Sunday, 30 November 2014

November Favourites


It's that time again. It's only one month until Christmas! Here are my favourites for November.

Beauty: MUA Heaven and Earth Palette 
I was apprehensive about this palette as it was so cheap (£5!) but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. The colours are gorgeous, I've been using Amazonian Bronze the most, it's a shimmery champagne colour. Unfortunately I dropped it and one of the colours completely broke off so you have to be quite careful not to accidentally mix up the colours. I would recommend this and I'll definitely be looking out for more MUA products to try!

Fashion: Penguin Jumper
I really love this year's John Lewis advert, I cry everytime I see it, so when my mum saw this jumper in New Look I knew it was perfect. It's so soft and cosy, I love it.

TV: The Good Wife
I have been watching this show all month. It's a law drama about Alicia Florrick who's husband is the former state's attorney but behind bars for a scandal. The show revolves around her and the cases that she tackles, also focusing on her children and her husband. It's so addictive. I can't stop watching. It's really fascinating seeing how the law works in America. The cast is excellent too. I would highly recommend checking this out on Netflix.

Music: One Direction - Night Changes, Tom Odell - Real Love and 5SOS - Just Saying
These are a few songs that I've been listening to throughout this month.

YouTube: callmekathleenn
I was looking for covers of Out Of The Woods by Taylor Swift when I came across Kathleen. This was only a few hours after it was released so I was really surprised to see a cover of it already. She's an amazing singer too, I could listen to her covers all day. She seems to cover all the songs I like which is brilliant. Subscribe to her!

Life Things: The Wizard of Oz
My school production was this month and I had a lot of fun doing it. Lot's of my friends were in it and despite everything that went wrong in the performances, we ended up with a really great show! I did a bit of everything, I was one of the angry apple trees that had a few lines (huge part I know). All the lead parts were amazing and it ended up being so much fun!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month
New feature here that I think I'll put in every favourites post. So next month is obviously Christmas so I'm looking forward to all that. Also I'm going to Boston for the New Year which I'm really excited for!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lad Culture

Another serious post today, this one addresses the growing trend of "lad" culture. It's a problem I've seen take over the minds of almost all the boys in my year and one that continues to anger me every single day. 

I thought that a lad was someone who was witty and occasionally cheeky but good naturedly so. Turns out it is someone who is offensive, objective towards women and makes crude jokes.At least that's what I've gathered from how the so called "lads" in my year behave. A specific example of how lad culture influences their minds negatively is the idea of banter. Again I thought banter was a good natured way of teasing your friend or making witty comments. On the whole, this assumption is correct but I have seen it go way too far, past the point of good nature.

Boys in my year have started to make the claim "there's no such thing as bullying, just banter!" This phrase fills me with so much anger and horror at what my generation has become. This is excusing verbally abusive behaviour as a joke. Of course bullying is real! You can dish out the "hilarious" banter and your victim will laugh along encouraging you with a light hearted smile. But when they get home the words linger, "is that what people really think of me?" It's a horrible way to feel so why inflict it on someone for the sake of "banter"?

Another awful thing I have noticed about lad culture is how women get objectified and only seen as a sum of their body parts. On more than one occasion, I have heard people discussing women in this way, remarking that so and so is hot but her bum lets her down, as if her worth is decreased by the way her body is shaped. I fear this is amplified by the media and how tabloids make it seem okay to comment on some woman's post pregnancy stomach or how they look when popping to the shops. Facebook pages such as "Lad Bible" also amplify these attitudes towards women.

The reason that I'm so worried about this issue is that these influenced people will grow up thinking that this kind of behaviour and attitudes are okay. Think how damaging it will be to have people making offensive comments and having opinions on a woman's worth based on appearances. It worries me deeply and angers me every day. I really hope we can slowly start changing these bad attitudes now before it's too late.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Top 7 Movie Musicals


I'm in the middle of rehearsals for my school production of the Wizard of Oz (more on that soon). It's one of my favourite movie musicals and it got me thinking what other ones I love. They tend to be spectacular and moving, if they have a big budget, there's usually a stunning cast as well. So here's my top 7 movie musicals.

(in no particular order)

1. Chicago
I love the concept and storyline of Chicago. It follows Roxy Hart (Renee Zellweger) as she tries to escape execution for murdering her lover. Catherine Zeta Jones plays the Vaudeville star, Velma Kelly, who is also a murderer and actually won an Oscar for her performance. Other notable performances were from Richard Gere, Roxy and Velma's lawyer, and John C Reilly, Roxy's ever suffering husband. The musical numbers take place within Roxy's mind as she is obsessed with Vaudeville theatre and being notoriously famous. It won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2003 and is a spectacle to watch.

2. Les Miserables
Last year I was utterly obsessed with this film. I fell in love with the story, the songs, everything. It boasts a stellar cast, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. As well as breakout stars like Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne and Aaron Tveit. What I love about this film is how true to the musical theatre roots it stayed, featuring cameos from musical stars like Kerry Ellis and Gina Beck, even the original Valjean, Colm Wilkinson. It's huge budget meant that it was almost a masterpiece.

3. Wizard of Oz
A true classic. A tradition for so many families at Christmas, Judy Garland's Dorothy has stood the test of time. It's a timeless story one that I'm sure will stick around for much longer.

4. Hairspray
The very best of feel good musicals, Hairspray never fails to cheer me up and get my feet tapping. It's about a young girl called Tracy Turnblad who dreams of becoming a dancer on the Corny Collins Show but is told she is too fat. Set in the 60s Baltimore, the film addresses the issues of race and body confidence. It's a really fun film to watch, a girls night classic. Did I mention Zac Efron is in it? So what are you waiting for? Go see it!

5. Singin' in the Rain
I think I've only seen this once but it was so good that it stuck in my memory. It's about the transition in Hollywood from silent movies to "talkies", it stars Gene Kelly and is more of a dance film than a singing one. The sheer talent of Gene and his co-stars Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds is mind blowing, watch "Good Morning" on YouTube. I'd love to see more of these old school musicals.

6. Grease
Another great feel good film, I love the story and the songs are so catchy! I always wanted to play Rizzo. It's a classic and I'll always watch it around Christmas.

7. Cabaret
A less popular musical but one of my absolute favourites. It's about a cabaret girl called Sally Bowles who is working in Germany when the Nazis are beginning their rise to power. Liza Minnelli plays Sally and Joel Grey plays the Emcee. It's different and gritty but so beautiful.

Honourable mentions to High School Musical, Frozen and Mary Poppins.

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Feminism: Why It's Important Today


I class myself as a feminist. By that I mean I believe in gender equality. I find that a lot of people shy away from the term feminist but still support equality, which doesn't quite make sense. Shailene Woodley made that mistake and when asked if she was a feminist she replied "No because I love men", she has since learned that feminism means equality for both men and women. The term isn't that important but it does help to unite people who believe in gender equality and want to try to achieve it.

I won't  dwell on the common misconception that feminists are "man haters" because it makes me angry, but also because Emma Watson explained it really well in her UN speech. I'm sure you must have heard of it, as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador she launched the HeForShe campaign with a a very effective speech. She talked about how there is no country in the world that has achieved gender equality yet and how there are still so many issues regarding gender, like unfair wages and the right to an education. She also talked about the social implications of unequality like gender roles, which affect both men and women.

I think it's so important that more people openly support feminism and work to change things. So many women still have a status lower than men and don't have the basic human rights they deserve. It happens in every country, in the UK, though technically illegal women are still paid less than men as a result of loopholes. This may be a result of the overwhelmingly male government but the UK is still a world ahead of others. For example, in Afghanistan 1 in 11 women are sentenced to death at birth and have no medical rights. This may have something to do with their religion but it is a matter of interpretation, I will address this in a further post. It's simply awful that in this modern day women are still suffering because of their gender.

I'd really like to talk a lot more about Feminism on this blog. I've recently started going to my school's FemSoc (feminist society) where we talk about the Patriarchy and how we are all affected by the issues caused by gender inequality. I'm going to leave a few links for you to have a click through regarding feminism in popular culture. 

Rights of Women
Feminism - The Guardian

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

October Favourites


November is officially here so it's that time again! It feels like this month has gone so quickly and Christmas is fast approaching. Here are the things that I have been loving in the month of October!

Beauty -  Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

This powder does what it says on the tin, it's really effective if you have an oily T-Zone like me and keeps makeup in place all day.

Food & Drink- Urban Fruit Mango & Pumpkin Spice Latte

I've been loving so many different foods this month but I had to narrow it down to two! I've always loved dried mango but some brands are too sweet or not sweet enough, however Urban Fruit finds that perfect balance. They probably have a lot of sugar in them but I like to pretend they are healthy for guilt-free snacking.
My last food and drink favourite is something that everyone seems to be raving about and I feel like I was a bit late to the bandwagon. It is of course the Pumpkins Spice Latte from Starbucks. I'm not a huge coffee drinker but this one is so sweet and milky that it tastes so good!

YouTube - Carrie Hope Fletcher

This month Carrie Hope Fletcher has been doing her "Dear Autumn" videos for the second year running. Each day she does a video with a voice over of her talking about her thoughts and feelings regarding things like her family and her birthday. I could listen to Carrie all day, she has a way of stringing together words so they sound so beautiful and profound.

Music - 1989 Taylor Swift

1989 only came out on the 27th but it's still got it's place in my favourites this month! I have been looking forward to this album for so long and now it's finally here. It is absolutely amazing, it's shot to number 1 in the charts and is set to break all kinds of records for 2014. There isn't a single weak song, they could all be singles. My personal favourites are Style, Blank Space and Out of the Woods. I've had it on repeat all week and will probably end up being a November favourite too! Also Taylor Swift has been killing it on social media lately, posting fans selfies with the album on Twitter non stop. I need to stop rambling now but just scroll through her Twitter feed for the last week and you'll see how amazing she is with her fans.

Blog - Zoe London

This month my favourite blog has been Zoe's because her writing and pictures are of such a high quality and are lovely to read. I love how she's so honest and open in her writing , she comes across as such a warm and friendly person. My favourite posts this month were "My Dyed Hair History", "Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glaston-Berry" and "How Blogging Changed My Life" ,  Give her blog a follow here. You won't regret it.

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo