“Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ll probably have noticed that The X Factor is back. Britain’s guilty pleasure returned to our screens last at Saturday 8pm and we couldn’t be more excited. Here’s why…

Saturday nights in

Now The X Factor has returned, you have THE perfect reason to spend Saturday nights under a duvet, in your pjs, devouring a few too many of your fave snacks. It provides a legitimate excuse for this level of slobbery and we’re thankful for it, so hang up your party dress and say goodbye to your social life, in is the new out.

The show heart-throb

It happens every year. They walk onto the stage, nervous, and introduce themselves to the judges. They go through the usual questions and you and your friends agree “hmm he’s cute”. The music begins and you find yourself thinking, “please be good, please be good”. They open their mouth and bam, they’re graced with the voice of an angel and a smile to match. You’re hooked. Over the next few weeks you fall head over heels for them, following them on every social media, silencing your family every time they’re on the screen and imagining your life together (just me?).

The 6 chair challenge

The X Factor emotional roller coaster reaches its peak during the 6 chair challenge. One minute you’re cheering at the TV when your fave contestant gets a seat and the next you’re heartbroken as it’s snatched off them and they’re sent home blubbing. You swear that’s it, you’re done, you’re not watching anymore. But let’s be honest, we live for the scandal.

The new group drama

It’s getting tense, nearly all the top 12 spaces have been filled but there’s still four great contestants left. You’re hoping and praying for a twist, please let there be a twist. And then the lightbulb moment hits you. You realise this can only mean one thing. They’re creating a new group. You sit back far too proud of yourself tucking into your share bag of Maltesers. Move over Sherlock, I’ve cracked it. How exciting!

Judges houses

The highlight of every series. Firstly, you get to snoop around all the swanky holiday pads which provide the ultimate holiday inspo. And secondly, celebrity guest judges. Am I the only one who loves getting the scoop on which celebs are bffs?

Love-hate hilarious contestants

It’s taken me a year to be okay with it but I think I’m finally ready to admit, I did kind of like watching Honey G. Sure, she wasn’t the best vocalist but there’s no denying she kept the nation entertained and tbh I admired her spirit. Bring on this year’s wonderfully weird contestant. I’m ready for you.

Heart-warming success story

We’re all softies at heart and I know I have deffo found myself sobbing into my takeaway pizza over a heartwarming story once or twice. I just love watching a contestant grow into a star. That’s the aim of the show, after all.

Charity singles

You wake up singing them. You go to bed singing them. They follow you round the supermarket. But secretly you love them. Plus the proceeds go to charity.

Christmas

And you know what, the X Factor = Christmas. When it starts you’re still having your friends over for barbies then suddenly 14 weeks have passed and you’re at the finals and more importantly CHRISTMAS is just around the corner. Bring on the Quality Street tins, the red Starbucks cups and the John Lewis advert. WE. CAN’T. WAIT.

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Sunday evening. Doom. A time of the week so loathed that it even got its own syndrome, the Sunday night blues. That sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach couldn’t be more different from the fizzy excitement of the Friday feeling just 48 hours before.

But I think Sunday evening gets a bum rap. Rather than being a boring passage of time to kill before getting on with Monday, it’s actually flying under the radar as secretly, secretly the best time of the week.

No, hear me out. Here are three reasons why.

1. Homework

Most articles about Sundays advise that you get your homework done on Friday so that you don’t have a pile to face at the end of the weekend. This can be a good idea, sure, but I also think that Sunday night is a brilliant time to do homework. By Friday evening you’re often knackered from a busy week and need a bit of a break. Plus loads of the good stuff happens on Friday night! However dedicated you are to getting good grades, it’s not realistic (or good for your overall wellbeing) to expect yourself to turn down the chance to go out and have fun in order to finish your Geography essay (no disrespect, Geography).

So rather than feeling the pressure to get everything finished at the start of the weekend, see how it feels to open your books when it’s quiet on a Sunday night anyway. Decide in advance what time you’re going to start so that you don’t spend the whole day thinking about it, then stick on a chilled playlist and enjoy working knowing that you’ve already had a great weekend. Hopefully.

2. Comfort TV

You might think I’m deranged for saying this but the best TV is on Sunday evenings. I know that literally no one else in the world agree with me. My best friend claims that the theme tune to The Antiques Roadshow actually triggers the Sunday night blues for her.

But I don’t understand this at all. Regardless of how boring the programme itself may be, you can have loads of fun with it. As well as the classic game where you guess the value of the item, there’s also ‘Sad, smug, surprised’ (copyright: me), in which you have to predict whether the owner will look, well, sad, smug or surprised at the valuation. Get those around you to join in. You never know what you might learn from their rationale; turns out my boyfriend has an irrational dislike of red trousers on men.

And whatever your idea of comfort TV, there’s something to suit scheduled on Sunday evenings. Get all teary at Call the Midwife, indulge fantasies about a former life at Downton-esque period dramas, go all Cluedo watching a crime mystery or be on alert for embarrassing moments in live productions, like when everyone’s slightly creepy uncle Tom Jones dropped the F-bomb during The Voice final or when Bruno swears on Strictly. Bruno is *always* swearing on Strictly.

If you can invent a silly game to accompany your chosen programmes then that makes it even better – in a world that can seem scary and unpredictable, there’s something super comforting about looking out each week for the same element of a television programme. As well as The Antiques Roadshow, I totally recommend Countryfile for this. No seriously. Entertain yourself playing ‘Snog, marry, avoid’ with the presenters, of which there are many and they change each week. If you’re lucky Tomasz Schafernaker, the Dermot O’Leary of weather forecasting, will be the meteorologist #winningatlife.

3. Do what you like

If for some bizarre reason neither homework nor crap – sorry, ‘comfort’ – TV take your fancy then there’s always the Sunday night trump card: free time. You probs don’t often have anything scheduled for this time of the week so it can be totally clear for you to fill with whatever you fancy. There are so many options. Maybe you’d like to visit your gran more, or have a regular slot to Skype your mate who has moved abroad. Perhaps you’re always searching for a few hours to work on a project, such as writing a blog, or you’d like to claw back the chance to read books that aren’t set texts.

However big or small your ambitions, what we often think of as dead time from about 4pm on a Sunday offers a great opportunity – even if all you want to do is lie on the sofa eating cake. Because really, isn’t that what Sunday evenings were made for? I’m off to put the kettle on.

@rae_ritchie_

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Image: Katie Edmunds

Hooray! The week is finally over. It’s been a kinda dreary week but we promise there’s a lot of good news to go around. So now you can get started on all your weekend-y things (aka spending as many hours as humanly possible in your pyjamas) and take a look at all the stuff we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Beyoncé is preggas

Just in case you somehow missed this PSA, Blue Ivy is about to become a big sister. But what could be better than the news that Beyoncé is pregnant? The news that Beyoncé is pregnant with TWINS. Predictably, the internet went into overdrive; a record 8,868 tweets were sent per second and she’s already racked up 7.5 million likes on Instagram.

Congrats Bey and Jay. Every celebrity take note: this is how you announce a pregnancy. And double kudos to her for doing it in such a sensible bra.

JK Rowling is throwing some serious shade on Twitter

We’ve always known that JK Rowling is not a woman to back down from a fight but this week, she reminded of us why she’s one of the most successful authors of all time. With just 140 characters, she completely shut down some haters on Twitter by being sassy af. Trolls beware.

Lucy Hale has a new TV show 

For all the Pretty Little Liars fans who are wondering how they’re going to fill the void in their life once 7B airs, we’re got some good news. Entertainment Weekly announced that Lucy Hale is set to star in a new show called: Life Sentence. Intrigued? So are we. The premise is that Lucy’s character is diagnosed with terminal cancer, so she decides to let loose and really enjoy her remaining days on earth without worrying about the consequences. The twist? Turns out she’s not going to die after all. BOOM.

Hidden Figures is inspiring the kids

The internet’s heart collectively melted when three girls from Milwuakee College Prep decided to dress up this week to go and see Hidden Figures, a film about the black women who worked for NASA during the 60s and have been basically overlooked by history. According to Buzzfeed, 8-year-old Ambrielle Baker-Rogers came up with the idea as part of a school assignment for Black History Month. Girls, we salute both your hair and your commitment levels.

Priceless. #Femthefuture #Hiddenfigures

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There’s another Beauty and the Beast Trailer 

There’s less that two months until the new live action Beauty and the Beast fills our screens. To keep us going, Disney have released a new trailer and OH. MY. GOD, is it giving us all the feels.

John Mayer’s new songs will make you swoon

John Mayer dropped a new EP this week and we have been listening to it on repeat. Our pick for this weekend is aptly titled ‘Love on the Weekend.’ But if you can’t find love, pancakes will do.

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.