It’s been a big week. Our hearts broke all over again for London, then healed themselves with Manchester. George and Amal Clooney became parents. The voice of Wallace from Wallace and Gromit passed away.

And while all that was happening, we’ve been busy with this lot. Here are all the things we’ve been doing, loving and reading this week.

Want to be in the next Fantastic Beasts film?

If you’ve ever felt bitter resentment that you weren’t the right age when there were casting scouts sent all over the country to find the actress that would play Harry, Ron and Hermione, we have some good news! Warner Brothers is holding an open casting call for five teenages to play the roles of young Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore, Newt Scamander, Leta Lestrange and someone called Sebastian (which frankly seems like far too normal a name for JK) in the next installment of the Fantastic Beasts series.

The film will go back in time (again) and focus on the history of Dumbey and Grindey’s feud. If you fancy your chances as the next Emma Watson, visit the Pottermore website for more info.

No one named their baby Trout this year and apparently we should be surprised

When Amal and George Clooney welcomed their twins Ella and Alexander into the world this week, everyone let out a collective sigh of relief, turned to the person next to them and whispered, “Are weird baby names… over?”

Probably not. But a list has been released of the baby names that no one in the US used last year and tbh, we can see why. Mainly, because they’re NOT NAMES. Options such as Diablo (which sounds like a board game), Lucasta (which sounds like a character from GOT), North (which sounds like some a Kardashian would name their bab- oh, wait).

We need to talk honestly about periods. Period.

Jazmin Sawyers, a long jumper and Olympic finalist, has had to pull out of a competition  because of her period pain. She took to Twitter to explain what happened, writing: “If you don’t have periods, or don’t have them this bad, it’s hard to imagine why I can’t just suck it up and compete, but when you’re in so much pain you can’t walk more than a few steps, and your legs buckle under your own weight, there’s no chance you can jump.”

She added that no one talks enough about periods in sport and how they affect a woman’s performance. Thank you Jaz, for helping break down taboos – and wherever you are, we hope there’s a hot water bottle and some chocolate handy.

Dance like no one is watching

It’s been a long week, but this clip of a policeman dancing with teenage girls during Justin Bieber’s performance at the One Love Manchester Concert has got us through. When talking to The Telegraph the policeman, Paul Taylor, a 50-year-old father of two, said he didn’t know he was being filmed but added: “I wouldn’t describe myself as the best dancer in the world but I was more than happy to oblige.” Awww.

And finally, presenting the most perfect photo of all time

I have nothing else to say about this. Enjoy.

Happy Friday!

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. 

Ok, winter you were fun for a while, but it would be really nice if you’d bugger off now so we could all have some time to regain the feeling in our toes.

Here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Taylor Swift and Zayn’s song was released

Finally, after weeks of teasing, Swifty and Zayn have released the music video for their brand-new song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” There’s a lot of brooding looks and coloured lighting, but let’s be real, we’ll probably keep watching it all day.

The boys in your class might be getting more allowance than you

Yep, according to a report by Childwise, on average, boys between the ages of 11 and 16 receive £17.80 allowance a week, compared to girls of the same age, who get £12.50. Not only that, the report found that boys are encouraged to have more financial independence than girls. Ladies, it’s time to get negotiating.

piggy-bank

Miss Canada, you’ve got our vote

Siera Bearchell, the woman who represents Canada in the Miss Universe pageant took to Instagram this week to talk about something really important: self-worth. Her message for everyone out there? Stop focusing on who everyone else wants you to be and embrace who you really are. Well, we’re backing Miss Canada for the win.

I was recently asked, "What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points" This was a reference to my body of course. While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, but I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before. 🙋🏻As soon as I started to love who I was rather than always trying to fit what I thought society wanted me to be, I gained a whole new side of life. This is the side I am trying to bring to the @missuniverse competition. The side of life that is so rare to find: self-worth and self-love. We always focus on the things we wish we could change rather than loving everything we are. #missuniverse #bodydiversity #IMG

A post shared by Siera Bearchell | Miss Canada (@sierabearchell) on

H&M to donate millions to refugees 

Over the holiday period, H&M made a pact to donate 5% of proceeds for every gift card that was sold in 4000 of their stores to help refugee children. They’ve dedicated the money to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help them provide education for children who have had to flee their homes. If you want to learn more about the UNHCR, you can read about them here. But in the meantime, we’re watching this adorable video that UNHCR Philippines put together – it’s giving us all the feels.

 

“I think you’re old like dirt”: Bad Lip Reading 

Need something to make you laugh? It’s seven days since President Trump was inaugurated, and it’s been an, er, interesting week. You may have seen the actual inauguration, but have you seen Bad Lip Reading’s version? It’s full of gems like: “the new kid smells like falafel and wants to shave my moustache” and “you think I won’t fling three eggs at you?” We promise it’ll have you in stitches.

Harry Pooper and the Chamber of Secrets

Every so often, JK Rowling answers a question you never even knew you had. This week on Pottermore she revealed that wizards used to…poo themselves. TMI? Maybe. But hey, now we know.

Just look at this actual excerpt from Rowling's entry about the Chamber of Secrets:

The nail polish challenge 

This week, Lily and Anjali messed around with the NailsInc nail polish that came in this month’s bettybox to do a nail polish challenge. Let us know who you think won in the comments section!

Have a great weekend, we’ll see you Monday!

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. 

Well hey there, January! After a nice Christmas break where we ate our body weight in turkey and Lindor, we’re back and we’ve got a lot of exciting things brewing for 2017. Watch this space.

And in the meantime, here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

New Year, Same You

This January, we’re saying boo to the usual ‘New Year, New You’ nonsense and saying ‘New Year, Same You‘ instead. It’s all about celebrating yourself – the actual you, not the Instagrammable, perfect fantasy version – and spending time on stuff you really love, instead of the stuff you think you ought to be into. This month’s going to be about celebrating your inner nerd, re-inventing your existing wardrobe, and doing exactly what’s right for you – plus all our usual tips and funny tales from the coolest girls we know. Excited? We are too.

new year same you

Petition for Carrie Fisher to be one of the Disney Princesses

Sometimes humans are really, really amazing. Following the tragic death of Carrie Fisher last week, one fan stumbled upon the brilliant idea to promote her character Princess Leia to Disney Princess stardom. It’s a controversial move as she would be the only non-animated Disney princess, but the online petition on Change.org already has over 25,000 signatures and we think makes a pretty good case.

“After the tragic lose of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated and make Leia a full-fledged princess. This would be a wonderful way to remember Carrie and a welcoming to one of Disney’s new properties that is beloved by millions.

“What we are asking is that the Walt Disney Corporation hold a full ceremony inducting Leia as the newest Disney princess as well as a special service in memory of Carrie Fisher.”

Petitioners, may the force be with you.

The best of Obama, 2016

With only a few weeks left of Barack Obama’s presidency, Obama nostalgia is in full swing (and to be honest it’s in the running to be our new favourite hobby for 2017). The official White House photographer Pete Souza released his fave photos of the President from 2016 and they’re exactly as adorable as we all hoped they would be. You can check out the entire collection on Medium here. Never leave us, Barry-O.

obama

Ellen DeGeneres took a stand

Ellen Degeneres has banned gospel singer Kim Burrell from appearing on her show this week after she made homophobic comments. In a church sermon in Texas, Burrell referred to “the perverted homosexual spirit”. Then, in a video published after the sermon, she said she made “no excuses or apologies” for her comments. The singer was due to appear with Pharrell Williams on The Ellen Degeneres Show, but presenter Degeneres, a gay woman and tireless ambassador for LGBT+ rights, took back the invite. We’re with you Ellen.

Urban Outfitters has crowned the Class of 2017 

Urban Outfitters has kicked off the year with a new campaign, The Class of 2017. The special collab with US brands Hanes and Champion features 16 influencers, a diverse mix of cool faces and personalities – including body positive activist Barbie Ferreira and transgender model Hari Nef – who are aiming to change the way we look at the world this year.

Face it, magic is real

Storybook cosmetics is a book nerd’s (ahem, the entire betty team’s) dream come true, selling make up and beauty tools that take inspiration from some of the most popular books of all time. Harry Potter? Yep. Game of Thrones? Obvs. Romeo and Juliet? Why not. The product we’re probably most excited about is the quill and pot eyeliner set that they’re launching later this year – LOOK AT IT.storybook

In the meantime, follow them on Instagram to keep up to date with their plans. Accio, nerd beauty.

Have a magical weekend everyone! We’ll see you Monday.

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. 

January has a tough time of things. It can’t be fun following the month quite literally known as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.

Sure, Jan gets all the excited people on New Year’s Eve, staying up late just to greet it. But then it all goes downhill pretty rapidly from there. The mince pies have been taken off the shelves in supermarkets. The Christmas trees are half dead in our driveways. And there certainly aren’t any more presents to look forward to (no matter how many times you check under the sofa “just in case”). You’ve watched everything you’re even vaguely interested in on Netflix. All in all, it’s a downer (poor January), which is where comfort books come in.

books

Comfort book are books that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Books that maybe your parents once read aloud to you. Books you used to read way past bedtime with a torch under the covers. Books that never use the word “doth”. And because our mantra this month is ‘new year, same you’, we think it’s the perfect time to revisit some old friends.

To inspire you, here are our fave comfort books that we’ll be reading this January.

1. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

giphy

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

In many ways, Winnie the Pooh is the literary equivalent of watching videos of unlikely animal friends on YouTube. How often do you see a bear, a teacup pig, a tiger and a kangaroo even on the same continent, let alone hanging out as buds? And that tale of heartwarming cross-species friendship and adventure is just the thing to get you through January. Not to mention a few jars of honey.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

A series of unfortunate events

“The three siblings were not born yesterday. Neither were you, unless of course I am wrong, in which case, welcome to the world, little baby, and congratulations on learning to read so early in life.”

Even if you didn’t actually read this series when you were a child, you’ll probably still find them incredibly comforting as a… not-child. The books are quirky and fun and follow the adventures of three orphan children who, spoiler in the title, are constantly running into trouble. We dare you to get through them without literally lol-ing at least once a page.

3. Harry Potter(s) by JK Rowling

harry-potter

“Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

Oh, Harry. How can you not find comfort in a world where headmasters are as cool as Dumbledore and you can get from one side of the country to the other without setting foot on a train? But maybe the real joy of re-reading Harry Potter is that it will last you all the way through until March.

4. The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson 

The Lottie Project

“There are some teachers – just a few – who have YOU’D BETTER NOT MESS WITH ME! tattooed right across their foreheads.”

Let’s be real, this entire list could just be Jacqueline Wilson books. We are pretty confident that out of the 100+ (mmhm, and you thought your PLL fanfic was long) books she’s written over her career, there’ll be one that speaks to your particular comfort-reading needs. The Lottie Project is one of our faves, telling the tale of an uber popular high school girl who finds a photo of Victorian girl who looks exactly like her and decides to investigate her doppelgänger’s life. Sofa, blanket, bucket of tea: perfect Sunday.

5. Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

princess-diaries

“Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life.”

If your childhood was peppered with princess pillows and tiaras that you wore once and promptly lost, these books will probably be your ideal comfort read. The series follows Mia, a totally down-to-earth girl who lives with her quirky mother in New York. But when she’s 15, her dad lets slip that she’s actually the Princess of Genovia, a tiny country in Europe (fictional, before you use it in a Geography test). Ballgowns, tiaras and important life lessons ensue.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

tumnus

“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

While it sucks that it’s so cold but not snowing outside (regardless of how many times your check your weather app), a visit to Narnia might just make up for it. The first book in the classic series by CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe plunges you into a world of magic and mythical creatures, where animals can talk to humans and the White Witch has ruled for 100 years of deep winter (think GOT, but you know, cuddlier and generally less distressing). Instead of doing a wardrobe clearout in January, just crawl inside an imaginary one.

Hopefully that’s inspired you to raid your stash of comfort books and get reading. Who needs mince pies when you’ve got books?

(We’re kidding. Double check your pantry, just in case one of those pastry bad boys is still floating around in there).

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: Getty

Friday is finally here. And we all know that Fridays are for bedroom dance parties, treating yo’ self, and of course, the betty weekly round-up.

Here’s everything we’ve been doing, reading and loving this week.

CEOs can do whatever they like with their femininity

When researching an article, writer Ali Segel stumbled upon the example of ‘femininity’ used by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Appallingly, it read: “she managed to become CEO without sacrificing any of her femininity“. Um, sorry, WHAT?! Merriam-Webster replied saying, “You’re right, working to remove that now.” By the end of the day, the example had been changed. Ha! Take that patriarchy.

M&S Christmas is giving us all the feels 

After what was, let’s face it, a lacklustre John Lewis advert, M&S have stepped up their game. It will make you want to hug your little brother close. And also acquire some red sequinned trainers.

Young people are really concerned about terrorism

This week, the NSPCC released a statement saying that Childline provided 660 counselling sessions about terrorism between November 2015, the month of the Paris attacks, and November 2016, with one in five of the callers aged 11 or younger. Our writer Bridget has some words of wisdom on how to handle big, scary news – and if you’re concerned about terrorism or have anything you’d like to talk to Childline about you can reach them on 0800 1111.

Eddie Redmayne in defence of Hufflepuffs

Shout out to all the Hufflepuffs out there! The unsung heroes. The loyal friends. The only people who can truly pull off yellow. Eddie Redmayne is one of you and he has a message to you all: you are awesome.

The great bromance of our time

Maybe the only good thing to come out of this election result is the influx of Barack Obama and Joe Biden bromance memes. Inverse has done a great round-up of the funniest examples floating around on the internet right now, but this one might just be our fave.

Friday, we’re in love

These embroidered babies are going on our Christmas list IMMEDIATELY. Floral shoes are the perfect winter pick-me-up while all the actual flowers are dead, but you can also rock them with shorts and dresses when summer comes back around. Even better, they’re from the shop at the top of your mum-approved list: M&S. Ideal.

shoes

Floral shoes, M&S, £29.50

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Big news from betty HQ: we have a new studio and it is AH-mazing! We’re going to start filming in it next week, so keep an eye out for it next week on our YouTube channel.

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Have a good weekend and take care of yourselves!

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. 

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the betty weekly round-up! You’ve been waiting for it, right?

Here’s what we’ve been reading, loving and doing this week.

Waxing and waning: Brangelina is over.

In the news that shook the world, Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Brad Pitt earlier this week. The pair have been together for 10 years since meeting on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith, and have six kids between them. Posh and Becks, the fate of love rests on your shoulders now.

There are many parts of the story to process, but one of the most heartbreaking is seeing Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s wax forms being separated at Madame Tussauds. It’s like the wax equivalent of blocking your ex on social media. Plus, it’s mega awks for Robert Pattinson who is stuck between them.

Tampons! Get your free tampons!

That’s right, to kick off the new school year with a sani-terrific bang, state schools around New York City will now have free pads and tampons available for students. It’s part of new legislation that ensures free menstrual products will be available in all public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. Plus, just for kicks, they’ve also eliminated taxes on menstrual products!

House of Commons, your move.

Donald Trump Jnr has ruined Skittles

Right, where to start? Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jnr (he named his kid after himself, obvs), posted this particularly heinous photo on Twitter earlier this week.

It’s offensive on a number of levels. Firstly, refugees are obviously not Skittles (there’s a sentence we never thought I’d have to write). They are human beings, whose lives matter.

Secondly, on a purely mathematical level, it’s incredibly inaccurate. In fact, the US National Safety Council released this stat in its wake. You have a 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food and a 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack (round of applause to anyone who can even work out how to translate that number into words). So let’s stop the weird, racist fearmongering, and chew carefully.

Expecto-Patronum!

Pottermore has released a new test that tells you your Patronus! When the betty team took the test, Lauren got a Brown Hare, Amy got Fox Terrier and Lily got a Siberian Cat. So basically, just things you can pick up at the pet store. We wouldn’t stand a chance against the Dementors.

Take the test here to find out what your patronus is, and hope it’s cooler than ours.

patronus

Mayim Bialik is making a Big Bang in the publishing world

Big Bang fans, get out your reading glasses and keep your bookmarks poised, because Mayim Bialik is releasing a book. If you’ve ever wondered why Amy is so convincing as a scientist on the show, it turns out it’s because she actually is one.

Bialik, in addition to being a ridiculously talented actress, also has a PhD in Neuroscience. Her book, Girling Up is set to be released in March 2017 and will cover her experiences growing up; from periods to body image, to working out your place in the world. Let the countdown begin.

We’re obsessed with this uterus pin

As Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope once said: nothing is as cuterus as your uterus. Let’s wear that fact with pride.

cuteruspin

Cuterus enamel pin, Punky Pins, £6

Ella Purnell hung out with the betty team

We met the hilarious Ella Purnell, bringer of good vibes and star of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. You can watch our interview with her next week, but in the meantime check out the film’s trailer here. And don’t worry, we totally asked about the shoes.

ella purnell

Have a good week, pals.

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. 

It’s not just Harry Potter who wants to make the world a better place (causally defeating the Dark Lord and everything) – his creator JK Rowling does too.

Recently she’s been tweeting a lot about her charity and because we love her, we thought we’d learn some more about it.

You might not know that along with being your imaginary favourite auntie, JK also started a charity in 2004, after she read an article about the harm that orphanages can do to children around the world.

She named it Lumos, after the spell that brings that light. *sob*

lumos2

Here’s the lowdown: across the world, eight million children are living in orphanages and institutions, without the love and care of a family. Most of these children have families that could look after them, but they had to give them up to orphanages because of poverty, disability and a lack of access to basic services, like education and healthcare.

One study also found that young people raised in these environments are 10 times more likely to be involved in prostitution, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to take their own lives.

Lumos works with governments and communities to fix these outdated systems that keep families apart. Here’s an amazing video (narrated by JK herself) explaining why the charity’s mission is so important.

How can I help?

You can buy a copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard. JK gave the books rights to Lumos, so £1.61 of every sale of the Bloomsbury edition is donated straight to Lumos programmes.

Or if you already have that one on your bookshelf, try Very Good Lives, the transcript of the speech JK gave at Harvard. A whopping 90% of the proceeds are going straight to Lumos (and the other 10% is going to financial-aid at Harvard).

JK Rowling tweet

If you want to go one step further, you could organise a school non-uniform day, a bake sale or even a movie night. Lumos has a really helpful section on their website that explains how to go about organising an event as well as loads of other ways to get involved – and help reunite vulnerable children with their families.

After all, it’s like Dumbledore said:

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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.