Friday, 6 January 2017

Dear January

Dear January,

I have something to ask of you. It’s very small, promise, but to me it’s very important.

Please be nice to us.

Before you protest, I know it’s your job to inflict such a sense of melancholy and what else can you do when you have to follow such a glittery month as December, but you don’t have to fall back into the same routine every single year? Think about it … you could change it up a bit?

What if, instead of giving everyone a bad case of the blues and dragging disappointment everywhere you go, you could kick 2017 off to an amazing start? Give people that New Years Day feeling every single day of the month so that they can accomplish some of their goals early on and go into the year with a renewed sense of focus and energy. Or if that’s too much for you to bear, just show them that they have so much worth and value, so if they do fall into a mid-month rut, they’ll have the courage and self-belief to see the temporary nature of their situation. It could really make a difference and people will need that boost now more than ever.

I know that a lot of what this month has in store isn’t actually your fault, January, we’ve got November to blame for the impending inauguration and the broken record of current UK politics was all caused by June, so I won’t blame you for the incoming case of awfulness that is inevitable. However I will warn you that if you try and pull any of the sort of nonsense that you did last year, you can be sure that we will not stand for it. Those were some terrible moves and you know it. Be nice to us, January, make this month as peaceful as it can be, we all went through a hell of a lot last year. 

I’d really like you to be nice to me and those around me. This is kind of a big year for me as this time next year I’ll have applied to uni and I’ll only have a few more months at my school, so if you could cut me some slack while I focus on the SAT exam I’ve got at the end of the month, that’d be swell. I’d also appreciate it if you could make sure everything goes well for my family, there’s some big things that need to go smoothly and as stress-free as possible. My friends all really deserve a good month too, they’ve given me so much happiness and I hope you can make sure that they receive some too.

You’ve got to make this work, January. We all kind of deserve it. 

Yours sincerely,

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Trolls, A Levels and a Good Change

It's been a while since I last posted on here, a long while, so long that it feels so strange to be writing on here after such a long absence (for me). I was on a roll with my last post, I'd just come back from New York, had just started 6th Form and was buzzing with ideas for content. It was all going to be fine, maybe I'd have less time to write posts but I'd still keep up the blog in Year 12. Then I found a tweet mocking me that had 50 RTs and suddenly I had a whole lot less motivation. 

A random grown man, who has zero connection to me at all, thought it would be hilarious to screenshot my twitter bio with a comment  suggesting that I'm throwing my life away and lots of other strangers decided to RT and like it. I count myself very lucky that this is the first experience I have with people being outright horrible about me on the internet and it could have been a lot worse but it still really upset me. It probably didn't help that I was already going through a period of insecurity about my blog, whether it was too fluffy or boring. So I ended up not writing a post or even thinking about writing a post for quite a while, because I just didn't feel like trying to come up with any ideas. 

I am still so angry about those tweets, it just feels so horrible that they were all laughing at me behind my back. I did look on their profiles and, surprise surprise, they were Trump supporters so that takes the sting off it a bit, they were never going to be nice about a girl who calls herself a feminist! It was very frustrating and made me feel quite unsafe on the internet for a while but you've just got to come back fighting when someone says something like that; deactivating or disappearing completely would mean they had won.

The rest of this update is a lot more positive, I promise! Actually, I've had the best start to 6th Form I could have had, I love my subjects, though I did switch one, and have a really close knit group of friends whom I love a lot. I'm learning to drive, which is actually really fun, and I'm looking to apply to some US uni's as well as UK ones. It's all going pretty well and I'm really optimistic about the next two years. 

As for what I want this blog to be, I'm going to have to cut back what I was doing last year as A Level work keeps me really busy but I do want to write more about things I'm seriously interested, quality over quantity. So expect more posts about politics, film, books etc in the future because that's the sort of writing I want to get better at. I've missed writing posts and putting them up but I'm not looking at doing everything the same way as before my break but I'm still so proud of this blog. 

That's it for today but you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what I'm doing when I'm not writing on here!

Have a wonderful week!
Harriet xo

Sunday, 11 September 2016

10 Incredible Things To Do In New York

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might know that I just got home from a week in the greatest city in the world! New York was one of those trips where every single day was unforgettable and I'm always taken aback at the brilliant atmosphere in this city. I've been twice before but always in Christmas and never in the summer; it feels so different in the sun, much more relaxed. So I've been posting quite a lot on Instagram Stories this week, updating you on all the cool things I did, via many posts per day, some of which were a little cringey (actually a lot cringey but they've disappeared now so it's okay); if you haven't seen them or want to know more about my trip, you've come to the right place! Before the trip, I loved reading other people's New York posts to figure out what I couldn't miss, so I'm going to structure this post around things you can do if you're ever in the Big Apple.

Visit the One World Observatory at One World Trade Centre. It's the tallest building in the city and in my opinion the views are even better than the Rockefeller or the Empire State. It's right down near the bottom of Manhattan so you get a full picture of the island, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Queens. We went up there early evening while it was still light and stayed until it was dark to see the whole city lit up. They've got lovely staff working there and it's just a really cool building to experience. 

Walk the High Line. We did this on our first day and boy, is it a good way to get a feel for the city. It's essentially a disused railway line that runs above Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, all done up with greenery and benches recently. New York in the summer is so sunny and warm and in my opinion, this is just as nice a way to spend an afternoon as in Central Park. It feels like a real hub of the community; we even witnessed a wedding taking place up there!

Get lots of Starbucks. Alright, hear me out on this one... Every time my family visits a big city we always wind up in a Starbucks to keep us going through the day. Though you can take the subway or a taxi, New York is a city to be walked through, there are sights around every corner, and it can get tiring after a while. Personally, I only go to Starbucks for their seasonal drinks, as I only drink coffee when it's pumped full of syrup and sugar. Winter is the time for the peppermint and caramel drinks but I could drink their summer offerings all year round, they do iced tea lemonades to die for. Not every stop has to be at a super chic cafe guys, especially when you're about to faint from the heat!

Go to a Broadway show. I know this one isn't cheap, even with the knockdown prices at TKTS, but for all my theatre lovers out there, go see something that we don't have in the West End yet! I went to see Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and absolutely loved it. I'll have a full review up in the next few weeks but it felt quite special to see a show that only opened this year, with its original cast. 

Go on the East River Ferry. This is a ferry route that has terminals at Midtown Manhatten, Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Wall Street. It's so much more than a quick way to get to a different part of New York because the views are unparalleled, you're not going to get a better view of the skyline unless you actually go up a skyscraper. Sure it might cost lots to go to the top of the Rock but for $4 you can get from one end of New York to the other while taking some pretty amazing pictures of the most famous skyline in the world. I hadn't a clue that you could do this before I went but now it's one of my most vivid memories of the city's beauty. 

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Total tourist trap but it's a must for seeing one of the best views in the whole city and maybe the world. There's not a lot more to say about this one, other than it's beautiful and you need to do this at least once in your life. 

Visit the UN. The UN headquarters isn't on all of those tourist lists for New York but it should be, in my opinion. We didn't do any museums this time around but this is just as interesting a place to visit. You can get a tour round all the important rooms where the important councils meet to  discuss the most important issues in the world. Our tour guide was called Patricia and was so sarcastic and hilarious but also made it really informative, giving us the context of what's going on right, telling us how the membership works etc. It's technically international territory so you can also get your passport stamped with the UN logo.

Cycle. I think there's lots of routes you can take but we cycled up the West Side, from Hell's Kitchen all the way up to Washington Heights. I'd really recommend the bike rental place we used, Blazing Saddles, they were so friendly and the bikes were great. It's a really nice way to spend the day, especially if you're sick of walking everywhere!

Get a Shake Shack at Madison Square Park. I got this one off Hannah Gale's blog and it's one of those chilled things to do, just sit in a park and enjoy a really great burger. I had the Shroom Burger and a Concrete (frozen custard with chocolate and caramel mix-ins) and it was one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a long time. 

Go to Ellen's Stardust Diner. I've been to New York three times, the first in 2007 and every time we've been to this diner. We almost didn't go but our flight was cancelled meaning we had another night in the city so we decided to go there for our last meal. It's just like any diner in New York, except the waitstaff sing. They're mostly made up of actors and actresses, working in between auditions and trying to get their break on Broadway, a lot of which are actually successful. It's just a much more fun and entertaining way to have a meal, the food is really good too. It's one of those "don't miss it" kind of restaurents as it's so unique and special to Broadway. 

I hope you enjoyed this post about my trip to New York! There's a couple more NY posts I'd like to write so keep an eye out for those in the coming weeks!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

August Roundup| Life, Beauty, Music + Style

I can't believe September has crept up so fast, next week I'll be back at school and before you know we'll be well into Pumpkin Spice Latte season and buying our bodyweight in knitwear. I don't feel as if I've done a lot but at the same time I've been more busy than I anticipated to be. I'm kind of looking forward to going back to school but first I've got my New York trip to kick start the month! Without further ado, here's my August Roundup!

Life. Throughout August I was mainly working and waiting for my GCSE results. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to work this summer, I don't know what I would have done with myself otherwise and it feels good to know I can pay for driving lessons this autumn. Working also made me realise how much of a bubble we live in when we're in school, all the pointless classroom drama is so irrelevant. 

I also got my GCSE results just this week! I was so nervous and really didn't want to be disappointed with any of them but it turned out really well. I haven't put them up on any social media but I wanted to share it on here because if you're reading my blog then chances are you're going to be chill with it. I got two A's and 10 A*s! I'm so happy with that and am so glad that all my work paid off!

Beauty. I thought it was about time that I start getting my act together and getting my brows to look more polished, so I picked up the much hyped NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade. I'm really liking the difference of a gel formula instead of powder or pencil and it's really easy to use with an angled brush. I'd really recommend this product, especially as it's so cheap at only £5.50. Also at NYX I bought one of their Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks in the shade 08, it was the last one of it's shade out and I think the colour's gorgeous, I have a matte lip cream from NYX in Cannes but this one's a bit longer lasting and less rosy in colour. I've also been loving the Barry M Daylight Curing Top Coat for quick drying because it makes doing my nails so much easier and I thought it was worth a mention on here. 

Style. I haven't really been wearing anything particularly interesting recently, just t-shirt and jeans most days, but I have started wearing nice earrings more often. I bought myself a pack of about 10 cool pairs from Zara in Greece, including some small hoops. I've always wanted to be cool enough to wear hoop earrings and now I actually have a pair I can't stop wearing them. 

Music. I've been really into Carly Rae Jepsen's album Emotion recently, it's a pop masterpiece and she deserves so much more attention for it. Her B side album just came out but I don't think it's released in the UK yet so I'm looking forward to listening to that through September.

Books. So this summer I had planned to read lots of classics, but that hasn't really happened as much as I wanted to. I did read Pride and Prejudice though and really loved it, Jane Austen type love stories are my guilty pleasure. I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and was pleasantly surprised, the plot is very fan fic-esque but the moments we get with the characters we've grown up with more than made up for it's flaws.

TV. I've recently got into Gilmore Girls as I keep seeing people talking about it on Twitter and I'm so glad I started, it's so good! It's the type of show I'd make required watching for all teenage girls.

If there's a theme to this post it's things that help me to feel like I'm doing an okay job at life, whether it's with small material things like makeup and earrings, watching a feel-good show like Gilmore Girls or filling my time with something productive. When your head gets filled with doubt, these things have helped me get back to the place where I can feel good about where I am in life. 

What things have you been loving this month? Let me know down in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Little Summer To Autumn Wishlist

Happy Wednesday everyone! I've got a little bonus post for you today, a selection of my fave buys for the next few months. It's kept me quite busy browsing online for all these pieces, a welcome distraction from worrying about Results Day tomorrow. I'm feeling okay about it at the moment but I've predicted that I'll have a meltdown as soon as Bake Off ends tonight. I just want it to be over to be honest so I can start concentrating on 6th Form... oh and my holiday to New York!

So if you're like me and don't have hundreds of pounds to blow on ASOS each time the weather changes, your best friends are transitional clothes. I'm talking clothes that are so versatile they can look nice all year round with boots and tights or flip flops and bare legs. I tried to pick all of these with that in mind because I've got to save for driving lessons/ a car and I'm not going to spend £20 on a bardot top that is inconvenient to wear 360 days a year. I love everything I've put into this post and I incorporated a range of prices, though I'd wait for some of them to go on sale if I were you. I'm actually looking at getting a pair of Adidas Gazelles when I'm in New York and I'm so excited about that because I've been living in Converse for the last 5 years. 

Pull & Bear are one of my favourite shops for casual fashion and it's no wonder that they feature in this post; I want to wear that Girl Gang bomber jacket while slowly taking down the patriarchy and there's nothing I love more than a cute slogan sweatshirt like the green and blue ones. Can you also tell I have a bit of a thing for embroidered items right now? That skirt is so pretty and would look awesome no matter what you wear it with. The two floaty dresses are gorgeous and the type of dress you could actually get a lot of wear out of rather, dressing it up and down. 

Burgundy Sheer Panel Skater Dress - New Look - £24.99

Grey Textured Floral Print Sweater - New Look - £14.99

Adidas Gazelle Vapour Pink White - £74.99

Black Ditsy Floral Wrap Front Mini Dress - New Look - £14.99

Slogan Sweatshirt - Pull & Bear - £19.99

Black Floral Embroidered A-line Denim Skirt - River Island - £45.00

Spot Cold Shoulder Mini Dress - Topshop - £49.00

Slogan Sweatshirt - Pull & Bear - £19.99

MOTO Cord Pini Dress - Topshop - £39.00

Suedette Lace Up Heel - New Look - £27.99

I hope you liked this little wishlist, I had a lot of fun putting it together. Let me know what your favourite items for the end of summer are in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Monday, 22 August 2016

The 5 Albums Of My Teenage Years

Whenever I get blogger's block I always go back to the question "what the hell is my niche?" There's been a lot of back and forth as to whether finding a niche is a good blogging tip but I've been thinking about it in the context of what is the unique perspective that I can offer rather than just putting out similar content to other bloggers. Then it occurred to me that I probably should be writing about things that are relevant to me not the 20 something bloggers I love. My fave posts are usually the ones that are really honest and personal to that particular blogger, I don't really care if it's relevant to my life because that's not the primary reason I read blogs. I figured out eventually that the posts about my actual life as a teenager work the best, so here we are with this post about all the albums that seem to epitomise my teenage years so far. 

The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance. Me and my friends discovered MCR at about age 13/14, me personally a few months after they broke up. It was at the stage where we were starting to become friends and this band were a thing we could all latch onto and enjoy together. We probably wouldn't have formed that close friendship as soon without them and for that I am so grateful. However it is a little bittersweet because at that point we were in Year 9 and all going through our angsty phases where I don't think we were half as happy as we are now. It was a time of insecurities and rough patches that just kept on coming, MCR was the soundtrack to all that, I like to think it helped a lot though.

This is pretty much the ultimate MCR album for me and it's been something I can always come back to as the songs never get tired or boring to me. To single out particular tracks that feel especially "teenagery" - Teenagers (of course), Cancer, Famous Last Words and Disenchanted (which I am convinced is a Taylor Swift song in a parallel universe... seriously, listen to the intro). 

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - Panic! at the Disco. This is an amazing album and will forever be iconic in my mind. Panic! are one of my favourite bands and I feel like this album sums up the cynical, anarchic side of teenagers. I think it's mainly significant to me because Panic! was never a specific phase of the past few years, I've always gone back to this particular album for the amazing lyrics. It doesn't feel all too polished and this is the first time the world ever got to hear the miracle that is Brendon Urie's voice so it must be pretty special. I have no idea what category this music falls into but it is 100% my kind of music (except for the other wildly different genres you'll see in this post). I can't believe I was only 6 in 2005 when everyone was going through the phase of having insanely long song titles, what a time for music. I Write Sins Not Tragedies is a song that every should know the lyrics to and my other recent favourites are I Constantly Thank God For Esteban, Build God Then We'll Talk and (brace yourself this one's long) There's a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet.

Midnight Memories - One Direction. I couldn't do this list without including One Direction, it was just a matter of which album. This one is the first one I properly listened to as it came out and kind of lightened up my mood a lot during this time. I remember my current friend group was forming around this time and we were all getting into 1D so there's a lot of happy memories associated with it. Harry Styles' voice is a gift to this generation and I think everyone needs something a little lighter and less serious to listen to every now and then. 

5 Seconds of Summer - 5SOS. This one properly represents my friends and the part of my life I've spent with them. We completely bonded over this album and going to see 5SOS live was one of the best memories I have with them. Nowadays I'm not too sure how much I like the band as people, they haven't been coming across well this year, but I still absolutely love this album and just remembering singing every word at their concert puts a smile on my face.

Know-It-All - Alessia Cara. This only came out last year but it's the single album that I feel I can relate to the most as a teenage girl. Alessia has such a way with lyrics and her creativity is so inspiring to me as it feels as though she didn't compromise on any aspects of her music when putting out this album. She writes about ambition in Four Pink Walls, small town problems in Here and body image in Scars To Your Beautiful, all in such an honest and unapologetic manner. Her whole look feels so authentic, rather than being moulded into the stereotypical young pop star image and it definitely feels like her voice and her ideas being presented in the album. For me, it feels like the album that best represents me and my worldview so will always be special to me in that respect. I would really highly recommend checking this album out for yourself.

Those were the five albums that have been the most significant in my life as a teenager. Let me know if you'd like to see more of this more personal content and more music in the future! 

I'd love to know which albums have been significant to you, leave me a comment!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Thoughts You Have Before Results Day

The summer is slowly drawing to a close, back to school ads are on TV and I need to get a move on with my 6th form uniform shopping. Ugh, school is just around the corner again ... but there's one thing we also have to get before it starts... exam results. I've got my GCSE results coming in on the 25th and the week before it's the A/AS Level results for those in the years above me. I've been going through the motions in terms of my attitude towards this day so I thought I'd do one of those fun "thoughts you have" to try and make the day seem less scary in my head. 


You're so ready for these results, you've been waiting since mid-June and as soon as they're in, you can start focusing on the next thing. You're just super keen to get the day out the way, it will be fine... right?

Well actually, if these results do come, it means you'll actually have to find out what you got in all those individual subjects. This means actually knowing what grade you got in Biology and Maths, you won't be able to un-know that. Um, I'd rather live in peaceful ignorance like I have this whole summer, thanks!

It'll be FINE. Remember you felt really good about most of your exams afterwards, you were so happy after Physics, or was that just because you didn't have to do any of it again?

Oh my god, do you remember all those times you got out of the exam and everyone got a different answer to you? That was awful. you bet you've made so many mistakes, you can't even remember what you said for that question everyone was talking about on Twitter afterwards. Where were those drunk rats everyone was going on about? Did you miss a page? It was almost two months ago, you can't remember how you felt after most of your exams. That means it was probably awful right? 

Hang on, coursework is included in your final grade too, at least you know what you got in that so it's not going to be that bad ... apart from those subjects where coursework is 5%.... yikes... Seriously you did your speaking and listening assessment on Hamilton, what if they change their mind about the mark? (true story I actually did my coursework on LMM's masterpiece - full marks so thanks Lin!)

Okay what's the worst that can possibly happen though? .... Oh actually let's not go down that rabbit hole...

You know, you did work really hard for those exams... and you did fine in your mocks... maybe it won't be that bad?

Remember all those hours you spent making notes and reading those notes and drinking tea and quizzing your self... it can't all have been to waste, right? You're going to do really well. 

Either way, these exam results aren't the be all and end all of your education. Some of the most successful people in history weren't suited to the exam system of testing so you'll be fine no matter what the results are. 

Who needs A stars when you can have Magic Stars, am I right ladies?


I hope you enjoyed this post and could relate to it somehow! Please let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this in the future.

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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