Christmas Content

You’ve basically memorised the entire script of It’s A Wonderful Life. You know when Queenie does her speech. Half the fun of the hols is doing the same thing year after year, after blooming year. But what if you don't want to watch Mrs Brown's Boys with the in-laws on the big TV? We understand. And we got you.

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Best Baubles

What kind of Christmas decorator are you, are you a traditionalist that only uses red and gold decs, or are you more into, say, hanging sushi and avocado baubles? Whichever team you fall into, can we just all agree that you should probably have a balloon dog on your tree this year?

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The New Neutral (don't @ me)

Cast your mind back to the 90s. Leopard print was not held in high regard. It was a signifier of someone that was brassy, or uncouth, or just a bit of a floozy. You know the type, Dorien in Birds of a Feather, your loud aunt. Fast forward to 2018, and those days are a distant memory and a lil bit of animal print is so every day, it’s basically a neutral. Watch the pattern work from the office to a night out-out.

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Ampersands

This section of the email is rather preposterously called Ampersand. It’s an homage to the & in our name and hey, what can I say? I’ve got a soft spot for the lil linguistic device. I've gone super meta and I'm featuring &s in Ampersand.

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Women, Power, Protest

As you walk into Gas Hall, a huge holographic wall stretches out to the left, brandished with the words Women, Power, Protest. We all know BMAG don’t shy away from sensitive subjects (oh hey Coming Out), neither do they do sensationalism. For this show, they've created a space that's accessible for everyone despite the pretty intense subject matter. But joyously, the overtly glittery, pink, "feminine" aesthetics continue throughout.

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Après Ski

You’ve conquered the dry slope at The Ackers. You’ve mastered the white stuff at Tamworth. It’s time to take your ski skills (ski-lls?) to the next level. These wintery destinations are reachable from Birmingham, and come complete with stylish hotels and obligatory fondue restaurants.

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The Lovely Bones

I was 16 when The Lovely Bones was published, just two years older than the main character, Susie Salmon, who has been murdered and is now trapped in some kind of in-between. The heavy subject matter made waves through my school year, and in particular me and my angsty group of pals, but the story doesn’t seem like the easiest thing to translate to stage. We talked to designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita about the challenges of creating a set showing both the everyday and the afterlife.

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Illustrators

Give your Instagram feed an uplift by following some local female talent. These illustrators’ joyful posts will uplift your scrolling time and at the same time you're supporting independent artists. It's a win win.

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Grown-up soft drinks

If you’re teetotal, just cutting down, or fully throwing yourself into Sober October, going alcohol-free doesn’t have to mean sipping on a flat Pepsi Max from a tap all night. We’ve spoken to cocktail experts for their favourite virgin versions, for you to try at home. Your fanciest drinking receptacle is absolutely necessary, a muddler is optional (but makes you feel the part).

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Barrettes

Our happy place is anything that brings together practicality and prettiness. Hair clips are that new thang. No longer just the preserve of school uniforms and girly-girls, they’re on the catwalks and give a real fashion with-a-capital-F look. We’ve got some decidedly purse-friendly picks.

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Career advice from a life coach

Unless you’ve got a sizeable trust fund to rely on, (in which case, can we be friends?) you probably have to work. We spend more than 13 years of our lives at work, on average. So it's not too much to ask that you actually do something you enjoy. Right? Whether you feel a bit stuck in a rut, or are thinking of a complete career overhaul, it's good to talk it through. We spoke to life coach Dr Lalitaa Suglani from Virgin Care Private, who gave us some very actionable actions to help us, and also you.

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Trainer Edit

Dad trainers, you know the ones, bulbous and a bit ungainly, have been a trend we've resisted for a while. But we've finally found ourselves craving a chunky sneaker. If you’re firmly in the pretty shoes only crew, don't worry, we’ve got some far from fugly ones too.

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