Booktube-A-Thon 2017 TBR | Sitting In The Clouds

Each year one of my favourite booktubers, Ariel Bissett, hosts one of my favourite read-a-thons, the booktube-a-thon. I have participated every year since 2014, so this will be my fourth one and I have yet to complete 7 books in 7 days and this year will NOT be the year. However I think the week is more than just reading; it’s about coming together as a community and just enjoying the atmosphere and the challenges, videos people post and just seeing everyone else around you read at the same time. Having said all that I do create a TBR correlating with the challenges set.



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The Challenges:
>1 Read a book with a person on the cover
>2 Read a hyped book
>3 Finish a book in one day
>4 Read a book with a character who is different to you
>5 Read a book entirely outside
>6 Read a book you bought because of the cover
>7 Read 7 books!



IMG_5243.jpgI have created a double page spread in my bullet journal to track my progress throughout the week. I will just track the books I’m reading and the page count and what I’m thinking about the books. 

My TBR:
>1 By Your Side by Kasie West – This completes the challenge “read a book with a person on the cover” as well as “read a book completely outside“. I will be listening to the audiobook of this in my car on the way to and from work, so even though inside my car isn’t technically outside, it’s outside of my usual reading environment…my bedroom. That counts right? (Update: Ariel tweeted that, yes, reading in your counts for the outside challenge)
>2 Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – This completes the challenge of “read a hyped book” and “read a book with a character who is different to you“. This book is so highly praised in the book community and it is about a boy who is gay aka the complete opposite to a heterosexual female.
>3 Tales of Beedle The Bard by JK Rowling – This will complete the “finish a book in the day” challenge as it is so short, easy to read and Harry Potter. Three key things to able me to read a book quickly.
>4 Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel – This is the booktube pick of the week, a bit like a book club read, you don’t have to read it to participate but I saw it for under £4.00 and thought why not? This book could also count towards the “read a book you bought because of the cover” because look how pretty and also I don’t know anything about it, and really did only buy it because it was the booktube pick and because of the cover.



And that completes my TBR this coming week. I’m hoping I can get through all for 4 books but I am at work from 9-4, Monday to Friday so we’ll see. I’m really excited for By Your Side as it will be my first Kasie West book and I know she is loved by many. But to be honest I’m just excited about the whole week, it’s definitely an event I look forward to each year.

Are you participating? What’s on your TBR? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

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30 Before 30 | Sitting In The Clouds

I recently turned 20 and it occurred to me how little I’ve done with my life so far and how much I want to achieve. My little head is full of dreams and aspirations and even though I’m not even near my half way mark on my life, I’m starting to panic. By the time I’m 30, I want to feel stable and happy with my life. That’s far from where I am right now.  I shouldn’t really be worrying at all, 10 years is a long time. I can barely remember turning 10 and in those ten years, I finished full time education, begun and ended teenage hood, learnt to drive, been to Disney countless times, had a 4 year long relationship, made and lost friends, brought my first lottery ticket, celebrated Christmas ten times, changed so much as a person and done things I can’t even remember. I don’t think my 10 year old self wouldn’t recognise me right now. But being the list maker, planner junkie and organiser that I am, I’ve created a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn the big 3-0!



>1 Participate in the Disney Cultural Exchange Program
>2 Have a Degree
>3 Explore Australia & New Zealand
>4 Get Married
>5 Start a Family
>6 Work for Disney (HQ in Hammersmith)
>7 Help Rays of Sunshine grant a wish
>8 Do a Professional Internship at Disney (Burbank, Florida)
>9 See my designs somewhere in the public eye
>10 Meet my Kiwi friend
>11 Have a home library and office (aka own a house)
>12 Visit every Disney resort, including California, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Orlando and Hong Kong
>13 Have a fitness routine I love and stick to
>14 Learn how to do a french plait
>15 Have my first nightclub experience (yes, I’m 20 and haven’t actually been on a proper night out)
>16 Own something designer (a handbag or a high end makeup product)
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17 Meet at least one more actor from FRIENDS (I have met Matthew Perry)
>18 Have a stayaction in Brighton
>19 Go to a restaurant and only order dessert
>20 Go to a cinema and see the next film showing
>21 Celebrate a birthday aboard
>22 Own a dog (preferably a German Shephard)
>23 Have a “well stocked” savings account
>24 Continue bullet journalling and own all the different Leuchtturm1917 coloured notebooks.
>25 Own a vintage style polaroid
>26 Make sure I continually keep in contact with my three closest friends
>27 Keep up with my blog and have a custom domain name
>28 Enjoy a Disney cruise (stopping at their private island)
>29 Do some freelance graphic design work
>30 Stay in a treehouse villa



This list may be overly ambitious but it could be achievable. I guess I’ll find out in 10 years. If I have completed all these dreams of mine, I’ll be a very happy 30 year old and I won’t be worrying on my 30th birthday, much like Rachel Green or Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS did….“Why God Why?! We had a deal, let the others grow old, not me!”

What’s on the top of your bucket list? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

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Leaving Teen-hood | Sitting In The Clouds

Each year you get to celebrate the fact you are growing older, which really doesn’t sound that fun, but to be honest it really depends on the age you are turning. Kids love their birthday’s, most of them eager to age up another year to be able to act cooler, get permission to do more things, and just seem more grown up. I’m guilty of being one of “those” kids. But when you get to your adult years, birthdays become less and less welcoming. However, I see it like this…

“Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you”

I recently turned 20, leaving my teenage years behind me and entering the real world of adulting. However, as each birthday comes and goes, I never feel older. I get asked my age and have to think about it a while before realising that, yes, in fact I am a year older. Nothing really changes except peoples expectations for you. I’m now 20 which kind of means I have to start taking responsibility for things. We’ll see about that. For my 20th birthday celebration this year, I rocked out to one of my favourite punk pop bands live, had a Stitch, yes from Lilo and Stitch, themed bbq and went book shopping. No afternoon tea, champagne and grown up talk just yet.



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I had a great celebration into adulthood and a month later still don’t feel like an adult. Like Walt Disney once said, “adults are only kids grown up”. He was a man of many wise words but those ones speak to me more than ever. Age is merely a number, don’t let it stop you doing things you want to do. At 20, I had a Stitch themed party and don’t regret it one bit.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

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Top 5 Skincare Products | Sitting In The Clouds

All my life I’ve been very lucky with my skin, no teenage acne, only a few spots here and there from eating too much junk, not drinking enough water, you know…the usual. But for the majority of this year my skin has taken a turn. It’s still not severe but for me but I’m struggling to maintain how it used to be. However without a few holy grail products, I would seriously be lost. And of course some of these products just help me feel pampered.



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I use the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash each morning and evening as my daily face wash. I’m only, at 20, getting around to understanding my skin and what it needs. I’m now pretty sure that my skin is more on the normal/oily side of the spectrum, which means the oil balancing side of this face wash really works well with my skin. The exfoliating beads are super gentle so I can use it twice a day without getting irritation. The scent is barely there, so if your skin is sensitive to perfume or fragrant products, I would suggest giving this one a go.

I actually had a break, a few months back, from this face wash to try a new one…this was a bad mistake on my behalf. It was when I switched things up, my skin really started to break out more and get worse. So I truly believe the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash is doing good for my skin.

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Only very recently I noticed something missing out of my skincare routine that I hadn’t used in ages. This got me thinking, maybe that’s part of the reason my skin isn’t so great at the moment. Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask has been a lifesaver for my skin recently.  I never used to leave my cupboard without one, but with university making me stretch every single penny I had, I never had any spare cash to treat my skin to this wonderful face mask. As soon as I could, I restocked my cupboards and have seen an instant difference.

The packaging even states…”This peppermint mask does everything it can to fight eruptions and outbreaks and return your skin to tip top condition“…aka, the miracle product I needed. I use it two or three times a week, depending on my skins condition and whether I have time. I like to apply a generous layer with my fingers, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then gently remove the mask with a clean flannel. It’s a face mask that tingles a little when it starts to dry on your skin but that personally doesn’t bother me and afterwards it leaves your skin feeling so smooth. I just love this product so much and I’ve definitely learnt my lesson of always having some of this in my bathroom cupboard.

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The final product that’s really helped improve my skin over the past four(ish) months is the Nivea 2 in 1 Cleanser & Toner. I’ve never really been into toners because they always made my skin sting and I never saw the point. However, I picked this product up on a whim when completing a 3 for 2 offer on Nivea products and it’s now an essential in my skincare routine.

Applying a grape size amount on a cotton pad and use circle movements to distribute the product around your face and down your neck. I use this product after removing my makeup, it is only a night time ritual for me,  washing my face. Even after removing my makeup and cleaning my skin, there was still makeup in my pores, so this toner & cleanser just ensures my skin gets a deeper clean. It’s also super moisturising so I find I don’t need to apply a night cream after using it.



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Now onto the products that just make my skin feel good. I’m guilty of not applying body butter as often as I should and I know my skin punishes me. My legs especially are very dry and itchy. However, during the summer, I always bring the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream out of the cupboard as it just smells like summer in the tub. It basically just smells like lemon sherbet and I’m a sucker for citrus scents.

I apply this after very shower to moisturise my skin. Super simple but a step I feel most people either skip or forget about. I know for sure sometimes I’m just too lazy. But you need to keep the rest of your skin hydrated as well.

My body butter choices change depending on the season or what I’m feeling but at the moment I’m loving the Sugar Crush Body Buttercream from Soap and Glory.

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The final product I’m mentioning today is the Nivea Lip Butter. Ever since using this lip product on a daily basis, every morning and evening, my lips rarely get chapped, when before they were always so dry. Making sure my lips are always moisturized is also a key step in my daily routine.



Without these products my skin would be suffering a lot more but I truly feel like Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty is incredible and allows you to see instant results (I may go do one now).

What are your skincare essentials? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

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Pink Pinafore | OOTD | Sitting In The Clouds

Weekends are for relaxing, eating and watching netflix and although I haven’t binged watched netflix in a while, I did have a lovely weekend spent relaxing and eating, along with kicking my a** back in action for my blog (oh how I love my new blog design). On Sunday I went for a pub lunch with my family and met up with my dad’s sister and her family, so my auntie, uncle and cousins. You can’t say no to free food can you? And since the UK is having another mini heatwave, it was definitely not the weather for jeans, even though they have been my go-to recently, in other words I have been super lazy. Throw on a t-shirt and jeans and I’m out the door.



Pinafore | Primark
T-Shirt | Monki

Choker | Forever 21
Shoes | Vans

This outfit is so simple, yet because the pinafore is a pink corduroy material, it just adds something different to the look. Primark have some really good stuff in stock at the minute but I find that if you don’t pick it up as soon as you see it, it’s gone forever. It’s happened to me a couple of times and it’s so disappointing when you can never find the item you have been pining over for so long. Therefore I picked up this pinafore as soon as I saw it, having no idea how to style it. I’m so pleased with how this outfit came out.



The pub lunch was lovely, especially their twist on the Knickerbocker glory desert, and it was lovely catching up with family. We even had a few cocktails in the pub garden afterwards as it was such a lovely evening. However, I was the designated driver so only one Archers and lemonade for me, my go-to mixer.



I really hope this weather lasts through-out the summer as it’s turning out to be a great uni break at the minute. How did you spend your weekend? Let’s chat in the comments.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

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My Favourite Reads…of all time | Sitting In The Clouds

Although I’m currently suffering a major reading slump, I’ve been an avid reader since the summer of 69 2014. 3 years of reading, averaging around 40 books each year, is a3446f639343b08986fe6c5a802c7fcca lot of stories to compete in my mind to be remembered. But without a doubt, as every reader does, you will connect with some books more than others. Therefore today I’m bringing you the books I remember reading and loving and knew instantly they were making my favourite books of all time list.



I will always be drawn towards YA contemporaries more than any other genre so the majority of this list just made my heart flutter due to the swoon worthy characters and the relationships and moments they shared. However, if a non-contemporary made this list, then you know it’s special as it means a book out of my comfort zone hit me hard. However, even the non-contemporary seem to have some sort of romance in them…opsie!



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All eight of these books touched me in completely different ways and no list is complete without Harry Potter right?! It’s crazy how over the past 3 years my tastes have changed and therefore so have my favourite books. Except a few firm favourites, this type of list will forever be growing and changing as you find new favourites to add or realise that a certain book was good before but after reading books of similar content, realise they were better.

Some of my old “all time” favourite books included The Maze Runner series by James Dashner and although this series brings back good memories of when I first started reading it and I still love it because of that reason and still technically class it as a favourite, it doesn’t have that connection to me anymore, therefore didn’t make this list.  Another “used to be favourite” is the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. I adored this series when I first read it, falling head over heels for Jack. But as the series progressed, having to wait over a year for the fourth book, I was loosing interest. I actually reread the series up to that point to prepare myself for the new book and just felt differently about it. It just wasn’t as good as I remember and that’s the one downside to rereading book.

Do we have any of the same favourites? Let’s chat in the comments.



xoxo, rachel

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I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE |Tea Talk #9 | Sitting In The Clouds

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE! I’ve searched my brain for new blog post ideas. I’ve googled and googled but nothing sparks my inspiration or my passion for my blog anymore. I don’t want this to be the end but when I see a blank “write” box, I feel intimated, guilty and a little sad. I’m so proud of this little space of mine and how it has grown and I don’t want to throw it down the drained. I thought taking a break for a while would be the answer but I haven’t properly posted since April and I’m getting scared the passion and determination I once had for Sitting In The Clouds is going or maybe even gone. I don’t want this break to go on for any longer.

Here’s what’s going to happen in the last attempt to bring the joy I once had for blogging back…

One | HAVE A REVAMP – I’m a graphic designer so it can’t be that hard to redesign my blog banner, my blog post headers and the overall look and feel of my blog and turn it into something I really want to post on. However, my big computer has broken so we’ll how designing on my 13″ screen will go.
(edit: you will start to see the redesign pop up around my blog now. Let me know what you guys think of it.)

Two | PLAN IDEAS – This one is going to be a little tricker since I’ve been trying to do that for a while now. I think of ideas then don’t want to write any.  I really want to focus on my bullet journal posts, my love for Disney and reading. Concentrating more on my lifestyle aspect of my blog. I still really want to do OOTD/W posts, but I have a feeling beauty and makeup will take a heavy backseat.

Three | INTERACT AGAIN – Not only have I been off my blogging game but I haven’t read your posts or interacted with you on your blogs in so long and I’ve missed it. Interacting with other bloggers is a massive part of this community and you can’t really do one without the other. So let’s reconnect. Link me to your blog posts and social medias below and I’ll say hi!

and finally….

Four | INVOLVE YOU – I have nearly 900 of you amazing readers so I would love to know what you want to see from me. I want to involve you more in my blog decisions and make my readers the main drive of my blog. I love chatty posts, much like this one, so if you have any topics you want me to discuss let me know. I really want the comments on my blog to get more attention and allow anymore to address their opinions and know they won’t get shut down.

So in conclusion….PLEASE HELP ME!!! The next blog post CAN’T be “RIP Sitting In The Clouds”.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel