Adventure, Christianity, Style, Travel, Winter

Nene Way | Wellingborough

Last weekend we were lucky enough to go on another holiday, this time it was just a little weekend away but it was really nice to get some time out of Oxford and out in the countryside. We went away with our church’s student group as Russell is both a student and student leader at the weekly groups and I make the cake. It was an amazing weekend, the theme was on Identity, and I definitely felt God talking to a lot of us there including me. I feel that I learnt a lot and found it challenging some of my ideas and feelings. I also made lots of new friends and ate a lot of good food so all in all it was a pretty epic weekend!
We went away to an adventure centre in Wellingborough, a place I have never been to before, in actual fact I realised I haven’t really been to the east side of England ever before so thats definitely somewhere I’d like to explore more. As a self professed British travel blogger I love any chance to travel to a new place in Britain and do a bit of exploring. On the Saturday afternoon we had a little bit of free time and Russell and I decided to have a little wander along the Nene Valley. It was very pretty with a series of waterways and lots of birds and as we watched the sunlight turn into that perfect golden we couldn’t help but stop to take a few photos. 
We have a few more trips planned for 2017 around Britain and so I am hoping this is going to be the year of exploring my country a little bit more.   

What I Wore…
Top – Joules | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters 
Style, Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Coniston

Whenever I go to the Lake District I can’t help but be reminded of Beatrix Potter at every turn. I think this probably started after I saw the film “Miss Potter” when I was 12 and saw all the beautiful locations where she spent her later life. It was around that time that my parents decided we would go to the Lake District every year in autumn for holiday. The film Miss Potter definitely piqued an interest in Beatrix Potter, I loved how much of a rebel she was and that she was writer just as I wanted to be. I can definitely see why she chose to live in such a beautiful place, for a writer it offers endless inspiration and I imagine when you get one of those annoying writers block moments a nice stroll around the cumbrian countryside will soon get the juices flowing again.

Unfortunately “Hilltop” the house in which Beatrix Potter lived was closed when we went due to it being out of season so instead we went for a wander along the shores of Coniston. It was absolutely gorgeous and again a very easy lake side path. On our way back home however we happened to pass Yew Tree Farm Cottage which I remembered as the cottage they had turned into Hilltop for the film “Miss Potter”. A while ago I came with my Mum for afternoon tea and read all about the filming process that had taken place here. Unfortunately they no longer serve afternoon tea and instead Yew Tree can be rented as a holiday cottage, but I still wanted to have a little wander around the front of it. The house is framed by stunning hills behind it and I can imagine it would be an absolutely amazing place to live. I think if I was ever to live in the Lake District this would be exactly the type of house I’d want.

It felt very fitting to be wearing my little book dress for our day of tracing Beatrix Potter’s steps and I think she would have approved of the design. I hope we can go back at some point when Hilltop is open and have a look around, I don’t think I will ever get bored of looking into Beatrix Potters life, she was a great feminist, writer and helped to conserve much of the Lake District so it is still as beautiful today as it was then, she’s definitely one of my big inspirations.

What I Wore…
Dress – Cath Kidston | Cardigan – M&S | Necklace – Fatface
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