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

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    Make up products
    You can now recycle beauty packaging at John Lewis (Picture: Getty)

    When it comes to recycling, you probably know what to do with your milk cartons and empty cans.

    But do you know what to do with the empty packaging from makeup and beauty products?

    Most can’t be recycled in your normal recycling bin so they end up in landfill.

    Well now John Lewis is offering a recycling scheme for any beauty items except perfume bottles, nail varnish and aerosol cans.

    And if you are a loyalty member, you can get a voucher for £5 off a beauty purchase in store for taking part.

    The department store is teaming up with recycling business TerraCycle for the BeautyCycle scheme.

    Make up products
    Loyalty customers get a £5 voucher for taking part (Picture: Getty)

    They’re trialing the service for a month in the 36 stores with a full-line beauty service, before they consider whether to continue it and roll it out further.

    Once they pick the items up from stores, Terracyle will separate the items into metal, fibre and plastic.

    They’ll then be recycled or composted. Plastics will be turned into pellets, which can be moulded into all sorts of things – including storage containers and outdoor furniture.

    John Lewis senior sustainability manager Martyn White said: ‘Our customers are becoming more mindful about what they buy and what happens to products once they’ve reached the end of their first life.

    ‘Beauty products are notoriously hard to recycle which can make it hard for customers to know what to do with them, which often means they end up being thrown in the bin. One of our key aims is to make ‘being sustainable’ as easy as possible for customers, so it doesn’t have to be a difficult choice.

    ‘The BeautyCycle trial will help us to do just that, enabling customers to shop and enjoy beauty products in a more sustainable way, ensuring the materials are re-used in the best way possible.’

    TerraCycle Europe’s general manager Laure Cucuron added: ‘Very few beauty products or beauty product packaging, outside of say plastic bottles, are accepted by most council kerbside recycling systems due to the complexity of the material.

    ‘So we are delighted to be working with John Lewis & Partners to offer their customers the chance to recycle empty beauty products and packaging in John Lewis stores across the UK.’

    MORE: My fat body is my own business

    MORE: M&S unveils four new types of cocktail in a can

    Cosmetics on white backgroundCosmetics on white background

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    Hot tub sex
    Don’t even think about it guys. One way ticket to Yeast Infection City. (Picture: Getty)

    According to Love Island insiders, this year the hot tub was designed specially to encourage ‘intimacy’ between participants.

    But is that really a good idea?

    Getting steamy in a hot tub might sound sexy but before you think about doing so, please spare a thought for your intimate health and the litany of complications that can arise when you do the dirty in the bubbles.

    Concerned for the genital wellfare of those taking part in the show, we spoke to Dr Shazia Malik, who is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, and Balance Activ ambassador (say that five times fast) about the potential risks attached to sex in a hot tub.

    She told Metro.co.uk:

    ‘There are definite risks to having sex in a hot tub:

    ‘Hot water is a breeding ground for germs and it is impossible to know which ones are floating around in the water

    ‘This can affect chances of rashes or infection in any skin grazes. Also sex will inevitably introduce some of these in the vagina which poses a risk

    ‘The chemicals used to sterilise the water can affect vaginal pH so long stints in the water can increase the chances of infections such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast.

    ‘During sex in water you can still get an STD. Even if you use a condom it can slip off in the water and the chemicals in the water might affect the rubber (so decreasing its protection).’

    So worse case scenario after sex in a hot tub you could end up with an STI and raging thrush. Which isn’t what anyone wants.

    If you’d like to avoid any of these risks then you’d be best advised to enjoy foreplay in the hot tub but move it to the bedroom (or elsewhere) when it comes to actual penetrative sex.

    MORE: I met my husband on a sex website

    MORE: Why does sex give you a headache?

    MORE: These sex themed birthday cakes are certainly NSFW

    Young couple in hot tubYoung couple in hot tub

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    A woman using an electric toothbrush
    Use your toothbrush properly (Picture: Getty)

    There’s been a bit of an uproar about how Love Island stars are brushing their teeth with their electric toothbrushes.

    Some have been criticised for scrubbing back and forth, while Michael was called out for using his brush to clean his tongue.

    But do you know how exactly you should brush your teeth if you’re a fan of an electric toothbrush?

    Dentist Dr Raha Sepehrara, from the Dental Suite in Nottingham says using one can really help with your dental hygiene – but you need to do it properly.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I love my electric toothbrush and everyone in my family ( including my children) has one. I also recommend it to all my patients.

    ‘It really does make toothbrushing easier. They have timers to let you know when you have brushed for two min and they have alerts if you are brushing too hard.

    ‘They have a nice small head which is very effective at cleaning teeth, depending on the make the toothbrush head will either rotate or oscillate which makes the process very effective – but we can’t rely on the toothbrush to do all the work for us.’

    Anna Love Island 2019 brushing teeth
    Don’t scrub too hard! (Picture: ITV/Love Island)

    He has some tips to make sure you’re getting it right:

    Hold the toothbrush at the right angle

    When brushing, make sure you hold the toothbrush at 45 degree angle to the gum line making sure the bristles are touching the tooth and the gum line .

    Use gentle pressure

    It is essential not to scrub or press to hard as you can cause gum recession, wear the enamel of your teeth away and end up with sensitive teeth.

    Cover all the surfaces of the teeth

    Brush the front, the back and the biting surfaces of all teeth

    Brush for at least 2 minutes

    If you do less, you are likely to miss out many areas

    Use other dental aids to get in between the teeth

    The toothbrush will clean most of the surfaces of the teeth but will not get in between your teeth and therefore it is important to use floss and/or other interdental brushes to clean in between the teeth

    Don’t forget to clean your tongue

    It turns out Michael was right to use the brush on his tongue. Bacteria can be found on your tongue and they can also cause bad breath.

    Look after your toothbrush head and don’t share it with anyone

    Make sure you replace the head regularly when the bristles become splayed (usually every 3-4 months).

    Keep it away from other people’s toothbrushes and do not share with anyone as bacteria can be passed on from toothbrush to toothbrush.

    Let’s just hope the Love Island contestants don’t completely destroy their teeth before they get out of the villa. Someone have a dentist on standby.

    MORE: You can now recycle beauty products at John Lewis – and get a £5 voucher for taking part

    MORE: Is it safe to have sex in a hot tub?

    Women brushing teeth with electric toothbrush in bathroomWomen brushing teeth with electric toothbrush in bathroom

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    METROGRAB - Accordion cat From @ollietheslinkycat/Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Byi2YXTHnL6/
    The groomer was told to make him look like a tiger (Picture: @ollietheslinkycat/Instagram)

    A dad is in hot water with his wife after taking the family cat to the groomers and bringing him home with a drastic new look.

    Oliver, a handsome kitty who had a plush coat of dark grey fur, doesn’t look too pleased after being given a bizarre, stripey trim that makes him look like ‘an accordion’.

    Caitlin, the daughter of the family, posted a photo of Oliver with his dodgy haircut on Twitter with the caption, ‘I’m so done with today.’ She went on to post screenshots of messages to explain the story of how Oliver’s new look came about.

    The story quickly went viral and now Oliver has his own Instagram account – he’s pretty famous.

    ‘I’m gonna effin kill your father!!!’ reads a text from Caitlin’s mum.

    ‘He dropped Oliver off for his groom and this is how he came back. Like seriously gonna puke! I’m so maddddd.

    METROGRAB - Accordion cat From @ollietheslinkycat/Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Byi2YXTHnL6/
    The viral post has made Oliver a big hit online (Picture: @ollietheslinkycat/Instagram)

    ‘Waited 2 months for this [appointment] WTF!!! I can’t even look at Oliver… He looks absolutely ridiculous.’

    As it turns out, Caitlin’s dad was playing a joke on the family – he asked the groomers to make Oliver look ‘like a tiger’ because he thought it would be funny. While his kids had a big laugh, his wife was less than pleased.

    People in the Twitter thread were quick to post their thoughts about Oliver’s bold new look. Some people were big fans of Oliver’s appearance and applauded him for daring to be different.

    ‘Shush he pulling it off,’ wrote one.

    METRO GRAB - Accordion cat From @caitchristinee/Twitter https://twitter.com/caitchristinee/status/1137107658337468417
    Caitlin’s mum was really not amused (Picture: @caitchristinee/Twitter)

    ‘He got a fresh AF wave what are you talkin [about],’ added another.

    Put plenty of people were really not feeling Oliver’s look.

    ‘He look like an accordion,’ said one person.

    ‘There are 0 words like…what was the thought process behind this?? i don’t understand,’ said another.

    But some people are just absolutely here for the comedy value.

    ‘Your dad made the internet a better place today. Not all hero’s wear capes,’ said one Twitter user.

    Don’t worry Oliver, it’s only fur. It’ll grow back eventually.

    MORE: Is it safe to have sex in a hot tub?

    MORE: You can now recycle beauty products at John Lewis – and get a £5 voucher for taking part

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Multiple sclerosis didn’t stop me becoming the best in the country’

    Accordion catAccordion cat

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    Mairead trying a vegan sausage roll, posing outside and inside Greggs store
    Woman obsessed with Greggs – vows to visit every store (Picture: Mairead Sheehan/Caters News)

    One time I was sick and could barely manage to eat anything but then someone bought me a Greggs vegan sausage roll and I was suddenly better – a true story.

    While the ever-popular baked good probably doesn’t have healing powers, it is loved by meat-eaters alike and now vegans too.

    One woman so in love with the pastry has decided to buy one from every Greggs store in the U.K – that’s 1,764 bakeries.

    Mairead Sheehan fell in love with the non-meat based treats when they were launched by the bakery chain earlier this year.

    The 26-year-old vegetarian started her binge in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where she couldn’t believe how many branches were on every street,

    And after snapping pictures with her favourite snack outside every store, she realised her pals found it hilarious – and even set up an Instagram page to post the evidence.

    Now, Mairead has become quite the poster girl for the Greggs vegan sausage roll.

    Mairead (right) and a friend dining at Greggs
    (Picture: Mairead Sheehan/Caters News)

    ‘I started posting the pictures on Instagram and my friends thought it was hilarious – then strangers started commenting,’ said Mairead.

    ‘I’ve been to more than 50 stores so far, but I’m planning to add a lot more to my total by visiting some big cities and going on multiple Greggs visits in one day.’

    Maired has been vegetarian her whole life and has never tasted meat as her parents are also vegetarian. She then choose to continue the meat-free diet.

    Mairead outside Greggs
    Mairead has been vegetarian her whole life (Picture: Mairead Sheehan/Caters News)

    ‘When Greggs brought out the Vegan Sausage roll I was in heaven,’ she added.

    ‘There are all sorts of places that do vegetarian junk food but for me it’s always been a novelty – my friends were getting a sausage roll when hungover and I couldn’t do that.

    ‘I was always quite jealous because it’s so quick and easy and it’s only £1- being a vegetarian is so much more expensive, you have to find alternatives and different places to eat.

    ‘I remember going on holiday and having to eat only nachos and pizza for two weeks.’

    Her go-to combo at the bakery is a sausage roll and cloudy lemonade.

    Mairead outside another Greggs store
    She documents the trip to each store on her Instagram (Picture: Mairead Sheehan/Caters News)

    Mairead was visiting Newcastle for the weekend in September last year, when she realised she was in the ‘Greggs capital’.

    She then started taking photos in front of every Greggs she walked past – and of course, visited each one for a cheeky snack.

    ‘I was blown away by how many Greggs there were in Newcastle – then I started looking into it and found out the original Greggs is from here and that’s how it started.

    ‘My favourite one is a Greggs in Salisbury, close to where I live, there is a bench outside – it’s my hangover spot when I go home.’

    Good thing they open pretty early then.

    MORE: Someone’s made a one-of-a-kind Greggs inspired chessboard that lets you play with pasties

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

    MORE: Vegan sausage rolls boost Greggs’ sales by 14%

    Woman obsessed with Greggs - vows to visit every store - MIDNIGHT EMBARGOWoman obsessed with Greggs - vows to visit every store - MIDNIGHT EMBARGO

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    Dad hugs two queer people at pride in an emotional embrace
    Dad-of-two didn’t expect his small gesture to have such a huge impact (Picture: @howiedittman/Facebook)

    Last week at the Pittsburgh Pride Parade, a handful of people wore t-shirts saying ‘free dad hugs’ and ‘free mum hugs’.

    Throughout the day, they gave hundreds of hugs to support, welcome and share a poignant moment with members of the LGBTQ+ community.

    One Pensylvania father was particularly touched by some of the people he embraced.

    Howie Dittman didn’t expect the small gesture to have such a huge impact as he hugged those that had been rejected by their own families.

    The-dad-of two was captured hugging a young woman in her 20s and a man in his 50s in such a tight embrace that the sweet picture quickly went viral.

    On Facebook, Howie decided to address all parents and ask them to look introspectively at the way they love their children, especially those that are different.

    ‘Imagine that, parents. Imagine that your child feels so lost from you that they sink into the arms of a complete stranger and sob endlessly just because that stranger is wearing a shirt offering hugs from a dad,’ he wrote.

    ‘Think of the depths of their pain. Try to imagine how deep those cuts must be.’

    Howie’s Facebook post with the message went viral (Picture: Getty)

    Howie’s words and pictures resonated with almost 300,000 people.

    The dad attended the Pride Parade with his friend Denna Hays who wore the slogan t-shirt as part of LGBT charity Free Mom Hugs which offers free hugs at Pride-related events.

    He revealed that the man he was pictured hugging in the image hadn’t spoken to his parents in 30 years after being kicked out at 19 because of ‘who he loves’.

    Howie added: ‘I felt a tiny bit of that pain that he carries with him every minute of every day.

    ‘He was abandoned because of who he loves. And on June, he was participating in a celebration of love when he was brought to his emotional knees by a shirt that said “free dad hugs” on a complete stranger.’

    Though he didn’t know much about the young woman, Howie could feel her pain through the intensity with which she hugged him.

    ‘It doesn’t feel like a huge leap to assume she’s lost those who should love her the most and forever,’ he wrote.

    In his Facebook post, he urged parents to do better, writing: ‘Please don’t be the parent of a child that has to shoulder that burden. I met way too many of them, of all ages, today.

    ‘And if by chance anyone knows these folks, please let them know they can reach out any time they need a surrogate dad to talk to. I’ll be there.’

    Since the post, Howie’s been inundated with messages from people all over the world, showing support, sharing their own stories of abandonment.

    He said it was humbling and sad and he wished it wasn’t necessary.

    MORE: Women share stories of harassment in support for lesbian couple attacked on bus

    MORE: Two women lock eyes on a train, later connect on Instagram and fall in love

    MORE: My Little Pony will introduce a lesbian couple in time for Pride Month

    Dad offers free hugs to LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families at Pride paradeDad offers free hugs to LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families at Pride parade

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    The top from PrettyLittleThing and the picture posted on Twitter
    There’s labels for both brands (Picture: Twitter, PrettyLittleThing)

    Ordering clothes online can be a bit of a minefield.

    Sometimes the sizing is off or it doesn’t look like it did on the website.

    But one woman spotted that the top she ordered from PrettyLittleThing was labelled with the name of a completely different website.

    The shopper posted the picture of the roll neck brown top on Twitter, tagging the stores and posting a few confused face emojis.

    The fabric label sewed onto the top says Boohoo, but the attached paper label says PrettyLittleThing.

    It might seem a bit strange but the two brands are actually owned by the same group.

    Both stores were set up by members of the Kamani family, with Boohoo acquiring 66% of PLT in December 2016.

    Both stores are famous for selling all sorts of quirky items.

    Who can forget the ‘welding sunglasses’?

    The visor glasses cover your eyes, nose and lips and people pointed out they were reminiscent of something you would use for carrying out metal work.

    And of course, there was the fully transparent outfit that made you look like you are wrapped in clingfilm from PrettyLittleThing.

    The range features plastic jeans, a mini skirt, a crop top and a cropped jacket – so although you are fully clothed, you can see all the skin underneath.

    There’s lime, hot pink and lilac versions – so you could even mix and match your plastic clothes.

    So if that’s your style, get ordering – but don’t be concerned if something turns up with a Boohoo label.

    MORE: Dad offers free hugs to LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families at Pride parade

    MORE: How to brush your teeth better than a Love Island contestant

    Shopper confused by Pretty Little Thing top with Boohoo tagShopper confused by Pretty Little Thing top with Boohoo tag

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    Disabled parking permit in the UK
    My mother was given a blue badge after her diagnosis of terminal cancer, but to the casual observer, she didn’t look sick (Photo: Getty)

    Without a blue badge for parking, driving around the hospital car park for the sixth time, desperately looking for a space, I start to cry.

    My back is soaked with sweat, my heart is pounding and my jaw is clenched. My friend turns to me and says: ‘We need to find somewhere else to park,’ but all I want to do is go home.

    It’s become common for me to turn up to hospital appointments drenched in sweat and shaking.

    I’ve suffered from anxiety since my teens. When I am symptomatic just getting out of the house is a monumental task.

    The people, the noise and the irrational fear that something terrible is about to happen send me down a spiral of panic.

    Anxiety can trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome which makes travelling on public transport to appointments difficult – on more than one occasion I’ve jumped off a bus to run into the nearest public toilet which has made me late or miss appointments altogether.

    When I heard the news that the Department for Transport had issued new guidance – which means those with hidden disabilities like anxiety and autism can have blue badges I was overjoyed.

    I currently take taxis to the hospital so I can be dropped off and picked up from the front door but to have the freedom to drive to hospital and park in a space near the entrance would impact my life immensely.

    I would have a level of independence I’ve not been able to enjoy in years. It’s difficult to describe how anxiety can make the simple act of getting from one place to another that difficult, but when you’re in a state of blind panic a familiar place – like your car – represents safety and being able to get there sooner makes a huge difference.

    There are currently 2.35 million blue badge holders in the UK and the new guidelines will extend to hidden disabilities including dementia, autism and mental health conditions.

    Disabled parking sign
    I know there’s already stigma around using a disabled parking space when you don’t ‘look disabled’ and experienced it first-hand in 2013 (Photo: Getty)

    I imagine the number of accessible parking bays will need to increase to accommodate the likely upsurge in demand when the new guidelines come into effect on in August.

    There’s a danger that the inclusion of hidden disabilities will pit two groups against each other – that people in a vulnerable mental state will be made to fight for their right to be considered worthy of a blue badge.

    Decisions are made at the local authority level and I hope that training is given so that administrators of the scheme show the necessary empathy and tact when processing applicants with mental health conditions.

    I know there’s already stigma around using a disabled parking space when you don’t ‘look disabled’ and experienced it first-hand in 2013.

    My mother was given a blue badge after her diagnosis of terminal cancer, but to the casual observer, she didn’t look sick.

    When we parked in a disabled bay you would hear tutting and mutters of: ‘There’s nothing wrong with her.’ At the time she only had a few months to live but short of carrying around her medical records, there was no way of proving her eligibility.

    I’m prepared for the inevitable backlash. Claims that ‘generation snowflake’ will be stealing parking spaces from the others.

    I’m not after a blue badge to grab a prime spot when I pop to the supermarket for a pint of milk, I would only use it in circumstances where my ability to function is hindered by being unable to park near my destination.

    It feels like the disparity between the treatment of mental and physical health conditions by the government is finally being tackled.

    Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘As a society, we don’t do enough for people with hidden disabilities. I hope this change to blue badge guidance will make a real difference to people’s lives.’

    There are still people who believe that living with a mental health condition isn’t life-limiting or debilitating.

    The blue badge scheme was created to make access to work, shops and hospitals more accessible for people with physical disabilities, I’m just disappointed it’s taken until 2019 to acknowledge that mental illness also limits access to those places.

    How to apply for a Blue Badge?

    To apply for a blue badge permit, you’ll need to fill out an application online where you’ll be asked for proof of identity, proof of address and proof of benefits (if you get any). In addition, you’ll have to provide a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders.

    Your local authority can charge you for the badge but it will only cost £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. However, it is free in Wales.

    What are hidden disabilities?

    According to Scope, over 13.9 million people in the UK live with a disability however there are no statistics to say how many of these conditions are invisible.

    Invisible disabilities are not obvious to the public, which often makes it hard for people living with it to receive help. Hidden disabilities can vary from autism, sickle cell, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, lupus, visual and auditory disabilities as well as mental health conditions.

    MORE: I am grateful to be called inspirational: It proves that attitudes about disability have changed

    MORE: Half of disabled people feel left out by society but driving makes me feel included

    MORE: What I learnt from being in a relationship where we both have anxiety and depression

    handicapped parking spothandicapped parking spot

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    Coco the Monkey holding white chocolate coco pops
    These look amazing (Picture: Kellogg’s)

    We love a breakfast cereal – from Rice Krispies to Cornflakes, we all have a favourite one.

    If you are a Coco Pops fan, we have some amazing news – Kellogg’s is launching a white chocolate version.

    Even better, the white chocolate version will have 30% less sugar than other chocolate coated toasted rice cereals.

    The cereal brand said they created the new product in response to customers on social media and pleas on their phone line.

    Katy Bailey, brand manager for Kellogg’s Coco Pops said: ‘In response to our fans, and the growing desire for white chocolate varieties of popular foods, we wanted to see if it was possible to create a white chocolate Coco Pops that tastes as good as the original.

    The images on the box of white chocolate coco pops
    Look out for the boxes in stores now (Picture: Kellogg’s)

    ‘Our food developers have succeeded and for the first time in the cereal’s 59 year history a white chocolate version will hit the shops.’

    And Coco the Monkey, the mascot on the normal box, has a new friend – Nula the Narwhal, who will also be introduced into the well-loved jungle adverts.

    Sara Ashley, Kellogg’s food technician at the Manchester cereal factory comments: ‘We had the idea to make a white chocolate flavoured Coco Pops when working in our food development kitchen on a new reduced sugar recipe for the original Coco Pops cereal.

    ‘We knew fans were asking for it so we developed a prototype, which uses three basic ingredients, and tried it out with Kellogg’s staff who loved it.’

    Kellogg’s White Choc Coco Pops will be available in all major supermarkets from mid-June for £2.99.

    MORE: Woman confused by top she ordered from PrettyLittleThing that had a Boohoo label

    MORE: Cat gets ridiculous haircut that leaves him looking ‘like an accordion’


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    Female pain
    Lovely. (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Last week I found out that I need surgery following a miscarriage.

    My body has decided to cling on to some pregnancy tissue, retaining it in my uterus. Well done me.

    The (wonderful) doctor sat me down and explained that I had three options: wait for it to pass, which might not happen, runs a slight risk of infection and means that I can’t get pregnant again until it’s gone, have surgery to remove it under a general anesthetic, or have surgery to remove it while awake with a local anesthetic injected into my cervix.

    The procedure (I really hope you’re not eating right now) involves having your vagina opened with a speculum, then having a teeny tiny hoover type thing go through your cervix and do a clean up operation inside your womb.

    If you’re thinking that that sounds like a really s**t day out, then you’re absolutely right. But the most extraordinary thing about it is that I was seriously considering whether I should do it without the full pain relief on offer.

    ‘Most women are able to tolerate it without anesthesia’ the doctor explained. ‘Though I won’t lie, it’s not pleasant.’

    Unable to decide what to do about the anesthesia option and clearly panicked by the dichotomy of being brave or being asleep, I asked for the weekend to think about my options.

    I then drank a very large glass of rosé and asked my husband what he thought I should do. Without hesitation, he told me to take the drugs.

    For him the equation was very simple. The knock-out they use is safe and well practiced, and means that you don’t have to be conscious while they poke about inside you.

    Given the choice between a painful, embarrassing, invasive procedure while conscious, or a nap where you wake up feeling a bit sore, to him the answer was entirely obvious.

    And let’s face it, the pros and cons here are pretty unevenly weighted.

    So why did I seriously consider skipping the drugs? Why did I entertain the prospect of doing this thing while awake?

    Because I’m a woman. And therefore pain is just a part of my life.

    Since I was 12 years old I’ve been in pain for at least two days of every month. As a girl you learn that pain doesn’t always mean something is wrong. You’re literally taught pain is natural, to be expected.

    It’s not just periods either.

    As a woman the landscape of your life contains waxing, ingrown hairs, high heels, contraceptive implants, the coil. The nausea that comes with starting the pill. Morning sickness. Cystitis.

    All just facts of life. Most of them aren’t even a half day off work. Just pop a paracetamol and get on with it.

    Similarly, women often go into childbirth intending not to use any pain relief for a ‘natural’ birth, and are then left feeling like failures if they’re unable to experience that extreme pain without medical help.

    The narrative that women have achieved something extra by giving birth without pain relief is all part of the problem.

    Had I gone through the surgery without pain relief I might well have worn it as a badge of honour. But that would have been wrong.

    So many aspects of being female cause pain that it feels like a natural, unavoidable consequence of life. But it doesn’t have to be.

    Medication to relieve pain is there to do exactly that. There is no failure in using it. Wanting to avoid pain doesn’t make you weaker or less powerful than someone who can grit their teeth and suffer in silence.

    Suffering is not an achievement. As one woman told me on Twitter while I ummed and ahhed about the right and wrong of anesthesia, there are no medals for doing this without help.

    So whatever it is that’s hurting you – please stop suffering by choice.

    If there are pills to make your experience easier, take them.

    If your monthly wax hurts, skip it.

    If the contraceptive pill makes you feel rubbish, use condoms.

    If your high heels pinch, put them in the bin.

    When you make a birth plan, at least allow for the reality that you might need some help.

    And if, like me, you find yourself needing a surgical procedure which ‘most women can tolerate’ without drugs, don’t feel for a second that you need to be one of them.

    I’ve said yes please to the anesthesia. I’ve already had a horrible few weeks, and there’s go good reason to ask even more of my mind and body.

    Yes, we’ve been taught since childhood that pain is normal and to be expected, but that doesn’t mean that we have to keep putting up with it.

    Stop being a martyr. Take the drugs. Feel better.

    MORE: Would you use teleportation if it meant your body had to be destroyed?

    MORE: Is it safe to have sex in a hot tub?

    MORE: I had a miscarriage but I don’t regret telling people I was pregnant before 12 weeks

    Women need to stop putting up with painWomen need to stop putting up with pain

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    Grabs from the video of the moment she told their dad (Picture: @jialaurenxo/Twitter)
    Jia giving her dad his card (Picture: @jialaurenxo/Twitter)

    We love seeing videos of parents who surprise their foster children with the news that they’re going to be adopted.

    Other times, we see children announce to their parents that they want to be permanent members of the family by changing their names.

    The sweet family moments are highly emotional and get a lot of love online.

    The latest heartwarming video was uploaded by Twitter user Jia, from Renton, Washington.

    She revealed that she and her sister were living with her stepdad for the last 12 years after their biological dad was abusive.

    On Father’s Day, they decided to tell their stepfather that they would be making their family ties legal by taking his surname.

    They filmed his reaction which saw him burst into happy tears and embrace his daughters, who revealed the news on a special card for him.

    Jia’s post, which saw her and her sister hug their dad, was liked by more than 200,000 people.

    In the post, she wrote: ‘My biological dad was a drug addict and physically abusive to my mother. 12 years ago, my stepdad brought the light into our world again.

    ‘He’s always loved me and my sister as his own. And so we decided to change our last name this Father’s Day. I love you Dad.’

    The poignant video touched many people, some of whom revealed their own similar stories.

    One user shared an equally cute story saying: ‘Did the same thing for my dad in December. He found out when they called my name as I crossed the stage on graduation day to get my degree.’

    ‘It also happened to be his birthday that day too so it was perfect but the last name change was the least I could do after everything he done for me. He’s solid and that’s my father. Glad we both experienced that love.’

    Twitter user Diana added hers, saying: ‘This is beautiful. My stepdad finalised my adoption two weeks before my wedding so he would be my father walking me down the aisle.

    She ended the post with: ‘Any man can be a father, only special men are dads.’

    If you’ll excuse us, some of us are off to cry.

    MORE: Dad offers free hugs to LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families at Pride parade

    MORE: Little girl sobs with joy after finding out she’s being adopted on her birthday

    MORE: Should white parents only adopt kids of the same ethnicity and background?


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    Couple wearing a sports jersey, half showing pakistan flag other half showing Indian
    Couple can’t decide whether to support India or Pakistan in the cricket, get their own hybrid jersey stitched (Picture: Lakshmi Kaul/Getty)

    Sports fans – or anyone supporting anything that’s different to their friends and family – know what it’s like to have a divided house.

    Derby matches are especially sensitive, considering their proximity. Recently, with India playing Pakistan at the cricket World Cup, many families who are of mixed heritage or interracial have been conflicted as to who to support.

    A husband, who is from Pakistan and his wife, who is from India, were so confused as to which t-shirt to wear to a match, they decided to make their own jersey.

    The Canadian couple travelled to the U.K and went to a match with a hybrid shirt – one half showing off the Indian tee and the other side Pakistan.

    The custom-made top was spotted by a fellow Indian, Lakshmi Kaul who was impressed by the creativity, sharing it on Twitter.

    Lakshmi’s post was enjoyed and circulated by thousands of users online who commended the hybrid effort.

    Lakshmi praised the couple, commending their spirit of peace and love of cricket.

    The husband and wife won lots of praise online with one person saying: ‘[The] world needs more and more people like them! They really brought a smile to my face!’

    Meanwhile, someone else said: ‘Love these guys, most Indians and Pakistanis are divided and these guys are united together.’

    Others felt that the rivalry couldn’t be stitched up and bought together.

    ‘That’s like stitching Arsenal and Tottenham shirts together…no,’ wrote one person.

    Another wrote: ‘Cool but they could just have supported their respective countries. Would have come across as equally peaceful.’

    But with India winning the highly anticipated match at Old Trafford in Manchester, it’s probably a good thing the couple represented both teams.

    They can just pretend they supported the winning team all along.

    And at least they’re not as extra as this guy.

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

    MORE: Virat Kohli rates India’s chances of reaching Cricket World Cup semi-finals after Australia win

    (Picture: Lakshmi Kaul/Getty)(Picture: Lakshmi Kaul/Getty)

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    Bottles of Baijiu Chinese spirit are displayed at a bar in central London on May 15, 2019. - Employees in red and yellow jumpsuitS mix grain mash in 500-year-old earthen tanks. From this distillery in Sichuan, central China, comes baijiu, a national alcohol. About 10.8 billion liters of this clear beverage, which can have 55 percent alcohol, were consumed last year, according to a study by the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), a London-based institute specialist in the sector wines and spirits. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Pauline FROISSART in London/Dan MARTIN in LuzhouTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
    Could its earthy aftertaste be a hit in the West? (Picture: Getty Images)

    China’s national spirit might be the most consumed spirit in the world on account of the country’s population, but ‘baiju’ just hasn’t quite caught on in the UK. Yet.

    The drink has a slightly questionable reputation.

    Around 10.8 billion litres of baiju was consumed last year, nearly all in China, according to International Wine and Spirit Research, which is more than whisky, vodka, gin, rum and tequila combined.

    The drink has some fruity notes, but the crystal-clear beverage also has an intense, earthy essence. It’s strong stuff, ranging from 35 to 55% alcohol depending on the variety.

    The drink hails from the southwestern province of Sichuan, where employees mix grain mash in 500-year-old earthen tanks in the distillery.

    Some have said it tastes like burning plastic or ‘liquid razor blades’, but kinder critics say it is reminiscent of truffles.

    Yet, baiju’s popularity in China has exceeded expectations, making it the most consumed spirit in the world, and the main producer is one of the most valuable distilleries globally.

    Su Wanghui, information director at Luzhou Laojiao, one of the country’s biggest and oldest brands said: ‘Baiju belongs to China, but also the world.

    ‘We hope to have people around the world try baiju, and like baiju.’

    Patron Ellie Veale samples a glass of Baijiu Chinese spirit at a bar in central London on May 15, 2019. - Employees in red and yellow jumpsuitS mix grain mash in 500-year-old earthen tanks. From this distillery in Sichuan, central China, comes baijiu, a national alcohol. About 10.8 billion liters of this clear beverage, which can have 55 percent alcohol, were consumed last year, according to a study by the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), a London-based institute specialist in the sector wines and spirits. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN / various sources / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Pauline FROISSART in London/Dan MARTIN in LuzhouTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
    Well, there goes the tastebuds (Picture: Getty Images)

    Drinks expert at Demon, Wise & Partners Ellie Veale thinks she knows why it hasn’t been a hit overseas.

    She said: ‘I worked on a cattle farm in Australia and this kind of aftertaste reminds me of the smell of… cow manure, hay and horses.’

    Su added: ‘The foreign view of baiju is: very spicy, like a rocket blasting to heaven.’

    Despite the popularity in China, elsewhere, the spirit is virtually unheard off – but producers are now looking towards a global market.

    A wave of “baijiu bars” opened in China, the US, and Europe in recent years as a buzz swelled.

    Many have since closed but some London bars have started to stock the spirit, including Demon, Wise & Partners in the East.

    In this photo taken on April 24, 2019, workers prepare and distill grain at a work floor at the Luzhou Laojiao distillery where baijiu is produced in Luzhou, southwestern China's Sichuan province. - Baijiu's popularity in China has propelled demand -- making it the most consumed spirit in the world and its major producers the most valuable distilleries globally. There's just one problem: the taste. Kinder critics say it evokes truffles or burning plastic, while less generous descriptions have included "industrial cleaning solvent" and "liquid razor blades." (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY CHINA-DRINK-BEVERAGE-TRADE-BAIJIU,CULTURE,FEATURE BY PAULINE FROISSART AND DAN MARTINHECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    Ancient distillery (Picture: Getty Images)

    Owner of Demon, Wise & Partners Paul Mathew said: ‘It’s a challenge for the customers.

    ‘It hasn’t really caught on in the West yet.’

    The price of top brands is one reason. Mathew charges £12 for a glass of ‘Kweichow Moutai’.

    ‘It is also a very unfamiliar flavour for guests, so we need to tell them the story, how baiju is made, why it has the characteristics it has, before it becomes more accessible.’

    ‘We’re trying our best to make the world understand, to spread the word about baijiu, just like whiskey and red wine are now known within China,” Su said.

    ‘But there is still a long road ahead.’

    MORE: Over 24,000,000 Brits ‘self-medicate with alcohol and drugs to cope with life’

    MORE: Hong Kong suspends China extradition bill debate after massive protests

    MORE: Hong Kong suspends China extradition bill debate after massive protests

    Most consumed spirit in the worldMost consumed spirit in the world

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    Picture of woman caressing smooth hairless legs
    Look at this saucy minx (Picture: Getty/Twitter)

    When a man said women with coloured hair are toxic last year, we thought he was just having a (sexist) laugh. But it was real and the theme of bad gender-based judgements continues.

    The latest to make a bizarre claim is from a right-wing author, Denise McAllister, who is famous in America for being fired over a homophobic Twitter tirade.

    The writer has come under fire for saying she is sick of women acting like victims when they become pregnant.

    ‘I am sick and tired of hearing women act like victims when they’re the ones who seduce men with their glossy lips and lubed legs,’ she wrote.

    She continued to blast women for ‘choosing to have sex because they’re too horny to stop, then complain[ing] when they get pregnant acting as if it’s all the man’s fault.’

    While many people took issue with the slut-shaming aspect of it, others were puzzled by the weird phrasing of ‘lubed legs’ and ‘glossy lips’.

    The tweets were considered especially insensitive given the current political climate in America which has placed stringent rules on abortions.

    So Denise shaming women for enjoying sex didn’t go down well. ‘I think you’re confusing “demanding bodily autonomy” with “hearing women act like victims”,’ wrote one person.

    The post amassed more than 3,000 likes, though the majority of users mocked the sentiments.

    ‘I was just looking at my ashy legs after putting on my honey lip balm and was thinking I should put some lotion on these legs,’ quipped one person.

    ‘I had no idea this combination put me at risk of pregnancy and being nominated as the next whore of Babylon. I just thought I was dehydrated.’

    Another wrote: ‘My daughter keeps asking for lip gloss and I’ve been reluctant because she’s young. But, you are spot on! Deep down I know lip gloss is a gateway to pregnancy. Thank goodness I didn’t fall into that trap.’

    Others questioned whether they’d been using lube wrong their whole lives.

    Just in case anyone wasn’t clear, lube should only be used for sexual enjoyment rather than, you know, rubbing them on your legs to attract men.

    There are many types and here’s a guide to which ones are the best.

    And none of them mention anything about legs. Weird.

    We reached out to Denise to ask if she could clarify her thoughts. Her statement to Metro.co.uk is as follows:

    ‘My comment was in the context of typical male-female sexual interactions, not abuse. A man taking advantage of a woman against her will is wrong. I was talking about personal responsibility.

    ‘I hear too often women blaming men and not enough women taking responsibility for their part in their sexual choices. The fact is women play a powerful role in sexual attraction.

    ‘Women who want to hook up make themselves look sexy to attract the opposite sex. This is an undeniable fact.

    ‘They choose to have sex because of the simple fact that they like it. Nothing wrong with that but don’t act like it’s anyone else’s responsibility but your own when you get pregnant.

    ‘You said yes to a man, you spread your legs for a man and now you’re pregnant. Surprise. Was the man also responsible? Sure.

    ‘But a woman is the final authority over her body and she is the one ultimately responsible for what happens to it—again I’m not taking about rape.

    ‘As for lubed legs, it’s just another way of saying oiled. Just google Gwyneth Paltrow and lubed legs. The freak out over my use of the term is just deflection by people who don’t honestly want to deal with the real issue I’m addressing—personal responsibility.’

    MORE: A man reckons women who colour their hair are toxic and lethal

    MORE: Why are restaurants still handing the wine list straight to my husband?

    MORE: Prepare to cringe, these are the ten most sexist car adverts of all time

    Woman says women seduce men with 'lubed legs'Woman says women seduce men with 'lubed legs'

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    Young people socialising bar
    Getting social might be hard for people (Pictures: Getty Images)

    Half of Brits are suffering from a lack of connection and human interaction, according to new study.

    The survey, released by Sainsbury’s Living Well Index, said that the lack of human interaction is affecting our well-being.

    From the 8,000 people surveyed in the UK, the average ‘wellbeing score’ was 60.4 out of 100. People were questioned on everything from their sex lives, quality of sleep, finances, relationships and jobs.

    Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 10 (9.1%) people said they never met friends, relatives or co-workers socially, with 21.4% doing so less than once a month.

    The ‘well-being score’ is 0.38 points lower than last year, which they said is the same fall as if you had  a £260 (or 18%) fall in your salary each month.

    Family having a meal
    Make time for the family (Picture: Getty Images0

    A further 17.5% only socialised once a month, according to the survey.

    Sainsbury’s carried out the report in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research and Oxford Economics.

    Simon Robert, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director, said: ‘Sainsbury’s Living Well Index has found that over the last 12 months there has been a decline of the sense of community the nation feels as a whole, which has had a significant impact on our sense of well-being.’

    Man looking out of window
    We are suffering from lack of interaction (Picture: Getty Images)

    The working baby boomers’ index scores fell ‘dramatically’ – by 1.76 points on average – in the past 12 months, more than four times the average.

    Authors of the study said the key driver was a decline in social connections (down 0.36 points) and relationships (0.29 points).

    The overall score for June 2019 was almost a full point lower than in autumn 2017, when the first index was published.

    People were asked about a total of 60 different aspects of their lives.

    AD FEATURE: Unlock the happiness in your home: We talk to three home improvement rising stars about how to make your pad a feel-good place

    MORE: Being kinder to yourself can boost your physical and mental wellbeing, study says

    MORE: 15 ways to engage in some self care if you’re feeling down today

    Extended family sitting round dinner table chatting and eating dinnerExtended family sitting round dinner table chatting and eating dinner

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    Our favourite smart gym bags
    Which one to choose? (Pictures: Getty, Dagne Dover, lululemon, Cole Haan)

    Navigating work, gym and a social life can be tricky – and you need a really good bag to make it work.

    When you’ve got a morning spin class and then a day choc-full of important meetings, you don’t want to have to lug a giant tote bag around with you – particularly one that clashes with your super professional outfit.

    But smart gym bags do exist. Bags which will house all of your sweaty kit and still fit sleekly on your back or shoulder.

    We want durability, a non-ugly design and compartments that will keep our sweaty socks separate from our packed lunches – that can’t be too big an ask?

    We tracked down the best of the bunch – all the bags that will take you from your hiit class, to the office, to the bar – without making you look like you’re moving house after work.

    LuluLemon, City Adventurer Backpack, £98

    Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack
    (Picture: Lululemon)

    The City Adventurer is sleek, stylish and incredibly functional.

    There’s a built in pouch for your water bottle on the inside to prevent leaks, and a separate compartment for sweaty kit.

    Fact + Fiction, Charli Backpack, £135

    The Charli Backpack
    (Picture Fact + Fiction)

    It’s vegan, it’s breathable, it has anti-smell linings – it’s a firm fave.

    The Charli Backpack is both really useful and really smart – it has a secret compartment at the bottom – perfect for trainers or sweaty kit.

    It’s also fully wipeable and laptop friendly – which is great if you’re days are often all over the place.

    Herschel Supply Co, Novel Duffel Bag, £70.96

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From Hershel https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/herschel-supply-co-novel-duffle-bag/4581625?siteid=tv2R4u9rImY-hQnHBed6p0fBrHE9o0dl3w&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY&utm_content=1&utm_term=666690&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY
    (Picture: Hershel)

    This Herschel duffel has a tough tech construction which is great for modern travel – busy days in the office and weekends away.

    It has an exterior shoe zip compartment which is perfect for your gym trainers – and keep the rest of the contents free from any unsavoury smells.

    Cole Haan, ZeroGrand Backpack, £232.07

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From Cole Haan https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/cole-haan-zerogrand-backpack/5101881?siteid=tv2R4u9rImY-lVmhCwyUHD2Vck1RHIop1A&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY&utm_content=1&utm_term=666690&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY
    (Picture: Cole Haan)

    Ok, yes this one is pricey – it’s also really cute. We love the utility-style pockets and clips – very on trend.

    It also has protective leather feet, pockets for your water bottles and a mesh laptop sleeve.

    If you love it as much as we do maybe it’s one to ask for on your birthday. A big birthday…

    Dagne Dover, Carryall Duffle Bag, £154.43

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From Dagne Dover https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/dagne-dover-365-large-landon-neoprene-carryall-duffle-bag/4719146?siteid=tv2R4u9rImY-Q9PqUh.7bM94gM0ggAgI9Q&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY&utm_content=1&utm_term=666690&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=tv2R4u9rImY
    (Picture: Dagne Dover)

    If you’re after something a little bit different, this vibrant duffal back is a great option.

    Smart enough for any business meeting, inside there is a nylon laundry bag and two side pockets perfectly sized for water bottles.

    A handy pocket on the back of the bag is the perfect place to tuck away your passport or phone. We live for multiple compartments.

    Sandqvist, Thea Powder Tote Bag, £97

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From Sandqvist https://www.sandqvist.com/en/sandqvist-fusion-powder-beige
    (Picture: Sandqvist)

    Neutrals are huge this spring and summer – so this tote will likely go with most of your new season outfits.

    Made from 100% recycled nylon with leather details, the Thea Powder features a yoga mat slip pocket and an internal laptop pocket.

    It also has adjustable buckles at either side for added security.

    Sweaty Betty, All Sport Backpack, £85

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From sweatybetty https://www.sweatybetty.com/shop/accessories/bags/all-sport-backpack-SB4504_Black.html?utm_source=linkshare&utm_medium=Affiliates&utm_campaign=The+Evening+Standard&utm_term=3190325&__ja=tsid:38488~kw:1~cgn:bkO65H6jSRQ&siteID=bkO65H6jSRQ-6sZa7iMdWm33bZH9p3XiDw&ranMID=35205&ranEAID=bkO65H6jSRQ&ranSiteID=bkO65H6jSRQ-6sZa7iMdWm33bZH9p3XiDw
    (Picture: Sweaty Betty)

    The classic. You can’t get on the tube without seeing at least three women sporting one of these bad boys – and there’s a reason for that.

    The All Sport Backpack is incredibly roomy, has three separate inner pockets and straps underneath to carry your yoga mat – what more could you want?

    Made, Lisamore Waxed Canvas Backpack, £69

    METRO GRAB - The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work From Made https://www.made.com/lismore-waxed-canvas-backpack-stone?c=AWINUKCON&utm_source=AWINUKCON&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=222025&affid=222025&awc=3329_1560758039_c24a547dc029af7813d444eef579f6db
    (Picture: Made)

    We love this sleek, minimalist option from Made – the pop of yellow really makes it.

    The water-resistant outer material is perfect if you cycle from the gym to the office, it also has a rolled top and internal zipper to keep your stuff safe and dry.

    It’s big enough for your trainers, laptop and even a packed lunch – whilst still looking super stylish.

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    The best smart gym bags that you can also use for workThe best smart gym bags that you can also use for work

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    garlic peeling hack?
    (Picture: @VPestilenZ)

    Anyone on the internet has most likely come across various hacks. Our good friends on social media have taught us that we’re eating corn wrong or peeling pineapple in inconvenient ways.

    Many a user online has scoffed at our meagre attempts to do things and enlightened us with their skilled techniques.

    The latest ‘hack’ comes in the form of peeling cloves of garlic.

    While the average person might take to shedding the skin manually, clove by clove, Twitter user Valentina Pestilenez showed us that it’s possible to cut the work in half and use a knife.

    Using the knife to puncture the garlic, Valentina scoops out the clove effortlessly, peeling the whole garlic head.

    Twitter users were suitably impressed and even Chrissy Teigen got involved, sharing her astonishment at the trick.

    But we’re sad to report that we have tried it in the office and it did not work for us. So Valentina might just be exceptionally skilled in the kitchen.

    The post has so far amassed 64,000 likes with people in their droves commenting that they’d be trying the trick in their homes.

    Valentina wrote: ‘As someone who makes a lot of Korean food, this is the best method for getting garlic peeled!’

    Others who also use lots of garlic in their food seemed optimistic about the trick but might need to hit Valentina up for tips.

    While we used the sharpest knife we could find in the work kitchen (which was still pretty blunt), and then a pair of scissors, it seems Valentina has opted for a small, sharp knife and pulled out the clove in a digging motion.

    Valentina used a knife to press onto the garlic and scooped it out
    Valentina used a knife to press onto the garlic and scooped it out (Picture: @VPestilenZ)

    In our attempts, the grip on the garlic was not tight enough and it just ended up becoming smush.

    So those who want to save time by seamlessly peeling away may want to study Valentina’s video, do some digging around online, or just resign to the idea that you’ll have to peel it the good old fashioned way.

    Unless someone comes up with another hack some time soon.

    MORE: We tried the pineapple hack and it didn’t work

    MORE: 29 brilliant food hacks that everyone needs to know

    Garlic Hack-3cd3Garlic Hack-3cd3

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    People drinking the Verano pink gin
    Perfect for summer (Picture: Asda)

    With the weather hotting up, you might be spending your afternoons dreaming of an ice cold G&T in the sun.

    So to really add to that summer vibe, Asda is selling a watermelon flavour.

    The Verano Watermelon gin is pink and sounds like it would be perfect with lemonade.

    The brand has also launched a lemon flavour infused with peel to give it a very zesty flavour.

    The bottle is 43% alcohol and is currently on sale at Asda for £20 for a 70cl bottle.

    According to the Asda website, it’s inspired by Spain and fresh local fruits.

    They said it’s a sweet and fruity gin that’s ‘a perfect gift for any gin enthusiast and great for sharing with friends’.

    The Verano pink gin with a jug, glasses and watermelon
    Yum! (Picture: Asda)

    Kayleigh Johnston, Verano Distiller, who created the new gin range, comments: ‘We are so excited to be adding a brand-new range to our William Grant & Sons premium gin portfolio.

    ‘Inspired by the colourful and relaxed atmosphere of Spain, Verano Gin is perfect for fun, easy summer entertaining – we can’t wait for people to enjoy our watermelon and lemon gins with their friends and family.’

    If you can’t be bothered to mix your own cocktail, there is more good news (though not specifically for gin fans).

    M&S has launched four new cocktails in cans.

    Now you can have an aperitivo spritzer, cherry spritzer, peach spritzer and a vermouth & tonic.

    If you want to stick to a traditional G&T, Sipsmiths are selling pre-mixed versions of those too this summer.

    Now pass us a glass with ice.

    MORE: Twitter user shares ‘best method’ for peeling garlic – but it didn’t work for us

    MORE: The best smart gym bags that you can also use for work


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    Teach your children the correct names for their genitals
    (Picture: Getty)

    When you were a kid you probably had a euphemistic name for your genitals.

    Was your vagina your twinkle? Your mini? Front bottom?

    Your penis might have been your pee-pee or your wee-wee?

    Whatever it was, the fashion for using nicknames for genitals is now out of line with official parenting advice. Which is why one parent was so outraged to discover that their child had been told off for using the word ‘penis’ at nursery.

    Writing on Mumsnet the parent explains that she was summoned for a meeting with her son’s nursery:

    ‘She closed the door and said in a very serious voice that DS [darling son] had told one of the workers that he liked his penis when she was changing his nappy. Then directly afterwards he said to some of the children that he likes his penis’.

    ‘Then she just stared at me with this weird worried look on her face. So I said “OK. I’m not sure what you want me to do. I think most little boys like touching their penises.”

    ‘She said that she understands that, but it’s inappropriate for him to use that sort of language in the nursery setting. ‘I said “I don’t understand what you mean, he’s not cursing, he just said he likes his penis.”

    The nursery manager then went on to explain her concerns, saying that ‘particularly the little girls, [would not want ] to hear that word and that the nursery workers had gone to her and she had told my [Darling Son] to stop saying it and explained to him that it wasn’t a nice thing to say.’

    The parent goes on to describe her reaction, saying ‘It’s [penis] not a bad word and her telling that it is will make him think it’s dirty or a bad thing, when it’s actually the correct word for it.

    ‘I said “Absolutely not. I’m not giving my child a complex or making him think his body is something to be ashamed of. He’s two for gods sake!”

    ‘Furthermore, I do not want you or anyone else to tell him not to say it either. If he says it again, just distract him with something and he’ll stop.’

    According the post the manager explained that she was trying to ‘avoid a situation where another parent gets upset because their child came home and said penis. I told her she can tell them that my son said it because his mother has taught him about all his body parts,’ she wrote.

    ‘Then we just stared at each other and I said that I had to go get [Darling Son] and I was disappointed with how they had handled it,’ the mom continued.

    The parent in question was disappointed with their husband’s response, writing.

    ‘He said he couldn’t believe I got so defensive and that he told me not to call it a penis because of that very thing,’ she wrote. ‘He said everyone here says willy and it’s more socially acceptable. He said it was all my fault and the nursery was correct. I am genuinely blown away. Was I wrong?’

    The NHS trust released a video back in 2017 encouraging parents to do away with nicknames for genitals, encouraging them to use ‘penis’ and ‘vulva’, the anatomically correct terms for genitals.

    The website attached to the project explains why using the correct words for your genitals is so important, writing: ‘

    If we want to be clear about what children mean when they talk to us about their body and touch, then we need to teach them accurate language.’

    Experts suggest that children who know the correct names for their genitals may be more able to communicate with adults if they are victims of sexual abuse, or experiencing intimate discomfort.

    You can read more about the Sandyford campaign here. 

    MORE: Twitter user shares ‘best method’ for peeling garlic – but it didn’t work for us

    MORE: Right-wing author writes bizarre slut-shaming tweet about women seducing men with ‘lubed legs’

    MORE: What are the weird adverts about dreams you keep seeing on the Tube?

    Tourist in EdinburghTourist in Edinburgh

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    The painting of Bailey and the picture from Joseph's profile
    The painting of Bailey and the picture from Joseph’s profile (Picture: @joseph.inabnet/Facebook)

    Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is hard, especially when it’s unexpected.

    Joseph Inabnet had to put his beloved dog Bailey down in October last year – but he’s already bought and paid for a supply of special pet food to last her for months.

    When she died, he asked the company he ordered it from if he could return it as it was unopened, and worth about $70.

    Amazingly the company agreed to return his money but asked him to donate it instead.

    In a Facebook post, he said: ‘If anyone has ever dealt with Chewy.com, they probably know just how wonderful their customer service is. But today, it went to the next level.

    ‘I had to put my Bailey down in October. She had been on prescription dog food, and I had a brand new unopened bag (about $70). I asked Chewy if I could return it.

    The card he received from Chewy
    The card he received (Picture: @joseph.inabnet/Facebook)
    The card and painting he received from Chewy.com
    The painting was a beautiful tribute (Picture: @joseph.inabnet/Facebook)

    ‘They told me to donate it instead, and they returned my money. GREAT customer service; right? IT GETS BETTER!!’

    That wasn’t all they did for him. They found a picture of his dog he thinks he uploaded at some point and sent him a personalised painting of her by artist Sharon LaVoie Lamb.

    The painting arrived with a card, which said: ‘Pets come into our lives, leave paw prints on our hearts and we are forever changed.

    ‘We’re sending lots of love and positive thoughts. If you ever need anything, we’re always here. Warmly, the Chewy Family.’

    Joseph was incredibly touched by their gesture and added: ‘I don’t know how to make something go viral, but Chewy.com

    deserves recognition for their outstanding attention to detail and customer service.’

    The post did indeed go viral, with over 100,000 shares.

    What a beautiful thing to do.

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    Owner asks for refund on dog food after his pet dies and receives a touching gift paying tributeOwner asks for refund on dog food after his pet dies and receives a touching gift paying tribute

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