Monday, 29 December 2014

Little Changes Make Big Differences | Motivational Monday #4


It's nearly the New Year! For me 2014 flew by and I feel like I accomplished quite a lot, especially as this year I started this blog! However there are a lot of things I plan on doing to make next year even better than this one, which I will explain in Saturday's post. But those things are nothing, without motivation! (you see where I'm going now?) 

So this week's motivation is ...

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life

This really struck a chord with me because every year I end up breaking a few resolutions and then completely giving up because it doesn't matter right? So every year you end up in the same place, still addicted to chocolate, not meeting deadlines or not making enough time for your friends. It doesn't have to be that way! Who knows, maybe making an effort to eat healthily will give you the clearer skin you've always wanted. We make resolutions for our own happiness. we believe these changes can lead to a better life. So we should put in the effort to put them into practice!

Be sure to look out for my New Years Resolutions on Saturday!

How do you make sure that you stick to your resolutions?

Have a wonderful week!


Saturday, 27 December 2014

2014 in Review


2014 was a pretty good year, so I wanted to share my pick of the best in 2014!

Year in Music
Several artists have released some really great albums this year, the ones that really stick in my mind are definitely 1989, x and 5 Seconds of Summer. 1989 was amazing for many reasons. It sold 1.3 million copies in the first week and redefined album sales due to her decisions to pull her music from Spotify. It's also a pretty spectacular album, all the songs could be singles! Taylor Swift also conquered the world this year, but that's a story for another time. Other notable albums are x by Ed Sheeran and 5SOS's debut album. Ed Sheeran's songwriting is so beautiful and it's very exciting to see what amazing things 5SOS have up their sleeves.

Year in Film
I haven't really had the time to go to the cinema this year, my weekends are filled with homework these days. However the films I did see were excellent. The film adaption of The Fault In Our Stars was everything I hoped it would be and I thought they did a really good job of portraying the well loved novel. Another film that did extremely well was Frozen, some hate it, I personally love it, but nobody can deny the catchiness of the songs. I think the film is hilarious and has a really warm heart. I predict it will be a winter favourite for years to come.

Year in Books
Gone Girl is the stand out book that really stuck in my mind as one of the best I've read this year. It gripped me from start to finish and really got me excited about reading after a period of not reading as much. You can read the full review here. I've also been into a lot of YA fiction this year, I finished reading all the John Green books and fell in love with Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. YA is my favourite genre for many reasons, mostly because it's written with my generation in mind. 

Year on the Internet
Every year the internet surprises us and brings us amazing things, this year is no exception. YouTubers and bloggers capitalised and released products of their own, especially books. Those who have power on the web are now being taken seriously by the rest of the world, which is great! In significantly smaller internet news, I started this blog! I'm rather proud of it to be honest, I've thoroughly enjoyed working on it, writing posts and promoting this year. I'm so pleased to have joined this amazing blogger community too!

Year in My Life
This year I feel like I grew a lot as a person (warning, this gets a bit deep) and this blog definitely helped me with that. I got to meet new people through the blogging community and gained confidence through having my own space that was all my own work. This is the most creative and productive I've been in a long time! I'm also proud of how I've learned to stand up for what I believe in, particularly in feminism. I think it's really important to recognise your achievements but also to strive for better things, so my New Year's Resolutions are coming soon!
I've had some amazing trips, Washington DC, Austria and Florence. I've made some wonderful memories with friends and family, seeing Matilda and Little Mix. I'm so very grateful for all the fabulous opportunities I've had!
What were the highlights of your year? If you've done a similar post about your year, leave it in the comments, I'd love to read them!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Be Generous this Christmas | Motivational Monday #3


As stressful and painstaking Christmas shopping may be, I actually really enjoy picking out gifts for people. It's such a great feeling when you discover something that you know a loved one will adore. I especially love when you actually give someone the present and they (hopefully) like it! 

"We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Teen Girl Gift Guide

It's only 5 more days until Christmas and if you haven't finished your shopping I've got you covered as for what to buy for teenage girls (at least, girls like me!) So here are some suggestions for some last minute gifts from the world of online shopping!

I'm not trying to stereotype teen girls, it's an interpretation based on my friends and myself! Other types of teenager are available ;)
The Fangirl

The Beauty Lover
*Some of these are on the pricey side but some of the dupes are just as good and a lot cheaper!*

What are you asking for this year? Where are your favourite places to shop online?

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Focus On What Could Go Right - Motivational Monday #2


This week's motivation is one that could really change lives if more people took it to heart. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, focus on what could go right. There are countless decisions we face everyday, options we come across, that get tossed aside because, worst case scenario, you could fall flat on your face! Then it's gone, out of your mind, without any time to think about the best case scenario; you could have the time of your life. I'm guilty of doing this. I think there's too many chances of failure, it's a stupid idea. Honestly?  If you do this too much, life can pass you by and you will miss some amazing things!

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Little Ways To Boost Your Positivity and Mood


I've wanted to do this post for so long! I've just come out of a period where everything seemed to be happening, I had lots of tests, I didn't have a lot of time to blog and I was feeling rather stressed about it all. These things really helped to get me through it all and I think I was slightly less of a monster to my family!

Find and save inspiring pictures
 I'm on a bit of a positivity kick at the moment ( like you couldn't tell from this post), my camera roll is almost exclusively motivational quotes and pictures. I've just started my Motivational Monday series (which you can find here) so I've found lots of pictures for that, specifically from We Heart It and Pinterest.

Make a Photo Album of things that make you happy
I like to keep pictures of my friends and family in a special folder on my phone so I can look at them whenever I'm down.

Mini rave
Okay this one might sound mad, but sometimes what you really need is a private dance party (like in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). My favourite songs for this has to be Shake It Off, She Looks So Perfect and All About That Bass. Just go crazy! 

Appreciate the little (or big) things
If you're feeling particularly poetic, it's soothing to sit and notice things. For example look at the trees and just marvel at how amazing they are or stare at the moon for a while. It's rejuvenating to renew your appreciation for the world and can also de-stress you.

Spread positivity by leaving blog comments
I really started doing this regularly when, during one of the blogger chats, I felt like a few people weren't respecting people's  opinions (including mine) and trying to start arguments unnecessarily. It really bothered me and I was ready to log out of twitter for the night to escape the negativity. However I was reminded that so many bloggers are truly lovely people and I decided to counteract the bad vibes by going on a "compliment spree". I wasn't just writing nice comments without reading the post, these were well earned compliments that I think so many bloggers deserve! There are some amazing bloggers out there that should get more recognition for the quality of their content. Really appreciating that boosts my mood so much!

Have a wonderful week

Monday, 8 December 2014

Mondays Are For Fresh Starts - Motivational Monday


Start of a new series here on Hattie Hards, Motivational Mondays. I've seen a few other bloggers do this, notably Sprinkle Of Glitter and I thought it would be a great addition to the blog! I'm going to try to make it a weekly thing so look out for lot's more of these posts! 

This first one is appropriate for the start of the series : Mondays are for Fresh Starts. 
I do love a fresh start, whether it's a brand new notebook or a new friendship, and Mondays are the best time for them. The weekends are always a great time to think of new ideas and reflect on what's gone wrong and how that can be fixed. Monday is when all those ideas are actually put into practice. Let's kick the stigma of Mondays being awful and start the week as we mean to go on.

Have a wonderful week!
Picture from We Heart It

Sunday, 7 December 2014

REVIEW: We Were Liars + E Lockhart Event


On Monday I attended a special Waterstones event to see top Young Adult author, E Lockhart, who wrote We Were Liars. I had just finished it when I was invited (read on for my review) and I was so excited to meet her.

 First she talked about WWL and her new book....... How she came up with the concepts and themes that interested her. She told us about how her untraditional upbringing influenced the character of Cadence and the importance of maps at the front of books! She was so lovely and friendly. She asked for questions but unfortunately I was the only one who had one.  I asked about her process, as We Were Liars bounces back and forth through different years. She replied that she uses a special word processor called Scrivener. She wrote all the fairy tale parts at one time and wrote the rest in chronological order. After that scrivener lets her switch around the parts and rearrange it.

We then had an opportunity to get our books signed and have a chat. The lovely people at Waterstones fed us with adorable cupcakes with the We Were Liars cover on the icing. I'd like to say a huge thank you to Waterstones Cheltenham and Hot Key Books for setting up this amazing event. A big thank you to E Lockhart herself for being so friendly and for writing the book that so many of us love.

We Were Liars is about the Sinclair family (specifically the oldest grandchild, Cadence) and the summers they spend on their private island. I really can't reveal much more than that, if you've read it, you'll know it's hard to not give spoilers. It's a tale of pride, confusion and lies.

I thought it was a very thoughtful, extremely well put together book. The story twists and turns, never failing to surprise you as revelation after revelation comes your way. I loved the use of the extended metaphors, it gave the novel a freshness and set it apart from some of the other YA books I've read. Cadence was a fascinating narrator and the other members of the family were captivating. Overall the story was told in a vivid and exciting way; I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from E Lockhart!

Have a wonderful week!