Articles on this Page
- 09/03/19--07:00: _‘World’s most tatto...
- 09/03/19--07:22: _Everything in the 2...
- 09/03/19--08:06: _Doing Second Hand S...
- 09/03/19--08:23: _Northerners create ...
- 09/03/19--09:00: _Great British Bake ...
- 09/03/19--09:19: _This £2.8 million h...
- 09/03/19--09:21: _Is the colour of yo...
- 09/03/19--09:22: _Makeup brush brand ...
- 09/03/19--09:55: _Bake Off 2019: How ...
- 09/03/19--22:47: _Mum uses 99p tile c...
- 09/03/19--23:22: _Man secretly propos...
- 09/04/19--00:30: _Mixed Up: ‘I’m not ...
- 09/04/19--01:01: _Pringles flavoured ...
- 09/04/19--01:25: _How new parents can...
- 09/04/19--02:00: _How to deal with un...
- 09/04/19--02:06: _83-year-old grandma...
- 09/04/19--02:24: _Asda is launching a...
- 09/04/19--02:32: _There’s a Jenga cha...
- 09/04/19--03:16: _Shampoo adverts hav...
- 09/04/19--03:23: _ASOS is selling hee...
- 09/03/19--07:22: Everything in the 2019 lookfantastic advent calendar
- 09/03/19--09:21: Is the colour of your wee normal?
- 09/04/19--02:00: How to deal with undergound spots
Dr Sarah Gray is training to be an orthopaedic surgeon – but she also has a love for body art.
The 31-year-old is already tattooed from her neck to her toes and she plans to add more to create a bodysuit.
Sarah, who describes herself as the world’s most tattooed doctor, wants to challenge stereotypes in the medical profession and says it isn’t traditionally what a doctor looks like.
The former Ms Inked Australia is currently completing her internship at the Royal Adelaide Hospital – but she also runs a tattoo parlour called Grim Raptor with her husband on the side.
Describing herself as ‘the most colourful doctor’ at the hospital, she says she wants to show you can work in the medical profession and still be your own person.
Sarah, who lives in Adelaide, Australia, got her first tattoo at 16 and has been in love with them ever since.
She says she sees herself as an art collector and feels it’s important to get good quality tattoos.
Her ink involves everything from a peacock on her chest to skulls on her legs – but she says she would never get anything offensive on her body.
Speaking to Sunrise, Sarah said: ‘If you’re confident and competent at your job, it shouldn’t really matter what you look like.
‘I find it’s a good talking point, especially a lot of the younger generation of patients that we see. I guess it’s a bit of a barrier breakdown between what it is traditionally thought a doctor would look like.’
She posts about her tattoos and work as a doctor on her Instagram page, where she already has over 65,000 fans.
Dr Sarah Gray tattooed doctor
You may recoil in horror at this, but it’s time to start thinking about Christmas presents. Saving will need to be done, and it’s always better not to leave the wrapping to the last minute.
First thing’s first, however, is the present that you give from you, to you beforehand – your advent calendar.
Beauty calendars have been the thing for some time now, and they’re getting bigger and better with each year that passes.
In some cases this also means they become more expensive, but they do also tend to offer great value compared to buying each product individually.
The offering from lookfantastic this year, includes a total of 25 products containing a mix of all things beauty; from skincare and haircare treats to cosmetics and beauty tools
It retails at £79, but with products worth £420 inside, it’s an investment if you’ll use it all.
The calendar can be pre-ordered from 5 September and will retail from the 1 October on lookfantastic.com
With brands including Elemis and Neal’s Yard Remedies, here’s what you can expect.
lookfantastic’s 2019 advent calendar
9A Palette (9 pan) | worth £12.00
Perfect Hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment 30ml | worth £5.00
Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner 50ml | worth £4.00
121 & 141 (2 brushes) | worth £10.00
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 30ml | worth £50.00
Nude Collection Liner – Raw | worth £16.00
The Ritual of Ayurveda Dry Oil 50ml | worth £11.00
Elasticizer 40ml | worth £12.00
Renaissance Cleansing Gel 35ml | worth £23.00
First Aid Beauty
Facial Radiance Pads 20 | worth £14.00
Moisture Surge Overnight Treatment 50ml | worth £85.00
Throat & Decolletage Crème (15ml) | worth £9.00
Lord & Berry
Black Eye Liner | worth £10.00
Liquid Lip Paint – Tehran | worth £11.00
Dragon’s Blood Lip Mask (1 mask) | worth £6.00
Fiery Pink Pepper Bath and Shower Gel 100ml | worth £10.00
Moisture Boost Vit + C Cream 20ml | worth £19.60
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Wild Rose Hand Cream 50ml | worth £10.00
EGF Serum 5ml | worth £42.00
Lash Alert Mascara 4ml | worth £10.00
Eye Brow Pencil | worth £22.00
Limited Edition Bath Bomb | worth £5.99
Meso-Mask 15ml | worth £12.60
Highlighting Palette – Solstice 9g | worth £9.99
Queen Of Hungary Mist Limited Edition 30ml | worth £15.00
Everything in the 2019 lookfantastic advent calendar
Ah, September – the month of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and crispy leaves.
But now there’s something else associated with this autumnal month – buying second hand.
Yes, we’ve had Veganuary and Stoptober is coming but September is all about trying to reuse things that have already had a life with someone else.
The idea came from charity Oxfam in a bid to discourage throwaway fashion.
Every week 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill – but many of them are still wearable or could be used to create something new.
According to the charity, two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute in the UK. That amount produces nearly 50 tonnes of carbon emissions – the same as driving 162,000 miles in a car.
How can you get involved with Second Hand September?
Oxfam is encouraging people to take a 30-day pledge to only buy second-hand items, from charity shops, auction sites, online marketplaces or wherever you can find them.
The only rule is someone else needs to have owned them first.
They’re encouraging people to upcycle things they already have or to reinvent something second hand.
You can learn some basic sewing skills online or look for a nearby course to get started if you aren’t sure what you are doing when it comes to upcycling.
You can share your second-hand outfits on social media, using the hashtag #SecondHandSeptember and tagging @OxfamGB. They’re even offering prizes for their favourite looks.
Where can you buy second-hand clothes?
Firstly, it’s best to try to use what is already in your wardrobe. Can you resurrect something from a few years ago? Could you fix that dress with a hole?
But if you need something for an event and you really don’t have anything suitable already, there are lots of places you can look for second-hand clothes.
Charity shops are a real treasure trove – with some time and patience, you can find some real gems.
Pop into ones on your high street but it’s worth travelling to some more specialist ones if you’re looking for something in particular. You could even pick up a wedding dress in a charity shop.
Of course, the best thing is that you can buy second hand and give a little money to charity too. If you don’t have any luck on your first try, keep looking as they are always getting donations.
You could even take along those old clothes taking up space in your wardrobe while you are there.
Online auction sites are easier to search but a bit more focused on profit. If there’s something, in particular, you’re after, you can set an alert for when new items under certain terms are listed.
When it comes to bidding, don’t go in too soon and drive the price up. Keep an eye on the bidding, set a reminder and be prepared to strike at the last minute.
Don’t get carried away with spending more than you can afford either – set a maximum bid and don’t go over it.
Teens use the app-based marketplace to buy and sell items they no longer want.
You can find lots of great pieces but be warned that some of the listings go back months and the item might not be available any more. Drop the seller a message to check before you get your heart set on it.
There’s lots of buy and sell marketplace groups on Facebook and it’s particularly great for specific brands. Search for a group based around the brands you like and keep an eye out for what comes up.
Raid your friends’ wardrobes
Friends can be a great source of second-hand clothes. Maybe they have something that doesn’t fit any more or they might have something that they bought, wore once and realised it doesn’t suit them – but it could look great on you. Obviously ask their permission before you accidentally steal their favourite dress and ruin your friendship.
Even your relatives could be a source of some new wardrobe staples. That old blazer your dad never wears could be customised to make an oversized jacket. Be inventive and other people’s trash could be your treasure.
Woman looking at dress hanging on rack while standing at store
You get home from work, can’t be bothered to cook, and now face a near-impossible decision.
Do you want pizza? Fish and chips? A Chinese?
One bar is here (well, up North) to help.
Up in Manchester, Crazy Pedro’s bar is serving up what they’re calling a chippy tea pizza – a dish that fulfills (nearly) all your takeaway cravings in one dish.
You’ve got a 16 inch pizza base to tick off your need for pizza, topped with chip shop chips, sausages, mushy peas, curry sauce.
There’s no battered mars bar, cod, or kebab on there, but we still reckon this pizza answers most drunken night needs. That’s handy, considering this particular item is sold until 4am.
Marketing manager and proud Northerner Nick Coupland, 28, from Salford, said: ‘It is pretty much a classic northern dish – fish and chips and curry sauce and mushy peas.
‘I think initially the northern credentials were the reason this pizza did well, but after that was just because people tried it.
‘Now it is one of our most popular items, it goes down really well.
‘It is comfort food, we are the only place that serves pizza like this until 4am in the morning, and it is just what you want at 3.30am.
‘But at first, we did have people come up and say ‘we’re not sure what it is’, or asking how the mushy pea base would work as that is pretty unusual.’
Crazy Pedro’s, which has two branches in Manchester and one in Liverpool, first brought the chippy pizza into being last year on their specials menu.
The original plan was to have it available on rotation but it became so popular that an uproar started on social media demanding it back when it was taken off the list, so now it’s a permanent fixture.
The pizza, which contains more than 2,000 calories, costs £16 – or just £10 during happy hour. Bargain.
Nick has plans to launch more mashup meals, including vegan options. Watch this space.
GENIUS OR WEIR-DOUGHS? PROUD NORTHERNERS INVENT CHIPPY TEA PIZZA - TOPPED WITH CHIP SHOP CHIPS, SAUSAGES, MUSHY PEAS AND CURRY SAUCE
Great British Bake Off is back, and thus so are the GBBO tie-ins to jump on the hype.
Along with sales on baking equipment and betting shops promising odds on the winner, Ann Summers has stepped up to offer the Bake Off themed sex positions we’re sure you’ve all been waiting for.
Do you need to theme your sex life around British television? Absolutely not.
Do these sex positions have very little to do with GBBO beyond the tenuous names? Yes, that’s correct.
But if you like to stick to a theme, need something to do in the ad breaks, or have grown weary of your Paul Hollywood roleplay, we suppose these positions will butter your crumpet.
The Technical Challenge
So named because it’s a bit tricky.
Both parties should sit down facing each other, with legs wrapped around each other during penetration.
You can use your hands or elbows for balance.
Ann Summers warns that this is a ‘tricky one to master’, but says that ‘like any technical, is well worth the effort’. Sure.
Thankfully this doesn’t require shaping bread into a lion’s face or stacking up biscuits.
Instead, the person penetrating (so the person with a penis or strap on) lies on the bed with their knees off the edge and their feet on the flaw.
The other person climbs on top, facing away, and squats down on to the penis or strap-on, allowing them to be in full control of depth of penetration and speed.
The person lying down gets a nice view of your bum, so everyone’s a winner.
This is essentially a twist on a 69, called an ‘even bake’ because you’re getting equal pleasure. Get it?
You’ll need a sofa for this one. One person lies upside down, with their back and head on the seat and their legs over the back (or against the wall if your sofa is right up against it). The other climbs over them, kneeling either side and facing the back of the couch.
We’re assuming you know what happens next, but for the avoidance of doubt – you both simultaneously give and receive oral. Lovely.
This one actually makes you look like a star, so it’s almost properly Bake Off themed. Almost.
One person lies on their back with one leg stretched and the other bent up. The other person slides between their legs and pushes one of their own legs underneath, raising their partner’s hips in the process.
Once you’re in position, you’ll look a bit like a star. Don’t get too hung up on it.
GBBO sex positions
Normally when a house retails for a lot of money, it’s simply because it exists within the M25.
This one, however, has actually got an insane list of features, and genuinely seems to justify its heady price of £2.8 million.
First thing’s first, the structure itself looks like a massive chalet, and is Grade II listed, having been imported from Sweden around 1882.
It sits a stone’s throw from Hampton Court Palace, with the Thames and Bushy Park on the doorstep.
As you walk up to the property, you’ll go over grated metal and a koi pond, so you can see the fish swimming beneath you. The handrails to the bridge is made to look like samurai swords. You’ll also have access to private mooring and a landscaped Japanese garden.
It’s when you go inside that things get a little bit trippy, though.
One of the wildest features in the house is the basement, which is done up to be an indoor beach with a stage and underfloor heating. Get ready to have sand in your knickers even while at home.
In the basement is also a bespoke wine fridge that can keep hundreds of bottles chilled (you pretty much need to be a part animal) and a hidden cinema room.
It only gets more opulent, with the kitchen housing 5 Gaggenau fridges, 2 ovens and 2 microwave, grill and steam ovens, and having Swarovski crystals adorning the doors between kitchen and diner. Oh, and it has a staff entrance, natch.
Head up the spiral staircase and you’ll get to a library and three of the house’s four bedrooms, one of which includes Japanese pod beds that massage your body while you sleep.
On the top floor is the master suite, which encompasses the whole level and also has its own balcony. The en-suite up here has two copper roll-top baths and two hand basins made of marble and 24 carat gold.
Perhaps this level of excess in furnishing shouldn’t exist in the world, and if you’re the type of person who’ll feel guilty for having a massive house made of jewels while the world burns this probably isn’t for you.
But for those without that gene (and £2.8 million) it could be the one.
You can also pay an extra amount – available by separate negotiation – for the rest of the wildly extravagant contents. Go hard, or go home, as they say. And your home probably doesn’t have all of this.
September marks Urology Awareness Month – an initiative that aims to help people can spot the symptoms of any problems early and seek treatment.
For those not medically clued-up, the term ‘urology’ refers to the surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary-tract system as well as male reproductive organs. So, both men and women should listen up when it comes to urology health.
As always, it’s important to understand your body but wee can be a crucial indicator that something is wrong.
So it’s paramount to understand the different shades of urine and differentiate between when its lifestyle factors changing the colour and when it might be down to a health problem.
We’ve spoken to medical professionals to get their advice on healthy shades of urine and when it’s best to consult a GP.
Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, Medical Director (UK) Health Clinics at Bupa UK, told Metro: ‘Urine contains a yellow pigment called urochrome, and its shade depends on how diluted or concentrated your pee is.
‘If you drink more [water], this dilutes the yellow pigments, making your urine look clearer.’
A pale yellow urine is what everyone should be aiming for according to medical professionals – as a pale straw colour shows an individual is drinking enough fluids and that the body is adequately hydrated.
Dr Arun Thiyagarajan adds: ‘If your urine is slightly darker than pale straw in shade, this suggests that you’re mildly dehydrated and could do with drinking a glass or two of water to replenish your fluids.’
Drinking plenty of water is great, marvellous in fact, but it’s important not to overload on it.
Yes, there is such a thing as water overkill and urine that is extremely pale or transparent looking can be a telltale sign of this.
Dr Arun Thiyagarajan says: ‘Pee that’s really pale or even transparent in colour is a sign that you may be drinking more than you need to, especially if you’re needing to pee frequently.
‘In extreme cases, drinking too much water can be dangerous as it can cause your blood’s salt levels to fall too.’
Basically, a hint of yellow is perfect.
Dark yellow or amber looking wee can be a sign of dehydration.
This often happens after a night out or when you’re feeling under the weather and is a sign that your body needs a top up of water in order to function better.
‘It may be useful to add a rehydration sachet to your water to help quickly replace the important salt and sugars that your body has lost,’ says Dr Arun Thiyagarajan.
Severe dehydration is a common cause of orange-coloured urine but, in some cases, it can indicate a medical problem with your liver or bile duct – especially if you also have light-coloured stools. This could mean that bile is getting into your bloodstream.
If you’re staying hydrated and orange urine persists, it’s best to book up an appointment with the GP.
Coloured (e.g. green, blue)
Firstly, don’t be alarmed if your pee is green or blue. Some foods, certain bright-coloured food dyes and a handful of medications can all cause your urine to change colour.
However, if there’s no obvious reason for the change, it’s best to get it checked with your GP.
Dark brown or coke-colored
As well as being a sign of dehydration, darker urine can also be caused by some liver and kidney disorders, as well as some urinary tract infections.
Wee that is cloudy or murky can be a sign of a UTI, especially if it comes with other symptoms such as a frequent urge to go and a burning sensation when passing urine.
Kidney stones is another possible reason behind cloudy urine.
Blood in urine
Blood in urine can be a symptom of bladder cancer. Other possible causes include urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney infection, enlarged prostate, kidney or bladder stones or conditions such as polycystic kidney disease. Sickle cell anemia can also be behind it.
Dr. Mitchell Humphreys of the Mayo Clinic said: ‘Blood in the urine that’s clearly visible is called gross hematuria. To determine what is causing the hematuria, your health care provider may first order a urine test to determine if bleeding is caused by a urinary tract or kidney infection.
‘The risk of hematuria being an indicator of cancer somewhere in the urinary tract increases after age 40. And, in most cases, it’s the first symptom.
‘It’s also fairly common for no cause of hematuria to be found.’
If you see blood in your urine it’s always best to make an appointment with your GP, to rule everything out.
Can you get pregnant from a toilet seat
It may be best known for its glorious makeup brushes, but cult beauty brand Zoeva just launched its own foundation range.
What’s more, the brand made its debut into the world of foundation with an inspiring and unconventional beauty campaign.
Instead of opting for professional makeup artists for its campaign titled Authentik Skin Foundation, Zoeva chose to feature a diverse range of models who did their own makeup for the shoot.
Of course, there were still a production team involved to get the pictures looking slick but the Zoeva team were keen to get across real-life approach to beauty, particularly through the 44 women showcased – each representing a different shade of the new product.
Zoe Boikou, Zoeva’s founder and CEO, said: ‘Zoeva was built on celebrating individual, authentic beauty. It’s in our heart to help women celebrate this too.
‘What better way to bring this to life than for each of the 44 women featured to create their look themselves during the video shoot.’
As well as showing diversity in its shades, the new Zoeva foundation promises a ‘natural luminous’ finish with its lightweight formula.
Each bottle is priced at $28 (or £23.35) and every colour is named after an empowering adjective in alphabetical order, with shades going from lightest to darkest.
Beautiful, Gifted, Kind, Legendary, Magical, and Soulful are just a few names to make an appearance in the brilliant collection.
The brand says its dedicated to helping ‘women discover and celebrate their individual beauty’ and its new foundation range certainly reflects that.
It’s Tuesday which means it’s Bake Off day again – the best time of the week.
After cake week last week, they’re moving onto biscuits.
A sneak peek at this episode at the end of last week’s showed something covered in chocolate, fig rolls and an impressive 3D biscuit showstopper.
But if those seem like a bit of a stretch for you at home, you can try these simple biscuit recipes from the experts at Patisserie Valerie for Italian Biscotti and Sablé biscuits.
What is Biscotti?
A Biscotti is a twice-baked, almond biscuit. It’s hard and crunchy and usually dipped into a drink. They’re very adaptable biscuits and you can add all sorts of fruits and nuts to change the flavour.
What is a Sablé biscuit?
This French round shortbread cookie (which gets its name from the Sablé area where it originates) is a great recipe for modelling biscuits as they are sturdy enough. Often they are flavoured with almonds, orange and lemon zest.
20g baking powder
300g caster sugar
3 whole eggs
1. Mix all of the ingredients – use your hand to mix to create a nice sticky dough.
2. Once you have mixed the dough and it is beginning to become firm, take it out of the mixing bowl and place into your countertop.
3. Knead the dough until it’s a firm consistency.
4. Add chunky chocolate chips to the pastry and knead the dough until the chocolate chips are evenly spread. You can also add almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, fruit and a splash on rum.
5. Now roll the dough into long circular shapes – roll as many as your dough will allow.
6. Add your dough onto a clean baking tray and add to a warm oven for 20 minutes at 180C – whilst your viscounts are baking they will expand into a fatter and fuller shape.
Top tip – the longer the shape of the biscuit when rolling it, the fatter and fuller it will expand when baking.
7. Once your biscuits have chilled, cut the biscuit into small sections and then rebake the sections for an extra five minutes at 180 to create a hard, crunchy biscuit with a golden brown finish.
600g of butter
8 egg yolks
300g icing sugar
Flavours: you can add vanilla, orange zest, lemon zest, chocolate powder or even add food colouring to make your biscuits stand out
1. Add the eight egg yolks to the icing sugar and work together before adding the other ingredients.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour (yes, everything is added together). Mix everything by hand.
3. Once you have mixed the dough and it is beginning to become firm, take it out of the mixing bowl and place into your countertop.
4. You will know when your dough is ready when all of your ingredients have blended together and the dough is not elastic-like.
Place the dough into the chiller for 5 minutes to make it easier for you to roll into the desired shape.
5. Divide the dough into smaller sections (depending on the desired size of your cake).
6. Roll your dough flat until it is roughly 1cm or the height of a £1 coin.
7. Roll the dough into the shape you want it to be baked – circle, square the choice is yours.
7. Place the dough into a clean baking tray and add to a warm oven to bake for 15 minutes at 180C.
8. Allow for the dough to cool before decorating.
9. To make your double cream you will need cream and 100g of sugar (the grams of sugar depends on how sweet you want your cream to taste). Mario uses double cream as it has a thicker consistency.
10. Whisk the cream for a good 10 minutes. You will know when the cream is ready once you lift your whisk out of the bowl and the cream doesn’t fall.
Smushing a stain into your carpet is something that usually inspires panic, not creative thinking.
But one mum’s household stain led her to a discovery that could help you out next time you drop something on that clean cream carpet.
The mum, from the UK, took to the Cleaning Hacks, Tips and Recommendations Facebook group to share how she managed to get rid of a rubbed in lipstick stain with a 99p tile cleaner.
The woman wrote: ‘Best thing to get s**t lipstick out of carpet ? (done even wear the stuff) don’t [know] why I have it.
‘Note to all DONT HAVE KIDS!!!’
Before and after photos show how the tile cleaner completely removed all evidence of the bright red lipstick the woman’s children had rubbed into the carpet.
The woman just happened to have the Astonish Tile and Grout Restorer around the house, and decided to give it a go after nothing else worked to clean up the stain.
The product is designed to be used for dirty bathroom and kitchen towels, but its high-power cleaning foam and bleach helps to remove stubborn stains.
Oh, and it’s only 99p, so it’s worth having around the house for both stain removal and tile cleaning needs.
Another mum recently shared a handy cleaning hack for stains left by messy kids.
One mum moved into a new flat and found that the walls were covered in pen marks after the previous tenant’s son scribbled everywhere.
But after spending £2.50 on a bottle of Bartoline’s sugar soap spray, she was able to remove the marks in minutes.
Posting in Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK, she said: ‘I cannot recommend this enough… £2.50 from Morrisons I’m shook.
Parents, we’d recommend stocking up. Kids will always find new and inventive ways to wreck your house, and you’ll need a full arsenal of cleaning supplies to tackle those stains.
How mum removed red lipstick stain from carpet
There’s a lot of pressure to make your proposal grand and dramatic.
But there’s power in keeping things subtle.
Learn from Edi, who essentially proposed to his girlfriend over the course of a month without her even noticing.
When Edi Okoro decided to propose to his girlfriend, Cally, he knew that if he planned a holiday or a fancy meal she would have ‘clocked on’ immediately.
Edi began to take the engagement ring everywhere he went, so he could pop the question whenever the perfect moment came up.
After a month, that moment never came. Edi was sitting in the living room staring at the ring when Cally almost caught him – which inspired an idea.
Edi realised that all the missed proposal opportunities should be documented. He set about trying to get as many photos of Cally with the ring… without her knowing it was there.
Over the course of a month, Edi snapped pictures of Cally snoozing with the ring in her hand, looking at her phone while Edi displayed the ring behind her, and failing to spot the ring in her jewellery box for two days.
In that way Edi managed to propose for a month – without Cally realising.
After the month was up, Edi popped the question. He hasn’t revealed how he did it yet, but Cally said yes.
Edi’s Facebook post documenting the month-long proposal has since been shared more than 62,000 times, and has been flooded with comments from people admiring his sneaky skills.
Edi wrote on Facebook: ‘The idea was to take as many photos, in more daring scenarios, until I found the perfect moment to propose, or until I got caught, at which point I would propose!
‘Here are some of the photos I captured over the space of about a month before I found the right moment (this is a story in its own right).
‘Those who have gone through this (and those who will soon find out) you want to propose in a way that speaks to you as a person and couple.
‘Some plan a flash mob, a fancy meal, or even arrange a marry me sign. I couldn’t do this because “Edi doesn’t plan” …. I’m a spontaneous improviser! 😅
‘This made it even more of a challenge because Cally knows this, and the moment I planned a holiday or meal she would have clocked on to what I was about to do.
‘Because of this I took the ring with me everywhere hoping the “moment” would arise in line with my spontaneous style.’
Edi followed up the post with a photo of Cally wearing her ring, writing: ‘So we did end up getting engaged, and no I didn’t get caught ….but how I did it is a story for another time. Stay tuned!
‘She didn’t know about this library until several weeks later … My smile is a “you know nothing Cally Read” smile.’
Aimee Grant-Cumberbatch spent a few years of her childhood living in Barbados, where her dad’s family are from. Returning to rural England was a shock to the system.
‘My mix is black and white Caribbean,’ Aimee tells Metro.co.uk.
‘My grandparents on my dad’s side came over from Barbados in the 1950s, they both worked as nurses for the NHS.’
Aimee’s dad was born and raised in the UK and her mum is British, but they moved to Barbados as a family when Aimee was four and stayed their for two years. It was a time that really informed Aimee’s sense of self.
‘Being mixed-race has had a massive impact on the way I view the world. It has given me unique perspectives and access to different worlds. It’s also an amazing connection that I share with other mixed-race people.
‘I’m really grateful for the time I spent in Barbados because I have a much deeper connection to and understanding of my Bajan heritage than I would had I just grown up in the UK.
‘It’s also one of the experiences that has contributed to me really feeling mixed-race. As in the UK, my skin colour, and my accent marked me out as different. I felt my difference in Barbados and I feel my difference in the UK. That’s what it’s like to be mixed-race.’
Aimee has a double-barrelled surname, part of which is Cumberbatch. It’s a distinctive and recognisable name, mostly due to the association with the famous actor – but her family’s link to the name is much darker than most people realise.
‘People often ask if I’m related to Benedict Cumberbatch and having a surname that people associate with a posh white man has probably opened doors for me,’ explains Aimee.
‘We have the same surname because his ancestor was one of the owners of a plantation in Barbados where my ancestors were slaves. Slaves had to take the names of their masters when slavery was abolished and Cumberbatch is a very common name in Barbados because it was one of the largest plantations.’
‘Passing’ is the phenomenon of being perceived as white in certain situations, and it is something that many mixed-race people have experienced. For Aimee, being able to ‘pass’ as white is complex because she never wants to ignore or hide her Caribbean heritage.
‘It’s important to recognise the privilege inherent in being light-skinned enough to pass as white in certain settings,’ says Aimee. ‘However, passing is something understood in relation to whiteness.
‘I’m not white and I don’t want to subsume my identity to whiteness.
‘Passing isn’t a fixed phenomenon — generally it arises from a lack of understanding of how mixed-race people can and do look. I find that mixed people tend to know I’m mixed.’
Aimee says that she is sometimes perceived as white, or sometimes ethnically ambiguous. But she doesn’t want to let other people’s perceptions of her identity dictate her identity.
‘My skin tone changes throughout the year, so what am I supposed to do — pass in winter and then shout “surprise!” when I tan?’ she asks.
‘Jokes aside, being mixed-race, I know that you can’t organise the world into neat categories. I feel passing as white would be letting people off the hook when they try to do that with race.’
Aimee struggles to categorise her experience of being part of a mixed-race family because it’s the only family she has ever known, but she is grateful to have people close to her who can directly relate to how she experiences the world.
‘I do feel that no one understands my experience of being mixed-race like my siblings, especially my sister,’ says Aimee.
‘I can see how being mixed-race, especially as an only child, could be isolating within a family, because your parents will usually have different racial identities to you and will encounter the world differently as a result.
‘Having contact with both sides of my family helps me feel connected to both sides of my heritage, which might not be the case otherwise.’
It’s important for mixed-race people to have those solid, empathetic networks of support around them – particularly when it comes to tackling racism. Aimee says it was a shock to experience hostility when her family moved back from Barbados.
‘We lived in small villages in the countryside, almost everyone was white and there was a lot of ignorance,’ she says. ‘There was racist name-calling and unfortunately it wasn’t handled well by my school.
‘I remember one incident where I told a boy who was being mean to me to shut up, and he responded with a racist remark. When I told my teacher what he’d said, she asked me what I had done to make him say that.
‘As I got older my personal experiences with racism became less overt and more covert, I think the recent treatment of Meghan Markle has been a bit of a wake up call that experiences I might have attributed to sexism, classism, or even personal dislike, could have had another cause.
‘I think I have experienced racism differently to other members of my family. My little brother is a lot younger than myself and my sister and I don’t think he has experienced as much racism as we have, maybe because young people are becoming less outwardly ignorant but who knows?’
Aimee actively tries to resist monoracial social norms, and strives to feel comfortable as neither one thing nor another. But society doesn’t make it easy to do this.
‘My life has made me feel profoundly mixed-race,’ says Aimee. ‘The experience of slipping between the cracks of standard ways of defining identity has made me embrace the spaces in between and try to thrive there as I am.
‘That said, the default in British society is whiteness, and when you aren’t white and one side of your heritage is seen as lesser, it makes you want to celebrate it and stand up for it. I don’t feel the same affinity with whiteness that I do with blackness.’
Aimee says she has struggled to establish a sense of racial identity. Along with the pressure to ‘pick a side’, Aimee says the preconceptions about what it means to be mixed-race in the UK are still incredibly reductive.
‘So much of what has been seen of mixed-race people in the media has been shaped by whiteness,’ says Aimee.
‘I think we’re only just getting better representation of the variety of mixed-race people and our actual experiences of being mixed.
‘This means there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what being mixed-race looks and feels like. There can be suspicion of mixed-race people and that can be hard to deal with.
‘This often invites questions or comments which can be insensitive or offensive. I frequently find myself wishing people would turn their curiosity inwards and perhaps ask themselves some questions about why they navigate the world with whiteness as the default.
‘For example, a question I get asked all the time in winter is why I’m so tanned. I’ve never understood why it’s so difficult for white people to grasp that some people are brown the whole year round.’
Being mixed-race is a huge part of Aimee’s identity, and something that she relishes and wants to celebrate. It has shaped her experience of the world and she
‘It has shaped my life and my understanding and allowed me access to different worlds,’ she explains. ‘To be mixed-race is to exist between fixed categories. Getting to a point where you feel comfortable with existing between the lines people try to draw is a really powerful and beautiful thing.
‘I also love that instant connection you share with other people who are mixed-race, they just get it.’
Mixed Up is our weekly series that gets to the heart of what it means to be mixed-race in the UK today.
Going beyond discussions of divided identity, this series takes a look at the unique joys, privileges and complexities that come with being mixed-race - across of variety of different contexts.
The mixed-race population is the UK's fastest-growing ethnic group, and yet there is still so much more to understand about the varied lived experiences of individuals within this hugely heterogenous group.
Each week we speak to the people who know exactly how it feels to navigate this inbetween space.
Mixed Up, Natalie Morris
Do we like Pringles? Yes. Do we like ramen? Yes. Then we definitely love Pringles flavoured ramen.
Such is the offering of one Japanese company, who are inspiring nostalgia for the days of student life when the two staple food groups were crisps and ramen noodles.
Supercup and Pringles Japan joined forces last year to bring the people what they want – ramen with notes of crispy goodness.
And now another Japenese company Umai Crate is bringing a whole basket full of the stuff to UK audiences.
The subscription-based group offers a monthly supply of ‘rare and delicious Japan-exclusive instant noodles’.
You can get between eight and ten different premium quality noodles from udon to yakisoba, soba, ramen and more.
But of course, it’s the crispy snack edition has caught our attention and it’s making us miss the heady days of uni (minus all the disgusting mess).
You can get Sour Cream & Onion or Pringles Jalapeño & Onion, which is said to have ‘long-lasting spiciness’.
They turn the concept of ramen flavoured Pringles on its head – created back in 2017 when Pringles teamed up with Nissin, the makers of popular instant noodle brand Top Ramen, to create Top Ramen chicken flavour Pringles.
As with lots of weird and wonderful creations, they happen to only be available in Japan.
But thankfully Umai Crate has hand-selected some of the quirkiest food staples available in the Asian country and ships them worldwide for free.
As well as Pringles ramen, you can get Pokemon ramen and other non-ramen goods such as drinks, sweets and chocolates.
Prices differ but the average subscription will knock you back £24 a month.
The website reads: ‘With a monthly shipment of Japanese noodles, you’ll get your fill of ramen while feeling more in touch with the culture of Japan. It’s a great way to explore different cultural meals that are prepared in Japan.’
‘We aim to curate the newest and most popular foods from Japan that don’t typically make their way outside the country.’
Japan culture stans might want to have a gander around the Umai website.
If you’re a new parent or you know one, you need to do some Amazon shopping this month.
The online store is running a special offer throughout September, giving parents a free box of baby supplies worth £17 if they spend £20 on other baby-related stuff.
The box contains bits for babies and mums, with a 130ml bottle and a soother in cute teddy bear designs, breast pads, and a MAM massaging brush – a teether shaped like a toothbrush to encourage good dental habits from an early age.
It’s basically a baby starter kit – and we reckon it’d make a great small gift for new mums or a nice freebie to keep for yourself.
To get hold of the box, you need to make use of the Baby Wishlist. This is a bit like making a wedding registry, where you can add all the products you and your baby want so that either you can keep track of dream purchases or send the list to loved ones so they know what to get you.
So, start by making a Baby Wishlist. Easy.
Once that’s done, you need to add the MAM Newborn Baby Box to your wishlist. Also easy.
Then you need to add at least £20 worth of baby supplies from the Baby Store to your Baby Wishlist. This excludes nappies, formula, baby food, and books, so it’s a bit restrictive, but you can take your pick from other essentials such as sleep trainers, thermometers, blackout blinds, and baby shampoo. Just make sure you get £20 worth of stuff, otherwise the baby box won’t be free.
Now you need to go back to your Baby Wishlist – which should now be full of stuff – and select at least £20 worth of stuff from there to add to your shopping basket. Add the Baby Box to your shopping basket too, obviously.
When you proceed to checkout you’ll spot under ‘order summary’ that the promotion has been applied and you’re getting that Baby Box for free.
Make sure you select the same delivery option for all the items to make sure the promotion applies properly.
Then rejoice! You’ve just got a free bunch of baby products along with the baby products you’ve paid for. Bargain.
We all know of the grim satisfaction of popping a whitehead or squeezing out the contents of a blackhead.
But when a spot doesn’t have a head of any sort, and is instead just a sore red bump, squeezing and prodding provides no satisfaction – only pain and more redness.
How should you deal with these underground spots that you can feel but not properly see? Is there a way to get rid of them quickly? Or do we have to wait for them to grow into a proper pimple so we can go ahead and pop?
We’re sorry to say that the officially recommended solution won’t give you a Dr Pimple Popper worthy squeeze.
Dr Zoya Diwan, the co-founder of Trikwan Aesthetics, says that rather than seeing underground spots as annoyances you can’t get a good grip on, you should be happy to have spotted them before they erupt.
‘Underground spots or blind pimples are those annoying spots that you know are coming on but they don’t quite have the pus-filled head,’ Dr Zoya tells Metro.co.uk. ‘They can be very tender, inflamed and red.
‘This is the perfect time to catch the spot before it surfaces.’
So no, you don’t have to wait for the spot to emerge into a head. You can tackle it at this early stage before it becomes more obvious.
Reasons for spots are wide-ranging, but they’re often caused by bacteria, dirt, and sweat clogging up the skin’s pores.
The solution for that, says Zoya, is an antimicrobial treatment applied directly to the area, such as benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid. You can either pick up special gels made up of a percentage of benzyl peroxide, or check the ingredients list of spot treatments to ensure they have both. Origins’ Blemish Treatment Gel, for example, contains both, while the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion contains high amounts of salycylic acid.
It’s also worth drawing out the underlying pus – without attacking your skin with your fingers or other tools.
A warm compress held on an underground pimple will help, opening up the pore and softening the area.
While you’re treating your spot, make sure to prevent any other dirt or bacteria from getting lodged in pores by keeping the skin cleansed, washing all your makeup palettes, and washing your towels and pillows – these are all ‘basics that can prevent unnecessary spots from forming in the first place,’ says Zoya.
Whatever you do, don’t try to pop, poke, squeeze, or prod an underground spot that doesn’t have a head.
We know it’s tempting. You know, from previous experience, that it won’t go well. And yet you’ll still think about doing it.
Don’t do it.
Not only will squeezing not work to get rid of the spot, it’ll make it far worse.
‘The worst thing you can do is to poke, pop or irritate the area,’ says Zoya. ‘This can lead to something called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), where the skin darkens and blemishes appear that are difficult to get rid of.
‘Furthermore, it can also cause more long-term scarring and even worsen the spot by increasing the risk of exacerbating the infection.’
Stay strong, resist temptation, and load up on the compresses and salycylic acid instead. Your glorious skin is your reward.
How to deal with 'underground' spots
Grandmother Hattie Retroage is single so naturally, she has joined Tinder.
The 83-year-old isn’t looking for grandfather type matches. She wants younger men.
‘Younger men, they get off on getting a woman off – very different from when I was younger,’ Hattie explains.
The New York-based mum-of-two and grandma is in tune with her body and sexuality.
A former dancer, Hattie was married for over 25 years and says she and her ex-husband had a ‘wonderful sex life.’
Missing the intimacy and embracing the casualness of modern dating, Hattie exclusively goes out with men many years her junior.
‘I screw, I sleep with, I make love with many men and not one of them has said, “I want you for my life”,’ she says.
We stan a sex-positive grandma.
Hattie says that she is often referred to as a ‘cougar’ but is trying to reverse the negative preconceptions attached to the lifestyle.
‘Cougars, as I see them, are not beasts of prey, they are an exquisite animal,’ she says.
‘I’m never on the prowl. I never approach a man, men always approach me.’
Hattie has a steady selection of casual lovers she connects with through dating apps such as Tinder.
Since she began using the app eight months ago, she claims to have met close to 50 men.
Her Tinder bio reads: ‘Hattie, 83, fascinating older beauty. Seeking a steady younger friend/lover for a shared life of adventure and passion. No pro-Trump and no players.’
The youngest man she has been with was aged 19, although she insists she believed he was older.
After the split with her ex-husband, Hattie put an advert in the newspaper seeking younger men to sleep with.
She claims she was inundated with messages and had to ‘audition’ the potential partners.
When she began dating, she had hoped to find a meaningful connection with another man.
But now she is just enjoying the carousel of different suitors.
‘I’m not agonising,’ she adds. ‘I’m grateful that at this age and this stage that I have as many lovers as I want.
‘My life goal is to change the awful, decrepit view of ageing – view and experience, and turn it into something exciting. A life-loving adventure.
‘The depth of life, you can’t avoid it. But the shallowness of good sex, that’s what is good enough for me.’
83-YEAR-OLD SWIPES TINDER FOR TOYBOYS
It’s Second Hand September and now you can get involved while doing your weekly shop.
Supermarket Asda is trialling a second-hand clothes section in one of their stores.
All proceeds from the shop will go to Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, which supports Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.
The charity pop-up, called Re-Loved, is running for four weeks from 2 September and is only at the Asda Milton Keynes store – but hopefully, the trial will be successful and they’ll consider rolling it out at more stores in the future.
It will feature donated second-hand clothes from a number of different brands, as the retailer looks at ways to encourage customers to reuse, repurpose or recycle their unwanted clothes.
The move is part of a drive by George, Asda’s fashion brand, to improve the environmental impact of its clothes and operations, following the launch of its new sustainability strategy and first range of recycled polyester clothing in the spring.
Melanie Wilson, Senior Director for Sustainable Sourcing at George, said: ‘As a country, we throw away far too many clothes.
‘At George, we’re committed to doing the right thing by our customers and the planet by improving the sustainability of our products, making sure they are built to last – including our 100 day satisfaction guarantee – and ensuring that any surplus stock we have is repurposed or recycled.
‘By trialling our Re-Loved pop-up shop, we hope to help create another route for unwanted clothes to find a new home and encourage people to think again about throwing away that top or those jeans they no longer love.’
When it comes to playing Jenga (or a knockoff game of ‘brick tower’), everyone has their own tactics.
You might be a slow, gentle block wriggler, or someone who likes to pull out a middle brick in one smooth, speedy motion. You might be a risk taker, going for the block that looks like it’s solely responsible for the tower still standing, or you might play itself.
If you trust in your skills and have a steady hand, now’s your chance to prove your talents.
This Saturday 7 September, SFG Club at Stratford’s Roof East will host a Jenga championship.
This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, with people from all over the nation flocking to compete.
There are a bunch of different rounds, so you can pick the challenge that best suits your unique set of skills.
You can attempt to build the tallest Jenga tower, play your standard game of removing blocks without everything tumbling down, stack with speed, or take part in fat glove Jenga, in which you’ll need to remove bricks from a tower while wearing a pair of ski gloves.
There’s a grand prize of £500 cash for those who master all five circuits, but even those who don’t win the ultimate title (AKA the losers) can enjoy some treats. Also on offer for winners of different rounds are gold Jenga sets, £100 in Westfield vouchers, a £50 bar tab, and a club experience for two.
Only 20 teams can compete, so you’ve got decent odds.
Entry costs £10 for a team of two, which includes a free Grey Goose cocktail. Feel free to refuse that drink so you can keep a steady hand.
All players will also be provided with sweatbands to mop up any nervous beads of perspiration during a tense game.
If you fancy competing, just sign up to enter through Eventbrite, and turn up at SFG Club for a prompt 3pm start. Best of luck and may the blocks be ever in your favour.
Social Fun and Games Club
Remember when Cheryl Cole showed off her thick, strong hair ‘replenished, with a healthy shine’ for L’oreal but it turned out she was wearing extensions?
Prepare for the same betrayal because the truth behind shampoo adverts has been revealed.
Tthe windswept look requires little wind, but lots of hairspray.
We’ve all seen impossibly perfect hair in these clips that promise us luxurious tresses.
They usually include a model being cute and clumsy as her gorgeously long and silky hair flows unnaturally beside her.
Well, the reason why the look is so perfect is because stylists douse the entire head with so much hairspray that it locks in position.
So, no, it’s not realistic for your hair to fan out behind you at the slightest breeze.
The truth comes out after a hair and makeup artist Sarah Laidlaw revealed a behind the scenes look on Instagram.
In a short video, a model could be seen with copious amounts of spray applied to keep it all in place.
The 3D look was teased with spray and held in place so once the model lies down to be pictured, no further work is required.
On her Instagram, Sarah wrote: ‘Building big hair shapes for a shampoo campaign to make it look like it’s blowing in the wind.’
Followers appreciated the refreshing honesty, saying: ‘That’s awesome,’ and ‘this is brilliant’.
Others said: ‘Love when artists don’t rely on photoshop, well done’.
One person was particularly passionate about the reveal, saying: ‘AMAZING!!!!! Hands down the best thing I’ve seen in a while’.
While we’re bunking advert lies, did you know that ice cream commercials use coloured mashed potato instead of the real stuff?
It’s to stop it melting under studio lights and looks the same on camera.
The more you know.
The truth about shampoo adverts
We’re all for wrapping up as the weather gets colder but is there really any need to wrap your heels in fleece.
ASOS has launched a pair of kitten heels in teddy fleece – and yes, they do look a bit like two lost sheep.
The 6cm heels feature a pointed toe and the light tan coloured woolly (don’t worry, it is all synthetic material) covering.
They’re available in sizes 2 to 9 and cost £28.00.
The fluffy textured fleece covers the foot, but luckily not the heel – can you imagine getting mucky rainwater out of that?
The shoes were spotted by Instagram page @asbos_sos, which posts the more obscure items on the ASOS website.
Their post said: ‘Ewe ok hun?’ and included hashtags #lilbopeep #haslosthersheep #niceshoesbopeep and #tellmemoreaboutthosemissingsheep.
Fans of the page were confused by the sheep shoes.
One said: ‘Wearing these for the zoo so I can be one with the goats.’
Another added: ‘What fresh hell is this.’
It could be worse though. Another commenter pointed out that at least the colour was subtle.
She said: ‘I bought a pair of knock off Lita Bootas years ago(when they were cool lol) that we’re this texture in red and I could never wear them because I felt as if I’d hunted, skinned, and fashion shoes from Elmo.’
Of course, if you want to create your own, you could always cut up your old teddy jacket and cover your old shoes. It is Second Hand September after all.