Sunday, 31 May 2015

Fierce Females


How are you? Personally I'm feeling a little exhausted. Last week was my half term holiday and I spent the whole of it revising for my end of years (apart from a trip to Hay Festival and to see Jersey Boys). I've been working pretty hard and sometimes it's hard to find inspiration to keep going. There are a lot of amazing women killing it right now so I just use them as motivation in the hopes that I might be even a tenth as successful as them! They prove that if you really work hard and fight for your place in the world, you will eventually succeed. They also all have amazing attitudes towards life that I find so amazing!

Hermione Granger
What I like about Hermione is how she was never afraid to excel. She worked hard, put in the hours and reaped the benefits in the form of good grades and pulling Harry and Ron out of trouble time and time again. What strikes me about her is the similarities of her and Harry's situations before Hogwarts, they both grow up in the Muggle world and find out about their magical abilities. However at Hogwarts, Hermione works really hard to make the most of her fantastic opportunity yet Harry seems to just slack off. I admire her for this. She proves herself to her doubters and has a huge hand in the defeat of Voldemort.

Alicia Florrick
Alicia is the main character in the TV show, the Good Wife, she plays the wife of an ex-politician who has to go back into work at a big law firm in Chicago. She has to deal with a lot, due to her untrustworthy husband, but she shows so much character and she has a lot of flaws. This sets her apart from a lot of the "strong female leads" on TV nowadays. You don't have to be this steely alpha female who never feels a thing, you can choose what you broadcast to the world and still fall apart behind closed doors. Alicia is good at her job, seriously good, but the show focuses on both her inner struggles and the amazing lawyer that others admire her for. I would seriously recommend watching the Good Wife on Netflix, it gets really good!

Elizabeth McCord
I've just started watching Madam Secretary on Sky and I think I'm addicted. It follows Elizabeth McCord in her new role as Secretary of State in the US. She's under a lot of pressure in the job, not helped by an office full of staff hired by her predecessor (who died in a plane). She is excellent at her job, but also makes mistakes and has to make a lot of hard ethical decisions. I especially love how her and her husband, despite being in completely different professions (he's a religious scholar), they call themselves a team, no matter what.

Anna Kendrick
I have loved everything that Anna has done and she is so talented, both in acting and singing. She keeps it real and has such great comic timing. I loved both Pitch Perfects and Into The Woods so I'm so excited to see what she does next!

Taylor Swift
Okay, so you knew I had to include Queen Swift in this list, she is killing it on her 1989 World Tour right now and generally winning at life! I'm so excited to see her later this month!

Cara Delevigne
Proving she's more than an extemely pretty face, Cara is making the leap into acting. She's starring as Margo in John Green's Paper Towns this summer alongside Nat Wolff and still managing to have a hugely successful modeling career. She also recently guest starred in Taylor Swift's Bad Blood music video.

Let me know who I've missed in the comments!
Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Saturday, 23 May 2015

One Year Of Blogging + Reader Survey!


As of this Tuesday, this little corner of the internet will have existed for a whole year! Who would have guessed that I would still be writing to you 365 days on, still enjoying it just as much, if not more. I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know how much of an effect blogging has had on me.

Before I begin, I want to say thank you for clicking onto Hattie Hards, whether on Bloglovin, Twitter  or by accident! It means the world to me that you are taking the time to read my writing so THANK YOU :D

 It's become something that I am so proud of; despite my lack of coding expertise or photography skills, I couldn't believe it when I added in a line of code to my template (making all the pictures the same width) and my laptop didn't blow up. I honestly didn't think that anyone would ever want to read my ramblings but now it has been visited over 8500 times (and only about half of those is from my mum) a far cry from the days when I would be lucky to get anyone outside my immediate family clicking onto it. However I am so not in it for the pageviews, although it is a lovely feeling, I started Hattie Hards because I wanted a space to express myself and improve my writing. Hopefully my writing is getting better and it's definitely served as an amazing creative outlet as well as opening up other opportunities, such as writing for London Theatre Direct.

I've met some amazing people on Twitter during the blog chats who always amaze and inspire me with their honesty, talent and positivity on their own blogs. My blog would be nowhere without the influence of several ladies' blogs. Sadly I haven't had the time to participate in many blog chats recently as I've had too much revision to do, so I end up missing them. Hopefully this summer I can get back into joining in with as many as possible!

I'm always left curious as to who is reading my posts, I get some idea when I get comments but for the most part I haven't got a clue. I'd also like some feedback on how to improve this little space so I made a quick little survey that I'd love for you to do! Anyone can take it so please do as it is so helpful to me and only takes a minute!

Create your own user feedback survey

Blogging has made me so happy so THANK YOU for reading and inspiring me to continue to write. I hope you will join me for another year of blogging? 

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Headphones In, World Out | My Favourite Playlists


Music is a pretty big part of our daily lives, particularly teenager's. It's the backing track to our thoughts, where we go to lose or find ourselves. I listen to it as I'm getting ready for school, on the bus, doing homework and reading. I love it when you find a song that seems to apply exactly to a situation you are in and those feelings that come with it. Listening to the same stuff all day would get pretty boring so I have a few different playlists for different moods and activities.

This is the one I listen to on the bus to and from school. They make me feel a lot more relaxed about going to school and good about myself (and my taste in music!) Most of these singers have really lovely tones of voices, they make a perfect mix for school.

This one is a premade playlist from Spotify, I only listen to it when I really can't be distracted, it has some beautiful instrumental tracks that somehow manage to provide a calm and focused atmosphere.

These are the one's I just love to listen to when scrolling through Twitter or blogging. It includes some of my favourite ever bands, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance. They have some amazingly written songs that bring a smile to my face whenever I listen, in particular Hallelujah by P!OTD which I have been absolutely loving recently. Brendon Urie's voice gives me goosebumps it's so brilliant!

I listen to this one when I'm reading before bed, winding down for the night. I love old school tracks like Asleep by the Smiths and Heroes by David Bowie but also modern songs like The Only Exception by Paramore. They bring the books to life, creating a magical atmosphere for immersing myself into a book.

I got the idea for this from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as the protagonist hold an emergency dance party for herself when things make her sad. I filled mine with my favourite songs to jam out to, notably Na Na Na by My Chemical Romance and Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (I had to get a cover version though as she has taken all her music off Spotify). I won't disclose what sort of things made me feel like I needed to put it on recently but I can guarentee that an impromptu dance party will make you feel a lot better and take your mind off whatever's making you sad.

When revising I also put on a whole album as they range from 30 minutes to 1 hour so I can do a block of revision for one subject in the time it takes to listen to an entire album. My favourites for this are Danger Days by My Chemical Romance, Pure Heroine by Lorde, Days Are Gone by Haim and Handwritten by Shawn Mendes.

What playlists do you have? Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
This is actually my 100th post and I'm about to hit a year of blogging! Post on all that coming soon!
Hattie xo 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Becoming a Morning Person In 5 Steps


Everyone has those days where you don't really feel your best, you'd rather just crawl into bed and never face the world. Unfortunately, it's inevitable that you'll have to leave the safety of your house for school or work at some point and actually interact with other humans. This happens to me pretty much every day before school, however I have a few things that can make me feel like I'm ready to take on the day. I hope this might help some of you who struggle with school mornings and help you go from feeling like a sloth to Beyonce in no time!

Eat. This may seem a little simple but eating breakfast has a massive effect on my energy levels. If you eat something filling, like porridge, toast or even just a banana, you're going to feel a lot better!

Blast your favourite music. I have a few playlists to kick start my day in a good mood, my favourite is the Emergency Dance Party one, named as a reference to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It includes 5SOS, My Chemical Romance and Haim but the best song is always Shake It Off by Taylor Swift!

Find a skincare routine that works. There's nothing that can reduce your confidence like a bad-skin day, so having a good skincare routine can have a great effect. I've struggled to find a routine that my skin likes but I've found some products that seem to be working. I've been using the Witch Exoliating Face Wash and the Garnier Fresh Essentials Day Cream, my skin has felt a lot healthier than when using my old one. I'm not sure about what effect it will have in the long run but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Put on your face for the day. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I love putting on makeup in the morning. It makes me feel more comfortable in my own skin and deals with any insecurities relating to skin! You can alter how much you put on but I usually wear:
 I also use a dark brown eyeshadow on my eyebrows but I can't remember where I got it!

Make a mental list of the things in the day that you can look forward to. I have a countdown app that I check every morning, reminding me of all the amazing things in the coming weeks, but it's also good to think about the specific day. Do you have your favourite lesson today? Why not treat yourself to a Netflix marathon after you get home? Do what you can to make the day as fun as possible so you'll look forward to it in the morning.

Are you a morning person? What do you do to wake yourself up in the morning?
Hattie xo

Monday, 4 May 2015

Life Lately | LTD Post and Other Musings


I've come to realise that I don't really talk about my life on here, sure I talk about what I'd like to improve but never really about things that happened to me. I love it when other bloggers write about their own life so here's a little summary of my life lately!

I've written a new post for London Theatre Direct, titled Young Talent Of The West End: Past And Present. It was inspired by the very talented Fletchers, Tom and Carrie, who both were child stars before becoming the great adult successes they are now! I love blogging for LTD, it allows me to write about theatre every week and improve my writing skills in a different way to here. I'd love it if you had a read!

Speaking of London Theatre Direct, I was lucky enough to be offered two tickets to see Hay Fever in the West End on Friday! All the actors were amazing and my review will hopefully be up on LTD pretty soon! It was an extra special night as I'm pretty sure Ian McKellan (yes GANDALF) walked behind me when I was buying a programme and I had a little fangirl moment.

On Monday I went to see Paul Merton's Impro Chums at the Cheltenham Town Hall. It was an improvised show, where the cast played several games and acted entire scenes based on audience suggestions. I laughed the whole way through, it's a very particular kind of humour but these guys are the best at it.

At school this week I applied to be a House Mentor to the new Year 7s next year and I got it! I'm pretty keen when it comes to house events and my mentors were so amazing to me that I want to do the same. I was really worried about Thursday because this was announced, I had a maths test and I had to run the 1500m but everything turned out great (except maths, that was terrifying).

here's me
Loving this week:
Music: Shawn Mendes - Handwritten + Taylor Swift - Bad Blood
TV: Pretty Little Liars (I just finished it, what do I watch now?! Also that season finale though)
YouTube: MyLifeAsEva
Quote: "Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest." - All Too Well - Taylor Swift (I've just been in awe of her songwriting skills this week)

How has your week been?

Hattie xo

Fitness : Goals, Plans and Inspiration


Believe it or not, I have been for a run 5 out of 7 days this week. They ranged from 800m to a 30 minute session and for me, this is unheard of. I'm pretty unfit, I don't like to play sports at school (too competitive) and I have a deep emotional connection to chocolate biscuits so I'm rather proud of myself for this! The sudden change in habit is mainly down to preparing for my school sports day 1500m race. I wasn't trying to win, I wanted to build up a bit of stamina so I could finish without embarrassing myself too much! I ended up coming 6th out of 12 which is pretty amazing for me, as that means I scored points for my house that weren't just for turning up!

The crazy thing about this, is that I've actually started to enjoy bits of it, the feeling when you really get into your stride and how proud you feel after each run. This is so uncharacteristic of me but I'd really like to continue and see more results from running and general fitness. Fitness posts are some of my favourites to read so I thought I'd give the whole "healthy selves" vibe a whirl and see what becomes of it. Today I'm talking about my goals, plans and inspiration!

I would like to:
Feel stronger but hopefully a tad smaller in places.
Have more energy and not get so lethargic.
Be able to wear certain items of clothing without worrying how I look in them.
Feel more confident and happy in my skin.

Plans to achieve this
I plan on:
 Going on more runs to burn off calories. Sometimes it scares me how little exercise I do, considering the amount of unhealthy food I eat, that needs to change!
Finding cardio workouts that I enjoy. I'm going to be playing more badminton in my garden this summer because it's one of the only sports I like.
Do more workouts from the internet. For toning I go to Cassey at Blogilates because she makes amazing, fun videos focused on certain parts of your body! I also love Eva's fitness routine videos because she seems to have so much energy!
Posting more of my fitness discoveries here because I'd love to take you along on this fitness kick I'm on.
I don't have any people that I want to look like because I know that everyone's body is different. I'm mainly focused on improving my own and seeing little changes in my energy and confidence.
That being said, there are some YouTube girls who I can't help but be inspired by because they are my motivation goals. My faves are Eva and Cassey, let me know who you watch on YouTube!
I'm inspired by people sharing their own results; whenever I don't think it will be worth it, I go to this list of things that happen when you get in shape!

What inspires you to improve your fitness? I'd love to read some of your fitness/healthy eating posts so leave them below!
Hattie xo