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

Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. If there were two characters that summed up the 1990s, it was these golden-haired,high achieving twin California girls of the Sweet Valley High book and television series.

Both the books and the TV show paved the way for high-stakes teen dramas like The OC, Gossip Girl, and even Pretty Little Liars. Besides all of the regular high-school drama, SVH had wealth, intrigue, deception and even murder as plot devices.

Since the demise of the television series after four seasons in 1997, fans of the books and show alike have been hankering for a film adaptation. Rumours swirled several years ago that Juno writer Diablo Cody would take the reins of the movie project, but this ended up stalling and going nowhere, that is until recently.

In July it was announced that Paramount had gotten hold of two brilliant writers to co-write the script for a movie reboot. Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith has writing credits including iconic movies like Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, and underrated gem She’s The Man. The other writer, Harper Dill, works on the hilarious comedy The Mick. With these two comedy queens at the helm, it’s going to be one hell of a film, with the traditional outlandish plot twists the show and books were renowned for.

The Books

The Sweet Valley High book series was the brainchild of New Yorker Francine Pascal, who started out as a soap opera scriptwriter and wrote her first YA novel in 1977. The first Sweet Valley High book was published in 1983, and a whopping 603 books were published in the series until its end in 2003. There were also numerous spinoffs of the original book series, from Sweet Valley University to Sweet Valley Junior High. Much like another iconic YA series, The Babysitters Club, many of the books were actually written by a team of ghostwriters – with Pascal giving them general story directions.

One ghostwriter, Amy Boesky, described the process in a fascinating blog post.

“I liked the discipline of writing SVH, the structure. Francine created the story plots, which arrived in my mailbox in manila envelopes and, when I took them out and studied them, read like long, free-verse poems. Eight or nine pages of single spaced directives that laid out exhilarating and implausible fables of duplicity, innovation, risk, and triumph.

“My task was to turn these into “chapter outlines,” adding my own subplots, mailing them back to my editor, and waiting for his approval. Once I got the green light, I worked with the precision of a Swiss clock.”

With titles like When Love Dies, Kidnapped!, Hostage, and A Deadly Christmas, you get the idea that the Wakefield twins didn’t lead the most low-key of lives. The book covers were pastel coloured, with dramatic painted illustration of one or both of the twins, usually thinking about how much trouble they were in with their boyfriends/parent/the police. Once one of the twins accidentally joined a cult, while another fell in love with a French jewel thief while working as a nanny abroad.

Although much was made about how physically identical the twins were, most of the drama came from the fact that their personalities were polar opposites of each other.

Jessica was the meaner of the two, a prototype for characters like Regina George. She was a partier, captain of the cheerleading squad, and a master of deception and lies. She cheated on tests and boyfriends alike, and sabotaged anyone who got in her way – including her sister Elizabeth. (She even spiked her drink at a cool dance. Slightly extreme). She was also just plain mean. She said this to a poor guy on a date: “Hamburgers are gauche. What I like is called haute cuisine. You guys probably don’t know what that means.”

Elizabeth was the pure and good counterpart to ‘Hurricane Jessica). She was studious, with ambitions to become a professional journalist, and had none of the snobbishness or social climbing ambitions of her wild sister. That’s not to say she was a total angel, cheating on many of her boyfriends. This is Sweet Valley High after all.

The TV Series

The TV series aired from 1994 to 1997, but repeats meant that it was on TV for years after it ended. The Wakefields were played by Brittany and Cynthia Daniel, and if you want to know what they’re up to, they still seem to be living those perfect California girl lives if their shared Instagram is any indication.

The show is by far one of the most dramatic, and even hammy creations ever to grace television but it is so fun to watch. From the iconic theme song to the…interesting dialouge, it’s nothing if not entertaining.

Just look at this clip from the episode, Kidnapped!

THE DRAMA OF IT ALL, I CAN’T KEEP UP.

There’s no word as to whether the Daniel sisters will return to the show, even for a cameo, but it would be great to see. Casting rumours are sure to begin surfacing soon, and with a massive supporting cast of evil rivals, handsome, strong-jawed boyfriends, and cheerleaders to fill, it’s going to be an exciting few months.

The show and book series may have been some of the most ridiculous stories ever told, but for escapism, you really can’t beat Sweet Valley High.

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. 

 

 

In Partnership With Girlguiding

Deflated because you think your summer adventures are over? Well, back to school doesn’t have to be blehhh – not if you plan on becoming a Guide this term (hint: you deffo should).

If you love nothing more than whipping on your waterproof trousers to hike up a mountain or shuffling into a wetsuit to take on the waves, the GGs are your spirit sisters.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of crazy-cool activities you can get your teeth into if you sign up to Girlguiding

Abseiling

Always wanted to star in your own superhero movie? Um, so have we. Abseiling allows you become spiderwoman for the day taking on the great outdoors as you climb, jump and slide down rocky caves and mountains like a pro. With the help of a harness obvs. This adrenaline pumping sport will make you feel invincible. Where do we sign up?

Ice climbing

Yeah, you read it right. Ice-climbing is a thing. Ideal for the braaaavest of betty babes, this activity will have you climbing across frozen waterfalls, cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice. So grab your coolest gang and make a date.

Archery

The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen is one kick-ass gal. And she and her trusty bow and arrow have got us totally inspired to take up archery this autumn. This sport will equip you with the focus and strength of our fave film heroin. What’s not to love?

Horse riding

Move out the way Prince Charming, we’re coming through. It’s time to jump on board your noble steed and gallop of into the sunset. This is by far the funnest way to take in the great outdoors. Plus horses are soooo cute.

Zorbing

It’s not everyday you get to bounce about in a giant hamster ball with all your buds. Bounding down hills or bobbing along your local lake zorbing will be a barrel of laughs for you and your mates.

Surfing

Surely I can’t be the only person who’s always dreamt of being a surfer girl? Effortless beach hair, sunsets, glowing skin. It’s about time we embraced some of Britain’s beaut beaches and got our board on. Cornwall is the new California, guys!

White-water rafting

So picture this: you and your gang taking on the elements. Get your heart racing as you battle some serious rapids that would make even Moana flinch. Surely this is any thrill seeking sister’s perfect Saturday.

Want to get involved? Click here to learn even more about what Girlguiding has to offer.

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. 

The new school year has started! And if you haven’t got a brand new set of pencils, pens, rubbers, protractors and a new pencil case then OMG what have you been doing with the last week of your summer?

Don’t worry (although we are judging you and your stationery shopping skills), because we’ve found 11 crazy-cute pencil cases for you to snap up. Plus, they’re all under £5…

Banana

Thought the banana theme had peaked at the banana inflatable? Think again. This fluffy, fruity little number will brighten up even the longest of lessons with its capacity for laughter, innuendo and pens.

Be Happy

Sure, it’s a tad trite — but god knows, when you’re nose deep in the disintegration of the Weimar Republic, you need all the help you can get in reminding yourself that this hour will end, just as the Weimar Republic ended, and almost certainly not as badly.

Unicorn

Truth

Mi-pac pink glitter

I use this for make up, and I have to say this candy-sweet, shiny number fits the bill far better than old-lady leather cases. It’s wipe clean, easily detectable amidst the murky depths of my school bag, and fits a lot more inside it than you would ever think it could.

Orange juice carton

Despite the most convincing of appearances, this is for stationary only: pens, pencils, a 15cm ruler, rubbers — maybe even a protractor if you’re feeling saucy. It’s certainly big enough, though not hugely accessible, being y’know, a square fruit juice carton*

*does not contain oranges. If you’ve juice coming out of this, you’re doing this all wrong.

Banana milkshake carton

I see your juice carton pencil case, and I raise you… a banana-scented milkshake carton pencil case! Yes, really. It’s the same size as the juice one, and it comes with added smells.

Lobster

They are the seafood of the season — and with good reason, because these guys are delicious, nutritious, AND they hold both pencils and pens. What skills.

Cath Kidston trailing rose

Let’s face it: we do so much on our laptops/ipads/phones these day, we barely need pens or pencils and suchlike. Go slimline with a ‘skinny’ pencil case, and buy an Oreo Cornetto with the extra £3.

Lego

Sure, you can get this in Ryman’s — but on Amazon there is a deal whereby you can get a lego pencil case and novelty Lego erasers so…

Clear and personalised

Not the most exciting on this list, granted. But as the number and frequency of exams in your life increase, your patience with transferring all your pens out of a banana into a clear plastic sack will drop rapidly — and this clear pencil case will have your name on it. Literally.

Field roll

A pencil case for the parents this: practical (the leather tie allows the case to adjust in size), and made of the durable, won’t-stain-easily khaki canvas. Yet there’s a free-spirited camper feel to it that will appeal to you too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

@finney_clare

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. 

If eating counted as a qualification I’m certain I’d have dominated the curve at school. I’d have aced the coursework bit of a GCSE in Custard Consumption and excelled in an exam on Spaghetti Scoffing. So, as you’d expect, dinner time was my favourite part of the school day because 1) it gave me a break from learning about Pythagoras’ Theorem and 2) it was the precious hour where I got to meet my weekday beloved; The School Dinner.

Yes, I might sound as doolally as a sunbathing nudist in Antarctica (because who in their right mind admits to LOVING school dinners?) but let me explain before you think I’m as nuts as a bag of pistachios.

The thing is, I enjoyed school meals (even the concrete chips and soggy semolina) because they were so different to the foods I ate at home. I had spicy things like Biryani and chicken masala at tea time because those were the traditional South Asian foods that my Pakistani mum knew how to cook. Snacks were Bombay mix and sugar cane stalks, desserts were colourful sweets that were so sugary they made my teeth ache and drinks, instead of orange squash, included mango juice and a red syrup diluted with water that tasted like rose petals.

That was my normal and it was all delicious but when September rolled round, after a summer of snacking on pakoras dipped in mint chutney, I was prepped for scoffing chicken pies, downing dumplings with gravy and eating domes of mashed potato that were doled out with an ice cream scoop by Margaret the dinner lady. My mantra? The blander, the better, baby.

My classmates thought I was off my rocker, especially when they saw me relish the cheese and crackers that they described as ‘feet sandwiches’ because the cling film they were wrapped in made the cheese go sweaty. But I’d genuinely never eaten a cream cracker outside of school so I carried on regardless even though their comments made me feel weird. And the cheese tasted goooood.

Because I loved school dinners I hated school trips that required packed lunches – my mum would pack kebab sandwiches in my lunchbox that made the school bus smell like an onion factory. It was worse for my big sis who was once sent on a trip with a thermos full of beef burgers because my mum was trying to help us fit in and she thought burgers were properly British. Today’s me laughs about it fondly and thinks bless her for trying. The old me wished for an invisibility cloak and a mum who put ‘normal’ things in my lunchbox, like chicken mayo sandwiches and bananas.

Being made fun of for liking school meals and simultaneously laughed at for eating smelly packed lunches taught me one thing though; eat what you want. It’s your life, your body and your taste buds – don’t let anyone shame you into changing what you like eating for their benefit. Do your own thing and you’ll soon attract other people who feel the same way as you do, even about the deliciousness of a sweaty slice of cheddar sandwiched between two crackers, because that’s how you find real friends.

In a nutshell? You do you, boo.

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 September and that means one thing: setting the alarm and heading back to school. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with the essentials you’ll need to for the new term ahead, from stationery to snacks.

ERRRYTHING inside…

Joe & Seph’s Salted Caramel Popcorn

Monty Bojangles Truffles

Mini Felts Iron-On Patch

Stabilo Pastel Highlighter

La La Land Unicorn Sticky Notes

Trust Fund Nail Polish

Bubble T Lip Balm

Chirp Body Softness Hair Mask

T Zone Charcoal & Bamboo Nose Pore Strips

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. 

Tassels are easy to make and can be used to customised anything – bags, clothes, belts, hair accessories, your bedroom, the lot. All you need is scissors, some wool, and something to wrap your wool around.

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. 

Do you want to make your own Christmas baubles? If you’re subscribed to bettybox, then you’ll have a Bubble T bauble you can empty out and decorate. If you’re not subscribed, you can get some from Hobbycraft.

We’ve got three bauble designs here for you – The Disco Bauble, The Cool Yule and A Star Is Bauble. We used a hot glue gun, but you can use PVA glue instead. If you’re using a hot glue gun, make sure you get help from a parent or guardian.

A new month means a new bettybox.  We asked bettygirl Lauren to have a look through October 2016’s bettybox and let us know her opinions. Spoiler alert: she’s a big fan of the salted caramel drinking fudge.

This month’s box contains:

Squirrel Sisters Cacao Orange snack bar 

AA Skincare Frankincense & Rose Cleansing Gel

NPW Beauty Junky Shea Butter Mud Mask

Sass & Belle Biscuit Box

Sass & Belle Biscuit Nail File

Maybelline Colour Show Nail Polish

Benecos Natural Kajal Eyeliner

Fudge Kitchen Salted Caramel Drinking Fudge

Ombar Centres Coconut & Vanilla (we used these in our banana pops tutorial!)

Want to get your hands on a bettybox? Watch this space, sign-up is coming soon!

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. 

We love notebooks. You love notebooks. Everyone loves notebooks. Notebooks are like the lipbalms of stationery. You rarely actually finish them but you’re always happy to receive them, and you can never, ever have too many.

Which is why, when we discovered Papier, we let them enter our hearts and empty our wallets.

Papier are a London-based company that have partnered with amazing illustrators and designers to create a collection of notebooks (and, brace yourself, they also have greetings cards) that you can personalise. And the best news of all, their gorgeous notebooks are all £12.99. No exceptions.

Fruity Lady

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Everyone has a Fruity Lady friend in their life. The friend who dances in the supermarket and gets obsessive about fancy dress parties. This is the perfect gift for the Fruity Lady in your life (even if that’s you).

Fruity Lady notebook, Papier, £12.99

Orange triangle

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We are pretty sure that this was designed with the betty team in mind. It’s colourful and fun and the pinks and oranges will remind us what summer looks like, even when we’re in the deepest days of February.

Orange triangle notebook, Papier, £12.99

Bear

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This is a bear holding a sign that says yay. This notebook is appropriate for pretty much any human, on pretty much every occasion. It fulfills the dream notebook trifecta of being adorable, uplifting and having an animal holding a sign.

Bear notebook, Papier, £12.99 

Maureen

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Leaves are officially in, and this print is mighty cool for something named after your auntie. For those of you who are saying, ‘But what about the pineapple?’ don’t panic. There is room for both and Papier have you covered. Thanks, Maureen.

Maureen notebook, Papier, £12.99

 Spring Dahlias

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Spring is a time for joy and baby animals. It’s a time for pretty flowers and new life and pretty blank notebooks. Spring literally could not be further away in the calendar year… but with this notebook, you can carry it in your hand all year round.

Spring dahlias notebook, Papier, £12.99

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/Papier