Between You And Me: Answering Your Problems Part 7

This month, we’re discussing how to deal with competitive friends on social media, redundancy and job hunting in the midst of coronavirus, university nerves, getting back into the dating game when you're a mum and wanting children at different times.

Welcome back to our monthly instalment of Between You & Me, a little nook of the website we’ve created for listening to your life problems, sharing our experiences and nurturing our personal growth together, all with open hearts and open minds.

This month, we’re discussing how to deal with competitive friends on social media, redundancy and job hunting in the midst of coronavirus, university nerves, getting back into the dating game when you’re a mum and wanting children at different times.

Life-giving you way too many lemons right now? Let’s make some lemonade up in here! Send your problems to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer them next month.


Creamy Chia Pudding 4 Ways

Move aside overnight oats, chia pudding is the convenient breakfast we all need in our lives.

Move aside overnight oats, chia pudding is the convenient breakfast we all need in our lives. Super quick, tasty and filling, it’s a triple threat of a snack that you can throw together in 5 mins flat before bed, ready to grab and go in the morning and enjoy throughout the week.

As well as being rich in fibre, antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, this powerhouse ingredient is a great source of essential fatty acids, making it a light and healthy option for breakfast, dessert or a mid-morning snack. It certainly lives up to its superfood name!



Simply soak your seeds in milk overnight, customise with your choice of toppings and start your day off right with this creamy breakfast-meets-dessert. Once you’ve jumped on this foodie bandwagon, you won’t be hopping back off again anytime soon.

Here’s a few winning flavour combinations to try!

The naked chia pudding base


In a mixing bowl, whisk your chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Transfer to a cup or jar (one per serving) leaving space at the rim for your toppings.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours until your chia pudding is thick and creamy.

If it has not quite reached the pudding state yet, give it a stir and add in some more chia seeds and return to chill.

Double up on your ingredients if you want to make a big batch for the week, it’ll keep in the fridge for 5 days.

Chocolate & banana chia pudding


Craving a sweet treat? Mix all your ingredients together as above until combined, cover and leave to chill overnight.

When your chia pudding is ready to serve, top with slices of banana and shavings of dark chocolate, coconut chips or a dollop of Reese’s creamy PB. It’s a no-brainer!

Triple berry punch chia pudding

Image Credit: The Real Food Dieticians

We prefer the consistency of fresh berries but frozen bezzas work just as well.

Follow the chia pudding steps as above, incorporating all the ingredients and refrigerating overnight.

If you’re using fresh blueberries, mash them up into the mixture to release more flavour!

Top with a smattering of fresh berries and flaked almonds to serve.

Coffee chia pudding

Image Credit: Nutritionist meets chef

If you’ve got a sorry looking packet of chia seeds sat in your cupboard, this is their time to shine.

Combine chilled brewed coffee with milk, maple syrup, chia seeds and vanilla extract and chill overnight.

Top with a generous squirt of whipped cream and enjoy as a morning pick me up or save room and pull it out the fridge for pudding later, if you’ve got the willpower.

Cinnamon apple pie chia pudding

Image credit: choosingchia

This sweet and spicy pudding is the perfect make-ahead breakfast or dessert and tastes just like apple pie. We’re already invested.

Whisk all your basic pudding ingredients together, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan before adding the diced apple, cinnamon and maple syrup.

Sauté on a mid-high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat a little and cook for a further 5 minutes until the apple is soft & caramelised.

Spoon half your chia pudding mixture into a cup and spoon over half your apple topping, add the rest of your pudding and top with the last few chunks of apple and a cinnamon stick.

Autumn aesthetic, completed it mate.

Are you a chia pudding enthusiast? Share your favourite combos!


5 Bank Holiday Outfits Under £150 For Every Occasion

To help you get ready for the three-day weekend, we’ve pulled together some outfit ideas to see you through every occasion.

To help you get ready for the three-day weekend, we’ve pulled together some outfit ideas to see you through every occasion. Whether you’re catching the rays at the beach, heading out with the girls for a few sun-soaked tipples or staying firmly attached to your sofa, we’ve done the leg work so you can use the last long weekend of the year to sit back, relax and let the bank holi-yay good times roll.

Summer in the city
The receipt: £149.99

If you’re heading into town for some fun in the sun (we can but hope the Vitamin D gods play ball), you’ll want an outfit that will see you right through from avocado on toast to rooftop mimosas at sunset. A white smock dress is always a nifty item to have in your wardrobe, and when styled with a cottagecore worthy straw hat and wedges, it’s an all-round winner for a balmy summer date in the city.

*ASOS, Topshop poplin smock mini dress in white, £29 | *ASOS, ASOS DESIGN tall crown straw hat with light band in natural, £18 | *Net-A-Porter, CASTAÑER + NET SUSTAIN Carina 60 canvas wedge espadrilles, £85 | *H&M, Round straw bag, £17.99

Kick back at home
The receipt: £127.90

While some of us may have scraped by in glorified pjs for the last four months, ahem, BH calls for fresh ‘n’ fancy loungewear. You can still go high stakes with your ootd even if you’re avoiding the crowds and spending some quality time with the sofa. Keep it low key and casual with comfy joggers, a spaghetti strap crop and an oversized linen shirt, so you can still feel put together, even if you do intend on spending 100% of your bank holiday horizontal. That’s what the long weekend was made for!

*Missy Empire, Rebecca Sand Casual Joggers, £22 | *Monki, Spaghetti strap crop top, £6 | Uniqlo, WOMEN 100% PREMIUM LINEN LONG SLEEVED SHIRT, £29.90 | *New Balance, 608v1 white with navy, £60 | Daily Paper, Daily Paper Logo Socks White, £10

Afternoon walk
The receipt: £131.99

Off out for an amble around a National Trust beauty spot this weekend? Girl after our own heart! Pair comfy plimsolls with cool linen trousers and a gingham blouse for a look that’ll serve you well for a game of Pooh sticks along the river. Bank holiday weekends don’t get much better than getting lost in the countryside and blowing the cobwebs away a la Julie Andrews.

*Monki, Tie-front cropped blouse, £25 | *Mango, Linen suit trousers, £49.99 | *Arket, Novesta Star Master Trainers, £49 | *ASOS, My Accessories London Exclusive wide headband in black satin, £8

Chilling in the garden
The receipt: £111.99

If we’re blessed with another heatwave this BH you may not need to travel further than your own backyard to make the most of the scorchio weather. In these circumstances, swimwear absolutely counts as daywear. Slip into your swimmers and top up your tan, or settle in the shade in a flowing maxi dress – the more breathable the better – with your book of a choice and an obligatory ice cream. Ours is a White Magnum, if you’re asking. Ps who needs footwear when you’re at home? Barefoot on the grass, listening to your favourite song is the best. Ed Sheeran KNOWS.

*Topshop, Pink Scallop Wavy Ribbed Swimsuit, £26 | *H&M, Long lyocell-blend dress, £49.99 | *Urban Outfitters, UO Utility Bucket Hat, £18 | *Oliver Bonas, Shell Print Pink Square Hair Scarf, £18

Beach bum
The receipt: £112.99

Bank holiday dip? We’re in there like swimwear! What better way to see out the last BH of the year than with one last summer hurrah at the seaside. Kick back in a deck chair in your happiest ‘kini and see out August in style. Ah, this is the life.

*Monki, Sporty bikini top, £15 | *Monki, High-waisted bikini briefs, £10 | *ASOS, A.Kjaerbede square sunglasses in yellow with concave lens, £28 | Pull and Bear, Flat sporty sandals with multicoloured detail, £25.99 | *Etsy, Zoella x Etsy ‘Full of Secrets’ Oversized Canvas Bag, £34

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13 Questions With Elizabeth Rachael

We chatted to Elizabeth Rachael, the maker of the tea towels from the Zoella X Etsy Collaboration on how she got started, staying inspired and more...

First of all, how have you been coping with the pandemic this year?

The pandemic has been absolutely crazy for me. After years of designing in the fashion industry, I started my career as a freelance print designer at the start of January. Everything was going surprisingly well until the pandemic hit and then I lost over 90% of my income overnight. As a new freelancer, I wasn’t eligible for any of the government schemes, so it was a pretty scary and stressful time.

I had a lot of spare time on my hands, so I decided to design some art prints for my bathroom. I posted them on Instagram and the reception I had was unbelievable. So I set up my Etsy within a matter of minutes and got selling. So in a weird way, I kind of have the pandemic to thank for my business.

Has it affected how you operate your business?

My Etsy business was born in the pandemic so it’s all I’ve ever known.
Although I have been taking part in these new online market stalls which have been really fun and have given me the confidence to do one in real life.

How long have you been selling on Etsy for?

Just over 3 months.

What did you study to be able to work on your art for a living?

I studied textile design for fashion at the Manchester School of Art back in 2012, and I’ve been designing prints and graphics for the UK high street ever since

What is the Elizabeth Rachael mission statement?

Haha, I have no idea! Probably something like ‘art that makes you and the earth smile’. I don’t take myself too seriously and I’m always up for a good laugh and I feel like that reflects in my work a lot. Plus after years of working in the fashion industry, It’s important that everything I do must be as eco friendly as it possibly can be. This is really important to me.

What’s your best seller?

Definitely my Great Tits and Nice Bum prints. These are actually the two that I designed for my bathroom, but my customers send me pictures of them all over the house

What are you currently working?

I’m working on a new collection of contemporary prints.
My work current work is very loud and proud but this is just one side of my personality. RuPaul always says he’s “an introvert masquerading as an extrovert” and I think that’s very true for me too. My personal style is a lot more minimal. I don’t wear or own much colour and my house is very boho, so these new prints reflect the side of me that’s chilled out and zen

How did you find the process of creating products for the Zoella X Etsy Collab?

It was really fun! Tea towels are a new product for me, so that part was a bit daunting but I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to venture into a new product had I not been part of this collab.

What’s the best thing about working for yourself?

Definitely being able to call my own shots. I’ve spent years having my work criticised by design mangers or buyers and although all that criticism has made me the designer I am today, it’s a pretty nice change to be able to design exactly what I want.

How long does your end to end process take when designing and selling something new for your shop?

It really varies. Sometimes I can design something in 20 minutes and get it listed within the next 10 minutes if I’m really loving it (this is what I mean about calling the shots, it’s great when my ideas are flowing)
But other times it can be days if not weeks before I’m happy with a design.

For my tea towels, there’s been a lot of sampling and quality checking so that’s been a real lengthy process to make sure everything was at a standard I was happy with.

What inspires you?

Nature. I absolutely love plants and my house is covered with them.
The majority of my work comes from nature. I’ll never get tired of it.

How do you relax outside of work?

I like being outside if I can (I live in Manchester so it’s not always weather permitting) But other than that I’ve always liked sitting in silence haha. I could spend hours sitting in a nice bright room alone daydreaming. I’ve always been a daydreamer.

If you could give one piece of advice to our audience who want to start making their own products what would it be?

Just start. I’m the queen of procrastination and making excuses. And starting is always the hardest part for me. Whether it’s the gym, chores, or setting up your own business, once you’re over that hill, everything becomes a bit less daunting and a lot easier.

Shop the full Zoella X Etsy Collaboration here!


Turning Art Into A Business And A Watercolour Tutorial With The Lovely Drawer

We invited Teri from The Lovely Drawer - one of our Zoella X Etsy makers - to tell us all about how she made her art into a business. You'll also find a step by step for creating a beautiful citrus print with watercolours.

Hi my name is Teri and I’m the name and face behind The Lovely Drawer. I’ve been creating art since my little fingers could hold a colouring pencil and very early on there wasn’t any doubt that my future career would only exist within the realm of art and design.

By the time I was applying for uni courses I was weighing up fashion or graphic designTeri – The Lovely Drawer

I opted for a BTEC diploma in Art and Design at college which is where I tried a whole host of disciplines which I loved as I was a big fan of mixed media back then. By the time I was applying for uni courses I was weighing up fashion or graphic design but was advised by my teacher to look into printed textiles and surface pattern design which would give me the opportunity to really use my drawing skills.

I studied at Leeds College of Art and very quickly found myself caught between pursuing design for kids and babywear or design for paper and stationery. My final major project was a mix of the two and after lots of interest at New Designers Exhibition post-graduation, I was excited to see where those leads took me.

I really didn’t feel capable of running my own business straight out of UniTeri – The Lovely Drawer

The only problem was that I graduated when the credit crunch hit in full force. Less than ideal! Lots of my course friends decided to pursue freelance careers as employment dried up but I really didn’t feel capable of running my own business straight out of Uni so I spent months doing work placements at various different greetings card and stationery companies, whilst building up my portfolio and I finally got a job in London, six months after leaving uni.

To begin with, I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to design greetings cards for a living but over time I was more and more limited in how creative I could be in my work and needed a separate outlet for that side of me. Cue: The Lovely Drawer. It began as a very simple blog, a place to document the little creative projects I did whether that was design, styling, decor or recipes and before I knew it I was getting design commissions.

I loved the freedom I had when working on these other projects and soon I started to wonder about going freelance full time, the very thing I said I would never do. After a very stressful year of attempting to do my side hustle alongside a full-time job, I quit my 9-5. After 5 years working there, it felt like an enormous leap but I was really excited to run The Lovely Drawer full time and see where it might go.

I threw myself into any creative opportunity in order to get my name out thereTeri – The Lovely Drawer

I spent the first year creating a collection to start an Etsy shop and working on a varied amount of collaborations for which I was definitely underpaid but I threw myself into any creative opportunity in order to get my name out there. I started using Instagram to show my process and behind the scenes when I was designing or styling and shared what I was learning on my blog too.

I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing so there were a lot of mistakes and figuring things out as I went along. I established some creative pals from various meetup events that gave me some peers to get advice from or just to talk to whilst adjusting to working by myself.

Over the years my blog and Instagram accounts took on a life of their own which feature heavily in my business now but I’ve never stopped creating art. I love that I’m now established enough that I have a steady stream of orders that come via my own online shop.

I still can’t really believe people buy my work to have in their homes or give as gifts and it feels really surreal when I’m sending orders to Australia, Hong Kong or the US. I love that I have the freedom to design new products that I’m excited about and don’t need to run them past a number of other people before getting sign off. Alongside all of this, I’ve also been running brush lettering workshops for a number of years now which was another thing I never saw myself doing but I love teaching people a skill they’ve never explored and inspiring people to be creative away from a computer is so worth it!

My process has never really changed in that I get most of my ideas from walking around my area, in nature or quite often my inspiration for artwork comes from how I’m currently inspired by interiors. I love muted colours, textures and hand-drawn lines and I can’t bring myself to ever design something on the computer from scratch!

All of my art prints are printed on-demand from my studio printerTeri – The Lovely Drawer

All of my work starts on a piece of paper where I paint or draw a number of elements and backgrounds, which I then scan and place together on Photoshop. I’ll edit and brighten colours and play around with layouts until I’m happy with the final look but my aim is always that the hand-painted feel wouldn’t be lost. I get some products printed externally but all of my art prints are printed on-demand from my studio printer so I will run some trials to make sure the colours look as they do on screen before I finish an art print. I’m super fussy about colour!

I’ve had my own designated studio space in our home for 3 years now and it makes working from home so much more enjoyable although my husband has inherited that desk during lockdown whilst I’m back to my roots on the dining room table. One day I’ll be reunited with my desk but for now, I’m at least thankful to have all my many materials stored away neatly in my studio, rather than falling out of kitchen cupboards and poking out from underneath the bed!

To create this citrus piece you’ll need…

  • Watercolour palette
  • Round tip paintbrush
  • Jar of water
  • White acrylic paint
  • Sheet of smooth white cartridge paper

Tip: When using watercolour you should incorporate water into the mixing process. Use the brush to add water to the colours, when combining on the palette tray as this will help them combine and go further on the page. Too much water and the colour will be almost transparent and will run. You’re after a consistency that creates a reasonably solid colour.

Step 1

Start with a pale washed background but make sure the wash isn’t too wet to avoid a rippled page. This was a mix of yellow, red and white. Paint a rectangle but don’t worry about making the edges too straight and refined as it’s nicer to create a more relaxed feel.

Step 2

Once completely dry, use a pencil to gently outline the lemon illustration over the top. If you need to change anything or lighten a line then a you should be able to gently rub the pencil out.

Step 3

Start with the base colour for the lemons. Paint this into the outlined space, tracing the edges and then filling in the middle. This colour was made with a mix of bright yellow, ochre and a tiny bit of red.

Step 4

Once dry, mix a slightly darker shade of yellow by adding in a little dark brown. Choose a side for the shadows and make sure this is consistent throughout the whole design. Paint the slightly darker yellow shade along one side of the lemons and drag the brush into the middle as you go down the shape. Add a little water on your brush if you feel it needs more blending.

Step 5

Then deepen the colour again by adding a little more red and brown and trace down the shadow side of each lemon, adding some smaller brushstrokes for texture.

Step 6

Then mix a deep green colour by combining dark green with a little ochre, blue and brown. Fill in the outlines exactly as you did with the first layer of the lemons.

Step 7

Once dry, add some more blue and brown to the green colour you mixed and with your brush trace down the shadow side of each leaf and adding some smaller brush strokes down the middle too.

Step 8

Once dry you can add some highlights on the opposing side to the shadows with acrylic white paint. Dry brush the white down each side and draw the brush strokes in to the middle slightly for texture.

Step 9

Use the same technique to create white highlights on the leaves.

And you’re finished! Upload yours to Instagram and tag @Zoella & @Thelovelydrawer


Weekly Wants Staycation Essentials

This week's edit is focused on the no-budge essentials of mini-break packing- the desert island picks for those very not desert island like destinations.

So you might not be jet setting to somewhere far-flung and fancy this year but turns out the humble staycation can still satisfy wanderlust and welcome some much-needed zen amongst an otherwise turbulent year. This week’s edit is focused on the no-budge essentials of mini-break packing- the desert island picks for those very not desert island like destinations. Ahem, we love you really UK!

From swimwear, reading material, family-friendly games to alcoholic beverages chucked in for good measure, think of it as a reminder for when you’re staring at your empty case wondering what to grab first.

In need of some inspiration? Why not check out the first instalment of our staycation series, giving you some dreamy camping and glamping inspo.

Shop The Post

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Staycation Series: 8 Dreamy Beaches Making Waves In The UK

Leave your passport at home, grab your swimmers and discover the dreamiest bucket and spade destinations Blighty has to offer.

Looking for a relaxing beach break? That water villa in the Maldives may be on hold for a while but there’s a plethora of beautiful coastal spots to explore right here in the UK. Leave your passport at home, grab your swimmers and discover the dreamiest bucket and spade destinations Blighty has to offer.

1. St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

This amazing tidal island is jewel in Cornwall’s crown. Steeped in history and folklore, this fairy tale fortress has romantic getaway written all over it. Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims across the cobbled causeway to the medieval castle or take a ferry boat to the island for unparalleled views of the picturesque bay and majestic gardens. It ticks all the staycation boxes.

2. Holkham, Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk

You may recognise this famous golden beach from the closing scenes of the iconic 1998 flick Shakespeare In Love when Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) walked across the sand at low tide. With its endless swathes of sand, open landscape and pine forest walks, it’s one of the most beautiful stretches of unspoilt sand dunes in the country. Hey, if it’s good enough for Hollywood!

3. Whitstable Beach, Kent

For those that don’t like sand in between their toes, this is the beach for you. Backed by stripy picturesque beach huts and pastel-coloured shop fronts, it represents the best of traditional British seaside getaways. Head to The Neptune, or the Neppy as it’s commonly known, for a quick bev and be sure to book a table at The Sportsman well in advance for fresh fish caught that morning. It’s a must-eat experience for a hungry foodie.

4. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

For staycationers on the hunt for a slice of the Caribbean in Scotland, you’re in luck. Luskentyre may not have swaying palm trees for a backdrop, but it does have crystal clear – albeit very cold – azure waters, postcard-worthy scenery, miles of secluded gleaming white sandy beaches and wild horses roaming the dunes. It’s so picture-perfect, you’ll have to pinch yourself to believe it.

5. St Ives, Cornwall

Famed for its art scene and sweeping white sand beaches, St Ives has it all. If you want to try your hand at surfing the waves, there’s no better place to learn than with St Ives Surf School folk. Hop to it, your seascape paradise awaits.

6. West Wittering Beach, West Sussex

Chichester or California? Same, same, this is a favourite beauty spot amongst beach-goers across the country, and it’s really not hard to see why. With its rolling white sand dunes, salt marshes, blue flag rating and spectacular sunsets, it’s the perfect staycation setting for the whole family.

7. Botany Bay, Kent

The bay is just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque seaside towns of Margate and Broadstairs. With views of the iconic chalk stacks and plenty of opportunities for rock pooling and fossil hunting when the tide’s out, it’s a coastal gem.

8. Brighton beach

We couldn’t do a beach staycation round up without including our very own bright town. It might not boast the sandy shores of its Cornish counterparts but in the Summer months, you can’t beat a weekend trip to Brighton. Grab some sugar-coated doughnuts from the pier, head to The Salt Room for a slap-up seafood feast before retiring to neighbourhood hangout Clubhouse at The Artist Residence for a night cap.

Are you heading to a beach nearer home this year? Let us know your favourite staycation spot!


10 Movies To Watch With Inspiring Female Leads

These are the films that do more than entertain us; they inspire us, empower us and make us feel proud to be a woman.

We’ve rounded up a selection of female-led movies with the kind of ceiling smashing ladies we would want on our team.

These are the films that do more than entertain us; they inspire us, empower us and make us feel proud to be a woman. From Little Women to Hidden Figures, these are the movies that have no problem passing the Bechdel Test. Who run the world? Girls.

1. Moana (2016)

This Disney film does away with the classic white fairy tale formula. Moana is a determined, diligent, go-getting heroine with bigger fish to fry than finding her prince charming. She’s out there doing it for herself, speaking her mind and setting sail on a great voyage of self-discovery, not for a man but for the sake of her family and her people. Honourable mention: Heihei her hopeless but hilarious rooster sidekick.

2. Thelma & Louise (1991)

Despite its release nearly 30 years ago, this landmark feminist film still resonates today. Starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as two road-tripping buddies on the run from their abusive boyfriends and the law, it’s a movie with female triumph at its core. What a duo!

3. Queen of Katwe (2016)

Disney’s feel-good film Queen of Katwe is based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a 10-year-old girl living in the Uganda slum of Katwe with her single mother and siblings. For Phiona and her family, life is a constant struggle but when she is introduced to the game of chess, her world changes for the better. From slum kid to international chess champion, this film redefines what it means to play like a girl.

4. Legally Blonde (2001)

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) single-handedly flipped the dumb blonde stereotype on its head, proving women can wear whatever the hell they want and get sh*t done. A woman who likes pink AND slays in the courtroom – it was a wild idea for 2001.

5. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts stars in this legal drama based on the true story of Erin Brockovich, a single mother of three who becomes a legal assistant at a law firm. When she stumbles across suspicious medical records from a little-known case filed against Pacific Gas and Electric, she does some digging and discovers the company is poisoning a city’s water supply which threatens the health of an entire community. So she takes on the big dogs and brings them to their knees. She who dares wins.

6. Hidden Figures (2016)

Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book of the same title, Hidden Figures tells the untold story of three pioneering African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA in the ‘60s. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. But this isn’t a film about the man who made it to the moon, it’s about the brilliant black women who helped get him there in the first place.

7. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Remember this cult classic from the 00s? Not only did it bend the rules by raising questions about inequality in professional sports, cultural expectations and gender roles, it also broke on-screen tampon taboos. Yep, in 2002. It was way ahead of its time.

8. Suffragette (2015)

Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep lead the cast of this powerful historical drama about the women who were willing to lose everything in their fight for the equality. A movie bound to make you stop and think next time you’re free to pop your paper in the ballot box.

9. Harriet (2019)

“I will see every last drop of blood in my veins until this monster called slavery is dead.” This is the extraordinary true story of the heroic freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo). After fleeing the Maryland farm where she spent her life enslaved, she changed the course of history by joining the abolitionist movement and making the perilous journey back to the plantation. Her fight led to the liberation of hundreds of enslaved black people.

10. Little Women (2019)

Drawing on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel, Little Women is the coming of age story about four young sisters determined to live life on their own terms. The recent remake just made us love this story even more – plus, you can’t go far wrong with Saoirse Ronan at the helm. We want ‘Be more Jo March’ tattooed on us immediately.

Got a female-centric movie you love? Let us know in the comments!


Expert Skincare Tips For Our New Normal

Here are some tips to help us ease back into our new normal and maintain the good skincare habits we have created…

Today on Zoella we’ve invited an expert in skincare to share her tips for easing out of lockdown and of course wearing a mask. Sarah Carr got her start training with one of London’s most-esteemed facialists and is currently a lifestyle ambassador for Liz Earle which means she’s always on the go sharing her skincare wisdom with store staff, presenting specialist shows on QVC, hosting customer or blogger events and even teaching yoga as she’s a qualified yoga instructor too!

As we begin to ease out of lockdown and head back to the salons, I hope we remember that the foundation of good skin starts at home – we’ve all done a pretty good job of managing our beauty, nail and hair care routines!


Lockdown has taught so many of us how to really care for our skin at home without the help of the professionals. Skincare has become more about self-care, taking the time to understand your skin’s daily-changing needs and highlighting the products that really supported your skin through this period.  


Here are some tips to help us ease back into our new normal and maintain the good skincare habits we have created…

Reading your skin

We’re normally so busy with our daily grind that we don’t really look at what our skin is trying to tell us. The skin is the body’s largest organ and during your life its needs will always be changing, depending on factors like climate, stress levels, diet and lifestyle. Taking the time to look at your skin (not just on your face) can help you tailor your daily routine to keep skin balanced and glowing. Are you breaking out more than usual? Does the skin feel drier? Has it lost its sparkle? Knowing what to look out for enables you to start adapting your routine and lifestyle to support accordingly.

Routine is key

Think of your cleanse, tone, moisturise routine as the foundation of great skin. When you find a daily routine that really suits you, stick to it! It makes it so much easier to add in extras like exfoliators, masks and serums when you need them to help target specific concerns.

Cleansing – removes impurities, excess oil/sebum, SPF and make up. 

Toning – opt for alcohol-free tonic to hydrate the skin. This step ensures the rest of your products work harder, meaning you can use smaller amounts of them.

Moisturising – moisturiser acts like an invisible barrier to hydrate, protect and reduce water loss.

Image Credit – @lizearlebeautyco


Regular facial massage helps to increase circulation, depuff, and improve the texture and tone of your skin. Little and often is the best way to approach your massage routine – I like to do mine when I’m cleansing, so I know that my skin will get a treat morning and night. Cream, oil or balm cleansers are great for massaging with, or you can use a base oil. In my treatment room, I use borage, sweet almond and jojoba oil; all absolutely fab for facial massage!  

Mask when and where you need it

When you know your skin, it makes this tip a lot easier. Your mask is a targeted treatment, so apply where it’s needed most. Not only do you save product, but it’ll work harder in the required area. Think Liz Earle’s Deep Cleansing Mask – if you have an oily T-zone, just apply it in that area to help with excess oil, as the rest of your face might not need that treatment. 

Your weekly treat

Setting some time aside once a week to combine a longer facial massage and a mask is a lovely way to bring skincare and self-care together. It doesn’t need to take hours, there are some great face masks that work in 5 minutes! I’m a lover of Liz Earle’s Balancing Gel Mask

SPF, everyday

Even when you don’t think you need it! SPF products shield your skin from harmful rays and help to prevent pigmentation – personally, I’m a fan of Ren’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF.

Skin advice for wearing a mask

Masks are our new normal, and it’s important that we take more care of our skin whilst wearing them. They trap sweat and moisture, which provide the perfect conditions for skin irritation. When you combine that with the mask rubbing against your face, it can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier.  Here are some tips designed to help skin adjust to making masks a part of your daily life. 

Image Credit: @lizearlebeautyco

Keeping your mask clean

This is essential – as it’s in direct contact with your skin, it’ll absorb excess oil, dirt and make up from the skin’s surface and transfer it around. Opt for a washable natural cotton mask you can clean after every use, unless you’re a key worker using a fresh mask every time. 

Keeping the skin clean

Ensuring the skin is clean before and after you’ve worn a mask will help keep it balanced, as well as thoroughly but gently cleansing morning and evening. If you’ve had a long day in PPE, make sure the first thing you do when you get in is cleanse – a little habit that helps skin stay clean and calm.

Minimise make up

Your mask is creating the perfect conditions for blocked pores and congested skin, and skipping things like concealer and foundation can help minimise breakouts.  If you feel like you can’t go without, choose lightweight make up and water-based foundations. 

Barrier cream

If you are in PPE for long periods of time and you find they are rubbing or aggravating the skin, opt for a barrier cream to provide extra protection of those areas. 

Image Credit: @lizearlebeautyco

Hydrating the skin

This helps the barrier function of the skin and prevents water loss.  If you have oilier skin, opt for lightweight textures or if you are drier, a richer moisturiser will really help protect the skin. 

Spritz, spritz, spritz!

I’ve been taking a face spritzer with me wherever I go for a quick burst of hydration whenever I take my mask off – a lovely pick-me-up for you and your skin!


Meet The Sellers Behind The Zoella X Etsy Collection

The independent sellers and creative minds are at the heart of this collection, which is why we want you to get to know the people behind the products.

The independent sellers and creative minds are at the heart of this collection, which is why we want you to get to know the people behind the products. From what inspires them in their jobs to their favourite part of working on the collaboration and why they love selling on Etsy, read their stories and connect with the humans who made this project possible.

VENT for Change

How did you get started with creating your products?

We only use recycled and sustainable raw materials so that’s where our design process starts, what are we making and what from. This Zoella range is made with recycled covers, including 30% citrus pulp and FSC certified sustainable paper. We then look at construction and product quality and finally a touch of beauty in a lovely design so people want to have and keep the books.

What inspires you?

Protecting the planet and supporting children’s education worldwide. Every item has impeccable eco-credentials and with every sale made VENT supports exiting children’s education and schools projects around the world.

What was your favourite part of the process?

I love the design element, working with our product and graphic designers to produce the most appealing books we can that inspire people to pick them up and find out more about what we do. The feedback we get is wonderful so that too is a favourite part of what I do.

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

Etsy brings together like-minded, open-minded and thoughtful customers that are actively searching for products by small producers and artisans, items that have a story to tell or something to give back.

Etsy offers its customers something different, something that isn’t found on every high-street in the land.VENT For Change

Etsy offers its customers something different, something that isn’t found on every high-street in the land. Those people then become our ambassadors and tell others of what we’re striving for

Elley Home

How did you get started with creating your products?

At first, I was designing & making furniture from reclaimed wood, but then began looking into doing some additional home decor items that would be smaller and easier to store so ordered a few custom made cushions and before I know it all I was making was cushions! I was so obsessed with designing my own patterns and prints for textiles. Now, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What inspires you?

I love following interior and current colour trends but there are so many unexpected things that can inspire me to create.

If I see a gorgeous room I love, I design a cushion that would look great in that interior.Elley Home

I love nature and as simple as going for a walk is a great way to recharge and get my mind flowing. Or simply scrolling through my Instagram, if I see a gorgeous room I love, I just design a cushion or two that would look great in that interior.

What was your favourite part of the process?

I love drawing and painting. So the creative process of designing the pattern for my cushions is my favourite. Also seeing it all transform into cushion is very pleasing.

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

I love selling on Etsy. It is a place where I made my first sale! I love that it is so easy to use & communicate with a customer.

Alphabet Bags

How did you get started with creating your products?

We were so excited to start the process of collaborating with Zoella and Etsy on the creation of new products! After some initial brainstorming and ideas from Zoella, we put together sketches and visuals of a few ideas which were then sent to Zoella for a few rounds of feedback. The colours that Zoella envisaged for the whole collection fitted in really well with the colours of canvas and trims that we use as part of our range.

What inspires you?

These days more than anything it’s being parents of two young kids that provides the most inspiration. Things like our ‘Everything’ oversized canvas totes probably wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t experienced days out with the kids while carrying most of the contents of our house!

Other items such as our Snacks bags and Ice Cream Appreciation Society collection were created for them to use, and we’re so lucky that other people seem to like them too!

What was your favourite part of the process?

Definitely the day that we got to see the first physical samples of the new items! That’s always a really exciting moment, when you see something that was previously just a sketch or on-screen visual come to life! Even more so in this case as we got to share those samples with Zoella!

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

Etsy is such a user-friendly platform for a brand or maker to get to grips with. It’s allowed us to share our collections with a huge worldwide audience, and Etsy customers are just so lovely!

Megan Louise Ceramics

How did you get started with creating your products?

I loved the colour palette used to set the theme for this range, so as soon as saw the pink and the green I knew these were the two colours I’d want to incorporate into the glazing of my mugs.

What inspires you?

I love the use of soft, pastel tones on simple, contemporary pieces, and I always hope to make simple, functional pieces that can add a little bit of handmade beauty to anyone’s home.

What was your favourite part of the process?

Carrying out the glaze tests while working out the colour combinations is often the best part of any design process, as there’s always an element of surprise when you open the kiln to see how your tests have turned out!

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

The community of other sellers and the support available to you; there’s always an answer to any of your problems, whether it’s on a forum or from the Etsy team themselves.

Oh Laura

How did you get started with creating your products?​

I’ve always loved creating things, it doesn’t come particularly natural to me, but I’ve always loved art and having a go at things! I started creating products when I was in college; I cut letters out of funky foam and printed them onto canvas tote bags, it was a good way for a shy 16-year-old to express herself!

People started asking if they could buy them, and it really all spiralled from there! Oh Laura

People started asking if they could buy them, and it really all spiralled from there! I opened an Etsy shop in 2014 and have continued to develop my style and products since then and have continually been amazed by people’s support.

What inspires you?​

I am inspired by anything and everything! I have a list in my phone of all the quotes and messages I want to turn into a design, they usually come from snippets of things I hear people say, but I’ve also been inspired by things like shop signs, and food packaging. You never know what it’s going to be that sparks off a new idea!

What was your favourite part of the process? ​

It was really great to work collaboratively and choose messages and colours that we thought people would really love and would fit into the collection as a whole. It’s usually just me coming up with things, so to work with someone else and get their input was really fun!

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?​

The best things about selling on Etsy is the community it has. Whether you’re connecting with someone who lives halfway across the world on social media or meeting up with a group of local sellers, there is so much support and encouragement. It makes a huge difference, especially as running an Etsy shop is usually something you do alone, so having a huge community of people to turn to is amazing.

Elizabeth Rachael

How did you get started with creating your products?

Well first off, I did A LOT of painting. Abstract images always look so simple but there’s a ton of work that goes into them behind the scenes.
With minimal objects, there’s a lot of emphasis on colour, placement and texture, so I spent hours refining my colour palette to make sure everything sat together perfectly.

I also painted over 20 different versions before whittling them down to a select few. I had so much fun doing it, I guess I got a bit carried away!

What inspires you?

I’m massively inspired by nature. It appears in 99% of my work, whether it florals (my favourite) animals or fruit! I think because no two things are ever the same in nature and that compliments my loose and experimental style quite well.

What was your favourite part of the process?

Tea Towels were a new product area for me, so it was really daunting yet really exciting to design and venture into new product. I didn’t realise just how much of my work translates over to homeware because I mainly design prints for fashion. It’s been a huge learning curve and I don’t think I would have made the jump had it not been for this collaboration.

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

Definitely the community. I’ve gotten to know so many amazing independent makers since opening my store a few months ago. It’s been such a positive experience, I really can’t say a bad thing about it and I would recommend it to anyone.

Etsy has such a unique customer base that appreciates the hard work and effort that goes into a running small business.Elizabeth Rachael

I especially love talking to my customers, I think Etsy has such a unique customer base that really appreciates all the hard work and effort that goes into a running small business.

Atelier Stella Ceramics

How did you get started with creating your products?

My collections and products tend to evolve slowly. I’m constantly collecting images and doodling ideas in my sketchbooks, then every few months I take a day to just sit and go through everything – making more sketches. I then refine these ideas so that they work with my current pieces. But until I make them out of clay, I never know if they are going to work, they might look odd, crack the kiln due to pressure points or just end up being too fiddly and time-consuming to make. I have a whole shelf of prototypes that never made the cut!

What inspires you?

The collection evolves with influences from vintage ceramics, folk art, ancient pottery and geometric shapes. I mix all these ideas together to create some new that is my style.

What was your favourite part of the process?

It’s great when I have time to play and experiment with the clay – I have so many new ideas in my head so finally getting the chance to make new prototypes and see if they translate to a 3D object is really fun. ​I find it important to make what I enjoy making and not to get too bogged down by sale figures, my main aim is to keep the creativity flowing!

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

I think Etsy customers understand the importance of buying handmade form the maker, so they appreciate the time and energy that goes into crafting a unique piece, rather than trying to get a mass produced bargain. The community is also great on Etsy, it means you get discovered by people and inturn discover new designers, you can’t get that from your own website.

The Lovely Drawer

How did you get started with creating your products?

All of my products start off as drawings or paintings, either with watercolour, ink or pencil. I usually create sheets and sheets of illustrations and typography before putting together the elements I like most in Photoshop. There I can play around with layout and colour as well and make sure the designs are print-ready. 

What inspires you?

I’m mainly inspired by nature or interiors trends so walks help spark ideas and as I work in interiors too, there’s always cross over with what I’m working on or enjoying in that sphere.  

What was your favourite part of the process?

My favourite part was reimagining the designs I’d worked on previously. It was quite refreshing to re-work them for the Zoella x Etsy look and get a second chance to make them even stronger. I think the end result is much more striking than the starting point.  

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

The best thing about selling on Etsy is the platform it gives you when first starting out. It’s a low-risk way to test your business, with small fees and a simple format for setting up your shop. I also love how the Etsy team are all for championing their creative community with events to showcase the talent and exciting collaborations like this. 

That Charming Shop

How did you get started with creating your products?

I’ve always loved skincare and home fragrances and in 2015 I made the decision to turn my passion into a business. Five years later, my brand has two unique permanent collections, and a third just for the holidays. My original collection was inspired by drinks (including Champagne and Earl Grey) and a few years later, I introduced the City Lights collection- fragrances inspired by the essence of some of my favourite cities from around the world.

The Zoella x Etsy is the first time I’ve collaborated with another person or brandThat Charming Shop

The Zoella x Etsy is the first time I’ve collaborated with another person or brand to bring the look of the two brands together. I’m proud everything is and always has been sustainably-sourced and cruelty-free. Start-ups are rarely easy, but I feel lucky that I’ve been able to turn the hobby I love into a business.

What inspires you?

I draw inspiration from the personal. For example, my New York fragrance from the City Lights collection blends together apple, violet and rosewood in honour of my hometown. The rosewood floors in my childhood home, the team nickname from my grandfather’s university (NYU Violets), and (even if not used by locals) the obvious reference to the ‘Big Apple’. Some fragrances take months, others years.

What was your favourite part of the process?

I loved the challenge of creating a fragrance that could reflect two different brands without losing the individuality of either. Both That Charming Shop and Zoella are identifiable in the packaging. I’ve also really enjoyed working with Zoe to create a bespoke product that could reflect both brands, something I’m really proud we have achieved with the Bohemian Wilderness fragrance from the Zoella x Etsy collection.

What’s the best thing about selling on Etsy?

Etsy was the first site I sold on. It’s important to me because it validates handmade businesses of any size and it offers encouragement. My business today is different than it was in its first month, but I ‘ve learned a lot of the basics because of Etsy – like the importance of photography.

Shop the full Zoella X Etsy collection here.

*This post is part of a paid collaboration with Etsy UK.

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