Articles on this Page
- 07/18/19--10:03: _Asda releases new L...
- 07/18/19--22:11: _Why Ben and Jerry’s...
- 07/18/19--23:01: _Daily Fitness Chall...
- 07/18/19--23:10: _Woman discovers how...
- 07/19/19--00:01: _Working out with a ...
- 07/19/19--00:37: _Maldives hotel lets...
- 07/19/19--01:10: _Coupon-loving mum f...
- 07/19/19--02:18: _Child born with bul...
- 07/19/19--03:02: _Two sisters have ma...
- 07/19/19--03:13: _Spill It: What a 29...
- 07/19/19--03:22: _Horoscopes aren’t r...
- 07/19/19--03:27: _Target is now selli...
- 07/19/19--03:57: _Add a splash of col...
- 07/19/19--05:25: _Gimps want people t...
- 07/19/19--05:42: _These sisters are e...
- 07/19/19--05:46: _Stroking a cat or a...
- 07/19/19--07:05: _Why figuring out yo...
- 07/19/19--07:23: _Bracken the dog get...
- 07/19/19--07:37: _How to get comforta...
- 07/19/19--07:59: _This crust-only piz...
- 07/18/19--10:03: Asda releases new Lion King themed bedroom collection
- 07/18/19--23:01: Daily Fitness Challenge: How long can you stay in a beast hold?
- Lie on the floor facing the ceiling with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Have your partner lie down facing you, interlacing their feet with yours.
- Squeeze your abs and lift your shoulders off the floor.
- Sit up and reach to clap high-5 both hands with your partner.
- Lower your shoulders slowly back to starting position.
- Complete 10 times, and then rest for one minute before starting again. Repeat for 10 minutes.
- Begin facing each other in a plank position. Space yourself so that you are at arm’s reach of each other.
- Place each hand as wide as is comfortable.
- Slowly lower your chest towards the floor whilst keeping your abs tight and back straight
- Push back up to the start position and clap your partner’s opposite hand.
- Complete 10 times, and then rest for one minute before starting again. Repeat for 10 minutes.
- Begin facing each other, about one metre away, with feet hip-width distance apart.
- Sit into a squat whilst keeping a tall spine and braced core.
- Then jump as high as you can and give your partner a high-5 mid-air.
- Land softly on your feet.
- Complete ten times, and then rest for one minute before starting again. Repeat for 10 minutes.
- 48% of people said they felt better for hitting the gym with their partner, compared to going alone.
- 45% of women said that working out with a partner encouraged them to exercise for longer.
- 74% of men surveyed said that training together has made their relationship stronger.
- Over a third of respondents said that shared gym time made them more physically attracted to their partner.
- 07/19/19--01:10: Coupon-loving mum feeds her family of four for under £3 a day
- Use coupons and cashback websites
- Plan your meals for the week
- Do not be afraid to take items back. That’s money in your pocket rather than in the retailer’s till.
- Double up by using vouchers and discount codes together.
- Sign up to get freebies in the post
- 07/19/19--03:13: Spill It: What a 29-year-old journalist drinks in a week
- Crayola Crayons: longer lasting, delivering true colour with a texture that blends easily
- Crayola Coloured Pencils: wide variety of colours with extra strength against breaking
- Crayola Twistables Crayons: twistable fun and easier colouring
- Crayola Twistables Coloured Pencils: no need sharpening, just twisting!
- Crayola SuperTips Washable Markers: 100% washable for less mess when colouring, brilliant colour intensity, and one of the biggest variety of colours to inspire kids creativity
- Crayola Pip-Squeaks Mini Markers: easy grip for smaller hands, wide coverage when colouring
- 07/19/19--05:25: Gimps want people to know they’re not creeps
- 07/19/19--07:37: How to get comfortable having sex with the lights on
Asda has released a new Lion King themed homeware range to celebrate the launch of the new live-action film.
The new collection, launched by George at Asda, features a load of bits for the bedroom featuring characters from the cartoon Disney movie.
The collection includes duvet covers and pillows, each with beloved characters printed on them.
This includes duvet covers featuring Nala and Simba, animal print duvets with ‘The Lion King’ printed on them and Simba, Timon and Pumbaa walking through the trees.
There is also a cute pillow with Simba’s face on it.
Each single duvet set costs £15 and is reversible, with a different design on each side – meaning you don’t have to buy loads of sets to fill up your Lion King collection.
The website says: ‘If your little Disney fan just can’t wait to go to sleep, this reversible Lion King duvet set from George Home is perfect for them.’
Alongside the jungle-themed duvets there is also a cute ‘Best Friends’ set, featuring a pillow of Nala following Simba and a duvet of the pair laying together with their tails paired up into a heart surrounded by hearts and flowers. How sweet.
There’s also another pillow of Simba printed with the words ‘Cub Life’.
Sadly, the pillows don’t come with the set – you have to buy them separately at £8, which isn’t too expensive.
And, if you want to get super cosy, there’s also a fleece for £7.
And finally, though this isn’t for the bedroom, there’s also a Lion King towel for sale for £7, which is ‘ideal for any age’.
We’ll take four to fill our bathrooms, thanks.
Lion king at asda
Ben and Jerry’s might be best known for their edgy and quirky flavour names, but things haven’t always gone to plan.
Famed for the likes of Americone Dream, Out Of This Swirled and Karamel Sutra, it’s safe to say the guys over at B&J are pun experts.
Enter the controversial name: Schweddy Balls.
‘It was based on the character Pete Schweddy from Saturday Night Live, who was played by Alec Baldwin…it was this very popular sketch,’ Flavour Guru Lisa Scholtz explained as Metro.co.uk took a trip to B&J headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.
The sketch in question was Delicious Dish, which saw Alec’s character wanting to show the hosts his ‘popcorn balls, cheese balls, rum balls, you name it,’ from the Schweddy family recipe.
However, when the Christian group One Million Moms called for a boycott of the company over the ‘offensive’ name, things took a turn for the bizarre.
According to HuffPost, the group told members: ‘In the past, Ben & Jerry’s has released controversial ice creams, like a special edition of Chubby Hubby called Hubby Hubby last year which celebrated gay marriage. It seems that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry’s’.
The site added that One Million Moms asked members to take action against the company.
‘Please send Ben & Jerry’s Public Relations Manager, Sean Greenwood, an email letter requesting that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed,’ they were said to have written.
‘Also, highly recommend they refrain from producing another batch with this name or any other offensive names or you will no longer be able to purchase their products.’
It wouldn’t be the last time the company would face controversy, with them recently facing a ban for placing adverts too close to a school.
Nevertheless, on this occasion, the controversy didn’t hinder sales in the slightest, with Lisa telling us that Schweddy Balls actually became a bestseller.
‘It got mixed reviews internally, but it was the best-selling flavour we had,’ she explained.
‘There were retailers that refused to carry it but, where it sold, it sold ridiculously well.’
Pete Schweddy would be so proud.
Which controversial Ben and Jerry's flavour was banned and why?
Today’s fitness challenge is the beast hold – how long can you hold it for?
As part of our Staying Active summer series, we have teamed up with experts to set you daily challenges to try at home, at the gym or in the park.
Check back every weekday to see what the next challenge is – you can even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.
The aim is to get you active every day for six weeks over summer. And today’s challenge is a tough one that will send your heart-rate through the roof.
These daily challenges can be done in isolation, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.
We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.
How to do a beast hold
Start on your hands and knees with your toes tucked under and digging down into the ground. The hands should be shoulder width, while the knees and feet are hip width.
The beast hold starts when you engage your abs, squeeze your glutes and raising your knees exactly an inch off the ground.
See how long you can hold this position without lifting your bum or letting your spine arch. One minute is a good starting point to aim for.
I am Team GB
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
Fitness instructor working with a group who are in the plank position
Need a reminder to chuck your bra in the laundry basket?
Learn from the horror of one woman, who discovered just how dirty her bras truly are – even after running them through the washing machine.
Posting in the Mums Who Clean Facebook group, the woman shared a photo of the filthy brown water that formed as a result of soaking her bras in a strip wash.
The woman said she put six of her bras in a tub straight after they’d been removed from the washing machine, which hints at just how much dirt a regular wash might not be able to clear.
She added detergent, left the bras to soak for an hour and a half, and returned to find the water had turned a murky brown.
She sums it up best with her reaction: ‘I did the soak thing on 6 of my bras… ewwwww.’
Now, as gross as the water may look, there’s no evidence that lingering dirt on your bras will do you any harm.
If your skin isn’t irritated and you’re feeling grand, you don’t need to panic.
But if you’re into feeling clean and don’t like the idea of wearing secretly grubby underwear, this is a worthwhile reminder to wash your bra a little more frequently.
That’ll also help prevent the smell of being wedged against your underarms and underboob sweat all day.
That might not be feasible, unless you happen to have a massive wardrobe of bras so you can pick out a fresh one each day, but it gives you an idea of what’s ideal. If you’ve been washing your bra once a month, it’s likely to be quite dirty.
Washing a bra every two or three wears feels more doable, and will make sure your lingerie isn’t sitting in its own filth.
And then, when you’re feeling curious and want to see exactly how much dirt is lurking in your bra’s material, it’s time for a strip wash.
This is essentially the proper way to let something soak. You place the item in a container with boiling hot water, add laundry detergent, and soak for a few hours. Behold the grimy water that your left with, be suitably disturbed, then chuck the item in a washing machine for a final rinse.
Woman discovers how gross her bras really are
Working out with a partner can be really fun.
Not only are you more likely to actually show up, studies have shown that working out with a friend or partner typically means you will both work harder than you would if you were alone.
Another added bonus is that training together tends to mean you feel a stronger bond with your workout buddy – so it could even help to improve your friendship or relationship.
We asked the experts to devise the perfect buddy workout to try with your partner or your BFF – and we can’t wait to give it a go.
Full-body buddy workout
Remember: warm up first with some on-the-spot jogging and star jumps, until you’re both ready to get going.
Cool down afterwards with static stretches, holding each stretch or 15-30 seconds.
In 2017 PureGym teamed up with the Sports Science Agency to investigate the difference in training with a partner versus training alone.
The study put three couples through a vigorous workout, including bench presses, planks and cycling.
The first week, the couples were separated and performed the workout on their on with no encouragement, and then they returned a week later and did the same workout with their partner, either competing side by side, or encouraging from the side-lines.
The findings showed that working out with a partner resulted in a higher work rate across the majority of exercises performed together.
One of the couples recorded better and higher scores for every single exercise when they worked out together, while the other two couples clocked a stronger performance when they worked out in partnership for 75% of the exercises.
The benefits of working out with a partner
PureGym surveyed more than 2,000 couples about working out together:
Ab workout for couples
Aim to complete between 2-4 rounds with your partner for a serious ab blast workout.
Oblique side dips – 20 reps (10 each side)
Start by getting into a plank position with your elbows on the floor. Brace your abs.
From this position, touch your left hip to the floor then return back to starting position. This counts as one rep.
Work the other side by touching your right hip to the floor and return back to starting position. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Alternating mountain climbers with bosu ball – 20 reps
To perform this exercise, start by putting your feet on the bosu ball and get into a press-up position.
Keeping your core tight, bring your knee up to your opposite elbow, alternating between each leg. Complete a total of 20 reps before moving on.
Using your muscles to stabilise yourself on the bosu ball means your core will be working to the max.
Regular mountain climbers – 20 reps
If the above is too challenging, swap in for these regular mountain climbers (as above but on a flat surface).
If you’re looking for a tougher workout, then do these extra 20 reps of regular mountain climbers to really get the abs working hard.
Leg raisers – 20 seconds
Lying flat on your back, bring your legs up to a 90 degree angle.
Lower your legs slowly using your core and pause just before touching the ground before bringing them back up again.
Throughout the whole movement try to keep your whole back on the floor. Complete as many reps as you can with good control for 20 seconds.
Russian twists with medicine ball – 20 reps
To do this exercise, you will need a medicine ball.
Use a 4kg medicine ball to start with, and if that’s too easy increase the weight to suit you and your partner.
Start by sitting on the floor with your back straight, chest tight and core engaged. Lift your legs slightly off the floor. Bring the medicine ball across your body and pass it along to your partner.
Your partner should then bring the medicine ball over their torso, tapping it on the floor and then bring the ball over their torso again to pass it back to you.
Repeat for 20 reps. If this is too challenging, you can always keep both feet on the ground.
V-sit – 15 reps
Sit with your legs on the floor, shoulder-width apart in a V position.
From this position, you want to put your hands above your head and sit up focusing moving up as if you’re trying to reach the ceiling.
Complete 15 reps.
I am Team GB
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
Couple working out
If you’re sitting at your desk right now, with only a view of the back of someone’s head and a grey wall outside the window, we apologise.
And we must warn you: Upon seeing these pictures you will be struck with a deep longing to head to the Maldives.
Over in the Maldives is the Grand Park Kodhipparu, a hotel with one very special feature.
Take a look at the location on Instagram and you’ll see a load of people in one spot: hanging out in a net over the sea.
Essentially functioning as a massive hammock the hotel’s nets are suspended over the clear blue waters, allowing guests to lie back, look at the stars, and hear the ocean as they drift off to sleep.
Can you imagine a more soothing way to snooze?
Of course, most influencers don’t use the nets for a quick nap. They’re using it for Instagram opportunities, getting a pal (or a drone) to snap pics as they lounge during the day time – sea and sky in the background.
Handily, there’s a net bed for each of the 120 villas, so you won’t have to queue up to hop on and pretend to be asleep. What a relief.
As with most Instagram hot spots, the hotel is on the pricier end of things, costing around £325 a night for a villa.
Don’t worry, there are proper beds inside the villas, so you don’t have to sleep outside every night (although, why wouldn’t you?).
The hotel’s website reads: ‘Wake up to the beautiful sunny day in the private ocean water villa, located near the island facilities and offers limitless views of the sky and sea.
‘Also features a private terrace with sun lounger, inviting steps to the underwater world as well as an expansive bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower.’
Outside of the snazzy day beds, each of the villas also includes indoor and outdoor showers, a minibar, and immediate access to the reef and ocean. Lovely.
Anyone fancy going halves on a stay?
Hotel lets you sleep under the stars over the ocean
Let us all learn from the thrifty skills of Lucy Noble.
Lucy, 40, is a mum of two and a self-confessed coupon queen. She absolutely loves a bargain, and her money-saving ways mean she feeds her family for under £3 a day.
Plus, she’s already done her Christmas shopping, having saved a load of cash by doing it all in the January sales.
The key to her scrimping is having no shame about using apps, vouchers, coupons, and discount codes, and planning out her shopping with military precision.
Lucy will even return full-price items for a refund, just so she can buy them for a reduced amount when they go in the sale.
All the money she saves go straight to her children; Abbey, six, and Owen, nine.
Lucy says: ‘My mates say that I’m tight, but I say I’m just thrifty.
‘I’m obsessed with making savings – it takes over your life. I do spend a lot of time on my phone. I would say about two to three hours a day looking for offers. My husband tells me off quite a bit for it.
‘I’ve always been a bit of a bargain hunter and started trying to save money when I was in my early 20s.
‘My sister used to sell a lot of stuff on eBay, so I started doing that, then it went on from there.’
At first Lucy just used coupons in passing, but in recent years she’s become a dedicated bargain hunter.
She’s joined a load of Facebook groups so she can keep an eye on the latest offers, and every day will search ‘latest freebies’, saying that can get you everything from food to makeup.
Lucy also signs up to do product testing, so she’s sent full-size bottles of lotions and potions for free.
One of her regular bargain hunting tools is Try It, which tells users when emails are going out offering freebies, the Ashleigh Money Saver websites, and the Reward Me Now app, which lets you buy a code to get discounts of up to 18%.
‘I get such a buzz when I see a bargain,’ says Lucy.
‘Last Christmas I got some dressing gowns for £25 each and they reduced the price two days later, so I took them back and got a refund, then bought them again for £12.50.
‘Most of my friends say, ‘Oh I wouldn’t dare to do that,’ but I’m saving money, so why wouldn’t I? It was £12.50 to spend on something else.
‘I will return things even if buying them again in the sale only means saving a couple of pounds, because I would rather have that money back.
‘I’ve ordered things online before, then realised two days later they have reduced the price, so I’ve ordered them again at the cheaper amount and sent the originals back to get a full price refund.’
Lucy has managed to restrict her weekly food shop to just £20 for a family of four, using offers and the Feed Your Family For Around £20 A Week Facebook page (which advises you to do exactly what it says on the tin).
Her budget requires careful meal planning and hunting down bargains, but Lucy says this has allowed her to save more than £1,500 a year.
‘Some people say they don’t have time to do it, but it doesn’t have to take a long time if you plan carefully,’ says Lucy.
‘Before I go shopping I will check online for offers, check the apps and then decide what supermarket to go to.
‘I’m thinking about what I’m going to do for the kids’ tea throughout the week and how many meals I can make from something. Nothing is wasted.
‘I cook stuff like Bolognese from scratch, working out how much we will eat and freezing the rest. If we have a chicken we will use everything – we’ll even use the carcass for stock for a soup.
Lucy's top tips for saving cash:
‘You can also buy fresh vegetables for just as little. You can find them for 20p. I go to the local butcher who often has offers on, too, and stock up, putting items in the freezer.
‘It’s great, as I’m saving money and the kids are eating healthily. It’s just about being organised and being savvy.
‘I used to spend about £50 a week and I’ve managed to reduce that by £30 which really adds up over a year.’
When it comes to travel, the mum will save on that, too, by shopping around for the cheapest deal.
The same applies at Christmas. Lucy will pounce on the January sales to do all of the next year’s Christmas shopping at a significantly reduced price. Then she wraps all the stuff and keeps it in an airing cupboard.
She says: ‘I also get birthday presents, so if the kids end up going to a party they have a gift already. I make a note of all the things I’ve bought so I don’t forget.
‘Friends will spend £700 to £800 per child at Christmas, while I don’t really have a budget, but I try and keep it below £200.
‘Having things bought and wrapped takes so much of the stress out of it. Friends will go out on Christmas Eve to get presents and I can’t think of anything worse than doing that.
‘I’ll also collect makeup samples, which make great little gifts, and looking out for free items you get with magazines.
‘Quite often you’ll pay £4 for the magazine and get a mascara worth £15, so I’ll go to different shops to buy the same magazine, but with a different gift.’
Noticing a theme? For Lucy, saving money is all about hunting out bargains and putting the time in to find the best possible deal.
If you want to do the same, throw away any awkwardness about asking for deals.
‘I am bargain crazy and if I see a shop closing down I’ll have a really good look for stuff,’ Lucy says. ‘I want to see if I can get stuff for as cheap as possible.
‘I will pay full price occasionally, but very rarely, and if I can I will get it discounted.
‘I have no idea how much I save, but I think it must be thousands of pounds, especially when you take into account the savings on holidays.
‘I get stuck with the label of being tight, but if I can save money that will go into my savings – meaning we can take the kids on a nice holiday, so it’s worth doing.’
coupon-loving mum saves a load of money buying christmas presents in the january sales
Jeannie Ewing had an easy pregnancy with no complications, until she went into a 26-hour labour.
After her daughter, Sarah, was delivered by C-section, the mum and her husband, Ben, were asked if her family had any history of genetic conditions.
That’s when the couple saw that their daughter had a protruding forehead, bulging eyes, and webbed fingers and toes.
Her visible differences didn’t matter, of course. Jeannie and Ben fell in love with her daughter immediately.
But in the months that followed the parents discovered that Sarah had a rare condition that will require tens of surgeries throughout her life.
Sarah was diagnosed with Apert syndrome, a condition which can be identified by fusion of the skull bones, which changes the way the head appears. It also fuses the fingers and toes.
People with Apert syndrome tend to require between 20 and 60 crucial surgeries throughout their lives, usually to ensure the skull doesn’t settle in an incorrect position.
The condition also affects Sarah emotionally, making her mental age around three years old despite being six.
She had her first operation at just six months old, and has to undergo at least three specialist appointments each week, with occupational therapy, music therapy, and counselling.
Sarah faces a lifetime of specialised care and operations, but Jeannie and Ben are just grateful to have her as their daughter.
Jeannie said: ‘Sarah was born with Apert syndrome due to a genetic fluke. This means she didn’t get it from the family, but she can pass it onto her own children if and when she decides to have her own children.
‘Sarah has had seven operations so far. She started therapy at just three months old and had her first operation to open up the fused portion of her head.
‘Because of her emotional age (three), she can sometimes have tantrums, but we are working hard on this by rewarding her for positive behaviours such as sharing.’
Jeannie and Ben hope to keep Sarah’s life as normal as possible.
They’re not sure what her prognosis is so they take each day as it comes, and take her illness as a reminder of what’s really important in life.
‘We hadn’t even heard of Apert syndrome before,’ says Jeannie. ‘When the doctors told us, I was completely incredulous to it.
‘In fact, the medical team told us ‘it was like a supernatural light was shining bright from the room when we saw how much you embraced and loved her when Sarah was born’.
‘We all shared a heartfelt joke that we must be Christians or in denial, but it was a very powerful observation and I’ll never forget that moment.
‘Sarah has such an amazing personality and character. She’s a boisterous child. She is usually happy, talkative and very friendly. She’s unintentionally funny and makes me smile and brings me joy every single day.
‘It’s important to remember that she is still just a little girl and needs to feel somewhat ‘normal’.
‘She is absolutely in love with Minnie Mouse, she loves to sing and dance. Her favourite song is ‘California Dreamin” by The Mamas and the Papas. She also enjoys riding her tricycle to the park and swimming at her grandparents’ house.
‘We don’t know what her prognosis is. The data isn’t really there for that kind of thing.
‘It’s important to not over worry about what may or may not happen. Just simply take every single day as it comes.’
Baby born with bulging eyes and webbed fingers
Two sisters who married brothers say they are looking forward to their kids becoming double cousins.
Hope and Hannah Weaks became sisters in blood and law when they wed siblings Ben and Brian Minter.
Hannah was 13 when she first started dating Brian in 2007, and Hope and Ben got together while chaperoning their younger siblings on dates.
While Hannah and Brian broke up in 2008, Hope and Ben’s relationship continued and the pair got married in 2011 with their siblings by their side.
Hannah, a hair stylist, and Brian, a shipping associate, remained friends after their eighth grade breakup but said they always had ‘chemistry.’
When Hope, a web designer, and Ben, a freight manager, threw a first birthday party for their daughter Kira, in December 2016, Hannah and Brian rekindled their love.
Hannah and Brian, both 25, wed in December 2017 and the couple are expecting a little girl in November.
The pair said they are looking forward to giving their nieces Kira, aged three and Thea, two, a ‘double cousin’ – when cousins are blood related through both parents.
Hope, 28, said: ‘Brian and Hannah started dating when they were in the seventh grade and our parents wouldn’t let them go on dates alone so Ben and I would have to chaperone.
‘We built up a friendship and when we would have to take the younger ones bowling or to the movies we got to hang out too so it turned into something more.
‘Ben and I ended up getting married in 2011 and we had our daughter Kira a couple of years later in 2015.’
Hannah said: ‘Brian and I broke up just before we started high school but we remained friends.
‘Over the years, we always had chemistry but it was never the right time. We were in relationships with other people.
‘When I met Brian at our niece’s birthday, there was something different between us and things just fell into place.
‘We kept our relationship a secret at first because we didn’t want to cause any drama in our family if things didn’t work out.
‘It was a fun time and it gave us the opportunity to see if our relationship was for real.
‘We became engaged in September and we got married on New Year’s Eve.’
Hope and Ben didn’t believe that their siblings, all of Reidsville, North Carolina, USA, would reconnect but were thrilled when the couple decided to get married last year.
Ben, 30, said: ‘Hope and I were pretty much always of the same opinion that we didn’t think that they would end up getting back together because they seemed to be going down their own paths in life in two different directions.
‘When they decided to get married it was a pretty joyous time for the two of us to get to be a part of that time in their lives and to have confidence that they were both marrying someone that genuinely cared for our siblings.’
Hope added: ‘It was so awesome to watch my sister marry Brian and our little girls got to be a part of their big day which they were thrilled about. It has made everything so easy.
‘People who don’t know the story think it’s really cool. When they figure it out, they say ‘Only in Reidsville’. But it’s been great for our whole family.’
Brian and Hannah say rekindling their romance has come with many benefits but fraternal double dates are perhaps the biggest perk.
Brian said: ‘I would say one major pro of marrying siblings is knowing you will like your brother-in-law.
‘We go on double dates a lot and having the same in-laws makes family time much easier. We get to spend so much more time together, which is great.’
Ben added: ‘My Grandpa and his brother also married sisters so people joke that it’s a family tradition that skipped a generation.’
Brian and Hannah are expecting their first daughter in November and Hope and Ben are excited for their daughters to meet their ‘double cousin’.
Hope said: ‘They are expecting a little one in November and we are so, so excited for her to meet Kira and Thea. We are so happy for Brian and Hannah.’
Brian said: ‘Now that we are expecting our first daughter and they will be double first cousins it makes it even more exciting. We can’t wait to see how much they look alike.’
How much booze do you drink in a week?
No, not how much you’d tell your doctor you drink.
Not a general category of ‘a moderate amount, I think’.
Our weekly series, Spill It, asks people to anonymously share the reality of their alcohol consumption over the course of a week – the units, the beverage choice, and the emotions behind every sip.
Why? Because we can all be a bit cagey when it comes to taking a no holds barred look at our relationship to alcohol. Seeing it all written out can be pretty life-changing.
This week we’re following the drinking diary of Este, a 29-year-old journalist living in London.
I have that Friday feeling when I leave the house at 6.50am. I am (perhaps worryingly) already looking forward to grasping a vat of wine in this evening’s golden hour.
I tend to get some kind of booze craving mid-week but after acknowledging 7am is a bit too early to be thinking about red wine I then worry how much of my excitement for the weekend is down to a lie-in, the gig I’m heading to tonight or the fact I am going to let myself have a drink for the first time in six days.
Finishing work at 5pm and skipping out the door, I am eager to start my weekend and have my first gulp.
I meet my boyfriend for a pre-gig dinner and have a £9 Aperol in the sun. I order this at 6.07 and it is gone by 6.15. I remind myself to slow down – for the sake of my bank account and liver.
I have a large glass of red wine with dinner and then another at a bar closer to gig. Feeling tipsy I vow to not mix my drinks tonight and stick to red.
We get to the venue about 8 and have another wine and then against all good intentions a prosecco, served in a can no less.
Feeling a bit drunk we head home after the gig. I’m adamant I want one more drink en route but my boyfriend reminds me we have a 10am pilates class. Bed by 12, along with a large bag of Hula Hoops.
I wake up at the ungodly hour of 6am panicking over what I said/did/Tweeted in my tipsy state. I check Twitter, realise I didn’t say anything that will get me sacked, dumped or make my friends and family hate me and manage to grab a few more zzzs. Got to love that hangxiety.
I sleep through my alarm and rush to pilates. Hungover and dehydrated I tell myself that maybe I won’t drink today or, you know, just have a couple.
My boyfriend and I head to a festival with some friends in the afternoon and I neck a Pimms tinny in the queue and then a Aperol Spritz once we’re in.
I’m acutely aware of how I felt at 6am this morning and already envisioning tomorrow’s meltdown so decide to wait a bit before my next drink.
I last about an hour before I hit the frozen cocktail stand – have two piña coladas and then another Aperol all while witnessing terrible dance moves in the disco tent. On the way home we grab a cocktail at my favourite bar.
I’m in bed by 10, not feeling too drunk thanks to copious amounts of festival food and a late night Dairy Milk.
I sleep for 11 hours and get up feeling groggy with no time to go for an intended 10km run.
My anxiety is awful – I feel panicked and guilty for overindulging on food and booze in the last two days and not exercising. I vow not to drink from now until next Thursday.
My friend is moving back up North so I attempt to pull myself together and head out to a goodbye lunch for him. Worried that everyone will be drinking I plan what I’m going to say when I’m asked why I’m not. While, as my friends and I have got older, it’s no longer taboo to eschew alcohol, I still sometimes feel the pressure to drink – especially if it is a special occasion like this.
Luckily everyone went too hard last night and we all sip on Diet Cokes and sparkling water.
I head home after lunch, anxiety very much still there so chill for the rest of the day, conscious of having a day of annual leave tomorrow and not wanting to lose it to my anxiety.
My boyfriend and I have the day off today and, when planning what we’re going to do, we both say we’re not up for drinking.
We go for a long run, and plan to wander around the shops before heading to a Vietnamese cooking class later in the evening. We read there is lots of wine to drink at this class so we sensibly plan to take lots of sparkling water so we’re not tempted.
After wandering in the sun and around the shops, we grab a snack at a tapas bar and find the idea of cava sangria too hard to resist, so we have a litre and it goes straight to my head. Justify it by declaring we are on ‘our holidays’… kind of.
Head to cooking class and, to no one’s surprise, we shun the sparkling water for the wine on offer. Have three glasses and head home tipsy.
Have possibly one of the most awful night’s sleep of my life thanks to chronic period pain and wake up with awful anxiety.
No booze today and mark out in my diary ‘two weeks of sobriety’ – kicking off this Friday. I’m very aware I have an all-in or all-out mentality when it comes to drinking. It’s either sobriety or full bingeing and I want to kick that cycle.
The evening is spent cooking with my boyfriend and heading to bed at 9pm.
Wake up from a lovely alcohol free snooze. Have a productive day at work and evening at the gym and making falafel. I go to bed early again feeling relaxed and calm.
Wake up well-slept. Tonight I have drinks with my best pals and one of them, who moved to Asia last year, is back for the evening.
I head to work in a flurry of excited anticipation for wine with my girls and impending doom of a Friday hangover. This is also my last day of booze for two weeks if Tuesday’s pledge is anything to go by.
I have an Aperol while I am waiting in the pub for my friends to arrive. Once they do we work our way through three bottles of white wine, and a plate of nachos for dinner. I end the evening with an espresso martini – a bold and, in hindsight, optimistic move for someone who intended to be asleep within an hour.
Unsurprisingly I wake up fuzzy-headed and on edge. I bee-line for carbohydrates and coffee on the way to work and am looking forward to a Friday night on the sofa and, all being well, two weeks without alcohol. Wish me luck.
Weekly units: 50
NHS recommended units: 14
Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email email@example.com.
Spill It: 29-year-old journo
When it comes to star signs, I’m a chronic sceptic. I’m also partial to a balanced argument. Classic Libra.
So when a friend suggested I download astrology app The Pattern I was as dubious as I was curious.
Horoscopes are for gullible fools but this pragmatic realist would be lying if she said she hadn’t once googled the romantic compatibility of an air and water sign after discovering that the hot guy at work was a Pisces.
No psychic could have predicted my reaction to this app. For those of you who haven’t already texted your mum to ask what time you were born, The Pattern is an astrology based app which claims to give its users ‘the most in-depth and comprehensive information about yourself, your relationships and various time periods in your life.’ Hmm.
But after entering my name and date, time and place of birth into the relevant fields, what the app offered up left me shook. So much so, I slammed my phone face-down on my desk for fear that it may be penetrating my soul though the selfie-cam.
Detailed behavioural patterns, bad relationship habits, emotional blocks – in a matter of seconds it had told me things about myself that my therapist took months to unpack. I was as unsettled as I was intrigued. But how?
I don’t have enough self-importance to believe that my fate is somehow written in the stars, nor am I credulous enough to think it is written in the binary coding of my iPhone. Yet my response to the The Pattern’s evaluation was undeniably visceral and transcended rationale.
I wasn’t alone. I needed to test it out on my most cynical friends. Their reaction was similar. The Pattern’s popularity was boosted this week as Channing Tatum posted a video of his disbelief at the app’s apparent omniscience.
‘How do you know what you know about me Pattern?’ he asked. Even Magic Mike couldn’t comprehend its magic.
Maybe it’s just cleverly worded copy designed to resonate with the masses under the illusion of individuality. Maybe The Pattern declares ubiquitous truths that resonate with all of us on some level. Maybe it’s just sound advice worded in an objective, non-judgemental way in the manner of a good therapist.
Whatever it is, the growing popularity of astrology appears to be filling a religious void in the atheistic lives of millennial technophiles. Fulfilling the human need for a connection to something greater than ourselves.
More than half of the UK’s population now identifies as secular. Perhaps society’s growing narcissistic tendencies mean we are less drawn to generalised religious teachings and find personalised, individual teachings more appealing.
I’d probably class myself as a spiritual atheist but my need for scientific proof is greater than my capacity for faith. I like evidence, facts, data…the opposite of faith.
I know that, scientifically, the time of year in which you were born can impact the course of your life. Studies suggest that babies born in September are more likely to succeed at school because they will be the oldest in their year group. But these are external, societal factors and nothing to do with the zodiac.
People often turn to faith and horoscopes when they are feeling at their most vulnerable and nothing makes humans feel more emotionally exposed than matters of the heart.
In my years of singledom I have accrued a wealth of dating data.The more experience I have, the more I learn to appreciate the importance of timing in relationships but I’m not convinced that includes the exact time you were born.
My experience with The Pattern was undeniably spooky, but as with most things I have taken from it what I find useful and applicable. Much like watching a TV show with a well-written script, there are bound to be elements of the protagonist with which you identify.
As much as I feel like Phoebe Waller-Bridge had an insight into my disordered life when she wrote Fleabag, I won’t be visiting a Catholic Church to find myself a hot priest any time soon.
Maybe The Pattern knows us. Maybe our lives are just entirely predictable. Or maybe it’s another ploy to collect our personal data.
One thing’s for sure: I haven’t figured out The Pattern as much as it appears to have figured out me.
Now go ask your mum what time you were born.
I followed my horoscope precisely for a month and here's what happened (Rosy)
Halloween might be three months away but we’d imagine some of you are in a frenzy prepping your spookiest wares. We’re talking planting an entirely new crop of over-sized pumpkins to carve, whipping out the trusty ouija to summon a spirit for your October party, and a lot of Pinterest costume planning.
Target has just given all of us, particularly children with a disability, another reason to get pumped for the scary season with their new collection of wheelchair-adaptive costumes. And damn are they cute.
The pirate costume includes your regular swashbuckler’s get-up: a vest, striped trousers, tricorn hat and sassy eye patch. The ensemble includes adaptive features like an opening in the trousers for ease of dressing and widened trouser legs so that shoes can stay on.
Additional props include epic pirate ship chair covers, sea design wheel covers and one heckin’ Jolly Roger flag to fly from the back of the chair.
Also part of Target’s Hyde and Eek! Boutique collection is the princess costume. There’s a fuchsia frock with gold embellishments and of course, a crown for ‘a gal with magical dreams’.
Also available is a purple and silver royal carriage to be fitted to the wheelchair. One reviewer even suggested to add fairy lights to up the enchantment levels.
On the Target online store, the princess costume is listed under ‘girls’ and pirate under ‘boys’, but obviously it’s Halloween (and 2019), so any child can be a crown-wearing princess or swashbuckling pirate if they like.
The clothing parts of the costumes come in small, medium and large, for ages four and up.
Each chair covers can be snipped to fit a range of wheelchair sizes. Costumes are now available for pre-order. Prices range from $20 – $45.
The store also released two other adaptive costumes for kids with sensory processing issues. Shark and unicorn costumes incorporate detachable sections, flat seams, concealed openings and no irritating tags to allow for more comfort and less irritation.
Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of more adaptive costumes, for kids, teens and grown-ups, please!
target halloween costumes
There are just a few weeks before the summer holidays are here and the countdown is on. Life isn’t always a beach over those six weeks when you’re battling against boredom, bad weather and an unforgiving budget. Fear not, we’ve got some creative ideas from Crayola to keep your kids happy.
Let’s face it, cries of ‘mum, there’s nothing to do’, can trigger panic mode into even the most equipped super mums. Keeping the brood entertained is a demanding affair, but fear not we’ve got some brilliant ideas with Crayola for you to keep in your arsenal and your kids happy.
This summer, Crayola will be offering kids colourful days out at any Sea Life attractions across the country for free, with a “Kids Go Free” voucher on special promotional packs.
Kids can be happiest when they express their ideas through colour(ing), so here’s top ideas on how to enjoy creative fun with the kids:
Help your kids get creative by decorating their own rooms with a cool and colourful hanging star. This can be a hanging pendant that your children personalise their room with by using lots of different colours and designs.
To create the shape, you’re going to need some paper bags. For the colour, the video above uses paint, but actually you can save yourself the hour of drying time and use crayons or even Crayola SuperTips Washable Markers instead. It’s all about keeping them fixated on their masterpiece until it’s finished.
They’ll need some adult supervision when it comes to cutting out the shape but apart from that, it’s all them.
Number one fan
Have some fun with your little ones while they magic up some fans to keep you cool during the hot weather. Whether it’s fruit designs, creative patterns or big bold splashes of colours, these easy-to-make fans are totally customisable and can help you beat the heat in style!
You do require a few craft supplies for this one, including some card, glue and brass fasteners. But it’s straightforward we promise. Again, to save on time you can try the Crayola SuperTip markers or or crayons instead – they’re just as bright as the paint. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the mess because they’re completely washable!
Once they’re ready you can beat the heat with your own cute, personalised fans.
How tall are you?
You can treat this project as a little game, especially if there’s a sleepover or you’ve got a few kids in your house. The aim of this one is to get the kids to measure how tall they are and use themselves as stencils. After rolling out some paper on the floor, they will need a pal to draw around them, using Crayola Twistables Coloured Pencils and then they can use the outline to draw whatever they like. Or you can use Crayola Supertips for brighter colour. Plus, they’re 100% washable, so even if they colour outside the “box” you do not need to worry about mess!
Change hair colour, add some jewellery, draw their own face and clothes. They’ll have a great time and you can keep the measuring chart to look back on one day. Or, get them to draw you while you lie down. It might be the only chance to grab 40 winks!
Watermelon pencil case
Get creative with Crayola Supertips and help your kids decorate their pencil cases ready for the new term start. . How cool is that?
Snap up a plain white case and help your kids transform it with their favourite design – like this watermelon one.
Grab some fabric paint glitter, glue, and Crayola Washable Markers and let their imaginations run wild.
Make a name for yourself
Simply grab a box of crayons and melt them down into silicone moulds. If you want to have a theme ahead of your day out at Sea Life, why not marine-themed? Or even use the alphabet to create your little ones name and pop up on the shelf.
The process takes about an hour and your kids will need supervision when you melt the crayons. wait until they’ve cooled down to pop them out of the mould. Use the same steps for any mould you like (like the hearts above) and the kids can still use them as crayons but in their new, fun shapes.
These fun, colourful spinners can easily be made with just some coloured paper, card, a coin and some glue. With Crayola Crayons, they’ll be able to put their personalities on their spinner and decorate it however they like. Make sure you supervise any cutting out and making the hole for the coin.
Why not make them when a few kids are together and once they are ready, set them all spinning together for a real whirl of colour?
Crayola gives kids free tickets to Sea Life
Grab your kids some colouring essentials to enjoy this summer and take back to school in September. There’s a free ticket with Sea Life with every promotional pack!
There are lots of Crayola products available within the promotional range. So you can enjoy some creative fund with your kids before heading onto a colourful day out at Sea Life.
Girls coloring at dining table
The story of the Somerset gimp, the rubber-clad mystery man terrifying pedestrians at night, has had women across the country shuddering this week.
After 23-year-old Abi Conroy reported being harassed by the pervert on her way home, local police questioned two men about what they knew about the gimp – and whether they might even be the culprit themselves.
But it’s not just the residents of Somerset who are upset by the incident.
A number of self-confessed gimps – bondage enthusiasts who get off on wearing tight, restrictive outfits – have come forward to express their outrage at the creep’s activities, and to stress that he does not represent their community.
Humphrey, a doctor in his 40s who loves wearing skintight rubber and latex suits in his free time, said he was shocked and upset by what happened in Somerset.
‘There’s a huge difference between consensual fetish play – the type of stuff I do for fun – and being a predator,’ Humphrey tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I’ve met dozens of men and women who love rubber costumes, and none of them would dream of lurking around in the shadows grunting at non-consenting pedestrians.’
He hopes the incident wouldn’t lead the public to be overly suspicious of rubber fetishists.
‘I’m sure you can find sleazy types in any subculture,’ he said. ‘If a birdwatcher was caught chasing women, you wouldn’t automatically assume that anyone with binoculars was a creep.’
He also gave some clues as to what kind of person might be behind the mask, saying: ‘Underneath the suit probably hides a deeply frustrated loner who doesn’t understand how to deal with his urges.’
Andrew, a 32-year-old IT specialist in London, said that most people into rubber aren’t weirdos.
‘People hear stories like this and assume that everyone into dressing up is an oddball, but there’s actually a pretty big fashion scene – particularly with latex,’ he tells us.
‘Many rubber enthusiasts get a sexual kick from it, but certainly not all of us. Similarly, most people would be hesitant about dressing up in public – and they’d definitely never try to force it on anyone.’
Humphrey and Andrew stress that, as proud submissives, the last thing they want to do is frighten women – who they consider as superior beings with the right to boss them around.
On behalf of all gimps, they apologise to Abi, who was left terrified after her encounter, adding that they hope the perpetrator will be caught and held accountable.
It isn’t known how many people own gimp suits in Britain, but it certainly isn’t a cheap hobby. A decent suit costs around £500 from specialist retailer – although knock-off versions can be purchased online.
Enthusiasts enjoy the unique feeling of full body immersion and the fact that even their most basic actions are at the mercy of their dominant. One of the most distinctive features, for example, is the zip over the mouth which makes it impossible to talk without permission.
Not all members of this community, though, are on board with the word ‘gimp’.
Mistress Absolute, a London dominatrix, tells us that the term, popularised by the infamous scene in Pulp Fiction, makes her shudder.
‘The word ‘gimp’ has very negative connotations,’ she said. ‘A lot of rubber fetishists take pride in their hobby and, even for those that like to be dominated, they won’t all be comfortable with a term which suggests they’re stupid and useless.’
The skilled disciplinarian, who runs a special club night where men are forced to wear slave collars and forbidden from sitting on the furniture, is also keen to point out that the actions of the Somerset gimp are at odds with BDSM values.
‘Everything we do is about consent,’ she explained from her London dungeon. ‘To involve non-consenting bystanders in your fetish activities – particularly people who will be scared or offended – is a serious breach of ethics.’
Hopefully the backlash against the Somerset gimp will have encouraged anyone who might consider donning fetish gear and chasing strangers to think again.
But for curious folks seeking safe and consensual fun in skintight rubber, it’s good to know there are like-minded types out there – and that one creepy guy isn’t indicative of the entire community.
They’re the sisters who are often referred to as ‘Wednesday Addams’ and ‘Malibu Barbie’, and the internet obviously agrees.
Alexandria shared an image of her with her sister Jessica Toutant, captioned: ‘My sister and I are polar opposites.’
‘She’s more of a Hippie/Yoga Barbie,’ Alexandria Bishop told Metro.co.uk.
The tweet featuring the Detroit-based sisters have gained nearly half a million likes and 77,000 retweets.
My sister and I are polar opposites.
Her home vs mine 🌈⚰️ pic.twitter.com/NYt80aEo0H
— ♝ 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐚 𝐁𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐩 ♝ (@aalexandriabish) July 18, 2019
Alexandria has since posted more visual proof of their differences, revealing their personal style and even their homes.
Here’s Alexandria’s doorstep, fitted with an adorable coffin:
You can guess who this one belongs to:
‘Our home decorating and personal styles in general are both completely different,’ Alexandria told us.
‘She has always been the bright, bubbly, sun-worshipping one while I’ve always been the quiet reserved one who hates the sun and loves to wear black.’
Like many sisters who have their fair share of differences – including an eight-year age gap – they’ve found common ground.
Alexandria explains: ‘We both love the same movies and shows, aside from my love of horror, and we get along well in general aside from playfully making fun of each other often. Our styles are just completely different.’
Alexandria is a makeup artist and Jessica is a yoga instructor and henna artist, and both also work together at an adult foster care home for the mentally ill.
Naturally, Twitter has been quick to jump onto their sunshine vs. darkness vibe, responding with some spicy memes and Black Mirror comparisons as well as some pictures of themselves with their own ‘opposite sisters’.
— #WelcomeBackHaseul (@BiFan97) July 18, 2019
‘Having a tweet go viral, this tweet specifically, was just weird,’ Alexandria says.
‘It was something I posted because it was funny and I had happened to see my sister today then I check twitter and chaos ensued. It’s helping my art sales which is a huge plus!’
These sisters are total opposites, and they?re also winning the internet
Stroking a cat or a dog for 10 minutes can significantly reduce your stress, suggests new research.
Scientists studied 249 students to look at what happened when they stroked one of the animals.
It was known that stroking cats or dogs can boost your mood, but now there is real research to prove the physiological effects of doing so.
The team from Washington State University found that there were huge reductions in the stress hormone cortisol from just 10 minutes of interaction.
Patricia Pendry, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Human Development said: ‘Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.
‘Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact.’
The results were published in the journal AERA Open as the first study that has demonstrated reductions in students’ cortisol levels during a real-life intervention rather than in a laboratory setting.
The 249 college students who took part were randomly divided into four groups.
The first group received hands-on interaction in small groups with cats and dogs for 10 minutes. They could pet, play with, and generally hang out with the animals as they wanted.
To compare effects of different exposures to animals, the second group observed other people petting animals while they waited in line for their turn.
The third group watched a slideshow of the same animals available during the intervention, while the fourth group was ‘waitlisted’.
Those students waited for their turn quietly for 10 minutes without their phones, reading materials, or other stimuli, but were told they would experience animal interaction soon.
Several salivary cortisol samples were collected from each participant, starting in the morning when they woke up.
Once all the data was crunched from the various samples, the students who interacted directly with the pets showed significantly less cortisol in their saliva after the interaction.
These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with.
Professor Pendry said: ‘College is stressful. Students have classes, papers, and exams, but they also often have work, bills to pay, and so many other pressures common in modern life.
‘We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions.
‘What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way, which it did.
‘This is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.’
Man stroking cat's head
If you’re in a relationship, at some point you will argue.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s healthy to argue, and, in fact, being in a relationship with absolutely zero arguments could be a sign that things aren’t going that well.
It’s essential in a partnership that both people are able to voice their views and discuss their disagreements.
But there’s a big difference between healthy arguments and those that become nasty slinging matches.
The key to avoiding the latter – and making sure your arguments are actually constructive to your relationship, not destructive – lies in knowing what your and your partner’s arguing styles are.
So, what are the different arguing styles out there?
Psychologist and dating coach Jo Hemmings tells Metro.co.uk that invalidation can be a common method of arguing, depending on ‘trying to unnerve your partner by devaluing or ridiculing what they have to say and the feelings behind those words.’
An invalidating arguer will bring up their partner’s previous faults or their character flaws to convince them that what they’re saying is entirely ridiculous.
This is the arguing style used in gaslighting.
What it says on the tin. If you have a dominant arguing style, you’re more able to take charge of an argument. You’ll be quicker responding and your partner might need a moment to catch up.
This style depends on refusing to argue, and often manifests as giving the silent treatment.
‘This can be very frustrating for the other partner who finds it impossible to find any opinion, communication or connection in the silent one,’ says Jo, ‘often rendering them even more angry. It’s almost impossible for anyone but the silent partner to “win” that argument.’
Hitting below the belt
This type of arguer lashes out, bringing up past issues that they know will derail the present conversation.
They’ll deliberately delve into areas that are sensitive, exploiting vulnerabilities and thus breaking the trust of their partner. They might threaten to leave their partner as part of the argument, too.
This style requires you to pretend you don’t care about the outcome of the argument.
You might say it’s a ‘silly’ fight anyway, that it doesn’t matter, or you’ll agree in an offhand way that shows you’re not taking any of the disagreement seriously.
Jo says a disinterested arguer will ‘behave as if they have given in without actually agreeing, which effectively robs their partner of their “win” as it diminishes the value of the subject which may be important to them, leaving them feeling foolish or frustrated.
If you’re a pleaser, you’re the type that just hates all conflict and can’t stand disagreeing with your partner. You’re likely to just agree to whatever they say to stop a fight in its tracks and avoid further anger.
You might not fit into one of these categories (well done, you might be the perfect arguer with not a single unhealthy habit) or you might fit into multiple, employing different tactics depending on the argument.
You also might find it far easier to tick off your other half’s arguing style than your own.
Psychology Today has a rather handy quiz that breaks down your arguing style, in case you have no clue.
Once you recognise your arguing style and your partner’s, what comes next is working out how to deal with a clash, understanding which arguing behaviours are destructive rather than constructive, and stopping them before they get out of hand.
‘Some styles, like hitting below the belt or invalidation are especially destructive approaches to arguing,’ explains Jo. ‘Other styles maybe more productive ultimately.
‘Whichever style you’re using, the arguments that are less volatile and more like a ‘heated discussion’ and have some sort of resolution are the most productive ones.
‘It is these kinds of productive arguments that distinguish couples who are more likely to stay together than those that have a more destructive style.’
Shirlee Kay, a couples therapist working in London, simplifies this with one question: is your argument reactive or reflective?
Reactive arguing is when couples aren’t thinking through their responses, but just batting back at the verbal hits. If you’re in a reactive argument, you feel hurt, vulnerable, and feel you need to protect yourself. You might then use one of the damaging arguing styles above, such as hitting below the belt, gaslighting, or saying painful things to each other.
Reflective arguing is what the name suggests. ‘This is when couples are conscious of their own feelings and are able to slow down and pause before responding,’ says Shirlee. ‘This is when couples are able to listen, acknowledge, see the other’s point of view, compromise and let their partner know that their argument isn’t endangering the relationship.’
You can probably guess which arguing style is better – arguing in a reflective way means you’re prioritising the relationship above ‘winning’ the argument, and are taking the time to remain calm, consider the other person’s feelings, and respond in a way you won’t feel awful about immediately after.
When you notice an argument has become reactive, or you’re noticing yourself or your partner falling into one of the arguing styles above, it’s worth speaking up, pressing pause, and having some time to remember that you’re not actually enemies.
Dating coach Hayley Quinn says it’s worth thinking of arguments as a way to grow and improve.
‘Think of the relationship as a co-operative project you are working on,’ she explains. ‘None of us are perfect and to take stock of how you can improve is often more productive than hoping that your partner will change.’
Part of that is understanding when arguments are about things that are actually worth discussing, or if you’re taking issue with who your partner is.
Changing actions takes work, while changing who someone is is near impossible. Take a moment to reflect on what the purpose of the argument is – are you hoping to radically change the person you’re with (an unrealistic goal) or change a certain behaviour that’s bothering you?
You can often spot that by the language being used in an argument.
It’s not wise to label people in an argument – ‘you are’, ‘I wish you were’ – and instead focus on their actions, speech, and how they affect you – ‘when you … it makes me feel…’.
If you find that the problem isn’t easily summed up in the latter terms, but your frustration is that the person you’re with is inherently selfish, cruel, or uninterested, that’s a sign that the argument won’t go anywhere – and the relationship may not be built to last.
Arguing in itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s just essential to think things through, be aware of your own arguing techniques and how you’re feeling, and take steps to keep your arguments in a healthy place.
How to have healthier arguments
Choose your time wisely
‘Arguing when you’re tired, when you or your partner have just walked in the door after work, in front of the children or friends and family or just being out in public are generally not good times to have arguments,’ says Jo. ‘Sometimes planning a time to have a discussion or recognising the signs of the beginning of an argument, especially one which might escalate quickly and agreeing to defer it to another time, can take the heat out of the eventual argument and ultimately lead to a more productive outcome, with less hurt and anger.’
Start a discussion when you’re not under any time pressure, you’re not in public, and you don’t have any external factors that could make things more heated.
It can help to wait for a few hours after the initial anger before delving in deep, but don’t go too far and wait days or weeks to dredge up a tiny thing you’ve been simmering over.
Always allow your partner to feel heard
Talking over the person you’re dating, shutting down an argument entirely, or just failing to take in what they say are all ways for arguments to spiral and make the person you love feel like they’re getting nowhere.
Give them the respect of listening, even when you’ve said all you need to say. Let them vent, take in their feelings, and then discuss a compromise.
Take a breath
Look, it’s perfectly normal for an argument to get heated and to find yourself shouting, crying, or generally feeling out of control. But this isn’t the way to get to an agreement.
It’s okay to pause, take a breath, and even ask your partner if you can stop for a moment and come back to the topic.
Try to stay calm and pause if you notice yourself slipping into toxic habits, such as raising past issues, pointing out character flaws, or shutting down.
We mentioned this earlier, but it really is important.
Focus on your language, choosing ‘when you do this, I feel this’ rather than ‘you’re a terrible person’.
Hayley advises: ‘Instead of judging a person’s character, state the objective behaviour that you didn’t like, and say how it made you feel.’
Have a debrief
Jo recommends discussing the outcome of an argument directly after it’s happened, to make sure you’re both on the same page and neither of you are still feeling upset.
This isn’t the time to keep going over and over what’s been said, but to acknowledge that you’re both partly responsible for the problem, to agree on a solution, and to apologise for any upset caused.
Stay on point
If you’re arguing about a certain incident or issue, do try to stay on message.
Dragging up old disagreements or transgressions, or bringing in other unrelated topics, will make your argument snowball and pick up speed.
Don’t get too hung up on winning or losing, or right or wrong. You’re on the same side, and your aim shouldn’t be to hurt, but to heal.
Remember: you love this person! Be nice to each other.
Why figuring out your arguing style is the key to a healthy relationship
A dog owner is so besotted with his pup that he gives him £5 a week pocket money and his very own wallet to keep the cash in.
42-year-old Grant Ellis started giving Bracken, a Sprocker Spaniel, a weekly allowance last December after Bracken pinched his wallet.
Now, Bracken is allowed to use his pocket money to buy cuddly toys and contribute to the cost of his swimming lessons.
Grant started the weekly allowance after he jokingly bribed Bracken with a five-pound note to get his wallet back.
But from that moment onward, Grant, who works as a dog walker, vowed to give his three-year-old pooch a fresh note every Friday without fail.
Grant has even given the pup the wallet which he first stole so that Bracken can keep all of his money in it.
At one point, Bracken had saved £75, and every now and then when he’s saved enough money Grant and his wife Cheryl will take him to the shops.
Once inside, Bracken gets free-rein to pick what he wants, which often means new cuddly toys and treats – by putting them in his mouth and running up to the counter.
Bracken’s savings also go towards weekly swimming lessons at a pool in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, close to Grant and Cheryl’s home in Sheffield.
Grant said: ‘All spaniels just have to have something in their mouth whether it’s a sock or a pair of pants and Bracken is just the same.
‘One day I was lying on the sofa and he came over, stuck his nose into my pocket and came out with my wallet in his mouth.
‘Usually if he’s pinched something then we bribe him to give it back with a cocktail sausage but we had run out of them that day.
‘So just for a joke I pulled out a five-pound note and said, “right I’ll give you this fiver if you drop the wallet”, and he did.
‘My wife started laughing and then said, “go on, you’ve got to give it to him now”. Ever since then it’s become a bit of a tradition to give him five pounds every Friday.’
Grant, who has had dogs all his life, has raised Bracken ever since he was a puppy.
He did discuss having a child with Cheryl but said they opted for a dog instead.
The couple spoil Bracken rotten, buying him all the toys he could ever wish for, a paddling pool and a sprinkler for him to play in.
‘We’re always buying him things anyway, he’s such a spoilt dog, so I thought why not just give him pocket money so he can buy things himself’, said Grant.
‘When I got a wallet I gave him my old one so he has one of his own now.
‘Every now and then we’ll take him to the shops to get toys, he especially likes puzzle-type games where you have to solve something in order to get a treat.
‘And he absolutely loves water so we take him swimming as well, which is great fun.
‘Our niece absolutely adores Bracken so when we go on holiday we buy her a stick of rock out his pocket money for him to give to her.
‘I wanted to give Bracken £20 a week but the wife won’t have it.’
Grant Ellis\' dog, Bracken who gets ?5 weekly spending money, to spend on days out. See SWNS story SWLEdog. A barking mad dog owner gives his pampered pooch ?5 pocket money every week - so that he can buy toys and pay for SWIMMING LESSONS. Eccentric Grant Ellis, 42, began giving his adorable sprocker spaniel Bracken a weekly allowance after the mischievous mutt pinched his wallet one day. Grant, who works as a dog walker, was only able to get it back by bribing Bracken with a five pound note and swapping the two. From that hilarious moment Grant vowed to give his three-year-old pooch a fresh note every Friday without fail.
Having sex with the lights on can feel like a big deal – especially if you’re not confident in your body.
Dating expert Sarah Louise Ryan says that having sex in the dark is actually way more common than we think, and it’s often because we feel conscious about our bodies and how we look naked.
Anna, 24, says it took her a long time to become comfortable having sex with the lights on.
She says: ‘In my previous relationship, I was very self-conscious about my body, and it became a habit to have sex with the lights off.
‘I got comfortable with not showing my body and became even more terrified to have sex in the light.
‘It didn’t help that my ex would never compliment my body. It was easier to just stick to doing it in the dark so I never had to confront the situation.’
However, Anna is now in a healthy relationship and says she absolutely loves having sex with the lights on.
She explained: ‘I’m now with someone who constantly shows his appreciation for my body – touching and grabbing me at any opportunity, telling me how much he loves my body and making me feel confident.
‘I know we shouldn’t rely on other people to feel confidence about our own bodies, but it was the push I needed to get naked in a fully-lit bedroom.’
Another woman says that having sex with the lights on is a big no.
Hilary, 26, said: ‘It’s not too bad if it’s dim lighting but otherwise it’s a no-go.
‘I feel like it’s the closest people can get and that’s when you notice little things.
‘As someone who’s super self-conscious, I just feel quite paranoid about how I look, especially in such a vulnerable state.’
But being self-conscious in the bedroom doesn’t only affect those wanting to keep the lights off – it can also have an effect on the person you’re sleeping with.
Cory tells us that his partner will only have sex with the lights off, and it ‘drives him crazy’.
He said: ‘It makes me sad. Our sex is very passionate, but I want to actually be able to see her.
‘She struggles with self esteem and body image, but I find her to be incredibly attractive. [It] makes me feel like she doesn’t fully trust me with her body.’
It’s upsetting not being confident enough to strip off in front of your partner in the bedroom, but there are ways to put yourself on a journey to reaching comfort.
Sarah tells us: ‘It’s important to remember that loving ourselves first is vital before we can give or share love with anyone else.
‘Anything we feel like we are missing or lacking we often project to want in a partner and so that’s a weight that’s heavy to bear on our love lives.
‘If you take stock and think of all the times you’re intimate with that certain someone and if you are finding that more often than not it’s in the dark start with asking yourself why.’
Sarah suggests making a list of all of the reasons you could be scared to have sex with the lights off, and to be brutally honest with yourself.
She continued: ‘There’s something really special that happens when we step out of denial, and out of the dark (in the bedroom) by acknowledging what leads us to hold ourselves back from confidence and being our best selves.
‘This includes body confidence in the bedroom.’
It’s important that you communicate with your partner, and a good way to get to the bottom of things would be to share the list with them so that you can work through things together.
Communication is key, and if they don’t know what’s going on with your confidence, they won’t understand what’s going on in your head and why your sex life might be affected.
And communication doesn’t only go for the person wanting to have sex with the lights off – but their partner, too.
If, like Cory, you are finding yourself getting upset and feeling as though your partner doesn’t trust you with their body, it’s important that you sit down and talk with them about it. Tell them how it makes you feel, but don’t manipulate the situation or make them feel guilty – understand that they have insecurities.
Reassure them, too. Tell them why you want to do it with the lights on, why you want to see them and what you love about their body.
If you’re the person wanting the lights off, you could have this same conversation by asking your partner what they like about your body – but remember that ultimately self-love and confidence comes from within.
Knowing there’s certain parts of your body that they absolutely love may make you more confident to show them off – and they might even be things that you were super self-conscious of before.
If you are scared to have sex with the lights on, it might be a bit scary to suddenly go from doing it in the dark to doing it in a brightly-lit room.
You could start small. Sarah suggests lighting some candles.
She said: ‘If you’re conscious you would like a clearer picture in the future of what’s going on in the bedroom then start with lighting candles and work your way up to a lamp or two.
‘Just know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Confidence on the outside is all about what is happening on the inside.
‘When clarity starts to emerge on confidence you may find yourself working towards it, until you’re back in the place of feeling your best self and hopefully making love with the lights on.’
people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
If you felt triggered by pineapple on pizza, then this one isn’t for you. In fact, we’re not quite sure who this is for, because it concerns pizza slaughter of the highest form.
Remember Jadakiss? He’s the American rapper responsible for tracks We Gonna Make It, Letter to B.I.G and that other song where he accused Bush of orchestrating 9/11. He also has a rather iconic laugh that he slathered over most of his tracks.
These days, it’s his niche culinary interests keeping his name afloat.
New York pizzeria Cuts & Slices recently posted an image of Jadakiss’ go-to pizza order, captioned: ‘Special request for @threalkiss! Who else like Crust only?’
As you can see, this is the Cats live-action film of meal modifications. The perfectly good pizza is missing its entire centre thanks to one dexterous pizza wheel and hand.
There are three ketchup containers planted in the middle of the pizza necklace thing, which is about the only thing that makes sense here. Personally, dipping crusts in a garlic aioli or ranch sauce is nicer, but it’s the element of liquid and ritualistic dipping motion that counts here, so ketchup is fine.
He’s since come out defending his pizza preferences, issuing a video to TMZ saying the crust has been his favourite since he was a child.
Some have labelled his crust-only order as poetic act of protest. ‘A powerful rebuke to a culture that tells u to discard the crust,’ said @trillmoregirls.
Others have not been so kind.
somebody tell jadakiss about breadsticks lmfao
— .onesm∆rtniglet (@yaaboy_lent) July 16, 2019
Jadakiss eating an all crust pizza doesn’t surprise me I knew he was different when he was fantasizing about dancing w/ this girl at the club but all he could think about was her messing up the collar to his white tee
— Alphonse (@Al_Peeair) July 16, 2019
In a world where we’ve recognised that isolating parts of a pizza can be heavenly (see: buttery dough balls) is this that bad?
Well, he is wasting most of the pizza. If he’d had those crusts baked to order, it’d be different tale.
Only one answerable question remains: are we calling this crust-only pizza or pizza-less pizza? Right, ‘culinary treason’ or ‘pizzacide’ also seem fitting.
Jadakiss and his crust-only pizza Picture: cutsandslicesnyc METROGRAB