I don’t know what will!) 

This was the last day in our trip to Arran and I have to say I really want to go back, it was such an amazing place with so much history and ridiculously beautiful scenery. We were lucky enough to see quite a bit of it but I know there is still a lot left to be explored next time we come.