Sunday, 6 November 2016

Trolls, A Levels and a Good Change


It's been a while since I last posted on here, a long while, so long that it feels so strange to be writing on here after such a long absence (for me). I was on a roll with my last post, I'd just come back from New York, had just started 6th Form and was buzzing with ideas for content. It was all going to be fine, maybe I'd have less time to write posts but I'd still keep up the blog in Year 12. Then I found a tweet mocking me that had 50 RTs and suddenly I had a whole lot less motivation. 

A random grown man, who has zero connection to me at all, thought it would be hilarious to screenshot my twitter bio with a comment  suggesting that I'm throwing my life away and lots of other strangers decided to RT and like it. I count myself very lucky that this is the first experience I have with people being outright horrible about me on the internet and it could have been a lot worse but it still really upset me. It probably didn't help that I was already going through a period of insecurity about my blog, whether it was too fluffy or boring. So I ended up not writing a post or even thinking about writing a post for quite a while, because I just didn't feel like trying to come up with any ideas. 

I am still so angry about those tweets, it just feels so horrible that they were all laughing at me behind my back. I did look on their profiles and, surprise surprise, they were Trump supporters so that takes the sting off it a bit, they were never going to be nice about a girl who calls herself a feminist! It was very frustrating and made me feel quite unsafe on the internet for a while but you've just got to come back fighting when someone says something like that; deactivating or disappearing completely would mean they had won.

The rest of this update is a lot more positive, I promise! Actually, I've had the best start to 6th Form I could have had, I love my subjects, though I did switch one, and have a really close knit group of friends whom I love a lot. I'm learning to drive, which is actually really fun, and I'm looking to apply to some US uni's as well as UK ones. It's all going pretty well and I'm really optimistic about the next two years. 

As for what I want this blog to be, I'm going to have to cut back what I was doing last year as A Level work keeps me really busy but I do want to write more about things I'm seriously interested, quality over quantity. So expect more posts about politics, film, books etc in the future because that's the sort of writing I want to get better at. I've missed writing posts and putting them up but I'm not looking at doing everything the same way as before my break but I'm still so proud of this blog. 

That's it for today but you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what I'm doing when I'm not writing on here!

Have a wonderful week!
Harriet xo

Sunday, 11 September 2016

10 Incredible Things To Do In New York


If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might know that I just got home from a week in the greatest city in the world! New York was one of those trips where every single day was unforgettable and I'm always taken aback at the brilliant atmosphere in this city. I've been twice before but always in Christmas and never in the summer; it feels so different in the sun, much more relaxed. So I've been posting quite a lot on Instagram Stories this week, updating you on all the cool things I did, via many posts per day, some of which were a little cringey (actually a lot cringey but they've disappeared now so it's okay); if you haven't seen them or want to know more about my trip, you've come to the right place! Before the trip, I loved reading other people's New York posts to figure out what I couldn't miss, so I'm going to structure this post around things you can do if you're ever in the Big Apple.

Visit the One World Observatory at One World Trade Centre. It's the tallest building in the city and in my opinion the views are even better than the Rockefeller or the Empire State. It's right down near the bottom of Manhattan so you get a full picture of the island, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Queens. We went up there early evening while it was still light and stayed until it was dark to see the whole city lit up. They've got lovely staff working there and it's just a really cool building to experience. 



Walk the High Line. We did this on our first day and boy, is it a good way to get a feel for the city. It's essentially a disused railway line that runs above Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, all done up with greenery and benches recently. New York in the summer is so sunny and warm and in my opinion, this is just as nice a way to spend an afternoon as in Central Park. It feels like a real hub of the community; we even witnessed a wedding taking place up there!



Get lots of Starbucks. Alright, hear me out on this one... Every time my family visits a big city we always wind up in a Starbucks to keep us going through the day. Though you can take the subway or a taxi, New York is a city to be walked through, there are sights around every corner, and it can get tiring after a while. Personally, I only go to Starbucks for their seasonal drinks, as I only drink coffee when it's pumped full of syrup and sugar. Winter is the time for the peppermint and caramel drinks but I could drink their summer offerings all year round, they do iced tea lemonades to die for. Not every stop has to be at a super chic cafe guys, especially when you're about to faint from the heat!

Go to a Broadway show. I know this one isn't cheap, even with the knockdown prices at TKTS, but for all my theatre lovers out there, go see something that we don't have in the West End yet! I went to see Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and absolutely loved it. I'll have a full review up in the next few weeks but it felt quite special to see a show that only opened this year, with its original cast. 



Go on the East River Ferry. This is a ferry route that has terminals at Midtown Manhatten, Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Wall Street. It's so much more than a quick way to get to a different part of New York because the views are unparalleled, you're not going to get a better view of the skyline unless you actually go up a skyscraper. Sure it might cost lots to go to the top of the Rock but for $4 you can get from one end of New York to the other while taking some pretty amazing pictures of the most famous skyline in the world. I hadn't a clue that you could do this before I went but now it's one of my most vivid memories of the city's beauty. 



Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Total tourist trap but it's a must for seeing one of the best views in the whole city and maybe the world. There's not a lot more to say about this one, other than it's beautiful and you need to do this at least once in your life. 





Visit the UN. The UN headquarters isn't on all of those tourist lists for New York but it should be, in my opinion. We didn't do any museums this time around but this is just as interesting a place to visit. You can get a tour round all the important rooms where the important councils meet to  discuss the most important issues in the world. Our tour guide was called Patricia and was so sarcastic and hilarious but also made it really informative, giving us the context of what's going on right, telling us how the membership works etc. It's technically international territory so you can also get your passport stamped with the UN logo.

Cycle. I think there's lots of routes you can take but we cycled up the West Side, from Hell's Kitchen all the way up to Washington Heights. I'd really recommend the bike rental place we used, Blazing Saddles, they were so friendly and the bikes were great. It's a really nice way to spend the day, especially if you're sick of walking everywhere!

Get a Shake Shack at Madison Square Park. I got this one off Hannah Gale's blog and it's one of those chilled things to do, just sit in a park and enjoy a really great burger. I had the Shroom Burger and a Concrete (frozen custard with chocolate and caramel mix-ins) and it was one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a long time. 


Go to Ellen's Stardust Diner. I've been to New York three times, the first in 2007 and every time we've been to this diner. We almost didn't go but our flight was cancelled meaning we had another night in the city so we decided to go there for our last meal. It's just like any diner in New York, except the waitstaff sing. They're mostly made up of actors and actresses, working in between auditions and trying to get their break on Broadway, a lot of which are actually successful. It's just a much more fun and entertaining way to have a meal, the food is really good too. It's one of those "don't miss it" kind of restaurents as it's so unique and special to Broadway. 




I hope you enjoyed this post about my trip to New York! There's a couple more NY posts I'd like to write so keep an eye out for those in the coming weeks!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 


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Saturday, 27 August 2016

August Roundup| Life, Beauty, Music + Style


I can't believe September has crept up so fast, next week I'll be back at school and before you know we'll be well into Pumpkin Spice Latte season and buying our bodyweight in knitwear. I don't feel as if I've done a lot but at the same time I've been more busy than I anticipated to be. I'm kind of looking forward to going back to school but first I've got my New York trip to kick start the month! Without further ado, here's my August Roundup!

Life. Throughout August I was mainly working and waiting for my GCSE results. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to work this summer, I don't know what I would have done with myself otherwise and it feels good to know I can pay for driving lessons this autumn. Working also made me realise how much of a bubble we live in when we're in school, all the pointless classroom drama is so irrelevant. 

I also got my GCSE results just this week! I was so nervous and really didn't want to be disappointed with any of them but it turned out really well. I haven't put them up on any social media but I wanted to share it on here because if you're reading my blog then chances are you're going to be chill with it. I got two A's and 10 A*s! I'm so happy with that and am so glad that all my work paid off!

Beauty. I thought it was about time that I start getting my act together and getting my brows to look more polished, so I picked up the much hyped NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade. I'm really liking the difference of a gel formula instead of powder or pencil and it's really easy to use with an angled brush. I'd really recommend this product, especially as it's so cheap at only £5.50. Also at NYX I bought one of their Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks in the shade 08, it was the last one of it's shade out and I think the colour's gorgeous, I have a matte lip cream from NYX in Cannes but this one's a bit longer lasting and less rosy in colour. I've also been loving the Barry M Daylight Curing Top Coat for quick drying because it makes doing my nails so much easier and I thought it was worth a mention on here. 

Style. I haven't really been wearing anything particularly interesting recently, just t-shirt and jeans most days, but I have started wearing nice earrings more often. I bought myself a pack of about 10 cool pairs from Zara in Greece, including some small hoops. I've always wanted to be cool enough to wear hoop earrings and now I actually have a pair I can't stop wearing them. 

Music. I've been really into Carly Rae Jepsen's album Emotion recently, it's a pop masterpiece and she deserves so much more attention for it. Her B side album just came out but I don't think it's released in the UK yet so I'm looking forward to listening to that through September.

Books. So this summer I had planned to read lots of classics, but that hasn't really happened as much as I wanted to. I did read Pride and Prejudice though and really loved it, Jane Austen type love stories are my guilty pleasure. I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and was pleasantly surprised, the plot is very fan fic-esque but the moments we get with the characters we've grown up with more than made up for it's flaws.

TV. I've recently got into Gilmore Girls as I keep seeing people talking about it on Twitter and I'm so glad I started, it's so good! It's the type of show I'd make required watching for all teenage girls.

If there's a theme to this post it's things that help me to feel like I'm doing an okay job at life, whether it's with small material things like makeup and earrings, watching a feel-good show like Gilmore Girls or filling my time with something productive. When your head gets filled with doubt, these things have helped me get back to the place where I can feel good about where I am in life. 

What things have you been loving this month? Let me know down in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Little Summer To Autumn Wishlist





Happy Wednesday everyone! I've got a little bonus post for you today, a selection of my fave buys for the next few months. It's kept me quite busy browsing online for all these pieces, a welcome distraction from worrying about Results Day tomorrow. I'm feeling okay about it at the moment but I've predicted that I'll have a meltdown as soon as Bake Off ends tonight. I just want it to be over to be honest so I can start concentrating on 6th Form... oh and my holiday to New York!

So if you're like me and don't have hundreds of pounds to blow on ASOS each time the weather changes, your best friends are transitional clothes. I'm talking clothes that are so versatile they can look nice all year round with boots and tights or flip flops and bare legs. I tried to pick all of these with that in mind because I've got to save for driving lessons/ a car and I'm not going to spend £20 on a bardot top that is inconvenient to wear 360 days a year. I love everything I've put into this post and I incorporated a range of prices, though I'd wait for some of them to go on sale if I were you. I'm actually looking at getting a pair of Adidas Gazelles when I'm in New York and I'm so excited about that because I've been living in Converse for the last 5 years. 

Pull & Bear are one of my favourite shops for casual fashion and it's no wonder that they feature in this post; I want to wear that Girl Gang bomber jacket while slowly taking down the patriarchy and there's nothing I love more than a cute slogan sweatshirt like the green and blue ones. Can you also tell I have a bit of a thing for embroidered items right now? That skirt is so pretty and would look awesome no matter what you wear it with. The two floaty dresses are gorgeous and the type of dress you could actually get a lot of wear out of rather, dressing it up and down. 





Burgundy Sheer Panel Skater Dress - New Look - £24.99

Grey Textured Floral Print Sweater - New Look - £14.99

Adidas Gazelle Vapour Pink White - £74.99

Black Ditsy Floral Wrap Front Mini Dress - New Look - £14.99

Slogan Sweatshirt - Pull & Bear - £19.99

Black Floral Embroidered A-line Denim Skirt - River Island - £45.00

Spot Cold Shoulder Mini Dress - Topshop - £49.00

Slogan Sweatshirt - Pull & Bear - £19.99

MOTO Cord Pini Dress - Topshop - £39.00

Suedette Lace Up Heel - New Look - £27.99

I hope you liked this little wishlist, I had a lot of fun putting it together. Let me know what your favourite items for the end of summer are in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Monday, 22 August 2016

The 5 Albums Of My Teenage Years


Whenever I get blogger's block I always go back to the question "what the hell is my niche?" There's been a lot of back and forth as to whether finding a niche is a good blogging tip but I've been thinking about it in the context of what is the unique perspective that I can offer rather than just putting out similar content to other bloggers. Then it occurred to me that I probably should be writing about things that are relevant to me not the 20 something bloggers I love. My fave posts are usually the ones that are really honest and personal to that particular blogger, I don't really care if it's relevant to my life because that's not the primary reason I read blogs. I figured out eventually that the posts about my actual life as a teenager work the best, so here we are with this post about all the albums that seem to epitomise my teenage years so far. 

The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance. Me and my friends discovered MCR at about age 13/14, me personally a few months after they broke up. It was at the stage where we were starting to become friends and this band were a thing we could all latch onto and enjoy together. We probably wouldn't have formed that close friendship as soon without them and for that I am so grateful. However it is a little bittersweet because at that point we were in Year 9 and all going through our angsty phases where I don't think we were half as happy as we are now. It was a time of insecurities and rough patches that just kept on coming, MCR was the soundtrack to all that, I like to think it helped a lot though.

This is pretty much the ultimate MCR album for me and it's been something I can always come back to as the songs never get tired or boring to me. To single out particular tracks that feel especially "teenagery" - Teenagers (of course), Cancer, Famous Last Words and Disenchanted (which I am convinced is a Taylor Swift song in a parallel universe... seriously, listen to the intro). 

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - Panic! at the Disco. This is an amazing album and will forever be iconic in my mind. Panic! are one of my favourite bands and I feel like this album sums up the cynical, anarchic side of teenagers. I think it's mainly significant to me because Panic! was never a specific phase of the past few years, I've always gone back to this particular album for the amazing lyrics. It doesn't feel all too polished and this is the first time the world ever got to hear the miracle that is Brendon Urie's voice so it must be pretty special. I have no idea what category this music falls into but it is 100% my kind of music (except for the other wildly different genres you'll see in this post). I can't believe I was only 6 in 2005 when everyone was going through the phase of having insanely long song titles, what a time for music. I Write Sins Not Tragedies is a song that every should know the lyrics to and my other recent favourites are I Constantly Thank God For Esteban, Build God Then We'll Talk and (brace yourself this one's long) There's a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet.

Midnight Memories - One Direction. I couldn't do this list without including One Direction, it was just a matter of which album. This one is the first one I properly listened to as it came out and kind of lightened up my mood a lot during this time. I remember my current friend group was forming around this time and we were all getting into 1D so there's a lot of happy memories associated with it. Harry Styles' voice is a gift to this generation and I think everyone needs something a little lighter and less serious to listen to every now and then. 

5 Seconds of Summer - 5SOS. This one properly represents my friends and the part of my life I've spent with them. We completely bonded over this album and going to see 5SOS live was one of the best memories I have with them. Nowadays I'm not too sure how much I like the band as people, they haven't been coming across well this year, but I still absolutely love this album and just remembering singing every word at their concert puts a smile on my face.

Know-It-All - Alessia Cara. This only came out last year but it's the single album that I feel I can relate to the most as a teenage girl. Alessia has such a way with lyrics and her creativity is so inspiring to me as it feels as though she didn't compromise on any aspects of her music when putting out this album. She writes about ambition in Four Pink Walls, small town problems in Here and body image in Scars To Your Beautiful, all in such an honest and unapologetic manner. Her whole look feels so authentic, rather than being moulded into the stereotypical young pop star image and it definitely feels like her voice and her ideas being presented in the album. For me, it feels like the album that best represents me and my worldview so will always be special to me in that respect. I would really highly recommend checking this album out for yourself.

Those were the five albums that have been the most significant in my life as a teenager. Let me know if you'd like to see more of this more personal content and more music in the future! 

I'd love to know which albums have been significant to you, leave me a comment!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Thoughts You Have Before Results Day


The summer is slowly drawing to a close, back to school ads are on TV and I need to get a move on with my 6th form uniform shopping. Ugh, school is just around the corner again ... but there's one thing we also have to get before it starts... exam results. I've got my GCSE results coming in on the 25th and the week before it's the A/AS Level results for those in the years above me. I've been going through the motions in terms of my attitude towards this day so I thought I'd do one of those fun "thoughts you have" to try and make the day seem less scary in my head. 

~

You're so ready for these results, you've been waiting since mid-June and as soon as they're in, you can start focusing on the next thing. You're just super keen to get the day out the way, it will be fine... right?

Well actually, if these results do come, it means you'll actually have to find out what you got in all those individual subjects. This means actually knowing what grade you got in Biology and Maths, you won't be able to un-know that. Um, I'd rather live in peaceful ignorance like I have this whole summer, thanks!

It'll be FINE. Remember you felt really good about most of your exams afterwards, you were so happy after Physics, or was that just because you didn't have to do any of it again?

Oh my god, do you remember all those times you got out of the exam and everyone got a different answer to you? That was awful. you bet you've made so many mistakes, you can't even remember what you said for that question everyone was talking about on Twitter afterwards. Where were those drunk rats everyone was going on about? Did you miss a page? It was almost two months ago, you can't remember how you felt after most of your exams. That means it was probably awful right? 

Hang on, coursework is included in your final grade too, at least you know what you got in that so it's not going to be that bad ... apart from those subjects where coursework is 5%.... yikes... Seriously you did your speaking and listening assessment on Hamilton, what if they change their mind about the mark? (true story I actually did my coursework on LMM's masterpiece - full marks so thanks Lin!)

Okay what's the worst that can possibly happen though? .... Oh actually let's not go down that rabbit hole...

You know, you did work really hard for those exams... and you did fine in your mocks... maybe it won't be that bad?

Remember all those hours you spent making notes and reading those notes and drinking tea and quizzing your self... it can't all have been to waste, right? You're going to do really well. 

Either way, these exam results aren't the be all and end all of your education. Some of the most successful people in history weren't suited to the exam system of testing so you'll be fine no matter what the results are. 

Who needs A stars when you can have Magic Stars, am I right ladies?




~

I hope you enjoyed this post and could relate to it somehow! Please let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this in the future.

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo


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Friday, 5 August 2016

A Crazy Day In London

 Do you ever have one of those days that takes a turn for the unexpected and never really turns back to normality so it ends up being one extraordinary thing after the other? Yeah that was my day on Wednesday. The week started normally, I was working Monday and Tuesday, getting excited about seeing the Bodyguard and reviewing it for London Theatre Direct. The morning also started fairly normally, I finished up a post and was having a bit of a nightmare with photography, I also had a little go at Instagram stories which was fun seeing as I don't use Snapchat. My verdict - cool if you can get past the sly behaviour of Instagram. 

didn't go to Cursed Child but this building is so photogenic it hurts
Crazy Thing #1. As soon as we get to Swindon Station to head down to London, I spot Niomi Smart, the incredibly successful blogger/YouTuber. I didn't say hi because we were in a hurry to get on the train but I wouldn't have even known she was in the Cotswolds if I hadn't seen her Insta Story from the morning. It was slightly surreal seeing such a famous YouTuber in one of the most mundane places that I frequently visit. We hadn't even got into the city yet and the trip was out of the ordinary. We have seen a few famous people on our theatre trips before, including Ian McKellan, Lee Mead and Shane Richie, all in the audiences, but I've got to admit Swindon Station isn't the most typical of locations to see people with millions of social media followers!

When we got to London, me and my mum had a wander down to Foyles Bookshop to pore over the huge selection of books, including Harry Potter in every language imaginable. We also went down to look around the area where all the LSE buildings are, because I'd quite like to apply there in a few years. After a delicious meal at Bills, we wandered down towards Leicester Square. 


Crazy Thing #2. Wednesday was the Suicide Squad European premiere and I couldn't quite believe our luck that the theatre was so close to Leicester Square. The actual bit that's used for the premiere is a lot smaller than it looks from pictures and you really can't see a lot if you're not in the penned in areas hours before so this picture is basically all I could see. At one point I could see the screen where Laura Whitmore was interviewing Karen Fukuhara but we couldn't wait long to see anyone else on the screen. I'm pretty sure if we'd been there 10 minutes earlier or later we could have seen Will Smith or Jared Leto though! Just knowing that I was metres away from Margot Robbie and Cara Delevigne was really exciting!



We then went back to Foyles to grab a brownie and aesthetically pleasing lemonade in their gorgeous cafe. I thought it was delicious but the American woman next to me who had one too was very vocal about how it was "the worst lemonade she'd ever tasted", which was lovely to hear ...

Crazy Thing #3. When I got to the Dominion Theatre I spotted two sisters picking up tickets and realised I knew them from Twitter! It was so nice to see Em and Meg, it's always lovely to meet other theatre bloggers in the wild! 

The Bodyguard is incredible, please go see it if you have the chance. I'll link my review when it's up but to sum it up: Beverley Knight is the ultimate queen of the West End and it's a show that makes you laugh, cry, jump and dance. 

Crazy Thing #4. Michael Ball was in the audience, sitting right in front of my friends in fact. It was especially cool as Em had actually interviewed him before. You know you're a West End regular when you're in the same audience as theatre royalty such as himself!

Crazy Thing #5. A lady hugged me and my mum on the tube on the way back to Paddington. Not the usual tube experience I have to admit. Just one more bizarre thing on top of a really strange but cool day.

So that was my epic day in London, I hope you enjoyed hearing about it!

I'd love to know about any of your strange days, have you ever run into someone famous. Let me know in the comments! 

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

July Roundup | Life, Beauty, Music + Style


Recently I've been starting and abandoning blog posts a lot more frequently than usual. It's mainly the concepts that have started out great but turn rubbish in my head after the first paragraph; there's so much I want to share, from products to my states of mind but I can't find the right angle to use when I compile them into a blog post. I'm constantly wanting to try new sides to blogging but I can't find a way to do it in a way that I find interesting to write and that feels actually worthwhile. 

One thing I want to veer away from is the advice style that I usually end up taking, wording things so it seems like I'm solving problems easily because let's be honest I'm only 16 and do not have a good enough perspective to be acting as if I've got everything sussed. All the posts ended up with some sort of pretentious advice angle that just sounds ridiculous in my head, so after several deleted drafts I figured that I need something a little more regular and simple in format to share all the things I want to share. This comes in the form of a monthly round up of favourites, but including things from my life and possibly being themed in future months to make things more interesting. 


Life. July has seen me actually earning money for the first time ever. I've started doing a few days a week at my dad's workplace and I'm also helping out at a local independent bookshop, which is taking up a lot of my time, especially as I'm also trying to write for several platforms as well in my spare time. It's been a really great month for talking to new people and it feels like I'm in one of those "moving forward" periods where I introduce a lot of new stuff into my life and it's all still very exciting. I also went away and took a lot of time for myself to recharge and read a lot of books so all in all July was a really good month for me. 

Beauty - Soap and Glory "Glow All Out" Cheek Stick. Okay so I've only had this for a few days but I'm pretty sure I'm already in love with it. Either way, highlighter has been my favourite thing to wear for this whole month but this is the one specific product that really stands out for me. It's a gorgeous shimmery champagne colour and slides on really nicely; it's easy to make it look natural, unlike others that I've used in which my cheekbones could blind someone (and not in the good way). I'm trying to slowly make the transition into only using cruelty free makeup and I'm pretty sure Soap and Glory is a pretty good brand for this. 

Style. Most of this month I've been into the bomber jacket I featured on this post and the adorable Primark dress in my profile picture (until the straps went and broke on me). 

Music. I've recently got back into My Chemical Romance again after they played with our hearts and teased a reunion which just ended up being an album reissue. The Black Parade is one of my favourite albums of all time though so I can forgive them and get on with reliving all my memories of being 13/14. Amazing songs I've been jamming to include:

Girls Talk Boys - 5SOS,
Bury It - CHVRCHES and Hayley Williams
WILD - Troye Sivan and Alessia Cara

Film. I'm seeing the Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre in London tonight so I watched the film for "research". Despite the wooden acting, it's a really fun film and the whole mix of romantic/thriller genres works really well. Definitely one for a girly night in. 

Hopes for August. So much is happening this month, mostly really exciting stuff. I'm going to New York at the end of the month which is going to be amazing and hopefully I'll be in London a few times as well. It's also Results Day soon which is not so exciting because I'm pretty nervous about it. I also have to buy clothes for sixth form and do all the work that was set over the summer but hopefully I'll have time for fun summery things too.

Photography really wasn't working for me this week so I promise next time there will be more photos of the things I'm mentioning!

So that was my month, how about yours? Tell me all about your July in the comments below!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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Monday, 25 July 2016

6 Things You Need To Do Before Going To China | The Dragon Trip


One year ago I was in Beijing visiting the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City, this year I'm in Chania in Crete, similar name but not quite China. You've heard me go on about how much I loved that trip multiple times on here but I'm not quite done writing about it. I've been writing some posts for the company we went with, The Dragon Trip. 

You can read my first post here, 6 Things You Need To Do Before Going To China, intended to help students who are thinking of going away on one of their trips. 

None of this is sponsored in any shape or form, just doing this to get more writing experience this summer and also just because it's quite easy for me to write about something I loved so much. 

I'd love it if you could have a read of the post I linked above, let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Little Change of Scenery


I’m writing this post from the roof of our villa in Crete, the sun is just setting and in an hour or so we’ll head down to the taverna next door for dinner. In other words, I’m kind of in heaven. We spent the day on the southern coast of the island and visited the most beautiful beach, all turquoise water and pale sand. Last week I was working and getting myself all worked up about the silliest things (though I started following the ideas I laid out in my previous post), staring at Instagram wondering whether I was going about this long summer break wrong. This week I’m largely chilled out, on a diet of delicious Greek food and way too much Diet Coke, and I’m spending all day getting more tanned and actually getting stuck into the last of my Book Haul books. 

I told myself during exams that when I finished I could spend all day reading and building up my Goodreads library but to be honest with you I haven’t really been reading all that much since. I have bags of free time which I want to spend consuming the media I want to, interesting films, hilarious TV shows and all the up-and-coming books, but I was spending all day aimlessly scrolling through social media. Coming to a different country, in a different climate, really helped me get out of that rut, mainly because my WiFi connection only exists in one room in our villa and I haven’t been able to get onto Twitter in restaurants.



This change in scenery has been so beneficial for my all round mood and just remembering you’re in such a beautiful place is enough to dispel any stress you might have. Without having to get up I can see palm trees, terracotta coloured rooves and a church bell tower with a blue dome; a big difference from the mundane views I have in my bedroom or classroom. It doesn’t matter that it’s a plane trip away or that it’s a few kilometres from the sea, the fact that it’s different to my everyday life and that it’s beautiful is enough to lift me from the mental rut I had got myself into.

This idea of escaping from the everyday with a change of scenery is one I’ve experienced a fair bit. You probably already know that I write reviews for London Theatre Direct and therefore get to go down to London after school fairly regularly, I’d look forward to those trips all week, knowing that soon Physics would be over and I could get on a train down to Paddington. The glamour of hurrying across Piccadilly Circus at night to catch the train home seemed so brilliant compared to the day of lessons I’d had and even eating a burger on the Strand made me so much happier than I’d been throughout the day. I much prefer the jostling of the Tube rather than that of the school corridors and it felt like real escapism every time my mum and I made the trip.

Travel is so magical, it can help you form stronger bonds with best friends as I learned in China and is just generally good for the soul in my opinion. I'm having a wonderful time here in Crete and would highly recommend holidaying on Greek Islands as it's stress free, sunny and absolutely stunning. 



Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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Monday, 18 July 2016

On Being More Chill and Not Sweating The Small Stuff


Recently I received some news that made me sad, then angry, then sad again. After five years in my house at school I was told that I have been placed in the new house, introduced to cater for the extra students my school is taking in. Now for the past five years I have loved every minute I've spent in house events and basically given my all to this house, so when I was told that I wasn't going to be able to take part in that community for my final years I became extremely emotional (seriously, sorry family!)

I completely understand that some people had to be put into this house and they had already tried to find volunteers to no success so most of my anger was about the fact that they'd chosen me in particular and that I was being told that I couldn't be a part of my house anymore. So I was pretty upset for about 24 hours but then I started learning that a few of my friends were in the same boat as me and that there really wasn't anything I could do about it. After that I stopped obsessing over it and playing the "this is so unfair" card because let's face it, it gets really annoying after a while and I got bored of being the Debbie Downer in my family. Who was I to be constantly angry about this when just turning on the news shows you how many real problems there are out in the world? 

This isn't a post telling you "stop all your complaining because other people have it a lot worse" but I've started to realise that we only have so much emotional energy to spend on being outraged and concerned. If I spend the whole week being outraged at someone who made a decision that I didn't like, I'd be completely drained because being angry about something so small can completely consume you and fill your head with a really bad energy. For me, when I lift a worry out of my head, it literally feels as if my head is clearing itself of all that negativity. 

That might sound a bit wishy washy and metaphorical but thinking about it in that way really helps me. 

I was talking to my friend Georgia and we both agreed that we just want to care less about all the stupid little things that happen at school. It's so much easier to feel neutral about the stuff that doesn't really need your  opinion and won't really matter past the next week. I've been working a bit already this summer and being in a workplace environment really puts into perspective how pointless any quarreling or hostility is at school. 

I used to be one of those people who was always curious about any drama or gossip going around but nowadays I've realised that sort of stuff really gets me down and it always leads me down a rabbit-hole of questioning myself and who has time to be constantly doubting yourself and how people see you? Not me.

Staying neutral and chill about things really helps with mental health and for me now its just a matter of controlling what things I feel strongly about so I don't burn out. For example I will feel strongly about gun control, feminist and intersectional issues, I'm going to have to pass on having a strong opinion on so-and-so's friendship drama or the new external students though (just going to assume they're all lovely). I'm saving my energy for the issues that actually matter and hopefully it's going to see the last few years at school go a lot smoother and happier for me. 

It also applies to all the celebrity drama, if you're feeling drained by it all, try to focus on something else. I am avoiding the Kim/Taylor drama on twitter right now because I can't help but support Taylor and seeing lots of people making fun of her is stressing me out so I'm just going to take a bit of a step-back. This is just me personally feeling like consuming pointless conflicts is toxic for my mood but I'd be much happier without anyone trying to start drama or tear other people down. I'm just not here for any social media cat fights any more. 

What do you think? I'd love to here your thoughts on this down in the comments or on twitter (@hattiehards)!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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