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

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    National Rabbit Day: round-up of best rabbit sex toys
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Would you try a sleep divorce if it could improve your sex life?

    A new survey of 2,000 couples suggests that sleeping apart, in separate beds, could lead to better quality sex.

    The research found that four in ten couples now sleep apart most nights, and that of these, 34% claim they have better quality sex and more of it, while 38% say that sleeping apart had improved their relationship overall.

    Couples listed various reasons for snoozing in separate beds, including having different sleep cycles, their partner moving around too much in bed, having different shift patterns, and – the big one – snoring.

    We know that getting a good night’s sleep can help our sex lives, increasing sexual desire and pleasure, so it makes sense that if you sleep better separately, your sex life might improve as a result.

    High quality sleep lowers stress and improves mood – both of which will make you more keen to get intimate with your partner.

    If you struggle to sleep in the same bed as your partner, whether because of snoring or tossing and turning, it does seem like a logical solution to get your own bed. Better sleep doesn’t just mean better sex, but also better work performance.

    But a separate snooze can reduce opportunities for intimacy – 24% of those who slept separately said they had sex less frequently as a result. Take out the nightly snuggles in the nude and it can be easy to sort of forget about sex in favour of snoozing.

    sexless relationships
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    As a result, a sleep divorce can necessitate scheduling sex to make sure intimacy stays strong, or just making time for skin-to-skin contact in your waking hours to replace the late-night spooning.

    Bensons For Beds Sleep Expert, Stephanie Romiszewski, said: ‘If you need to, separate the bedrooms.

    ‘It is the social norm that we should sleep together – but we weren’t made to sleep in someone else’s sleeping pattern.

    ‘In the worst-case scenario, don’t be ashamed to sleep in a separate room if you need to – you will have a good night’s rest and potentially less arguments.’

    If you do feel like you’d miss out on intimacy by sleeping apart, however, it’s worth trying other solutions to remedy sleeping problems.

    If your partner’s snoring is wrecking your sleep, it’s worth trying out an anti-snoring pillow before investing in a sofabed. It’s also essential to talk to a GP to check that snoring isn’t a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder, such as sleep apnoea.

    Tips to reduce snoring:

    Sleep expert Stephanie Romiszewksi shares her tips for combating snoring: 

    • Some people who snore tend to sleep on their back which can make snoring worse, so turn your partner on their side
    • If your partner snores – don’t poke them too hard. Just gently – this will get them out of their snoring state but hopefully not interrupt their sleep too much
    • Get your partner to try the tennis ball technique. This is a technique we use where you get a T-shirt with a pocket and put a tennis ball in the pocket. Put the t-shirt on backwards as this will encourage your partner to learn to sleep on their side.
    • Some of the time it’s our airways which are the problem and not the nose. Nasal strips for the nose and other over-the-counter remedies won’t always relieve symptoms, so don’t be fooled into thinking they will solve your partners problems.
    • Alcohol or other sedatives and depressants do not help – the more your muscles relax, the more it can lead to snoring
    • If you sleep with a snorer, get them to use an extra pillow for elevation which can reduce snoring
    • Encourage your partner to lose some weight if needed. Carrying extra weight round the neck area can lead to snoring because of the pressure that rests on the throat
    • Your partner should contact their GP if they are nodding off regularly during the day and snoring or making gasping sounds at night. This could be a sign of a sleep disorder which can be remedied

    Remember that what works for one couple might be terrible for you, and that how you sleep is really up to your preferences. As long as you’re snoozing well, you go ahead and keep doing what you’re doing.

    Mind coach Anna Williamson told Metro.co.uk: ‘There really are pros and cons to sleeping apart from your partner, the main thing to bear in mind is that every couple and every individual is different and there really isn’t one size fits all when deciding what is best for you in your relationship.

    ‘If your partner is restless in the night, perhaps they snore or breathe heavily, and as a result keep you awake or disturb you throughout the night, it can be a good idea to sleep apart from your partner in order to catch up on some much needed sleep.

    ‘Good quality sleep is so important for our mental health as well as our physical health, we need to give our mind and body time to properly rest and repair, and only quality sleep can provide this adequately.

    ‘Having an unbroken night’s sleep and being able to lay in bed with plenty of room at the right temperature that suits you might mean on occasion that you get a better night’s sleep sleeping solo.

    ‘Physical contact is essential in keeping a relationship connected. Touching each other releases feel good, love endorphins, and often being in bed can be the best time of the day to communicate effectively with each other.

    ‘Pillow talk is a really emotionally positive thing to do and it can help you feel safe and secure as you both hopefully drop off to sleep together.’

    Our recommendation: if you’re curious about sleeping apart, do a trial separation and see how you feel.

    MORE: Apparently, weed gives women better orgasms

    MORE: Dog sex dolls are the pet accessory that will haunt your dreams

    MORE: Can you smell your way to stronger orgasms?


    National Rabbit Day: round-up of best rabbit sex toysNational Rabbit Day: round-up of best rabbit sex toys

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    Instagrammer faked being at Coachella
    (Picture: Byron Denton)

    We can only admire from afar all the Coachella shenanigans and the sparkly festival fashion coming our way.

    But one blogger missing out on California’s famed festival, decided to insert himself there through Photoshop. Why didn’t we think of that?

    Byron Denton, who vlogs on YouTube and Instagram, decided to fool his followers into thinking he’d gone to the festival.

    After he previously faked being a rich socialite through Photoshopping designer bags and pretending to live a jet-setting lifestyle, Byron knew he had a tougher gig this time.

    The 19-year-old wanted to convince fans that he really was living it up in the desert and enjoying the festivities.

    Byron managed to keep up the act for a week before finally revealing his trick on his YouTube channel.

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

    Since Byron’s last prank, his followers became more sceptical, even when he really went to Rome on holiday.

    So to prove that he was attending one of the biggest festivals, he had to really commit.

    Ordering a new pair of cowboy-style trousers, a boiler suit, and the ever-trendy bumbag, Byron was ready for his first Insta upload.

    ‘I’m also wearing my white Balenciaga shoes which I definitely would not wear to a desert,’ he told his followers in the reveal.

    Some of the shots were created in his home, where he used a unicorn inflatable from Primark to give it real Coachella vibes.

    ‘We’ve just shot some “pool photos” too, I say pool photos but we were just sat by the bin,’ he explains. ‘And I’m absolutely drenched because I had to wet myself to look like I’m in a pool.’

    Next, he shot the journey ‘to California’, sitting in a Starbucks with his friend and pretending to be at an airport.

    He and his friend then exchanged pounds to dollars to really make the sell.

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

    They then took to the outdoors, in a field near Byron’s house to make it look like a real festival.

    ‘We’ve just bought a watermelon but we had to buy the whole thing. We got ripped off to and had to pay £7 for the thing. This is going to be my dinner now.’ added Byron.

    But it was all worth it when his Insta uploads got more likes than usual, proving once again that people enjoy watching people live their best lives.

    Sadly, some people clocked onto the shenanigans when they spotted Byron at a Shawn Mendes concert when he was meant to be far, far away from London.

    Lesson learned for the next prank.

    MORE: Instagrammer sobs ‘I’m nothing without my following…worthless’ after account is deleted

    MORE: Everyone at Coachella is wearing chainmail and we love it

    MORE: Forget flower crowns and crop tops, you just need a bit of tape for the perfect Coachella outfit


    Instagrammer faked being at CoachellaInstagrammer faked being at Coachella

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    Primark entrance in Birmingham
    (Picture: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

    Primark is known for two things: offering bargain buys and being incredibly busy.

    So much so, there’s a very likely possibility that you’ll disappear in a sea of people, never to be seen again, just because you wanted to pick up a pair of cheap jeans and interior bits.

    Especially in London, as tourists descend upon the Irish retailer’s flagship stores on Oxford Street and around the corner from Tottenham Court Road tube station.

    Fans have eagerly been awaiting an online Primark store, and earlier this week it looked as if their dreams might come true.

    On Tuesday, several publications announced that the brand was on the verge of trialling an online click and collect option, following the release of a report from a financial management company called Davy.

    But sadly, that’s not the case. We contacted Primark today and the retailer has confirmed that there are currently no plans for an online store of any kind.

    ‘Online is important for Primark,’ said a spokesperson for the brand.

    ‘We have a strong digital and a rapidly growing social media presence, with currently 14 million followers. Our customers enjoy looking online at the latest offers, and coming into stores to buy. The combination of instore design, shopping experience and amazing prices is what makes Primark so attractive.

    ‘From time to time we will look at click and collect as one possible option to extend our customer service.

    ‘However, there are no plans in the near future to trial click and collect.’

    Well, even if you can’t shop online, you can at least browse items and find out which store they’re available in, before you bravely head onto the fashion battlefield.

    Or go to Birmingham to visit the world’s biggest Primark store.

    Either way, bring some water and a snack – just in case.

    MORE: Adidas launches environmentally friendly 100% recyclable running shoes

    MORE: Wedding dress slammed for looking like a ‘used tampon’

    MORE: Does this Missguided dress look a little bit like the three-thousand-year-old style of a sari?


    SEI_61618633SEI_61618633

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    As I’m drifting down the tar-black waters of the River Negro in a tiny canoe, in the dead of night, the only thing I can see is the outline of the towering trees all around me. I’m totally engulfed by rainforest.

    The treetops are illuminated by a carpet of stars so bright, the sky appears almost CGI-designed. The only noises I can hear is the defiant rattling of the cicadia beetles in the reeds, and the ominous growl of howler monkeys in the distance.

    It’s eerie, isolated – and totally ethereal.

    I realise that I haven’t seen anyone (other than those in my travel group) for days now. No-one knows where I am. I don’t even really know where I am.

    I’m taking a week-long, Amazon River cruise with Adventure Life, to seek out Brazil’s wildlife deep in the heart of the jungle.

    And despite the reputation of the rainforest as a place teeming with action, adventure and animals at every turn, I discovered that in order to appreciate its beauty, you need to leave your expectations at home and learn the art of slow travel.

    Georgina walking a pool underneath the rainforest's canopy
    (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    Night-time canoe trips

    That night in the canoe however, I find myself willing our boat to go a little faster. Canoe excursions are daily and my guide, the forest-born Edje, is determined to show us a giant caiman (Brazilian crocodile) tonight. ‘They can grow to 20 ft long,’ he had grinned one morning over breakfast, much to my horror.

    Edje’s words echo in my mind as I watch him shine a torch into the abyss. We’re searching for a pair of eyes twinkling back at us; a parrot in the bushes, a sloth hanging from a branch, or a crocodile lurking beneath our boat.

    I’m nervous as I think about how close our little canoe is to the water. In the unending darkness, we weave in and out of narrow channels as bats and bugs flutter around my head.

    The forest reflected on the river negro
    (Picture: Georgina Lawton)
    Georgina Lawton sits in a canoe and looks out at the rainforest
    (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    The canoe slows to a stop near the terra firma (soft land) with a gentle thud, and Edje stands on its nose, bending towards the shallow waters to pick something up. ‘A baby caiman,’ he says, as he holds it towards us.

    The little reptile is khaki-coloured with tiny teeth. Edje tells us that caiman are often hunted for their skin, but can sometimes live for over 100 years. Adult females lay around 40 eggs, but Edje says only four will survive on average.

    I’m suddenly concerned about the whereabouts of its (potentially giant) parents, though. What if we’ve disrupted a happy home?

    a baby caiman
    The baby caiman (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    Suddenly as if on cue, we hear a giant splash behind our canoe. I catch sight of a large crocodile swimming at lightning speed towards our boat.

    Mummy’s home. And she’s not happy.

    Edje quickly returns Spyro to the waters as my heart feels like it’s going to explode from my chest. I feel an overwhelming sense of relief as we return to our riverboat.

    Boat-life

    The Amazon rainforest is an enigma – over 40,000 plant species and 427 mammals have been found there, and scientists believe there’s plenty more to be uncovered. Over 60% of the forest lies in Brazil, and it’s best to explore some of it with boat trips or a stay in a jungle lodge.

    I found the Adventure Life cruise – which sets sail from Manaus, and explores some of the most untouched, uninhabited rainforest in the Amazon Basin – to be the perfect way to see everything whilst travelling in eco-friendly style.

    The Tucano cruise boat
    The Tucano boat where we slept (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    I stayed on the Tucano, a traditional-looking motor yacht that can house up to 18 passengers, complete with open upper deck lined with hammocks, elegant dining room, and over 70 large glass windows to ensure stunning views from all angles.

    On my first day I’m delighted to find that I’m just one of three guests, which gives the entire trip a more intimate touch, and I settle into boat life surprisingly quickly. There’s no Wi-Fi in the Amazon and I’m totally fine with tuning in to the sights and sounds of natural world instead of my phone.

    Each day we have three action-packed excursions in the jungle, starting with a 5.30am kayak trip, which quickly becomes a daily highlight.

    Each day begins with a canoe trip
    Each day begins with a canoe trip (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    Each morning, as the sky turns from muted purple to brilliant yellow, I watch capuchin monkeys playing in the canopy above our heads, and cartoonishly blue butterflies glide past us as we paddle around.

    We kayak into the shallow parts of the River Negro where trees lie half submerged in tar-coloured waters and there is little dry ground. This spooky, swamp-like world is known as igapó, meaning ‘flooded forest’, and it happens during rainy season each year. Kayaking in this section of the river is spine-tinglingly thrilling and incredibly eerie.

    the flooded forest in Brazil's Amazon
    The flooded forest (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    Post-kayak, it’s time to return to the Tucano for a traditional Brazilian breakfast of eggs and manioc (tapioca) pancakes before heading out for another afternoon expedition; either a jungle walk, canoe ride, or trip to visit a local river community, before a delicious lunch of tambaqui fish with a selection of vegetables.

    Afternoons are best filled by watching the forest roll by in a blur of verdant greenery on the top-deck, then it’s dinner and a night-time canoe ride.

    By the time I get back to the vessel, I’m exhausted and in my private cabin, I quickly fall asleep to the sound of the jungle – the gentle lap of the waters against our boat and the bleating noise of the night-jay birds is my lullaby.

    Piranha fishing and pink-dolphin spotting

    On day four, in the sizzling heat of the late afternoon, we’re taken to a little spot along the River Negro to fish for red-bellied piranha. Around 3,000 freshwater fish have been found in the Amazon, including the piranha, which are famed for their feeding frenzies and sharp teeth.

    It’s my first time fishing and at first, I don’t have the touch, whereas my new boat-friends are pulling in giant fish.

    our host holds up his piranha
    (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    As we head to another spot, I hear a noise like someone exhaling, and realise we’re being followed by some curious pink river dolphins, known as botos. A couple leap out of the water and I see some are flecked with grey whilst others are flamingo-pink.

    In the Amazon the reputation of the botos is shrouded in mythical significance – Edje tells us that there are stories of fish turning into humans in order to seduce them. I watch the dolphins swim around us, then return to my piranha fishing. Finally, I catch some.

    That night as we feast on our catch (bony but delicious) I think about how to describe my other-worldly day to friends and family back home.

    The meeting of the waters

    Most of the trip is spent exploring the wildlife along the River Negro which is blackwater river. I watch in amazement as some mornings whilst kayaking, Edje drinks the water straight out of the river with a little cup.

    the meeting of the waters
    The meeting of the waters (Picture: Georgina Lawton)

    He tells us that although it might look murky, this river actually carries no sediment. The River Negro gets its black hue from all the leaf and plant matter that dissolves there, which also means it’s highly acidic. But it’s still one of the cleanest bodies of water in the world, and is totally drinkable (although I don’t give it a try).

    One afternoon we head to the spot where the River Negro conflates with the brown, sediment-filled Amazon River, around 10km from Manaus, known as the meeting of the waters.

    The two waters never mix because of differences in temperature, speed and water density, and as I lean over the boat, I’m totally captivated by the sight.

    The Amazon rainforest really is a place shrouded in mystical potence.

    A seven-day, six-night Amazon cruise with the Tucano starts at $3,150 / £2,382 with Adventure Life.

    MORE: Fancy getting paid £50k to travel and eat food? You can

    MORE: How the cleaning craze is damaging the environment

    MORE: Guinness is to remove all plastic from its beer packaging


    Boat tripping on the Amazon-e788Boat tripping on the Amazon-e788

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    Compilation of tweets
    (Picture: Twitter/Metro.co.uk)

    There’s a preconceived notion that it’s impossible to change careers once you’ve started on a particular track.

    Thankfully, Twitter is here to tell us otherwise.

    Earlier this week, a new trend went viral as people began tweeting about the five jobs they’ve had throughout their lives.

    Unfortunately, we don’t know who to thank for the glorious idea as most are individual tweets rather than part of one lengthy thread – but everyone’s getting in on the game, including MPs.

    If you’re worried that you’re too old to venture into a new industry or too far into your chosen field to switch, take a look at this.

    Not only will it help reduce any career stress you might be feeling, but it could also provide inspiration for your next job.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of the new trend.

    One Twitter user called Gary said he ‘will not be participating’ because it seems everyone is beginning their tweet by sharing jobs they didn’t enjoy, only to finish the list with their now ‘amazing life-affirming job’.

    Sadly, he finds all his own jobs ‘soul-destroying’.

    Gary isn’t the only one who dislikes the game. Another user, a journalist, used his list to announce that ‘no one cares’.

    There’s always someone who doesn’t want to play.

    If you want to join in on the fun, just search for ‘five jobs’ in the Twitter search bar or tweet your own list.

    And if, like Gary, you feel stuck in a rut when it comes to your career and daydream of doing something else, it might be worth having a read of our handy guide on what to do if you hate your job.

    MORE: Should you send a thank you note after a job interview?

    MORE: What to do if you hate your job

    MORE: 7 alternative careers that have ‘millennial’ written all over them


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    Jamie Windust is a non-binary campaigner fighting for greater gender options on passports
    (Picture: Courtesy of Jamie Windust)

    For non-binary activist and writer Jamie Windust, their self-expression has formed a huge part of their identity, particularly since coming out three years ago.

    Jamie tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Expressing myself the way that I do is something that I’ve constantly been told I shouldn’t do and one of the most disruptive stances I can make is to continually be myself, although it comes with a lot of problems.’

    Jamie regularly experiences street harassment to the point where they recently set up a crowdfunder to help fund private transport to avoid non-consensual photos being taken of them, name-calling and staring.

    ‘It’s taken a long time to get to a point where I can actually realise that the things that are happening aren’t because of me – they’re other people’s projections,’ they say.

    However, feeling able to reaffirm yourself, your identity and your community becomes trickier when you’re not able to self-identify on your own legal documents, something that Jamie knows all too well.

    ‘For the past three or four months, I’ve been aware that I needed to renew my passport and when I went to look into it, my first hurdle was that I was being told that I wasn’t allowed to wear excessive makeup,’ says Jamie.

    ‘This means that if I were to travel with makeup, what I could be doing could potentially be seen as fraudulent.

    ‘Additionally, for me, my makeup is a huge part of my gender expression so to be stripped of that is quite frustrating.’

    Jamie Windust speaks at an event
    (Picture: Jamie Windust)

    Initially put off by this, Jamie decided they would look into it again later but then realised that if they renewed their passport, they would have to select ‘male’.

    They said: ‘This prospect is even more jarring because I don’t want that for the next five or ten years.

    ‘Again, if I were to turn up to the airport presenting how I present now and my passport said ‘male’, that would be something that officials could get confused about and potentially cause more problems for me.

    ‘If my passport said ‘non-binary’, though there’s no one way to look non-binary, it would potentially make more sense.’

    Jamie decided to reach out on social media to find out if any other people had faced similar problems. Upon discovering that they weren’t alone, Jamie started a petition on the parliament website, which has reached over 16,000 signatures at the time of writing.

    The activist describes the petition as a way of applying pressure on the government to allow people to identify outside of ‘male’ or ‘female’ boxes on legal documents such as passports, driving licenses and birth certificates.

    Jamie says: ‘It’s just about offering people another option to make them feel comfortable. I also wanted to make sure that it’s accessible to people who are intersex because that’s quite limiting in itself to people who don’t identify as male or female but also not non-binary.

    ‘It’s necessary because when you exist in society and you do fit into those ‘male’ or ‘female’ gender boxes, you don’t ever face barriers in terms of identification and a lot of people take this for granted – so why shouldn’t it be the same for me?’

    The government has since responded to the petition by stating that it ‘recognises than an increasing number of people identify as non-binary’ and will ‘commission a Call for Evidence and will use the results to feed into future policy decisions.’

    While being able to identify outside of ‘male’ and ‘female’ on documentation would be an achievement, it’s key to Jamie to not become complacent.

    ‘Same sex marriage, for example, was a great moment but it didn’t mean that people had their minds changed because of the law,’ they say. ‘This is just one area of our experience that should be updated.’

    This isn’t the first call for gender neutral passports in the UK. Christie Elan-Clan has been campaigning for the government to provide gender-neutral passports since 1995 and recently lost a High Court challenge around UK passports having an ‘X’ category, but is determined to win, continuing the fight still now.

    For campaigners like Christie and Jamie, this is particularly frustrating when other countries such as Canada, Denmark, Germany, Pakistan and India already have a third category for documentation, with New York City recently announcing an ‘X’ gender marker.

    ‘It’s not like we would be the first country to do this,’ notes Jamie. ‘Other countries are moving in this direction.

    ‘It’s difficult to gain momentum behind this despite non-binary and gender appearing to be the buzzword of the moment but I wouldn’t have started this petition if I didn’t think something could happen.’

    MORE: Sam Smith says his gender is ‘non-binary’ as he shares his thoughts on sexuality

    MORE: Photo series explores what it’s like to be non-binary


    jamie windust-7c85jamie windust-7c85

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    Morgan Kane wearing PrettyLittleThing's large dress
    (Picture: Morgan Kane/Twitter)

    Lollipop ladies probably aren’t who you think of when it comes to fashion icons.

    Until now.

    PrettyLittleThing, purveyor of many iconic looks, is now offering the chance to look like your favourite safety officers from childhood.

    But it’s not a look one woman was looking for.

    After she bought a neon above the knee neon dress from PrettyLittleThing, Morgan Kane was horrified to look like a lollipop lady.

    The 20-year-old from Dundee, Scotland, hated the look so much she decided to return the online retailer’s £25 dress immediately.

    Morgan had ordered the outfit for a night out for her friend’s 21st birthday but says the dress was a joke because it was so huge.

    She posted a series of snaps on Twitter showing the brightly-coloured dress swamping her.

    Morgan said she felt like a lollipop lady
    (Picture: Morgan Kane/Twitter)

    In one of the images, only her forehead and feed could be seen peeping out from behind the bright dress.

    Her friends found the whole thing hilarious, taking a picture of her with the caption: ‘Canna believe Morgan’s a lollipop woman.’

    Morgan also decided to join in, saying: ‘Hahahah, good one PrettyLittleThing, so like the online one’.

    The dress covered most of her body
    (Picture: Morgan Kane/Twitter)

    On PLT’s website, the dress is described as a Plus Neon Lime Toggle Waist Shift Dress.

    But it wasn’t obvious on the model that the outfit was huge unless the toggles were used to pull in the dress.

    The website read: ‘Glow up this season doll in this killer shift dress. Featuring a neon lime material, a toggle tie waist and long sleeves, team it with a clear mini bag and strappy heels for the ultimate “out out” look’.

    On PLT’s website, the dress is described as a Plus Neon Lime Toggle Waist Shift Dress
    (Picture: Morgan Kane/Twitter)

    Morgan said: ‘I couldn’t believe how different it was from the photo online.

    ‘I didn’t expect it – it’s the first time I’ve ever had something been sent to me that bad.’

    Though it might be bigger than expected, we think it would still look fab with the toggles to tighten it or paired with a glam belt.

    Go on, channel your inner lollipop lady.

    MORE: I made a 16th century shirt and it taught me about the crisis of fast fashion

    MORE: Women calls out PrettyLittleThing’s sizing as she can only fit one leg into her size 10 dress

    MORE: Woman slams PrettyLittleThing for sending dress that flashes her vagina


    Pretty Little Thing Lollipop LadyPretty Little Thing Lollipop Lady

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    Amos was born blind at a dog’s home.

    Despite life serving the adorable Staffordshire bull terrier cross a cruel hand, his luck turned when he met Jess Martin.

    The 27-year-old, who works in HR for Cheshire Fire and Rescue service, volunteers at the rescue centre in her spare time and that’s where she fell in love with Amos.

    She realised that it would be difficult to rehome a blind dog, and so decided to adopt Amos with her partner Billy Howe, 27, in August last year.

    However, she was wary of how her border terrier, nine-year-old Toby, would react when he met his new brother.

    It turns out she needn’t have worried.

    The pair quickly became best buds and Toby is now Amos’ unofficial guide dog. He defends Amos from other dogs, helps him find his water bowl and protects him.

    Two dogs standing outside and posing for a photo
    (Picture: Jess Martin / Caters News)

    ‘Toby was the best present I ever got,’ said Jess.

    ‘He is very independent, and he likes his own space so we were a bit concerned to see how accepting he would be of Amos.

    ‘I thought it would be very difficult to find an owner and while Amos was on medical care for four months, we decided to foster him in February last year but after a while we realised we would never give him back.

    ‘At the beginning Toby growled at him a few times and then ignored him – Amos came from a kennel so doesn’t know how to socialise with other dogs.

    ‘After a couple of days, I saw that Amos couldn’t find his water bowl and Toby nudged him and helped him out.’

    Dogs Amos and Toby
    (Picture: Jess Martin / Caters News)
    Dog owner Jess Martin with her two pooches, Amos and Toby
    (Picture: Jess Martin/Caters News)
    Dogs cuddling on a sofa
    (Picture: Jess Martin / Caters News)

    Amos had to undergo an eye operation to have his eyes removed, and now takes comfort in having his best friend by his side.

    The two like to go out on adventures together and if Amos needs help, he’ll simply nudge Toby for assistance.

    ‘When we went out on walks Amos was very scared, especially of the noises and Toby quickly picked up that he needed help – so every time Amos was stopping, Toby would go and lie next to him till he would be ready.

    ‘They have developed a nice communication between them, and they know each other’s boundaries.

    Dogs on sofa
    (Picture: Jess Martin/Caters News)

    ‘Amos’s main problem is that other dogs don’t like him when they approach him, obviously because he cannot communicate the same way, so he doesn’t have other friends.

    ‘Amos is still a bit worried when he is outside in busy areas – that’s why we all go on adventures so he can get used to the great outdoors in a more quiet setting.

    ‘Toby is always there to protect him – we call him his “bodyguard”.’

    We’re not crying, you are.

    MORE: There’s now an actual dog spa where your pup can get massages and manicures

    MORE: You can now get Game of Thrones inspired cloaks for your pets

    MORE: You can now buy bridesmaid dresses for your dog but it’ll cost you £114


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    Three-month pregnant model not showing 17-week baby bump says all women are different
    (Picture: Belle Lucia/Instagram)

    Australian model Belle Lucia recently announced on Instagram that she was 12 weeks pregnant.

    Now, she has uploaded a picture of herself cradling her stomach, saying she is at the 17-week stage.

    However, the influencer, now living in London, faced harsh comments from some of her million-strong followers who said she didn’t look like she was expecting a baby at all.

    Many wondered why the 24-year-old’s bump wasn’t visible.

    In response, Belle hit back saying women present differently and that she wasn’t showing all the non-glamorous parts of her pregnancy such as morning sickness .

    She also uploaded images on her Story showing other women pregnant at the same stage to show how visible or non-visible their bump may be at three months.

    Belle said she wasn’t promoting a ‘skinny pregnancy’ and wants people to stop body-shaming her.

    Belle at 14 weeks pregnant
    (Picture: Belle Lucia/Instagram)

    ‘As you can see, women show very differently but are all carrying a little life,’ she wrote on her page.

    ‘Just because I’m not showing as much as you like doesn’t mean my pregnancy is “unhealthy” or that I’m promoting a “skinny” pregnancy.

    She uploaded an image of other women pregnant at 17 weeks
    (Picture: Belle Lucia/Instagram)

    ‘It’s just my body and I can’t help it if it doesn’t look the same as other women. Body shaming is not okay no matter how “big” or “small” someone is.’

    She also uploaded a picture of herself after ‘violently throwing up’ on a train. She told her followers she wanted to show the side she didn’t normally show on her Instagram page.

    ‘I did experience morning sickness, breast pain and definitely a lot of anxiety on the beginning because of the fear of miscarriage – I had no idea how common they were,’ said Belle.

    Belle posing on a beach
    (Picture: Belle Lucia/Instagram)

    ‘But I’ve learnt to embrace everything – both the downs and the ups.’

    After she initially announced her pregnancy at 12 weeks, Belle said people were quick to doubt it because of her petite size.

    When she uploaded a video of an ultrasound, she quickly deleted it as people were being ‘rude and creepy’ about it.

    In a new Story she said she’s feeling the baby kick now and is craving chilli and strawberries.

    MORE: Pregnant Royal Ballet dancer films timelapse of herself spinning as the baby bump grows bigger

    MORE: Is it normal to grow hair on a pregnant belly?

    MORE: Woman becomes a model after rare cancer led to urgent leg amputation


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    Child palying with Lego
    (Picture: Lego)

    Blind and visually impaired people often use braille to read.

    The tactile system of raised dots can be hard to learn, so to make braille more accessible to children, the Lego company has made Braille Bricks.

    The Danish toy brand has created blocks that have numbers and letters on them in Braille so children can play and learn at the same time.

    The fun educational tool has been rolled out across schools in UK and Europe already and is set to be used in many more in 2020.

    Each set is equipped with 250 bricks, including the alphabet, numbers and mathematical symbols.

    Instead of learning the system through a piece of paper, children can touch the letters on a Lego set as they build all kinds of things.

    Children playing with Lego
    (Picture: Lego)

    The Braille Bricks are moulded with the same number of studs used for individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet.

    Non-blind people can also join in the games as each brick will also feature a printed letter or character.

    Lego’s art director Morten Bonde, who suffers from a genetic eye disorder that is gradually turning him blind, worked as a consultant on the project.

    ‘Experiencing reactions from both students and teachers to Braille Bricks has been hugely inspirational and reminded me that the only limitations I will meet in life are those I create in my mind,’ he said in a press release.

    Close up of lego grid
    (Picture: Lego)

    ‘The children’s level of engagement and their interest in being independent and included on equal terms in society is so evident.

    ‘I am moved to see the impact this product has on developing blind and visually impaired children’s academic confidence and curiosity already in its infant days.’

    After Lego receive feedback from schools, the company will take in revisions before rolling the bricks out widely to schools, free of charge.

    MORE: Four-year-old girl writes letter to Lego asking for ‘more girls in your magazine, please’

    MORE: Two blind veterans in their 90s fall in love and have a chapel blessing to celebrate their union

    MORE: Elderly blind Staffie abandoned and left to roam the streets


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    A Sipsmith canned G&T on a table in summer
    (Picture: Sipsmith/Getty)

    British people’s love of tinnies was solidified last week, as many jumped to defend Labour MP Diane Abbott for enjoying a cheeky tin on TFL (which is illegal, by the way).

    Like Diane, many people favour a local supermarket tinny – she had an M&S mojito – but spirit aficionadoes will likely scoff at its contents.

    If you prefer a premium quality spirit, we’ve got good news.

    Sipsmith has launched its first-ever tinny, a 50ml G&T filled with its classic London Dry Gin.

    Tin of Sipsmith G&T
    (Picture: Sipsmith)

    Two versions are available; one with regular tonic water, the other with low calorie light tonic.

    ‘We believe all gin experiences should be of the same uncompromising quality, whether gin lovers are sipping a G&T in a bar, the comfort of their own home, or out-and-about,’ said Jared Brown, master distiller for Sipsmith.

    ‘Our new ready to sip G&T cans are made with our classic London Dry Gin, ensuring the same superior taste. Perfect for on-the-go sipping, these cans are available in both regular and light, so there’s an option for whichever suits you best.

    ‘I personally cannot wait to sip mine on the train home on a Friday from the Distillery to the Cotswolds.’

    But if you regularly enjoy a tinny on the train, it could end up being a very expensive journey.

    The Sipsmith G&T is pricier than most of its counterparts – it costs £3 per can.

    You can get it from Ocado or Co-op stores nationwide, but it’s due to launch in Tesco and Waitrose from early May.

    Is it legal to drink on a train?

    It’s worthwhile noting that it’s illegal to drink an alcoholic beverage on a Transport for London (TFL) service. There is a policy that bans all passengers from either drinking or having an open container of alcohol with them on a tube or train operated by the transport system.

    However, rules fluctuate on other train lines and according to Drink Aware, you can consume alcohol on national trains – unless the operators state otherwise.

    In Scotland, on ScotRail trains, you’re not allowed to drink between 9pm to 10am and on Northern Ireland’s Translink it’s completely banned.

    MORE: Let’s face it prosecco is the worst drink

    MORE: You can now chill out at a riverside surfer shack in London

    MORE: Six of the best tinnies to sip during the Bank Holiday heatwave


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    Lily and Paul teased their family with a puppy gender reveal
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    A couple’s ‘gender reveal’ has gone viral after they announced they had adopted a puppy.

    Lily Denesha and Paul Callahan fooled their family and friends into thinking they were pregnant with a recent post on social media.

    The animal lovers hired a professional photographer to take a series of pictures to reveal they were ‘expecting’.

    Instead of sharing the traditional gender reveal baby news the couple announced they had adopted a three-month-old puppy.

    Lily, from Idaho, US, said: ‘I’ve always loved gender reveals and pregnancy announcements, but I don’t plan on having kids any time soon.

    ‘Also, my mum didn’t want me to get a dog, so I was hoping that by pranking her into thinking I might be pregnant, she might be a little more accepting of a puppy and it actually worked!’

    The post went viral on social media
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    In the series of photographs, by Claire McPhilomy, the couple first share the news that their family is ‘expanding’.

    The next shot then shows the couple opening a box which has a sign on it stating ‘It’s a…’ to reveal blue balloons.

    To everyone’s surprise the next photograph shows that the balloons are attached to an adorable puppy.

    The three-month-old Shiba Inu puppy is then introduced as Percy, who the couple adopted on 6 March, weighing 8lb 10oz.

    Lily added: ‘Paul and I are both animal lovers.

    The couple are very happy to have adopted Percy
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    ‘We foster orphaned kittens and rabbits, and we currently have one rabbit of our own.

    ‘He is a netherland dwarf named Tyrion and we love him to death.

    ‘But earlier this year, we fell in love with our friend’s Shiba Inu and we couldn’t stop thinking about the breed!

    ‘When we saw that Percy was available to adopt, we just couldn’t resist.

    ‘And now that he’s part of our lives, we can’t imagine living without him.’

    The sweet sign they used for the reveal
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    Photographer Claire said she was ‘so excited’ when Lily text her with the ‘crazy idea’ she had planned.

    The photographer and children’s pastor said: ‘Anyone that knows me knows that I am a sucker for any and all dogs.

    ‘So the fact that I was being given the opportunity to not only take pictures, but to take pictures of a precious puppy made me incredibly happy.

    ‘Percy was so curious and excited that he moved around a lot, so we had to work quickly to get pictures of his face!

    ‘He also was a bit of a runner which made getting photos of just him nearly impossible!

    They're one very happy family
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    ‘We used a ring of jingle bells and a bag of turkey to keep his attention.

    ‘But people love the photos. It is hard to go wrong with pictures of puppies in bow ties.’

    After sharing the pictures on her social media page Lily and Paul said they were astounded to receive more than 16,000 likes and rising.

    Lily who works in property said: ‘The reception was overall pretty positive, but a few people didn’t go through all the pictures and actually thought we were having a real baby.

    ‘I thought that a few people would think it was funny and it would get a couple of likes. I had no idea that this many people would share it.

    Percy is happy to have a new home!
    (Picture: Claire McPhilomy/Fortitude Press)

    ‘I am so grateful that a few people ending up thinking it was as funny as we did.

    ‘My favorite picture is definitely the wink at the end! I love that Percy was in on the joke.

    ‘He’s like “Yeah, I gotcha, didn’t I?!”’

    Lily said she also hopes the post will encourage others to adopt animals.

    She said: ‘There are so many dogs out there, both puppies and adults, that are looking for a place to call home.

    ‘I also think that big announcements like these are great because it shows that you are serious about your pet becoming part of your family.

    ‘Pets aren’t temporary, they are family.

    ‘If more people take adoption seriously, I think there would be a lot less homeless pets out there.

    ‘After all no dog should be homeless and no home should be dogless.’

    MORE: Adorable blind dog has an unofficial guide dog and they’re best friends

    MORE: You can now buy bridesmaid dresses for your dog but it’ll cost you £114


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    The menu is a limited edition pink wednesday offer
    (Picture: Uber Eats)

    Uber Eats has partnered with Twisted London to offer an exclusive Pink Wednesday Menu.

    To stick with the whole Mean Girls vibe you should probably wear pink to eat it.

    The food delivery app will launch the limited-edition menu on Wednesday 1 May, and you’ll be able to order a special selection of dishes through the app.

    Uber Eats says: ‘Pink, delicious and totally fetch, this menu is for everyone, regardless of whether you eat with The Plastics, JV Jocks, Burnouts or are lucky enough to sit with the Best People You Will Ever Meet.’

    The menu will feature an £8 vegan pink hotdog: a vegan sausage topped with crispy onions, pickled red cabbage, edible glitter all served up in a pink bun.

    This glitter burger looks amazing
    (Picture: Uber Eats)

    There’s also the £9 glitter burger: a beef burger patty with pink cheese sauce, salad garnish, and a pink bun with a dash of edible glitter

    Alongside this are ‘fetch’ cheesy fries for £6, which are crispy fries topped with pink three cheese sauce, chives and edible glitter.

    Next up is the Brutus vs. Caeser salad, which features lettuce leaves, crispy buttermilk chicken and juicy pomegranate.

    As a side, there’s some pink slaw available for £3.

    There’s also a load of carb-filled stuff on offer, including glittery mac n’ cheese, a rainbow cake, and a protein bar.

    Pink cheese fries, anyone?
    (Picture: Uber Eats)

    The limited-edition Pink Wednesday menu will be for one day only on Wednesday 1 May, with dishes available to order exclusively on Uber Eats in London.

    Henry Harding, Head of Marketing for Uber Eats in the UK, said: ‘We love working with talented restaurant partners and are thrilled to be launching the Pink Wednesdays menu with Twisted London.

    And to top it all off, a rainbow cake!
    (Picture: Uber Eats)

    ‘We’re certain that this fun and unique menu will be a hit with chick flick fans, being the perfect accompaniment to a movie night in. Simply order on the Uber Eats app, and it will be delivered straight to your door to enjoy!’

    Rob Warren, Head of Marketing for Twisted London, added: ‘At Twisted London, we pride ourselves on working to bring to life exciting and innovative experiences to our customers through food.

    ‘It’s a pleasure to partner with Uber Eats on this menu to celebrate one of the most iconic chick flicks of all time, and one that our large community of fans have a real passion for too.

    ‘Our chefs have been PINKspired and have dreamed up the perfect menu to bring the movie magic to life.’

    MORE: Sipsmith launches its first-ever G&T in a can

    MORE: Woman says neon PrettyLittleThing dress left her looking like a lollipop lady


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    Illustration of a man reading sexual texts on his phone
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Receiving unsolicited photos, videos and messages is an unavoidable reality of online dating.

    With more and more people turning to apps like Tinder and Bumble to find love, they’re also opening themselves up to digital communication that sometimes ends in a barrage of genital pics.

    Some people are retaliating by sharing the photos on social media, like the woman who posted dick pics and explicit messages that she received through Tinder on Instagram, and subsequently had her account deleted.

    The practice of sending photos of your downstairs area seems to be more popular among men and to test this theory, one woman conducted an experiment in which she sent a photo of a vagina to her matches on Bumble – most of whom were very appreciative of it.

    But it’s not just men who send unsolicited messages; in January, we reported that one woman ‘sent 159,000 text messages to a man after he rejected her’.

    Research has now revealed that this type of communication can have detrimental effects on people’s mental health.

    The study, dubbed ‘Sexting and Psychological Distress: The Role of Unwanted and Coerced Sexts’, is the first of its kind to connect sexting to issues such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

    Texting was not found to cause mental health issues, but sexting was a completely different ballgame. Interestingly, it revealed that men would be worse off and more prone to mental health issues in this scenario.

    Illustration of a woman holding a phone
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Our results showed no association between receiving or sending sexts overall,’ researchers at Deakin University in Australia, wrote in the abstract.

    ‘However, receiving unwanted sexts, or sexting under coercion, was associated with higher depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, and lower self-esteem, and these two sexting experiences were independent predictors of psychological distress.

    ‘The relationship between these sexting behaviors with poor mental health was moderated by gender, with poorer outcomes for males receiving unwanted sexts.’

    The team also reviewed literature that showcased sexting is ‘highly prevalent’ in young adults (48.56% for sending and 56.01% for receiving ‘image-based sexts’), as well as adolescents (11.96% for sending versus 1.85% for receiving).

    Previous findings have presented mixed outcomes on links between sexting and mental health problems.

    Researchers theorised that this is due to inconsistency in the willingness of the person to receive or send a text. In other words, human beings can be fickle and it’s hard to pinpoint what level of sexting they’re comfortable with, and if it’s fully consensual.

    ‘One potential explanation for the discrepancies in findings on sexting and mental health may be how willingly a person receives or sends the sext,’ researchers wrote.

    ‘In one study, 52.3 percent of young adults had consensually engaged in sexting behaviors, despite reporting not wanting to do so. Motivations for this behavior included flirtation, foreplay, to fulfill a partner’s needs, or for intimacy reasons.

    ‘Indeed, peer pressure seems to be an important reason for sexting, with another study reporting that 23 percent of teens felt pressured to sext, and 51 percent of teenage girls saying they felt pressure from a boy to send sexually explicit messages.’

    The study also explores coercion into sending images and in this area figures showed similar results for both men and women, who reported similar levels of anxiety, depression and self-esteem concerns.

    In addition, researchers revealed that people who coerce others into sending photos are at risk of expressing sexually violent behaviour (or already are).

    ‘That is, the findings of our study may shed light on why some researchers conceptualize sexting as simply a normative sexual behavior, while others see it as a potential risk behavior, including for sexual violence,’ they wrote.

    ‘Indeed, our findings indicate that both can be true.

    ‘Sexting behaviors can range from consensual sexting as a normative behavior exploring one’s sexuality to non-consensual sexting which is associated with negative mental health outcomes and more closely resembles a form of intimate partner violence.’

    Forcing or coercing others into sending photos is damaging to both parties – especially the victim – and is not sexy, nor acceptable.

    The easiest way to find out if someone wants to receive naked photos or overtly flirty messages is simply to ask them. It will help you avoid making others (or yourself) feel distressed.

    Be polite when you’re online dating and remember that there’s a person on the other side of your text.

    If in doubt, don’t send it.

    Is it illegal to send unsolicited messages or genital photos?

    It’s currently not illegal in the UK to send dick or vagina pics – so long as it is a photo of your own genitals – however one group of MPs is calling for all non-consenual image sending to become a criminal offence, so watch this space.

    Upskirting (taking photos underneath someone’s skirt without their consent) and revenge porn (sharing a private sexual photo or video of someone else without their consent) are both illegal offences that can be reported to the police.

    Online abuse or harassment such as coercive control, stalking or threats of violence is loosely defined within the law, but should also be reported and could lead to the offender being taken to court.

    MORE: Couples who sleep in separate beds ‘have better sex’

    MORE: You should have sex before bed for better sleep, says study

    MORE: Women tell us all the worst ways they have been chatted up


    Roy - being a black man on Grindr (sexualisation of black men)Roy - being a black man on Grindr (sexualisation of black men)

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    Eton Mess
    (Picture: Elmlea)

    Did you know that 33% of all food produced across the globe is lost or wasted each year?

    That’s according to Stop Food Waste Day, which takes place tomorrow (24 April) and is a campaign that aims to highlight food wastage and what we can do to tackle the problem.

    As part of the event, Elmlea will open a ‘Taste, Not Waste’ café, where Londoners can nab themselves a free lunch made from the top 20 ingredients most likely to end up in landfill.

    The café will be open for one day only, from noon until 3pm and there are seven dishes up for grabs.

    Food dishes on a table including rice, raita, curry and broccoli
    (Picture: Elmlea)
    Mushroom Tart
    (Picture: Elmlea)

    For your main, choose from chicken with romesco sauce, vegetable masala curry with cucumber yoghurt raita, cardamom rice with roasted broccoli flavoured with chilli and garlic or mushroom tarlets.

    Dessert comes in the form of Eton Mess or salted caramel and banana trifle.

    Pop by 22 Foley Street in Fitzrovia if you want to save a few pounds tomorrow, but bare in mind it’s first come, first serve and there’s a limited supply of food available.

    Be quick.

    Top 20 most likely foods to be wasted

    1. Lettuce
    2. Bread
    3. Cucumber
    4. Milk
    5. Bananas
    6. Tomatoes
    7. Yoghurt
    8. Eggs
    9. Potatoes
    10. Carrots
    11. Cream
    12. Strawberries
    13. Cooked rice
    14. Apples
    15. Cheese
    16. Peppers
    17. Cooked Pasta
    18. Onion
    19. Chicken
    20. Broccoli

    MORE: Uber Eats launches limited edition Pink Wednesday menu and it’s so fetch

    MORE: Tesco launches ‘vegan sausage roll’ to compete with Greggs

    MORE: Jude’s has launched a new range of ice lollies made from fruit and vegetables


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    A young African American woman doing abdominal exercises
    (Picture: Getty)

    When do you do your core workouts?

    Is it a half-hearted ten minutes at the very end of your gym session – flailing on a mat before giving up and hitting the showers?

    Same. And that’s because crunches are the worst. They’re hard, they burn and they never give us the instant abs we’re hoping for.

    But core strength is really important. It helps with stability, flexibility and balance. And you need a strong core to be able to do any kind of functional movement.

    So what do you do if you want a killer core but can’t stand sit-ups?

    We spoke to elite personal trainer, Bobby Holland Hanton – who also happens to be Chris Hemsworth’s stunt double – to find out how he works on his core.

    And guys – there’s not a crunch in sight.

    Air Squats

    It’s a staple in most exercise programs, and with good reason.

    By working the large muscles of the glutes, quads and hamstrings you will build muscle while burning energy.

    Performing Air Squats to a comfortable depth, where your hips descend below the level of your knees, also has the added benefit of improving hip mobility.

    Personal trainer doing squats
    Bobby is a former gymnastics champion, now he is skilled in scuba diving, kickboxing and parkour  (Picture: Centr)

    Mastering the Air Squat is a prerequisite for completing weighted squat exercises, and will have carry over benefits to all other lower body movements.

    How to do it:

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your side.

    Sink down as if you’re sitting on a chair, pushing your weight through your heels so your knees are in line with your toes.

    You can bring your arms in front of your chest to stablise yourself. Then stand back up to the starting position.

    Plank Pulses

    Performing a plank correctly involves contracting the glutes, quads, abdominals and lats with power to maintain a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.

    It’s used by everyone from professional athletes to fitness models to develop a strong and tight core.

    Add in the pulses to work your calf muscles, and the humble plank is transformed in the Plank Pulse, one of the most challenging and valuable exercises in your toolbox.

    How to do it:

    Begin in a forearm plank position, with your back straight and your bum tucked in.

    Keeping your forearms in position, pulse your body forward so that you are on the tips of your toes and your shoulders are almost above your wrists.

    Pulse back to the starting position and repeat.

    Medicine Ball Wood Chops

    Rotational movements are sometimes overlooked in exercise programs, but their ability to build strong oblique muscles and whole-body stability is second to none.

    This Medicine Ball Wood Chop combines rotation with a squat and overhead press, resulting in one of the most valuable exercises you could perform.

    Although a Medicine Ball is preferred, this exercise can also be completed with a dumbbell (held sideways), kettlebell or anything else heavy.

    How to do it:

    This is a variation on the traditional wood chop. You will need a medicine ball or other heavy weight.

    Personal trainer lifting a medicine ball
    Bobby trains six days a week, paring it back or ramping it up depending on the movie he’s working on.(Picture: Centr)

    Begin standing, legs hips-width apart and holding the ball in front of your chest.

    Raise the ball straight above your head, then back down as you squat and tap the ball on the ground to the right of your body.

    Raise back up to the starting position then complete on the other side.

    Bear Crawl

    While kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine balls are useful tools when it comes to completing a well-rounded program, sometimes your own body is all you need.

    Crawling exercises are used to build whole body strength, balance and coordination.

    Additionally, the Bear Crawl is performed at speed to increase the amount of energy burned.

    Regardless of your training goal, the Bear Crawl is a valuable inclusion to your program.

    How to do it:

    From a squatting position, your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, place both hands on the ground so your body forms a kind of table – resting on your toes, your knees hovering above the ground and your back flat.

    From here, crawl forward on your hands and toes, with your feet and knees kicking out a little wider than your hands to generate speed.

    Then push backwards on hands and toes to return to the start.

    Arch Hold Swims

    When it comes to body-weight training, exercises for the back can sometimes be overlooked. However, strengthening these muscles is important for shoulder health and promoting good posture.

    Plus, Arch Hold Swims with a static extension of the hips and upper back strengthen the glutes and core.

    The ‘swimming’ movements performed with the arms will have you feeling the burn in no time.

    Personal trainer holding an arch position
    Bobby’s main focus is building a strong core and solid total-body conditioning (Picture: Centr)

    How to do it:

    Take the superman position by lying on your belly and hovering your feet and arms slightly off the ground as you tense your abs and glutes.

    From here, bring your hands toward your face, bending your elbows.

    Then, straighten your arms so your hands sweep out on either side, before bringing them back to your face again and back up.

    Ensure they are hovering for the entire movement.

    You can find more of Bobby’s core-focussed workouts on Chris Hemsworth’s new fitness app Centr

    MORE: Last minute tips for running the London Marathon

    MORE: How to do the perfect dumbbell burpee

    MORE: How to do assisted pull-ups: use a resistance band to perfect your form


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    Uniqlo has a new Marvel range perfect to wear to the Endgame premier
    (Picture: Uniqlo)

    Rejoice, Avengers Endgame is finally here.

    If you’ve managed to avoid the spoilers, the rumours, and theories and now can’t wait to set your sights on the finale of the Infinity Saga then you’ve probably got your tickets booked.

    And what better to wear to the cinema than Uniqlo’s new Marvel garms?

    The Japanese fashion retailer is offering all things MCU related to celebrate the release of the latest film.

    You could be decked in a tee with Spiderman’s face or Hulk’s fist as you watch the eagerly-anticipated drama.

    New York-based artist Jason Polan has put together the new line which also boasts Venom, Captain America, Iron Man and the Avengers logo showcased on sleeves and pockets.

    The collection won’t break the bank as each tee is available for $14.90 (£10).

    If you order now, the trendy merch will arrive while all the hype is alive and kicking.

    Avengers t-shirt
    (Picture: Uniqlo)

    The Uniqlo UT Spring/Summer 2019 collection features T-shirts in black, white, red, orange, navy, grey, and blue.

    You’ll be spoilt for choice as there are over 14 different designs to pick from, depending on your loyalties to the heroes.

    Artist Jason, who’s been drawing Marvel characters since he was a child, was delighted to be able to make the designs.

    Spiderman print t-shirt
    (Picture: Uniqlo)

    ‘I think I have always wanted to be an artist, probably because I never thought there was really any other option,’ he told Uniqlo.

    ‘I wasn’t quite sure what the logistics of it would be but drawing and doing art-related projects were what I enjoyed most.

    ‘Spider-Man was my first favourite Marvel superhero. I liked how he looked, how he could fly through the air, his red-and-blue costume, the scenes in New York City, and so many other things.

    ‘I am not sure I thought about it too much, but looking back on it now, I bet I also liked that Peter Parker wasn’t much older than me.’

    The Marvel Comics x Uniqlo UT Collaboration is available online.

    MORE: Orgasms, assemble: You can now get Avengers themed sex toys

    MORE: I made a 16th century shirt and it taught me about the crisis of fast fashion


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    game of thrones daenerys dragon egg
    (Picture: HBO)

    Parents-to-be pondering over how to reveal the gender of their unborn baby might be struggle – there are just so many ways to do it. Remember the gender reveal lasagne?

    But worry no more if you’re a Game of Thrones fans because now you can use dragon eggs to break the news.

    Amazon is selling colour-changing eggs that turn blue or pink (though it’s possible to get rainbow ones) to be used for gender reveal parties.

    The handmade eggs are available for $45 (£34) and change colour when exposed to heat.

    First-time parents (let’s be honest, gender reveals are for the first child) can use their body temperature, a hair dryer, dip the egg in warm water, or position it towards sunlight to reveal the colour.

    And the good news is you can keep it for future pregnancies as the eggs are reusable.

    Gender-revealing dragon eggs make sense, considering the rise of GOT inspired baby names such as Arya and Khaleesi.

    Game of Thrones fans can now use dragon eggs for gender reveal parties
    (Picture: Amazon)

    Thankfully the eggs will not hatch into mini dragons. Babies and dragons do not mix well.

    ‘Just like eggs in nature, there are slight differences to each egg. Every egg is unique,’ explains the product description.

    There are around 400 metal scales on a four-inch egg, that are hand painted and individually placed with a main colour and an accent colour to make the eggs look magical.

    Metal scales on fake dragon egg change colour when exposed to heat
    (Picture: Amazon)

    You can get the egg to change from its default brown hue to pink or blue (which you’ll have to select online) by simply rubbing your hands on it.

    If you want to use it for subsequent children or just as memorabilia, place it in the fridge for it to restore its original colour.

    Those not expecting a child but wanting to show their commitment to the Seven Kingdoms can also get red, orange, or rainbow colours and use their egg as decoration.

    MORE: Urban Decay is launching a Game of Thrones themed makeup collection

    MORE: Morrisons launches a Game of Thrones themed Easter egg

    MORE: Game of Thrones themed hotel is made entirely out of ice


    game of thrones daenerys dragon egggame of thrones daenerys dragon egg

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    Mum who fell on hair curler and burnt her face during epileptic attack wants people to look beyond the scars
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Mum-of-three Brittney Sullivan was getting ready for work one day when she had an epileptic fit. She was curling her hair in her bathroom and fell face down on the heated tool.

    The 32-year-old, from Texas, was later found by eight-year-old daughter Makennah.

    Brittney, who was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years prior, had third-degree burns and needed six operations including a full skin graft.

    She had to have a skin expander inserted for four months to reconstruct her face. Thankfully, despite the curlers burning her right eyelid, Brittney can still see out of the eye.

    When she woke up the next morning, Brittney cried all day and wondered whether her husband would still find her attractive. She worried her appearance would scare her children.

    But after coming to terms with her scars, Brittney is sharing her story to show people beauty isn’t skin deep.

    Britteny's swollen face
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘When I found out the extent of my injuries I cried and thought I’m never going to be beautiful,’ she said.

    ‘I didn’t want to see myself in the mirror. It took me a week before I could look.

    ‘It’s not scary using heated hair stylers – I’m a lot more cautious but not scared.’

    ‘I teach my daughters the dangers but I don’t want them to be afraid because of what happened to me.’

    Britteny at the hospital where she stayed for 12 days
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Brittney has had eight seizures since the accident and has continued to use hair curlers and straighteners.

    It’s still taking a lot of work to repair her eyelid.

    ‘In January this year I had surgery to have my eyelids and nose and lip repaired, however the skin grafts didn’t take,’ added Brittney.

    ‘I had my eyelid redone because of that, and four days later doctors repaired my bottom eyelid. The worst surgery was the first full skin graft – I’ve got used to the others.’

    Britteny at the hospital where she stayed for 12 days
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Brittney started an online support group called Beauty Within Brittney where she inspires people to look beyond her scars.

    She said: ‘Once I finally saw myself in hospital, I just thought “I’m tired of being insecure and so I’m going to be beautiful and show everyone the beauty within me”.

    Britteny with daughter Makennah who found her in the bathroom
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘Through this, I support others to find their beauty – no matter how different they are.

    ‘I am beautiful no matter my weight, my looks or my scars. Everyone should see the beauty within themselves.

    ‘I may have called the support group Beauty Within Brittney, but I want people to take my name out of it and put their name in.’

    MORE: I want to educate the beauty industry on how to treat burns survivors like me

    MORE: Woman tattoos her vitiligo marks to honour her Ghanaian heritage before her skin turns all white

    MORE: Man born with facial birthmark says it’s a hate crime to make comments against those with scars and marks


    A mum needed skin grafts after falling face first onto hot curliA mum needed skin grafts after falling face first onto hot curli

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    Where to get reusable straws from
    (Picture: AMAZON, EcoStrawz and Waitrose)

    There has been uproar ever since McDonald’s ditched its plastic straws for cardboard ones in a bid to crack down on plastic-use.

    People have been taking to Twitter to complain about how the straws become soggy, and how difficult it is to drink a milkshake using them.

    People have become so upset that a petition to bring back the plastic straws has been started, and has over 34,000 signatures already.

    Thankfully there are many alternatives to ensure you can enjoy a McDonald’s milkshake without contributing to plastic waste.

    We’ve collated a few of the best reusable straws available below, which are all pretty cheap considering they’re designed to last forever, to help you find something to make sure you never have to struggle with a McDonald’s milkshake again.

    Natural Wheat Drinking Straws, £3.49 for 50

    These straws are made from natural wheat
    (Picture: EcoStrawz)

    These straws are said to add a ‘rustic and natural touch’ to your drink, and are completely sustainable.

    They’re made from nothing other than wheat, making them disposable, yet biodegradale and composable. These straws can also be easily cut down if you requre a specific length.

    Unlike paper and cardboard alternatives, the straws feature a naturally non-porous finish, meaning they don’t disintergrate or become soggy.

    Reusuable silicone straws, £5.99 for a packet of six

    These reusable silicone straws are cute
    (Picture: Amazon)

    These colourful straws are made using BPA free silicone and are 100% safe to use.

    They are extra wide in diameter and can be used for both warm and cold drinks, including thick drinks like milkshakes.

    The straws fit any size cups and tumblers, and are both flexible and firm.

    They’re also safe for delicate mouths and teeth.

    Joie Reusable Straws, £2.50 for a packet of four

    Asda's reusable straws cost £2
    (Picture: Asda)

    These straws are easy to locate as they are sold in Asda. They were made to ‘be kind to the environment and reduce plastic waste’ and are made from metal. They’re both eco-friendly and reusable.

    Handmade glass straws with coloured tips – set of five for £11.95

    These glass straws come with coloured tips
    (Picture: Amazon)

    These straws are handmade from non-toxic glass which is safe for drinking both hot and cold drinks.

    They are unlikely to break due to the thick glass used and they come with two full-length brushes to help you remove any clogging and to keep the straws clean.

    Don’t panic – we’ve already created a guide on how to properly clean a reusable straw.

    Natural bamboo straws, £4.99

    These straws are made from 100% natural bamboo
    (Picture: EchoStrawz)

    These lightweight natrual bamboo drinking straws are made from bamboo and are sourced from sustainable, panda-fee forests in China.

    Their natural composition ensures each straw provides a ‘lovely unique and rustic addition to your drink of choice.’

    The straws can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher, though to prolong their life it’s recommended you wash them by hand.

    Stainless steel drinking straws, £7.99 for a pack of eight

    Stainless steel straws, £7.99 for a pack of eight
    (Picture: Amazon)

    These straws are made of top grade stainless steel which is solid, durable, crush-proof, scratch-proof and rust free.

    The straws come in rose gold and fit most tall travel mugs, tumblers, and glasses.

    They also come with two cleaning brushes and are dishwasher safe, strong and reusable.

    Waitrose resuable straws, £2 for a pack of six

    Waitrose straws, £2.50 for a packet of six
    (Picture: Waitrose)

    As well as being handy these straws are pretty as they come in red, blue and green candy-striped designs.

    They’re made from plastic, but don’t worry as they are reusable and still help to cut down on plastic use.

    Copper drinking straws, £8.95 for eight

    Copper straws, packet of 8 for £8.95
    (Picture: Amazon.co.uk)

    These straws are made from high quality copper plated stainless steel and feature uniquely rolled sipping ends and an anti-scratch coating, meaning they are completely odourless and free of taste.

    They come complete with a cotton drawstring storage pouch and a cleaning brush.

    MORE: Keep your spouse happy and you’ll live longer – science says so

    MORE: Uber Eats launches limited edition Pink Wednesday menu and it’s so fetch


    Where to get reusable straws fromWhere to get reusable straws from

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