Articles on this Page
- 04/15/19--23:04: _Study debunks the s...
- 04/16/19--01:01: _Showing your bum in...
- 04/16/19--01:19: _The best face masks...
- 04/16/19--01:30: _Two-year-old girl’s...
- 04/16/19--02:01: _No Facebook, disabl...
- 04/16/19--02:31: _These are the top m...
- 04/16/19--02:52: _M&S is selling a £2...
- 04/16/19--03:07: _Cowboy boots hit Co...
- 04/16/19--03:09: _Everyone at Coachel...
- 04/16/19--03:21: _Woman left with eye...
- 04/16/19--03:38: _Principal installs ...
- 04/16/19--04:00: _Photographer captur...
- 04/16/19--04:37: _If you’re a runner ...
- 04/16/19--05:08: _Someone has placed ...
- 04/16/19--05:10: _Woman thought Tinde...
- 04/16/19--05:13: _Harry the cat retur...
- 04/16/19--05:29: _Forget flower crown...
- 04/16/19--05:36: _Statins: Side effec...
- 04/16/19--06:50: _We challenged three...
- 04/16/19--07:28: _Mum makes six-year-...
- 04/15/19--23:04: Study debunks the sleep myths that are wrecking your health
- Give yourself a bedtime – and stick to it even at the weekends
- Use the hour before bed as quiet, relaxing time free of technology
- Stop drinking caffeine from around 4pm
- Avoid alcohol before bed
- Keep your phone on silent and away from your bed
- Get outside and exercise during the day
- 04/16/19--01:19: The best face masks to soothe, hydrate, brighten and purify
- 04/16/19--01:30: Two-year-old girl’s rare type of cancer makes her look pregnant
- 04/16/19--02:01: No Facebook, disabled people are not ‘disturbing’
- 04/16/19--02:31: These are the top mistakes people are making in their sex lives
- Fail to initiate sex
- Always wanting sex in the dark
- Faking an orgasm
- Talking too much
- Never asking for anything new
- Mentioning what a previous lover did in bed
- Over-thinking sex
- Being too timid
- Believing he is always up for sex
- Worrying too much about how they look
- Skipping on foreplay and rushing straight into full sex
- Having an orgasm first
- Being clumsy
- Talking dirty in a crude way
- Lack of communication/intimacy after sex
- Fall asleep as soon as they have finished
- Commenting on women’s body shape
- Assume you know what she wants
- Rigidly stick to your plan and ignoring her body language
- Keep it completely physical with no emotional connection
- 04/16/19--03:09: Everyone at Coachella is wearing chainmail and we love it
- 04/16/19--04:37: If you’re a runner you need to be doing these stretches
- 04/16/19--05:36: Statins: Side effects, risks, and benefits
- sore throat
- a runny or blocked nose
- feeling sick
- constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or flatulence
- muscle and joint pain
- increased blood sugar level
- an increased risk of diabetes
If you’ve ever gone to work on five hours of sleep, had a drink of whiskey as a nightcap, or refused to get out of bed when you can’t drift off, you’ve bought into some common sleep myths – and they could be wrecking your health.
A new study from researchers at the NYU School of Medicine takes a look at the most widely held myths about sleeping, suggesting that they may pose a significant risk to your health.
Researchers looked at more than 8,000 websites to find out the most common myths, then used a team of sleep experts to debunk the most damaging ones.
Lead investigator Rebecca Robbins said: ‘Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, mood, and general health and well-being. Dispelling myths about sleep promotes healthier sleep habits which, in turn, promote overall better health.’
With that in mind, shall we get on to those myths?
You can get away with five hours of sleep
You’ve likely heard someone bragging about how they just don’t need much sleep, and are magical beings that can survive on just a few hours of snoozing a night.
Those people are wrong, says the study.
Robbins says this myth poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits, and maintains that humans need a consistent sleep schedule of at least seven hours asleep a night.
‘We have extensive evidence to show sleeping five hours or less consistently, increases your risk greatly for adverse health consequences,’ she said.
Those health risks include heart attacks, stroke, and a shorter life expectancy.
Snoring is harmless
Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night.
If someone is experiencing loud snoring, it’s important to chat to their doctor about possible causes.
Drinking booze before bed will help you sleep
Sorry, that nightcap isn’t a good idea. Study authors found that drinking alcohol before bed is bad for your sleep, preventing you from achieving the deep sleep you need for proper functioning.
Yes, booze might help you drift off, but the quality of your sleep will be lessened. Skip the glass of wine and just head to bed.
Stay in bed if you’re struggling to sleep
If you’re tossing, turning, and struggling to switch off, just lying in bed won’t help.
If you can’t get to sleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something else. This will prevent your mind associating your bed with sleepless nights.
Six easy ways to improve your sleep:
Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?
We are truly devastated to report that there have not yet been jantie sightings at Coachella.
But do not panic, festival fashion followers: attendees have found another way to display large portions of their buttcheeks.
A trend has emerged from the first festival of the season, and that trend is for chaps. Or, to be more specific, buttless chaps.
Now, we must be honest: buttless chaps are not a brand new thing. They were spotted at Coachella last year, too, to the point that PrettyLittleThing marketed their festival collection with a cow print set.
This year, however, the trend has gone into overdrive.
Blame Kacey Musgraves, the massive popularity of Old Town Road, the Yeehaw Agenda, or simply a growing ennui with jorts, but everyone from James Charles to Vanderpump Rules’ Scheana Shay has been spotted at ‘Chella sporting a pair of chaps.
There are plenty of ways to wear the chaps trend, depending on precisely how much buttock you’d like to show.
Some have worn their buttless chaps over a matching thong for full exposure, while other influencers have opted for denim shorts underneath for a bit more coverage.
Pairing chaps with cowboy boots – or choosing a boot/chap hybrid – is applauded, and a cowboy hat will get you extra style points.
We’d advise against the plastic chaps we spotted model Megan Pormer in. Just think of the sweat and condensation of desert temperatures.
But really, as long as a little bit of bum is on display and you’ve got your haw nailed for whenever someone says yee, you’re doing the Chapchella trend right.
We’ve copied some inspiration for you below.
Face masks are the perfect way to boost your skincare regime.
And boy, they’ve come a long way since the days of soggy sachets and ’90s green squeezy tubes that you’d reserve for your biweekly sleepover with the girls.
Whether you’ve got dry skin, oily skin, acne, blemishes or blocked pores, face masks are an easy skincare step that can be incorporated into your regular routine to help get your skin back on track.
But with so many face masks to pick from – sheet masks, peel-off masks, clay masks to gel masks – its hard to find the one that suits your skin and your lifestyle.
We’ve selected a handful of the best face masks on the market that effectively soothe, hydrate, brighten and purify.
If your skin is just a bit out of sorts – with redness, stinging, irritation – reach for Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Masque.
The cooling mask has a cocktail of skin soothing, redness minimising ingredients including chamomile and cucumber extracts.
Slather the mask onto the skin and then place a cold damp cleansing cloth over the top for rapid relief and topped up moisture levels.
This 100% vegan face mask from The Body Shop is great at decongesting the skin without leaving it feeling tight and dry.
Its formulation combines charcoal, green tea leaves and organic tea tree oil to draw out impurities and refining the skins texture.
The best-seller has been dubbed as ‘the best face mask ever’ among hundreds of reviews left by happy customers online.
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, £17, thebodyshop.com
Cold weather, brisk winds, harsh soaps and central heating can leave your face dehydrated.
To quench the skin reach for a sheet mask, they’re convenient, can be applied just about anywhere, and offer an intensive treatment when your skin is crying out for extra care.
We love Patchology FlashMasque Hydrate mask; it helps lock in moisture in a matter of minutes thanks to its formulation of betaine, to balance the skins hydration and hylauronic acid, famed for its ability to attract and retrain up to 1,000 times its molecular weight.
Patchology FlashMasque Hydrate, £8, spacenk.com
If your skin has lost its glow or is plagued by dark spots or scarring, Pixi Peel & Polish makes your skin look fresh fast.
The jojoba-bead scrub is packed with natural fruit acids including papaya, orange and lemon, that are gentler than chemically produced AHAs that tend to dry out the skin.
They work hard to dissolve dulling, dead skin cells, accelerating cell turnover to polish your skin to perfection. Just leave on to work its magic for five minutes for additional exfoliation.
And remember; always follow with SPF after using acids to avoid sun damage.
This pleasingly coloured pink clay-based mask counteracts blackheads and battles congestion by absorbing excess sebum and drawing out impurities.
For best results steam your face with a facial steamer, or place a warm face cloth on your skin before applying. This will help to help loosen anything trapped and give better results.
If you have combination skin just apply the mask to the problem area to avoid drying out your complexion.
If you’re not a fan of soggy sheet masks, dry sheet masks are your drip-free alternative.
Charlotte Tilbury’s dry sheet mask is infused with solid oils and butters that heat up melt into the skin when applied.
It feeds the skin with vitamins, peptides and floral extracts in a matter of minutes leaving skin brighter.
And because there is no water you can reuse the mask up to three times without bacteria building up.
For masking obsessives this skincare tool from FOREO is worth trying.
It comes combines six leading skin care technologies such as LED Light Therapy with mini Korean-created sheet masks.
Blue light treatment will target bacteria build-up and acne, red light offers overall skin rejuvenation.
For best results use the at-home device multiple times a week as LED light therapy is a slow burner.
The best face masks to soothe, hydrate, brighten and purify
At just two years old, Cleo Keenan is battling a rare type of cancer that makes her look like she’s pregnant.
The aggressive tumour in her abdomen causes her stomach to swell up like a balloon.
Cleo was taken to a medical centre back in February, when her stomach began to swell. Her parents, Shannon Latham, 23, and Ryan Keenan, 26, suspected it was due to a hormone imbalance she had suffered from in the past.
But in March, after complaining of a stomach ache, Cleo was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s A&E department, where doctors realised something was wrong. They performed a CT scan, which revealed the huge tumour in the toddler’s stomach.
Two weeks later she was diagnosed with stage three adrenal carcinoma, a rare disease caused by cancerous cells in the adrenal – or hormone – glands.
Shannon said: ‘She looked like she was pregnant. I was getting more and more concerned.
‘Because of her hormone changes, they thought she had a hormone imbalance.
‘It was such a shock when we found out. It’s just begun to sink in because she’s so young and she’s such a bright child.
‘She had always been absolutely healthy. She was like any other two-year-old.
‘You never expect it to happen to your own child.
‘Now that it’s happened, I feel powerless. I wish there was a way I could take it away from her and fight it.
‘That’s what’s hard. I can’t take it away from her.’
Cleo must undergo more chemotherapy before having an operation to remove the tumour and her adrenal gland.
Even after surgery, the toddler’s chances of survival remain low, at just 25% to 35%, and there’s a chance the tumour may return.
The family has set up a Facebook page to share Cleo’s battle against cancer, as well as a fundraiser to help with the cost of their regular journeys from Blackpool to Manchester Children’s Hospital.
‘All we can do is remain positive and happy. It keeps a smile on Cleo’s face,’ says Shannon. ‘That’s what we want for the whole time she’s being treated: for her to keep smiling.
‘We just say to ourselves that this is just another chapter of her life.
‘Cleo is still smiling through every single day. She still laughs and jokes, and the hospital has been amazing – she’s been having fun in their playroom. She’s a little warrior.
‘On April 2 she started chemotherapy and she was on that for four days. It was draining. The chemo started making her ill and she’s had to have a blood transfusion and injections of so many different medications.
‘She’s gone from being a normal happy child to a really poorly little thing and it’s really difficult to see.
‘I’m sat there every day with her just watching her go down and down. She picks up infections really easily.
‘I’m trying as hard as I can to stay positive and talk about it because when I talk about it it’s letting it out. But when I’m on my own my mind goes into overdrive and I’m just constantly crying.
‘You start to think the worst once you’re on your own.
‘When I see her smiling when I’m with her it makes everything much easier.
‘Ryan rings me every day and when he asked me about Cleo he also makes sure I’m eating and everything. He’s my rock at the minute.
Cleo is bubbly and independent. She’s really advanced for her age.
‘She’s not like other two-year-olds. Her speech is amazing. She speaks like a four or five-year-old.
‘Because of how rare her cancer is, the survival rate is 25 to 35%. But she’s a great child and a great little fighter. She’s been so strong in hospital.’
Rare condition makes two-year-old look pregnant
Life is full of first times.
We all remember our first day at school, our first kiss and our first heartbreak. But when you have a disability you also remember the first time someone made you feel less than, simply because of your impairment.
Earlier this week, Simon Sansome, disability campaigner and creator of Ability Access – an online disability Facebook group – was blocked from inviting people to like his page.
Confused by this sudden sanction put in place by Facebook, Simon scheduled a call with Facebook to resolve the issue. Little did he know but this particular phone call would be something he would remember for the rest of his life, for all the wrong reasons.
The operator without hesitation told Simon that he would have to understand that some people see disability as disturbing.
According to Simon, the operator also said: ‘I have never come across a page that promotes disability.’
To this, Facebook did respond and said that an image that depicted a naked picture of Vicky Balch, who was injured in the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash in 2015, was the actual reason the page faced these measures.
Although Facebook has provided a reason for Simon not being able to add group members, it does not detract from what was said by the operator. It is completely horrifying.
As someone with a disability, I personally found the recording of the Facebook operator hard to listen to. Her words sadden, angered and disappointed me and took me back to a place where I had been treated almost sub-human because I have a disability.
Noticing my gaze, her parents as cool as a cucumber said to me in front of the other shoppers in the busy market place, ‘Sorry, she’s scared of disabled people!’
One particular incident that took place almost 15 years ago came to mind. I can remember the smallest details as though it were yesterday.
I was at my local market waiting in the queue to pick up some meat for a Sunday roast when I heard an all encompassing cry.
Stood to my right sobbed a young girl, maybe nine or 10. She became hysterical; I assumed she’d been refused sweets or told off by her parents for misbehaving.
On the contrary, to my disbelief it was me that had caused her so much upset. Noticing my gaze, her parents as cool as a cucumber said to me in front of the other shoppers in the busy market place, ‘Sorry, she’s scared of disabled people!’
I’d honestly never felt so confused, embarrassed or degraded up until then. Sadly this was not an isolated incident. I’ve often been at the receiving end of hurtful and ignorant comments, treated like a child and patronised.
I am most certainly not alone. Scope research has revealed that the majority of disabled people (62 per cent) feel they are treated differently because of their impairment and this increases to a shocking 76 per cent of disabled people aged between 18 and 24.
For Simon and Ability Access this whole experience is bittersweet. The comments made by the operator are a stark reminder that society is far from being compassionate, tolerant and progressive when it comes to disability, yet out of this negative has come some positives, with Ability Access receiving world wide exposure. He said:
‘The story now has millions of hits from around the world and these comments have not only helped Ability Access but ignited a brighter flamed in the disabled community.
I just hope that Facebook allow me to invite all the people who have liked or commented on the page this week.’
Over the past years I have personally seen a shift in attitudes towards the disabled community that hasn’t necessarily been positive.
As a minority that was best thought of as ‘out of sight, our of mind,’ this sudden shift of no longer being dramatically marginalised comes at a price.
We’re now exposed to stereotypes that have taken years to formulate, and ingrained prejudice, that often makes us out to be ‘liars’ or ‘fakers’ by some and unworthy of having equal access to opportunity and life to others.
Fortunately, the disabled community has certainly become more vocal and a united force, determined to change the narrative. In the past year we’ve seen hashtags like #DisabledPeopleAreHot and models like Kelly Knox walking the runways of London Fashion Week, showing us that disability is powerful, sexy, and anything but disturbing.
As for the photo of Vicky Balch that Facebook deemed to be inappropriate adult content, Simon assures me he won’t be removing it: ‘It is a picture of a wonderful, brave woman showing off her disability.’
For those who still have prehistoric views towards disability, it’s time to change.
Child in a wheel chair
Sex is not one of these things. As long as your sexual activity is consensual, healthy, and enjoyable, you go right ahead and do whatever you fancy.
But there’s always room for improvement, and, according to a new survey of 2,000 men and women, there are some mistakes that a lot of us are committing.
Illicit Encounters quizzed a bunch of their users to see what they’d list as the top mistakes a partner could make in bed.
Again, doing these things is not necessarily wrong, but they’re actions that may piss off a partner. We say it all the time, but the best approach if you’re worried about your sexual relationship is honest, open communication.
According to the survey, men’s biggest sexual mistake is skipping foreplay, while women’s is failing to initiate sex.
Women's biggest sex mistakes, according to men
Men's biggest sex mistakes, according to women
That these are the top two make sense – just 18% of women say they orgasm from penetration alone, so it’s wise to engage in foreplay and other non-penetrative stuff if you’re bothered about a woman’s sexual pleasure.
The mismatch in initiating sex is a common cause of tension, making the one who initiates more feel rejected.
Thankfully, both of these issues are easily remedied.
Foreplay can be made a priority, while a reluctance to initiate sex is something that should be discussed honestly and openly.
Sammi Cole, sex and relationship expert at Lovehoney, told Metro.co.uk: ‘There are tons of reasons that someone might not be as interested in sex as another person, and quite often, it’s nothing to do with the person that they are having sex with.
‘External stress, medication, loss of confidence, changes in routine, health issues, past trauma, and age are just some of the factors that can affect our sex drives, so before you rush to, “they clearly don’t want me any more”, take the time to talk things through in a calm and non-accusatory way.
‘Make sure that neither of you have to rush off anywhere, and that you’re not likely to be interrupted.
‘Start off with something positive, such as telling them how much you enjoy being intimate with them, that you’d love to do it more often if they’re open to it, and try to focus on offering solutions rather than laying blame on either of you. “Would you like to tell me what’s on your mind?” is much more open-ended and friendly than, “You always turn me down, what’s wrong with me?”.’
Illicit Encounters suggests that these mistakes might lead to someone having an affair… but they would say that, as Illicit Encounters is a dating site specifically for people who want to cheat on their partners.
If you’re worried about your sex life, or your partner is doing something that’s bothering you, have a chat. A conversation could be all that’s needed to have mindblowing sex free of any irritating bits.
Marks & Spencer is set to sell a skirt that’s the perfect dupe for a Victoria Beckham print worn by Meghan Markle at the Commonwealth Day Service back in March.
In case you don’t have a photographic memory when it comes to each and every outfit the Duchess of Sussex has ever worn, let’s do a quick recap.
On 11 March – one of Meghan Markle’s final public appearances before she gives birth – Meghan was spotted wearing a chain-print shirt dress designed by Victoria Beckham.
The dress was pretty dreamy, pairing neutral black and white shades with an easy-to-wear chain link print. Of course, it sold out pretty quickly after Meghan’s appearance, but at £1,668 it wasn’t exactly an option for the average person.
That’s why we’re excited to note that Marks & Spencer is releasing a skirt with a similar print, at a far more affordable price point of just £25.
While the Victoria Beckham print shows chains, the M&S print has ropes in a similar twisted position, and uses the same colour palette of cream and black.
The M&S skirt is a soft A-line shape so it’s super flattering, and can be dressed up or down.
If you’d like to recreate Meghan’s look on the cheap, you’ll need to pair the skirt with a matching rope print top, a cream coat, and a hat.
The skirt hasn’t hit stores just yet, but expect a frenzy the moment it does. If Meghan wears something, it’s guaranteed to be a full-on trend.
Meghan M&S skirt
There’s a new boot in town to replace the humble Wellington boot, and it’s saying ‘this festival ain’t big enough for the both of us’.
Coachella attendees have gone crazy for the Western look this year, and are getting the cowboy boot trending in a big ol’ way.
It certainly makes sense for the style to be proliferating at the California festival given the climate. Whereas here in the UK music lovers have to grapple with mud and rain, the Coachella Valley weather is dusty and extremely dry; prime cowboy country.
We’ve also seen an explosion in country music in popular culture lately, with Cardi B getting her chaps on for her Thotiana remix video and Lil Nas X releasing summer’s ultimate banger Old Town Road with a version including king of country himself Billy Ray Cyrus.
Kacey Musgraves also took home four Grammy Awards this year, and her own Coachella performance (where she asked the audience to say haw when she said yee, only for them to get a little over-excited and haw too early) went viral.
The trend is being called ‘yeehaw agenda’ on Twitter, and is thought to have also blown up after sheriff memes did the rounds last year and A Star Is Born graced our screens.
Cowboy boots are one of the easiest ways to get a little bit country, and can be paired with the midi dresses and skirts that everyone is loving this season.
These Kelsey boots from Ego are a pair Musgraves would be proud of, or you can go for something a little more conservative and classic – and vegan – from Free People.
Somewhere in the middle are the snake print offerings from & Other Stories, which would look unreal with something floaty and feminine (or a pair of daisy dukes once the sun comes up).
Coachella trends: Cowboy boots
What’s the best outfit to wear in the blistering sun of the Californian desert?
Metal of course. Boiling hot metal directly against your naked flesh.
But when it comes to the world of Coachella influencers – comfort isn’t exactly high on their list of priorities. Right at the top of that list – looking amazing of course.
And chainmail seems to be one of the most popular looks this year.
You know chainmail – tiny pieces of metal linked together to form a hard-wearing kind of mesh, normally worn by medieval knights under their suits of armour.
But fashionistas have given chainmail a sexy makeover. And now it’s less Game of Thrones and more skimpy bralettes and barely-there skirts.
These looks might be slightly on the impractical side – the chance of nipple slippage is high – but we have to admit, it’s a good look.
Adding a splash of metallic hardware to your festival outfit instantly toughens it up and adds some shimmer without having to resort to tired old sequins.
And it is definitely a more wearable Coachella look than butless chaps.
This cute chainmail skirt livens up the drapey, black maxi underneath. We love the edition of the pendant jewels hanging from the metal, which gives the outfit a softer, ethereal feel.
The very definition of barely-there, the halter chainmail top is a very popular choice. We like the big, teardrop discs that make up this look and the gold chain fringing.
Matching your outfit exactly to your facial jewels is surely an influencer’s dream – and this golden look is glowing like the sun.
The golden squares of the chainmail top are gorgeous, but skimpy – and this woman has wisely decided to wear a nude bikini underneath for that added touch of security.
Team your chainmail with rainbow lycra – because when else are you going to get to make such a bold statement with your outfit?
We love the dangly chains hanging from this top and can imagine that the swishing motion will be quite dramatic when the dancing starts.
Simplicity is key here, we love the combination of the metallic silver with the nude of the suede skirt. Add a wide-brimmed hat and a demure smile and you’ll be Instagram-ready.
If a skirt or a top isn’t enough for you, opt for an entire chainmail dress. You can drape it over hot pants or cycling shorts.
We love the delicate jewelling of this piece.
Another big look from Coachella is mesh. Team a mesh crop top with a chainmail bikini top like the woman in the middle right of this picture – and you’ll get double the cool points.
Get your bestie to jump on the chainmail bandwagon too – and you can be shimmering twins. This combination of metal, leather and chokers is utterly bad ass.
This bikini top is one of our faves because the giant shards of crystal will make you look like a window into another world.
Teamed with a sheer crop top and a simple denim skirt – this is a perfect example of how chainmail can be both dainty and tough.
Coachella trends: Chainmail
When you have a big event coming up, it’s nice to look good.
Megan Ferguson had a family do last Friday so she decided to get her brows tinted and waxed at a local salon in Sutton, Surrey.
The 26-year-old usually gets them tattooed but as she’s 21 weeks pregnant, tattoos aren’t recommended due to the risk of infection.
But she was humiliated and furious when she was given these huge thick brows that she said looked like they were ‘drawn on with a marker pen’.
The brows cost her £15 but she spent another £5 at Superdrug trying to get someone to fix them.
Megan said: ‘I went into the eyebrow shop for a wax and a tint, I asked them to follow my brow and tattoo line.
‘I’m pregnant so couldn’t go back and get them tattooed.
‘One woman did the wax, then I waited and a second women did the tint.
‘At the end I couldn’t believe how bad they were, I was in shock.
‘She could tell by my face – I said “what have you done?”
‘They didn’t say anything so I walked out because I was either going to cry or explode.
‘I didn’t know what else to do so I paid and ran out and FaceTimed a friend to show her.
‘She googled how to remove the tint so I ran into a nearby Superdrug to get them fixed by the brow lady in there, I didn’t want anyone to see me.
‘She was just as shocked and couldn’t believe any professional could leave me looking like that.
‘She had some stain remover and she tried her best to remove as much as she could.’
Even after her trip to Superdrug, she says she had to go home and scrub at her face to make them look normal again.
She added: ‘I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my first miracle baby, so just wanted to feel good and it went very wrong.
‘I won’t be going back, it looked like a four year old had done them – to be fair I know a few kids who could do it better blind folded.
‘They looked like they were drawn with a marker pen.’
Kids can be really unkind, especially in the classroom.
At one school in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., a new Vice-Principal noticed that some of the students were being bullied because their clothes weren’t clean and they couldn’t afford to wash them.
It was affecting attendance, with some choosing to just stay at home rather than face being called names. Almost 85% of the students had been reported for skipping in a few years.
Bullies were snapping pictures of their classmate’s dirty clothes or stained trousers and posting them on social media.
But Akbar Cook, who is now the Principal, brought in a subtle change that ended up snowballing and changing a whole lot more at his school West Side High and at others across the area.
Mr Cook applied for a $20,000 grant from the MCJ Amelior Foundation to buy five washing machines and five dryers.
He then converted the football locker room into a laundry room so students could come and wash their clothes.
He also created a Makerspace beside the room where a teacher was on hand before and after school to work with students on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) projects.
After the success of the project, Mr Cook wanted to take it futher and he lanched the Lights On program to give the kids a safe space so they didn’t have to spend time on the streets.
He turned the gym at the school into a community centre, open from 6pm until 11pm on Fridays during the school year and at the same time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the summer.
There are games, basketball and opportunities to learn things like sewing and design. The students also get free hot meals.
Now he’s established Cook Educational Solutions to help out other schools with solutions to bullying and low attendance.
Speaking to CBS This Morning Mr Cook said: ‘I think we really put the microscope on basic needs. Everyone wants high test scores but if the kid doesn’t feel confident in coming to school then what are we doing.’
He added: ‘This is selfless work that we do. I have a gold medal around my heart from the love that the kids give back to me.’
Principal installs washing machines in school
When Josh Neufeld’s father, Dietmar, got sick, the photographer did the only thing he could: he took photographs to document his dad’s final days.
Josh, 32, had recently started a project on terminal illness, loss, and grief, inspired by his uncle’s experiences of coming to terms with his own mortality.
He began to volunteer at a hospice in Vancouver to have bigger conversations around death. He didn’t expect that his project would shift focus on to a member of his own family.
After experiencing intense pain in his back, Dietmar underwent multiple tests and received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He was told it was terminal, having already spread to his liver.
‘It all happened so quick,’ Josh tells Metro.co.uk. ‘The doctors never really had a chance to give it a proper assessment. Diagnosis to death was under two months.
‘We were told at one point that a mild dose of chemotherapy may extend his life to six to twelve months.
‘It would have only been a week or two later, once he was already in the hospital, that the doctor entered the office and told us he was too weak to take any amount of chemotherapy.
‘That day, he walked himself down the corridor, through the doors separating the cancer ward from the palliative care unit of the hospital, and sat in a chair in the corner of his new room. He was amazed at how tired he was from the short walk. He knew he didn’t have long.’
Initially Dietmar’s illness was too raw for Josh to photograph.
He discussed the project at length with parents, and realised just how powerful it could be to photograph his father’s final days, and get a wider conversation going around death.
Josh tells us the experience of photographing his father in his final days was difficult.
‘Initially I didn’t even bring the camera to the hospital,’ he says. ‘But we had talked so much about the project that we both decided to start.
‘It’s tough to say whether it helped me process it. It all happened so quick everything was hard to process.
‘I was very much in the moment throughout. Every day brought more bad news, so there was very little time to process any of it.
‘I knew for certain however, that I didn’t want any photos of him after he was gone. I intentionally stopped near the very end, it just didn’t feel right.’
As part of the photo series, Josh was able to talk with his dad at length about life and death.
Now he’s sharing his father’s story.
‘We were given the gift of many days together knowing what was coming,’ says Josh. ‘We had the opportunity to talk a lot about it.
‘He faced his mortality with grace and a gentle understanding.
‘Yes, he found himself sad at points, and he was worried of the pain he might feel as the end neared. But he never mired in a state of unhappiness. He kept cracking jokes all along, and did his best to comfort and care of us while his body failed him.
‘He was never overly concerned of what may or may not happen on the other side. He was proud of the life he lived and how he lived it.’
As the cancer progressed, Dietmar’s liver failed and he was no longer able to communicate in the same way.
He began to hallucinate and drift in and out of consciousness, with the drugs for pain management only exacerbating the problem.
‘His body and mind were failing too quickly,’ remembers Josh.
On 9 September, 2015, Dietmar passed away in the hospital, just a few months after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Josh captured the journey of his father from a professor at the University of British Columbia, a fit and healthy man who loved to cycle, to a man weakened by illness, to his death.
He chose to share the photographs to connect with other people experiencing the pain of grief, and to show them they are not alone.
The resulting series, called Meeting Mortality, also serves as a way to honour and celebrate Dietmar’s life and who he was, even as he passed into death.
‘[My dad] was lighthearted, gentle, and caring, but fierce when he needed to be,’ says Josh. ‘And often the happy-go-lucky life of the party.
‘We would meet for almost weekly coffees on campus, and talk about the nuances of life, or nothing at all.
‘Him and I would often spend hours on the patio in front of the fire with a glass a wine or whiskey, while the [girls] huddled on the couch inside. I didn’t have brothers growing up, but when I matured into my 20s, he was my brother.’
After sharing the photos with the world, Josh launched Grief Narratives; a platform for people to share their stories of loss.
‘So many people reached out with their own experience, and that too brought me comfort,’ Josh explains. ‘It made me realise I wasn’t alone in my grief.
‘It also made me realize that people want to talk about their losses, but it’s often a taboo subject (at least in the western world).
‘It made me want to create a space for people to read and share stories of grief and loss and find comfort in the communion and universal experience of grief and loss.’
Josh hopes that Grief Narratives will be an online space for stories of loss and commemoration from around the world, giving comfort to all those who face losing someone they love.
Dietmar’s story is part of that, allowing Josh to share the lessons he learned from his father’s final days.
‘It was difficult to share the photos,’ Josh tells us. ‘My dad never even saw them.
‘I don’t know why I chose to share them. I can’t really answer that, to be honest. It was just something I knew I had to do.
‘It was something that needed to be shared, for people struggling with their own grief and losses.
‘His acceptance of his mortality brought comfort, and an understanding that [death] comes for all, and happens to all.
‘The experience of releasing the photos and essay to the public taught me that we’re all doing this together. It taught me that people feel alone in their grief and loss, but the truth is we’re all doing it together.
‘It brings me comfort knowing it’s a universal experience.
‘When you’re going through it, you feel like you’re in this dark pit of despair, and no one can possibly understand what you’re going through. There is some truth to that because it’s your own experience.
‘But if you just reach a hand out in the dark, you’ll realize that everyone is down here with you, experiencing and going through the same thing.’
The London Marathon is just around the corner and anyone who runs will know that stretching is a vital part of the training process.
Before and after running, it’s really important to stretch your muscles to help keep them warm and supple, and reduce your chance of getting injured.
When you exercise your muscles shorten and contract – stretching opens them out and keeps your body flexible, allowing you to run using your full range of motion.
The great thing about stretching is that it doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. So start limbering up.
‘Whether you’re a beginner or professional athlete, if you’re going to take on a marathon, stretching is imperative – both before and after,’ Keith McNiven, founder of Right Path Fitness tells Metro.co.uk.
‘This way, you warm up your muscles and avoid injury, as well as prepare yourself physically and mentally for a long road ahead – quite literally.’
We asked Kevin for his run down of essential stretches for runners, and this is what he told us.
Stretches for before you run
It might be tempting to just throw your trainers on and start pounding the pavement – but stretching before you start running is really crucial, and often overlooked.
Stretching before a run helps to warm up your muscles and get them ready for work, it can also help to lengthen the muscles and give you a wider running stride – so you could actually be quicker.
‘Pre-run, go with dynamic stretching to improve your range of motion and get your heart rate going,’ explains Kevin.
‘If you’re not a regular runner, you might find it useful to start with a walk first and do longer strides, and gradually move into a jog.’
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your chest upright.
Take a big step forwards with your left foot, lowering until both your knees are bent at 90° and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Push off of your back foot, bringing it forwards and step straight into another forward lunge.
Keep this going, alternating legs, for at least 30 seconds.
Hip flexor stretch
Lie on your back, cross your left foot over your right quad and bend your right knee.
Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold the position there. Swap sides and repeat the move.
Side body stretch
Stand tall with your feet and legs together. Reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale.
Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen your left arm over the head, bending your body gently to the right.
Inhale to return to the start position with your arms over your head and exhale as you repeat on the left side.
In this move you hold onto your hips and – as the name suggests – circle your hips, which is kind of like using a hula hoop.
Stand straight with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
With your hands on your hips, slowly rotate the hips making big circles. And repeat in the opposite direction.
Stand on the edge of a step, with your heels hanging over the side. Engage your core and keep your chest upright.
Raise your heels a few inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes.
Hold the position for a moment, and then lower your heels below the platform, feeling a stretch in your calf muscles.
Repeat this move for 30 seconds.
Stretches for after you run
‘For post-run, firstly remember to hydrate and take a moment to rest your body before jumping into the stretch,’ explains Kevin.
‘It might be tempting to reach for a celebratory pint post-marathon – which is just fine – but always stretch afterwards, or you’ll be feeling the pain for days afterwards.
‘Start with static stretching.’
Stand upright and pull your leg behind you with the corresponding hand.
Tuck your pelvis under and pull your shin toward your thigh.
Hold the position for about 30 seconds and switch sides.
Sit on the ground and extend your left leg. Move your right foot toward your inner thigh, so that it just rests against the top part of your left leg.
Lean forward, bending your back and waist toward the left foot as if reaching for your toes.
Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg
‘Don’t forget your back,’ adds Kevin.
‘Try a lower back stretch, where you grab your knee with both hands and pull your leg towards your body.
‘Or the similar buttock stretch where you lie down with your knees bent and cross your left leg over your right thigh, or vice versa, and pull the right leg towards you.’
It’s also worth talking to a personal trainer or a physiotherapist before you start training for a big run – particularly if you have never done it before.
Everybody has different niggles and it might be that you need to pay particular attention to a certain muscle or joint.
When it comes to running injuries, prevention is always better than cure. Stretching is the best thing you can proactively do to keep yourself on track.
Woman Warming Up
Knowing when you are at that stage of ‘officially dating’ is not easy.
Let’s face it, in 2019, there are so many stages of dating, it’s almost impossible to know whether or not you are single.
You’ve been for dinner a few times and maybe even slept together but is that a relationship?
When do you have that ‘what are we’ chat?
And even when you’ve reached that point of agreeing you are a thing, when and how do you tell people?
Most people turn to Facebook with a casual relationship status update to introduce the new person in their life.
But one couple have made it very clear to the whole world exactly what they are, with an announcement in The Times.
Yes, that’s right – nestled among the memorial notices, deaths births and marriages is the ‘congratulations’ section – and today it was used to tell everyone that Adam and Helen are exclusively dating.
— Richard Eden (@richardaeden) April 16, 2019
The single ad in the section reads: ‘MY H & MY TROUBLE.
‘Mr Adam Trouble of London SW6 and Miss Helen Ingrid Bennett of Middx are dating exclusively and having a lovely time xxx.’
Putting your relationship in the paper of record is certainly a commitment.
Of course it might be a joke but if so, it’s a pretty pricey one.
Costs of taking out an ad in The Times vary but using The Times advertising creator online, we calculated that this ad would cost around £180.
We really hope it is just a not so subtle way of telling the person you are dating to stop commenting on Instagram pics of someone else.
It does read a bit like a passive aggressive message from someone else – maybe a parent. ‘Oh you don’t want to tell the rest of the family that you are seeing someone. Well, I will see to that.’
Let’s nope we don’t have another ad in a few weeks letting us all know ‘it’s complicated’.
Someone has placed an ad in The Times to announce they are exclusively dating
There are always certain things that attract us to someone on a dating app.
A funny bio. A close location. A cute photo with their dog.
But one single mum was wooed by her Tinder match’s ‘amazing furniture’ – only to discover he had staged the photos at Ikea.
Natasha Reid was impressed by what appeared to be Lee’s stylish home, which included him tucked up with a soft toy in bed and studying with a book in a smart dark-wood library.
However after checking the dating potential’s bio on the app, she found out Lee had simply listed himself as a ‘fan of taking photos in Ikea’.
Despite her surprise, 24-year-old Natasha claims the hilarious photos made Lee stand out in the crowd as her most memorable match.
The five photos show Lee, 28, posing with a paintbrush, reclining under a light, studying in a library, tucked up in bed with a teddybear, and even a cheeky snap of him ‘caught on the loo’.
Natasha, from Englefield Green in Surrey, said: ‘It’s 100% a good way to stand out on Tinder. Even if he and I never go on a date, he will definitely get one with a profile like that.
‘I can’t even remember some of my other matches, so I think this one will stay with me. Rightly so, as well – he deserves it.
‘At first I didn’t understand what they were because they just seemed like really odd pictures.
‘Then it dawned on me that all of the furniture looked amazing in this place.
‘I looked at his bio and it said “I’m a fan of taking photos in Ikea”. I thought it was so funny.
‘We have all at some point walked around Ikea and wanted to act like it was our house.
‘I literally swiped right and we matched straight away, so I messaged him to tell him the pictures had made my day. He messaged me back seemingly very proud of them.
‘My favourite one is either one of him tucked up in bed with a stuffed toy, or the toilet one. I think that’s very brazen.
‘The way he’s looking in surprise and he’s got his hand over his mouth like he’s just been caught on the toilet is really good.
‘I think Ikea should take him up on being a sort of live mannequin because he pulled it off very well.’
The mum-of-one shared Lee’s profile online – where commenters urged her to ‘marry’ him.
But if they make it to the first date, Natasha claims she would be much more interested in recreating the iconic Ikea date from 500 Days of Summer.
Natasha, who is a full-time carer, said: ‘I love 500 Days of Summer. I feel like we would have to re-enact it if we went on a date.
‘You see all the same types of pictures on Tinder. You have the ones with the guys in their group of friends and guess which one is them.
‘You have the cringey ones with their tops off. It’s nice to see someone taking the mick really.
‘I think it speaks of someone’s character that everyone has already labelled him as funny and marriage material because the photos have shown his personality.
‘He’s not afraid of taking the mick out of himself in a public place, never mind somewhere private.
‘I thought to myself that even if we don’t have a date he definitely seems like the type of person you’d want as a friend.
‘He seems very, very funny – and he’s remained as funny in the messages. Luckily he’s reasonably attractive as well, which is a plus.’
We truly hope the couple meet – and at least come home with one piece of new furniture after their Ikea date.
A pet cat has returned to his owners after getting lost inside two car engines.
10-year-old Harry got in the engine compartment of his owner’s car, and then got stuck in a second vehicle after she stopped in traffic.
Harry was hiding in Tracey Wilson’s car when she made her daily commute to work, and as soon as she stopped in traffic, scared Harry ran out and climbed into another engine parked on a nearby drive.
Tracey and her daughter Leona, 17, desperately searched for missing Harry around their home with no luck.
It was only when the RSPCA was called to a property four miles away from their home after a motorist found the ginger cat stuck inside their car engine.
Tracey said: ‘I believe he’d been hiding in my car engine and then fell out while I was sat in traffic that day.
‘I am so grateful to the RSPCA for their help rescuing him and to the couple who owned the car.’
RSPCA Inspector Natalie Taylor said the owners of the vehicle had become worried after hearing crying from the engine.
She said: ‘The car had been sat on their drive for a week and the owners said they became concerned when they heard crying from inside. When I arrived I found Harry wedged inside the engine.
‘He was trying to push himself out of a very small gap in the wheel arch but was stuck fast.
‘I managed to scan him for a microchip and contact his owners who rushed straight down to us to help me free the frightened puss.’
Harry is usually kept indoors so Tracey immediately knew something was wrong when he went missing on March 27 from his home in Great Harwood, Lancs.
She said: ‘We got Harry in December 2015.
‘He’d been found living stray in the KFC car park in Accrington and I took him on. He has always been a house cat and very rarely wants to go out.
‘Harry was found in Whalley, which is more than four miles from our home. I drive along this road every day on my way to work.’
Inspector Taylor believes the frightened cat then made a dash for the nearest driveway and clambered inside another car engine where he felt safe – before getting stuck.
She added: ‘Harry obviously has a taste for car engines having buried himself in two in one day.
‘He was lucky we were able to free him and he wasn’t seriously hurt.
‘While he had injured a toe and needed some veterinary treatment, I’m pleased he’s now back home where he belongs and is doing well.’
Tracey added: ‘Harry is improving every day, the swelling has gone down in both feet and he is managing to climb on to the window sill and chairs in the house like he used to do.
‘It looks like he will always have a wonky toe though.’
PURR-FECT GETAWAY - Adventurous cat who went missing was returned to his worried owners after crawling inside two car engines
Festival-goers seem to have a bit of an aversion to clothes. And we get it – it’s hot, you want to pack light, and show off those sweet, toned bodies.
To achieve the ultimate festival look, attendees are using a bit of tape instead of, you know, clothes.
Tapes being used in lieu of swimsuits isn’t a new idea. Last year tape bikinis became a catwalk trend after Miami designer Joel Alvarez came up with the Black Tape Project.
Now models, influencers and the like have taken the colourful tape to California.
The look consists of using the sticky stuff to create intricate designs around the body, topped off with the ubiquitous bit of glitter.
It might look good but wearers will probably be picking glitter off their bits for weeks.
Joel, who goes by Kingoftape on Instagram, has shared some of the looks he’s helped to create.
Fans of his work were seen sporting tape glitter ensembles at Ultra Festival in Miami last week and the trend has now spread to Coachella.
Those who used the metallic and chrome tape didn’t seem to mind being exposed or the tan lines that came with it.
But we have some questions: What happens when you sweat? How do you go to the toilet? Is it painful to rip the tape off afterwards? Are there larger roles of tape in case you want to dabble in the trend but not get quite as naked?
Joel’s 369,000 Instagram followers don’t seem to have those concerns, as many praised the fierce looks.
His ‘artistic medium’ as he calls it, however, has received some criticism from those who said it’s misogynistic.
Some felt his tape art objectifies women. One person wrote: ‘Isn’t this just a ploy to have women at the beach practically naked for men to drool at?’
Another wrote: ‘The moment these trends stop being alternative methods of female objectification, is the moment they’ll actually make sense.’
Whatever you think of the designs, Joel is making some serious money off the medium, charging anywhere between £19 to £53 for one roll of tape.
If you are a fan of the look, you could probably create your own design for much, much cheaper.
Just grab that tape from the kitchen drawer.
Coachella trends: tape
Statins are a type of drug prescribed to help people prevent or manage cardiovascular disease (CVD) and reduce their cholesterol levels.
A study on statins released yesterday found that around half of patients the drugs did not have enough of an effect on so-called bad cholesterol.
The study, which looked at 165,000 people prescribed statins, concluded that it was potentially due to patients not taking the pills correctly or having been given too low a dose.
Despite the news, people who take statins have been warned not to stop taking the drugs without talking to their doctor, and discuss it with them if you’re worried you’re not seeing results.
The reason it’s so shocking for some, however, is that statins can cause side effects, which may make those prescribed the medication feel as if they’re being short-changed with more negatives than positives.
Again, it’s important to speak to a medical professional about this given the severity of CVD, but here are some of the side effects you make experience while taking statins.
Less common side effects include dizziness, insomnia, loss of appetite or weight gain, blurred vision and skin problems.
Jaundice, blood clotting issues, and visual disturbances are side effects which are rarer still.
You may find, too, that statins react differently depending on whether you’re taking other medication in addition. Some examples of medications that can increase the risk of dangerous side effects include warfarin, ciclosporin, danazol, verapamil, and diltiazem.
Similarly, you will likely be asked to avoid grapefruit juice while you take statins, as well as reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.
Although the side effects may seem daunting, when you’re prescribed statins you’ll be risk-assessed as to whether they’re the right fit for you. Given that cardio vascular disease kills about 150,000 people in the UK each year, it is important to take them if that’s what your doctor deems best.
If you’re concerned about any of this, get in touch with your GP or call NHS 111 for advice.
Statins pill pack
We live in a rapidly growing society.
In London and the Thames Valley especially, the population is predicted to rise to nearly 12 million by 2050 – that’s 2 million more people than there are today. Not only that, but all these people will need more water (about 250 million litres more a day, to be precise).
So, in an effort to reduce our water usage for the sake of our futures, we challenged three flatmates from London to see if they could save water. Let’s see how they got on…
Meet the flatmates
Ed lives with two flatmates in Dalston. They all felt they were reasonably conscious of their water usage prior to taking up our challenge.
‘I try to make sure that I don’t leave taps running and that I have showers instead of baths,’ says Ed, ‘but I think as a group we could probably use less water.’
So, in order to change their watery ways, the housemates arranged a Smarter Home Visit. This free service is available to certain areas in the London and Thames Valley region through Thames Water, where advisers visit households to measure water use, and offer devices and advice to help reduce the amount of water you consume.
For Ed and his friends, the visit picked up on the key things that were causing their water usage to be quite high. Ed says, ‘The adviser told us we were taking a lot of really long showers, which wasn’t a huge surprise; I sometimes go to the gym twice a day, so I regularly take three or more showers a day – and that’s just me!
‘We were also shown a demonstration,’ he continues, ‘which told us how much we could save compared to our current usage if we followed their advice – and it could mean more energy savings – and money in our pockets, too, if we were to switch over to a smart meter.’
Shorter showers is the first obvious thing to do, and if we can reduce the number of showers, then that is a bonus.
‘Our Smarter Home adviser gave us a timer for the shower, which is set to 4 minutes,’ says Ed. ‘They also installed a water-saving shower head, which reduces the amount of water our shower uses every minute.’
Simple enough, right? In fact, one of these simple shower head fittings could save Ed and his flatmates up to 35,000 litres of water a year.
The adviser offered tips beyond the shower, too. Ed says, ‘We were told to use a bowl in the sink to help conserve water instead of washing up under a running tap, and were given a special plug to reduce the amount of food going down the sink, which can cause blockages.
‘Another cool device we were given is a collapsible rubber pot,’ says Ed. ‘You pour cooking oil into it once you’re done with it and leave it to cool so you can bin it. This means you’re not tipping it down the drain and clogging the pipes.’
While most of the tips were relatively easy to get on board with, Ed and his friends weren’t sold on all of them. ‘When it comes to loos,’ Ed says, ‘we were told that “if it’s yellow, let it mellow!”. We can see the logic here, but you’ve got to flush the loo a little more often when you live with boys… just sayin’!’
On the whole, Ed and his flatmates felt the water-saving tips and devices offered during the visit were pretty easy to incorporate into their day-to-day lives.
‘Everything we’ve been told is very straightforward and it doesn’t take extra time out of your day to do any of it,’ says Ed. ‘We’ve embraced the shorter showers. Sharing a flat with two other people means there’s nearly always a queue for the shower in the morning – but now, no one needs to wait as long, and we’re saving water in the process.’
A success! The boys found it really easy to cut their water usage – and they can see the bigger picture, too. Ed says. ‘We live in such a wasteful society and every little helps to cut down the waste we make – and we can save ourselves money at the same time!’
If you want to save more water, you don’t necessarily need a visit from the Smarter Homes team to make these changes. In fact, it’s really easy to replicate the changes yourself at home.
How about you give it a try?
Why don't you try saving more water?
We can all do our bit to care for water. See how much you could save at thameswater.co.uk
If you are a parent, you’re probably used to taking your kids to what seems like endless birthday parties.
Some of them might be just a few games at the local leisure centre and others are fancier affairs.
But you probably expect that either costs are included and you invite the kid to your child’s party or any extra costs are noted in the invitation.
But one parent was shocked when their six-year-old daughter went to a party at a Build-a-Bear store where she created a lovely cuddly toy – only for the parents to take them off all of the guests at the end to give them to the birthday girl because she said she ‘couldn’t afford to pay for everyone’.
Posting on Reddit, the parent said that her daughter was invited alongside seven other children to the party that was being held at Build-a-Bear but wasn’t being run by the employees.
They went to the food court for cake and pizza before going to Build-a-Bear to create their toy and then headed back to the birthday girl’s house.
The parent said: ‘The invitation said each kid would get to make a Bear, and I just assumed they would get to take them home, since that is what happened at another BAB party I went to. Me and my husband even pitched in about 30 dollars as we know these things can get expensive.
‘We get to the store, and the kids go wild getting their animals and accessories. As far as I know the parents didn’t really put a limit, but I made my daughter stick to just a standard dog with a shirt, which about half the parents did as well.’
But after leaving the store, the mum of the birthday girl announced that all the guests have to hand over their bear to her daughter for her to keep.
The poster adds: ‘Cue the upset and angry kids. They all disappointingly handed over their animals, and friend wasn’t even being nice about it either.
‘Another little boy didn’t want to, and friend ripped it out of his hands. I probably should have said something, but I didn’t. The other parents seemed pretty baffled too.
‘We get back to friends house and our kids are watching as friend plays with all her new animals.
‘I left with my daughter pretty quickly, and once we got back into the car she just started bawling. I felt bad so we went to build a bear and got her a new one.’
She then goes on to ask people on Reddit if they think it’s normal and to be expected or if she is being entitled.
Most people agreed that it wasn’t very fair and the parents should have been clear from the outset so everyone could explain it to their kids.
One person said: ‘No way the parents didn’t know it was not normal. If they weren’t being underhanded they would’ve made it clear that the bears weren’t going home with the kids from the start, and they wouldn’t have waited until they had all left the store (away from judgemental eyes) to collect all the bears.
‘I’d skip the next birthday party for that kid. Those parents are jerks.’
Another added: ‘MAYBE it would be alright if they had explained ahead of time but I really can’t wrap my head around this one. I’m really curious if they all brought seperate gifts for her as well.’
The original poster clarified that most of the guests had brought gifts for the party as well.
Most people encouraged the poster to have a conversation with the other mum – and later she updated them on what happened.
She explains: ‘This afternoon at school pickup me and another parent had a chance to talk with the mom of the party. It wasn’t a long conversation, but I’ll do my best to re-enact it here. Moms fake name will be Karen.
‘Insert awkward small talk here
‘Karen- … I hope the girls enjoyed (daughters) party the other day. I know (daughter) had lots of fun.
‘Other mom- Haha yeah I was actually wondering about the whole (daughter) getting all the bears thing. The kids seemed pretty upset afterwards.
‘Karen- Oh yeah we wanted (daughter) to have a special animal decorated by each of her friends.
‘Me- Oh okay. I was just wondering why the kids didn’t get to keep their bears. I even pitched in a little bit of money, assuming the bears would go to the kids.
‘Karen- Well I didn’t have enough money for each of the guests to make their own, that would get pretty expensive! If you want your money back I’ll see about getting it back to you. I don’t really see the problem though.
‘Me- Okay, well the kids were forced to give away their new creations, obviously they are going to be upset about it. I also don’t see why your daughter needs all these animals.
‘Karen didn’t respond and walked away right after, probably offended.
‘What bothers me is she said she “didn’t have enough money for all the kids to have one”, but she did have enough for her daughter to get like 8 bears. Just doesn’t really make sense.’
Build-A-Bear Workshop Store At Mall of America