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

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    (Picture: MadeForPets/Etsy)

    The final season of Game of Thrones starts next week – and we’re pretty excited.

    Hopefully you’re prepared with Game of Thrones pyjamas and an edible dragon egg.

    But now you can set up the perfect staging for your own little direwolf with this Game of Thrones pet bed.

    With this Iron Throne, your pet can be Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

    Etsy store MadeForPets has created the bed to replicate the sword covered chair at the centre of the series.

    The handmade bed is made from foam rubber, decorated with swords and covered with a soft textile.

    The bed is constructed so pets can hide under the arms of the chair, so they can stay warm, even if winter is coming.

    METRO GRAB - from Etsy Game of Thrones dog bed https://www.etsy.com/listing/552897255/cat-bed-iron-throne-cat-furniture-cat?source=aw&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=us_location_buyer&awc=6220_1551390005_35c366bd77c6b7e83582020311f6216f&utm_content=78888&source=aw&awc=6091_1554977500_33da75737b9af51edb516cad3faffb2a Picture: MadeForPets
    (Picture: MadeForPets/Etsy)

    It is pretty pricey at £214.93 and as it is shipped from Ukraine, it costs another £18.17 for delivery.

    The creator says that the bed would fit two pets at once – but we all know only one can sit on the Iron Throne.

    And it’s already popular, with five star reviews.

    One said: ‘The Throne is so cool, my cats love to sleep in it. Winter is coming, but the Throne is warm.’

    ‘Shipping took a little while but WELL worth the wait! Maximus loves his throne, he is literally in it every single day, it’s his favorite spot!! And it looks amazing, great quality. So happy with it,’ another added.

    ‘Very artistic work. One of my cats claimed it immediately. I just love it,’ a third said.

    MORE: If you love bread so much you want to sleep with it, this loaf pillow is for you

    MORE: Mars is paying someone to eat their chocolate and sweets


    Game of Thrones dog bedGame of Thrones dog bed

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    You’ve KonMari-ed your drawers, cleared your cupboards of clothes you haven’t worn in the last month, and made your living room match the minimalist one you found on Pinterest.

    There’s nothing more to do, but you don’t feel satisfied. You want to keep clearing, keep decluttering, keep paring back until you have nothing left.

    There’s an emotional itch to scratch. You look around and objects feel like they’re looming large, suffocating you simply by existing.

    This is compulsive decluttering – a symptom of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder that The Atlantic describes as ‘the opposite of hoarding’.

    The behaviour is also known as obsessive-compulsive spartanism, which describes the experience of being unable to handle mess.

    When you’re a compulsive declutterer, you want to live a life that’s as minimalist as humanly possible, and experience intense stress when confronted with unnecessary physical items.

    The behaviour isn’t officially recognised as a medical disorder, or even as a symptom of OCD, but online many of those dealing with anxiety disorders share their experiences of feeling trapped by the presence of objects.

    It’s difficult to have compulsive decluttering recognised as an issue, as its effects are considered socially acceptable. While hoarding is shamed and excess is criticised, a tidy, minimalist home or working space is generally considered something to strive for.

    Plus, there’s a reluctance among those with OCD to open up about their experiences, wanting to avoid playing into the cliché that having OCD simply means you’re ‘really clean’ or to have the intense mental distress caused by clutter dismissed as just being bothered by a bit of mess.

    In a time when decluttering is a trend and the whole world is tidying up, admitting that you’ve cleared out every possession from your home is more likely to attract applause than cause for concern.

    But how can you know when your decluttering has crossed the line from normal tidying to something compulsive?

    Amelia, 26, was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder last year, and feels compulsive decluttering offers an explanation for her previous behaviour.

    ‘I walk into my parents’ house and see piles of books, tens of coats loaded on to hooks, and cupboards filled with more mugs than two people could ever use,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘It automatically makes me feel overwhelmed and like I’m about to have a panic attack.

    ‘My inability to live with that much clutter was a big part of why I moved out, and why I was so irritable with my parents.

    ‘I think people would be surprised that I feel so uncomfortable with clutter, because I’m naturally quite a messy person. I prefer doing big tidies rather than day-to-day stuff, so you’ll spot piles of clothes on my floor most days, then a spotless place once a week.

    ‘My compulsion is more apparent when it comes to those big tidies. I suddenly want to throw absolutely everything away, even if it has a purpose or it should have some sentimental meaning. I don’t feel connected to my stuff and its presence feels claustrophobic. I’ve thrown away photo albums, diaries, and gifts from friends and family because I just have a sudden need to get it out of my space.’

    Emotional relationship with clutter/why some people find it so hard to throw things away
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Amelia says that when she started to read books on minimalism a few years ago, she noticed herself being too cutthroat with what she discarded.

    ‘I’d ask myself if I really needed a laptop, pots and pans, and all these bits of art I’d picked up when travelling,’ she tells us.

    ‘I brought it up in therapy and realised a big part of what was going on with my self-esteem. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have anything, that if I depended on things I was making myself vulnerable.’

    Natalie, 30, has a similar relationship with stuff, finding comfort in clearing out her possessions. She’s been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

    She tells us: ‘At uni my friends would say to me – ‘where is all your stuff?’ – but I was like – what else do I need?

    ‘All the stuff I have has a purpose, I use it. If I find something I haven’t worn or used or looked at in more than a few months I will happily throw it away.

    ‘I have moved house a lot in the last ten years – every time I move I see it as an opportunity to get rid of more things.

    ‘I think this comes from the traumatic times when I have attempted to move house using bin bags and public transport. Horrific.’

    For Natalie, decluttering doesn’t feel like a problem. Clutter does.

    When she’s in an area surrounded by mess, she feels restless and stressed out.

    ‘I can’t relax until the area I’m in is tidy,’ she says, ‘which means sometimes I come home from work and will just immediately start tidying – without taking off my coat or shoes, because I know I can’t sit down and read or put the TV on if I can see messy stuff in my peripheral vision.’

    When she declutters, she feels a sense of calm.

    ‘Decluttering sprees are one of the most relaxing activities I can do,’ Natalie explains. ‘It makes me feel so productive and when I lug those giant bin bags of useless shit out of my house I feel instantly lighter.

    ‘I can go into my bedroom with a plan to declutter one drawer and emerge four hours later having thrown away 80% of my possessions.’

    Aimee, who also has anxiety, says that decluttering helps her feel as though she’s in control: ‘Before a recent flight (I’m a nervous flier), I cleaned my flat from top to bottom.’

    That’s not the case for Amelia, who describes her decluttering missions as an ‘out of control spree’.

    ‘It’s not enjoyable at all,’ she says. ‘It’s a compulsion and once I’m in it I can’t stop, even when I know I’ve gone too far. I’ve tidied for hours then sat down and still felt tense and restless, which then turns into other compulsions like checking switches or compulsive skin picking.’

    Psychologist Lorna Mograby, of Counselling Directory, explains that compulsive decluttering can come from the pressure of perfectionism and feelings of guilt.

    ‘Clutter can cause extreme anxiety to the point that they need to get rid of it right away,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘The perfectionist mentality would mean that the person has such high expectations as to the standard of tidiness of their environment that that they take decluttering to an extreme level – often getting rid of useful items they may require later or even throwing away gifts.

    ‘As we live in a society that advocates minimalism and criticises consumerism, an individual might feel guilt at the amount of possessions they have.

    How being unable to decorate the places we live is affecting us Metro illustrations (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Also getting rid of items might give them a feeling of being in control of their lives. Maybe they feel they have not been able to exercise much control in their lives previously.

    ‘Belief that certain items have been contaminated and need to be thrown away might also trigger this condition and provide the sufferer with some relief – albeit temporary!’

    That’s the trouble with any compulsive disorder – while the behaviour might make you feel safe and soothed for a moment, that feeling quickly disappears. Then you have to either continue with the compulsion or find another one to chase some relief.

    Then there are the practical effects of compulsive decluttering. There’s the obvious issue of throwing away things that you may later need, such as important documents of items that can’t be replaced.

    Aimee tells us that a previous ‘purge’ of her wardrobe left her ‘scarred’: ‘I got rid of loads of clothes a few years back. I still think about some of those items.’

    Natalie has had the same issue, telling us she regrets chucking ‘boxes, instructions, receipts’.

    ‘My instinct is to throw any things like this away instantly – only to find that I need to return an item and I don’t have any of the paperwork,’ she explains. ‘Also clothes. I love creating space in my wardrobe but I am definitely too brutal. I will go to find that sparkly vest I haven’t worn in a while and then realise I chucked it – but now I have a new skirt that goes perfectly with it.’

    The behaviour can also cause issues with friends and family who don’t have the same drive to clear their personal space.

    Amelia still struggles to visit her parents’ house, while Aimee has found herself offering to tidy her desk neighbour’s stuff before because it was ‘getting’ to her.

    If a compulsive declutterer is in a relationship with someone with similar views on minimalism, living together can be plain sailing, but problems arise when the urge to clear leads to the discarding of things someone else deems meaningful. Differing levels of tidiness can be tricky in any relationship, but when someone clutter puts you unbearably on edge, what can you do? And from the other person’s perspective, is it fair to let them lead on the tidying, despite knowing it may be an unhealthy compulsive behaviour?

    The key, as with any mental health issue, is to find the line between standard behaviour and patterns of action and thought that are damaging physically and mentally.

    Lorna explains that the border between ‘just being tidy’ and compulsive decluttering can be tricky to see, but it comes down to how the person is feeling.

    One person’s treasure is another person’s trash, so it’s not as simple as declaring that an object is something that shouldn’t be chucked away, and defining someone’s behaviour based on what exactly they’re discarding.

    Lorna says a sign tidying has gone to far is ‘when the need to be tidy reaches an extreme level and an individual is even throwing away useful items, possessions they like or gifts, because they believe that their environment if becoming cluttered.’

    ‘Warning signs include when the individual experiences excessive anxiety and the quality of their life is affected, when they are consumed by feelings of guilt at the amount of their possessions, or they believe that something negative is attached to that item,’ says Lorna.

    ‘If a person becomes totally consumed by thoughts of clutter and they think about little else, or, if the person already has a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or experience other forms of OCD, [these are causes for concern].’

    Psychologist Catherine Huckle echoes this, adding that a sign that decluttering could be a symptom of OCD lies in a person’s thought patterns, and what they’re trying to achieve by clearing out their personal space.

    ‘When someone feels that they have to declutter and remove items from their home it is a compulsive behaviour, and often follows an obsessive thought pattern,’ says Catherine. ‘The thoughts could vary enormously but could range from a sense that if they have too much stuff they’ll be burgled, there’ll be a fire and they won’t be able to escape, through to the idea that if they have too much stuff others will view them as slovenly, messy or dirty.

    ‘Decluttering in this context might mean limiting items that come into the home, clearing things immediately after they have been used (for example putting packets straight to the bin outside), throwing out half used items like shampoo or soap bottles, having rigid rules about where and how items are stored and tidying [or] removing items that others leave lying around or that they bring into the home.’

    Having a resistance to clutter is common. As Catherine explains, a lot of us feel a need to declutter because of the ‘extra cognitive burden’ excess possessions can have. When you have an anxiety disorder, this can cause overload.

    Obsessive compulsive spartanism happens when the threshold for mess and clutter drops below the norm and troubling thought patterns linked to possessions emerge.

    ‘It becomes more than “just being tidy” when there is a high level of distress associated with mess, when it preoccupies thoughts and when it impacts on your ability to function,’ says Catherine. ‘In practise this might mean becoming very anxious if someone makes a mess in your home orbeing unable to stop thinking about the bottle that’s been put back in the “wrong” place.’

    Continuing to declutter isn’t the solution to that sense of unease – it’s a temporary answer that fades quickly and can leave you sitting in an empty room without a mattress to sleep on.

    So what are you supposed to do when your need to tidy goes too far?

    It’s not as easy as watching a Netflix special or learning a new folding technique, unfortunately. As with any mental issue, professional help can be a lifeline.

    CBT has good evidence of being helpful for obsessive compulsive behaviours, while exposure and response prevention therapy could help with feelings of fear when confronted with clutter.

    Catherine recommends that while pursuing therapy, a declutterer can take small steps to challenge their urge.

    ‘This might be practising leaving things in a different place, and noticing how anxiety rises, reaches a peak, and eventually falls,’ she explains. ‘This is called habituation and over time it means that we experience less and less anxiety in response to the same changes. Having a success with a small change can help to motivate and give confidence to try bigger changes.’

    Get a throw cushion that fulfills no purpose, but you love regardless. Keep hold of something that brings fond memories when you look at it. You don’t have to submerge yourself in clutter or turn your back on tidying entirely, but it’s vital to learn that you are allowed to have things you care for.

    MORE: Why you have so many tabs open

    MORE: Why clutter has the power to break up your relationship

    MORE: Why do lads do such unquestionably stupid things?


    Can minimalism/decluttering go too far?Can minimalism/decluttering go too far?

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    Young couple under the bed sheets
    Picture: Ditch the fags and re-ignite your spark in the bedroom


    Let’s talk about sex.

    It’s a wonderful thing – especially when it’s with someone who means the world to you.

    But, regardless of how kinky you get in the sack, well endowed you are, or simply how great you think you are, there is a little something that risks screwing up your screwing, and that is smoking.

    Here, we tell you exactly how smoking impacts you sexually, and how quitting will completely transform your sex life.

    Harder, better, stronger

    Man looking down his trousers in the bedroom
    Picture: If you’re not performing, it may be down to constricted blood vessels caused by smoking

    Kicking things off with the penis because, let’s face it, it had to come up sometime…

    Your todger has lots of blood vessels in it, which, when you become aroused, help to fill the spongey tissues in your penis and cause an erection.

    All well and good right? Well, not quite. You see, if you’re a smoker, you can run into problems here.

    Nicotine, tobacco and carbon monoxide all temporarily restrict the blood vessels throughout your body, which in itself raises health concerns, like increasing the risk of blood clots, for example. By smoking, you permanently damage your blood vessels.

    For your penis, this means it can take longer to get an erection – and it may not even be as good a one as a non-smoker’s.

    Because the vessels have had their capacity reduced, your penis may not be able to become as fully erect as that of someone who doesn’t smoke. And, not only that, but this may also affect your ability to keep it up for long… or to get it up at all.

    So, gents, to ramp up your performance in the sack, you might want to bin the cigs.

    All night long

    A couple in bed together
    Picture: Keep the passion going for longer by quitting cigarettes

    Have you ever been so enamoured with someone that you just cannot keep your hands off them?

    Perhaps your sex life is like the scene of a rom com, with countless hours – or even days – spent in the bedroom.

    Admittedly, this isn’t a realistic representation of real life (after all, don’t these people have jobs to go to? Don’t their families wonder about where they’ve gone?).

    However, if even the thought of an all-nighter or two has you feeling out of breath rather than excited, that could be down to your smoking habits.

    Smoking has an enormous effect on your body’s ability to carry oxygen – which is a big deal, seeing as oxygen is responsible for producing 90 per cent of our body’s energy.

    If there isn’t enough oxygen being circulated, you’re going to get out of breath very quickly indeed.

    Your overall stamina is going to take a hit, too. The toxins in cigarettes cause your heart to pump harder and faster, so even something as enjoyable as sex can become strenuous.

    It’s not all bad, though. Within just three months of giving up smoking, breathing drastically improves and your circulatory system begins to return to normal too. Definitely worth doing for the pay-off…

    Not-so-smooth loving

    Couple hugging in bed
    Picture: The toxins in cigarettes don’t just affect men in the bedroom

    No matter what tickles your pickle, foreplay and arousal are key when it comes to sex, as they help to prepare the body for intercourse – particularly for women.

    There isn’t a huge amount of research on the effects of smoking on female sexual physiology, but what is out there is fascinating.

    Some of the 4,000 different chemical compounds found in cigarettes have the ability to reduce sensitivity in your genitals by as much as 30 per cent, making it difficult to feel stimulated.

    This is down to the constricted blood vessels we were talking about earlier, and obviously affects both men and women – but for ladies, this reduced blood flow affects both your ability to climax and lubrication.

    In fact, smoking can even harden the vessels around the clitoris and vagina, making it increasingly harder to become aroused, let alone orgasm. Not ideal, we’re sure you’ll agree.

    Cutting cigarettes from your life will improve blood flow, heighten your sensitivity and ensure you have much better, more pleasurable sex.

    Maybe baby?

    A couple pleased with the results of their pregnancy test
    Picture: Non-smokers find it less difficult to get pregnant and experience fewer problems during their pregnancy

    This is a well-known one, but if everything so far hasn’t put you off smoking, then consider this. If you have any plans for children in your near-future, you need to stop smoking.

    The chemicals in fags are detrimental to DNA, damaging both sperm and eggs. This fact alone causes a number of issues, from affecting your ability to conceive at all, miscarrying and even the baby’s health once it’s born.

    Smoking is so harmful to fertility that it can even effect want-to-be mothers who don’t smoke.

    Simply being exposed to second-hand smoke can negatively impact on a woman’s fertility, so if you are trying to have a baby, make sure you both quit to increase your chances.

    Want to give up smoking?

    Explore more about why and how to quit cigarettes at changeincorporated.com 

    Advertisement paid for by Change Incorporated (VICE) for its Quit Cigarettes initiative. Philip Morris International funds this initiative but has no editorial input, so may not share the views expressed. Find out more: changeincorporated.com


    Couple in bedCouple in bed

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

    You probably think your partner is pretty great – but a new study shows that we think the person we love is smarter than they actually are.

    Rose tinted glasses are absolutely a thing.

    Giles Gignac from the University of Western Australia and Marcin Zajenkowski from the University of Warsaw carried out the study, published in Intelligence.

    They found people actually rate their partner’s IQ based on how happy their are in their relationship and most people rate them as being above-average intelligence.

    They looked at 218 heterosexual couples who had been together for an average of six years and about a quarter of them were married.

    Their intelligence was determined based on IQ tests and they were also asked to comment on their own intelligence and their partners using a scale designed by the researchers.

    The study found that people routinely overestimate their partner’s IQ by as much as 30 IQ points but they also considered their own IQ to be above average.

    However, they tended to overestimate their partner’s IQ by seven points more than they overestimated their own IQ.

    The authors said: ‘It would appear that women and men participate in the process of mate selection, with respect to evaluating IQ, consistent with the mutual mate model of sexual selection.

    ‘However, the personal benefits of intellectual compatibility seem less obvious.’

    Basically, most people want a partner who is as smart as them but we tend to give them a bit too much credit.

    The researchers used written tests rather than verbal tests and they say more studies will need to be done to confirm the results.

    MORE: Mars is paying someone to eat their chocolate and sweets

    MORE: You can get a Game of Thrones Iron Throne pet bed so your dog or cat can be Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms


    coffee-date (2)-0278coffee-date (2)-0278

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    Our sense of smell is hugely important – especially when it comes to evoking memories

    It’s funny isn’t it, how a particular waft can transport you back in time, to a particular memory like an electric current running through your body. Or the natural alarm clock that awakens you as you catch the alluring scent of a fresh brew. The power of smell is surprising every time.

    There’s a reason why so many estate agents recommend putting on a fresh pot of coffee or baking some bread before viewings. It’s a subtle way to romance potential buyers and helping them visualise their future lives.

    Smell is one of our five senses and is part of the limbic system that controls behaviours, emotions and even memory. Once upon a time, it would have been important to track food, water, sense danger and even find the right mate.

    But like our other senses, smell holds a crucial role in our life, and here’s five reasons why it’s more important that you think:

    Taste

    So that crispy bacon, or moreish popcorn tastes so good, but 80% of the flavours actually come from the smell, which is why, when hit with a dreadful cold and barely able to breathe through our nose, that we’re not that fussed about what we eat. If you’re not able to smell the food you’re eating, sometimes adding seasoning like salt can also have its own health ramifications down the line. When you can smell that something tasty is cooking, your mouth starts to water – and there’s science behind it! It’s all linked.

    Danger

    Sometimes things just smell awful, like when you’ve left something in the fridge too long or your trainers are so well worn they’re basically marching to the bin themselves. When an odour is unpleasant, our nose gives us a warning signal of danger ahead. Think of a fire, we’re often alerted to the smell even if it’s from far away which then immediately tells us there’s something ablaze. Or even gas, we know that something dangerous is seeping into our lungs.

    From pheromones to a lover’s fragrance, our sense of smell plays a massive part in falling for someone

    Memory

    A certain smell can act like a punch in the gut, or like arms in a loving embrace. It affects the way that you can evoke certain memories. For some people, they can remember memories from as young as five. That’s how strong it is. Whether it’s the smell of family recipes or the perfume your partner wore on the first date, smell creates a powerful imprint on your mind. Some of the most invigorating scents are those associated with memorable holidays; from the sea salt to fresh coastal air to the fragrance of coconut and exotic flowers, these remind us of warmer, wonderful times – especially as we count down to summer.

    But you don’t have to wait around to spark those memories – Air Wick Beach Escapes has introduced a range of new coastal-inspired air fresheners which neutralise odours and diffuse a fresh fragrance into your home, making your pad feel like a slice of paradise.

    Air Wick Beach Escapes has introduced a range of new coastal-inspired air fresheners to evoke memories

    Love

    For get swiping right or left, they should probably add a sniff and scratch system because part of the way you pick your partners is based on how they smell. No, seriously. Sure, if they have bad BO you’re less likely to want to get up, close and personal, it’s more subtle than that. It’s in our DNA, as our bodies release pheromones that send signals to potential lovers, with a 2004, study finding that men were more attracted to the smell of a woman at her most fertile.

    Health

    As one of our five senses, it’s no real surprise that lack of smell could signal big problems. But it can happen, changes in your sense of smell can occur when you get a cold or flu, suffer from an allergy or a growth. Some people lose their sense of smell completely, this is called anosmia. Not only this, studies have shown that some indicators of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimers sufferers can show signs of diminishing sense of smell prior to being diagnosed.

    The power of smell enriches your life, giving it another dimension that we might take for granted. Consider your home or working environment, bringing fresh scents into the design could help you create a more relaxing space or help focus the mind.

    Air Wick's new Beach Escapes

    Air Wick will allow you to freshen up your home, the way you want. And with their Automatic Sprays, you can control the fragrance level to suit your taste.

    And with the new Beach Escapes range, you will be able to bring the scent of the exotic to you; the Bali Blue Waters fragrance will immerse your senses in the tranquility of the turquoise waters off the coast of the paradise destination.

    With Air Wick Beach Escapes Automatic Sprays Malibu Beach & Hibiscus, feel the cool ocean breeze and the warmth of the sun as you escape to your Malibu beach hideaway, while Air Wick Beach Escapes Automatic Sprays Mykonos White Sand and Sea Salt, you’ll feel like you’re dipping your toes in the sparkling waters along the white sandy beaches of the Greek island.


    Young woman with eyes closed smiling on a beachYoung woman with eyes closed smiling on a beach

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    (Picture: @positravelty/Instagram)

    Travel influencers have been slammed in the past for daring stunts.

    Take the blogger who appeared to stand in front of a train for a pic, or the couple who leaned back out of a moving carriage.

    The latest bloggers to be criticised for a risky move are American travellers Kelly and Kody, who post on Instagram under their account Positravelty.

    The couple, now based in Bali, Indonesia, shared an image from an infinity pool at the Kayon Jungle Resort in Ubud.

    In the image, Kelly could be seen hanging from the edge of the pool while being held up only by Kody’s arms as they kissed.

    They claimed that they posed for the picture to show the trust they had in each other. The duo also said they had been slow and cautious in creating the shot.

    But many felt that Kelly being suspended in the air on the side of the high pool was dangerous and could inspire copycat acts.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BvwamQAF0Lm/

    ‘It was a blast setting this up,’ Kelly wrote on the account. ‘Kody had a very good hold of me. We trust each other entirely. It was such an amazing feeling to have this come out exactly as we planned. We are safe and sound.’

    Instagrammers left hundreds of comments saying it was brave but risky. One person wrote: ‘Dangerous but I love this one.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv1kRXAFvho/

    While another said: ‘Fantastic photo, it’s one that takes your breath away looking at it.

    ‘However, as influencers, I think you ought to be more careful of what you post, some readers might skip over your caption and aspire to replicate what you have done, and in the process, unfortunately, put themselves in immense risk.’

    Other responses weren’t so measured: ‘It’s your life but if you choose to be a freaking blogger and inspire people, maybe don’t create dangerous content like this,’ they said.

    ‘Sick of hearing horrible news where someone gets injured or dies trying to take a perfect picture. Copy cats will definitely try and take a picture like this.’

    But the criticism isn’t bothering Kelly and Kody, who have almost 60,000 followers, as they continue their travels around Asia.

    MORE: Bloggers and Instagrammers explain why their jobs deserve some respect

    MORE: Travel blogger slammed for standing in front of moving train for Instagram picture

    MORE: Company is looking for bloggers to travel around Europe – all expenses paid


    Instagrammers criticised for hanging out of a poolInstagrammers criticised for hanging out of a pool

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    (Picture: Hair Advisor UK/Twitter/Getty)

    A hair salon is alienating customers for its stringent rules.

    The anonymous stylist shared an Instagram Story saying anyone taller than 5’8″ and/or with a hair length that reaches where their bra strap is, has to pay more for their haircut.

    They also said they require pictures of your current hair and those who fib about their hair’s real length will have to pay an additional charge.

    The image was shared on Twitter by a UK salon review page, who asked whether stylists were asking too much of their clients.

    Pretty much everyone said yes.

    On the Story, which was seen by over 1,000 people, it said: ‘Please note that the price is subject to change.

    ‘If you are above the height of 5’8″, there is an additional charge, if your hair is bra strap length or longer, there is an additional charge.

    ‘If you incorrectly measure your hair, the scheduled length you initially booked may be changed and additional costs will be added accordingly.

    ‘Also, current pictures of your hair are required at the time of your consultation.’

    So basically if you’re a semi-tall person with long hair, you’re could end up unexpectedly spending extra cash.

    Twitter users commented that the rules were discriminatory and nonsensical.

    Hair Advisor UK told Metro.co.uk they thought the rules were a confusing money-making scheme.

    ‘We view this as a bad idea because it is discrimination against a specific group of people when there is no correlation between a person’s height and length of hair,’ they say.

    ‘An individual’s height should not affect the price of service they receive! We believe the hair stylist did this to attain more money from her clients at any means possible.’

    Others felt the height rule was arbitrary. ‘This hair stylist has lost her damn mind! What in the world has height got to do with the length of hair!’ they wrote.

    ‘What kind of height discrimination is this?’ said another.

    One person asked whether it could be because the stylist is unable to reach taller clients.

    While this may be an extreme case, there are various discrepancies between what salons charge for their services.

    Women are often charged more for their haircuts, even if they have short crops.

    Some charge more depending on the seniority of the stylist, or on special services they offer. Rococo Organic Salon, for example, offers haircuts using all vegan products. They told Metro.co.uk for this reason all their haircuts start from £50.

    ‘This is a reasonable price,’ said manager Mas. ‘It’s “from” because we add (vegan) extras. But we charge an extra £5-£10 for longer/thicker hair or trickier styling.

    ‘These extra works take extra time, and I would say pricing is more to do with time spent.

    ‘Extra charge applies to colouring too and depends on how much is used. So time and materials decide the price.’

    Similarly, the Good Salon Guide which works with around 2,000 salons in the UK said pricey haircuts are an investment.

    ‘Although hairdressing doesn’t always receive the respect it deserves your stylist or colourist will have trained, many to degree level before they welcome you into the salon,’ a spokesperson told us.

    ‘Much of that training is paid for by the salon owner in order to offer the best service possible. Professional products, whether that’s the colour or shampoo etc, are also expensive but very much worth it as they help keep the hair and scalp healthy and your hair looking vibrant.

    ‘Salons also have to cover the same costs as any high street business so setting the price of the service is a combination of these things.

    ‘A colour can seem expensive but when you compare this with the damage you can do to your scalp and hair through not going to a professional it is money well spent!

    ‘We are also seeing more salons than ever offer gender-neutral pricing.’

    MORE: Beauty salons offer free bikini waxes to encourage women to get their smear test

    MORE: Woman tried to pay for salon treatment with son’s shoes and a pasty

    MORE: We try seven hair brushes to find out which ones are worth the money


    Hair with height restrictionHair with height restriction

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    Candice Carty-Williams
    (Picture: Candice Carty-Williams)

    Candice Carty-Williams adores writing. She loves telling stories that take you on a journey, that allow you to see yourself reflected.

    But she doesn’t necessarily love what comes with it. The promotion, the interviews, the need to put herself in the limelight.

    A self-confessed introvert, she admits she finds that side of her job difficult. But with her beaming smile and the easy eloquence with which she articulates her ideas, you would never know that she was nervous.

    Constructing a convincing front of confidence is nothing new to Candice.

    ‘I remember my sister teaching me when I was really young to lock my shoulders when I was walking down the street,’ Candice tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I said to her, “what do you mean?” and she said, “you just watch”.

    ‘I realised how many people were hitting me – just barging right into me – when I wouldn’t turn or move aside for them.’

    This is what Queenie feels like. A locking of the shoulders in a literary sense. A refusal to turn and duck away to allow the same old narratives to be told again and again.

    Queenie is Candice’s debut novel. It is the story of a young Londoner grappling with love, loss and trauma while trying to maintain a career, a relationship and friendships. It is a story that so many of us can relate to and you can’t help but root for the often hapless, always lovable, titular character.

    ‘I didn’t want to write anything that was going to be too much of a challenge, or intellectual – I wanted this book to be entirely accessible,’ explains Candice.

    ‘It was written with me in mind. I just thought to myself – what would you like to have read? I wanted to read about a girl going through an extreme situation, so that it could give me the tools to go through situations that weren’t so extreme.

    ‘But I also wanted everyone to read it and for everyone to understand why this is needed.

    ‘I needed this story when I was growing up and I didn’t have it. I thought that by the time I got older something like this would exist, but it still hasn’t materialised.

    In recent years there has been an explosion of black authors writing pertinent, important things about race in this country – but there is still a dearth of mainstream, commercial fiction that centres black and minority narratives.

    ‘I enormously rate the works of Akala, Afua Hirsh and Reni Eddo-Lodge – but reading non-fiction about these issues can feel like work,’ explains Candice.

    ‘I wouldn’t say it can be triggering necessarily, that’s not the right term, but it weighs on you and you end up automatically applying the pain and trauma to yourself.

    ‘I want fiction, I want a ride that you can be taken on. This is just about Queenie’s life.

    ‘Someone asked me if Queenie is an “issues” book – and I said no. It is just about a woman living her life. That isn’t an issue, it’s just a narrative.

    ‘All books are about someone going through something difficult or challenging, this is just seen through a different lens. I wish I had had that.’

    Candice’s debut works hard to make young black women feel seen. The importance of mainstream representation can’t be understated – just to see someone you recognise or to read about an experience that you can personally relate to can help people feel less alone.

    ‘Someone just tweeted me to tell me they wished they had known they could have their hair like the style on the cover – that they wouldn’t have spent so much of their life straightening it.

    Queenie book cover
    (Picture: Orion Books)

    ‘That’s exactly what it’s about. It starts from the cover.

    ‘This book shows people that there is difference in the world, and that that difference is OK. It’s not even about celebrating that difference, it’s just about seeing it as part of everything else.’

    In the novel, Queenie’s relationships with her friends are a joy to read. The unconditional love, the unspoken tensions, the inescapable WhatsApp groups. It is an ode to modern friendship and we all have friends exactly like Queenie’s.

    ‘It was really important to me that Queenie had different friends as well, with different cultures – because that’s very much my experience of living in London,’ Candice tells us.

    ‘When I was growing up, my surroundings where so multicultural, but that pool of difference has just been shrinking as I’ve gotten older. From secondary school, to university, to working in publishing. I really wanted to highlight the reality that we do have different pools of people in our lives.

    ‘I have best friends who are Jewish, who are white and middle class, Ugandan. Obviously that would be the case. But I am yet to read a book by a white author where they have a group of friends that are black – or just more diverse. It may exist – I am happy to be corrected – but I am yet to read it.

    ‘Queenie’s friends are a big amalgamation of all the girls I have known and know. What I really want to do is reflect real life in human nature, those conversations you have, the tensions that you have and the fact that we all have friends that make us say; “why the f*** am I your friend?”

    ‘That is the reality of being young and growing up and becoming an adult.

    ‘I have had to get rid of a number of these relationships in the last few years – the people who treat me badly, who talked to me badly. And it’s that process that I wanted to reflect. There are so many tensions that we just discuss.’

    Dating as a black woman in Britain can be fraught with hostility, microaggressions and fetishisation.

    The immediacy and brutality of dating apps allows people’s prejudices to come to the surface with alarming speed, with black women often faring worst on the receiving end.

    Queenie’s love life is tumultuous and is intrinsically tied to her mental health. Her deteriorating mental state is mirrored by the levels of appalling treatment she will accept from the various men in her life.

    ‘Writing about a young woman’s experience is absolutely crucial to it. Queenie spends a lot of the novel not wanting to be like her mum,’ explains Candice.

    ‘For her, a relationship with Tom [her white boyfriend at the beginning of the novel] represents integration, stability and never being like her mother or going through what she has.

    ‘When that relationship breaks down, she starts making all the wrong decisions with men.

    ‘Writing about Queenie dating was so simple because I was reworking versions of things that have happened to all of my black friends on dating apps. And this is happening constantly.

    ‘The way black women are treated in the world of dating is just kind of exhausting. So much of it is about value and the value you have in yourself, and if you haven’t seen it then you don’t know it’s there.

    ‘For women, black women and white women, so much of our validation comes from men – because we are taught that it comes from men. I really wanted to explore that notion. And also what happens when dating and sex become instantaneous – what does that do to our sense of value.’

    Queenie’s mental health struggles are drawn from personal experience. Brought up in an environment where mental illness was taboo, Candice knows just how important it is to normalise conversations about mental health.

    ‘I didn’t realise this at the time, but when I was growing up there were two men in my family who had depression – but no one used that language,’ explains Candice.

    ‘Antidepressants were “helpers”, and panic attacks were just not being able to eat for a while.

    ‘And when it started happening to me, I didn’t know what language to use.

    ‘When I graduated from university, my best friend at the time was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I started experiencing regular panic attacks.

    ‘I felt overwhelmed with life, the fact that none of us have any control, I didn’t have a full time job – it was a lot.

    ‘I told my family that I was having panic attacks and they were just like, “no, no, no, you’re not.”

    ‘I then went to a doctor and told them I feel sick all the time, I can’t breathe all the time, I feel really bad all the time. They told me they thought I had a stomach bug.

    ‘They gave me medicine for this alleged bug that stripped my stomach acid away – my stomach has never been the same again. I have torn a hole in my esophagus as a result of the reflux it caused me.

    ‘So we are not being listened to on both sides – by our families or by the medical professionals.

    ‘There is such a conflict there. Your family is what you know, they are who you trust – so when you ask for help and you are getting these conflicting messages, that’s really hard and can cause a disconnect within yourself.

    ‘When it comes to families it’s a cultural thing. And there is this pervasive discourse about strength in black communities. We always have to be seen as strong – physically and spiritually. There is never any time for weakness.

    ‘When you look at the statistics around black people and mental health – black men are significantly more likely to be sectioned than white men. There is so much to unpack there and there is still so much taboo around it.

    ‘That’s why I knew mental health had to be part of Queenie’s narrative, it just felt natural. And it also fits in perfectly with the classic quarter-life crisis that Queenie is going through.’

    Candice wrote Queenie for herself and for younger versions of herself. She wants to carve out space for stories like Queenie’s and make her part of the mainstream tapestry of narratives about Britain.

    It’s about creating reflections yes, but it is also about creating a deeper understanding. Elevating the narratives of black women and allowing people to understand how they experience the world – it could open eyes and challenge perceptions.

    ‘One message that really spoke to me was a DM on Twitter from this black guy. He looked like a “dude bro” type, and I was worried that he was going to rip me to shreds,’ says Candice.

    ‘But actually he told me that he has bipolar disorder and that reading Queenie really helped him to feel less lonely – so that was pretty amazing.

    ‘I want Queenie to help people feel seen. Queenie is flawed, she makes mistakes – like we all do, we are human. So allowing Queenie to be a real person allows people to properly identify with her and see themselves in her as well.

    ‘But it also helps people to learn about difference.

    ‘I have had messages from people who said that they now realise that asking to touch my hair, even if it is well-intentioned, is still “othering” me, and they know now that it isn’t OK.’

    Queenie has been published by Trapeze and it is out today.

    MORE: When decluttering becomes a obsession, people throw everything away

    MORE: Reni K’s debut novel proves that black stories belong in the fantasy genre

    MORE: Black British men talk about sexuality, mental health, culture, and racism in new book Safe


    Candice Carty-Williams interviewCandice Carty-Williams interview

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    *MANDATORY BYLINE* PIC FROM Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News - (PICTURED: Gus the 1 year old Golden Retriever, from Canada dressed up as the Pixar sign ) - An animal turned her adorable poochs cone of shame into hilarious costumes including an astronaut, McDonalds fries and even a basketball net. Kaitlyn Cotter, 30, got creative when her golden retriever Gus was neutered and decided to transform his cone multiple times with other inventive designs including a martini, slushy and scuba driver. The senior analyst, from Toronto, Canada, had her one-year-old canine since he was eight weeks old and has previously dressed him up as a shark for Halloween and a TY Beanie baby. Her hilarious photo gallery shows Gus modelling the eight different costumes, which all encompass his cone as a vital part of the fancy dress. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News)

    Attention dog mums: Bookmark this for the next time your pooch is looking glum after having surgery.

    When Kaitlyn Cotter’s dog Gus was neutered, she decided to turn his cone of shame into something to be proud of.

    She got creative and transformed his protective cone into a load of costumes, including a martini, an astronaut, McDonald’s fries, and a basketball net.

    Other costumes include a scuba driver and a slushy drink. Lovely.

    Kaitlyn, from Toronto, Canada, has had her one-year-old dog since he was eight weeks old. She has previously dressed him up as a shark for Halloween and a TY Beanie Baby, but when he required the cone she had to make some adjustments.

    ‘Most of the costumes were pretty simple to make, the ones that took the longest were the astronaut costume and the basketball net because of all of the tape and string involved,’ said Kaitlyn.

    ‘All of the reactions I’ve seen have been really positive, a lot of people were commenting each day saying that it was the highlight of their day to see what his next costume was.

    ‘Some people said I have too much time on my hands, but because Gus couldn’t go outside as much we had some time to spare.’

    *MANDATORY BYLINE* PIC FROM Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News - (PICTURED: Gus the 1 year old Golden Retriever, from Canada dressed up as Mcdonalds fries) - An animal turned her adorable poochs cone of shame into hilarious costumes including an astronaut, McDonalds fries and even a basketball net. Kaitlyn Cotter, 30, got creative when her golden retriever Gus was neutered and decided to transform his cone multiple times with other inventive designs including a martini, slushy and scuba driver. The senior analyst, from Toronto, Canada, had her one-year-old canine since he was eight weeks old and has previously dressed him up as a shark for Halloween and a TY Beanie baby. Her hilarious photo gallery shows Gus modelling the eight different costumes, which all encompass his cone as a vital part of the fancy dress. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News)
    *MANDATORY BYLINE* PIC FROM Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News - (PICTURED: Gus the 1 year old Golden Retriever, from Canada dressed up as a basketball hoop ) - An animal turned her adorable poochs cone of shame into hilarious costumes including an astronaut, McDonalds fries and even a basketball net. Kaitlyn Cotter, 30, got creative when her golden retriever Gus was neutered and decided to transform his cone multiple times with other inventive designs including a martini, slushy and scuba driver. The senior analyst, from Toronto, Canada, had her one-year-old canine since he was eight weeks old and has previously dressed him up as a shark for Halloween and a TY Beanie baby. Her hilarious photo gallery shows Gus modelling the eight different costumes, which all encompass his cone as a vital part of the fancy dress. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News)
    *MANDATORY BYLINE* PIC FROM Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News - (PICTURED: Gus the 1 year old Golden Retriever, from Canada dressed up as a rocket) - An animal turned her adorable poochs cone of shame into hilarious costumes including an astronaut, McDonalds fries and even a basketball net. Kaitlyn Cotter, 30, got creative when her golden retriever Gus was neutered and decided to transform his cone multiple times with other inventive designs including a martini, slushy and scuba driver. The senior analyst, from Toronto, Canada, had her one-year-old canine since he was eight weeks old and has previously dressed him up as a shark for Halloween and a TY Beanie baby. Her hilarious photo gallery shows Gus modelling the eight different costumes, which all encompass his cone as a vital part of the fancy dress. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Kaitlyn Cotter / Caters News)

    MORE: Slaughterhouse survivor dogs adopted by student and given forever home

    MORE: Are dog people really happier than cat people?

    MORE: Man cycles around the world with a stray cat by his side


    COSTUME DOGCOSTUME DOG

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    (Picture: TeganG_/Twitter)

    One little pup who was abandoned on the cold rural streets of Wisconsin managed to flag down a passerby who took him in.

    Tegan G revealed on Twitter that she was on her daily commute when she saw a ‘branch’ move. Trying to investigate what it was, Tegan was startled when a little dog snuck up behind her.

    The dog was cold and starving, so she fed him the only thing she had in the car: a cheese string. ‘It was either that or salad,’ she wrote.

    The Marine Corps veteran explained how she took the 10-pound pup into work with her but knew she couldn’t stick around, so gathered her things and took him home.

    After calling the authorities she learned that the dog’s name was Larry and he had siblings at the Forest County Humane shelter nearby.

    She reunited him with his sisters who Larry was delighted to see.

    Now Tegan is adopting the puppy and taking him home.

    ‘I proceeded with my 40-minute commute to work,’ she wrote on the thread.

    ‘I’m a cat person and it’s been a long time since I’ve been around a puppy. I didn’t know what to do so I tucked him in my vest and took him in to get my laptop and other work items.

    ‘It turns out little Larry has three sisters! A very bad person dumped them in a rural, wooded area not far from our home. His sisters were dropped off yesterday by a friend of the bad person.

    ‘Which means Larry stayed out overnight, alone. In Northern Wisconsin.’

    Tegan had Larry and his sisters stay at the vet for a bit to be tested for worms, dehydration and be given shots.

    She shared an image of Larry meeting her cat King who she adopted ten years ago while in the Marine Corps.

    ‘Larry with the Pink Collar will be a wonderful addition to our home and I hope this little “tail” about my day brought some good into your day,’ she wrote.

    It certainly did.

    MORE: Puppy with chronically swollen legs finally gets his loving forever home

    MORE: You can get a Game of Thrones Iron Throne pet bed so your dog or cat can be Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms

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


    Woman finds puppy in a ditch and takes him inWoman finds puppy in a ditch and takes him in

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    Bradley Moon was dismayed at the size of his ?5.99 biscuit he bought for a birthday treat from Pizza Hut in Bristol. See SWNS story SWBRcookie; A shocked customer has vowed never to return to Pizza Hut after being served a small COOKIE no bigger than the size of his palm - that cost ?6. Bradley Moon celebrated his 22nd birthday on Sunday (April 7), and fancied treating himself to some cookie dough.He ordered the sweet treat from the Pizza Hut restaurant in Imperial Retail Park, Bristol, paying ?5.99 before taking the cookie away with him to enjoy at home.
    (Picture: Bristol Post / SWNS)

    What do you do if you’re unsatisfied with your order at a restaurant or takeaway?

    One man was so unimpressed with a cookie he ordered that he has vowed never to go back to the establishment.

    Bradley Moon was celebrating his 22nd birthday and decided to treat himself to the cookie dough for dessert.

    He ordered from the Pizza Hut restaurant in Imperial Retail Park, Bristol, paying £5.99 for the cookie and ice cream.

    When he went home to enjoy the treat he had bought, he was shocked to see how small it was.

    He felt that the biscuit was far too small to be a cookie dough, which normally comes as a shareable dessert.

    After the meagre portion ruined his birthday, the unhappy customer said he wouldn’t be returning to Pizza Hut.

    Bradley Moon was dismayed at the size of his ?5.99 biscuit he bought for a birthday treat from Pizza Hut in Bristol. See SWNS story SWBRcookie; A shocked customer has vowed never to return to Pizza Hut after being served a small COOKIE no bigger than the size of his palm - that cost ?6. Bradley Moon celebrated his 22nd birthday on Sunday (April 7), and fancied treating himself to some cookie dough.He ordered the sweet treat from the Pizza Hut restaurant in Imperial Retail Park, Bristol, paying ?5.99 before taking the cookie away with him to enjoy at home.
    Oh dear (Picture: Bristol Post / SWNS)

    ‘When we got home and opened the box, my girlfriend and I just looked at each other and said: “What on earth is that?”

    ‘The biscuit was just the smallest square – we were both so shocked.’

    Bradley said the ‘absolute disaster of a dessert’ was roughly the size of his palm.

    ‘It was about a centimetre thin and roughly four inches by four inches.’

    Bradley Moon was dismayed at the size of his ?5.99 biscuit he bought for a birthday treat from Pizza Hut in Bristol. See SWNS story SWBRcookie; A shocked customer has vowed never to return to Pizza Hut after being served a small COOKIE no bigger than the size of his palm - that cost ?6. Bradley Moon celebrated his 22nd birthday on Sunday (April 7), and fancied treating himself to some cookie dough.He ordered the sweet treat from the Pizza Hut restaurant in Imperial Retail Park, Bristol, paying ?5.99 before taking the cookie away with him to enjoy at home.
    (Picture: Bristol Post / SWNS)

    Feeling underwhelmed with his birthday treat, Bradley immediately rang Pizza Hut who said the biscuit comes pre-portioned.

    Bradley added: ‘It tasted nice but it took about 20 seconds to eat. It would have been nicer if it was a bit bigger.

    ‘I would go somewhere else in the future. If I want cookie dough, there are places I can go for better value so I wouldn’t go back.’

    Pizza Hut has been contacted for comment.

    If all this cookie dough chat has you craving the flavour then you’ll be pleased to know Hotel Chocolat has launched cookie dough sandwiches.

    They don’t include any bread but the Easter treats come in Cookie Dough & Ice Cream and Chocolate Spread flavours.

    And don’t worry, they’re all the same size.

    MORE: Papa John’s is launching a Marmite stuffed crust pizza

    MORE: Does Dom the Domino’s Pizza tracker actually track your pizza?

    MORE: New York’s favourite food truck The Halal Guys is now available on Uber Eats


    Customer dismayed at the size of his £5.99 biscuit he bought for a birthday treat from Pizza HutCustomer dismayed at the size of his £5.99 biscuit he bought for a birthday treat from Pizza Hut

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    (Picture: GoGetGlitter, Getty)

    With the start of Coachella comes a flood of festival beauty trends.

    We know what to expect fashion-wise, but when it comes to makeup and accessories, we’ll have to wait and see what will be this year’s flower crown and glitter brows.

    It’s a pretty solid bet that festival beauty will involve glitter and gemstones. Just think of all the sparkly creations we saw last year.

    But rather than dusting your face with gemstones or dipping your bum in glitter, now it’s time to look to your chest as a blank canvas.

    Don’t worry if you have no idea what design to create, as glitter experts Go Get Glitter have debuted a glorious concept called canniboobs.

    Cannaboobs, in this context, are breasts with gems stuck on to resemble cannabis leaves.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv4nk3hh7Pe/

    The brand is selling their canniboobs jewels in one pack for £10.99, so you don’t have to faff around with trying to arrange your gems while staring in a mirror.

    It’s a look that takes confidence, as the gems really only cover the nipples, leaving the rest of the breasts free to hang out and enjoy the party.

    If you don’t fancy strolling around with zero support for your bosom, we have some ideas on making this trend a touch more wearable.

    You could wear a little bralette and stick your cannabis jewels on top, or even use them to decorate a plain white tee.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv7lY3-BJ3G/

    If you’re set on being naked but want a touch more coverage, grab leaves and stick ’em around the larger area of your boobs to go for a full on jungle.

    You could also paint the majority of your chest with glitter, then use your cannabis leaves as the finishing touch.

    The reaction to Go Get Glitter’s stick-on option has been mixed.

    ‘Imma need a bigger leaf y’all,’ wrote one follower on Instagram.

    ‘Omg my nipples could never but super cute,’ said another.

    MORE: Girl with one arm turns prosthetic limb into glitter-shooting unicorn horn

    MORE: Aldi is selling bottles of glittery Parma Violet gin for just £9.99

    MORE: Marks & Spencer releases pink glittery prosecco flavour Easter egg


    Cannaboobs trendCannaboobs trend

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    Kinky characters story about ABDL and poo play
    (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler/ Metro.co.uk)

    This is Kinky Characters – a new series that explores unusual fetishes and the people who like them.

    If acting like a baby and playing with poo isn’t for you, it’s time to stop reading – but keep an open mind and you might learn something.

    This week, we’re exploring two fetishes; Adult Baby/Diaper Lover (ABDL) and scat (poo play).

    As far as kinks go, both are considered taboo and rarely spoken about openly unless it’s in a joking manner or in reference to the infamous porn movie Hungry Bitches, also known as ‘Two girls, one cup’.

    Regardless of the stigma, both are very popular; on just one fetish site, there are 21,600 members in an ABDL group, and over 8,000 members in the ‘scat playroom’.

    If you’re gay and into faeces, you can also go to specific forums for gay men, such as Scat Boi.

    As for the description of these kinks – what they are, how they work and why people love them – we’re going to leave this up to our Kinky Character to explain this week.

    Please welcome Richard, 37, a married gay man who has done everything from dress up like a baby and let others change his diaper, to using his sexual partner’s mouth as a toilet and smearing his penis in poo.

    And beware, for the following is filthy (in more ways than one).

    What it's like to have a poo fetish
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Tell me about your ABDL fetish

    Imagine for a moment that all of your responsibilites as an adult have suddenly been taken away – no need to worry about bills, housework, physical appearance, social media or work.

    Then take that to a higher level where you don’t even have to worry about the very basic things of cooking, eating, washing yourself or even going to the toilet.

    That full dependency on someone else is like letting go of everything that defines us and brings us stress – that’s what being an adult baby feels like.

    Sometimes I feel the need to be in that space, while other times I want to be the ‘carer’ (the one taking care of the baby).

    The add-ons of onesies, dummies, teddy bears and baby baths really just add to the experience and are not essential (to me at least), though it’s amazing how a few props can help.

    How does scat play work?

    My scat fetish usually makes people recoil in horror, and that’s part of its appeal!

    I’ve enjoyed encounters where I’ve squatted over someone, pooped on their chest, rubbed it in and had them do the same to me. After which we’ve just masturbated together. Other times, I’ve been a ‘feeder’ and an ‘eater’.

    During sex it ranges from just smearing to using poo as lube to masturbate, full on face sitting and even re-packing (which is when you fill up the other person’s bum with your poop).

    I find that while f***ing as a ‘top’ (the person penetrating), I love the feeling of someone else’s shit on my penis.

    Do you mind the smell?

    Nope, I love the smell.

    Though it’s different every time, the pungent aroma usually makes the sex seem far more animalistic.

    I’ve also tasted and eaten some, but I’m not so naive as to imagine that eating lots and lots of poop is harmless! Though there are studies which show that your own poop is far safer to digest than someone else’s.

    The smell, texture and experience of exchanging each other’s poo can also be very intimate and loving. It’s weird but true!

    What is it about wearing diapers that appeals to you?

    In a sexual context with someone else wearing diapers reinforces dependency.

    Alone, I just love the feeling. Being ‘padded’ – as most ABDL’s call it – feels warm and crinkly, and knowing that you are free to pee or poop whenever you need to freeing.

    However, when I’m wearing my diaper I tend to only wet it as I find that messing it can quickly lead to me getting over-excited.

    I love diapering others too, and helping them enter their ‘littlespace’ (another ABDL term). If they’re not AB it’s hot to know that I’m restricting their ability to touch themselves.

    How do you introduce this fetish to your sexual partners?

    Both scat and ABDL aren’t really something you can drop in mid-way through a sexual encounter.

    If halfway through a blowjob you suddenly said ‘hey, can you stop that for a moment and squat over my face and shit in my mouth’ you’re likely to get a negative response.

    I find that being open and upfront about my kinks before meeting anyone avoids disappointment.

    Tell me about your best-ever experience

    My favourite ABDL session was with a guy in Liverpool.

    He was fairly young, in his early twenties, and very keen on the idea of taking control and treating someone like a toddler. I’d not had much experience at that point, but felt that we hit it off and so arranged to meet.

    When I got there I was greeted by him and his wife, definitely not what I was expecting.

    They diapered me, put me in an adult onesie, then in an oversized crib and let me sleep for a few hours. Later they changed my wet diaper, fed me and gave me a bottle.

    They had arranged lots of toys on the floor and I spent about an hour playing with them.

    What about your worst-ever experience?

    I was approached by someone in my local area through a dating website.

    He was a complete novice, but had always had a keen desire to be fed (poo). All he wanted was to lie underneath a rim stool – essentially a toilet seat on four short legs – and for me to imagine I was using the toilet.

    His enthusiasm shocked me; he didn’t just lie there with his mouth open waiting for me to poop, but kept begging me to do it.

    He gobbled it down like it was his first meal in months.

    Personally, I find this type of pressure isn’t condusive for fun play. It was interesting, but it was also the only time in my life that scat wasn’t really fun – I felt like I was just being used.

    Does it get messy?

    Planning is everything.

    If you’re going to get messy you need to take precautions. Luckily, I have a bespoke wetroom in my house and try to keep any dirty play to that room.

    Oh yes! Scat and ABDL are widely popular fetishes! It’s just that people are so worried about people judging them that people rarely honestly talk about it.

    How do you feel about society’s view on unusual fetishes?

    Society needs to lighten up and be honest with itself.

    These fetishes haven’t just been created in the digital age. They’ve been around since day one.

    Sex will always be a tricky subject for us to talk about, but it’s important to know that sex comes in so many varieties and what interests one person doesn’t always interest another.

    People are slowly grasping that some have tastes that are at the extreme ends of the spectrum but that doesn’t make them unusual, just uncommon.

    Please be careful if you’re engaging in poo play and talk to a medical professional if you develop any physical issues afterwards, such as feeling ill if you have chosen to ingest faeces.

    Do you have an unusual fetish?

    Want to tell us about your sexual preferences or odd kinks? Drop an email to almara.abgarian@metro.co.uk to be considered for upcoming episodes of Kinky Characters.

    MORE: Meet the woman who squashes men for sexual pleasure as a giantess

    MORE: Meet the man who gets turned on by women peeing on him

    MORE: Meet the non-binary person who gets turned on by gushing nosebleeds


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    Lala naked with body paint
    (Picture: Channel 4)

    For many women, getting naked on national television would be their worst nightmare.

    But for Kayela Damaze, who goes by Lala, being naked feels entirely natural and comfortable.

    That’s why she jumped at the chance to take part in Channel 4’s new experimental reality show, Naked Beach, which sees contestants strip off with only a lick of body paint to maintain their modesty.

    Unsurprisingly, there are some images featuring nudity below.

    Lala hopes that by embracing her body on a huge, mainstream platform, she will be able to promote body positivity and encourage other women to feel as comfortable in their own skin as she does.

    ‘I walk around naked at home everyday – and I live with my parents,’ Lala tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘It doesn’t phase me very much because I’m comfortable with my body. I enjoy being in the nude as it makes me feel free. So being naked on TV wasn’t that challenging, but it was an incredible opportunity to help even more people develop self love.’

    So, how does the show actually work? Everyone gets naked – then what?

    It has been billed as the perfect antidote to Love Island, with people who dislike their bodies being paired with body-confident hosts in an attempt to normalise individuality and improve body image issues.

    Lala is one of the eight hosts charged with taking one of the more nervous contestants under her wing.

    Lala naked with body paint
    (Picture: Channel 4)

    ‘It is the first TV series of its kind that encourages people to love themselves, by spending quality time with normal naked bodies. And the amazing body paint was included to show people how beautiful everyone’s bodies are.

    ‘I was approached twice by different production members to join the show. They wanted me to get involved, so it was fate really. I knew I had a calling. And by taking part in the show I knew could reach a wider audience, and hopefully make some real changes for the better.’

    Lala’s journey to body acceptance hasn’t always been easy. She has both fibromyalgia and hidradenitis suppurativa – a painful skin condition – which has been frustrating for her at times. But despite her difficulties, she has never had trouble accepting who she is.

    ‘I feel good about my body. It’s a beauty,’ Lala tells us.

    ‘I didn’t use to love it as much as I do now, especially because being disabled can be very hard on your body. My illnesses used to make me mad at my body sometimes, but I knew that it wasn’t who I was.

    Lala naked with body paint
    (Picture: Channel 4)

    ‘It never effected my confidence, which I’ve had from a very young age. And I honestly believe it is sad to not appreciate what you were given. You only get one body. And my body is a masterpiece. Would you disrespect the Mona Lisa?’

    Naked Beach has aroused certain criticisms, with some people questioning the legitimacy of its good intentions and suggesting that the real motivation is nothing more than sensationalism. But Lala is confident that making different body types visible in the media can have a really positive effect.

    ‘It’s extremely important because a lot of people hate themselves,’ she explains.

    ‘From the ones who you wouldn’t even think of, to the usual suspects who suffer at the hands of society’s unfair judgments.

    ‘It is great because everyone deserves the chance to love and appreciate who they are and what they look like. The body positive movement is a gift and it has already helped so many lives.

    Lala is passionate about changing perceptions of fat bodies. She says that starts with visibility and with seeing more bodies like hers in the media.

    ‘Every day I think about how hidden fat bodies are in the media,’ says Lala.

    ‘They are often only shown when it is being scrutinised or laughed at, especially in TV sitcoms and in films. It’s about time that we start humanising fat people and offer them the same respect that is automatically handed to slim or petite bodies.

    ‘Fat black women are the least likely to reach a big following on social media, less advertised globally, and are not hired as much as their white counterparts.

    ‘Being fat is already an issue for most individuals, but adding dark skin to the equation makes living and earning a lot harder.’

    Lala naked with body paint
    (Picture: Channel 4)

    So if you take issue with looking at other people’s jiggly bits from the comfort of your sofa, maybe it’s time to think about the bigger picture.

    ‘I really hope that I can help someone,’ says Lala.

    ‘I want it to change how people view fat bodies. The world needs to unlearn the harsh stereotypes that are given to fat people. We aren’t lazy, we aren’t eating 24-7 and we are human.

    ‘I’d also love to see more representation of fat black women and people of colour in adverts or campaigns.

    ‘Even if I only inspired one person, who decided that after seeing me with my pink hair, back rolls and carefree attitude, they would be more accepting of themselves or of others, that’s enough for me. My mission would be complete.’

    MORE: Get ready for canniboobs, the festival beauty trend that’s going to take over your Instagram

    MORE: Candice Carty-Williams’ debut novel is a vital read for young black women

    MORE: Pizza Hut customer vows to never return after being served ‘the smallest’ £5.99 cookie


    Lala naked with body paintLala naked with body paint

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    (Picture: Aldi)

    If you are the sort of person who spends £20 on a beautifully chosen bottle of wine and pairs it with food, then please, look away.

    On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who drinks three bottles of prosecco on a night out and throws up in their own shoe, we’ve got a treat in store.

    Flying in the face of the ‘never spend less than a fiver on wine’ rule, Aldi has slashed the price of their prosecco to £3.99 for a bottle, making it even cheaper than Iceland’s £5 offering, which was previously one of the absolute cheapest bargain booze bottles on the market.

    It’s a full sized, 75cl bottle, and it previously retailed for £5.49, giving you a £1.50 discount.

    Not much on one bottle, but if you bought ten you’d have saved 15 quid. Not that we’re telling you that you should buy ten bottles of prosecco.

    Aldi ?3.99 prosecco
    Just in case you don’t know what prosecco looks like. (Picture: Aldi)

    Aldi booze has traditionally had a great reputation for being tasty but cheap. Serving a Hungarian wine at your dinner party might sound a bit odd, but if it tastes good then who’s going to complain?

    The bottles of super cheap fizz have already sold out online, but stocks are apparently still holding out in store. You can find your nearest store here.

    Other cheap options for prosecco include £6 at Asda or £5.75 at Tesco.

    MORE: Get ready for canniboobs, the festival beauty trend that’s going to take over your Instagram

    MORE: Instagram influencers criticised for hanging out of an infinity pool for a picture


    Aldi 3.99 proseccoAldi 3.99 prosecco

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    Moschino Is Releasing A Sims-Inspired Fashion Line
    (Picture: Moschino)

    We lost hours of our lives in the noughties glued to screens playing iconic simulation game The Sims.

    From battling constant kitchen fires to drowning in the garden pool, the lives of our Sims were nothing if not dramatic.

    And now we can reignite our love for the Simlish-speaking beings with Moschino’s latest fashion line.

    The Italian brand’s latest capsule collection draws from the 2D design of the classic video game. And, to add to to the simulated authenticity – everything is pixelated.

    The collection is classic Moschino – with gaudy 90s influences, heavy gold chains, and quilted leather. The best news is that the designs have been called ‘ready to wear’, which means that a couple of the pieces might actually be within your budget.

    Sims Moschino collection
    (Picture: Moschino)
    Sims Moschino collection Picture: MOSCHINO/ simscommunity METROGRAB https://simscommunity.info/2019/04/10/the-sims-x-moschino-first-look-at-the-apparel-lineup/
    (Picture: Moschino)
    Sims Moschino collection Picture: MOSCHINO/ simscommunity METROGRAB https://simscommunity.info/2019/04/10/the-sims-x-moschino-first-look-at-the-apparel-lineup/
    (Picture: Moschino)

    Maxis, the creators of The Sims, teamed up with Moschino lead designer Jeremy Scott to create the range. It will be launched at Scott’s annual Palm Springs Desert Party – which sounds amazing.

    From shirt dresses to oversize t-shirts and body suits, the collection comes as The Sims is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

    One of the best things about the collection has to be the inclusion of the plumbob – the signature green floating diamonds above their heads.

    Moschino has emblazoned this symbol on an umbrella and a bathing suit, or you can wear them as earrings.

    Sims Moschino collection Picture: MOSCHINO/ simscommunity METROGRAB https://simscommunity.info/2019/04/10/the-sims-x-moschino-first-look-at-the-apparel-lineup/
    (Picture: Moschino)
    Sims Moschino collection Picture: MOSCHINO/ simscommunity METROGRAB https://simscommunity.info/2019/04/10/the-sims-x-moschino-first-look-at-the-apparel-lineup/
    (Picture: Moschino)

    The Sims will also be able to wear at least one item from the collection, a Freezer Bunny hoodie, in The Sims universe.

    But we can’t wait to finally dress like Sims rather than dressing Sims up like ourselves.

    MORE: Naked Beach star wants to change how the world views fat, black bodies

    MORE: Meet the man who gets off on poo play and pretending he’s a baby

    MORE: Get ready for canniboobs, the festival beauty trend that’s going to take over your Instagram


    Moschino Is Releasing A Sims-Inspired Fashion LineMoschino Is Releasing A Sims-Inspired Fashion Line

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    10 festival skin, hair and makeup products you need this summer
    (Picture: Metro)

    The start of festival season is here.

    With Coachella kicking off this weekend in California, we’ve been left thinking about the inspiring beauty looks that are set to grace our Instagram feeds – think lots of glitter and bright colours.

    Not only do we have our pots of glitter at the ready to recreate said festival beauty looks, we’re gearing up to start ticking off products from our packing list too as we festival prep.

    It’s a given that you’ll need to pack the necessities such as hand sanitiser, wellies and a bumbag, but it’s equally important to pack a few festival-inspired beauty products for next-level hair and makeup.

    Here are the beauty products to experiment with and pack alongside your flower crown this festival season.

    ghd Platinum+ Festival Collection Styler

    ghd Platinum+ Festival Collection Styler
    (Picture: ghd)

    Usually your hair routine would go out the window at festivals, but if you’re camping in luxury there’s the possibility you’ll be hooked up to electricity, so packing your favourite hair tool is a no-brainer.

    Ahead of Coachella, ghd have launched a new platinum+ styler as part of their festival collection and it’s gorgeous.

    The styler has been dusted in soft rainbow hues and will make an easy job of a pro festival hairstyle thanks to its cutting edge predictive technology – only one stroke is needed to get the perfect finish on all hair types.

    ghd Platinum+ Festicval Collection Styler, £175, ghdhair.com, feelunique.com and johnlewis.com

    OUAI Haircare Hair and Body Shine Mist

    OUAI Haircare Hair and Body Shine Mist
    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

    If you want to shine like a diamond then Jen Atkins’ Hair and Body Shine Mist is essential.

    This weightless finishing mist from OUAI instantly gives you shiny healthy hair and a seriously dewy bod, thanks to its nutrient-rich amaranth oil, squalene and diamond powder formulation.

    Apply down the fronts of your legs, onto your collarbone and on the top of the shoulders for skin that glows and glows until the very last act.

    OUAI Haircare Hair and Body Shine Mist, £25, cultbeauty.co.ukfeelunique.com and spacenk.com

    Glossier Glitter Gelée

    Glossier Glitter Gelée
    (Picture: Glossier)

    If you’re not wearing glitter are you even at a festival?

    Glossier’s new Glitter Gelée is our top pick because it has a transparent gel base, so there will be no glitter bomb disasters inside your tent when applying.

    There’s also four shades to pick from including, Phantasm an opalescent with holographic specks and Bijoux Bijoux a metallic gunmetal with flecks of platinum, that will outshine the rest of your makeup bag contents.

    Place the glitter all over your lids, bling out your crease, or apply a dab, here, there and well, everywhere.

    Glossier Glitter Gelée, £12, glossier.com

    Simple Kind to Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes

    Simple Kind to Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes
    (Picture: Boots)

    Although we like to indulge in a nightly skincare regime with several products, let’s be real, ain’t no body got time for that at a festival.

    Enter Simple Kind to Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes, the quick fix cleanse cloths will leave you with fresh, clean skin and a clear conscience as they’re biodegradable.

    The sustainable wipes are also vegan and fragrance, parabens and alcohol free; so they’re gentle enough to be used on even the most sensitive of complexions.

    Simple Kind to Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes, £2 (was £4.60), boots.com

    Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk

    Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk
    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

    If glitter isn’t your thing, how about coloured mascara?

    Japanese beauty brand Shiseido has a selection of striking shades from sapphire blue, to emerald-green.

    We applied lashings of the Shiseido’s nostalgia-inducing blue mascara and it made our eyes appear wider and brighter. And the purple mascara makes green and hazel eyes look even greener.

    For a low-key coloured lash look, apply your black mascara as you would usually and try coating just the tips of your lashes for a fun ombré look.

    Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk, £25, lookfantastic.com

    Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp

    Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp
    Picture: Cult Beauty)

    Festival season is the perfect time to get creative with your eyes and these makeup stamps from Milk Makeup are so much fun.

    The nifty ‘tattoo’ stamp pens allow you to add a quick heart, moon, peace sign, star, or two to your cheekbones – or wherever you feel fit – to quickly achieve a simple but bold look to wow the crowds.

    They’re transfer proof and long-lasting too – so make sure to get yourself a decent makeup remover.

    Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp, £10.25, cultbeauty.co.uk

    Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant

    Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant
    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

    If you don’t have time or money to book in for a spray tan before you go, the best instant fake tan is Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant.

    The wash-off tan imparts an instant glow and veil of believable colour, without any shimmer or glitter, disguising red marks, bruises and pesky razor nicks. And it’s truly transfer resistant.

    The best part? It’s under a tenner.

    Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant, £6.99, lookfantastic.com

    NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++

    NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++
    Picture: Cult Beauty)

    This multi award-winning tinted moisturiser from NARS gives radiant, even skin in a flash.

    It also offers advanced sun protection and a lighter level coverage, so you can go light on your base and get creative with eyes and lips instead.

    Better yet, the do-it-all beauty product is oil free, which is ideal if your festival is scheduled bang smack in the middle of summer, as it will help reduce shine.

    NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++, £XX, cultbeauty.co.uk

    Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

    Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
    (Picture: Harvey Nichols)

    Wave goodbye to matte lips this festival season and say hello to your new favourite lip product, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

    The now iconic gloss from Rhianna’s makeup line looks gorgeous on the lips, imparting a wash of shimmer with a high-shine finish, without feeling sticky.

    It’s seriously moisturising too.

    Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, £16, harveynichols.com

    Milk Makeup Holographic Stick

    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

    This holographic highlighter from Milk Makeup shifts in color with changes in light and will look enchanting when you’re bobbing along to the music.

    The twist up stick highlight comes in three magical shades; holographic lavender, golden peach, and pink and can be applied to lips, cheeks or even eyes.

    Milk Makeup Holographic Stick, £23.75, cultbeauty.co.uk

    MORE: 10 classic beauty products that have stood the test of time

    MORE: The new launches to add to your beauty routine


    Fun festival hair and makeup products you need this summerFun festival hair and makeup products you need this summer

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    In the drive to eat less sugar have we forgotten about the dangers of salt?
    (Pictures: Getty)

    Salt is delicious.

    Sprinkle it on almost any meal and it will bring your food to life – adding depth and richness to the flavours, making everything taste more savoury, more satisfying.

    The odd sprinkling of salt isn’t a problem, but when you factor in the huge amounts of sodium found in ingredients that we use almost every day – we could be teetering on the brink of dangerous over-consumption.

    In years gone by, salt was a big issue. My mum never salts her food, uses it sparingly in cooking and would dish out sage warnings about the artery-clogging potential of sodium-heavy meals.

    But for younger generations, our focus seems to have shifted.

    We are all about sugar.

    With huge public health campaigns promoting awareness around sugary snacks for children, the groundbreaking sugar tax on soft drinks and the rise of sugar detox diets, the drive to eat less sugar has been pervasive and unavoidable.

    And it’s definitely a good thing. Eating less sugar is good for our teeth, our waistlines and our overall health. But have the potential dangers of salt been lost in the furore over sugar?

    New research has found that our diets are killing us. According to the study, more people are killed globally by poor diet than by tobacco.

    Researchers say that eating and drinking better could prevent one in five early deaths. And salt plays a big part in that.

    The study found that the diets most closely linked to death were those high in sodium, and low in whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and omega-3 fatty acids.

    In 2017, poor diet was responsible for 11 million deaths, or 22% of the total deaths recorded. That is a huge figure, and it reminds us just how important it is to think about our sodium intake when it comes to our diets.

    How much salt should we eat in a day?

    The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 6g of salt per day.

    For children aged 4-6 years, the recommendation is no more than 3g per day.

    ‘National food surveys reveal that many of us are consuming too much salt,’ Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which consequently can lead to significant health risks such as heart disease or stroke.

    ‘Approximately 75% of the salt we eat is already present in the foods we buy. The ones to watch out for are typically things like pasta sauces, ready meals, processed meats and snacks like biscuits and crisps.

    ‘It also might surprise you to hear that bread and cereals can sometimes contain more salt than you might think.

    ‘As well as being mindful of these foods, it is a good idea therefore not to add any extra salt to home cooked meals, and perhaps to leave the salt shaker off the dining table.’

    As Rhiannon identifies, there are loads of foods that we eat everyday that have a surprisingly high salt content. And it is these hidden sources of salt that are costing us dearly.

    Around three quarters of the salt we eat has already been added to our food before we buy it. And when that includes things like bread and cereal, which we eat incredibly frequently, the amount of salt they provide can really add up.

    Close up of young woman preparing cereals, smiling
    Cereal can be a hidden source of salt (Picture: Getty)

    So what are the secret culprits? Which innocuous-looking products lurking in our cupboards are actually concealing a dangerous amount of salt?

    As well as the obvious offenders like salty crisps and nuts, experts say that we should also be wary of packet soups and sauces and ready meals. It’s often the foods that are produced for pure convenience that we often reach for when we can’t be bothered to make something from scratch.

    This is fine occasionally, but if you’re relying on jars of bolognese sauce or ready-made curries on most days, you could be consuming way too much salt.

    It’s also important to remember that just because something doesn’t taste salty, that doesn’t mean it isn’t loaded with sodium.

    Certain kinds of bread and baked goods, like bagels, muffins and wraps, are surprisingly high in salt. As well as cured meats like salami and prosciutto, and all processed cheeses.

    A recent Heart Foundation survey found that most of us don’t know much salt we’re consuming, with over two-thirds incorrectly claiming we eat less or about the right amount of salt.

    In fact, studies suggest that most of us consume eight or nine times more salt than we need every day.

    This is an alarmingly high amount – and could have serious long-term health implications if we continue to unthinkingly consume salt at this rate.

    ‘We need a certain amount of salt in the body to provide us with sodium – which plays a key factor in nerve transmissions, muscle contractions and electrolyte balance,’ explains nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr.

    ‘However, due to our modern diets and ease of processed foods, there is a tendency towards higher levels of sodium in our diets.

    ‘Our kidneys are responsible for managing the sodium levels in the body. When we consume too much salt, our kidneys flush out the excess sodium.

    ‘However, if we consume too much for our kidneys to effectively excrete or we retain this sodium, it can impact our blood pressure.

    ‘When sodium accumulates, the body holds onto excess water to dilute it, and this excess fluid increases blood volume. An increase in blood volume puts more pressure on the heart and stiffen our blood vessels which over time can lead to high blood pressure.

    ‘Additionally, too much sodium in the body can lead to water retention, swelling and oedema – a condition characterised by excess fluid in the tissues.’

    How to cut down on salt

    • When using salt, stay away from processed table salt and choose unrefined sea salt, pink Himalayan salt or Celtic salt. These have more trace minerals and are less likely to have been washed and striped during the manufacturing process.
    • Slowly reduce your intake over time to let your taste buds adjust. Eventually your cravings for salt will decline as you adjust to the flavour.
    • Reduce your intake of processed foods and ready meals that are often loaded with salt.
    • Cook or prep food at home to control the kind of salt and levels of salt in your food.
    • Opt for fresh poultry, seafood and lean meat over processed versions.
    • Add spices and lemon or lime juice over salt for flavour. Try spices such as cayenne pepper, rosemary, cumin, paprika.
    • Kelp granules are a sea vegetable alternative to salt that you can purchase from health stores. These are naturally rich in vitamins such as Iodine and B vitamins and taste similar to salt.
    • Make sure your diet has enough Potassium. Potassium has an inverse relationship with sodium and is crucial for balancing our electrolyte and fluid balance. Potassium is found in avocadoes, bananas, sweet potato, coconut water, spinach.

    Clarissa Lenherr, nutritionist

    When it comes to eating a balanced, healthy diet, there’a a lot to think about.

    But refocussing on salt definitely shouldn’t mean that we stop caring about sugar.

    ‘As well as salt, processed foods are often also packed with sugars,’ Clarissa tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘These sugars can often be hidden on the back of labels under mysterious, un-sugar sounding names and can bring up our total sugar consumption without us even realising.

    ‘Look out for sugar names such as dextrose, maltose and sucrose.

    ‘The NHS recommends that adults should have no more than 30g of added sugars per day in our diets.

    ‘High consumption of sugar can impact our cardiovascular health, lead to energy rollercoasters, mood swings, insulin resistance, weight gain and impact our liver health.’

    With all these warnings, going food shopping suddenly feels like a minefield. But it doesn’t need to be complicated.

    It all comes down to being mindful about what you’re putting on your plate.

    It’s in the rushed decisions and convenience buys where the sugar and salt levels often get you – so being organised and making nutritious meals from scratch whenever you can will make a world of difference.

    But when you lead a manic professional and personal life, making lunch at home and cooking healthy dinners every evening isn’t always possible.

    So if you do have to resort to processed foods and convenience meals from time-to-time, don’t panic. Make sure you’re reading the labels and making informed decisions about what you’re eating.

    Awareness and understanding is half the battle.

    MORE: Naked Beach star wants to change how the world views fat, black bodies

    MORE: Meet the man who gets off on poo play and pretending he’s a baby

    MORE: Aldi is selling prosecco for just £3.99 a bottle


    In the drive to eat less sugar have we forgotten about the dangers of salt?In the drive to eat less sugar have we forgotten about the dangers of salt?

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    B&M are selling a luxury hot tub for just ??250 Provider: B&M Source: https://www.bmstores.co.uk/products/lay-z-spa-miami-hot-tub-331370
    (Picture: B&M)

    While the sun hasn’t quite hit the temperatures we want yet, summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start preparing.

    And what better way to get ready for the sunshine than with a hot tub in your own backyard?

    This could actually be a possibility with B&M slashing the price of its hot tub by £50 – reducing the Lay-Z Spa Miami Hot Tub to the genuinely affordable price of £250.

    It is even selling for cheaper than Aldi’s version, a similar tub priced at £350.

    A popular model at Argos, the Lay-Z Spa Vegas, is being priced at £599.99, so it’s definitely a bargain.

    B&M are selling a luxury hot tub for just ??250 Provider: B&M Source: https://www.bmstores.co.uk/products/lay-z-spa-miami-hot-tub-331370
    Picture: B&M

    Spotted by a keen money saver in the Facebook group, Money Saver Online, the bargain has garnered over 1,000 likes since its initial post.

    An inflatable tub, the Lay-Z Spa Miami is said to inflate in just under five minutes and heat to 40 degrees Celsius, enough to stay warm in the evenings.

    B&M are selling a luxury hot tub for just ??250 Provider: B&M Source: https://www.bmstores.co.uk/products/lay-z-spa-miami-hot-tub-331370
    Picture: B&M

    With BBQs, beverages and copious amounts of socialising on the cards this summer, the hot tub accommodates four people, and might make you the social highlight of the season.

    According to B&Ms website, the water can be kept clean by simply adding multi-function chlorine tablets ‘for easy, no fuss hot tub chemical care’ and the 81 jets can get you an unbeatable massage experience.

    Typically setting people back almost a grand for similar products from other retailers, the same hot tub sold out in just days last year at B&M – so be quick.

    So picture it now: Prosecco and ciders on a cool summer’s evening with a few mates and a smouldering BBQ.

    Who doesn’t want a slice of Miami in their garden? It might make the the summer last longer than it usually is in Britain.

    MORE: Exciting news: Aldi’s £350 inflatable hot tub is back for the summer

    MORE: 10 festival skin, hair and makeup products you need this summer

    MORE: Man blames hotel hot tub after infected pinky toe is amputated


    B&M are selling a luxury hot tub for just ??250B&M are selling a luxury hot tub for just ??250

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    Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9882880y) Rihanna Fenty

    First she launched a make-up brand. Then she came for lingerie. Now, it seems Rihanna plans on getting under everybody’s skin.

    The pop star-turned-business woman has officially expanded her beauty range and is set to take on global skincare.

    Sharpening her inclusive brand and her stake in the billion dollar beauty industry, the 31-year-old Barbadian singer’s skincare range was officially filed on 25th March with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the trademark ‘Fenty Skin’.

    What may be news to us, however, might be old news for die-hard fans.

    Back in September 2017, a fan tweeted about finding a trademark registered under ‘House of Fenty’ for ‘cosmetics… namely creams, lotions, gels, toners and cleansers’.

    Nothing ever came of the buzz, but this new ‘Fenty Skin’ could be everything people want.

    (Picture: Fenty Beauty)

    It is said to specifically be ‘medicated and non-medicated skincare, soap, body care and personal care products (excluding colour cosmetics, perfume and other fragrance-only products), and related accessories such as kits, tools and applicators.’

    Other than that, there isn’t much to go on as the trademark has only just been approved.

    But one thing we can be sure of is that the new line is sure to be inclusive of a variety of skin tones.

    Her make-up range, Fenty Beauty, which saw legions of women of colour lining up to buy the products that were specific to their individual needs, has exploded globally.

    With the growth of Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty lingerie, this definitely seems like the right time to springboard into global-skin care category.

    While the majority of the world waits for Rihanna to drop new music, she seems to be intent on focusing on other projects.

    A new film, ‘Guava Island’ starring both Donald Glover and Letitia Wright, will be dropping on Saturday 13th April on Amazon Prime.

    Hanging out with Ri-Ri and DG? Yes please (Picture: Amazon Prime)

    Set in Cuba, the hour-long film follows Glover as he tries to put on a festival for the local community.

    Of the film Glover said: ‘I’m really humbled having the opportunity to present something this timely and timeless.

    ‘Between Rihanna and the people of Cuba, this is one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.’

    So soon we will be watching her movies, wearing her underwear and using her serums. Is there anything this woman can’t do?

    MORE: Get ready for canniboobs, the festival beauty trend that’s going to take over your Instagram

    MORE: Donald Glover and Rihanna’s ‘Guava Island’ film is dropping this weekend

    MORE: Rihanna claps back at fan who asks for an album not Fenty Beauty bronzers and it’s brilliant


    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9882880y) Rihanna Fenty Beauty by Rihanna One Year Anniversary Celebration, New York, USA - 14 Sep 2018Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9882880y) Rihanna Fenty Beauty by Rihanna One Year Anniversary Celebration, New York, USA - 14 Sep 2018

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