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- 09/04/18--03:49: _Dog pictures domina...
- 09/04/18--04:00: _No one tells you ab...
- 09/04/18--04:00: _Looking for more th...
- 09/04/18--04:47: _ASOS confuses peopl...
- 09/04/18--05:28: _Primark releases Gu...
- 09/04/18--05:36: _Mum-of-two opens up...
- 09/04/18--06:00: _Giving my son a kid...
- 09/04/18--06:12: _Fashion Nova releas...
- 09/04/18--07:02: _Welcome to the cara...
- 09/04/18--07:21: _Fall head over heel...
- 09/04/18--07:29: _Popular high street...
- 09/04/18--08:13: _Dominatrix explains...
- 09/04/18--08:30: _I’ve refused to wea...
- 09/04/18--10:10: _Together forever? M...
- 09/04/18--10:39: _The internet was co...
- 09/04/18--10:51: _Parents of daughter...
- 09/04/18--15:27: _Winter is coming! T...
- 09/04/18--22:20: _Swan left with horr...
- 09/05/18--00:22: _Children born throu...
- 09/05/18--01:06: _The best back to sc...
- Animals / Pets
- #Love – the most used # on Instagram.
- Landscape –
- #Nofilter– the second most used # on Instagram
- 09/04/18--04:00: No one tells you about the true financial cost of cancer
- 09/04/18--04:47: ASOS confuses people with its latest denim waistband release
- 09/04/18--07:02: Welcome to the caravan of the future
- 09/04/18--07:21: Fall head over heels in love with this adorable, sleepy arctic fox
- 09/04/18--15:27: Winter is coming! The five steps to making your home cosy
- 09/04/18--22:20: Swan left with horrific injuries after mistaking the A47 for a river
- 09/05/18--00:22: Children born through IVF ‘more likely to have high blood pressure’
To be a big hit on Instagram you need to master quality pictures in three categories: travels, food, and probably the most important – pets.
Whether you’re a cat or dog person, your followers are probably partial to a pic or two of your fluffy companion.
In fact, the Photobox Instagram Photography Awards has proved just how much everyone loves a little dog snap as people poured in their submissions for the inaugural award, and an overwhelming number of them were of their best friend.
And the prize is £5,000 for overall winner or £500 if you win in your category.
The Photobox Instagram Photography Awards (Pipas) is in its infancy and is a celebration of the best photos posted to Instagram.
In less than three weeks, 180,000 entries flew in, making it the largest of its kind on Instagram.
Because we like to spread joy and goodness, we have the top 25 images submitted, as picked by judges.
The camera-loving doggos range from Nelson, a Bernese mountain dog peeping over a fence to Julius, a Yorkshire terrier out enjoying a walk, a Jack Russell diving into a patch of heather and an angelic sausage dog.
Popular Instagram award submissions
Food, style, and landscape images were also pretty popular in the contest. But dogs pipped cats to the post, which is not too shocking considering that #dogsofinstagram has 113,000,000 posts and #catsofinstagram has 88,000,000.
‘Social media’s fondness for a dog photo has been demonstrated once again with the entries we’ve received to date,’ said Rory Scott of Photobox, chair of PIPAS 2018 judges.
‘While we have a category for animal photos, along with nine others as diverse as fashion, the natural world and travel, we could have run an award for the best dog photos on their own such is the quality of some of the shots we’ve seen.’
The award is now closed for entries. The category shortlist will be announced on 7 September, with the overall winners announced at an awards ceremony in London on 3 October.
Please enjoy these glorious dogs:
Photobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogsPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogsfaimabakar1Photobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: elo_pbrt/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: maverickdappledachshund/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: photographie/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: constance.michaely/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: alicelongmire/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: hazelofthedean/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: kiemag/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: cricri2007/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: julienvi95/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: yo_ashera_prod/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: julesgpt/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: suzie230slk/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: manon.blossier/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: spannarama77/PIPAPhotobox Instagram Photography Awards for dogs Credit: lola_cute_dog05/PIPA
The financial cost of cancer is not something you would ever even consider unless you have to face it yourself.
I never would have imagined that as well as dealing with our worst nightmare in seeing our little girl so ill, our finances would be hit so hard or that my husband would end up sleeping in the car at the hospital car park.
We went from being a family with two wages coming in, to a family relying on help from charities like CLIC Sargent and our parents to pay for the bare essentials.
Our whole world was turned upside down on 27 February 2014, the day the doctor told us, ‘We believe your daughter has leukaemia’. Those words are imprinted on my brain. Gabrielle was just three years old.
It’s a date that I’ll never forget. We’d been back and forth to the GP and hospital several times before that, but that day she woke up like a rag doll, unable to move or even speak – I took her straight to A&E.
As the doctor talked to me, I zoned out. So many questions buzzed through my head but the only question I managed to say aloud was: ‘How long will she have treatment for?’ Two years, I was told. Two years of daily chemotherapy.
Those first few days were some of the most difficult I’ve ever had to endure. Mark, my husband, and I just had to sit and watch it all. Endless treatments, bone marrow samples taken, lumbar punctures, blood tests, a port-a-cath fitted – that’s all before the chemo even started.
The journey from our home in West Cumbria to Newcastle meant a 180-mile round trip every time, costing around £25 in petrol. I’ve lost count of the amount of times we did that journey.
CLIC Sargent’s research, released for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, estimates that families spend an average of £180 a month just on petrol costs, with very little Government support – I think we must have spent even more.
That’s why I’ve signed their petition calling for the government to set up a young cancer patient travel fund.
To begin with it was twice a week for chemo, then she was in for days at a time, and then there were the constant check ups and blood tests. On top of that were the emergency trips when Gabrielle suddenly got a temperature – once we drove the two hours home, only to get home and her temperature spiked, we had to turn the car right back around.
By the time we got to Gabrielle’s hardest phase for treatment we were at our wits’ end.
We ended up staying over there in a caravan in South Shields as it was cheaper than travelling back and forth every day.
We had less money coming in – I had to take unpaid leave after the first three months so Mark had to return to work after the first month as we needed the money and could not afford for him to lose his job.
Our savings had gone. We were relying on our parents to pay for fuel, food and new clothes for the kids. It was then that the nurses trained me how to give chemo at home. That was a nerve-wracking experience – I hated it. But it was to save us going back and forth, so I really had no choice.
For the times Gabrielle had to stay in hospital, I was allowed to stay on the ward with her, but Mark wasn’t. Sometimes he was lucky and managed to get a room at Crawford House (run by the Sick Children’s Trust). Sometimes they didn’t have a room available and he slept in the car in the hospital car park. We didn’t have the extra money for a hotel.
The final phase of treatment meant 18 months of daily oral chemo given at home, with twice monthly check-ups at Newcastle.
This made a massive difference to us. Gabrielle managed to get to school and I managed to get back to work and we had a bit of normality again. Gabrielle finished her chemo in March 2016 and now we are down to just twice a year check-ups.
Throughout it all, asking for help was the hardest. Mark and I work hard for everything we have and to then have to ask and rely on other people for help has been a difficult experience. There should be more support from the government for families like ours.
Having a child with cancer is utterly heartbreaking, but the financial strain is something that can, and should, be taken away. Luckily, we’ve made it through, but there are thousands more families out there in desperate need.
This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, is calling for the Government to set up an annual Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund to help families with the cost of getting to hospital and back. Sign CLIC Sargent’s petition here: www.clicsargent.org.uk/ccam
‘You’re the best sailor I’ve ever taught,’ said my instructor.
Frankly, I found this hard to believe.
During the course of our outing on an overcast Antiguan day in English Harbour, I managed to crash our two-man Laser dinghy into another rookie, bump into a buoy and quite spectacularly almost capsized us by flipping the boat on its side – a perfect 90 degree angle to the water.
I was out in the Caribbean learning to sail with Ryan Tonge of Antigua’s National Sailing Academy – a teenage athlete straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue.
During our morning lesson, we covered trimming the sails (how to adjust them to the wind), how to turn, and lots of slightly confusing terminology (a rope isn’t a rope, it’s a sheet or a line).
I managed not to hit myself in the face with the boom or fall out, but that’s about it – our aforementioned 90 degree situation was only improved by Ryan dramatically flinging his entire body on the top side of the boat, legs dangling down, nonchalant expression still on his face when we’re back to rights.
Later, at lunch, we met the Academy’s owner, Elizabeth Jordan, her husband Peter Smith and their dogs Muffet and Trouble.
They are serious #couplegoals.
Elizabeth was the commodore of Antigua’s yacht club before deciding to set up the Academy for local kids, teaching them to swim and sail for free.
Mornings are usually dedicated to sailing lessons for disabled people, and in the afternoon, school children are dropped off after class.
Celebrity backers of the Academy include locals like Timothy Dalton and the band The Who – it needs its sponsors as it runs off donations.
Lessons like the one I had also help keep the Academy afloat, costing £77 for an informal course of three.
You can also take RYA certified courses – £193 for dinghy and £270 for keelboat.
In terms of her aims for the Academy and the children who attend, Elizabeth said: ‘My vision is threefold – recreational sailing, and if you’re competitive, then racing.
‘To me the most important part of my job is employment.
‘It’s a great potential employment opportunity for them. There is employment to be had on super yachts and as qualified instructors.’
As for her husband Peter, he started sailing in England aged 14, built his own boats, sailed out to the Caribbean aged 26, rowed across the Atlantic, picked up a world record and didn’t get married til he was 69.
‘I’ve lived on boats all my life. It’s only when I met Elizabeth that I came ashore,’ he said, which may be the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.
It’s nice to meet such experts and to know my messing about in boats helps to support the community – who knows which kid could be the next Olympic gold medallist?
Although there are clearly no medals on the horizon for me, I had a whale of a time.
‘You’re the best sailor I’ve ever taught,’ said Ryan.
‘And how many others have you taught exactly?’ I asked.
‘A few,’ he replied. ‘Mostly nine-year-olds.’
Other fun stuff to do in Antigua
For more ship-shape larks on bigger boats, try On Deck Sailing.
I had a go at the helm of a Beneteau yacht, again with Ryan and teacher/captain Sadique Nathaniel, who did all the hard work while I basically just turned a wheel.
Half a day’s yacht charter costs £347, while a two-and-a-half hour trip costs £85.
You can also take a RYA Competent Crew course, sleeping onboard for four nights and receiving breakfast and lunch, for £730.
If you still haven’t had enough sea-faring, I highly recommend a kayaking and snorkelling tour with South Coast Horizens, which lets you paddle through the mangroves and see a side different to the usual (admittedly gorgeous) beaches and palms.
Tours cost from about £15 each.
Where to stay in Antigua and how to get there:
I stayed at Sugar Ridge Resort, South Point Antigua and Blue Waters Resort & Spa.
Sugar Ridge was a friendly and stylish boutique hotel with beautiful pools and plenty to keep guests busy, including attractive nightlife.
During my stay there, I attended a lovely night called Bliss, which included live music, poetry readings and freshly-cooked local dishes high up in the hills.
Rooms at Sugar Ridge Resort cost from £116 per night.
South Point Antigua was the epitome of modern luxury, with spacious suites in muted tones, enormous bathrooms and expensive sheets.
The accommodation included pretty verandas and large kitchens – very handy if, like me, you get a bit over-excited about buying exotic fruit abroad.
The restaurant food was as simple, elegant and excellent as the suites, with perfectly cooked eggs Benedict for breakfast and fresh fish for dinner, not to mention gorgeous views of Falmouth Harbour.
Suites at South Point Antigua cost from £245 per night (£1,321 per week).
Blue Waters Resort & Spa was a more traditional resort hotel, with a more American feel to the rooms and general decor.
An extremely popular option, the hotel offers a range of restaurants and many inviting pools.
Boasting a team of friendly staff in general, the highlight of my stay here was a visit to the hotel spa with its kind and chatty technicians.
Rooms at Blue Waters Resort & Spa cost from £317 per night, while a Cove Suite costs from £569 per night.
I flew with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Antigua. You can fly there direct – it takes just over eight-and-a-half hours. Flights start from £439.56 return.
Antigua is also a travel hub, so if you’re interested in exploring more of the Caribbean, you can easily get connecting flights to smaller islands from there.
Where to stay in London before you fly
I stayed at Z Victoria, a smart, compact hotel with some thoughtful touches.
There was a free cheese and wine buffet, which should definitely be a thing at more hotels.
It was less than 10-minutes’ walk from Victoria Station with the Gatwick Express, and Victoria bus station with its Gatwick services, making it a great option for those catching an early flight.
Rooms at Z Victoria cost from £79 per night.
(Top picture: Getty)
Nelson's Dockyard seen from Shirley Heights, Antigua, Leeward IslandsNelson's Dockyard seen from Shirley Heights, Antigua, Leeward IslandsyvettemcasterYachts moored in English Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua, Leeward Islands, West Indies, Caribbean, Central America
Sick of buying jeans that come with no belt loops? Well, don’t worry because ASOS has got your back.
For some unknown reason, the brand has just started selling denim waistbands – which are essentially just the waist cut off from another pair of jeans.
The waistband is described by ASOS as ‘your outfit’s plus one’.
It features a button fastening, a raw hem and is supposed to give you an ‘unfinished finish’.
The £18 waistbands (yes, £18 for something you could’ve made yourself from an old pair of jeans you no longer want) are limited edition.
ASOS says if you want to buy one, it’s ‘now or never’.
The model on the website pairs her denim waistband with orange trousers – but we’d suggest blending it in with a similar denim if you don’t want it to stand out too much (though it looks to be pretty impossible to blend in).
Since the waistbands were released, people have been taking to Twitter to voice their amusement.
They just don’t get it:
If you fancy buying yourself a denim waistband, you can do so here.
But if you can’t fathom spending £18 on a piece of leftover jeans, maybe you should start thinking about buying jeans with belt loops in future.
Asos denim waistbandAsos denim waistbandhattiegladwellmetroAsos denim waistband AsosAsos denim waistbandAsos
Primark has released a bag that many say takes all its inspiration from a Gucci bag.
The budget fashion retailer took to its Instagram to debut three new purses: red rectangular, large mustard and black.
While most people are loving the mustard (one of the key colours for Autumn), the red one and Gucci’s GG Marmont Camera mini quilted leather shoulder bag have a lot of similarities.
The Gucci bag is made using red leather, features a zip fastening along the top and comes with a dust bag.
It also features the signature logo in gold on the front.
The product description reads: ‘Crafted from supple leather, this mini red version is softly quilted in a chevron pattern and sized to stow just the essentials.
‘The long chain strap is perfect for draping it cross-body.’
And the Primark version has looked to mimic many of these features too – the colour, the quilted material, the gold chain and even the gold embellishment on the front.
Because Primark is Primark, its website doesn’t reveal any of the materials though we would be amazed if they were in any way similar to the Gucci bag.
Gucci’s version costs £760 and comes in black and porcelain rose as well. Primark’s version starts at just £6.
There’s a £754 price difference but you of course won’t get the quality.
But if you don’t happen to have over £700 to drop on a bag, Primark is offering you a substitute.
Gucci/Primark dupeGucci/Primark dupehattiegladwellmetroGucci/Primark dupe GucciGucci/Primark dupe Gucci
Leah Phillips 29, gave up her job as a teacher to pursue the art and science of using placentas to create things.
The mum-of-two from Northamptonshire first became interested after she made powder out of the placenta delivered when she gave birth to her eldest son.
She has done all the necessary training now to become a specialist in the subject and has her own business.
Through the Placenta Tree, you can buy a placenta smoothie, face cream, balm and pills.
Like celebs who’ve also memorialised their placentas such as Kim Kardashian, Coleen Rooney and Rochelle Humes, Leah wanted to preserve it.
After taking pills made from her own afterbirth organ, Leah wanted to learn more.
‘I saw so many benefits,’ she said.
‘I felt really well and my milk came in quickly (with the placenta pills). With my second child, I had a retained placenta – where it does not fall away after childbirth and requires medical intervention.
‘Sometimes it’s still possible to encapsulate it but because we were rushed to theatre, we weren’t able to get it cooled down quick enough.
‘I didn’t bounce back as quickly after my second birth, partly, I think, because I didn’t get to use my placenta.
‘It’s a really interesting business to be in. it’s become more popular in recent years, but there needs to be more awareness about what you can do with it.’
Leah works with mums recruited through social media and word of mouth usually booking them in before they give birth.
She provides a ‘cooling kit,’ consisting of an airtight box, resealable bag, and labels, to allow new parents to keep the placenta chilled when the baby arrives.
On the day of the birth or shortly after, she collects the organ to ensure it’s as fresh as possible.
Customers get a special keepsake which is usually a print of the placenta and a dried umbilical cord turned into a heart shape.
Are there health benefits of eating placenta?
The Royal College of Midwives says ultimately it is the woman’s choice but there is no evidence to support claims that it’s beneficial.
They said there isn’t evidence to prove that eating the placenta either raw, cooked or encapsulated offers protection against postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, helps with lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding or replenishes iron in the body.
As such, there is also little evidence that it carries any risks.
‘If a new mum wants a smoothie, I take some strips of the placenta and blend it with fruit of their choice. Some want an essence or tincture, which is a bit like rescue remedy made from placenta. For that, I need to soak it in water or vodka and pour that into a little bottle. It can be added to water to get the benefits.
‘Things like balms and cream are also becoming more popular,’ she said. ‘Putting them on your skin can really make it glow and it can be used on mum and baby.
‘The nutrients help to repair the skin and leave it feeling soft.’
‘I know that some people are skeptical about the benefits of using your placenta, but it’s a rich source of Iron, cortisone, oxytocin vitamins E and B6 and stem cells.’
‘I have lots of customers who tell me that placenta products have really helped them to deal with the baby blues, with getting their milk in and just generally with getting back to normal quickly.’
Through the Placenta Tree, Leah charges £140 for encapsulation, £25 for a smoothie, £35 for an essence or tincture and the cream or balms cost £30.
Mum-of-two gives up teaching to turn placentas into smoothies and even face creamMum-of-two gives up teaching to turn placentas into smoothies and even face creamfaimabakar1Placenta products made by Leah (Collect/PA Real Life)Leah working with the placenta (Collect/PA Real Life)Placenta tincture and essence (Collect/PA Real Life)The ground placenta being made into pills (Collect/PA Real Life)
14 years ago, our lives changed. We had a three-year-old son at home and were preparing to have our second child.
Everything was going well and we were due for our 15 week scan, so excited to see the latest addition to our expanding family. That was the last time I remember our lives being ‘normal’.
We were told that we were going to have a little boy but that he was very ill with a condition called Posterior Urethral Valves, an obstructive anomaly that stopped urine from escaping.
The doctors told us our son only had a 30% chance of survival and that if he was born his kidneys would be almost irreparably damaged.
Ben was born at the start of February 2005. It was immediately suspected that he would need dialysis, and certain that he would need an operation to unblock the obstruction in his bladder. This was the beginning of our education on what it means to have a child with damaged organs.
Kidney failure is not just hard on the patient but on the whole family. The disease doesn’t just affect the kidneys as we once believed – it also impacts on growth, appetite, bladder control and energy levels.
Aged five, Ben was being fed through a tube, was still in nappies, vomited every morning, had no energy and had almost weekly hospital visits with an almost permanent cycle of bloods taken, fluids adjusted and drugs changed.
He was happy, funny and very well-loved by the hospital staff who became not just our support network but our family. Yet it was difficult to watch this bright little boy have to sit by a window because he had no energy to play with his friends.
From birth we were told that a transplant would be Ben’s only chance at leading a normal life. His best shot was to get a kidney from a parent, ideally before his kidneys failed entirely and he needed dialysis, as this would help the donor kidney sustain him for as long as possible.
But we were also told that due to his age and the longevity of organ transplants, Ben would need more than one in his lifetime.
In the middle of grief, it’s hard to focus on any positives that can come out of it, but I knew more than anyone the impact that donating was going to have.
My husband and I discussed it and decided that I would donate. We didn’t arrive at this choice easily – we both wanted to do it and in the end I ‘won’ – but that was only the first step.
I went through rounds of blood tests, psychological tests and had to lose weight to be considered fit enough.
All in all, the process to get me ready to donate took about a year – a year of watching our beautiful boy get sicker and sicker, weaker and weaker.
Ben was transplanted 12 days after his fifth birthday, the day after Valentine’s Day, which is strangely appropriate because the act of organ donation is an act of love – either for someone you know or for someone you don’t.
Afterwards, Ben was a new boy, filled with energy and life. He started eating solid food and a year later he got his feeding tube removed entirely. It wasn’t a one-stop fix: he will always have problems, but what a starting point.
People talk about organ donation being a gift of life and it is, in every single way – and not just for the recipient but for the whole family. After the operation, I found I had very little energy whilst my body adjusted to one kidney but all of that faded into insignificance when I watched Ben laughing and playing with his brother, and I knew ‘Sidney the Kidney’ had found his rightful home.
As we went through the process, our family had started to talk openly about organ donation. So many people get their organ donor card and put it in their wallet and forget about it and, more importantly, they forget to tell their loved ones about it.
It is your loved ones who will make that final decision to donate at one of the most difficult and emotional times in their lives, so it is important that you make your wishes known.
My mother in particular was very adamant that this was what she wanted when she died. Being able to have the conversation meant that when she had a massive aneurysm five years ago, my brother and I knew her wishes.
Surprisingly, when it came to donating my mother’s organs, it was a lot harder than when I donated myself.
We had to wait overnight for the team to come and harvest the organs – even the word harvest is not conducive to encouraging donation.
Those were the longest hours of my life whilst I sat and second guessed myself and our decision, and worried about my mother. Was it cruel to keep her hanging on? In the middle of grief, it’s hard to focus on any positives that can come out of it, but I knew more than anyone the impact that donating was going to have.
I tried to remember the faces of the children, the parents, the siblings and the friends that we see every year at the Transplant Games and reassure myself that her death would help give someone else a chance at life.
I can only imagine the courage and the strength it must take to decide to donate a loved one’s organs when you don’t have previous experience of organ failure.
Whilst 82% of the UK population say that organ donation is the right thing to do, only 37% are signed up to the organ donor register. Why? Mostly I believe it is because we put it off – we have good intentions but forget; we think we have time to do it; we keep meaning to get around to it.
The proposed ‘opt out’ legislation in England is likely to make it easier to donate but the sad fact is that you may still not be able to if you haven’t told your family about your wishes.
Reports from 2018 showed that 65.5% of families agreed to donation when their loved one died, but we know this figure drops to less than half when donation wishes aren’t known. As a family, we talked about it – we were lucky.
I have the utmost respect and love for those people who are able to make the decision to donate because I know that in the future, Ben will be relying on those people for his second chance at life.
Andrea Bingham and son BenAndrea Bingham and son Benrmve86
Fashion Nova has released some questionable pieces over the last few months.
And now, they’ve started selling a lace up skirt that is so short and so revealing that it actually comes with built-in underwear.
The Hotter Than You Lace Up Camo Skirt comes in a black and orange camouflage design.
It’s split at the top of the side of the waist, so that it can be tied across the thigh with laces.
So this skirt is probably not one to sit down in if you don’t want to risk it splitting in two.
It’s also probably not for you if you don’t fancy something that barely covers your bum.
The skirt, made with stretch material, utilises the built-in underwear so you don’t accidentally flash anyone (though it looks pretty difficult not to given the design).
It’s currently on sale for $20 (£16) – discounted down from $37.99 (£30).
But despite the price cut, shoppers aren’t feeling it.
People were quick to voice their opinions.
One said: ‘I mean just leave your house naked, surely?’
Another wrote: ‘i mean every one will know that you’re not wearing underwear but….. ‘fashion’.
However, there are some people who seem to be fans of the skirt.
Another user commented: ‘I don’t like skirts but this is cute.’
There you have it. If you don’t like it, at least someone else will buy it.
Daring new skirt which shows half your bottom is so short it comes with built in knickersDaring new skirt which shows half your bottom is so short it comes with built in knickershattiegladwellmetroDaring new skirt which shows half your bottom is so short it comes with built in knickers METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.fashionnova.com/products/hotter-than-you-lace-up-camo-skirt-black-orange Credit: Fashion NovaDaring new skirt which shows half your bottom is so short it comes with built in knickers METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.fashionnova.com/products/hotter-than-you-lace-up-camo-skirt-black-orange Credit: Fashion Nova
A lot of things come to mind when you hear the word “caravan”- a lot of things, but mainly water-logged holidays in North Wales while all your school friends were off in Tenerife.
Caravans have been a trusty but less-than-chic part of British culture for as long as we can remember.
But now they’re set to get a makeover and go full ‘glamping’ on us.
Way back in 2012, an innovative architecture and design company in New Zealand named W2 premiered plans for the type of camper which could lure even the most stubborn homebird into the woods.
At first glance, the Romotow is a fairly standard – if swanky – design: sleek, modern with a spacious interior.
A double bedroom in the back sleeps two adults, a living room sofa can be adapted to sleep two others, and both kitchen and bathroom are fitted with stylish fixtures.
But the real magic happens at the push of a button.
The Romotow’s big draw is that it can rotate and fold out its entire centre, meaning that your portable home has just doubled its space and become a superb decking area to chill out and host guests in.
An integrated sound system in the bedrooms, kitchen and deck suggest that the Romotow would make an ideal setting for a party. A deck enclosure kit will be on sale too, meaning that pals can stay the night.
After years of tinkering and experimenting, the team of expert boat builders charged with making this dream a reality are nearly finished.
It doesn’t come cheap, the price is $350,000 (£270,000) and it hasn’t launched yet. It’s been in the works for years but, we’re told, it’s just a few months away.
We’ve fallen head over heels for an adorable little arctic fox waking up with the cutest bedhead hair.
The photographs show a very sleepy cub just waking up in a field in Svalbard, Norway.
The cub was spotted by wildlife photographer Kevin Morgans, 33, on the last day of a two-week trip in June.
He was originally planning to capture images of polar bears but snapped photos of the cubs as soon as he saw them.
He said: ‘I was on a photographic trip to Norway in June.
‘I was there for about two weeks but most of my time was spent on a boat photographing polar bears.
‘We knew the foxes were in the area and were searching for them.
‘It had taken a couple of days to actually find them.
‘In the winter the fur is all white and in the summer it changes to brown.
‘But you can see all the fur is still the winter coat but the head is changing into the summer coat.
‘So it was kind of halfway through changing.’
It’s a really sweet selection of images, with Kevin saying that you could see the fox was resting. In another image, you can see the fox wake up and yawn.
SEI_27838156-244dSEI_27838156-244dhattiegladwellmetroBad Fur Day - This is the adorable moment a windswept arctic fox was pictured waking up from a long sleep. See NTI story NTIFOX. The photo shows the bed-head white fur and brown face cub waking up from a sleeping in a field in Svalbard, Norway. The youngster is seen yawning and stretching readying itself for its next adventure. In the winter their fur is white - whilst in summer time it changes to a brown colour. Professional wildlife photographer Kevin Morgans, 33, spotted the cubs on the last day of a two week trip in June this year.Bad Fur Day - This is the adorable moment a windswept arctic fox was pictured waking up from a long sleep. See NTI story NTIFOX. The photo shows the bed-head white fur and brown face cub waking up from a sleeping in a field in Svalbard, Norway. The youngster is seen yawning and stretching readying itself for its next adventure. In the winter their fur is white - whilst in summer time it changes to a brown colour. Professional wildlife photographer Kevin Morgans, 33, spotted the cubs on the last day of a two week trip in June this year.Bad Fur Day - This is the adorable moment a windswept arctic fox was pictured waking up from a long sleep. See NTI story NTIFOX. The photo shows the bed-head white fur and brown face cub waking up from a sleeping in a field in Svalbard, Norway. The youngster is seen yawning and stretching readying itself for its next adventure. In the winter their fur is white - whilst in summer time it changes to a brown colour. Professional wildlife photographer Kevin Morgans, 33, spotted the cubs on the last day of a two week trip in June this year.
If your looks are inspired by the celebs you see on Instagram, there’s a new bag on the scene you should definitely know about.
Kurt Geiger has just restocked its rainbow coloured Kensington Bag after it was so popular it sold out as soon as it launched.
It was so popular that more than 1,000 people joined the waiting list so they could get their hands on it as soon as it came back.
A bunch of celebrities and fashion bloggers already showing the item off include Dani Dyer, Rosie Fortescue and Abbey Clancy.
Though the bag isn’t that cheap – at £199 – it’s certainly a lot less expensive than high-end designer pieces.
The leather bag features a rainbow stripe metallic design with a silver Kensington eagle clasp and a long silver chain.
Celebrity Stylist Lucas Armitage told Femail that the rainbow bag has reached ‘cult classic status’.
He said: ‘Every season a surprise piece makes it to coveted levels and this summer it was the metallic rainbow chain handle beauty.’
A similar piece customers are loving is the black and grey Kurt Geiger leather Kensington bag, which features the same design but with black and grey metallic instead.
People have described the bag as ‘so chic’.
One Instagram user wrote: ‘Love this bag. Perfect for smart and smart casual outfits for A/W’.
Someone else said: ‘Oh gaaaaaaaaaaad she’s a beauty’.
metro-link url=”https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/29/missguided-is-selling-valentino-heel-dupes-for-660-less-7893294/” title=”Missguided is selling Valentino heel dupes for £660 less”]
Rainbow Kurt Geiger BagRainbow Kurt Geiger BaghattiegladwellmetroRainbow Kurt Geiger Bag Kurt Geiger
To many of us, feet are pretty gross. But in the sex industry, the foot fetish is a big business, especially in Hull.
Dominatrix Julie Preston, known as Mistress Dita, is well-known in the city and says that her feet have become very popular with her clients.
‘Foot fetish is massive,’ she said.
‘I had no idea how popular it was when I got into the industry.’
Julie has worked in the sex industry for 10 years and using her feet to get men off is now a huge part of what she does, becoming one of the most popular services she offers.
‘People seem to enjoy kissing my feet bare foot or with stockings,’ she says.
‘Some like it sweaty and when I’m wearing gym socks.
‘Others like to watch as I squish grapes or trifle and it seems to turn them on.’
Foot fetish seems to be the domain of males, according to Julie.
‘Hardly any women seem to be into it, it is definitely the guys,’ she said.
Her anecdotal view is backed up by the journal IJIR, which found more men with the fetish than women.
‘I go kick boxing and I get requests not to wash my feet afterwards.
‘Some just want to give you a foot massage or paint your toe nails. Some even pay for me to have a pedicure and watch or get me to take photos.
‘Foot fetish has always been a thing and seems to be associated with stockings and legs. Sometimes people like to when you wear old fashioned stockings and high heels.’
People may feel uncomfortable with it all but Julie says foot fetish is harmless.
She wonders whether it’s really strange – or whether it’s any different to her ‘liking Tom Hardy lookalikes’, saying it’s simply something people are into and it’s a very easy thing for her to do as she doesn’t really have to do anything.
‘There are certainly worse things I could be doing and some things people are into are seriously weird,’ she says.
‘It is all done in a controlled environment so there is no need to be embarrassed about it.’
Julie accepts there is not always tolerance of her work, particularly in Hull.
‘I travel round the country and no one is bothered by it like they are in Hull,’ she said. ‘They seem very suspicious of fetishes, maybe it is the fear of the unknown.
‘Of course, I come in for a lot of criticism and I get hounded by trolls online but people never seem to be negative to my face.
Compared to some requests, foot fetish is rather mild.’
Julie gets asks to do lots of stuff that she refuses to do.
One of the weirdest things asked of her that she’s actually carried out was to feed a man from Grimsby dog poo.
‘I don’t even have a dog and had to collect it from a neighbour,’ she said.
Another fetish Julie avoids is adult babies.
‘We get a lot of requests for people wanting to be babies,’ she said.
‘For me personally, I cannot quite prevent myself from associating it with paedophilia even though it is done with consenting adults.
‘It is often very powerful people like judges and CEOs who enjoy it and want a break from all that responsibility. They want to regress completely.’
**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** What it's like to be a Fetish Pornstar (Amber Roberts - new)**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** What it's like to be a Fetish Pornstar (Amber Roberts - new)hattiegladwellmetroTo many of us feet are just gross, smelly and sweaty body parts that should be avoided where possible. But in the murky world of the sex industry foot fetish is big business - none more so than in Hull. Dominatrix Julie Preston, known as Mistress Dita, is well known in the city and says feet have proved a fascination for many of her clients. Caption: These men just love feetTo many of us feet are just gross, smelly and sweaty body parts that should be avoided where possible. But in the murky world of the sex industry foot fetish is big business - none more so than in Hull. Dominatrix Julie Preston, known as Mistress Dita, is well known in the city and says feet have proved a fascination for many of her clients. Caption: Hull dominatrix Julie PrestonTo many of us feet are just gross, smelly and sweaty body parts that should be avoided where possible. But in the murky world of the sex industry foot fetish is big business - none more so than in Hull. Dominatrix Julie Preston, known as Mistress Dita, is well known in the city and says feet have proved a fascination for many of her clients. Caption: A woman in stockings has her foot massaged
Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Tan France all donned futuristic body modifications last week, and shared them across social media.
It’s part of PR man Simon Huck’s upcoming body modification exhibit, A. Human, which pushes the boundaries of what is considered beautiful in the world of fashion.
Rather than focusing on familiar, standard body modifications such as lip fillers and breast implants, the project is more about futuristic expressions of possibility.
For me – someone whose body was modified by nature in the womb – it’s a welcome way to breakdown the established criteria for beauty.
But my body is not an accessory that can be taken off at the end of the day, it is my everyday reality.
I was born with only one hand.
My body is rarely represented or embraced in fashion, and is certainly not made to feel beautiful, fashionable or like a work of art.
In fact, it’s deemed imperfect and flawed; it’s shunned not showcased.
People like me have always been seen as inferior, a burden to society, freaks of nature.
In the past, we’ve been incarcerated, isolated, institutionalised, controlled and dehumanised, simply because we look different.
Today, we still face many challenges – especially when it comes to beauty.
Society, the media and the fashion industry all dictate what is perceived as beautiful in our world, and often promote unachievable levels of perfection.
So when I first saw the image of Kim Kardashian wearing her lit up, raised-skin choker, with words like freakish and nightmarish being used to describe her new accessory, I admit, it triggered me.
This is how society see body differences. If something is not the norm, it can’t be admired for its unique beauty.
But that’s why projects like A. Human should be celebrated.
A. Human is all about the total freedom to be an individual and how we choose to express ourselves in this world.
I love the idea of old, outdated, pre-conditioned views on beauty ideals being crushed. I love the idea of old school fashion folk being challenged about the future of the art.
I want to feel empowered by the images I see, not oppressed. I want to see difference, uniqueness and individuality celebrated.
Women do not need to make themselves look younger, slimmer or more sexually desirable. Women are already beautiful. Women are already magic.
I am more than a body, but I want my body to be seen and celebrated in all its weird and wonderful glory.
It’s one of the reasons why I’ve never been interested in a regular-looking prosthetic arm. They are only there for other people’s benefit, to make you appear normal – and I don’t want to be normalised.
That’s why earlier this year, I partnered with The Alternative Limb Project to create a series of prosthetic arms that are art, beauty and fashion – all in one piece.
A flora and fauna hybrid arm was by far the strangest one.
Sophie de Oliveira Barata, the designer behind the project, and her team – Dani Clode, Makexdesign and Hugo Elias – created a verdant arour inspired by terrestrial plants for the surface of the arm, with an alien structure consisting of 26 individual vertebrae beneath the skin.
With sensors embedded in my shoes, I controlled the tentacle with my big toes – it was wild and untameable at times.
Sophie’s and Simon’s creations excite me. I feel like in putting them on, you can be anything you want them to be – they are an extension of your personality and encapsulate who you are at soul level.
I hope these creations catch on. Boundaries are there to be pushed and broken and fashion is the perfect platform to express who we really are.
Diversity is the new beauty ideal, so let’s celebrate difference.
A Human piecesA Human piecesqinxie3-vine-for-Kelly-Knox-photo-by-Omkaar-Kotdeia-cd2b
Linda Chamberlain, 72, isn’t afraid to die.
Most of us have spent at least a few sleepless nights wondering what awaits us in the great hereafter.
Those thoughts come into focus after losing a spouse but when Linda’s husband Fred passed away in 2012, she knew it wouldn’t be the last time they met.
Since 1970, Linda and Fred had been united both by their love and a shared dedication to mastering mortality.
They met through an interest in cryonics, the practice of storing dead bodies at very low temperatures indefinitely.
Practitioners of cryonics believe that, at some point in the future, technology will advance far enough that the corpses will be thawed out and revived.
Bodies are frozen at -196 degrees Celsius and stored in specially created containers, for prices of upwards of $200,000 (£155,000).
Willing participants are warned that there is no guarantee that their gamble will pay off but a select few have decided to put their faith in the future of medicine.
There are about 250 people already frozen in the US with another 1,500 signed up for after their deaths take place.
The first person to undergo the procedure was Fred’s father in 1976.
He was a fragile stroke victim and didn’t understand much about cryonics, but trusted his son and daughter-in-law to do what they felt was best.
Linda’s mother followed suit in 1990 after dying suddenly of cancer.
In this hypothetical new world, the Chamberlains – and all the other forward-thinking cryonics fans – will be resuscitated and reunited in some form.
Linda doesn’t necessarily believe that their physical bodies will be brought back to life:
‘My brain may run on a computer platform but to interface I have an avatar body made of swarms of nanorobots, allowing my body to reconfigure to however I want it,’ she says.
‘If I wanted to swim in the ocean my nanobot body could reconfigure me into a killer whale, it’s based on science fiction but it’s an idea.’
The fact is that cryonics remains only science fiction for now: mainstream medicine considers it only speculative at best, and Linda herself acknowledges that ‘it’s hard to convey it without sounding like a lunatic’.
But even the most cynical of us can understand when she explains her motivation:
‘I do this for love,’ she says.
And what could be better motivation than that?
WIFE TO JOIN FROZEN FAMILYWIFE TO JOIN FROZEN FAMILYmeganbnolan** MANDATORY BYLINE ALCOR LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION / CATERS ** - (PICTURED: Here is Linda, she is set to join her husband and family to live in the future) - Meet the woman set to be frozen alongside her already preserved husband, mother and father-in-law so they can live on forever. Linda Chamberlain, 72, from Scottsdale in Arizona, USA, doesnt fear death for believing she will be reanimated in the future with her family. She co-founded The Alcor Life Extension Foundation with husband Fred over 45 years ago, dreaming to dodge death with technology after reading The Prospect of Immortality by Robert Ettinger.- SEE CATERS COPY** MANDATORY BYLINE ALCOR LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION / CATERS ** - (PICTURED: Here is a family photo with Linda at the front and mum behind Arlene who is cryogenically preserved) - Meet the woman set to be frozen alongside her already preserved husband, mother and father-in-law so they can live on forever. Linda Chamberlain, 72, from Scottsdale in Arizona, USA, doesnt fear death for believing she will be reanimated in the future with her family. She co-founded The Alcor Life Extension Foundation with husband Fred over 45 years ago, dreaming to dodge death with technology after reading The Prospect of Immortality by Robert Ettinger.- SEE CATERS COPY** MANDATORY BYLINE ALCOR LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION / CATERS ** - (PICTURED: Here is Linda posed alongside the patients bay where her husband, mother and father-in-law reside) - Meet the woman set to be frozen alongside her already preserved husband, mother and father-in-law so they can live on forever. Linda Chamberlain, 72, from Scottsdale in Arizona, USA, doesnt fear death for believing she will be reanimated in the future with her family. She co-founded The Alcor Life Extension Foundation with husband Fred over 45 years ago, dreaming to dodge death with technology after reading The Prospect of Immortality by Robert Ettinger.- SEE CATERS COPY
We have another optical illusion on our hands.
Remember when the internet was going crazy over whether they could hear ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’ in an audio clip?
Well, now people are divided over whether an image is actually a door or a beach.
Rebecca Reilly shared an image of what could be a door… but also a beach.
It featured a blue, green and sand colour, which when looked at one way, could look like the opening of a door and a cream wall.
But if flipped the other way, it could look like sea and sand.
The tweet received comments from thousands of confused people trying to work out what was in the picture.
Some people were convinced it was a door:
davey g (@i8blue_noses) August 26, 2018
Daysi ✨ (@_daysiromero) August 29, 2018
rudy ortega (@itsyoboyrudy) August 29, 2018
Edley Raymond (@_RAYMIN_) August 28, 2018
While others said it looked like a beach:
EMA (@emabrewer_x) August 27, 2018
Tyler (@tylernewman_15) August 29, 2018
Rebecca later updated the tweet to reveal that the photo was, in fact, of a beach
However, some users are still sceptical – and think that the beach photo could actually have been edited.
OPTICAL CONFUSION This optical illusion has divided the internet??? so do YOU see a beach or a door?OPTICAL CONFUSION This optical illusion has divided the internet??? so do YOU see a beach or a door?hattiegladwellmetroCredit: Twitter/rebeccareilly__
Children with Down’s syndrome are often hard to place into adopted homes.
The husband and wife, from Arkansas, US, initially felt daunted when a 20-week scan revealed that their firstborn, Rosie, had Down’s syndrome and was diagnosed with a heart defect.
Witnessing how far Rosie, now three, has come, the parents decided to help another child with the condition flourish.
So they took in Beau, whose biological parents were unable to take care of him.
The siblings instantly hit it off.
‘It was so hard with Rosie at first because we were not able to focus on really any of the things a typical parent gets to focus on,’ said Allison, a blogger.
‘We weren’t really able to relish the first year of life because we were completely focused on very, very serious health issues.
‘Since then there has been an improvement all around and for the first time we felt like we were really able to just enjoy her and celebrate her.
‘There was a time that the diagnosis was scary and hard for us to hear but after seeing everything Rosie had gone through in the first two years of her life, we opened ourselves up to it.
‘Then we heard about Beau.’
‘Beau was born to a couple who loved him dearly but felt his needs would be better met by a family who already had a child with Down’s syndrome,’ Allison said.
Both Beau and Rosie are non-verbal but have developed a close bond with one another.
Allison added that they usually get stares when they’re outside but have accepted that it’s just a part of their lives now.
‘Being a mom of two children with Down syndrome is incredibly rewarding,’ she said.
‘It’s most rewarding when I see our kids working so incredibly hard for milestones and to see them surpass our expectations of them.
‘It makes all the really hard days worth it. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s certainly a privilege to be part of.’
‘We always knew we wanted to adopt,’ said dad Andrew.
‘So when it came time to think seriously about it, it didn’t make sense for us to rule out any potential matches based on their chromosomes, especially since there is such a need for special needs adoption.
‘When we really thought about that, we realised we could and should actually seek out a child with Down Syndrome. I’m so glad we did.’
A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the conditionA big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the conditionfaimabakar1Andrew and Allison with Rosie and Beau after a fun run . See SWNS story NYADOPT . A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the condition. Allison and Andrew Sweatman adopted Beau, then aged three - a big brother for their daughter Rosie - because they no longer found special needs parenting ?scary?. The husband and wife said they were initially daunted when a 20-week scan revealed Rosie, their first child, had Down Syndrome and was suffering from a heart defect. The diagnosis flipped their world upside down, forcing them move home to Cabot, Arkansas, US, from China, where they had been working as teachers.Allison Sweatman and baby Rosie after her Cranial Remodeling surgery for craniosynostosis . See SWNS story NYADOPT . A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the condition. Allison and Andrew Sweatman adopted Beau, then aged three - a big brother for their daughter Rosie - because they no longer found special needs parenting ?scary?. The husband and wife said they were initially daunted when a 20-week scan revealed Rosie, their first child, had Down Syndrome and was suffering from a heart defect. The diagnosis flipped their world upside down, forcing them move home to Cabot, Arkansas, US, from China, where they had been working as teachers.Allison with Rosie one year after her Cranial Remodeling surgery for craniosynostosis . See SWNS story NYADOPT . A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the condition. Allison and Andrew Sweatman adopted Beau, then aged three - a big brother for their daughter Rosie - because they no longer found special needs parenting ?scary?. The husband and wife said they were initially daunted when a 20-week scan revealed Rosie, their first child, had Down Syndrome and was suffering from a heart defect. The diagnosis flipped their world upside down, forcing them move home to Cabot, Arkansas, US, from China, where they had been working as teachers.Andrew Sweatman and his daughter Rosie the day she was discharged from hospital after 3 major surgeries in six months. See SWNS story NYADOPT . A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the condition. Allison and Andrew Sweatman adopted Beau, then aged three - a big brother for their daughter Rosie - because they no longer found special needs parenting ?scary?. The husband and wife said they were initially daunted when a 20-week scan revealed Rosie, their first child, had Down Syndrome and was suffering from a heart defect. The diagnosis flipped their world upside down, forcing them move home to Cabot, Arkansas, US, from China, where they had been working as teachers.Rosie and Beau sitting on their father Andrew?s lap . See SWNS story NYADOPT . A big-hearted couple whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome selflessly adopted another toddler with the condition. Allison and Andrew Sweatman adopted Beau, then aged three - a big brother for their daughter Rosie - because they no longer found special needs parenting ?scary?. The husband and wife said they were initially daunted when a 20-week scan revealed Rosie, their first child, had Down Syndrome and was suffering from a heart defect. The diagnosis flipped their world upside down, forcing them move home to Cabot, Arkansas, US, from China, where they had been working as teachers.
After what seems like an eternity, 2018’s long, hot summer is finally winding down.
In place of lazing in the garden, we want to be lounging in the living room – but after months of abandoning our inside space for a breath of air outside, we might need to give our homes a little lift ahead of the colder months.
And when better to prepare for winter coming than the season of change itself, Autumn?
Transforming your home at any time of the year can be daunting, so luckily, interiors guru and all-round social media sensation Lisa Dawson has teamed up with B&Q to make it as simple as possible.
So here’s the five steps you should take to turn your home into a cosy sanctuary…
1) Plan, plan plan!
As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And although transforming your home might not be as dramatic as all that, you don’t want to hate the end results.
So take time to plot out what you want to do with the space – especially as you will be spending so much more time there than you have over summer.
Get handy and download lifestyle and design apps to help plan what sort of sanctuary you want.
‘The only way to really visualise what you want to do is to do a mood board. You can do this manually but it’s much easier to do online using an app; I use Pinterest for ideas and save my favourites, then upload the pictures on to the board. By doing this, you can see how it all blends together. This gives you a plan to work from,’ Lisa explains.
2) Warm up your walls
While whites may feel fresh in the hot months, in winter you need a bit more, well, warmth on your walls.
You can do this through muted tones (think taupes and duck egg blues) or through exotic, deeper shades.
Lisa believes a lick of paint is both the simplest and least expensive way of turning your home’s style on its head. Colours Standard Merlot Matt Emulsion Paint, 2.5l (was £12, now £8 at B&Q) is perfect for use on interior walls and ceilings and easy to use, with minimal odour.
Lisa says: ‘Paint is always a quick, economical and easy way to give a room a fresh feel. Changing the colours or tones is another good quick fix to refresh the room. If you’re struggling find a shade that works for you, try B&Q’s amazing Valspar colour matching service*. You can show them any colour you love and they can recreate it for you in paint form while you wait!’
3) Light up, light up!
While we’ve been spoiled with natural light until just before bedtime over the last few months, it’s now time to face facts: it’s time to turn on the lamps.
And as the nights draw in, our need for a cosy hub is heightened. Nothing helps create an ambient atmosphere like lighting, and no one agrees more than Lisa.
‘Good lighting is essential for any room – it can make or break the success of the space,’ she reveals.
‘When the nights start drawing in, it’s really important that you have the lighting right in your rooms. Make sure you have plenty of cosy spots by using the correct style of light for the space.
‘When it comes to overhead lighting, the important thing is that it looks as good on as it does off (like this sophisticated Holman Grey Pendant ceiling light, £27 at B&Q or the on-trend Bamberga Chrome Effect 3 Lamp Ceiling Light, £40 at B&Q).
‘In a standard sized room, you should use at least four low level lights for ambience, preferably six. These should range from table lamps (like the Pallas Chrome Effect Table Lamp, £26 at B&Q) to reading lights (such as the Pallas Chrome effect Wall light, £17 at B&Q). LED lighting is a perfect way to create atmosphere in rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom (try these Nampa White Floor lights, from £22 at B&Q). There are plenty of options around to help you make your room feel cosy and welcoming.’
4) Stylish entrance
Doors. They’re probably not at the top of any homeowner’s list of room transformation essentials but they can make or break a room.
An uninviting doorway is the first impression you and guests will see so it makes sense to invest in gorgeous gateways. But if your clever, they can also make you feel like you live in a larger house than your mortgage suggests!
Lisa advises using them to create more space by making two areas into one big one and using a sliding door as a light-increasing divider.
She says: ‘If you are looking to maximise your indoor space, look carefully at how you use these areas in your home. Could you create one large room out of two smaller rooms? Unless it’s a supporting wall, this is often an economical option that can create a far more usable space through the use of sliding doors (like the Frosted glass sliding door, H2030 x W630mm, £80 available online at B&Q or the 4 panel Glazed Oak veneer door H2040 x W830mm, £136 at B&Q.
5) Flawless floors
Deep pile carpets may feel like the ultimate luxury but they also come with a price – and a seriously hefty one at that.
Not to mention they are a real hassle to keep clean, so rather than banning red wine this winter, invest in some quality flooring which is easy to lay and look after.
Elegant and practical, it can completely transform any area of the house into a chic hub because it creates the perfect foundation for a newly-transformed sanctuary this autumn.
She says: ‘When it comes to the basics of your home décor, flooring is a major consideration. Think of how you will be using the room. If it’s a main thoroughfare, hard flooring should be a preference. Solid floors have a contemporary feel that is perfect for most styles of décor.
‘You can opt for real wood (like the Colours Rondo Wheat Solid oak flooring, £48sqm), laminate (like the Dolce Grey Laminate flooring, £14sqm, £16.66 per pack, at B&Q) or engineered wood (such as Chamili natural oak wood top layer flooring – £32 psqm or £43.84 per pack at B&Q). Rather than spending more money on paying someone to fit the floors, simply buy an affordable cutter to keep at home (like this Mac Allister 1700W 210mm compound mitre saw, £60 at B&Q). For a more cosy feel, you can then add layers and personality with runners and rugs.’
*Valspar Colour Matching service – B&Q can match any item they scan. Items that are shiny for example can’t be scanned as they don’t provide a solid enough colour to match or if the item is smaller than 1 inch sq.
Heartbreaking images show the horrific injuries which were suffered by a swan after it is said to have mistaken the A47 for a river.
The swan crash landed onto the road on 30 August, when it was raining heavily across parts of England.
It seems as though the bird thought the road was filled with water as it swam into the road in the early hours of the morning while it was still very dark.
The main damage was done to the swan’s beak, which can be seen in the photos *content warning: pictures may be distressing to some readers*.
It’s been confirmed that the swan wasn’t hit by a car and it is thought that it glided onto the road as if was water rather than slowly descending, putting its feet out and landing normally.
Luckily, the swan is still alive, as the Pact animal sanctuary were called and assisted in getting the swan to safety.
A spokesman from Pact animal sanctuary, said: ‘She is now being taken to a specialist wild bird vet and we are hopeful that her beak can be repaired.’
SEI_27704424-c01dSEI_27704424-c01dhattiegladwellmetroThese are the heartbreaking pictures showing the horrific injuries suffered by a swan after it mistook the A47 for a river. See MASONS story MNSWAN. This poor swan crash landed on the road last Thursday (30 August) when weather conditions involved heavy showers, in Norfolk. It seems as though the bird thought the road was filled with water after causing the incident in the early hours of the morning, whilst it was still dark. PACT Animal Sanctuary were called in the early hours of the morning and assisted in getting the swan to safety. A spokesman from PACT Animal Sanctuary, said: "She is now being taken to a specialist wild bird vet and we are hopeful that her beak can be repaired."These are the heartbreaking pictures showing the horrific injuries suffered by a swan after it mistook the A47 for a river. See MASONS story MNSWAN. This poor swan crash landed on the road last Thursday (30 August) when weather conditions involved heavy showers, in Norfolk. It seems as though the bird thought the road was filled with water after causing the incident in the early hours of the morning, whilst it was still dark. PACT Animal Sanctuary were called in the early hours of the morning and assisted in getting the swan to safety. A spokesman from PACT Animal Sanctuary, said: "She is now being taken to a specialist wild bird vet and we are hopeful that her beak can be repaired."These are the heartbreaking pictures showing the horrific injuries suffered by a swan after it mistook the A47 for a river. See MASONS story MNSWAN. This poor swan crash landed on the road last Thursday (30 August) when weather conditions involved heavy showers, in Norfolk. It seems as though the bird thought the road was filled with water after causing the incident in the early hours of the morning, whilst it was still dark. PACT Animal Sanctuary were called in the early hours of the morning and assisted in getting the swan to safety. A spokesman from PACT Animal Sanctuary, said: "She is now being taken to a specialist wild bird vet and we are hopeful that her beak can be repaired."
Children born through IVF are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, a study has found
Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that babies conceived through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be at an increased risk of developing hypertension early in life – as well as other cardiovascular complications.
It is estimated that eight million babies have been born using ART since Louise Brown became the first test-tube baby 40 years ago.
A team of researchers led by Dr Emrush Rexhaj, director of arterial hypertension and altitude medicine at Inselspital, University Hospital in Switzerland, assessed the circulatory system of 54 young, healthy ART adolescents with an average age of 16 by measuring blood pressure as well as plaque build-up, blood vessel function and artery stiffness.
The BMI, gestational age, maternal BMI, smoking status and cardiovascular risk profiles were all similar between the ART teenagers and 43 age and sex-matched control participants of natural conception.
Through 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, researchers discovered that the ART teenagers had both a higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure than the control participants at 119/71 mmHg versus 115/69, respectively.
And eight of the ART adolescents reached the criteria for the diagnosis of arterial hypertension – above 130/80 mmHg – whereas only one of the control participants met the criteria.
Dr Emrush Rexhaj said: ‘The increased prevalence of arterial hypertension in ART participants is what is most concerning.
‘There is growing evidence that ART alters the blood vessels in children, but the long-term consequences were not known.
‘We now know that this places ART children at six times higher rate of hypertension than children conceived naturally.’
The researchers also studied the participants five years before the latest study and found that the arterial blood pressure between ART and control children was not different.
Dr Rexhaj added: ‘It only took five years for differences in arterial blood pressure to show.
‘This is a rapidly growing population and apparently healthy children are showing serious signs of concern for early cardiovascular risk, especially when it comes to arterial hypertension.’
IVF babiesIVF babieshattiegladwellmetroPregnant woman sitting on bed at home holding her bumpEmbryo selection for IVF, light micrograph.
For most of us, September is much more evocative of resolutions and fresh starts than New Years Eve could ever be.
Crisp mornings, the shine of patent shoes, the thrill of empty notebooks. That new stationery smell alone is enough to make you come over all nostalgic.
Indulge your own little ones this year by snapping up some great value last-minute Back To School treats from pencil cases to uniform.
When you spend more than £35, you get a free pencil case.
Keeping kids up to date with branded sports gear can be a real financial burden, and just isn’t possible for many parents.
It’s always worth keeping an eye out for great sales like this Puma one, with sneakers starting at £20, to give them a treat.
Why should boys have all the fun?
Gingham playsuits are all the rage and consistently sold out last year, because they’re a cute and convenient pinafore alternative, letting girls cartwheel and cavort with more freedom.
This is a sweet and inexpensive choice from Marks and Spencer
It’s always a nice touch for kids to have personalised bits and bobs for school to make them feel special- whether it’s just sewing a nametag to a jumper or something a little more upscale.
Enter these pencil cases from Dotty About Paper, with a bunting design, customised name, and twelve coloured pencils.
You can score a real bargain for your little fans of Disney classics new and old here. Full stationery sets are on offer with designs from Spiderman, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Frozen and Cars are on sale for just £4.49.
Back to school round-up of best dealsBack to school round-up of best dealsmeganbnolanSchool children running away. They are wearing uniforms and carrying backpacks. They are having a race. Multi ethnic group with Asian, Caucasian and Aboriginal children. Rear viewCredit: Cath KidstonCredit: PUMACredit: Dotty About PaperCredit: Disney