31 Dec 2014

A Walk Down Memory Lane 2014

From non-existence to 112 published blog posts, Written In Black & White has grow and still is! It has been an honour to spend my days curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea, typing away to my hearts content. And now 10 months down the line I'm still here. Stronger than ever. I know I may never reach the top of this mountain and gain worldwide fame and stardom, but that is not why I started this blog. I started to share my passion for writing and show that nobody can be perfect, no matter how much they try.

I could bore you with the rest of the 'new year, new me' speech but I think I should let you choose what you want to read instead. So here is a handful of mine and your favourite blog moments from throughout the year. I wish you a very Happy New Year. But for now snuggle down, bring out the biscuit tin and take a walk down memory lane. See you on the other side! 

My favourite day trip -Harry Potter Studio Tour 

My proudest moment -Guess Who's A Published Author Now?!?!?

Your favourite book review -My Sister's Keeper- Book Review

The most popular 6 Things... post -6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week! 

The best blog review -Josie's Journal

Something this blog allowed me to do -The Blog Award's Ireland 

 Our family holiday -My Holiday Dairy

Something to make you think -Lecture Tuesday

My favourite post to write -Happiness Is...

Which one was your favourite post? 
Love Beth xx

29 Dec 2014

On My Nails | Christmas Day

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, but can I just say something? I hate the fact that after Boxing Day I have heard people starting to  complain and grumble that "Oh that's it until next year" and "Ah Christmas shit is over then". But in my eyes, I don't think Christmas is truly over until the end of December or at least until I've taken to Christmas decorations down! So please stop being a Debby Downer, play with your presents and look forward to NYE & NYD. So that said you might still be finding a few Christmas posts around here! Much like this one...

  This year I found it really difficult deciding what to do on my nails for Christmas Day. It had to be eye-catching, neat and extremely Christmasy. So I did what I always do: look around online for some nail inspiration. And this is what I came up with: 

Four different nail polishes and two hours later, my favourite ever nail art design was finished. I just loved how the reindeer came out and how the white background makes them stand out. My old Barry M Nail Pen had dried up (because I left the lid off...)so I had to paint the antlers free hand, yet they still came out lovely even if my Mum called them wonky! 

I used two Barry M nail polishes, red and white (as seen in this design) which I just love because the colour is so bright. The main body of the reindeer was the beautiful gold nail polish from
Maybelline NY and their antlers were an old black polish I found hidden in my draws from Claire's that I have had for years! 

Tell me what was on your fingers at Christmas
Love Beth xx

Harry Potter Studio Tour!

I mentioned my visit to the studio in my last post so I thought I should share some of the pictures that I took that day! It was an absolutely amazing day. Being able to see all the sets, costumes, props and behind the scene films was just an dream come true for a Potter head like me. Its a bit expensive and tiring walking around as there is just SO much to see, but really worth it!



Has anyone else gone to the Studio?
Love Beth xx

24 Dec 2014

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

*Cue the entrance of the pompous conductor and his choir as they sing their awful rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas*

The only thing I'm looking forward to about January: no more Christmas songs playing on repeat. FREEDOM!! 

But anyways, I just wanted to quickly wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year after such a long and tiring year. My little blog is not yet a year old but I still have a wonderful following. So for that I am very grateful! When I began blogging it was like I had walked into a dark room with a blindfold on- I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going for that matter. All I knew was that I wanted to write, although I'm sure many of my first posts were read by minus numbers of people!

Now I've progressed and learnt about so many new things and met so many wonderful people. I truly appreciate the fact that people bother to read and comment on what I write, especially as I live the most ordinary life you could imagine. Family first, cats second and all that jazz, you know? Still I can't wait to see what the future holds and fingers crossed we continue to grow and bloom like a little daisy in spring. POO-F!

I will be taking a few days off for the Christmas period to spend the time with loved ones, eat chocolate as much as I can possibly hold down and play those embarrassing games like Charades that I quite literally suck at. But hey-ho, it's Christmas!

The tree is currently sitting comfortably in the corner of our lounge, nesting on this massive pile of presents that I can't wait to open tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn. Ah, the only day of the year I voluntarily get out of bed before 9! We will definitely (after a few mugs of tea) be taking this as an opportunity to appreciate all that we have and are thankful for and hope that the new year brings just as much happiness as the last.

So here's a toast to the blogging community *raises imaginary glass* hoping you all have a very safe Christmas wherever you may be and that you come back in January refreshed (maybe a little bloated!) and ready to start 2015 with a bang. Expect to see a few changes around this place as well, but more on that soon. Oh and remember that Christmas dinner is just a roast dinner with turkey- no need to flap!

P.s. Have you seen  yesterday's post that contains my little Christmas gift  yet?

Love Beth xx

21 Dec 2014

Time For Tree Troubles!

With only four days to go until Christmas the blogging world is in fall festive swing- and joy that school has finished for two week! I have absolutely loved snuggling down in bed with a mug of tea and my laptop to scroll through some Christmas posts. From some yummy food to gifts for book nerds to the true meaning of the season, my favourite blogs are alive and twinkling with Xmas spirit.

However, despite my childish excitement (who doesn't love paper chains), we left it quite late to put our Christmas tree up this year. That is because a. I didn't realise it was Christmas in 4 days and b. we were terrified that Toby would pull it down again like last year.

He is such a cute little thing that people just don't expect him to be so mischievous. More so when he was a kitten, he used to be obsessed with the tree- knocking off the ball balls to play football, chomping away at the branches and burying himself under the pile of presents beneath it. However last year, we were gathered in the living room watching a film only to be disrupted by the tabby ball of fluff launching across the room, flying through the air with outstretched paws and sticking to the side of the tree like Velcro! It was literally the funniest thing I have ever seen- although we weren't best pleased at the time since most of the decorations and presents were crushed.

But this year Toby didn't seem very interested in the whole Christmas experience, preferring to take a nap while I worked hard erecting the tree. Our old fairy lights of ten years finally stopped flashing so we had to make a quick stop at B&Q to grab some more before we began. I was Chief Ball-balls, hanging up the decorations we have had since I was a child, while my Mum demonstrated the art of wrapping lights around an artificial tree. Sorry but real ones just make too much mess!

And since Toby, who is currently eyeing me from the other side of the lounge, yawned and rolled over on his back. "Your boring me now. Nobody cares about your tree troubles". I think I will leave you now with a hearty smile and wave goodbye.

Please tell me you have tree troubles too? And that your cat is involved?
Love Beth xx

17 Dec 2014

Guess Who's A Published Author Now?!?!?

You may have seen my post about the Mystery Parcel on Sunday and this is what was inside!

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At the start of the year I entered a Short Story Writing Competition that I fell upon on the Born Free Foundation website, an brilliant international wildlife charity that works tirelessly to help animals in danger from poachers who hack the tusks off elephants while they are half alive. From being kept completely alone and isolated for 20 years in a zoo. From people dressing monkeys up like humans. From being used as 'props' for tourists to take pictures with. From being bred in farms simply to be hunted and brutally killed when they are older. From being turned into rugs on a floor. From laboratories who test beauty cosmetics on their sensitive skin. And from people who think of animals as worthless as litter- bully them because they speak in a language their brains cannot understand.

The competition needed people to write about what it means for an animal to be truly free and bring to the attention of the public some of the horrific dangers they face, both natural and human base. So I quickly wrote up a story about a Polar Bear, submitted it and thought nothing of it. And then a few months after, I got email telling me I had come runner up in my age category (I wrote a post about it here*) and that my story would be PUBLISHED in a book, with the royalties going to the Born Free Foundation!

Obviously I was over the moon as the judges, talented writers and animal enthusiasts themselves,  actually liked what I had written and thought it worthy enough to be in a book! And last Friday, after ordering 7 copies for my family a few weeks back, they finally came through the letterbox. I immediately loved it from the glossy, hand-drawn cover to the thought provoking foreword. And not forgetting that overwhelming feeling of joy when I saw my name on the content page!

It truly is a wonderful collection of stories by some very talented children- I cannot believe that a nine year old could write something as beautiful as that. And throughout each short story there is that underlying message that animals are born free and that is exactly where they should stay.

I would very much appreciate it if you could buy a copy or two, especially as the money goes to such an amazing charity. It would make a lovely Christmas present or stocking filler for anyone or even yourself and since the stories are only two or three pages long, it won't take you long to read.

You can purchase it from Amazon, WHSmith , Waterstones and many other shops. 
Let me know if you do happen to buy one,
Love Beth xx

14 Dec 2014

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

With only 11 days left until Christmas, my household is full of people rushing about wrapping up the last few presents, writing cards, food shopping and pulling the decorations down from the attic. I swear this is the only time of year we ever venture up there. But that is mostly due to he fear of a) falling off the ladder or b) being ambushed by an army of angry spiders. I really don't mind insects and animals like snakes but there is just something about spiders that give me the creeps. I just have images of them lurking in with the ball balls & paper chains and getting rather annoyed then they are rudely awoken from their slumber by a couple of humans dancing to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

What else have I been up to this week, I hear you say? Take a look (and yes I know there is only technically 5 things but lets just pretend there is 6!):

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-Beautiful mornings: Monday mornings are always the most horrible and dullest mornings of the week. However I was pleasantly surprised to be woken up on Monday to a beautiful red sky, so bright it almost looked like it was burning. And on my walk to the bus stop, I saw how frost had covered the grass and rooftops so it appeared as though they had been painted white in the night. What else could you ask for on a Monday morning?

-RVP: The following day was the broadcasting of my one my favourite shows, The Royal Variety Performance. When this programme, along with it's usual collection of comedians that make you burst out laughing and the breath-taking, inhuman variety acts, comes on TV I know Christmas is just around the corner!

-Birthday meals: On 11th it was my Mum's birthday so all of our family went out for a meal at the Mexican restaurant Chiquito. I had never been before and was excited to try the food as I'm currently obsessed with Mexican food. It was a nice place but I didn't like the main meal very much. However I did really enjoy the Lemon Cake and Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream I had for desert! Typical me.

-Laptop problems: As my laptop is quite old I have been having some problems with it for the past few months. I hoped it would sort itself out but eventually it got to the point where I couldn't even get onto the internet because it took 5 hours to log on! But thankful a friend of my parent's saved all my documents onto a memory stick and switched my laptop back to factory settings. So now its just like having a brand-new computer, but for half the price!

-Parcels: And lastly after waiting for a certain parcel to arrive for ages, it finally came on Friday. And what was in that parcel? You will have to wait until the middle of next week to find out, but rest assured its a good one. I promise.

Hope you had a great week! And remember to tune in later next week to find out about the Mystery Parcel as well. Yes, I'm just as excited as you too!

See you then,
Love Beth xx

7 Dec 2014

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

We're now 7 days into December! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? The weather is quite clearly brewing up for a storm and how lovely would it be to top off the year with a white Christmas? But more on Christmas later in the week. For now we shall all harmoniously jump for joy at the thought that I only have ONE MORE mock exam to go. I'm so glad that this week is finally over because I can't wait to get back to blogging. I do feel that I struggled to get the  balance right between studying and writing, but I promise that I'll get better come GCSE time. And to treat you, my dear reader chums, you can look forward to weeks upon weeks packed full of festive fun and cheer. This will be my blogs first Christmas so I hope I can make it a memorable one!

So what me smile this week? Come to think of it did I even smile? Take a look:

1. This week, I took part in my first ever Twitter Chat! I've heard lots of bloggers talking about them and how beneficial they can be for putting your blog out there, but I didn't really know what to do. That was until I fell upon this little post and realised things weren't as complicated as I had expected them to be. I really enjoyed the experience and am atcually planning to try the #lbloggers chat tonight!

2. With the weather getting colder, the nights are absolutely freezing. But nothing a good hot water bottle can't fix right?

3. Almost every night this week Toby has somehow managed to wiggle himself upstairs and onto my bed without anyone seeing him. It was such a wonderful surprise to go up there and see him snuggled at the bottom of the mattress, cuddling a toy sheep named Larry. He stayed in extactly the same position all night long and came down for breakfast with me- which normally involves him sticking his head in my cereal bowl to lap up the milk when I'm not watching!

4. I've seen a few posts flying around this week about Beauty-vent calendars, where rather than getting an chocolate each day you open a flap, you get a nail vanish or eyeshadow. But for me I think I'll stick to the traditional Cadbury's one, thank you very much. You can't beat chocolate!

5. The end of revision, as already spoken about, I thought needed its own little Things That Made Me Smile segment so we can all just appreciate how nice it is to not feel guilty about watching a film because there's an algebra equation you should be doing instead.

6. And lastly on Friday as a little well-done gift my mum brought me The Fault In Our Stars on DVD. But that's probably because she wanted to watch it, but still it was a nice evening...with lots of tissues to go alongside it.

Hope you all had a lovely week too,
Love Beth xx

P.s Hello to those new readers. I really appreciate it!

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