Sunday, 29 May 2016

Good evening lovelies,

So after waiting around twenty four hours for my vlog to upload (I wish I was exaggerating) and having to play around with it my birthday vlog is finally here! I'm so sorry it's late but it's one that I'm proud of! I had such a lovely birthday weekend and I'm so glad that I'll have this to look back on and remember it. I've been so lucky this year and I hope you've enjoyed being part of this through my blog! Let me know what you think of my birthday posts and if you enjoy the vlog! Don't forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. Leave links to your vlogs below so I can check them out I love having new YouTube channels to watch!


BIRTHDAY EDIT #3 : Gifted Jewellery

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

I absolutely love reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos on what people get for their birthday. Maybe I'm just nosey but I also find it can be a good source of inspiration when you are looking to buy someone a gift or if you want to treat yourself. I feel so spoilt this year and got some gorgeous presents. I thought I'd show you a few jewellery pieces I got for my birthday! It might give you some ideas if you need some or if you're just here because, like me, you're a bit nosey then fair play, I like you, feel free to snoop around.

The first thing I am dying to show you is my Kate Spade watch! I'd never massively been a watch person. I wanted one but I knew I wasn't going to buy one for myself and I would never be able to make a decision on what I wanted. George said he wanted to get me something that I could keep for a long time, with it being my twenty first. It is SO pretty. I love the little details Kate Spade includes in all of her designs. The watch has the classic spade on the face and on the back says 'live colorfully', a classic Kate Spade quote. I have ridiculously small wrists but on the tightest notch this fits perfectly with just a little space for it to comfortably move. It's such a simple classic deign that I feel it works with every outfit I wear, adding just a little chic touch.

I also got a couple of necklaces. I wear necklaces nearly everyday. I like delicate charms as I feel not every outfit needs a statement piece of jewellery. My parents got me this lovely 'H' necklace from Orelia. It's gold plated and not very long in length, hanging just below my collar bones, which I find is best for subtle necklaces and it will usually just be seen. The chain looks very delicate which I like as it's not the focal aspect but it's strong enough that I'm confident it won't break with wear.

I received a necklace from George's sister, Lucy, from Oliver Bonus. Oliver Bonus is just a shop baring a never-ending lust list for me. I love everything they sell from books to furniture, it's all so dreamy. The necklace is in silver and a small circle falls from the chain engraved with my initials 'HM' (everyone obviously wants me to remember my name). Again, it's very subtle which I like. I also love that the letters are bold, detracting from the daintiness. It can be worn with everything, just adding a little shine.

Both necklaces have worn well so far and I've been wearing one or the other most days, doubling them with others I have when I want to draw a little more attention.

I have been so so lucky and spoilt this year and I am endlessly grateful. These were just a few things I wanted to show you! Comment below with some of your favourite gifts!


PS. I know that the first image is quite juxtaposed to the others but I got a bit too excited about all the snazzy packaging and sequins and the unicorn card my parents got me so

BIRTHDAY EDIT #2 : What I wore

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

As promised I am back again to chat about my clothes. The plan wasn't to get onto my birthday outfit post this early in the week but I just can't help myself. 

The evening before my birthday George and I went shopping. He compared the trip to what we refer to as 'The Day at the Trafford Centre', which I won't go into, just know it was a very very long day of sale shopping on which I did not buy anything and I think George is quite traumatised from this. My birthday eve I went with a plan, the plan was basically to buy everything in Zara. Alas, I hated everything I saw.

Obviously I woke up on my birthday and immediately regretted this. I had started out with the wrong attitude, every good shopper has been there. And I wanted it all. I especially wanted one of their S/S faux leather jackets. I opted for the Sky Blue but I adore the yellow and pastel pink. I ran across the road, after a few glasses of breakfast prosecco, and got spendy. The first thing I made a beeline for was the jacket. 

Okay so it was about thirty degrees and a leather jacket was completely unnecessary for a beach trip but it was my birthday and I just bought a jacket I was hopelessly in love with. The colour is perfect for summer as it really brightens up any outfit. It's vivid enough to stand out without looking cheap which I feel can be a difficult balance. Here I threw it on with last year's Zara cotton midi skirt and a white tee. With my oversized sunglasses I felt chic but relaxed for an afternoon in the sun.

At first I wasn't convinced by all the zips and pockets. However, on I barely notice them and they can be quite handy. Even the belt has become a feature I really like but you can easily take it off if you fancy a simple change. It looks great over an all white outfit but I think it could look fab on top of all black or a simple jeans and shirt outfit. It's one of those pieces that immediately lifts your outfit whilst looking completely effortless.

Having something new to wear on my birthday made me excited about my look and it's something I feel really good in which makes all the difference. Leave your thoughts below! Let me know your birthday go-tos!


                        Jacket - Zara // Sunglasses - ASOS (Similar) // Skirt - ASOS (Similar)

BIRTHDAY EDIT #1 : 21 Thoughts at 21

Monday, 23 May 2016

Well firstly sorry for failing at Everyday May. I was so busy last week (actually I still have a to do list the length of my arm) and just didn’t have enough time to schedule all the posts I wanted, to the standard I wanted. Also, I was having one of those hormonal weeks, you know when you cry because you’ve lost your favourite Kiko highlight? Yeah one of those. Thanks to my top #FanGirls, yep, who messaged asking where my blog posts were, in all seriousness that was so sweet I really appreciated it.

So after that boring ramble I am back and over the next five days you will be reading my Birthday Edits! I am dedicating five days of posts to my birthday, “who do you think you are the Queen of Sheba?”. As you may know, as mentioned in my update post and raved about on Twitter and Instagram, I turned 21 just over two weeks ago! I’m still gathering my thoughts on this milestone and who better to share them with than you?!

I’m starting this week with the necessary 21 thoughts and musings now that I am 21, don’t even, to be followed by a chatty vlog and fashion and lifestyle birthday posts, sorry no spoilers. If you haven’t skipped this part then well done and thanks, enjoy.

How do I even adult?
I mean I don’t feel like an adult and I don’t think I really look like one and I’m not really sure what proper adults do? Should I start adulting now? How do I do this? And what are taxes? 
Sidenote : my Dad says you never really feel older you just feel like you, and that essence of you is always there.

Okay I should really think about real jobs now
It’s looking more and more like Anna Wintour isn’t just going to ask me to step into her shoes anytime soon (and I mean that physically because I quite fancy a pair of Manolo’s) so I guess I should look into what people keep calling graduate jobs?

But first I need to graduate  
And I’m still not convinced I understand this dissertation thing? But people on Twitter seem to be very stressed about it and on Instagram there are a lot of people looking happy when they hand it in.

Then I can literally go anywhere

I wonder what my mum thinks about that

Actually it doesn’t matter my bank balance disagrees anyway
Maybe I should take that jacket back to Zara. On the other hand I look pretty cute in it. Do I wanna look cute or have money for food? I kinda wanna look cute.

Stop thinking about your wardrobe and pick up a book
I need to get educated and understand worldly things that 21 year olds should know.

What are 21 year olds supposed to know?
You used to be okay with a degree but now you need work experience so that you can get work experience so that you can intern for that other work experience?

Seriously what are taxes?

I'm hungry

Am I making the most of it?
I’m 21 what do I have to show for it? I’m in a lot of debt, I can’t keep my plants alive and five year olds are better on social media than me, I can’t even do tequila shots very well anymore. On the plus side I make a mean carbonara and I dress myself pretty well.

 Career wants vs societal norms
But if I do want to have kids I probably shouldn’t do it much later than 30 right and that only gives me nine years to have a high flying career and prove I’m as good as the men in the business and maybe it will be harder to work after that or companies won’t be as interested in me if I don’t have childcare or whatever and oh am I going to earn as much as men anyway?


What do I want?
For dinner, to wear, to do tomorrow, to do as a career, where to live, IN LIFE.

How often am I supposed to wash my bedding?

I wonder if we’ll leave the EU
I wonder what that will change in my lifetime.

I should read up on the politics and the economy
That seems like adulting.

I wonder how they are going to end Pretty Little Liars?

I really didn’t like Spencer and Caleb, did they even have a ship name?
I should google it.

Oh no now I’m online shopping

I'm happy 
Sometimes you just have to see what happens. I have a lot to be thankful for right now so maybe I don't have to think about being 21? Maybe I should just be 21.



Tuesday, 17 May 2016

I am newly obsessed with other bloggers’ Happy Things, or versions of, posts. There is something so infectious about positivity and whenever I read them I immediately feel contented. I’m also a little nosey and love knowing what makes others tick. I feel like blogging everyday is really teaching me what I enjoy blogging about and what I feel is most authentic for me. So I thought I’d give my first ever Happy Things list a go! Here are five things making me smile this week.

It’s slowly starting to get sunnier and warmer and teasing me with the impression that that’s set to continue. As soon as the sun is out I think most people feel much lighter and more positive in general and it’s giving me hope that there are beach days on the horizon. And let’s face it I can’t return from my year abroad paler than I arrived so I need to get some sunbathing in ASAP.

Dinner with friends 
So as I have said before and as I will no doubt bang on again in the future it’s so important to have positive people around you. I have found that the people I have met this year have helped shape it. There is nothing that can’t be cured by going to meet friends for a casual dinner. Tomorrow a group of us are going out to a Basque restaurant, we spend too much time eating burgers over here. I cannot wait to laugh over a glass (bottle) of wine.

Birthday cards 
Such a silly little thing, but it was my birthday just over a week ago and I still have all of my cards hanging up round my mirror and every time I glance at them I smile. I know it's corny but they make me feel so lucky to be so loved.

Clean pyjamas 
I bloody love pyjamas and there is nothing better than getting into a fresh pair and curling up.

The future 
Knowing that everything is about to change, (again) I have a really positive outlook for the future. I have so many exciting things planned, and possible things to plan (no spoilers) and I really think the next year could show me some wonderful things.

So there you have my first Happy Things list. I feel more relaxed just writing it! This will definitely be a returning post. Comment below with some of your happy things this week!



Monday, 16 May 2016

I love wandering around cities. I don’t need to go to all the tourist spots to see a city, although I won’t say no to a museum. I prefer to walk around, get a coffee, maybe shop. That has been no different in Bilbao. My favourite thing to do is still grab a takeout americano and walk along the river to the flower market on a Sunday morning. Sometimes seeing a city at its most simplest is at its best. 

I have to say though I had never been anywhere like Bilbao before. It isn’t your regular city. It is surrounded by mountains and only twenty minutes to the coast, if that. It’s unreal.

There are so many things to do in Bilbao but if you want to see it, really see it, you need to hike it. Or if that’s not your thing jump on the funicular. Either way you’ve gotta get up there.

I’ve hiked Pagassari and Monte Abril, both of which were beautiful. Wherever you hike around Bilbao you are bound to find a breathtaking view of the city. At the top of Pagassari you look down on the city, out to the sea or behind to the mountains. Monte Abril isn’t quite as high but the views are still unreal and it’s a great place to picnic in Spring surrounded by blossom trees.

Here are some of the photos from my Monte Abril hike. It’s such a fun way to get out of the city but still see it! What are your favourite things to do in cities? 



Sunday, 15 May 2016

So it's (pretty much) halfway through May and I am actually quite proud of myself for sticking to blogging everyday! It's not been the easiest alongside other commitments but I already love having the content to look back on and it's really made me fall in love with blogging again. I thought this would be a good point to have a catch up about the month so far.

May has been pretty damn good. The longer I'm in Bilbao, and the nearer the end, the more I enjoy and appreciate it. I am so not ready to leave but I am very excited for summer. At the beginning of this month I submitted my university coursework for the year which felt like a weight off my shoulders. I can't quite believe that I'll be going back into studying full-time in September after a break working.

I turned twenty one (omg) on Friday 6th May. It was an absolutely perfect weekend. George flew out on the Thursday and I was given my last two hours off work last minute so went to meet him (I hoped for a romantic reunion but I messed up my timing and ended up running up and down the city a few times before eventually finding G). We relaxed and shopped and ate pizza and pasta and watched the Michalaks on the eve of my birthday.

In the morning G did a coffee and croissant run and surprised me with TWO bottles of prosecco so we sat in bed whilst I opened my presents sipping prosecco and nibbling on napolitanas. I got very spendy in Zara and then due to it being the hottest weekend since who knows when we took a picnic up to the beach and had a couple of beers in the sun.

That evening we went out for dinner and afterwards met some of my friends after for a few vinos. I laughed so much my sides ached that night, it was wonderful.

The next day involved very little except a KFC until the evening. A group of us went wine tasting. Basically an educational way to get drunk. It really was so much fun, we had a great group of people, the wine was good and it was interesting to hear about different wines. We then grabbed a few pintxos and everyone headed home.

Since then I've been focussing on my last few weeks of work, which I can't get over, binge watching Jane the Virgin, oh and of course drinking more wine.

Basically the first half of the month has been banging so let's see what comes with the next two weeks!

Let me know what you've been up to this month or any plans that you have!


Keep up to date with me on Instagram @hattiecotmore

VLOGGING : A Little Ramble

Saturday, 14 May 2016

This weekend's posts are going to be quite chatty about what's been going on and what I'm getting up to! I thought it would be a nice way to break up the month of blogging and write something a bit different.

If you have followed me for a while, or are subscribed to my YouTube channel (over here!) you will know that during my first term in Spain, and in fact just before I moved out here, I started to vlog. i wanted to document my year here and have something that I could always look back on. Also I bloody love watching other people's videos so I wanted to try it out myself. Unfortunately my laptop went kaput and despite getting my MacBook over Christmas I just didn't get back into vlogging!

However, I'm feeling newly inspired and have a couple of vlogs waiting to be edited, one from my twenty first birthday weekend! And I am filming one this weekend, which mainly involves drinking wine, so they will be up on my blog shortly! 

I wanted to really get into it for the next six weeks as it's my last chance to vlog my year abroad and I already love looking back at the footage I do have. I know my first vlogs are not the most amazing but I really am primarily doing it for myself and if anyone enjoys them then that's just the cherry on top! I'm also really enjoying the editing side.

I'm thinking about branching out and doing some 'sit down' videos. I am desperate to film a Zara haul after getting so spendy last weekend haha. And I know my birthday vlog is going to be quite a chatty one. And I would love to create some lookbooks!

Let me know your thoughts on my little vlogging ramble! Also, if you have a YouTube channel share your links below I would love to find some new channels I am a bit of a YouTube nut!


RITA CASQUEIRO : Portuguese Fashion Designer

Friday, 13 May 2016

One of the perks of your friends living abroad is that we have all had the opportunity to share stories about the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met along the way. My friend Alex is spending her year abroad in Rome (check out the photo diaries of my visit Roman Holiday : Part One and Part Two). She recently told me that one of her friends out in Rome has just launched her own fashion brand. Rita Casqueiro from Portugal released her first line, Typical Portuguese (or Típica Portuguesa), for her self titled brand at the beginning of March. I thought it would be cool to chat a little bit about the brand and the line. It’s always fun to find discover new creatives and, well I just love talking about clothes don’t I?

Rita Casqueiro is a brand aiming to take inspiration from feminine beauty, defined by the state of being ‘stuck on the line between being a ‘girl’ and being a ‘woman’’. Typical Portuguese, as the name suggests, is inspired by classic Portuguese culture. Casqueiro’s aim was for this not to be obvious but to create an authentic feeling drawing from the rebellious nature of young Portuguese women, I know I was hooked by this idea too. She uses only Portuguese fabrics which I think is great and really speaks to her authenticity. The patterns are bold and colourful which Casqueiro believes represents the Portuguese woman. I love that Casqueiro has looked to her roots but created something uniquely modern. Whilst it’s inspired by the Portuguese woman I feel the clothes reflect something all young women can relate to. The ever changing modernity and strive to be unique and as Casqueiro says the ‘desire for the unknown’, is something we all understand.

The collection is a combination of playsuits and co-ords, perfectly on trend for summer. The fabrics are fun and quirky definitely reflecting Portuguese styles. The pieces I am most obsessing over are those in the yellow and white fabric, adorned with a blue floral print. Casqueiro has used this fabric for a trouser co-ord set and playsuit and I just think it’s so cute whilst making a statement. Both are so versatile. I can imagine city exploring in summer in a Casqueiro outfit with my converse on and my hair in a top knot and then letting my hair down and throwing on some heels for dinner. They are perfect for holidays abroad or the cooler UK summer with a denim jacket over the top. Everything seems to have a cool air, structured but relaxed and easy to dress down and up.

You can see Casqueiro’s passion for her culture and for fashion in her designs. She wants to share something close to her which I think is a beautiful idea and one not to be dismissed. I wish her all the luck with her collection, she is definitely a designer to watch. And I definitely need a piece of the collection for summer.

I’ll leave Casqueiro’s links below, all photos are her own. Let me know what you think of the brand and its first collection!


Rita Casqueiro

YEAR ABROAD : Things I'm going to miss

Thursday, 12 May 2016

As my year abroad comes to an end (although not quite because I still have loads to do and you can do so much in six weeks right and you can't make me leave anyway lalala) I'm trying to be positive and look forward to returning to the UK and everything that comes with that. And to be honest I am, there are so many things I'm excited to return to. However, I do know I'm going to miss it here terribly, it's become home and I know it will always feel that way. So today I thought I'd share just a few things I'm going to miss, not everything we'll be here until I leave.


I thought I should get this one out of the way first as we all know it's been my great love in Spain and it's just not quite the same in the UK. I can roll out of bed and be in Zara in two minutes, even my flat's wifi stretches to Zara, I celebrate in Zara, I consolidate in Zara, there is nothing Zara hasn't seen or helped me with. So there you go I'm in love with a shop and that is going to be one tough break up.

When I first arrived I was baffled by this whole one size coffee thing, like hun where's my grande latte? Do you actually call that a take out cup? I've seen puddles bigger than this! Turns out they've got the size thing pretty damn right and wherever you go and ask for your 'cafe con leche' you know it's going to be good.

As much as I have complained that everything comes on bread and sometimes I just fancy some Spanish tapas (because naturally I am now Basque) I'm really going to miss these funny concoctions of tapas on bread things. 

NB. I just stopped typing to ponder this and am now having a bit of a breakdown thinking about the fact that British bars and cafes don't constantly serve tortilla, what did I do without tortilla as a constant in my life? Omg tortilla is a constant in my life.

Oh wow so I live in some beautiful places in England but the Basque Country is nothing I have ever seen before. As you fly into Bilbao you pass the coast and are immediately surrounded by mountains before you land in the city, where else do you have all of that on your doorstep? Honestly, it's incredible.

Like coffee you know it's going to be good. When I go into a bar I seldom ask for a particular wine, I ask for red or I ask for white and I wait to be dazzled, or drunk.


So let's move on to a couple of specifics. Bertiz is a coffee shop chain in the area, I frequent at least three and one knows my order. It was quite a home comfort when I first arrived. Kind of a Basque Nero or Costa (but they always have tortilla *cries*), they serve more than just a cafe, they'll do you a hazelnut latte, a cinnamon cappuccino, on the occasion they even have soya milk, and they always have whipped cream. This has been the place for many catch ups and work breaks and I do think it will feel strange not sitting there every Friday for a couple of hours with a book.

A stones throw away from my flat Plaza Nueva was the first square I ever ate pintxos. After an emotional rollercoaster of a day when I was visiting Bilbao with my mum we went pintxo bar hopping and I suddenly felt very at home. It has been much loved ever since.

That bloody accordion man that plays right by the metro and disturbs me at every hour of the day...yeah I'll secretly miss him.

I'm going to have to start greeting people in English again what's that about?

Too many to mention really but any menu del dia can't really be beaten when I am three course full and have had some wine. But Amarena, Foodoo and Txoko are definitely up there when it comes to places I'm going to miss eating at.

When I was first here getting emotional on my mum (as mentioned prior) she told me I would love it when I was here and after my first run along the river by the Guggenheim I would be absolutely fine. Well you should trust your mums. I don't run often since joining the gym but I still go for the occasional evening jog by the Guggenheim when the city is bustling and the calming sunlight bounces off the river, I look up at the mountains, and I am home.



Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bilbao is bouncing from 30 degree heat to thunderstorms at the moment but whenever I do reach for my sunglasses I'm immediately planning the nearing beach days. A confessed homeware stalker (if that's a thing? (No really, I do stalk Zara Home) I have been perusing the summer homeware collections just to add to my list of 'things-I-absolutely-don't-need-and-probably-shouldn't-buy-but -probably-will-anyway', trust me the list is even longer than its name. H&M Home has me wanting to go on a picnic ASAP. Whilst I'm not sure mine will ever look quite as idyllic as H&M suggests (photo above) they do offer some cute and colourful picnic pieces.

These are a few of my favourite things up on their website at the moment. I am loving all of their bright floral cushions which make me want to rest my head next to a cup of pink lemonade in the grass, yeah okay you're right I hadn't imagined that jug full of lemonade, it's Pimms. I also can't get enough of these paper hanging decorations. So they may have been featured on the H&M Kids Party edit but they are what my mum would call 'Pinterest-y' and I am a fan. They do make for a Pinterest perfect picnic but I actually have a couple hanging in my bedroom that I got a while back from TK Maxx! Now, I also have to tell you I grew up in a house where all homeware was exciting so yes I do feel like I have a banana patterned napkin shape hole in my heart right now. I can't help it, I was just raised this way.

Have you started planning your summer yet? Let me know what you're getting up to below!


Three at the Moment : Netflix

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

So this is something a little different from my usual style/travel/food sphere but since I am talking to you everyday at the moment I figured I should keep you updated on my currents loves (obsessions). So here is a new and maybe to be continued segment – Three at the Moment – where I pick three things that I’m loving, on whatever topic, at the moment, you see? Okay, I’m working on a name but for now, in light of just finishing my university coursework and my binge watching like it's going out of fashion, here are my Three at the Moment choices on Netflix.

 Jane the Virgin
This show follows the life of Jane Gloriana Villanueva a twenty something who has just found out she’s pregnant. Oh, but she’s a virgin. The plot is inspired by the melodrama of Latin American telenovelas (kind of like British soaps but with a lot more gasping). The plot follows Jane as she deals with her pregnancy, and the father - hotelier whose hotel is involved in a drugs scandal, his sister who accidentally, artificially inseminated her, her telenovela star father, her cop boyfriend along with her family relationships. Oh did I mention the murders? I don’t want to give any spoilers so just know this, the plot is ridiculous, but absolutely on purpose. It makes me laugh and every cliff-hanger (so every episode in true telenovela style) finds me scrambling to click for the next episode.

Bates Motel
This is a prequel to Hitchcock’s Psycho which I have to put my hands up and say I still haven’t seen! However, I don’t think it has at all affected my understanding the plot. After the death of his father, whose death we are trying to figure out, Norman Bates and his mother move to Oregon where they have just bought a motel. Naturally it’s an eerie kind of motel, so is the town, in fact so are most of the characters. That seems to be what has kept me going back. I wouldn’t say I’m attached to many of the characters but I want to find out what’s going on in their heads and why they are like they are and why do they keep creeping around in the dark dammit?!

 Modern Family
Okay so this is a longstanding favourite for me but I've recently rewatched it from start to finish so it needs a mention. This mockumentary follows a typical ‘modern family’ in America. Jay and his young Columbian wife Gloria and her son Manny. Then there's Jay's children’s families. Claire, Jay's eldest is married to Phil and they have three children Haley (who I am compared to by my own family for her love of selfies), Alex and Luke. Jay’s son Mitch and partner Cam have just adopted a a baby girl, Lily from Vietnam. The programme shows us their intertwined lives all taken from common familial occurrences and made into comedy genius. The script plays with such common occurrences that we can all relate to. I feel like I haven’t sold this as much as it deserves, but know I am trying and that you need to see it to understand just how hilarious it is.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Three at the Moment. These are all on Spanish Netflix so I can’t promise they’re on the British but I’m sure they’re all flying around somewhere. Let me know if you watch any of these shows! Or if you give one a go on the back of this post!

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan