27 Apr 2015

The Day I Was Called Pretty...



So for the first time, in as long as I can remember, I was called pretty. It's been a while since I ever heard somebody say pretty and my name in the same sentence. And I admit I cried a little. I suppose I didn't realise how low my self-confidence had become but that's what life does to you. I'm so completely stress out right now that it isn't surprising how bad my skin has become recently. And there is only so much a girl , who is arguable the worst person at doing make-up in the world, can do.

I've spent a life time hiding underneath my hair. Using it like a shield between me and the outside world. I wonder what would happen if I ever decided to get it cut short?

 I didn't quite understand, until now, that I was the reason I felt shit everyday when I looked in the mirror. I was so harsh and so judgmental about myself just because I didn't look like that girl I saw walking down the street or the model on the advert. Duh she's a model! And I know it just sounds completely pathetic and stupid to say because it is, but I am the one who makes myself feel I ugly and worthless. I bully myself into thinking I have to be somebody I'm not in order to be accepted in society. Nobody ever out-rightly called me ugly- I just assume that's what they thought.

Maybe, this was the kind of  wake up call I needed. I mean how often does someone burst out crying when they're given a compliment? I was literally dragging myself down so much because my expectations were too high- far too high for almost anyone to achieve! I should just be happy with what I have cos god knows there's nothing I can do about it now. I suppose you could blame 21st century life, where everything is so heavily based on appearance that nobody really gets to see what's on the inside, because they're too busy looking on the outside. We're told not to judge a book by the cover...but what if it's a really pretty cover?

I won't pretend to you that I don't spend hours scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter feeds or that I don't feel a pang of jealousy when I look at my friends around me. Because I do. I know it's awful but that's what happens to your mind when everyday you tell yourself your not good enough and that nobody could possible enjoy being in your company and well you might as well forget about getting a boyfriend because it's never going to happen.

 It's a painful cycle. And one day, I hope I can eventually wiggle myself out of it. I know the impact of the internet and social media on teenagers is widely spoken about on people's blog. It's so embedded into our lives now that we think nothing of it and despite all the wonders of the World Wide Web, it's bloody evil.

I suggest we all just start being a bit more respectful of each other. A compliment would never go a miss either, guys. It can literally make somebodies day- that or liking one of their Instagram picture always goes down a treat! We may brush it off but sometimes it means everything. Be brave. Be honest- don't bottle it all up inside time and time again just waiting to explode. And most importantly, be you because there is only one you. No matter what you think you, are technically irreplaceable.

Yes, fairy tales are just a load of crap and life isn't all that it's cracked up to be and sucks quite a lot of the time. But do you know what I'm waiting for? The times when it doesn't suck.

Love Beth x

19 Apr 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!


So I'm sitting here with an absolute thumping headache because my brother is playing one of those stupid computer game at an exceptionally loud volume probably to just annoy me and my dad is watching the F1 racing at an exceptionally loud volume probably because he is as deaf as his mother! My day is not going too well to say the least. I feel worthless and ugly and just like I want to curl up in bed and stay there forever so no one can see me again. Whoever said being young is be one of the best times of your life has clearly never experienced being a teenager, because let me tell you it sucks. It sucks a lot. Maybe I'll go into detail a bit more about how suckable (is that word?) teenage life is in another post, but before that we should probably get to the point of this post. And the point of this post was to share with you how wonderful my week has been and to bloody well cheer myself up. Here goes nothing:

-Catching up: So this week was the first week back after Easter and it was surprisingly easy to get up at 6:30am on Monday morning and catch the bus without any drama what so ever. No missed alarm calls, no spending too long showering in the heavenly warm water. no running down the road after the bus like a headless chicken...nothing! And I must admit it was lovely to catch up with everyone. Who doesn't want to feel missed?

-Mock exams: This is a strange one to add to my smiley list, I know. But there is something so relaxing and better-than-sitting-in-class-bored-out-your-mind about a mock exam (not the revision bit obvs!) For an hour and 45 mins it was completely silent around me because everyone who busy concentrating on their work and not on my terrible skin!

-Slippers: There is nothing better than slipping your cold tootsies into a new pair of slippers, especially when they are a) dirt cheap b) fluffy and c) have a MASSIVE Mickey Mouse head stuck to the front.

-Popular posts: I was over the moon this week to receive such an amazing reaction to this book review on Twitter. I even received a personal message from the author's twitter account! Thank you to everyone who read it and boasted my traffic colossally!

-BTG: How could this post be complete without a mention for the one and only Britain's Got Talent? My favorite show is back, bigger and better than ever. I shall be expecting great things.

-My brother's birthday: To round off the week, Saturday saw my brother's 11th birthday and as is the usual tradition we went out for lovely family meal after going to the cinema to see Mall Cops 2- his choice not mine!  The very smiley selfie above is my attempt at the-I-am-off-to-enjoy-myself-suckers face. What'd think?

Ah that's more like it, 
Love Beth xx

14 Apr 2015

The C-word | Lisa Lynch



"The last thing Lisa Lynch had expected to put on her ‘things to do before you’re 30’ list was beating breast cancer, but them’s the breaks. So with her life on hold, and her mind close to capacity with unspoken fears, questions and emotions, she turned to her Mac and started blogging about the frustrating, life-altering, sheer pain-in-the-arse inconvenience of getting breast cancer at 28. The C-Word is an unflinchingly honest and darkly humorous account of Lisa’s battle with The Bullshit, as she came to call it. From the good days when she could almost pretend it wasn’t happening, to the bad days, when she couldn’t bear to wake up, Lisa’s story is emotional, heartbreaking and often hilarious"

I first heard about this book when an old friend of my mum's mentioned that her sister-in-law had written a book after being diagnosed with breast cancer. It look me so long to get around to order myself a copy that I've only just started reading it now, Naughty, naughty Bethany! But I'm glad I left it until I had a little more time because I simply couldn't stop reading it. Lisa is an amazing writer and the fact that she is also a blogger just makes her story hit home even more- that this awful disease could affect anyone of us at any moment. 

Her story is both laugh-out-loud funny and weep-into-your-tissue sad (I admit I cried a ton of big fat ugly tears when reading this blog post!) yet it is one of the most uplifting and inspiring books you will ever read about cancer. No detail is too small or disgusting to write about from itchy wigs to bright red pee, attractive receptionists to hyper kittens. It's all in a days work for Lisa. 


I guess the moral of the story is that having breast cancer is as about as shit as it sounds, but there are some upsides. Also you never really 'beat' cancer or 'get the all clear', it just so happens you had the type that was curable and your medical team work damn hard to cure it. But there is always a possibility it can return with vengeance and I suppose you can never really get rid of that black clouds it casts over your life, only occasionally beckoning the sun through the gaps. And sometimes all you really need is a bit of love and...maybe the middle finger from your sibling to cheer you up! 

I  was absolutely over the moon yesterday to read this article and find out that one of my favorite actresses Sheridan Smith will be playing Lisa in a brand new BBC drama later this year based on The C-word! I'm sure Lisa would be as excited, if not more at this news wherever she is now. And I guess, in the end,The Bullshit never really got her because she gave it bloody hell! 

You can read her blog, Alright Tit, here
And more about Lisa here

My thoughts are with P, the Macs, the Lynch clan and anyone who knew and loved Lisa.  

Love Beth xx









12 Apr 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!


In the week that saw the unveiling of a life-sized milk chocolate figure of Benedict Cumberbatch and the 10th Wedding anniversary of Prince Charles and Camilla, I have been rather busy. It was the last week of the Easter holidays and despite the fact I had revision to do, I still wanted to enjoy myself. What is the point in having two weeks off school if all you are going to spend it doing school work? Here's what made my week and probably one of the best Easter holidays ever:

-Nature walks: On the last day of the back holiday we all bundled in the car and made our way to Childerditch Wood in Essex to make the most of the glorious spring weather. However we slightly underestimated the muddiness of the paths and were the only people in sight without knee-high Wellington boots!

-Bacon roll pit stops: Whenever my Nan comes over to take us shopping she always insists on buying us a bacon roll and cuppa. This time we tried out the BHS cafe and I must say their menu looked good enough to eat!

-Harry Potter mechanise: I'm not sure why but I spur-of-the-moment-type-of-purchase decided to treat myself to these dorky HP transfers and THEY CAME TODAY! *cue the rather embarrassing jig around the house*

-Southend-On-Sea: As per-usual my grandparents popped over on Friday to take us out to Southend. Its not that I don't appreciate the effort but nothing says glamour more than fish, chips and ice cream at the sea front. Still it's the thought that counts.

-Sunshine + birds: For the first time this year, the weather was finally nice enough to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden and reading. It's one of my favourite places in the world because you can just close your eyes and imagine that your somewhere topical with the amount of chirping going on in the trees. I'm not sure that I could ever be content with city life now that I've lived in such a beautiful part of England.

-Woman 2- Men 1: For centuries it's been drummed into society that men are superior to woman and despite the fact we are so called equal these days, some things are only just being accepted. For one thing the last series of The Island With Bear Grylls was 100% male orientated but thanks to public outrage woman have now been given their own island to see how long 14 ordinary females can last without the safety net of the 21st century. Then on Saturday it was the first time in more than 150 years that the Woman's Boat Race was held on the same day and course as the men's race! All that is left now is for there to be a separate Grand National Race for woman...

See you the same time next week,
Love Beth xx 

7 Apr 2015

Snapshots From Easter 2015!

Recently I've realised that while I am pre-occupied offline (and yes, I am talking about GCSEs which seem to have become the Voldemort of the blogosphere) In The Clouds has become more of a diary than a blog. For that, lovely people, I am very sorry since I doubt you really enjoy reading endless 6 Things posts, but it is just a little reminder that I haven't completely forgotten you. And I promise that things will get better in the summer- my brain feels like it's about to explode with all the new ideas I have whirring around inside.

In the meantime I put together a selection of photos I took during the Easter period for you to enjoy. My last Snapshots From post was way back at Christmas and I do think it's a wonderful post to create because now I have all these memories floating about on the inter-web. This is my blog's 2nd Easter (why hasn't anybody written a song for an occasion like this?) and although I look back and see that I was very active during this period last year, I have to take into account that I wasn't spending my days hunched over a desk, studying then. You can take a trip down memory lane here:

-Easter Nails
-A Walk In The Bluebell Fields
-DIY Painted Eggs








Hope you all had a good Easter,
Love Beth xx

4 Apr 2015

Easter Bunny Cake!

Its been a while since the postman has knocked on the front door only to find himself face to face with a girl completely covered in icing sugar. And that's exactly what happened today, bless his soul! At the moment our house-hold is in full Easter swing as we prepare for the big family meal we have planned to cook tomorrow. It's looking to be even bigger than Christmas dinner at the rate we're going: spuds, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire Puds. You name it and it's probably stuffed in the freezer somewhere. And I think it is lovely that everyone has gone to town, so to speak, with this idea because Easter is really what you make it. 4 days off work can't be wasted lazying around in bed all day, stuffing your face with chocolate. Okay...maybe you can but for the sake of this post just go with it! Invite the family round, turn off the Wi-Fi and FOR GOD SAKE take a break from studying. It's Easter after all!

 I must quickly add how nice it was to be back in the kitchen since last time. It feels like an age since I last did some baking so I thought I should take advantage of this festive period and get stuck in! Who can really argue with that, especially when there is a nice big cake to eat at the end?

***

 Anyway lets get cracking and take a look at this egg-cellent recipe I found. You'll be hopping mad to miss it! 


Ingredients 

For the sponge cake recipe follow step 1 & 2 here

2 sponge cakes
115g butter
225 icing sugar
3 round ice cream cones
Green food colouring (I know it doesn't look green in the picture but it is!)
Pink food colouring
9 white marshmallows 
7 mini white marshmallows
14 edible silver balls 
12-15 sugar butterfly decorations 

Instructions

1. First beat the butter and icing sugar to make a fluffy buttercream that you just can't resist tasting (obviously to make sure its mixed enough!) I don't think that I added quite enough green colouring at this point so make sure you add plenty, otherwise your hill won't look much like a hill. 

2. Next, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of one of the sponge cakes and carefully sandwich the other on top (you didn't think it was called a Victoria Sandwich for nothing!)

3. Using a sharp knife, cut the crust off the top sponge at an angle to create a hill shape. I actually arranged some of the larger pieces of cut crust in a circle on top to make the cake taller and more rounder. 


4. With the same knife, cut off both ends of the ice cream cone (you may get a few shattered ones in the process) and push the remaining part into the sponge. This will make your bunny warrens and give the impression that there are actually more bunnies hiding inside your cake.

5. Now spread the buttercream over the sponge, being carefully to avoid the warrens. 

6. Mix the remaining icing sugar with a few tablespoons of water, to make a stiff icing. You can use this to dap onto the white marshmallows and make chubby bunny cheeks! Then stick on the silver balls for eyes. 

7. Next add pink food colouring to your stiff icing and use this to make a little bunny nose on each marshmallow. The more icing you add to the face, the more protruding and sweeet the noses are! 

8. Don't worry if they look a bit like walruses at the moment. To transform them, use a pair of scissors and cut 14 slices from the other large marshmallows, paint a pink stripe down the centre of each and stick to the top of the bunnies. Now they have ears! 

9. Use the rest of the icing to stick on mini marshmallow tails.

10. And finally arrange the bunnies and butterflies on the cake! 



Please do let me know if you attempt this recipe. It's going to make a lovely springy centre piece for our dinner tomorrow! And I really hope you all have a wonderful Easter and that I won't be the only one stocking up on eggs this year! 

Creme egg anyone?
Love Beth xx 






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