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

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    Grace Atwood in two of the colourways
    Grace Atwood in two of the colourways (Picture: Grace Atwood/Instagram)

    You’ve heard about that Zara dress – the long sleeve spotty number has been the hit of the summer.

    Well now there’s another dress everyone is going crazy for – and surprisingly, it’s from Amazon.

    Instagram loves the long sleeve bohemian dress that comes in a range of colours and it even has its own hashtag.

    Grace Atwood posted a picture of her wearing the dress in light pink and she was inundated with comments asking where it was from.

    She revealed that the dress is from Amazon.com and costs $29.99 (£27.25).

    R.Vivimos Women’s Long Sleeve Floral Print Retro V Neck Tassel Bohemian Midi Dresses has been dubbed the ‘Amazon night gown’.

    Grace posted more pictures throughout the week, wearing the dress in different colours.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B01y9ipBHXd/

    It comes in light blue, whitered (white with a red pattern), yellow and white.

    The dress is a 60% cotton blend, with a deep V-neck and front tie at the neckline.

    It has long sleeves but the material is light and flowy, so it’s perfect for heading into late summer and early autumn.

    It runs from size s, which is a US 4/6 (UK 8/10), through to a 2XL (US 18, which is UK 20).

    The dress isn’t available on Amazon in the UK but it can be shipped here from Amazon.com for around $5 (£4).

    It’s received lots of reviews on Amazon and currently has four out of five stars.

    Most said it was versatile and could be worn in lots of different ways – loose, with a belt, sleeves rolled up, sleeves rolled down – but some did say it didn’t work for those with bigger boobs.

    If it does work for you, you’ll want one in every colour.

    One reviewer said: ‘ITS SERIOUSLY GORGEOUS AND I WANT 1,000 OF THEM.’

    MORE: This Pilates workout could improve your sex life

    MORE: Couple who only eat fruit say they feel healthier than ever before


    Is this the new ?25 Amazon dress the new must-have piece?Is this the new ?25 Amazon dress the new must-have piece?

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    Airbnb Igloo Lucky Ranch
    Fancy a night in an outdoor ice palace? (Picture: Lucky Ranch)

    Iceland is so last year.

    FYI – this snow igloo in Finland is getting a lot of attention. In the last five days it’s had 500 views – well, that’s what Airbnb says anyway.

    Located in the neverworld regions of Pelkosenniemi, deep in the dark and untouched forests of the Finland, this one bedroom igloo has romance (and Instagram) written all over it.

    Six little ice huts are available to rent and are all a part of a family owned business who own a neighbouring horse ranch.

    Advertised by Antti, who is conveniently schooled in the verse of five languages (English, Suomi, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish), the igloos are ideal for those who just want to get lost in the wilderness.

    The space, which she describes is ‘always minus degrees’ inside’ can accommodate up to four people and is located right next to Lake Pyhäjärvi and the stunning snow-filled Pyhä-Luosto National Park.

    Toilets? Shower? Don’t worry, both are just around the corner by the host’s ranch. You’ll also have the use of a communal kitchen and living room.

    Depending on the time of year you visit, it’s the perfect spot to gaze up at the stars, belt out your best ‘Frozen’ songs, and watch the Northern Lights shimmer rainbows up in the heavens. Free tip: pack your camera, some special lenses and a tripod.

    Igloo in Finland
    Inside the icy digs. (Picture: Lucky Ranch)

    Be warned – if you don’t like the cold, this Airbnb definitely isn’t for you. Antti advises that ‘sleeping bags are provided’ but any prospective guests should come baring ‘thermos layers, a warm hat, socks and gloves.’

    Other necessary’s include a flashlight, because let’s be honest, what city dweller is actually comfortable in the pitch black?

    Breakfast is also part of the deal but they advise to stock up on any essentials before you visit as the nearest supermarket is 10km away.

    After you’ve experienced the perks of igloo life, check out the Kopara Reindeer Park, and if you’ve got a knack for skiing, the Pyhä Ski Resort has some pretty sick slopes.

    Book it here.

    MORE: You can now rent an entire pirate ship on Airbnb

    MORE: You can now live your best Twilight life as Bella Swan’s home goes on Airbnb

    MORE: You can sleep inside this giant pig for rent on Airbnb


    Airbnb Igloo Lucky RanchAirbnb Igloo Lucky Ranch

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    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Ultimate squad (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Notting Hill Carnival sees the biggest, glitteriest street party every August Bank Holiday.

    And while it’s easy to get lost in all the extravagant costumes donned by all the stunning festival-goers, it’s usually the women we’re used to revering.

    Of course, men are in attendance and rocking equally breathtaking outfits.

    Some of the men, like other attendees, have travelled from all over the world to be here on the two-day celebration of all things Caribbean culture.

    ‘We’re here from Antigua, America, from all over the place, we’re friends. We wouldn’t miss it,’ one group of men tell Metro.co.uk.

    Similarly, Andrew Rajpaulsingh has been working with the carnival for the last 20 years with his partner Kelly, working on delivering a float with the Bacchanalia Mas Band.

    Bacchanalia is one of the more established and well-known bands on the Notting Hill Carnival circuit.

    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    One of the leading faces of the Bacchanalia Mas Band (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Co band leader Andrew, from Trinidad, started off as a masquerader then a DJ before eventually joining the band.

    ‘I look forward to the Carnival every year,’ he tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s just in your blood really. We were born into it.’

    They started setting up their two large vans five days prior to the main event. They’ll have to take it all down by Tuesday. All of the work is in addition to their main jobs.

    Sham has also been involved with the two-day event for five years. He runs Caribbean food brand Limin’.

    ‘We love bringing the community together and all the generations,’ he tells us. ‘It’s for all the ages, even the older ones embrace it. We want the U.K to embrace Caribbean food.

    ‘Carnival is in our DNA. What’s so good about it is that we know everybody, it feels like we’re all a family. It’s all about community.’

    Douglas John designs the costumes. It’s taken him and his team a year to create the costumes for all the members of their band.

    A lot of the men we spotted were dressed in amazing and and many of have been styled by Douglas and his team.

    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Whole team winning (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Smizing (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Serving looks (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Majestic (Picture: Faima Bakar)
     (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Any excuse to look at this one again (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    The men who flew in from all over the world including the Americas (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    All smiles (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Of course you need feathers on your legs (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Men dressed in extravagant costumes at Notting Hill Carnival
    Stopping for pics (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    MORE: What time does Notting Hill Carnival finish and how many people attend?

    MORE: Notting Hill carnival in pictures as day two of festival hits heat records

    MORE: What to wear to Notting Hill Carnival 2019


    Carnival menCarnival men

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    Cold brew pumpkin spice latte
    Behold: the cold brew pumpkin spice latte. (Picture: Starbucks)

    It’s September next month and that means one thing: Autumn is (finally) here.

    There are many indicators of this fine season – colourful leaves, misty and moody starts, foraging, the arrival of even more weirdly flavoured beers – but of all the signs, nothing beats the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

    For many, it’s what makes autumn autumn, and once again, our sugar crashes are about to get even more real.

    This year’s addition, however, comes with a new arrival: the cold brew pumpkin spice latte. And it’s big.

    Why? Because it’s the first time the global coffee giant has added a new pumpkin flavoured beverage to its menu in 12 long years.

    Starbuck’s new drink, which will be available in the US and Canada from tomorrow, clocks in 250 calories and will set you back $4.45 (£3.64) for a grande.

    The beans brewed are a part of the brand’s cold brew collection, and features a hint of vanilla, real pumpkin flavouring, pumpkin cream cold foam, and a dusting of pumpkin spice topping – basically a mash up of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.

    Best part is that it’s actually 130 calories less than the original, and is, according to the team at Starbucks HQ, less sweeter than your average hot pumpkin grande.

    We reached out to the Starbucks team, and as of now, there’s no word if the sweet drink will be coming to the UK. Yet.

    If it doesn’t, just ask your barista to just make a cold version of the original. I did last year, and it was sensational.

    MORE: This coffee company will pay you £24,000 to quit your job and travel the world

    MORE: Three cups of coffee a day increases risk of migraine

    MORE: Drinking booze or smoking before bed will ruin your sleep more than coffee, says study


    starbucks pumpkin spice-a980starbucks pumpkin spice-a980

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    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019 (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Squad goals (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Notting Hill Carnival 2019 is truly underway and even the sun has turned up.

    With a million people expected to descend on the streets of West London, it’s sure to be another lit weekend for festival-goers.

    We’ve appreciated all the men of Carnival as they’re often overlooked due to the flamboyance of all the women.

    But we still want to see what the ladies are wearing.

    Carnival is all about dressing extravagantly, after all. The bolder the better, whether you’re a first-time guest, a performer, or a Carnival veteran.

    What is Notting Hill carnival?

    Notting Hill Carnival is a parade where themed costumes mix with music, dance, spectators and judges. The celebration dates back to the 1800s with the emancipation of slavery in the Caribbean.

    Prior to obtaining their freedom, slaves would often mimick their masters who wore elaborate costumes to balls, adding their own cultural elements.

    Once the slaves were freed from the French, Spanish and English, they began to openly continue and elaborate on these foundations. So, Caribbean carnival developed as a fusion of African and other traditions and culture.

    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019 (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Stunning outfit (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Who started Notting Hill Carnival?

    Many people from the Caribbean headed for a new life in Britain as part of the Windrush Generation.

    In 1959, Trinidadian Claudia Jones, a community activist, recognised that something should be done to unite the community who migrated over in response to race relations.

    That year, Claudia held the first of several indoor Caribbean Carnivals at St. Pancras Town Hall. It featured a ‘Carnival Cabaret’ which would have been the UK’s time seeing anything resembling Caribbean carnival costumes.

    Since her introduction of the festival, it has now become an integral part of London life every August Bank Holiday.

    What are mas bands?

    At the heart of Carnival are mas bands – short for ‘masquerade’. These are organised groups made up of participants who pay for costumes fashioned by themselves/designers etc.

    The costumed participants dance through the streets to the sounds of a steel band, a soca band or a d.j. – this is called ‘playing mas’.

    What do Carnival performers wear?

    Many bands have now outsourced their costume-making, either overseas or elsewhere in the UK, but there are still a handful of more traditional mas camps around. Each band has their own style, designers and shared history.

    Some groups wear similar colours, headpieces and accessories to differentiate from others.

    Here are some of the performers and masqueraders at Carnival 2019:

    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Some members of the Bacchanalia mas band (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Sarah came all the way from Miami for Carnival (Picture: Faima Bakar)
     (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Wearing all the colours  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Twinning  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
     (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    One of the leading ladies of the Baccanalia mas band (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Plenty of reason to smile  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Sensible shoe choice  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    A vision in blue  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    She made the costume herself (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Even the hair is Carnival-ready  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    Massive wings coming through (Picture: Faima Bakar)
    Female festival-goers at Notting Hill Carnival 2019
    More sensible shoes, we stan (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    MORE: ‘It’s is in our DNA’: These are the men of Notting Hill Carnival

    MORE: What time does Notting Hill Carnival finish and how many people attend?

    MORE: What to wear to Notting Hill Carnival 2019


    carnivalcarnival

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     Kelsey and wife Charlie standing near dressing table outside in a field
    Stunning photoshoot (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    Photographer Many Parks shoots many happy occasions: weddings, birthdays, births.

    But sometimes she captures gut-wrenching events that stay with her. One such incident was with a woman who wanted to document the time her husband shaved off her hair after a cancer diagnosis.

    Mandy was particularly moved by a photoshoot with Kelsey Johnson, who shaved his wife Charlie’s head.

    Charlie began losing her hair as a result of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. She asked husband Charlie to shave it for her.

    In the poignant images, both Kelsey and Charlie are seen weeping as they cut all her hair off outside in a field.

    Mandy thanked the couple for allowing her to be part of the moment, and being able to ‘capture the pain, beauty and bravery it took to spread their message’.

    Husband Kelsey crying as he prepares to shave off his wife's head
    Heartbreaking (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    Writing in a Facebook post, Mandy wrote: ‘Strong women aren’t simply born.

    ‘They are made by the storms they walk through. From the pain, mistakes, and heartache we achieve pride and strength.’

    The pictures she shot are a testament to Mandy’s words as they depict Charlie showing her fighting spirit, symbolised through wearing boxing gloves.

    Kelsey shaving off wife Charlie's hair after she was diagnosed with breast cancer
    The couple wanted to document the moment (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie staring at her husband Kelsey as he prepares to trim her hair off
    They took photos before and after cutting the hair off (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    Mandy continued: ‘I don’t know who needs to see this today. Or yesterday. Or someone you know might get this phone call tomorrow.

    ‘Show them what strength looks like. Let them know they are not alone. Stand by them as they kick this like the warrior they are!’

    Charlie holding back tears as she watches her reflection in the mirror
    Charlie held back tears (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    The message resonated with hundreds of thousands as the post amassed more than 300,000 shares.

    More than 50,000 people also commented on it, commending Charlie for her bravery.

    Many others experiencing similar situations also commented on the post.

    Kelsey starts trimming Charlie's hair
    Nerve-wracking (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    One woman who has also lost her hair due to chemo wrote: ‘I so needed this.

    ‘I was afraid people would judge me because of my bald head. Deep down I was embarrassed. Now I feel like a coward.

    ‘[Charlie] is so courageous. I applaud you both for doing this. It certainly reached me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me some perspective. Bald is beautiful!’

    In this way, the comment section became a beautiful safe space with others sharing their stories.

    Here are the rest of the images from the powerful photoshoot:

    Kelsey holding back tears
    Kelsey also had to hold back tears (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie inspecting her new hair
    Charlie inspecting her new ‘do (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie looking at her new reflection wearing boxing gloves
    Charlie rocking her new ‘do (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    The couple sharing a kiss
    They shared many sweet moments (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie posing in boxing gloves rocking her new hair do
    Charlie wore boxing gloves to symbolise her fighting spirit (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Black and white images of Charlie and Kelsey
    How cute (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie posing in gloves while Kelsey watches from afar
    Charlie looking badass (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)
    Charlie and Kelsey with their backs turned to the camera as they hug
    Best of luck to the couple (Picture: Mandy Parks Photography)

    MORE: People affected by bowel cancer tell their stories to show the disease does not discriminate

    MORE: Photos show real people with cancer to take apart glossy celebrity campaigns

    MORE: Woman who had both breasts removed due to cancer celebrates her body with an empowering photoshoot


    Photoshoot of husband shaving off wife's hair after shre gets diagnosed with breast cancerPhotoshoot of husband shaving off wife's hair after shre gets diagnosed with breast cancer

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    Don’t worry if you couldn’t muster up the energy to watch the MTV VMAs late last night.

    We’ve gathered up all the juiciest bits you need to know about, and now we’ve put together a list of every single celeb look from the VMAs red carpet.

    It’s almost as if you actually watched it. You haven’t missed a thing.

    Have a scroll below to behold every single celebrity outfit from this year’s MTV VMAs red carpet, from Taylor Swift’s colourful number to Lizzo’s incredible gown.

    Adriana Lima

    Adriana Lima attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Alison Brie

    Alison Brie attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Alyson Stoner

     Alyson Stoner attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Bebe Rexha

    Bebe Rexha attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Bella and Gigi Hadid

    Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid attend the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Camila Cabello

    Camila Cabello attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    FKA Twigs

    FKA twigs attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey.
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Halsey

     Halsey attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Hailee Steinfeld

     Hailee Steinfeld attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Hayley Kiyoko

     Hayley Kiyoko attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    H.E.R

    H.E.R. attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    James Charles

     James Charles attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    The Jonas Brothers

    Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Nick Jonas attend the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Jonathan Van Ness

     Jonathan Van Ness attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
    (Picture: John Shearer/Getty Images)

     

    Keke Palmer

    Keke Palmer on the red carpet at the 2019 MTV VMAs
    (Picture: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

     

    Lenny Kravitz

     Lenny Kravitz attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Lil Nas X

    Lil Nas X attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Lizzo

    Lizzo attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV)
    (Picture: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV)

     

    Megan Thee Stallion

    Megan Thee Stallion attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Nikita Dragun

    Nikita Dragun and guests attend the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Normani

    Normani attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
    (Picture: John Shearer/Getty Images)

    Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
    (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

     

    Shawn Mendes

    Shawn Mendes at the 2019 MTV VMAs red carpet
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Tana Mongeau

    Tana Mongeau attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

     

    Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
    (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

    MTV VMAs 2019 winners

    Video of the Year

    21 Savage ft. J. Cole – a lot

    Billie Eilish – Bad Guy

    Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

    Jonas Brothers – Sucker

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down - WINNER

    Artist of the Year

    Cardi B

    Billie Eilish

    Ariana Grande - WINNER

    Halsey

    Jonas Brothers

    Shawn Mendes

    Song of the Year

    Drake – In My Feelings

    Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

    Jonas Brothers – Sucker

    Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix) - WINNER

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down

    Best New Artist

    Ava Max

    Billie Eilish - WINNER

    H.E.R.

    Lil Nas X

    Lizzo

    ROSALÍA

    Best Group

    5 Seconds of Summer

    Backstreet Boys

    BLACKPINK

    BTS - WINNER

    CNCO

    Jonas Brothers

    PRETTYMUCH

    Why Don’t We

    Best Power Anthem

    Ariana Grande – 7 Rings

    DJ Khaled ft. Cardi B & 21 Savage – Wish Wish

    Halsey – Nightmare

    Lizzo ft. Missy Elliot – Tempo

    Maren Morris – GIRL

    Megan Thee Stallion ft. Micki Minaj & Ty Dolla Sign – Hot Girl Summer - WINNER

    Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

    Taylor Swift – You Need To Calm Down

    Song of the Summer

    Ariana Grande & Social House – boyfriend - WINNER

    Billie Eillish – bad guy

    DaBaby – Suge

    Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care

    Jonas Brothers – Sucker

    Khalid – Talk

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (remix)

    Lil Tecca – Ransom

    Lizzo – Truth Hurts

    Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

    Taylor Swift – You Need To Calm Down

    Post Malone ft. Young Thug – Goodbyes

    RASALIA & J Balvin ft. El Gulncho – Con Altura

    Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Senorita

    The Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha – Call You Mine

    Young Thug ft. J. Cole & Travis Scott – The London

    Best Collaboration

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)

    Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow

    Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita - WINNER

    Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – ME!

    Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care

    BTS ft. Halsey – Boy With Luv

    Push Artist of the Year

    Bazzi

    CNCO

    Billie Eilish - WINNER

    H.E.R.

    Lauv

    Lizzo

    Best Pop

    5 Seconds of Summer – Easier

    Cardi B & Bruno Mars – Please Me

    Billie Eilish – Bad Guy

    Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

    Jonas Brothers – Sucker - WINNER

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down

    Khalid – Talk

    Best Hip-Hop

    2 Chainz ft. Ariana Grande – Rule the World

    21 Savage ft. J. Cole – a lot

    Cardi B – Money - WINNER

    DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – Higher

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)

    Travis Scott ft. Drake – SICKO MODE

    Best R&B

    Anderson .Paak ft. Smokey Robinson – Make It Better

    Childish Gambino – Feels Like Summer

    H.E.R. ft. Bryson Tiller – Could’ve Been

    Alicia Keys – Raise A Man

    Ella Mai – Trip

    Normani ft. 6lack – Waves - WINNER

    Best K-Pop

    BTS ft. Halsey – Boy With Luv - WINNER

    BLACKPINK – Kill This Love

    Monsta X ft. French Montana – Who Do You Love

    TOMORROW X TOGETHER – Cat & Dog

    NCT 127 – Regular

    EXO – Tempo

    Best Latin

    Anuel AA, Karol G – Secreto

    Bad Bunny ft. Drake – MIA

    Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin – I Can’t Get Enough

    Daddy Yankee ft. Snow – Con Calma

    Maluma – Mala Mía

    ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con Altura - WINNER

    Best Dance

    The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha – Call You Mine - WINNER

    Clean Bandit ft. Demi Lovato – Solo

    DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – Taki Taki

    David Guetta, Bebe Rexha & J Balvin – Say My Name

    Marshmello & Bastille – Happier

    Silk City & Dua Lipa – Electricity

    Best Rock

    The 1975 – Love It If We Made It

    Fall Out Boy – Bishops Knife Trick

    Imagine Dragons – Natural

    Lenny Kravitz – Low

    Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes - WINNER

    twenty one pilots – My Blood

    Video for Good

    Halsey – Nightmare

    The Killers – Land of the Free

    Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey ft. Gallant – Runaway Train

    John Legend – Preach

    Lil Dicky – Earth

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down - WINNER

    Best Direction

    Billie Eilish – Bad Guy

    FKA twigs – Cellophane

    Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix) - WINNER

    LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – No New Friends

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down

    Best Visual Effects

    Billie Eilish – when the party’s over

    FKA twigs – Cellophane

    Ariana Grande – God is a Woman

    DJ Khaled ft. SZA – Just Us

    LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – No New Friends

    Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – ME! - WINNER

    Best Editing

    Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – Tints

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)

    Billie Eilish – Bad Guy - WINNER

    Ariana Grande – 7 Rings

    Solange – Almeda

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down

    Best Art Direction

    BTS ft. Halsey – Boy With Luv

    Ariana Grande – 7 Rings - WINNER

    Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)

    Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita

    Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down

    Kanye West and Lil’ Pump ft. Adele Givens – I Love It

    Best Choreography

    FKA twigs – Cellophane

    ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con Altura - WINNER

    LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – No New Friends

    Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita

    Solange – Almeda

    BTS ft. Halsey – Boy With Luv

    Best Cinematography

    Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – Tints

    Billie Eilish – hostage

    Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

    Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita - WINNER

    Solange – Almeda

    Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – ME!

    Fashion Trailblazer

    Marc Jacobs

    Video Vanguard Award

    Missy Elliott

    MORE: Sophie Turner ditching Joe Jonas to dance to Normani with girl pals at MTV VMAs is a whole mood

    MORE: Megan Thee Stallion’s Hot Girl Summer wins MTV Video Music Award despite having no video

    MORE: Missy Elliott’s epic MTV VMAs performance sees Alyson Stoner join her 10 years after Work It video


    VMAs: Fashion round-upVMAs: Fashion round-up

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    kfc vegan 'chicken' nuggets
    KFC is trialing vegan nuggets and wings (Picture: KFC)

    Vegans who are ravenous for fake meat in nugget form, rejoice, for KFC may soon be answering your prayers.

    Just after launching a vegan burger, KFC is now testing out plant-based nuggets and wings in the US.

    If all goes well, they could be rolled out worldwide. Cross your fingers.

    KFC’s new nuggets – which will be available at one branch in Atlanta on 27 August – are a collaboration with vegan food producer Beyond Meat, who’ve worked with KFC to create what they’re calling KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken.

    Wings will join the nuggets on a limited US trial run.

    KFC plans to look at customer feedback closely to decide whether to roll out their vegan nuggets and wings across the US. If that all goes well, we could be looking forward to vegan nuggets in the UK – but not for a while.

    The nuggets and wings are handed out in green boxes rather than KFC’s trademark red, and feature the tagline ‘a Kentucky fried miracle’ along with the promise that the items are ‘still finger lickin’ good’. Good to know.

    Obviously as the nuggets are being launched today, we haven’t had a chance to test them out and reveal how they taste, but KFC claims customers will find it difficult to tell the difference between the plant-based nuggets and their usual chicken.

    The insides will be made with plant-based wheat protein, then coated in all the usual KFC herbs and spices.

    PETA is pretty pleased with KFC’s decision to launch vegan nuggets, stating: ‘We’re hopeful that KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken test marks a new era for the company and that when it sees how much consumers value animals’ lives, it will work to make changes in its supply chain as well.’

    They’ve also launched a petition you can sign for vegan nuggets and wings to be an option for all customers around the world.

    MORE: No, Greggs isn’t making a vegan steak bake… Yet

    MORE: How to refuel after a workout on a vegan diet

    MORE: Is bread actually vegan? (Why you need to start checking labels)


    KFC plant-based chickenKFC plant-based chicken

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    Four packs of the contracpetive pill on a white background
    Experts suggest that women gain weight over time regardless of the contraception they are using. (Picture: Getty)

    There are no shortage of myths surrounding the contraceptive pill.

    It was only earlier this year that it was confirmed that you don’t actually have to take a seven-day break when on the pill.

    But one of the most pervasive assumptions about the pill is that it makes you put on weight. You might have heard anecdotally from your friends, or even from medical professionals – and it always boils down to some vague explanation to do with ‘hormones’.

    But new guidance has found that this claim is false, and that there is actually no evidence that the contraceptive pill can cause weight gain.

    The guidance by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) says women of reproductive age tend to gain weight over time – regardless of the use of any contraceptive method. Which means there’s no point avoiding the pill for this reason.

    ‘Women often tell us that they do not want to start or to continue contraception because they are worried that it will make them gain weight,’ says Dr Sarah Hardman, director of the clinical effectiveness unit at the FSRH.

    ‘In studies, women gain on average a similar amount of weight over time whether they are using hormonal contraception or not.

    ‘After looking at all the studies available, we can say that average weight gain during use of contraceptive pills, the implant and the hormonal coil is modest and is not significantly different to weight gain with no contraception or non-hormonal contraception.’

    But what about all the people who swear that they have put on weight directly after starting the contraceptive pill?

    Experts think that is likely a short-term effect that is down to fluid retention – but not extra fat. High doses of oestrogen can lead to water retention, which might be why women report feeling bloated or ‘bigger’ when they first go on the pill.

    Any kind of contraception does come with risks. The pill may not cause weight gain but there is a very low risk of serious side effects, such as blood clots and cervical cancer.

    To get your head around the different contraceptive options and find what’s right for you, talk to your GP for advice.

    MORE: KFC is testing out vegan plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets and wings

    MORE: Husband shaves off wife’s hair following cancer diagnosis in poignant photoshoot

    MORE: MTV VMAs 2019 red carpet: Every celebrity dress and outfit you need to see


    PillPill

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    Astrology has not been proven to work – so why do so many people believe that it really does?

    There are many psychological factors that play a role in explaining such belief. These include our desire to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, our urge to gain a sense of control in an unpredictable world, and our tendency to take note of evidence that apparently supports our beliefs – but to ignore any evidence that contradicts them.

    I can’t help thinking of my favourite Punch cartoon: a man is staring at the TV while the newscaster makes the following announcement: ‘The practice of astrology took a major step toward achieving credibility today when, as predicted, everyone born under the sign of Scorpio was run over by an egg truck.’

    The joke works because everyone knows that horoscopes in newspapers and magazines never predict anything very specific. Instead, they rely upon vague generalisations that stand a pretty good chance of coming true in some way or other in most people’s varied days: ‘You will receive an unexpected piece of good news.’

    This is one example of what psychologists call the Barnum effect, which refers to people’s propensity to find personal meaning in general statements.

    People often accept vague, general and ambiguous statements as applying uniquely to them even though, in fact, they apply to most of the population.

    If you read that, ‘You have a lot of unused potential that you have not used to your advantage’, do try to bear in mind that everyone feels that this is true for them.

    I am sure that many believers in astrology will now have steam coming out of their ears as they angrily proclaim that, ‘of course sun sign astrology is nonsense! You need to have a full horoscope cast and then a one-to-one with a professional astrologer to fully appreciate the power of astrology!’

    I know from experience that even the professional astrologers who write the sun sign columns (and happily accept payment for doing so) hold such views.

    Sadly, the truth is that horoscopes cast on the basis of specific birth details, taking into account the position of all the planets, the sun and the moon, have exactly the same validity as sun sign horoscopes: that is, none at all.

    Artwork of the solar system
    I’d recommend putting the horoscope charts in a cupboard and relying on reason and evidence (Picture: MARK Garlick/Science Photo Library RF/Getty Images)

    Sometimes the reason for consulting astrology is simply a matter of being given permission to take a chance on a new direction in life – to end a problematic relationship or pack in a hated job.

    A theme in many readings is that, ‘Life will be tricky for a few months after taking that step but in six months’ time you will be a lot happier.’

    As might be expected, astrologers are most often consulted at times of uncertainty, whether at personal or societal level.

    The political and economic uncertainty caused by divisive world leaders, not to mention Brexit, is almost certainly good news for astrologers. And maybe we should not be too hard on them given that absolutely no one seems to have a clue about what the future holds at the moment.

    Anything that appears to provide a glimpse of what is waiting around the next corner may give someone a better sense of control, even if that sense of control is illusory. So why do so many people believe what they are told by astrologers?

    One reason is simply that it generally does make sense to believe what we are told by authority figures and experts (despite what Michael Gove may think). As children, it made sense for us to heed our parents when they said, ‘Don’t touch that, it will burn you!’ or ‘Take care when crossing roads.’ Those who believe in astrology consider their astrologer to be an expert whose pronouncements should be taken seriously.

    As human beings, we are all susceptible to what psychologists refer to as ‘subjective validation’; that is, if we expect to see correspondences and connections between two complex stimuli or events we are often able to find them, even if they are not really there.

    Anything that appears to provide a glimpse of what is waiting around the next corner may give someone a better sense of control, even if that sense of control is illusory.

    A full horoscope chart is very complex and open to many interpretations. It is not surprising that the believer can find apparent correspondences between it and the rich tapestry of their own lives.

    It appears that there is currently an increase in popularity among women in the 18-35 age bracket. Magazines and websites aimed at this demographic are embracing astrology in a way that they have not done before. Women have always been more likely to believe in astrology than men – a 2005 Gallup poll revealed 28 per cent of women believed compared to 23 per cent of men.

    Women are generally encouraged to be more in tune with their intuitions and emotions than men even in the 21st century. In an era when young women are also expected to be more independent than ever before, it is perhaps not surprising that some will turn to astrology in an attempt to cope with the challenges that entails.

    Astrology is a prime example of a pseudoscience but it does share one important property with genuine sciences: it often makes clear predictions that can be empirically tested. Those predictions have been thoroughly tested time and time again.

    Astrologers cannot predict future events, or predict personality based on the time and place of birth, or whether couples have ‘compatible’ star signs.

    So what do believers in astrology gain from their unfounded belief? Quite a lot as it happens.

    They feel that they have a deep spiritual connection to the cosmos and that astrology can provide them with profound insights into their own lives and the lives of others.

    If that provides them with a framework to make sense of their lives and helps them to deal with the existential angst that is inherent in the human condition, it can’t be all bad.

    Yet when it comes to dealing with the really important challenges in life, whether at the personal or societal level, I’d recommend putting the horoscope charts in a cupboard and relying on reason and evidence.

    A beginner's guide to astrology

    Astrology: the study of how the stars, planets and other cosmic objects move, the relationship between them and how these influence human live and the world around us.

    Horoscope: an astrological chart or diagram depicting the positon of sun, moon and planets at a particular place and time.

    Houses: the term used to describe the 12 divided segments of the zodiac. Each house is ruled by a different zodiac sign.

    Moon sign: this represents your emotions and is the next most important influence in the Zodiac after your sun sign

    Natal chart: also known as a birth chart, this is a map of your life and shows who you are and who you will become, according to the universe.

    Retrograde: the term used to describe when a planet looks as though it is ‘moving backwards’ in relation to the earth (from an astrological, not scientific, point of view)

    Rising sign: also known as your ‘ascendent’ it is the sign that was ‘rising’ up over the horizon in the east at the time of your birth

    Sun sign: also known as your star sign or your sign of the Zodiac

    MORE: I’ve been an astrologer for decades and only been wrong once

    MORE: Are star signs just self-fulling prophecies?

    MORE: What does the new moon in Leo mean for your zodiac sign?


    Horoscope series for PlatformHoroscope series for Platform

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    Tathra Di Liberto, 35, from Lowood, Queensland, Australia, with her son Axton
    After her son was left unharmed by a car crash, Tathra is urging parents to use rear-facing car seats for longer (Picture: Tathra Di Liberto/Caters News)

    A mum has urged parents to use rear-facing car seats for their children, after her decision to do so saved her son’s life in a head-on car crash.

    Mum Tathra Di Liberto says she was often criticised by her friends for positioning her son’s child seat to face the back of the car. Friends and family told Tathra her son, Axton, was too old and would get bored facing the back, but she ignored their claims in an effort to keep the 23-month-old safe.

    Tathra was incredibly grateful she made that choice when she was called and told that her son, along with Tathra’s mum and brother, had been involved in a head-on collision with another car.

    The position of Axton’s car seat may have saved his life.

    ‘My parents love to have Axton stay with them over the weekend every so often, so they can spend some time together with their grandson,’ Tathra said.

    ‘I’d dropped him off at their house on the Friday afternoon. Mum and I were actually discussing the rear-facing seat, as they were going to put it in their car.

    Axtons car seat - A traumatised mum who was heavily criticized for placing her toddler son in a rear-facing car seat has told how it SAVED HIS LIFE
    Axton’s car seat (Picture: Tathra Di Liberto/Caters News)

    ‘Mum suggested to just turn him to the front, but I said not to, and helped her adjust it. And thank god we did. I got a phone call from my brother after 5pm the next day who told me that they’d all been in a car accident. I felt sick to my stomach.

    ‘They’d not even got two miles from the house when it happened. They were just going to grab some dinner together. He said everyone was okay, but that him and mum were hurt. But luckily, Axton didn’t have a scratch on him.’

    Tathra’s mum and brother were both injured, with Bailey suffering severe whiplash and seatbelt bruising while Bronwyn had a tendon completely torn off the bone in her knee.

    ‘Thankfully, Axton is fine, and Mum told me that the paramedics, police and firefighters all told her the rear-facing car seat saved his life,’ Tathra said.

    ‘Without it, he could have suffered internal decapitation, neck injuries or a broken spine. He could have been killed or paralysed for life.’

    After the terrifying incident, Tathra is sharing her experience to encourage other parents to position their children’s car seats so they’re facing towards the back of the car.

     The car after the crash
    Axton was in the car during a head-on car crash (Picture: Tathra Di Liberto/Caters News)

    This is despite UK law, which states that children over 15 months old can use a front-facing seat. In Australia, where Tathra and her family live, guidelines state children can be placed in front-facing car seats from six months old, while in the US guidelines recommend children in rear-facing car seats until they are two years old.

    Tathra wants laws to be changed so children are required to sit in rear-facing car seats until the age of two. She believes this could save lives.

    She said: ‘I’m just so grateful. I keep thinking about the ‘what if?’ scenarios, and it makes me feel sick,’ she said.

    ‘I think poor Axton is a bit traumatised from it though, because he cries every time as soon as I put him into the car seat now. He never did that before.

    ‘There is a bit of debate about when kids should be turned front-facing, and I really would urge parents to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible.

    ‘I used to get criticised by loads of people who told me he was too old for it, or that he would get bored. But at the end of the day, it can save your child’s life. I’d never want to risk it.

    ‘Now I just want to help spread the message and raise awareness about rear-facing car seats

    ‘When I think about how easily we could have lost him, I get teary. My husband and I are quite traumatised by it all. I’m just so thankful that he is still with us. This could have have a far more tragic outcome.’

    MORE: Mum reveals upgrade hack that lets you turn economy seats into a giant bed for long haul flights

    MORE: Mum warns parents against old Tupperware after finding it contains lead and arsenic


    Mum urges parents to use rear-facing car seatsMum urges parents to use rear-facing car seats

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    Charlotte and Jon Grinham in the living room of their apartment in Halifax.
    Charlotte and Jon share a two-bedroom flat in Halifax, West Yorkshire (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    Londoners, prepare to weep.

    What I Rent is a weekly series in which we take you inside a different person’s rented property, to see how much they pay and what they get in return.

    We started out focusing on London, but over the last few months we’ve ventured further afield, heading to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Sheffield, and York.

    This week we’re in Halifax, with the cheapest rent per person we’ve seen thus far.

    For comparison, our first ever What I Rent saw Lisa paying £408 for a room in Stamford Hill. This week’s property is in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and is rented by Charlotte and Jon for £247.50 a month each.

    Again, Londoners, we’re sorry.

    Charlotte and John Grinham in the living room of their apartment in Halifax.
    They pay £495 a month for rent, so £247.50 each (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    Hey, Charlotte! How much do you pay to live here?

    Rent is £495 a month so £247.50 each. Bills are around £200 a month between us.

    What do you get for what you pay? 

    There are five rooms including the bathroom and two double bedrooms.

    To us that seems like a pretty good deal…

    Yes, we have an excellent deal! Rent in general is so reasonable in Halifax and you get so much for it.

    Shoes in the hallway of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    The couple moved in a month or so ago (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    How did you find the flat? 

    On Rightmove. We wanted to downgrade almost as we were in a house before and it was slightly too big. We also liked the idea of a modern flat so this was perfect.

    We lived in many places before our move up north. I’m from South East London/Kent originally and Jon’s from Essex. We lived in Essex, Lewisham and Essex again.

    We’ve only been here for a month after moving out from our previous place, also in Halifax.

    Do you like the area? 

    We live in Halifax but just near the train station, and the Nestle factory.

    We love it! It’s fresh and modern, close to the train station which is brilliant for work. We live near the Nestle factory so the sweet smells of sugar never get old and we’re in a nice quiet area with lots of dogs for neighbours so we’re very happy here.

    A cuddly toy in the second bedroom of Charlotte and Jon Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    They previously lived in Essex (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    Do you feel like you have enough space?

    Definitely. It’s perfect for two people and the storage is great. We don’t feel on top of each other either.

    How have you made the flat feel like home?

    We still need to add some more personal touches but having our beloved sofa is one cosy element we had to have.

    Little pictures of us and posters we’ve aquired over the years will make it feel like home too.

    Oh and our beloved curve screen TV! We love our TV.

    Are there any major issues with the flat you have to put up with?

    None at all! It’s the best place we’ve lived so far.

    Photographs of the couple in the main bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    They’ve got a pretty sweet deal (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    Do you have plans to move again?

    I don’t think we will for a long time now, as long as they’ll have us! If we did it would be for an extra room for babies we plan on having.

    Have you considered buying a place?

    We have but it’s just not feasible right now. I also like the freedom we have at the moment, you’re not necessarily tied down if you rent.

    Fair play. Shall we have a look around?

    Holiday posters in the hallway of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Charlotte and Jon have made the flat their own with holiday posters and more (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The living room of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Here’s the live room (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The living room of Charlotte and Jon Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    With space for a dining table (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Charlotte and Jon Grinham in the living room of their apartment in Halifax.
    Those sofas look cosy (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Candles in the living room of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The kitchen of Charlotte and Jon Grinham's apartment in Halifax, seen from the living room.
    Time to head through to the kitchen (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The kitchen of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Cooking oils in the kitchen of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    A wide array of oils (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Chopping board in the kitchen of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    An instructive sign (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Tankards and a glass in the kitchen of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    And some excellent tankards (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Talismans in the kitchen of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The main bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Here’s the main bedroom (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    A poster advertising attractions in Halifax on the wall above the bed in the main bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Of course there’s a poster celebrating Halifax above the bed (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Two televisions in the main bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Two TVs for watching and gaming (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Charlotte and John Grinham in the main bedroom of their apartment in Halifax.
    The couple are happy here and have no plans to move (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The second bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    The second bedroom (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Toys in the second bedroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Oh hey, Woody and Buzz (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    The bathroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Finally, the bathroom (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Shower area in the bathroom of Charlotte and Jon Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    We do appreciate a good body brush (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Shower cleaner and towels in the bathroom of Charlotte and John Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)
    Toothbrushes in the bathroom of Charlotte and Jon Grinham's apartment in Halifax.
    Those toothbrushes are looking a touch worse for wear (Picture: Asadour Guzelian)

    What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.

    How to get involved in What I Rent

    What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

    If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

    You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

    You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

    MORE: What I Rent: Caspar, £1,100 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Brixton

    MORE: What I Rent: Ben and Emma, £1,100 for a one-bedroom flat in West Norwood, London

    MORE: What I Rent: Matthew and Charles, £2,230 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Chelsea


    Charlotte and John Grinham in the living room of their apartment in Halifax.Charlotte and John Grinham in the living room of their apartment in Halifax.

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    Tony Riddle running barefoot
    Becoming a father made Tony more aware of the need to save the planet. (Picture: Tony Riddle)

    We are in an environmental crisis. The planet is heating up, the Amazon is literally on fire, and it often feels like there’s nothing you can do in the face of such large-scale catastrophe.

    But one man is being proactive and taking on an incredible challenge in order to raise vital funds for environmental charities and raise awareness about ongoing problems.

    Starting on the 1st September, Tony Riddle will run the length of the United Kingdom from Land’s End to John o‘Groats – almost 900 miles – without any shoes on.

    No trainers, no sandals, not even any socks.

    Covering approximately 30 miles per day for 30 days, the natural lifestyle coach aims to raise £25,000 for five sustainability-focused organisations including Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, Rainforest Alliance, Surfers Against Sewage, Care International, and Client Earth.

    Tony Riddle running barefoot in a filed
    Tony was born with underdeveloped lower limbs – so this challenge means the world to him. (Picture: Tony Riddle)

    He hopes that his challenge will provide a platform to highlight the importance of connecting with our environment, and to demonstrate the incredible possibilities of human physicality.

    There’s also a deeper meaning behind his decision to run barefoot.

    Tony’s feet were once a source of excruciating pain. He was born with under-developed lower limbs and was bound by cast for the first 12 weeks of his life and then braced for the next two years.

    It was a long road to recovery, but now his feet have now been transformed into super strong foundations that are able to carry him across the entirety of the country.

    ‘We are so disconnected from and void of nature, how can we ever relate to our environmental issues and fully commit to sustainability?’ asks Tony.

    ‘If we can’t connect or relate to nature, what chance do we have of saving it, and ourselves?

    Tony Riddle running barefoot
    ‘If we can’t connect or relate to nature, what chance do we have of saving it, and ourselves?’ (Picture: Tony Riddle)

    ‘As a father to three children, soon to be four; I feel the urgency for a change in our current disconnected behaviours. We need to do more to communicate the problem that arises from our disconnection from the natural world.

    ‘This is why I have chosen to support these organisations who, between them, protect our oceans, lands and animal – including human – species.’

    Get involved with the barefoot challenge

    ● Join in a Plogging event – hosted each weekend along the route.
    ● Run with Tony. Join in for 5k, 10k, half or full marathon segments.
    ● Attend talks, debates and weekend workshops – hosted with influencers and sustainability experts.
    ● Donate. Just Giving pages for each of the five organisations have been set-up via the TonyRiddle.com homepage.

    And if running 30 miles every day wasn’t enough of a challenge, Tony will also be hosting talks, debates and interviews every day with experts and collecting rubbish along his route.

    Anyone from the public is encouraged to join Tony on his run, to help him pick up rubbish, or to engage with one of his talks.

    He’s aiming to finish his challenge on the 30th September. He might not have any toenails left by then, but it will be worth it to prove that individuals do have the power to make a difference.

    MORE: There is no evidence that using the contraceptive pill makes you put on weight

    MORE: Astrology doesn’t work, so why do so many still believe it?

    MORE: Mum urges parents to use rear-facing car seats after decision saved her son’s life


    Tony Riddle Barefoot Run Challenge 504 a-6186Tony Riddle Barefoot Run Challenge 504 a-6186

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    Teacher Karen Loewe introduced the baggage activity to her classroom to show students the power of sharing their problems
    Teacher Karen Loewe introduced the baggage activity to her classroom to show students the power of sharing their problems (Picture: Karen Loewe/Facebook)

    A teacher has shared a simple school activity that we can all learn from.

    On the first day back at school after summer break, Karen Loewe invited students to write down anything that was bothering them on a piece of paper, scrunch it up, then chuck it across the room.

    They were told not to include their names on the paper so they could be as honest as they liked.

    One by one students were asked to pick up a piece of paper and read its contents aloud. Karen then asked if the child who wrote the problem down wanted to talk about it more – which many did.

    ‘I have never been so moved to tears as what these kids opened up and about and shared with the class,’ wrote Karen on Facebook.

    ‘Things like suicide, parents in prison, drugs in their family, being left by their parents, death, cancer, losing pets (one said their gerbil died cause it was fat, we giggled) and on and on.’

    As you’d expect, it was an emotional activity.

    Teacher's baggage activity
    After the baggage had been talked through, it was left in a bag hung near the classroom door Picture: Karen Wunderlich Loewe)

    ‘The kids who read the papers would cry because what they were reading was tough,’ said Karen. ‘The person who shared (if they chose to tell us it was them) would cry sometimes too.

    ‘It was an emotionally draining day, but I firmly believe my kids will judge a little less, love a little more, and forgive a little faster.’

    Once all the pieces of paper had been read, they were placed in a plastic bag hung by the classroom door.

    That bag serves as a lesson to the students and to the thousands of people who’ve seen and shared it online: everyone has baggage and there’s no shame in it.

    For the children specifically, Karen explained that the bag was hung to show that while we all have baggage, ‘we will leave it at the door’ and have a good day learning.

    Karen’s post explaining the activity has been shared more than 377,000 times on Facebook, and has received thousands of comments commending the teacher for such a moving idea.

    One mum wrote: ‘This is awesome! Love that you would take the time to do this in class. I’m sure it was very impactful for the students to see outside of themselves and know they aren’t alone. There is a reason why you are my kids’ favorite teacher.’

    The baggage activity is something we can all try out, whether in the classroom, in an office, with friends, or even on our own.

    Just writing down a problem and throwing it away can be hugely cathartic. Discussing it with someone else, even more so.

    Everyone has struggles. Sharing them helps.

    MORE: Mum urges parents to use rear-facing car seats after decision saved her son’s life

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    Teacher\'s baggage activityTeacher\'s baggage activity

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    The new Mulan collection
    The new collection is dreamy (Picture: Primark)

    Disney fans, rejoice: Primark has released a new Mulan range to celebrate the live-action film, which will be released next year.

    Primark has launched a homeware collection inspired by the classic animated version, and yes, you are going to want to buy the lot.

    The range includes loads of Mulan themed items, including £18 double bedding, a £7 cushion with ‘Let your dreams blossom’ written in gold, and a £6 throw.

    It also features a £6 mug and a £12 teapot.

    As expected, the collection has been a hit so far. Primark shared an image of the bedroom range on Instagram, and it has so far received more than 73,000 likes, as well as loads of comments from excited shoppers.

    The Mulan bedroom collection
    We love the bedding (Picture: Primark)

    One person commented: ‘I neeeed this bedding.’

    Another said: ‘THIS. I normally hate Disney bedding and stuff like that but this bedding is a perfect mix of gorgeous patterns and not in your face Disney – I acc love it.’

    This isn’t Primark’s first Disney collection release and it certainly won’t be the last.

    Primark Mulan collection
    We’ll take the lot (Picture: Primark)

    The Mulan range follows on from collections inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story and The Lion King.

    Primark is such a huge Disney fan that the Birmingham store is even opening a Disney cafe.

    The cafe features archways shaped like a Mickey Mouse headband, as well as circular stools and yellow banquettes.

    The cafe will serve mains and a side for £5 and a main, side and smoothie for £6.

    Sadly, though, the food isn’t inspired by Disney.

    Which is a shame, because that would definitely be a hit on Instagram.

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    Primark Mulan collectionPrimark Mulan collection

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    ‘Have a curry, play some great tunes and wear what you want.’

    Stephanie Myer-Scott was planning an event that sounds a lot like your average birthday party.

    But that’s actually the plan for her funeral.

    She’s 31 and not planning to die any time soon – she’s just keen to be upfront about what she wants after death

    According to a study by Nathan Gerard in 2017, millennials are much more willing to speak about dying hypothetically – but that doesn’t mean we are actually planning for our own deaths.

    We might not quite tiptoe around the subject with euphemisms like passed away and may be completely fine with funeral selfies, but with the average life expectancy now sitting at 80 in the UK, dying still feels a long way away.

    This is particularly true if you don’t have much experience with death.

    According to research by funeral directors CPJ Field, only 1% of millennials who haven’t experienced a bereavement have planned their funeral but it rises to 19% of those who have experienced a loved one dying.

    Realistically (and not to sound morbid), we are all going to die some day. It is the only real certainty in life. It could be tomorrow or it could be when you’re 80.

    For millennials, planning a funeral is far more straightforward than for previous generations. It’s something that can be done anywhere, on your phone, as easily as updating your social media profile.

    Erik Hax, for example, has a document on his phone, shared in the cloud, full of information about everything he wants for his funeral.

    Much like a shopping list, he updates it when inspiration strikes.

    Erik Hax
    Erik is 22 and has already planned his funeral (picture: Erik Hax)

    The 22-year-old, from Reading, says: ‘Whenever I get an amazing new idea, I’ll write it in immediately. Whether on the train or mid way through a McDonald’s, inspiration can hit me anywhere.

    ‘Some say the day they were born is a special day, for me the day I leave is just as important as the day I arrived.

    ‘At least I would have full control over the day.’

    Erik has planned an entire extravaganza to celebrate his life after he goes – including pyrotechnics, dancers, Britney Spears top hits playing and the closure of a few streets in his town for the after party.

    He started thinking about what he wanted when he visited a graveyard for the first time a few years ago.

    ‘I didn’t know quite what to expect in reality,’ Erik tells us. ‘I saw rows and rows of tombstones, it was an eerie experience like a scene from a film.

    ‘The harsh reality of death hit me. Going to a graveyard isn’t exactly a standard day out, so the whole idea of death never crossed my mind before that day.

    ‘Then I thought, hey this is going to be me six foot under one day and it made me think about my passing and how I didn’t want a basic or boring service that you would do for your nan.’

    From there, he started to write down everything he wanted, sharing it with close family and friends in case something happens to him.

    He says: ‘They know exactly what level of spectacle I would be expecting. I also have started putting savings aside for the big day already.

    ‘I’m not going to get married and waste £50k on a wedding. A couple could break up and then it would all be for nothing so better I spend all that money on a smashing funeral to remember – there is no other party to ruin your day and no risk involved.’

    As a generation, millennials aren’t scared to talk about death – the internet is filled with memes talking about death in the hypothetical sense. For example, we’re not afraid to say ‘I’m dead’ or ‘I’m dying’ in response to a joke, or to say we want a hot celeb to ‘murder’ us.

    But if we’re so comfortable with death, and creating a will is more straightforward than it was for our parents and grandparents, why aren’t more of us thinking about what we want when we die?

    Henry Rose Lee, an intergenerational expert, said that the living in a world dominated by social media has changed how open we are about death – but it has also changed the way we think about our own deaths.

    She explains: ‘Social media has removed many taboos about what can be seen, shared and discussed. That’s a good thing – up to a point. It means that a subject which would never have got an airing when social media did not exist, can now find its own community – and its own platform.’

    Traditionally huge life events such as getting married, buying a house or having children would all be points at which people would write or update a will. Those are all things we are doing later – the average age people get married at is now 37, for example.

    Henry adds: ‘In the past, the children or grandchildren of parents and grandparents, followed the traditions of their elders. There was no internet, and certainly no social media to encourage people to do their own thing.

    ‘In the past, young people wrote a will and started saving, because their parents, grandparents, and employers told them to – or because they simply followed a tradition that had been handed down from generation to generation. This is what we did, their parents would say, so you must do the same.

    ‘But the internet in general – and social media in particular – has changed all that. Now millennials have their own online communities, which often have little to do with the past or with the way things used to be done by their elders.

    ‘The old ties that bound them to tradition, or doing things because their boss or their parents told them to, have all but died out. Don’t get me wrong. In the West, young people have never wanted to write a will or save for retirement; they’ve got other things to think about. That’s normal. But what used to happen is that they were encouraged or obliged to do those things. Not anymore.’

    Henry adds that millennials are living in a world that is so different to generations before – they earn less, save less, struggle to buy homes and cars, like their parents did.

    She said: ‘Statistically, with millennials, savings have dropped to an all-time low, and planning for a future life is hard enough – why do any planning for death, when it seems so far away? Millennials have a lot on their plates.

    ‘In the last 11 years, wages have gone down and costs have gone up. Millennials can’t buy a car, or a house or any big capital expenditure in the way that older generations could do. Millennials know they are poorer. They are busy trying to get work, to live, and to have the best and most authentic life they can build for themselves – what has a funeral care form or a will got to do with that?’

    But with life events happening later or in a different order to the ‘traditional’ path our parents and grandparents took, not writing a will can cause problems.

    Stephanie Myer Scott
    Stephanie wants a more relaxed funeral (Picture: Stephanie Myer-Scott)

    Stephanie, for example, started planning her funeral when she wrote a will after buying her first house with her boyfriend, because she realised that without it, he would have no right to her share of the property if she died.

    She explains: ‘During the process, we learned that if either of us died without a will, our share of the property would go to our parents, rather than to each other.’

    Stephanie used an online service called Farewill to make it easier – but admits it was something she put off for months because time and money got in the way.

    ‘To begin with, it was a job I really, really didn’t want to have to do,’ says Stephanie.

    ‘We’d just pumped all our money into a new house so solicitors fees were terrifying, and using a DIY pack didn’t appeal because I just didn’t have the time or headspace to do it properly. So I’d put it off for months before I got around to it.

    ‘The actual process was weirdly and unexpectedly nice, in the end. I had fun planning my funeral and having a little think about what my friends and brother might want to keep out of my stuff was quite nice too.

    ‘I also left a really soppy note at the end. It was like writing a message to your family and friends for the future – it had a time capsule feel about it. It was a nice Sunday afternoon job actually.’

    Losing a loved one can help to put your own death into perspective and as the research from CPJ shows, people who have been bereaved are much more likely to plan their funeral and write a will.

    Gemma Khan
    Gemma Khan started thinking about her funeral when both her parents passed away (Picture: Gemma Khan)

    Gemma Kahl, 34, started writing her will and planning for her funeral following the death of her parents.

    Her mum died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage at 58 and her dad passed away from cancer 18 months later.

    Because her mum’s death was sudden, they hadn’t talked about what she wanted but Gemma had a little more time to plan with her dad – though she says when he was ill, he often didn’t want to talk about his death.

    After their deaths, she realised she wanted to have some control over her own funeral.

    She explains: ‘It’s definitely made me think more practically about what I want, to the point that I have written a will and included that I specifically want to be cremated.

    ‘My husband and I have had quite open discussions about it, I think because we have been through the process, it doesn’t seem scary or unknown. We know what will be needed, and we have discussed what we would like.

    ‘I learned some practical things like not being afraid to make specific requests.

    ‘During my mum’s funeral, the music we picked was faded out part-way through, which really annoyed me! It sounds silly, but when my dad’s came around I specifically asked the funeral directors to ensure the songs were played in full.

    Gemma Khan and her mum
    Gemma and her mum (Picture: Gemma Khan)

    ‘They made sure this happened, and it meant so much to us. I would definitely want to leave instructions like this for my funeral!’

    Even if you aren’t sure exactly what you want for your funeral, leaving specific instructions for little things you would really hate are a good start.

    Just because death seems like a long way off, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some basic plans in place.

    Think about who you would want to have your stuff – even if the most expensive thing you own is probably your mobile phone.

    With the average age for getting married sitting at 37, writing a will is really important as your partner won’t be entitled to anything without one.

    You can write a legally binding will online for a small fee.

    If you don’t want something as formal, you can just be like Erik and share some wishes with your family through a document that sits in the cloud, but this won’t be legally binding.

    When it comes to planning your funeral, your plots can be as simple as saying ‘play this song at my funeral’ or as formal as contributing to a payment plan so your family don’t face any financial burden.

    If you can manage to organise your huge group of friends with a doodle poll and a Facebook event, you can put together a few ideas for your last big celebration.

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)

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    Portrait of a mature man dancing, smiling and having fun
    (Picture: Getty)

    Looking on the bright side doesn’t just make you an optimist, it might also be making you live longer.

    American researchers have found that optimism and elongated lifespans have a positive relationship.

    Looking at an extensive study of tens of thousands of people, they found that people who believe good things will happen in the future are more likely to enjoy ‘exceptional longevity’.

    And that longevity could reach 85 years and above.

    Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Healthcare System and Harvard found that optimists had 11 to 15% longer lifespans.

    They also found that folks who believe the glass is half full ‘had 50-70% greater odds of reaching 85 years old compared to the least optimistic groups’.

    Good news for the cheerier among us. So, are you one of them?

    Does that mean you too might live to be 85 and beyond? We don’t have that kind of psychic powers but we do have a quiz that shows whether you’re an optimist, pessimist or a bit of both.

    Take the test and find out what you are.

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    Portrait of a mature man dancing, smiling and having funPortrait of a mature man dancing, smiling and having fun

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    metro illustrations
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Humans are divided into two camps. The glass-half-full types and the glass-half-empty types.

    People who see a train delay as an opportunity to finish that long-read everyone’s talking about, and people who think a delay is going to ruin their whole day, maybe even their life.

    Pessimists and optimists. They are sweeping character identities that essentially sum up how you perceive the world around you and react to the things that happen to you – and some argue the camp you fall in to can have much wider implications.

    A new study has found that being an optimist could actually help you live longer.

    Scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine concluded that looking on the bright side of life is more likely help you achieve ‘exceptional longevity’ – living to 85 or older.

    And this isn’t the only study of this kind. Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Illinois found that optimists get better sleep. And a 2015 study claimed that positive thinkers have healthier hearts.

    Given the well documented benefits of being relentlessly chipper, it’s not surprising that more people are making a conscious effort to develop a more sunny disposition.

    But is it actually possible to become an optimist, or is it just something that you’re born with? Are pessimists destined from birth to assume the worst, or can you alter your outlook?

    metro illustrations
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Rebecca Lockwood is a Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach and has a theory about why certain people are more optimistic from a young age.

    ‘Within the imprint period of our lives, between the ages of birth and seven, we take on our beliefs from our family members, our parents and the people around us like our teachers and carers,’ explains Rebecca.

    ‘Within this period of life, our values and beliefs are formed and they usually stick around until we grow into adulthood and beyond. If someone is an optimist it is usually picked up from this time in life.

    ‘Becoming an optimist can also come out of a low point in life, a loss or something that shakes up the norm. This can lead to an individual becoming more positive for the future out of a desire to live a happier and more fulfilled life and having had a sense of ‘having enough’ and needing to make a change for the better.’

    Rebecca says that optimism is essentially being positive and hopeful about the future. Even when things look bleak, Rebecca says optimists are able to see the bright side and be confident in that belief, despite not knowing what the future holds.

    She says it’s about your reactions in the face of uncertainty, and she says it is something that can be learnt and developed.

    ‘You can completely become an optimist,’ says Rebecca. ‘By being positive about what the future holds for you and feeling grateful for what you already have in your life, you can feel more positive each day and expect everything to turn out for the best.’

    But if you’re naturally negative, that might sound completely exhausting. It’s also important to note that you don’t have to feel positive about everything all the time. Optimism doesn’t have to be unrealistic – it’s normal to feel down or overwhelmed sometimes, even if you’re an optimist.

    ‘I’m not saying that you have to be happy and positive all of the time to be an optimist,’ says Rebecca.

    ‘Sometimes life does get to optimists and they can go through times where things may be uneasy or unsure, but overall an optimist will go through these phases quicker and come out of the other end feeling more positive and brighter than before.’

    How to become an optimist

    Becoming an optimist relies on the ability to harness, and intentionally practise, two important qualities.

    Using gratitude
    We can train the mind to become more aware of positive events and experiences as and when they happen.

    Cultivating more mindfulness
    At the same time we allow the space to acknowledge our negative thoughts and feelings, whilst also letting them go.

    Dr Elena Touroni, consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic

    Psychologist Hope Bastine thinks it’s helpful to think about optimism not as a personality type, but as a way of thinking.

    ‘You can’t change your personality type by you can retrain and re-frame your thinking style,’ explains Hope. ‘So you can shift from a pessimistic thinking style to an optimistic thinks style.’

    ‘The way to do that is to identify the pessimistic automatic thought, trace any feelings connected to that thought, consider an alternative and re-frame the negative to a positive thought process – and the test it out.

    ‘The more you practice this, the quicker it will become your new default position – changing your pessimistic default to a new optimistic default mind mode.’

    One example of this, says Hope, is instead of thinking ‘it’s raining’, think, ‘the plants or getting watered.’ Or, instead of ‘I’m slow’, think, ‘I’m thoughtful and conscientious.’

    So if you really want to learn how to look on the bright side of life, and reap the benefits that come with that, it can be done. But it will take some practice.

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Empowering songs when you need reminding you're a badass***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Empowering songs when you need reminding you're a badass

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    Rosa Parks Barbie
    ‘Rosa Parks’ quiet strength played a notable role in the civil rights movement.’ (Picture: Mattel Inc)

    Mattel has just released a brand new Barbie doll of Rosa Parks – the legendary civil rights activist.

    The doll, which will be released on Women’s Equality Day, is part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women series depicting female role models and heroines of their time who took risks and paved the way for the next generation of girls.

    Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus boycott in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger.

    ‘Rosa Louise Parks led an ordinary life as a seamstress until an extraordinary moment on December 1, 1955,’ reads Barbie’s description of the doll.

    ‘When she refused an order to give up her seat to a white passenger and move to the back of the bus, Mrs. Parks’ act of defiance became the catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

    Rosa Parks and Sally Ride Barbies
    Rosa Parks and Sally Ride are part of the Inspiring Women series. (Picture: Mattel Inc)

    ‘Rosa Parks’ quiet strength played a notable role in the civil rights movement, but it would still take another nine years and more struggles before the 1964 Civil Rights Act overruled existing segregation laws.’

    The company are also releasing a doll of the astronaut Sally Ride, who was the first American woman in space and the third woman in space overall. She also set the record for the youngest American ever to enter space at 32 years old, which still has not been broken.

    But not everyone is sold on the dolls.

    Their aim is for girls to have healthy role models but the dolls still look like they have unrealistic body proportions (to my untrained eye at least),’ said Megha on Twitter.

    But loads of the responses were really positive too, with people clamouring to buy the dolls for their little ones – or, just for themselves.

    Omg. I foresee a future in which I and a bunch of my women friends all buy the Rosa Parks doll and then get together to play Barbies,’ said Amy.

    They may not tick every box, but at least these dolls are a world away from dream houses and pink convertibles.

    Other women in the series include artist Frida Kahlo, pilot Amelia Earhart and mathematician Katherine Johnson.

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    Barbie releases Rosa Parks dollBarbie releases Rosa Parks doll

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    Two Selkirk Rex cats with curly fur
    So cute (Picture: Getty)

    Just when you thought cats couldn’t get any better, let us introduce you to the Selkirk Rex breed.

    These cats have your standard wet noses and whiskers but they also have uniquely curly hair that is a bit like a sheep.

    The ‘sheep cats’ have been spotted on Instagram as the popularity of the breed grows.

    It is a relatively new breed, which started in Montana, USA in 1987.

    Amazingly, it started with an unusual kitten in a litter from a rescue cat.

    That little kitten was named Miss DePesto, after a character in the TV series Moonlighting, by her owner Jeri Newman.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1HCwCsp4vo/

    She had kittens with a black Persian male – three had curly hair and three had straight hair, making the curly coat a dominant trait.

    From there, the Selkirk Rex (named after Jeri’s stepfather) breed was born

    It has now been developed in two coat lengths – long and short and comes in a range of colours.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1oDCAVJmfb/

    Selkirk Rex cats are medium to large with a chunky build and a round head.

    And looking after the special coat takes a bit of work – these cats need gentle grooming every day to avoid knots and tangles, but over grooming flattens the curls.

    The curly coat is pretty dense and sheds quickly so it’s not a breed recommended for anyone with cat allergens.

    Purina’s breed library says they have pretty great personalities though: ‘The Selkirk Rex cat has an alert and active personality with a sweet and endearing disposition.

    ‘This laid back breed is happy to sit on your lap and loves to have a cuddle. It is also more than happy to play games and makes a great family pet.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1jFyGPn5z6/

    The cats have become popular on Instagram with over 111,000 posts featuring these cute sheep kitties.

    They are adorable but if you’re planning to get a new pet, it’s important to do your research and find a cat that suits you and your lifestyle, rather than choosing one based on Instagram.

    There are also lots of cats in shelters, looking for new homes. Check out Battersea Cats and Dogs home, or your local shelter, for all the cats currently up for adoption.

    MORE: Is it possible to become an optimist?

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