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

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    how i save: bianca
    Bianca earns £35k a year but only has £300 saved (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    You’re not alone if saving up money feels impossible.

    Whether you’re stashing money for a deposit on a house, a holiday, or for the looming threat of an unexpected emergency, it can be tough to rein in your spending and put cash away.

    It’s even tougher when you feel completely overwhelmed by the concept of budgeting, having had no financial education of any sort (oh, hey, that’s most of us).

    To get a bigger conversation going around personal finance, we take a look inside a different person’s spending and saving each week for our series, How I Save.

    After looking at how they use their money, we get some expert advice on how they can save better, and how we can learn from where they’re going wrong.

    This week we’re going inside the bank accounts of Bianca (not her real name), a junior marketing manager living in London.

    How Bianca saves:

    I earn £35,000 a year. Less than a year ago I was earning £20,000, but thanks to a promotion and a new job I finally feel like I can live somewhat comfortably and save every month.

    In my savings account right now I have around £300. It hurts to look at.

    I recently had to buy a car for my new commute which is why I am left with almost nothing.  I live in London but work in Surrey, which means I commute an hour each way by car every day.

    I’m saving to have money ‘just in case’. I do like to set aside money for holidays but don’t have any coming up at the moment.

    The main way I save is by trying not to touch the money on by bank account after I’ve paid for my rent and bill’s and transferred living expenses to my Monzo account.

    My boyfriend and I have a joint account that we use to pay for rent, bills, food that we cook at the flat or any meals we have throughout the month. This is around £950 but somehow, we always end up needing to add more (our rent is £1,400 total plus bills).

    Then I transfer £350 to my Monzo card for canteen lunches, petrol, and any other extra expenses I might have like clothes, makeup etc.

    Up until now, I struggled with saving because my salary was too low to allow me to save.

    Now that I have some spare money at the end of the month, I need to be wise with money. I don’t consider myself a big spender and I barely go out so save on that, but I can’t help feeling guilty when I buy clothes (my guilty pleasure), makeup or something for the house.

    Here are some ways to prevent a panic attack
    She finds saving tricky, even after a big salary bump (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    How Bianca spends:

    Monthly expenses:

    • £700 rent,
    • around £100 bills
    • £120 petrol
    • £53 phone bill

    A week of spending:

    Monday: I budget for £90-£100 maximum each week, but this changes massively from week to week.

    I normally eat breakfast and lunch from my work canteen because it’s really cheap (breakfast is around £1 and lunch £3). I top up my card every two weeks with £40. I had topped up last week so didn’t have to this week.

    Bought some groceries at Lidl for the week (£15) using our joint account

    Tuesday: Breakfast and lunch at canteen, around £4. Booked a pilates class for Sunday morning (£20). I usually go to pilates once every week or every second week.

    Wednesday: Breakfast and lunch at canteen, £4. Picked up a few groceries from Lidl for £10 and paid with joint account.

    Thursday: I didn’t drive to work today, a one-way train ticket to Surrey was £11. I had a work meeting in the afternoon so they covered by travel back to London

    Friday: I work from home on Fridays but had to go to the hospital in the morning (£7 for tube). I ordered takeaway for lunch for £10. It was the first time I did in months!

    Saturday: Spent the day with family in central London and they were nice enough to pay for the meals, so only spent £7 on the tube and £2.50 for an olive bread stick.

    Sunday: Spent £51 to fill up the car’s petrol tank. I do this twice a month and it covers transport to Surrey and back for the four days a week I drive to work.

    Total spent this week: £145.50

    How Bianca could save:

    We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Bianca could save better.

    Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice. Especially on a London budget.

    Main vice:

    At £20 under your own weekly budget, and £17.50 under your joint budget, I’m pretty sure it’s not you overspending on the joint card. Not that I’m pointing fingers, but I definitely am. It’s your partner. Tell them I said so.

    Get a financial tracking app on the case to bring home this argument with glorious, statistical proof.

    Where you’re going wrong:

    The reverse commute is an unusual tactic for saving money, but even that isn’t throwing you off budget. You’re killing it (while simultaneously taking a lot of guilt for no reason)

    Your idea of a splurge is a bread stick, you absolutely do not get to feel any shame.

    A flaw in moving £350 to your Monzo card each month is you’ve only got £150 mentally to work with. £200 of that is already accounted for in your petrol and canteen budget.

    You’re such a consistent spender that you can basically knock off 80% of your spends as predictable. Lets make the official move to calling these bills and cut the middle man.

    Because you’ve not moving your savings out of your main account, every pound you spend on your card mentally cuts into your potentially saving. This has clearly worked for you, but you’re making yourself feel shit for no reason.

    Let’s set aside some fun money and stop referring to clothes and things you enjoy as expenses.

    Budget plan:

    For this I’m ignoring the £950 loaded onto your joint card. Ready?

    Safe to budget: £350 a month

    These are your bills (and fake bills: aka your gorgeously consistent spends). Phone, petrol, lunches, fitness classes all land here (of which I’ve factored in three a week). Let this money hang out in your main account

    Safe to spend: £100 a month/ £25 a month

    A cushion for expenses, emergency tubes & unexpected costs

    Safe to burn: £300 a month/ £70 a week / £10 a day

    Get out the orange party card! You may only use this with reckless abandon. Snacks. Clothes. Tiny baskets for your house. Midweek takeouts, you name it.

    Basically: stop paying for your regular payments with this card – as you clearly don’t need help tracking these. If this feels too much, or you find you’ve got leftovers, put it back in your main account to boost your cushion.

    Safe to save: £500 a month

    Move somewhere high interest as soon as your paycheck comes in and attempt not to touch until you’ve got a saving goal in mind.

    Go have fun, you’ve earned it.

    How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: How I Save: The freelance writer in London who earns £31k a year and has £12 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The PR account manager in Nottingham who earns £24.5k and has nothing saved

    MORE: How I Save: The graphic designer who left a £27k salary to go freelance and has £1,338 saved


    How I save: biancaHow I save: bianca

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    The fruit and veg aisle in Sainsbury's
    Customers will be encouraged to bring their own bags for loose fruit and veg (Picture: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Supermarkets are already making strides to cut down on single use plastic.

    Now Sainsbury’s has announced they will be the first to cut out plastic bags for loose fruit, veg and bakery items.

    From September, you can pick up paper bags for loose bakery items in store and if you are buying loose fruit and vegetables, you can either bring your own bag or buy a re-usable bag made from recycled materials.

    It’s part of their plan to cut a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year – bringing the total reduction of non-recycable plastic to over 10,000 tonnes.

    The supermarket is also removing plastic cutlery from their stores and removing plastic trays for asparagus, sweetcorn, tomatoes and carrots, the plastic lids from cream pots and plastic sleeves from herb pots.

    They are planning to replace non-recyclable plastic including black plastic trays, plastic film on fruit and veg, pvc and polystyrene trays and plastic trays for eggs with recycable alternatives.

    Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: ‘We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores. Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.’

    Earlier this week, Waitrose said they would introduce areas for customers to fill their own containers.

    The store will offer loose fruit and veg, wine, beer, coffee, rice, pasta and even frozen fruit in their refill trial.

    There’s still more to do to cut out single use plastic but we’re making steps in the right direction.

    MORE: White meat is ‘just as bad’ for you as red meat

    MORE: Woman’s breastfeeding hack helps mums produce more milk when using a pump


    J Sainsbury Plc Chief Executive Officer Mike Coupe Tours Inside A New Sainsbury Plc SuperstoreJ Sainsbury Plc Chief Executive Officer Mike Coupe Tours Inside A New Sainsbury Plc Superstore

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    Sasha came up with the genius hack
    Why didn’t we think of this ourselves? (Picture: Twitter)

    A woman has been asked whether she’s from the future for a recent tweet about a holiday hack.

    Sasha took to Twitter to ask whether she was the only person to take extenstion leads on holiday, instead of spending money on loads of plug adaptors.

    She said: ‘Am I the only person who takes an extension lead on holiday instead of taking a dozen plug adapters’.

    The tweet received more than 9,000 likes and loads of comments from people who couldn’t believe they hadn’t thought of the hack themselves:

    Other people added that they were already clued up on the idea, and that they had been doing it for years – with some shocked that people didn’t already know about it.

    But we’re pretty shook ourselves – just think of all the time and money spent on trying to find the correct adaptors – when we could’ve been getting an all-in-one the whole time.

    Taking an adaptor isn’t the only handy holiday hack out there.

    If you’re one of those people who takes multiple items of clothing away with them knowing full well there’s no way you’ll get through it all (yes, we’re guilty) then rolling your clothes into your suitcase instead of folding them is a great way to fit as much in as possible – just be careful of the weight limit.

    Want to hide your valuables somewhere? Clean out a bottle of suncream and store them in there – or if it’s just a little bit of money you could even empty an old lipstick and roll a note in there.

    Sick of getting sand in your toes on the beach? Throwing some baby powder in between your toes will help get it right out, by drying it out so it’s easier to shake off.

    Of course, all holiday hacks are brilliant – there’s nothing better than making our travels as easy as possible – but taking an adaptor with you is probably up there with one of the best.

    MORE: Sainsbury’s launches scheme to remove all plastic bags for fruit, veg and bakery items

    MORE: How I Save: The 23-year-old junior marketing manager who earns £35k but only has £300 saved


    Woman reveals her clever hack to avoid taking a 'dozen' adaptors on holiday by packing an extension lead instead - and sends Twitter into meltdown Sasha from Nottingham picture:@sashals_ METROGRABWoman reveals her clever hack to avoid taking a 'dozen' adaptors on holiday by packing an extension lead instead - and sends Twitter into meltdown Sasha from Nottingham picture:@sashals_ METROGRAB

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    Best friends doing fun things together wearing their old wedding dresses
    Sarah and Julie have been divorced since 2017 and regularly wear their old wedding dresses on nights out (Picture: MDW Features/@Itsonlyadress)

    Best friends Julie Frug and Sarah Kralowski, respectively from Illinois and Michigan, have lots in common.

    Cheating husbands is one of those things.

    To help one another get over the infidelity, Julie and Sarah have been wearing their wedding dresses casually on nights out together.

    Self-employed Julie, 46, met hairstylist Sarah, 33, at a hair salon in 2012 when they were both married. A few years later, Julie discovered that her husband had cheated on her more than once.

    Sarah consoled Julie at the time and sadly found that her own husband had been unfaithful too just months later.

    In January 2017 Julie decided to get a divorce, with Sarah following suit a few months later.

    Now, instead of selling their wedding dresses, the best friends have decided to document wearing their gowns on nights out, eating fried chicken, playing in the park, and drinking some risky red wine.

    Sarah and Julie with their feet up on the sofa, wearing white wedding dresses
    The two became friends after Sarah cut Julie’s hair, but they didn’t realise that their mutual divorces would soon bring them closer (Picture: MDW Features/@Itsonlyadress)

    Julie struggled to donate her 20-year-old gown: the only company willing to take it in repurposes dresses to be used to bury babies who are stillborn.

    She wanted her £650 dress’s last purpose to be a happy one and encouraged Sarah to do something with her Vera Wang bridal outfit too.

    Sarah couldn’t bear to part with her stunning wedding dress as it was too important to her.

    Julie on her wedding day in 1998
    Julie on her wedding day in 1998 (Picture: MDW Features/@Itsonlyadress)

    While discussing what to do with the gowns, the pair decided to wear them and pose doing random things in their houses, creating their Instagram page, @itsonlyadress where they post photos of themselves wearing their beloved wedding outfits.

    They eventually took the dresses outside the house, donning them on nights out.

    While the shenanigans are partly to enjoy being single again, the duo also wants to convey the message that men and women shouldn’t feel ashamed of being divorced, nor should they feel any shame for their marriage not working out.

    ‘Too many people let the fear of being divorced impact their lives, so there’s a veil of shame or a feeling of failure that comes with divorce,’ said Sarah.

    The former brides wearing facemasks while lying in bed wearing wedding dresses
    They don’t mind getting dirty while wearing the traditional gowns  (Picture: MDW Features/@Itsonlyadress)
    Sarah and Julie enjoying doughnuts in their dresses
    Sarah and Julie also share the pictures to destigmatise divorce  (Picture: MDW Features/@Itsonlyadress)

    ‘Divorce was the best thing to happen to both of us, although it was hard to see in the beginning.

    ‘Creating new memories with the dresses has helped us both mentally as we can’t put them on without giggling. We rarely think about the first time we wore those dresses because now we laugh at the silly things we’ve done in them.

    ‘We have found a lot of happiness after going through hell by finding humour doing funny things in our old wedding dresses, and hope we inspire others with our posts.

    ‘Creating new memories with the dresses has helped us both mentally as we can’t put them on without giggling. We rarely think about the first time we wore those dresses because now we laugh at the silly things we’ve done in them.

    ‘We’ve gone out in public wearing the dresses to a local park, and people stared at us and some even left the vicinity.

    ‘We want men and women to know that they are not alone in the struggle to get through divorce. Don’t look at it as a failure, instead look at it as a brand new beginning with fun chapters to write in post-divorce lives.

    ‘It’s an opportunity to create new memories with things that have bad ones tied to them.

    ‘The newfound freedom is invigorating.

    ‘We want to show people that they don’t need to look at things or places connected to their marriage with deep hatred and hurt. You can just change the memory and make it positive or funny.

    MORE: Bride’s shock at groom’s ex turning up to his marriage in wedding dress

    MORE: Woman who said bride’s wedding dress looked like a ‘table cloth’ is slammed for ‘fat shaming’

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


    Wedding dress divorceWedding dress divorce

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    Flat-faced cats such as Persians face serious health problems
    Flat-faced cats such as Persians face serious health problems (Picture: Getty)

    Cats with smushed up faces are awfully cute, but ticking off the trend for flat-faced felines comes at a cost.

    And no, we don’t just mean the fees for buying a pedigree.

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has warned that cats are suffering thanks to being bred to look a certain way, often requiring surgery to help them breathe.

    The warning comes after six flat-faced cats arrived at the centre in the same week, with all but the youngest two (a pair of three-week-old kittens) requiring medical treatment for breed-related issues.

    There are a few different cat breeds that cause the flat faces linked to genetic health issues, but the breed that most often requires medical attention at Battersea is the Persian.

    One Persian cat at the clinic is Rucca, who arrived at the centre with severe eye problems. His flat face had resulted in chronic ulceration of his eye, requiring total removal.

    Persian cat Rucca needed to have one of his eyes removed thanks to complications due to his breed
    Rucca needed to have one of his eyes removed thanks to complications due to his breed (Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)

    Humphrey the cat faced a similar issue. Beneath his fur the three-year-old cat had excessive skin folds around his eyes, which led to painful dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and weeping eyes that needed daily cleaning.

    Cee, a four-year-old Persian currently living at Battersea’s London cattery, is waiting for surgery to help her breathe, as her breed makes that difficult. She will need an operation to widen her nostrils to allow her to take in air.

    While charities like Battersea do everything they can to help these cats, many of the problems they face cannot be cured and they will continue to face a level of discomfort or health issues for the rest of their lives.

    Persian cat Cee may require surgery to widen her nostrils
    Persian cat Cee may require surgery to widen her nostrils (Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)

    That means cats are going through pain and unhappiness, all because we think they’ll be cuter if they have flatter faces.

    This is yet another reason why it’s so vital to adopt not shop, and open your heart to mixed breed cats rather than paying big money for pedigrees.

    Battersea’s head vet Shaun Opperman said: ‘At Battersea we treat our animals for a wide variety of health issues, a number of which are specifically related to how these animals have been bred to look.

    ‘In an apparent quest to make them look increasingly photogenic or fashionable, these cats can sadly spend their whole lives suffering with a range of health problems ranging from matted fur and eye infections to difficulty breathing and degenerative diseases.

    persian cat Rucca during surgery
    Rucca during surgery (Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)

    ‘If it weren’t for the unrelated circumstances that brought these cats to Battersea, they would have potentially continued suffering for the rest of their lives, possibly without their owners ever believing anything was wrong.

    ‘With many of the pedigree cats that are brought to us, we can see that the owners clearly loved their pets, however their lack of breed knowledge means that they have unknowingly neglected their care, such as not grooming often enough or failing to consult a vet at the right time.

    ‘As with any type of cat, pedigrees can of course make wonderful pets for the right owners, however we would urge anyone thinking of adding a cat to the family to first consider adopting from a rescue like Battersea.

    ‘If you do have your heart set on buying a cat, do your research first and ensure that you make a decision based on your lifestyle and an individual cat’s needs, rather than what might get the most likes on Instagram.’

    Send us your cat stories!

    As the media partners of CatFest, coming to London on 29 June, we're excited to share loads of stories about brilliant cats.

    All cats are wonderful, of course, but if you have a story of a truly exceptional kitty, we want to hear it.

    We're talking about lifesaving cats, cats who've overcome challenges, kitties who've changed things for the better.

    If you've got a story to share, send us an email at ellen.scott@metro.co.uk with the details and pictures.

    To book your tickets to CatFest, do head over to Eventbrite.

    MORE: Photographer takes stunning portraits of black cats and dogs to get more of them adopted

    MORE: It’s not a good idea to make homemade food for your cats

    MORE: Puppy has his work cut out as latest recruit in owner’s thatching business


    Persian cat sitting inside a brown cardboard boxPersian cat sitting inside a brown cardboard box

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    The lip pencil is free today
    You can get the free lip pencil today only (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    Attention, Charlotte Tilbury fans: Your favourite beauty brand is giving away a free lip pencil for today only.

    Charlotte Tilbury is giving away a free Pillow Talk Lip Cheat – but here’s the catch: you have to spend £59 on the website first.

    So yes, you do technically get a free lip pencil, but you’ll have to decide whether you need nearly £60 of makeup first (or whether you have that kind of cash to spare).

    The full-size, bestselling pencil usually costs £16, so it is a pretty good deal – and it’s nude in colour, meaning it will suit multiple makeup looks.

    This pencil is different to a regular liner, as it features a waterproof gel-like formula which evens out your lip line instead of making it harshly stand out.

    The pencil is available online
    The pencil usually costs £16 (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

    According to Charlotte Tilbury, the liner will ‘perfect your lip shape’ and make your lipstick stay in place all day, and smoothes over texture for a seamless line, which will give you a fuller pout.

    It also apparently lasts up to six hours with no smudging, and its waterproof formula means there is no ‘feathering or transfer’.

    The product description reads: ‘On everyone’s lips right now, this dreamy, nude-pink lip liner is Charlotte’s backstage beauty secret!

    ‘Creating MAKEUP MANIA across the globe, Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk has a waterproof, velvety formula that glides over skin, helping to re-shape and re-size the appearance of your lips.

    ‘The barely-there nude shade flatters all skin tones and effortlessly balances out the look of your lips.’

    So, if you’ve got £59 to spare go forth and grab your free lip pencil – the offer ends tomorrow morning.

    MORE: NYX launches affordable cannabis infused makeup collection

    MORE: Love Island has launched its very own makeup collection


    SEI_72530664SEI_72530664

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    Condoms with word Decolonising Contraception
    Decolonising Contraception is organising the first sex festival for people of colour (Picture: Decolonising Contraception)

    Academics and social media users often float the word decolonising. It means undoing the effects of colonisation which insidiously seep into many aspects of certain people’s lives.

    Sexual health is one of those things.

    For black and brown people, there are additional barriers to accessing health services.

    There is empirical evidence to show that black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans but overdiagnosed with mental illnesses.

    There are huge health disparities, too, when it comes to sexual reproductive health, from higher rates of STIs and HIV to delayed diagnosis of cervical and prostate cancer.

    Exploring these is the collective, Decolonising Contraception.

    The group doesn’t just talk all things contraception, it is looking to set up the first sex festival aimed at people of colour.

    The one-day festival aims to provide a fun and friendly space for people of colour to discuss sex, pleasure and overall wellbeing.

    Dr Annabel Sowemimo and another member of the Decolonising Contraception team
    Dr Annabel Sowemimo started Decolonising Contraception to look at how black and brown communities are left out of the sex-positive movement (Picture: Dr Annabel Sowemimo)

    Founder of Decolonising Contraception, Dr Annabel Sowemimo, told Metro.co.uk she wanted to set up the organisation to demystify sexuality.

    ‘My role is to create events that bring together the public, sex educators, clinicians and researchers so that people of colour can access the health information that they require in a fun, safe and accessible way,’ she said.

    At the moment Dr Sowemimo’s team is crowdfunding to put together the festival, set to take place in February 2020.

    The event will feature workshops, panels, performances and stalls all targeting the specific sexual needs of minority groups.

    ‘Both black and brown women have a low uptake of cervical screening and black men present with prostate cancer at very advanced stages,’ added Dr Sowemimo.

    ‘Then there is how pleasure is constructed – as a young British-Nigerian, these are conversations we were told not to have.’

    Dr Annabel Sowemimo delivering talk
    Decolonising Contraception holds talks across London to demystify sexual wellbeing (Picture: Dr Annabel Sowemimo)

    She added that often people don’t want to talk about the historical and cultural variables that drive the differences between reproductive health for people of colour and white people.

    ‘When looking at the pleasure and wellbeing industry, they often lack diversity and there are very few discussions pertaining to the needs of black and brown people,’ she tells us.

    The events are set to be free and also open to non people of colour too but certain talks will be a safe space, meaning only open to those of a certain minority backgrounds.

    Decolonising Contraception hosts a variety of panel discussions and events and hope that their sex fest will invite others to explore their relationship with sex.

    You can support their crowdfunding campaign through Crowdfunder.

    MORE: It’s time to tackle the racism that lurks in our classrooms, starting with the map of the world

    MORE: MenTal(k) Health: ‘We need to invest in our health in the same way we invest in our finances’

    MORE: Sikh bisexual scientist turns his turban into a rainbow flag for Pride Month


    58732969_621469528359713_3022816885075869696_n-239558732969_621469528359713_3022816885075869696_n-2395

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    No hands restaurant The world?s largest diners? club, tastecard, is to launch its first pop-up restaurant in London. The ?Hands Off!? restaurant will allow your evening to be taken care of entirely with servers feeding you and, if you?re thirsty, helping you out with a paper straw to your lips. Picture: supplied metro.co.uk
    You don’t have to lift a finger (Picture: tastecard)

    Going out for dinner is a treat because it means you don’t have to cook or wash up.

    But this restaurant is offering an experience that will require even less effort.

    You can sit back while servers feed you your meal using chopsticks and even lift your glass to your lips to you can take a sip.

    Launched by the world’s largest diners’ club tastecard, the pop-up restaurant is aptly called ‘Hands Off!’.

    It will run from 11-14 June from 7pm-10pm at 71 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 8AB

    It is inspired by the Bangkok tradition where it is popular for guests to be honoured, treated with the upmost respect and notably, served by the hosts.

    You need a ticket to attend so you do need to at least make the effort to plan in advance but the rest will be done for you.

    No hands restaurant The world?s largest diners? club, tastecard, is to launch its first pop-up restaurant in London. The ?Hands Off!? restaurant will allow your evening to be taken care of entirely with servers feeding you and, if you?re thirsty, helping you out with a paper straw to your lips. Picture: supplied metro.co.uk
    Staff are on hand to cater to every need (Picture: tastecard)

    Tickets cost £20 for the tasting menu with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity Mary’s Meals, who provide food to some of the world’s poorest children.

    And the meal you will be fed sounds delicious – it’s a set tasting menu by partner restaurant Feng Sushi.

    It includes Nippon ‘mock’ duck (a Chinese pancake, with cucumber, spring onion and caramelised tofu and hoisin sauce), salmon, tuna and Japanese omelette nigiri and vegetarian rolls.

    And there’s dessert too – chocolate and strawberry mochi, which is a Japanese rice cake.

    Keeping your hands off won’t stop your mouth drooling.

    MORE: Battersea warns of serious health risks for trendy flat-faced cats

    MORE: Sainsbury’s launches scheme to remove all plastic bags for fruit, veg and bakery items


    SEI_72526044SEI_72526044

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    Relationtripping is a dating trend (that yes, we here at Metro.co.uk have just coined) that describes the act of guilt-tripping someone for not being 100% committed in the early days of dating.
    Have you been relationtripped? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    You’re on your second date when you mention you’re seeing someone else that weekend, and their face falls.

    They look absolutely miserable. They can’t believe you’d go on a date with someone else when you’re feeling such a connection. Don’t you like them? Aren’t you having a good time?

    You quickly feel absolutely awful, despite knowing full well that you’re entirely within your rights to see other people. You’ve never committed, you’re not exclusive, it shouldn’t be a big deal… but you still feel guilty.

    You’ve just been relationtripped.

    Relationtripping is a dating trend (that yes, we here at Metro.co.uk have just coined) that describes the act of guilt-tripping someone for not being 100% committed in the early days of dating.

    Get it? Relationships, but with guilt-tripping. Catchy, we know, and not to be confused with the 2017 Relationtrip, which focuses on a couples’ road trip.

    If you watch Love Island, you’ll have seen relationtripping in action last night. If you don’t, remain calm, we’ll keep this bit brief.

     Joe and Lucie talking on Love Island
    Lucie has been expertly relationtripped by Joe after two days and one kiss (Picture: ITV)

    When surfer and model Lucie went on a date with Tommy Fury (which wasn’t actually her decision, might we add), she returned to the villa to be greeted by a very pouty Joe, who was apparently heartbroken that the girl he had known for two days had interacted with another man.

    This is a pretty blatant example of relationtripping, because Lucie is literally on a reality show in which she has to engage romantically with multiple people. It’s called Love Island. The point is to find love by dating other contestants, not immediately commit to the first guy you lay eyes on.

    Also, Joe met Lucie two days beforehand. That makes his reaction quite disproportionate.

    The results of Joe’s relationtripping have been a mixed bag thus far. Lucie definitely does feel guilty (despite doing nothing wrong), having cried in the villa. But she also feels pushed away, as Joe seems a tad possessive.

    We’ll have to see how this relationtripping saga plays out over the next few days, but in the real world you can see plenty of examples.

    No, you won’t be on a dating show and made to go on a date with a boxer. But perhaps you’ll have been talking to multiple people on Tinder, and decide you need to meet them each in person before you make any decisions.

    A relationtripper will be outraged that you would be interested in anyone else but them, despite having no rights to your time or focus.

    This might happen before you’ve even *gone* on a date, or a couple weeks in when you’re not actually exclusive.

    A relationtripper will go full steam ahead, talking all about their feelings for you and how committed they are, all to make you feel guilty for not being ready to make a commitment.

    As you might expect, that’s major red flag.

    Jessica Leoni, relationship expert at dating site Illicit Encounters, said: ‘Joe has effectively signed his Love Island death warrant in the first 48 hours.

    ‘He is rightly being called out for being manipulative and getting way too heavy with poor Lucie. Viewers won’t like it and Joe will be on his way home if he is nominated.

    ‘Seeking exclusivity in the very earliest days of dating rarely ends up working out. If you feel unduly pressured to commit when you are still feeling your way, my advice is to walk away.

    ‘The rules of dating have been changed completely in the last 10 years – particularly because so many of us are meeting new partners.

    ‘We all like to graze a little before committing to a new pasture. There is nothing wrong with that.’

    Dr Becky Spelman, relationship expert at We-Vibe, agrees, noting that pressuring a relationship in the early stages can be a sign of bigger issues to come.

    A relationtripper will make you feel guilty for not being ready to commit
    A relationtripper will make you feel guilty for not being ready to commit (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Dr Spelman tells us: ‘Nobody should feel guilty about wanting to take things slowly at the beginning of a relationship – it is normal and healthy to want to take some time to get to know each other.

    ‘In the worst cases, excessive possessiveness is a red flag. It can be a sign that someone has jealousy issues – and this can sometimes escalate to dangerous behaviours such as stalking and domestic violence.

    ‘Obviously, nobody is suggesting that Joe is going to become violent merely because he feels slighted, but he does appear to have some deep-rooted issues with jealousy and possessiveness, which may be related to underlying problems with self-esteem.

    ‘This is definitely something that he should be aware of and try to get under control, because women are understandably cautious around men who have even slight tendencies in this direction.

    ‘Whatever your sex, if you find yourself taking it personally when a potential partner doesn’t commit to you right away, or feel that something is being “stolen” from you if they talk to or look at someone else with interest, you need to take a long look at your own behaviour, because the chances are that it is coming from a place of low self-esteem, and you may be vulnerable to feeling tempted to engage in damaging, or even violent, behaviour.’

    Of course, relationtripping shouldn’t be confused for your own commitmentphobia.

    A relationtripper is someone making you feel rubbish for not being committed far too early on. If they’re expecting exclusivity or the relationship hasn’t been defined after months of dating, it’s reasonable that they could feel a bit upset.

    Sometimes committing early on isn’t a bad thing. It’s down to whether you feel pressured into it or if you’re just as head over heels.

    Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship expert at Lovehoney, says: ‘Being pressured to go exclusive in a relationship can be a red flag. It does suggest a neediness which is never attractive.

    ‘But having said that, if it feels right, go for it. Just as I would never advise not sleeping with someone on the first date if that is what you want, I also wouldn’t advise against going exclusive early if that is what you both want. But it has to be mutual.

    ‘You need to judge the situation carefully and react to the signals you are getting from a new partner.

    ‘[But] applying pressure too early is never a good idea.’

    MORE: Masturbation Month: Why masturbating is good for your relationship

    MORE: The rise of digisexuality could see us falling in love with people who don’t exist


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    Illustration of a woman holding her baby bump, with flowers a pair of children's shoes and a balloon that says 'baby' in the background
    ‘As a surrogate, it’s important that the children I have given birth to know who I am and the role I played in their lives, but I don’t ever want them to think that I was their mother’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Whenever I tell someone I’m a surrogate the number one question I get asked is: ‘Don’t surrogates want to keep the baby?’

    It’s impossible for some people to imagine that you can love, nurture and care for a baby without wanting to keep it at the end. While for surrogates, it’s impossible to imagine taking a baby off its parents.

    Similarly, when intended parents join Surrogacy UK, their main concern and biggest fear is ‘what if the surrogate takes my baby?’.

    After all, current UK law recognises the surrogate and her husband as the parents of the baby, until a parental order is granted some six to 12 months later. The birth certificate names the surrogate and her husband as the parents of the baby, regardless of genetics.

    It’s as if the system was designed for surrogates to be able to keep the baby, and maybe it was when it was first introduced.

    Around 30 years ago, people thought that a maternal bond was instant with a baby you carried, but we now know that the ‘rush of love’ you feel for a child doesn’t always happen straight away, even with a genetic baby of your own that you carry yourself.

    Luckily, thanks to various campaigners, including the Surrogacy UK legal reform working group, the Law Commission is looking at how it can change the current UK laws around surrogacy.

    Its main recommendation, which is unanimously wanted by the whole surrogacy community, is that the parents of the baby will be recognised from birth.

    This means that the parents will be recognised in the hospital when the baby is being born, that they can make medical decisions and take their baby on holiday – all without the surrogate having to give her permission.

    They will be able to do something that most parents take for granted – register their own baby’s birth and be named as mother or father. It may seem something so small, but to parents who have longed for their own child for so long it’s a right of passage – their first official act as a parent.

    Unfortunately, current UK laws also present a great risk for surrogates, who fear what will happen if the parents walk away.

    It’s normal for a surrogate to form a bond with the intended parents – they spend time getting to know each other, they go through the rollercoaster of IVF together, they share the pregnancy together.

    However, surrogates act purely to be able to help someone else have their much wanted child, and to keep someone else’s baby goes against everything we believe in.

    We are merely babysitting for nine months, donating our womb and volunteering to help do something for someone who is unable to do it themselves.

    When the baby is born, surrogates look to see the joy on the parents’ faces. That’s the moment surrogates are waiting for – seeing a family created, seeing the look of love the parents have for their baby.

    Unfortunately, current UK laws also present a great risk for surrogates, who fear what will happen if the parents walk away. Surrogates are legally, financially and morally responsible for the child, for someone else’s child.

    Intended parents can walk away at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Being a parent to a child you didn’t want, hadn’t planned for and aren’t even genetically related to is a real risk under the current system and deters new surrogates from coming forward.

    The risk to them is just far too great.

    This means the current law is actually working against those undertaking surrogacy and is not fit for purpose. It doesn’t work for the surrogate or the intended parents, but more importantly it doesn’t work for the child.

    As a surrogate, it’s important that the children I have given birth to know who I am and the role I played in their lives, but I don’t ever want them to think that I was their mother.

    Those children will always have me named on their initial birth certificate as ‘mother’, which isn’t accurate and isn’t fair on their actual parents.

    They were created with love, just like any other child – they just needed a little help to grow.

    I’m just their surrogate, their carrier, their extreme babysitter and that’s special enough for me.

    MORE: Funding cuts to vasectomies are bad for men, worse for women and make no financial sense

    MORE: I froze my eggs to have a family but archaic laws mean I’m about to lose my only chance

    MORE: Surrogacy treats women as a commodity, and that makes it morally complicated


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    We’ve seen plenty of baby name lists this year.

    There were vintage names, plant themed names and royal inspired names.

    But this is a list is for those about to welcome the pitter patter of tiny paws – the Big Cat Name Survey.

    Cats Protection has released a list of the most popular pet names this year.

    They asked 34,000 people what they named their cat to track what has become the most popular.

    It’s five years since their last survey – and there has been some big changes.

    The biggest climber is the name Luna, jumping from number 42 in 2014 to third in the list of female cat names this year.

    The charity has revealed the top 100 female and male names in the Uk according to their results.

    The top 10 female cat names

    1. Poppy
    2. Molly
    3. Luna
    4. Bella
    5. Daisy
    6. Millie
    7. Rosie
    8. Tilly
    9. Willow
    10. Lily

    The top female name was Poppy, followed by Molly, Luna, Bella and Daisy.

    The top male name was Oscar, followed by Charlie, Alfie, Jasper and Milo.

    The top male cat names

    1. Oscar
    2. Charlie
    3. Alfie
    4. Jasper
    5. Milo
    6. Leo
    7. George
    8. Merlin
    9. Harry
    10. Monty

    They also looked further at the data to find the most popular name depending on the cat’s colour.

    For black cats, the most popular name is Sooty, black and white cats and often called Felix and the top name for ginger cats is Alfie.

    The most common name for grey/blue cats is Misty while tabby cats are often called Molly, torties are often called Poppy and the top name for white cats is Casper.

    If you’re looking for some more unique inspiration, some of the more unusual names on the list included Archibald von Snugglemuffin, Broccoli, Couscous the puss puss, Lord Puddington an Miss Fizzy Whiskers.

    MORE: Ever been made to feel rubbish for not being ready to commit? You’ve been relationtripped

    MORE: Battersea warns of serious health risks for trendy flat-faced cats


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    Olaplex's newest hair treatment eliminates frizz fast - here's how
    (Picture: Olaplex/ Metro)

    Calling all Olaplex lovers and salon-goers.

    If you’re fed up of frizz and covering your hair in thick treatments, you’ll love Olaplex’s new leave in repair and styling cream, No. 6 Bond Smoother (£24).

    Olaplex’s hair products are best known for their ability to strengthen even the most damaged, dry and frail hair, thanks to their patented active ingredient (Olaplex) that works on a molecular level to rebuild, soften and strengthen the bonds in the hair that are broken down by styling.

    And if Olaplex No. 3 Bond Perfector is anything to go by, their newest launch will be a must-have.

    As the name suggests, the Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother is a leave in creme that the brand claims ‘will strengthen, hydrate, moisturise and speed up blow dry time while smoothing, eliminating frizz and flyaways for up to 72 hours’ – what doesn’t it do?

    It contains the brand’s active ingredient, but according to Olaplex ‘it doesn’t replace using Olaplex No. 3 strength treatment, or having in salon Olaplex strength treatments for noticeably stronger hair.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/ByImeSfBk0o/

    The anti-frizz treatment contains vitamin E and coconut oil that will help to moisturise the hair. And well-hydrated hair, silky soft hair, is more manageable when humidity strikes.

    It can also be used to blow dry and detangle, break apart fresh curls without creating any frizz and create sleek styles without weight or crunch.

    Everything you need to know about Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother

    What hair type is it for?

    Olaplex Educator Coco Wilbanks explains that Olaplex No.6 ‘will work for you no matter what your hair type is. Just remember that a little bit does go a very long way.’

    Will it weigh my hair down?

    ‘Well, not as long as you use the amount we recommend.’

    That means a very small amount.

    Do you use it on wet, or dry hair?

    ‘The answer is both, you can use Olaplex No.6 on wet or dry hair,’ says Coco. ‘You just go ahead and apply wet or dry mid lengths to ends and style as desired.’

    Will it repair my hair?

    ‘It’s going to strengthen, hydrate and protect your hair.’

    Can I use it every day?

    Coco explained how ‘you’re more than welcome to use Olaplex No.6 every day if you want to. But you may not find you have to due to the fact our results last up to 72 hours.’

    Is it a heat protectant?

    ‘It does have heat protectant in it, but it isn’t rated for 450 degrees. So we find that Olaplex No.6 is ideal for protecting when blow drying.’

    Olaplex is now available online and in-store at Space NK. To celebrate the launch you can discover the world favourite hair brand and receive hair health advice at Olaplex Summer Hair Rehab Clinic at Space NK Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge from Thursday 13 June – Friday 14 June (11am – 7pm). 

    To book call the store on +44 207 581 2518.

    MORE: 20 of the best vegan beauty products available in the UK 2018

    MORE: Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H liquid highlighter will give you the glow of your life


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    A sweet video shows 82-year-old Maurice Smith, who has dementia, having a good singalong in the car to ‘Singing in the Rain’.

    Maurice used to sing professionally in dance bands in the 1950s and 60s, but stopped when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago.

    His support worker, Diane Vose, encouraged him to sing in the car, and she was stunned to find Maurice’s voice was still as amazing as ever.

    Diane got Maurice, from Warminster, Wiltshire, involved in a local Alzheimer’s Society charity’s ‘Music For The Mind’ singing therapy sessions.

    And now Maurice becomes a one-man dementia band once a week in the car on the way to the sessions.

    An adorable video filmed in Diane’s car shows Maurice beaming as he belts out the Gene Kelly’s ‘Singing In The Rain’.

    Diane, from Wiltshire-based charity Alzheimer’s Support, said: ‘I spend time with Maurice every week to give his wife Ann a well-earned rest. For the first few weeks we chatted a lot about football.

    Maurice in the car with his support worker
    He’s got a great voice! (Picture: Alzheimer’s Support / SWNS)

    ‘Then one day I had the radio on and he just started singing. I couldn’t believe what a wonderful voice he had.

    ‘I thought he would enjoy going to one of the charity’s Music for the Mind singing groups and there is one that meets on a Wednesday when I see Maurice.

    ‘They were blown away by Maurice. Now we go every week and we always sing in the car on the way there.

    ‘He still has an amazing voice and he is so happy when he is singing. I think it has really helped him. I love supporting Maurice and I love my job.’

    Alzheimer’s Support runs seven Music for the Mind dementia choirs across Wiltshire.

    This summer Maurice and his fellow Music for the Mind singers will be putting on a special concert to help raise funds for the charity – and we know he’ll absolutely kill it.

    MORE: Glossier Super Pure: How it works, benefits and side effects

    MORE: These are the top cat names in 2019


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    Couple exchanging rings on wedding day in front of canal
    Newly married couple Ritue and Sune decided to cool off in the canal after saying I do (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    A couple from Copenhagen, Denmark, not only wanted to commemorate their wedding day with the national colours of the country’s flag but also decided to jump into the canal after saying I do.

    Bride Ritu skipped the traditional white wedding dress and opted for a red and white gown as an ode to the Danish flag.

    Meanwhile, groom Sune went for a dapper suit, completing the look with a red bow to match his wife and demonstrate allegiance to his country.

    The couple who work together for co-living company Life X, organised their big day in a mere three weeks, opting for a super laid-back ceremony.

    The simple do saw the couple say their vows in front of the canal before they dropped a few layers and jumped in.

    Guests were also asked to come super casual, donning t-shirts, shorts, and swimming costumes for those willing to dip into the water.

    The couple took a leap into the water
    Photographer Kelley encouraged them to make the jump (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    It was the idea of photographer Kelley Hudson, who used to work for the couple, to jump into the water on the unusually warm Copenhagen day.

    ‘I worked with Ritu quite closely so when it came time to plan their wedding they asked me to photograph it,’ Kelley told Metro.co.uk.

    ‘We met to discuss the details a week beforehand and I mentioned, jokingly, that they should jump into the harbour after the ceremony because the reception space was right next to a diving spot and it would be the perfect symbol of their lives together up until this point… if it feels right, just do it.

    Bride and groom walking along canal with shoes off
    The couple jumped in, in their wedding outfits (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    ‘On the day of the wedding, it was unusually warm for Copenhagen. Many of the guests brought their bathing suits thinking that after the events died down they would take a swim.

    ‘Ritu and Sune also brought their swimsuits for a later in the evening swim but the plan was for much later.

    Bride Ritu being walked down the aisle with an older gentleman
    The small ceremony included a few close members of friends and family (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    ‘As the wine began to flow during the reception and the joyful laughs increased, I once again mentioned that they should just jump into the water and cool off… only this time a few of their friends heard me and decided it was a great idea and they should indeed jump in.’

    Kelley added that guests were a little apprehensive first and needed some cajoling. They had some concerns over the bride and groom’s outfits too.

    Guests clapping as bride and groom kiss
    The guests also came dressed super casually (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    Kelley admits they had a few worries ‘They asked “will the dress be ruined? Will Sune’s suit be ok? Will walking around in a bathing suit post jump be fine for the rest of the evening?”

    ‘Having been a wedding photographer for 15 years I told them that “dry cleaning fixes everything.” I really wanted that photo!

    The couple made sure they didn't have any valuables on them before making the leap
    The couple made sure they didn’t have any valuables on them before making the leap (Picture: Kelley Hudson)

    ‘So after encouragement from me and several friends and family members, Ritu and Sune jumped in holding hands for one of the most epic photos of my career.

    ‘After they got the photos Ritu told me she was so glad they did it, it felt like a metaphor for their entire relationship… just jump into life holding hands.’

    How cute.

    MORE: Bride and groom do Parkrun on wedding day with their guests

    MORE: Bride and groom fall in love with the bridesmaid and enter a polyamorous relationship

    MORE: Bride wears white underwear to wedding as couple get married in truck before wrestling in mud


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    The 28oz steak
    The new steak is huge (Picture: Aldi)

    When Aldi’s Big Daddy Steak was released, people went wild for it – who doesn’t want to fill their plate with a 16oz steak?

    But now, an even bigger steak is coming: The Bigger Daddy Rump Steak, which is a whopping 28oz. We know, madness.

    The steaks will be in stores from 13 June.

    They come 21-day matured and extra thick, and they’ll cost just £7.99.

    The steaks are being released to celebrate Father’s Day – so if you haven’t got enough money to take him out for a meal, we recommend cooking him one with this, instead.

    The size differences of the steaks
    Look at the size differences! (Picture: Aldi)

    In other Father’s Day news, Morrisons is launching some Gingerbread Princes to celebrate Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day as a new dad.

    The Gingerbread Prince is decorated in a military uniform, has ginger hair, and features a Union Jack and crown on the label.

    The handmade gingerbread will be available at all of Morrisons’ Cake Shop counters across the UK, and they’ll cost £1 each.

    John Cannan, Cake Shop Manager at Morrisons said: ‘We’ve created a special gingerbread biscuit to pay tribute to the royal couple, as they celebrate the Prince’s first Father’s Day.

    ‘We hope that dads across the country enjoy eating our gingerbread biscuits which are a popular product of our Cake Shop counters.’

    MORE: Please watch this elderly man with dementia singing his heart out in the car

    MORE: I carry other people’s babies but I shouldn’t be on the birth certificate


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    The message left on the scales
    Kelly’s son wrote the sweet message (Picture: Caters News)

    A self-conscious mum was left a sweet note from her son who noticed she was weighing herself every day.

    35-year-old Kelly McCarron, a mum-of-two from Perth, Australia, has changed her diet and excercise regime in a bid to lose weight, along with her husband, Ruairi, 37.

    The couple have been trying new ways to lose weight, which involves 16 hours of fasting and eight hours of eating in moderation per day.

    Kelly says she often eats for comfort and definitely steps on the scales more than she should – but her 12-year-old son, Jack, has changed her feelings towards the scales.

    Kelly said: ‘My husband and I have been trying to get fit since January, Ruarai has lost nine kilos but I haven’t.

    ‘I used to weigh 55kg but now currently weigh 64kg so I’ve put on 9kg in the last two odd years which I understand isn’t obese but I would like to get back to my old self.

    Kelly has been on a diet
    Kelly has been trying to lose weight (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘I am pretty hard on myself but when you have two children to look after, you end up putting yourself last.

    ‘Jack and Ayla, eigh, were being super helpful around the house last week which I found strange as they have never done this before.

    ‘But I thought I will enjoy it whilst I can, and then the following day I saw a piece of paper on the scales, I was going to throw it in the bin.

    ‘It read “does it matter?” and I then realised, it absolutely doesn’t – I noticed that I would mainly weigh myself when I am not feeling great about myself.

    ‘I have decided to keep the message on the scales and monitor my weight by taking pictures of myself to see the progression rather than religiously weighing myself.

    ‘Sometimes my daughter steps on and copies me and I tell her immediately to get off and remind her she doesn’t need to weigh herself.

    ‘The note from Jack made me realise, I should take my own advice and stop it also.’

    Kelly was touched by her son’s note so posted it on Facebook and it got over 1100 likes.

    The note left for Kelly
    Jack left this sweet note (Picture: Caters News)

    She adds: ‘I asked Jack why he wrote it and he said to be nice, but secretly I think it is because he wants a new Nintendo game.

    ‘Either way, his note really has helped me feel better about myself, I don’t need to lose weight it is just a healthier life I am after.

    ‘So there is no need for me to beat myself up and step on the scales daily – I shared the picture online because I thought there might be another woman out there who needed to see it.

    ‘Jack is a really good kid and he was also over the moon when I surprised him with his new game.

    ‘I want to get back to being healthier because I remember how much better I felt physically and mentally.

    ‘I also think it’s an important part of everyday life but now I will bare in mind not to dwell on my weight and to focus on being fitter.’

    MORE: Please watch this elderly man with dementia singing his heart out in the car

    MORE: I carry other people’s babies but I shouldn’t be on the birth certificate


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    ella byworth illustration of a woman sitting on the toilet
    Do you get snappy when you’re constipated? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Ever felt completely stressed out, tense, and irritated, only to realise hours later that you just really needed a poo?

    If you have, you’ve been constirated, as we’re calling it (constipated plus irate, get it?).

    Much like the realisation that you’ve been snappier than usual thanks to PMS, or being hangry, getting constirated is a natural response to feeling bunged up.

    Being constipated affects not only our physical wellbeing, but our mood, too. If you’re struggling to maintain a regular toilet schedule, it’s natural that you start to feel a tad grumpy.

    There’s a scientific reason for that.

    A significant portion of the body’s serotonin – known as the happy hormone – is produced in the gut. So when your bowel movements are off kilter, your mood will be too.

    Dr Gill Hart, a biochemist and the scientific director of YorkTest Laboratories, says: ‘If you’re experiencing irregular bowel activity you could indeed also encounter low mood and there are studies to back this.

    ‘The gut is home to hundreds of trillions of microorganisms which form part of the gut-microbiome-brain-axis.

    ‘Mood states have been linked with the composition of the microbiome in mentally and physically healthy adults.

    ‘If your gut is unhappy, it’s likely to affect your overall wellbeing too, physically and mentally.

    All the ways you're pooing wrong + how to poo better
    Your gut health affects your mood (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘If things are not working consistently this can affect mood. But when constipation is finally relieved, a person’s mood is elevated as the gut is working more efficiently.’

    A sudden mood boost after a trip to the toilet makes sense, as you’re experiencing relief from the discomfort of bloating.

    Steve Horne, former president of the American Herbalists Guild, explains: ‘A person in a bad mood may actually be constipated or at least have serious issues with the health of their intestinal tract.

    ‘Researchers now realise that we have a ‘gut brain’ that produces neurotransmitters that directly influence our emotional state.

    ‘If you think about it, you will readily recognise that constipation impacts your mood. When you’re physically ‘full of it’ you feel weighed down.

    ‘You feel heavy and have less energy. Once you let go of it, you feel lighter and your energy and mood improve.’

    That’s the case for just the occasional constipation episode, but regular bowel issues can have a deeper impact.

    A recent study from the department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, Massachusetts, suggests the relationship between chronic diarrhoea and constipation being more common in depressed individuals.

    Illustration of a woman sat on the toilet
    Constipation is more common in people with depression (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Chronic diarrhoea was significantly more prevalent in depressed individuals than non-depressed individuals,’ says lead author Sarah Ballou.

    ‘Chronic constipation was also more common in depressed individuals than non-depressed individuals.

    ‘Mean depression scores in patients with chronic diarrhoea and with chronic constipation were significantly higher than mean depression scores for individuals with normal bowel habits.

    ‘Our findings provide support for the relationship between mood and specific bowel habits.’

    Another report conducted by microbiologist Jeroen Raes, at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, studied 1,054 Belgians to assess ‘normal’ microbiome. Out of the group, 173 had been diagnosed with depression or had scored poorly during the quality-of-life survey, indicating they had a low mood.

    Researchers compared the microbiomes with others taking part in the trial. They found two kinds of microbes, Coprococcus and Dialister, were missing from the microbiomes of the subjects who were depressed, but not the happier subjects.

    The report concluded that ‘the results provide population-scale evidence for microbiome links to mental health.’

    So we know that feeling constipated can make you constirated. But what can you do about it?

    First off, it’s vital to chat to a GP about your bowel movements if they’re regularly causing you stress. There may be a physical health issue that’s contributing to mental illness.

    You may find that chronic constipation or diarrhea is down to a food intolerance, so it’s worth keeping a poo diary to track when your bowel movements occur and how your diet affects them.

    The NHS recommends drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol, and increasing the fibre in your diet to make your number twos easier to pass.

    Regular exercise can help, too, which has the added bonus of getting those endorphins going.

    MORE: Ever been made to feel rubbish for not being ready to commit? You’ve been relationtripped

    MORE: All the ways you’re pooing wrong and how to poo better

    MORE: Everyone is pooing wrong – it’s actually unhealthy to sit on the toilet


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    Is this the strangest wedding meal you've ever seen?
    Is this the strangest wedding meal you’ve ever seen? (Picture: Facebook)

    Wedding catering can be pretty hit and miss, but we haven’t seen a guest meal quite as bizarre as this one.

    A guest at a wedding in Leeds has shared photos of a the event’s ‘luxury’ dining… featuring plain Yorkshire puddings, tuna pizza, and baked beans.

    Posting the images in a wedding shaming Facebook group, the guest wrote: ‘I don’t know if the chef of this 4 star “luxury” hotel was sick that day or on holiday – but something must have been going on.

    ‘I really appreciate the little herb on the side of the frozen Yorkshire puddings, really pushing it out there.’

    The pictures really tell the story here, so let’s take a look.

    Here’s the starter

    picture of plain yorkshire puddings served at a wedding, as shared in That's it I?m wedding shaming (non-ban happy edition)
    Please, sir, may I have some gravy? (Picture: That’s it I?m wedding shaming (non-ban happy edition)/Facebook)

    Plain. Yorkshire. Puddings.

    This is deeply offensive.

    Not even some gravy? No sauce of any description? Just a sprig of parsley for comfort in these trying times? Heartbreaking.

     

    One entree option had some interesting sides

    chicken dinner at wedding
    Can anyone figure out what’s to the left of the chicken? We are puzzled (Picture: That’s it I’m wedding shaming (non-ban happy edition)/Facebook)

    Okay, this doesn’t look as disturbing at first glance. Chicken, veg, potatoes – all grand.

    But then you look a little closer.

    Courgette stuffed with green beans served at wedding
    Very creative plating (Picture: That’s it I’m wedding shaming (non-ban happy edition)/Facebook)

    …green beans stuffed through the middle of a courgette? Why?

     

    Those who didn’t fancy chicken could have the fish

    tuna pizza, chips, and beans at wedding
    Interesting. (Picture: That’s it I’m wedding shaming (non-ban happy edition)/Facebook)

    Oh, but the fish is on a pizza that looks so dry the roof of our mouth hurts just from thinking about it.

    Served with chips and baked beans, like all your school dinner dreams come true.

    Yes, that does appear to be an empty pack of Haribo by the plate.

    Naturally, people in the Facebook group have been absolutely baffled by the wild combination of food served at the wedding.

    One person commented: ‘The Yorkshire pudding starter and dry tuna thrown on the burnt pizza is just amazing. The disc of stuffing!’

    Hey, at least it’s memorable.

    Some have suggested that the pizza option may actually be the kids’ option, as the plate is resting on some colouring-in pages. We still want an explanation for those dry Yorkshire puddings, though.

    MORE: Bride and groom wear national flag colours for wedding then jump into canal after saying I do

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    Awful wedding mealAwful wedding meal

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    (Picture: Facebook)
    One person simply said ‘yuck’ (Picture: Facebook)

    A bride and groom have been mercilessly slammed online because of the, let’s say quirky, design of their wedding cake.

    A photo of the cake was shared on a Facebook group and critics were quick to mock the giant cake, pointing out that the brown icing trimming resembled ‘skid marks’. Gross.

    The cake really is a one-of-a-kind – with a double-sided design, featuring the head and shoulders of a groom on one side, and a bride on the other.

    The two-tiered cake has been adorned with white icing for the bride’s dress, brown for the hair and tuxedo trimming and tie and a heavy black beard for the groom. It’s unusual, to say the least.

    But the online critics were not fans – the use of brown icing in particular seems to have caused the most offence, with one person simply saying ‘yuck’.

    ‘Oh took me a while to figure out what it was supposed to be, looks like dookie – straight up skid marks,’ wrote one critic.

    (Picture: Facebook)
    ‘A good idea, but the execution is lacking’ (Picture: Facebook)

    ‘Thank jeebus it’s one of a kind. There doesn’t need to be any more,’ added someone else.

    Not everyone hated it though, some just thought it wasn’t quite right for the occasion.

    ‘They’re kinda cute but not appropriate for a wedding,’ said one.

    ‘A good idea, but the execution is lacking,’ added another.

    It might not look that appetising, but at least the colours are slightly lifelike – and you can’t fault them for individuality at least.

    We’re already bored of semi-naked wedding cakes – maybe this is a breath of fresh air.

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    MORE: Guest horrified by bizarre wedding meal with plain Yorkshire puddings and baked beans

    MORE: Bride and groom wear national flag colours for wedding then jump into canal after saying I do


    \'Skidmark\' wedding cake\'Skidmark\' wedding cake

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    Woman spinning
    You’re going to have to actually turn the resistance up (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    We all know what it feels like to come out of a fitness class knowing we could have worked harder.

    It feels like such a waste – of time, money and sports kit. But sometimes you just can’t summon the motivation needed to really push yourself.

    You can feel yourself going through the motions, taking too many breaks, only pretending to turn up the resistance on your bike and hoping no one notices.

    But spin classes are too expensive not to make the most of them – if we’ve made the effort to set an early alarm and put on a damn sports bra, then we want to know we have really pushed ourselves effectively.

    So how do you do that? There is an art to being great at spinning – and it doesn’t involve being Wonder Woman-levels of fit. Actually, it’s more about mindset and preparation.

    We asked Rachele, the lead cycle instructor at Another_Space for her top tips to help you boss your next spin class.

    Arrive early to set up your bike

    We recommend you arrive a few minutes before the class begins to set up your bike.

    Having the right posture and positioning will maximise the benefits of your workout, engaging your legs,core and glutes!

    If you don’t know how best to set up your bike, don’t be afraid to ask an instructor to help.

    Master your technique

    For the best cycling technique, direct your energy towards tightening your core and ensure your weight is back as you hover over the seat.

    The class I teach incorporates weights as well as cycling, which also builds a full-body workout. I lead weighted arm sequences to tone your upper body as well as your lower body.

    Don’t slack on the resistance!

    If you want to reach your full potential during the workout then don’t slack on upping the resistance.

    Cycle classes are a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, but without enough resistance, you can wear out joints and potentially cause injury or discomfort when bouncing up and down in the saddle.

    Cycle to the beat

    My classes feature motivational soundtracks from commercial chart music to underground vibes that will release endorphins and encourage you to train harder.

    Instructors will plan tracks so the beats per minute match the pace of the class, keeping to the pace will help you get the most out of your session.

    Always stretch post-cycle

    We know you’re busy, but don’t rush off to get in the shower!

    Cycling is an intense full-body workout, so be sure to spend a few moments to wind down from the workout to avoid injury and improve flexibility.

    Your instructor will give you some stretches which focus on the key muscles including lower-leg, thigh, hip and total-body stretches.

    Another_Space also provides foam rollers for guests to use before or after class.

    The benefits of spinning

    Great cardio

    Spinning will elevate your heart rate and get you seriously sweating. It is a really effective way to improve your cardiovascular fitness levels.

    Low-impact exercise

    Spinning is great if you are recovering from an injury, or just need to take things a little more gently.

    Muscle definition

    As well as building your heart health, spinning will tone and shape your muscles – particularly in your legs and glutes.

    Mental boost

    Spinning will make you feel good. Endorphins will flood your system after a class, which will help you feel more positive and less stressed.

    Spinning is a great way to fit some efficient cardio into your schedule – you can squeeze in a 30-minute lunchtime class, go first thing in the morning or find a session after work.

    It’s really easy to find a class you love because there are boutique spinning studios all around every major city in the UK.

    And spin lovers will be delighted to know that cult brand SoulCycle has recently launched it’s first UK studio in London.

    So no excuses really.

    MORE: Workplaces should offer lunchtime spinning and yoga classes to ‘tackle obesity’

    MORE: Couple shamed for ‘skid marks’ wedding cake design

    MORE: Feeling constirated? There’s a reason you get so grumpy when you need a poo


    Gym bikeGym bike

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