Amongst the sharing, we've found endless 'add to basket' worthy fashion brands, art to brighten up the blandest of walls and cookbooks to forever transform a boring mid-week meal.
The exponential growth in awareness of the Black Lives Matter Movement in recent weeks has educated, informed and opened our eyes to ways we can support members of the Black community today, tomorrow and forever. Amongst the sharing, we’ve found endless ‘add to basket’ worthy fashion brands, art to brighten up the blandest of walls and cookbooks to forever transform a boring mid-week meal.
Using our money to support independent retailers has always been important, but now more than ever it’s essential to buy from those who deserve the success that has come more easily to their white counterparts. We apologise in advance to your bank balance!
Five fabulous stories that'll lift your spirits and start your week off right!
Rankin’s NHS Portraits
To celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS, incredible portrait photographer John Rankin Waddell has captured the images of 12 NHS staff. Those photographed include an ICU consultant, a Covid-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a Covid-19 ward cleaner, a paramedic, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker, and a chief information officer.
Book sales flying
A whopping 4m books were sold during the first week of trading in open stores since the UK shut it’s doors due to the Coronavirus. Book’s like Reni Eddo-Lodge’s ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ helped book sales jump to over 30% of that from the same week last year.
From rainbow makeup to festival throwback’s the weekend was packed full of amazing posts from creators sharing their pride support and memories. One of our favourites came from @dlarosaz on Twitter, who’s mother along with 11 of her friends have spent the last 3 months in lockdown crocheting this incredible pride flag!
Staycations back on
From this weekend onwards hotels, rentals and campsites are re-opening to the public so we can officially start our summer staycations. You might not be able to fly anywhere with guaranteed sun just yet but that’s half the fun of old blighty isn’t it! We can’t wait to see everyone on a new adventure, whether there up in the lake district or down in Cornwall!
New Nasa Headquarters Name
Nasa has named their Washington D.C headquarters building after Mary W. Jackson. Mary was the African American female to become an engineer in the 1950s. She was one of the main influence for one of the characters in the movie Hidden Figures – a real must see!
Hooray! Summer feels like it's here to stay, and we couldn't be happier about it. We've switched out jeans for bare legs and cardigans for strapless numbers, and now it's time to do the same for our homes.
Life is better when the sun is out, and also when you have an excuse for an H&M Home or IKEA order.
Hooray! Summer feels like it’s here to stay, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve switched out jeans for bare legs and cardigans for strapless numbers, and now it’s time to do the same for our homes. Think white bedsheets, airy curtains, easy to care for greenery and scatter cushions- if you’re a lover of earthy tones and rattan, look no further…
I seem to be all about the textures with these summer homeware updates! Although I moved into my flat in January, I still feel like there are plenty of decor finishing touches that would tie my space together. I love the green of this mirror and the pop of colour it would add to my otherwise v white bedroom.
If I’m brave enough to tackle a hammer and nail, I love the earthy feel of this wall hanging!
Natural materials like rattan, bamboo and wicker are really having a moment right now and they’re perfect for giving a summer beachy vibe to any room. I love the earthy tones and textures which look amazing mixed together or as a standalone statement piece like this amazing H&M chair.
When Spring & Summer roll around the first thing I think to change up is the bedding. A lighter tog, alongside a nice crisp white, always makes the bedroom feel fresher, I actually ordered the Zara bedspread and cushions! I also loved the little strawberry one from h&m for a more cute feel. Cushions with delicate florals are also setting my heart on fire at the moment.
I’ve decided to shop around for some straw/rattan summer pieces for my home. I don’t own many products in this kind of texture but it gives such a beachy rustic look your home. I’ve gone with a new hanging planted for my bedroom, some tumblers for enjoying gin and tonics in the garden, some lovely rattan hooks for my beach bags, and a beach bag that I’m going to use for magazines in my living room!
Time to give the little forgotten areas some TLC. One of our windows could do with a new set of curtains as we’ve still got the pair the previous owner left us and our cutlery drawer could do with a revamp (all the glamorous jobs), so I’ll be refreshing the parts of the home that don’t get a great deal of attention. I love introducing lighter fabrics at this time of year, lots of crumpled linen and natural materials to make it feel like you’re holidaying in a boutique beach resort.
Summer means it’s time for lighter and brighter colours! I love to change up my bedding in Summer, you can’t go wrong with some fresh white sheets and a simple white throw. Pops of colour always look great too and I love these mustard cushions from Oliver Bonas to introduce some colour. Of course, I couldn’t do a home refresh without getting a new houseplant and a cute pot for it too.
How To Make A Bath Chandler Bing Would Be Proud Of
There are two types of people in this world, those that like baths and those that like baths. That's it. There is no other option. Those that say they’re just not bath people simply aren’t doing ‘em right.
There are two types of people in this world, those that like baths and those that like baths. That’s it. There is no other option. Those that say they’re just not bath people simply aren’t doing ‘em right. What other reason could there possibly be for a human to dislike submerging themselves in warm water until their body relaxes so much it wrinkles with joy? Sometimes, it even lets out a little squeak it’s so happy.
The key is the ambience. From lighting your bath right to scenting it with aromatherapy oils, it’s all in the prep.
Here’s how to take your bath experience from lukewarm to Chandler Bing levels of bubbly greatness.
Ambient mood lighting
Let’s face it, a bath without candles is just a disappointing hole in your house with water in it. Let the gentle flicker of candlelight calm your mind and set the mood for your bath experience. This is your time to switch off mentally and physically. So hit the glaring overhead lights and enjoy the soft glow of candles instead.
Choose your intentions
Tune into your emotional wellness – what do you want to get out of this down time? You might want to read a couple of chapters of your book, watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy uninterrupted or, you might want to dedicate this time to the ritual of just having a bath & practising mindfulness. Set some intentions, leave your phone outside and use this time to unwind however you fancy.
Scent is a powerful thing so we caught up with Christina Salcedas, the director of wellbeing for Aromatherapy Associates to see how they create their blends and why fragrance is so important…
“We create all of our blends from nature’s therapeutic palette, each oil playing a key and active role. We often go against the principles of traditional fragrance rules of top, middle and base notes, instead crafting a blend that really works on our entire body. From the lulling aromas of Vetivert, Camomile and Sandalwood in our Deep Relax blend, readying your mind and body for sleep, to the clarifying scents of Petitgrain and Frankincense in our De-Stress blend to clear your mind and focus your thoughts, remember to listen to your body and trust your innate instincts to take care of your wellbeing.”
How can you feel the benefits of aromatherapy oils other than adding them to your bath?
“I like to take a capful of the oil and rub it over my shoulders, torso and the base of my back before sinking into a hot bath. I cup my hands to my face and inhale deeply a few times. If you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed, taking time to relax in the bath with these anxiety-soothing essential oils can really help you slow down your thoughts, refocus the mind and leave you feeling calm & still.”
What oil would you recommend for people going through a difficult time in the current climate?
“If you’re feeling nervous about returning back to Society, or if you’re currently facing a challenging time in your life, our Inner Strength blend is like a ‘hug in a bottle’. Blended with anxiety-soothing Clary Sage, emotion-grounding Sandalwood and the purest Geranium to help balance scattered thoughts & emotions, leaving you feeling more confident, comforted and reassured.”
Craning your neck in the bath doesn’t exactly scream zen. Roll up a towel to prop up your neck whilst you’re laying back or recline with a bath cushion to support your head whilst you read or catch up on your favourite series.
Create a relaxing playlist
If you struggle to switch off when you’re having a soak, a relaxing playlist will ease you into a state of calm. The dulcet tones of Norah Jones, Bon Iver, John Legend, Katie Melua and Corrine Bailey Rae will soon wash your worries & cares down the plug hole. See ya, neg energy!
Get the temperature just right
Do the elbow test – if the water’s too hot it will strip your skin of all your essential oils which can lead to skin irritation, so it’s best for your bathwater to be warm rather than uncomfortably hot. Just like baby bear’s porridge, it should be just right.
Add in some bath salts
To recreate the spa ambience from home and turn an average bath into a 10/10 soak, add in a cup of muscle-soothing bath salts.
Here’s how to make your own home blend!
You will need:
1 cup of Epsom bath salts – make sure they are the well-sourced type (100% natural) ½ cup course sea salt 5 – 10 drops of essential oils – lavender, citrus & eucalyptus all work really nicely ¼ cup baking soda ¼ cup of dried lavender or rose petals Mini mason jars / glass jars with lids for storage
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, breaking up any big clumps. Decant your bath salts into mini mason jars and pour ¼ – ½ jar into your bath when you’re ready to use. They also make blooming lovely gifts.
Use this time to pamper yourself
Envelop yourself in warm bubbles, apply your favourite cleansing mask and exfoliate your bod’ top to toe. This is where a bath caddy comes in very handy, so your glass of wine (ahem, priorities) and all your favourite pamper products are within reach. No one wants to be slipping in and out of the tub for laughs.
Embrace the bath time mindset
What happens when you get out the bath is just as important as what you do in there, so before you go rushing around catching up with the group messages you’ve missed in that sacred 20 minutes you’ve been separated from your phone, focus on extending that bath mindset right up until bedtime. Stay off your phone if you can (all the blue light can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms), climb into a fluffy bath robe or something comfortable and make yourself a cup of herbal tea.
Shop our bathtime favourites
Wallowing in the tub certainly makes the case for staying in! How do you create your perfect bath ritual? We’d love to hear your hacks!
Between You And Me: Answering Your Problems Part 5
We’re back with our monthly instalment of Between You & Me – an advice page dedicated to answering all manner of problems, big and small.
We’re back with our monthly instalment of Between You & Me – an advice page dedicated to answering all manner of problems, big and small.
From holding down female friendships at work to body hair issues and libido chat, here’s what pearls of wisdom we’ve got for you in part 5 of our BYAM series.
I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling at work lovely! Making the transition between uni and the workplace can be daunting and overwhelming, no doubt about it, so don’t underestimate the significance of this life change. Starting your first proper job in the real world is a BIG deal and all of your feelings are absolutely valid.
There’s going to be plenty of ‘firsts’ to navigate in your job role, and finding who you are as a person within the context of your career and that will take some time to figure out. But you’ll certainly get into the groove of things and find your confidence with it. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable or invisible in the workplace and if the problem continues, I would suggest having an honest conversation with either your line manager or HR department. This colleague might be completely unaware of how her behaviour implicating both your ability to do your job and your mental health. Communication is everything and -although I’m not making excuses for her behaviour, how hard is it to acknowledge someone in a lift with a friendly smile, after all? – I think being the bigger person and giving someone the benefit of the doubt shows your emotional maturity and willingness to move forward with the situation.
Even if it isn’t personal, it sure does feel personal to you, so that’s a conversation that needs to be had. You never know, maybe she’s got her own sh*t going on at home and she’s bringing it to work with her and you, through no fault of your own, are bearing the brunt of it. Aside from that one particular colleague, what’s the work culture like at your company? Do you have any opportunities to hang out together outside of doing your 9-5? If not, why don’t you propose that you guys get together for a few drinks after work (when the pubs are open again) to socialise as people rather than just colleagues, or have Friday Fizz in the office? It’s a great way to break the ice and build genuine rapport with your teammates. Not everyone at work has to be your best pal, it might be that your network of relationships within your job are just strictly professional and that’s ok, as long as it’s still a friendly environment.
I don’t think female friendships get easier or harder necessarily, I think you just learn to make your peace with the fact, not every female you meet, in whatever scenario or social context, will end up being your friend. They won’t all be your kind of people and vice versa.
It sounds like you have a really wonderful group of pals around you who have been present for most of your life, so I’d focus on nurturing those relationships and using them as your support network. The work dynamic will change all the time as new faces join and people move on so, don’t give up on those friendships yet. Remember, this is your first job and you won’t always feel this way.
It will get better and you will build friendships with your work colleagues organically over time but yeah, happy hour always helps, ha! Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. Lots of love, Lareese xX
Really sorry to hear that you’re feeling anxious about forming new female friendships and that’s really rubbish that you’re experiencing some coldness from a new colleague. Going into a new workplace is a lot like joining a new school halfway through term, everyone else is already settled in with their friendship groups and you’re going to find people you immediately click with and others that for whatever reason you don’t right away. This could naturally make anyone feel a little bit worried or insecure at first, and it’s completely ok to feel like that. Please don’t be discouraged these things usually just take time and the best thing you can do is not try to force it and be yourself as much as you can. I’m definitely an over-thinker and quite sensitive too so I think I would be feeling the same way you are if I was in your position but here are some alternative conclusions that are quite possible and I do feel it’s worth giving people the benefit of the doubt sometimes; perhaps she completely blanked on your name at the party (trust me as you get older this happens more and more!), as you’re new to the business that is possible and would have been just as embarrassing for her if she had got it wrong, perhaps she finds social situations like making small talk in lifts awkward so would rather keep her head down than make eye contact…or, of course, there’s every chance that she is just a bit rude and not interested in making any new friends. Unfortunately in life, you do come across bad eggs from time to time. Hopefully, there are other people in the business that are more on your wavelength that you can find common ground with and as new people join the company you will naturally gravitate towards other like-minded people and build some great friendships. I also want to give you some assurance that you will find female friendships as you get older and they will end up being some of your absolute best friends in later life. I’ve been working for the same company for nearly 8 years and I count my colleagues amongst some of my closest friends and mentors, I even had an ex-colleague as one of my bridesmaids at my wedding. These things don’t happen overnight though so give it a bit of time. I hope things get easier for you, please do reach out if you ever need any more advice! Take care, Maddie xx
Hi! This problem really stood out to me as I’ve been having similar thoughts myself, and can definitely relate to your worries as a 22-year-old too! I think when it comes to our bodies and how we like things to look, it’s very much a personal preference in finding what makes you feel like the best version of you. During lockdown, I stopped shaving my legs, more out of laziness than anything else, and have actually felt a sense of liberation from leaving that area untouched for the longest time since I probably first started growing hair on my legs. Whilst I still sometimes love how shaven legs feel after a good exfoliation and moisturise post-shower, leaving the hair there for far longer than I usually would made me realise that hair is actually not that deep, and no one is judging me either way. Previously I would have been so embarrassed if I’d gone out wearing a skirt and forgotten to shave, and would probably even have made a weird and unnecessary apology along the lines of “ignore my leg hair!” or “excuse the fact I forgot to shave” purely to counteract what I thought others must be thinking. Letting my body simple ‘be’ has helped change my relationship with body hair so much, and it might be something worth trying in your case too. Maybe it’s worth sparking a conversation up with the girls you’re living with and discussing body hair and how you’re feeling about it- I’m 99% they’ll have felt the same in many regards as you’re all swimming together, and it might just help you feel a bit more relaxed and liberated in removing the embarrassment from one of the most natural things our bodies do. Whether you decide to let your body hair grow a little or go ahead with laser hair removal, it’s important to remind yourself that whichever option makes you most comfortable is the right one. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make a decision right away, and definitely don’t go ahead with the hair removal if you feel it’s something you’re doing for others and their opinions more than for yourself. I hope you can enjoy the summer season and feel comfortable and confident in bikinis, shorts and strappy tops galore!
Hey anon, thanks so much for writing in with this as I think it’s an extremely common query people have with themselves and I think a lot of people will relate to this. I’m obviously no expert on sexuality and I would consider myself straight but I also would never rule out a relationship with a woman, does that make me bisexual? Maybe, but I don’t think you always have to label yourself. Sexuality is fluid and it’s a sliding scale, try not to feel guilty about having feelings like that towards woman as it’s nothing to be ashamed about. Don’t worry too much about labelling yourself and just move through life taking each relationship and opportunity as it comes. Maybe your past trauma has something to do with these feelings and if you want to properly unpack that, it might be worth finding a therapist to talk through it with.
Overthinking is something I am very good at too. Having lived with anxious episodes on and off since being 14, I feel that they both go hand in hand. When you are feeling anxious or overthinking, you are very much “in your own head”. One thing my therapist always shared with me which I found very helpful was that when you are doing this, you should intentionally start thinking more “outward”. Look at strangers passing by and think about what they might be doing, where they might be going, what sort of life they might have, whether or not they might be overthinking about something too and what that might me. Focusing on someone else takes your mind away from over-focusing on yourself or the things you are worrying or feeling anxious about. This might help you in the supermarket scenario. Although it may feel like you are the only one worrying about being there, others around you might be feeling that way too, even though they might not show signs of it. Another thing I learnt that helped me over the years was breaking the worry circle. If you find yourself worrying about something over and over and you feel there is no way to action that worry, you should drop it, because it is an endless circle that will not stop and is such a waste of your brain space. For example “I’m so worried I offended my friend yesterday” [can you action this? Yes. You can message your friend and check] “I’m worried I messed up on that test” [Can you action this? No. You can’t find out whether you passed or failed so this a pointless worry that you should drop because it’s not serving you in any way] It’s a tough one to get your mind around at first but I find it so effective. We often don’t think about actioning our worries so they won’t worry us anymore because we’re so used to sitting with them for so long. It’s also true that the things we often worry about happening seldom do, and the huge life events that happen out of nowhere won’t have even crossed our minds.
Thank you for sharing your problem with us. It’s very easy to feel like we have to reach certain milestones in our lives by a certain stage in our lives and with that comes a lot of unnecessary pressure, what I would say is, you’ll know when the time is right for you to start dating. It’s on your terms, no one else’s. I’m nearly 30 and I have some friends that are doing marriage and babies and others who are still enjoying the dating scene. So to hell with the rulebook, ‘late’ simply doesn’t exist. Of course, it’s important that, when you are ready to meet someone, you have the self-confidence to feel good about it, but why should your weight even be up for discussion? There’s so much more to who you than how much you weigh and how you value yourself shouldn’t be determined by the numbers on the scales or how successful you are at shrinking yourself physically and mentally. You are worthy of being loved for who you are as a person, not merely what you look like. Between the ages of say 15 and 20, I had a really tough time with my appearance, over-exercising and denying myself of calories because I thought that was my golden ticket to confidence and approval but it was such a waste of time. Losing the weight was a quick and temporary fix and actually it took years of working on myself from the inside out for the penny to finally drop. I’ve given up caring what other people think of my body, because it belongs to me, no-one else. Are you a good friend? Do you have a fab sense of humour? Are you a kind person? – aren’t they things to feel confident about? Tap into the things that make the f*cking great human that you are and maybe then when you’ve acknowledged the things you really do LOVE about yourself, you won’t equate weight loss to self-worth. You shouldn’t have to make yourself smaller or change yourself to fit in with certain unattainable beauty standards to feel worthy. It’s great that you’re recognising that your obsession with losing weight isn’t healthy behaviour. Perhaps try chatting with your parents about how their comments have made you feel, too. You need their support right now! Being thin shouldn’t be the pinnacle of beauty and attraction – know your worth exists far beyond the realms of that damaging narrative and any future boyfriend worth your time and love will know that. Sending lots of love! Lareese xx
Hey! I’m so pleased you’ve taken the time to write in to us about this, for you to already have the self-awareness that you have about your body and how you’re treating it is such an important step to finding happier and healthier ways to live. I’ve grown up my entire life thinking that I should be on some kind of diet and if I’m being completely honest I still have massive ups and downs with it and wish that I could say hand on heart that I always feel confident about my body, I don’t. Even at my thinnest I wasn’t content and I look back now thinking how crazy that seems but there were other reasons that were making me unhappy which I think altered my whole way of thinking, I was also incredibly unhealthy. That being said I don’t think I know a single woman who is 100% happy with their bodies 100% of the time. This is an incredibly sad fact and most likely brought upon by these ideals we’ve been programmed through the media that personifies “perfection” whatever that is. Thankfully it feels as though there is a wave of body positivity and body acceptance online that I want to see gather as much momentum as possible as I for one would love to see those perceptions changed, I highly recommend you follow those people, we’ve featured many of them on Zoella before! When it comes to you being “late” to the boyfriend thing I assure you that’s just society pressure getting in your head again. There is no such thing as late and I promise you I’ve had times where I was much happier single than with a boyfriend so a boyfriend is not necessarily the key to happiness. If I were you I would concentrate all of your energy on yourself, what things make you happy? Figure that out and then do MORE of it. You shouldn’t have to change yourself for anybody, when the right person comes along they’re not going to just see your body, they’re going to see your intelligence, sense of humour, opinions, kindness and all of the other things that make you who you are. If you are set on losing weight then do it for the right reasons, do it because YOU want to feel stronger and healthier not because you want other people to see you differently. Find a personal trainer and nutritionist who can make sure you’re doing it the right way and find a balance that works for you. Take care of yourself! Maddie x
Hello! Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time with this! As Danielle mentioned, conversations around porn/only fans with partners is probably not that common within relationships although I do think would be a very healthy thing to be able to talk to your partner about generally. Everyone will have different levels of what they feel is appropriate and where their feelings lie about it and the only thing you can do is make him aware of how it affects you and how you feel. I also think it would be good for you both to talk about his feelings towards it too. I think it would be good for the both of you to communicate in a much more positive way, make it more of a conversation as opposed to an argument where he may feel he needs to be defensive and say what he thinks you want to hear as opposed to being truly honest with you. I think judging by your email, everything seems to point towards honesty and truthfulness and that you feel you might not be getting that and it’s such an important part of any relationship. Speaking with one another when you’re both calm, collected and having a nice day together will ensure it feels a lot more like a safe space for an open chat. Let him know exactly how you’re feeling and hopefully, he will find he can be more honest with you too. It’s also so important that you zoom out and look at the bigger picture when things like this feel so consuming in your relationship. You have both just purchased your first house and it’s such an exciting step and commitment to one another, it would be such a shame to let this get bigger than it needs to be! Hope it goes well, wishing you all the luck!! x
Hey Anon, thanks so much or writing in about this kind of relationship issue, I think partners talking to each other about how much they watch porn/use only fans/masturbate in general is quite rare and they’re hard conversations to have. You can be left feeling hurt that you’re not ‘enough’ but that isn’t always the case and people don’t always seek out that kind of content because they’re unhappy with their partner. I think one of the main themes in your message is that your thinking a lot about this and you’ve only really had one conversation with your partner. You clearly love each other very much and this should be such an exciting part of your relationship having just moved into a new house together and starting a new journey. I think you’re probably going through some stuff separately as you mentioned your partner is on anti-depressants and you’re concerned that your weight gain has made you less attractive to him. I’d suggest writing down everything you want to chat to him about and sit him down with no distractions and have those hard conversations. Communication is everything in a relationship and if you’re constantly guessing his thoughts and feelings I’m reminding you that you can just ask him. It might feel like a weight off both your shoulders as no one wants to feel awkward or tense around their partner. Wishing you all the best, Danielle xx
Keep sending your problems to [email protected] as we’ll be answering more next month!
Summer Mocktails So Good You Won’t Even Miss The Booze
These hot Summer days and balmy evenings call for refreshing booze-free mocktails under a brolly, preferably with a good book or a banging playlist full of those factor 50 sunshine jams.
These hot Summer days and balmy evenings call for refreshing booze-free mocktails under a brolly, preferably with a good book or a banging playlist full of those factor 50 sunshine jams.
No al fresco breakfast, lunch or dinner is complete without a well-stocked bar and in this case, everyone gets to enjoy the drinks because they’re sans alcohol.
For all the mums to be out there wondering how on earth they’re going to make it through another virtual hen do without the fizz, we’ve got you covered with these booze-free bubbles.
Whether you’re taking a break from booze or just not all that into alcohol, these refreshing Summer spritzes will not disappoint.
And for those of us who really do like to go ham on the piña coladas come summertime, this is one hangover-free happy hour you’ll be able to get on board with. Santé!
Fresh Homemade Lemonade
When life gives you lemons! A classic ‘n’ cloudy homemade thirst-quencher that everyone can enjoy on a hot Summer’s day, made with juicy fresh lemons and garnished with fresh lavender. With its tangy and refreshing citrus notes, this nostalgic lemonade cordial will make for a great midday pick-me-up for kids and adults alike.
20 MINS COOK:
450g Granulated sugar (for simple syrup)
450ml of water (for simple syrup)
Boil your granulated sugar and water until it dissolves in a pan over high heat until it dissolves, then let it cool.
Juice your lemons and add them to your simple syrup when it has cooled. If you like your lemonade with a minty twist, slap your fresh mint to extract the oils and add it to the lemon, simple syrup mixture.
When you’re ready to drink simply pour one part of your lemonade mixture and one part soda water into a glass over ice. We added a few sprigs of lavender for both looks and a fresh taste!
Orange & Rhubarb Spritz
This alcohol-free orange and ‘barb bev has all the spirit and razzle dazzle of a £15 cocktail, without the banging headache & regret. Sip on this fruity number while you’re waiting to plate up the bbq food and you won’t even miss the booze. It’s like Summer in a cup! Aperol spritz, who now?
10 MINS COOK:
2 parts rhubarb syrup
2 parts freshly squeezed orange juice
For your rhubarb syrup, you can either purchase this from the supermarket or make it yourself. Find a great recipe here.
Juice your oranges, one orange is enough for one mocktail.
Pour in one part rhubarb syrup and one part orange juice to your glass and finish off with soda water.
Peach, Ginger & Lime Cooler
Imagine peach iced tea but better. Sweet and subtly spiced with shaved ginger, this Peach & Ginger blend packs a punch & goes down swimmingly with lemony orzo pasta salad or a breakfast acai bowl piled high with juicy berries.
Grate your ginger, you’ll need about one tsp for one mocktail
Mix together with your peach nectar (you can grab this from your supermarket or make it with this recipe) and sieve to remove any bits.
Fill up your glass about halfway with the mixture over ice and top it off with soda water
Add a good squeeze of lime and use the rest for your garnish!
We could do with a fresh OJ & ‘Barb Spritz right this second! What’s top of your Summer mocktail menu?
Who goes to a dinner party next door and leaves her baby alone in the house? What kind of mother does such a thing? She feels the familiar agony set in – she is not a good mother.
People are capable of almost anything. You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last.
But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions. You will not see these twists coming.
An ugly, sinister and all-together gruesome story with an almighty revelation – what more would you expect from master of gripping page-turners, Gillian Flynn? You will want to re-read it just to go back and spot the red herrings.
The best-selling novel behind the hit HBO TV series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Liane Moriarty will have you up all night with this unputdownable story of ‘perfect’ lives torn apart by ugly secrets. All we’re going to say is, don’t mess with these women.
A poignant and deeply important novel that examines systemic racism and media bias through the lens of teenage girl, Claudia. Get ready for one hell of a book hangover.
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable-more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumours and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best-and only-friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
A hen party in a remote cottage in the woods…what could possibly go wrong? It will leave your jaw dangling on the floor too many times to count.
6 The Girl on The Train – Paula Hawkins
Admit it, there’s no way you’d take this list seriously without this honourable mention. A missing woman, adultery and an unreliable narrator? Oh it’s juicy alright. You’ll be flabbergasted, exhausted and emotionally drained. In a good way.
You think you know where this story’s heading, but you don’t, and your heart will never recover from the devastation. Warning: not safe to read in public unless you can blame a severe bout of hay fever.
An atmospheric Dickensian novel chock full of whiplash-inducing twists and turns. At nearly 600 pages long, it’s one big beautiful monster but if you stick with it, you’ll be richly rewarded.
9 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
In all thirteen years of Anna’s life, her parents have never given her a choice: she was born to be her sister Kate’s bone marrow donor and she has always given Kate everything she needs.
But when Anna is told Kate needs a new kidney, she begins to question how much she should be prepared to do to save the older sibling she has always been defined by. So, Anna makes a decision that will change their family forever – perhaps even fatally for the sister she loves.
We won’t spoil it for you but let it be known that the gut-wrenching ending will leave you inconsolable for weeks. Possibly even months.
10 Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey
Not your average murder mystery – Healey’s debut novel is narrated by Maud, an 82-year-old woman with dementia. She makes cups of tea and forgets to drink them; sometimes she doesn’t recognise her own daughter but there’s one thing she is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing.
Another five stories fresh from last week that put a smile on our faces!
School meal success
Marcus Rashford’s campaign to the government to continue providing free school meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays has been achieved! This means around 1.3M children in England will not go hungry this summer after the government had planned to stop the initiative when term time finished. Rashford spoke to the PM Boris Johnson on the phone and was praised for using his voice in such a positive way.
Open for business
Shops and businesses throughout the country opened their doors last week. Stores have had to adjust to social distancing guidelines and adapt to the current way of life. Some of even went above and beyond like Selfridges, who set up live entertainment for those queuing. It has given the population a sense of normality back and is a step in a new direction
The 22-year-old activist and youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai has graduated from Oxford! Malala finished her Philosophy, Politics and Economy degree on Friday after beginning her course is 2017. We can’t wait to see the amazing Malala is going to achieve in the future, and love that her Instagram caption states that for now she’ll be reading, sleeping and Netflixing!
A date with Keanu
Movie Star Keanu Reeves is auctioning off a Zoom date with himself for charity! The internet’s favourite celebrity is selling “15 Minutes of Fame with Keanu Reeves” for the children’s cancer charity Camp Rainbow Gold. The current bid is at £75,000 with the auction ending at midnight tonight!
Supreme Court protects LGBT rights
On Monday 15th June the Supreme Court ruled that gay and transgender workers will be protected by federal civil rights laws. The 6-3 ruling means that Gay and Transgender people cannot be fired because of those characteristics as the 1964 Civil Rights Act now applies to them. This is a fantastic step forward for the US.
Check out our must-have tech picks that make life that little bit easier, in this week's Weekly Wants!
This week we’re talking all things tech, sharing the gadgets and gizmos we can’t live without. From hair tools that give a salon worthy finish (essential given the state of our lockdown hair right now), pet security cameras to check in with your furry friends, to noise cancelling headphones so you can listen to your boppiest playlist without being disturbed.
Check out our must-have tech picks that make life that little bit easier, in this week’s Weekly Wants!
I rarely go out without my trusty camera in tow- this one may have originally been my boyfriends which I’ve accidentally-on-purpose-adopted. My bag almost always has it in, as well as some noise-cancelling headphones that in normal circumstances I wear to the gym, for walks and when travelling.
I didn’t realise how useful having an Amazon Echo would be until I moved into my current flat and started using my flatmates, and I have to say it’s v handy for setting a little cooking timer handsfree! Finally, an external hard drive. I have more photos and videos on here than any one person needs but I always keep them backed up!
So I’m yet to invest but I’m currently in need of a massive hair haul! I can’t wait to have my hair done when we’re allowed and know I need the right tools to keep it looking great. I’ve heard so much AMAZING feedback from the GHD platinum+ straighteners and the technology sounds so much better than what I’m currently using. I’m also interested in their hot glide brush for and the soft curl tong. Even though I’m not about to drop this much money on hair tools I probably will over time as they last SO long. I’ve had my current lot for 10 years so if I’m thinking about cost per use they’re absolutely worth it.
I’m super excited for the new Sony ZV-1 compact camera. As a loyal Canon g7x fan for years, I’m super intrigued by this as it has been designed with “vlogging” in mind and has new specific features to enhance the “vlogger” user experience.
The furbo is something we have owned for years now and we love it! Ever wondered what your pet gets up to when you leave the house? It’s essentially a security camera for your dog, but with the built-in ability to fire treats wherever you are in the world. I love it because you can open the app at any time to check up on them, and can even speak to them if you need to. We’ve bought this for so many family and friends and they all end up loving it as much as we do!
Ever since we’ve been working from home, I’ve been looking at getting myself a pair of the wireless AirPods to make team calls a bit easier. They might be a bit spenny but they’re so lightweight and easy to charge that I feel like it’s a worthwhile investment. Now we’re utilising our homes as photography studios, I think a remote control for my camera will come in very handy when shooting self-portraits. It’s such a great gadget to have in your kit.
I have been a long time user of the Google Pixel phone and still can’t fault it. The Pixel 4 is the newest addition to the family and it’s easily the best phone I’ve ever had, the camera quality is so good you can even take pictures of stars at night. My newest tech must-have was actually a birthday present which is the Dyson cool tower fan. It’s completely blade-free, has 10 different speed settings and you can set it to a timer to turn off when you want it to. I don’t know how I survived without it now.
I think everyone needs a portable charger, this one from Elefull is great for day-to-day. It normally does around two full charges, so good if you are going to the beach or park all day! When it comes to headphones, these Bang and Olufsen ones are amazing, best sound by far out of all the headphones I’ve tried. Last is the Echo Dot I always bang on about, but it really is so handy to have. Tells you the weather in the mornings, plays any music you want, knows EVERYTHING. Maybe I’m just lazy but I love it being told to me haha!
From sheet masks to feet masks and bubbling formulas that wouldn’t look out of place in Professor Flitwick’s Charm class, there’s a plethora of magic lotions and potions to choose from out there. Here's a look at the team's top masks!
Masks have become the cliché of all quarantine clichés, second only to baking banana bread. Remember those early days? Weeks 1 – 4. That sh*t was BANANAS.
From sheet masks to feet masks and bubbling formulas that wouldn’t look out of place in Professor Flitwick’s Charm class, there’s a plethora of magic lotions and potions to choose from out there.
Whether you’re looking to target acne, brighten your complexion or give your hair some extra shine, there’s a mask for each woe known for every guy, gal, and non-binary pal. Hopefully, you’ll find a few new discoveries, faithful favourites and ‘can’t live withouts’. Here’s a look at the team’s top masks!
The Origins Drink Up 10-Minute Maskwith Apricot and Swiss Glacier Water is possibly the best thing I’ve ever smelt and I’m only being ever so slightly dramatic. I turn 30 next year, so I’m all about skincare that delivers fast and effective results. This cult classic contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and targeted Advanced Hydration Technology and it just so happens to smell GREAT, so it ticks all the boxes.
One mask I’ll always make time for in my self-care routine is the Oskia Renaissance mask. It’s such a beautiful and gentle buttery formula designed to boost radiance, alleviate congestion and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Believe the hype – it’s a solid all-rounder.
I couldn’t discuss masks without including this iconic sheet mask in there somewhere. The By Terry Baume de Rose mask is, as the name suggests, infused with rose petals and hydrating rose oil. It’s as dreamy as it sounds. Whenever my skin is feeling particularly grouchy and parched – usually after a few too many wines on my doorstep – I slap this mask on and my skin gradually forgives me. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it – man, it’s like a hug for your face.
I recently started shopping more at The Body Shop as I really love the ethics behind the brand and the products are also lovely. I tried out their Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask after my friend recommended it to me and instantly loved it! I’m prone to blackheads on my nose and this mask really helps clear them out, if you like satisfying gross stuff too, you can literally see the oil and sebum that has been pushed out of your pores on the surface of the mask.
Another mask I’m loving from The Body Shop is their Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask, It’s a quick mask which you only have to leave on for 5-10 mins in the shower and you come out with lovely smooth hair. It smells great too, I love that sweet banana smell!
Deviating from The Body Shop, Superdrug’s own brand Coconut Oil for Hair and Skin is also really great. It’s a bit messier as it’s and oil and you can leave it in for a minimum of 1-2 hours, but I usually leave it in over night! Coconut oil is great for your hair though, especially for me who has bleached hair which needs some extra care until we can go back to a salon!
I’ve always been a fan of masks as a form of self-care, I love seeing results and who doesn’t want softer skin, shinier hair, and smooth feet! My most recent mask is the PHAT Glow Facial from Ole Henrikson. You can apply it a couple of times a week and it’s amazing for doing before your makeup before an event. It comes out in a sticky pink formula that you massage on to your face until it turns white. Wash off after 10mins for the most baby soft skin!
Another fave is the Lumene Nordic Hydra Oxygen Recovery 72h Hydra Gel Mask. It’s a thick jelly I whack on whilst I’m in the bath and wash off the residue when I get out. I sometimes apply a thinner layer as a sleep mask. It leaves me with plump healthy skin and a lovely glow.
My top hair mask would have to be The Circle Masks from Davines. You can get different ones depending on what you want to focus on, I usually go for shine which is The Spotlight version.Apply to shampooed, towel-dried hair. Leave for 10-15 mins then comb through and rinse! Great for events when you want to really make the effort or if your locks are feeling a little bit lacklustre!
I am a huge fan of masks for one reason only, they actually do make a big difference. I never used to bother that much but when I got engaged a few years ago I knew I needed to up my game to get my hair and skin looking it’s best. So many people in the industry told me I needed to embrace masks to do this and I was told that ideally I should be using them at least twice a week which I’ve been doing so ever since.
If my skin is having a breakout or I’m experiencing redness I’ll use this Origins relief soothing face mask. This stuff is genius and I’ll see a drastic improvement to spots whenever I use it.
My top pick hair mask has to be Olaplex which I was recommended by my hairdresser Sam who uses it in her salon. Whether you leave it on for 10 minutes or overnight this stuff keeps your hair strong between haircuts, I swear by it.
I seem to remember Origins being the first skincare brand that I splurged on as a teen, and their Active Charcoal Mask has been a firm favourite of mine since sixth form. It’s great for anyone with an oily complexion and always leaves my skin feeling so clear and free of dirt and oil from the day.
2020 has been a year of a slight hair disaster for me, as my highlighted hair was left a bit frazzled and over-processed after a visit to the salon in December, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about recovery hair masks by now. I’ve tried more expensive remedies but this beauty from Bleach London has honestly saved my hair from many a knot disaster. I go through a LOT of this stuff when I wash my hair and make sure to leave it on for around 30 minutes before washing off for the maximum moisture hit. It makes brushing through bleached hair much easier and the affordable price tag means you don’t need to be sparing.
Secondly, and definitely on that pricier side, the Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep Conditioning Treatment. This is a pre shampoo mask to be applied on wet hair and again designed to be left on for as long as possible (they recommend 60 mins!). Although it makes my hair wash day a tiresome process, the moisture this mask gives whilst still leaving my hair feeling light and bouncy is second to none.