TEAM ZOELLA JULY 30, 2020

They Can’t Cancel Your Rainbow! How to Have a Pride Party from Home

Celebrating Pride might look a little different to parades and parties this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show our support for everything LGBTQ+ - this year, we just get to go big AND go home.

Celebrating Pride might look a little different to parades and parties this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show our support for everything LGBTQ+ – this year, we just get to go big AND go home.

The pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ+ community

The pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ+ community, that’s why this year more than ever, it’s important for us to show up and be proud. From virtual festivals to movie marathons, here’s how you can still show up and celebrate Pride from home.

The show will go on! Alexa, play Radio Ga Ga.

Attend a virtual festival

Audiences will be in for a feast of fantastical fun as Brighton & Hove’s infamous annual Pride festival goes digital for the first time. We Are FABULOSO will be streamed live from a studio in Brighton across Pride weekend, 31st July – 2nd August. Featuring cabaret, comedy, game shows, inspiring activists, exclusive performances and archive footage, you can join in the colourful celebrations wherever you are.

Watch it here.

Stock up on your LGBTQ+ reads

Books have a wonderful way of reminding us that we’re not alone; they encourage us to listen, connect and grow. With that in mind, Pride is the perfect time to diversify your TBR pile and champion the amazing authors and characters continuing to amplify the LGBTQ+ experience.

Bake some Pride-themed snacks

Rainbows for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Image Image Credit : Magnum

Have a Pride-themed movie night

From feel-good comedies to eye opening documentaries, host a movie night at home or set up an outdoor cinema in your garden. If there are too many people to invite, or you’re unable to plan a socially-distanced Pride movie marathon, why not host a remote movie night with Netflix Party, instead? Add Moonlight, Call Me By Your Name, Milk and Imagine Me & You to your viewing schedule immediately.

Show up for your friends

One of the most meaningful ways to celebrate Pride is to be an ally. Pride can stir all kinds of complex emotions, particularly for those who aren’t out, or who have recently come out during lockdown. Send your friends a message, check in on them and do anything you can to make sure they feel seen and understood. A quick text or video call can go a long way.

Image Image Credit: @rajimoyo

Put in the work

Pride is so much more than rainbows and glitter, it’s a political event steeped in queer history, and what better way to pay tribute to the activists who stood up and fought for radical change and LGBTQ+ rights than by reading and learning about their stories. Whether you’re a member of the community or an ally, use this as a time to remember the protest as well as the party and learn the history.

Decorate your home

Balloons, garlands, shimmer curtains, feather boas, there’s no holding back when it comes to Pride party decor. Fly. That. Flag. We were particularly inspired by Zoe’s rainbow balloon arch!

Image Image Credit: @markyyferris

Donate to LGBTQ+ charities and organisations

There are hundreds of LGBTQ+ charities making a huge difference to the lives of gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning teens and adults. From providing access to emergency support to advocating for legislative change and preventing homelessness, these organisations need our financial support to continue their mission.

Donate to Stonewall

Donate to AKT

Donate to Switchboard

Donate to LGBT Foundation

Make some colourful cocktails

Cocktail or mocktail, raising a glass and sippin’ on something colourful is a house rule.

Image Image Credit: The Food Network

How will you be celebrating Pride this year?

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 29, 2020

Fruit Salad Fashion! 24 Colourful Pieces To Brighten Up Your Wardrobe

Take the trend all the way with some novelty embroidered knitwear or a ribbed vest top perfect for beer gardens and picnics, or nod more subtly to the fruity feel with a colour-blocked 'fit and accessories- the possibilities are endless!

Inspired by the ever-excellent Mr Styles, we’re feeling Watermelon Sugar (high) with this week’s edit, sharing the best tutti-fruity designs and colour palettes to nail that high summer look. Primary colours are your best friend when it comes to embodying the pick of the fruit bowl bunch, and if you’re feeling extra ‘extra’, try clashing those shades too- red, green, yellow and blue are interchangeable as you please!

Take the trend all the way with some novelty embroidered knitwear or a ribbed vest top perfect for beer gardens and picnics, or nod more subtly to the fruity feel with a colour-blocked ‘fit and accessories- the possibilities are endless! Which fruit salad shade will you be rocking into August and beyond?

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TEAM ZOELLA JULY 28, 2020

13 Questions With Emma Gannon

Author of our August Book Club Pick 'Olive' Emma Gannon shares her inspiration for the novel, and what she's up to at the moment.

First of all how are you and how have you been coping in 2020?

Like everyone I’m sure, I’ve generally been feeling very up and down. The ‘coronacoaster’ is a real thing! One day I am having an existential crisis about the world ending, and the next I am feeling incredibly calm and grateful for this ‘great pause’ on our lives. I have definitely felt a deep anxiety, but I’ve also felt the closest I’ve ever felt to my friends and family. I’ve also adjusted my work schedule, reflecting on my new goals and decided to be less busy. It’s been quite the year already, hasn’t it?

We’re super excited to start reading Olive for our August book club, what was the process for writing a fiction novel like?

I’m so excited to be included in your book club, thank you! Writing fiction was a totally different experience to writing my non-fiction books. For starters I wrote the whole book before pitching it to publishers, whereas with non-fiction you can normally sell the book on a proposal, get paid and then write it. It was definitely a labour of love, and a bit of a creative risk to spend so much of my time on something that might never have seen the light of day, but it was all worth it in the end!

What inspired you to write Olive?

When I turned 30, I started realising that I had never really given motherhood much thought — my friends were suddenly taking to try for babies or talking about wanting children one day, and I just felt like it wasn’t something I was drawn to. In December 2018, I posted a tweet asking for child-free by choice women to get in touch as I was researching the topic. I thought maybe it would be a short article, but then I heard back from hundreds of women. The more I explored the topic, the more I knew this was going to be my first novel. There were so many meaty conversations I wanted to have, and so my four characters Bea, Cecily, Isla and OLIVE were born.

Do you think you’ll be writing more fiction in the future?

Yes definitely! Once all the OLIVE craziness has calmed down a bit I’m going to start writing another.

What’s your advice for someone who wants to write for a living?

Write, write, write! Write for fun, write for yourself, write for your blog, just keep doing it and try not to be too self-conscious. I think someone once said ‘writing is like playing the piano’ you have to keep doing it to get better over time and exercise your writing muscle. I wrote every week on my blog in my twenties, and although most of it has now been deleted, it all added up along the way.

What are you reading at the moment?

I just read Girl A by Abigail Dean, a tense psychological tale of a group of siblings all overcoming a traumatising childhood. It’s a bit darker than my usual read, but I couldn’t put it down — I literally stayed up until 2am finishing it. It’s out in January and I think it’s going to be the book of 2021.

We’re keen listeners of your podcast Ctrl Alt Delete, what is the process like for picking guests and deciding what to discuss?

It’s a bit like editing a magazine in a way —watching which conversations are happening, including newsy hooks, new films/books or noticing what important topics could use a platform. I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve now interviewed a lot of people on my ‘dream list’. I think it’s important to use a podcast to spread useful messages. Recently I’ve been discussing diversity in podcasting; different perspectives on motherhood, domestic abuse charities and classism in journalism and always on the lookout for new ideas.

What are you currently working on?

I have a new non-fiction book called SABOTAGE coming out in September! All about overcoming self-sabotage and getting out of your own way.

9. Who are some of your current favourite follows online?

@DrSoph, an amazing clinical psychologist

hellofrom90s – because it’s fun to see a throwback in my feed sometimes

Sophie W, @officialMillennialBlack – Sophie’s book Anti-Racist Ally is out soon.

What do you always carry with you?

My AirPods because I’m constantly listening to podcasts. One I’m really enjoying at the moment is Might Delete Later.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A long walk (maybe somewhere like Hampstead Heath), followed by a delicious roast with friends in a pub with red wine, then a bath, clean sheets and a good book in bed.

If you could only eat one meal again what would it be?

Dinner at the Tandoor Chop House in Covent Garden.

If you could give one positive message to our followers what would it be?

Follow your gut instinct — deep down you have your own internal compass, you don’t have to follow the crowd if you don’t want to.

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 27, 2020

6 Happy & Wholesome News Stories To Start Your Week Off Right

From surprise albums to more celebrity engagements, here’s your weekly hit of happiness.

Regent’s Park open-air theatre is back for Summer

The award-winning theatre located in London’s Regent’s Park is set to reopen this Summer with 70 live performances throughout August and September. It will be the first theatre to welcome back audiences in the capital following lockdown when it was forced to postpone the entire 2020 season due to the coronavirus outbreak. From Friday 14th August, a special concert staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar will play for 6 weeks, so snap up your tickets just in time for Summer in the city here.

Taylor Swift dropped a surprise album

Come through Tay Tay. She only went and dropped a new surprise album! Featuring collaborations with Bon Iver, The National’s Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, Folklore is Swift’s eighth studio album. Taking to Instagram, the singer wrote: “Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore.

“I’ll be releasing my entire brand-new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into.” That’s right, Taylor Swift goes and writes and records a whole new album whilst in lockdown and we just about managed to organise a sock drawer. What. A. Queen.

Demi Lovato announces her engagement

Demi Lovato announced her whirlwind engagement to The Young and the Restless actor, Max Ehrich, and you’ll need your sunglasses if you’re going to look directly at the ring. It’s incredible.

In a post to her 88.5 million Instagram followers, the 27-year-old singer wrote: “When I was a little girl, my birth dad always called me his ‘little partner’ — something that might’ve sounded strange without his southern cowboy like accent. To me it made perfect sense. And today that word makes perfect sense again but today I’m officially going to be someone else’s partner.”

The bride-to-be continued: “I’m honoured to accept your hand in marriage. I love you more than a caption could express but I’m ecstatic to start a family and life with you. I love you forever my baby. My partner. Here’s to our future!!!!” Aw, we’re thrilled to bits for them.

Loads of people have quit smoking during the pandemic

More than 1 million smokers in the UK have packed in the habit since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, figures suggest. As many as 400,000 people aged 16-29 have kicked their habit and 240,000 aged over 50. According to analysis made by the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and UCL, another 400,000 aged 30-49 have also stubbed out their last cigarette. The UK’s 7.4m smokers have been encouraged to ditch the cigs during the pandemic, as government advice says coronavirus symptoms may be more severe if you smoke.

May the best butt win

Museums around the world are battling it out over who has the #BestMuseumBum. The Yorkshire museum called upon fellow collections to share their best buttocks, kicking off the exhibit with this classy arse. Cracking work, guys.

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 26, 2020

Weekly Wants: Styling One Shoulder Tops

The 90s vibe of a one-shoulder silhouette conjures up the cool-girl nostalgia of the Spice Girls and double denim era and is a shape we'll be coming back to again and again this summer season.

Post isolation evenings have looked cooler than with these one shoulder gems in tow, adding a little oomph to a day-to-night ‘fit and extending your usual ‘jeans and a nice top’ options for dinner and drinks galore.

There’s something seductive about that extra bit of skin peeping out

There’s something seductive about that extra bit of skin peeping out, making them a great grab and go option for the times you want to look effortlessly put together.

The 90s vibe of a one-shoulder silhouette conjures up the cool-girl nostalgia of the Spice Girls and double denim era and is a shape we’ll be coming back to again and again this summer season.

Shop the post

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TEAM ZOELLA JULY 25, 2020

8 TV Shows & Films To Watch If You’re Missing Office Life

For those of us now fluent in working from home, you’re probably a little bit OVER IT. At first, it was a novelty that came disguised as midday showers and pyjama-bottomed Zoom calls, but after four long months of it, we’re more than ready to play footsie with our colleagues again.

Remember that little table setting? The one full of all manner of miscellaneous objects including but not limited to nail varnish, parched highlighters, a stress ball shaped as an arse and a little dying love fern? It was called the office.

For those of us now fluent in working from home, you’re probably a little bit OVER IT. At first it was a novelty that came disguised as midday showers and pyjama-bottomed Zoom calls, but after four long months of it, we’re more than ready to play footsie with our colleagues again. We miss awkwardly stumbling upon their feet with our feet and loling about it because what else is there to do when your feet just slow-danced together?

We miss coming up with something deeply profound for whoever’s birthday it is that month: ‘HBD, have a good one’.

We miss plotting to get our favourite pen back from our co-worker after letting them borrow it 2 years ago.

We miss collectively standing up to gather at the window to stare at a pigeon or reprimanding the hands of time for passing too quickly. How is it 3pm already? waves of shock disperse from desk to desk. One colleague falls off her chair for dramatic effect

We even miss the smell of hot fish on the turn in the microwave. Take us back to the days when tepid tuna was as turbulent as life got!

If you’re missing office culture as much as us, we’ve pulled together a few tv shows and films to see you through until that sweet workplace reunion comes around in August.

Ugly Betty

Fresh out of college, a bespectacled poncho-wearing Betty Suarez – who really isn’t ugly at all – lands the role of assistant at Mode magazine. Thrust into the superficial world of models, bitchery and office backstabbing, she faces many highs and lows along the way but ultimately, this is a series about the triumph of the underdog.

Parks & Recreation

A character-driven mockumentary, starring the legendary Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, the enthusiastic workaholic and deputy director of the Parks & Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana. The show follows a weird and wonderful bunch of bureaucrats as they attempt to change their small-town community for the better. Highlights include Ron Swanson and his pyramid of greatness and gay penguin weddings.

The Office

Whether you watch the American version or the original British version, this motley crew and their hilarious 9-5 misadventures will be sure to fill your computer chair void.

The IT Crowd

The IT Crowd would rather spend their days actively avoiding all work. Guitar hero, prank calls, jousting with mops – we like their idea of team building activities tbh. If you don’t miss the office after watching this, try turning it off and on again.

After Life

The series largely centres around grief and learning to navigate life after loss but there’s some gloriously relatable sketches of office life throughout, including miserable birthdays, unfathomable weirdness and brilliantly executed small talk. Ricky Gervais at his v best.

Silicon Valley

A revolutionary data compression algorithm… it hardly sounds like a hoot does it? But you’ve got to hand it to these socially awks IT-nerds, they’d make your Mondays better AND they’d know exactly what to do when the Wi-Fi has a breakdown.

The Intern

A seventy-year-old retired, bereaved and benevolent Ben Whittaker, played by Robert DeNiro, applies to a senior citizen intern program at a fast-growing fashion start-up. He tidies his boss’ desk, he cries into his fluffy white robe and he always carries a handkerchief in his pocket at all times in case YOU need it. It’s heart-warming stuff. Petition for every company to have an in-house masseuse, thank you please.

The Devil Wears Prada

Anne Hathaway’s the dowdy, wide-eyed assistant, Meryl Streep’s the ruthless Cruella de Vogue Editor – together they make an unlikely but powerful team, in the end. It’s a cult-classic.

What are you missing the most about being in the office, guys?

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 24, 2020

Everything You Need To Know About Face Coverings

If you’re yet to snap one up or you’re wondering where to shop for the cutest designs, you’re in luck. From how to wear them properly to finding a design you actually want to wear, here’s everything you need to know about face coverings.

As of today (24th July), wearing a face-covering in shops is compulsory in certain areas in England as part of public health policy to tackle COVID-19, so we may as well get comfortable dressing and styling our faces.

From how to wear them properly to finding a design you actually want to wear, here’s everything you need to know about face coverings.

They’re the most unlikely fashion accessory of the decade but here we ARE. It’s 2020 guys, who can predict what will happen next! At this point, if someone told us horses have grown wings, we’d believe them. If you’re yet to snap one up or you’re wondering where to shop for the cutest designs, you’re in luck. From how to wear them properly to finding a design you actually want to wear, here’s everything you need to know about face coverings.

Why should I wear a face mask?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread predominantly by droplets from coughing, sneezing and speaking. Whilst covering your nose and mouth cannot prevent you from catching COVID-19, it can help act as a barrier to reduce the transmission of the virus. When you wear one, you protect others, when they wear one, they protect you. It’s simple stuff, really.

When should I wear one?

Different regulations for face coverings apply depending on where you live, but in England you must wear one by law in the following settings:

Public transport
Shops and supermarkets (from July 24, 2020)

What kind of face mask should I be wearing?

Medical face masks, also known as surgical masks, should be worn by health workers, people who have COVID-19 symptoms and those looking after someone who has suspected or confirmed coronavirus. Fabric masks / non-surgical face masks should be worn by those with no symptoms as a protective measure to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

What happens if I don’t wear one?

Though the liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual, measures can be taken if you refuse to comply with this law. A shop can refuse your entry and the police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a £100 fine (£50 if paid within the first 14 days). Shops and supermarkets will be expected to encourage compliance with the law.

Dos and Don’ts of wearing a fabric mask:

Wearing a mask alone cannot protect you from COVID-19, and you should continue to combine other protective measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. Here’s a list of the dos and don’ts:

Does everyone have to wear one?

There are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, whereby certain groups may be exempt. According to the official government guidance, the following groups are not required to wear a face covering while using public transport or in a shop:

• A child under the age of 11
• An employee of the transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment
• Any other person providing services to the transport operator, under arrangements made with the transport operator, who is providing those services
• A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty
• An emergency responder such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty
• An official, for example, a border force officer, acting in the course of their duties
• If you are allocated a cabin, berth or other similar accommodation, at any time when you are in that accommodation, either alone, or only with members of your own household or a linked household
• If you are on board public transport but remain in your private vehicle, for example on a car ferry
The following are also seen as ‘reasonable excuses’:
• If you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
• If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
• If you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
• If you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
• If you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
• If you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
• If you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
• According to the website Autism Eye, these rules around “reasonable excuses” also cover passengers with autism.

What if I want to make my own face masks to sell?

If you want to make and sell face coverings of your own, your products must meet the existing General Product Safety Regulations 2005. You can find all the requirements and guidance for manufacturers here.

If you’d just like to have a go at making your own, here’s a handy step-by-step.

Where can I buy a cool face covering?

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite face coverings. Who knew they could be this pretty!

How do you feel about wearing a face mask? Will it put your mind at ease when out shopping?

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 23, 2020

24 Dresses To Make You Feel Like You’re Living That French Meadow Dream

Florals for Spring/Summer never get old, and with these floaty, feminine numbers in your stash, you'll be channeling the ultimate South of France dream no matter your destination.

Florals for Spring/Summer never get old, and with these floaty, feminine numbers in your stash, you’ll be channeling the ultimate South of France dream no matter your destination. Textures are key when it comes to nailing that effortless ‘woke up like this’ aesthetic: chiffon, linen, ruffles and a puff sleeve to name but a few of the key tick boxes in dreamy whimsical dressing.

Pair with a basket bag, picnic blanket and barely-there sandals and you’ll look right at home amongst a bed of wildflowers and the gentle buzz of nature all around. Lap it up and wallow in that height of summer happiness brought about by sun on your skin and waves in your hair. French Riviera dreaming: completed it.

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TEAM ZOELLA JULY 22, 2020

18 Essential Books For Educating Yourself Further

Whether you want to get to know your body better, deepen your understanding of the history and experiences of minority groups or educate yourself on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, these are the books to work through.

To quote philosopher Francis Bacon, “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” These definitely fall into the to-be-chewed category.

Whether you want to get to know your body better, deepen your understanding of the history and experiences of minority groups or educate yourself on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, these are the books to work through.

1 Women, Race and Class – Angela Davis

Legendary political activist Angela Davis charts the history of racial and gender oppression in the United States in this powerful study of the women’s liberation movement.

2 Period Power – Maisie Hill

Maisie Hill flips the lid on this long overdue conversation with her no-nonsense handbook to periods and hormones. It’s bloody brilliant stuff.

3 On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong

A powerful, raw and poetic exploration of language, race, sexuality, trauma and masculinity. Framed as a letter from a young Vietnamese man to his illiterate mother, the subject matter is at once shattering and beautiful.

4 Trans Like Me: A Journey For All Of Us – C.N. Lester

What does it mean to be transgender? This book covers a multitude of topics about the trans experience, from pronouns to Caitlin Jenner, as well as CN Lester’s own experience with identity.

5 How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir – Saeed Jones

A telling portrait of what life is like growing up as a young black gay man in America’s south. It’s a memoir you’ll never forget.

6 Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

A Booker-Prize Winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives of 12 different black British women and their intricately connected stories.

7 Call Me by Your Name – André Aciman

Now a major motion classic, Call Me by Your Name is one of the greatest LGBTQ love stories of our time.

8 White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race – Robin DiAngelo

American academic, Robin DiAngelo, shows how wounded and defensive white reactions can shut down vital conversations and uphold white supremacy. If you’re invested in societal change, add it to your TBR pile asap.

9 Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates

The Everyday Sexism project was founded by writer Laura Bates back in 2012. It began as a website to catalogue instances of sexism on a day-to-day basis but quickly evolved into a viral success, credited with helping to spark a new wave of feminism. From discrimination in the workplace to sexual harassment, Everyday Sexism is an important literary protest against inequality and a manifesto for change.

10 All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto by George M. Johnson

Written by journalist and LGBTQ activist, George M. Johnson, this fearless memoir-manifesto explores the trials and triumphs of the black queer lived experience.

11 Me and White Supremacy – Layla Saad

A blistering expose of how entrenched white privilege is in modern society, Saad’s Me and White Supremacy is mandatory reading for anyone committed to doing better.

12 The Colour Purple – Alice Walker

A classic everybody should read at least once, The Colour Purple is a cultural touchstone of modern American literature. Told through a series of letters spanning 20 years, Alice Walker’s epic broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery.

13 I Am Not Your Baby Mother – Candice Brathwaite

Part memoir, part manifesto, Candice Brathwaite’s straight-talking guide to navigating black British motherhood is a must-read for all mums.

14 Vagina: A New Biography – Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf’s revolutionary work challenges how we think about, talk about and understand the vagina.

15 The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness – Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander presents a searing must-read for anyone who wants to expand their understanding of the deeply flawed legal system in America.

16 The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas

Inspired by the BLM movement, this is an honest and painfully relevant YA novel about police brutality and one girl’s struggle for justice.

17 The Stars and the Blackness Between Them – Junauda Petrus

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

18 Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family – Garrard Conley

Boy Erased tells the gut-wrenching true story of author Garrard Conley’s failed conversion therapy. Through an institutionalised 12-step program heavy on bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual and cleansed of impure urges. Instead, he found the strength and understanding to accept his true self.

TEAM ZOELLA JULY 21, 2020

13 Questions With Karina AKA @Styleidealist

One of our favourite follows of 2020, we caught up with fashion blogger Karina about pursuing her dream career.

First of all how are you and how are you coping in lockdown?

At first, not very well! After being made redundant from my job and leaving in February, I decided to take a leap of faith and go full time self-employed in March – what timing! 

I lost a lot of my jobs and worried a lot about how I was going to support myself and what I was going to do… but I realised I needed this time to figure it out. I gave myself time to think about all the things that bring me joy and for me, that was writing, creating content and working on me, my confidence and personal development. Even though it’s been hard, I know I’ll look back and feel so grateful for the time I allowed myself to work on me and what I want. 

Tell us about how you got into fashion blogging?

I started my blog whilst in a dead-end job in 2014. I really didn’t enjoy my job and wasn’t feeling challenged so I decided to create The Style Idealist! It was a space just for me where I had complete creative control and no one could interfere. I would work full time in the week then concentrate on writing blog posts and creating content at weekends….

It has and always will be an amazing form of escapism. I’m so proud that I managed to turn a real sad and negative time with my work and create something for myself.

What inspires you?

So many things! Pinterest, books, movies, TV shows and my family. I try not to get too much inspiration from Instagram as I don’t want to fall into the trap of succumbing to trends. It’s important to be yourself, that’s what makes you unique! 

We’re obsessed with your style, how would you describe it?

Thank you so much! I’d say it’s feminine, effortless, colourful and joyful. Forget trends and wear what makes you feel good is my motto! 

What do you think is the best thing about social media?

Finding your people and building a community most definitely. When I shared my story about leaving toxic workplaces, the anxiety I felt over turning 30 and not feeling like I had done enough or be where I thought I’d be, I realised that I’m not alone in thinking that. And it’s nice to not feel alone in your thoughts sometimes. 

Tell us about some of your favourite clothing brands?

Oh this is a hard one! I would say Daily Sleeper and they’re incredible handmade, 100% linen dresses are incredible and make me feel amazing. I’d also say Kitri Studio and Palone’s have some incredible statement pieces which have a real high quality fit – as a mid size gal it’s not always easy to find quality fitting clothes, so these are definitely my go-to. 

How do you shop at the moment and what is your process for discovering trends?

Since lockdown I definitely shop a lot differently now. I don’t feel the need to have constantly new in and focusing on ways to style items. For example 5 outfits with one pair of jeans or a blazer three ways! This way I got lot more wear out of my clothes and less likely to wake up wondering what the hell to wear today! 

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few campaigns with some of my favourite brands – which is such a dream to say (well, write lol). I’m also working on more style content including ‘how to build a midsize capsule wardrobe’, ‘ways to wear’ and writing around personal development in your thirties on my blog – think everything from confidence, acceptable and relationship chat! 

Who are some of your current favourite follows online?

@AfricaBrooke

@turning30coach 

@ghenetactually

@inmysundaybest 

@nicoleocran

@iamkristabel

@fashionenth

What do you always carry with you?

My mask and hand sanitizer – its 2020 after all. Plus usually my book ‘My sister the serial killer’ (it’s SO good) plus a bright lipstick because it always lifts my mood! 

What does your perfect weekend look like?

I’m really hoping for a staycation in the next few weeks so right now my perfect weekend would be in the Cotswolds with my husband and cockapoo Cooper. Long walks, good food and great views! 

If you could only eat one meal again what would it be?

I’m so torn between pizza and lasagne. I think it has to be Pizza. 

If you could give one positive message to our followers what would it be?

Embrace everything that makes you, YOU. It’s also never too late to find and do what makes you happy 💖

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