Continuing my exploring North Yorkshire with a baby in tow series, last week Emmy and I decided a trip to nearby Fountains Abbey was in order. Well, we’d actually decided that we’d go to Beningbrough Hall but it wasn’t until we sat in the car and put the directions into the Sat Nav (yes, it is only 20 minutes from my house but no, I have no sense of direction at all) that we discovered it was closed on Mondays…that plan was scuppered then! Since we were already in the car and ready to go, with cameras, pushchairs and bags packed, along with my National Trust card dug out and ready to go, we decided that a visit to Fountains Abbey, our next closest National Trust property, was in order.
You might remember a previous trip to Fountains Abbey that I featured on the blog – last time I called that post “Florals at Fountains Abbey”, because that’s what I was wearing; this time I’ve titled the post “Lemons at Fountains Abbey” because…that’s what I was wearing. As was Emmy. I totally twinned us by accident…maybe.
Fountains Abbey was originally one of the largest and wealthiest monasteries in the country, thanks primarily to the sheep they kept and their wool. Today it stands in total ruins, as you can see, but really very spectacular ruins. The abbey is set in a wooded glade that can only be approached on foot, but luckily it’s very well maintained by the National Trust so all the footpaths are wheelchair and pushchair accessible.
Monday was such a lovely warm and sunny day that it made it all the more easy to get around Fountains Abbey and the neighbouring Study Royal Water Gardens, a beautifully landscaped area with managed waterways and ponds, dotted with follies and statues. We managed to walk the whole area in around 2.5 hours, but you could easily spend far more time here – there’s also the mill, the porter’s lodge, Fountains Hall and other buildings to explore, as well as walks in the woods tearooms, shops and cafes. You could literally spend the whole day here! All of this was very easy to get around with our pram, although Emmy did get blinded by the bright sun a couple of times – note to self, get sunshade for pram! If you want to see more about our day out at Fountains Abbey and more about the history of it, check out my video below:
We’ve been super lucky with the weather lately – it’s been sunny and warm enough to be able to get out and do stuff, but not so hot that I’m worried about Emmy overheating or that I struggle to push the pram around. It also means that we can dress in our favourite summery clothes!
So I’ve gone through a HUGE wardrobe cull since giving birth. I know, I say this all the time so you might be wondering how I have any clothes left. Well, this one compared to previous culls was…a big’un. And no, I don’t really have any clothes left. I have approximately 10 tops, 4 T shirts, a few vest tops and plain layering T shirts, and a couple of turtleneck tops. Around three quarters of my dresses have gone. I have around 10 jumpers left. Only my bottoms drawer is left to go – some jeans and shorts went in the cull, but I’m waiting to see what happens over the next few months in terms of post-pregnancy sizing before I get rid of those – I’m currently wearing one size bigger than my usual as my hips seem to have widened slightly but I’m planning to start training again soon so there’s potential for my shape to change.
Anyway, my plan is to start afresh, but slowly. Right now, all I have left are things that I actually like and wear as opposed to lots of things I didn’t really like but felt guilty holding onto so wore them because I felt bad that I owned them still and wasn’t wearing them – it makes sense! I’m trying to buy only things I need or really like. And this time, I want to do it properly.
So this outfit is made up of new pieces that are building the foundation of my new wardrobe. The Mom T shirt is one piece I’m completely obsessed with. I definitely want to show off my new mum status – as if the tiny baby doesn’t do that enough! – but it’s also plain enough to pair with anything from jeans to a patterned skirt, and oversized for a different silhouette to all my other T shirts.
The lemon print skirt is the only summery midi skirt I have right now, having culled all the others. I was finding the full “prom” style skirts to be too flouncy for daily wear, whereas this one is a bit more sleek and casual, but still fun with the lemon print, buttons up the side and slit up to the thigh at the side. We’ve just booked a trip to Italy for later in the year (Emmy’s first holiday abroad!) and I imagine this will be perfect for that.
Even though you wouldn’t think this is breastfeeding friendly, it actually turns out to work well. I’m finding that high waisted bottoms plus a loose top that can be pulled up often work better than buttons or wrap styles for me. With buttons, you end up exposing a lot of skin at the top and, while this doesn’t bother me all that much, I do get a bit chilly! Looser tops that can be pulled up and worn with high waists mean that less skin is exposed.
The sandals are my latest version of my summer shoes. I had a pair of white strappy sandals once upon a time that I wore completely to death and have never found any I like as much since. I’ve had a couple of pairs of tan ones too, but they seem to break quickly – coincidence?! But these ones are white again and seem to be going strong so far, plus they were very comfortable for all the walking I did this day. Speaking of which, I’m annoyed because I’d downloaded a pedometer app to my phone recently to see how much I’m walking (baby that sleeps better in a pram problems!), but I didn’t realise that I needed to open it before setting off as my phone had switched off overnight. This meant that it didn’t record my steps this day so I don’t know how many I did – I’d been really excited to see how many it was because it must have been a lot!
And onto Emmy’s outfit! She’s wearing an oranges and lemons (Bells of St Clements!) dress from J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams. I was shopping with my mum a couple of months ago and I just couldn’t help but buy it! At 10 weeks old, she’s fitting 0-3 months perfectly now – I just hope she doesn’t grow too quickly and be out of these soon! The vest underneath is actually 2-4 months from a pack of vests from H&M’s sustainable “Conscious” collection – I’m starting to notice more and more of their products bearing this label which contain more recycled and sustainable materials. I’m really liking H&M’s products at the moment, for me, Emmy and for Ben (he got the matching Dad T shirt!) so I’m glad to see their commitment to more ethical and sustainable fashion.
And don’t worry, we’ll make that Beningbrough Hall trip another day!