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

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    Steve Smith who opened a tin of Heinz Baked Beans to find it was full of bean juice with one solitary bean
    Steve Smith and his single bean (Picture: SWNS)

    Steve Smith, 41, came home from a long day of work and was looking forward to one of life’s simple pleasures – meals on toast.

    But his plan was ruined when he opened the tin and found just one bean inside – far from the average 465 beans in a normal tin.

    The local councillor based in Bristol bought the tin in a multipack from an online Tesco grocery shop.

    He’d already eaten the rest of the pack so was relieved to see one tin still in the cupboard when he came home late from a residents’ meeting.

    He prised the tin open – but realised he would be left a little hungry as it was full of ‘bean juice’ and one single bean.

    Steve Smith tin of Heinz beans - with only a single bean in it
    He poured it into a bowl and found it contained just one bean (Picture: Steve Smith / SWNS)

    Steve said: ‘I got back late from a residents’ meeting and wanted some food.

    ‘I poured out the tin and I found one bean.

    ‘I thought it was funny – but annoying! It was the last tin we had in the cupboard.

    ‘I had to have scrambled egg instead.’

    With a busy job as Conservative councillor for Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, Steve said he tucks into beans ‘once every couple of weeks’ as a quick meal.

    Steve took a video of the find on Twitter and tagged manufacturer Heinz.

    It said: ‘Hi @HeinzUK.

    ‘I enjoy “bean juice” as much as the next person, but when I opened a can this evening I was hoping for more than one bean.’

    He added: ‘I thought they might see the funny side.’

    Heinz has been approached for comment and this article will be updated.

    MORE: ASOS is selling heels covered in fleece that look fit for a herd of sheep

    MORE: Shampoo adverts have been lying to us – it’s hairspray doing all the work


    PRI_83032242PRI_83032242

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    person eating in-flight meal on airplane
    Ever had a rubbish in-flight meal? (Picture: Getty)

    Airline food is rarely the height of fine dining.

    But when you’re a vegan, the offerings can get really dire.

    If you’re lucky enough to get any meal, you might find yourself presented with plain, limp salad leaves, miserable sandwiches, and things that definitely aren’t vegan.

    To showcase the reality of vegan in-flight fails, The Vegan Society and Humane Society created FlyVe, a site allowing travellers to share their reviews of the vegan meals they’re given while flying.

    They’re calling on airlines to improve their vegan offerings on flights, and to offer vegan meals as a default option rather than something customers have to request in advance.

    Charlie Huson, Forward Food Campaign Manager at Humane Society International/UK, said: ‘There are compelling animal welfare, environmental and human health benefits from eating plant-based foods, so it’s something that everyone – not just vegans – should be enabled to do.

    ‘Unfortunately, many airlines are still offering the choice of ‘chicken or beef’, and in doing so failing to serve their fast-growing number of vegan customers and missing the opportunity to make animal and planet-friendly vegan options a choice accessible to everyone.’

    Have a look at some of the poorly reviewed vegan in-flight meals below to get a proper picture of the situation.

    Jane, Delta Airlines

    flyve vegan menu on flights, jane delta airlines
    A sandwich to rival that iconic Fyre Festival meal (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘Main meal was plain rice, peppers and onions with a side salad… disappointing. Got served BUTTER twice.

    ‘Had a poor vegan snack of a cucumber and tomato sandwich, no spread or anything.

    ‘Breakfast was a banana, bagel, jam and juice, no vegan margarine and no soya milk or milk alternative which was especially disappointing especially with the fact Starbucks are partnered with Delta.’

     

    Karly, Norwegian Air UK

    vegan airline meal - norwegian air
    Honey isn’t vegan (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘Disappointed by my “vegan” breakfast that wasn’t actually vegan (honey oat bar).

    ‘Also, would love Norwegian to realise vegans can eat more than just fruit! There are plenty of vegan options these days and I was disappointed by their reliance on fruit to cater for vegan meals.’

     

    Kaisa, Lufthansa

    kaisa lufthansa disappointing vegan in-flight meals
    Here, have some plums (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘The vegan food was absolutely tasteless and I do not know how it held together because it had no texture at all.

    ‘So on my way back I decided to have a fruit meal instead and this was even worse! It consisted of two unripe plums, bun, butter and bottle of water!

    ‘Since when are bun and butter considered to be fruits? And this was supposed to cover half of the 10-hours flight…’

     

    Andy, Turkish Airlines

    ‘We informed the airline in advance that we were vegan and were told there would be a vegan option. It was a 10 hour flight with a short change over in Istanbul.

    ‘There was no vegan option on either leg, nor any time to buy food during the change over as we ran from one side of the airport to the other and just about made our flight.

    ‘On the first leg (Manchester to Istanbul) we received one apple and one banana to share between the two of us.

    ‘On the second leg we received the same again, and asked for a bread roll too. We were given a bread roll to share and told we were “very lucky”. I would hate to hear how “unlucky” passengers are fed…’

    Claire, British Airways

    disappointing vegan in-flight meal on british airways
    Crisps and fruit do not a meal make (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘Flew economy from London Gatwick to New York JFK 9th – 13th May 2019. We booked vegan meals at the time of booking but on the flight to be told they weren’t there (in fact they said we weren’t even on the passenger list, despite the fact that we obviously had boarding cards – not terribly confidence inspiring).

    ‘Attached is a picture of what they came up with, for our evening meal – banana, apple, orange and a packet of crisps.’

     

    Essie, Air Canada

    essie air canada vegan flight meal
    At least there’s rice? (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘Flew from Barcelona-Montreal on Air Canada rouge, the vegan option was sad. Unappealing and unappetising.

    ‘Plain rice, steamed carrots, string beans and some grilled tomatoes. White (stale) bread roll with margarine. Dessert was fruit slices if I remember correctly.

    ‘Bring your own food. On the plus side at least it didn’t cost anything, but they did charge for all alcohol.’

     

    Ruby, Aer Lingus

    vegan food on flights
    Would eat, tbh (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘The meal was a gruel-like yellow rice mush (maybe supposed to be risotto?) mixed with sweetcorn, tomato and some chewy bits of asparagus. The salad was provided with dressing which was nice and the fruit seemed fresh but the bread roll was hard on the inside and stale.

    ‘I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to do better than this!

    ‘Later when we were given breakfast I was only offered a non-vegan muffin with no explanation as to why a vegan option wasn’t provided.’

     

    Harriet, Aer Lingus

    aer lingus vegan meal
    That pasta looks quite sad (Picture: FlyVe)

    ‘The main lunch provided on my flight was barely edible – undercooked (15 pieces of) pasta, with a smattering of tomato sauce and a couple of limp vegetables.

    ‘Later when the other passengers got an afternoon tea snack, I was offered the same dry onion-y salad and under-ripe fruit bowl that I had been given alongside my lunch previously.’

    FlyVe has been launched as part of The Vegan Society’s Vegan on the Go campaign, which aims to highlight the demand for good vegan catering and to show the many benefits of including plant-based options on standard menus.

    If you’re a veggie traveller, you can review your meal on the site.

    Airlines who want help providing vegan options can email The Vegan Society at campaigns@vegansociety.com.

    MORE: Can vegans eat honey?

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

    MORE: Vegan tells meat-eater they’re appropriating veganism by eating tofu


    vegan airline food - jane, delta airlines-7252vegan airline food - jane, delta airlines-7252

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    Some brides are uptight about their big day and others are a little more relaxed – they might let their bridesmaids pay for their own outfits, for example.

    But that led to a surprising twist for one bride when her sister, who was the maid of honour, arrived at the wedding wearing a T-Rex costume.

    Deanna Adams, 40, and her 34-year-old fiancé Joby had asked her sister Chistina Meador, 38, to be the maid of honour a year before.

    Deanna told her whole bridal party to ear what they felt comfortable in – and for Christina, that turned out to be a huge inflatable dinosaur costume.

    Not a fan or formal dresses, Christina decided that if she was going to spend the money on something, she wanted it to be something she would want to use again.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Footage showing Christina Meador wearing a T-Rex costume to her sisters wedding ceremony in Omaha, Nebraska on August 10th) - A quirky maid of honour stole the show when she turned up to her sisters wedding dressed in a T-Rex costume.When Deanna Adams, 40, and her 34-year-old fianc? Joby tied the knot on August 10 in Omaha, Nebraska, they didn't think there would be much to overshadow their big day.Enter sister of the bride Christina Meador, 38, who came walking through the house wearing one of the inflatable dinosaur costumes.SEE CATERS COPY
    Christina Meador wearing a T-Rex costume to her sister’s wedding ceremony (Picture: Caters News)

    She decided on the costume because she says she’d always wanted one – and she text her sister just to see what she thought but amazingly, she was fine with it.

    As the wedding approached, Christina decided she couldn’t afford it and bought a $7 dress from a thrift store.

    But as the big day approached on 10 August, Christina realised her dress was too big because she’d lost weight and she bought the costume.

    She also picked up a $20 dress in case her sister changed her mind but Deanna was still fine with the costume.

    So on the big day, the couple married in Ohama, Nebraska, with Christina in her dinosaur costume.

    Standing on the edge of the wedding party, the guests burst out laughing, including Jessica Greene who filmed.

    Christina Meador wearing a T-Rex costume to her sisters wedding ceremony in Omaha, Nebraska
    Christina did let her sister know and she was fine with it (Picture: Caters News)

    Jessica said: ‘Deanna, told her bridesmaids that they could wear whatever they’d like for the ceremony.

    ‘Christina jokingly responded with a picture of the dinosaur costume and surprisingly the bride said she’d be okay with it.

    ‘Deanna is the coolest, nerdy girl gamer ever, and she and Joby are just a really silly, easy-going couple.

    ‘So, I think the addition of a dino in her otherwise pretty traditional wedding, was really the perfect quirky touch.

    ‘Christina planned on giving the costume as a wedding gift, which probably sounds odd to anyone that doesn’t know them, but really it’s so perfect for them.’

    It’s not the first time a T-rex costume has featured in a wedding.

    Back in 2017, this bride surprised her husband by walking down the aisle in one.

    Does a dinosaur count as something old?

    MORE: People share the disappointing vegan meals they were served on flights

    MORE: Man opens can of Heinz baked beans and finds there is only one inside


    T-REX COSTUME TO WEDDINGT-REX COSTUME TO WEDDING

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    Lisa and Steph among bubbles and their wedding guests.
    Lisa and Steph paid £70 for one dress while the other was second-hand (Picture: MDWfeatures / Andy Reeves Photography)

    Weddings are expensive. Houses are expensive.

    For couple Lisa and Steph Garwood-Cross, the latter was more important than the former.

    PhD student Lisa, who is 27, and 25-year-old Steph both ended up proposing to one another on the same day in March 2017.

    But the priority for the couple from Manchester was to save for a house of their own.

    To that end, they decided to have a small wedding.

    So Lisa and Steph enlisted the help of their family and friends who contributed to their dream wedding on a budget.

    That included spending £70 on both dresses and getting guests to chip in for their honeymoon to Malta.

    Their big day ended up costing them £2,500 while their honeymoon required £1.7k.

    With the newlyweds having bought a house prior to the big day, they could just about afford the price tag of the wedding.

    Lisa and Steph's homemade wedding cake.
    Their homemade wedding cake (Picture: MDWfeatures / Andy Reeves Photography)

    They hired the Swinton Masonic Hall which they used without a wedding license and instead did their legal paperwork two days before.

    Lisa and Steph bought comic books worth just £1.58 which they turned into bouquets and spent just £48 for both of the wedding rings they bought from Etsy.

    Lisa bought her wedding dress second-hand on an app called Shpock for just £70 and Steph borrowed her mother’s wedding dress. They provided a pizza buffet for their wedding meal, spending £400 for 100 guests (with gluten and vegan options).

    To avoid spending money on her bridesmaids’ dresses, since they were all spread out across the country, she asked them to pick out black knee-length semi-formal dresses either borrowed or bought so that they could all blend in together.

    Their guests all pitched in honeymoon contributions as wedding gifts to send the couple on a seven-night all-inclusive honeymoon to Malta.

    Lisa pictured with her bridesmaids.
    The bridesmaids were asked to come in their own black dresses (Picture: MDWfeatures / Andy Reeves Photography)

    ‘We intentionally had a long engagement as it gave me plenty of time to do all the DIY for the wedding, to save money for the wedding bit by bit and that meant that we were not too stressed with buying a house in the middle of the wedding planning,’ explained Lisa.

    ‘Having a longer engagement also meant we booked things in advance and secured cheaper prices.

    ‘As much as I have dreamed about having a “perfect” wedding all my life, buying a house was our top priority.’

    Lisa and Steph pictured on their wedding day.
    They bought a house during their long engagement (Picture: MDWfeatures / Andy Reeves Photography)

    The majority of decorations were made by Lisa and one of their friends designed the wedding cake for just £80, while the DJ was hired for £180.

    They encourage other couples to ditch traditions that they don’t care about to fulfil a budget wedding.

    For them this was a wedding car, opting to have a friend drive them, fresh flowers, with Lisa making her own from paper with non-floral centrepieces, and hair and make-up were done by herself instead of booking a make-up artist.

    ‘We also didn’t want to take on any debt for our wedding as we wanted to start married life in the strongest financial position possible,’ added Lisa.

    ‘We worked out a budget we could afford whilst also buying and furnishing a house. Then I did lots of research to find ways to keep our wedding spend as low as possible.

    ‘We could have had a tiny wedding and spent even less than we did but we didn’t want to compromise on having the people that mattered there and we wanted to find ways to make it special and fun even with our budget.’

    MORE: Couple cut their wedding budget to just £370 – but still have their dream big day

    MORE: Couple saved £1600 on wedding flowers by growing their own at their allotment

    MORE: Sisters have a double wedding and get married side by side to save money


    Guests Paid For My ?1.7K HoneymoonGuests Paid For My ?1.7K Honeymoon

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    Lisa's selfie
    Lisa shared a very relatable selfie (Picture: Lisa Sobis /SWNS.COM)

    The summer holidays can be exhausting, and although the house seems oddly quiet when the kids go back to school, it’s nice to get back some sort of routine once again.

    And one mum who knows this all too well is Lisa Sobis – who was so excited for her kids to go back to school that she even wore a party hat.

    Lisa shared a hilarious selfie showing her kids looking moody as she held a one-woman party to celebrate them going back to school.

    She decided to throw herself a party to show how she really felt about the end of summer holidays.

    The mum-of-two, from Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, took the selfie posing with a glass of wine and balloons, with a party hat on her head.

    Meanwhile daughters Ruby, eight, and Belle, five, who attend Springback Primary Academy in Cheltenham, stand grumpily in the background with their arms crossed.

    Lisa looking happy that her kids are going back to school
    Lisa is happy that her kids are going back to school (Picture: Lisa Sobis /SWNS.COM)

    Lisa said that the photo was all in good nature, and her children saw the funny side of it.

    ‘My children know I love them dearly but when the first day of school comes around, it is nice to see them back off,’ she said.

    ‘You see all these pictures on the first day back of school of children posing nicely in front of the fireplace or the doorway.

    ‘I just wanted to do something different from the traditional.

    ‘We do live in a fun household – we all found taking the photo to be very humorous.’

    MORE: People share the disappointing vegan meals they were served on flights

    MORE: Man opens can of Heinz baked beans and finds there is only one inside


    BACK-TO-SCHOOL PARTY - A mum has posted an hilarious selfie showing her glum kids looking on as she held a one-woman party - to celebrate them going back to schoolBACK-TO-SCHOOL PARTY - A mum has posted an hilarious selfie showing her glum kids looking on as she held a one-woman party - to celebrate them going back to school

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    The new menu items
    We need to try the new muffin (Picture: Costa)

    Costa Coffee is launching its new autumn menu tomorrow and there are lots of things on there we think you’ll love.

    The menu has a range of drinks and sweet treats and we’re so ready for everything the chain has to offer.

    The famous Bonfire Spice Latte is making a comeback. That’s a big deal as it had loads of fans last year, becoming a bestseller for the brand.

    It has a caramel toffee flavour and comes with a sprinkle of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger. It’s basically autumn in a mug.

    The bonfire spice latte
    The Bonfire Spice Latte is back (Picture: Costa)

    Alongside the latte is the Bonfire Spiced Hot Chocolate and Bonfire Spiced Cold Brew – which can also be made dairy-free for vegans.

    But the most exciting addition of all is the new Lotus Biscoff Muffin – which is a spiced muffin with Lotus Biscoff spread stuffed in the middle, topped with toffee icing and a Lotus Biscoff biscuit.

    It sounds amazing, we know.

    The new lotus biscoff muffin
    Introducing: The new Lotus Biscoff muffin (Picture: Costa)

    Other sweet snacks include a vegan chocolate, caramel and hazelnut cookie, a chocolate and caramel bun and a chocolate cake topped with salted caramel and chocolate fudge icing.

    So yes, Costa might just be the new hotspot for a sneaky cake break.

    The autumn menu will be available in stores from Thursday 5 September, with the lunchtime deals being extended from 11am to close, so you can now get your sandwiches at any time of the day.

    But forget the sandwiches – we can’t wait to try the new Lotus Biscoff muffin.

    MORE: Frugal couple spend just £70 on both their wedding dresses to save money for a house

    MORE: ASOS is selling heels covered in fleece that look fit for a herd of sheep


    Costa's new autumn menu is here, and the Bonfire Spice Latte is back!Costa's new autumn menu is here, and the Bonfire Spice Latte is back!

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    The Dairy Milk word free bar for Age UK
    The blank bars are part of a campaign to tackle loneliness (Picture: Getty, Cadbury)

    If you spot a bar of Dairy Milk in the shop without any words on the front, it’s not a packaging error.

    Cadbury is removing the name of the chocolate bar and the description to raise awareness of loneliness among old people.

    The bars feature nothing but the classic purple colour and the glass and a half logo on the front.

    The idea is that by picking up a bar, you are ‘donating them’ to help the 225,000 older people who regularly go a whole week without speaking to anyone.

    For every limited-edition bar sold, 30p will go to the charity Age UK.

    The campaign also encourages people to pledge to reach out and have a chat with older people in their communities.

    Laura Gray, Brand Manager at Mondelez said ‘We’re so proud to announce this partnership and to be supporting Age UK – it’s such an important charity that is really tackling the issue of loneliness.

    ‘We are donating the words from our bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk and encouraging people up and down the country to donate theirs through small gestures that could really help change the lives of older people.’

    Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: ‘Loneliness is a huge problem because retirement, bereavement & ill health mean many older people find they are spending a lot less time enjoying the company of others than they’d like.

    ‘Loneliness can affect your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself – it can make you feel invisible and forgotten. Working with Cadbury Dairy Milk on this campaign could really help to raise even more awareness of the issue and encourage everybody to do their bit to help tackle it.

    ‘A friendly “hello” or “how are you?” is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of every day life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with. That’s why Age UK’s expert advice and support services are so crucial and help people in all sorts of ways, every day of the year.’

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    Dairy Milk removing all the words from the front of their packaging to tackle lonelinessDairy Milk removing all the words from the front of their packaging to tackle loneliness

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    Bride Erica and groom Bobby with their impromptu wedding guests
    A bride who was forced to cancel her wedding after being diagnosed with terminal cancer has wed her partner in a surprise ceremony (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

    Erica Church just married the man of her dreams Bobby.

    But it was a bittersweet occasion for the couple, both 70, from Wavertree, Liverpool as the bride had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    Their original wedding was meant to take place in July, eight years after they met on a dating app.

    But a month prior to it, Erica had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was admitted to the Marie Curie Hospice.

    Her loved ones, however, were unwilling to let the day got to waste and quickly spun into action.

    Friends and family organised a surprise wedding for Erica and Bobby who are now man and wife.

    The bride now hopes to return the favour and take all the guests of the impromptu wedding out to dinner.

    Erica and Bobby looking dapper on their wedding day
    Erica and Bobby were meant to marry in July but a month prior, she was diagnosed with cancer (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

    ‘It was a glorious day,’ gushed Erica.

    ‘We didn’t have to do anything – our friends said, “this is your wedding present – we don’t want you worrying about anything on the day”.’

    The also arranged for staff from Marie Curie to be in attendance should anything have gone wrong.

    ‘They made everything so easy and allowed me to go home with my medication in tow,’ Erica added.

    ‘Once I’m well enough, Bobby and I plan to have a big celebratory meal with all our nearest and dearest to thank them for their wonderful gift to us.’

    Erica wore a lovely floral pink gown while Bobby looked dapper in a three-piece suit.

    Their guests also looked the part.

    A bride who was forced to cancel her wedding after being diagnosed with terminal cancer has wed her partner in a surprise ceremony. Provider: Liverpool Echo Erica Church, 70, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in March and had to cancel her wedding to partner Bobby, also 70. But friends and family sprang a surprise wedding at their home in Liverpool. Credit: Liverpool Echo
    Cute (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

    Diane Barker, from Marie Curie Hospice, added: ‘When we heard about the surprise that Erica’s friends were planning.

    ‘All our staff were eager to help in any way we could to make sure she and Bobby had the special day they so longed for.

    ‘We’re so glad that we were able to help arrange for Erica to home to marry Bobby and we wish them both every happiness in their married life.’

    MORE: Woman with terminal cancer finally marries the love of her life hours before she dies

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: I get asked if I’m sure I have terminal cancer’

    MORE: Grandma loses her false teeth, finds out the dog is wearing them


    Bride with cancer gets married in surprise weddingBride with cancer gets married in surprise wedding

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    A puppy whose nose was blown off in a horrendous cruel attack where he had firecrackers strapped to his jaw has made an incredible recovery after vets rebuilt his jaw.

    Braveheart, a one-year-old dog, has had a new jaw made for him after being found in Sonora, Mexico, by an animal rescue team that contacted a US charity to adopt him after his surgery.

    The ‘Saving Huey Foundation’, which is run by Tracy Lystra, 44, agreed to pay for his recovery and have him sent to the US to live out a happy life at their sanctuary after the damage done was so severe he has had a prosthetic jaw attached to his head.

    After being discovered with his jaw blown to pieces, the adorable dog is now melting the hearts of everyone that sees him.

    Braveheart after his surgery
    Braveheart has had his jaw reconstructed (Picture: Saving Huey Foundation / Caters News)

    Tracy said: ‘I work with good people in Mexico and was contacted by one of them about Braveheart, they sent me a picture of him and my first instinct was to have the poor dog put down.

    ‘I had never done any rescue in that area so was unsure of the vets out there but a friend told me aboutDr.Briseno, who thought he could help, so was taken there and ended up having four surgeries.

    ‘A new jaw was made for Braveheart, and he stayed at that practice for two months until he was healthy enough to make the 11-hour drive to us, he has been with us for two months now.

    ‘Shortly after coming to us he had the tube removed from his nose and this seemed to alleviate a lot of discomforts.

    ‘Vets here had no idea what it was, and we nearly lost him but he has made a remarkable recovery.

    Braveheart had a firecracker put into his mouth
    The evil people who did this put a firecracker in his mouth (Picture: Saving Huey Foundation / Caters News)

    ‘Braveheart is an amazing boy who loves people and other animals, he still gets a little too excited when he meets new friends but he’s learning not to jump on them.

    ‘I would be lying if I said that late at night, I didn’t have awful thoughts as to what I would do to the people who commit such crimes.

    ‘I am able to take a lot of what I see and hide it from my emotions, but there are times it definitely catches up with me.’

    Braveheart was found in Mexico earlier this year and has since undergone months of recovery to have his life put back together, but it has been unclear as to what exactly caused the damage.

    Tracy said: ‘I do not know much about Braveheart’s past, as is the case with the majority of our cases.

    ‘In Braveheart’s case his surgeon in Mexico as well as the hospital staff here in the US agree that it appears as if he had explosives put in his mouth.

    ‘Because of the damage it is believed that the explosive was more than likely a firecracker.’

    The adorable dog now wanders around his new sanctuary with an abundance of furry friends after having his face and jaw and face reconstructed in four different surgeries.

    Tracy said: ‘Many people see an animal in pain and either turn a blind eye to it or want to end the animals’ life.

    ‘While Saving Huey Foundation does not condone suffering, we do want to offer second chances to the lives that can sustain such an offering.’

    MORE: Frugal couple spend just £70 on both their wedding dresses to save money for a house

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    Puppy Whose Nose Was Blown Off By Fireworks Has Reconstructive SurgeryPuppy Whose Nose Was Blown Off By Fireworks Has Reconstructive Surgery

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    The Brussels sprouts gin
    Do you fancy some Brussels sprouts gin? (Picture: Pickering’s Gin /SWNS.COM)

    Brussels sprouts: You either love them or hate them – but somehow they always end up on our Christmas dinner.

    But now, you don’t have to eat them alongside your pigs in blankets, as they now come in gin form.

    Pickering’s Gin has created a new Brussels sprouts flavoured gin – and no, it doesn’t sound too appealing.

    The gin has been distilled using 100kg of Brussels sprouts – which is enough for 2,000 Christmas dinners – sourced from a farm in Scotland.

    The result is an unmistakably ‘sprouty’ aroma with a ‘surprisingly sweet’, slightly nutty taste with a green, herbaceous and peppery twang.

    The Brussels sprouts flavour is part of a £25 limited edition six-pack of Christmas inspired gin baubles which are apparently a must-have gift this festive season. We’ll let you decide on that.

    The gin baubles
    They cost £25 for a packet of six (Picture: Pickering’s Gin /SWNS.COM)

    In previous years their festive gin baubles have gone down a treat with gin-fans – selling out in 82-seconds when they were first launched in 2016.

    Marcus Pickering, Co-Founder and Head of Export at the Edinburgh based company: ‘We launched the first-ever Christmas Gin bauble back in 2016 and it became an instant hit with gin lovers around the country – making it a must-have gift.

    ‘However, this year we really wanted to spice things up and to take the original and best gin bauble to the next level.

    ‘We are thrilled to finally be able to share our unique festive flavoured gin baubles.

    ‘It was an interesting challenge trying to balance the unmistakable flavour of brussels sprouts to get the taste just right – and the distillery had a very distinct aroma while the gin was being distilled!

    ‘However, we love the end result and it is the ideal tipple for friends and family to share together this Christmas.

    ‘A limited number of packs are available to buy direct from our website and traditionally our festive baubles have been hugely popular and sold very quickly – we expect gin fans will be out in force to snap up this year’s baubles to ensure they can taste the world’s first Brussels sprout flavoured gin.’

    The limited edition six-pack of Pickering’s Gin baubles became available from directly from the Pickering’s website.

    For £25, you can get a festive pack containing six, new and unique flavours of Pickering’s Gin all beautifully presented in Pickering’s renowned Christmas baubles.

    As well as Brussels sprout flavour the pack also contains baubles with Christmas Clementine, Festive Cranberry, Spiced Pear and Cinnamon, Figgy Pudding and Plum and Ginger flavoured gins.

    Proceeds from the sale of every bauble of Pickering’s Brussels sprout gin will go to Contact the Elderly’s Community Christmas campaign.

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    STILL WITH BRUSSELS AT CHRISTMAS? - A drinks company has launched an unusual festive tipple in the run up to Christmas - Brussels sprouts flavoured GINSTILL WITH BRUSSELS AT CHRISTMAS? - A drinks company has launched an unusual festive tipple in the run up to Christmas - Brussels sprouts flavoured GIN

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    Chicken and pepperoni bake
    Chicken and pepperoni bake (Picture: Greggs)

    Greggs is introducing its autumn menu tomorrow so we can’t wait for this day to be over.

    The bakery chain teased keen fans last month and we finally have a date.

    The autumnal additions include a pumpkin spice latte, obviously, a spicy chicken and pepperoni steak bake, and six new treats.

    The latte is a seasonal favourite and contains sweet pumpkin spice-flavoured syrup, topped with cream and sprinkles.

    And a lot might have happened in the past year but Greggs is unchanging: a regular drink will cost £2.20 and a large £2.50 which is the same as last year.

    Of course, other coffee shops like Starbucks have their own version of the seasonal staple but they also charge big bucks.

    The same beverage at Starbucks will cost you £3.15, a whole 95p more than Greggs.

    You can also expect two new baguettes, one with peri-peri chicken and the other with Chipotle chilli steak.

    Autumn can’t come soon enough.

    Chipotle chili steak baguette
    Chipotle chilli steak baguette (Picture: Greggs)

    Greggs autumn menu

    Spicy chicken and pepperoni bake – from £1.85 

    Pumpkin spiced latte – from £2.20

    Hot peri peri chicken baguette – from £3 (New)

    Chipotle chilli steak baguette – from £3 (New)

    BBQ chicken and bacon toastie – from £3.30 (New)

    BBQ chicken and bacon toastie
    BBQ chicken and bacon toastie (Picture: Greggs)

    Peri peri chicken wrap – from £2.75 (New

    Apple and cinnamon flavour porridge – from £1.10 (New)

    Creamy chicken and vegetable soup – from £1.90 (New)

    Also on the menu is a BBQ chicken and bacon toastie as well as apple and cinnamon flavour porridge, and chicken and vegetable soup.

    You’re probably used to the spicy chicken and pepperoni bake though which has been on-and-off the menu since 2015.

    This old fave features fajita-flavoured chicken breast in a creamy sauce with pepperoni.

    New peri-peri chicken baguette
    New peri-peri chicken baguette (Picture: Greggs)

    If all of that has got your mouth watering, you can find out where your nearest store is.

    If news of autumn menus are your thing then Costa has also released its one and they’re boasting a fancy new Biscoff muffin.

    Summer is truly over and we’re not even mad.

    MORE: Greggs adds some spice to its menu with the new Cajun Bake

    MORE: From tonal manis to negative space – the autumn nail art trends to know about


    PSL IMAGE-2b3cPSL IMAGE-2b3c

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    One thing you absolutely have to deal with when you have a new baby? The vomit.

    The unexpected throw up that comes when you rock them, when you burp them, or when you’re just having a cuddle.

    No, it’s not very nice but it happens – and all parents are used to it.

    Well, apart from one dad, who got unexpectedly chucked up on while rocking his baby son in bed during a lazy morning.

    32-year-old Mustafa Elmaz had been rocking his four-month-old son Zeki to and fro while lazing around in bed on Monday morning.

    Zeki throwing up in dad's face
    Not such a good way to start a Monday morning (Picture: Nikki Tolley /SWNS.COM)

    Seconds later, Zeki started smiling – and then started throwing up his morning feed all over Mustafa’s face.

    You’ve got to love newborns, right?

    Zeki’s mum, Nikki Tolley, 31, who filmed the moment it happened, said: ‘Zeki definitely gave him a nice wake up call.

    ‘Zeki usually sits in our bed with a bottle.

    ‘But it was Mustufa’s day off so he decided to play around with him in the morning.

    The family together
    Mustafa Elmaz, 32, holding baby Zeki, 4 months, and Nikki Tolley, 31 (Picture: Nikki Tolley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I thought it was a cute moment so I thought I’d film it.

    ‘When he was sick all over him I just started laughing.

    ‘Mustafa turned round and joked “well looks like you didn’t wind him properly”.

    ‘I passed him a towel but he went to clear himself up in the bathroom.

    ‘I don’t think we’ll be making that mistake again.’

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    Baby throws up in dad's eyeBaby throws up in dad's eye

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    A little boy was filmed nodding off as he was getting his hair cut.

    Four-year-old Theo Bradley was getting his regular buzz cut at Mr Barbers in his hometown Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

    As he started to fall asleep, his dad Steve started filming and watched as Theo nearly fell off his stool on camera.

    Steve, 36, said: ‘Theo was waiting a little while before the cut.

    A video grab of Theo asleep in the chair
    Theo fell asleep in the chair (Picture: Steve Bradley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He started feeling tired but perked up once in the chair and his female barber started cutting his hair and chatting.

    ‘He was sitting good and chatting until the clippers hit his head.

    ‘After that he began to go.

    ‘The other guy sitting next to me actually noticed it before me. They were all laughing and pointing it out to me.

    ‘Theo only nods off when the clippers are on his head, it must relax him.

    A picture of Theo and Steve together
    His dad Steve caught the whole thing on camera (Picture: Steve Bradley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He’s a great little boy but very shy. He found it half funny, half embarrassing.’

    The video shows Theo struggling to keep his eyes open as his barber starts to shave his head.

    After falling completely asleep, Theo’s whole body fell to the side and he almost fell off of his stool – but luckily his barber caught him just before anything bad happened.

    After luckily being caught, his dad started cracking up with laughter, and Theo woke up smiling himself – though probably not realising what had happened.

    Who knew haircuts could be so relaxing?

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    This is the funny moment a young boy nods off - as he\'s getting his hair cutThis is the funny moment a young boy nods off - as he\'s getting his hair cut

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    Elsie on the grass
    Elsie has an extra leg on her head (Picture: Maghin R. Davis / SWNS)

    A calf born with a fifth leg on her head has been given a forever home by a loving couple.

    Elsie the baby Black Angus cow had been separated from her mother at a livestock auction and faced a horrible future if she wasn’t cared for quickly.

    Matt Alexander, a 38-year-old farmer, spotted the unusual animal and immediately texted some pictures of her to his fiancée Maghin Davis.

    ‘As soon as I saw her I said: “We have to have her”,’ said Maghin, 29, who helps run a farm with Matt.

    ‘No one was going to bid on her and her mum wasn’t there, so she won’t survive.

    A picture of Elsie
    The leg doesn’t cause her any problems (Picture: Maghin R. Davis / SWNS)

    ‘She had just been born and she was so helpless, we couldn’t let her die.

    ‘I take on rescues. You never know what there’s going to be at our house, I actually feel weird if I’m not bottle feeding something.

    ‘Most people think of cattle as their livelihood, they don’t rescue animals, so when they see a calf like Elsie they just see her as a problem, a waste.’

    Maghin and Matt managed to track down the mother, reunited her with Elsie and brought them both back to their pastures in Hathaway, Louisiana.

    A picture of Elsie
    She’s been reunited with her mum (Picture: Maghin R. Davis / SWNS)

    ‘They seemed really happy to be back together and Elsie’s mom started feeding her right away,’ said Maghin.

    ‘We were also bottle feeding her to build up her strength.’

    Elsie is now happy and healthy at three weeks old.

    ‘She’s a little spitfire now, she has a very curious personality, she likes to explore, she’s brave, she wants to be out and about and roaming, she’s so spunky and cute.

    ‘She’s thriving big time and her mom is very protective over her.

    ‘She started bucking for the first time the other day.’

    Maghin and her family
    Maghin and her family have adopted Elsie (Picture: Maghin R. Davis / SWNS)

    Maghin learned that Elsie’s condition is called polymelia and occurs roughly once in every 100,000 births.

    The caring farmers are currently consulting with veterinarians to assess whether they should have Elsie’s fifth leg amputated.

    ‘We want to do what’s best for Elsie, we might have the leg removed but there are risks involved, it’s on her head so there’s a risk of infection.

    ‘At the moment it’s not inhibiting her, it’s really just a cosmetic thing, and she doesn’t care about that,’ said Maghin.

    ‘I don’t want to lose her so we are being very cautious with the decision.’

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Mum throws herself one-woman party to celebrate end of summer holidays


    FIVE LEGGED CALF - Calf born with a fifth leg on her head finds a forever homeFIVE LEGGED CALF - Calf born with a fifth leg on her head finds a forever home

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    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Some of the top 30 singles on Tinder (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    Want to know how to get more matches on Tinder? These people might have some tips.

    The dating app has revealed the 30 most popular users in UK and Ireland.

    Working in partnership with Cosmopolitan, the app brought together data to find the people who users swiped right for most frequently.

    The list, which will be revealed in October issue of the magazine (on sale 5 September), features everything from a professional wakeboarder, to a scientist, a singer, a PHD student, and a few
    entrepreneurs.

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)
    Tinder top 30 singletons
    (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    This is the third year the app has revealed the top 30 singletons but for the first time ever, they’re adding links to their profiles so swipe right and you could match with them too.

    The list features 16 men and 14 women this year, aged between 19-34.

    They come from all four corners of the UK and Ireland, including Belfast, Devon, Swansea, Leeds and Dublin to name a few.

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)
    Tinder top 30 singletons
    (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    The app has 26 million matches worldwide every day so to be the most popular, you need to know what you’re doing.

    And some of the Top 30 have revealed exactly just how they got so many people to swipe right for them.

    Top tips to succeed on Tinder

    Ella-Morgan, 25, Cosmetic Surgeon Consultant, London

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Ella-Morgan (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    What does your bio say?

    ‘Proud transwoman. Judge me all you want, but I’m the nicest and funniest girl you’ll ever meet. Yes, I’ve had my surgery!’ with lots of emojis.

    Best thing about being single?

    Having the time to learn to love myself.

    Chanel, 27, Singer, London

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Chanel (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    What does your bio say?

    ‘Artist and music lover. Let’s start with hello.’ I’m looking for someone spiritual with kind eyes.

    Ideal first date?

    I’m an adrenaline junkie, so Thorpe Park could be fun, or maybe sitting

    outside and playing board games. Something a bit different.

    Peter, 26, Barrister, Belfast

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Peter (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    What does your bio say?

    ‘Looking for someone to take to Spoon Street,’ which is a fro-yo place.

    Go-to opening line?

    ‘Hello [insert name],’ with a princess or rose emoji. It works every time – people think it’s sweet or laugh because it’s pathetic.

    JJ, 28, Barber, Cheltenham

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    JJ (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    What does your bio say?

    ‘I’m just looking for cool people to vibe with. Let’s grab some food.’

    How do you make the next move?

    If conversation is flowing, I’ll ask them to call me. I wouldn’t date someone who’s afraid to pick up the phone. It’s a good pre-date test.

    Jane, 30, Marketing Executive, Edinburgh

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Jane (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    What does your bio say?

    ‘Sometimes I like yoga, sometimes I like wine.’ It’s all about balance.

    Best thing about being single?

    The group chat I have with my friends – we discuss our dates!

    Daire, 27, Financial Advisor & Entrepreneur, Dublin

    Tinder top 30 singletons
    Daire (Picture: Cosmopolitan/Antonio Petronzio)

    Go-to opening line?

    A GIF of a pug waving.

    Any dating mishaps?

    Her purse went missing and she asked me if I’d taken it! I hadn’t, obviously, and she later sent an apology after a taxi driver found it.

    The group feature in a 10-page spread in the magazine – with all 30 revealing what they think made their profiles stand out.

    You can also check out the full list online and click on the links for your chance to match with the top 30.

    Good luck!

    MORE: Greggs is launching its autumn menu imminently and it includes a spicy chicken bake

    MORE: Brussels sprouts flavoured gin now exists


    Tinder CosmopolitanTinder Cosmopolitan

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    An aspiring teacher has put her dreams on hold after developing a rare disorder which causes her to faint up to 30 times a day.

    Sarah Louhisalo, 22, has gone from being a fit and healthy young woman to requiring almost constant care from her partner and family.

    She was suffering from repeated headaches when she suddenly blacked out at the wheel while driving in January this year.

    Within days she was passing out between 15 and 30 times a day and suffering seizures which left her unable to walk or talk for hours or even days afterwards.

    She has now been diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND), which causes weakness, issues with movement and blackouts.

    Sarah, from Chorley, had to postpone her postgraduate course in Education which, if passed, would enable her to land her dream job as a primary school teacher.

    She has now released a series of devastating videos that show her debilitating symptoms, including ones of her arms and legs shaking uncontrollably.

    ‘My life has been completely taken over by all of this,’ she said.

    Sarah with her partner
    Sarah first experienced a blackout in January (Picture: Lee McLean / SWNS)

    ‘I was so close to getting my dream job as a primary school teacher when it things came crashing down.

    ‘Within the space of a few months my life has changed completely.

    ‘I can’t even go outside on my own in case I have a seizure, let alone teach in a school.

    ‘I’m relying on my family to help me through, which isn’t the way a 22-year-old should live.’

    However, her illness has brought a newfound closeness between her and partner of four years, Jamie Roberts.

    They have developed their own sign language through knocks, pointing and gestures so Jamie can help Sarah with day-to-day tasks.

    Sarah said: ‘It has made me see how in tune we are to each other. I will knock to get Jamie’s attention and then point at what I am needing – either when we are cooking or eating or something and he will instinctively know.

    Sarah with Jamie
    Her partner Jamie has been amazing (Picture: Lee McLean / SWNS)

    ‘He has been my absolute rock through all this. It has shown me how solid our relationship is.’

    Sarah was suffering from headaches on and off for two months before she suddenly blacked out while driving in January this year.

    She was rushed to hospital with non-serious injuries but despite her pleas, doctors weren’t able to explain her loss of consciousness or constant headaches.

    They finally diagnosed FND. The brain of a patient with FND is structurally normal, but functions incorrectly, resulting in the symptoms.

    A picture of Sarah
    Sarah has put her dreams of being a teacher on hold (Picture: Lee McLean / SWNS)

    Sarah was also diagnosed with Non Epileptic Attack Disorder, which is the term for someone who suffers seizures but not as a result of epilepsy.

    She said: ‘The symptoms of my FND are really awful. I get really bad shakes, facial ticks, tremors and numbness on the left side of my body.

    ‘A lot of the time I can’t even walk or talk because of it, it’s horrible.’

    Sadly doctors don’t know how to treat FND so Sarah can only take antidepressants to help with her mood.

    She is hoping to ease her symptoms by seeing a psychologist who has helped four other people with the condition.

    The service costs £95 an hour and Sarah is trying to raise funds through crowdfunding site GoFundMe.

    MORE: Costa launches new autumn menu featuring Lotus Biscoff muffins

    MORE: Frugal couple spend just £70 on both their wedding dresses to save money for a house


    BLACK OUTS - An aspiring teacher has had to put her dreams on hold after getting a rare illness - which causes her to faint up to 30 times a dayBLACK OUTS - An aspiring teacher has had to put her dreams on hold after getting a rare illness - which causes her to faint up to 30 times a day

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    Grande Starbucks to go cup on table
    Ready to hack your Pumpkin Spice Latte? (Picture: Getty)

    Now that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is officially back and available to order, it’s time to get creative.

    One Disney fan has come up with a dreamy way to hack your PSL and turn it into a glorious secret drink, which they call the Cinderella Latte.

    Created by @happiestteesonearth, the Cinderella Latte is a pretty simple concept, but it’s proved majorly popular. Instagram is filled with shots of people ordering their own, and each photo is flooded with comments from people saying they *need* to try it themselves.

    Thankfully it’s easy to order and yes, you can get it in the UK too.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BpIekF3gJPh/

    Here’s how to get your paws on a Cinderella Latte: Order a Pumpkin Spice Latte (or frap, or iced latte, whatever you prefer), but ask for half the pumps of pumpkin spice syrup to be swapped out for pumps of white mocha (that’s coffee mixed with white hot chocolate).

    If you have a real sweet tooth, you can instead ask for full pumps of both flavours.

    The drink is called the Cinderella Latte because it’s a white pumpkin flavour mix, which reminded the creator of Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage.

    The name plus the ease of ordering has turned the secret menu item into a quick favourite – trust us when we say it’s all over the place.

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

    Reviews are overwhelmingly positive. We spied comments on Instagram that described the Cinderella Latte as ‘SO GOOD’ (in all caps, so you know they mean it) and ‘yummy’.

    One person commented: ‘I had to school the Starbucks barista at Downtown Disney on the CINDERELLA LATTE and he said he’s going to tell management they need to add that to the holiday menu! 🤣 IT’S DELISH.’

    Well, we’re convinced.

    If you give it a go or discover your own Starbucks hack, do let us know in the comments below or send us an email of your creation at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Coffee lovers’ fight to be named cafe’s best customer gets out of hand

    MORE: Woman puts her dreams on hold after rare disorder makes her faint 30 times a day

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


    starbucks cinderlla latte-ebb1starbucks cinderlla latte-ebb1

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    pandora charm bracelet cleaning hack
    When was the last time you cleaned your jewellery? (Picture: Facebook)

    Have you ever pondered all the dirt and grime that may have collected on your jewellery?

    Us neither.

    After one woman discovered that even a week of wearing her wedding ring makes it pretty grubby, another has urged us to give our Pandora charm bracelets (and all other jewellery, really) a proper soak.

    Posting in the We Love Mrs Hinch Facebook group, Anne-Marie Norman, from London, shared how she decided to give her Pandora bracelet a quick wash.

    She mixed hot water from the kettle with a squirt of washing up liquid, then soaked the bracelet in the mixture for five minutes.

    Anne-Marie was stunned by the amount of dirt that emerged from her bracelet. ‘All that black is off my charms,’ she wrote.

    Anne-Marie Norman cleaning pandora charm bracelet hack
    Anne-Marie was shocked at how much dirt was sat on her Pandora bracelet (Picture: Anne-Marie Norman/Facebook)

    The trick attracted astonishment from other members of the group, who immediately needed to try soaking their bracelets to see just how much grime had collected between the charms.

    A few said the cleaning technique had come at just the right time, as their local Pandora store now charges £5 for cleaning.

    Just so you know, Pandora shares a similar cleaning method on their website, so this is officially recommended.

    The brand suggests putting a small amount of soap into lukewarm water, soaking your jewellery, and then using a small, soft toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt.

    pandora bracelet cleaning trick
    Others tried the hack too (Picture: Chantelle Louise Hambridge/Facebook)

    They do warn, though, that this cleaning method should not be used to clean jewellery that includes cultured freshwater pearls.

    You can also pick up a silver-polishing cloth to make your sterling silver jewellery nice and shiny – although, be warned, this won’t remove any scratches.

    It’s also worth removing your jewellery before going to bed or when you’re about to participate in any physical activity – especially anything that will make you sweat.

    Avoid exposing jewellery to chlorinated water or sea water, too.

    If you wear a piece of jewellery every day, it’s definitely a good idea to give it a soak and clean once a week.

    Anyone else suddenly suspicious of just how filthy their jewellery collection might be?

    If you’ve found a genius cleaning hack you’d like to share with the world, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Mum uses 99p tile cleaner to remove red lipstick stains from her grey carpet

    MORE: Huffing dog refuses to look at owner after she took him to vets for teeth cleaning

    MORE: How to do a social media clean


    Dirt in Pandora braceletsDirt in Pandora bracelets

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    I have a distinct memory at junior school of being four foot eight inches tall. I remember this because I was the only one whose head reached beyond the top of the height chart.

    It’s highly unlikely that this moment was significant for anyone but me – I certainly don’t remember a collective gasp of amazement from my classmates.

    Nonetheless, I was, without doubt, the tall girl, the unwanted focus of the ‘my, isn’t your daughter tall’ comment when we met people in the street.

    It’s not acceptable to comment to someone that they’re short or wide or large-nosed. But when you’re tall, you’re fair game.

    Friends, family and strangers are all very quick to apply the ‘tall’ label. Because being tall must be amazing. You can reach the top shelf in supermarkets! You must be great at basketball! You can see over crowds at events! Being head and shoulders above everyone else must make you literally feel that you are. Or does it?

    Helen Redding
    I have a distinct memory at junior school of being four foot eight inches tall (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    Imagine you’re very shy. You’ve not been blessed with beauty, have probably eaten too many Penguin bars and not got enough exercise.

    You’re slightly pigeon-toed, wear NHS glasses and were once summoned to the school nurse’s office because your bum stuck out too much. Imagine all those things.

    Do you want to stand out from the crowd or do you want to shrink back into the shadows?

    That was me aged eight-ish. It is also me now, as at six foot I’m still tall. Funny how the insecurities of childhood linger way into adulthood, especially when your defining feature doesn’t – can’t – go away. If you don’t like the shape of your nose you can change it; you can’t stop being tall no matter how much you slouch.

    I still carry with me that label of being the freakishly tall girl who has to stand at the back in group photos; a disembodied head floating above the ‘normal’ people.

    Helen Redding
    I still carry with me that label of being the freakishly tall girl who has to stand at the back in group photos (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    I’m the person in front of you in the cinema who slips down into their seat, paranoid your family will have to rejig itself so that your child doesn’t have to struggle to see the screen through the ‘tall lady’s head’.

    There is no doubt that being tall has benefits but is it the same for men versus women?

    For men, being tall is positive and is (wrongly in my opinion) associated with masculinity. It’s that association that proves particularly difficult for a tall woman.

    A man once said to me: ‘You’re a big girl, aren’t you?’. I felt exceedingly unfeminine, large, an oaf, like Shrek’s Princess Fiona might feel next to Elsa. (And try having short hair too – oh, the number of times in my life I’ve been mistaken for a man.)

    They weren’t commenting on my weight as having just survived anorexia I was waifish. (Writing this now has made me think whether my eating disorder was partly a desire to literally shrink away …)

    There’s something about tall women that some men find intimidating. Not all, perhaps just those with their own insecurities.

    Helen Redding
    I still wish I was a couple of inches shorter, but that doesn’t stop me instilling in my daughter a pride in her inherited height (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    In social situations, this has at times left me feeling deeply unattractive. Couple this with shyness and awkwardness and you start to curl up like a hedgehog. No longer just ‘tall’, you’re now labelled as ‘unapproachable’, ‘rude’ or ‘stand-offish’.

    To be fair, being tall can be a great way to bond with other tall women. First question: ‘Where do you buy your trousers from?’

    As a six-footer (with a 36-inch inside leg in my case), your choice of shopping outlets is limited if you want the hemline to reach anywhere near your feet. Perhaps the solidarity comes from meeting someone who sees beyond the label and knows how it feels to always stand out, no matter how much you don’t want to.

    As I get older, I’m less bothered about being tall but the long-held perception of myself and how I think others see me lingers.

    It takes a lot of confidence, self-esteem and a dash of bloody-mindedness to rise above a label, no matter how self-imposed it is. I still wish I was a couple of inches shorter, but that doesn’t stop me instilling in my daughter a pride in her inherited height.

    When she’s older and asks to borrow a pair of my (flat) shoes, I’ll refuse and instead give her the money to buy some kickass heels that shout ‘I’M TALL AND I’M PROUD! WATCH ME STRIDE!’

    Labels

    Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

    If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

    MORE: My Label and Me: What my star sign means to me

    MORE: My Label and Me: Having a stutter has kept me grounded

    MORE: My Label and Me: It took a while to get over the stares but I’m happy being wacky


    Labels - TallLabels - Tall

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    Abi Hollyoake as a firefighter. Mum Abi Hollyoake, 32, lost an incredible six stone so she could fulfil her dreams and follow in her father?s footsteps to become a firefighter! See SWNS story SWPLfire. A woman has lost six stone and achieved her dream of following in her father's footsteps - by becoming a FIREFIGHTER. Abi Hollyoake, 32, weighed over 16 stone at her heaviest and wore a size 22, and constantly opted for frozen meals as she didn't like cooking. She'd always wanted to be just like her dad, who was a firefighter, but her weight stood in the way - but after she moved to Camborne, Cornwall, Abi decided to make a change. She visited her local fire station and spent two years trying to pass the fitness tests while shedding weight.
    After two years of hard work, Abi has become a firefighter like she always dreamed (Picture: Hollyoake Family /SWNS.COM)

    Abi Hollyoake, 32, had always wanted to be a firefighter, just like her dad, but her struggles with fitness got in the way.

    At her heaviest Abi weighed over 16 stone and wore a size 22. Each time she went to her local fire station she failed the fitness tests, having to weight three months between each one to try again.

    The mum of two decided to take action. Determined to succeed and fulfil her dreams of working for the fire brigade, Abi spent two years working on her fitness, losing six stone in the process.

    She’s now a firefighter for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

    Abi’s fitness journey was challenging as a mother with limited time and energy.

    Abi Hollyoake before her weightloss. Mum Abi Hollyoake, 32, lost an incredible six stone so she could fulfil her dreams and follow in her father?s footsteps to become a firefighter! See SWNS story SWPLfire. A woman has lost six stone and achieved her dream of following in her father's footsteps - by becoming a FIREFIGHTER. Abi Hollyoake, 32, weighed over 16 stone at her heaviest and wore a size 22, and constantly opted for frozen meals as she didn't like cooking. She'd always wanted to be just like her dad, who was a firefighter, but her weight stood in the way - but after she moved to Camborne, Cornwall, Abi decided to make a change. She visited her local fire station and spent two years trying to pass the fitness tests while shedding weight.
    At her heaviest Abi weighed over 16 stone (Picture: Hollyoake Family /SWNS.COM)

    For years she had constantly opted for frozen ready meals as she didn’t like cooking, and struggled to find time to work out.

    ‘My dad was a firefighter so it has always been in my family,’ said Abi. ‘It was always something I wanted to do but, having two children, family life got in the way.

    ‘When we moved here I wondered if it was a possibility and made enquiries about it at my local station.

    ‘It was a bit of a challenge overcoming the bleep tests because I’d never done them before.

    Abi Hollyoake before her weightloss. Mum Abi Hollyoake, 32, lost an incredible six stone so she could fulfil her dreams and follow in her father?s footsteps to become a firefighter! See SWNS story SWPLfire. A woman has lost six stone and achieved her dream of following in her father's footsteps - by becoming a FIREFIGHTER. Abi Hollyoake, 32, weighed over 16 stone at her heaviest and wore a size 22, and constantly opted for frozen meals as she didn't like cooking. She'd always wanted to be just like her dad, who was a firefighter, but her weight stood in the way - but after she moved to Camborne, Cornwall, Abi decided to make a change. She visited her local fire station and spent two years trying to pass the fitness tests while shedding weight.
    Abi knew she would need to pass a fitness test to work for the fire brigade (Picture: Hollyoake Family /SWNS.COM)

    ‘For two years I kept going back and attempting it – it took a while because you have to wait three months to take the test again once you fail it.

    ‘Every time I improved and I kept going and going until I got it. It was surreal but that was the first stage of it really – I had more tests, exams and interviews.

    ‘Initially I started doing the Couch to 5k app but I used to do it at night or early in the morning, before there was anyone around, because I didn’t like being watched running.

    ‘By week three or four I noticed results. I was losing weight and feeling better about myself and achieving the levels. I then started doing home workouts.’

    Abi Hollyoake after her weight loss. Mum Abi Hollyoake, 32, lost an incredible six stone so she could fulfil her dreams and follow in her father?s footsteps to become a firefighter! See SWNS story SWPLfire. A woman has lost six stone and achieved her dream of following in her father's footsteps - by becoming a FIREFIGHTER. Abi Hollyoake, 32, weighed over 16 stone at her heaviest and wore a size 22, and constantly opted for frozen meals as she didn't like cooking. She'd always wanted to be just like her dad, who was a firefighter, but her weight stood in the way - but after she moved to Camborne, Cornwall, Abi decided to make a change. She visited her local fire station and spent two years trying to pass the fitness tests while shedding weight.
    Through a gym routine, running, and Slimming World Abi was able to lose six stone Picture: Hollyoake Family /SWNS.COM)

    When Abi moved to Cornwall, she took her fitness efforts to the next level by joining a gym and getting involved in Slimming World to change her diet.

    ‘With the exercise I’d hit a bit of a wall and I wasn’t losing much more weight,’ she explained.

    ‘I made some swaps like using the spray rather than cooking oil and sweetener instead of sugar. It helped massively and now I cook a lot more.’

    Over the course of two years, Abi hadn’t just lost weight but her fitness levels had drastically improved.

    ‘You do have to have some sort of fitness to join,’ she said. ‘By the time I was applying I was going to the gym but I needed to work on that a bit more.

    Abi Hollyoake with her family. Mum Abi Hollyoake, 32, lost an incredible six stone so she could fulfil her dreams and follow in her father?s footsteps to become a firefighter! See SWNS story SWPLfire. A woman has lost six stone and achieved her dream of following in her father's footsteps - by becoming a FIREFIGHTER. Abi Hollyoake, 32, weighed over 16 stone at her heaviest and wore a size 22, and constantly opted for frozen meals as she didn't like cooking. She'd always wanted to be just like her dad, who was a firefighter, but her weight stood in the way - but after she moved to Camborne, Cornwall, Abi decided to make a change. She visited her local fire station and spent two years trying to pass the fitness tests while shedding weight.
    The mum of two drastically improved her fitness and is now a firefighter (Picture: Hollyoake Family /SWNS.COM)

    ‘Even now I still improve myself every day because it’s constantly a physical thing.

    ‘It’s not impossible. I am proof that it can be done. It was good to have that goal to work towards. You really do have to want it and keep preserving.’

    The hard work paid off as Abi has now landed her dream job. She’s proud to inspire her children and show them that with work and determination their dreams can become reality.

    ‘It is everything and more than I thought it was – when we get a shout I love it,’ said Abi.

    ‘It hasn’t quite hit me – it’s very surreal. Being a female as well people look at the truck as we go past. There are two of us at Tolvaddon.

    ‘It’s one of those jobs where I don’t know if other women think it’s not a job for us.

    ‘When you are on a job you get a massive adrenaline rush. Before doing this I used to be a support worker so I’ve always helped people but this is on a more extreme scale.

    ‘You have to get into the right mindset because you don’t know what possibilities could be in front of you. Until you get to the station and look at the incident sheet you don’t know what you are going to.

    ‘My family have all been massive supporters of my job. It has bought me and my dad a bit closer together. He’s retired now but we share stories.

    ‘The kids get excited. When I come home from work my daughter will say, “here she is, it’s firefighter Hollyoake”.

    ‘She also said to me, “Mummy when I’m older I’m not sure if I want to be a nail-painter or a fire-fighting lady”.

    ‘My husband and my son are proud as well. They know how hard I’ve worked.’

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