Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Week: 20 - 27 October

Hello!

This week has been half school and half holiday because our half term break started on Wednesday. I've been lucky enough to have gone to see three different plays this week so it was more special than most. Therefore it would be a good week to do one of these posts! I love reading them but my life isn't interesting enough to do them regularly.

Monday & Tuesday

School, not interesting at all sadly.

Wednesday

I had school again but in the evening I went on a drama trip to the Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham to see The Pantaloons' adaption of Bleak House by Charles Dickens. None of us really knew what to expect, having read sections in English it all seemed a bit depressing and well ... bleak. However, much to our surprise, the production was very different and funny. It took you through the book in the original chapters, of which there were over 50. As well as an abundance of chapters, there was also over 50 characters, played by only 5 actors. It pokes fun at Charles Dickens and the frankly ridiculous plot points (spontaneous combustion anyone?). I loved the use of song and over the top characterisation. It was a great night and I'll be looking out for more of their shows in the future.

Thursday

Another day, another show. This time it was in Birmingham to see the Importance of Being Earnest. We had some time before the show so we went up to visit the huge library. It was opened a year ago and has a staggering amount of books there. We went right up to the top which boasts a panoramic view of the city. However we didn't get to explore the lower levels as it was closing for the evening. I wish I lived in Birmingham just for this library! We ate at the Mailbox, in Zizzi. We over-ordered garlic bread and I had a margarita pizza, both of which was utterly delicious.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a touring production, starring a whole host of established British actors such as Nigel Havers, Rosalind Ayres and Niall Buggy. They played it as a play within a play as an amateur village production. This was very funny in the first half as all the actors had a lot of chemistry with each other, you could tell they were all good friends. It stayed very true to the original play and the characters were just as I imagined them to be when I read the play.

Friday

I went to the Cheltenham Racecourse Christmas Gift and Fashion Fair on Friday. It had so many different stalls, all packed into one room. There were so many high quality products on offer, from gorgeous cashmere bobble hats to delicious fudge. However they were clearly not marketing their products to teenagers! Everything was so expensive that I didn't actually get to buy any presents for anyone.

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday was rather normal, I just did a shift at the charity shop I work in. On Sunday my family and I went on a walk with our dog to the village where my parents used to live. It ended up being a lot longer than expected but luckily I had lots of podcasts to listen to.

Monday

I went to see The Hypochondriac on Monday starring Tony Robinson. You probably know him from the British TV show, Blackadder where he plays Baldrick. This play was by far the funniest out of the three that I saw this week. At certain points during the play, there would be songs about hypochondria (thinking you are terribly ill all the time). My mum and I were laughing so much that tears started streaming down our faces! I would highly recommend trying to go see this!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Harry Potter Tag *with gifs*

Hello!


I saw this tag on My Life As Anu and knew I had to do it, I'm a huge Potterhead!




1. What is your favourite book?
The Goblet of Fire. I feel like this in book, JK Rowling really flexes her writing muscles, introducing lot's of new characters and creating such tense and exciting scenes.

2. What is your favourite film?
The Prisoner of Azkaban, it's a lot darker and more exciting than the first two. That's probably because of the change in director, Alfonso CuarĂ³n. The main trio really grow up as actors and the whole thing looks slicker and more professional. Also it's where questions about Harry's parents are finally answered.

3. What is your least favourite book?
The Order of the Phoenix because the whole plot is basically Harry not listening to advice and awful things happening as a result. It's just a bit annoying

4. What is your least favourite film?
The Halfblood Prince. I didn't hate it, just wasn't memorable

5. Which parts of the books/films made you cry?
Nothing really! The saddest bits were the deaths of Dobby and Sirius.


6. If you could marry any character who would it be?
Either Harry or George Weasley

7. Who is your favourite character?
Snape, that's a no brainer

8. Who is your least favourite character?
Umbridge. Even the mention of her makes me shudder.

9. What is your favourite line?
"After all this time?" "Always"



10. What would your Patronus be?
Ideally something cool like a fox but probably something pathetic like a sloth

11. If you could have the invisibility cloak, resurrection stone or elder wand, which would you choose?
Invisibility cloak because the original fable said that it was the only good choice that could defeat death

12. What house would you be in?
Gryffindor because I'm mainstream like that. People try to tell me I'm Ravenclaw though, I feel like the Gryffindor values suit me best.


13. If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be?
Alan Rickman

14. If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?
I'm not sporty at all so not a chaser or a keeper, I couldn't bear to be a beater so I guess I'm a seeker.

15. Were you happy with the ending?
I'm satisfied with the general ending but the only thing that bothers me is Hermione and Ron. I agree that they should end up together, in fact I'd be annoyed if Harry and Hermione got married instead. I just think JK rushed their relationship, throughout the series they had limited chemistry and then in the last book it's fit in around all the action so it isn't focused on.

16. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
It means an awful lot! It was one of the first series that I got stuck into and cemented my love of reading. I've reread them so many times and the characters feel like friends. It perks me up when I'm down and I love how most people have read them and relate to them.


Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Friday, 24 October 2014

Book Reviews - Gone Girl + The Understudy

Hello!

I've been meaning to do more book reviews on this blog so here are my thoughts on two books that I have recently read!

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

This book has created such a buzz in the literary world in the past few years; the film adaption has just come out starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I felt like I had to see what all the fuss was about and pick up the book from my school library. On Amy and Nick's fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing. With a seemingly staged crime scene in their living room and mopped up blood in the kitchen, all fingers point towards Nick. He swears their relationship was fine but the media is turning on him and his portrayal of the anguished husband is unconvincing.

I was thoroughly impressed with this book from start to finish. I've read a few books with some pretty tense, twisting plotlines, but none as well written and exciting as this! There were too many revelations and sudden plot twists to count, though the main one was introduced earlier than I would have expected. I love how Gillian Flynn plays with your perceptions of Nick and Amy, even at the end I wasn't quite sure how I felt about each of them. Nick is an especially interesting character, during his narrative you are never quite sure whether you can trust him. Gone Girl explores their marriage psychologically, examining how they reacted to each other's "real" selves. The ending was not as explosive as I had expected and I'm still not sure whether it provided closure. It's been a while since I physically could not put down a book as the temptation to read on was too great. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a passion for thrillers or murder mysteries. Definitely one of the best books I have read in the last few years!


The Understudy - David Nicholls

I really love David Nicholls writing; One Day is one of my all time favourite books (review here), however I wasn't sure whether this would be as brilliant. Stephen McQueen is a distastrously unsuccessful actor who is stuck playing dead bodies and being an understudy to Hollywood superstar, Josh Harper. His life is a disaster which only gets worse when he falls for Josh's gorgeous wife, Nora.

This was a really fun, light read and I really enjoyed it. Steve's life is comically hopeless but he's so lovable that you keep rooting for him to succeed even when everything is falling apart. If there's one thing that David Nicholls does really well, it's creating likeable characters. The scenes between Nora and Steve are my favourites as the dialogue is witty and Steve is really at his happiest. My only criticism would be that Steve's constant failings got pretty depressing after a while. I've always wanted to go into acting so to hear all these ways which things can go wrong is so disheartening. Despite that, I really enjoyed it!


Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo


Monday, 20 October 2014

Why I Love The West End

The West End is a truly magical place. Every night, stories unfold in splendour, actors get their big break and countless audiences fall in love with the captivating characters. The moment you step inside a theatre, you are transported to another world, where anything can happen! You only watch for a few hours but in that time your perceptions can be changed, your imagination broadened and your world transformed. You may watch an inspiring tale of one witch's fight for acceptance or a happy-go-lucky jukebox musical that's sure to make you feel good. You might even see a thought-provoking play about one boy and his mystery. Whatever you see, you are guaranteed an unforgettable night when you go to the West End.
My personal experience with the West End started with Mary Poppins when I was 5. Laura Michelle Kelly dazzled as the magic nanny, from that moment on I dreamed of being a leading lady like her.  I would play that soundtrack non-stop, it drove my family crazy but I wanted to be transported back to that night. 10 years later and my passion for musical theatre hasn’t faded. I recently saw Matilda and was stunned by the talent of the young stars. The set was spectacular and the characters unexpectedly hilarious. Nothing’s changed, I still play the soundtrack to be reminded of that night. That’s what is so special about the West End, you want to relive the performances again and again.


Plays are just as brilliant. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time simply mesmirising to watch,  the whole production was stunning and challenged your perceptions of autism. Now I can afford to watch amazing National Theatre productions from the comfort of my local cinema. Stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller, Cary Mulligan and Bill Nighy perform to thousands across the country. The intimate feeling and energy of live theatre in the West End is unmatched however.

Theatre is one of the greatest forms of escapism. In one evening you meet and grow attached to a group of characters whom you will never forget. In that one evening, those characters will seem like friends or family to you. You will see yourself in the characters, weep when they weep, laugh when they laugh. Theatre gives such joy to so many and the West End is one of the finest districts in the world. That is why I love the West End.

Hattie xo

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Chilly Day Essentials + How To Style Them

Chilly Day Essentials - Woolly Jumper
Hello!

In England the days are getting shorter, the mornings and evenings darker and unfortunately the temperature colder. However these short, dark, cold days have a silver lining. It means we can all bundle up in our Autumn/Winter outfits! This is my favourite season in terms of style, mainly because you can really go to town on accessories! Here are some of the items which I think are essential for those chilly Autumn days!

Woolly Jumpers

Chilly Day Essentials - Scarves and Gloves

Hat
Chilly Day Essentials - Woolly Hat

Chilly Day Essentials - Big Coat



Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lush Haul

Hello!

Lush is my guilty pleasure, even just walking down the high street I always have to step in and have a sniff of the bath products. So when I received these beauties for my birthday, I was over the moon!


Rose Queen - Bath Ballistic/Bomb

This one turns your bath bright pink, one of my favourite features of the bath bombs, and launches different types of petals like rose and apple blossom in a light floral fizz. I really like the fragrance to this and the colour and rose petals made me feel a million dollars. However though the idea was nice, some of the stringy petals like honeysuckle didn't really add to the bath bomb and felt quite yucky.

Amandopondo - Bubble Bar

I've never used a bubble bar before and was pleasantly surprised with the effect. This one was another rosy one but the scent wasn't as strong as Rose Queen. It produced lots and lots of bubbles and left my skin feeling relatively soft. I also adore the name of it!

Butterball- Bath Ballistic/Bomb

Butterball isn't one of the more exciting bath bombs but it sure makes up for it in sheer dreaminess! Made with lots of cocoa butter which melt into the water slowly, it left my skin feeling beautifully smooth and soft. I have a few patches of dry skin occasionally  and this really helped with that too!

Creamy Candy - Bubble Bar

Creamy Candy is very sweet, probably too sweet for some people but luckily for me, I love it! It smells like a mix of royal icing and candy floss and it also contains cocoa butter so its deliciously creamy. Basically it does what it says on the tin! I will definitely be looking out for Lush's other sweet smells, I hear Snow Fairy is back again this year!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 12 October 2014

6 Month Blogiversary + 50th Post

Hello!

This is a very exciting post for me as in the next few weeks I will have been blogging for 6 months! I decided to write this post early as this is also my 50th post! I find it crazy to think that I've written and published 50 of these! I'm feeling reflective today so this post might get a bit gushy!
In April when I started my blog was very basic and badly written! I cringe when I read some of my first posts! However I would never take them down as it reminds me to never stop trying to improve my blog. In a year's time I will probably think today's post is bad but that's okay because I'm still learning! I can't wait to see how this blog develops and improves with time. My blog fills me with a lot of pride, even though there is still room for improvement.

Blogging has done so much for me in these past few months. I've made new friends through blogger chats on Twitter and really improved my self confidence. I love the feeling that people actually read and like the content I write, especially when I receive lovely comments. It baffles me that my blog has been viewed over 2000 times! Bloggers like Arianne and Abi, I feel like I've known forever thanks to reading their blogs and chatting to them on Twitter. It's so lovely to feel a part of a community as special as this.

My aims for the next 6 months of blogging are to make my pictures better and write posts that require more effort like routines or lookbooks. I want to be even more active in blogger chats and start to do more fashion and beauty posts. I'm so excited to expand this blog and make it as good as it can be. In the meantime, thank you so much for clicking on my blog, whether this is your first time here or whether you follow me on Bloglovin. Either way, I'm so grateful that you are here, I never thought anyone would want to read a blog full of my ramblings but here you are!

If you have a blog please leave it in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Lifestyle Ladies Award

Hello!

Today I'm bringing you another tag/award post but this one is different because I actually helped create it! Matea from Girly Blog and I wrote this award and you can see her post here! Her twitter is here. Her blog is awesome and you should definitely check it out!

This award a mishmash of lots of random lifestyle questions.  It works like a normal tag, just answer the questions and nominate who you think deserves it! I'm going to nominate Jacky from Do It For The Irony and Abi from My W0rld My View for this award and then hopefully you can pass it on.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?

I'd like to think Anne Hathaway could do a pretty good job, it wouldn't be a very dramatic film! 

Are there any lyrics that have stayed with you through your life so far?

"And if I'm flying solo/at least I'm flying free" - Defying Gravity from Wicked

What is your go-to film/TV show that always makes you feel better? 

As for TV shows, Friends is dependable as it's always on! But I like to watch movie-musicals like Singin' in the Rain, Cabaret, Mary Poppins and Chicago.

Which Disney Princess do you relate to most? 

I'm a massive bookworm so probably Belle from Beauty and the Beast but I've always loved Snow White!

Do you watch YouTubers? If so who are your favourites?

I watch lots and lots of YouTubers, my absolute favourites being Connor Franta, Zoella and Bethany Mota. 

Would you rather be writer, singer, painter or actor? 

Preferably an actor but I'd love to be a writer too!

What is your favorite starbucks drink?

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

 If you could learn to speak any language in a minute which one would you choose?

I'm learning Mandarin so I wish I could speed up that process but probably something useful like Italian as I love going to Italy so much!

 Are you a cat person a dog person? 

Definitely a dog person

If you could be any supernatural creature, which one would you be?

A unicorn. I didn't even have to think about that!


See you soon!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September Favourites


Hello!
I'm rather sad to see September go, it's my favourite month. However October will bring more of Autumn and Halloween! So let's get into this month's favourites!

Beauty

I received the Benefit "Primping with the Stars" Kit for my birthday which includes mini versions of some of their products. I've been loving the Porefessional and the Benetint, they are unlike anything I've tried before! The mascara is also amazing, totally living up to the hype. For my first Benefit products, I am thoroughly impressed!


Fashion

Another birthday present here! My new Jack Wills flannel shirt is all I wear nowadays! It's so comfy and I love the colour. 


Music

I've mentioned them both before but I can't get enough of Shake It Off and All About That Bass! They promote great messages and are super fun to dance to!



TV

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know how much I love Strictly Come Dancing. For foreign readers, it's the UK version of Dancing With The Stars,  with celebrities competing in either Ballroom or Latin dances. This year is set to be brilliant (my money's on Pixie Lott and Frankie Bridge going really far) , even my favourite band, 5SOS performed at the launch show! Also I am very proud of Bethany Mota (one of my fave YouTubers) on Dancing With The Stars! Beth and Derek even got straight 10s on their 3rd performance! Check out their performances on YouTube!




Food and Drink

My favourite drink recently has been Vanilla Chai tea. It's so warming and flavoursome, perfect for the chilly nights to come. As for food, I've been loving French toast for breakfast. I cover mine in honey, but it's equally delicious with Nutella or cinnamon.















That's all for today!

See you soon!