31 Aug 2015

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!


Hi world, long time no see!

I can only apologize about this series being absent from In The Clouds for so long. This is the first week that I have really been blogging religiously since the National Citizen Service had taken up the last three weeks. But now Beth is well and truly back.

Promise!

This week has been one of those weeks where I didn't know if I was coming or going half the time. The weather's been absolutely terrible and just makes you want to curl up on the sofa under a big cozy blanket doing nothing. My dad's been rushing backwards and forwards to Yorkshire trying to sort out funeral arrangements for his aunt, on top of  the fact that my brother has dislocated his knee (with side effects that include moaning, grumpiness, loss of his sense of humor and just general winging) has meant me being forced to stay indoors most of the week. Now all the days just seem the same to the point where on Thursday I convinced myself it was actually Saturday, meaning it was time to sit down and watch the long awaited return of The X Factor only to find some weird antique programme on in it's place!

Anyway despite everything, some things did manage to put a smile on my face :

-A visit from down under: Even after my great aunt passing away and how upset my Australian uncle was, I was not for the life of me expecting a phone call from him to say that he was just about to board a plane to England that very moment! The next thing we knew we were picked him from the airport having not seen him for three whole years. It made for a interesting weeks that's for sure.

-Getting the girls together: Now that everyone is going their own way, whether that be 6th form or college, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get us all together ie that there was not a single day in the past four weeks that we could all do!

So on Tuesday, after many a text sent backwards and forwards ,we finally got to meet up for my belated birthday meal. A whopping three burgers, a plate full of chips and one blueberry Eton Mess later, we were buried under duvets watching Netflix together. You couldn't have asked for a better day!

-Lols with Tom Cox: At the moment I currently obsessed with a certain Mr Cox's books. Not only does he own two blogs (here and here) and write very funny books, but the subject matter is his seven very charismatic cats! And I'm a sucker for cats and books that are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud in under 2.5 seconds flat.

-Plum & almond tray bake: With the whole blogosphere chatting about The Great British Bake Off (because duh who doesn't love cakes!) I decided to get to work in the kitchen once more and whip up a treat. I found this yummy recipe online and was extremely pleased with the result. I even got a thumbs up from Toby who sat and hoovered up the crumbs I dropped on the floor like a dog!

-Etsy buys: This week I finally gave in to the call of Etsy (and it has been calling me A LOT!) by buying four amazing vintage prints from Kayley's shop, having Instagram stalked her for months...although I probably shouldn't admit to that! I just couldn't resist the purchase and now I finally feel like a proper blogger. Plus an inspiration quote or two in the house never hurts anybody, does it?

-This posts: All week I've been preaching about appreciating things and spending more time doing what you love. This post that I came across on Hannah's blog echos exactly that and more!


So let's catch up. How was your week?
Love Beth xx

28 Aug 2015

Top 6 Places To Visit In England

I'll admit that however amazing and Instagram worthy travelling sounds (and looks!), I'm not big on the whole thing. I'd love to be the type of person who could spontaneously book a flight to some exotic island on the other side of the world but a) I have a MAHOOSIVE fear of flying b) I'm not a spontaneous person at all and c) I don't think my wallet would stretch that far! 

So consequently, I have found many a holiday spent here in England. Obviously, when you think of England most people will probably think of wet weather, afternoon tea and the Queen. And I know for most people that doesn't sound much like a holiday destination that everyone would be flocking to at the drop of a hat. But trust me, having lived in England all my life, I know there is so much more to this country than meets the eye. Yes, we may all apologies more often than we should and yes, the kettle is almost always boiling away, but English people know how to have a good time and the best places to go to make those times happen.

Having not been abroad for over 10 years, I have built up a very reliable travel catalog of some of the best and most beautiful places to visit in England. And I will warn you now that after reading this you may soon be cancelling your flight to Spain and booking a cosy cottage in the middle of no where because obvs your social media accounts need some snaps of trees and countryside, like now: 


Becky Falls, Devon: One of my absolute favourite places to visit is the iconic Becky Falls, voted as The Top Beauty Spot In Devon. We went on a short break there last summer and I was blown away by the place. The way that one minute you are walking along a busy main road and the next you are in stunning forest that looks as though it has come straight out of a fairy tale book. You could literally spend the day there walking through forest that has not changed since it was first open to the public in 1903, climb to the very top of the beautiful waterfall after completing the bolder clamber and finish your visit with a well earned trip to the cafe- FYI get the Victoria Sponge,it is to die for! There is just something so magical about this place and every time I look at the pictures from our visit I just want to go back and explore some more!


North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire: I spent much of childhood running across these very moors, where nature has really and truly taken over and transformed the landscape into a place of outstanding natural beauty. Shaped over generations, the moors are peaceful, rich with history and welcoming to all who visit. There is nothing quite like taking a drive through the tangles of county roads, climbing up the hills and catching sight of the wild sheep that roam free.

Source
Alum Bay, Isle Of Wight: A few years ago we drove down to the Isle Of Wright and was welcomed with such sunshine and heat that you could have mistaken it for a Caribbean island. No lie, I actually got a tan and that does not happen often! Is it any surprise then that we spent most of the time there sunbathing on beautiful Alum Bay? It is a very popular destination for visitors to the Isle Of Wight and is a small bay covered in stones, flanked by multi-coloured sweeping sand cliffs. After taking a dip in the water, we sat and enjoyed the view of the famous Needles rock formation that the Isle is so well known for. Very Instagram worthy indeed!

Source
Stonehenge, Wiltshire: This prehistoric monument and one of the wonders of the world, has been standing in the middle of no where for millions and millions of years. Even today people are still unsure about it's purpose but the fact remains that it is truly a place of mystery and magic so no wonder people will come from miles around just to see the amazing architecture and walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors. For a history buff like myself it was a once in a life time chance to see it and I was totally blown away by the hugeness of those stones! I mean how is something like that even possible?


Brownsea Island, Dorset: This beautiful island can only be accessed by boat and is the largest of the islands surrounded Poole Harbour in Dorset. It is owned by the National Trust so as you can imagine Brownsea has some wonderful natural habitats that create a haven for all kinds of wildlife like the very rare red squirrel, kingfishers and lots of peacocks. It really does make for the most perfect family outing if you are ever in that area!


Tower of London, London: For years I have been walking past this fortress in the heart of London and always wanted to go inside to discover over 1000 years of British history. When I finally did get my hands on some tickets I was flipping ecstatic! From enjoying the spectacular display of the Crown Jewels and some of the most priceless pieces of jewelry in the world to seeing replicas of terrifying torture instruments and the Scaffold Site where the great names of history died, it was a heck of a day! Why you are at you can even take a quick look around London at the same time.

____

So as you can see I'm not completely mad. England is actually a wonderful country full of a number of places of outstanding natural beauty, history and wildlife that you won't see anywhere else. Okay, the weather might be a bit crappy sometimes and we don't have anything near as beautiful as the Taj Mahal, but there are some flippin' nice places right here on our very doorstep too. 

So please don't get sucked into the beautiful holiday snaps you see on some blogger's feeds. They aren't always as perfect as you think- filters can hide a multitude of sins! Yes it may be nice to  jet off to Marbella or Turkey for two weeks in the summer, but there are plenty of adventures and Instagram worthy snaps to be taken right here in the UK for half the frickin' price.

You can't really argue with that now can you? 


What are you favorite places to visit in England?
Love Beth xx

26 Aug 2015

Why You Should Appreciate Everything


Not many things in this world annoy me, but the one thing that does is people who take things for granted. People who don't appreciate anything and expect everything. We are so lucky that we are able to say "tomorrow I'm doing this" and "next year I'm doing this" because for a lot of people this isn't a possibility. They are constantly living on the edge, wondering about whats going to happen the next day and the day after that.

Just look at Katie for example, a seventeen year old girl who battle with Cystic Fibrosis I have been following for the past few months. Despite receiving a lung transplant two years ago, she sadly passed away on Sunday 23rd August just short of meeting her idol Zoella. And as heart wrenching as this story is, it just goes to show how precious each and every day of our lives are and how unpredictable life can be.  

Just last week not only did my brother end up being rushed to the hospital in back of an ambulance after dislocating his knee, but on Tuesday (18th August) we received the dreadful news that my great aunt had passed away.

It was one of those moments where time seems to stand still and you can't really take in what you are being told. Are you sure? Really sure? But how...? It was just one big unexpected shock that nobody could have seen coming. 

Since my dad was a child she had been like a second mum to him, dotting on him like he was her very own. She was always the glamorous one of the family too, with long nails always freshly painted and wafted around the house on a cloud of flowery perfume fumes. But now that house is empty.

Life eh?

One minute you are arriving home from an eventful day at NCS and the next your family living on the other side of the world in Australia are jetting over to England for a funeral. So why suffer over seventeen hours stuck in economy when they could just send flowers and a condolence card? Because they are family and no matter where they are in the world there will always be love. Sometimes we can get so sucked up in the world and all it's technological beauty that we forget to appreciate everything and everyone around us. It's especially important to cherish our friends and our family- to me they are everything. My world revolves around them and I couldn't imagine life without them.

But one day the inevitable will happen...it's happening now. We have to spend as much time with our loved ones now as possible. Their love is unconditional and love like that should never be wasted. So go wild, be free, do whatever the fuck makes you heart happy and your head dizzy because tomorrow is no given prospect and today is not yet over.

Seize every sing god damn moment with them because somebody (don't ask me who!) once said that you don't appreciate anything until it's gone. For me that was true, but I really hope it won't be for you.
_____

Sorry for writing such a long post, but I just felt it was something I needed to address. I couldn't let Katie or my aunt go without marking their life. Also when Katie was alive she set up a Facebook page to encourage people to sign up to the organ donor list after a double lung transplant prolonged her life. I just wanted to spread the word really as there is a drastic shortage of organs at the moment and wondered if any of you would or have signed up already?

Love Beth xx




24 Aug 2015

Go Set A Watchman | Harper Lee


You know when a new book is about to be published and you literally sit there all day like an over excited Labrador puppy googling article upon article about it and sneak peak extracts? Yeah, well that was me the week before Go Set A Watchman was published. You'd have thought I'd suddenly  received my letter from Hogwarts that had mysteriously got lost in the post for the past three years or something!

Instead it was the excitement at the prospect of finally, after fifty five years, having more words from Harper Lee and a chance to find out what really happened to all those wonderful characters once I closed the last page of To Kill A Mockingbird.

This book is set twenty years after the events of TKAMB, showing a much maturer Jean Louise Finch as she returns home to Southern American from the hustle and bustle of New York to visit her elderly father. But she gets a lot more than she bargained for as she soon learns how much her beloved hometown and close-knit family has changed, for the world keeps turnings no matter where you are in it. The book beautifully captures the painful transition of growing up and accepting that ones childhood is well and truly over.


Now, there was a lot of controversy surrounding this novel about the 88-year-olds health and the extent to which she was actually involved in publishing this book having written it as a first draft many years ago. But looking past that it did served as a very insightful companion, added a whole new meaning to TKAMB.

However, as much as I loved experiencing a different era of American history and being able to read about more adventures that Scout, Jem and Dill got up to that weren't mentioned in the other book, I did very much miss the first person narration as I think that was one of the reasons why To Kill A Mockingbird was such a hit. I'm still kind of recovering from the disturbing truths we learnt, including that sentence on page 13 which broke my heart and the discovery in Chapter eight which basically turns everything we ever thought we knew about Atticus upside down!

Overall this is a good book- I mean how could it not be if the Harper Lee had written it- and I think it is there to show that nobody can stay young forever and that sometime we all have to grow up, whether we like it or not. People need to stop thinking of Go Set A Watchman as a sequel but rather a rough first draft of a classic that was rightfully rejected by the publishers.

A real good read for Lee fans but nothing will come close to the brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird!

Now onto the next book,
Love Beth xx




22 Aug 2015

Week One Of The National Citizen Service




No matter how much time I spend sitting here writing this post it will never do my NCS experience justice. The pictures won't show you quite how happy I was or the I-am-about-to-pee-myself-with-laughter jokes we had and the words won't show how much I've grown as a person and the things I learnt about myself. But such is life!

I'm not going to lie, before I saw the adverts on TV for the National Citizen Service I had never heard of it before. But basically it is a government funded programme for 15-17 year olds living in England and Northern Ireland where you get the chance to spent 3 or 4 weeks away from home, meeting new people, conquering fears, increasing your independence and learning skills that they don't teach you at school. It's about showing yourself how amazing you really are and that you can achieve anything you put your mind too.

It's not easy- at times it's bloody difficult. You are expected to push yourself and do things you never thought you were capable of before. Climbing across bridges and tightropes suspended in the trees 30ft above the ground anyone? You are put into a group of 12-15 strangers that you have never laid eyes on before and expected to work together as a team. You have to eat with them, sleep with them and socialize with them. And you cannot complain once!

 My two friends, Bethan and Meriel, and I opted for the three week summer programme starting the 3rd August and before we knew it the day was upon us. Cue mad last minute packing and constant thought of  'have I forgotten anything?' as the butterflies whizzed around my stomach left, right and center until I thought I was going to throw up.

Can you tell that I don't deal well with nerves?

Anyway, Week One is all about getting comfortable with the people in your group and pushing yourself out of that little cozy comfort zone that we are all know and love. Our group went to the Essex Outdoors Center and stayed on campus there for five days, taking part in adventure sport like archery, rock climbing and canoeing by day and sleeping in tents at night...yes tents! Why did it have to be tents?

Lets just say my previous camping experience did not end well...

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did I last the whole five days without becoming a big fat emotional wreak but I actually enjoyed myself. Not many people get the chance to spend 24 hours, everyday for five days surrounded by a bunch of amazing people. Bethan, Meriel, Alice, Stevie and Michael become my everything for that short period of time. They saw me first thing in the morning and last thing at night, watched me wear the same top that I wore the night before (and the night before that!) to go rocking climbing in, comforted me when I was thinking of throwing in the towel because the idea of spending another night in that freezing cold, spider ridden uncomfortable tent was unthinkable, motivated me to do the horrendous activities that involved heights since me and heights really don't get on and laughed so hard with me when we stayed up half the time drinking tea and playing cards in the pitch black. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart!


The funny thing was that for the whole time I was there I didn't wear an inch of make up (not even mascara which has become a bit of a necessity when you have midget eyes like mine), smelt a bit sweaty, didn't straighten my hair once, discussed my toilet activities in broad daylight with a bunch of strangers and you know what...I didn't give a shit. For the first time in as long as I can remember how I looked was the last thing on my mind. And it felt amazing! I realize now I spent far too much time before worrying about how my hair looked, if this dress made my bum looks big and whether you could see that spot I tried for an hour to cover up. Who cares people! There are more important things, like making memories at NCS that will last a lifetime!

I got back from Week One late Friday afternoon (7th August) covering in painful cuts and bruises and stinking of pond water from where our canoe capsized. If you know me you would probably think that this was my worse nightmare and in someways it was, I mean communal shower? But somehow or another I find myself sitting here and longing to go back to that first week. Yes, the food may not have been great but at least they didn't starve us. Yes, the tents may have been freezing cold at night but I survived. And yes, I'm really bad at meeting new people but I did it and got to know some really lovely people.

I have to end this by saying a massive big thank you to my beautiful ginger friend Meriel who spent no less than three hours on the phone to me one evening, trying to encouraging me to sign up to do the National Citizen Service. I would not be writing this post had it not been for her very persuasive speech!


And NCS, thank you for everything. You made me feel amazing and showed me that you are never too old to get out there and do something new. I'm sorry for moaning about pretty much everything and I'm sorry for shouting at quite a few of the instructors to 'GET ME THE HELL DOWN NOW!' when I was doing the climbing wall. I did truly think I was about to die, not lie. Also you made me really appreciate my vision since attempting to do a military style obstacle course
blindfolded was not much fun!

So of course I would recommend this programme to anyone and everyone- shout it from the rooftops if I have too. If you are between the ages of fifteen and seventeen you better sign up NOW! It was an amazing experience that money really can't buy...yet it did. All £20 of it!

Who doesn't love a good bargain eh?

Love Beth xx

21 Aug 2015

Update | GCSE Results


At around 9:30am yesterday morning I was running through the school gates, arm in arm with three of my best friends for moral support, just eager to get my hands on that envelop containing my long awaited GCSE results. It felt like everything was moving in painfully slow motion as I was handed the letter and tore open the top, fumbling around inside to pull out a piece of paper that would make or break me. The drama was real people!

For the past two months, before that moment, I lost count of the amount of times people had asked me how I thought those eighteen exams had gone and my reply in all honesty was always 'I don't really know' since I had spent the majority of the exams panicking that I only had five minutes left to complete ten whole stinking pages of questions or attempting to de-cramp my poor pencil mutilated hands.

However as it turns out all those months spent bent over my desk, studying text books and badly written colour coded notes actually paid off. That little piece of paper in my hand was telling me that I had passed all twelve GCSEs, achieving 1 A*, 5A, 4B and 2C. As I left with those results firmly clutched in my hand to treat myself to a Starbucks and slice of cake, I couldn't help doing a little jig. Yes, I may not have achieved the best grades in the year but I passed every single exam and reached the individual subject requirements to study them at A level! So basically I am one happy bunny right now and currently digging into a box of celebratory chocolates. Who knew being a geek could be so rewarding?


You lot have had to listen to quite a lot of my GCSE related stress here and obviously my studies and recent National Citizen Service programme which I took part in, has meant lots of time spent away from blogging and the internet altogether, leading to an increase in lovely guest posts which you can view here. And I can only thank you, my friends and family for being so supportive of me and my attempt to carve a path for myself in this world which is no easy task, believe me.

Currently I'm in the process of letting the fact that I actually passed maths- like really passed it- sink in as I finally unpack my suitcase, download the pictures I took and collect my thoughts enough to write a blog post about my NCS experience now that it is over. Those three weeks that I spent away from home seemed to whiz by and now I'm a big, fat emotional wreak about the fact that it's finish for good. It will be nice to find some time to sit down and write about it at the weekend, that's if the phone ever stops ringing with the constant stream of 'Congratulations' and 'Thanks a lot, I had a £10 bet on that you would fail everything!'

Ah, aren't family just the best? 
Love Beth xx





16 Aug 2015

Guest Post: Being Independent

How are you all? At the moment I have just finished my 2nd residential week of NCS and am moving onto a week of planning and carrying out a community project to enrich the lives of the locals where I live. Exciting stuff! Over in blog world, this is the very last guest post I have for you all and I do really hope you enjoyed the ones I have shared. It's the first time I have allowed so many other bloggers to share this space with me and will definitely do it again in a heartbeat. Today's post was specially written by Aria from Girl in a Whimsical Land to tie in with the posts I sometimes write about being a teenager. And it is a very good post at that: 


I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager the one thing I craved the most (apart from an iPod) was independence. I always craved more of it, always wanting to believe that I could do everything and hating my parents for nagging me all the time. Now that I look back on it, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to handle the life that I wanted so much. That being said, if I had to go back in time and make my younger self seem more in control of her life, there are several things I would tell her to do.

If you’re someone who has really high expectations of yourself and feel like there are other people always affecting your decisions, this might help you. I’ve put together a few simple things that make me feel like I can fight the world on my own, when in reality I probably can’t. What matters is the way it makes me feel at the end of it because everyone craves to be happy more than anything else in life.

Learn to drive.
If you’ve reached the legal age in your country, definitely learn to drive. Do not put it off for later like I did. Nothing can empower you more than driving. Knowing that you have ultimate control over a vehicle will have a positive impact on your self-esteem, especially if you tend to doubt yourself a lot.

You might be reading this and thinking “Driving? Really? That’s what you’re going with?” But have you ever felt like you need to get away without really knowing how to do that? Getting in a car and driving around aimlessly can fix that feeling. You can go places without going too far. For now.
That being said, always drive responsibly. If you come to love driving, this will come automatically. You’ll watch out for your friends who will be riding with you and at the end of a night out and feel more accomplished than any exam has ever made you feel.

Organize an Event
I don’t mean a large scale event with a hundred sponsors. That’ll happen in time. Planning something on a much smaller level like a birthday party for a friend or a dinner party takes just as much effort as planning something on a much larger scale. Planning the whole thing by yourself and dealing with a lot of last minute problems and still managing to pull off a successful get-together is a feeling that is unparalleled! Not to mention all the compliments you’ll receive!

Do your own laundry!
Seems a bit lame to include this here but I had to! I never did my own laundry growing up. I always relied on my mom for clean clothes and I’d always complain about never being able to wear my favourite top when I really wanted to wear it. All that changed one weekend when my parents were out of town and desperation drove me to figure out how exactly the washing machine worked.
Laundry is by far the most boring chore in my books, but I never have to worry about having clean clothes to wear. Going with the whole “Look good, feel good” outlook on life, you’ll never have a bad day if you’re dressed to the nines and the only way you can ensure that you do so, is by handling your own washing. Also, knowing that you can handle simple everyday chores that you otherwise might ignore can definitely make you feel like you can do anything on your own and not have to depend on anyone else.

Be responsible.
The way I see it, responsibility and independence go hand in hand. You can’t expect to be given an unlimited amount of freedom and do whatever you please. You have to have the mentality to be able to face the consequences of your actions. Everyone wants to be reckless, bold and daring but they rarely ever think about the reactions caused by their actions. My tip is to have fun but not to go overboard. Know where to draw the line and think of the repercussions of your actions and words. It isn’t very mature to get into petty fights or to harm someone out of foolishness, whether physically or emotionally.

Try Something New
Always keep yourself active. Try new things all the time, never be opposed to learning. Knowing more makes you smarter and more open to a lot of information. If nothing else, it’ll help you meet more people and networking is super important in the present day and age. Never give up on an opportunity and don’t think so much that you miss it or talk yourself out of it. Everything you do now will help you get to where you want to be so never sacrifice your priorities.

These are my five quick tips to making you feel more independent. Actually achieving it takes time and patience and I hope that you achieve all that you want someday. If you have anything to add, do let me know!

You can find get more of Aria on:


12 Aug 2015

Guest Post: What I Eat In A Day Veggie Style!

For long time now I have considered becoming a vegetarian as a few of my friends have done the same and are forever singing the praises of this type of lifestyle. I mean just look at the list of benefits! I am a massive animal lover and have heard some absolutely awful stories about what goes on in slaughter houses and on farms just so we can have a bacon sandwich for breakfast. At home I'm trying to cut down on meat but I haven't been able to completely eradicate it from my diet as I just don't know what to substitute it with! So this is where the lovely Rebecca from Waves Of Thoughts  comes in. She is a proper veggie and has kindly offered to show us what she eats in a day:

Hi all! Thanks so much for stopping by today. My name is Rebecca and here is what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner today. 


I started the day with a bowl of Yeo Valley vanilla yoghurt topped with fresh strawberries and passion fruit. I had a glass of orange juice and latte with it.



For lunch I had a halloumi and mushroom salad. I microwaved the halloumi and mushroom (although they are nicer fried off) and put them over a bed of lettuce and pepper. To finish it off, I poured French dressing over the top. It was delicious!


For dinner as a special occasion my family and I went out for a meal, at a place called the Rivo Lounge. I had a falafel burger a great substitute for meat as it just made up of grounded chickpeas and fava beans. This burger was served with chips, coleslaw and a piece of halloumi. I had a glass of diet coke with it.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! Are you veggie too or have you have ever considered it like Beth, let me know? 

You can find more of Rebecca on:


10 Aug 2015

Guest Post: Blogging Motivation

Is it just me or at the moment does there seems to be an astonishing amount of bloggers who are writing advice posts? How to get more traffic, how to best use social media, how to be a successful blogger...the list is endless. But I kind of like the fact that we are all trying to reach out and help other bloggers in the way we know best. By writing it down! So to add another lovely advice post to the list we have already is Jennie from Jennifer Lanigan. Amazingly she has only been writing her blog for a few months. but as you can probably see her way with words is gorgeous and the advice she has shared is extremely helpful:  




Everyone blogs for one reason or another. Some people strive to make it their full time job and work hard for it. while others do it simply for a hobby and post at their own pace. So for whatever reason you write your blog, here are some motivational tips for getting back  to writing after a couple of days off or if you hit the dreaded 'bloggers block': 

1Create Habits
Choose a certain night of the week that you will blog. It can be as long as you want and where ever you want. Create a ritual for yourself and make sure you have your favorite drink or food with you to keep you comfortable. We all love a bit of treatment every now and again so why not do a face mask every time you write?

2. Comfort
Everyone loves a bit of comfort in their life. Go somewhere in your house, outside or to a public place and get comfortable. Let the surroundings inspire your brilliant thoughts! Let the fingers do the typing and the mind wander. I find that words and sentences come to me best when I’m relaxed so get comfortable and get writing.

3.  Read other blogs
Go back to the blogs that inspired you a few years, months or days ago. Going back to what once made you start blogging will give you that motivation to continue doing what you love most. All bloggers have one thing in common and that is the love of writing and reading. Looking at other people’s posts and their style of writing will inspire you and get you back on top of your game in no time.

4.Start again
Go back to the very start of your blog. Can you see how far you have come? What has changed? Your style? Content? Topics? When you first began blogging you probably didn’t have much traffic, you still might not. Don’t let that stop you from writing. It is your little part of the internet that you can say and write whatever you want. You may have gone from being a beauty blogger at the start to a travel blogger now. Let all your knowledge and mistakes help you create good content and enjoy what you talk about.

I hope this helped anyone with writers block or if you are just simply getting back into blogging after a well-deserved break. 

My name is Jennie and I hope you enjoyed this post xx

You can follow her on:
Bloglovin'
Twitter 

6 Aug 2015

Guest Post: How To Be A Successful Blogger In 4 Steps!

Hi all! I really hope you are enjoying the lovely guest bloggers on In The Clouds recently. I've spoken to people in the past who don't really like the idea of allowing other bloggers to write on their website, while I on the other hand just adore it. It's a brilliant way to meet new people and expose your own readers to some new blogs that they might not have ever come across before. Maybe these lovely ladies just might become your new favorite blogger, who knows? If you haven't already seen the other posts you can find them here and here. Today we have Jenn from What You Make It , a beautiful blog about belief, love, style and life- with a little one. Take it away Jenn:

mom style



It's great to be here on In The Clouds today! Thanks, Beth, for letting me visit. 

So blogging eh? Getting established and growing a blog has become serious work! It's been about four years since I started blogging, and most of that time has been about figuring out what to do along the way. So many people are looking for advice, and while I'm far from successful, I have learned a few tips (one for every year I've blogged) that will propel you forward if you're just starting out, or if you're stuck in place. 

Get personal: As much as people love a good "how-to" post or recipe, readers really want to know the person behind the blog. For so long, I tried to get away without including many pictures of myself, or personal stories about my life, because I was afraid to put myself out there. Don't get me wrong - you don't want to give out too much info about yourself online. But people don't want to read a blog without a face. 

 Invest a little: I did not want to spend any money as a blogger, and technically, you don't really have to. But if you can invest a little, it will make a huge difference. Buying a domain, for example (instead of .blogspot or .wordpress.com), makes you look more professional, and you can get a good deal on that (look for coupon codes). There are also lots of great places to buy pretty blog designs without spending a lot, like Etsy. 

Join blogger groups: It's as simple as searching for "blogger groups" on Facebook, or look up blog communities your favorite blogger is associated with. Find groups to join to get involved in a community. This is a place where you can get and give tips, and introduce yourself to others, as well as meet new friends. 

Work well with others: When growing your blog, you want others to comment, follow, and share, right? If you want to get promoted, promote others! Read and engage in other people's blog posts. Share ones you enjoy on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow blogs you like. Keeping to yourself in the blogosphere doesn't really get you anywhere.
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Looking for anymore tips? Check out the Things I wish I'd done sooner as a blogger and please come visit me soon! Thanks again, Beth. 

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3 Aug 2015

Guest Post: July Playlist!

Today I am all packed and off on my first week of NCS. I don't really know what to expect from the adventure packed 5 days and all I can hope is that I have a bloody good time and that it doesn't rain. Sleeping a soggy tent doesn't sound like much fun! So to keep you all entertain I have another treat for you as this second guest post comes courtesy of Olivia from Boho and Brownies. Olivia and I met during a twitter chat a months ago and we bonded over the terror of exams and teenage life like only 16 year olds can! She has kindly offered to create a fab summer playlist for us to dance the night away to. If you missed the first guest post you can find it here. But without further ado, over to you Liv: 

Hi there, I'm really excited to do this guest post for Beth and I thought, as summer is really kicking in (although you wouldn't have guessed by this weather...damn you Britain!) I would put together a playlist of my favourite summer tunes at the moment. There's a real range of songs here so I hope you discover something new: 








The first song, Blue by Marina and the Diamonds, is a personal favourite of mine because the music video was filmed at an amusement park, Dreamland in Margate, which is very local to me and she did a show there which I went to for my birthday. She was amazing- I've never known of an artist who can sing better live than in the studio! I adore this music video; the different looks fit beautifully together and I love the aesthetic, it's so summery and colourful!

A band I've really been getting into recently is Sticky Fingers, an Australian indie band with two albums, Land of Pleasure and Caress Your Soul. They're pretty unusual but I love to play the albums when I'm revising; their songs really calm me down and they're so chilled out so I would definitely recommend! The song included, Land of Pleasure is one of their first and it's got such a funky tune, perfect for summer and relaxing.



I love the retro style of Money on You; I discovered it as it's the theme tune to Fashion Bloggers, an Australian TV show which I love. You can find some episodes on YouTube but unfortunately they can't upload anymore due to copyright reasons. This song is just so classy and I can seriously imagine it being played at a runway show.



The last song I want to talk about is Can't Stop Playing (Makes Me High), not usually something I would go for but it's definitely a party anthem and gets me in the summer mood. When I went to work experience they played this song a lot whilst we worked and I'm glad I finally found it!



Well I hope you maybe have discovered a new song you like and enjoyed this post; it was a pleasure to write for Beth who is such a lovely blogger!



Ciao for now,

Olivia xxx

Make sure you follow Olivia on:

2 Aug 2015

A Holiday and An Eventful 16th Birthday



I was thinking of doing a 6 Things posts as I have been behind on them recently but I just don't have time, so this is a quick spur-of-the-moment type life update to say that yes, I have been away but no, I haven't forgotten about you lot one bit.

Yesterday I got back from holiday with my friend Jane and her family after spending a fun packed week in Norfolk, exploring the coastline (just look how beautiful it is!) and gift shops while attempting not to spend all my money in one go and listening to stories courtesy of Jane's 80-year-old Grandmother. It was such a refreshing break from normal every day life and I definitely ate double my weight in food thanks to THAT American Diner! But who cares, I was on holiday after all. The only problem was that I had no internet connection for the whole week and now have a million and one blog posts to catch up on. I always say to people that even though I am a blogger. I not addicted to my phone and could happily live without it. However, sometimes I wonder if maybe that isn't the case and that is a slightly scary thought.

We also had a rather eventful last day on Friday not just because it was finally my 16th birthday (and that is a scary age!) but because a lovely local fish and chip shop caught alight right in front of us, forcing us to camp out in the street for 3 hours until the firefighters got the blaze under control! It was like a real life episode of Coronation Street, with a mad bingo-winged-woman shouting that "it was gunna blow". An experience like that really does show you how powerful the force of nature can be and makes for a rather memorable birthday indeed.


As I was away for my 16th, my family decided it was only right that we celebrated together the following day which meant I basically got two birthdays like the Queen. Because I'm THAT amazing! I got the most beautiful Pandora ring, tickets to see The Lion King at the Lycrm Theathre in London because who doesn't love Disney, the complete Harry Potter book collection, a bookcase to display them in rather than having to pile up all my books on my draws like I did previously and much more. I even got a birthday cake like I did when I was a kid once we got back from dinner at The Kings Head.





At the moment I'm in between packing for NCS, having just unpacked from holiday and washed all my clothes in the space of a few hours like a mad woman! Quite a few people were surprised to hear that I was doing NCS as camping and anything adventurous that involves heights (I'm talking about you rock climbing!) are my worse nightmare. I think I must have been slightly intoxicated when I agree to do it but the prospect of spending three weeks with a group of my close friends and gaining experience for my CV for only £20 was too good an opportunity to be missed. So there I'm not entirely stupid and anyway it's good to get outside of your comfort zone sometimes. Even if it is slightly daunting!

I hope you enjoyed the last Guest blogger who featured here and are looking forward to meeting some new bloggers as the weeks go on. Just so you know I'm not currently accepting anymore guest writers but if you leave your email I can contact you for future help.

Wish me luck,
Love Beth x
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