Are you sitting down? Because I’m about to hit you with some stone cold facts. Ready? OK:

  • By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean (by weight) than fish
  • There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean
  • 79% of the plastic waste that humans have created has ended up in landfill or in the natural environment
  • A tiny 9% of all the plastic waste we’ve ever created has been recycled
  • Around the world we buy a million plastic bottles every minute
  • We make and use twenty times more plastic now than we did 50 years ago
  • One year’s worth of unrecycled bottles from the UK would stretch around the world 31 times

Wait, that sounds scary

It’s a lot to take in and it definitely sounds serious but it might give you an idea of why so many people are talking about plastic right now. Facts like that have people worried. We spent so many years using plastic products without a care in the world that when we’re faced with the damage it turns out they’ve been doing all this time, we feel responsible. That’s not a bad thing because it’s giving people a kick start to make changes.

Where does it all go?

The thing with plastic is that it doesn’t break down in the same way that something natural like vegetables or wood does. Natural materials will decompose over time and eventually give all their lovely nutrients back to the world. Plastic doesn’t do that. Instead it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.

So it never goes away?

Well, sort of. When plastic is sent to landfill, it doesn’t do a lot because the conditions aren’t ideal for anything to break down, let alone plastic. But when plastic finds its way to the oceans, it can break down really quickly. Things like bottles and bags break down into smaller and smaller pieces, sometimes so small we can’t even see them. That’s what we call microplastics.

Is it harmful?

Sadly, yes. Animals like turtles and seabirds often mistake plastic for what they usually eat and it can be fatal because it blocks their digestive system. Sharp objects like old plastic cutlery can be very dangerous when they’re eaten too. As well as this, animals can easily get trapped in plastic bags and nets. And those microplastics I mentioned before? Scientists think that they can be toxic.

Can I do anything to help?

YES! You can start by using less plastic and here’s how:

Stop buying drinks in plastic bottles. Buy a reusable, stainless steel bottle (there are LOADS of cool ones out there) and take it out with you instead. If you ever forget it and you’re ultra thirsty, opt for a recyclable can.

Buy a reusable coffee cup. Those plastic lids really add up and, even though they look like paper, the cups are often mixed with plastic too to stop them leaking. Reusable cups are way more eco-friendly and loads of places will even give you a discount for using one!

Ditch plastic straws. In America alone they use over 500 million plastic straws a day (a day!) so ask for no straw when you order a drink. If you reallllly love straws, you can buy metal reusable ones.

Stock up on tote bags. We use up to a trillion plastic bags each year but together we can change that. Go prepared with your own bags and always say no when you’re offered a plastic one.

Try a bamboo toothbrush. Instead of chucking out a plastic toothbrush a few times a year, get a natural, sustainable bamboo one.

Can I do anything else?

Big fat yes. How about getting your school or family involved? Try these ideas to get others in on the act:

Do a 2 minute beach clean-up. The #2minutebeachcleanup movement started in 2014 and it’s getting increasingly popular as more and more people start to care about plastic pollution. And yes, it’s as simple as it sounds! Next time you take a family trip to the beach, spend 2 minutes filling your tote with plastic that’s been left on the beach. When you’ve finished, pop it in the recycling (or the bin if it’s not recyclable *sad face*) and be proud that you’ve stopped it being washed out to sea.

Take on the school cafeteria. Do they use plastic cutlery, plastic food containers or straws? Round up a group and send a letter to the head teacher. You can even borrow the facts from the beginning of this article to make them listen if you like.

Ask for soap. Get your family to quit their hand wash habit and switch to packaging free soap instead.

Take a trip to the market. Forget fruit and veg wrapped in unnecessary plastic, see if you can get your family to go to a grocers or a market and buy it loose.

Start a recycling campaign. No recycling bins at your school? You might want to add it to that letter I mentioned…

Plastic pollution sounds big and really serious doesn’t it? Well, it is. But don’t let that make you feel like it’s too much of a problem to face. You can make a real difference just by changing the tiniest of things. Once you start to do it others will follow, so why not be the one to lead the way?

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

@SophieBenson_

Many of us know that when parents separate, move apart or divorce it can be really difficult for everyone involved. There’s the obvious stuff, like where will you live? And how much time will you spend with your parents now? As well as the more emotional things, like will you feel closer to one parent over time? And what will happen if one of them meets someone else?

But all of this can be particularly tricky to deal with around Christmas time, especially if you and your family celebrated Christmas together before they separated.

But don’t worry, I know how it feels. And it feels, well, confusing! For starters, it doesn’t feel fair you have to change your Christmas traditions. But wait, it can feel exciting to have two Christmases to attend, promise. And it can also seem just plain sad when you have to arrange to see one parent for only a few hours – or even waaay before Christmas to fit in with other plans.

To make everything seem a bit more normal, I’ve charted the different thoughts you’ll have – and the inevitable stages you’ll go through – when you’re celebrating Christmas with divorced parents. Remember, you’re not alone.

How should I act?

Before you even begin planning and attending your different Christmases with different parents, you’re bound to start thinking what it’ll be like.

Whether you’re having one Christmas with one parent and another the day after, or a whole week with one and a whole week with another. Or just one Christmas with one parent and that’s that, it’s going to feel different.

Do we talk about the divorce?

Everyone is going through something different when it comes to separation and divorce. Some parents feel the decision was mutual and they both wanted it to happen. Others might feel sad and betrayed.

The same goes for the levels of communication. Some families discuss what’s going on openly, others don’t feel ready to for weeks or sometimes even years. Be patient with your parents. You can wait for them to bring up the subject or if you’re feeling a bit confused it’s totally fair for you to ask about what’s going on. I remember waiting until after we’d given presents and had Christmas dinner. I then asked calmly how everything was going. The key is: just do what feels right for you and your family.

It’s real Christmas, not fake Christmas

If, like me, you see one parent for “Christmas” when it’s not really Christmas (whether that’s on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or a week after) I always find it’s good to pretend it’s Christmas Day anyway! Try to remember how it feels to be happy and festive and munching on a mince pie. Sure, everyone knows it’s not real, but if you try and make the most of it you’ll have so much more fun.

These aren’t our traditions!

Some families do different things every year, whether that means opening presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day night, or having chicken instead of turkey, or eating a mince pie round the fire. But some do the same thing year upon year and create Christmas traditions. When parents separate it can be tricky to keep those traditions going.

Let’s make new traditions

The great thing is, you can create shiny new traditions. This can feel a bit sad sometimes. I remember missing seeing my dad’s family on Christmas Day like we’d done for years. But at the same time you can do something else that feels new, fresh and enjoyable. Now, my mum, my brother and I will always go for a big walk on the beach on Christmas Day wrapped up in our snuggly new scarves and gloves.

Stop embarrassing me and overcompensating

Newsflash: parents are humans too. If you’re feeling sad and confused about the separation, chances are they’re feeling the exact same way. This means your parents might be acting a bit weird because they want to pretend everything is normal. I get it, this can be really annoying – not to mention embarrassing. But remember that most of the time they’re being that way so you’ll have fun and be happy.

When do we have to leave?

If you’re on a tight schedule and have to see a parent, some cousins, your friends, your grandpa and another parent again all in one day, keeping an eye on the time can feel stressful. Make sure you have a rough idea of your plan before Christmas Day so you’re not rushed.

But I want to stay!

But even with the best plans, you’re bound to want to spend more time with one parent or relative. This well and truly sucks. But try your best to make the most of every minute, then arrange to see your mum or dad or gran again. Like having a NYE party instead or meeting for a big fry-up on New Year’s Day.

Maybe everything is OK?

Although everything can feel like a big mess after a divorce, it’s normal for things to feel OK as well. It doesn’t mean you’re betraying one parent if you have fun with another. Let yourself enjoy the new traditions, the awkward conversations and the busy schedule. You’ll be OK.

I’m grateful

We’re all going through very different situations. Parents that are together, parents that are apart. Some of us have siblings, others don’t. Some of us live with other relatives and don’t see our parents at all at Christmas. A great thing I try and do when it all feels a bit overwhelming is try to name just three things I’m grateful for. During the first Christmas I spent with my parents after their divorce I was grateful for my brave little brother, both of my parents and getting to have TWO Christmas puddings.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

How often have you gone to your hairdresser and pulled up an Instagram screenshot of your favourite celeb’s latest cut for them to copy? All the time, right? Well, those coveted cuts began with another hairstylist, one who’s skilled (and brave) enough to tackle some of the most famous barnets in the business. So next time you’re heading to the salon, have a peep at the source of your new look first, with our seven fave famous hairdressers to follow RN…

Jen Atkin

Quite possibly the most famous tress teaser on the planet right now, Jen Atkin is best known for her work with the Kardashians and BFF Chrissy Teigen, as well as her amazing haircare line Ouai.

Jen has also worked with everyone from Bella Hadid to Katy Perry, and we’re kind of obsessed with her own now-signature bob, though the idea of having to keep up with the regular fringe trims seems like a lot of effort. Maybe we should retrain in hairstyling? Or leave it to the pros like Jen, who you should totally follow on Insta, @jenatkinhair.

Shah Karegar

His own hair is pretty in pink, but Shah is a master of all colours, keeping blonde Delilah Belle Hamilin’s highlights in check and her brunette sister Amelia Gray’s tresses looking fresh.

Oh u know just blending in . 🌺 #nobiggy #pink #haircolor

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Shah’s regular clients also include model Irina Shayk and everyone’s favourite celebrity Friends, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox. Check out his handiwork @shahkaregar.

Andrew Fitzsimons

Like Jen Atkin, Andrew is a master of Kardashian hair, working regularly with all five sisters. The Irish hairdresser counts Karlie Kloss, Shay Mitchell and Joan Smalls among his other clients, but he isn’t just about that celebrity life.

💄Glam fam💋 @makeupbymario #kourtneykardashian #hairXandrew

A post shared by Andrew Fitzsimons (@andrewfitzsimons) on

In fact, Andrew has partnered with the Trans Economic Empowerment Program (TEEP) and the Los Angeles LGBTQ centre to provide access to hair, beauty and self-care resources for trans women and gender non-confirming people. Follow him and find out more @andrewfitzsimons.

Justine Marjan

Harmonizers, if you want to see how Lauren Jauregui gets her hair looking so big and glossy, you better get following Justine. Of course, Lauren is far from Justine’s only famous client, with Victoria’s Secret Angel Lily Aldridge, Jasmine Saunders (aka Golden Barbie) and Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart all relying on her services.

🛩💺✌🏽 ready to ditch these layers and be back in la la land! 🏡✨

A post shared by Celebrity Hairstylist (@justinemarjan) on

Follow Justine @justinemarjan and don’t be surprised if you spend the next week trying to perfect her glam ponytail.

Danielle Priano

She was a long-time collaborator of Mariah Carey’s, but now Danielle is best-known for her work with the Victoria’s Secret girls, regularly taming their manes on campaign shoots and appearances.

#behindthescenes today with my babygurl @hoskelsa #glamz @cgonzalezbeauty #hairbydaniellepriano @gangstaglamz 🔥🔥🔥

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Recently Danielle has found a whole host of pop princesses to work her magic on, including Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and even J-Lo. Follow her @daniellepriano.

Carly Walters

An assistant of Jen Atkin’s, who is now taking on her own clients, Carly recently styled the models’ hair on Khloe Kardashian’s Good American denim campaign.

That's about right..running around New York stylin some hair 🏃🏼‍♀️ Nikes essential. ✔️#dazed #havehair #willtravel 😝

A post shared by CARLY WALTERS // HAIRSTYLIST 💓 (@carlyxhair) on

She’s also worked with megababes Nadine Leopold, Shanina Shaik and Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane. Follow Carly before your friends do @carlyxhair.

Jayson Medina

Bebe Rexha’s go-to guy mostly splits his time between the blonde bombshell and Fergie, though he has also been known to work with Ellie Goulding, most notably on her hair for Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video.

Jayson also does men’s grooming for the likes of The 1975 and US boyband Forever In Your Mind. Lucky guy! Follow him @jaysonhairdos.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.

Image: Katie Edmunds

Instagram is often thought of as a playground for self-indulgence and promotion, littered with throwaway selfies and hollow hashtags (er, #spon that’s you). So it’s really easy to totally overlook how this social media platform has hatched an entire generation of young women who use the channel as a springboard for activism, and as an opportunity to put their follower count to good use.

Below, we will be introducing some of the influential women who are aiming to make Instagram, sheesh, the world, a better place. Some of the names we s/o, you may already be familiar with, such as the Internet’s most colourful girl-gang the Confetti Crowd. Other women you probably won’t have come across, like Laetitia Duveau founder of @curatedbygirls—a platform for emerging creatives.

While these girls may not match Swifty’s levels of followers, they are all striving to change the world a little, and the proof is in their kick-ass mantras below.

School of Doodle

Instagram: @schoolofdoodle

https://www.instagram.com/schoolofdoodle/ 

“School of Doodle is a learning lab, by and for girl and gender non-conforming Gen Zers, that gives them the tools to turn creative potential into future success. From photography and feminism to art and activism (and everything in between), Doodle’s content and community events provide girls with education, entertainment and opportunity to develop critical life skills and confidence to rule the world. School of Doodle was built on the belief that by closing the Confidence Gap, we can guarantee that for the next generation ‘leaning in’ looks like standing up straight.”

Confetti Crowd

Instagram: @confetticrowd

https://www.instagram.com/confetticrowd/

“We hope to inspire girls who may dream of owning their own business, of working from home, or of generally being a girl boss. Our aim is to create a community of successful girl bosses who support each other rather than compete against each other. It’s important that young women feel they can be completely and truly themselves when growing up. From finding your style at an early age, to building confidence and skills for a successful life, we are here to act as your big sister. As individuals we were all picked on for dressing ‘weird’, but remember that first they laugh, then they copy.”

Gurls Talk

Instagram: @gurlstalk

https://www.instagram.com/gurlstalk/

“Gurls Talk is a movement that strives to create a platform where girls can openly share their experiences in a safe and trusting environment. We are working together here at Gurls Talk to create a community of girls from all different backgrounds, looking beyond external differences and focusing on what it means to be a girl today.”

Curated by GIRLS

Instagram: @curatedbygirls

https://www.instagram.com/curatedbygirls/

“Curated by GIRLS is a platform for talented creatives, emerging and established from around the world. We believe in equality, and try to include all genders, ethnicities and body types in the work we feature. It is very important that we give every artist out there a chance, not based on who they are but what they do. The world is full of unknown talents and our aim is to find them and give them the opportunities they deserve.”

gal-dem

Instagram: @galdemzine

https://www.instagram.com/galdemzine/

gal-dem is a magazine (online and in print) and creative collective comprised of over 70 women and nonbinary people of colour which launched in September 2015. The aim of gal-dem is to open up our take on the world to a wider audience. We want people from all backgrounds to engage with the work we are doing. It’s no secret that the mainstream media doesn’t represent or reflect us, so we are doing it for ourselves.”

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

Sponsored by MUA

Christmas is the perfect time of year to go extra on your make up. The fam are more relaxed – your great aunt won’t launch into a lecture about clogged pores and young skin. What’s more, you won’t feel like you’ve gone OTT for a cinema trip either. Yes, we know it’s dark in there, but you never know who you might run into.

Enter: MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder. A fave in the blogging world, this hot product will give you luminous skin to rival all five Kardashian-Jenner sisters. The best bit? You can find one in December’s bettybox so you don’t even have to pop it on your Christmas list!

Not only will it brighten your eyes (midnight Netflix binging takes its toll, guys) but it’ll give your cheekbones a magical glow. Quite literally, it’s your time to shine! We haven’t been pouring over those YouTube tutorials for nothing, you know. Here’s how to use it…

1. Prep your base

That means sweep on your primer, work in your foundation, contour your cheekbones and dust over your blusher so your skin is pretty much set.

2. Choose your brush

It’s all in the tools, girl. For a light, subtle glow reach for a fanned brush – it picks up less product but is still a whizz at applying it in just the right places. For a total glamazon look though, an actual highlighting brush is best.

3. Identify your glow zones

You don’t want to end up looking like a shiny bauble now, do you? To avoid that megawatt sheen, it’s important you only highlight the right places. They are: above and below your brow bone, your inner eye, down the bridge of your nose, above your cheekbones and your cupid’s bow.

4. Dust the powder over these MUA-pro zones, then nail every single Christmas selfie. You’re welcome.  

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder is available in December’s bettybox – sign up RN if you haven’t already – and from the MUA Make-up Academy website.

Image: Kate Borrill

It’s Christmas, and you want to show your friends how special they are to you – it’s the season of giving, after all. But what happens when you literally can’t afford to give? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Agree on a budget

Chances are, if you’re a bit hard up, your friends will be, too. So before anyone gets too carried away with their Christmas shopping, talk about setting an upper price limit for gifts. That way there’s no awkwardness if someone gives you pricey perfume and you’ve hastily wrapped them a family pack of jellybeans!

Make frugality fun

You could even set a stupidly-low price limit – say one or two pounds – and see how creative you can get in pound shops. There’s a bewildering array of items up for grabs there and while you won’t be able to get your friend the Missguided bag you know they’ve got their eye on, you will have a lot of fun giggling at your cheap and cheerful purchases.

Secret Santa your squad

If there’s a big gang of you, do a squad-sized secret Santa instead of buying gifts individually. Write everyone’s name on separate scraps of paper, pop them all into a hat or bowl, and then everyone draws a name – that’s who they’re buying a gift for. It’s not only cheaper but will save you loads of time traipsing around the shops.

Upcycle something cheap

Good with a needle and thread? You could embroider a kickass logo onto a plain Primark tee. Like to draw? Crack out the Sharpies and turn a plain-covered notebook into something Paperchase-worthy. Using your creative skills like this doesn’t just save you money, you’ll be giving your friend something ultra-special and one-of-a-kind – just like them!

A little adds up to a lot

Instead of dropping a load of dollar on one single item, assemble lots of little inexpensive items. Does your friend love skincare? Get some samples and miniatures for her to try. If she’s creative, a selection of art supplies. Baking? You could get her a range of different cupcake decorations. Cover a box with wrapping paper, and pop all your items inside. Ta-dah! Loads of little pressies that add up to an excellent big one.

Have a festive stuff swap

Be honest, how many dresses, accessories and pairs of shoes do you own that you never really wear? At least a couple, right? And the same probably goes for your friends. So why not get together and swap your stuff? Everyone gets something new without spending a penny – and since you’re repurposing existing items it’s good for the environment, too!

Bypass the gift-giving entirely!

It might sound a bit controversial, but remember you don’t have to get each other presents. Instead, you could make a pact to forgo the gifts this year, and put the money you would have spent on each other towards a day out or goodies for a sleepover. After all, Christmas isn’t about presents, but rather being with the people you love.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

Although she became famous for whipping her hair back and forth in 2010, there’s a lot more to know about teen-star Willow Smith. From protesting about current affairs to writing novels, Willow is pretty accomplished for a 17 year old.

She’s got a strong head on her shoulders and doesn’t let her – or her family’s fame – cloud her judgement. Here are *all* the reasons why we’re fan-girling over Willow this week…

She’s super talented

Not only is Willow an amazing singer (check out her awesome EP released last year), but she’s also interested in loads of other careers! She set up her own production company, MSFTS Production, with the plan to release her own animated TV series, based on a novel which she wrote.

<@tsikudo_>

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MSFTS Production is also teaming up with Cartel Entertainment to create a film adaptation of Alwyn Hamilton’s YA trilogy Rebel of the Sands. It’s still early days but rumours has it that Willow will follow in her parents’ footsteps and star in the film herself. Not bad for a high school student – watch this space!

What's your favorite song off of #The1st <¿>

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She’s a mental health champion

As the daughter of two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, fame was pretty inevitable for Miss Smith. So it wasn’t surprising that her first song ‘Whip My Hair’ rocketed to the top of the charts when little Willow was just 10. As much as she appreciates her fortunate upbringing, this sassy sista doesn’t shy away from shedding some truth on the downsides of being famous.

<@chanelofficial>

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In a recent interview with Girlgaze she openly discusses the mental issues that can be caused by premature fame. “I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche,” she said.

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Mental health is an issue that we try to address openly at betty, so we really admire Willow’s frank attitude. She believes that people forget celebrities still deserve privacy and feel “entitled” to know everything about them, which can be difficult to cope with when you’re young and trying to work out who you are. Willow hopes that by opening up about her own experiences she will help fans to be both more sympathetic to their celebrity idols, but also not be embarrassed to speak up if they are suffering too.

She’s totally woke

When she’s not creating music or in the front row of the hottest fashion show, Willow can be found protesting about current issues she’s passionate about. Recently, she and brother Jaden took part in a protest against the North Dakota pipeline. This pipeline will affect the safety of the water supply to the inhabitants of one of the last remaining Native American tribes living in this area.

<ACT> #NODAPL

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It’s super cool that Willow wants to make a difference and is active in trying to cause change. We can’t wait to see what else this mega-babe gets up to in the future. We love you, Willow!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

Moschino’s My Little Pony collection is undoubtedly one of our favourite spring/summer 2018 fashion statements. After debuting at Milan Fashion Week in September, the capsule collection instantly became available on the brand’s website, but sadly it’s a little out of our price range. Sob.

Of course, the high street is never far behind the catwalks, so thankfully we can all get in on the My Little Pony fun – we’re sure it’s what Rainbow Dash would have wanted.

Here’s what we’re shopping now…

The T-shirt

Moschino’s MLP T-shirt features ponies Cherries Jubilee, Glory and Princess Sparkle, and a rainbow. It’s very pretty, but it’s also £165, unlike TruffleShuffle’s version.

Coming in at just £19.99, their tee is also rainbow-printed, with ponies Heart Throb, Baby Quackers and Applejack in the starring roles. Shop here.

The long-sleeved dress

We could definitely see long-time Moschino fan Paris Hilton rocking this cute little cotton dress. But, at £464, it’s definitely out of our budget.

Enter Alice Vandy’s rainbow My Little Pony dress of dreams, which – at £59 – is a much more affordable purchase. Shop here.

The raglan tee

While we do love Moschino’s baseball-style T-shirt and its tropical island print, we’re not so keen on the £159 price tag… ouch.

Raglan baseball tops are one of our favourite ways to rock the MLP trend. The black sleeves give the cute print a grunge edge. Wear this baby with your favourite leather-look trousers or pop on with pyjama bottoms and be ready for bed. It’s a win-win situation and all for under £25. Shop here.

The lunchbox handbag

Moschino’s lunchbox-style My Little Pony handbag is super cute, but it’s also super spenny, at a whopping £772.

So what to do if you want a vintage-looking MLP lunch tin of your very own? Get on Amazon. There are loads to choose from, but this one is super pretty and about £750 cheaper! Shop here.

The keyring   

Now, while it would be lovely to have £122 to drop on a keyring, it’s not going to happen to us anytime soon. Soz, Moschino.

Thankfully, good old Claire’s have the CUTEST pom-pom trimmed My Little Pony keyring, which is only £5.50. How pocket money-friendly is that? Shop here.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

There’s Christmas music everywhere, loads of festive ads on TV and mince pies now seem to be part of everyone’s staple diet. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Except for some reason you just can’t get into it. You know it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and you know there are lots of things to be excited about, but you’re still feeling meh about it all. Here’s how to fix that – you’ll be feeling warm and fuzzy in no time.

1. Make a Christmas playlist

Whether it’s a classic like Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, a cheesy tune like Wizzard’s I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday or just a nice choral take on traditional carols, organise your faves into a playlist (or search other people’s playlists for some inspiration) and play it in the background while you’re doing some of the other things on this list.

2. Watch a Christmas movie

You’ve probably seen them all a hundred times, but no-one ever really gets tired of cheesy festive films. And there’s one for every mood, from magical classic Home Alone to old-school action thriller Die Hard. And let’s not forget the ultimate Christmas film, The Snowman, which is guaranteed to thaw even the coldest Christmas heart!

3. Get decorating

Even if your family have hard and fast rules about when the Christmas tree goes up, you can still decorate your own space. Grab a stack of old newspapers and magazines to make your own paper chains, or collect holly to make a wreath. And don’t forget lots of lovely twinkly fairy lights.

4. Bake mince pies

Christmas and mince pies go together like Biebs and Selena. These sweet festive treats are delicious however they come, but homemade ones taste the best and they’re so easy to make – plus they’ll make the house smell amazing. Not a fan? Bake them anyway and give them to someone who’ll like them – it is the season of giving, after all!

5. Do something charitable

While we’re on the subject of giving, let’s not forget that Christmas is a time of goodwill and compassion for others. Even if you’re not fussed about the holiday, there are lots of people out there who’d love to celebrate it but aren’t able to because of personal circumstances. You can make a difference by volunteering some of your time to an organisation in need, by making up a shoebox gift for a charity appeal, or simply by dropping a few coins into a collection jar. Giving feels good!

6. Go to a carol service

Or your younger sibling’s nativity play, or even better, a cheesy pantomime! It’s a Christmas cliché, yep, but you won’t find that much festive cheer in one place anywhere else.

7. Give yourself a festive manicure

Grab your nail art stickers and your gold, red and green nail polishes and go to town, as gaudy as you like! Instagram and Pinterest are full of Christmas nail art inspiration right now, so put on your playlist and get to work for a wave of Christmas cheer every time you catch sight of your festive fingertips.

8. Cosy up with a hot drink

Whether it’s a hot chocolate (with whipped cream, obvs) or a flavoursome spiced tea, make yourself a holiday-themed cuppa and feel the festive cheer warm you up from the inside out.

9. Make your own Christmas cards

Get creative with ribbon, washi tape, stamps and stickers to create your own Christmas cards, and then write a personalised message inside them for each of your friends. You’ll have made something really cool and had the chance to reflect on your brilliant friendships, so that’s double the warm fuzzy feelings!

10. Visit your town’s Christmas lights

Even if you can’t make it for the official turning on (which will no doubt feature one or two Z-list celebs), choose an evening to wrap up warm and go for a wander underneath your town’s Christmas lights. And hey, if it doesn’t help you feel more festive, at least you’ll have loads of pics for Instagram where you can at least pretend to be full of Christmas cheer.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Amber Griffin

We’ve all seen Toy Story 3. We know the dangers that can await toys when their owners grow up and stop playing with them. But what about when that owner is you?

This doesn’t just apply to toys. What about all the random stuff that you’ve collected and feel nostalgic about – concert tickets, cinema stubs, holiday souvenirs, sweet wrappers, the long plait you had cut off at 11 (maybe it’s just me who still has theirs!?). While it’s fun to keep mementoes, no-one wants to be stuck in the past.

Rather than keeping every single thing that’s ever been part of your life, pick out what you love the best. It’s a fun trip down memory lane, especially on a boring Sunday afternoon when you can rope family into talking about the good old days – even if it was only 2014.

Once you know what you cannot possibly part with, here are six easy suggestions for what to do with it…

1. Start a record of the year

Using a pinboard or a scrapbook, create a collage for the year as it’s happening, adding in anything and everything that you want to keep. In January you can then add the items that you really treasure to a memory box. This can be something pretty like an old suitcase or practical; think concertina file, label one section per year. Simples!

2. Celebrate your favourites

Create a wall display for your favourite band, film or holiday, keeping all the photos and tickets related to it in one spot that you get to see all the time – like a totally-not-weird shrine to The Bieb.

 

3. Make an exhibition of your own artwork

Gather all the amazing artwork you’ve ever produced (and of course it is all amazing. Especially that potato print picture of your nan that you did in nursery) in one folder or even make a photo book of it. You could also go one step further by photographing it and getting mugs printed as gifts for the ’rents. Or just upload it as the wallpaper on your family laptop as a reminder to everyone of your awesomeness.

4. Curate a display

For years, curation was what staff in art galleries and museums did, but now Instagrammers everywhere talk about curating their homes. You probably don’t have free reign to rearrange the living room but you can set about curating a corner of your room in homage to your childhood.

Clear a space where you can display the objects that mean the most to you.  This works especially well if you have a collection, whether it’s dinosaurs or Sylvanian Families. Use a shelf or a related item such as dolls in a pram or Barbies in their jeep.

There are also great cheap storage solutions that can be adapted. A scarf tidy, for instance, can be hung on a wall and used to hold a bunch of soft toys. Do some essential Pinterest browsing to get inspired #itsresearchhonest.

Rather than simply booting your beloved teddy off your bed, you can sit them on their own dedicated mini chair instead!

5. Organise a children’s library

Bring all your favourite children’s books together, shelve them in one spot and call it a library! If you have any related items (who doesn’t own some Harry Potter merch?), place them alongside.

6. Build a toybox 

This doesn’t literally have to be built, although making a toy box would be an *awesome* DT project #courseworksorted.

Go on a scavenger hunt around the house to see what you can use, whether it’s a basket or even a cardboard box that you can decorate. Pop all the toys you’re keeping inside and job done.

I did this and it’s a super easy way to entertain younger cousins and other small people that come round. And if you’re free to play with them, you can recreate the scene from the end of Toy Story 3 in your own bedroom.

It’s what your toys deserve.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

Sponsored by Montezuma’s

Mmmm butterscotch – that gooey topping you put on ice cream or the flavour of those sweets your Grandpa sneaks you when Mum’s not looking. It’s addictive right?

Like caramel (but made with brown sugar instead of white) you’re probably used to scoffing it as candy, sauce or in its solid form. But it’s time to widen your buttery horizons girl, because Montezuma’s has taken it to the next level by mixing it with CHOCOLATE.

And guess what? We’re gonna take it to the next next level by melting it. Need some inspo? These lot are snacking goals:

1. Your brekkie

Whether it’s porridge or pancakes, add some luxury to your morning meal. It’ll make the whole waking up thing a lot easier.

2. Bread

Forget Nutella, hummus, or avocado; butterscotch is *the* topping to pile on toast. Food bloggers everywhere will cry out in envy.

3. Chips from Maccy Ds

We know it works with milkshake, so why not upgrade? Mother, get us through that drive-through asap.

4. Nuts

When your ‘rents try to trick you into healthy snacking, get one over on them by drizzling your almonds or cashews in butterscotch *wink face*.

5. Magical drinks

Harry Potter’s drink of choice, butterbeer, is made from butterscotch sauce, cream soda, cream, and a touch of melted butter. Yer a wizard.

6. Popcorn

Toffee popcorn is totally last year. Top popcorn with warm butterscotch and delve in; the stickier your fingers, the better.

7. Yoghurt

Swirl some butterscotch into yoghurt for a healthy(ish) dessert. It’s the month of treats guys, plain yoghurt just isn’t the one.

8. Fruit

Keeping up the healthy vibe think apples, pears, strawberries, bananas… the list is endless. Use as a dip, or drench the fruit like toffee apples.

9. Greens

They may be a good source of iron – a key mineral our bodies need when we’re menstruating – but if you’re not feeling the taste, drizzle butterscotch on brussel sprouts, broccoli and green beans, and watch your parents’ surprise as you devour your veg.

10. Cookies

Dip shop-bought cookies into butterscotch and act like you’re Bake Off’s star baker. Santa won’t be able to get down that chimney quick enough.

11. A spoon

If nothing else takes your fancy, just lick it off a spoon. There are no rules at Christmas time.

A Montezuma’s 54% cocoa: milk chocolate butterscotch bar is available in December’s bettybox and you can buy more on the Montezuma’s website.   

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds

 

Reason #482 why life should be more like American teen movies: the bus would pick us up from our house. None of this walking to the bus stop shiz. We could have ten minutes longer in bed then just roll to the end of the drive like everyone’s favourite schoolgirl, Lisa Simpson.

That’s probably not going to happen, what with the government having their hands full with Brexit and all that. So we’re stuck with the everyday mare of buses as they are, whether you get on a school one or a regular public service.

If you’re lucky then you get to share at least part of the journey with your mates, so whatever other chaos is going on around you, you at least have friends there. Not that this protects you from spit balls coming from the boys at the back.

But if you find you’re on your own, here are eight ways to make the whole experience a bit more bearable aside from silently singing ‘The wheels on the bus’ to yourself. Unless you want to do that, obvs.

1. Make a bus friend

Chances are that pretty much the same people get the same bus as you day in, day out. Could you make friends with one of them? They don’t have to be your new BFF – but you never know, they might actually turn out to be a really cool person who you want to be IRL friends with too.

2. Read betty

So long as reading while travelling doesn’t make you vom, bus journeys are a great time to do some reading. Think of it as your catching-up-with-the-latest-on-betty-time.

3. Download Gojimo

Gojimo is an app containing quizzes related to the exams that you’re studying for. Use the dead time on the bus for doing some cheeky extra swotting up, then arrive at school feeling super smug. Just don’t overdo it and need a disco nap by period three!

4. Get addicted to podcasts

Literally everyone is addicted to podcasts now. Okay, so not everyone, but lots of people are obsessed with them. Get hooked on a series and soon you’ll even be looking forward to time on the bus to listen to the latest episode. Try Eliza Starting At Sixteen for a New York take on being a teenager.

5. Meditate

If the idiots on board really do your head in, how about meditating to block them out? You don’t need a special cushion or bells or windpipes. In fact, you don’t need anything but it can be helpful to use an app like Insight Timer, which has 4,000 free meditations to try. Stick your headphones on and remember that you’ll thank the muppets around you when you’re a chilled out zen master.

6. Get off sooner

This is totes obvs but if you hate the bus, how about getting off a few stops earlier? You’ll get a bit of extra exercise and you might even get to pocket the spare fare – save it towards your first car instead!

7. The actually properly serious tip

Bullying on buses is a serious issue that has even led to suicides. If this is affecting you, Bullying UK advise that ‘On the school bus, try to sit near the driver, or if it’s an ordinary bus, by other adults. If you have to walk part of the way, and you’re afraid of being ambushed, then vary your route, try to leave home and school a bit later or a bit earlier, or see if you can walk with other people who live near you, even if they’re older or younger’.

They also say that your parents or carer should complain to your school because even though this is happening off the premises, they do have the power to punish bullies if it’s taking place on the way to or from school. For more about this, see Bullying UK’s website.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: The Simpsons