TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 20, 2020

The 6 Things That Made Us Smile Last Week

From Tom Moore's £26 million walk to turtles playing tic tac toe!

A moving tribute to our NHS

This incredible artist paid tribute to NHS workers by creating a photo collage made up of hundreds of photographs of health workers. Nathan Wyburn, 30, received over 200 photos from NHS workers after he shared an appeal on social media. He then brought all the pictures together to make a collage image of a nurse wearing PPE, alongside the words “thank you”. We’ve got goosebumps!

Happy Meals on wheels

We were all pretty bummed out when our favourite fast food joints had to close due to the pandemic but this crafty mum came up with an innovative way to give her kids the McDonald’s experience at home.

Karen Lennon, from Birmingham, used an online simulator, taken from the LadBaby YouTube channel, to create a virtual McDonald’s drive-thru for her kids. She even whipped up her very own homemade McNuggets complete with the iconic Happy Meal packaging. Whilst streaming the video, her son was able to approach the makeshift window in his toy car and place his order. It’s genius. That’s one way to make mealtimes more exciting during lockdown!

A day in the life of Rebecca Bloomwood

If you’ve ever read the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, you’ll be familiar with the hilarious misadventures of Becky Bloomwood. Well, back by popular demand, the best-selling author has gifted us with a series of relatable shopdown lockdown diary entries from Becky via Instagram and they are exactly what we need to read right now. So, if you’ve been wondering, ‘what would Becky do’ in lockdown, here’s your answer! Surely there’s gotta be another book to come out of this? Fingers crossed!

A walk to remember

A 99-year-old war veteran has pledged to walk 100 lengths of his back garden to raise money for the NHS. Tom Moore, who turns 100 at the end of this month, uses a walking frame to get around but decided to take on the challenge of walking 10 laps a day before his birthday. He’s already raised a whopping £26.6 million for the cause, completely surpassing his £1,000 target and proving you’re never too old to achieve your goals. You go, Tom! Donate here.

Magical baby news!

Congratulations are in order because a baby Weasley is on the way! Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and longtime girlfriend, Georgia Groome, are expecting their first child, his representative announced in a statement last week. Grint, 31, and Groome, 28, have been dating since way back in 2011 but have kept their relationship out of the spotlight. What wonderful news! We’re over the moon for them.

Tic-Tac-Turtle

How else are you meant to enjoy a game of Tic Tac Toe when you’re in quarantine with only your pet turtle for company? Animals entertaining humans through lockdown is the kind of wholesome content we need right now. And we particularly enjoyed this badass bunny too, whose competitive spirit pretty much sums up our whole quarantine mood. Buns don’t play.

What happy news stories did you enjoy last week?

TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 19, 2020

Weekly Wants: Home Styling

Since we're spending more time indoors, now is the perfect opportunity to turn our homes into the ultimate happy place.

This week, we’re focusing on styling our humble abodes and breathing new life into our interiors with a smattering of new cushions, Summer tones and all the boho vibes. Since we’re spending more time indoors, now is the perfect opportunity to turn our homes into the ultimate happy place.

Here’s a few bits we’ll be adding to our baskets asap!

*This post contains ad-affiliate links

TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 18, 2020

How Team Zoella Are Spending Their Weekends

As we all continue to stay home during lockdown, our weekends look a little quieter than they once did but we’re still intent on making the most of this slow pace and simpler way of living.

We’re all finding little ways to eat up our time indoors – if you haven’t baked a banana loaf, done a family quiz on Zoom, panic-bought watercolour paint and lego and done a face mask, were you even in lockdown?

Some weekends we get our daily exercise in, clean the house top to bottom, learn how to macramé, cut our S.O’s hair and squeeze every last ounce of productivity out of our days off.

Other times, we sit for an unprecedented amount of time creating our own virtual paradise on Animal Crossing. We rebuild our social lives, furnish our homes, interact with cute animal villagers and spend Nook miles instead of air miles.

Before we know it, 9am becomes 9pm and all we have to show for it is a collection of bugs, fish, fossils and paintings. And you know what? We’re not even mad about it. Life is hard, sometimes you just need to escape and hang out with cartoon animals for a while to get by. Ya know?

From lazy days on the sofa to finally completing that 1000 piece puzzle, here’s what our weekends on lockdown look like right now!


Lareese says…

Apart from cleaning absolutely anything and everything in sight, I’ve found reading to be the best form of escapism right now, so I’m making a dent in my reading pile and packing in as many books as I can at the weekends and in the evenings. Since we don’t have a garden, I’ve also taken to sitting on my doorstep soaking up the sun with a glass of rose like the little old lady that I am!

I’m usually terrible at sitting still and using the weekends to recharge, so spending all this time at home has actually made me slow down for once and embrace the jomo! I’ve also been taking loads of photos in my makeshift bedroom studio, doing face masks, overdoing it on the banana bread and running every evening. The weather in Brighton has been bloody lovely which has made getting out for that daily exercise even more of a treat!

Darcey says…

I’ve found my weekends in lockdown have been a mix of Netflix bingeing and staying busy doing activities. I’ve enjoyed doing some crafty bits I normally wouldn’t have made the time for, like bleaching half of my jeans (jumping on the TikTok trend). I also repotted some of my house plants which were needing some new homes! Lots of baking too of course. I have been drinking a LOT of iced coffees and matcha lattes, sitting in my garden in the sun, which has been really nice. Going for dog walks in this weather has been lovely too!

Me and my friends have been doing a quiz every Saturday evening on Zoom which is now probably the highlight of my week, we are so lucky we have all this technology! Lots of face masks have occurred, even foot peeling masks (so satisfying if you like that kinda thing), new skincare routines etc. I’ve been trying to keep up with at home workouts, Joe Wicks and MadFit on Youtube are so good! Also loving Sinead Trains lives on Instagram. But, of course, I am also spending hours watching Netflix. I have nearly finished Friends, that’s right, all 10 series. Next up is Tiger King!

Charlotte Says…

I’ve got into the swing of weekends at home quite nicely so far- they’ve not been nearly as intimidating as I first thought the expanse of time without work would feel like! I’ve been mixing it up with a variety of online and offline activities, namely: doing a walking tour of my village via as many routes as possible, reading in the sunshine, baking and learning some TikTok dances with my sister, all interspersed with (virtual) catch up with friends, Netlix watching and puzzles.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting and I feel like my priorities and passions are clearer now more than ever, and I really can’t wait to get back to normal and fulfil all of my daydreams of late. For now though, my weekends are happily passing by, and I’m grateful for the quiet moments at home that keep me and my loved ones healthy.

Zoe Says…

My weekends are often spent putting a lot more effort into breakfast to emulate “going out for breakfast” which I miss so much. The other weekend, I set up the table outside and cooked up a veggie breakfast as a surprise for Alfie. It was nice for us to both make a bit more effort! When we take Nala out for her daily walk, I’m making sure to try and take in all the signs of Spring that we’re not seeing on the regular. The bluebells made me so happy when I spotted them the other day. We’re also doing ALL the cooking and ALL the baking.

It’s absolutely no secret that Alfie and I love a takeaway, so with that as a very minimal option, we’ve found so much joy in cooking meals together which has been so nice. We’re also sitting out in the garden as much as we can whilst the weather is nice and face-timing friends on the regular. One thing I’ve loved doing at the weekends and evenings is playing animal crossing (sometimes in the bath not going to lie…haha). Alfie got me into it and I’m absolutely loving it, which I actually didn’t think I would at all. There’s a group of us all playing it and checking in with each other, yes, we even made a WhatsApp group to chat about it. haha!

Danielle says…

I’d love to tell you that I’ve cracked weekends in lockdown and have hugely exciting tips to pass the time but I’m pretty sure I’m a walking quarantine cliche! From Friday night quizzes to banana bread and whipped coffee I’ve tried everything I’ve seen on the gram and I’m quickly running out of trends to try. Over the Easter weekend, we managed to sort out our garden which was a beast of a task and also made pretty good exercise! Hopefully, it’s hot enough to sunbathe in the coming weekends and I can head back to normality with a tan.

I’ve been playing lots of games, our fave being monopoly deal and Uno as well as building the Friends lego set which is SO fun. MY top tip would be put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ this was it doesn’t flash up every time you get a notification and it’s been SO GOOD for trying to spend more time concentrating on what I’m doing and not mindlessly scrolling.

Maddie says…

My weekends in lockdown have been pretty much identical since week one. On Saturdays, my husband Joel and I go and see progress on our house build. We’re fortunate enough that despite everything that’s going on there are small things the builders are able to carry on doing in a safe way which has really kept our spirits up. Where our house is there are miles of fields and woodlands all around so we always combine it with a massive dog walk with Captain Bear. It was so nice to see the bluebells out last week. On Sundays we tend to do jobs around the house, any cleaning that’s been neglected in the week and I try and get on top of my laundry. We’ve being doing a few DIY jobs that needed doing and if i’ve got time i do some baking and binge watch something on netflix. Oh and of course some kind of group chat with friends that tends to involve a quiz of some sort!

How are you spending your weekends?

DANIELLE APRIL 17, 2020

A Movie To Get You Through Every Lockdown Mood

Since we’re all spending the majority of our days indoors, we’re all looking for some much-needed light relief and entertainment. And, despite what you may see on Instagram, not all of us are penning the next best-seller or learning Russian.

When you’ve examined the innards of every cupboard, organised your wardrobe, cleansed your chakras and reduced your cushion collection (cutthroat stuff), there’s really only one thing for it: couch potato.

Since we’re all spending the majority of our days indoors, we’re all looking for some much-needed light relief and entertainment. And, despite what you may see on Instagram, not all of us are penning the next best-seller or learning Russian.

It’s more than ok to be doing nada right now. Not every day has to be flanked with spiritual transformations and self-improvement, or the pursuit of a shredded post-lockdown-ready body. We’re allowed to just binge films, eat popcorn and weep our tiny hearts out at Bradley Cooper in his little hat and his p*ssy jeans.

From the feel-good flicks and cult classics to the tearjerkers, here’s a plethora of films to see you through every lockdown mood because if you’re anything like us, it changes every hour.

Movies to lift your spirits

Ratatouille

Not all heroes wear capes, some of them wear chef hats and have tails.

Remy the rat certainly knows the way to our hearts is through our stomachs and this delectable treat acts as a reminder that anyone can cook – yep, even those of us who have been known to screw up beans on toast. There’s a gourmet chef in you yet and the time to experiment with your pantry is now.

Up

The pinnacle of tear-jerking, fuzzy feels animation, Pixar’s Up is your ticket to an adventure way beyond the clouds.

The story centres around an old man named Carl who, after his wife’s death, sets out to keep his promise to her to travel to Paradise Falls in South America. After tying thousands of balloons to his home, he sets sail on his mission. However, he soon discovers he isn’t alone. It has humour, it has substance, it has a cantankerous but lovable old man. It’s the whole package. Watch it and try not to weep in the first 10 mins.

The Greatest Showman

Arguably the world’s most-loved musical, this movie is so much more than jazz hands and high notes. Hugh Jackman and his all-star cast will spark some serious joy in your life with their catchy earworms, brio and comradery. Will you be singing it for the rest of lockdown? Oh, 100%

13 Going on 30

Heart-warming and nostalgic, it’s one of the best and most rewatchable coming of age rom coms ever made. It’s iconic and it deserves to be watched 117 times.

Bridesmaids

If you’re seriously missing your girl gang and in need of the ultimate sh*ts and giggles kinda viewing, this is your movie.

The Lion King

A live-action remake of a Disney classic, made ever better by none other than Beyonce. The happy ending is always safe in Disney’s hands. PHEW.

Mamma Mia!

Jam-packed with all the chart-topping ABBA hits, the sing-a-long film boasts a plethora of our favourite faces including Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters. The story follows a young bride-to-be, Sophie (Seyfried), who secretly invites three men from her mother’s past to her upcoming wedding, each one with the possibility of being her father.

Movies to cure the boredom

The Lord of the Rings

You might not have the chance to binge a film franchise under normal circumstances so use this time wisely. Frodo Baggins will help you curb that cabin fever.

Inception

So engaging and suspenseful that you won’t have time to think, let alone get bored.

Harry Potter

With a total running time of 19 hours and 40 minutes, back to back HP will keep you busy for an entire day. And what a productive day that would be. Your bullet journal will be shooketh.

Movies for when you need a good cry

P.S. I Love You

Love letters beyond the grave. Gerard Butler. Need we say more? This is the endearing love story we need right now.

A Star Is Born

Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) falls in love with an aspiring artist, Ally (Gaga). As her singing career goes from strength to strength, Jackson finds his alcoholism spiralling out of control. Cooper is as easy on the eye as ever, Gaga is sensational and the soundtrack will give you goosebumps on your goosebumps. It’s the best remake ever.

About Time

What the world needs now is a big Richard Curtis hug (from 6ft away) and a meet-cute.

At 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time and change what has happened in his own life but by doing so, he learns that his unusual ability has limitations that can’t protect his loved ones from the problems of ordinary life. About Time is a film about… time. It invites us to live fully in the present and to savour the little things that often go unnoticed. How very apt! No, you’re crying.

Me Before You

Young and quirky “Lou” Clark’s (Emilia Clarke) cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years ago. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined. The question is, who saves who?

The Fault In Our Stars

If you read the YA novel, you’ll know this is a story aiming straight for your tear ducts. It’s cathartic stuff. That’s all we can say on the matter before the lump in our throat gets out of hand.

Movies to feed your wanderlust

Eat Pray Love

Live vicariously through Julia Roberts as she travels across Italy, India and Bali on a soul-searching journey. What we’d give to be cycling through the rice paddies in Ubud and walking the picturesque streets of Rome right now.

The Beach

Got itchy feet? Escape to the picturesque beaches of Thailand with Leonardo DiCaprio as he plays a young American backpacker searching for meaning and connection.

Midnight in Paris

Dreaming of a city break to Paris? This Woody Allen classic will transport you to the quaint streets of Montmartre and provide the perfect antidote for your pandemic worries.

What films are getting you through life on lockdown right now?

DANIELLE APRIL 16, 2020

Between You And Me: Answering Your Problems Part 3

Now, more so than ever, we all need a safe space to discuss the issues that are weighing on our minds, as we do our best to comprehend what’s going on in the world.

Our Between You And Me series is back and this month, we’re dealing with a real mixed bag of topics including anxiety surrounding the coronavirus, how to stay motivated when you’re working from home, bereavement, toxic friends and manipulative relationships.

Now, more so than ever, we all need a safe space to discuss the issues that are weighing on our minds, as we do our best to comprehend what’s going on in the world. We hope we can provide exactly that for you guys during these uncertain times.

Let’s get to it!

DANIELLE APRIL 15, 2020

Team Zoella’s Best Biographies

One place we can all look to find a bit of solace and escapism right now is in-between the pages of a good book, amiright?

As much as we all adore fiction, you can’t deny the emotional and lasting impact of reading a very real and raw account of someone else’s life. A palette cleanser, if you will!

Lose yourself in the captivating stories of some of the world’s most interesting people and gain access to their innermost thoughts and the events that shaped them. From rock stars to political powerhouses, these are some of the most inspiring, hilarious, heartbreaking and engrossing biographies, memoirs and life stories we’ve ever read.

Maddie

Heavier than heaven, the biography of Kurt Cobain

This will tell you a little bit about my teen years, i was a huge Nirvana fan and became a little bit obsessed with Kurt Cobain after reading this book. It’s a really heartbreaking read, he was so incredibly talented yet his demons never let him truly enjoy life or his success. You know the ending before opening the first page so it’s of course incredibly tragic but despite his short life his music remains absolutely iconic and will outlive generations.

Becoming – Michelle Obama

We chose this book for the Zoella book club last summer but I would have definitely picked it up anyway. Michelle is an incredible woman and has had a really fascinating life. I laughed, I cried and I felt hugely inspired by her, she is an absolute superwoman.

Zoe

I’m not usually one to grab a biography, however, any that I have read, I’ve enjoyed (moral of the story, buy more biographies) I absolutely love learning about people and their lives.

Lily Allen – My Thoughts Exactly

One of the best biographies I’ve read. I’ve always loved Lily and have followed her career journey since she was just a page on Myspace. This book is so raw and real and I love her “not giving a shit” attitude when it comes to telling her story exactly how it is. I pretty much read it in one sitting!

Lily Collins – Unfiltered

Another Lily! This biography feels so poignant and if I had read this as a teenager I think it would have been the very thing I needed in order to feel confident in myself. So many things Lily writes about from her own experiences are so relatable and interesting! Would highly recommend!

Lareeese

Dolly Alderton Everything I Know About Love

I loved this coming of age memoir and inhaled it within a few days of picking it up. Dolly’s writing sparkles with relatable anecdotes, humour and heart as she recounts falling in love, getting pissed and learning to navigate the trials and triumphs of being a grown-up. It’s like sitting down with a friend and having a glass of wine, getting loose-lipped and then gesticulating how grateful you are for one another.

Danielle

Jenna Jameson – How to make love like a pornstar.
Ok, bear with me! I have no idea how I came about reading this and it was released in 2004 so it was far too long ago to remember but boy is it a captivating read. Jenna’s life is non stop drama filled with drugs, strippers and dodgy business deals, suffice to say nothing I’ve personally experienced which made it super interesting. I’m sure it’s probably a much spicier version of how the sex worker industry plays out but it gives you a good through the keyhole look into what goes down. Highly recommend!

The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty.
I like most indie teens had a brief obsession with Pete Doherty and loved this book. Throughout his colourful career, he kept diaries, so many diaries, and this book is a collection of some of his musings, drawings, pictures and poems, it really is quite beautiful and would make a great coffee table book gift for any Libertines fans.

Darcey

I’ll have to be truly honest here, I have only ever read two biographies, both Justin Bieber’s unofficial ones, at the age of 14. So, I’m no real biography expert (unless of course, you are wanting to read JB’s), however, with all the extra time we now have I am wanting to read more.

There are actually two biographies on my to-read list, firstly is ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’. I’ve wanted to read this for a while now and have just never got round to it. Secondly, I want to read ‘How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong’ by Elizabeth Day, where she looks at how failure in her own life has taught her so many lessons and why we need to all fail to ultimately grow.

Charlotte

I’ve not read many biographies, but the one book that stands out from this genre and that I’ve read multiple times is The Diary of Anne Frank. I first read this book when I was much younger, and then again after visiting the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam which was such a moving experience and stark reminder of all that Anne, her family, and millions of others went through in that time. Anne’s words not only inspire you to feel gratitude and appreciation for all that you have but also offer huge perspective on the issues we face today and the ways in which we can face them, together. She was an intelligent, kind and selfless young woman and I think we can all learn so much from her strength and poignant words.

DANIELLE APRIL 13, 2020

Dog Deliveries, Donations and Bingo! The Happiest Things We Saw Last Week

A weekly dose of everything we've seen that made us smile last week!

Doggo deliveries

We couldn’t stop the happy tears from falling when we read the story about the sweet pup delivering homemade food to his neighbours. Every morning, Sheldon the British Bulldog goes out into the community with his backpack full of goodies to cheer everyone up.

Sheldon’s owner, Kate Mitchell, 28, was concerned Sheldon was struggling with loneliness during lockdown since he’s used to socialising with her clients at Kate’s hair and makeup studio, so this is a great way to brighten everyone’s day and to keep his spirits up, too.

Kate, who owns Kate Mitchell Makeup Studio in Worthing, told Zoella, “It really started as a way to cheer up our local neighbours and friends during these testing times but now I’ve seen how much Sheldon loves it, it’s become his full-time lockdown job! We have big delivery plans for next week to put a smile on people’s faces, so watch this space.”

To adhere to sanitisation guidelines, both Kate and Sheldon follow a strict hygiene routine between each delivery drop. Sheldon’s body, paws and backpack are sanitised with dog friendly antibacterial wipes and Kate asks that anyone who touches Sheldon washes their hands before and immediately after seeing him.

For pup dates, follow Sheldon and Kate over on Instagram.

Two Giant Pandas Finally Got Jiggy With It

After 10 years of attempting to get pandas Ying Ying and Le Le to mate at Ocean Park zoo in Honk Kong, they finally did the moves – much to the delight of park managers.

Due to the Corona Virus lockdown, the zoo is currently closed to the public and the resident pandas made the most of their alone time. Turns out, they just needed a bit of privacy to get them in the mood. Who can blame ‘em! No one wants the added pressure of an audience.

It’s not yet clear of Le Le is pregnant but staff at the park are excited at the prospect of a baby panda. Michael Boos, Executive Director of conservation at Ocean Park said in a statement, “The chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination.

“We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species.”

Generous donations

With NHS staff on the front line working around the clock and many unable to make it home between shifts, online furniture retailer MADE wanted to step in to give these heroes a more comfortable space to take a well-deserved break.

MADE has donated everything from sofa beds to mugs and dinnerware to better equip staff rooms and offices. So far over 1500 products have been donated to hospitals in the UK, with 300 more deliveries on their way.

And they’re not the only ones showing their appreciation for our NHS. John Lewis has also donated coffee machines, microwaves and 50,000 boxes of Easter confectionery. Around 51 Waitrose shops will be gifting chocolate donated by John Lewis to frontline staff when they visit one of their stores between now and Easter weekend. To find out which stores are taking part here.

A birthday surprise

Unfortunately, many birthdays will have to be celebrated indoors away from family and friends during the lockdown but these lovely neighbours made sure that, despite the circumstances, Gordon Bentley’s milestone birthday would be one to remember.

After his big party plans at the bowls club had to be postponed due to the pandemic, his neighbours gathered in the street outside his window to sing to him on his 100th birthday. We’re so glad this veteran got the turnout he deserves – from a safe distance, of course.

The cream of the crop

In a heart-warming tribute to the NHS, a farmer from Staunton-on-Wye in Herefordshire used his tractor to plough a giant rainbow of solidarity in one of his fields.

Jack Pantall, 33, used an aerial drone connected to his phone to map out an image of the NHS logo and the stay safe rainbow. The dad of two said he wanted to show his appreciation for the NHS heroes, particularly as his brother is a paramedic.

“My gesture was just something we thought that we could do down at the field. It’s just us showing a small amount of appreciation.

“At the very least it brings a smile to people’s faces and makes them know we are thinking of them.”

Virtual bingo with Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey and his family brought a big smile to some senior citizens in quarantine at a care home in Texas this week.

Together with his mum, wife and kids, the 50-year-old actor hosted a virtual game of bingo on Zoom for the residents at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living facility and naturally, it went viral. What a guy!

TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 12, 2020

Weekly Wants: Styling The Denim Jacket

Need to layer up your floral dress? Denim jacket. Want something to throw on over your hoodie? Denim jacket. A casual Summer cool-girl vibe? You got it. Denim. Jacket.

Need to layer up your floral dress? Denim jacket. Want something to throw on over your hoodie? Denim jacket. A casual Summer cool-girl vibe? You got it. Denim. Jacket.

Whether you’re into the classic vintage blue variety, light wash, refined black or a modern stonewash jean jacket, there’s no doubt this wardrobe classic will elevate any outfit.

Flick through our gallery to see how we’re styling ours this season!

TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 11, 2020

Our Favourite UK Staycations

While far-flung holidays to exotic destinations hold the wow factor, you don't always need to board a long-haul flight to get your wanderlust fix.

As holidays everywhere are cancelled as the UK stays home to help stop the spread of Corona Virus, we’re dreaming of the day when we can book a getaway, pack a suitcase and hit the road for the weekend.

Britain is blessed with breathtaking coastlines

While far-flung holidays to exotic destinations hold the wow factor, you don’t always need to board a long-haul flight to get your wanderlust fix. Britain is blessed with breathtaking coastlines, quaint countryside retreats and world-class cities right on our doorstep.

With this in mind, we’ve revisited some of our favourite UK staycation spots from posh camping in the South Downs to experiencing Manchester’s nightlife scene. No passport or airport hassle necessary!

Lareese – Cambridge

There’s so much of the UK I haven’t seen and would love to explore – The Cotswolds, Scottish Highlands, Durdle Door, the list is endless! Last year, we took a spontaneous trip to Cambridge for the day and loved wandering around the botanical gardens and getting a famous sticky Chelsea bun from Fitzbillies. It’s worth a trip for them alone!

It’s full of quaint streets, coffee shops, museums and of course punting! It was quite rainy when we went so we missed out on the river tour (boooo) but it’s meant to be the best way to see the city. It’s equally nice to stroll around and explore on foot though.

We had an excellent roast meat sarnie at Bread and Meat. I wish I could eat it again!

Danielle – Cornwall

I’m lucky enough to have parents with a second home in Cornwall and loads of family down there so every year we go a couple of times and it’s honestly always the BEST weekend!

The beaches are incredible, the views are insane, and the fish is delicious. My favourite thing to do is rent a bike in Wadebridge and cycle the ‘camel trail’ to Padstow, then we look round the shops and eat Rick Stein’s fish and chips, sometimes we also get the ferry boat over to Rock and go to the restaurant that serves huge pizzas.

Other amazing beaches are Fistral beach and Lust Glaze in Newquay. I normally have a phone detox every time I’m down in Cornwall so I had to pinch these beautiful photos from my Cousin Gina!

Darcey – Manchester

My favourite UK staycation has got to be Manchester. I love the buzz of the city, it’s just as fun as London (I’d say even better), but much better value for your money.

Manchester has so many fun things to do, including shopping with two massive shopping centres (my heaven). I love the bars and pubs there too, they are so fun! They’ve got some great restaurants like Dukes 92 (which is also a bar, result), great brunch places and the best fast food burger place Archies, you cannot go to Manchester and not have an Archies!

Manchester is a great place to go if you are someone like me who loves being in a big city!

Charlotte – Margate

I love a seaside break as someone who had never lived on the coast until Brighton, and Margate has all the quintessentially British fun you could ask for!

The sandy beach is lovely to relax on in the sunshine, and Dreamland is quite honestly a DREAM. Retro rides, live music, a roller-skating park, arcades and countless food stalls- I’m ready for another visit already!

Brunch at The Bus Cafe on the seafront is amazing, and make sure to visit GB Pizza for delicious dinner in Instagrammable surroundings- who doesn’t love a neon sign?!

Zoe – Liverpool | Edinburgh

One of my favourite places to visit at any time of the year is Edinburgh. I love the architecture, the layout of the city, the shops, the people and the overall vibe! Especially on a sunny day with the sound of bagpipes playing, you can’t help but feel instantly happy!

One of my favourite things to do is wander down to The Grassmarket and weave in and out of cobbled streets and independent shops. One year, Alfie, Poppy, Sean and myself drove up, stopping at Liverpool for one night on the way. Liverpool is also a city I love to visit, so it was nice to incorporate them both into one trip, and it turned out to be one of my favourite trips we’ve all done together. Something I always recommend doing is the open bus tour, I learnt so much about Edinburgh whilst seeing the best bits, and you can hop on and off at any point.

We’ve also visited a few times at Christmas too. The decorations and the Christmas market make for a fully festive experience! I’ve written about my trip here on the blog, you can find it in the archives!

Maddie – Southdowns

Looking for something a bit different for your next UK staycation? A few years ago I surprised my husband with a weekend away in the beautiful South Downs where we stayed in old converted Shepherds huts called the Wriggly Tin. No electricity and no heating other than from a little log burner you’ve got to get going yourself, it’s back to nature but in the cutest most glampy way.

We took bike rides around the countryside, ate amazing pub lunches, made campfires, roasted marshmallows and soaked away the day in our very own log fire hot tub.

It was absolute bliss and just thinking about it makes me want to go back immediately.

Holly – Sandwich

I LOVE a UK Break. Closer, Cheaper and you get to explore somewhere you’ve potentially never been. My auntie and Uncle own a house in Sandwich (Kent) so I’ve been going there once a year for about 6 years and it’s lovely.

Not many people know about it so not too busy but so quirky. There’s good restaurants, quaint coffee shops and pubs and you kind of feel like you step back in time. They have one of those sweet shops where you go in and ask for a pound’s worth.

With great walks, nature reserves and even a seal watching boat trip, there’s plenty to do but also a great place to go to switch off. If you want to go, check out what’s on in Sandwich, wheres always some kind of cheese rolling contest or pub crawl. Also, check out the ‘no-name cafe’.

Where is your favourite UK staycation?

TEAM ZOELLA APRIL 10, 2020

Making The Most of Easter In Lockdown

Despite the circumstances, we can still make this Easter count. We can use this time to find little glimmers of gratitude and joy in the ordinary; in the comfort and safety of our homes, the slower pace and the excitable video calls with loved ones, technical difficulties 'n' all.

Admittedly, Easter is going to look a little different this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t put on our best bonnets and celebrate the holiday from home (albeit with a unique quarantine twist).

The current situation won’t put a dampener on our spirits, not when there are hot cross buns and egg-shaped chocolate to be had.

Despite the circumstances, we can still make this Easter count. We can use this time to find little glimmers of gratitude and joy in the ordinary; in the comfort and safety of our homes, the slower pace and the excitable video calls with loved ones, technical difficulties ‘n’ all.

We are living in a weird world right now, quite different from the one we’re used to but these familiar calendar dates can serve as a comforting reminder that each day is a day closer to normality. The world keeps spinning.

We will embrace our mums again, sit on the beach with our friends, do the school run, sunbathe in parks with fruit cider and salty crisps, and all of those once habitual things we did before will be extraordinary this time.

As we continue to stay home and help control the spread of Corona Virus, here are a few ideas of things you can do indoors to celebrate and make the most of this lovely time of year.

From the team here at Zoella, we wish you a happy and healthy Easter!

Put on a Sunday roast

Even if you’re eating alone this Easter, why not embrace all of Easter’s traditional fare. Any excuse to gobble up a roast and all the trimmings.

Home-baked goods

There’s something soothing about carefully measuring out ingredients, cracking eggs into a bed of flour and following a recipe.

Baking is a great way to relive stress and channel your energy into something creative

Just look at how the humble banana bread has become the emblem of lockdown life with many of us spending more time in our kitchens, seeking ways to relax and pass the time.

If you can’t get hold of any sweet treats at your supermarket, roll up your sleeves and create your own baked goods from home. Check out our delicious Easter biscuit recipe here.

Time to DIY

With Easter being a time for renewal, you could start tackling some of those odd jobs around the house you’ve been putting off. Upcycle a piece of furniture, paint a room or tidy up the garden. Now’s the perfect time to reinvent your indoor space and breathe new life into your home.

Set your table

You know how everyone’s telling us to put on our good clothes when we’re working from home so we feel vaguely normal and ready for the day? Well, the same rule of thumb can apply to our homes.

Get out your fancy plates a la Monica Geller

Whether you spruce up your garden table and take your breakfast outside or get out your fancy plates a la Monica Geller and set your dining table, decorating your space for Easter is one way to make sure you make the most of the occasion.

Check out our ideas for how you can style your table ready for Easter here.

Play games

The family gathering might be on hold for now but that doesn’t mean we can’t play silly games and humiliate our family members.

Host an Easter themed quiz with your friends and family instead.

Brush up on your general knowledge and host an Easter themed quiz with your friends and family instead. Or, if you’re not into trivia, escape to a deserted island, build your own dwelling, meet charming animal residents and create your very own paradise – anyone else living vicariously through Animal Crossing right now? That’s our Easter getaway sorted.

Put on a post-brunch movie

It’s Peter Rabbit’s time to shine! While it’s set to be a scorching Bank Holiday outside, there’s plenty of cracking TV on over the weekend to keep us entertained indoors. From Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory to Shrek and Matilda, grab your Radio Times and hunker down with your favourite telly snacks.

Find out how to make an epic Easter Sharing Board you can graze whilst you watch here.

How will you be celebrating Easter this weekend?

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