26 March 2016

Move It 2016

Last Sunday I travelled to London with my mum, sister and some family friends to attend a huge dance convention called Move It! Move It happens once a year and is a place for dancers and dance enthusiasts to meet, perform, watch shows, find out about drama schools and buy merchandise and dance gear. I have wanted to go for the last few years now and I finally got the chance to last weekend! We had such a good time that I thought I'd share my experiences with you!

Move It was held at the London Expo Centre which is absolutely massive! The part we were in had space for hundreds of stalls, 3 stages and lots and lots of people - and it didn't even take up half of it! As we walked through the entrance there were bright purple lights and music - it felt like a premiere! As soon as we got in we were met by hundreds of stalls as far as we could see! Most of them were advertising drama schools which wasn't really relevant for us as I'm already in film school and my sister is a bit too young.

We slowly made it all the way to the back where there was the main stage. We watched a few performances there but there was nothing to tell you who was performing when and a lot of the time the stage was empty and a huge screen playing a video of someone interviewing dancers was there instead which we found quite boring really.

There were quite a few famous faces at the event, including Jennifer Ellison and her school, Jelli Studios, which you might know from the UK version of Dance Mums. My sister and her friend were very excited to meet her as well as some of the girls from the show. I really liked their stall as it had an awesome VW Camper Van that they were selling merch out of!

Another famous person there and argueably one of the main reasons we went - was Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms! We went to her stall which was absolutely swamped and I eventually managed to get myself a hoodie, whilst my sister got a top. Abby wasn't at the stall so we assumed she wasn't there that day, but later on we saw her doing a signing! We tried to get in the line but the security said no one else was allowed to queue which was really dissapointing. Abby seemed really unhappy with the way things were being run there that she eventually walked out of where she was signing and set up just outside of the Move It entrance, which unsuprisingly became absolutely packed not long after. So I didn't get to meet her but I did meet one of the girls on the show called Brynn.

Just after we took this selfie a big group of girls ran towards her which kind of trapped both of us in this little space (there was a rope between us) and she ended up getting attached to my bag which was very awkward and a very typical thing to happen to me!

My mum was most excited to meet Karen and Kevin from Strictly Come Dancing as she's a massive fan of the show! They were the people we were supposed to be queueing up for before we saw Abby Lee and luckily we still managed to get a picture with them after all that chaos!

Unfortunately amongst all the drama we completely forgot to go and queue up to meet Darcey Bussell, one of my childhood idols! But hopefully if we go back next year she will be there again!

Some other highlights of the day were going into the big red bus and having our photos taken in the photo booth, getting my lips done up with glitter and watching some of the showcases! My favourite ones were probably Jelli Studios and the MADD School.

 -- Exciting Announcement! --

I have started a Youtube channel! So far I have been using it as a platform to share my short films and whilst I still plan on doing that, I'm also starting to upload vlogs and will be uploading some beauty related videos soon too! 

If you'd like to find out more about what I got up to at Move It you can watch my vlog here! It would mean a lot if you left me a comment telling me what you thought of it and what you'd like to see in the future! Also subscribe if you're feeling really nice! 

See you soon, 

Beth x

19 March 2016

Mini Egg Baking

It's nearly Easter, one of my favourite times of year! And the main reason I love it so much is because it means mini eggs are back in the shops and most importantly back in my belly! Now if you're like me then you've probably been spending the last few months sitting on the sofa and mindlessly consuming packets and packets of these heavenly treats. My addiction has got so bad this year that people in my class at uni have started buying them for me. That was super sweet of them although I do worry they did it because they were worried what would happen if I went to long without my fix! Anyway, I got a bit bored of just eating them out of the packet and wondered how I could include them in other things I eat, I've come up with a couple of ideas which I am going to share with you today! Both of these cakes are really simple to make so you don't have to be Mary Berry to be able to pull it off.

Mini Egg Rocky Road 

This one is really quick and easy and doesn't involve any baking. You will need:

220g of Dark Chocolate 
100g of Butter
3tbsp of Golden Syrup 
100g of Digestive Biscuits 
50g of Mini Marshmallows 
50g of Dried Cranberries
2 bags of Mini Eggs (about 180g) 

1) Prepare The Baking Tray

Put two pieces of baking paper onto a 30cm x 20cm baking tray. 

2) Melt The Chocolate

Put the chocolate and the butter in a large bowl and place it over a saucepan of boiling water, like this:

Wait until it has all melted and has a glossy look to it, this should only take about 5-10 minutes.

3) Break The Biscuits 

Once the chocolate has melted, take it away from the heat and leave it to cool for 15 minutes. Whilst your waiting, put the biscuits into a sandwich bag (you might want to double, or even triple bag it so biscuit crumbs don't fly everywhere) then get a rolling pin and start banging. This is my favourite part! Make sure not to make it too small and leave some pieces bigger than others. 

4) Add The Goodies

Now your melted chocolate has cooled, it's time to add everything else. Start with the 3 tbsp of golden syrup, followed by the biscuits, marshmallows, cranberries and 150g of the mini eggs plus whatever else you choose to put in! Stir it all in so that everything is covered in chocolate. 

5) Place It In The Baking Tray

Pour the mixture into the baking tray and add scatter the rest of the mini eggs onto it, pressing them in. 

6) Leave It In The Fridge To Set

Put it in the fridge for an hour. After that, take it out and see if it has set. If not leave it in for another hour and just keep checking until it is done. If you are having real problems you could stick it in the freezer for a bit. Once it has set, cut it into slices and you're ready to go! 

Mini Egg Nest Cakes 

These went down a treat in my house! A bit of a chocolate overload but I think that is needed for Easter! You will need: 

140g of Self Raising Flour
50g of Butter
50g of Caster Sugar
1 Egg
40g of Cocoa Powder
3 Flake Bars
2 Bags of Mini Eggs 

1) Whisk The Sugar And Butter

Put the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and whisk it together. Once you have done that, add the egg and whisk that in too.

2) Add The Flour And The Cocoa Powder

Add the flour first and fold it in to the mixture, then do the same with the cocoa powder. If it looks too dry then add a little bit of milk. Don't panic if you add too much! You can just add a little more flour to balance it out. 

3) Put The Mixture In The Baking Tray 

Get a cupcake tin and put the cases inside the slots. Then pour the mixture into each case, you should make about 12. 

4) Put It In The Oven

Put the cakes in the oven for about 25 minutes

5) Decorate The Cakes 

When your cakes have come out the oven and cooled, it's time to decorate them! Start with chocolate icing and put a dollop in the middle of each cake. Then, sprinkle the flake over the mixture and add 3 mini eggs in the middle. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! I'd love to know if you try either of these recipes or if you have made anything else with mini eggs! 

See you soon, 

Beth x

16 March 2016

My First Short Film!

Hi there! I know this is totally weird! I didn't post anything at the weekend and now I'm posting on a Wednesday? What is going on? Well let me explain...

Last week I was feeling really poorly and didn't have any motivation to do anything apart from watching old episodes of X Files and staring at Moulder. I did have a blog post planned and even filmed a video to go with it, but Saturday was just an awful, awful day and I ended up hating the post and the video, getting quite upset and not posting anything at all. I've managed to get over that little melt down now, and plan on posting 2 (3 posts if you count this one!) this week to make up for it.

So sorry to anyone who was hoping for a post last week, I hate to disappoint you and myself, but thanks for staying with me as I get back on track.

One last thing I wanted to mention in this post is my short film! As you may know already, I am a student at Brighton Film School. Back in December we shot our first short film which I was lucky enough to write and direct! I'll post a link to it below, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

See you soon,

Beth x


5 March 2016

How To Stay Motivated As A New Blogger

I have been running my blog for about 6 months now, but I didn't really take it seriously until about 3 months in. Now I'm starting to get a bigger response to my posts and it's great, but my blog is still extremely small in the huge sea of bloggers in the world today. Sometimes I find it hard to stay motivated to keep going with it. If any of you are new to blogging or have a small blog then I'm sure you've been in the same place I've found myself, so I've decided to share the ways I keep myself motivated with my blog!

1) Remember Why You Started 

When you're having down days about your blog, try to remember why you started it in the first place. I doubt it was to get loads of views and earn lots of money, but for your love of writing or your passion for the subject your blog is about. I started my blog to practice my writing skills whilst also having a place to look back on memories I've made. My first post was about my trip to Zante (read it here) and reflects everything I wanted my blog to be in the first place.  Go back through your posts and have a read through to remind yourself of why you're doing this and get yourself motivated again. 

2) Read Other Blogs

Not to steal their content or ideas, but to gain motivation and inspiration from their own successes.  A lot of bloggers create a "30 blog post ideas" type thing, so having a read through some of these might spark the blogger in you off again. You could also look at the type of photography, font and templates they use to see how you could improve your own, but remember to always be original and genuine to your own style. Reading other blogs is also just really enjoyable and I find that reading a good post by someone else is enough to motivate me to keep writing.

3) Make It Look Pretty 

If you love how your blog looks, then there's a pretty good chance you'll want to keep working on it. Having a nice theme/template is really important not only for yourself but for your readers too. If your blog looks good then chances are they'll stick around and have a nosy round. Blogger and Wordpress offer their own, free templates, but if you want something more professional looking then there are lots of places you can buy them online. I got mine from Etsy, you can find ones really cheap on there (mine was £6!). You can find the shop I bought mine from here. If you have a bigger budget and want yours to look really good then you could pay someone to make a completely original template for you - or maybe you could do it yourself if you're clever enough to be skilled in coding. 

4) Create A Schedule 

Creating a schedule is very important and a great way to keep you motivated. If you have a clear idea of what you're going to post each day/week then you will naturally be more inclined to keep blogging, rather than if you just wake up one day and decide to write about something.  It also gives you longer to plan your posts which will lead to better content on your blog! I write down all my ideas in a notebook, then I schedule them by using Google Keep on my phone. I try to spread out different topics throughout the month, for instance I wouldn't do 3 make up related posts in a row and then one recipe, I'd rather do 1 advice post, 1 fashion post, 1 make up post etc. However don't feel that the schedule has to be set in stone. If things in life prop up that makes it impossible to write that specific topic, then just swap it with something else. Another benefit of the schedule is that you have a list of ideas to use! 

On the topic of scheduling, keeping a posting schedule is key too! For instance, I post every Saturday. This gives you a purpose to the day and hopefully more motivation to blog. Keep it consistant and you will find it has a really positive affect on you and your ever growing base of readers! In the New Year I decided to start blogging once a week and ever since I did my motivation has sky rocketed and so has my traffic. 

5) Write Posts For Brands

If getting incentives such as free samples, discount or even payment for your blog posts are not motivation enough then I don't know what is! There are lots of websites that bring bloggers (usually called influencers) and brands together. This is great especially, if you want to be a professional writer as it will get your blog a lot more exposure. This is something I have only just started to use in the last couple of weeks. Don't be disheartened if you don't get chosen straight away, especially if your blog is quite small. However there's no harm in applying - you never know what opportunities might come your way! As my great grandma would say: "You've got to be in it to win it." The websites I use are Brandbacker, Activate (part of Bloglovin) and Bloggers Required. However if you do this then remember to stay true to yourself and write honest reviews and posts, also disclose when your posts are sponsored and always blog ethically. 

6) Use Blogging Apps

There are so many great, blogger friendly apps that will keep you motivated all week long and help you to improve your blog! I like to use Bloglovin to follow and read other blogs throughout the week, especially when I'm on the train or during my work breaks. Its also a really easy way for people to follow and read your own blog so it's definitely something worth getting if you don't have it already. Instagram is also really great for bloggers! So many people use it and it's becoming more and more influentual every day. Having a theme and using hashtags are the best ways to get lots of likes and followers, you can also link up your instagram to your blog (scroll down to the bottom of mine and you'll see what I mean!) as well as being able to follow and comment on other blogger's posts. There are many more apps you can use to help you stay motivated but I feel like it would take up a whole post of its own if I go into too much detail about them! 

7) Make Friends

Sitting at home and writing is obviously awesome or you wouldn't be blogging, but it can also be a lonely task. Using some of my previous tips such as reading other blogs and using apps, make friends with other bloggers like you! Comment on their content and create a connection. This will make the experience so much more enjoyable and will also mean you have a few guaranteed readers. You could also share experiences and advice and maybe even collaborate or guest post on each others blogs. I think its amazing we can connect with people we otherwise may never have met if it wasn't for the power of blogging! 

I hope you've found this post helpful! Now go get writing! But just before you do - I'd love to know what things do you do to stay motivated with your blog! Leave me a comment below.  I will try my best to reply but I am having some issues with my google+ comments right now so apologies for that!

See you soon, 

Beth x
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