Articles on this Page
- 03/27/19--02:16: _I floated boobs dow...
- 03/27/19--02:33: _Woman with alopecia...
- 03/27/19--02:41: _People are calling ...
- 03/27/19--03:04: _Which Game of Thron...
- 03/27/19--04:06: _Man who had his ton...
- 03/27/19--04:25: _If you want some sp...
- 03/27/19--04:25: _Couple diagnosed wi...
- 03/27/19--04:28: _Young people are su...
- 03/27/19--04:36: _Exciting news: Aldi...
- 03/27/19--04:49: _Photographer create...
- 03/27/19--05:00: _Muslim Women should...
- 03/27/19--05:37: _We can’t stop looki...
- 03/27/19--05:59: _Primark has a blow ...
- 03/27/19--06:02: _Woman annoyed by hu...
- 03/27/19--06:13: _Here’s how you can ...
- 03/27/19--06:32: _Nine nurses who wor...
- 03/27/19--06:32: _Parents reveal why ...
- 03/27/19--07:13: _Measles symptoms to...
- 03/27/19--07:32: _How to stay safe wh...
- 03/27/19--08:41: _Ready for a challen...
- 03/27/19--02:41: People are calling this chopping board ‘hack’ a load of nonsense
- 03/27/19--04:25: If you want some space, NASA wants to pay you £14,000 to stay in bed
- 03/27/19--04:36: Exciting news: Aldi’s £350 inflatable hot tub is back for the summer
- 03/27/19--06:32: Nine nurses who work on the same ward are pregnant at the same time
- 03/27/19--06:32: Parents reveal why they regret their child’s name
- It became really popular
- I was pressured into choosing a name by my partner/ family member
- I’ve just gone off it
- I no longer think it fits them
- My friend chose the same name for their baby
- It’s too unusual
- It’s difficult to spell
- Someone with the same name became famous
- A celebrity named their child with the same name
- It sounds like something rude or awkward when you put it with their middle name/surname
- 03/27/19--07:13: Measles symptoms to look out for as New York county faces outbreak
- a runny or blocked nose
- watery eyes
- swollen eyelids
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
- small greyish-white spots in the mouth
- aches and pains
- a cough
- loss of appetite
- tiredness, irritability and a general lack of energy
- it may be made up of small red-brown, flat or slightly raised spots that may join together into larger blotchy patches
- usually first appears on the head or neck before spreading outwards to the rest of the body
- can be slightly itchy for some people
- can look similar to other childhood conditions, such as slapped cheek syndrome, roseola or rubella
- is unlikely to be caused by measles if the person has been fully vaccinated (had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine) or had measles before
- 03/27/19--07:32: How to stay safe when practicing yoga at home
Just because I was born as the biological sex that has boobs doesn’t mean they should have any bearing on my life.
But if only that were true. The cultural policing of women’s bodies starts before we even hit puberty and only gets worse as we age. Before you even grow a pair, you just know your boobs will be scrutinised.
Too small, big, wonky or droopy. Too perky, perfect, fake or sexy. Too in the way, too inadequate. Too censored, judged and shamed.
I’ve always had small breasts compared to the perceived ideals of ‘beauty’. But when they became more generous after the birth of my two children, I felt this very strange tension.
I’d get looks when I was breastfeeding in public, making me feel uncomfortably like my newly enlarged boobs were only for fun, not the natural function of feeding my child.
It really got my mind ticking over…what’s up with that? Who were these societal boob police?
Now with a young daughter, for her sake, I’ve got an overwhelming urge to campaign to make women’s boobs as de-sexualised as men’s. I want the unwritten social and cultural rules to change, so my daughter feels absolutely no discrimination as she grows up, just pride in her body.
It’s 2019, and although we’ve had groundbreaking equality movements like #MeToo shake up the balance, we’re still fighting for the fundamental rights of our funbags to exist safely and without judgement.
All women should have the chance to express themselves and fulfil their potential, without anyone having any kind of opinion on their boobs.
I moved from the UK to Amsterdam fairly recently, a reverse Brexit if you will, longing for a more liberal place to parent in, and I now enjoy an environment where historically, anything goes.
I also work with a crack team of women at a creative agency, and we are freely allowed to find our voice of creative self-expression. So I had a brainwave – and the Amsterdam canals were the perfect setting for it.
Together with my colleagues, we launched a flotilla of giant buoyant boobs on International Women’s Day in an act of both protest and celebration.
The idea was triggered by some in-house research we carried out. In a survey of just under 160 participants, we found that nearly 78 per cent had felt embarrassed by their boobs at some point of their lives.
To me, that meant that they needed to be set free. So that’s exactly what we did, letting boobs with an array of shapes and skin tones, complete with perceived ‘flaws’ like veins, hairs or piercings, loose on the waters of Amsterdam.
The stunt was very positively received on the whole.
Of course, we provoked a negative reaction in some, but Ms Saggy, Ms Tiny, Ms Weird, Ms Fake and Ms Hairy certainly got people of all ages talking.
Women, men, parents and their children stopped to admire the boobs’ diverse beauty, especially important in these screen-filtered and often unreal feeling times.
They Instagrammed the boobs and chatted about what they were saying. News crews came down to cover the event, and it got picked up by radio and international papers.
I think this campaign to normalise boobs is far from over though, so it’d be my dream for the boobs to go on tour next, visiting more waterways and other spaces.
And whether they make people angry or happy, I’m extremely proud that our floating breasts say: enough of the scrutiny, it’s time to just let boobs of every size, shape, colour and attitude just be boobs.
Free from opinions, name-calling and harassment, unnecessary sexualisation and censorship.
Whether you’ve got areola like airships, saggy tit syndrome, you leak boob juice, or are sporting stubborn little hairs, that’s nobody’s business but yours. Live and love what you’ve got, ladies.
They’re just boobs, not who you are.
A woman who spent over 20 years keeping her alopecia a secret has had her whole head tattooed so she feels more comfortable and confident going out with her wig.
Rebecca Dawe, now 41, from Bedfordshire, was 16 when she felt a bald patch for the first time.
For over a decade, she was able to hide the patches of missing hair but after the birth of her second child, she lost all the hair on her head, as well as on the rest of her body.
For years, she covered up her alopecia, never discussing her hair loss and always wearing a wig.
But a few years ago, she ‘came out’ on Facebook for the first time and after receiving support from everyone, she realised how freeing being more open was for her.
She started to work with other women with hair loss and launched her business Hair Necessity.
But Rebecca felt that her journey of acceptance wasn’t complete because she still struggled to go out without a wig.
Last year, she decided to get a tattoo across her whole head so she could finally feel confident with her bald head.
She explains: ‘I was talking to women about how to cope with hair loss but I felt like I still hadn’t completely dealt with my feelings about mine because I still hated the idea of people seeing me without my wig.
‘I decided to get the tattoo. I thought that if I was going to show everybody my hair, I wanted it to be the right reason.
‘When you have no hair, the natural assumption is that you are ill or you have cancer.
‘When all my hair was falling out the first time, I found it really difficult that people would let me jump the queue and things because they thought I was sick. I felt like such a fraud.
‘I wanted to get the tattoo to raise awareness because it makes other people comfortable and then you can talk to them.’
Rebecca started to lose her hair when she was 16.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘One day I was just running my fingers through my hair and I found this small patch where it was missing. It was just above my ear. I will never forget that.
‘My initial reaction was that I was petrified. I had never known anyone to go bald or anything like that. I was filled with absolute panic.
‘I was in that teenage stage at 16. The only hair loss I had heard off was chemotherapy hair loss and in my total ignorance, I thought I had cancer. I didn’t understand that chemotherapy caused the loss.’
She went to the doctor who recommended a steroid cream and reassured her that it was fairly common. Doctors have never been able to tell her exactly why it happened other than it is an autoimmune response where her body has started to attack her own hair.
Despite applying the cream as instructed, the patch got bigger but because of the position on the underside of her scalp, she was able to hide it.
At the age of 20, she went travelling, where she realised it was getting worse.
She explains: ‘I was in Australia and while I was there, I felt a patch in my fringe area.
‘I felt sick because I had never lost it from the top of my head.
‘I was living in hostels abroad and I was giving myself boiling hot then freezing cold showers to try to stimulate it.
‘I was rubbing it for hours at a time. I was so scared about losing it from the top.
‘Luckily it didn’t seem to progress so I carried on travelling.’
But after she returned and started a job in London, the hair loss got worse again.
‘It started at the very crown of my head. I remember one day pulling the hood of my coat onto my head and I could feel the material sliding across the top of my scalp, ‘ she says.
‘At that point I knew it was in trouble.
‘Within about two months, all the hair went from the top of my head, then my eyebrows, then my eyelashes and my whole body. It was awful.’
‘I remember thinking “I will not allow this to happen” but you just have no control over it.
‘I remember seeing doctors and things and no one was very sympathetic about it because I wasn’t in any pain.
‘The physiological damage is unbelievable. I didn’t feel good any more, I didn’t want to go out, I shrunk my circle of friends. I functioned and got on with life but I was a shell of myself.
‘I wore a wig for work and I felt so humiliated and defeated.’
Rebecca’s hair did return once, but after the birth of her second child, it fell out again and has never come back
For years, Rebecca wore a wig almost constantly and she didn’t want to speak to anyone about her hair loss.
When she started a new job, she didn’t tell anyone.
She adds: ‘I suffered like this for many years. I was never really happy with wigs. I started a new job as a wig wearer and never told anyone that I was wearing it.
‘I didn’t realise but I was always hiding this thing and it meant I struggled to connect with any of the employees.
‘Subconsciously, I was giving out this vibe that people don’t trust because they knew I was withholding something from them. I was focusing so hard on keeping it on a secret.
‘Now I know that it is far better for people to know about the hair loss than to hide it because you just can’t ever be yourself.’
Struggling to cope, she started to research to find better solutions for wigs or hair pieces that worked for her and felt more comfortable.
This helped her realise that she needed to come to terms with what had happened.
‘I went public for the first time via Facebook. I was absolutely terrified to do that.
‘The response was overwhelming and people were telling me they were in tears.
‘That really encouraged me to push forward with it. Everyone has their own hang ups about their body and I was saying “I am flawed in this way”.
‘The initial embarrassment was rewarded by feeling so much closer to people. That was my healing.’
Over time, she realised that she could turn her knowledge into a business and she decided to set up Hair Necessity, working with other women to find ways to help them cope with hairloss.
But as the business has progressed, she felt that she needed to be comfortable both with and without a wig.
She adds: ‘I was getting so much more confidence about my hair loss and my wig didn’t matter any more but moving forward, it did feel a bit disingenuous because I didn’t feel comfortable being bald.
‘The idea of going out with anyone seeing my head, filled me with horror in the same way it did all those years ago.
‘I decided at that point that if I was going to do this, I needed to go the whole way really.
‘I needed to learn to like myself wearing hair but also to like myself not wearing hair. How could I talk to other people about it if I wasn’t sure about myself. It was the final hurdle.
‘I felt that until I could do that, I hadn’t fully dealt with the alopecia.’
Rebecca decided on a tattoo across her head to make her feel comfortable but also to make other people feel comfortable talking about her hair loss.
The tattoo, designed by Terri at Inkantations, features flowers, birds and a hare.
Rebecca laughs: ‘The design was down to the artist herself – I asked her for a hare on there so I could have hair back.
‘I did want it to be nature themed and very feminine. I didn’t want a tattoo that made me look intimidating. I wanted people to feel like they could approach me and talk to me about it.’
Over the course of three sessions, the tattoo was created across her entire head and it was finally finished in January.
She says: ‘It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be in the end. I had so much adrenaline because I was really worried about it and because I had never exposed myself like that before.
‘I was filmed by ITV news during the first session and It was like I was stark naked on TV. I was so caught up in that, I didn’t really feel it.
‘I love the tattoo and I have been out a few times with it since it was completed. Actually, I was a bit disappointed because people didn’t even ask me!
‘I haven’t done it too much because it’s cold and I never realised how cold it would be without hair. I am looking forward to the summer to go out and show it off.
‘Talking about alopecia is so important to me. People like Alopecia UK are doing a fantastic job and we are getting better about talking about it. I have seen adverts in the last few months featuring bald women. That is fantastic but we need to keep talking about it.
‘I’m setting up a support group at my local hospital in Bedfordshire for people with all types of hair loss.
‘I want to show that there is hope after hair loss. I am the happiest I have ever been. People really talk to me now and that would never have happened if I hadn’t exposed myself a bit.’
Woman with alopecia gets her whole head tattooed to help her feel confident enough to show off her bald head
The internet is always teaching us hacks for doing things more efficiently. Sometimes that includes taking pre-existing features of something and using it for a new purpose.
Take the hole of a chopping board. Most of us might think of it as the handle to hold our chopping board or even hang it up but apparently, it’s for putting the cut-up items through.
So instead of getting your onions or pepper everywhere except the pot, the gap in the board is meant to pass it all through neatly.
But while the hack seems magical, people are accusing it of being nonsense. And frankly, we’re ready to take a stand. This is the hill we choose to die on.
This can’t have been board makers’ intended purpose for the handle.
If it was then how comes some boards don’t come with the hole?
— Edmonton Journal (@edmontonjournal) March 26, 2019
Now, we’re not saying it’s not a useful tip, we’ll definitely be using it the next time we’re in the kitchen and doing some fine dicing.
But you shouldn’t feel silly or like you’ve been chopping things all wrong.
You didn’t miss out on this major feature, this is just a tip shared for a YouTuber channel’s kitchen hacks.
It’s certainly handy in reducing spillage and has been applauded on social media. But remember that not all chopping boards are designed this way.
Some come with very little holes meaning they’re intended to be hung up. It would take a very long time to pass vegetables through these tiny gaps unless you’re chopping them into teeny-tiny pieces.
Whaaat!!! So that’s what this hole is for. I was thought it was for hanging it up. Boy do I feel silly. pic.twitter.com/yDrqyQCfIr— Carlos pascual (@Urxboyxlos) March 26, 2019
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘That’s not a hole. It’s a handle. Plus I couldn’t handle the stress of chopping microscopic veggies to fit through it.’
Another joked: ‘If I wanted to take a year to get my diced tomatoes into the bowl I wouldn’t use a cutting board handle to do it.’
Next time you see a ‘hack’, take it with a pinch of salt… or have we been using saltshakers all wrong too now?
Do you support the Mother of Dragons or does your hearth lie with the King in the North?
Or perhaps you really appreciate the Lannister charm?
Adidas is giving you the chance to show your loyalty in a new shape – footwear.
The fitness brand has finally released its much-anticipated Adidas x Game of Thrones collection and just in time for the season premiere.
Each of the six shoes, modelled on the Ultra Boost 4.0, represent a house – so make sure you choose carefully (odds are your favourite characters are dead by the end of the first episode, if previous seasons are anything to go by).
The Night’s Watch
It’s a running shoe and the upper part is available in colours from House Lannister, Stark, Targaryen, the Targaryens’ Dragons, White Walkers and the Night’s Watch.
The insoles are also GOT-branded, and the heel tab and back tongue tags also have motifs from the house.
Sadly, depending on which house you support, you might have to find a new alliance, as some of the shoes have already sold out. Still available is the Night’s Watch, Lannister and Targaryen (in white).
You can buy them now from the Adidas app or website now.
As for the final season, it’ll arrive on 14 April.
Game of Thrones trainers
If you’re anything like us, you’ve spotted a picture of someone with a split tongue – meaning a tongue that’s been cut down the middle to make the tip forked – and had a lot of questions.
How much does that hurt to have done? Does having your tongue cut affect eating, kissing, or your speech? And why do people want to turn their tongue into one like a snake’s?
To get answers to all these questions and more, we chatted to Thibault Descamps, an 18-year-old living in Nice, France, who had his tongue split in August 2018.
Thibault’s reasons for getting his tongue split are pretty simple – he wanted to. He had a set idea in his mind of how he wanted to look, and took action to make that body his reality.
‘Since I was little I wanted to look like this person I imagined,’ Thibault tells Metro.co.uk. ‘At the first possible opportunity to do that, I did it.
‘Since I was small I imagined a body that would make me feel like me, a strange body with a lot of eccentricity, like the tongue split.
‘I identify myself as a person who has a strong and imposing character. I am strange.
‘I was euphoric about the idea of knowing I would finally be able to cut my tongue.’
The process of having your tongue split usually involves either cauterisation or surgery using a scalpel.
A practitioner makes the tongue numb with a local anaesthetic then slices the tongue down a dotted line they’ve already drawn on, either with a scalpel, which can cause a lot of bleeding, or with a laser cauterising tool. To close the wound and control bleeding, each side of the newly split tongue is then sutured (stitched) or cauterised.
Thibault says he doesn’t remember any pain or sensation as he was under anaesthetic, and says he didn’t notice much blood – ‘three compresses filled with blood at most.’
The annoying part of the experience, for him, was that after having his tongue split he couldn’t swallow for around an hour.
While some people report changes in taste and difficulty speaking after having their tongue split, Thibault says that after the first week of recovery he experienced no negative effects.
‘The first week it’s impossible to talk well,’ Thibault tells us. ‘It was mostly a discomfort. In five days it was healed – still a little sensitive but much better.
‘In time you talk normally. I say that [tongue splits] force you to articulate.’
Thibault also says he never bites his tongue (we’d assumed a split tongue would double your chances), but this may be a result of the amount of control he has over his new tongue.
With a lot of practice, he’s able to move the two parts of his tongue independently, allowing him to do tricks and hold items. It’s important to note that not everyone will be able to do this, and there’s no way of knowing in advance if you’d be able to move your split tongue independently before you get the surgery done.
And yes, to answer the big question, having a split tongue does affect the sexual side of things – that was part of the appeal for Thibault.
‘[Oral] motivated my already existing desire to split my tongue,’ he tells us. ‘I think (or at least I hope) I give good kisses, too.
‘I manage to dissociate the two ends of my tongue so yes, there is an advantage.’
Thibault receives some negative reactions to his tongue, but that doesn’t stop him from loving his new body.
‘The main reaction I have is surprise,’ he explains. ‘People are still very ignorant about body modification, they are in a state of shock when seeing it.
‘I have been insulted because of my tongue and ears, which are also modified.’
Over on Instagram, photos of his tongue are flooded with comments calling it ‘sexy’, ‘gorgeous’, and ‘intriguing’ – so any negativity doesn’t have the power to dent Thibault’s self-esteem.
He acknowledges that if he were to want to reverse his tongue split, the option is there – although it’s said this is more painful than getting it done in the first place.
But he says he ‘will never regret it’ and that his ‘tongue will remain like this.’
Thibault has more body modification plans in the works to make his appearance match the body he imagines.
‘The list is very long,’ says Thibault. ‘I would like tattoos that would cover a good part of my body, scarification also, I would like to have eyeball tattoos, and get the nipples and navel removed.’
Yep, he’s planning to have both his nipples and belly button sliced off.
‘I have lots of projects for my body,’ Thibault adds, ‘and the work is already well started in less than a year – my tongue is cut, my ears are cut, and I hope I can quickly continue the fabulous work on my body.’
Is tongue splitting illegal?
In March last year, the court of appeal declared tongue splitting to be illegal when performed by a body modification practitioner for cosmetic purposes. This ruling applies to England and Wales, and is the case even if a person gives consent for their tongue to be split.
There’s still debate over whether tongue splitting should be illegal across the rest of the UK, and, of course, the legal status of the body modification may mean backstreet procedures are done without proper care.
Tongue splitting is not currently illegal in France, where Thibault had his surgery performed.
When tongue splitting was made illegal last year, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons backed the move, warning that these procedures could pose serious health risks.
The stated that tongue splitting could cause significant blood loss, infection, and nerve damage, along with difficulties breathing, speaking, eating, and swallowing.
Selina Master of the Faculty of Dental Surgery said at the time: ‘As dental surgeons, we’ve seen some of the horrific consequences of these procedures.
‘It’s so important that people realise they are putting themselves at serious risk of significant blood loss, infection, nerve damage and problems being able to breath or swallow
‘The FDS and BAPRAS are concerned that despite the legal debate, the demand for tongue-splitting procedures may continue but simply be driven underground.
‘We would strongly advise people not to have oral piercings or tongue splits.
‘However, if they do, it is crucial they see their dentist on a regular basis so that the impact on their oral health can be closely monitored. Never try to carry out one of these procedures on yourself or others.’
In March 2019 a tattooist called Dr Evil was jailed for carrying out a tongue splitting procedure, removing an ear, and removing a nipple.
It was ruled that despite his clients giving him ‘consent’, the procedures still amounted to grievous bodily harm
thibault featured image-21a5
Is there anything worse than being woken up abruptly by the sharp trills of an alarm clock?
If parting with your bed every morning is the hardest part of your day then rejoice, NASA is offering a job where all you do is lie down.
You could be paid £14,000 to stay in bed for the space agency’s Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study, which is studying the effect of weightlessness on the human body.
Before you rush to apply though, the requirements of the study sound pretty brutal.
Everything you do will have to be done while lying down, including showering and using the toilet. Even the most passionate sleepers might get tired of exclusively lying for 60 days.
If you don’t mind being on bed rest for the duration, avoiding the world, and being put on a basic diet, then cool, go for it.
But you’ll also need a strong stomach as you’ll be submerged in a ‘human centrifuge’, which generates artificial gravity and distributes fluids back into the body. It’s said to make you pretty nauseous.
‘A stay in space, in weightlessness, changes the body,’ NASA explained on the website. ‘The reduced physical stress leads to the breakdown of muscles and bones.
‘In addition, the body fluids shift towards the head. The same is observed in people who lie in bed for a long time.
‘Therefore, the study simulates the condition in space with bed rest. In order to simulate conditions as similar as possible in space, the subjects have to lie with the head 6° down.
‘The results of the study help scientists develop more effective countermeasures or preventive measures so that astronauts on the space station do not have to spend most of their day doing sports.’
Researchers explained that participants will have to be on a standardised diet too with enough fluids and nutrients to make sure you’re healthy and do not put any weight on.
Could you handle all of that for £14k?
If so, you’ll have to be a healthy female between the ages of 24 and 55. The study kicks off in September 2019 in Cologne, Germany. You can apply here.
Tired young woman sleeping in bed
Michelle Murdock, 39, and her husband Brian, 39, were diagnosed with different forms of cancer within just months of one another.
So the couple from Chicago, U.S, decided to renew their wedding vows twice – once during the difficult time and once to celebrate being given the all-clear.
Father-of-two Brian was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, in 2015 and in January the following year, Michelle found out she had breast cancer.
The family were celebrating Brian’s remission when they received the bad news about Michelle’s diagnosis.
She had just finished an intensive course of chemotherapy and was in the middle of radiation therapy when Brian relapsed.
Having to travel to local cancer units together for treatment, the pair said they became stronger as a couple.
But they had to keep the ‘c word’ away from their children because of its negative connotations.
‘In a way, Brian’s cancer diagnosis prepared us for mine,’ said Michelle. ‘When he was sick, I begged God not to take the kids’ daddy.
‘When I was diagnosed I tried to push myself forward and put mind over matter.
‘You worry about what you will tell your kids. We explained that Daddy and Mommy were sick and were taking medicine to get better.
‘As a couple, having cancer has changed our perspective. It opened my eyes to what is important. Life is really short and you only have right now.’
Brian added: ‘When Michelle was diagnosed it was frightening. It kicked me in the gut. I knew we had to be really strong for our children.
‘When I was re-diagnosed I felt like we had become old hands at this.
‘We were fighting cancer for over a year at that point and when I was told it was back, I wasn’t upset. I just needed to fight.
‘Before I got sick, I was very work orientated. Now my family is my priority.
‘I still work hard, but if I had the choice of spending Saturday at work to get ahead or spending the day with my kids, the kids win every time.’
The couple wanted to celebrate getting better and renewed their vows twice, marking the occasions with ceremonies in Las Vegas and Hawaii.
Michelle said: ‘It was important for us to do that because after everything we’ve been through we cherish each other even more.
‘When you go through cancer together you realize how strong your partner is.. Brian always puts us first and keeps us strong.’
‘My wife is amazing,’ said Brian. ‘She took care of everyone. She was the rock of our family. She made sure the kids were taken care of. She’s just an amazing woman.’
Technology has brought us many joyful things, like the ability to connect with people across the globe, pet videos and a platform to share what’s important to us.
But with most people glued to mobile phones, tablets and laptops, we should ask ourselves – have things gone too far?
According to a new study, more than half of young people are suffering from a phenomenon dubbed ‘technoference’, defined as ‘everyday intrusions and interruptions that people experience due to mobile phones and their usage’.
Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia monitored 709 mobile phone users, aged 18 to 83, and participants were asked to fill in a survey with questions on how their phone affects their sleep, productivity, driving and if their phone usage makes them experience physical pain.
Overall, the report – published in the Frontiers journal – revealed 24% of women and 15% of men are ‘problematic mobile phone users’.
Among those aged 18 to 24, it was found that 40.9% are suffering from ‘technoference’. This figure was slightly lower among those aged 25 to 29, at 23.5%.
One in five women and one in eight men also said their mobile phones are to blame for lack of sleep, figures that was compared to results from a similar survey in 2005.
Throughout this time, these figures had increased significantly by 17.2% for women and 8.6% for men, respectively.
And while most of us agree that technology has allowed us to be more productive, problematic phone usage can actually lead to the opposite.
Out of those surveyed, 12.6% of the men and 14% of the women said their productivity levels declined because of how much time they spent on their phones.
‘Self-reports relating to loss of sleep and productivity showed that these negative outcomes had significantly increased during the last 13 years,’ said Dr Oscar Oviedo-Trespalacios, from the university’s Centre of Accident Research and Road Safety.
‘This finding suggests that mobile phones are potentially increasingly affecting aspects of daytime functioning due to lack of sleep and increasing dereliction of responsibilities.’
If you feel you might be struggling with ‘technoference’ yourself, there are ways to improve the issue.
Download an app to monitor your screen time, try to schedule in daily phone-free hours or leave your phone at home when going for errands or outings with friends.
Many of us still need to use our phones for work; it’s completely understandable but try to avoid checking emails if you’ve finished your working day.
Get active and do something that involves your body, not your mind instead – even if it’s a 15-minute walk in the local park.
Aldi’s inflatable hot tub is back for the summer, and we are so excited.
The £349.99 spa pool has been a bestseller for the past two years, and it’s back for a third year.
It’s proven so popular that it’s sold out over and over, with people having to pre-order online to even get their hands on one.
And it’s the same deal this time around, as those who want one for their back gardens (or their living rooms?) will need to head to the Aldi website and pre-order from 31 March to ensure you get one.
Oh, and it’s only available online this year, so you won’t be able to queue up outside your local Aldi if you don’t manage to secure one online.
The hot tub can be used indoors or outdoors and features a 795-litre pool with 120 air jets and a 2200W heater just in case the weather isn’t warm enough.
It can fit four people inside it at a time, and it comes with an insulating lid to keep the water warm.
Yes, it sounds ideal and yes, we need to buy one ASAP. We’re thinking drinks and BBQs while chilling in the hot tub in our back gardens.
If you’re looking for some alcohol to get you through the summer’s day, Aldi has also just released a new sparkly Parma Violet gin.
50cl bottles of the gin will be sold in stores from 26 April for £9.99.
The violet gin comes as part of a new three-part collection, featuring new flavoured liqueurs.
This includes a coconut and vanilla rum, a mango and papaya vodka and a rhubarb, pink grapefruit and black pepper gin.
So, if you’re considering throwing the ultimate at-home hot tub party, you might want to consider buying all three.
Aldi?s inflatable hot tub is making a return for summer
When it came to celebrating the birth of her daughter Leti, Heather Bowman couldn’t wait for her newborn photoshoot – but there was something missing.
Her son James – Leti’s twin brother – died in the womb at 17 weeks gestation.
But then her photographer Jessica Young had the perfect way to honour James and the bond between twins.
Wrapping Leti in a pink blanket, she knotted it up with an empty blue blanket and placed it beside her with some angel wings on top, representing the bond that would never be broken.
Heather, now 39, from St Louis, Missouri, U.S., said: ‘Jessica did an amazing job honoring my daughter and her late brother, it is truly a gift that I will cherish forever.’
Becoming a mum had not been an easy journey for Heather.
When she was approaching her 36th birthday, she was single but had always dreamt of being a mum.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was not willing to sacrifice becoming a mother because I had not found a husband yet.’
She found out she had a low egg reserve in 2015 and knew if she wanted to have a baby, she needed to do it soon.
Due to some health complications, she had to wait until January 2017 to get pregnant, using a donor.
Sadly, she had a miscarriage at six weeks.
A few months later, she fell pregnant again, this time with twins – but sadly she suffered more heartbreak.
She says: ‘To say I was shocked, scared, elated was an understatement. How was I going to take care of two babies at the same time as a single mother?
‘But at the same time, I was so excited that I was going to have two beautiful children. I have addressed everything in my life head on and this was not going to be any different.
‘At 14 weeks I found out I was having a boy and a girl – one of each, how perfect.
‘However, at 16 weeks, I started to have contractions, I had on and off bleeding and didn’t know what was going on.
‘I took myself to the hospital and an ultrasound showed the babies were fine but when the obstetrician (OB) examined me she said I was dilated, I had been in labour. I was in extreme pain but it never crossed my mind that I was in actual labour.
‘The babies were coming and they would not survive. It was an out of body experience, I couldn’t believe what I was being told.
‘Within minutes of being transferred to the labour and delivery floor, I delivered my son, Buchanan. Three hours later, my daughter, Leonor (Nori), arrived. Both perfectly formed, all 10 fingers and toes, eyes, nose, mouths.
‘I have never felt that kind of pain, suffering and devastation. But I wasn’t giving up. I asked my OB the same evening when I could start trying again.’
Heather felt that something had caused this and she went to her reproductive endocrinologist to ask for answers.
She says: ‘He conducted all sorts of tests and found out that I was part of the 1% of the female population that has a uterine malformation called a unicornuate uterus.
‘Traditionally what this means is that when you are formed in the womb, only half of your uterus forms. Usually with this, you only have one kidney, one ovary, one Fallopian tube, a rudimentary horn and half of a uterus.
‘This diagnosis was frightening for me but my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) was absolutely confident that regardless of my previous outcomes, I absolutely could carry a baby to term and so I continued on my journey.
‘I also found some amazing support groups of other women that have this same diagnosis where I was able to ask questions and see so many success stories that it completely restored my hope in being able to become a mom to living children.
‘I tried four times through IUI (Intrauterine insemination, where the sperm is inserted into the uterus) to get pregnant over the course of the next year and all failed.
‘My RE at that point said to me that I needed to start doing IVF because I was approaching 39 in a few months and if I wait any longer, I may not be able to have my own children.’
In May 2018, Heather started IVF, starting first with mediation to increase her egg production, followed by egg retrieval a few weeks later and a transfer of two embryos on 24 June.
They were able to retrieve five eggs and fertilise four of them – two of them were transferred to Heather’s womb and one was frozen.
Two weeks later, a pregnancy test confirmed she was pregnant.
‘Due to my age, my RE was adamant that we transfer two embryos as I would have a better change of one to stick,’ she says. ‘My chances of both sticking and having twins was less than 5%.
‘I kept praying that it was one baby so that I had the best chance moving forward so when I found out it was twins at my six-week ultrasound, I was scared out of my mind.
‘But the first two weeks, we only saw one of the heartbeats – two sacs, but one heartbeat – so the docs thought for sure that baby would not survive so a few weeks I thought ok, this may still be just one.
‘I started to wrap my brain around the fact that this was probably only going to be one baby but at eight weeks, there they were, two little strong heartbeats and so I came to terms with having twins again.
‘At eight weeks I transferred to a new team of doctors and to say I had the most horrible experience is beyond an understatement.
‘For the next few weeks I saw four different doctors and each one said I will have the same result, there is nothing they can do to help me or prevent loss and I need/should reduce a baby.
‘I had done my homework. I had read about progesterone helping the cervix stay shut, placing a cerclage, tocolytics to prevent labor, etc. Not one doctor in that practice was willing to listen to me.
‘There were so many women in my support groups that had success stories with single and multiple babies with a unicornuate uterus so I decided to take matters into my own hands and find a doctor who had experience and confidence that I could carry these babies to a healthy week for delivery.
‘I met a woman who also lives in St. Louis whose Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor was not only a multiples specialist but has so much experience with our type of uterus.
‘I called him immediately and was so lucky that they were able to add me to their patient list a month from that point in time because I was so high risk.’
Heather had tests that showed her babies were genetically perfect and that she was having a boy and a girl.
Despite finding out more about her babies, Heather worried about them constantly.
She says: ‘The anxiety I was experiencing was through the roof. Every single pain, twinge, cramp, I thought something was going wrong.
‘I couldn’t get any relief and especially since I had heard so much negativity from the previous doctors. I walked into Dr. Paul’s office at 13 weeks and the first thing he said to me was “We are going to do a preventative cerclage” then he said “I’m putting you on progesterone” and then “I’m going to test you for blood clotting disorders, other autoimmune diseases, etc”.
‘My anxiety slowly eased after meeting with him.’
Despite everything, at 17 weeks, Heather discovered that her little boy had not survived.
She says: ‘Unfortunately, and to no fault of anyone, I went in for my 17 week ultrasound and they did not find a heartbeat on my son.
‘My son was always the strong one from the get go. I keep thinking if I had reduced a baby, I would be childless right now because my daughter was the one who at the beginning didn’t see a heartbeat for a few weeks.
‘I thank God every day that I listened to my gut and that she ended up being such a strong, little fighter.
‘But I was devastated to hear that my son was no longer with us to boot I knew I was going to have to carry him until I delivered my daughter.
‘I think at this point my anxiety reached its all time high, I was so afraid that this somehow would affect my daughter. Every week I went in for my ultrasound expecting the worst and hoping for the best.
‘I made small milestones for myself and tried to take things hour by hour, day by day. I had to compartmentalize my grief to stay positive for my daughter and continue each day with the hope and perseverance that she was going to be okay.’
Three weeks before her scheduled c-section, she had symptoms of preeclampsia, where the blood pressure is dangerously high, and was admitted to hospital.
Doctors thought they would have to bring her c-section forward and she was given steroid shots to accelerate her daughter’s lung development, but after two weeks in hospital, Heather was ready to meet her babies.
Leti and James arrived at 36 weeks on 12 February. Leti weighted 5lbs 2oz.
Heather says: ‘Hearing her cry was the biggest relief I have had in my entire life. My mother was in the operating room (OR) with me and kept telling me how perfect she was.
‘She brought her over to me and I couldn’t believe I was looking at the most perfect angel that ever existed.
‘She had two little birthmarks on her forehead that look like footprints – to me they are her brothers stamp that he is watching over her, his little footprints to note that he will always be with her.
‘The hospital chaplain was also in the OR talking to me about James and that she would do everything in her power to get photos of him and bring him to me later that evening.
‘Being so preoccupied with Leti and her sweet cries, it wasn’t as difficult to deal with my loss of him until she brought him into the recovery room a few hours later.
‘A flood of emotion and memories of losing Bucky and Nori came to the forefront and the tears were flowing.
‘Unfortunately she was unable to get photos because he had deteriorated on one side and was completely flat but on the other side formed and I could see his back and spine and legs.
‘I wanted to honor him like I did with my other twins and tattoo his footprints on my wrist next to his siblings but was unable to. But at the end of the day, I got to see him, touch him and say goodbye.
‘I knew I had to grieve him again but also focus on my beautiful daughter who I could hold in my arms.’
After getting out of hospital, Heather started to think about how she wanted to celebrate Leti’s arrival and decided to get a newborn photoshoot.
She contacted photographer Jessica after she was recommended by another friend.
She says: ‘I was very excited about documenting Leti’s arrival into this world. I had told Jessica my story about all of my loss and the loss of Leti’s twin brother, James.
‘Jessica had emailed me the morning of Leti’s newborn shoot saying she had a wonderful idea and way to honor her brother if I was comfortable doing so.
‘Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it. So when I arrived and saw what she had set up, I lost it.
‘And then when she placed Leti in her place, all Leti could do was look over to where her brother would have been I couldn’t help but feel he was lying there, letting her know he was there and that he is always with her.
‘She smiled quite a few times while looking in his direction.
‘This photo means the world to me, I will cherish it forever and I cannot wait to tell her the story of how she came to be and how her brothers and sister watch over her day and night.’
Finding space where I feel like I belong as a Muslim woman has always been challenging.
For the longest time I looked for women like me; I wanted to find women who had aspired, struggled, who were independent, who built legacies, and I didn’t find them.
I couldn’t wish them into existence but I just knew somehow that there must have been women before me.
I was an avid reader as a child and I would go to the library before and after school, during lunch breaks and sometimes I would rush through my work in class only to ask if I could go to the library and read.
What I didn’t realise growing up was the gap in my reading. It was only at 22 – a long time after my student librarian days – I finally found a fiction book where the main character was a Muslim, South Asian, hijab-wearing woman.
While this moment was pivotal for me, over the past few years I’ve moved towards non-fiction and found myself drawn to the realities of Muslim women from the past.
In fiction, Muslim women are mostly non-existent or unable to escape the stereotypes that society, culture and the media have built around us.
Instead I sought out the achievements of Muslim women before me, which have either been diminished or forgotten, but not lost.
Muslim women are constantly being told that we don’t and have never had any agency. To counter this we need to hear and tell the stories of our forbearers.
Now I look to women like Khadijah bint Khuwylid who lived independently, empowered to make her own choices 1400 years ago.
Draw on these women when you need the strength or when someone says you can’t do something simply because you are a Muslim woman.
She proposed to her husband, the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), she became the first person in the world to accept Islam and she was a successful business woman and the wealthiest merchant in all of Mecca during her time.
After the death of her husband Shajar al-Durr, she became a ruling Sultan overnight, stopping the invaders of the Seventh Crusade in their tracks and taking Louis IX as prisoner.
She then negotiated a return treaty with France to hand over their captured monarch, for around 30 per cent of France’s total annual revenue.
All this was done by a woman, in a Muslim majority country in the first few days of her rule, in secret.
Knowing too that one of the oldest universities in the world was founded in Morocco by Fatima al-Fihri, a Muslim woman who wanted to encourage learning, makes me think again about how these women should be the role models and inspiration for mine and many other Muslim women’s advocacy and feminism in today’s world.
On days where I have felt hopeless, I’ve realised that we as Muslim women don’t necessarily need to look to the future to bring that hope back or to progress, and we most definitely don’t need to adopt a Western/white feminism that doesn’t understand how to empower us and really isn’t willing to accept all women.
This realisation has been my saving grace.
These Muslim women existed before feminism even began in the West. They’ve taught me I can be a feminist and a Muslim woman and empowered and so many other things, because so many Muslim women before me have been.
Although these women’s stories aren’t easily accessible to everyone, they are out there. These are the stories we should all know of and take courage from.
Through these women I have realised that Muslim women have the right to be queens (quite literally), they have the right to choose their partner in marriage, to work and earn, to be educated and so much more.
So, today on Muslim Women’s Day, I encourage all women, specifically Muslim women, to look to the past, to the women before us and to speak of their legacies wherever and whenever you can.
Draw on these women when you need the strength or when someone says you can’t do something simply because you are a Muslim woman.
Because that is untrue and it has been proven so many times, by so many Muslim women.
Some bonds are just too strong and some dogs are just too cute.
Both is the case for Shorty, the senior pooch who gets very bad separation anxiety when his favourit human is out of the house.
So much so, that owners Marc and Kristen, have come up with an ingenious way to ensure Shorty never gets lonely.
Introducing FARC, also known as fake Mar – the mannequin that Shorty cuddles up to when Marc is away.
The 15-year-old dog was adopted from a shelter and has been living with Marc for over a decade, so it’s no wonder he misses him when he’s gone.
‘Marc was working at a shelter in Reno when Shorty was surrendered,’ his wife Kristen told Bored Panda.
‘It was love at first sight and Marc adopted him.’
The pair share how Shorty used to join them on travels but is now too old, and therefore has to be left at home.
But despite having others – both humans and pooches – to play around with, the dog only wants Marc.
‘Now that he’s older it’s too difficult for him [to travel] and we don’t want him getting sick,’ said Kristen.
‘When Marc is gone Shorty is extremely anxious. He’ll bark and cry and nothing will calm him. If I hold him he’s still upset.’
The idea to introduce a mannequin to act as a Marc-proxy came from Kristen’s mum, who bought the dummy.
Kristen said: ‘She was over one day while Marc was away and saw how upset Shorty was.
‘She went home and ordered the mannequin from a Halloween store that night. When she told me about it, I thought she was nuts.
‘I really didn’t think it would work and it would just be a funny photo opportunity.’
Although she didn’t believe in the magic of FARC at first, Kristen dedicated herself into making him resemble the real deal as much as possible. She dressed the mannequin in Marc’s clothes and also put tattoo sleeves on its arms.
She put him on the couch and introduced him to Shorty – and the anxious dog calmed down almost instantly.
After 30 minutes, Shorty had fallen asleep next to the mannequin and slept through the night.
The pair run a retirement home for elderly dogs called Vintage Pet Rescue in Rhode Island and have 32 dogs in total at the moment.
They quickly found that FARC helped their other dogs too.
So, he’s now a regular feature in their house and hangs about when real Marc is around as well.
People are in awe on social media, with many commenting how great it is of the pair to go to such lengths to help their dog.
One user particularly appreciated the level of detail and said: ‘I love that the dummy has tattoos’.
Another said: ‘Cats wouldn’t fall for that’ – and let’s be honest, it’s probably true.
Senior dog with separation anxiety gets human dummy
If you’re doing a massive shop, it might mean you’re going to an important event.
And what’s the second most important thing after your outfit when it comes to looking good for a special occasion? Your hair.
Not missing a trick, Primark is now offering blow dries in six different styles in store.
Whether you’re going out or just fancy a quick treat, you can get a blowout for up to £17 in the Oxford Circus store in London.
The budget store has teamed up with beauty brand Duck & Dry to offer treatments at low prices.
The collaboration comes in three different parts; Duck & Dry Xpress for a blowout, Duck & Pluck for brows and lashes, and Duck & File for nails.
That means you can get the full pamper treatment for more than half the price.
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We celebrated the hatching of the first @duckanddryxpress at @primark Oxford Street East last night! Book hair, nails and brows online! Walk-ins also welcome 💁🏽♀️ • • #duckanddry #duckanddryxpress #duckandpluckxpress #duckandfilexpress #blowdrybar #nailbar #browbar #primark #primarkbeauty #bloggerstyle #londonstyle #beautystudio #beautysalon
A blow dry will cost you between £13 and £17, an easy bargain compared to Duck & Dry’s in-salon prices.
Whether you want your hair dead straight or in bouncy curls, you can choose from six different styles.
The brand is also offering updos including braids and classic hairstyles for perfect for weddings and graduations.
You can also get a trim for £17 and a fringe cut for £5. A manicure with polish will cost £18 and pedicure £12.
We imagine it’ll be quite popular so you’ll need to book online if you want to secure an appointment.
At the moment Duck & Dry Xpress is only available at the Oxford Circus store but there are plans to be rolled out across the country.
The UK’s biggest Primark in Birmingham, set to open in April, should also be getting its own Xpress bar.
The Oxford Circus bar opened last week, so you can book your appointments here.
Blow dries all around.
Primark has a blow dry bar
There’s always little things that annoy you about the other person in a relationship.
No matter how much you love someone, if they don’t rinse all the soap off the dishes or leave the paper on the butter when it’s been opened, it can be frustrating.
For Lizzie Swann, the thing that annoyed her about her husband was his tendency to leave empty wrappers on the kitchen surface.
And when she told him how annoying it was, he decided to turn it into the perfect joke.
Instead of putting his oatcake wrapper in the bin, he wrote out a description like the ones beside famous pieces of art.
He called the piece ‘Provocation’, including the date ‘2019’ the work was ‘produced.’
He added his name, Tomas McAuley, and explained the work is ‘mixed media: oatcake wrapper on marble’.
Adding a description, he says: ‘ Part of the famed ‘Annoyes’ school of visual artists, McAuley’s works have long sought to shock and to disturb, but ultimately to deepen our collective understanding of the human condition.
‘This work probes the intersectional boundaries of art to question, with an urgency that echoes the uncertainty of our Zeitgeist, the limits of acceptability, culpability, and conceivability, using the translucency of everyday materials, transfigured in the purifying flame of creativity, to show, in a world marked by division, the fundamental elision of the artistic and the human.’
Lizzie posted the picture on Twitter and the internet backed her husband’s innovation.
You can’t even be mad after that.— Jenn Zuko (@Bonzuko) March 27, 2019
I’d be keen to see him to develop his work towards ‘Disgarded Empty Envelope’ next.— Fiona Veacock Ceramics (@LolaWomble) March 27, 2019
And despite still being annoyed by his habit, Lizzie did find it a little amusing.
Oh trust me, I'm perfectly capable of being amused AND mad #multitasking— Lizzie Swann (@LizzieSwann1) March 27, 2019
Woman tells husband off for leaving wrappers everywhere - he tur
Attention, makeup fans: You can now get a free MAC makeup gift set. We know, it’s exciting news.
LookFantastic.com and MacCosmetics.co.uk have both launched a new Mother’s Day makeup offer, which means you can get a free gift set whenever you spent £45 on MAC products.
So, you could either spend £45 on your mum and then keep the gift set for yourself, spend £45 on yourself and give the gift set to your mum (though that’s a little cheap, come on), or you could be the ultimate son or daughter by giving the entire £45 shopping spree plus the gift set to your mother for Mother’s Day.
We’re sure you’d be in her good books.
The gift set includes a full-size MAC Lipstick in the shade Twig, which is pink. It also features a 6ml mini strobe cream and a mini Fix+ Setting Spray.
The gift set is worth £20.99 – so it’s a bargain to get it for free.
If you shop on LookFantastic.com, the gift set will be automatically added to your basket when you’ve spent £45.
If you decide to buy on MAC’s website, you’ll need to enter the code ‘MACLOVESMUMS’ at the checkout to receive it – though remember it’ll only work with a £45 spend.
The offer is only available until 31 March, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to get your hands on it.
If your mum isn’t a MAC fan but you still want to buy her some beauty gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day, why not check out our best beauty gifts for Mother’s Day 2019.
These nine women all work on the same ward, and as you can see, they are all about to have babies.
At at this one ward in Maine, U.S., there are nine nurses who are all due within four months of each other this year.
The first to announce she was having a baby was Erin Grenier but in the months that followed, eight more revealed they are pregnant.
All the women work together on the Labor and Delivery floor at Maine Medical Centre.
In order of their due dates, they are Erin, and fellow nurses Rachel Stellmach, Brittney Verville, Lonnie Soucie, Amanda Spear, Samantha Giglio, Nicole Goldberg, Nicole Barnes, and Holly Selby.
‘I guess I started a trend,’ Erin joked.
For some, this is their first baby but others are on their second or even fourth child but working together to help mothers have their babies has prepared them all for what is ahead.
All say their experience working with each other, and helping other mothers deliver their children, is preparing them well for what’s ahead.
‘Everywhere we look, there’s someone who’s an expert,’ Amanda Spear said.
‘I think it’s comforting knowing we’re all in this together,’ Samantha Giglio added.
Eight of the nine mums-to-be got together for a picture this week and it quickly went viral.
With the first baby due in April and the last in July, they hope to meet up again with nine little ones in a few months.
Picking out a name for your child is a massive decision.
It’s so easy to get it very, very wrong. It’s so tricky to find a name that you like the sound of, has a lovely meaning, that everyone in the family likes, and that isn’t shared by someone you hate.
So we’re not surprised that some parents end up disliking their child’s name.
A survey from ChannelMum reveals that 28% of parents said they regret picking the name they gave their child, and that more than one in ten have had their children say they don’t like their own name. Oh dear.
We can’t blame them – how do you know what name will suit your child as they grow older when you’ve only seen them as a wrinkly newborn when you have to sign the birth certificate?
The reasons for regrets are pretty varied, but there are a few that kept popping up in the survey’s results.
ChannelMum put together a list of the most popular reasons parents regret their child’s name, and topping the list was that their baby’s name became unexpectedly popular. Parents really do value individuality.
Also on the list is ‘my friend chose the same name for their baby’ and ‘someone with the same name became famous’, both of which are difficult traps to avoid.
Then there are the reasons that parents should consider before they register their baby’s name: ‘it’s too unusual’ and ‘it’s difficult to spell’.
Top 10 reasons parents regret their child's name:
Baby names expert SJ Strum said: ‘Picking your baby name is one of the most important parts of becoming a parent – and its’ also something which everyone from friends and family to total strangers has an opinion on.
‘Celebrity trends mean there are an ever-growing list of baby names to choose from, but this also means more opportunities to choose a name which you, or your child, then learn to loathe.’
Our words of wisdom: Take your time, don’t let anyone else add pressure to your choice, and have a list of backup options just in case.
And remember, it’s always possible for your child to change their name when they get older, so it isn’t a total disaster if you get your choice a bit wrong.
Mom Kissing Toddler At The Playground
A New York county has reported that they are currently in a state of a measles emergency, after 153 cases have been confirmed.
Rockland County, located north of New York City, has banned unvaccinated children from public spaces as a result, with fines in place for those who violate the ban.
Vaccination rates in the area are at around 50% to 60%, which authorities say is ‘not nearly enough’.
The World Health Organization has declared that the anti-vaccine movement is one of the top global health threats for 2019, and measles outbreaks (which have risen steeply) are at the heart of this.
Getting children vaccinated is absolutely the first stage to eradicating the disease, but it’s also important to know what to look out for – particularly in cases where your child can’t be immunised.
According to the NHS, measles symptoms begin around 10 days after the initial infection, and tend to be similar to those of a cold or mild flu. A full list of symptoms include:
Around two to four days after this, people may get white spots in their mouth, and a measles rash. This rash can take on various characteristics:
What to do if you suspect measles
Regardless of whether you’re completely sure or not, contact your GP as soon as you suspect you or your child might have measles.
Make sure to call ahead, as the disease is extremely infectious and special arrangements may need to be made before your visit – particularly to protect those with weakened immune systems.
You should avoid public areas such as schools or anywhere that vulnerable people may be.
Additionally, if you’ve yet to be vaccinated (even if you’re not showing symptoms) speak to your GP. They may be able to help.
Measles, a highly contagious infection caused by the measles
This week we told you about the woman who had a massive stroke while doing yoga on her porch.
Rebecca had been performing a complicated headstand when she tore a blood vessel in her neck, resulting in the stroke and the life-altering symptoms that she now lives with.
While Rebecca’s case is incredibly rare, it got us thinking – just how safe is it to practice yoga alone at home? Particularly if you’re not hugely experienced.
Part of the appeal of yoga is its accessibility. You just need some open space and a mat, you can essentially do it anywhere. And with the growth of apps and online tutorials, more people than ever are opting to teach themselves the moves and practice yoga from the comfort of their living room.
But is it risky to do yoga without the supervision of a qualified instructor? We spoke to one to find out.
Anna Clifford is a professional dancer and qualified yoga instructor teaching classes in a wide range of gyms and studios. Anna is confident that home yoga can be totally safe – as long as you take the right steps to prepare.
‘Practicing yoga at home is a new craze – it’s easily accessible and with all the online platforms that are now available, there’s virtually no excuse to not make time for your practice,’ Anna tells Metro.co.uk.
‘The great news is that it is so easy to do it at home, there are some fabulous YouTube channels that guide you through any kind of practice you are looking for.
‘It’s especially great for beginners who are nervous about trying an open class and practicing in front of other people, or just busy bodies who don’t have the time or the money to make it to class.
‘I would highly recommend practicing alongside a video with a qualified instructor that is guiding you through the postures.
‘Especially as a beginner, you don’t want to just look at a picture of a pose and go for it – there is essential prep involved to keep you warm and safe so that you don’t hurt yourself.
‘Following a class video will ensure that this preparation can be properly followed if you can’t actually have a teacher in the room guiding you.’
How to practice yoga at home safely
Anna has the following tips that she says you should keep in mind every time you roll out that yoga mat:
Always warm up. Every yoga class starts with breathing, stretching and smaller postures that articulate the spine, create space in the body and stretch the fascia to prepare you for your practice.
Start small. There is no point jumping into inversions or some of the more ‘Instagram-able’ poses. Especially if you don’t have trained eyes keeping you safe.
Nail the basics. Some of the simplest postures are the most difficult to do, and the easiest to do incorrectly. It’s important to get the essentials correct before progressing to a more challenging practice.
Simple poses to try at home
Start on all fours and make sure your knees are slightly behind your hips. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers out wide.
Press your hands into the mat and take a deep inhale, then keeping your hands pressed into the mat exhale deeply, lifting your knees off the floor and straightening your legs as much as you can.
Try lifting your hips higher on an inhale, and pressing your heels into the floor as you exhale.
From a low lunge, drop your back knee to the mat. Bring your hands onto your bent knee and keep that right knee directly over your ankle.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head, keeping the arms in line with your ears.
Exhale and deepen forward into the lunge. As you do that, your left hip comes closer to the floor.
Begin standing at the top of your mat. On an exhale, step your left foot back about three to four feet.
Place your left foot parallel to the short edge of your mat and line up the heel of your right foot with the heel of your left foot. Press down firmly through the little toe edge of your back foot.
On an inhale, extend your arms out alongside your body, raising them parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
Bend deeply into your right knee, stacking it over your right ankle and bringing your right shin perpendicular to the floor.
woman practicing yoga at home
I always hated skiing as a kid.
Ski trips have a reputation for being luxurious getaways with booze, snow, and spas in the Alps – but most ski trips as a six year old ended with cold nights, damp clothes, and sore feet.
Not to mention I’m really clumsy, I don’t exercise, and I hate the cold – so the winter sport was never exactly my favourite activity.
It’s been six years since I’ve gone back to the mountains. I’d much rather spend a week laying in the sun on a hot beach.
But I’m always open to having my mind changed – so I headed to Arlberg, one of the world’s oldest ski regions, for a weekend of food and snow… and a ski race.
That’s right – after six years of no skiing, and a lifetime of minimal exercise and maximum couch potato-ing, I competed in a ski race that I was heavily under-prepared for, and I loved it.
Getting to Lech
Apart from the 4:30am wake-up to catch an early morning flight, getting to Lech was easy enough.
We flew into Innsbrück, a journey that takes roughly two hours and which I slept through most of. I woke up and looked out the window as we landed on a small runway in the middle of the Alps, surrounded by staggering mountains and beautiful Austrian cottages.
Once we were through security, it was just over an hour’s drive until we were on the slopes. If you’d rather take public transport, you can take a train to Langen am Arlberg train station, which is a short bus ride away from the resort.
Hotel Gasthof Post
We stayed at the Post, an intimate 5 star hotel in central Lech. Owned by the Moosbrugger family since 1937, the lodge is the height of Alpine chic.
Paintings of mountain scenes and deer antlers lined the walls, making the whole place feel like a cozy cabin while retaining a feeling of luxury.
Before settling in, we stopped for lunch in one of the hotel’s four main restaurants, the Kutscherstube, which serves traditional Austrian cuisine. I’d highly recommend the apfelstrudel here.
In the evenings we enjoyed dinner at the Postblick, the main food hall at the Post, or at the Jägerstube, a private, cozy, gourmet restaurant showcasing the hotel’s best dishes.
I stayed in a Hunters Lodge room, which came fully fitted with a stereo system, a very comfortable double bed – a welcome upgrade from the cheap springy mattress in my London flat – and a snowed-down balcony with full view of the slopes.
The bathroom came with heated floors and a standing tub, where I spent most of my evenings soaking in a relaxing bubble bath and watching Netflix.
We also had the chance to try out the Post’s spa, featuring saunas, an outdoor heated pool, and several wellness treatments including massages, facials and healing baths. A 50 minute aroma oil massage costs €105 and will really do the trick for aching legs after a long day of skiing.
Stay at the Gasthof Post Lech from €180 a night. The Jägerzimmer, or Hunter’s Room, runs from €390 a night.
One of the worst parts of ski trips is always the uncomfortable plastic ski boots clamping down on your feet all day. But when we stopped by Strölz, a family-owned ski company that’s been around since 1921, we were measured and fitted for boots that were the perfect size, width, and shape. I kid you not, these boots were so comfortable it was like skiing with pillows on your feet. Game changer.
As for the skis, they had several different models available to fit your skiing level and style.
Once we we had our ski gear, we headed onto the slopes.
Arlberg is one of the five largest ski resorts in the world and is home to one of the oldest ski clubs. Der Weisse Ring, or the White Ring, is a 22 kilometre ski route that runs through the entire Arlberg region. The route is full of culture and history, giving some insight into the birth of Alpine skiing as we know it, and is a popular sightseeing tour.
If you need to stop for a break, there are several cafes and restaurants dotted around the place where you can enjoy some goulash in the sun. But if you get the chance, don’t miss out on the Trittkopf BBQ Station, a barbecue joint in an old converted ski lift station. They make their rubs in house and slow cook their meat over smoke for 16 hours – it’s delicious.
It really feels as big a circuit as it is. You can ski in a completely different area and near a different town every day for a week, surrounded by staggering mountains, all on the same ski-pass.
The slopes are huge and the views absolutely stunning – I was blown away.
An adult ski pass will cost you €158,00 for three days, or €249,00 for five days. More options are available on the region’s website.
The White Race
As if I wasn’t already scared enough to run a ski race, nobody told me the start line was uphill. Uphill. In skis!
But as scary as it was, I would go back and do it all over again. After that first hurdle, it was smooth sailing down empty slopes in the early morning sun. I could feel my fringe freezing as my skis fleeted between the flags that marked the way, fresh snow crunching under my weight.
Yes, it was a race, but it didn’t feel like it. The White Ring Race is open to people of all ages and skill levels, making it quite doable even if you aren’t a professional skier – which I can assure you, I’m definitely not.
The faster skiers compete in timed trials before the event, and are placed further up the pack, so I didn’t have to worry about too many people overtaking me at high speeds.
Those of us closer to the end of the pack focused more on having a good time and getting through the race in one piece.
It’s an incredible experience and I definitely recommend you take part if you’re a confident skier.
The fastest run time is 45 minutes, and it took me around twice that to finish. An embarrassing amount of that extra time was spent walking up hills that I didn’t build enough speed to go over.
I only fell once, so I’m putting this one down as a success.
The White Ring Race returns January 18th, 2020.
I’ve never loved skiing. But after a week in Arlberg, I may have been convinced otherwise.
There isn’t quite anything like breathing in fresh mountain air on a sunny day and feeling like you’re literally on top of the world. And although my legs still ached a week after the race, it was a good kind of pain – a reminder that I ran a ski race and by some miracle didn’t break any bones.
Arlberg isn’t the most affordable ski region, but it is by far one of the most beautiful. So if you’re looking for a week of pampering and luxury in the middle of the Austrian alps, look no further than Lech. You won’t regret it.
Skiing - You can see the whole White Ring circuit from the top of the mountains-4c53