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- 04/14/19--02:00: My Odd Job: This is what it takes to be a gin genie
- 04/14/19--04:01: Deaf man adopts deaf dog and teaches him commands with sign language
- 04/14/19--09:50: Would you buy this ASOS dress that looks like bubble wrap for £68?
- 04/15/19--01:04: Man dismisses period poverty as ‘nonsense’
- 04/15/19--01:43: Guinness is to remove all plastic from its beer packaging
- 04/15/19--02:12: Domino’s launches limited edition Tabasco stuffed crust pizza
It was my plant-passion that led me to becoming a gin genie – retraining as an herbologist in the process – and now I own a distillery near Edinburgh where we grow more than 600 botanicals.
When we first bought it I had to tell my family of the good news that I had found us somewhere work and live. The bad news, though, was that there was no house.
We then spent three years living in a static caravan with four kids and five dogs, while we created a herb nursery and café. Thankfully, we have now built a house on site.
The simplest way of explaining the gin-making process is to compare it to espresso makers: neutral grain spirit is boiled and the vapours go through the botanicals.
This vapour then goes through a condenser to turn it back into liquid and you collect the finished product.
For the result to be considered gin, juniper needs to make up more than 50 per cent of the botanicals, but it’s the rest of the plants used that can create real magic.
We hand-harvest, dry and distill herbs and flowers to make a completely natural gin. I won’t grow any botanicals that need artificial heat or feed – only those that are happy to thrive in our surroundings.
My love of nature helps me to understand the chemical compounds in plants, to know the colours and flavours that flowers can give and to appreciate what some might consider ‘weeds’, such as dandelion, nettle and chickweed.
On an average day I get into the office – which is in a converted railway carriage – for 9am.
I start by walking round the garden, checking the plants to see what needs tending, what is ready for harvesting and looking after the general tidiness, before heading to my desk.
My day is mainly filled with plants and the garden, and working with Mark, our distiller, on gin flavour experiments.
This involves working with flowers to see what colours can be extracted, which flowers have the ability to change the colour of the gin and adding different botanicals to play with flavours.
Plenty of these experiments have gone wrong, but I like to think life is one big experiment and take it all in my stride!
At 5.30pm, I walk across the garden in time for the children’s supper. I then enjoy a couple of home-measure gins before I do bath time and stories, and generally fall asleep halfway through reading!
I don’t have any particular favourite flavours, it all depends on what mood I’m in.
People seem to be obsessed with gin these days, and I think that’s because of its versatility. Even with a plain London dry gin you can change it drastically just by switching the tonic and garnish.
Also, with the number of flavoured gins and liqueurs on the market, the choice is huge and just keeps growing.
I’ve seen people move away from sweet white wines some 30 years ago to drier Chardonnay styles and I suspect the same may happen with gin.
Now, there is a whole new market of sweeter styles of gin but I am sure in time people may move to drier gins as they experiment more.
If people think they don’t like gin, I would recommend considering changing their mixer.
Everyone thinks that they have to drink a classic gin and tonic, but there’s also soda, lemonade and flavoured tonics to try, which completely change the taste.
I’m so passionate about gin.
Hamish runs the Old Curiosity Distillery.
Whether I’m talking to a room full of bartenders/mixologists or general gin lovers, telling gardeners how amazing the wild plants are or even exciting children about the limitless opportunities to imagine and play with nature, the story continues.
It’s wonderful to be able to take a minute to look, listen, breathe and interact with our surroundings, and just be in awe of the beauty that nature offers.
How to get involved with My Odd Job
My Odd Job is a new weekly series from Metro.co.uk, published every Sunday. If you have an unusual job and want to get involved, email email@example.com.
Secret Herb Garden,Edinburgh.Photo David Cheskin.
Brittany Brown couldn’t wait to celebrate her son Wyatt’s first birthday.
After going shopping, her car was filled with toys for him.
So Brittany, from Virginia, U.S., was devastated when someone broke into her car overnight and stole all his presents.
After filing a police report, she wasn’t expecting to see them again but didn’t know what she was going to give her son on his special day.
When she got a call from the Prince William County Police Department, where she had filed the report, she thought they just wanted her to fill in more paperwork.
So when they showed up with a car full of toys, she thought they had caught the thief.
But instead they had clubbed together to buy more things for Wyatt to make sure he didn’t go without.
Posting a picture on Facebook, Brittany said: ‘These officers went and bought Wyatt presents after finding out that somebody broke into my car and stole all his birthday presents. Thank you so much.’
Later she added: ‘Thank you PWCPD for doing such a selfless act.’
And after his big day on 7 April, Brittany posted more pictures of Wyatt opening the presents. She said: ‘He had AN AMAZING birthday!! God bless you all!!’
And people were really touched by what they had done for the little boy.
One said: ‘What a blessing! Glad this little one’s special day didn’t miss a beat. How thoughtful and kind PWCPD.’
Another added: ‘What a sweet gesture!! We need more stories like this.’
Traditionally, engagement rings are diamonds. There are alternatives but diamonds have remained a strong contender throughout history.
So when one woman’s boyfriend proposed to her with an engagement ring that didn’t have the real jewel on it, she was very upset.
The bride-to-be asked her fiance about it but he brushed her off. When she went to get the bling insured, she found out it was cubic zirconium, an imitation of a diamond.
She said she was upset that he lied to her and pretended it was the real thing.
Speaking to advice columnist Natalie Bencivenga, she said she felt deceived and was mulling over breaking the whole thing off.
It wasn’t so much about the jewel as it was about her fiance lying to her and telling her to go with it to her friends who ‘will never know’.
She said she was truly embarrassed
The unnamed bride wrote: ‘My fiance had surprised me with the ring and I cannot believe that he did this. When I confronted him about it, he just shrugged it off, saying a real diamond ring that size would’ve cost him a small fortune and what’s the difference, anyway?
‘He said that the ring looks real, and my girlfriends will never know. But I don’t think he understands why I’m upset. I am upset because I feel lied to. I am ready to call the whole thing off.’
Advisor Natalie told the woman that being lied to is not the best way to start an engagement.
‘People may scoff at this and call you “shallow” or “materialistic” but the symbol of what this ring stands for is important,’ wrote Natalie.
‘This is a symbol of your love and commitment to one another. I wouldn’t want to start a life with someone who is so willing to lie to me to make things easier on himself. What else could he be lying to you about?’
Some followers of the column thought the advice was a bit harsh and that the bride-to-be shouldn’t place too much importance on it as marriage is more than a ring.
Others said the way he brushed it off showed he didn’t have much concern over her feelings, which was reinforced when he let her try to get it insured.
What do you think?
Woman touching the wedding ring on her finger nervously while having coffee and waiting in cafe
Meet Emerson – he’s a very good doggo but sadly he’s deaf and visually impaired.
But now he has a whole new life thanks to his new owner Nick Abbot, who is also deaf.
The pair have an incredible bond and Nick is able to communicate with him using sign language.
Nick, from Maine, U.S., adopted Emerson as a 12-week-old puppy after reading a Facebook post about him.
The post read: ‘Our Sweet boy Emerson is still looking for his forever home. All of his siblings have been adopted and he is left wondering why no one wants to give him a forever home.
‘He wants everyone to know that even though he may be deaf, he is still an AMAZING little pup with SOO much love to give! All he wants in the whole wide world is to be someones companion!
‘He is not an overly needy pup, he is content snuggling on the couch with you, or finding the perfect sunny spot on the floor to relax in.
‘He is ALWAYS up for an adventure and is just an all around eager to please little man! He is working on mastering his hand signals and doing great! a very smart little man!’
Emerson was taken in my rescue centre NFR Maine and at eight weeks, he was fighting for his life.
He started having seizures and wasn’t able to eat or drink. He then developed the serious Parvo virus but his rescuers kept fighting to keep him alive.
Amazingly, Emerson recovered but his health meant that all his brothers and sisters were adopted but he was left behind – until Nick came along.
Speaking to WABI, Nick said: ‘He came straight to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there.
‘So you can tell he kind of picked me. And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good.’
Although they can’t hear each other, Nick and Emerson are able to communicated.
Emerson sits when Nick signs the letter ‘S’ and he lies down on the floor when he signs a straight line.
Nick added: ‘The bond that we have is awesome. We understand each other very well. I’d like to think it was meant to be. He’s special.’
Deaf man adopts deaf dog and trains him using sign language
A husband was left astonished when his wife made it a mission to destroy her former best friend’s life.
He said they had a good marriage but once his partner became obsessed with cyberstalking and catfishing the friend, who was given the false name of Laura for the post, he wasn’t sure what to do.
Things got worse when the wife was eventually sued for making several social media accounts and a fake Linkedin page to disparage Laura’s name in her work and personal life.
She even told Laura’s manager that she was a drug addict and that was cheating on her husband.
Once Laura collected all the evidence against the woman, she successfully sued her.
Now the anonymous woman’s husband says he resents his wife for all the manipulation.
He revealed the whole thing on Reddit, saying he had to pay off the lawsuit by emptying out all his savings and selling things as his wife didn’t earn much.
‘My current problem is trying to move past the resentment and anger I’m feeling towards my wife,’ he wrote.
‘Until now I’ve always felt like we were a partnership in our marriage. But, since I’m the breadwinner I can’t help but feel like I’m spending “my” money on something that isn’t my fault.
‘I’ve had no problem paying the mortgage, and taking care of various financial burdens that come with being a married homeowner. However, I have been the only one to put money aside in our savings and other accounts to prepare for an emergency.’
The husband wrote how the online abuse took place over a year as his wife continued to spread lies about Laura, who is pregnant.
He wrote that he felt bad for Laura who feared that all the stress and anxiety was going to harm her baby.
What does the man say his wife did?
‘My wife created a second fake LinkedIn profile and started to send messages to people with similar titles as Laura at her company. These messages said derogatory things about Laura, a mixture of truthful things but embarrassing and just fabricated b*llshit to make Laura look bad.
‘Laura requested that she be drug tested anyway to provide evidence that she was clean. My wife didn’t know this at this point, but Laura was pregnant. Several of her coworkers, including her manager testified on Laura behalf.
‘Using the personal email address she got from the fake recruiter profile, [wife] was able to find a few social media platforms Laura was on and was able to figure out her husband’s name. My wife sent him an email claiming that Laura was cheating on him.
‘The husband confronted Laura about this email and Laura encouraged him to keep responding to this person, and save the messages, as well as to start asking specific questions about this supposed affair.
‘Laura had her husband keep responding as much as possible to my wife and to backup all correspondence.
‘My wife was able to find out when and where the baby shower was going to be. She decided to show up unannounced.
‘She was able to get the attention of a few guests that had never met her and tried to gossip about Laura – my wife was telling people that Laura didn’t actually know who the father was, among other things.
‘The word got back around to Laura and she spotted my wife and apparently immediately put together all the pieces of what happened.’
Laura gathered all the evidence, plus other extra details like a drug test, a paternity test, and couple’s counselling to add to the lawsuit.
The bullying wife’s husband sympathised with Laura and couldn’t understand why his wife did all of that.
‘My wife has never done anything this crazy before. I knew she could be a little petty and jealous of others, especially people she used to be friends with in the past, but it was only talk. We’ve had a very happy marriage otherwise.’
He told the story asking for advice about what he should do and how to build up a fund again.
After hundreds of comments, the subreddit was closed as many took to abusing the wife.
Is it up to me to make things right?
Student Hayley Burton came across a tweet that made fun of a woman whose hair was in poor condition.
People mocked the woman’s hair because it was knotted and matted.
But Hayley, from Ayrshire, Scotland, said that the hair may have been a result of a mental health condition which made it difficult to care for appearance. It was something Hayley could relate to.
She said as a result of her own depression in the past, her hair was in a bad state and had been falling out in clumps.
So to help anyone going through a similar thing, Hayley offered free hairdressing services.
She said anyone was welcome to get their hair washed and blow dried for free, have a chat with her, or just walk away in silence.
She even offered to cover the costs of getting to her college for the treatment.
This tweet has bothered FUCK out of me for two days.. so I’m doing something about it 🤷🏻♀️anyone that struggles to maintain their hair due to mental illness… have a read n hit me the fk up 🥰 pic.twitter.com/idNsTlhfNw
— 🎈 (@HAYLEYBURT0N) April 11, 2019
Writing on a Notes page, Hayley said: ‘Last year my hair was matted and coming out in clumps because of my depression and just not looking after myself, so if anyone struggles in this position and struggles to get a brush through their hair, hit me up.’
She told Metro.co.uk what else motivated her to offer her services. ‘Every day I see tweets of people taking pictures and videos of people with mental illness and shaming them, and I wanted to turn something negative into something positive,’ she told us.
‘I’m so lucky that I am now in a position where I can help some people. The tweet has only been out for a few days so I’ve not had the chance to have anyone in college to help them, but I’ve had so many messages asking for advice on how to get rid of matted hair.
‘I’ve spoken to a few head lecturers in the college and they said they will support me in every way they can if anyone takes me up on my offer.’
Hayley also added that if no one was up for her services, she would recommend a good alternative.
The thread became a safe space for people sharing their own stories of struggling with mental health and how it affected their appearance.
Some said they were able to look ‘presentable’ despite their hidden feelings while others wrote they could barely bring themselves to brush their hair.
One of the followers said they may have identified the woman in the initial image. They wrote: ‘This lady, if it’s the same one, is such a lovely woman.
‘She lost her husband and after that, she had some kind of mental break and she gets aggressive and shouty very easily, but I worked in a coffee shop she came into every day and she means no harm at all.
‘If this is the same woman, she isn’t a junkie like some say. She had her own flat, but just always wore the same clothes and used to switch up the jackets after a month or so and she always walks around with lots of bags.
‘Her name is Carol, I think.’
Hayley added that it was nice to be able to humanise Carol.
If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, these are some places you can go to for help.
Student hairdresser offers free services to those with mental health conditions
Daisy Wakefield didn’t spend the last of her student loan on the usual things students do. The 22-year-old, from the University of West England in Bristol, decided to use it to help tackle period poverty.
After asking her university to offer free sanitary products for those who menstruate, Daisy failed to hear back from them.
So the drawing and print student decided to pay for them herself and deposit them around campus to help those who needed it.
She designed and created 40 handmade boxes for the sanitary products including important statistics about period poverty.
For the first time at the university, students were able to access free pads and tampons, thanks to Daisy’s work.
She has been involved with campaigning around period poverty for the past few years, creating art around the issue and placing posters around Bristol to raise awareness.
She also offered information on what options are available for those who can’t afford to buy regular products.
‘I wanted to do this because I believe this is a feminist issue,’ said Daisy.
‘One in ten people who menstruate in the UK can’t afford the essentials to actually menstruate – that honestly baffles me.
‘The university has a duty of care for all their students and it’s time they recognised people missing university because they can’t afford a tampon is also their responsibility.’
According to Plan International UK, 40% of girls in the UK are thought to have been forced to resort to toilet roll because they couldn’t afford products.
In response to Daisy’s project, the university said: ‘Period poverty is a global issue and we’re pleased UWE Bristol students are passionately advocating for change.
‘The University does not currently supply free sanitary products on campus, though we would be pleased to meet with students to understand if there is an emerging need for this.
‘All students can access the Blackbullion app to help their budgeting and our money advice service can provide vouchers in emergencies.’
The establishment also said home students can access a support fund and summer fund to cover composite living costs, and there is an emergency fund accessible to international students.
They added that short term loans can be arranged for any student with less than £100 in their bank account.]
In March, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that sanitary products would be available for free for secondary school students in England for the first time.
Scotland already has a similar scheme, which is believed to cost about £5,000,000 a year.
As yet, there are no plans to roll it out to university level.
A student spent the last of her student loan buying sanitary pads and tampons to tackle period poverty within her university
After thinking she would never have another baby, Kay Davies knew her new baby was special.
And she decided she wanted to give her a special name.
So when her miracle baby was finally born on New Year’s Day, Kay, 29, and Glyn, 39, from Runcorn, Cheshire, decided to honour all their favourite characters from Game Of Thrones, Harry Potter and Star Wars.
They named her Bellatrix Daenerys Leia Davies.
The married couple, who already have four children together, had been left devastated when doctors told Kay she was infertile after an operation to remove pre-cancerous cells from her cervix.
So two weeks later the pair were over the moon when Kay discovered she was pregnant with twins, but their hopes of extending the family were nearly dashed again when Kay lost one twin early on and it was ‘touch and go’ whether Bellatrix would survive.
Until halfway through the pregnancy, Kay said she was adamant her baby girl would be called ‘Rosie’ but the sci-fi fantasy-loving duo had been watching re-runs of hit series, Game Of Thrones, which starts again today, in October last year when Kay decided her daughter needed a more ‘unique’ name.
Stay-at-home mum-of-five Kay said: ‘I had always said she would be called Rosie but then because of what we’d been through already, I decided I wanted something a little bit more unique and special.
‘I’ve always loved the name Bellatrix since I got into Harry Potter and then we were watching Game of Thrones and I said to my husband that I wanted to put ‘Daenerys’ in her name as well.
‘He said well if you’re having a reference to your favourite film so am I and that’s how we decided on Leia as well.’
Since deciding on the unusual name the couple have kitted out little Bellatrix’s room and wardrobe with as much Harry Potter, Game Of Thrones and Star Wars related gear as possible, even splashing out thousands on bespoke pram accessories.
Kay said: ‘We have bought anything and everything Bellatrix related that we can find, we even had a bar made for her pram with her name on it, but we’ve also got pop vinyls and figurines of the other characters in her name too.’
But dad, Glyn, a delivery driver, warned that not everybody is enough of a sci-fi superfan to get the reference.
He said: ‘Our family thought it was unusual but they’re all big Harry Potter fans too so they loved it, they said it was unusual but beautiful.
‘Some people don’t know where it’s from though and they sometimes get it wrong and call her Beatrice or Bella, it just depends which walk of life they’re from.
‘But the main thing is that it’s special to us.’
Kay and Glyn were heartbroken when they thought they couldn’t have any more children after Kay’s cervical cancer scare last April.
Early on in the pregnancy Bellatrix’s twin died because one embryo absorbed the other and from then it was touch and go whether she would survive.
But the fighter defied the odds and is now happy and healthy – with Kay and Glyn thrilled to have welcomed their little miracle into their lives.
Kat said: ‘After an operation to remove pre-cancerous cells, doctors warned me the surgery can make you infertile and in one of my follow ups they told me that I wouldn’t be able to have any more children.
‘I was absolutely devastated because I had always wanted a big family and I felt like four wasn’t just quite big enough.
‘Just two weeks later, I went for a scan and it turned out I was expecting non-identical twins.
‘I was over the moon – I was so excited to tell Glyn because he had been really upset too when we found out I couldn’t get pregnant and so I decided to wrap up the pregnancy test and gave it to him to open.
‘When he opened it and realised he just broke down in tears he was so happy.’
GOT name baby
We all have our favourite Disney movie.
And so far Primark has covered most of the classics in their range.
There was the Mickey and Minnie collection, and Alice in Wonderland collection and some Dumbo themed homeware.
But now a forgotten favourite has been revived for a collection at the budget store.
Lilo and Stitch was released 17 years ago (yes really!).
And it’s still loved by many, as this Stitch shaped dinner set from the film proves.
The plate and bowl come together for £6, while the mug costs another £6.
Each item is shaped like the bright blue title character.
The store posted the picture on Instagram with the caption: ‘A blue rascal has joined us for breakfast.’
It’s already received almost 90,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
One person said: ‘The bowl is so cute.’
Another added: ‘Gimme gimme gimme.’
Ohana means family after all so grab a couple of sets and you can sit around and enjoy breakfast together.
It’s not the only homeware collection from the store that people have been going mad for.
Earlier this month, they released their Friends collection.
The range included mugs, photo frames and candles based on the 90s TV sitcom – with most items costing under £10.
Following on in coffee shop style is also a Central Perk themed cafetiere and glasses, as well as a storage glass perfect for coffee beans.
Primark Disney fans are going crazy for this Lilo and Stitch din
Ada Thompson was born with primary congenital lymphedema which is swelling that generally occurs in one of the arms or legs.
The 38-year-old from Texas, U.S, has one leg that is much larger than the other. Even as a child, Ada had to wear extra large nappies to fit around the swelling on her right leg.
Now as an adult, Ada is unable to work due to the right side of her body being affected by the condition.
Ada can no longer wear trousers as they don’t fit and is often stared at when she wears skirts outside.
Despite the stares and the mean comments, Ada still tries to live her best life and refuses to give up what she loves doing – singing and dancing.
Currently, there is no cure for lymphedema; but treatments such as fluid pills and compression devices are designed to help reduce fluid building up.
In Ada’s case, there is too much fluid for these treatments to have been successful.
She says it could be worse and is trying to enjoy the things she can do.
‘I sing, I dance, I turn my music on and I’m all around the apartment dancing because my situation could be worse,’ she said.
‘You can get it further on in life – me I was born with it. It’s where you may have a blockage or damage to your lymphatic system.
‘I just kept on and on, never giving up but the condition has worsened over the years.
‘When I was younger, I could wear pants, all kinds of clothing and shoes but now I can’t be comfortable wearing just a regular pair of jeans.’
Ada has tried several alternative treatments and therapies but none which have helped to keep the swelling down.
When she was 19, Ada had surgery to remove a large mass, the size of a grapefruit, from her leg.
Though her mobility improved after the surgery, it didn’t last long as the fluid built up over time.
Now that she can’t work, Ada tries to get out of her house at least three times a week and says it’s important to maintain a positive outlook.
‘It is a struggle: sometimes I have a walker. I have my good days and I have my bad days,’ she added.
‘When I have a pretty difficult day, I have my electric chair. I hope I can inspire others with lymphedema to not give up on yourself.
‘It’s a struggle but you just have to toughen up, get up and slay ‘em.’
My Giant Leg Won?t Stop Me Dancing
A homeless man named Chris could be seen on the streets of Sydney, Australia, playing with his pet rat.
Every day the 59-year-old would be spotted doting on and feeding Lucy as the two played with each other.
Sadly for Chris though, one day when he went to use the toilet, he came back to find that Lucy had been taken out of her cage. She had been stolen, leaving Chris devastated.
Alyson Pearce, who works close to the corner where Chris sleeps, said she was curious to see why Chris was so upset one day.
Posting on Facebook, she wrote: ‘Almost every day since I started my job in the city Chris and Lucy have sat in the same spot, Chris chatting to passersby and Lucy happily munching, sleeping and looking on.
‘They are a feature of Sydney city life and I have always smiled when I see them and felt glad they had each other.’
So when Alyson, like others who enjoy the sight of Chris and Lucy, found out the rodent had been stolen, they decided to help find her.
Alyson spread the word on her Facebook which got over 20,000 shares.
Many people were horrified that someone could heartlessly steal the only possession of a homeless man.
Others shared images of themselves with Lucy who posed with many passersby.
‘I was genuinely distressed to pass by today and see Chris without Lucy and for him to tell me that some heartless person had whisked her away.
‘Taking a homeless person’s loved pet – seriously, what a really low act. I hope that the power of social media may find someone who knows where Lucy is. I promised Chris I’d try this.’
The post received over six thousand comments with people saying they’d seen the pair in the past and would try to help reunite them.
The sad story has also been circulated around Australian news and Chris said he was humbled by all the attention he was receiving for losing Lucy.
Alyson updated her Facebook page and said: ‘I saw Chris today and he is staggered by your kindness and messages. Sadly there is no news of Lucy’s whereabouts yet but I have passed on the sightings shared via this post to the police who are helping bring Lucy home. We haven’t given up hope.’
She also set up a GoFundMe page to help Chris and other homeless people in the city.
Homeless Man Asks People For Help After His Beloved Pet Rat Gets Stolen
Most parents head to the supermarket to pick up ingredients for dinner but Chelsey Fleming, 25, and her boyfriend Johnny always try the bins first.
The couple from Georgia, U.S. started dumpster diving to save money just before the birth of their son Griffin, now eight months.
They say that using things left for landfill has saved them around $200 (£150) a month on food alone.
Chelsey and Johnny have faced run-ins with the police and judgement from others but they are determined to continue rifling through bins.
Since diving, they have even made money selling their finds online; from two dumpsters, they managed to make over £150 ($200) and have even salvaged items that have been used to make them look new again, like a Naked Palette and other makeup sets.
Chronicling their discoveries on social media has attracted a lot of positive attention from people who have been inspired by what they do.
‘Johnny’s aunt was a diver and she would give us stuff every time she came over; perfume, food, makeup, clothes, you name it. She showed us the ropes,’ Chelsey said.
‘The first time we went off on our own we hit the jackpot at a craft store where we found hundreds of pounds’ worth of Christmas merchandise, all new with tags. We were hooked.
‘I’d say since I’ve started planning our meals around the food we find, we’ve cut our monthly food shopping bill in half, easy.
‘We keep a lot of items we find, such as toothpaste and other personal hygiene items. We give away a lot of the food to friends and family.
‘Our local food banks are picky about what they take sadly, but we give whatever they’ll accept, and we keep the rest.
‘I was posting my make-up finds online and people kept asking if I’d sell them, so I recently started using an app to sell the makeup. I’ve made $200 (£150) from only two dumpster dives at Ulta.
‘I have always been very frugal. We budget and spend our money wisely. Dumpster diving saves us and sometimes even earns us money. We hardly ever have to buy shampoo or toothpaste.
‘We live right next to a supermarket that throws away good produce every morning. I enjoy cooking our meals based around what we find, because it encourages me to try new things.
‘Not long ago I found a jar of pickled beetroot, something I would never pick up at the store. I tossed it in a salad made from spinach, cucumber, feta cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinegar (all of which were rescued from a dumpster). It was delicious, and free.
‘We have an established route and we go a few times a week to look for food, makeup, home goods, whatever we can get our hands on.
‘When I dive in the daytime, I get funny looks from people, but that is only a con if you feel embarrassed, which is a feeling I only recently got over.
‘It certainly requires a bit of shamelessness. We live frugally and while others may see us as cheap, we look at it as resourceful.’
Chelsey now wants to promote the lifestyle to help save the environment and save good food that goes to waste for nothing.
‘With all the pros of diving, there are a few cons; there’s a risk of running into employees or the law. I have had a couple of run ins with the police,’ she said.
‘The first time it happened was our second time diving. We were on the wealthier side of town and Johnny was digging around while I sat in the car (I was super pregnant at the time).
‘A police car parked next to me and Johnny popped his head out from the dumpster. The police officer asked him what the heck he was doing. Johnny simply said he was digging through the trash looking for stuff. He was cool about it and just asked us to carry on elsewhere.
‘It was embarrassing but funny because I’m sure we looked ridiculous and Johnny was acting like a small child that just got caught reaching for the cookie jar.
‘The second time was recently; I was by myself driving away from the bin when I got pulled over. He asked what I was doing behind the store and I showed him my trunk full of rescued produce and offered him some. He was pretty cool about it.
‘Digging through the trash may seem gross to some, but what is truly disgusting is the amount of food going to waste.
‘No one in America should be going hungry with all the food that gets thrown out from big companies and even from our own homes.
‘Every now and then I’ll have some distant relative say something like “well it was probably thrown out for a reason”.
‘To which I reply, “it could be a number of reasons; it could be past the sell by date, damaged packaging, a return item, or they could just be making room for new inventory”.
‘Some people act snooty about the way we live, but Johnny and I have a lot to show for it. We are homeowners with no debt, and we got here by penny pinching.
‘The people that turn their noses up at us usually can’t say the same for themselves. What really shocked me though is the amount of support I’ve been receiving from doing this; a lot of people seem to be inspired by it.
‘I want more people to try doing this. Not only for their own benefit but for others and for the environment we live in.
‘Forty million Americans struggle with hunger, while food waste is estimated to be about thirty to forty percent of the food supply. That’s billions of pounds of food going straight to landfills.
‘While a few dumpster divers saving a little bit won’t put any kind of dent in those numbers, it’s the raising of awareness that really counts.’
Frugal family who shamelessly dumpster dive to save money
Baby Arthur died in his dad John Drury’s arms at just a few hours old in February last year.
Now John is paying tribute to his son, alongside other grieving parents and grandparents with a football team for those who have lost babies.
Every player at Sands United FC Doncaster is a father who has lost a child or grandchild and the group play to support each other through their grief, both on and off the pitch.
They have already recruited a squad of 19 and matches will be particularly poignant as every 90 minutes in the UK a baby dies shortly before, during or soon after birth.
This is why each player will have the name of his ‘lost angel’ emblazoned on his shirt underneath the club crest.
Linked to the charity, SANDS – stillbirth and neonatal death society – the aim is ‘to give men that platform to speak up and not bottle up their grief any more’.
John was inspired to set up the team after dealing with Arthur’s death.
He and his wife, Grace knew that Arthur faced problems, including a heart defect from December 2017, but believed it would be operable.
Arthur was born at 33 weeks after his mother was admitted to hospital with severe pre-eclampsia.
But tragically, he suffered a cardiac arrest at just five hours old and despite the best efforts of the medical team to keep his heart going, his parents were asked to say goodbye.
John, from Carcroft near Doncaster, South Yorks, said: ‘It was very hard and very surreal. Even now it’s a struggle to put into words how you feel.
‘Arthur died just before mothering Sunday last year and that day was so difficult to get through.
‘After the funeral we wanted to be active and do things in his honour, to help others.
‘With the shared love of their children and the beautiful game, we hope, one by one, the men in the team can learn from one another and tell their story in their own time and when they feel ready.
‘We have met some wonderful people. This is the club you never want to be a part of, yet it is so supportive.
‘No-one deals with grief in the same way but together we can get through anything.
‘There’s a strong link in that a child dies every 90 minutes, the same length as a football game, which is a constant reminder.’
John came up with the idea of forming a football team to help him deal with the death of his son and to reach out to other dads.
He’s already recruited 19 players and more are coming forward all the time. One player is a grandad in his forties.
‘Not a day went by or goes by when Arthur’s name isn’t mentioned,’ said John.
‘There isn’t a great deal in Doncaster to help people who have gone through the trauma of losing a child.
‘We are lucky in that we have a very supportive family and friends. But we wanted to reach out to others. Dads can sometimes be overlooked.
‘I got the idea of the team when coaching Doncaster Belles U15s. My love of football came back and I wanted to get back playing. I’ve been channelling my grief into this.
‘It’s early days but on our first meeting last week 13 turned up, and more have signed since then.
‘Goals on Wheatley Hall Road gave us our first session for free and have offered reduced rates.’
A first charity event is to take place on Fathers’ Day, June 16 this year, with John’s squad playing an over 30s team from the Keepmoat.
Proceeds will fund kit and necessities for the team.
John says the club will play a series of friendly matches next season as he continues to build and develop the squad, which is currently made up of men with varying degrees of experience.
From the 2020/21 season, they will play in the Doncaster Sunday League, which is a competitive 11-a-side competition.
John hopes to have at least 23 players signed up by then.
Sponsors are still being sought, and any offers of help with funding would be welcomed.
He hopes eventually there will be a tournament of SANDS teams.
Babies’ names are to be mentioned and honoured by team members on their birthdays, and each player will bear the name of their child or grandchild on their shirt.
John and Grace have raised £800 by climbing Ben Nevis for Leeds Children’s Hospital, where Arthur was treated.
It was at the top of the mountain that John proposed to Grace, and they married in December 2018.
There are lots of weird items of clothing and we’re sure there’ll be even more to come.
At the moment, we’re scratching our heads at this dress that looks as if it’s been inspired by bubble wrap.
The Jaded London all over sequin mesh beach dress, which is see-through, is on offer for £68 on the ASOS website.
On the website, it explains: ‘Inspired by global street-style from East London to LA and New York, super-cool streetwear label Jaded London provides your fix of pretty prints and techno fabrics.
‘If Beyonce’s done it head-to-toe then you know you’re onto a good thing.’
We’re not sure when Beyonce used bubble wrap to dress up but apparently, you too could look like her in the sequin-embellished design.
Anyone want to go out in a dress that looks like bubble wrap? 🤷🏽♀️ pic.twitter.com/7z5H49CF4t
— Elaine 🦁 (@MsGilbert1805) April 12, 2019
Those who posted about the garment on social media agreed that it certainly had the bubble wrap vibe.
One person said it looked more like a book cloth.
Some said that in the promo video, which showed the model wearing it and showing it off, it looked pretty uncomfortable.
One person even claimed to have ordered the dress and showed it off on Instagram. But sadly they lost four followers. We’re not sure if it’s cause and effect though.
On the plus side though, as the dress is see-through, it gives a nice chance to show off a chic bra and underwear ensemble.
It might even be perfect for festival season.
If you are a fan then you might want to hold off until it’s on sale perhaps as it’s now £68.
If you’re on a budget, you might want to head to the stationary cupboard and pull out some good old bubble wrap and tape instead.
ASOS bubble wrap dress
We probably all have a favourite colour but one woman loves hers so much, she dresses in it head to toe and only buys items in the same shade.
Real life Little Miss Sunshine Ella London, who is from Coventry but lives in Los Angeles, loves yellow.
The 35-year-old – whose nickname is Miss Sunshine – is so obsessed with the colour that everything from her lipstick and eye shadow to her underwear is all yellow.
Not only that, the furniture in her house is the same golden shade and she even had a yellow-themed wedding.
But Ella’s obsession has a poignant meaning as it was the favourite colour of her late dad Terry Weaver, who passed away from cancer when she just two months old.
Marketing strategist Ella said:’Yellow has always been integral in my life.
‘To me, it means sunshine.
‘All my clothes are yellow, though I have never tried to count how many yellow things I own.
‘But we must be talking in the thousands especially counting individual items, even my underwear is yellow.
‘The first item I bought was a Marc Jacobs top from eBay.
‘Over time as things broke in our house and we needed to replace things I would get yellow items instead, then someone gave me a yellow cardigan.
‘The toughest yellow items to find are shoes, but now I’ve almost got too many of them.
‘Every morning I go to my yellow makeup bag, put on yellow eye shadow and even use yellow lipstick on special occasions.
‘I know what I do isn’t considered normal, but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or silly or crazy – it’s a way to express yourself and to be yourself.
‘I love the colour but for me it’s about the positivity of spreading sunshine and just being yellow, that’s why I do it.
‘It’s been something that has organically followed me throughout my whole life.’
Ella has been wearing yellow exclusively since 2012, after the collection of clothing she had been building up since 2008 became big enough.
She has thousands of items in her favourite colour, including her bright yellow Scion XB people carrier, which was named ‘Sunshinemobile’ by her Instagram followers, with the number plate ‘B Yellow’.
She was inspired by her dad Terry who loved the colour so much, he painted the window frames and doors of their family home in Coventry in the shade.
Ella said: ‘Yellow was dad’s favourite colour, he was a cheeky guy and would do fun things.
‘If someone was being too serious, he would say or do something to get things in a positive mood again.
‘Yellow was a great representation of him.
‘But my mum and dad decided to paint our window frames and doors bright yellow.
‘Our neighbours weren’t too impressed by that.’
After dating since 2005, Ella and her fiancé Dean Shepherd, were gearing up for their impending marriage in 2008 but couldn’t decide on a wedding colour.
Thinking red was too Christmassy for a summer wedding and palette colours like lilac and violet being overdone, they were a bit stuck.
That was until Dean suggested incorporating yellow, in an homage to Ella’s father, and they used it on button holes, bags and flowers.
Although they had planned everything in their wedding down to every last yellow detail, they thought their plans had been scuppered when a park ranger apologised for an algae problem with a nearby lake on the day of their wedding.
But as luck would have it, the water had turned bright yellow and the couple – believing fate had given them the opportunity – took pictures in front of the sunshine surface.
Ella said: ‘I was really young when dad died, so I realised I wanted to have that connection with him which is why we incorporated yellow at our wedding.
‘Having my dad’s blessing meant the world to us, having that connection and being able to look back on those photos is beautiful.
‘The yellow lake was such a surprise on our wedding day, it was so stressful because of so much going on.
‘In that moment, I just knew that my dad was there, at my wedding. For that to happen was amazing.
‘When I noticed the yellow lake it made it all real and suddenly brought us back to the reason we were there.
‘People still can’t believe the lake was yellow, when they look over our wedding album, they thought we photoshopped it, but we didn’t. It was really special.”
Ella documents her yellow life through Instagram and has gained followers from across the world.
Ella said: ‘Being able to inspire other people to do that means the world to me and is one of the things that keeps me doing what I’m doing.
‘Things come into my life, in some ways yellow found me throughout my childhood, it followed me and now people automatically give me yellow stuff.’
YELLOW LADY IN HONOUR OF DAD
We’ve all made a few awkward typos in our time.
But Pflugerville Public Library in Texas, U.S. accidentally promised ‘a DJ, snakes and a photobooth’ at their anti-prom event.
Unfortunately for reptile lovers, they later had to clarify they meant snacks, not snakes.
They posted the ad in the local Community Impact newspaper offering a safe space for high school students to celebrate.
The theme for the night, which took place on 12 April, was Fairy Tales.
After spotting the typo in the printed ad, library staff thought people would understand it was a mistake but soon they were inundated with people asking about the snakes.
They posted an announcement on social media saying that unfortunately there wouldn’t be any snakes at the anti-prom event – but there would be a chance to hang out with them for the Teen De-Stressing Day: Reptile Hangout next month.
The post said: ‘ATTENTION – there will be no snakes at this Friday’s Anti Prom at the library. There was a typo in a local paper that said we will have snakes. We will have snacks. Snacks is what we will have.
‘Not to say we have anything against snakes. In fact, snaks will be at the library in May during the Teen De-Stressing Day: Reptile Hangout.’
They followed with an emoji summary – a snake and a cross on 12 April but a snake and a tick on 22 May.
But in a twist, after the post went viral, staff and students brought snake themed snacks and dressed up as reptiles for the occasion.
Snakes AND snacks sounds like the perfect combination.
Library has to clarify there will be no snakes at their event after typo
A man on the internet has taken a swing at period poverty, dismissing it as ‘nonsense’.
Marcus Stead, who describes himself as a journalist tweeted: ‘Can we please stop all this nonsense about people not being able to ‘afford’ to give their children breakfast or sanitary products? A bag of porridge to feed a family for a week costs £1. 3 packs of sanitary towels cost £1 in Home Bargains.’
A bag of porridge oats can indeed be purchased from various supermarkets for £1. However, the £1 doesn’t include milk or any toppings, so the mixture would actually be closer to gruel, best known for its popularity in Victorian work houses.
The £1 cost doesn’t include paying for the use of the gas or electric to power the oven, doesn’t address what happens when a family is a larger size, or when no member of the family has time to cook everyone porridge (gruel) in the morning. It also doesn’t address the cost of hot water, boiling the kettle, washing up liquid or running a dishwasher.
The Home Bargains website, where Stead claims £1 sanitary towels are for sale, doesn’t show any sanitary towels for sale. However, a standard packet of sanitary towels contains 14 pads and can be purchased for £1.42 from Asda.
1 in 10 girls can’t afford to buy menstrual products according to Plan International UK.
Over 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty.
68% said they felt less able to pay attention in class at school or college while menstruating.
Menstrual products cost more than £18,000, in a women’s life (£13 every month).
40% of girls in the UK have used toilet roll because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.
A survey of more than 1,000 girls found nearly half were embarrassed by their period and many were afraid to ask for help because of the stigma.
Women tend to bleed for between three and seven days, changing their pad around three times a day in line with medical advice. So a woman with light periods might manage on one pack, but a woman with heavy periods would need at least a pack and a half, which means buying two.
A family with three menstruating women could need six packs a month, possibly more depending on their quality, totaling £8.52, which adds up to £102.24 a year.
Twitter user Rosmundi pointed out that cheap sanitary towels are often a false economy, saying: ‘The cheap sanitary protection ends up costing a fortune in laundry and ruined knickers. It’s cheap because it’s rubbish.’
Marcus’s comments come in response to a governmental plan to provide free sanitary products to girls across UK schools.
Questioning Marcus’s anger, Sophia Cannon said: ‘Why not ask boys to bring in their own toilet paper?’
Marcus remained steadfast in his view that children shouldn’t be given breakfast or tampons at school, tweeting: ‘If you say you cannot afford to give your child a piece of toast or a bowl of porridge, you’re doing something wrong with regards to budgeting. That’s my final word on the matter to the Twitter mob.’
Various people replied to him asking why children should be punished for their parents financial mishandling, if that is the cause of their poverty, but Marcus didn’t reply to them.
Marcus told Metro.co.uk: ‘My initial tweets certainly divided opinion – I received several thousand ‘likes’ and a torrent of comments, many of them personal and abusive. I am aware that there are instances of genuine poverty in this country, but there are also a very large number of parents who don’t know how to manage a budget.
‘Providing children with a decent breakfast, costing pence, and sanitary products should be very near the top of the priority list. Better education on managing money is needed.’
Modern Menstruation - absorbent, tampon, reusable period cup and hot water bottle
The company that makes the Irish stout Guinness has announced it is removing plastic from all its beer packaging.
Plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap will be removed from multipacks of all Diageo’s beer products – which include Guinness, Harp, Rockshore and Smithwick’s.
Instead the company will now use cardboard that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
Diageo says that this change will reduce plastic usage by over 400 tonnes annually – and currently under 5% of its total packaging is made from plastic.
The move comes as more and more companies are doing their bit to reduce plastic waste and limit pollution levels. Whether that means banning plastic straws or removing plastic from loose fruit and veg, companies are certainly becoming more environmentally conscious.
This is great news for the planet and it will likely go down well with consumers too.
According to a recent report, more than half of consumers say they have reduced the amount of disposable plastic they are using in the last year.
The report authors called it the ‘Attenborough effect’, claiming that awareness raising initiatives over the last 12 months, including David Attenborough’s TV series Blue Planet II and Our Planet, are having a positive impact in changing people’s behaviour.
‘Managing our environmental impact is important for the planet and the financial sustainability of our business,’ said Oliver Loomes, country director of Diageo Ireland.
‘For 260 years Guinness has played a vital role in the communities around us.
‘We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at St James’s Gate and we are now leading the way in sustainable packaging. This is good news for the environment and for our brand.’
Making this sustainable change to its packaging will cost the company 18.5 million euro (£16 million).
The new packaging will be on the shelves in Ireland from August, while the UK and other international markets will follow in 2020.
Domino’s has teamed up with Tabasco to launch a limited edition stuffed crust pizza with some serious kick.
It’s really great news for those who love hot sauce
Because is it even a meal if it doesn’t make you sweat profusely?
The Tabasco and cheese stuffed crust can be topped with any of your favourite Domino’s toppings, the crust is loaded with gooey, melted mozzarella cheese and the unmistakeable kick of Tabasco.
It’s the perfect pizza for spice lovers who like their meals to come with an added helping of mouth pain.
Hot sauce connoisseurs will know that the iconic 150-year-old Tabasco recipe adds a satisfying wave of heat but also a sweet and distinctive tang that can’t fail to tantalise your taste buds.
‘As customers become more sophisticated in their taste, travelling more and exploring new flavours, they’re getting spicier,’ says Ian Straughan, head of innovation at Domino’s.
‘They want to experience different heat levels and are clued up on the specific flavours they’re eating. They crave flavour that packs a punch.
‘Adding the popular Tabasco flavour to our crusts will give pizza-lovers a satisfying kick at the end of each slice.’
In addition to the hot new pizza, Domino’s are adding heat to other parts of their menu with the launch of the dangerously spicy mango habanero chicken wings – the sixth chicken dish on offer at the pizza chain.
The new wings come coated with a fiery habanero chilli and mango glaze for people who like their food hot.
But don’t worry if you just can’t handle your spice. A new 3+ Chilli Rating has been added to the menu to warn Domino’s fans about the extra kick the new products bring – so there’s no danger of getting caught out.
The spicy new options will be available at all Domino’s stores nationwide from Monday 15 April.
Tobasco stuffed crust pizza
A woman thinks her bridesmaid owes her a complete wedding redo because she was pregnant on the big day and she ‘drew attention’.
Posting on the ‘Am I an a*shole’ subreddit, the bride explains that she had been planning the wedding for over three years.
She had six bridesmaids, including one she names as Anna.
When the poster, known as ignoredbride, got engaged to her husband, most of the bridesmaids, including Anna, were single.
Two of them were in long term relationships and initially the poster was only allowing them to invite plus ones to the wedding.
Anna had just started dating someone, who went on to become her husband, and the poster said she ‘seemed offended’ that she couldn’t bring a date.
The poster says that she was eventually encouraged by her mother to allow all the bridal party to bring dates.
But in the years that it took to plan the wedding, Anna continued to date the man and she went on to marry him four months before the poster’s wedding. By then, she was also two months pregnant.
When the poster’s wedding day finally arrived, Anna brought her new husband and also convinced one of the other bridesmaids to bring one of her friends as a plus one, even though the poster says that Anna knew they didn’t like him.
The poster goes on to explain: ‘She was hugely pregnant, and didn’t refrain from showing it off. We’re both fairly young (25) and in my husband’s culture, getting pregnant before late 20s/30s, married or not, is basically a teenage pregnancy and drew ATTENTION.
‘She also has a vibrant personality and has a way of eclipsing everyone around her. Her husband is also very tall and incredibly attractive, which drew a lot of attention.
‘All anyone spoke about or of was Anna’s pregnancy and her attractive husband. Even in the line, people were asking about that “electric woman” and of her pregnancy/marriage/life. When they got up to dance, all eyes were on them.’
The poster then goes on to say that Anna’s friend ended up hooking up with her brother, outing him as gay and ‘causing a huge scandal’, which she again blames on Anna for bringing her friend.
The poster adds: ‘I ended up leaving midway through the reception in tears, and never attended the next morning’s brunch. Anna and her entourage left early the next morning and also didn’t attend. I can’t even look at the pictures without crying and desperately want a do over.
‘I’m not a bridezilla, but this was beyond the pale. It felt like a celebration of Anna’s marriage. I’m sorry, but I put so much planning, effort, and money into this while someone that got pregnant without a thought and married spur of the moment reaped the benefits.
‘I honestly feel like Anna owes me a wedding and did all of this as revenge for me offending her years ago. Am I wrong?’
Most people agreed that she wasn’t being very fair to Anna and that really, she’d done nothing wrong.
Three years is a long time to expect someone’s life to stand still.
One person said: ‘I know, it’s like she resents Anna for not being frozen in time from the moment of OP’s engagement to her wedding three years later.
‘Like, at the time she was just dating the guy in a very single way, so HOW DARE SHE reach relationships milestones at a faster rate than OP’s three-year engagement?
‘Also, Anna was supposed to live her life by the cultural rules of her friend’s groom’s family. Meanwhile, OP didn’t think it necessary to even meet Anna’s husband and the father of her child.’
Another added: ‘It’s not Anna’s fault she decided to live her life. Your planning spanned three years without any consideration OR expectation of possible changes within the people involved. HELLO? Time doesn’t stand still just for you. That alone shows how self-centred you are. You are 100% a bridezilla.’
‘Getting angry at a bridesmaid for being pregnant, or gasp having an attractive husband and an outgoing personality is just ridiculous. And there is no way the poor bridesmaid should owe the cost of a wedding because of it,’ someone else posted.
Bride angry at pregnant bridesmaid