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

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    A piece of toast will always land butter-down, a cat will always land on its feet.

    And now there’s a new theory to add to our inexplicably long list of tossing folklore.

    If you throw one of your Vans shoes in the air it will always land right-side-up. According to the infinite wisdom of the people of Twitter.

    It all started when Twitter user @Ibelievthehype shared a video throwing a pair of Vans across a room, where they landed perfectly – laces-up – after flipping in every direction.

    ‘Did you know it doesn’t matter how you throw your vans they will land facing up,’ they wrote in the video caption.

    People immediately started trying it out, filming the results and posting it on Twitter. And that is how the #VansChallenge was born.

    The tweet has now gained more than 150,000 likes and 66,000 people have commented on the video.

    There are plenty of believers who swear the new theory is the real deal.

    But as you can see from our video at the top of this article – it doesn’t work every time.

    We rounded up everyone in the Metro.co.uk office who was wearing Vans and got them to go barefoot for an hour – all in the name of science.

    Our experiment shows that, at best, the #VansChallenge theory isn’t consistent – it doesn’t work every time.

    And there are more people on Twitter who are now helping to bust this myth.

    So maybe there’s an art to it – it might be the case that it only works if you toss your Vans in a particular way. Which is significantly less mystifying.

    More data is needed – but we are pretty sure that the #VansChallenge isn’t quite the universal theory that the internet would have you believe.

    MORE: Man sends hilarious CV to Tinder match to apply to be her wedding date

    MORE: Glossier Play has arrived: here’s everything you need to know about the new dialled-up beauty extras

    MORE: Man ‘mistakenly thinks his wife wants him to get a happy ending at birthday massage’


    We tested the #VansChallenge and turns out it doesn't workWe tested the #VansChallenge and turns out it doesn't work

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

    If you’ve never been in the situation where you watch two pink lines appear when you were praying for one, then you’re very fortunate.

    Fingers crossed that remains the case.

    But if it has happened to you, you’ll know that there are a lot of things to think about.

    Do I want to become a parent? Can I afford to? Is this the right choice for me? Would I prefer to have an abortion?

    There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, but it does give rise to quite a significant question of modern etiquette.

    If you choose an abortion, are you obliged to tell the father?

    ‘I found out I was pregnant at three weeks,’ said Lorna, 29*. ‘I booked the termination as soon as I could – I had to wait a couple of weeks. The guy I’d slept with was a friend from Uni. He was religious and didn’t agree with abortion.

    ‘I didn’t tell him because I didn’t think it would be fair on him. I wouldn’t have let him talk me out of it, but it would have put him through pain that he didn’t need to experience. So I went with a mate and as far as he knows it never happened.’

    Christa*, on the other hand, was glad she told her partner. ‘I’d been seeing my boyfriend for a couple of months when I found out I was pregnant. I told him immediately and it was his support which made me sure we were going to work as a long term couple.

    ‘He showed what a great guy he was in how she treated the situation. He let me make the choice, was really good to me and just generally understood what I needed. We’re going to have kids one day, I hope. But it’ll be when we’re ready, not living in shared houses on minimum wage.’

    *Names have been changed.

    Whether or not you tell the person who you conceived with is entirely up to you, but there is no legal or medical obligation to do so.

    We spoke to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who said: ‘You don’t have to tell the ‘father’ you are pregnant, and you do not need their consent to have an abortion.

    ‘If they discover you are planning to end a pregnancy, they have no legal authority to prevent you from seeking an abortion.

    Abortion consultations are designed to allow you to make the choice without anyone else putting pressure on you.

    BPAS explained: ‘We will always make sure you are seen on your own to ensure that ultimately you are making the choice you want to make, rather than being forced into making a decision one way or another by someone else.’

    Another tricky area of etiquette surrounding an abortion is cost. If you end up paying for your abortion privately due to waiting times or by preference, should the person who you conceived with pay their half?

    BPAS said: ‘They cannot however be compelled to pay any of the associated costs of an abortion, however today abortion care is fully funded by the NHS.’

    That said, there is nothing wrong with suggesting that you split the cost, seeing as it required both of you for the pregnancy to occur in the first place.

    Generally in Modern Etiquette we conclude that talking to whoever you’re worrying about is the right way forward. However for some women, not talking about their abortion with the ‘father’ is a safer or easier choice.

    For others, telling their partner can make the decision easier, and that it enables their partner to be a source of support.

    When it comes to reproductive choices it really is up to the pregnant person.

    Sometimes that makes things harder – it can feel like it would be easier to have someone tell you what to do next.

    As BPAS stressed, it is entirely up to you, and there is no medical or legal obligation to inform anyone.

    If you do tell your sexual partner and they are not supportive of your choice to have an abortion, there is nothing they can do to prevent it. In 1978 a man took the BPAS to court over this exact issue and lost.

    Modern Etiquette is a weekly series. Rather than telling you what to do with a salad crescent or which shoes are most appropriate for Ascot, we’ll be working out how to navigate shared houses, drugs, ex-boyfriends and that moment when you send the screenshot of the person you’re bitching about to them. 

    MORE: Modern Etiquette: I liked an Instagram photo from 2014 – what do I do?

    MORE: Modern Etiquette: My Tinder date doesn’t look like their pictures – what now?

    MORE: Modern Etiquette: I got period blood on someone else’s sofa, what do I do?


    Fertility SeriesFertility Series

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    Classic pancakes
    Fancy some classic pancakes this Pancake day? (Picture: Getty Images)

    Pancake Day is this Tuesday, meaning many of us will be feasting on pancakes on the day which traditionally heralds in the start of Lent.

    The food is traditionally eaten on this day as a way of using up foods such as eggs, sugar and milk ahead of the fasting period which begins on the next day, Ash Wednesday.

    The humble pancake has taken on many different forms over the years, with Uber Eats revealing that Brits favour strawberries and cream as their favourite topping.

    Thick, fluffy American pancakes have also become popular on these shores.

    However if the thin, crepe-style classic pancake is more your style, and you’re planning on whipping a bunch of those up this Tuesday, here’s how you make them.

    The recipes between classic pancakes and American pancakes aren’t that different, except American pancakes typically use one or two tablespoons of baking powder, to allow the finished product to rise a bit and become slightly thicker and fluffy.

    Pancakes being made in kitchen
    The batter is simple to make but don’t cook them for too long on either side

    Classic pancakes are normally eaten one at a time instead of eaten in a stack, American-style.

    Here’s how you make them.

    Classic pancake ingredients

    120g plain flour

    1 large egg

    300ml milk

    pinch of salt

    Melted butter or oil for frying

    Method

    A pile of classic pancakes
    Delicious (Picture: Getty)

    Sift the flour into a large bowl with a pinch of salt, then add the eggs and milk.

    Whisk the mixture until it’s smooth and there are no lumps.

    Heat the oil or butter over a medium heat in a frying pan.

    Add a little batter to the pan (around 2tbsps worth but it depends on the size of the pan), making sure it covers the whole base of the pan.

    Brown for about a minute on both sides, flipping it with a spatula midway through.

    Serve the pancakes hot with a squeeze of lemon and sugar – or anything else which may take your fancy.


    Can you give pancakes to your dogs?Can you give pancakes to your dogs?

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    (Picture: Aldi)

    It’s pancake day – the best day of the year.

    You might be someone who sticks to the simple recipe but maybe it’s time to try something a bit different.

    This is a simple American style fluffy pancake recipe with an easy twist.

    It combines the butty, sweet flavours of amaretto with bitter coffee.

    Serve the boozy espresso pancakes with mascapone and maple syrup for a very indulgent dessert (or dinner – it is pancake day after all).

    Boozy espresso and amaretto pancake recipe

    Ingredients

    150g plain flour,
    120g Greek yoghurt,
    2tsp instant coffee,
    2 large eggs,
    1tsp baking powder,
    Pinch of salt,
    50ml milk,
    25ml vegetable oil,
    50g caster sugar
    50ml Bellucci Amaretto

    Method:

    Put the flour, baking powder, coffee and salt into a bowl and mix well.

    In another bowl, put the yoghurt, milk, oil, eggs and Bellucci Amaretto and mix.

    Make a well with the dry ingredients and slowly add and mix in the liquid ingredients.

    For each pancake, add 4tbsp into a pan and cook for a minute on each side.

    And to drink? You could try an espresso martini. We revealed earlier this week that you can now buy the cocktail in a can to have at home.

    MORE: When is pancake day UK and why is it called Shrove Tuesday?

    MORE: Love dogs? Then you can make pug pancakes this Pancake Day thanks to Asda


    Boozy Espresso Pancakes-a277Boozy Espresso Pancakes-a277

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    (Picture: Rhiannon Lambert)

    You probably know it’s Pancake Day by now but there’s still time to plan out all the ways you can eat them.

    Everyone loves a sweet topping but you might want to try these savoury pancakes first.

    Made from spinach, they are actually good for you.

    You probably need to get some fruit and veg in today (lemon juice mixed with sugar doesn’t count!)

    This recipe comes from registered nutritionist and author Rhiannon Lambert.

    You can make smaller crepes for breakfast or make larger ones with your favourite fillings for dinner.

    This recipe makes 12 small pancakes and serves two to three people, depending on how hungry you are and what you fill them with.

    If you are vegan or follow a dairy-free diet, you can replace the egg with chia or flax egg and the milk with a dairy-free alternative.

    Savoury spinach pancake recipe

    Ingredients:

    Olive oil
    150g spinach
    175g wholemeal/spelt flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 egg (or chia/flax egg for vegan pancakes)
    200ml milk (oat milk works well for vegan pancakes)
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp garlic granules (optional)
    Pinch salt

    Method:

    Place the spinach in a bowl and pour boiling water over it, leaving to soak for two minutes. Pour the spinach into a colander, and drain well.
    Pulse the drained spinach in a food processor for three minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the olive oil), and process until it forms a smooth batter, about five minutes.
    Drizzle some oil onto a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and gently ladle the batter into the pan. Rhiannon says shes tend to do four at a time, but it depends on the size of your pan, and how big you like the pancakes.

    Fry for around three minutes on each side before flipping them with a spatula.These are delicious served with smoked salmon and yoghurt/crème fraiche mixed with fresh dill and lemon juice. They can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

    MORE: Pancake day 2019: boozy espresso pancake recipe if you want to try something different

    MORE: How to make classic pancakes for Pancake Day 2019

    MORE: How to make American pancakes for Pancake Day


    Spinach panckes-82cdSpinach panckes-82cd

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    My wheelchair has been a massive part of my life and my own experiences are often shared among the disabled community (Photo: © Chris Jepson)

    I am eagerly awaiting a new addition to my household – something I’ve waited more than two years for, and will undoubtedly bring me much joy, minimise my pain and increase my independence.

    No, it’s not a puppy – it’s even better: it’s my brand new electric wheelchair.

    I was born with a rare genetic condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bones, and I’ve never known a life without a wheelchair. Some of my earliest memories involve my chair.

    I remember feeling so grown up when I got to choose the colour and model of my chairs, and pretty cool when all the kids in my class wanted ‘have a go’ in it, or when dad’s work colleagues came together to fundraise for my first power chair and we were featured in our local newspaper.

    My wheelchair has been a massive part of my life and my own experiences are often shared among the disabled community.

    Last Friday, on International Wheelchair Day, many wheelchair users proudly posted images of themselves in their chairs on social media platforms.

    The message was overwhelmingly focussed on how wheelchairs empower people and are ultimately invaluable.

    Blogger Gem Turner wrote: ‘I just want to share that wheelchairs are underrated and misunderstood. They are not a sign of weakness and suffering, they enable independence, are life changing but unfortunately pretty bloody expensive!’

    Expensive is an understatement.

    A wheelchair, manual or powered, can cost anything from £2,000 right up to £20,000, depending on the individual’s bespoke needs.

    Contrary to popular belief, the NHS doesn’t just hand them out like candy. There are a number of schemes to help individuals afford them, but the process of getting the correct wheelchair that will ultimately maximise a user’s independence is a complex and lengthy process.

    Currently, each local authority has its own wheelchair services. Each borough has its own criteria of eligibility and funding.

    Your local wheelchair service will decide if you are eligible for a chair and will offer you a selection they have available. If you need a more bespoke chair, which many do, you are most likely to be offered a voucher or Personal Wheelchair Budget (PWD), which can be put towards the cost of a chair of your choice.

    Many services are slowly progressing on what they can offer individuals, and with the introduction of the PWD seem to recognise the importance of autonomy when choosing a wheelchair. But there are still shortfalls if – like me – you need an electric chair to accompany your manual one to use outside.

    According to the website for my borough, the wheelchair service is ‘not suitable’ for people who ‘require outdoor-only powered mobility’.

    What exactly does this mean?

    Like many of my friends looking for help paying for a new wheelchair, I turned to crowdfunding pages for help, although many have expressed their hesitance to go down this route out of fear of being judged by others or seen as begging.

    In my case, I am more than capable of living independently within the comfort of my home in my manual chair. However, if I wish to go out and about independently I would not be able to in my manual chair – for a number of reasons including poor quality of pavements and lack of drop curbs – so I would require a power chair.

    Unfortunately, my local wheelchair service – like many others – does not seem to think leaving my house is a necessity, so I had to look elsewhere for my funding.

    Some may think that having two wheelchairs is excessive, but I would argue that even if your needs don’t specifically require it, having a back-up wheelchair is not only necessary but vital in maintaining your independence.

    Similarly to a car, wheelchairs break down and need to be regularly serviced. If one is out of action then you are pretty much housebound.

    Given the cost of wheelchairs and the lack of standardised support available, it’s no wonder that last week there was a social media outcry when a tweet containing several images that appear to show ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of wheelchairs dumped into skips and left abandoned in an estate.

    Like many of my friends looking for help paying for a new wheelchair, I turned to crowdfunding pages for help, although many have expressed their hesitance to go down this route out of fear of being judged by others or seen as begging.

    There are fortunately many amazing charities out there than can help tremendously with fundraising for chairs and equipment.

    The Brittle Bone Society secured funding for my powered chair. The charity has raised more than £1million in the past 10 years for specialist wheelchairs, and receives on average 44 applications per year – equating to around £100,000.

    Patricia Osborne, chief executive of the Brittle Bone Society, said: The Brittle Bone Society has been working hard for over 50 years, fundraising for specialist wheelchairs for people affected by the rare bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI).

    ‘People in the OI community will confirm the positive difference the “right” equipment can make in terms of mobility and control in their lives.’

    While organisations like this are doing amazing work, the burden should not be on them. We need to understand that a wheelchair is by no means a luxury item, and should be available on the NHS to anyone who needs it.

    Disability charity Scope recently released a report highlighting that people with disabilities are already experiencing on average extra costs of £583 per month – equivalent to half their income – compared to able-bodied people. It’s vital that more financial support is given to those in need of a wheelchair.

    I am one of the lucky ones and will receive my electric chair within the next few weeks. However, I’ve had to wait more than two years, enlisting family members to run sponsored marathons, asked for public donations and help from charities to be able to afford it.

    These options are not available to everyone, and we need to ensure no one is going without the equipment they desperately need in order to be able to live their lives.

    MORE: I need a stem cell transplant to save my life and London is my best bet for finding a match

    MORE: I’m a parent with a disability. My daughter’s toys should reflect her reality

    MORE: I shouldn’t have to pay more to survive because I am disabled, but that is my reality


    Capture-9115Capture-9115

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    Fabian Farquharson, 37 a 'fruitarian' who drinks his own urine. See SWNS story SWOCurine; Meet the man who believes he has found the secret ingredient to leading a healthy life - drinking his own URINE. Fabian Farquharson, 37, has been gulping down his own fresh and month-old urine for three years, after reading about the purported health benefits online. He drinks up to one litre at room temperature at midday ??? the first thing he'll consume each day, starting with a pint of fresh urine and chased down with 300-400ml of aged. The interior designer claims the unusual thirst quencher has left him feeling healthier, happier and smarter. Fabian from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: ???I'd been researching alternative medicines when I read about drinking aged urine.
    (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

    Fabian Farquharson, 37, has been gulping down his own fresh and month-old urine for three years, after reading about the purported health benefits online.

    He starts every day with a pint of fresh urine, chased down with 300-400ml of aged pee.

    The interior designer claims it has left him feeling healthier, happier and smarter.

    Fabian from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: ‘I’d been researching alternative medicines when I read about drinking aged urine.

    ‘I’ve always been open-minded about that sort of thing, so I decided to give it a go and drink it fresh.

    ‘It tasted a bit like a bitter ale initially, it was quite strong but not a terrible taste and I had no problem finishing the glass.

    ‘It was about half an hour later that I started to feel amazing, I was absolutely bursting with energy.

    ‘Now I’d never go a day without it and would recommend it to anyone.’

    Fabian first started researching alternative medicines and holistic therapies in 2013, when he kept experiencing pains in his stomach which doctors couldn’t get to the bottom of.

    He said: ‘I was travelling a lot for work and eating junk food – Burger King, McDonald’s, anything convenient.

    ‘I was getting a lot of pain in my stomach and scans couldn’t find an ulcer or anything that could explain it, so I started looking online more and more.

    Fabian Farquharson's shock of his own urine - which forms part of his healthy living regime. See SWNS story SWOCurine; Meet the man who believes he has found the secret ingredient to leading a healthy life - drinking his own URINE. Fabian Farquharson, 37, has been gulping down his own fresh and month-old urine for three years, after reading about the purported health benefits online. He drinks up to one litre at room temperature at midday ? the first thing he'll consume each day, starting with a pint of fresh urine and chased down with 300-400ml of aged. The interior designer claims the unusual thirst quencher has left him feeling healthier, happier and smarter. Fabian from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: ?I'd been researching alternative medicines when I read about drinking aged urine.
    (Picture: Fabian Farquharson / SWNS)

    ‘I’ve always been quite into holistic health but that was when I started to adopt it into my life more – starting with my diet.’

    Originally from Birmingham, Fabian adopted a ‘fruitarian’ diet – eating raw fruits almost exclusively – and immediately noticed a difference.

    Fabian explained: ‘I started to eliminate ‘normal’ foods and ate only fruit. I’ll use mangoes, pineapple, strawberries – any fruit really, and add in chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp powder to make a smoothie.

    ‘I quickly started to feel amazing. I had more energy than I had in years, and could feel my well being improving.’

    From there, his foray into a more alternative approach to health escalated and in 2015 Fabian decided to take the plunge and drink his urine.

    Fabian said that his friends and family ‘weren’t that surprised’ – because he has always been a bit off the wall in his approach to health.

    Describing the taste, Fabian said: ‘It was comparable to the taste of bitter ale initially and it felt a bit like the first time I tried beer.

    ‘As time went on the taste became a lot weaker, and now it’s practically water – which is probably down to my diet.’

    He says he started to feel the effects about 30 minutes after his first drink.

    He said: ‘I had a spring in my step and felt so energised – I went home that day and cleaned my whole house.

    ‘As I continued, I noticed an increase in my mental capacity. I felt smarter somehow, able to concentrate more and my overall well-being was better in general.’

    He feels he has so much energy, he needs to use exercise to release it like he is a child.

    Once he started drinking urine, he decided to leave some for up to a month – or until it reaches the desired PH level of nine – as he says ageing it makes it go through a “magnification process”

    After this process, any alleged benefits are meant be more potent.

    Fabian Farquharson's shock of his own urine - which forms part of his healthy living regime. See SWNS story SWOCurine; Meet the man who believes he has found the secret ingredient to leading a healthy life - drinking his own URINE. Fabian Farquharson, 37, has been gulping down his own fresh and month-old urine for three years, after reading about the purported health benefits online. He drinks up to one litre at room temperature at midday ? the first thing he'll consume each day, starting with a pint of fresh urine and chased down with 300-400ml of aged. The interior designer claims the unusual thirst quencher has left him feeling healthier, happier and smarter. Fabian from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: ?I'd been researching alternative medicines when I read about drinking aged urine.
    (Picture: Fabian Farquharson / SWNS)

    He also spends his time juggling his three business ventures – interior decorating, a kitchen business and a YouTube talk show he hosts with like-minded pal Lee Moulson.

    The duo champion a person’s need to ‘alkalise to realise’ – named due to the ‘high alkilinity levels’ of aged urine.

    Fabian said: ‘I met Lee online after he watched me talking on a friend’s video about urine therapy.

    “He got in touch and we found that we share the same beliefs, and eventually we decided to make videos together.’

    They also offer ‘holistic health coach’ services and Fabian estimates he has four/five clients a day who he advises nutritionally and spiritually in a bid to become as healthy as possible.

    Explaining the process of ageing his urine, Fabian said: ‘I store it in glass containers like mason jars, label it with the date and then leave it for around 30 days.

    ‘In that time the urine increases in alkalinity and all of the amazing benefits are magnified.’

    MORE: Pancake Day 2019: Savoury spinach pancake recipe

    MORE: Pancake day 2019: boozy espresso pancake recipe if you want to try something different


    Meet the man who believes he has found the secret ingredient to leading a healthy life - drinking his own URINEMeet the man who believes he has found the secret ingredient to leading a healthy life - drinking his own URINE

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    A stack of pancakes with banana and honey
    Will you be tucking into a pile of these on Fat Tuesday? (Picture: Getty Images)

    It’s the day when people all across the world will be tucking into pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Day as it’s commonly known.

    While it might be an excuse to eat pancakes, the day also has significance in religious terms, heralding in the start of Lent in the run-up to Easter – but it also has several different names.

    In fact you might have heard some people referring to the day as Fat Tuesday – but is it the same as Pancake Day?

    Or is that another separate excuse to scoff pancakes?

    Here’s what you need to know…

    What is Fat Tuesday and is it the same as Pancake Day?

    A plate of classic pancakes
    Or do you prefer your pancakes thinner?

    Fat Tuesday is also known in some parts of the world as Mardi Gras (which is French for Fat Tuesday), and is another name for Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday – the day before Ash Wednesday.

    That day marks the start of Lent, which is a 40-day period of fasting and abstinence in the weeks leading up to Easter, and which mirrors Jesus’ 40 days of fasting while he was in the Judean desert.

    Rio Carnival 2019
    Carnival celebrations have been taking place across the world with Rio playing host to its annual festivities (Picture: Getty Images)

    Traditionally rich, fatty foods such as milk, eggs and flour were not eaten before this time – and so making pancakes became a way of using these up before the fasting period commenced.

    Countries across the world will take part in carnival processions or other celebrations on this day ahead of Ash Wednesday.

    Germany, France and Belgium are among European nations which have played host to carnivals this week while the famous procession in Rio kicked off at the weekend.

    What is Shrove Tuesday?

    Rio Carnival 2019
    Festivities will continue on Tuesday ahead of the start of Lent (Picture: AP)

    Shrove Tuesday is just another name for Pancake Day, with the name deriving from the  middle English word ‘shriven’ – which means to go to confession and atone for your sins.

    Since Lent always begins on a Wednesday people would go to confession the day before, hence the day becoming known as Shriven, and later Shrove, Tuesday.

    If you want to join those making pancakes today, you can find out how to make classic pancakes here, or if you prefer, here’s how to make the thicker, fluffy American-style pancakes.


    PANCAKE DAY: Strawberries and Whipped Cream Crowned the Nation\'s Favourite Pancake Topping, Reveals Uber EatsPANCAKE DAY: Strawberries and Whipped Cream Crowned the Nation\'s Favourite Pancake Topping, Reveals Uber Eats

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    Airline rescues forgotten bridesmaid dress. When a friend of Taylor Kenney (@taylorkenney7) forgot her bridesmaid dress in Houston, Kenney reached out to Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) to see if it could be sent on the next flight to Costa Rica. With the help of another friend who dropped it at the airport, the dress is now headed to meet its wearer before the wedding.
    (Picture: Southwest Airlines)

    Airlines tend to get publicity for losing luggage or charging extraordinary amount for teeny-tiny cans of fizzy drink.

    Southwest Airlines in the US, however, are clearly aiming to change that by going above and beyond for one of their passengers.

    Taylor Kenney’s friend had gotten to the airport on the way to a wedding and realised she’d forgotten her all-important bridesmaid dress.

    She had to get on the plane to Costa Rica from Houston, but without her dress would her friend’s big day (and photos) be ruined?

    Using the power of social media, Taylor tweeted the carrier to see if there was anything they could do, garnering retweets and likes from across the globe.

    Once it picked up some attention Southwest got in touch, asking her to send a DM and get the ball rolling to send out the dress to Costa Rica. They quoted Taylor’s original tweet simply saying ‘Alright, let’s do it’.

    An absolute legend mate of theirs – Rachel – got the dress and dropped it off at Houston’s Hobby Airport the next morning.

    From there, the staff at Southwest were ready and waiting to help the garment reach its destination, and it was placed on the SWA691 flight.

    Airline rescues forgotten bridesmaid dress. When a friend of Taylor Kenney (@taylorkenney7) forgot her bridesmaid dress in Houston, Kenney reached out to Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) to see if it could be sent on the next flight to Costa Rica. With the help of another friend who dropped it at the airport, the dress is now headed to meet its wearer before the wedding.
    Rachel dropping off the dress in Houston (Picture: Southwest Airlines)

    It made it safely to the wedding, with Southwest even letting people track the journey on their website.

    Dispatchers had added a special tag to this flight in their system to make sure it was rushed through, and the bridesmaid shared photos for the excited followers.

    Airline rescues forgotten bridesmaid dress. When a friend of Taylor Kenney (@taylorkenney7) forgot her bridesmaid dress in Houston, Kenney reached out to Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) to see if it could be sent on the next flight to Costa Rica. With the help of another friend who dropped it at the airport, the dress is now headed to meet its wearer before the wedding.
    It all worked out in the end (Picture: Southwest Airlines)

    Commenters were buzzing over the emotional rollercoaster of the whole ordeal, although some had questions.

    They were wondering why the dress in the photos with Rachel was red and striped, while the final result was much whiter and less stripy.

    It turned out that the bridesmaid had decided to bring another one along for good measure, with Southwest confirming that the main dress was right behind the stand in, and saying: ‘Cause if you’re sending one dress, might as well send two, right?’

    So, not only did they save the most important garment, they even gave her additional options for the rest of the holiday. Now that’s customer service.

    MORE: Man sends hilarious CV to Tinder match to apply to be her wedding date

    MORE: Dying mother spends her last day out of hospital celebrating her daughter’s wedding


    Airline rescues forgotten bridesmaid dressAirline rescues forgotten bridesmaid dress

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    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Pippa and Michael (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)

    Welcome to What I Rent – our weekly look at where people live in London.

    It’s your chance to be nosy (look out for the toothbrush shots) but more importantly, it’s an honest picture of what renting actually looks like – the good, the bad, and the miserably overpriced.

    Renting isn’t easy – it’s expensive, hard to find somewhere nice and space is tight.

    But adding your own touches, can make it feel like home, even if you can’t paint the walls.

    This week we’re seeing how couple Pippa, 27, who works in marketing, and consultant Michael, 32, live in their two-bedroom house in Walthamstow.

    We chatted to them both about what it’s like living there.

    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    They pay £1500 in rent and bills are about £200 (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)

    Hey Pippa and Michael. How much rent do you pay?

    Michael: We pay £1500 a month

    How much do you have to pay in bills?

    Pippa: We’ve just moved so we don’t know how much it will fluctuate, but everything comes to about £200 a month.

    What do you get for that?

    Pippa: We officially have two bedrooms, but one of the bedrooms is across two floors as we have a mezzanine, so it is three spaces.

    How long have you lived in your place?

    Michael: We’ve just moved into this house! We’ve been here just over a month.

    Are you happy where you live? What do you like about it?

    Pippa: We love living here, especially in our little house. Walthamstow is such a great area and really commutable for both of us.

    It’s got a huge range of shops on our doorstep, a reliable tube and Overground, lovely restaurants and bars, and lots of open green spaces.

    When we don’t have plans we could happily entertain ourselves by staying in Walthamstow all weekend.

    Do you feel like you have enough space?

    Michael: We feel fortunate with our house as we have a good amount of space for London, but we are paying quite a bit for it.

    We could definitely fill somewhere bigger, but for the budget we had we thought this was a very good option for all our stuff.

    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The house has two bedrooms but the mezzanine level makes it feel like three (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)

    How did you find this place?

    Pippa: We found it on Rightmove. When we decided to move I downloaded the app and started to get notifications for places that fit with our criteria.

    It was actually relatively easy, which was a surprise. The only difficulty we had was the fact that we weren’t looking to move until quite a while after we began searching and only a few properties came up with lots of notice.

    My advice: do a quick search every day just to check you haven’t missed anything as in London they go quickly.

    What’s it like living together?

    Pippa: So far so good. We each have different things we care about in the house so it’s just about making sure we take note of that. Michael is a better cook, and I don’t mind doing the washing up, so that is a perfect partnership.

    Michael: We both have lots going on and it’s nice to come home to each other every night and feel like you’re home, even if it is rented.

    How have you made the flat feel like home?

    Pippa: As soon as we knew where we were going to live I started planning how I thought we could make it look.

    Pinterest definitely played a big part in this. We sourced most of our furniture from gumtree, eBay, friends and family and a few bits from IKEA, and we’ve managed to do it cheaper than we thought we would be able to.

    Filling an unfurnished place is a certainly daunting task. I think the blankets, pillows, art, candles and flowers make it feel like home to me as these are the things I always think of from my childhood home.

    Michael: I thought she was becoming interiors obsessed before we moved in here, but it has come together so nicely and does feel very homely rather than too trendy. There’s so much more we still want to do, but the art, records, and having elements of our personalities spread across the house definitely make it homely.

    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    See, the mezzanine above their living area (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)

    Are there any major issues with the house you have to put up with?

    Pippa: We’ve not had anything major, but the previous tenants didn’t really clean it very well so we had to get the agency to get a professional cleaner in at short notice. Considering the state of some people’s rental properties in London we feel like we’ve been let off from anything big. The house was quite a blank canvas beforehand, and any issues we’ve mainly been able to cover up.

    Michael: There were a few things broken when we got here, but the agency has been good at coming out when we’ve mentioned it to them. No holes in the walls or leaks as of yet.

    Are you planning to move again? When? What would you be looking for?

    Michael: Not for a few years, we like it here so unless things change for us then I imagine we’ll stay for a while.

    Have you considered buying a place?

    Pippa: What Londoner hasn’t considered the idea of buying a house? But then you get hit with a pretty big bit of reality when you remember that the London housing market is extortionate and we can get a much nicer and bigger place renting than we can if we attempted to try and buy. That is a dream we’ll look at again in a few years.

    Shall we have a look around?

    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The kitchen has plenty of space for Michael who loves cooking (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Obligatory succulents (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Quite a varied selection of books (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Toothbrushes of course (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    They moved in a month ago, which explains the cards (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The view from the mezzanine (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The bathroom (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    They even have space under the stairs (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Pippa turned to Pinterest for decoration tips (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The bedroom (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    Wine, books and records. What more do you need? (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)
    Pippa Artus and her boyfriend Michael Connor at their home in Walthamstow, North London.
    The spare bedroom with mezzanine level (Picture: Joe Newman for Metro.co.uk)

    What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.

    How to get involved in What I Rent

    What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

    If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

    You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

    You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

    MORE: Take a look at every single toothbrush that’s been featured on What I Rent so far

    MORE: What I Rent: Hannah, £620 a month for a room in a three bedroom house in Brockley

    MORE: What I Rent: Alex and Andy, £1,400 a month for a maisonette in Hither Green


    WHAT I RENTWHAT I RENT

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    A statue of a Cornish Miner decorated for St Piran's Day
    A statue of a Cornish Miner decorated for St Piran’s Day (Picture: Geoff Moore/REX/Shutterstock)

    March 5 isn’t just the day to stuff yourself silly with pancakes this year (AKA Pancake Day), it’s also St Piran’s Day 2019.

    File photo dated 04/04/07 of the Downview Women's Prison in Sutton, Surrey, as jury in a trial of two prison officers, from the jail, accused of having sex with female inmates has retired to consider its verdict.Trans prisoners are not dangerous, but that's the message a separate unit sends

    St Piran’s Day is the day when Cornish people celebrate one of their patron saints, a man called – you guessed it – Saint Piran.

    So how did St Piran’s Day come about, how do you say Happy St Piran’s Day in Cornish, and what on earth is a Trelawny Shout?

    Read on to find out…

    Who was St Piran and why does Cornwall celebrate him?

    Saint Piran was an Irish abbot in the 5th century.

    It’s said that he was tied to a mill-stone and flung into the sea by his non-Christian countrymen, only to somehow float all the way to Cornwall, as if by miracle.

    two women holding saint piran's flags
    A woman eats a Cornish pasty as she attends a St Piran’s Day march (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    As a result, he made a new home for himself in Cornwall, and, legend has it, helped the Cornish people rediscover the then-lost art of tin-smelting when his black hearthstone, made of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt from it, which then rose to the top of the stone in the shape of a white cross.

    That legend then formed the basis for Saint Piran’s flag, which shows a white cross on a black background.

    This story is why Saint Piran is also the patron saint of tin-miners.

    saint piran's flag flying
    (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    How to say Happy St Piran’s Day in Cornish

    Gool Peran Lowen’, (or, in English, Happy St Piran’s Day), is the proper way to greet someone on St Piran’s Day.

    You might also see or hear ‘Onen hag oll’ around a lot today on social media or your local pub, as it’s the motto of Cornwall.

    In English, it means ‘One and all’.

    a cornish saint piran's day flag
    A Cornish flag flies during the annual processional play to celebrate St Piran (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    How is St Piran’s Day celebrated?

    Many Cornish towns celebrate St Piran’s Day with a parade of some kind, and/or with a Furry dance.

    Get your mind out of the gutter – a ‘Furry’ is a processional dance, and one of the oldest British customs still in practice.

    At 9pm exactly, people in pubs all over Cornwall will also do something called the ‘Trelawney Shout’, which is essentially a pub sing-along of the Cornish anthem, The Song of the Western Men.

    MORE: Cornish hospitality at its finest as 100 stranded drivers find safety in pub

    MORE: TripAdvisor reviewer named 'UK's most feared' after hundreds of bad reviews


    St Piran\'s Day celebrations, Redruth, Cornwall, Britain - 05 Mar 2016St Piran\'s Day celebrations, Redruth, Cornwall, Britain - 05 Mar 2016

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    Pancake cooked in a frying pan
    (Picture: Getty)

    Shrove Tuesday is a popular day on the calendar as it means we can eat as many pancakes as we want and nobody judges.

    The Christian event encourages people to gorge on food ahead of the fasting that occurs during the 40 days of Lent, and pancakes are traditionally eaten because they contain rich food like egg and milk.

    Whether you go for the classic pancake recipe or for the thicker, fluffier American pancakes, there are plenty of different ways that you can make and enjoy them with various toppings to choose from.

    So if you’re on a diet or just looking to stay healthy, there are options that still enable you to enjoy the day without feasting on nutella and heaps of sugar.

    You can tweak the ingredients or just be selective about which toppings you use, depending on how strict you want to be.

    Here are some of the ways that you can make your pancake treats a bit healthier for Pancake Day.

    How to make healthy pancakes

    The main ingredients for making pancakes are usually eggs, milk and flour, as well as a pinch of salt and some butter or oil for the frying pan.

    A simple way to make your pancakes healthier is by ensuring you use the healthiest version of the ingredients, such as using wholemeal flour instead of plain flour which can help provide you with more fibre as well as some extra nutrition.

    You can also use skimmed milk, instead of semi-skimmed or full fat, which would lower the fat and calorie content.

    Alternatively you can mix other ingredients in your pancake mix to produce a healthier alternative, such as a savoury spinach pancake.

    Stack of pancakes with blueberries and raspberries on top
    Fruit is a great optino for a healthy pancake topping (Photo: Lauren King/EyeEm/Getty Images)

    Another easy way to make your pancakes healthier is your choice of toppings which means avoiding the traditional lemon and sugar, unless you intend to just have lemon on its own.

    Nutella and strawberries and cream are among Britain’s favourite pancake toppings, but they’re not among the healthiest, and this counts for ice cream and maple syrup too.

    Banana’s and mixed berry’s also made the list and these would be considered among the healthiest options to enjoy with your pancakes.

    Fruit, nuts and low-fat yogurt are the best toppings to enjoy if you are looking to eat then as healthily as possible, and they still provide plenty of flavour.

    MORE: Pancake Day races in London – where they’re happening and what times

    MORE: Is Fat Tuesday the same as Pancake Day and what do they both celebrate?


    Can you give pancakes to your dogs?Can you give pancakes to your dogs?

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    (Picture: SWNS)

    Emma Marsh, 21, and fiancé AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA, in 2001.

    Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend’s Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday party.

    The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.

    They ran into each other in the hallway of Vincennes University in Indiana in November 2017 but didn’t recognize one another until they were reintroduced through a mutual friend.

    They quickly made up for lost time and immediately began dating.

    Just three months later, AJ purchased an engagement ring and began planning his proposal to his childhood sweetheart.

    Although their preschool is no longer in operation, romantic AJ brought Emma to the church that stands in its place and popped the question on February 8 this year.

    Emma said: ‘I remember being in AJ’s house when I was a little girl. We were really good friends.

    ‘We hung out every day.

    Collect of Emma and AJ in preschool in 2001. Emma Marsh, 21, and AJ Sellers, 21, are set to get marrried after running into each other at university in 2017 - 16 years after they first met as 4 years olds. .See SWNS story SWNYfate.A couple who were friends in preschool are about to get married, after a chance encounter reunited them 16 years after they lost touch. Emma Marsh, 21, and fianc?? AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA in 2001. Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family's home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend's Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday. The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.
    (Picture: AJ Sellers /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He even remembers a Hello Kitty mirror I gave him at one of my birthday parties.

    ‘When I moved away I always wondered what happened to him. I’m the type of person who likes to go back and reflect and I always felt a desire to reconnect.

    ‘So when I moved back to Indiana in my junior year I found him on Facebook and I sent him a message but we never ended up meeting.

    ‘I had a boyfriend at the time and AJ later told me he was worried about coming between us.

    ‘I forgot about it after that.

    ‘A couple of years later I was walking into the administration office at my college when I ran into this guy who was reading and walking at the same time.

    ‘I kept walking but I did feel like I recognized him.

    ‘Later that day my friend Jordan asked me if I wanted to hang out and when he came to pick me up the same guy I bumped into was in the passenger’s seat.

    ‘I asked him who he was and he said “AJ”. I was shocked, I said, “My AJ?”‘

    AJ added: ‘We didn’t stop talking until 4am that night.

    Collect of Emma and AJ. Emma Marsh, 21, and AJ Sellers, 21, are set to get marrried after running into each other at university in 2017 - 16 years after they first met as 4 years olds. .See SWNS story SWNYfate.A couple who were friends in preschool are about to get married, after a chance encounter reunited them 16 years after they lost touch. Emma Marsh, 21, and fianc?? AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA in 2001. Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family's home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend's Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday. The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.
    (Picture: AJ Sellers /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I started to have feelings for her almost immediately.

    ‘We started dating a few weeks later and last February I asked her parents for their permission to marry her.

    ‘They asked me to wait a year so I respected that.’

    AJ arranged for Emma’s family and friends to gather in the church and roped in her mom Alicia Marsh, 43, who convinced Emma to wear a blindfold promising her a ‘surprise’.

    Emma was shocked when she took off her blindfold to see AJ holding a ring and was speechless when he got down on one knee.

    Emma said: ‘I was so overwhelmed when I saw him and then he got down on one knee.

    ‘I was speechless. I don’t think I even said yes until later that night!

    Collect of Emma and AJ in 2001 with their respective mothers. Emma Marsh, 21, and AJ Sellers, 21, are set to get marrried after running into each other at university in 2017 - 16 years after they first met as 4 years olds. .See SWNS story SWNYfate.A couple who were friends in preschool are about to get married, after a chance encounter reunited them 16 years after they lost touch. Emma Marsh, 21, and fianc?? AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA in 2001. Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family's home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend's Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday. The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.
    (Picture: AJ Sellers /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He slipped the ring on my finger and I noticed all of my family and friends were there.’

    AJ added: ‘Originally I planned to ask her in a hot air balloon but they cancelled all February flights because of the weather.

    ‘That’s when I started planning to ask her in the same place where we met, even though it’s not a school anymore.

    ‘I’m so glad it worked out.’

    The happy pair will wed in June 2020 and believe it was destiny that they found a way back into one another’s lives.

    Emma said: ‘I believe it’s fate. With AJ I have so many memories it’s so special. He’s funny and he’s so kind. I can’t wait to marry him.’

    MORE: What I Rent: Pippa and Michael, £850 each for a two-bedroom house in Walthamstow

    MORE: Man says he is bursting with energy because he drinks his own urine every day

    AJ added: ‘I knew early on that I wanted to be with Emma forever. She’s so selfless and the most beautiful person inside and out.’


    Collect of Emma and AJ in 2001 with their respective mothers. Emma Marsh, 21, and AJ Sellers, 21, are set to get marrried after running into each other at university in 2017 - 16 years after they first met as 4 years olds. .See SWNS story SWNYfate.A couple who were friends in preschool are about to get married, after a chance encounter reunited them 16 years after they lost touch. Emma Marsh, 21, and fianc?? AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA in 2001. Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family\'s home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend\'s Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday. The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.Collect of Emma and AJ in 2001 with their respective mothers. Emma Marsh, 21, and AJ Sellers, 21, are set to get marrried after running into each other at university in 2017 - 16 years after they first met as 4 years olds. .See SWNS story SWNYfate.A couple who were friends in preschool are about to get married, after a chance encounter reunited them 16 years after they lost touch. Emma Marsh, 21, and fianc?? AJ Sellers, 20, were just four years old when they bonded while attending Washington Catholic Preschool in Washington, Indiana, USA in 2001. Emma, a social worker, remembers countless playdates at the Sellers family\'s home and AJ, a military policeman, recalls his friend\'s Hello Kitty themed fourth birthday. The friends grew apart when they began kindergarten in different schools and Emma later moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, with her dad Tony Marsh, 43.

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    (Picture: Beginning Boutique)

    If you’re going to a festival in the summer (lucky you) then you probably want to not only have fun but also take cute pics of your outfits for your Insta.

    With glitter boobs, rainbow hair, and all the colourful makeup evident at outdoor festivals, you also need a strong outfit to complete the look.

    Enter the buckle skirt; two black pieces of materials held together by, you guessed it, buckles, and they’re bright orange so you’ll definitely stand out.

    The racy creation is the work of Australian brand Beginning Boutique who is selling the Croft Skirt for $59.95 (£32.20).

    The company described the item as a ‘saucy skirt’ as it leaves sides exposed showing plenty of side bum.

    If this sounds like it’s right up your street then fret not you won’t have to rummage through the doors or search online for a top to go with it as the brand also sells a matching crop top.

    The Nina D-Ring crop top is available for $49.95 (£26.84) and also comes with matching orange tapes with the word Beginning on them.

    The ensemble doesn’t come cheap but hey at least no one will else be wearing a loincloth, probably.

    Buckle skirt Credit: Beginning Boutique
    If you don’t mind showing some side bum (Picture: Beginning Boutique)

    To complete the festival look, Beginning Boutique suggested pairing it with chunky black boots and a bodysuit for the ultimate festival look.

    Both the top and skirt are also made of 100% polyester and the bandeau top can also be adjusted as straps are fastened by a silver ring.

    Festival-goers have been leaving rave views on the website. One woman wore the skirt to her first festival and said she got plenty of compliments on it.

    Another reviewer gave it five stars and wrote: ‘Absolutely love this skirt and cannot wait to wear it to Lost Paradise over New Years, it’s such a nice fit; high on the waist and looks so gorgeous on!’

    Are you kind of tempted to purchase it now? (shipping to the UK is possible).

    But if that doesn’t take your fancy, the brand has a whole festival collection for you to peruse through.

    MORE: ASOS is selling high visibility builder hoodies that could probably stop traffic

    MORE: Big vulva energy is the hottest new fashion trend

    MORE: Behold the next fashion trend: tiny handbags that hold barely anything


    Buckle skirtBuckle skirt

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    Close up of dog licking
    You kiss your owner with that mouth? (Picture: Getty Images)

    Normally, letting your dog ‘kiss’ you is odd, but not dangerous (except perhaps for your reputation).

    Warnings are now being issued, however, stating that you shouldn’t let your pup slobber on you if they’re on a raw meat diet due to potentially dangerous bacteria.

    Raw meat diets have become increasingly popular, and consist of things like raw muscle meat, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, and uncooked offal like livers and kidneys. It may also contain fruit, veg, and dairy like yoghurt.

    According to a recent study published in Vet Record, high levels of potentially harmful bacteria were found in the products, including E.Coli.

    The Swedish researchers examined samples from 60 packs of raw meat products in 2017, made by 10 manufacturers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, and England.

    All samples contained enterobacteriaceae species, which could pose a risk to health, and more than half had levels that exceeded the European Union maximum threshold.

    Although most of the species of bacteria were not likely to cause infection, one third of the samples also contained E.Coli, and 7% contained salmonella, both known to in some cases.

    The researchers warned the bacteria could transfer through contact between pet and owner, or easily spread onto surfaces and other food in kitchens.

    ‘A great opportunity for dogs to transfer potential pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria to humans is by ‘kissing’ people in the face immediately after they have eaten,’ they wrote.

    Researchers stated that dogs should not be fed a raw meat diet while living in homes with infants, elderly people or immunocompromised individuals as they’re more susceptible to infections.

    Owners who do choose a raw meat diet for their pet should keep products separate from other food and handle them with separate equipment in the kitchen, the researchers advise. Products should also be kept frozen before use and thaw at 10 degrees centigrade.

    MORE: Should you give your dog pancakes this Pancake Day 2019?

    MORE: Britain’s loneliest dog finally finds forever home after more than 500 days at shelter

     


    HEALTH Dogs: Owners giving their dogs raw meat food should avoid their sloppy \"kisses\" after meals, researchers have warnedHEALTH Dogs: Owners giving their dogs raw meat food should avoid their sloppy \"kisses\" after meals, researchers have warned

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    If you spend enough time on the internet you’re bound to learn more about your fellow man.

    You’ll be exposed to different opinions, lifestyle, hobbies, and habits, though you might not always agree with them.

    One of those might be a whole group of people who can’t get enough of slapping packages of rice at the supermarket.

    Though it might sound like a thing you do absent-mindedly it seems the act has become something oddly satisfying, like ASMR to the ears.

    And some people do it all the time.

    Many people all over Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Reddit have spoken about their temptation to just hit it.

    Others have even made memes about their compulsion to want to do it and having to stop themselves from slapping that rice.

    One user on Twitter made a compilation video of every time he entered a supermarket and came across a bag of rice. Though at first it might seem like an isolated personal joy, others chimed in to say they also do the same.

    One person said they didn’t just reserve it for rice either; ‘I do this with bags of flour, that little smack and the small *poof* following it is heavenly.’

    Do you wanna…slap it? (Picture: Getty)

    Others have also made don’t do it-style tweets showing just how real the struggle is.

    Most people agreed that it was a fun thing to do and kind of therapeutic like touching a soft pillow or rubbing down a sequin cushion.

    One woman who had a little bit too much fun with it ended up hurting the sales assistant though. She tweeted: ‘When I went to slap the bag of rice, I did it kind of hard and as I swung my hand I did it a little too far back and smacked her on the chest.’

    We wanted to understand the compulsion to hit rice so we spoke to someone who does it occasionally, a casual slapper if you will.

    Myles tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s simply satisfying. It’s hard not to squish the bag or give a pat on the head, right? Separating rice out of the packet before microwaving is awesome too.’

    And it’s kind of win-win too as it makes supermarket assistants’ lives easier. One person who works at one wrote: ‘My job is to reset the shelves and honestly? Slap that rice, slap it good. Patting it down makes it easier to stack more which means when I have to do it it’ll be flatter and more settled and more likely that I can just slide it along.’

    To be fair, it’s probably the most innocent kind of slapping. So go forth and slap that bag of rice.

    MORE: Let’s talk about the very British anxiety of making someone else’s toast

    MORE: The Koala Challenge is the next hot social media trend

    MORE: People are sharing videos of their dogs enjoying Puppucinos and it’s adorable


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    mardi gras beads decorating a street in new orleans
    Mardi Gras beads are a big part of the Fat Tuesday tradition (Picture: Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

    Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is another festivity intended to be a way for you to get all your indulgence out before the fasting for Lent starts.

    Along with Shrove Tuesday, which is lovingly also referred to as Pancake Day, Mardi Gras is a celebration with roots in Christianity.

    Carnival celebrations take place on Shrove Tuesday, which falls on 5 March this year, and they provide party-goers with an excuse to let loose and take their hedonism to new heights before the 40 days of abstinence before Easter are supposed to begin.

    The biggest and most famous Mardi Gras celebrations are in New Orleans, Louisiana, with people travelling from all over to gather and party.

    One of the traditions of the festival is the handing out of brightly coloured Mardi Gras beads.

    If you’re curious about why, and how you might be able to get your own Mardi Gras beads, then stick around, because we’ve got the information you need.

    madri gras street decorations
    Time to get hedonistic (Picture: Getty)

    What are Mardi Gras beads?

    Mardi Gras beads are strings of brightly coloured, shiny beads that are often handed out at Mardi Gras, and used to decorate the streets of New Orleans for the carnival.

    They are often referred to as Mardi Gras throws and sometimes, the necklaces are also made with fake coins and cups.

    The beads are typically gold, green and purple – colours which, in Christianity, represent power, faith, and justice respectively.

    a mardi gras parade float in new orleans Louisiana
    Mardi Gras beads will cover pretty much anything that stands still long enough, even local trees (Picture: Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

    How can you get Mardi Gras beads?

    At the carnival, people usually get their hands on Mardi Gras beads when they’re tossed from floats in the parade.

    Spectators at the carnival are traditionally supposed to shout ‘Throw me something, mister’, as a way of asking for the beads.

    In the French Quarter, it’s common practice for women to show their breasts as a way of getting beads chucked their way, however this isn’t often done during the Mardi Gras parades.

    If you want to get your hands on Mardi Gras beads in the part of the world, you can buy them on eBay or Amazon.

    MORE: Is Fat Tuesday the same as Pancake Day and what do they both celebrate?

    MORE: How to make healthy pancakes for Pancake Day


    Mardi Gras 2019Mardi Gras 2019

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    What happens to your body when you hold in a sneeze?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    After Riverdale and 90210 actor Luke Perry died due to a ‘massive stroke’, we need to be aware of all the signs.

    Strokes can affect anyone, old and young and the symptoms can vary from person to person but usually, they are very sudden.

    As different parts of your brain control different parts of your body, your symptoms will depend on the part of your brain affected and the extent of the damage.

    They occur when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. This means within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die.

    Strokes aren’t always life threatening but the earlier you get help for someone who you think may be suffering one, the better it is for them.

    Prompt treatment is crucial to minimize how much brain damage and further complication the person is left with.

    Recognising a stroke

    S – Ask the person to SMILE

    T – Can they TALK? Ask if they can speak a simple sentence.

    R – See if they can raise both arms

    If they can’t do any one of these, call 999.

    Not all sufferers share the same signs, according to the NHS, other symptoms include

    • complete paralysis of one side of the body
    • sudden loss or blurring of vision
    • confusion
    • difficulty understanding what others are saying
    • problems with balance and coordination
    • difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
    • a sudden and very severe headache resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
    • loss of consciousness.

    If you do experience these symptoms, it doesn’t always mean it’s a stroke. Symptoms of a stroke that disappear quickly and in less than 24 hours could be signs of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

    TIAs are like mini-strokes and usually last a few minutes or hours before disappearing altogether. A TIA means there isn’t enough oxygen going to the brain. In its early stages, a TIA and a stroke look similar, so you should seek help either way.

    A TIA is also a warning that you may suffer a stroke in the future.

    More information can be found here.

    MORE: Drinking diet fizzy drinks ‘could increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and early death’

    MORE: I had difficulty describing my mental health symptoms and it led to the wrong diagnosis

    MORE: Can changing your diet improve mental health problems?


    What happens to your body when you hold in a sneeze?What happens to your body when you hold in a sneeze?

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    (Pictures: Aldi/Alpro/Califia/Where the Pancakes Are)

    Pancake day is here and if you are vegan, you don’t need to miss out.

    We’ve already brought you espresso pancakes and spinach pancakes (which can easily be made vegan) but these recipes are perfect for vegans.

    Using dairy-free milk and egg replacements like chia seeds mixed with water, means you can enjoy the big day too.

    Different milks can help to flavour the pancakes too.

    We’re put together a range of sweet and savoury vegan recipes for the day, including baby green savoury pancakes, coconut, cacao caramel, berry crepes and gingerbread pancakes with chocolate mousse.

    10,000 baby greens pancakes from Where the Pancakes Are

    Vegan pancakes - 1000 baby greens is 'Where the pancakes are'
    (Picture: Where the Pancakes Are)

    For the pancakes:

    250g buckwheat flour

    250g rice flour

    Baking soda

    Baking powder

    1 litre soy milk

    150g aquafaba

    Vanilla extract

    100ml sunflower oil

    4 teaspoon of cumin

    400g of chopped spring onion

    8 chopped mild green chili

    800g of mixed baby leaves

    For the ‘butter’:

    250g vegan butter – softened

    2 limes – juice and all zest

    ¼ teaspoon sea salt

    ½ teaspoon of white pepper

    2 tablespoons of finely grated garlic

    3 tablespoons of coriander

    1 teaspoon of chili flakes

    To serve:

    4 limes – quartered

    More leaves of any nature, drizzled with olive oil

    Method:

    First make the ‘butter’ (make at least about 30 mins in advance, so it has time to harden in the fridge) by mixing all the ingredients. Requires lots of vigorous whisking to absorb all the lime juice.

    Then prepare the batter by mixing the dry ingredients together, then adding the wet.

    When ready to eat, (these need to be eaten hot from the griddle), mix all the ingredients for the pancakes together – just fold the leaves and vegetables into the batter gently – and scoop onto the griddle. Aim for
    10cm diameter pancakes.

    Serve two pancakes on each plate, two slices of ‘butter’ in between, two slices on top, place a handful of fresh leaves on top of that, drizzled with olive oil and some lime quarters.

    Coconut vegan pancake with peanut drizzle

    Vegan pancakes - Coconut Vegan
    (Picture: Coconut Merchant)

    Ingredients

    Pancakes:

    300g self raising flour

    4 tbsp coconut sugar

    1 tsp baking powder

    400ml coconut milk

    Drizzle:

    Four dates

    200ml coconut milk

    65g peanut butter

    Method:

    Start by making the sauce – remove the stones from the dates, chop into quarters and put into a smallish saucepan along with the coconut milk

    Bring gently to the boil then set aside to cool and soften the dates

    In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder with a whisk then whisk in the coconut milk to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand for a few minutes while you finish the sauce

    Add the peanut butter to the saucepan of dates and coconut milk and blitz using a hand blender. Alternatively tip into a blender jug and blitz until smooth then pour back into the saucepan. Gently warm through over a low heat whisking occasionally

    Melt a little coconut oil in a large frying pan. Give the pancake mixture a quick whisk then pour into a jug – I find this the easiest method of getting the batter into the frying pan!

    Pour blobs of batter into the frying pan – I get 5-6 in at one time – and gently cook over a low/medium heat until bubbles start to form in the batter

    When the bubbles are quite prominent carefully flip the pancakes and cook the other side until golden and crisp

    Serve immediately with a little of the warmed sauce or keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes

    Vegan Cacao Caramel Pancakes

    Vegan pancakes - Vegan Sweet Pancake
    (Picture: Aldi)

    Ingredients:

    130g plain flour

    25g cacao

    2tsp baking powder

    250ml almond drink

    35ml melted coconut oil

    35ml maple syrup

    1tsp vanilla essence

    pinch of salt

    50ml Bellucci Crème Caramel Liqueur

    Method:

    Put the flour, cacao, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix.

    In a separate bowl, add the almond drink, coconut oil, vanilla essence, maple syrup and Bellucci Crème Caramel Liqueur and whisk.

    Make a well with the dry ingredients and slowly add and mix in the liquid ingredients.

    For each pancake, add 4tbsp into a pan and cook for a minute on each side.

    Vegan berry crepes

    Vegan pancakes - Vegan Berry Crepe
    (Picture: Alpro)

    Ingredients:

    1 tbsp. ground flaxseed

    140g plain flour

    ½ tsp salt

    270ml Alpro Oat Unsweetened drink

    1 tbsp. vegan butter

    250g mixed frozen berries

    1 tbsp. maple syrup

    Alpro Plain Unsweetened yoghurt to serve.

    Method:

    Place the flaxseed in a small bowl with 3 tbsp. hot water and whisk together. Put to one side for 5 minutes to gel together.

    Whisk together the flour, salt, ground flaxseed and oat drink until perfectly smooth.

    Rest the batter for 30 minutes. When you come to use the batter you may need to add a splash more oat drink to loosen a little until you have a good consistency.

    Add the frozen berries to a medium sized sauce pan and heat through until hot and thawed. Add in the maple syrup and blitz with a stick blender until smooth.

    Heat a little of the vegan butter in a non-stick pancake pan over a medium heat.

    When the pan is hot add in a ladleful of the batter, swirling to coat the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until the pancake can be loosened and flipped to cook the other side for 30 seconds. Continue with the remaining batter.

    Serve the pancake with a drizzle of the warmed berry sauce and a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt to serve.

    MORE: How to make healthy pancakes for Pancake Day

    MORE: Pancake day 2019: boozy espresso pancake recipe if you want to try something different

    MORE: Pancake Day 2019: Savoury spinach pancake recipe

    Vegan gingerbread pancakes and chocolate mousse

    Vegan pancakes
    (Picture: Califia Farms)

    Ingredients:

    100g buckwheat flour

    1 ripe banaa

    2tbsp chia seends mixed with 4 tbsp water

    1tbsp maple syrup or honey

    150ml Califia Farms Almond Milk

    1 heaped tsp ground ginger

    1/2 tsp mixed spice

    Pinch salt

    1tsp coconut oil (for cooking)

    Chocolate orange mousse

    1 x 400g can chickpeas

    30ml Almond milk

    60g dark chocolate

    Zest of one orange

    1tbsp orange juice

    Method:

    Pancakes:

    Combine the chia seeds with the water and leave to thicken up for 10 minutes

    Add the banana to a food processor and blend until a puree.

    Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and blend until a puree.

    Add the coconut oil to a frying pan over a low-medium heat.

    Allow the coconut oil to melt and the pan to heat up then add one ladle of the pancake mixture to the middle of the pan.

    Cook for three minutes on one side – or until little bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake. Then flip the pancake and cook for a further two minutes on the other side. Put to one side and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

    Serve with any toppings you fancy – nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup are a good choice.

    Chocolate orange mousse:

    Drain the chickpeas, keeping the water the chickpeas were soaking in.

    Discard the chickpeas, keeping them to use in any dish. Add the chickpea water to a high powered food processor and blend for five to six minutes.

    Add the orange zest and then blitz again until the mixture reaches a stiff peak.

    Add the chocolate to a saucepan over a low heat and allow to melt gently.

    Gently fold in the melted chocolate and the almond milk to the chickpea water mixture.

    Place in the fridge for two hours. Then your mousse will be ready to eat.

     


    Vegan pancakesVegan pancakes

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    Catriona’s kids really got H&M (Picture: @CatrionaBlack)

    We write about all sorts of fashion fails, from skirts that look like loincloths to bags that would hardly fit your keys in them.

    The intended fashion victims in these cases, however, are usually adults and can look silly at their own expense. It’s when fails are in the kid’s section that we get really shocked.

    Some cheeky kids have just found a massive design flaw in some H&M t-shirts, playing around with the reversible sequin feature and coming up with something very rude indeed.

    Writer, editor, printmakers, and animator Catriona Black lives in the Netherlands with her children, and tweeted a picture of the flaw with the caption ‘Don’t think H&M thought this through. My children did. You can take the child out of Scotland…’

    The first image shows a sequinned top emblazoned with the words ‘BORN TO SKATE’, while the second has the sequins in the reverse position, making it say ‘BORN TO CHILL’.

    H&M sequin t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children Picture: @CatrionaBlack METROGRAB ref: https://twitter.com/CatrionaBlack/status/1102239174709657600
    The interactive t-shirt was supposed to have two ways of wearing it (Picture: @CatrionaBlack) H&M sequin t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children Picture: @CatrionaBlack METROGRAB ref: https://twitter.com/CatrionaBlack/status/1102239174709657600

    But Catriona’s children decided to practice their national lexicon and change some letters around.

    In some sort of Countdown-esque rude word mastery, the kids changed the t-shirt to say ‘BORN TO SHITE’, which likely wasn’t anywhere near the intended message.

    H&M sequin t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children Picture: @CatrionaBlack METROGRAB ref: https://twitter.com/CatrionaBlack/status/1102239174709657600
    Oddly, the sentiment kind of makes sense (Picture: @CatrionaBlack)

    When Catriona tweeted their hilarious observation, she found that others also agreed it was absolutely brilliant, and it now has a whopping 41,000 likes and 11,000 retweets.

    She replied to the tweet some time later saying ‘Damn it, I’m going to have to go back there and buy two of them now, amn’t I?’

    We contacted H&M for their side of the story, but they did not wish to comment at this time.

    If you’re in the Netherlands, you can still find the garment on sale right here. Probably best not to let your little one wear it to school, though.

    MORE: Behold the next fashion trend: tiny handbags that hold barely anything

    MORE: Big vulva energy is the hottest new fashion trend


    H&M sequin t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children Picture: @CatrionaBlack METROGRAB ref: https://twitter.com/CatrionaBlack/status/1102239174709657600H&M sequin t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children Picture: @CatrionaBlack METROGRAB ref: https://twitter.com/CatrionaBlack/status/1102239174709657600

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