TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 30, 2019

The ‘Joy Of Missing Out’ On NYE

‘What are you doing New Year’s Eve?’ It’s the big question on everyone’s lips at this time of year. It’s been immortalised in song by greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Harry Connick Jr. and somehow seems to pop up in every conversation you have from November onwards.

It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to make sure you do it right. Something big, glittery and fancy, as after all, it is the final night of the year. What if, however, you threw caution to the wind, and instead made absolutely no plans at all and did absolutely nothing? Well, we have to say, there can be an awful lot of joy in missing out!

While New Years can be a good opportunity to catch up with friends one final time before the year’s out, coordinating getting everyone in the same place at the same time can cause more stress than we’d like to take on in the blissful post-Christmas turkey haze. Taking the time out for yourself to enter the new year in a peaceful, relaxing manner is a great way to start as you mean to go on, and as they say, staying in is the new going out!

We’ve put together a few suggestions in case you want to do a little more than just lounge on the sofa, but that’s perfectly fine to do too!

Game The Night Away

More than just the one of you? Drag out the board game stack and set up a mini-tournament. Take it in turns to select a game, or if you have a favourite, set up a championship to determine the 2019 official champion of Dobble. Check out our list for a few of our faves if you’re stuck for inspiration.

A Festive Tipple

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean the refreshments have to be dull! Mix yourself a seasonal cocktail (or 3!) – we’ve got a few simple yet delicious recipes in our post here to make sure your evening is as fizzy as you fancy.

Take A Night Off

It’s worth reminding yourself that there is absolutely no rule that says you have to stay up until midnight. If you want to do actually nothing, you can! Head up to bed early and get a full night’s kip. We won’t judge! Bonus – if you still want to feel like you’ve seen the new year in without the late night, watch the fireworks on TV in a different time zone. Get your firework fix AND a full 8 hours.

The Post Christmas Pamper

Pull out the face masks, hair wraps and foot cream and settle in for a full-body pamper. The joy of a night in means no one is going to be judging your ancient dressing down so why not indulge in those extra nice beauty bits you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Go on, you deserve it!

Snacking Spectacular

It may not be a party but you certainly can snack like it is one. Pull out all your favourites, polish off all the Christmas leftovers and if you’ve got any chocolates left, may we suggest this sweet spectacular: a giant s’mores pie! In a blender, pulse together digestive biscuits with a range of chocolates (we used twirls, Maltesers, and crunchies) until they make a dust and place in a ovenproof dish, forming to make a pie base. Top with giant marshmallows and pop-under a grill for a few mins until the marshmallows toast and melt. Grab a handful of spoons and dig in; be warned it’s a messy one, but so worth it for an indulgent NY treat.

Whatever you decide to do, just because you’re not dancing the night away doesn’t mean you’re not in for a fabulous evening! If in doubt, pop on your comfiest pjs, snuggle down under a blanket and whack the Hootenanny or the fireworks on telly and ring in 2020 with the smug feeling you’re already home and cosy without a hangover in sight!

Are you staying in for NYE?

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 29, 2019

Weekly Wants: New Year’s Eve Outfits

We’re not all going to have the best night of our lives this NYE, but if we were, this is what we’d be wearing!

New Year’s Eve, the one night of the year you’re forced to have as much fun as you possibly can. From packed house parties to weekends away and every night out on the town in between, we’ve picked out go-to outfits we’ll be donning when we bring in 2020.

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 28, 2019

10 Ways To Break up With Plastic in 2020

Reduce, recycle, reuse - it's a lifestyle choice more and more of us should be making the effort to adopt but when plastic pollution is such a mammoth crisis, it's hard to know exactly how you, as an individual, can make a difference.

We can all do our bit to become more conscious consumers. Sure, the onus is on the government and manufacturing companies to pave the way for real revolution but there are plenty of ways we can adapt our day to day lives in order to reduce our plastic footprint step by step!

1. Get conscious about your coffee

In the UK alone, we use seven million coffee cups a day, most of which are destined for incineration or landfill. It’s one very ugly caffeinated reality.

Plenty of coffee chains and independents will offer discount incentives if you bring your keep cup with you. Pret offers as much as 50p off their hot beverages when a customer uses their own cup and customers taking away at Starbucks get 25p off.

If you want to save on the pennies and enjoy a guilt-free cup of Joe, it’s worth investing in a reusable cup.

2. Try to use refill stations

With eco-friendly supermarkets on the rise, topping up your washing up liquid and laundry detergent isn’t as difficult as it once was.

Reuse your empty bottles to refill your household products or use glass bottles and a label maker to pimp up your cleaning products apothecary style.

If you’re planning on rustling up a single meal, you can reduce food waste by visiting a sustainable food store and getting as much or as little as you need. If your recipe requires 200g of pasta, you can measure out exactly what you need rather than buying too much and finding that it’s expired before you’ve even had the chance to use it up.

Scooping out your ingredients is a far more interactive and sensory experience, enabling you to have an authentic and informed relationship with your food. By nourishing your body with wholesome and responsibly-sourced produce, you are caring for the planet and facilitating positive food practices. Nude food is the best food!

3. Use ‘naked’ toiletries

Break up with your plastic shampoo bottle, announce you’re consciously-uncoupling your conditioner and divorce your daily dental care.

We’re not suggesting you stop washing and forgo brushing your gnashers but there is another way to live.

Try using soap bars instead of disposable plastic bottles or refilling your haircare and body products at a sustainable supermarket.

Lush Cosmetics also do a great selection of packaging-free naked products! Check out some of our faves:

Jason and the Argon Oil | Sleepy Naked Shower Gel |

4. Buy in bulk

Visiting a bulk food store will reduce both your food and packaging waste. It also often works out cheaper since you’re not paying for excess packaging, single-use plastic or fancy branding.

Making the switch to buying bulk and packaging-free groceries will also encourage you to consider your consumption choices in other areas of your life. Sometimes change can stem simply by challenging the buying habits we’ve become so accustomed to by reconsidering the healthier, more mindful alternatives that are available to us.

5. Ditch the plastic straws

People have come to expect straws with every drink but it’s a minimal and short-lived convenience for maximum plastic waste.

Giving up your plastic straws may seem like a small gesture to make but when done by the majority, it can pave the way for a dramatic change in circumstance for our oceans, aquatic life and beaches.

If you’re not ready to give up on straws all-together, explore some of the bamboo, stainless steel, paper, glass and silicone options.

*Reusable Plastic Straw | *Stainless Steel Straws | Bamboo Straws | *Silicone Straws

6 Embrace the bamboo

From safety razors to toothbrushes, there’s plenty of ways to green up your bathroom must-haves with plastic-free alternatives and bamboo is a great substitute!

The Truth Brush | Bamboo & Steel Safety Razor

7. Do away with single-use face wipes

Everyone has seen the devastating effects single-use wipes have on the environment – 93% of blocked sewage pipes are caused by non-biodegradable wet wipes – but cleansing our face and removing our makeup effectively doesn’t have to come at a cost to the planet.

Minimise the impact your beauty routine has on the planet and reduce water wastage along with unnecessary plastic packaging by replacing disposable cotton pads with these environmentally-friendly options.

Muslin Cloths | *Reusable Cotton Rounds | *Reusable Remover Pads | *Makeup Eraser Cloth

8. Opt for eco-friendly period products

Here’s an ugly fact about your period: 1.5 billion items of sanitary protection are flushed every year. Every. Year!

From the plastic packaging to the applicators, it turns out our periods don’t tend to be all that great for the environment. Dear Uterus, go to your room and think about what you’ve done.

From reusable menstrual cups to period-proof pants and reusable sanitary pads, here are a few ways to make your cycle a bit kinder on the planet.

Moon Cup | *Period Pants | Reusable Pads| Cheeky Wipes Kits | *Reusable Tampon Applicator

9. Reusable nappies

It takes 200-500 years for a disposable nappy to decompose. That’s one long-lasting legacy!

While neither reusable or disposable nappies can claim environmental superiority, washing and reducing single-use plastic seems like the lesser of two evils here.

Even if you replace one disposable nappy a day for a reusable alternative, you’d be saving 900 from ending up in landfill, based on one child being in nappies for two and a half years.

Check out these pooper scooper alternatives for the eco-conscious parent:

The Nappy Lady Reusable Nappy | Fill Your Pants Reusable Nappy | Little Lamb Bamboo Nappies

10. Carry a canvas bag

While the environmental impact of cotton is a hot debate, reusing your canvas bag is better than buying and throwing away a plastic bag every time you visit a supermarket.

If you do buy a plastic bag, reuse it as many times as possible and try not to accumulate more than you need. The same goes for your tote bags, make sure you’re getting enough use out of the ones you have before buying another.

*Oliver Bonas Net Shopper | Lucy and Yak Corduroy Shopper

What changes do you want to make in 2020 to reduce your plastic footprint? Let us know!

*This post contains ad – affiliate links. For more information and to read our disclosure policy, please click here.

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 27, 2019

Introducing Template: Our New App!

We are so excited to announce the launch of a brand new app: Template! From Zoella and A Color Story, the creators of Filmm, comes a new way to design your stories and IG feed!

Created as a partnership between Zoe and Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess, Template is a new way to style and design your Instagram feed and spice up your Stories. It comes loaded with a huge library of designs for laying out photos and videos as stories, feed and a brand new option of galleries, allowing you to create seamless, swipeable templates.

With over 500 layouts to choose from, the app comes with:

• 100+ seamless, swipeable gallery Templates

• 200+ feed Templates

• 200+ Story Templates

• 70 fonts, batched by style

• Custom brushes

• Customisable illustrations

Get unlimited access to all 500+ Template designs, fonts, and more features to come with Template+!

We’ve been busy beta testing the app along with a few friends of ours. Below is just a small demonstration of the brand new ‘gallery feature’, click through to their instagrams to see them in action!

@zoesugg
@abeautifulmess
@xantheb
@charlottejacklin
@seanelliottoc

Template is available to download NOW for iOS!

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 26, 2019

Create Your Backwards Bucketlist

We've all heard of a bucket list - the collection of goals and dreams you'd like to accomplish within your lifetime - but there's something to be said for reflecting on the milestones and achievements you've already ticked off.

The process of going through a reverse bucket list can be incredibly valuable; giving you an opportunity to prove you’ve done more than you think and to reflect on your personal accomplishments, however small.

Instead of comparing ourselves and focusing on the things we’re still working on, it encourages us to take stock of how far we’ve already come. In the same way, as the traditional bucket list inspires us to move forward, the reverse buck list reminds us of the importance of looking back with pride and gratitude.

From professional life, hobbies, education, travel, family, health and fitness, you can include anything that brings you happiness on your list. Even the most mundane moments have a way of serving us when we look back on them.

To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve jotted down some examples of the types of accomplishments you can add to your list.

Here’s to celebrating you and all your life wins thus far. You go Glen Coco!

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 24, 2019

Christmas Eve Traditions

With Christmas comes traditions, things we do every single year no matter how small or silly they are, and today we’re sharing our own.

“I’ve always been a family-first girl, my family isn’t very big at all but because we’re all a bit spread out between the UK and France, Christmas is the only time of year that we’re all together and I never take those moments for granted. Especially in my late teens/early 20s most of my friends always used to go “out-out” on Christmas eve but still to this day it never tempts me at all.

My grandparents arrive at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve every single year so for me that marks the start of my time with them. Plus, who wants to spend Christmas Day with a hangover anyway eh!? Food comas only for me thanks – MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

Maddie

“My Christmas Eve usually ends up looking like an episode of the vicar of Dibley, my parents live in a small village and we’re usually visiting there over Christmas, so on the evening of the 24th, we’ll be heading down to the church to watch the local live-action nativity, where small children in costume volunteer themselves for acting roles (usually resulting in 8 Marys, 6 donkeys and 3 stars), and the whole congregation then wander down the road to a local farm to drink mulled wine amongst actual cows. It’s bloody brilliant.

After that, it’s back home for more mulled wine and usually helping my mum make a start on her epic feast for the next day. Merry Christmas!”

Carrie

“All of my siblings and our sig-others head back to my parents for Christmas and the energy on Christmas Eve is always electric! We’ve more recently started heading to the cinema to see a festive film around late afternoon, last year we watched Mary Poppins and this year it’s Star Wars (not that festive I know!)

Without a doubt, we’ll be chowing down on ham and dauphinoise potatoes, ham cooked in orange juice although we did try the infamous ‘Nigella coke recipe’ one year! At around 9pm we’ll settle down to watch Miracle on 34th Street, we can quote pretty much every scene, we always shout WE BELIEVE when the support for old Cringle ramps up, predictably we all cry at the end. After that, it’s time to head to bed ‘uncharacteristically early’ and wake up on the big day to an ice-cold mimosa!”

Danielle

“Gone are the days when I’d hit the town on Christmas Eve. There was that one fateful Christmas Day I couldn’t even bring myself to eat one single prawn from my festive starter and therein lies the reason I prefer to drink a cup o’ hot cocoa on the 24th December nowadays.

There’s something really tragic about a proper foodie not being able to stomach any of the festive grub on Christmas Day. Now, I stay in, I climb into my new festive PJs, as is tradition, and then await the 11pm phone call from my dad to pick me up for midnight mass. I’m not overly into it but I know it means a lot to him to have me there so I go, I choke on the dust of a thousand incense sticks, sing hymns at a pitch only a cat can comfortably reach and THEN… it’s Christmas!”

Lareese

A Christmas Eve tradition we have as a family is matching PJs, so the girls venture out and find a really cute pyjama set for the three of us (me, Poppy, and Alfie’s mum Amanda). This year Poppy found the PJ’s from Marks and Spencer, they’re a gorgeous pink with red stars.

The boys will go out and source their matching PJs, and we’ll all come together on Christmas Eve. This year it’s at my house and we’ll all have nibbles and drinks with a Christmas film on the TV. We’ll all go and put on our pyjamas and take pics, and usually, we’ll open one present from our stockings to get us in ready for the festive period.

— Zoë —

“Christmas Eve for me is the pre-game; it’s all about the food and watching festive films and cooking shows, doing a puzzle and making some really yummy food. This year I’m baking a yule log which I’m excited for, and I’ll probably end up on the sofa in-between icing to watch a classic Christmas film with a hot chocolate.

It’s all about relaxing, bathing in the excitement, and spending quality time with family, and of course, peeling at least 20 potatoes for dinner tomorrow – a Merry Christmas indeed!”

Lauren

“Christmas Eve is all about family for me. I’ve never been tempted to go out partying on Christmas Eve, as I have always wanted to save myself for the big day ahead. Every year I spend the evening at my dads with all of his family, having a pre-Christmas feast with lots of good food, especially seafood (which has also become a Christmas Eve tradition)! After we’ve eaten, we make sure to leave a mince pie and a carrot for Santa and his reindeers, while the children hang their stockings.

Also, it’s not Christmas Eve in my household without reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” altogether, which we all know off by heart! Christmas Eve is one of my favourite days in the festive period, everyone’s spirits are so high and the excitement for the next day is contagious.”

Darcey

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 22, 2019

Weekly Wants: Stocking Fillers

By this point, you've probably got all your big gift ideas covered but if you're losing steam on the last-minute stocking filler ideas, we've got our eye on a few gooduns.

Check out our Weekly Wants – dedicated entirely to stuffing that abnormally large festive sock with glee. Think pint-sized presents, cult beauty buys and traditional treats. Fill. Your. Festive. Boots!

Shop The Post

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information and to read our disclosure policy, please click here.

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 21, 2019

Team Zoella’s Christmas TV Picks!

If the Radio Times magazine is anything to go by, it's shaping up to be quite the year for Christmas TV. Highlighters at the ready, it's time to organise your holiday viewing.

This year’s line-up has lots of TV specials including the epic return of Gavin and Stacey in an hour-long special airing on BBC One. We can’t wait to see what’s occurring some 10 years later after the gang last appeared on our screens.

There’s also 75 joyous minutes of The Great Festive Bake Off and all the classic films to enjoy. Crimbo is looking strong, fellas. Click your way through the below gallery for the Christmas TV picks we’re excited to watch on the telly box this year!

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 20, 2019

Reflecting On The Decade With Friends

Before we get into the New Year shindigs, let's take a minute to reflect on the personal stardom, memories and era-defining inventions that have shaped an entire decade.

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to take stock of everything, from the TV series we formed unhealthy attachments to, and the moments when humanity stepped up and did us all proud, join Team Zoella and a few of our favourite Tuesday Takeover faces in bidding this year and the nine that went before it a very fond farewell. The last 10 years have been a real whirlwind of politics, Royal weddings and dresses that divided a nation. Was it black and blue or white and gold, though? Ah, internet – where would we be without you!

“I think the last decade has probably been the most challenging, rewarding and craziest decade of my entire life. It’s been my entire career, Zoella, everything has happened in this decade and it’s been the most fun and the craziest thing to try and navigate. I met Alfie In those 10 years, I met Mark in those 10 years, I built a team, I’ve got a great support network around me, I’ve done things I never would’ve dreamed of doing! I baked in a tent with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and met so many amazing people, and had the opportunity to be able to talk about things I love and inspire people along the way which has been so amazing.

I never ever would have imagined the last 10 years would have been what they have been, but I wouldn’t change anything, I’ve loved the journey I’ve been on through my 20’s and the next decade will be my 30’s which again I’m actually really excited about. I think they’ll be so different. I’ve definitely changed over the last 10 years as a person, I’ve grown into myself a lot more, I’ve found a lot of strength and grown personally in terms of my mental health and I think it will only get more enforced as I go into my 30’s. I’m really excited about the next decade and 2020, and all the travelling and the family, and all the amazing people I’ll get to meet along the way.”

Zoë Sugg

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 19, 2019

3 Christmas Cocktails to get the Festive Party Started

Tis the season for a festive tipple! December is a magical time of year where chocolate for breakfast is not only acceptable but actively encouraged, and an afternoon aperitif (or 3!) becomes a daily essential.

Today we’re sharing three seasonal and simple-to-make cocktails that will warm your cockles and leave you feeling merry and bright throughout the most wonderful time of the year.

Santa Sour

A festive take on the classic Amaretto Sour, serve this one with a slice of lemon for an added citrus kick. Enjoy in your sparkliest gladrags before heading out to dance the night away, though we can confirm it tastes just as good lounging at home in front of the Christmas tree.

SERVES 1
PREP: 5 MINS COOK:
EASY

Pour around a tablespoon of grenadine syrup into a short tumbler, and fill up with ice. Squeeze in a wedge of lemon, before adding a measure of Disaronno and topping up with ginger ale. Pouring in this order creates a lovely sunset fade in colour in the glass, though you can stir this in together if preferred.

Up to Snow Good

A super simple one you can mix up in snow time (see what we did there), the perfect recipe to keep up your sleeve for unexpected guests and spontaneous celebrations.

SERVES 1
PREP: 2 MINS COOK:
EASY

In a champagne flute, pour a teaspoon of simple syrup and add in one measure of cranberry juice. Top up with chilled Prosecco. Enjoy!

Very Merry

Finally, a yuletide toddy to keep you warm when *baby* it’s cold outside. It’s super straightforward to mix up a batch on a chilly afternoon or to relax with after a long day of festivities.

SERVES 6
PREP: 5 MINS COOK: 5 MINS
EASY

In a large saucepan, pour in a bottle of red wine and combine with 2 sachets of mulling spices, a cup of orange juice, a cup of apple juice and a few orange slices or wedges. For the super simple version, use ready-to-go mulled wine sachets found at most supermarkets, though you can make this yourself by adding to the mix 2 cinnamon sticks, a few pieces of star anise, a teaspoon of whole cloves and a dash of grated nutmeg. Heat gently for 4-5 minutes being careful it doesn’t boil. Remove from the heat and serve by pouring into heat proof mugs with a ladle, avoiding the cloves, and adding a wedge or two of orange into each mug.

Which one will you be slurping on this Christmas?


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