TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 17, 2020

27 Unique Subscription Gifts That Keep On Giving This Christmas!

Whether it be an IRL monthly delivery or a digital subscription that can go with them anywhere, the list of potential gifting options that fall into the subscription world is truly endless.

In the year when experiences were in incredibly short supply, thinking about Christmas gifts that go above and beyond to give your loved ones something to look forward to again and again is something you can guarantee will be appreciated more than the usual socks and chocs. Whether it be an IRL monthly delivery or a digital subscription that can go with them anywhere, the list of potential gifting options that fall into the subscription world are truly endless. We’re talking beauty, crafts, food and drink, books and reading, meditation and wellness, flowers, house plants, music, lingerie and fashion, you could probably tick everyone in your family off the list by the end of this guide- gift planning, completed it!

Many brands and businesses offer a range of subscription lengths and commitments for the lucky recipient, giving you the opportunity to find something truly perfect within your budget, whilst guaranteeing a smile on Christmas morning (even if it is through a screen).

What subscription would you love to receive this Christmas?

*This post contains some ad-affiliate links

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 16, 2020

Gift Ideas For Your Other Half That Don’t Cost A Thing

Often the gifts that cost nada but require thought, care and creativity are the gifts that hit different, so in the name of being thrifty and thoughtful this Christmas, here’s a bunch of free - or almost free - gift ideas for your other half.

There’s no getting away from it, Christmas does our bank balance dirty with a capital D, and when you’ve got 15 family members to buy for, present shopping can quickly suck the fun(ds) out of the holiday season.

And then there’s figuring out what to get your significant other when quite clearly, they’ve already won the Christmas lottery. They have you, duh.

Often the gifts that cost nada but require thought, care and creativity are the gifts that hit different, so in the name of being thrifty and thoughtful this Christmas, here’s a bunch of free – or almost free – gift ideas for your other half.

Put together a time capsule

Not sure what to do with all those ticket stubs, leftover currency from your favourite holidays, photos, floor plans of your first home, receipts from date nights, wedding cards and all those sentimental bits and bobs you want to keep hold of? Make a time capsule! Grab a box with a lid or a padlock, fill it with mementoes and seal, ready to be opened on a specific date in years to come.

Make a DIY bouquet

A hand-tied bouquet from your own back garden or foraged on one of your favourite lockdown walks is as wholesome as gift-giving gets. You can also keep any foliage, berries and flowers from any shop-bought bouquets, dry them out for your DIY bunch or press them between books for present-toppers and cards.

Go on a Christmas lights tour

Wrap up in some cosy layers with a flask of homemade hot chocolate in tow, hop in the car and take them on a festive tour of the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood – there’s always one street that goes all out, so do your research before to avoid cruising around aimlessly. Ok, technically not free because petrol is £££ but the festive feels? Priceless.

Make a memories playlist

Craft a playlist for them full of meaningful bops and funny mems and share it with them on Spotify or go old school and make them a cd. Homemade and straight from the heart!

Knit them something cute

If you know how to hand your yarn and you’ve got some going spare, pick up your needles and knit your other half something cosy. Socks get a bad rap but when it takes you two weeks to craft somewhere for your OH to house their toes with your bare hands, you bet they become a top-tier gift.

Make a photo album coffee book

In an age where our photos generally live in the abyss of our digital devices, printing them off and binding them into a book always feels like you’ve gone to some serious effort to make sure those treasured memories aren’t lost to an IOS update or a concrete floor.

You may already have lots of photos and photo-booth polaroid pictures dotted around your home, in wallets and bedside tables, so all you need to do is find an old notebook and get sticking. Of course, you can always buy a blank journal or a hardback photo book, if you prefer – it’s not free but it’s still way cheaper than the new PlayStation or Gucci tights.

Put a recipe book together

From treasured family recipes you know they love, bakes they’d love to try or themed dishes relating to their life, fill up a recipe book with personalised notes and dinner ideas for you both to enjoy time and time again.

Give them an ILU jar

Write down all the things you love about them on little notes, fold them up and fill up a mason jar for them to open when they need a little soppy reminder of how bloody lovely they are. Too schmaltzy for you? Stick to date night ideas instead.

Give them homemade IOU tokens

Whether it’s taking care of the boring household stuff like valeting the car or making them breakfast in bed or ya know, giving them free hugs or the best big quivering ‘O’ of their life, from the mundane to the magical, love tokens will do the job.

Give them a Hall(mark) pass

Not a hall pass exactly, it’s not that kind of Christmas, you filthy animals. Give them a Netflix punch card. This entitles the bearer full rights to the remote for one whole night. No compromise, no complaints. Consider this their get out of Hallmark movie & reality tv prison free card. So generous.

Write them a series of “read this when” letters

Write them a series of letters and label them ready for your dearly beloved to open on certain occasions throughout the year. From when they’re having a bad day to when they have something big to celebrate and when they need to know you love them, you’ll have the perfect heartfelt message already prepared. You’re basically Beethoven.

Surprise screen savers

Like changing someone’s FB status when they left it open & unattended in your presence back in 2007, only cuter. Make a load of personalised screen savers and sneak them onto their computer when they’re not around. When they’re done with all their back-to-back Zoom calls and enjoying 10 minutes of well-earned procrastination, boom, the sentimental screensaver will appear.

Give the gift of time

Screen-free, uninterrupted, quality time. Just you, them and your undivided attention.

Have you got any budget-friendly gift ideas up your sleeve this Christmas?

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 15, 2020

13 Questions With Donna Hay Founder at WILDWOMAN

We catch up with Donna Hay, founder at WILDWOMAN; the UK's first non-fiction self-care subscription box!

First of all, how are you and how are you coping in 2020?

There isn’t one word I could use to describe how I’m feeling right now or to describe 2020! It has been both a blessing and a huge learning curve. It’s been difficult. It’s been challenging. But it’s also been satisfyingly slow. More mindful.

I feel more connected to myself now than ever and on reflection, it’s been a year I feel strangely grateful for. I’ve had massive moments of feeling anxious and like a failure but my resilience muscle has been working overdrive and reminding me that I am stronger than I think. I’ve realised there was a lot of ‘rushing’ in my life before the pandemic and I’ve realised that I am the only one creating the rush. I can create more calm.

Talk us through WILDWOMAN and how it began?

Sure! WILDWOMAN is the home of all things self-care and positive wellbeing. We are a subscription box company and a gift box company – but also so much more. We are a community passionate about living a life that’s true to ourselves. We want to remind women to take real-time out for themselves – to reconnect to themselves with the help of a monthly reminder packaged up in a beautiful gift box.

WILDWOMAN began after I went through my own mental health challenges. I went through an extended period of grief and by the age of 25, I had attended more funerals than weddings. But I never realised how witnessing death and trauma had had such an effect on me. I brushed it under the carpet – determined to always been seen as the positive, happy one.

But after I lost a friend to suicide, that all changed for me and I realised I needed help. I enrolled on an 8week mindfulness mediation course in a bid to quieten my mind and control some of my intrusive thoughts.

8 weeks later, my teacher gave me a book – ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma. I had always loved reading but always fiction. This book absolutely changed my life. It made me look at life in a very different way. I told everyone about it. I felt so seen through the words on the pages.

Soon after I hit Waterstones reviewing hundreds of books in the ‘Self Help’ section and realising very quickly that the words were talking to me. The journaling and activities within the pages were healing me. I was healing myself. After I started telling friends about these books, I started a bookclub and a community online – spreading the powerful message of non-fiction books. Quickly the community grew far and wide – women connecting all over the world. I wanted to be able to package up the bookclub experience for everyone, no matter their location and so WILDWOMAN was born! That was August 2018!

What can people expect to see from their monthly subscription?

Every month our subscribers receive a non-fiction book on a particular theme and a selection of mindful gifts that go with the theme. We also include a 16-page magazine full of self-care tips and a journaling prompt to aid the learnings in the book. It’s all about taking time to enjoy the experience of the whole box – make a cup of tea, read, journal, reconnect. We also have an online community where we have workshops and author Q&As.

What’s the process like for creating a box?

I LOVE curating each and every box. I work around 3-4 months ahead and work closely with publishers and authors on new book launches that I feel our audience will love and benefit from. Then it’s like an online shopping trip – sourcing gifts that have meaning. We also partner with a small, independent business too. I work in exactly the same way for our themed gift boxes too.

I’m someone who really enjoys buying gifts for family and friends at Christmas so it feels like I’m doing this every month for our customers.

There is nothing better than when the box is complete, wrapped and shipped out the door. I love seeing the unboxing videos on Instagram our subscribers and customers share. It feels me with so much joy!

What did do before WILDWOMAN?

Before launching WILDWOMAN I worked for a big digital marketing agency on content and influencer marketing. I enjoyed it but I always knew that I wanted to work for myself. I knew I wanted meaning in my job and now with WILDWOMAN it feels like I’m living my purpose. I believe WILDWOMAN was the thing I was always meant to do.

What do you think self-care has grown so much in recent years?

I think ‘self-care’ has become a bit of a buzz word and a trend. But there is a lot of misunderstanding around what it really means I think. It’s so much more than bubble baths and cosy slippers. It’s about true connection to yourself – mind, body and spirit, and that’s something I think we are all still learning.

I think we are all realising (especially throughout 2020) the importance of time out from work, technology and our to-do lists. We are all so busy that we don’t have time or don’t make time to just sit, be still, reconnect. We often feel guilty about prioritising ourselves over others but self-care shouldn’t be seen as selfish. Self-care is a necessity. When we take care of ourselves, we take better care of the world around us.

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

There have been some amazing moments since I launched WILDWOMAN in August 2018 including being interviewed by Forbes really early on. I thought it was a joke when they reached out hehe! But I think the biggest achievement has been surviving through 2020, seeing the increase in our subscriptions and hearing the amazing ways that our subscribers have changed their lifestyles through the inspiration our boxes have given them.

What are you currently working on?

We’re working on a few secret projects for 2021 which we can’t say too much about at the moment! But we will be offering much more to our subscribers in early 2021 as well as a new website. We’re also working on a pop-up shop idea that we want to test in Brighton in late 2021 which I’m REALLY excited about!

Who are some of your favourite follows online?

Where to start?! Of course, I love following team Zoella and Zoe! I also follow a lot of independent designers and small business female founders like Fearless Flamingo and Pearl & Cover – these women have become friends because we all go through the same emotions running small businesses! I love fashion and personal style so I enjoy following influencers and stylists like LouLou Storey and LaurasLittleLocket. And of course, positive wellbeing influencers and mentors are my go-to when it comes to Instagram – I adore Megan Rose Lane, Gina Swire and Emily Coxhead!

What do you always carry with you?

My journal. When I drive I get so many downloads and ideas that I have to get them down the minute I pull up at home or at work! I’m never without it! Journaling has become a non-negotiable when it comes to my mental health.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A slow weekend full of reading, nature, good food, family and friends where I can turn off my laptop, switch off my phone and be completely present. I’m prioritising this more in Winter and of course in lockdown!!

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

Without a doubt a roast dinner – I LOVE the whole process of preparing it and the excuse to have all the family around the table. It’s the experience I love and of course a roast potato! I can’t resist!!!

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

There is a one in 400 trillion chance that you were born. Think about that for a second…and realise that this makes YOU a huge gift. Your life is a gift and you are a gift to this life.

Find the WILDWOMAN website here, and follow them on Instagram here.

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 14, 2020

2 Easy Ways To Give Your Christmas Fruit Cake A Festive Glow Up

You don’t need to be the next Prue Leith to have a go at decorating your bog-standard brunette fruit cake.

As classic desserts go, boozy fruit cake and Christmas pudding are seasonal favourites, but they can’t always compete with their better-looking profiterole pals, can they now?

Enter buttercream frosting – your plain bake’s sartorial bailout.

You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved with a few upturned ice cream cones for fir trees, icing sugar, frozen cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and a few sprigs of rosemary.

You don’t need to be the next Prue Leith to have a go at decorating your bog-standard brunette fruit cake. You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved with a few upturned ice cream cones for fir trees, icing sugar, frozen cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and a few sprigs of rosemary.

You can make your very own brandied bake ahead of the holidays or take the shortcut and save yourself a whole load of effort with a shop-bought cake – no prep or boozy night feeds required.

With these easy decorating ideas, you can take your Christmas cake from beige to bougie in no time at all

In the interest of demonstrating just how easy it is to give your fruit cake a festive glow up, we’ve gone for the shop-bought option – fake it till you bake it and all that – but if you fancy making your own juicy Christmas cake too, try this one on for size.

With these easy decorating ideas, you can take your Christmas cake from beige to bougie in no time at all (Applies for bake off 2021).

1 Let It Snow

Naked cakes bring the wow factor to any table, especially at Christmas time when the exposed frosting mimics those snowy holiday scenes – so very pleasing to the eye.

To transform your fruity pudding into a festive showstopper, all you need is buttercream frosting and desiccated coconut. Piece of cake!

SERVES 6-8
PREP: 30 MINS COOK:
EASY
  1. For the buttercream frosting, whisk the butter until light and pale. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Spread a thin layer of frosting between each layer of fruit cake using a palette knife, covering the sides sparingly to get that lovely naked effect.
  4. Spread a generous coating on top, ready to decorate.
  5. Smear a thin layer of frosting on your ice cream cones and roll in the desiccated coconut or silver sugar balls.
  6. Arrange upside down on top of the cake. Top with a sprinkling of coconut and boom, dessert is served.
  7. You could also pipe buttercream onto the ice cream cones and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar if you’re not a massive fan of coconut.

2 Gingerbread Wonderland

SERVES
PREP: 30 MINS COOK:
EASY
  1. Follow the buttercream frosting recipe as above.
  2. Trim and arrange several sprigs of rosemary on top of the cake, with the woody stem facing upwards.
  3. Take a handful of frozen cranberries and scatter over the cake, pushing them into the frosting slightly to secure.
  4. Position your ready-made gingerbread shaped biscuits, dust with icing sugar and you’re free to dig in.
  5. If your decorations need more grip, you can make a sticky syrup to help them stay put. Mix ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer, whisking until the sugar is all dissolved.
  6. Remove from heat, dip your rosemary stems and set aside to dry for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, add the cranberries to the sugar water mixture in the pot. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cranberries and set aside to dry for up to one hour.
  8. Once your rosemary trees and cranberries are completely dry, roll in a bowl of granulated sugar for a beautiful frosted effect.
  9. Set aside for another 10 minutes before arranging on top of your cake. Voilà!
TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 13, 2020

Weekly Wants: Christmas Day Outfits

Team Zoella has been oddly coordinated in this week's edit, with a selection of chic, sleek and sexy black numbers taking centre stage as the go-to Christmas look in question.

Christmas is a time of many traditions, some we don’t even really understand the origin of (like really, why aren’t Pantos on all year round?!) but one divisive topic we’re not sure we’ll ever settle is the question of dressing up vs dressing down (or should we say gown) on Christmas Day. Loungewear will always have a special place in our heart around the festive season because realistically an elasticated waistband + ALL the food you’ve been eagerly awaiting for the past 12 months is a combination that can never fail you, but in the year of pyjamas and no bras, we’re feeling the temptation to go all out this Christmas.

We’re craving a Christmas glow up to take us from dressed down to dressed up quicker than you can down a glass of Bailey’s!

Team Zoella has been oddly coordinated in this week’s edit, with a selection of chic, sleek and sexy black numbers taking centre stage as the go-to Christmas look in question. From jumpsuits to dresses, co-ords to suits, we’re craving a Christmas glow up to take us from dressed down to dressed up quicker than you can down a glass of Bailey’s on Chrimbo Eve!

Which camp do you sit on when it comes to Christmas attire?

Shop the post

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TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 12, 2020

From The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown to Christmas Countdown – The Festive TV Here to Save Christmas 2020

From Netflix originals to Christmas specials, here’s a look at this year's festive tv highlights.

Amongst all the 2020 uncertainty and tier systems throwing a spanner in the works, one thing we can absolutely count on without any kind of covid-19 shaped caveat is festive-themed tv.

So, kick back, relax, fuel yourself with Quality Street and let the credits roll. From Netflix originals to Christmas specials, here’s a look at this year’s festive tv highlights.

Dash & Lily

A candy cane sweet rom-com based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s YA series, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. When Dash (Austin Abrams) discovers the notebook Lily (Midori Frances) leaves in her favourite bookstore, they start trading dares, dreams and desires in its pages back and forth across New York during the holiday season. Lily loves Christmas whilst Dash is a total Grinch but opposites attract and the two strangers start falling in l-o-v-e. Extremely watchable 25-minute ish episodes of feel-good festive charm. If you loved You’ve Got Mail, you’ll love this.

Watch it on: Netflix.

The Crown

The perfect winter drama for cosy nights on the sofa with the tree twinkling away in the background and a glass of mulled wine steaming up your glasses. With four seasons of love affairs, political rivalries, romances and all the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century, consider this your warm up to the Queen’s yuletide speech. Season 4 is a cracker!

Watch it on: Netflix

The Story of SM:TV Live

Ant McPartlin, Dec Donnelly and Cat Deeley reunite on our screens for a one-off SM:TV Live documentary, 17 years after they hosted the Saturday morning children’s tv show. From Wonkey Donkey and Dec Says, take a trip down memory lane as the presenters look back at some of the show’s funniest moments.

Watch it on: ITV, Boxing Day, 9.25am and again, on December 27, 8pm.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special

Christmas is un-cancelled, the undisputed queen of Christmas Mariah has spoken. Starring Ariana Grande, Snoop Dogg and Jennifer Hudson, this star-studded one of a kind holiday spectacular is not to be missed. Que the sleigh bells, sequins and whistle notes.

Watch it on: Apple TV+ from December 4.

Call the Midwife Christmas special

Tune into the cosy community drama for the Christmas special. Expect 90-minutes of laughter, tears and newborn babies – it’s a season tradition.

Watch it on: BBC One, Christmas Day, 7.40pm

The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown

Dawn French is back in the dog collar as she reprises her role as everyone’s favourite vicar in this three-part mini-series inspired by lockdown. This year, Geraldine Grainger delivers her virtual sermons to her parishioners via Zoom and it’s set to be the comedy hug we all need.

Watch it on: BBC1 Starts from December 7, 8.50pm but will air an a half-hour special layer in the month

The Great Bake Off Christmas Special

Four bakers return to the famous tent to compete for those Star Baker credentials. Taking part in the festive special will be 2019 contestants Rosie Brandreth and Jamie Finn, alongside 2018 finalist Ruby Bhogal and James Hillery from the 2017 series. PS ya girl Prue Leith is rocking ethereal blue hair for the occasion and now we want blue hair for Christmas.

We’re also getting a New Year special with Helena Garcia and Henry Bird from the 2019 series, as well as 2014 winner Nancy Birtwhistle and 2018 winner Rahul Mandal.

Watch it on: Channel 4, tbc

Dr Who: Revelation of the Daleks

This year’s festive special will see Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her TARDIS Team up against the deadly Daleks.

Watch it on: BBC One, New Year’s Day

Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse

A heart-warming comedy drama featuring a stellar cast, including Dawn French as Beatrix Potter, Jessica Hynes, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, Nina Sosanya, Bill Bailey and Nick Mohammed. This 90-minute festive film tells the real-life story of when a lonely six-year-old Roald met his literary hero, Beatrix Potter, before going on to write magical children’s books of his own.

Watch it on: Sky One, from Christmas Eve, 8.15pm

Birds of a Feather

The sitcom classic will return for a one-off Christmas special this year. Three years after we last saw them, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph reprise their roles as Tracey Stubbs and Dorien Green for the episode, while Les Dennis will make an appearance as Dorien’s new flame, Graeme. Unfortunately, Pauline Quirke, who plays Sharon, won’t be joining her feathered friends as she’s focusing on her 200 nationwide performing arts academies. We’ll miss you, Shazza!

Watch it on: ITV – tbc

Being Bridget

It’s been a quarter of a century since Bridget Jones first made her appearance in a newspaper column detailing her troubled relationships with men, booze, cigarettes and diet culture. Now, 25 years on, BBC Two celebrates the legacy of Helen Fielding’s character and one of the most defining figures of the 1990s.

Watch it on: BBC Two, tbc

First Dates at Christmas

Fred Sirieix and his team of merry matchmakers are back playing cupid again. With some of the nation’s favourite rom-coms for inspiration, hopeful singles are leaving London behind and making their way to a cosy pub in the countryside in search of a holidate.

Watch it on: Channel 4, December 23, 9pm

Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After

Starring David Walliams as the giant, Blake Harrison and Sheridan Smith, Sky One’s Christmas comedy special starts where the happy ever after fable ends. In this festive reimagining, the giant is very much alive, albeit a little concussed, and he forms an unlikely friendship with Jack.

Watch it on: Sky One and NOW TV, December 23, 8pm

One Night in…Hamleys

Take three comedians, one night in a world-famous toy store, no grown-ups or security guards to hamper the fun and you’ve got a recipe for tv gold. Narrated by Sarah Millican, this is A Night At The Museum meets Big, as Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett and Tom Allen run amok in the Regent Street toy shop after hours, inventing games and sharing festive stories. The rules are sleeping is cheating, leave it how you found it and if they break it, they pay for it.

Watch it on: Channel 4, Christmas Eve, 9pm

Strictly: The Christmas Countdown

There won’t be a glitterball trophy dance floor battle this year due to coronavirus restrictions, but we will still get a festive dose of dancing as the Strictly special looks back on the most iconic performances of all time.

Watch it on: BBC One, Christmas Day

Black Narcissus

Based on Rumer Godden’s iconic 1930s novel about forbidden love and sexual repression, the three-part drama is set in the Himalayas and follows Sister Clodagh and the nuns of St Faiths as they travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote location of Mopu.

Watch it on: BBC One, December 27, 9pm

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 11, 2020

Hostess With The Mostest Holiday Grazing Board

Stacked with Christmas chocolate, cakes, biscuits and all the picky bits every family loves to gorge on before and after the main event, the sweet platter is a wonderfully creative way to arrange all the treats and trimmings in one easy-access place.

For those who love something a bit sweet, this is the holy grail holiday grazing board for you. Full of festive nibbles and buffet snacks you can peck at all day, it’s the best way to bring people together – and it looks the part, too.

Guests can gather and help themselves to seconds and thirds, while you put your feet up.

Stacked with Christmas chocolate, cakes, biscuits and all the picky bits every family loves to gorge on before and after the main event, the sweet platter is a wonderfully creative way to arrange all the treats and trimmings in one easy-access place, so guests can gather and help themselves to seconds and thirds, while you put your feet up. Happy holidays!

The explosion of colour lends itself particularly well to the holiday season, so when you’re layering your snacks, be sure to have fun with it! Create height with pillar candles and tapered dinner candles and use fresh foliage or seasonal flowers for visual variety and texture.

Make sure every surface area available is crammed with goodies.

If you find yourself with any gaps once you’ve got the majority of your grazing board set up, scatter in some sweet ‘n’ salty popcorn or a smattering of sugary sweets tumbled over the corners to make sure every surface area available is crammed with goodies.

Who needs to spend hours with table decorations when you’ve got this edible centrepiece? Tuck in!

For more tips and tricks on how to style your grazing board, check out our ultimate cheese board and Easter sharing board blog posts!

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 10, 2020

Give The Gift Of Calm! Self-Care Gifts To Start 2021 Right

Think essential oils, sleep sprays, affirmation cards, cookbooks for the soul, weighted blankets and a good ol' chunky water bottle to guarantee some H2O consumption.

For the new mums who haven’t had a good 8 hours kip in months, the healthcare workers on their feet all day

…. And breathe! It feels like 2020 went by in a second whilst simultaneously lasting 10 years, and we don’t know about you, but we’re in serious need of some R&R and self-care on steroids. This week’s gift guide is for the pals and family members who need to hit the hay ASAP- the new mums who haven’t had a good 8 hours kip in months, the healthcare workers on their feet all day, or simply the loved one who needs a bit more ‘me time’.

We’re prescribing wellness and recuperation for one and all! Yes, self-care is sometimes the boring stuff like making your bed and doing the washing up after eating, but it can equally be the frilly things like face masks, bubble baths and lavender-scented sheets that make life feel that little bit kinder and soft around the edges.

We know you’re probably lacking in the self-love department too, so whack a yoga mat and massage oil into your basket

Think essential oils, sleep sprays, affirmation cards, cookbooks for the soul, weighted blankets and a good ol’ chunky water bottle to guarantee some H2O consumption. We’ve got you covered for the recipient in need of a (socially distanced) hug of love and care. And whilst you’re at it, we know you’re probably lacking in the self-love department too, so whack a yoga mat and massage oil into your basket and let’s start 2021 as we mean to go on!

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TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 9, 2020

50 Festive Manicure Ideas To Inspire Your First Trip Back To The Salon

Since we’re all a bit out of practice, here’s a merry bunch of mani ideas to inspire your first post-lockdown pamper. From mistletoe tips to candy cane stripes, Santa claws is finally coming to town!

Pick a colour. Who knew those three words would come to mean so much.

After two long National lockdowns, months of acrylic regrowth and several failed DIY gel removal attempts, our talons have definitely seen better years.

As we transition out of the second lockdown here in England, we’re preparing to bid farewell to the nail apocalypse and fully test our technician’s patience once again.

We can’t wait to cradle the colour wheel like a newborn baby

We can’t wait to cradle the colour wheel like a newborn baby before casually asking for some elaborate 3-hour nail art, right at the end of our appointment. What a sweet reunion it’ll be.

Since we’re all a bit out of practice, here’s a merry bunch of mani ideas to inspire your first post-lockdown pamper. From mistletoe tips to candy cane stripes, Santa claws is finally coming to town!

TEAM ZOELLA DECEMBER 8, 2020

13 Questions With Karen Williams

Fashion and wellness coach Karen Williams tells us all about her year, styling celebrities, her journey to TV and how to find your fabulous!

First of all, how are you and how are you coping in 2020?

I’m actually coping pretty well. 2020 has been a year of trials, tribulations and triumphs!

Talk us through what your day looks like as a fashion and wellness coach?

Every day is different as there are lots of different aspects to what I do now, but I could be doing online wardrobe detox’s and empowering sessions online with clients through my website karenwilliamstylist.com. Shopping for clients, or styling up and making fashion edits for brands and magazines.

What did your career progression look like?

I started off doing work experience at all the big fashion magazines. I progressed to a fashion and beauty editor in print but always dabbled in tv. I then went on to be a freelance fashion stylist styling celebs and working for brands. 

What’s the best think about styling celebrities?

I don’t think of celebrities as celebrities anymore. I see everyone as people. We all have blood running through our veins and all breath air. This year has proved that.

Can you tell us all about how your TV show 100% Hotter came to be?

I got an email one Monday evening whilst cooking spaghetti bolognese for my twins from a production company asking me to come in for a screen test. I went for the screen test on the Wednesday and by the Friday I was filming. We filmed 60 odd shows – I learnt so much about myself and the people in general that I was making over.

What are your top rules for finding your style?

I would say go with what you love and wear your clothes with confidence. Own your style and it will all fall in to place one way or another – as long as you’re happy!

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date is my twin boys, they are incredible and a blessing.

What are you currently working on?

I’m very busy at the moment, living, working and building my KW brand, It’s all about helping you and me to be as fabulous as we can be, doing it in our own way, no matter what your story is #findyourfabulous

Who are some of your favourite fashion follows online?

I’d have to say Topshop. The Editor in Chief of Marie-Claire told me if you crack it with Topshop you’ve made it haha! Mum, I’ve made it!

What do you always carry with you?

I always have my phone – obviously, my bank card, keys and now my Dior face mask.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Well, my perfect lockdown weekend would be chilling out with the fam, working out, meditating and making Eastern Standard cocktails. Out of lockdown would be pretty much the same but with cinema, restaurants and dancing thrown in.

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

Oh it would have to be some sort of Caribbean dish – it’s my favourite.

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

Don’t overthink stuff – don’t let anyone derail you and it’s never too late to start. Just start – live your best life – you are worthy 🙏🏽

Follow Karen on Instagram here!

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