Zoella The Guardian

Zoe Sugg: the vlogger who is encouraging young people to improve literacy skills

If I said to you the name ‘Zoella’, you’ll probably have an idea who she is; whether it’s because you are highly active in the blogging and YouTube community or because you have a child/teenager in your family who is a fan of the 26-year-old Queen of internet and social media. She also gets a lot of tabloids trying to find any imperfection in the online life of the Wiltshire born, which brings us to today’s post; in how Zoella promotes literacy.

I recently read this article, which talks about how Zoella – AKA Zoe Sugg – is “blamed for declining teenage literacy”, to which I do have quite a strong opinion on. Not just as a viewer of Zoella’s YouTube channel, but in defence of the new millennial career via digital media. This isn’t the first time I’ve responded to an article bashing Zoe, but with such idiotic points in this article, I just simply could not bite my tongue.

Guardian writer, Zoe Williams, begins by mentioning that Zoella “has been blamed, along with other pedlars of unchallenging fiction – Jeff Kinney, of Diary of a Wimpy Kid – for declining teen literacy. She shouldn’t take this personally, as it was ghostwritten.”

It seems that Williams hasn’t done enough research here, as it was addressed by both Zoella and her publishers, Penguin, that this is a false claim. Zoe did have help in writing this book, but let’s just take a second to remember that Sugg does not hold any qualifications which indicates she is a professional writer. She did not go to university and did not study creative writing beyond Sixth Form. Does that mean she is incapable of writing a book? Not necessarily, but if she wanted to get her stories published, it would be a wise idea to have some help in ensuring her books’ content are all up to scratch in the grammar and to the standard that a publisher will be looking for. Sugg of course has a hefty following on social media, in particular her YouTube channel of over 11.5 million subscribers, so for her to release a book would drum up quite the interest to her loyal fans, thus promoting reading. It’s not really rocket science, is it? No, she may not be a complete wordsmith and her books may be of an easy reading level, but should we be bashing this? Zoella’s demographic is tweens to young adult and while we all like to think that every teenager is capable of reading a YA novel with these big and wonderful words, we know in reality this is not the case. Zoe’s books are quite easy to read and would therefore have an appeal on her fans who may not be the biggest bookworms.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.
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Celebrity Bargain Buy: Zoella’s Oversized Printed Shirt

Welcome back to ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’, where I’ll be sharing with you some fashion pieces worn by celebrities which are available for an affordable price. Today’s piece is Zoella’s oversized printed shirt that she wore in a recent Instagram snap.

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A post shared by Zoella (@zoella) on

We recently saw Zoella rock the dungarees, so it seems to definitely be a fashion trend the Queen of YouTube is loving this season. This time she’s teamed it with an oversized shirt with a quirky pattern to create quite a playful look which seems to be bringing a more bright and cheery look as we swing into Spring.

Despite being the most talked about internet persona in the UK, Zoella keeps it quite casual and still shops the high street prices, picking this beauty up from Zara for £29.99. It’s a great piece which can be styled in numerous outfits this season.

 

What are your thoughts about Zoella’s oversized printed shirt? How would you style it in an outfit?

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Celebrity Bargain Buy: Zoella #2

Welcome back to ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’, where I’ll be sharing with you some fashion pieces worn by celebrities which are available for an affordable price.

Today’s piece is a pair of embroidered dungarees worn by Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella in a recent Twitter picture.

I think this is a gorgeous pair of dungarees which are perfect for the upcoming spring season. Embroidery is really popular right now and it’s such a gorgeous look to be sporting as the weather slowly gets a bit brighter. You can get these from ASOS for £52!

What do you think of Ariana’s dungarees? How would you style them? Are you loving the embroidery trend right now?

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Celebrity Bargain Buy: Zoella

celeb-bargain-buy-zoella

 

Welcome back to ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’, where I’ll be sharing with you some fashion pieces worn by celebrities which are available for an affordable price.

buy zoella coat

Today is Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella’s oversized pea coat she wore when she went pumpkin picking and posted on her blog.

 

buy zoella coat

I am absolutely loving this coat and it’s perfect for this time of year. It can honestly be teamed with just about any outfit and the oversize makes it ideal for you to be able to wear layers underneath such as a big jumper to keep you warm in the winter months. You can get it from ASOS for £85 which is a little pricey but with it being able to work with any outfit you own, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth out of it.

Love this coat? Comment your thoughts below and be sure to check back soon for more ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

New vlog: Birthday in Brighton

I recently shared with you a post about my birthday weekend. I’ve since uploaded the vlog so you can see everything that went on.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Birthday in Brighton

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Well, it’s finally happened – I turned 21. Not sure how, though, since I still feel 12. But you know, that’s how science and stuff works.

To celebrate the milestone birthday, I went to the sunny seaside town of Brighton with my mother and gran before meeting with some friends who lived close by. One in particular, Emi, is an internet friend of mine who originally lives in Arizona, United States. She’s currently in Brighton for a few months on an international study course. We have known each other for almost four years and when she told me she was going to be there studying for a few months and recommended I came to visit, it made perfect sense to take the celebrations of my birth to the ever popular tourist town. I also have a few friends in England who write for the same website as me, so to meet up with Lizzy, Hannah and Verity and invite them along to party with us was a wise idea.

After the hell of a journey from South Wales to Brighton and a deadly walk to our hotel (we underestimated the distance. A lot.) we arrived at the Holiday Inn, our home for the next 48 hours. Earlier in the week, we called to try and get a twin room rather than a double as my mother has recently had an injury which involves the use of crutches for a short period of time and needs the space. She mentioned it was my big birthday and the upgraded us complimentary to an executive room, which was a present in itself. It meant that I was blessed with a king sized bed for the weekend and my mother and gran had a fairly decent sized place to slumber themselves.

View from the balcony
View from the balcony

Shortly after check in and dumping our stuff, Emi arrived outside the hotel and I headed downstairs to meet her. We squealed like two little school girls and ran to embrace one another, with other guests laughing and smiling as it was clear we hadn’t seen each other for a while if not at all. To finally meet someone I grew up speaking to online was such a blessing and I can confirm she’s just as an amazing person in person as she is online. Sorry Nev, no Catfish to reel in here!

Moments after we met!
Moments after we met!

Following the meet with Emi, we all headed in a taxi to Churchill Square where we met Lizzy and Hannah before venturing around some shops. Churchill Square shopping center is much more lavish in comparison to St David’s in Cardiff, though for size it’s nowhere near as big. Still, I always enjoy exploring new places when it comes to retail therapy. Shopping done and we hopped into another taxi and finally made it to the place I had been anticipating for months – Brighton Pier.

British cuisine at its finest
British cuisine at its finest

The pier is honestly so pretty and full of the fun fair lifestyle you see in the movies; from different kiosks to attractions, shops and of course, the rides. We headed to Palmers Court for the classic British delicacy of fish and chips. Being from America and only arriving here two weeks ago, Emi had yet to try this well-known meal and so I had to film her reaction for both my vlog and a video to put on Facebook. Needless to say, she very much enjoyed it, even if the fish was too big to finish. I just stuck with a tray of chips, being vegetarian and totally oblivious to the fact that there were onion rings. Had I been aware, I definitely could have demolished some since the long journey had definitely got me feeling hungry.

Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience
Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience

The sky’s gradient became darker as Emi and I wandered the pier and watched all the rides, making notes of the ones we wanted to check out the next day. There were a variety to choose from – ones that spun you around and around, turned you upside down, threw you from side to side and even did a loop-de-loop; we were fascinated by them all and were eager to get a wristband for unlimited access to them all. Before we knew it, day one was done and we said our goodbyes but not before pre-arranging plans for the next day.

The following morning I was awoken from my slumber by my mother who greeted me with a ‘Happy Birthday’ in a sing-song voice, before piling up my cards and presents on the king sized bed I had slept in for the past eight hours, which by the way was such a good night’s sleep. I opened my presents and was thrilled with everything I had; from makeup to jewellery, books and even American chocolate – I was definitely thankful for everything. My gran then woke up and greeted me on my special day before I proceeded to open the presents she had bought me. We then headed downstairs for breakfast to gain fuel for our day ahead of us.

I wasn't very photogenic at that time of day...
I wasn’t very photogenic at that time of day…

Filled up on breakfast, we flagged down another taxi and headed back to Churchill Square where we met Emi and trekked to The Lanes, where we visited the ice cream parlour, Boho Gelatos – a place where British YouTube couple, Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes had recommended to their viewers – and tried some homemade ice cream. Honestly, it was the best ice cream I had ever tasted. The flavours were so pungent and didn’t taste artificial in the slightest. I highly recommend visiting there if you’re ever in Brighton.

Boho Gellato - home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)
Boho Gelato – home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)

Ice cream devoured and we found ourselves at Choccywoccydoodah – the famous chocolate shop in Brighton who then ventured out to London. If you aren’t aware of this place, it’s so well known for its chocolate art that it has its own TV show. They cater for the stars, politicians – you name it, they’ve probably served them. It was here my mother had ordered my birthday cake as we are both fans of the show, so it was pretty exciting to be able to go there. Of course, we had to have a nosey around and though it’s an incredible place, it’s a very small store with many tourists waiting to visit, so it was a very tight squeeze. For someone who doesn’t like small places, it was slightly scary but the fantastic edible art distracted me from the small defined space.

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The highly popular chocolatiers
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One of the many amazing cakes
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Literal edible art

Souvenirs bought and cake picked up, it was time for yet another taxi journey, this time heading to Talk of Tea where we would be devouring sandwiches, drinking cups of tea and celebrating with cake. It was at this point that Hannah and Verity joined us for the afternoon tea and everyone became acquainted with one another, before the big (and embarrassing) moment where a candle was lit and ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung to me. It was an awkward 20 seconds for me before making a wish and blowing out the candle, but it was soon over.

This photo literally does not do the cake justice
This photo literally does not do the cake justice

After the tea, my friends and I decided to head back to the pier where we went on rides. I was intrigued to try the haunted house ride and though not great with jump scares, Emi was a trooper and accompanied on the ride. Our screams could be heard from inside of the ride – hers full of fear and mine full of amusement. It got to the point where I found it so funny that I was in silence laughing and almost incapable of breathing. The kind of laugh that makes your sides feel they’re about to split. We all decided to take a turn on the bumper cars and that’s where we found out why Emi has her license and I do not. I absolutely suck at driving dodgem cars, so I dread to think what I’d be like at the real thing!

 

 

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With Verity, Hannah and Emi

 

The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing
The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing

From time on the rides to time in the arcades, we did a bit of everything that tourists do before saying our goodbyes to Hannah and Verity who needed to get home. Emi and I walked back to the hotel to meet once again with my family before heading to the i360 – a brand new attraction known as a vertical cable car, taking you over 450 feet into the air and giving you an incredible 360 view of Brighton. After a short period of waiting, we headed into the viewing deck along with many other visitors and were hoisted up into the air and above all buildings. The views were magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful. There was a bar on board and Emi and I decided to treat ourselves to a (very expensive) glass of champagne, only to find out it was a taste to my disliking. Oh well, you’re only 21 once, right?

The i360 - it's taller than you'd think
The i360 – it’s taller than you’d think

 

Brighton from above
Brighton from above

 

Cheers!
Cheers!

Following our time on the i360, Emi and I quickly caught a bus back to her place for her to give me the present she had bought me (a fall scented candle from Bath and Body Works in America) which she had previously forgot to bring with her, then headed back to the hotel for a meal in the hotel’s restaurant – Stock Burger – which was delicious. By the time we had finished eating, the night was getting old and knowing we didn’t have much time left together, Emi and I headed back to my room where we sat out on the balcony and did what we do best – talked. Having known each other for four years, we’d definitely been through a lot together, even though our friendship being solely based on our online presence. We talked about the past, the present and things we plan to do in the future. It was so nice to be able to have some time with her and do what we normally do but face to face, rather than behind a keyboard and a million miles between us.

A heart to heart on the balcony
A heart to heart on the balcony

The day was done and we said our goodbyes, giving each other a big hug and promising to meet up again soon, with Emi agreeing to visit Wales before heading back to Arizona at the end of the year.

And just like that, my time in Brighton had come to an end. I tucked myself into the king sized bed and listened to music before falling asleep, trying my best to get as much shut-eye possible before the long and tiring journey that followed the next day.
This was without a doubt the best birthday ever and an amazing way to kick off my time as a 21-year-old. I’d like to thank everyone who spent the weekend with me and everyone who sent me well wishes – it was the best time and a weekend away I had needed for so long. Here’s to 21!

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Vlog: Little Mix Get Weird Tour @ Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

little mix blog post

Hi guys!

Sunday saw me head to Cardiff to see Little Mix live in concert for the first night of their brand new tour, ‘Get Weird Tour’. This was my first concert of the year and I decided to take you along with me and vlog the day. The entire show was phenomenal and such an amazing production and performance which I definitely think was worth every penny.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

My first YouTube video on my new channel!

first youtube video

Hey, hi, hello!

If you follow me on my social media, you may be aware that I have decided to take up vlogging on YouTube. Today I uploaded my first video!

It’s nothing too special, but earlier today I took my two dogs up the Rhigos mountain where I live and decided to test my camera out and editing skills on iMovie. This is the finished result…

I hope you like it! Please like, comment and subscribe as there will be much more where that came from this year, starting later this month!

If you have a channel, feel free to comment the name below and I’ll subscribe!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Review: BINGE by Tyler Oakley

binge review

Title: Binge
Author: Tyler Oakley
Genre: Autobiography

The first thing I’d like to point out is the name, ‘Binge’, is beyond apt for this book. Why? Because I stayed up until 6am to finish the book. That never happens unless it’s a book I highly enjoy. So, spoiler alert, I liked the book and this indeed is a positive review!

After my meeting with Tyler on Monday, I headed straight home from the signing, changed into my pyjamas (because it’s important to be feeling comfortable when reading. It’s an unwritten rule. Or for me, at least) and headed up into my room in which I settled down to indulge in the story of Tyler Oakley (or is he? You’ll learn his birth name in the beginning and I wasn’t even expecting it.)

Binge is a numerous amount of essays compiled by its author about many highlighted moments in his life in which he felt was something necessary to share with his fans (or as he calls them, his people) and each chapter was definitely something I could either relate to personally or knew someone else who would be able to. From being a member of the LGBTQ+ community to first loves and experiences in his life in education, everything Tyler discusses is something that someone, somewhere will be able to connect with. Instead of your typical life story from beginning to now, Tyler talks about issues and experiences that it is greatly known that young people are dealing with right at this very moment. To me, that was the importance of this book – knowing that whatever it is you have or are experiencing, you are not alone. Even those you idolise have had a walk of life which you may be able to find similarities in and if not, it can make you more aware for those who can. For example, being a heterosexual, though hearing stories on the news and through social media, I am never able to say I have experienced homophobia or coming out. Thanks to this book, written by someone I admire, it momentarily put me in the author’s shoes and I could feel just a slight bit of emotion that he may have felt himself and it gave me a better understanding (though, of course, I will never fully understand as previously stated, it’s not something I will experience) for those I care about that have lived through a similar situation.

The book isn’t solely based on deep issues and experiences, though, and has a lot of light hearted chapters such as “Beyonce for a Day” and “What Michelle Obama Smells Like” which were fun to read as Oakley’s personality definitely shone through.

Would I recommend this book to a person who is not a fan of Tyler? Maybe. If you’re interested in getting to know the YouTube personality, then by all means, read it. But if you’re just looking for something to read, you may not be able to appreciate the book as a whole written by someone you’re not fully aware about. Which, personally, is my view with a lot of autobiographies.

I laughed, I cried and, most importantly, I learned. The book was full of great lessons and shared experiences by Tyler and is ideal for any of his fans. I’d definitely say it’s inspiring and is an advocate for young people growing up to say “hey, I’ve been there. And it will get better,” regardless of the situation.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book and really hope Tyler will release another book sometime in the future.

Have you read Binge? Got any books to recommend? Leave a comment below!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

I met (YouTube) royalty! – Tyler Oakley's book tour

i met youtube royalty

Tyler Oakley is a pop culture phenomenon, YouTube celebrity and social rights activist with over 7.69 million YouTube subscribers, and 458 million views as of August 2015. Oakley recently released his debut book, ‘Binge’, before indulging on a 21 city book tour across America and the UK. Surprisingly, one of those cities included Cardiff, the capital city of my little country of residence, Wales. And guess who had a ticket to meet the man himself?

Tyler Oakley binge

The ticket was a birthday present from my beloved older cousin and something I had been highly anticipating for the past two months. Finally, Monday 2nd November had graced us with its presence and I could hardly wait.

Tyler and his book publishers are working with Maximum Pop! at the moment and so this was a perfect opportunity for me to tweet out via the Twitter about the signing. On the way to the venue with my friend, Ellen, and her mother, Tyler tweeted about his arrival in Cardiff, which I took as an excellent opportunity to tweet from the MP account announcing that we were on our way. Moments later, my friend, Alysha, texted me frantically “DID TYLER JUST TWEET YOU?”  

I don’t have the notifications from the MP account’s mentions on my phone because quite frankly there are way too many and I’m not usually one of the people to run the account. I checked the account to see our interactions exploding with more mentions than usual. That’s when I saw the followng:

Um, excuse me? Did he just call me Queen? Me?! I may have fangirled. Just a little bit. Or a lotta bit. But I tried to keep it internal.

After a quick two hours of queuing and what seemed like a conga line around a maze, we were minutes away from meeting Tyler.  We were in the first barrier and around about number 70 in the queue, so our wait time was pretty minimal. I had previously picked up a Welsh chocoloate lollipop which had the word “cwtch” (meaning hug in Welsh) iced on the front and a Welsh celtic bracelet with a dragon on it, with one for myself to match, to give to Tyler. The security put the presents in the box which would be given to Tyler at the end of the signing and I stood behind Ellen and her mother, who were next in line.

Tyler

Ellen was bewildered with excitement and asked Tyler for a “cwtch” before explaining what it meant.  He gladly obliged before taking a selfie with her. After meeting her mother, it was finally my turn. My heart was pounding.

“Hey!”
“Hey cutie!”
“Thanks for calling me queen, I’m from maximum pop!”
“Oh hey queen!”
“Can I get a cwtch?”
“Sure!”
“Thanks!”
“No problem! Thank you for coming, I’ll talk to you online in like a minute!”

Tyler Oakley and I

Tyler took multiple photos on my phone but the one above is the best. After quick encounter, I left the store with Ellen, full of excitement after our meeting with the YouTube personality who despite becoming a household name is still rather humble. What a day.

I really enjoyed meeting Tyler and I’m about halfway through reading his book, which I have every intention of reviewing on my blog very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.