29 Jun 2014

This Week in Numbers #5 (with a twist!)

A few weeks ago my brother sent an application to Insect Lore about the possibility of being sent some stick insect eggs to breed and look after. They accepted and not only sent him the eggs but also sent some caterpillars to rear until they were butterflies. And guess who got them? Me of course! 

                So for that reason this post may be a little different from my normal ones (hence the twist part!) :


I received the 5 Pillars on 16th June. They were around 1cm- not that I measured them with my ruler or anything (I did!). They were so ugly that they were cute (a bit like a Pug) so I instantly fell in love with them. At first they were very active, munching on their vomit-looking-vomit-inducing food, climbing up the sides of the culture cup and wiggling across the bottom of the lid upside down like some kind of circus performer.


By the next few days they were very much at home, spinning lots of silk to create a hammock like contraption that they seemed to like sleeping in and producing 'frass' (the little black balls shown in picture below) also known as Caterpillar faeces. I like to think they were all friends and would have a little midnight party while I was asleep, but who knows!


I felt really bad leaving the Pillars last weekend when I went away to Norfolk as I posted about (*here) but I convinced myself that they would enjoy the peacefulness that came with an empty house. And when I got back late Sunday evening...MY GOODNESS, I couldn't believe the size of them! They were monsters, having grown a full 3 cm while I was away! I know it doesn't sound much but for a little thing, barley the size of your nail, to grow to the length of your middle finger...its pretty amazing. 

Then two days later on 24th June, I woke to find that all 5 caterpillars had climbed to the top of the cup and begun to hang upside down by their tails in a J shape, as the instruction booklet stated. 


Over the next couple of hours they shed their exoskeleton (insects like caterpillars have their skeletons on the outside of their body unlike us) and harden to form a chrysalis. Although they appear to be 'resting' they are actually undergoing an amazing change, developing wing, antennas and mouth parts. 


I transferred them to the hatching habitat after a few days and am just waiting for the butterflies to appear now. They should hatch within a week (just in time for my next This Week in Numbers) and I will let you know how they are getting on, hopefully with some beautiful pictures to go along with it! 

Have you ever done anything like this before? If not would you consider trying it? 

NB: In case you wanted some more science-y information on how caterpillars change to butterflies I found a helpful website (*here). Let me know what you think xxx 



24 Jun 2014

My Unexpected Trip!

Firstly, I should probably say that I am sorry for missing some of my scheduled posts like This Week in Numbers, but I would be lying. Over this week (after spending much of it worrying that I would lose followers because I haven't posted much) I realised that I hate having this pressure of a schedule, hate that I feel like I have to post at least two things each week, if not more. I do see this a lot within the blogging community and it is something I really wanted to avoid, but unfortunately have not managed. From the start I wanted this experience to be as enjoyable and as natural as possible. Currently it is a little laboured and I want to change this. That is not to say however that I won't be posting frequently or will be ditching my TWIN series, but that I won't be forcing myself to.

I'm a free spirit now! Watch out Pocahontas

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Now the reason for my absence is mainly due to the fact that my family and I spontaneously decided to go on a long weekend away to Norfolk, just North (and almost three hours) from my hometown. We travel up early Saturday morning and stopped off at a beautiful pub called The Bridge Inn for lunch. It was a pretty stunning place situated right near a river, making it very popular with people who own boats as they can moor up and pop in for some grub! 


As the weather was so glorious we were lucky enough to be able to sit in the beautiful garden facilities, watching the birds and ducks around us and have a game of pool under the shadow of the gazebo. Not forgetting the wonderful food- I had the char-grilled cheese and bacon burger with golden fries, served in a floured bap with a garnish of salad and cute little pot of salsa. Honestly the TASTIEST thing I have ever eaten (and yes I did get so caught up in the yummiest of it that I forgot to take a picture!). However I did remember to take a picture of my new found love....Apple and Raspberry J2O!  



We also hired out a little blue boat for 2 hours a la Herbert Woods which was amazingly simple to drive that even my 10 year old brother could do it. It was very beautiful and relaxing to just bob around in the water, take some pictures of the sights and lap up the sun's ray.

                                                                                                                      
Then we finished off the day with one of the biggest ice creams I have EVER seen in my life! 

           
The next day we visited a family friend who my mum has known for over 30 years! We haven't seen her for a few years so it was nice to catch up, plus they have a new dog so I was straight over there to it (trust me!). In the afternoon they took us strawberry picking and to the beach, before cooking us a delicious help-your-self-all-you-can-eat-buffet. We stayed until 6:00pm and got home to Essex at 9:00pm- just in time for me to crash into bed. I didn't even bother taking my make-up off (not a good idea as my pillow was caked in mascara the next morning!). God knows how I managed to get up in the morning for classes.


















Thanks for reading xx
What did you do last weekend?

Love, Beth 


17 Jun 2014

Lecture Tuesday

 Today I attended a discussion/lecture, lead by one of the English Lang teachers. It was headed by the statement 'We all have the responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves', which seemed to me quite obviously correct. I had a few ideas on the topic so I went along for the heck of it.

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After all the sleep-inducing defining and explaining section, the discussion was opened up to the audience. The main reason I am writing this is because frankly I was quiet shocked at some of the responses coming from these so-called intellectual students:

"Why should I care about them, when they don't care about me" 

"If they can get themselves into that situation then they can get themselves out"  and when questioned whether they would change their mind if they were the unfortunate person, the person replied "Yes I would, meaning that I would take hep from somebody but not meaning that I would would ever contribute to helping other" *gasp* 

And possibly the least intelligent of the bunch "I Dunno" (I am surprised they can even form a sentence to be honest with you!) 

One word: Selfish. That is clearly what these people are. 

In the 21st century nobody, regardless of how they ended up in their situation, deserves to suffer. Besides helping people does not necessarily mean you have to give them some form of a money donation. Helping some one could simply be talking to them and reminding them that they are actually human beings, despite how others treat them, saying good morning to an elderly lady as she hobbles down the street or holding a door open for a person carrying something in their arms. 
But still what does it matter about giving them money. If you are reading this it means you have internet, it means you have electricity, warmth, food, running water and clothes. No matter what we think, we do live an incredibly privileged life- a life so many people around the world don't have. Does that not make you feel that it is our responsibility to help them, simply because we can.

In the UK, our wealth does not just come from anywhere. Most of it we do work for but a large percentage of it originally came from the old British Empire. We actually have the nerve to go to these under developed countries and cut down all their trees (baring in mind this was probably their home, their shelter from the sun and the habitat of the animals they ate) not bothered by the fact these vulnerable people could die. All because they wanted to sell the wood for money that they didn't really need. Greed.

So that change in your pocket could literally or metaphorically (depending on how you want to look at it) be from those money-grabbing people who stole what was not rightfully theirs. Yet it is disgusting that views like this still exists in society today...but at least I know I am right and the money that I currently give to charity is not to fix my moral compass but to fill my heart with happiness. 

I just wonder if you are one of those people who enjoy cutting down the trees of others, burning them to the ground before their very eyes. Eyes of the unfortunate. 

NB: If you are, please stop reading and don't visit this blog again...JOKING! I'm open to all opinions, otherwise it wouldn't be a very good debate would it? Let me know what you think below: 

15 Jun 2014

This Week in Numbers #4

NB: Just reached 1000 page views as of Sunday evening 15th June. Thank you all SO much xx


At the start of this week my Nan came round and did the only thing that grandparents do best. Spoil their grandchildren! Of the several things that she gave me I got a Starbar. Now please tell me that I am not the only one who has never heard of a Starbar before. Anyone? It has a milk chocolate coating with a sort of nutty caramel centre. And I can't actually believe I haven't tried it before, especially because it is made by Cadburys- arguably the best brand in the world! Come to think of it I don't even think I have seen it in the shops before but maybe that's just me being my non-observant self as always. I swear the grass could turn blue and the sky green and I wouldn't spot it until a week later "Hey....something's not quiet right here" 


Now, I don't like to brag but I FINISHED A BOOK IN 3 DAYS and it was a big book as well! I started reading Tisha by Anne Hobbs on Monday and finished it by Wednesday evening. As books go it wasn't  bad. It is a true story about a woman who ventures to the wilderness of Alaska in 1927 to teach in a small village called Chicken, how she falls in love with an Eskimo and proves that even woman can be brave and courageous (but you knew that anyway!). Its a really feel good book and the setting is so different from England that you literally do get transported to another place! 


And as you probably know the World Cup started on Thursday (roll on a month of torture!). As you should have guessed by now I'm not the sportiest of people to say the least. Well not sports were you get sweaty anyway which pretty much rules out most of them besides swimming and ice skating *thumbs up*. Despite my negativity towards football- filthy rich, sweaty men chasing a ball of air for a living-I still took part in the traditional Dale Family World Cup Sweepstake. The rules are very simple:


-Put £2 in the bowl if you want to take part               -Close your eyes                                                     -Pick out 8 pieces of folded paper with the team names written on (left)                                             -If one of those 8 teams win, you get all the money! 

Unfortunately for me the universe decided to punish me. So I picked 8 pretty...rubbish (nice enough universe?) teams as pictured below: 


 I don't think I will be winning the £10 this year.

Sorry universe xoxo 

12 Jun 2014

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

I get a lot of inspiration for my blog from the things around me. Sometimes seeing a leaf fall from a tree is enough to trigger an idea for a post and I find that pretty amazing. Also I get my inspiration from other bloggers because who doesn't want to be as good as soon of them?

One of the main blogger's work which I enjoy reading is by the wonderful Rhiannon Pulling. I have been a follower of her blog Everything But The Kitchen Sink for several months now and I don't intend to ever stop.


 She writes so beautifully and confidently. I just love her style to bits! She described her blog to me as 'the daily ramblings of a journalist' with articles on 'fashion, beauty and everything else!' and she is not wrong there. Everything But The Kitchen Sink (an amazing name I must say!) basically has posts on EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you can think of. I particularly enjoy her reviews on books and beauty products and her comical life updates. If that isn't enough to encourage you to visit her blog then here is a mini interview with the woman herself:

1. Rhiannon, tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself
  • I'm extremely organised! It's probably borderline OCD, as everything has to be in particular order! And I really can't sleep in a messy room, so I'll always tidy everything away beforehand.
  • My laugh is pretty ridiculous. It's loud, and if something is really funny, I'll probably end up crying too!
  •  I have a weird obsession with Harry Potter, ask me any question and I'll know the answer!
  •  From my journalism course I've learnt shorthand at 100wpm, which basically looks like hieroglyphics (Google it!)
  •  I was named after a Fleetwood Mac song - my parents are that original!
2. What made you want to start a blog in the first place? 

 I started Everything But The Kitchen Sink because I needed somewhere to offload my thoughts everyday. I'm pretty lazy at keeping a diary, so a blog seemed the next best option. Plus, my friend encouraged me to start mine as she loved doing hers.

3. What three things couldn't you live without?
  •  A good book. It can keep me entertained for hours and each time I re-read a book I discover something else I missed the first time.
  • My ipod and headphones. My journeys to and from work or college are so boring without something to sing along to! 
  • A pen and paper. Writing is second nature to me and not having a pen constantly in my hand doesn't feel right!
4. That was technically four things :)  Is there a motto or quote you live by? 

The motto I live by is Carpe Diem, which is Latin for 'Seize The Day'.  It just makes sense! I really hope to get it tattooed somewhere, someday!

5. What other blogs apart from mine (joking!) do you read?

My blog reading staples have to be Josie's Journal - she's got such cool style! Humans of New York is another really cool blog that always surprises me and Letters to Antoinette is a great blog for healthy living tips. Anything that has got fashion, beauty, lifestyle and fitness, as well as a good writing style always catches my eye.

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Now I think you better click on the link below and go straight to this blog: Everythingbutthekitchen.blogspot.com

You won't regret it
Love 
Bethany xx


7 Jun 2014

This Week in Numbers #3

Hello my lovelies! 
At the start of the week I literally had nothing planned to do, so I was unsure whether this post would go ahead or not. Thankful though I got lucky! Read about my week below: 


I have seen so many girls walking around with these bands on their wrists and I wondered where they got them from as I REALLY wanted some. I mean how cool do they look? Funny story: I found out later in the week that they didn't actually get them from anywhere! They made them. And that just made me (blush!) and want some even more
Basically you can buy a pack of the so called 'Loom' bands (which are like mini elastic bands!) from just about anywhere. And you make them by looping each colour through each other so it forms the design below, some have been done with two colours and others with three: 


I just stretch the bands over my fingers but you can actually buy a kit that contains several packets of the 'Loom' bands as well as some kind of wire contraption that allows you loop the bands over more easily and make different styles of bracelets- not just like the ones I have done. But I'm happy with what I've got to be honest. Its just fun to do when your bored, even if don't actually wear the bands! 

I know I said 8 bands at the top and there is only 7 here but I couldn't find the other one at the time I was taking this snap!




Also this week I have FINALLY reached 330 followers on my Twitter account! I not sure why it took so long- I was hanging around in the 20s for ages. But I think since starting this blog some of my audience have gotten in touch on Twitter and kindly followed me, which it wonderful. I just hope it continues, as does my blogging audience. Thank you for all your support recently. 



At the start of the year I entered a short-story writing competition about wild animals on a bit of a whim, not really expecting anything to come out of it. For that reason I only spent a few hours writing it out. It wasn't even that good in my opinion- I have done better in the past. However I got an e-mail back in May saying that it was being considered as a winning entry. But still I didn't really think anything of it. So I was pretty shocked when I got an e-mail at the start of this week saying that the judges had chosen their winners from the category. This is what it said:


So although my last circle does say '1 Winner' and I only came as a runner-up, I still feel like a winner! I can't really believe it. And the fact that my story will actually be published in a book (Wild N Free Forever- out end of November) with royalties going to the amazing animal charity Born Free Foundation  is even better! I will let you know when it is out so you can buy it, if you wish.


You can view the last book Wild N Free Too here and the home page of Paws N Claws Publishing that specialises in publishing books with donations going to animal charities here

Thank you for visiting WIBAW today,
Love Bethany xx 

4 Jun 2014

The Fault In Our Stars- My Favourite Quotes

I wrote a review of The Fault In Our Stars book a few days ago (which you can find if you scroll down  or look in the May archives on the left), so I decided to spend some time choosing my favourite quotes. 

Drum roll please......! 








How you read TFIOS? What are you favourite quotes?

Be in contact soon,
Beth xx

1 Jun 2014

This Week in Numbers #3

Pinch Punch First Day Of The Month! Can you believe it's June already? No, neither can I, but I'm not complaining since that means that summer is on the way and that my birthday is in just under two months! 


I had a pretty lazy week since we had our spring half-term this week, which lucky for me meant that I don't have my science exams until the week after. So when I say I had a 'lazy week' I really mean that I was sitting in my room,, listening to music and attempting to get my brain to concentrate on immunisation, crude oil and generating electricity. It is about as fun as it sounds! 

However, earlier in the week it was my Grandad's birthday so I took a day off and went out to a restaurant with the family for a meal. It was a local restaurant near him called Willow Farm and although the Southern Fried Chicken Burger I ordered was a little dry, the MASSIVE Cookie Dough Sundae made up for it! I never been so full up in all my life, yet I still kept eating!  

Then on Friday evening, me and my mum went to see Maleficent at the cinema. It come out on Wednesday so we were lucky to get tickets really. It was basically a retelling of Disney's Sleeping Beauty but from the perspective of the 'evil' fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) who puts a curse on the King's daughter (Elle Fanning) out of revenge. However it gives the back story of why Maleficent wanted revenge and has a very different ending to the original fairy tale.
 
The trailer was spectacular and probably the reason why I wanted to see the film in the first place. I wasn't sure if Sleeping Beauty needed another update but I was surprised how much I loved the film. Angelina was the perfect casting for Maleficent with her spot-on evil voice and simply to die for cheekbones- even her adorable five-year-old daughter  had been cast as young Princess Aurora because 'all the other kids would see' Jolie's stage make-up 'and cry'.

I took this picture (left) before we left for the cinema as I just wanted to show you what my new lipstick looks like. I got given a free sample of several No7 products and this was my favourite. It is from the Moisture Drench collection, SPF 15, Mulberry. I really love how it gives just enough colour to your lips without making them too bright and false-looking, plus it is a life saver for dry lips: 

            
Do my fingers look a little weird or is it just me?








Oh! The horror of pale skin
Somehow I also got around to making some scones for the classic British cream tea! They were so much easier to make than I expect and tasted so good with jam and cream. I used the Mary Berry recipe for fruit scones on a website I found (*you can do the same here). 





                                                           Hope you all had a good week,
Beth xx 
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