Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Two Years of Blogging

Blog Anniversary

Today marks two years since I put up my first post here on Hattie Hards ....what?! ... Two whole years? It's really hard to believe that I've been posting on here since I was 14 and people actually still come here to read things that I've written. I wish I had some of those cool silver 2-shaped balloons that so many bloggers seem to find but I kind of forgot about this until the weekend before... My lack of celebration to mark this milestone doesn't mean that this isn't a huge deal to me, it feels like just yesterday that I was trying to figure out how the hell this all works!

Me and my friends joke about how cool blogs are and my twitter being full of "have you seen my latest post???" but I wouldn't change a single thing about blogging. I've learned that I don't need to worry about my presence on the internet fitting into any mould. Is my social media that of a typical teen girl? No. Is it that of a conventional lifestyle blogger? Nope. Do I need to worry about people not liking what I tweet because I flit between tweeting about relatable school stuff and promoting my posts? Not a chance.

Lets be honest, I don't think I've ever followed a set pattern on this blog, partly because my brain is too chaotic for that but also because I love trying out new ideas and styles of blogging. My last post for instance was lovely to write because I never usually feature beauty on here, I also hope to do some more travel related posts in the summer when I go to Crete and New York. 

To mark this occasion, I thought I'd take a look back to some of my favourite posts, the ones that I'm most proud of ...

I won't lie to you, I can't bear to go back and read most of the early posts, they are far too cringey for my taste so these are all from the past year or so.

14 Thoughts You Have While Revising - I thought I was pretty damn hilarious writing this post and it's still one of my faves. A trend throughout the best posts is that they were all really fun to write too. 

My Trip To China Part 1 & Part 2 - Going back, I wish I'd included all the little anecdotes and funny things that happened on this trip but its still a lovely post to read because I remember how incredibly happy I was. It's one of those posts that reminds me of a huge reason why I started, to document memories. 

A Letter To My Younger Self - I just revisited this one and it still gets me a teeny bit emotional. It's addressed to my 11 year old self, who would probably look at my life now and think "what the hell?!" in a positive (blogging) and negative (studying Mandarin) way.

A Year In Books | 2015 - Writing reviews is something I've always loved to write about on here and it was fun to revisit all my favourite books of the year. I do want to stop being afraid of being negative on this blog, I usually avoid talking about things that I didn't like and I don't want to be dishonest about anything but it's always much easier to talk about the things that I love. 

Another little note, my least favourite post that I've ever written is my most viewed one, the one where I talk about how much I love Kylie Jenner and her style. Yep, I don't really feel that way at all now but I don't want to take it down because it seems that it's amazing for SEO and all that. Just wanted to put that out there because it's completely okay to have blogging regrets!

Here's to another two years of blogging! If you have a blog, how long have you been writing on it for? What age did you start? I'm really curious so leave me a comment below!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Chocolate | Beauty

Makeup Revolution and Lush
Yep, you didn't read the title wrong, this is a beauty post! I've always wanted to do more of them on here but I've never had any products that I liked enough to write about. However, recently I treated myself to a new face mask and eyeshadow palette. I was really drawn to these items because they are both inspired by the best food in the entire world, chocolate.

Too Faced Dupe

I Heart Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette - Makeup Revolution. I'm a big fan of this brand at the moment, they do a lot of really good quality dupes and I'd love to try their blush palettes and baked highlighters. Recently I was looking through the Too-Faced instagram and I kind of fell in love with their Chocolate Bar palette! After discovering that it was £39, I went on a hunt for an accurate dupe and found this Makeup Revolution one pretty quickly. All the colours are pretty much the same and they're arranged in almost exactly the same way. You can always count on Makeup Rev for dupes of coveted products like the Naked palettes.

I really love the colours in this palette, the mix of matte and shimmery shades is great and there isn't a single one I would struggle to wear for any occasion. I wish it was more pigmented as it can be quite hard to build up the colour, mainly on the darker, shimmery shades. Stolen Chocolate is the perfect shade for my brows, as I have very dark hair, so I've been using this palette every single day. I also love the shades More (my fave, a shimmery champagne colour), Chocolate Love and Endorphins Ready. I wasn't convinced by this palette to start with but its won me over and its a brilliant dupe for the Too-Faced one.

Lush Haul

Cupcake Face Mask - Lush. I picked this one up because it is specifically designed for teenage skin i.e. good for sensitive skin and gets rid of the oil that causes acne. It also smells incredible. I've been using it weekly for about three weeks and it makes my skin feel so healthy and hydrated. I love using Lush products because of their amazing reputation and how fresh they all are, so fresh that I have to warn my family that it is not food at risk of someone thinking that it's Nutella or something. This is a lovely product and I'm pretty sure I'll be repurchasing when it eventually runs out. 

What products have you been loving recently? 

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Theatre Bucket List

Top West End Shows

I am a huge theatre nerd. I can pinpoint stages of my life by which show I was obsessed with at the time and I have been very lucky to see a bit more than my fair share of shows in my time. I blog for London Theatre Direct (x), one of the best ticket companies for West End shows, and they very kindly give me tickets to see some great shows, which I then review on their website (you can find all my posts on my Other Work tab or here. I'd love to write more theatre-based posts on here as well, seeing as it forms such a large part of my life. One day I hope to tick off all these, though I think some of them are a tad ambitious considering I don't have the money to be spending over £200 on tickets *cough* Hamilton... 

See Hamilton. Ideally it would be with the current cast in Broadway but I am currently without a fairy-godmother so it might be a bit of a stretch. It would be incredible to see Lin, Phillippa, Renee, Jazz, Daveed and *Groffsauce* as I'm a little bit obsessed with all of them, especially in the Ham4Ham videos on YouTube (x). I'm headed to New York this summer and hope to take part in the lottery for $10 tickets so pray for me everyone! 

Go to Stage Door. My best friend Evie has been to the stage door of Les Mis twice and met Carrie Hope Fletcher when she was still playing Eponine but every time I've seen a show, there's been a train that I need to catch or it's been very cold and dark. Maybe one day in the summer I'll stick around to see the cast but to be honest I usually lack the motivation to wait. 

See a Shakespearean play with a really famous actor in it. I'd definitely go to see any Shakespeare plays regardless of the starry cast but I've always wanted tickets to those big, hyped productions. Productions like Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus and David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing (although I managed to watch that one online) would have been incredible to see live. I'm waiting for a really amazing one to be announced and then I'll definitely be trying my hardest to get tickets. 

Top West End Shows
Go to the National Theatre. My mum and I try to go to see the NT Live performances streamed to cinemas quite often and I think it's an incredible idea but one day I'd love to actually go to the National Theatre.

See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I feel like this is going to be one of those shows that blows up and tickets are impossible to get but I'm really excited to get my hands on the script which comes out this summer. An extension of the Harry Potter story in play-form? I can't believe it's an actual thing when it feels like a combination of my favourite things in the world.
Top West End Shows

What shows do you have on your bucket list? Have you seen any of the ones I've mentioned? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

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Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Next Generation

Happy Sunday! I hope you've had a good week, I've been revising all week but unusually it hasn't been that panicky "oh my god there's too many topics to cover in not enough time" revision. In fact I've been quite relaxed about it all, taking far too many Netflix breaks for my own good. 

Throughout this week I've been listening to two main things; one is my amazing Disney playlist that I've been adding to recently, you can find it here (x), the other is Alessia Cara's brilliant album, Know-It-All. It's so good and her lyrics are so honest that it really makes you feel like you know her really well. She's one of the only musicians that I feel I'd actually be friends with if we met, mainly because "Here" is the realest thing ever but also because she's actually in my generation. 

It's a little fuzzy but I'm pretty sure that Generation Y ends around my age group but it's mainly the current twenty-somethings. They get a lot of press and are currently killing it on all levels and platforms, be that in innovation or content creation. However the next generation are already getting a headstart and I've been thinking about the amazing teenagers repping it for the next generation of success stories, giving the rest of us so much hope...

Alessia Cara, 19. I am in love with her album and her whole vibe of not compromising her own personality in anything she does. She's already got Taylor Swift as a fan and even performed with her on the 1989 Tour. If you're only going to listen to two songs, choose Here and Four Pink Walls as they are the ones that really show her ability to write brilliant and quick lyrics. If you follow me on Twitter you probably know how obsessed I am with her album!

Tavi Gevinson, 19. I'm sure Tavi is the stuff of blogging legends, she started her fashion blog at 12 and has now expanded her empire to the online magazine Rookie. She makes all of her incredible achievements seem so effortless but her hard work is so inspirational.

Malia and Sasha Obama, 17 and 14. These two sisters are the coolest of cool, they are part of the First Family, they have a president for a dad and a lawyer and all round wonder-woman for a mum. Plus they get to go to cool dinners at their house with famous actors like Ryan Reynolds! (x) They are pretty great role models for young girls as they are so focused on their education and I hope we'll see more of them as they grow older and undoubtedly go on to do awesome things. 

Amandla Stenberg, 17. She's best known for playing Rue in the Hunger Games but she's also an intersectional feminist who isn't afraid to call out cultural appropriation when she sees it. It's kind of refreshing to see someone so young who has a clear head about important issues like this and she's one of those exciting actresses to watch. 

Auli'i Cravalho, 14. Auli'i is the girl set to play the title character in Disney's upcoming animated feature, Moana. I am so excited for this film, especially as Lin Manuel Miranda is writing the music, but we don't really know that much about her yet. She's pretty active on Instagram however (x) and to be chosen by Disney is a pretty high honour so I'd keep an eye on her!

Malala Yousafzai, 18. Okay, you know I can't do a list of influential teens without including Malala! After standing up to the Taliban for her right to an education, Malala is an icon of hope and inspiration all over the world. Seriously, read her book because it filled me with awe and shock in equal measures. It's horrific that the atrocities she describes happen in the world today but knowing there are strong people like her in my generation makes me so proud.

These awesome teenage girls are so inspirational to me; I hope this post (and also this whole blog) has convinced you that teenagers aren't the worst! (in case you're still not convinced, I love this post!) 

Let me know who I've missed out in the comments below or on Twitter!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo 

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