Saturday, 28 March 2015

Travel Tips + Essentials


I hope you've all had a great week, mine has been very busy as I've been preparing to go skiing with my school. As you read this I'll be at the end of a 24 hour coach journey to Austria! Sounds awful doesn't it? But long haul travel doesn't have to be the worst experience of your life if you plan ahead with these handy little tips and essentials!


Pack healthy snacks. I say healthy because if you're stuck in a car or plane seat for a long time, you're going to start feeling weighed down and groggy if all you've been eating is crisps and sweets. Make sure to get a filling hot meal when you can but snack on food like celery, cucumber and cereal bars in between. You'll feel so much better because of it and the smell won't  stay with you the whole journey!

Drink plenty of water. It's really important to stay hydrated throughout a long journey but be mindful of when you will be able to go to the toilet!

Bring breath mints. These are lifesavers for me on journeys, especially when you can't brush your teeth as often as you'd like! My favourites are Tic Tacs  and Smints.

Bring one or two small treats for yourself. If you aren't great with traveling it can help to reward yourself with a chocolate bar or two! Just make sure that you don't eat too much or you'll feel groggy and thirsty. A little comfort eating can calm you down too!


Bring an E-Reader such as a Kindle. Long journeys are amazing to get in a lot of reading and I'll definitely be downloading a lot of books on my Kindle. It's a lot easier as you don't need to carry multiple books in your hand luggage and it also has a backlight for the evenings.

Stock up on lots to listen to. I love listening to podcasts on my phone, my favourites are Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl and the Film Review one with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo. 

Read magazines. Ever since Company went out of print I haven't really found any magazines that I love but now is the time to discover a new one!

Take the time to get to know whoever is sat by you! You might as well if you're going to be there for a long time!


Bring your essentials in your hand luggage. This includes your hairbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser etc. I can't tell you how much better you'll feel when you brush your hair or put on some moisturiser. It's also good to have these things with you instead of in your suitcase.

Fluffy socks. Comfort first right? Especially if you're planning on sleeping, they are so cosy!

Find a way that helps you chill out. Relax your mind with breathing exercises and looking out the window at all the amazing scenery! 

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Update: Writing for London Theatre Direct


Just a quick post to let you know that I'm now part of the team for the blog on London Theatre Direct! My first post is titled The West End: Teaching Young People To Stand Up Against Prejudice And Accept Themselves (bit of a mouthful, I know!) The link is here and it would be lovely if you could go have a look!

Make sure to follow London Theatre Direct on Twitter @theatre_direct to keep up with all their offers and blog posts.

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

101 Things That Make Me Happy


This post has been seriously fun to write! I've spent all week brainstorming all the things that I love and I've honestly felt my mood lift because of it!

1, 2 & 3) My wonderful family
4, 5, 6 & 7) My fabulous best friends, Becca, Evie, Maizey and Téa
8, 9 & 10) My amazing pets, Monty (dog), Misty and Moe (rabbits)
11) Thinking up posts for this blog! (I have my best ideas in Chemistry lessons)
12) Participating in blog chats on Twitter
13) When you are stood on stage acting and you feel completely comfortable in the role
14) That moment when you hear a song for the first time and completely connect with the lyrics
15) Having absolutely nothing to do
16) Watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix
17) Getting good test results 
18) Eating Sticky Toffee Pudding 
19) Seeing my friends happy
20) Being totally captivated by a character in a book
21) Waking up on a good hair day
22) Making an inside joke 
23) Having a heart to heart with my friends
24) Sipping ice cold Diet Coke
25) Seeing someone stand up for what they believe in instead of being pushed down

26) Buying a gift for someone and they love it
27) Little black poodles 
28) Listening to Taylor Swift
29) Watching Richard Curtis films
30) Wearing a fierce outfit
31) When your eyeliner game is strong
32) Bright red tulips
33) Laughing until my ribs hurt
34) Good skin days
35) Being surrounded by people you can trust
36) Browsing Pinterest
37) Smiling
38) Equality
39) White Chocolate Cookies
40) Listening to Fall Out Boy (namely Save Rock and Roll)
41) Drinking multiple cups of tea in day
42) Visiting amazing cities like Rome and NYC
43) Skiing
44) Looking back at old pictures
45) Cute stationary
46) Buying new makeup for myself
47) Tina Fey comedies
48) Being really proud of something I've done
49) Jamming out to Disney
50) Watching an amazing play in the RSC

51) Wearing cute jewellery
52) Interacting with my fave bloggers on Twitter
53) Eating Cherry Pie
54) Fun hair styles
55) Lighting scented candles
56) British Satire
57) Reading John Green books
58) Receiving nice comments on here
59) Visiting cute little cafes
60) Going to outdoor concerts
61) Seasonal drinks at Starbucks (Peppermint Mochas are amazing)
62) Feeling inspired to create
63) Doing origami
64) Doing Blogilates workouts
65) Stargazing
66) Making berry smoothies
67) Watching movie musicals
68) Going to amazing beaches in Italy
69) Having a very productive day
70) Having Chinese takeaways
71) Visiting cute Cotswold villages
72) Filling up notebooks
73) Wearing summer dresses
74) Sitting in front of a roaring fireplace
75) Having a movie marathons

76) Eating pancakes with lemon and sugar
77) Baking
78) Seeing one of your favourite actors/singers/writers gain worldwide success
79) Buying books on my Kindle
80) Finding new Instagram accounts to follow
81) Having a bath with Lush products
82) Watching countless Friends epidodes
83) Hot chocolate with all the frills
84) Learning new things
85) Plot twists
86) Days with no clouds
87) Big fluffy jumpers
88) Picnics
89) Creme Eggs
90) Random Acts of Kindness
91) Wearing flower crowns
92) Painting my nails
93) Using emojis in tweets
94) Eating burgers
95) Watching my favourite YouTubers
96) Road trips
97) Strong WiFi connections
98) Happily ever afters
99) Hot Duck Wraps
100) Funny Tumblr posts
101) Making lists!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fiction with Flaws | 3 YA Books That Step Away From Cliches


Do you ever notice in fiction that certain elements of people's lives are just too perfect? Obviously not all elements as there would be no story but I've been noticing a lot of cliches in YA fiction. These include heroines always being attractive and athletic, relationships ending extremely happily or extremely sadly and the unrequited love interests turning out to be perfect. They aren't huge things and very easy to overlook but in my opinion they can be damaging. YA fiction is pretty great for creating stories that a great number of people can relate to but these are a few things that have the potential to create unrealistic expectations of life. This links in with a previous post, Why Isn't My Life Like That? There are three books that defy these cliches and set s great example, that I thought I'd talk about today!

Eleanor and Park are misfits, she's got bright red hair, the wrong clothes and she's overweight, he's half white, half Korean and loves to wear eyeliner. They form a connection through mixtapes on their daily bus journeys and begin a relationship. It's actually a beautiful love story, they fall in love with the whole of each other, their supposed flaws and all. The main thing that is interesting is Eleanor's size as a huge majority of YA heroines are slim and often athletic. I saw this article on Buzzfeed by Kaye Toal about how finding a fat YA heroine changed her life. It's a beautifully written piece and really raises some important questions. The part that really shocked me was this observation about Harry Potter: 

"All character flaws were forgiven in Harry Potter’s world except the cardinal sin of being fat; Uncle Vernon, Aunt Marge, Dudley, Professor Umbridge were all described as obese, and every time it was used as a hammer to drive home their innate unpleasantness. Not only were they cruel and stupid, they were fat! How disgusting! Right, kids? And, when Dudley was finally less unpleasant in book seven and said his borderline-heartfelt good-bye to Harry, all his fat had become muscle. Fascinating.

E&P shows teens that it isn't just traditionally attractive people who will find love. Being large or small is not part of your character and Rainbow Rowell is paving the way to stopping fat shaming in fiction!

Paper Towns - John Green *possible spoiler alert*
Quentin (Q) is in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar, so when she turns up in the middle of the night to take him on a whirlwind adventure pulling pranks, he can't quite believe it. But in the morning she has completely disappeared and nobody knows where she's gone, Q takes it upon himself to find her. However is he chasing after the girl of his dreams or an illusion? 
In a lot of books people realise that what they thought they wanted wasn't real, but for some reason this one stuck in my mind. I think it's because Margo turned out to be so different from the cool girl who has her life figured out that Q had pictured her to be. In a lot of YA, the girl usually get's her crush or the crush turns out to be horrible. In this, it steps away from that and Q just has to come to terms with the fact that she is in no way perfect and not the person he fell in love with but still a friend. That's okay. Not everything turns out perfectly and sometimes we have to be fine with the fact that life is unexpected.
Just the title tells you that this is going to be a bit different from the average YA book! The novel takes the form of a letter from Min to her ex boyfriend, Ed, retelling their relationship and why they broke up. Maybe you think that it sounds boring, teens break up all the time, right? Think again, this story takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and it's how realistic it is that draws you in. I loved reading this book as it shows you that having a relationship that doesn't work out exactly the way you want it is perfectly fine. It is not usually anyone's fault for your differences and if it is, then you can just move on. We know the relationship is doomed from the beginning but as the story progresses we really get to know these two people and see all the factors that split them apart.

Have you read any similar books? What do you think about these cliches?
Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 8 March 2015

My Dream Dinner Party Guests


I'm back! I know I've been on a bit of a break for about 2 weeks, I needed some time to chill out and sort out my school work etc. Just lost my blogging mojo, that's all! I've had a case of writers block so I needed a post to get me back in the mindset of blogging, that's when I saw this post on the gorgeous Dee's blog! I think everyone has a few famous people who they want to be best friends with! I've picked a few of mine who I think would make a killer dinner party!

Taylor Swift
Who else to start off my magnificent seven? Taylor is hugely successful so would add that little bit of star power and sparkle to this party. She's so lovely and surprisingly down to earth when it comes to interacting with her friends and fans. She might even bring her gorgeous cats, Meredith and Olivia, and all the other guests would fall in love with her sweet nature. Also I know I could count on her to bring the dessert of cookies and apple pie!

Caitlin Moran
Caitlin is a columnist and author who would bring the witty jokes and sass to the table. Her twitter is my guilty pleasure and I was lucky enough to see her at the Cheltenham Literature Festival so I know she's hilarious in real life too. I think she would provide plenty of wild stories and interesting conversation. We'll just have to hope her "feminist smile" doesn't scare off the other guests! 

Lee Mack
I love Lee Mack's humour, the way he is so quick witted on Would I Lie To You and Not Going Out always has me in stitches. I feel like a dinner party would need someone to keep the conversation light and consistently deliver witty comments, I'm sure that Lee would be up for the job!

Ricky Wilson
Ricky is the frontman of Kaiser Chiefs and a judge on the Voice UK. I would invite him because he's so sweet and funny on the Voice. He'd get on really well with the other guests and be a great addition to the party.

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey would give the party a bit of elegance and style if she was there. Everyone would love to hear about her trips to Africa with UNICEF and I'm sure she would inspire us all to try and be more charitable. There are so many things I would like to ask her!

John Green
John Green has written some of my all time favourite books so I would love to meet him! He also seems like an extraordinary person through his YouTube channel vlogbrothers with his brother Hank. TFIOS debuted at Number 1 on the NY Times Bestsellers list and he launched VidCon, DFTBA and the Project For Awesome. He is such an intelligent person with a real thirst for knowledge so I'm sure he would bring some interesting conversation!

Tom Jones
Another Voice Coach but I'm sure Tom would be an amazing addition to this guest list! He's been in show business for donkey's years so he would have so much to tell us and his star studded anecdotes would keep us entertained for hours. Wouldn't it be amazing if Taylor, Ricky and him played us a little music after dinner?

The others who nearly made the cut are Benedict Cumberbatch, Emma Watson and Meryl Streep!

So that's my guest list, who would be in yours?

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo