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

Advertisements
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

Adventure, Health, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Sea, wellness

The Calming Sea Breeze

Having been brought up practically on the beach I do miss the sea a lot. I don’t think I could ever be happy living away from water, I find it’s presence very soothing and I am hoping that when we move to Scotland in a few years we will get to live by the Sea. The beauty of Scotland is you get to have oceans, hills, mountains, rivers and streams all in one place and this was definitely the case in Arran. These photos were taken after having a delicious breakfast at Coast in Whiting Bay, the sun was shining and the salty sea air was rippling my hair so I felt a little bit like a mermaid (although seeing as we were in Scotland, a Selkie). 
Those little moments of drinking in the quietness of nature are something I miss so much living in the city. I live opposite a big park and we go for walks in the woods as much as possible but it’s just not the same as walking out your front door to the calming sound of waves against a shore or birds singing in the trees. My mental health is always so much better when I spend time outdoors and I know that it’s something I really need to prioritise in my life along with taking time out for myself. We live in a society that is go, go go! all the time and leaves no time for relaxing, I find that so many of my friends and family actually feel guilty about giving themselves time to relax. I used to be the same, I used to have this constant feeling that I needed to be doing something or going some where however I am happy to say I’m starting to shake that feeling. Not only is taking time out for yourself good but it is also essential to a healthy and happy life. 
2016 has been about creating the type of life I want to lead and I am starting to realise it really is all about balance. I could be eating ridiculously healthy but if I’m not relaxing and I’m over stressed I won’t feel the benefits. I now try really hard to get this time alone to relax and be still, be that reading a book in the garden, a walk in nature or just soaking up some sun lying in the grass. And sometimes it is really hard to find the time to do it, I often find myself planning my days and then realising I’m not giving myself down time. One thing I have found really helps is scheduling it in because it is just as important as my wedmin, or my exercise or my batch cooking. It can’t just be a back thought that I will get to if I have time instead it needs to be prioritised. 
And so my question to you is how are you making sure you get the chill out time you need? What are you doing to give yourself those little moments of peace? I’d love to hear in the comments below!  

What I Wore…
Top – Next | Jacket – Rydale | Jeans – New Look | Shoes – New Look | Sunglasses – Tribe

Adventure, Christianity, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Sea

Thankful For The Little Things

“Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life” – Unknown

As Christians we are told not to worry about tomorrow as today has enough troubles already (Matthew 6:34) and repeatedly through the bible it tells us to focus on the moment, to be present in that time trusting that God has everything under control and it will all be alright. As a person who suffers with depression and anxiety this is something I find very hard not to worry about the future, to not over think things and try to create a plan or strategy for everything. It is one of my many faults and I think is perhaps up there with my worst faults, for not only does it massively effect me and my mental health but it also has an effect on Russell.

I decided that 2016 was to be my year, the year where I stopped letting people push me down roads I don’t want to go down and started to take charge of my life. 2016 for has been all about starting to create the life I want and to explore the person I want to become. So far I feel I have done pretty well, I have left a university course that I really didn’t enjoy, I have become completely independent of my parents and I am making massive changes to my lifestyle including diet, exercise and most importantly mindfulness.

Mindfulness has become one of my biggest things this year, I am reading and absorbing as much as I can on the subject and trying to create a way of being mindful that is 100% Christian and focused on God. I have to say I am surprised by how well mindfulness and Christianity go hand in hand but I will talk about that in another post. For now my main focus is on learning to select my thoughts. Instead of worrying about the next day, week, month and year I am trying to become more present in the moment. To enjoy my time of reading, colouring, walking e.t.c and giving it all to God. At first it was very hard to shut off but as I do it more and more I am finding that you really can select your thoughts. You can wake up every day and choose to look at the good and the happy things rather than the bad. One way I have found works really well for me is to thank God for those blessings, to thank God for this time of peace, this time of walking, reading, cuddling a puppy or whatever it is that is making me happy. I focus myself into the present by thanking God for the moment I am in. Because really when I look around at my life I am so blessed and although there are worries and hard times God will always be there to strengthen me. He will always be there blessing me with the simple things in life, because really how could I not be happy when I have walks, dogs, the sea and a hand to hold.

These photos were taken in Arran (again! sorry can’t get enough of this place) on beautiful Sannox beach! 

Adventure, Fashion, History, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Sea, Travel

Lochranza Castle

The more I saw of Arran the more I loved it, having never been to a Scottish Island I wasn’t quite sure  what to expect but it certainly didn’t disappoint. The northern side of the Island is rugged and truly Scottish with burnt orange hills and mountains topped with snow creeping up in the distance. It was a wonderful drive from Whiting Bay, where we were staying, to Lochranza. Some of the roads were a little patchy as is to be expected in the hills but every now and again you’d get a nice stretch of tarmac giving you that true Scottish experience of gliding down the road surrounded by the jagged curves and corners of the hills. 
I think if I were to come back to stay in Arran (which I really hope I will do one day) I would be very tempted to stay in or near Lochranza. For me the perfect holiday means escaping from civilisation and hiding away in my own little haven where I can read, walk and soak up the peace. Lochranza is perfect for that, consisting of only a castle, a distillery and a few houses, hotels and B&Bs its definitely my idea of peace and quiet. 
I think Lochranza castle was definitely one of my favourite things we saw, quintessentially Scottish with its rough grey stone walls slowly crumbling under the weight of time, surrounded by the sea and spectacular views of hills and mountains. I loved wandering around thinking about who might have lived there and picturing liaisons between Scottish princesses and warriors. My imagination is always at it’s best when I am in Scotland, I definitely think if I want my dream of becoming a professional writer to come true I need to move as soon as possible!    

Hope you’re all having a lovely blessed day and look out for even more posts from Arran coming soon (sorry I couldn’t stop taking photos). 
What I wore…
Top – Asos | Jeans – New Look | Trainers – New Look 

Adventure, Fashion, Outdoors, Sea, Style, Winter

The Slow Winter Days

I love this time of year. Everything seems to slow down as the last week of the year draws to a close and the first week of the new year begins. It could be that this has always been a time off for me, time off from school or work or university. My days are no longer filled with essays and textbook reading but instead I get to curl up in front of a fire with a book or roam the Scottish countryside in a pair of dungarees. I eat left over cake, I enjoy warm mugs of home made vegetable soup, I cuddle the dogs, I write and generally enjoy a slower pace of life – something I aspire to for my day to day living unfortunately it very rarely turns out that way. 
I’ve also had a chance to reflect on the last year and look forward to the new, something I enjoy doing each year and I have to say I am excited for this new season of my life. It is going to be very different and I don’t doubt also very hard as much that is worthwhile in life often is. These slow and peaceful days I am still enjoying will be harder to catch once the year gets going and so I am holding onto them with both hands, desperate for them to stay around longer. I will have to make more effort this year to have these days and to live a slower pace of life but for now I can relish in them. 
  
These dungarees are perfect for these country days, so comfy and cosy and easy (and also very durable I found out after falling slam into the mud the first day I wore them). I picked them up along with the lacy top and a dress I’m sure will feature in a later post, at the Fatface sale. I am not a big one for sales but Hereford where my parents live isn’t the busiest town and I had seen some great things in the sale online and so I decided to venture in and was glad I did. 
I am also wearing these beautiful little shell earrings I got as a present from my mum along with a matching necklace for Christmas. They are a very simple design which is perfect for me and remind me of my childhood by the sea. Having grown up by the sea I miss it a lot when I am in Oxford and can’t wait to get back to rocky sandy shores with sea glass and shells just waiting to be discovered. Hopefully these earrings will help to remind me of my favourite place when I am away.   
Happy New Year everyone! 
What I Wore….
Dungarees – Fatface | Top – Fatface | Wellies – Hunters 
Adventure, Fashion, Lifestyle, Sea, Style, Summer, Travel, Wild swimming

A Day At The Beach

Scotland is beautiful and I love it so much but we really don’t get that many sunny days and so when we do we take full advantage of them. A few days ago was one of those days. We woke up to find the sun was shining and the temperature was above 20 degrees and so we decided to pack up and go to the beach in Kingsbarns for the day. I had never been to this beach before but my boyfriend told me it was very beautiful and also fairly quiet especially if you didn’t mind walking a bit further from the car park. And boy was he right! As soon as I stepped out the car I felt like I’d arrived in the Caribbean, the sky was blue, the sand was yellow and the sea was a beautiful mismatched patchwork of turquoise and sea green.

We walked away from where everyone else was sitting along the costal path to a much more secluded area of the beach. Although I managed to get stung by nettles and cut my ankle on brambles it was so worth it, apart from the odd dog walker we had the entire beach to ourselves for the entire day. We spent the day lying around on the sand, eating doughnuts we’d picked up on the way and swimming in the freezing cold sea. It was very very cold but after a few goes of running in and out our bodies were numbed enough for us to enjoy it a little bit.

As the sea went out it began to reveal some sandbanks and in particular one very large one that was only a few minutes walk into the sea and water level wasn’t above knee height so we decided to move to our own private Island. We must have looked a bit ridiculous both of us carrying our bags above our heads to the Island and then coming back for our dogs but there was no one there to see and we got to feel even more like we were having a proper adventure. We lay out our rug on the sand and sunbathed until we were so hot we went back into the freezing sea off the back of our private Island.

It was a truly idillic day and a much needed rest and recuperation for us both. We are definitely looking at going back sometime this summer when the sun comes out again. Hope you are all having lots of adventures this summer.

Bye for now!

Green, Sea

Easy Ways To Be More Green Today

Hello everyone! So for the past few years I have slowly been trying to live a more green life style and make less of an impact on the environment. I feel that saving the environment is something that often gets pushed to the side and is associated with hippy’s and do gooders but really it is an issue we should all be passionate about. We live in a country (Britain) that has already lost 80% of its forests and woodland to make way for “developments” causing thousands of species of animals to be wiped out completely. Our sea’s are being pumped full of improperly disposed waste, and rubbish such as plastic bags and balloons are harming and killing so much of our marine wildlife. And that’s before you even look at how much air pollution we are creating, I was shocked to find out a few weeks ago that people in London had actually been told not to do exercise outside due to the air pollution.

In a society that values profit above everything else it can be very hard to live a greener and simpler lifestyle but really it should be everyone’s top priority. When it comes down to it if we have no trees, no clean water, no animals and the air is so polluted we can no longer breath oxygen it won’t matter whether you have £1 or £1 million the damage will be done.

It has been hard for me to start to live a much more sustainable lifestyle and I still have a long way to go but I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks on how to be more green in the hope that it will encourage you to make a change.

Transport:

This is an easy one stop using cars as much. If you need to get somewhere far away try to get public transport – yes its more of a hassle but its also a lot cheaper than owning a car. Or if you have a car why don’t you try car sharing with your friends or work colleagues. You could easily take it in turns and it would probably be a lot of fun driving to work together each morning. Or even better try walking or cycling if its too far to walk, not only will you be decreasing the effect you have on the environment but you will also be getting in some fresh air and exercise which is something everyone could do with getting a bit more of.

Clothes:
We live in a society where fashion is disposable and cheap. For years and years I would buy cheap clothes wear them a few times and then throw them away. I really hate the disposable attitude of the fashion industry and its one of the huge changes I have made. Try shopping in shops where the clothes are ethically made and/or fairtrade, places like Fatface and Marks and Spencers are great for fairtrade cotton and ethically made clothes and their clothes are made to last. They are more expensive but they will also last longer, I have started to realise quality is a lot better than quantity and buying two good t shirts that will last is  a lot more effective than buying cheap t shirts that will get holes in quickly. The same goes for shoes and bags. Where I live in Oxford I have found a fantastic fairtrade shop that sells all sorts of accessories, food, wrapping paper and cosmetics which has been a real help in buying greener things. It is harder and more time consuming and may mean you need to buy clothes online in fairtrade shops but it is so worth the effort.  

Recycle, Recycle, Recyle:
This applies to clothes as well! I recently did a post about this here and I talked about how much more effective it is to give your old clothes away instead of throwing them in bin. You can also upcycle old clothes and shoes – there are loads of ideas on pinterest and its a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon believe me.
And of course recycling as much of your waste as possible. More and more I have been trying to buy less in plastic containers and more things in tins or glass jars so that they can actually be recycled. The charity Marine Conservation Society is actually holding a plastic free month where you challenge yourself to live without plastic for as long as possible if you want to be more green but not sure how to start this challenge would be a great incentive for you and you can raise some money for a great cause too!

Food:
As above buy things in recyclable containers or better still buy things that aren’t in containers at all. Stock your trolley up with fruit and vegetables not only will this give you a good healthy boost but will make a massive difference to the amount of waste you dispose of. Eating less meat is also very good for the environment and if you can getting it from a local butcher rather than the super market will not only boost your local economy but be better for the environment. Buying things like dolphin friendly tuna is also easy to do just check for the picture on the tin. Also invest in a few bags for life or go and buy yourself a couple of large fairtrade cotton bags to carry your shopping in whether it be food shopping or clothes shopping come October England will be charging for plastic bags anyway so best to start now and get used to it.
Take a packed lunch! Stop buying sandwiches in packets that can’t be recycled and buy yourself a good set of tupperware this will also make a difference to your bank balance and is likely to be a healthier option.

In the home:
I recently started buying all my beauty products in Lush and the Body Shop and it has been amazing. The difference in my hair and skin has been wonderful thanks to the sudden use of products using all natural ingredients. All the products from these two wonderful shops are ethically made and environmentally friendly. I’m not suggesting you go and throw out all the beauty products you have at the moment that would be silly but once they have run out why not buy from Lush or Body Shop instead and see what a difference it could make.
Another great way of being green is to have screenless days, not only will this benefit your health but it will help to save energy. Pick one day a week and turn off all laptops, ipads, tvs and phones and go outside in the fresh air or if its too cold light a few candles in your bedroom snuggle up under the duvet and enjoy a good book. I promise you that very soon you will begin to see the wonders of tecno free life!
Shut your doors, keep the heat in and turn your lights off. These are simple ways of helping the environment and saving you some money. Taking a shorter shower and not wasting water when you brush your teeth will also make a difference. I also try to only put one wash on a week and then dry all my clothes on a rack or on the line outside rather than using the tumble dryer. This often helps to flatten out the creases too so you don’t have to iron as much and that not only saves you time but saves energy too.

These are just a few ideas of how to be a bit greener and make a positive impact on your environment. If you have any other tips and tricks I’d love to hear them. Hope you are all having a happy Monday.

Bye for now! 

Outdoors, Sea, Summer

Saying Goodbye

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour, but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun” – Unknown.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the last few nights in the home I grew up in. It was incredibly sad having to say goodbye to a place where I have lived my entire life. I found myself wandering from room to room caressing walls, breathing in the scent of the house and nuzzling into the carpets with my toes. Its strange how you can love something so inanimate as a house but I do love it. I love all the little crevices I used to hide in as a child, all the rooms I created imaginary games in and the places where I have laughed, played, cried, shouted, sung, prayed and smiled for the last 16 years. I am excited to move into the new house in Hereford and for some time we have been backwards and forwards whilst waiting to sell the house so it didn’t happen suddenly but that doesn’t make it any easier saying goodbye.

One of the hardest things for me was knowing I would no longer be living right next to the sea. West Kirby beach has always been one of my favourite places, it isn’t a particularly grand beach, it doesn’t have white sands stretching for miles or a good surf but it was the beach I grew up on. It was where I walked when I needed space, where I had picnics with friends, it was where I played at being an explorer or a mermaid or a lost princess when I was child and it was where I first fell in love with the outdoors. It is a place very close to my heart and so the day before I left me and my boyfriend went for a nice relaxing walk along the sand.

It was a beautiful sunny day and so I did what I have done for the last 21 years of my life, I took my socks and shoes off, rolled my trousers up and felt the sand squish into my toes. It was blissful. We spent an hour snapping photos, soaking up the sun and paddling in the little puddles left behind by the sea. As always we took nothing but photo’s and left nothing but footprints and I like to think those footprints will remain there for a little bit, a small imprint of me left behind in the place I love so much.

I hope you are all enjoying the sunny weather, have you found time to go for little wanders in the places you love?

Bye for now! 

Adventure, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Sea, Summer

Summer To Do List

The blossom is out, the sun is shining and the days are getting longer – its official, Spring has sprung! The other day when walking through the centre of Oxford I came across this magnificent cherry blossom. It was surrounded by tourists and locals alike taking photos and selfies and getting into ridiculous poses trying to get a good snap of themselves and the blossom. So of course I whipped out my camera and joined them. I love the candy pink blossom against the bright sky blue and later when I was looking through my pictures it reminded me of summer. Of sunny blue skies and ice creams on the beach, paddling in the sea and sunbathing with a good book. And after reading Anna’s post over on “The Cornish Life” I decided to write my own list of things I’d like to do this summer.

1. Go swimming in the sea/wild swimming – I am spending the summer in Herefordshire and Scotland and a little bit in Cornwall so I’m hoping there will be a few opportunities for me to don my spotty swimsuit and jump about in the waves.

2. Eat plenty of ice cream – does this even need an explanation? I think not.

3. Watch the sunset and rise in one night – Me and my boyfriend have both always wanted to see a sunrise properly from a hill (not just on the way back from a night out) so we have decided one night this summer we will climb a big hill and watch it set, curl up in blankets under the stars and then watch the sun rise again.

4. Go on a hack on the Malvern Hills – I have been riding since I was about 7 and one of my favourite things to do especially in summer is go on a hack. And having just recently moved to Hereford I can’t wait to go for a hack on the Malvern Hills.

5. Write write write – I have been trying to finish my children’s book for a very long time (bearing in mind I wrote the initial story when I was 10) so I’ve set myself a task of writing everyday this summer to try to get it done.

6. Go for drives with the roof down – I think its pretty obvious that this is something I enjoy and me and my boyfriend have planned many summer drives in Scotland and Hereford in Clifford (the best car ever!). I doubt we will have his roof up at all this summer!

These are just a few of the things I hope to get up to this summer. What are you looking forward to this summer? I’d love to hear your plans.

Bye for now!