29 Jul 2015

Guest Post: Stila Eye Palette

Hi all. This week I am away on holiday with my friend, Jane, and the follow three weeks after I am busy completing the summer National Citizen Service  programme. Maybe you've heard of it or maybe you are even doing it! Let me know and make sure you keep up with my antics on Instagram, Twitter and Snap chat: dale_beth. In the meantime, I have asked a group of lovely girls from all corners of the blogosphere to help fill the space on In The Clouds while I am away. The first blogger we are meeting today is Nia from Nia Elinor Mair who has kindly offered to add a touch of beauty to this blog:  

Hi All! This palette from Stila is something I have coveted for a long time due to two Youtubers singing its praises all too frequently. Louise and Zoe used to talk about this 10 shade palette all the time in their 2013 and 2014 vlogs and, ever since, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I finally bought it around 4 months ago from Marks and Spencer (who knew their beauty range was so perfect, by the way?) and I have used so often!

I really adore this product and for £25 you get 10 buttery shades and a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel which I have been silly enough to lose - I lose eyeliner like it's a game, it's ridiculous! This palette is great value for money because the eyeliner is worth £13 in itself, making it only £1.20 per eyeshadow!

Out of the 10 shades, 4 of them are matte: bare, bliss, sandstone and ebony and all of these are shades I would use for crease-wear regularly. The remaining 6 are utterly stunning shimmers. Kitten is an ideal inner corner highlight and I love using sunset in the outer corner before blending into the crease. All of the shimmer shadows have creamy consistencies and the glitter particles aren't huge compared to some found in other palettes of a lower quality. The matte shades are velvety and smooth and make defining your eyes as simple as anything and the pigmentation is perfect; ebony is the blackest black I have ever, ever used! My personal favourites are kitten, sunset, sandstone and bubbly because I'm very much a fan of golden goddess looking smokey eyes! There's only one shade in this palette that I'm actually stuggling to use and that's nightsky, purely because I really don't think blue colours suit me at all but maybe I'll be a bit adventurous this summer!

If you've never tried this palette before then I would definitely recommend you check it out. They're available in Marks and Spencer, some Boots stores and from some online shops like ASOS and feelunique! 

I hope readers of In The Clouds enjoyed this post, you can catch more of me over at my blog, if you fancy a peek! Make sure you're following me on bloglovintwitter & instagram too!

What's your favourite eye shadow palette?

24 Jul 2015

A Little Letter For My Little Brother

Dear Freckle Face (aka my brother!),

Christmas times means Christmas jumpers in this house!
I'm writing this for my brother today should he ever fall upon this blog, although I have no idea how he would. You will probably skip through all the over 170+ posts on this site but this one would be a good idea to read. That is if you can actually sit still long enough to do that. Where do you 11 year old get their energy from?

Anyway, on Wednesday 22nd July you official left primary school. I don't know where the time has gone. It's crazy! I can still remember when you started all those years ago, although I don't suppose you remember as you were just so young. That school, that routine and those teachers is all you have ever known. It has been your home for the last 7 years of your life and now you are being made to leave. The transition from primary to secondary is massive. It's scary, nerve wracking, weird, exciting and stomach churning all at the same time. But you'll be alright...if I can make it, so can you!

Not to scare you or anything (okay maybe I want to scare you a bit!) but my first few weeks at senior school were rather traumatic. I didn't eat breakfast for about a month because I just felt completely sick to the stomach of the idea of having to get on a bus and travel to a school where I had no idea where the toilets even were. I had become so used to walking that 5 minute walk to primary school, strolling through those blue gates and sitting in that seat by the window, that it is so strange to be thrown into this new environment.

Primary school will forever hold a special place in my heart because my experience was just so perfect and wonderful there. I probably moaned like hell about it at the time but I did love it. Maybe it's just the fact that people always look back at the past with rose tinted glasses, but I do miss that place sometimes. I just wish I could remember more things about that little school, like the things that made me wet myself (not literally!) with laughter or the games we used to play at lunchtime. Its such a shame to get older and loose touch with your childish side.

Senior school is not all bad I suppose because yes, it was where I meet some of the most amazing people but I will forever hate that school for turning me into the self conscious, awkward person that I am now. At times I remember crying myself to sleep at night because I just hated the whole experience and responsibility of it all. I made myself feel so worthless because I constantly compared myself to the other girls and it just destroyed my self confidence completely. But most of all that school is where I become a 'proper' teenager with boobs and a period and body hair. Its just gross and not as glamorous as they make out in High School Musical. But ah, that's what you've got to forward to. Isn't that just great! You probably won't believe me now but everything I just wrote was true. And I just can't wait, as horrible as it sounds, for the day when I can say 'I Told You So'!

So Jack, please don't worry about what others think of you. Do whatever you want to do-within the law of course! There is so much more to life than being cool, so don't try to be somebody you're not. Just because they have (insert the name of the must have item of clothing or gadget) doesn't mean you have to get it as well. Also don't ever make anybody else cry or feel small or worthless or ugly because if you do I will hunt you down and hurt you. You should be helping others and just being a good person. But most importantly don't take school too seriously. Nobody will remember that time you feel over in the muddy puddle in a few years time. Trust me!

And to the girls in your year (please pass on the message): You are beautiful. You are so beautiful and special and one day you will meet the man of your dreams who will love you with all his heart. But you have plenty of time to do all that later! Being single is not the end of the world. So don't rush. Just have fun with your friends and forget about everyone else. If you want to do cartwheels on the field, do it. If you want to have a no makeup day, do it. You don't have to impress anyone.

If only somebody had been kind enough to tell me all this when I was your age. But then again I don't think I would have taken the blindest bit of notice.

So I say make the most of primary school. Hang onto all those precious memories you have of that place. Don't loose contact with your friends when they only live around the corner. It's so sad to leave but you will make new friends soon. And just know that I'll be forever childishly jealous that so many of your friends as going to the same senior school as you, when I practically had nobody.

Anyway, good luck with school and the future and even though you make me so angry and mad sometimes, you'll always be my little brother and somehow that just makes me HAVE to watch out for you! It's like the sibling law.

Lots of love,
Your sister Beth xx

P.s where's that £10 you owe me?

21 Jul 2015

The Girl On The Train | Paula Hawkins

There are just some books that seem to pop up out of no where and suddenly there is this massive hype surrounding them. Everybody wants to get their hands on a copy and end up going mad when its out of stock in every store they visit. This book is one of them. The Girl On The Train is hailed as 'the new Gone Girl' and has been at the top of the UK Hardback chart for 20 weeks. This has broken the previous record set by Dan Bowen's Lost Symbols six years ago, which even the likes of JK Rowling and EL James failed to beat! So just what makes this book so special?

Every morning Rachel catches the same train, at the same time which always stops at the same signal overlooking a row of back gardens. She is here so often that Rachel has started to feel like she knows the people who live at number 15. Jess and Jason, as she calls them, seem like they have the perfect life- unlike her. But one day Rachel seems something shocking through the train window that changes everything. She now has the chance to become part of their life, but all is not what it seems. 

I really liked the idea of sitting on a train and imaging the lives of the people you see because I will be the first to admit that I have done the same in the past. Over active imagination, sheer boredom and that! But unfortunately this is only a tiny part of the story right at the beginning because as soon as Racheal sees something unusual that puts her on edge, the whole plot is catapulted away from the train and forms into something that is a bit boring and unrealistic. A slow train that looks as if it's going god knows where basically.

It does pick up at the end and get more interesting once the mystery is solved and the action really begins! And to give the author some credit she really does bring awareness to the problem of alcohol with her portrayal of Rachael who we can easily see has a bit of a problem with the stuff. However, other than that, there doesn't seem to be much of a message for the reader to grasp. Maybe it's just my love of deep, meaningful books talking, but for a novel with so much hype surrounding it I was expecting a little bit more. Sorry.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought this?
Love Beth xx

19 Jul 2015

12 Things I Learnt About Friendship

Everyday I am grateful for the people I have met and formed close bonds with over the years. I know that these people will be friends for life and that we will share so many more memories than we have now. However, there are also people who I have lost contact with or don't talk to anymore and although that's all part of getting older, I still regret the friendships I lost.

Thomas Aquinas, a famous philosopher, once said that 'there is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship' and I couldn't agree more. My friends and I laugh together so hard that we can't breathe, we comfort each other together, we sit and cry together and we face whatever the world throws at us together.

Here are just a few things I've learnt about friendship because 'it's not something you learn at school but if you haven't learnt the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learnt anything'- Muhammad Ali:

1. There are two types of friends you can have: The Listeners and The Talkers. Best friends are made when the two come together and it is very unlikely that you will be bestie with someone who is the same type as you. Two listeners will mean a very awkward, slow convo and two talkers will constantly clash. It's just the way of the world.

2. When your younger you can count your friends on all your fingers and all your toes but as you get older you struggle to count the close ones of one hand. And it makes you feel a bit of a failure but actually it's because life gets in the way and suddenly you have to cancel plans because you have to go to work, go to meetings, go to university, go to this and go to that.

3. Trying to get everyone together is a bit of nightmare because your friends suddenly have a life and you don't.

4. Making new friends is really hard. And awkward and weird and nerve wracking. So hang on to the ones you have with all your might.

5. There will always be people who are part of your friendship group that you have to fake liking because secretly inside you imagine ways to get rid of them.

6. And once they drift out of your life (because they always do), everything just seems so much better.

7. Sometimes we know our online friends, who live on the other side of the world, better than we know our real life ones and that's okay. It's not weird nor are they psychopaths as everyone seems to assumes.

8. Real friends don't give two shits about how your dress or how awful your skin looks today. If you feel judged by them then they obviously aren't as friendly as you first thought.

9. People who make you feel self conscious and awkward aren't really your friends.

10, Sleepovers and girly nights in are the best things in the world but get fewer and fewer as you get older so make the most of them. Pizza, popcorn and a film never gets old!

11. You have to make an effort to keep in contact with everyone once you leave education, even if they move to the other side of the world. You will spend the rest of your life regretting it if you loose touch.

12. Your mum really can be your best friend and it's not as weird as it seems.

17 Jul 2015

Soundtrack To My Life

Strange as it sounds, I think everyone has a soundtrack to their life. Music is a very powerful medium that is in fact so powerful that there are songs that have somehow subconsciously stayed with us over time. Our track records these songs and if we should hear them, we can't help but be transported back to a certain time in our life. A song could make us cry or laugh or remind us of our family and our childhood. They aren't always the songs that we would want to admit to our friends that we play over and over just to feel young again, but they definitely are special and unique to each person. So without further ado here is my soundtrack and why each song holds a very sacred place in my heart:

Time Of My Life - Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes 
This song may be old but it never gets old, especially not for me. It was a song played at my parents wedding and on their wedding DVD so it is only fitting that this song is first on my soundtrack because I guess it highlights a time before I was born. And maybe ,without the song, I wouldn't have been born anyway!

Living La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
This is another iconic song that even now everyone still knows the words too. It may make you want to jump up and start salsa dancing but to me it marks the day a little 8lbs something girl called Bethany Dale came into the world. Yes, this song was no.1 on the charts the day I was born and I guess because of that me and my whole family associate the song with good times and happy memories.

Fireflies - Owl City
6 years down the line and I still can't get enough of this song. Not only is it a beautiful song with a beautiful music video but it also takes me back to when I was at primary school. I remember sitting in class, hearing this song echo down the endless long corridors and just feeling so happy and contented with life. *listens to the song on repeat for the next 3 hours*

Sound Of The Underground - Girls Aloud
When I was a kid, Girls Aloud were basically the Little Mix of girl bands. I adored their music (although I'm not quite sure about it now!) and this was the song that kick started their career and my obsession with them. At primary school I was even part of The Girls Aloud Club and I may or may not still have some of their albums on my phone...

You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift
When I first purchased Taylor's Fearless album (and yes it was an actual real life album!) I never imagined that she would become the international popstar she is today. Back then she was just a country girl living in Nashville with a heck of great taste in music. I adored her music a lot more then than I do now and You Belong With Me became my jam. I jammed with this song all the way to France and Belgium on a school trip and it was playing in the head when I learnt the very important life lesson that three is very much a crowd!

I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz
I've lost count of the amount of times I've listened to this song on the bus backwards and forward to school. It just reminds me of senior school and my friends and all the memories I have there. For as long as I can remember it has been no.1 on my phone's Top 25 Played Songs and I don't think that will change for a long time.

Runaway (U & I) - Galantis 
There are an infinite number of songs that I could include on my soundtrack but I thought I would end it with this one.  A song that makes you want to run onto the dance floor and throw your body around like a crazy woman and one of the only good songs they played at my Prom. A night that I won't forget in a long time with a bunch of people who I won't forget either! 

Just a quick note that I am on the look out for a few guest bloggers who can write some feature posts for me to display on In The Clouds while I'm away. It's a great way to get your own blog out there and would help me a lot. If you are interested pop me an email at bethany_dale@ymail.com for more information. 

What songs are on your soundtrack?
Love Beth xx

15 Jul 2015

Dear People Who Call Me Skinny...

There has been a lot of body shaming going around in the press recently- which celebrities have wobbly bits and which ones could 'do with a good meal'. Society is constantly criticizing woman's bodies and that is not okay anymore. How can you be shouting from the rooftops that somebody 'looks like a beached whale' and the next accusing another person of starving themselves? When will the media ever be happy?

I am currently just under 8 stone (112 lbs) and a size 8, which many people are surprised to hear that this is the ideal weight of a girl my age. Yet over the years I have had comments directed my way with people saying "Ah Bethany you are so skinny" and "Look at my belly flab bet you never have to deal with that problem" and so on and so forth. While some people might consider being called skinny a compliment- it severely offends me. For someone who has had serious issues with food and my weight in the past, it is not helpful.

It should never okay to go up to somebody and call them fat or large or big or big boned or whatever words you use to try and soften the blow. So please could somebody explain to me how it then can be right  to go up to somebody and call them skinny? I for one did not choose to be this way. It is not my fault that my collar bone protrude a little bit more than it probably should or that I have the thigh gap that many people would crave. I don't really exercise as much as I should and have an slight addiction to eating cake mixture straight from the bowl. What can I say, I have a fast metabolism and good genes. It's not my fault.

I think that people assume because I am slimmer (yes that is a better word thankyouverymuch!) than them that I don't have body hangups. That I don't look in the mirror and am slightly upset by what I see. That the idea of frolicking on the beach in a bikini doesn't fill me with dread. Because it does. I don't have 'the perfect body' just like we know that the models we see on TV and in magazines don't have the perfect body...because the perfect body isn't real. Photoshop, people! Nobody wakes up like that.

The internet is chock-a-block with these new crazes that seem to pop up out of nowhere with young girls and boys attempting to show the world how 'skinny' they are. They upload pictures of their bikini 'bridges', coins piled up in the hollow of their collar bones and an arm wrapped around their back trying to reach their belly button. And all I want to do is shake them and ask why the hell they are doing this? What do they think this will achieve? Trust me, you don't want to be skinny.

So for the record: 

I don't need to put some meat on my bones. (I really wanna put because I'm a vegetarian here, but I'm not!)

Neither am I a bag of bones.

I'm not a twig. More like a small to medium sized log.

And I very much doubt that I'm going to blow away in the wind.

I'm sorry if the fact you can see my ribs somehow offends you.

If I work out it's because I want to be healthier not loose weight.

I have insecurities with my body too, deal with it.

And I do actually eat stuff. Just so you know.

So yeah, I just felt I had to write this because it's not fair to comment on people's weight. 8 stone or 18 stone, we are all beautiful human beings. With feelings. And fists that will bloody punch your lights out if you offend us again. You've had your chance. Fat and skinny are not nice words anymore. Lets stop using them.

Love Beth xx

13 Jul 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

Hi all, how are we?

I'll start this post of my apologising for it's lateness but when you are writing a lifestyle blog, life is bound in get in the way sometimes. and that is okay. This week was one of those good old weeks where you do a few things each day so you don't get bored but it turns out that you didn't actually do as much as you thought you did. But who cares, let's just class this as my week off shall we? Besides we can't be superwoman all of the time. Theses are the most interesting (okay. maybe they aren't that interesting!) things I got up to this week: 

Quiz brain over here: It's not often you will find me complimenting myself here but at the start of the week I was on fire with answering these TV quiz show questions. There is just something about getting the answer right that fills you with smugness and makes you feel super intelligent...until they say 'What was signed to bring to an end to WW1'  and you say: Magna Carter! 

Purple Nails: I spoke about how to add some creativity into your life here and decided to take my own advice by giving my nails a splash of  OPI Grape Fit. Raise your hand if you hate bloggers who give advice they don't believe in *raises hand* 

Getting locked outside: As always my lovely relaxing week cannot go without a blip because you see on Thursday while watered the plants in the window box (I know I'm turning into an old woman!) a big gust of wind came and blew the front door shut. Without keys or any means to get into the house I had to sit outside like an absolute doughnut until somebody could come and open the door for me!

The Book Thief: Thanks to the great and all mighty Now TV subscription I spent one afternoon sipping tea and watching this amazing film. By the end I was crying buckets and immediately went online to order the book. If you haven't already seen it, you better get watching! 

Home alone: Over the weekend I went away for a few days which meant having to leave Toby on his own. I know cats are a lot more independent than dogs but it still broke my heart seeing him hiding in my suitcase (because he's bloody nosy!) and knowing he couldn't come with me. When I got back he didn't leave my side for the next few days and all I wanted to do was keep squeezing him! I mean how can you resist that little face? 

Show time: I also got the chance this week to pop down to my old school and watch a play called Shakespeare Rocks. My brother had one of the lead roles so it was so nice to see him coming out of his shell up there on stage. 

Love Beth xx

12 Jul 2015

25 Things You Don't Know About Me!

One of my biggest fears when I started blogging was that I would end up in the rubbish pile because I was a blog without a face. Yes, the number one priority here is to share my writing and my world with the big, wide world out there but I don't want to be an anonymous writer who you can't put a face to. I want you lot to know who I am, inside and out, so I thought I would put a few facts up about myself that you may or may not be interested to hear. I don't pretend to have a very interesting or glamorous life and these things listed below probably won't blow your socks off, but it's still good stuff. I hope. And I also hope you will take the time afterwards to tell me three facts about yourself because I want to get to know you all better as well!

Here goes nothing: 

1. I've got a hole in my left knuckle and sometimes (just for the lols) I go up to people and ask them if they 'want to feel my hole'.

2. I'm a Slytherine and proud. Gryffindor is overrated anyway.

3. I'm actually extremely spiritual and believe in totem animals that act as your spirit guides- originally a Native American idea. My totem animal is the Porcupine.

4. My favourite Disney film is The Little Mermaid because my childhood goal was to be a mermaid.

5. I'm desperate to learn another language but hated french lessons at school with a passion...

6. I have a massive fear of flying so haven't been on a plane for over 10 years which is a bit depressing really when I see all these bloggers jet setting around the globe and there me like 'Oh I'm just off the Cornwall for a week'

7. I'm a history buff and practically stalk the Royal family.

8. If I had a super power I would want to be able to control time, freeze it, rewind, fast forward...the lot. It just wouldn't go as tits up as the film Click!

9. I'm scared of rollercoaster, heights and being burgled. Every blow of the wind, click of the fridge I jump at. It's ridiculous!

10. My ultimate dream would be to have a room in my house that could act as one of those old fashioned libraries with books lining the walls and one of those brown chairs in the center. Ah imagine that eh?

11. I wouldn't let me friends and family read my blog even if they wanted to.

12. I've had a handful of fish, two beautiful guinea pigs and two cats.

13. I take my current cat, Toby, for walks (no lead or anything- he just trots along side you, enjoying life!)

14. I don't think I ever will get my ears pierced but I'd love a small tattoo.

15. I've eaten snails, ostrich and kangaroo. Kangaroo was the best!

16. I'm an absolute worry guts and nervous wreak most of the time.

17. I want to study to be a primary teacher since I just adore children- they're so much easier to get along with!

18. My spelling is pretty atrocious so thank fuck for spell check!

19. I have really long toes and like to joke that I could play with piano with them.

20. Singing in the shower feels amazing and is the pretty much the only thing I get out of bed for of a morning.

21. My favourite book is The Kite Runner while my favourite film is a toss up between Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Les Miserable and The Host.

22. Popcorn and chocolate together please my stomach.

23. There is nothing better than sitting in my garden on a summers day reading to my hearts content.

24. This song is the top of my 25 most played songs on my phone, while this is currently my jam!

25. I love little nic nac ornaments but they are a bloody pain the dust!

Your turn! 
Love Beth xx

10 Jul 2015

Custard + White Chocolate Biscuits

It may come as a surprise to you to find that after so many years spent baking in the kitchen, I have never actually made biscuits! I've iced pre-brought shop ones to sell at fairs and made out they were my own (we've all done it!) but never made some from scratch. You see my family's deep rooted love for cake means that when I do get around to baking they are constantly pestering me to make CAKE, MORE CAKE! And who can blame them? My cakes are amazing, if I do say so myself and that isn't arrogance you spy there lovelies. That is the truth! 

What it comes down to at the end of the day though is that when I find something I like I stick at it. Like glue. The cake recipes I have found and perfected by tweaking temperatures and ingredient quantities taste really good. And I guess I keep returning to them because I know people will like them and I'm confident that I wouldn't horribly burn them or add salt instead of sugar. Biscuits dough just isn't something I'm familiar with like I am with cake mixture- unless you count Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice cream that is! But it's never too late the push the boat out and give it a whirl. What's the worse that can happen? 

Surprisingly, the biscuits were super easy to make. The dough kind of feels like bread dough, expect much tastier, and they take only 15 minutes per batch to cook in the oven! The only problem I had with them was that I made the first tray of biscuits too big so they turned into cookies once out the oven. It really is astonishing for something without baking powder in it to expand THAT much in the heat. So learn from my mistakes people, walnut size balls. No bigger. 


140g butter
175g golden caster sugar 
225g self-raising flour
85g custard powder 
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract 
85g white chocolate chip 

-Pre-heat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4 and line 3 baking trays with baking parchment.

-Mix the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl with a whisk, to form a fluffy mixture. Then sift in to the flour and custard powder before adding the egg and vanilla extract. 

-Whisk until a soft, brown dough has formed- try not to eat half of it like I did. 

-Use to hands to gather and roll the dough into a ball, before working in the white chocolate chips. 

-Roll the dough into balls no bigger than a walnut because they will expand twice that size in the oven. Place them out on the baking tray, allowing for spreading, and use your thumb to flatten them out a bit. 

-Bake for 12-15 mins, be careful not burn them or they will be too hard to eat. 

-Remove, cool on a wire rack and enjoy! 

Love Beth xx

7 Jul 2015

8 Ways To Be Creative

For a while now I've had this feeling that there is a hole in my life. A big old empty hole that makes me kind of sad. I seem to do the same things every day, in the same way and at the same time. And it's bloody boring. I've only just realised that that hole was my need to be creative, to use my imagination more, to appreciate art and make something with my hands from scratch. I have been so busy that I didn't think about how wonderful it would be to get out a paintbrush and just paint like I did when I was a kid. You remember those days, right? The days when it was called 'finger painting' but should have been more like cake-your-hand-in-multi-coloured-paint-and-get-it-all-over-the-furniture? See art isn't just for hippies! 

Now that's good and all but most of us probably don't have the time to sit around painting, reminiscing about our past creativity and some people ,god forbid, cannot even list a single creative thing they have done. We could blame 21st century life where its not really classed as 'cool' to have colouring books piled up on your side table and shout 'I'm being creative, people' every minute or maybe it's just the fact that we don't know how to creative anymore because we are constantly preoccupied with other things. Well if the latter applies to you, then you are in luck because fancy that I've got another list coming up with easy ways you can be creative:

Paint By Numbers
Sometimes I find that it can be hard to actually think of something to paint even if you want to be creative. Struggling to draw something the right size so it fills up the space and getting frustrated that the drawing never comes out like you imagine it in your head. So that is where PBN comes in. The design is already there, ready and waiting, expect it leaves the fun part of painting to you! What a great idea right?

Nail Vanish 
I can just be a simple coat of  nail vanish to brighten up your day or intricate festive design like I did above for Christmas this year, but painting your nails is still a creative past time. And a fun one at that.

Colouring Books 
It's the art sensation that's sweeping the nation and shows no sign of stopping. Yes, colouring books are no longer considered a childish thing with the publish of intricately detailed 'adult' ones. I love nothing better than sitting down in the garden and letting my imagination go wild with this book.

Write it down
One of the best things about having a blog is that I can write about things that I am passionate about or that I just want to get out of my system and people will actually read it. If you don't have a blog why not start keeping a journal or diary or maybe you could even write a letter to someone. I mean when was the last time your received a handwritten letter, eh?

Do a spot of DIY
There are plenty of DIY projects floating about on the internet like these, so why not take inspiration from them and get busy at home. Try giving that wall a lick of paint or making some photo frames for those pictures rather than buying them from Boots. Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective.

Take pictures & make a photo album
Get outside, go somewhere and don't be embarrassed about being snap happy. Take pictures of everything and anything, then get them developed at a photo shop rather them storing them digitally on your phone or laptop. When I left school, I brought myself a beautiful photo album to keep all my pictures in that I had taken over the years. And even with all this technology we have now, nothing beats having a physical copy of a memory in your hands.

Read poetry aloud 
Poetry is not, as everything seems to think. for hippies and depressed people. It is a beautiful form of art and one that is meant to be read out loud and proud, to yourself or somebody who will listen. Even if you don't understand it, just let the words roll over you and you will never look at poetry in the same way again.

Bake something 
There's something about being able to follow a recipe, putting gloppy mixture in the oven and taking out a delicious home-made cake. All from a couple of ingredients you picked up in Tesco!

Love Beth xx

5 Jul 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

Ah July! I welcome you with open arms. Not only is July my favorite month because it's a certain somebody's birthday on the 31st *hint, hint* but it is the so called summer month. That means lots of hours spent sunbathing in the garden, BBQs and best of all...water fights! So far the weather has not disappointed, although with the jam packed week I've had, it's made it very difficult to be anything but lazy. My poor body is just not used to such heat but still it has struggled on this week and for good reason:

-6th form induction: It seems like an age ago now but Monday and Tuesday were the dates schedule on my calendar for a two day long taster session of 6th form life. And what a wonderful life it was! Hard work and complicated yes, but a lot more relaxed than what I've been used to. Plus there was the added bonus of being able to wear whatever the fuck I like...okay smart/office wear was what they said but still NO UNIFORM BABY!

-Prom: Then shortly after that on the Thursday was my school Prom. The last time everyone would all get together, celebrating the last five years of our lives with about a million photographs of us all, a two course meal that was pretty much as yuck as my first year at high school, a laugh out loud award ceremony then music and dancing until late into the night. I hated the whole getting ready bit because no one really wants to stare at themselves in a mirror for 3 hours while they get their hair and make up done, but once I arrived at my friend, Bethan's, house to pick up the limo, I couldn't contain my excitement. And her mum who is normally like 'You don't need boys and alcohol to have a good time' gave us a glass of wine and invited a group of male specimen into her house! A fab way to end a brilliant few years at school with my closest friends.

-Question Time: Why is sleeping on a rather uncomfortable futon with the most pathetic and thinnest excuse for a pillow in the middle of your friend's kitchen, so much better than sleeping at home? This was the question going through my head as I slept next to three of my best friends the evening after prom.

-Home is where the heart is: I love my little house. I love how you sink into my memory foam mattress at night. I love the sound the stairs make when you climb them. I love the cosyness of the sofa when you're watching TV. I love sitting in the garden and reading. I love having cuddles with Toby in his little cat basket. I love all the memories I have here. And I couldn't think of anywhere better to live.

-Rain: To quote Taylor Swift 'There's something about the way the street looks when it's just rain'  and it is true. It just looks magical and refreshing, which is what happened after the night time thunderstorm we had last night.

-Not being a John Green virgin anymore: My first book, as with most people. was The Fault In Our Stars, my second was Paper Towns and now I've just finished Will Grayson,Will Grayson which was my fav out of the three. Expect a review soon!

So fill me in your week,
Love Beth xx

4 Jul 2015

Book Log 2015 | July

We are now roughly half way through the year and that means it's time for an update on my Book Log that I started keeping at the beginning of this year to record and remember the books I've read. It started out as more of a project, but has now officially become embedded in my life. You cannot imagine my childish excitement at completing a book and filling in the Book Log detailing my read. It really is great fun to see the pages being filled and looking back over at the ones I read months ago. Obviously my reading progress has been slowed down by GCSEs but I now have the rest of the summer to fill up the pages and cannot wait to see what will grace the paper soon.

Here's a quick look at what I've had my nose in for the past six months: 

Walking Home by Clare Balding
A story of how Britains best loved broadcaster made it onto our radios with her successful Radio 4 show Ramblings in which saw her catch the walking bug. She 15 years later she has since covered 15 hundreds miles of footpaths, tackled apocalyptic thunderstorms, met and listen to the stories of some very interesting people and was one of the lucky few to run the Olympic torch through her home town of Newbury. This is her adventure. 

I absolutely adored this book because not only am I a big fan of Clare's work but the amazing stories that she shares about her walks just made me instantly want to pull on my hiking boots and climb up a mountain. If you're looking for a fun filled, laugh out loud adventure then this book is most definitely for you! 

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson 
When his son Rowan is diagnosed with autism, Rupert and his wife don't know how they can carry on with a child sinking into isolation and barley able to communicate. That is until when one day when Rowan escapes into a horses field and begins to talk. This kick starts the epic horseback journey to Mongolia in the hope that the spiritual home of the horse can help heal Rupert's son and reunite the family back together once more

This was a truly beautiful and moving account which I previously review here.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
This thrilling squeal to the best seller Divergent is based around Tris learning to accept her future without the support of her friends and family after the brutal attack on their home. She overcome with grief and guilt but must be stronger than ever before as the truth begins to unfold about her world.

This book was probably the one I liked the least out of the three in the trilogy but is still well worth the read. I previously reviewed it here as well as the two other books in the series which has now become a firm favourite on my book shelf. 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Set in deep south America during 1930s where racism and prejudism are everyday occurrences, this classic book tells a story through young Scout Finch's eyes about the trail of a black man charged with the rape of a white girl and her father's relentless task of trying to prove him not guilty in the courts.

This is one of the only classic books which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. It is so interesting to read a book set in a time that seems so alien from today's society. How it was once acceptable for people to be treated like dirt just because the colour of their skin and how bias the legal system really was. An emotional roller coaster, youthful and eye opening story from one of the most talented writers this industry has ever seen.

The C-Word by Lisa Lynch 
When Lisa was first  diagnosed with breast cancer, she was overcome by fear and the unknown. But she quickly turned to her Mac and started blogging about the sheer inconvenience and life changing experience of getting cancer at only 28 years old. No detail is too small or insignificant to write about in this brutally honest and humorous true story.  

This book changed my whole outlook on the cruel world of Cancer and is a must read. You can find out more about what I thought when I previously reviewed it here. This review is also currently one of my most viewed posts ever!

Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So one day when she climbs through his window and invites him on an all-night car adventure, it seems that all his wildest dreams have come true. But the next day she vanishes without a trace, it seems. That is until Q realises that she has in fact left a trail of breadcrumbs and they are for him. 

This is the second John Green book I have read and I can say that I have well and truly fallen in love with his writing. This book is so beautiful and is all about the fact that society and the media has now become so powerful that it has the ability to fold and change people like paper so they are no long individuals but just those cut-out paper people holding hands. Margo is different and I suppose that's what Q attracted to. And the clues that are left are so original and imaginative that you are instantly drawn in. An interesting and fun packed book that you won't be able to put down.

No Rest For The Wicked by Dane Cobain* 
Father Montgomery, an priest with a secret past, begins to investigate after his parishioners come under attack from the Angels. They are naked and terrifying sci-fi creatures that speak in dreadful harmony and whose only task is to rid the world of sin, one person at a time. When Montgomery's friend Jones is attacked, the old priest knows he has to act fast. He speaks to the Angels and organises a final showdown where he makes the ultimate sacrifice. 

I was sent No Rest For The Wicked* to review by the lovely Dane and I'll be honest when I say that this isn't the type of book that I would normally pick to read. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually quite enjoyed it although I would not recommend reading it at night as the Angles frankly terrified me. I love how the chapters kept flicking backwards and forwards to past as you got to learn more about the characters back story, but think some of those stories could have been developed further a little in order to thicken the plot. Yet it was still a truly thrilling book to read by an equally thrilling author.

Noughts And Crosses by Malorie Blackman 
Sephy is a Cross- a member of the dark skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought- a 'colourless' member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since as long as they could remember but out the blue a romance starts to build between the two. But will it ever work in a world full of racism and terrorism? Or will the personal sacrifices be too high?

This book, written in a very interesting parallel world, is one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long while and really makes you see are pathetic it is to single out a group of people just bases on their appearances. The plot is action packed and emotional with lots of twists and turns. I cried on several occasions and that just proves to me what a brilliant read this really was. I dare anyone to thumb through it and not come out the other side with a different perspective of the world.

What have you been reading so far this year?
Love Beth xx

Some of these products may have been sent for review. Please see my disclaimer to find out more. 

1 Jul 2015

8 Things To Do When It's Hot

Hi all. Guess what? I'm sweating like a pig. And it is disgusting! At the moment my trusty BBC weather app is telling me that it is 31 degrees (although it seems much warmer) which is hotter than Spain and Mexico. I've got all the windows in the house open, the tiniest pair of shorts on that you ever did see and multiple fans blowing at me. Yet I still feel like death. Unfortunately my born and breed English body just cannot deal with this temperature and all I want to do this sleep but my bedroom is like a oven right now. Even sitting in the shade causes beads of sweats to start popping up on my forehead. It really is a 'mare!

I know people always complain about English weather and after a while it probably gets quite annoying. Yet we have a reason to moan because the Weather God really cannot make up his bloody mind! One minute it's raining, the next there is enough wind to class it as a hurricane and soon enough the sun starts beaming down, burning all the poor pale people like me. For the PPP, summer is a bit of a pain in the backside. Why is the weather just not ever nice? Why does it have to Arctic weather in the winter and Sahara desert worthy sunshine in summer? And then even when it is boiling hot PPP never tan like everyone else in the world seems to...we just burn. Burn a horrible, painful red colour that flakes and peels all over the show. Why can't we be living in the Georgian period when it was considered fashionable to be pale? If only...

Last night it was incredibly difficult to fall asleep in such a stuffy room and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. So here a few tips I've picked up over the years about the best ways to keep cool in the sweltering heat of summer:

-Run the inside of wrists under a cold tap for a quick fix, as there is a main archery there that carries blood around your body and will instantly cool the blood down.

-Put a bowl of ice cool water in front of a fan and this will create your own air conditioning machine for half the price. 

-Rather than taking a hot water bottle to bed, fill the bottle with ice water to keep your cool at night.

-Keep blinds and curtain drawn in the house otherwise the sun will quickly turn your bedroom into an oven as it did with mine. 

-Take a cold shower or bath before bed to regulate body temperature.

-Drinks lots and lots and lots of water. Your body will thank you for it. 

-Have fun in the kitchen and make some of these amazing ice and frozen yogurt lollies to munch on when it gets hot.

-Ditch your duvet at night and just sleep under the sheet. Its much lighter and cooler.

Got any more tips? Let me know before I fry to death please,
Love Beth xx

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