Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Little Life Update | NYT audition + Getting a Bob

Hello!

It's been a while since we just sat and chatted, hasn't it? I think I'd like to make this blog more personal, that's what I like to read in other blogs anyway. So here's what I've been up to these past few weeks!

I got my braces off! I've had them since the start of Year 9, so that was nearly one and a half years of inconvenient eating! I've been embracing this new found freedom and joy of having straight teeth recently although at the moment I have retainers in full time until next week which is even more awkward. If any of you guys are battling orthodontic work, let me tell you that I feel ya and it will all be worth it when you have perfectly straight teeth!


I've been having these weird urges to just lop off my hair. Some girls can't stand to part with their hair but I just love making mine shorter and shorter! I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my advice on what to know before you get a bob so go check that out if you fancy a chop. I'm really happy with how mine turned out, what do you think?

On Thursday I went for an audition for the National Youth Theatre. It consisted of a workshop in the morning before a solo audition of a monologue in the afternoon. It would be amazing to get into the 2 week course in London this summer, but even some of their most successful alumni (*namedrop* Helen Mirren and Daniel Day Lewis) didn't get in until their second or third try! The whole day was a fantastic opportunity to learn from the actors who ran it and also the very talented auditionees! 

Recent Loves
Book: Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler
Music: Charli XCX and BORNS
TV: Death In Paradise and Pretty Little Liars
People: Eddie Redmayne and Essie Button
Food: Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Wanderlust

Hello!

Do you ever get bored of a place? Seeing the same sights day in day out, with the same old dreary weather. I guess we all do if we've been in one place for long enough. I love the feeling of stepping out from a foreign airport and instantly feeling a rush of something new, something different. It's amazing when you can just soak up a completely different atmosphere to the one that you are used to. This is why I love the concept of Wanderlust so much. It just makes me so happy, thinking about beautiful places like Italy, Austria and Turkey. These are the sorts of places look amazing, no filter needed! Today I thought I'd show you some of my favourite places in the entire world.

East Coast of Australia
We did a road trip here a few years ago and it was honestly one of the best trips I've ever been on. We visited Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Brisbane. Australia is such a beautiful country and I was lucky enough to see and stay in some pretty amazing parts of it!




New York City

Where else to start but the Big Apple? I just love the whole atmosphere of it, the towering giants, the vibrant people, everything! I wrote a letter to the city here so go read that!


Rome

I've been to Rome twice, once with school, once with my family. and both times I had a ball! There's so much to see and do here, especially if you are as interested in Roman culture as I am. Everything here seems so relaxed and happy, not to mention the amazing food (just think world class pizza and the best gelato you will ever taste!), I would love to live here one day. A much cooler me would go zipping around in a cute little Vespa like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday!


Yosemite

I visited Yosemite on a road trip through California in 2012. It was so different to anything else on that trip, so much green and clean air! The views were spectacular and awe inspiring. You can't help but feel calm there, even if there is a threat of bears and mountain lions!


Venice

Another Italian city that is utterly brilliant! I've been here a few times, staying in a camping village a few miles away but the days that we did travel in were awesome! Perhaps I was a little young to fully appreciate it all, all I remember from the first trip is getting bothered by the heat! I think it would be an amazing city for a honeymoon, going on gondolas and visiting the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace.


Wagrain

For the past two years I've been on the school ski trip and had a blast staying in Wagrain in Austria. I love little European towns like this, especially in the snow! Every one who lives there is so friendly which really makes all the difference when you don't speak a word of German! I'm really looking forward to going back there this Easter.


I've been so lucky to get to visit all these amazing places, where are your favourite places to visit abroad?

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Why Isn't My Life Like That?

Hello!

I'm a worrier. Mainly I worry that I'm doing something wrong in my life, that I should have achieved "milestones" by now. In particular this is affected by the image of teenagers in the media. For example, I worry that because I have no interest in going out and getting drunk (like a "normal" 15 year old), I am going to miss out (the dreaded FOMO!). It also happens on the blogging side of things, which I'm sure a lot of you guys have felt, when you see someone who's achieving more than you in a shorter time period. I just find myself asking "Why am I not like that? Am I doing something wrong?" This sort of thing is one of my personal worries, but this is one particular worry that I can see spiralling out of control very soon. 

In our modern world, perfection is everywhere. It's on billboards, on Instagram feeds and on magazine covers. We are spoon fed pictures of beautiful models with spotless, smooth skin, not a lump or bump in sight, with every feature perfectly in proportion. When we spend as much time reading magazines and scrolling down Instagram as we do, sometimes we forget that this is not a realistic portrait of life. We are only shown the parts that are the most aesthetically pleasing, the cream of the crop. So realistically the average person is going to struggle to recreate such perfection without a makeup artist, a professional camera and lighting and a lot of cash!


However it doesn't always appear to be unrealistic, Instagram ensures that the perfection and highlights of each person's day is published and documented, excluding the parts where they lose their keys, mess up at work or cut themselves a large slice of cheesecake instead of the miniscule portion they photographed. So to onlookers, their lives are perfect! You see their sunny, smiling selfie, with 5 or 6 "close friends" behind them and wonder why you don't have as many best friends as them. For some, this is poisonous. It can cause someone to feel deeply unhappy about their life and body, imagine if all you saw were these pictures of these people's lives and you started to believe that this is the way everyone else's life is. It would make yours seem inadequate and pretty rubbish in comparison, which nobody should be made to feel.

Personally I've experienced this feeling of inadequacy quite a few times, with the girls in my year or the high profile bloggers on my Instagram feed. Sometimes I've felt like I'm failing at being a teenager, because I see girls with "everything". Good looks, athletic talent, boys hanging off their every word, popularity. School means that you are constantly exposed to these comparisons and feelings of being inadequate, but that sort of heirarchy is bound to arise in such a small society of teenagers.

 I find comfort in acknowledging the things that I know I am good at and make me different such as my blogging and my love of theatre. This helps me with my self confidence, it helps to remind yourself that we are all equal in our worth. What really makes me sad is when those girls who appear superior, actually believe that they are better than others and proceed to treat them with less respect and say horrible things. 

Sometimes we need to step back, tell ourselves that this isn't what people's lives are like all the time! Everyone has their fair share of good and bad in their lives, they just choose to showcase the good!

However some go further and begin to call people "fake" just because they choose to show the rose tinted version of their lives. We'd all rather put our best face forward, but it doesn't mean that your filtered photo isn't realistic, it certainly doesn't mean that you are promoting an unrealistic view of life.

Say you need a new profile picture, if you are anything like me you will take dozens of selfies before you take one that you feel comfortable posting. It doesn't mean that the best one is fake, and the discarded ones are more authentic, it's all you and you can choose what you show to the world. If you are a lifestyle blogger and blog about your personal life, it is your choice what you write about.

Whether you post about the things in your life that make you happy and don't feel comfortable posting about your breakup or feel comfortable with most things, it is your choice and don't let anyone tell you differently!

I was inspired partly by the #lbloggers twitter chat on Sunday hosted by the lovely Sorcha of Bright Field Notes. The topic was Authenticity vs Affectation and started some pretty interesting debates. Here's a few of my favourite answers as well as some of my own!









Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentines Day | Best Romantic Films & Books

Hello!

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you are having an amazing day, whether you are spending it with your SO or with your best pals! To get in the romantic mood, I thought I'd share with you my favourite films and books about all that lovey dovey stuff!


Films

Starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, this film tells the story of Molly and Sam, soulmates who are torn apart when Sam is murdered by a mugger on the street. Sam finds he has become a ghost who is only able to contact the outside world through a sassy psychic (Whoopi Goldberg). It's a beautiful and sad story about loss and how true love never ends. The musical is even better than the film, as the addition of songs like "With You" makes it even more emotional.

This is the story about a young man who discovers that all the men in his family have the power to time travel! Naturally as an awkward 20 something guy, he decides to use this gift to improve his love life. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams (queen of romance) and Bill Nighy, this is one of my all time favourite films. It's funny and heart wrenching, just beautiful. Richard Curtis (the writer) is truly a master of cinema! 

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Pat has just finished a stint in a mental institution and has to stay with his dysfunctional parents. He is fixated on getting back together with his wife Nikki even though there is a restraining order in place against him. He meets Tiffany, who is also mentally ill, and she talks him into helping him with a dance competition. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro who all give stunning performances as these troubled individuals. It's not your traditional love story but it is such a good film and I love the book just as much!

Books

Cath is a writer at college whose main love is writing fanfiction but she's socially awkward and struggles to make friends. Then she meets Levi who is the life and soul of the party and everyone's best friend. It's such a sweet love story with characters that you can relate to. Levi also happens to be the most perfect fictional boy ever, yes even better than Augustus Waters! Rainbow Rowell excels at writing romance, Eleanor and Park is also a wonderful love story.

One Day - David Nicholls
I don't know whether you can call this a love story because Em and Dex's relationship is a little complicated. It covers their lives on St Swithin's Day for 20 years as their lives cross. I love the characters so much, by the end I felt like they were dear friends. I reviewed it in full here.

Severed Heads Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider
Ezra used to be the school's top tennis player and a front runner for homecoming king until a car accident ruins all this. He finds himself at the table of misfits where he meets Cassidy, the new girl, who decides to bring him along on her adventures. I love the character of Ezra, he's charming, naive and gorgeous, Cassidy however is more flawed, she reminds me of Alaska in Looking For Alaska as I found her kind of annoying. However I think this works in the book's favour as it makes Ezra even more endearing. It's sweet and sad, a really interesting read!

Remember being in a relationship isn't the most important thing, loving yourself is!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Get Happy Playlist

Hello!

So Valentine's Day is coming up soon and I'm going to be spending it with my gorgeous boyfriend! We have a really strong connection and his name is Mr Netflix, you may have heard of him. I think it's true love! He's so sweet, he knows my taste in TV and Film back to front. (I guess this won't be turning into a humour blog anytime soon!)

Seriously though, I don't have a Valentine this year and haven't ever. That's completely okay however as you do not need to be in a relationship to be happy! Sure it must be amazing to have someone who you love and loves you back but by no means is it a necessity to feel content with life.

 I think this is a fact that often get's forgotten, with a lot of people living with the mindset "as soon as I get a boyfriend/girlfriend I'll be happy". Everyone needs to be loved and nobody can do that better than yourself! Relationships may come and go but if you love yourself and feel confident, you will experience true happiness.

 With that in mind, whether you are in a relationship or not, take the time this Valentines weekend to make yourself happy. This could be treating yourself to those shoes you've been drooling over recently or just blasting the songs that make you feel good.


I think music can have a massive effect on your mood and mentality so here's my "Get Happy" playlist for when I need a little pick-me-up.


What songs make you feel happy? I'll let you know how it goes with Mr Netflix ;)

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Saturday, 7 February 2015

FEMBRUARY | The Issues With Meninism

Hello!

Jacky has started a series called Fembruary on her blog, Do It For The Irony, in which she is going to be talking about Feminism in the month of of February! I'm loving what she's put up so far and I think it's great that she's doing it in a casual way so that it can be really helpful and not overwhelming! I thought I'd get involved and do my own Fembruary post about Meninism! 


Meninism is an anti-feminist movement that believes that feminists have double standards and are hypocrites, some even go as far to accuse us of "hating men". More and more men are joining the movement, using the hashtags and buying the t-shirts, and it's popularity is growing as they believe that their rights aren't being stood up for.

I believe that Meninism should not exist.

There is the common misconception that feminists are pro-women, rather than pro-equality. Therefore it makes absolutely no sense for women to hate men! An important value of feminism is that men and women have equal worth and should be treated as such. The existence of such a movement isn't actually justified as feminism is designed to eradicate sexism of all types so it does
really support male rights as well as female, trans and non-binary.

I understand that often it can seem like there are double standards in feminism, for example still shaming men for their bodies while saying that all female body types should be accepted and how men are expected to do lot's of things like pay for meals and be the primary source of income for their families. I get that there are flaws and things that aren't as publicised in feminism but it doesn't mean that we have double standards! Meninists have every right to voice these concerns and under the proper definition, it is a feminist issue! 

Any issue that is deemed sexist is an issue that feminists aim to tackle.

That's what annoys me the most, despite being an anti feminist-movement, most of their arguments would fit right into one of a feminist's! If the people behind this movement bothered to understand those they are so adamantly against, they would realise that they believe the same thing as them. To me that's ignorance. 

A lot of the outpouring of meninists on social media is spreading hate towards feminists and women in general. Many use vile insults and pettiness to provoke responses from those they are against. This discredits them completely in my view, how can they be taken seriously when they are behaving this way? The sad thing is that there is a minority that aren't spreading hate, they just don't seem to grasp the point of feminism!

I really hope that these so called "meninists" will learn that their values are the same as feminist's and hopefully they will join the cause and teach us to be better and to understand the problems that are close to them. I also hope they will try to support feminism and gender rights as I feel that some are completely dismissive of other causes that don't affect men.

Nobody's perfect, but that is no reason to attack and denounce someone else's views. If you think they are overlooking something, I'm sure they would appreciate being politely informed of this! I am not a perfect feminist but I am trying my very hardest to be better!

What do you think of meninism? Do you think men's rights are overlooked in feminism? Leave your comments below! Be sure to keep up with Jacky's posts over on DIFTI!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Links I Love

Hello!

Today I'm going to be sharing with you some of my favourite things that I've found on the Internet recently!


Lemon Freckles | Monthly Illustrations
I came across Toni's gorgeous blog at the beginning of the year, just as she was starting her monthly illustrations. I loved January's and this month's is just as adorable, I have it on my phone and my laptop at the moment! Speaking of freebies, I found these social media buttons on... And taught myself how to make them work which I'm rather proud of, considering how dreadful I am at this sort of stuff. I can't even get pictures aligned as you can see from my last post!

Do It For The Irony | Why Pastel Colours Defy Misogyny
I love Jacky's post as it really explores how society conditions us to think that femininity is not good through the smallest things, like the colour pink. I've definitely asked myself if my outfit was "too girly" in the past. It really makes you think, how things as simple as colours affect gender roles. I'm super excited for her #Fembruary posts, you should go check it out!

Scarphelia | The Rise of the Cyber Sisterhood
I pretty much love everything that Katie writes but this post is so brilliant that I couldn't not share it! She asked 9 amazing bloggers 9 amazing questions about achievement, identity, growth etc and they all had brilliant answers. It actually really inspired me more with this blog as these women are achieving so much with their corner of the internet. I'm trying to step up my blogging game to challenge myself and see what comes out of it!

Zoe London | Becoming a Stronger Writer For Your Blog
I always find Zoe's posts so useful and this one was no exception! To be honest I'm a lot more focused on the writing side of blogging so this post was fab for me!

When I first heard about this I must admit I was sceptical. I assumed it would be a 10 minute video where the President just talked about the importance of young people's interest in politics using YouTube star's fame and influence to get the government's message across. How wrong was I! It was actually 45 minutes long and bursting with content and information that I found really interesting. Each YouTuber had 15 minutes to ask the President whatever they wanted, for example Hank Green talked to him about drone strikes, Glozell asked him how to bridge the gap between African American males and white cops, and Bethany Mota discussed making college an option for more students so more can get their qualifications. I was amazed that they were using this valuable time to ask him the questions that the American public wanted to know. His responses were great too, no waffling or avoiding the questions like some of our UK politicians seem to do. It also showed that the government thinks that the opinion of young people is important. I would highly recommend you watch the whole video as I found it so interesting!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Favourites

Hello!
I hope you had a good month and a great start to this new year! Personally it's been a calm month, I had a few little bursts of the January blues as I do every year but for the most of it, I was fine! It's been a month to recollect myself after Christmas and get back into the things I love, reading and writing (also Netflix to be honest!) I've been loving lot's of things recently and I thought I'd share them all with you!

Fashion: Harvard Sweatshirt
I don't think I've actually worn anything else this whole month as I just love this so much. I had my heart set on buying one of these as soon as I got to Boston. It's so cosy and comfortable!


I received these for Christmas and have just fallen in love with them. I've never really been a huge lips person but these are definitely changing my mind! They are really sheer and moisturising, great for someone who doesn't like to go all out on the lips like myself. The colours are gorgeous, with especially cute names: Woppin' Watermelon, Plushest Punch, Pudgy Peony and Grandest Grape!


Books: A Tale For The Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
This isn't the sort of book that I'd usually pick up but I really liked it! It's about a suicidal Japanese girl, Nao,  who writes in her diary about her life and her grandmother, a 104 year old Buddhist nun. This diary washes up in a Hello Kitty lunchbox on the shore of Ruth's beach home where she learns all about this girl and her life. I saw a review of this where it was referred to as "like a buffet" there are bits you like, bits you don't but overall it's more than satisfactory! I loved the spiritual side of it and the parts with her grandmother as well as just learning about Nao, I didn't really get the ending though and it left me wanting more explanation! Overall this book was a joy to read and it helped me get back into reading again.

I've seen this film twice this month and I've been listening to the soundtrack constantly! I blogged my review here.

Music: Lorde, Fall Out Boy and Haim
Seeing as I wrote this post on Lorde recently, you guys know I've been loving her album Pure Heroine. I loved it when it came out all the way back in 2013 but I've been getting back into it and pining for her to release something new! Fall Out Boy released their new album this month, American Beauty, American Psycho, which I have been loving. My favourites songs are The Kids Aren't Alright and Irresistable. Another album I've been listening to (and loving) is Haim's Days Are Gone. 

I've wanted to watch this for so long, but I couldn't find a place where I could catch up on all the episodes. Now it's on the UK Netflix and it's just as good as everyone says! It always has me on the edge of my seat and the central four performances are so strong. Also I would really like to know how all the teenagers in this show look gorgeous all the time?


App: Polyvore and Instagram
This month I've been making lots of  outfit collages on Polyvore. It's really easy to use and has hundreds of items from online shops to play around with. I really can't do art or scrapbooking so this a way that I can use all the ideas that are floating around in my head. I also recently got Instagram, which is so much fun! You can follow me at hxrriethards!


Ultimate Wishlist

Are We Out Of The Woods Yet?

Have a wonderful week!

Hattie
xox