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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    Tina and Louise are two cats living their best lives roaming around a studio apartment that they live in by themselves.

    The adulting cats have been staying in the Silicon Valley home in San Francisco, California since their owner moved away to college.

    The owner’s dad decided to put the kitties up in their own studio apartment, uninterrupted by pesky humans.

    It doesn’t come cheap, as he’s been paying $1,500 (£1,165) a month to let them stay there.

    METRO GRAB KBCW Two cats Live By Themselves In $1500/Mo. Silicon Valley Studio https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/01/13/2-cats-live-by-themselves-in-1500-mo-silicon-valley-studio/
    Landlord David Callisc comes to feed them every day (Picture: KBCW)

    The pampered pets have access to a bathroom, shower, and even an Apple TV, but sadly not a kitchen.

    According to landlord David Callisch, they’re well-behaved cats and mind themselves. The rent also comes on time so he has no complaints.

    ‘It’s quirky isn’t it? I never planned for this to happen. People love their pets, they’re part of their family, so I wanted to help out,’ David told radio channel KPIX 5.

    Occasionally, cat owner Victoria Amith, who now lives away at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, comes in to feed them.

    For the most part though, it’s landlord David and Victoria’s dad who regularly come into check on them. Though her dad tried to take Tina and Louise into his own home, he wasn’t able to keep them as they didn’t get along with his dogs.

    And he’s managed to snag a pretty sweet deal too, as most homes in the Bay Area cost around $2,000 (£1,556) a month.

    METRO GRAB KBCW Two cats Live By Themselves In $1500/Mo. Silicon Valley Studio https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/01/13/2-cats-live-by-themselves-in-1500-mo-silicon-valley-studio/
    (Picture: KBCW)

    But the quirky set-up has had a few criticisms from people who feel cats are living in luxury while there’s a lot of housing inequality with human residents in the area.

    One of the biggest tech cities in the world, Silicon Valley has had a major homelessness problem, with an estimated 7,500 living on the streets.

    ‘It’s difficult because there is so much homelessness and there’s so much disparity in incomes in this Valley and it’s hard, and one person can’t solve those problems,’ added David in defence of renting out his property to cats.

    But others disagree. One person wrote on Twitter: ‘This is the “out of touch” reality that exists in Silicon Valley, while others sleep on the streets a San Jose apartment is rented out for $1,500 to two cats’.

    Another person agreed, saying: ‘Silicon Valley is a place with so much inequality where thousands of people sleep on the streets every night while someone rents a below-market studio to two cats’.

    MORE: People are sharing pictures of their pets that they’ve named after Harry Potter characters

    MORE: Adorable dog mistakes vet visit for hug session and snuggles into nurse

    MORE: What I Rent: Sharan, £675 a month to share a two-bedroom flat in Stoke Newington


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    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party for the dolls. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    You’ve probably seen some smug mum bloggers sharing their Pinterest-packed lives on Instagram.

    While most of us just roll our eyes as we scroll, Madeline Dressel and her husband, Malachi, had a different response.

    They decided to set up an Instagram account to share their lives with their large plastic children.

    Yep, plastic children. The couple have a collection of 30 plastic dolls, who they dress and pose up for photos as if they were their kids for their Instagram account @all.my.plastic.children.

    ‘We both thought that it would be cool to pose them in real-life settings as if they were kids as a bit of a joke to start, but it grew from there,’ says Madeline. ‘We enjoy collecting dolls together and the big ones are our favourites.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi with the dolls in the woods. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    ‘We kept seeing a lot of professionally done outdoor family photographs popping up on our Facebook feeds from various friends and family and we thought that staging a family photo of our own in a similar style would both be a silly way to get in on the act and also address the age old question about when we were going to have kids.

    ‘Obviously, the Instagram name ‘all my plastic children’ is a play on the campy soap opera, All My Children.

    ‘Initially we conceived of mostly parodies of staged family photos, but it has developed into more of its own artform allowing us to showcase our vintage collections and recreate mid-century inspired photographs and advertisements.’

    Madeline and Malachi, who have been married for four years, have long had a passion for vintage stuff – especially dolls.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Dishwashing. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child, and has a collection of 75 vintage Barbies.

    The toddler-sized doll collection was born back in 2016, when Madeline and Malachi found a doll from the 1950s in a vintage store, and set about restoring it.

    Of the 30 dolls, there are seven that have names: Syroco, Polly-Marie, Baker, Sara-Ann, Stella-Irene, Sandy, and Thomas.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    It can take the couple days to restore and preserve the dolls, and Madeline and Malachi have spent between £1,500 and £2,000 in total.

    ‘The quality and artistry of many of these dolls, particularly those by the Ideal doll company, is unmatched and we view them as works of art to be preserved,’ says Madeline.

    ‘Since most of these dolls are fifty to sixty years old they typically all need a thorough cleaning and to have their hair washed and reset. This can take a few hours or a couple of days.

    ‘Most of these dolls were typically strung with elastic which degrades over time. To re-string the dolls, the original elastic must be cut and removed which completely disassembles the doll.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Helping with cooking. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    ‘It takes about thirty minutes to completely re-string a doll but it is a labour intensive job and much easier with two people since one person needs to hold tension on the elastic while the other reattaches the head and limbs.

    ‘Once re-strung with new elastic the dolls can stand on their own and hold a pose.

    ‘For more severe damage, such as broken plastic limbs we either need to source a replacement limb or for small cracks and breaks the break can be reinforced using special materials such as epoxy based artist clays. These repairs can take multiple days to complete.’

    As well as appearing on Instagram, the dolls pose for Madeline and Malachi’s yearly family Christmas card that they send to loved ones.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Madeline and Malachi with their dolls at Christmas. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture:  MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    ‘People who either know us, or actually take the time to talk to us and ask questions usually come away with a positive view – they get the joke as well as appreciate the time and thought that we put into staging the photographs,’ said Madeline.

    ‘However, when taken out of context, which is easy when something gets shared on the internet, we tend to get inundated with comments from people saying that our pictures are creepy, give them nightmares, or that I must have some un-met desire to have kids, interestingly we’ve never seen a comment from someone implying the same about Malachi.

    ‘The answer to that last question – is no, neither one of us view the dolls as a surrogate for children we simply enjoy them for what they are.’

    Madeline wants to urge people not to be creeped out by the dolls or read too much into what they mean – they simply want to share the artistry of their plastic children and have some fun.

    ‘Don’t take things so seriously. This is meant to be a fun and humorous way that we showcase our many collections – if it bothers you, scroll on past,’ she said.

    CROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi and Madeline have created their own hilarious memes to hit back at haters. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel
    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel)

    ‘We both understand that for some people, dolls, particularly large dolls, are seriously creepy and perhaps frightening. However, we seem to get many negative comments from people that are unable to simply appreciate the fun of absurdity for its own sake.

    ‘Sometimes we make memes with our photographs of things we’d like to say to people.

    ‘Dolls aren’t just for kids and collections shouldn’t just sit on a shelf for display. Have fun with them! We know this is silly, absurd, and yes a little creepy – that’s what makes it entertaining.’

    MORE: Mum shares moment her guts spilled out of her stomach to debunk the idea that c-sections are the ‘easy’ option

    MORE: Mum uses sex toy to help ease her baby’s chest congestion


    Plastic childrenPlastic childrenellencscottCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party for the dolls. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi with the dolls in the woods. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Dishwashing. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Helping with cooking. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Madeline and Malachi with their dolls at Christmas. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi and Madeline have created their own hilarious memes to hit back at haters. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselPlastic childrenPlastic childrenellencscottCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party for the dolls. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi with the dolls in the woods. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Dishwashing. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Birthday party. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Helping with cooking. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Madeline and Malachi with their dolls at Christmas. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline DresselCROSS HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Malachi and Madeline have created their own hilarious memes to hit back at haters. THIS VINTAGE loving couple created an Instagram account dedicated to their LIFE-SIZE PLASTIC DOLL CHILDREN after their friends were posting pictures of their real families on Facebook to address those constantly asking when they were going to start a family of their own. Childhood sweethearts, applications scientist, Madeline Dressel (34) and her communications technician husband, Malachi (35) from Cross Hill, South Carolina, USA, grew up together and have been married for four years. The pair have a passion for all things vintage and spend their spare time scouring charity shops, garage sales and flea markets to add to their collection of dolls, vintage kitchenware, mid-century furniture, toys, tools and d??cor which they then spend time upcycling and make use of these items in their home. The pair have many vintage appliances which include radios, toaster, vacuum cleaner, gas stove and fridge in their home that are over 60-years old and still in peak condition. Madeline has collected dolls ever since she was a child and has a passion for vintage Barbies of which she has a collection of 75 but has collected toddler sized dolls from the 1950s and 60s since 2016. Madeline and Malachi can spend anywhere between a few hours to a few days restoring the dolls they find through hunting thrift shops and markets. Madeline and Malachi set up their Instagram, all.my.plastic.children last year as a parody account documenting their plastic family life after they noticed their Facebook feeds were saturated with their friends posting pictures with their real children. Since then, they have been staging their ???family??? portraits and have celebrated Christmas and birthdays all with a retro twist. MDWfeatures / Madeline Dressel

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    (Picture: Getty)

    You’re probably sitting down as you read this.

    When was the last time you moved? Ten minutes ago? More than an hour ago?

    A new study has found that regular movement, and sitting down less, is the only way to counter the damaging health effects of sitting down all day.

    Experts are warning that the overall time you spend sitting must be cut down. So even if you go to the gym after work, it won’t reverse the damage done by sitting at your desk for eight hours.

    We know that sitting is bad. The effects on our cardiovascular systems and the risk of premature death have been well-documented. But many of us thought that three sweaty sessions in the gym every week would reverse all of that.

    Not so. It looks like we might have to rethink how we structure our working days.

    (Picture: Getty)

    The same research team previously advised that people should get up and move at least every 30 minutes, in order to cut down their risk.

    But the new guidance says that simply breaking up sedentary periods isn’t enough – the overall time you spend sitting down must be reduced.

    But when you have to be at work for a large portion of the day, and if your job is office-based, it’s not exactly practical to get up and start doing jump squats every 15 minutes.

    Luckily, the report authors say that the movement you do doesn’t need to be particularly rigorous.

    ‘When you take a movement break it doesn’t matter what you do, you can take a nice stroll down the hall,’ says Dr Keith Diaz, co-author of the study.

    ‘It is about just accruing enough activity across the day.’ He even advised that activity could be as short as a minute – so walking to the toilets on a different floor, or visiting a colleague’s desk rather than sending an email would work.

    In the study, the scientists analysed data from around  8,000 adults in the US, aged 45 or older who were part of a wider study looking at the risk of stroke.

    Each participant wore an activity tracker for between four and seven days between 2009 and 2013, and almost 650 participants had died by April 2017.

    They found that replacing sitting with moving reduced the risk of death. Switching 30 minutes of sedentary time in a day for 30 mins of low-intensity activity reduced the risk of an early death by about 17%.

    How to move more at work

    Working in movement and activity to a normal office day can feel impossible. But there are small changes you can make.

    Walk part of your commute – walk to the next stop on the tube or ditch the bus if you can. An extra 20 minutes on your feet every morning will do wonders.

    Invest in a standing desk – show your boss this study and get them to invest in a couple of standing desks to get you on your feet.

    Send fewer internal emails – get up and talk to your colleague at the other end of the office, because every little helps.

    Don’t eat at your desk – your lunch break is a great opportunity to move. Use the whole hour and get out of the office.

    Use a small water bottle – every time it runs out you’ll have to go and fill and fill it up. Now you’re moving and hydrated. Bonus.

    When that was high-intensity exercise, such as running or cycling, the risk of an early death was reduced by 35%. But it has to be noted that the benefits were only seen among those who were not highly active to start with.

    So it’s not enough to pack all of your movement into an hour at the end of the day – you need to be moving regularly and getting out of your seat as often as possible.

    Why not work out if there’s a part of your commute that you could walk easily. Rather than jump on the bus, maybe you could make time for a 20 minute stroll instead.

    Also make sure you make use of your lunch break – that’s a perfect window in the middle of the day to get away from your desk.

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    Stressed businesswoman with head in hands at office deskStressed businesswoman with head in hands at office desknataliemorris88Stressed businesswoman with head in hands at office deskStressed businesswoman with head in hands at office desknataliemorris88

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Unless you’re looking for a fight, you’ll agree with us that potatoes are the best vegetables (you can cook them in so many different ways).

    But have you thought of doing something else with them? Like grabbing your makeup products and giving your spuds a makeover? Yeah, neither did we.

    If you have then you’re quite the trendsetter, because the art of making potatoes slay has just taken off.

    Beauty bloggers have started applying cosmetics on the old tater tot and uploading the impressive results online. Now the makeovers are having a bit of a moment on Instagram.

    Instagram Photo

    The trend began last year and is attributed to a YouTuber, Russian vlogger Elona Balasyan, who uploaded a simple 15-second tutorial.

    Since then, makeup enthusiasts have gone beyond smushing on a bit of foundation and eyeliner on a tater, they have begun to use oils, primer, lashes, and contact lenses.

    After the base is completed, baking powder (a translucent powder which allows heat from your face to set your foundation and concealer) is applied, leaving one sweet looking baked potato.

    What is it about a potato then that makes people want to beat it?

    Instagram Photo

    Makeup artist Caitlin Rubra told BBC Three that potatoes are particularly suited to this kind of makeover.

    ‘I think it is because potatoes are slightly drier so it will absorb make-up better, also they’re fairly smooth.

    ‘Whereas a carrot is more even or an apple is too smooth and shiny it would slide off. Maybe a pear would work, but it’s not the right shape I suppose.’

    If you had a craving to give a vegetable a makeover but don’t have spuds handy then you’re in luck, we have a few more things you can get creative with.

    What other veggies can I put makeup on?

    Turnips

    Large mushrooms

    Yams

    Pumpkins

    Onions

    While you might be wasting perfectly good cosmetics, don’t waste the potato when you’re done with it. Please eat that gorgeous thing (just wash off the makeup or peel the potato first).

    Don’t you wish you looked like a potato now?

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    People are giving potatoes makeoversPeople are giving potatoes makeoversfaimabakar1People are giving potatoes makeoversPeople are giving potatoes makeoversfaimabakar1

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    (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)

    Mastectomies save lives of women with cancer but they can also have implications on self esteem and body image.

    One tattoo artist is hoping to make women who’ve had their breast tissue removed feel beautiful in their skin again.

    Samantha Rae Carniato, from Vancouver Island, Canada, has helped to transform women’s bodies since 2014, adorning their areola with intricate tattoos.

    ‘My first encounter with a mastectomy client was while I was an airbrush body painter,’ explained Samantha.

    ‘For some people, this was the first time they could look past their scars or their cancer.

    Samantha Rae with Stacie-Rae. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato
    Samantha (left) has been doing areola tattoos since 2014 (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)

    ‘My first tattoo design over mastectomy scars was in 2014, which was a filigree design with cherry blossoms cupping the side of each breast, and a soft hummingbird over her port scar on her left upper chest.

    ‘Working with scar tissue and radiated skin while illustrating realism is a big challenge, but I was ready to embrace it.

    A mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato
    (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)
    Samantha-Rae tattooing a client. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Innocent Thunder Photography / Samantha Rae Carniato
    (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)

    ‘In my experience, everyone arrives with a wildly unique history, although I recognise a lot of similarities in my clients’ journeys.

    ‘Some have partners who are there every step of the way, some go through separation and divorce and have to fully start their lives again.

    ‘Some people stay very jovial and know they will get through with a positive attitude, but some suffer from body dysmorphia and severe mental and emotional lows.

    ‘For the most part, I hear stories of relief, closure, and beauty once their tattoo dreams have been realised.’

    A mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato
    (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)

    Samantha says drawing these designs on women’s bodies gives them a new lease on life.

    Clients have said that the tattoos changed their lives and brought back their confidence. Others have said that the tattoos help them be able to look in the mirror again.

    Samantha's team of tattoo artists. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato
    (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato)

    As a result of her interactions with these women, Samantha has become interested in women’s charities and breast cancer awareness campaigns.

    She’s lost people close to her as a result of cancer and is especially passionate about helping survivors live better, happier lives.

    ‘The tattoos are a celebration of one or more years being cancer-free,’ she says. ‘Finally, it can be about having control over a decision after having your life altered completely by cancer.

    ‘Tattoos present a new start, closure and a happy dance across the finish line of cancer’

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    tattoos to cover their mastectomy scarstattoos to cover their mastectomy scarsfaimabakar1Samantha Rae with Stacie-Rae. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoA mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoSamantha-Rae tattooing a client. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Innocent Thunder Photography / Samantha Rae CarniatoA mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoSamantha's team of tattoo artists. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniatotattoos to cover their mastectomy scarstattoos to cover their mastectomy scarsfaimabakar1Samantha Rae with Stacie-Rae. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoA mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoSamantha-Rae tattooing a client. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Innocent Thunder Photography / Samantha Rae CarniatoA mastectomy design with a poignant message. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae CarniatoSamantha's team of tattoo artists. VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA: THIS TATTOO artist transforms the lives of inspiring cancer survivors by providing them with their dream tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars, helping many to recover from body dysmorphia. Speciality tattoo artist, Samantha Rae Carniato (37) from Vancouver Island, Canada, has been granting people their dream tattoos since 2009, but in 2014 she began transforming inspirational women???s mastectomy scars into their dream tattoos. The incredible photographs show the intricate floral design chosen by one survivor who opted to have the poignant words ???dancing through the fire??? written beneath the breast tattoo. Another stunning design shows a feather motif going across the chest alongside ribbons of blue ink as the backdrop for the central words, which read ???dance to my own rhythm???. Butterflies also feature in many of the artistic designs, with Samantha Rae having done over 40 mastectomy tattoos. Samantha Rae adores being a part of these women???s journeys to recovery and closure by helping them to draw the line on their battles with cancer, enabling them to move on completely. Mediadrumimages / Samantha Rae Carniato

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    (Picture: Getty Images)

    Is there anything better than cosying up in bed under a big duvet after a long day during the winter?

    As far as winter home comforts go, a nice, warm duvet is definitely up there. And there’s no better time to upgrade your old bedding than at the start of the New Year—out with the old, in bed with the new!

    But is your duvet the right one for you to get a good night’s sleep?

    Everyone’s different; some prefer natural fillings like feathers or down, while others prefer synthetic fibres such as hollowfibre.

    Then there’s the duvet tog, which are essentially a way to measure how warm a duvet is and range from 1 to 18, and duvet sizes, which range from single all the way to king-size and emperor.

    With all of these in mind here are the must-have duvets from brands like Dunelm, Asda, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and more.

     

    Marks & Spencer Supremely Washable 10.5 Tog Printed Duvet

    Marks & Spencer Supremely Washable 10.5 Tog Printed Duvet
    (Picture: Marks & Spencer)

    Marks & Spencer have just launched an all-in-one duvet that you never need to change and it’s already a sell-out.

    Their Supremely Washable duvet range offers light, printed duvets that can apparently be washed and dried in one day.

    It comes in single, double, kingsize and super kingsize so perfect for any type of bed.

    Marks & Spencer Supremely Washable 10.5 Tog Printed Duvet, £39.50 – £57.50, marksandspencer.com

     

    Dunelm Ultra Soft 10.5 Tog Duvet

    Dunelm Ultra Soft 10.5 Tog Duvet
    (Picture: Dunelm)

    This ultra-soft Dunelm duvet is synthetic, made from micro-fibre, which is a material that can make the bedding feel like it’s a down duvet. A 10.5 tog, the duvet is a good choice for those looking for an all-rounder duvet that does the job in both colder and warmer temperatures.

    It’s also machine-washable, which you will be thankful for when it comes to a spring clean.

    Dunelm Ultra Soft 10.5 Tog Duvet, £10-£18, dunelm.com

     

    Asda’s Slumberdown Luxury Soft 13.5 Tog Duvet

    Asda’s Slumberdown Luxury Soft 13.5 Tog Duvet
    (Picture: ASDA)

    Another microfibre one, Asda’s duvet is a 13.5 tog meaning it’s a good one to take on any Beasts from the East.

    It’s one of Asda’s highest-rated duvets, with many praising its value for money, and at £17 for a king-size duvet, it’s not hard to see why.

    Asda’s Slumberdown Luxury Soft 13.5 Tog Duvet, £13-£17, asda.com

     

    Silentnight’s Hi Therm 15 Tog Duvet

    Silentnight’s Hi Therm 15 Tog Duvet
    (Picture: Very)

    Pushing the top of the Tog scale, this duvet is warm enough for the very coldest of nights. It’s synthetic, meaning that despite being a 15 Tog, it’s not that heavy.

    It has a 5-star rating on Very, with many reviews highlighting how light-weight it was.

    Silentnight’s Hi Therm 15 Tog Duvet, from £39, very.co.uk

    Marks & Spencer’s Duck feather & Down 13.5 Tog Duvet

    Marks & Spencer’s Duck feather & Down 13.5 Tog Duvet
    (Picture: Marks and Spencer)

    A duck feather duvet that 99 percent of Marks & Spencer reviews said they would recommend to a friend.

    Available in four sizes including king-size and super-king-size, this 13.5 Tog duvet is heavier than a synthetic one, but is still very breathable and perfect for cosy nights in!

    Marks & Spencer’s Duck feather & Down 13.5 Tog Duvet, £39.50-£69, marksandspencer.com

    Julian Charles Feels Like Down 13.5 Tog Duvet

    Julian Charles Feels Like Down 13.5 Tog Duvet
    (Picture: Julian Charles)

    From a duck feather and down duvet to a Julian Charles one that Feels Like Down.

    Made from synthetic fibres designed to feel just like real down, this 13.5 Tog duvet is encased in a soft touch high-thread count cotton and is lightweight and breathable.

    Julian Charles Feels Like Down 13.5 Tog Duvet, £44-£68, juliancharles.co.uk

     

    Debenhams Nimbus 13.5 Tog Duck Feather All Seasons Duvet

    Debenhams Nimbus 13.5 Tog Duck Feather All Seasons Duvet
    (Picture: Debenhams)

    One of Debenhams’ best-sellers, this all seasons duvet is made from 100 percent duck feathers and is currently 50 percent off, with prices ranging from £60-£90 depending on which size you go for.

    Debenhams Nimbus 13.5 Tog Duck Feather All Seasons Duvet, £60-£90, debenhams.com

     

    John Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Washable Duvet

    John Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Washable Duvet
    (Picture: John Lewis)

    Perfect for autumn and winter, this synthetic John Lewis duvet is one of the retailer’s most popular sellers online. It’s quite airy and lightweight, but traps air well enough to take on cold British nights.

    John lewis also says that this duvet dries quicker than normal, so you can be back in bed in no time.

    John Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Washable Duvet, 13.5 Tog, £35-£65, johnlewis.com

     

    Silentnight Anti-Allergy Duvet 13.5 Tog

    Silentnight Anti-Allergy Duvet, 13.5 Tog
    (Picture: Amazon)

    One for the allergy sufferers. This Silentnight duvet is filled with anti-allergy hollowfibre that is meant to tackle bacteria and repel dust mites. Available in single, double and king sizes, the duvet has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from over 1,000 reviews.

    Silentnight Anti-Allergy Duvet, 13.5 Tog, £19.99-£23.99, amazon.co.uk

     

    The White Company Hungarian Goose Down Duvet 10.5 Tog

    The White Company Hungarian Goose Down Duvet 10.5 Tog
    (Picture: The White Company)

    One of The White Company’s best-selling duvets, it’s more pricey than the rest. However, a 10-year guarantee and a 329-thread count cotton more than justifies the price tag.

    The White Company Hungarian Goose Down Duvet, 10.5 Tog, from £170, thewhitecompany.co.uk

     

    Soak & Sleep Duck feather and Down Duvet 13.5 Tog

    Soak & Sleep Duck feather and Down Duvet 13.5 Tog
    (Picture: Soak and Sleep)

    A popular seller on Soak & Sleep, this duck feather and down duvet was actually voted by Which? Members as the UK’s No.1 duvet. It is available in sizes all the way to super-king, so why not treat yourself like royalty?

    Soak & Sleep Duck feather and Down Duvet, 13.5 tog, £38-£65, soakandsleep.com

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    Catching up on her beauty sleepCatching up on her beauty sleepemilyknott17Marks & Spencer Supremely Washable 10.5 Tog Printed DuvetDunelm Ultra Soft 10.5 Tog DuvetAsda’s Slumberdown Luxury Soft 13.5 Tog DuvetSilentnight’s Hi Therm 15 Tog DuvetMarks & Spencer’s Duck feather & Down 13.5 Tog DuvetJulian Charles Feels Like Down 13.5 Tog DuvetDebenhams Nimbus 13.5 Tog Duck Feather All Seasons DuvetJohn Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Washable DuvetSilentnight Anti-Allergy Duvet, 13.5 TogThe White Company Hungarian Goose Down Duvet 10.5 TogSoak & Sleep Duck feather and Down Duvet 13.5 TogCatching up on her beauty sleepCatching up on her beauty sleepemilyknott17Marks & Spencer Supremely Washable 10.5 Tog Printed DuvetDunelm Ultra Soft 10.5 Tog DuvetAsda’s Slumberdown Luxury Soft 13.5 Tog DuvetSilentnight’s Hi Therm 15 Tog DuvetMarks & Spencer’s Duck feather & Down 13.5 Tog DuvetJulian Charles Feels Like Down 13.5 Tog DuvetDebenhams Nimbus 13.5 Tog Duck Feather All Seasons DuvetJohn Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Washable DuvetSilentnight Anti-Allergy Duvet, 13.5 TogThe White Company Hungarian Goose Down Duvet 10.5 TogSoak & Sleep Duck feather and Down Duvet 13.5 Tog

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  • 01/15/19--04:41: What is toxic masculinity?
  • ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Brown men don’t cry – how a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health (Rupen Gahir Kalsi)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Razor brand Gillette released an advert this week trying to tackle the issue of ‘toxic masculinity’.

    It’s a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the last few years.

    Last year, the Oxford English Dictionary labelled ‘toxic’ as their word of the year and said that after ‘chemical’, ‘masculinity’ was the most-used word in conjunction with toxic.

    They explained: ‘With the #MeToo movement putting a cross-industry spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018.’

    But what does it really mean?

    How to compliment a woman without being a dick
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    What is toxic masculinity?

    Firstly, not all masculinity (and not all men) is toxic – there are elements of what it means to be a man that are not harmful to anyone. The Gillette advert, for example, shows men being strong, supportive friends, brothers and dad’s at the end of the advertisement. You can still be masculine without being toxic.

    Toxic masculinity is the idea that society expects men to embrace behaviours and traits that make them seen more masculine but this is harmful to women, as well as men themselves.

    It evolves around the idea that men are ‘strong’, ‘dominant’ and ‘powerful’ over women and they are expected to violent, sexually aggressive and unemotional

    Writing in Physcology Today, Gad Saad Ph.D. explains: ‘James Bond, the epitome of “toxic masculinity,” does not cry at Taylor Swift concerts. His archetype is desired by women and envied by men.’

    Of course, there is plenty of debate about it and what exactly it encompasses. It’s open to interpretation.

    ‘The term ‘toxic masculinity’ has become an easy way to label typically harmful behaviours and attitudes, such as men’s violence against women and other men, misogyny, homophobia, and self-harm/suicide,’ said Dr Mark McGlashan, Lecturer in Linguistics at Birmingham City University’s School of English, told Metro.co.uk

    ‘It’s argued that these behaviours are intimately tied to socially pervasive expectations of what it means to be a man and that, therefore, masculinity itself is toxic. It is important that we question the label ‘toxic masculinity’ and open a debate about what it means, not reify it.’

    John Mercer, Professor of Gender and Sexuality at Birmingham City University’s School of Media, added: ‘Toxic masculinity is gaining favour as a label for those constructions and performances of masculinity that are most dominant in society and can cause harm both to men themselves and those around them.’

    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Me and my Dad's bipolar - Eleanor Seagall
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Why is it harmful?

    This kind of masculinity is obviously harmful to women as it encourages the idea that abuse or violence are acceptable and that simply, men are above women.

    But it is something that causes problems for men too.

    Earlier this month, the American Psychological Association issued guidelines to help psychologists address the issues of men and boys, for the first time in its 127-year history.

    The report explains: ‘Although boys and men, as a group, tend to hold privilege and power based on gender, they also demonstrate disproportionate rates of receiving harsh discipline (e.g., suspension and expulsion), academic challenges (e.g., dropping out of high school, particularly among African American and Latino boys), mental health issues (e.g., completed suicide), physical health problems (e.g. cardiovascular problems), public health concerns (e.g., violence, substance abuse, incarceration, and early mortality), and a wide variety of other quality-of-life issues (e.g., relational problems, family well-being).

    ‘Additionally, many men do not seek help when they need it, and many report distinctive barriers to receiving gender-sensitive psychological treatment.’

    It later adds: ‘Research suggests that socialization practices that teach boys from an early age to be self-reliant, strong, and to minimize and manage their problems on their own yield adult men who are less willing to seek mental health treatment.’

    So because society has these ideas of what a man should be, it’s difficult for men to break free from what is expected of them and get help.

    Jared Skillings told NBC News: ‘Masculinity ideology represents a set of characteristics that are unhealthy for men — men who are sexist or violent or don’t take care of themselves.’

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    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Brown men don’t cry – how a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health (Rupen Gahir Kalsi)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Brown men don’t cry – how a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health (Rupen Gahir Kalsi)lauraabernethy6How to compliment a woman without being a dickILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Me and my Dad's bipolar - Eleanor SeagallILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Brown men don’t cry – how a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health (Rupen Gahir Kalsi)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Brown men don’t cry – how a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health (Rupen Gahir Kalsi)lauraabernethy6How to compliment a woman without being a dickILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Me and my Dad's bipolar - Eleanor Seagall

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    (Picture: SWNS)

    It can be hard to find the motivation to work out.

    As much as we would like to be virtuous in January, the thought of putting ourselves through a grueling HIIT class is often less than appealing.

    So what’s the best motivation when you’re feeling tired, groggy and uninspired? Food. Obviously. Always food.

    A new collaboration between YMCA and Deliveroo is set to launch nationwide classes that reward anyone who completes the 40-minute session with a free takeaway.

    And if that feels just a touch counter-intuitive, you can also order healthy takeaway options to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

    (Picture: SWNS)

    The classes, called ROO-T CAMP, are based around the skills and fitness levels you need to be a Deliveroo driver. And the best thing is that they’re completely free.

    Recent analysis has found that food delivery rider tops the list of the best calorie-burning jobs. So working out like one should certainly be effective.

    ‘Becoming a Deliveroo rider requires a certain level of fitness but it’s almost guaranteed to get you into better shape – even on a part time basis,’ explains fitness expert Jane Wake.

    ‘For Deliveroo cyclists there’s an obvious cardio workout, however all riders improve their balance, and both core and leg strength too.

    ‘Carrying orders from door to door whilst negotiating steps and stair cases will improve agility, speed, upper and lower body strength which is why this really so good for the whole body.

    ‘Biggest of all is the incentive to move fast.’

    The best meals to order after a workout

    YO Sushi! – Salmon and tuna box
    Top tip post-workout, is to ensure you are consuming fast-absorbing carbohydrates such as white rice combined with protein for recovery of muscles, such as a portion of salmon and tuna sushi, this is going to help aid repair and recovery quickly after your session.

    Pod – Salmon and egg protein pot
    Consuming protein post-workout gives your body the amino acids you need to repair and rebuild muscle proteins. Aim to eat at least one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight over the course of any active day. This snack pot is perfect on the go!

    YO Sushi! – Vegan sushi box and edamame side
    A great option for vegetarians, soy beans contain all nine essential amino acids making it a fabulous post workout. High in plant protein, low in sugar, saturated fats and a speedy source of carbs from the white rice, this vegan box is a perfect post workout.

    Classes will soon be available in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Swansea, and they will comprise of a mixture of bike riding, stair climbing, balance and weight lifting.

    ROO-T CAMP classes launch on Monday 21st January, all you have to do is call your local YMCA to book.

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    swns_deliveroo_ymca_27-30e6swns_deliveroo_ymca_27-30e6nataliemorris88swns_deliveroo_ymca_27-30e6swns_deliveroo_ymca_27-30e6nataliemorris88

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Mums to be, please cancel that wax.

    When you’re giving birth to a tiny human, your pubic hair should be the last thing on your mind – you’ve got far bigger things to think about.

    Plus, your midwife really, truly doesn’t care about the fullness of your bush.

    That’s according to an actual midwife, who took to Reddit to issue an important PSA on the matters of pubic hair.

    ‘Please don’t worry about pubic hair,’ they wrote. ‘We don’t even notice as long as you have showered in the last week.

    ‘As long as the baby can come out, we don’t care if you’re full bush, bald as a baby, or something exciting like a lightening bolt/vajazzled. I don’t even notice any more

    ‘It doesn’t affect stitches or anything to do with our work. If you have a c-section we can shave the important part for you with a sterile razor

    ‘Please don’t get yourself into an uncomfortable position trying to do something for us, cause we won’t even notice. It’s like getting your hair done and your husband/friends not even noticing.’

    The midwife raises a valid point.

    Giving birth is a full-on experience (to put it lightly). There’s a baby exiting someone’s body and entering the world, and people are much more likely to pay attention to that than any bikini line stubble.

    Plus, it’s fairly likely you’ll poo. It doesn’t matter how neat you are down there, poo can still happen, and it might still feel a tad more embarrassing than the presence of pubes.

    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Mums-to-be, free yourselves from the shackles of shaving and waxing. You’ve got more than enough to deal with already, and, frankly, hair removal is a dangerous task when your bump is blocking your line of vision.

    Other medical professionals responded to the Reddit post echoing how little they care about hair down there.

    ‘As an ob/gyn – 100% agreed,’ wrote one Redditor. ‘And it’s not only pubic hair… hemorrhoids, interesting tattoos and piercings in your nether areas… anyone who’s been delivering babies for a few years has seen it all. Aside from safety and some basic hygiene, it really doesn’t bother us.’

    ‘I don’t care about shaving but clean socks are always appreciated,’ said another. Noted.

    Oh, and for anyone who isn’t planning on popping out a baby, you don’t need to panic about your pubic hair in other naked situations.

    A massage therapist added: ‘We don’t care, either! I see bald, bush, tattooed, pierced, clean, sweaty, and everything else.

    ‘I’ve also been farted on and had people leak onto the table and have had people vomit.

    ‘You know what? I don’t care at all. At. All. All that matters is that my clients feel good, so although I worry when someone gets sick, that’s about the extent of it.

    ‘I clean up fecal matter monthly, so I really really doubt that people who see it daily during delivery are fazed at all.’

    Good to know.

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    Labor in hospitalLabor in hospitalellencscottLabor in hospitalLabor in hospitalellencscott

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    (Picture: Getty Images)

    Valentine’s Day is renowned for being the most romantic day of the year, but finding the right present for your other half isn’t always an easy task.

    thumbnail for post ID 8347678Is Future the ‘next Michael Jackson?’ It’s a bit of a stretch but his work ethic is impres

    Every year it slowly creeps up, but Valentine’s Day 2019 falls on Thursday 14th February, so there’s still plenty of time to find a thoughtful gift for her.

    Whether you’re planning to spend big, or find something she’ll really like (and doesn’t already have), we’ve found the presents to suit from lingerie, funny Valentine’s cards and chocolate.

    Here are the very best Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her in 2019.

     

    Imogen Longline Plunge Lingerie Set

    £14.00 – £30.00, bouxavenue.com

    Imogen Longline Plunge Lingerie Set
    (Picture: Boux Avenue)

     

    Three Months of Flowers with Bloom & Wild

    £60, bloomandwild.com

    Three Months of Flowers with Bloom & Wild
    (Picture: Bloom & Wild)

     

    Proper Cray 4 You Valentine’s Card

    £2.75, oliverbonas.com

    Proper Cray 4 You Valentine's Card
    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    Drunk Elephant The Littles Skincare Set

    £71, cultbeauty.co.uk

    Drunk Elephant The Littles
    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

     

    Bella Freud Close to my Heart Eau de Parfum

    £95, cultbeauty.co.uk

    Bella Freud Close to my Heart Eau de Parfum
    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

     

    Pandora Asymmetric Hearts of Love Hoop Earrings

    £45, uk.pandora.net

    Pandora Asymmetric Hearts of Love Hoop Earrings
    (Picture: Pandora)

     

    Marble & Copper Three Tier Jewellery Stand

    £39, oliverbonas.com

    Marble & Copper Three Tier Jewellery Stand
    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    OVEROSE Nudesse Candle

    £46, cultbeauty.co.uk

    OVEROSE Nudesse Candle
    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

     

    Spark Romance Valentines Date Night Sticks

    Spark Romance Valentines Date Night Sticks
    (Picture: ASOS)

    £11.99, asos.com

     

    Luxury Spa Day: Pennyhill Park Exclusive Hotel & Spa

    From £100* (prices may vary), booking.com

    Luxury Spa Day: Pennyhill Park Exclusive Hotel & Spa
    (Picture: Booking.com)

     

    Firebox Monster Mushions

    £24.99, firebox.com

    Firebox Monster Mushions 
    (Picture: Firebox)

     

    Lovehoney Oh! Sexploration Vouchers: 52 Weeks of Adventures

    £7.99, lovehoney.co.uk

    Lovehoney Oh! Sexploration Vouchers: 52 Weeks of Adventures
    (Picture: Lovehoney)

     

    Daniel Wellington Women’s Petite Mesh Bracelet Strap Watch

    £139, johnlewis.com

    Daniel Wellington Women's Petite Mesh Bracelet Strap Watch
    (Picture: John Lewis)

     

    Aspinal of London Heart Coin Purse

    Was £60 now £30, aspinaloflondon.com

    Aspinal of London Heart Coin Purse
    (Picture: Aspinal of London)

     

    Pandora Path to Love Charm

    £25, uk.pandora.net

    Pandora Path to Love Charm
    (Picture: Pandora)

     

    Cineworld Unlimited Gift Box

    £214.80, cineworld.co.uk

     

    Cineworld Unlimited Gift Box
    (Picture: Cineworld)

     

    Charlotte Tilbury Luscious Lip Slick in Pillow Talk Gift Set

    £38,charlottetilbury.com

    Charlotte Tilbury Luscious Lip Slick in Pillow Talk Gift Set
    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

     

    Straight From the Heart Chocolate Box

    £40, hotelchocolat.com

     

    LUSH Peachy Bath Bomb

    £3.95, uk.lush.com

    LUSH Peachy Bath Bomb
    (Picture: LUSH Cosmetics)

     

    Malfy Gin Rosa

    £28, ocado.com

    Malfy Gin Rosa
    (Picture: Ocado)

     

    Lookfantastic Beauty Box Subscription

    12 monthly payments of £13, lookfantastic.com

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    Madeleine is one of the case studies who was compared to Patrick Bateman in American Psycho for sharing her wellness routine (Picture: Instagram/madeleinelovesthis)

    As a journalist who writes a lot about mental and physical health and often reviews various wellness retreats, I am regularly asked about the things I’ve learned that have stuck, be it breathing techniques or mindfulness practices.

    My response is always that I, of course, can’t assimilate everything I’ve learned, nor would I want to, so I’ve cobbled together a routine that works for my life and provides a loose framework that means I (primarily) eat foods that nourish me, (often) get enough sleep, (on most days) do something that makes both my mind and body feel good such as lying on a bed of nails (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it – it’s like a mini massage) and talking my dog for long walks. As a consequence, I mostly feel fairly energetic and able to rise to the challenges of my day.

    In my view, that’s neither self-absorbed nor wildly eccentric.

    I merely choose to live in a way that supports my mental and physical health because I have struggled with both in my past and find that feeling well is preferable, so I prioritise that, and, in my capacity as a journalist and blogger, often write about the things I’ve found helpful.

    And that is how, this weekend, I came to be on the front page of the Times as a case study in the feature entitled ‘Have You Joined The Cult of Wellness?’ – and in so doing attracted the ire of many.

    I didn’t think taking part would be a particularly big deal – I write a lot about wellness and health practices and the things that I’ve tried and have found work. When the Times said they were writing about people who incorporate a wellness element into their lives, I was perfectly happy to be featured.

    The responses the piece evoked were visceral and rather vicious, among which included tweets from various people with huge audiences and influence: @IanMarber ‘Is it wellness or delusion?’, @IndiaKnight ‘it’s no life at all,’ @IanDunt ‘imagine having to spend a single second in the company of these dimwits.’

    Nobody opened the discussion as to why the case studies had chosen their routine, nor cared to ask. So I’ll state my case here.

    I grew up in a huge family with people who all had wildly different lifestyles. My Mum has always liked nature and not found much joy in wine, my sister enjoys nothing more than sitting up getting drunk with friends until 4am and unfailingly eats chocolate every day, my brother loves to run in the gym and is hugely into cooking, while my Dad is 80 and in rude health, despite having never taken a supplement and smoked cigars whenever he felt like life dealt him a sweet hand.

    Madleine starts her day with bacteria shots (Picture: Instagram/madeleinelovesthis)

    I was never told what to do, what time to go to bed, what to eat, how to care for my body. The people surrounding me simply didn’t think like that – they were all quite eccentric and didn’t move as a pack.

    I therefore spent years trying different things, many of which I latterly noticed were having an effect on my mental and physical health.

    It was towards the end of my 20s that work started to get quite busy, and I realised that my haphazard lifestyle wouldn’t provide the energy I needed to do what I wanted to do. So I started to note what made me feel good, and what didn’t.

    Then I went to VIVAMAYR, a doctor-lead clinic in Austria in which they effectively take your routine in hand, telling you what to do every day for a week down to the minutiae of when you’ll eat, sleep, and exercise.

    There, I had a eureka moment: it was the simple, routine things that had the biggest impact on how I felt, and by tweaking them on most but of course not all days, I might enjoy my life a hell of a lot more.

    With their loose framework in place on my return, I added elements of my own.

    Some of her wellness tools include a copper tongue scraper, a crystal comb, a facial massager, a body brush, a crystal, and a bed of plastic nails (Picture: Instagram/madeleinelovesthis)

    I sit at a computer for long hours, so found a ‘bed of nails’ (a studded acupressure mat) which I could lie on for a few minutes at the end of the day to up my circulation and ease tension.

    I suffer from poor circulation, so body brush before my shower, then use a Hayo’u Gua Sha body massager in the shower.

    I realised I didn’t really like alcohol and could get by perfectly well without it, so stopped drinking it and found it wasn’t missed.

    Eating a lot of cow’s milk made me feel sick, so I dodged cow’s cheese and milk and only had it in moderation, or at a dinner party.

    I liked sleep, and without enough of it, my days dragged.

    Rather than find any of these small acts throughout the day stole away from my time spent enjoying my life or my loved ones, I found the polar opposite. Released from feeling constantly stressed and a bit run down, I found I had a hell of a lot more fun in life.

    Despite some Twitter users’ best attempts to shame me, I don’t feel ashamed of doing what I need to do to enjoy my life in the slightest.

    Ultimately, it comes down to this: my routine works for me. My social life hasn’t been negatively affected by it, my work is better, and, most importantly, I’m happy; after all, I’m the one who has to live in my mind and body, so hardly think there’s no issue whatsoever with my doing that as I see fit, provided it isn’t illegal or hurting anyone else.

    And if other people have an issue with that, quite frankly, I think that says more about them than it does about my predilection to tongue scrape.

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    Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography
    Raiche Mederick is a burns survivor (Picture: Rankin Photography)

    When we talk about being more inclusive in the beauty industry we often refer to people of different shapes, sizes, and skin colours.

    Very rarely do we include disabled people and those with body disfigurements in the conversation

    To change that, events company director Stephen Bell has put together a book, Portrait Positive, which celebrates women with facial disfigurements.

    And now Stephen, who was born with syndactyly (webbed skin), is planning to do the same for men.

    Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography
    Catrin Pugh suffered burns after a horror road accident (Picture: Rankin Photography)

    ‘The book contains sixteen women’s stories as well as stunning and striking images by esteemed photography company Rankin,’ Stephen tells Metro.co.uk

    ‘The women have all been so open and honest in what they wrote and they all have their own front cover in the book.

    ‘I decided to put it together as I would like to challenge the perception of beauty. I do not believe that the beauty ideal that society would like us all to conform to is real.

    ‘Unfortunately, it is in unachievable and unattainable – which is why people beat themselves up and have such negative body image and low self-worth.

    ‘My whole objective is for people to see what they do not get to see and to empower, educate and encourage them to have positive body confidence and to be the best version of themselves.

    Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography
    Model Chloe Rot is one of the 16 women covered in the book (Picture: Rankin Photography)

    ‘With the advent of social media – people are constantly bombarded with imagery, which they often compare themselves against and this can result in having body image issues.

    ‘The vision behind my idea of Portrait Positive is to raise awareness and the profile of visible differences. Executing this project has also given me the opportunity to share my own story of being born with a rare visible difference.’

    Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography
    Catrin Pugh suffered burns after a horror road accident (Picture: Rankin Photography)

    Stephen chose the models by working with charities Changing Faces and CLAPA (Cleft Lip and Palate Association). Some women approached him and wanted to be part of his work which he created alongside fashion designer Steven Tai.

    Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography
    Carly Barret has alopecia –  hair loss that can be caused by stress and/or genetics (Picture: Rankin Photography)

    They wanted presenter Katie Piper who was victim of an acid attack to be part of the book but she was unavailable. She did, however, write the book’s foreward.

    In the future, Stephen hopes to explore men with facial disfigurements and how perceptions of male beauty affect them.

    MORE: Primark’s latest campaign features a teenage boy with vitiligo – and everyone loves it

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    Positive Portrait bookPositive Portrait bookfaimabakar1Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait bookPositive Portrait bookfaimabakar1Positive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin PhotographyPositive Portrait book Credit: Rankin Photography

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    Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read first
    (Picture: Credit: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

    You’ve been seeing someone for a while but you aren’t quite sure where it’s going.

    You haven’t had the ‘are we exclusive?’ chat so you know there’s a chance they might be seeing someone else.

    And then you find out that the whole time, they’ve been getting to know someone else and you were just the back-up option.

    You’ve been cookie-jarred – another of 2019’s new dating terms.

    The idea is that if something doesn’t work out, the person always has another cookie in the jar.

    Happn dating expert Eugénie Legendre explained: ‘Cookie-jarring is an insecurity that stems from the desire to feel safe and wanted.

    ‘If you are seeing someone and want to make yourself feel a bit more secure, you soak up the attention from a potential love interest.

    ‘This can be a problem long term as it can eventually affect all parties involved.

    (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Maybe “cookie jarrers” don’t realize what they are doing and aren’t able to identify their feelings, but when you are the one cookie jarred it’s exhausting to question the relationship status and wait for a clear answer from the other.

    ‘If you can’t get this answer and are obviously expecting a different type of relationship, then move forward.

    ‘Do they blow hot and cold? Really keen one minute – disappearing the next. After a few weeks you’ve raised where this is going and if they are seeing anyone else and despite “conversations” you are still none the wiser as to whether this is exclusive.’

    It’s pretty unpleasant if it happens to you. One woman who experienced cookie-jarring explained:

    ‘We met through friends and I thought we were getting on pretty well

    ‘We were messaging and getting to know eachother and after a few weeks, we ended up going home together after a night out.

    ‘The next morning, we woke up and had the perfect date day together.

    ‘I really thought it was going somewhere.

    ‘After that, I went away for a few weeks but we kept chatting and went on a few more dates.

    ‘Then about six weeks after we started chatting, I found out through our mutual friend that he had a new girlfriend and he just stopped speaking to me.

    ‘I saw him a few weeks later and mentioned it but he said we weren’t exclusive and he wasn’t sure where things were going with his new girlfriend at the time so I was just a way to keep his options open.

    ‘The relationship was pretty short and normally I would just move on but being made to feel like a back-up option was pretty difficult.’

    Although they might think it’s fine to be seeing too people at once, it’s still pretty heartbreaking when you discover you are second best.

    If you suspect you are being cookie-jarred, it’s time to have the chat about being exclusive.

    If they are vague or unwilling to commit, ask them outright if there is someone else and if they don’t want to commit to one person, it’s probably time to let it go.

    MORE: Prowling is the hot-and-cold dating trend coming to you in 2019

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    MORE: Fishing is the latest dating trend to make you lose all hope in love


    Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstlauraabernethy6Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstlauraabernethy6Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read first

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    Some songs are so good they can be played on an eternal loop and it’s just totally fine. Africa by Toto is one of them.

    It’s the one thing that unites baby boomers, millennials, and savvy members of generation Z.

    One man loves the song so much, he’s set up a sound installation to play the song on repeat in actual Africa.

    Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf has set up a device on the 55-million-year-old Namib Desert where it will blast out the much-loved lyrics.

    Picture: maxsiedentopf.com Africa by Toto to play on eternal loop in Africa
    (Picture: maxsiedentopf.com)

    The 1982 classic has been an evergreen favourite, whether on a night out, a karaoke sesh or even in 21st-century meme form.

    Although nearly 40 years old, the track was the most streamed song in 2017, is quadruple platinum, and amassed a whopping 442 million views on YouTube.

    So it’s only right that the creatures of the desert get to enjoy it as much as we have.

    Artist Max, 27, told the BBC he hopes his installation will last as long as the desert has, which is 55 million years old (wouldn’t count on it, pal).

    ‘I wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit “Africa” in Africa,’ he said.

    ‘Some [Namibians] love it and some say it’s probably the worst sound installation ever. I think that’s a great compliment.’

    His set up includes six speakers attached to an MP3 player with the single track on it.

    ‘Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible, but I’m sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually.’

    Let’s hope he’s blessed the speakers with water-resistant abilities because, well what happens if it rains down in Africa?

    Anyway, in case you haven’t already got the song stuck in your head, here it is for your enjoyment.

    MORE: People are giving potatoes makeovers and they look better than all of us

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    The ‘loneliest frog in the world’, ill-fittingly named Romeo, has just found love.

    The 11-year-old Sehuencas water frog has been single for a decade (can relate) living in an aquarium in Bolivia.

    So kind scientists decided to matchmake on his behalf, going on an expedition to a remote Bolivian cloud forest and found a mate, Juliet, for him.

    Thankfully they found five Sehuencas water frogs – two females – in a stream and hope to breed them with Romeo before re-introducing the amphibians back into the wild.

    Lucky you, Romeo.

    Romeo’s on the left, Juliet’s on the right (Picture: Robin Moore / Global Wildlife Conservation / AFP/Getty)

    ‘Romeo is really calm and relaxed and doesn’t move a whole lot. He’s healthy and likes to eat, but he is kind of shy and slow,’ said expedition leader Teresa Camacho Badani.

    ‘Juliet is really energetic, she swims a lot and she eats a lot and sometimes she tries to escape.’

    Come on now, Juliet, the survival of your species depends on you

    The find is a particularly exciting one as scientists have not spotted Seheuncas water frogs in the wild for a decade.

    They’d picked up Romeo ten years ago hoping to find a mate for him but did not anticipate it would take him this long. Sounds familiar.

    Handout picture released by the Global Wildlife Conservation taken on December 13, 2018 showing Julliet, a Sehuencas water frog rediscovered in the wild in Bolivia, seen here during her quarantine as she acclimates to her new environment at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide dOrbigny in Cochabamba, Bolivia. - On a recent expedition to a Bolivian cloud forest, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide dOrbigny rediscovered the Sehuencas water frog in the wild, including Juliet, who will play a critical role in saving her species from extinction. Juliet will be introduced to Romeo, previously the last-known Sehuencas Water Frog, who has lived at the museum for the last 10 years. No frogs of this species have been seen in the wild during that time, until now. (Photo by Robin MOORE / Global Wildlife Conservation / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GLOBAL WILDLIFE CONSERVATION / ROBIN MOORE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSROBIN MOORE/AFP/Getty Images
    Juliet, who was found in a Bolivian cloud forest might just be the one for Romeo ( Robin Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

    It’s not the first time that Romeo has been in the spotlight. He attracted headlines last year when a dating profile was made for him.

    Conservation groups teamed up with Match.com to create a profile for him and raise awareness for his species while raising funds for the expedition.

    The gimmick worked as the expedition came through for Romeo. Now the newly-found amphibians are in quarantine at the museum’s conservation centre.

    Instagram Photo

    The frogs will be treated against infectious diseases which is troubling others in their species.

    Once given the all-clear, Romeo and Juliet will unite and hopefully hit it off.

    With 22% of the amphibian species in Bolivia facing the threat of extinction, there’s a lot riding on their union.

    No pressure, kids.

    MORE: People are giving potatoes makeovers and they look better than all of us

    MORE: Africa by Toto to be blasted in a desert ‘down in Africa’ for 55 million years

    MORE: An event where you could ice-skate with real penguins has been cancelled due to animal welfare concerns


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    (Picture: Getty)

    Remember when Prince William and Kate Middleton had just had baby Louis?

    Everyone ummed and ahhd about what the latest royal was going to be called, with Prince Albert being a strong contender. But luckily they thwarted that idea because, as we revealed last year, a Prince Albert is actually the name of a penis piercing.

    And now, as we anticipate Meghan and Harry’s first child, guesses for the name are rolling in again.

    If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex look at a report by Expedia – which has revealed the most popular royal names – they might end up choosing the number one boy moniker – Albert.

    But again, we urge them not to.

    In case you forgot what a Prince Albert looks like (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    A Prince Albert is a piercing of the penis, in which a metal ring is pierced through the skin at the tip of the penis. The ring begins almost straight to pierce through the penis, and is then bent with pliers to create a rounded ring shape.

    Not very royal, is it?

    In the past, 12 Royals have been called Albert, the most famous of which (married to Queen Victoria) might’ve even been the inspiration behind the ballsy piercing.

    The theory is that he had the piercing himself to make his penis look more aesthetically pleasing. But sadly we can’t know that for sure.

    Meghan and Harry could shun the name altogether if they have a boy, opting for other popular names Edward or Christian (George and Charles, respectively number two and three on the list, are obviously taken by existing members of the family).

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Hamilton Square in Birkenhead to view a sculpture of poet Wilfred Owen and to meet the people of Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK, on the 14th January 2019. Picture by James Whatling
    (Picture: James Whatling Photography)

    For girls, the most popular name is Victoria – and with nine royals already been given the timeless moniker – it might be a sweet nod to Harry’s family history.

    Mary, Louise, and Alexandra also top the list with Elizabeth taking fifth place (sorry Queen).

    Royal boy names

    1. Albert

    2. George

    3. Charles

    4. Edward

    5. Christian

    6. Frederick

    7. Louis

    8. Arthur

    9. William

    10. Henry

    Royal girl names

    1. Victoria

    2. Mary

    3. Louise

    4. Alexandra

    5. Elizabeth

    6. Alice

    7. Margaret

    8. Charlotte

    9. Augusta

    10. Helena

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    Caucasian baby boy dressed as kingCaucasian baby boy dressed as kingfaimabakar1Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Hamilton Square in Birkenhead to view a sculpture of poet Wilfred Owen and to meet the people of Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK, on the 14th January 2019. Picture by James WhatlingCaucasian baby boy dressed as kingCaucasian baby boy dressed as kingfaimabakar1Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Hamilton Square in Birkenhead to view a sculpture of poet Wilfred Owen and to meet the people of Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK, on the 14th January 2019. Picture by James Whatling

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    (Picture: Poundland/PA Wire)

    It’s long been the rule that you spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring.

    While some jewellers have said that law has died, the existence of ring shaming groups on Facebook (and the brutal comments that lie within) are proof that for many brides-to-be, how much you spend on a ring really does matter.

    We’re not sure how someone would react to being presented with a £1 ring, but that’s now a very real option.

    Poundland is selling proper engagement rings for the bargain price of – you guessed it – £1.

    Now, before you panic that your partner may be ditching the diamonds and getting you a cheap rock instead, Poundland has said that the budget buys have a greater purpose.

    Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: Poundland/PA)

    The brand describes their rings as a ‘beautiful placeholder’, the idea being that a person can do their big romantic proposal with a Poundland ring, with the intention of shopping together for the perfect sparkling replacement.

    That option means you won’t be disappointed with whatever ring your partner picks out, as you’ll be involved in the decision-making process. Sweet, right?

    Photos of the ‘Bling Ring’ collection were shared in the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group, prompting some debate in the comments.

    Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: Poundland/PA)

    Some were enthusiastic: ‘Is this not the best idea ever? Buy a cheap ring from Poundland to propose then go to the shop so you can pick a proper one together.’

    Others… not so much: ‘Why would anyone want to pick their own ring? Isn’t the point of it that the man you love has chosen it for you?’

    Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: Poundland/PA)

    We guess a Poundland ring could also serve as a handy litmus test: If you pop the question with one of these and your beloved turns you down based purely on the cost of a bit of jewellery, perhaps it’s not meant to be.

    If you fancy going down the Poundland route, either as a holding ring or as the real deal, you have plenty of options to choose from. The range includes gold and silver rings with red or blue stones, each presented in a heart shaped box.

    To be very, very clear, you’re not getting an amazing bargain on a real diamond. The rings are made with cubic zirconia and have fake gemstones stuck on top.

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    MORE: Midwife urges mums not to worry about their pubic hair when they’re giving birth

    MORE: Bride wants to make her bridesmaids wear coloured contacts so their eyes don’t clash with their dresses


    Poundland ringsPoundland ringsellencscottUndated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Poundland ringsPoundland ringsellencscottUndated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated Poundland handout of one of their range of ??1 engagement rings which the chain has launched ahead of Valentine???s Day. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. The rings, made with Cubic Zirconia, come in a range of sizes and are available in silver and gold colour with gemstones resembling diamond, ruby and topaz. See PA story CONSUMER Poundland. Photo credit should read: Poundland/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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    Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.

    Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. It means your parents hail from two (or more) different ethnicities, leaving you somewhere in the middle.

    In 2001, when the ‘mixed’ categories were first introduced to the national census, mixed-race people made up 1.3% of the population. Fast-forward 10 years, and that figure almost doubles to 2.3%.

    It’s a trajectory that’s unlikely to slow down.

    Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.

    For many, it’s about occupying two identities simultaneously, reconciling the differences and trying to carve out a space to exist between the two.

    The mainstream understanding of being mixed-race most often refers to people who are white and black Caribbean, or white and black African. But the voices of the mixed-race diaspora extend far beyond this.

    Mixed Up aims to elevate those voices, look deeper at the nuanced realities of being mixed-race and provide an insight into the inner workings of this rapidly growing ethnic group.

    Lauren Douglin is an actress and writer who now lives in London, but she says growing up in an almost entirely white community affected how she saw herself.

    Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie Morris
    (Picture: Jerry Snyder for Metro.co.uk)

    Lauren’s dad is from Barbados and her mum is English, but for most of her childhood she didn’t even realise that she was any different to her white friends.

    ‘There were little moments that really stuck out to me. One time, I must have been about 10, and I was staying at my friend’s house, we were doing each other’s hair. And at that point my hair didn’t really grow, people used to think I was a boy because I had a full-on 1970s, Michael Jackson afro.

    ‘My friend’s mum had let us use her curling iron, and I remember the mum saying to my friend – “don’t use it on Lauren’s hair, she doesn’t need it.” And I was just confused.

    ‘Now I look back and I’m like, yeah, obviously, don’t come near my hair with the heat – but as a child it just felt like I was being excluded from something fun. It didn’t really click in my head at the time that there was a clear reason why I couldn’t use the curling iron, and that I was different to my friend.

    ‘It didn’t properly hit me until I was at college. It was such a white dominant town, so in the college canteen we had this corner which we called the “ethnic corner” – and it was where anyone non-white would sit during lunch break.

    ‘It sounds kind of bad, but it was a self-named thing, and anyone could sit there if they wanted – but generally, all the Asian kids and the black kids would gravitate towards each other and sit together.

    ‘I think that would happen because of a sense of shared knowledge.

    ‘My dad and my brother used to play this game in my hometown called, “spot the brother” – and they would see how many black men they could nod at. It’s just the recognition of like – I see you – and I think the same kind of thing was going on at college.

    Lauren and her dad (Picture: Lauren Douglin/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘You just knew that at lunchtime you could sit with this group of people, no one was going to ask me which parent is the black one, no one was going to question what I had for dinner or ask what ackee and saltfish are, no one was going to question my “tan”.

    ‘It made it a safe space. We could just talk about college work or gossip about dating, or whatever, without any underlying prejudices or awkwardness. It just didn’t matter what you looked like.’

    When it comes to identification – Lauren is firmly somewhere in the middle. She doesn’t believe it’s a case of having to choose white or black, it’s possible to be both.

    ‘Growing up I never fully appreciated that I was “mixed”, which meant there were different “sides” because I lived in a house of all different shades but we were still one unit.

    ‘I grew up in a predominantly white town so you could say I could have identified more with my white side, but we visited my Bajan grandma and family regularly, so I still had a solid diet of macaroni pie, rice and peas, chicken and flying fish.

    ‘I still had one black and one white parent, so as their child I identified as a Douglin. To me, picking a side meant picking a parent, they raised me together and I love them both so I was just one of them.’

    Lauren with her mum (Picture: Lauren Douglin/Metro.co.uk)

    As an actress and aspiring writer, Lauren is keen to see more mixed-race stories on mainstream platforms. She’s put pen to paper to make sure that happens.

    ‘I’ve written a screenplay – it’s a TV pilot. I started it four years ago – and it was just a bit of a splurge at first, an exercise in getting things out of my brain.

    ‘It started as sketches about being mixed-race. One of the sketches was based on a true story – I was out in a club. I was waiting to buy a drink and this girl was like, “oh my god your hair is so nice, can I touch it?” and I was like, “no.”

    ‘When I turned around she put her hands in my hair and pulled it. I span around and said, “what are you doing?!” she said, “It just looked so soft and fluffy, I had to touch it!”

    ‘I grabbed her hair and yanked it and said to her, “it’s just so dead straight, I had to touch it!” I got escorted out, and she got to stay in the club. Which is classic.

    ‘So the script started with moments like that, and then developed into a story. And now I have two production companies reading over it, so hopefully something will come of that.

    ‘I think it’s really strange that you don’t see that many mixed narratives on TV, in dramas and film. We’re the fastest growing ethnicity on the planet – my cousins are white, Portuguese and Indian. So where are our stories?’

    There are certain expectations that come with being mixed-race or non-white. Expectations about background, class, taste in music and fashion – but not everyone meets those expectations. And that can be difficult.

    ‘For a time in my late teens, living on the South Coast of England, I felt maybe I wasn’t “urban” enough, as I didn’t own a tracksuit or speak with a certain accent. But I realised that all of that was just part of an image used to sell trainers and singles.

    ‘Recently, I was on my way to film a web series and a guy called me a “piff lighty” – and I had no idea what that meant, it had to be explained to me.

    ‘I think as mixed-race people, we’re often categorised as a “thing”, an image, something you see on a JD Sport advert – rather than a person, who has a story to tell.

    ‘There doesn’t seem to be any nuance within people’s perception of us. People don’t look at us and think, oh she could be a doctor, or a scientist, or someone who has four kids, or someone who has a child who’s in a wheelchair.

    ‘You don’t hear any of those stories, you just see an image, and I think that’s why it’s important to get the different stories out there, so we don’t just become a percentage, or a stat, or an image on a poster.’

    Little Lauren (Picture: Lauren Douglin/Metro.co.uk)

    Representation is so important. It helps you frame your aspirations, set goals and decide what you can achieve. For mixed-race people it can be hard to find those figures who directly relate to their unique experience.

    ‘During the research for my screenplay, I found loads of mixed-race people – particularly women – who have made history in different ways but have just been called black the entire time.

    ‘There was a woman called Lilian Bader, who was mixed white and Bajan, like me, and she was one of the first women to ever work on a WW2 jet. But she was called a black woman, but she wasn’t, she was mixed.

    ‘I think our generation now is more open to calling themselves mixed-race, whereas for years it was easier to call yourself black, and be called black to appease people.

    ‘So there has been this historical erasure of mixed-race trailblazers who were wrongly categorised as black. All because it’s easier for people to see us as one or the other, rather than entertain the possibility of something in between.’

    Lauren thinks it’s really important for people to embrace their identities for themselves, and not settle for a label that other people give you. The only perception that truly matters is your own.

    ‘I’m proud to say that I’m mixed-race – I don’t get rowdy about it that often, but I would never say that I was black, because to me – that shuts off half of me, and that half is my mum.

    ‘For me, being mixed-race is about embodying different cultures, different heritages, being worldly without having to go anywhere.

    And when it comes to other people – Lauren’s advice is simple – just keep your hands to yourself.

    ‘I like talking to people, and I like when people ask me questions, because I would rather people understand rather than just assume.

    ‘I love talking about how long it takes to wash my hair, and why, and things like that – I think it’s better that we ask those questions and learn from each other, rather than just making assumptions.

    ‘So people can ask me about my hair all day long – just don’t reach out and grab it!’

    Mixed Up is a weekly series focused on telling the stories of mixed-race people. Next week we speak to Alexandra Sheppard, an author who didn’t realise how deeply she felt about being mixed-race until it came spilling out in her debut novel.

    MORE: mixed Up: 'I may be white passing, but skin tone and ethnicity aren't mutually exclusive'

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘If they’re not going to tell stories about us, then we need to get out there and do it ourselves’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘My mum was a trailblazer for shunning arranged marriage’


    LaurenLaurennataliemorris88Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie MorrisLaurenLaurennataliemorris88Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie Morris

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    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    What’s your sexual sweet spot? Is it the side of the neck, the skin around the nipples, or someone’s fingers tickling your inner thighs?

    Whatever drives you wild, we’re guessing there’s one sensitive place that gets you off.

    But if you haven’t had that orgasm chat with your partner, they might not know which erogenous zones to go for.

    It’s time to talk about sex and demand that your magical areas of arousal get touched.

    Here, 11 sexually empowered women start the foreplay by sharing places and moves that work every time.

    Olivia, 31

    If my boyfriend spends a lot of time playing with my nipples before he heads downstairs and into my knickers, it’s a guaranteed way to make me come.

    There has to be a slow build-up though, starting with gentle blowing and teasing, progressing to long, firm licks, flicks and rolls of the tongue – I love it when he takes my whole nipple area in his mouth and sucks really hard while I hold his head. Doing this sends electric-like pulses through my body and ends with me begging him to touch me elsewhere.

    Anika, 26

    When I’m in the mood for playful sex, I LOVE a hard, stinging spank on my bum. There’s something about the skin on my bum that’s extra sensitive.

    It hurts, but it also unleashes some kind of erotic chemical in me. If someone really wants to turn me on, that’s the place to play.

    Sophie, 24

    There’s something about my collar bone that wakes up my whole body. If a guy traces his tongue from the dent behind it up to my neck, it gets me horny in about three seconds flat.

    Sasha, 29

    I have a little spot of amazement tucked away inside me, but it needs a certain tactic to awaken it.

    When someone is giving me head they have to use the flat part of their tongue in a rhythmic manner whilst placing two fingers deep inside me and pressing upwards. That where it’s at.

    All this fast, juvenile fingering, when someone whips their digits in and out, does nothing but turn me off. That deep pressure – the sensation of someone massaging my G spot – whilst licking my clitoris sends me crazy. Very few people I have slept with have mastered this trick.

    Mischa, 32

    Tickle my inner thighs for ten minutes with your fingers, then when you finally get to my vagina you won’t even need to work for it.

    What it's like to come out as a sex and porn addict - Erica Garza picture: Ella Byworth
    (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Rosie, 35

    The lips – playfully touching one another’s, pressing them lightly on top of each other, nibbling them softly, rubbing them slowly together whilst you’re talking, using a thumb to stroke them – I think it’s a really sensual way to kickstart sex.

    Kelly, 24

    I know it sounds teenage but I love nothing more than a dirty dry hump. The best is when you can feel the heat of each other’s groins.

    I get a real rush from the slow grind that builds up in pace and get extra turned on when the friction and the fabric gets really warm. I swear I could come from dry humping (sex secret: I have).

    Alara, 30

    I’m not one for anal sex, but I do love a finger or small object slipped inside my butt just as I’m on the verge.

    I think the fullness of something inside my vagina, plus the pressure of something up my arse, fires all the signals for an explosive orgasm. I just need to find someone who’s willing to stick a finger up my bum for fun!

    Kate, 31

    I love my neck, nipples, ears and tummy being stroked and kissed – as long as I’m not bloated otherwise that’s a no-go zone.

    Charlotte, 26

    My most erotic area is my mouth. A dominant person with a playful tongue can set me off a hell of a lot quicker than if someone just shoots their hand down into my knickers.

    When someone takes time over a slow, deep snog, it sends me into overdrive and spikes all my nerve endings. If I meet a good kisser, I know they will definitely be able to make me orgasm – it’s in the chemistry.

    Megan, 38

    My sweet spot? The sides of my body, from my boobs to my waist. When someone softly runs both hands down from my armpits to the tops of my hips, I’m gone. Even better if they finish with a good grab of the flesh on my lower back as they pull me on top…

    MORE: A lot of people didn’t feel ready the first time they had sex

    MORE: Experts say women need to orgasm during sex when they’re trying to conceive

    MORE: Sex toys on trial: The Lovehoney Classic Mains Powered Magic Wand Vibrator


    sex worksex workellencscottWhat it's like to come out as a sex and porn addict - Erica Garza picture: Ella Byworthsex worksex workellencscottWhat it's like to come out as a sex and porn addict - Erica Garza picture: Ella Byworth

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    Close-up of contact lens on womans finger.Blue background
    (Picture: Carol Yepes/Getty Images)

    You might have heard that flushing your contact lenses down the toilet is pretty bad.

    But until now, there wasn’t a great solution.

    For the first time, you can recycle your contact lenses for free.

    Previously, recycling the lenses was difficult and expensive – meaning most of the UK’s 3.7 million contact lens wearers either threw them away or flushed them down the toilet.

    This contact lens is of the daily disposable type. They consist mostly of fluid. This image was taken on 12th April 2017
    (Picture: Charles Bowman/Getty Images)

    The new scheme, run by Johnson & Johnson, is the UK’s first free nationwide programme which enables consumers to easily recycle their contact lenses and the blister foil packaging after use.

    And it’s available to all soft contact lens wearers regardless of which brand they use.

    You can have your old lenses collected or you can drop them off at opticians across the UK, including branches of Boots Opticians.

    The lenses will then be turned into new products like outdoor furniture.

    ‘Seventy-seven percent of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment,’ said Sandra Rasche, Area Vice President at Johnson & Johnson Vision.

    ‘As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change, protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new UK recycling programme represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I would never say I was black, that shuts off half of me – that half is my mum’

    MORE: Rejoice, for Poundland is finally selling engagement rings


    Close-up of contact lens on womans fingerClose-up of contact lens on womans fingerlauraabernethy6Close-up of contact lens on womans finger.Blue backgroundThis contact lens is of the daily disposable type. They consist mostly of fluid. This image was taken on 12th April 2017Close-up of contact lens on womans fingerClose-up of contact lens on womans fingerlauraabernethy6Close-up of contact lens on womans finger.Blue backgroundThis contact lens is of the daily disposable type. They consist mostly of fluid. This image was taken on 12th April 2017

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