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

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    Huda Beauty's new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes cater to all skin tones
    (Picture: Huda Beauty / Metro.co.uk)

    Calling all Huda Beauty fans.

    Self-made mogul Huda Kattan has only gone and announced the release of Nude Obsession Eyeshadow Palettes and they’re perfection.

    After the success of Huda Beauty’s best-selling and award winning The New Nude Eye Shadow Palette, we’re not surprised Huda is expanding the range by launching three mini Nude Obsession Eyeshadow Palettes – it’s as if Huda Kattan knows what women want and boy is she delivering the goods.

    The new mini Nude Obsession Eyeshadow Palettes, which FYI include all-new shades (uh-huh) and launch online tomorrow, is the first collection of nude eyeshadow palettes that have been inspired by and cater to different skin tones. And we’re here for it.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B3UkjHcF9SW/

    In a recent blog post announcing the launch, Huda Kattan explained the inspiration behind the palettes: ‘When we created our New Nude palette, we wanted to recreate what nude is.

    ‘During this process, we realized how different the perfect nude eyeshadow is for every skin tone; a ‘nude’ lipstick for a fairer skin tone wouldn’t look nude on me, and the same goes for eyeshadow and other makeup products.’

    ‘It shouldn’t just be limited to complexion products, and we were surprised we’d never seen it done before!’

    There are three colour combos to choose from to ‘giving everyone the opportunity to define their own nude’: Nude Light, Nude Medium, and Nude Rich and we refuse to choose a favourite.

    The pigment-packed powders have a mix of five buttery matte shades and four complementary shimmery metallic shades and although it could be argued the colour scheme is pretty predictable, the curated selection of shades and finishes aren’t even a bit boring.

    We’re totally obsessed with the blendable formulas, the everyday wearable shades, the metallics, minimal fallout and the fact you can throw it in your bag (unlike the recent textbook-sized palette launches).

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B3UruC6A9D3/

    Even better? They’re pretty damn affordable priced at £25 each, which is significantly less than her popular full-sized palettes.

    You can keep it subtle by blending a barely-there shade all over the lid (nude eyeshadow also makes an excellent base for winged eyeliner), smoke it out with a deeper nude, or pair with a metallic to add a touch of shimmering dimension.

    The Nude Obsession Eyeshadow Palettes are sure to become a precious product in your arsenal.

    Nude Light Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, £25

    A beautiful balance of light and creamy praline hues in both warm and cool tones. Featuring peachy shades with unexpected pops of lavender and mauve.

    The champagne and brown shimmers will add unbelievable dimension to each and every look.

    Huda Beauty's new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes caters to all skin tones Provider: Huda Beauty
    (Picture: Huda Beauty)

    Nude Medium Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, £25

    Huda’s favorite, this versatile palette is a rich mix of spicy tones combining chestnuts and deep browns.

    Featuring metallic shimmers in warm yellow and rose gold tones, rustic copper, dusty pink, coral and unique terracotta shades.

    Huda Beauty's new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes caters to all skin tones Provider: Huda Beauty
    (Picture: Huda Beauty)

    Nude Rich Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, £25

    A dreamy collection of rich, creamy matte shades inclusive of milky and dark chocolate browns, crimson red, dusty rose and sandy fawn with pink undertones.

    Burnished gold, blushed bronze, dusty rose and deep brown metallics complete the palette with shimmer and dimension.

    Huda Beauty's new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes caters to all skin tones Provider: Huda Beauty
    (Picture: Huda Beauty)

    The Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Palettes (£25), launch on 9th October online at shophudabeauty.com and 15th October online at cultbeauty.co.uk and feelunique.com

    MORE: Lady Gaga’s new makeup line just dropped on Amazon

    MORE: Makeup brush brand Zoeva just launched its own foundation with an inspiring campaign


    Huda Beauty\'s new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes caters to all skin tonesHuda Beauty\'s new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes caters to all skin tones

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    Timothy Berty, 25, and Jessica Berty (nee Dhans) , 30, getting married in hospital
    Jessica and Timothy tied the knot in hospital a week after the groom woke up from a medically induced coma (Picture: Jessica Berty /SWNS.COM)

    A bride and groom tied the knot in a hospital room after their wedding day was interrupted by brain surgery.

    Jessica Dhans, 30, spent what was meant to be her wedding day watching as Timothy Berty, 25, was rushed into the emergency room to remove the left side of his skull due to an abscess on his brain.

    Timothy woke up from a medically-induced coma two days later. His first words to Jessica were: ‘You, me, forever.’

    The couple, who met in 2013 and got engaged in 2014, spent years planning their wedding.

    The $10,000 event was set to take place in a local firehouse where Timothy worked as a volunteer firefighter.

    But two days before the wedding, the engineer began behaving strangely.

    Jessica, who works for a medical provider, said: ‘Everything was going to plan then the day before our wedding rehearsal dinner, we were setting up the firehouse and Timothy kept falling asleep.

    (L-R) Timothy Berty, 25, and Jessica Berty (nee Dhans) , 30, getting married in hospital
    Timothy was rushed to hospital the day before his planned wedding and needed urgent surgery on his brain (Picture: Jessica Berty /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He had a really bad headache. He was falling asleep on the floor and on tables. He went home to sleep and the next morning, when I woke up, he wasn’t in bed.

    ‘Timothy was in the living room, watching TV and he was talking gibberish.

    ‘He thought he was speaking to me in sentences but he wasn’t making any sense.’

    Jessica was so stressed out about the wedding planning that she didn’t realise Timothy was ill.

    On her way to meet her mum the day before the wedding, Jessica called Timothy’s mother Amy to ask her to check on him.

    An hour later Amy called Jessica to say that Timothy needed to go to hospital. Timothy was air-lifted to UPMC Presbyterean Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Jessica Dhans, 30, and Timothy Berty, 25, missed their wedding day after Timothy had to have brain surgery
    Following surgery Timothy had to wear a hockey helmet to protect his brain as he was missing half his skull Picture: Jessica Berty /SWNS.COM)

    Doctors told Jessica that a sinus infection had spread to Timothy’s brain and resulted in an abscess.

    ‘He had a sinus infection but because he had a deviated septum it couldn’t drain out,’ Jessica said.

    ‘It went up into his brain and his brain swelled. We sat in the hospital at 6.30 in the morning on what would have been our wedding day.

    ‘The surgeon came in and asked to talk to him. But Timothy couldn’t talk, he was grunting at this point.

    ‘The surgeon told me he had to go to the ER as Timothy had an abscess on his brain.’

    Following surgery Timothy was put in a medically induced coma for two days.

    The family had to contact guests and tell them the wedding was off.

    The couple have matching tattoos with the first words Timothy said when he came out of his coma: you, me, forever
    The couple have matching tattoos with the first words Timothy said when he came out of his coma: ‘you, me, forever’. (Picture: Jessica Berty /SWNS.COM)

    Jessica said: ‘We told everyone that they could still go to the firehouse as everything was set up, the food was there and the cake was there.

    ‘Everyone said it was horrible and the weirdest wedding – the bride and groom and their parents weren’t there. I expect it was very morbid.

    ‘Timothy got out of surgery at one pm and our wedding was supposed to be at three.’

    When Timothy woke up from his coma, he was upset to learn the wedding hadn’t happened, and wanted to get married as soon as they could.

    One week later they tied the knot in Timothy’s hospital room.

    ‘It was pretty much another regular day,’ Jessica said.

    ‘Timothy kept asking about us getting married.

    ‘I messaged our friend Courtney Gondringer, 28, who is an ordained minister, and I asked her if she was free that night. She came over after work.

    ‘The nurses got Timothy dressed because he was still hooked up to drains and tubes. My mom and I got dressed in the bathroom.’

    Two weeks later, after 23 days in hospital, Timothy was discharged and returned home where Jessica gave her new husband nightly feeds through a tube, sponge baths, and antibiotics twice a day.

    The couple eventually got matching tattoos of the first words Timothy said when he came out of the coma: ‘you, me, forever’.

    Timothy said: ‘I wanted us to get married as soon as we could. Jessica never left my side, she stuck with me, she was there the whole time. I truly knew that this was the girl that I needed to marry.

    ‘It was so frightening. It changed my perspective. I’m not as active as I want to be but I am getting there.

    ‘It feels great to be a married man. I am just happy that I found my perfect mate.’

    Do you have a powerful wedding story to share? Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Newlyweds go straight from their wedding to McDonald’s

    MORE: Huda Beauty’s new Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes cater to all skin tones


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    Adorable abandoned dog can't stop smiling when he realises he is getting rescued (Picture: DallasDogRRR)
    Sandford couldn’t walk and could barely eat when he was found (Picture: DallasDogRRR)

    A dog who was hit by a car and even shot by cruel owners has had his life turned around after being rescued from a shelter – and he couldn’t be happier about it.

    Animal Rescue Group Dallas Dog RRR found Sandford when he was at his lowest. He had spent a week in a municipal shelter without any medical assistance and was unable to walk or eat.

    The poorly pup was also covered in a road rash, and he even carried a bullet in his body for a while after being shot.

    Adorable abandoned dog can't stop smiling when he realises he is getting rescued (Picture: DallasDogRRR)
    He had been hit by a car and even shot by cruel owners (Picture: DallasDogRRR)

    Dallas Dog RRR put out a desperate call for somebody to rehome Sandford before he was due to be put down.

    ‘We can’t imagine the pain he has been in,’ they wrote on Facebook.

    ‘But we are going to try to help him. PLEASE! Please help him… we need your help for this guy.’

    In the photos that the group posted alongside their pleading message, Sandford is slumped on the ground, or propped up against the wall – looking utterly desolate.

    Adorable abandoned dog can't stop smiling when he realises he is getting rescued (Picture: DallasDogRRR)
    He was due to be put down unless someone came to his rescue (Picture: DallasDogRRR)

    Sandford was checked by a vet and, luckily, none of his injuries were life-threatening, but you could still see the pain in his eyes.

    The Facebook post amassed 1,500 shared and hundreds of comments, and finally, someone came forward to take Sandford in. The change in Sandford since then has been incredible.

    Sandford was treated by a vet and taken to his new foster mom, Karen Velazquez. Since stepping paw into her house, he just hasn’t stopped smiling.

    Adorable abandoned dog can't stop smiling when he realises he is getting rescued (Picture: DallasDogRRR)
    Now, Sandford has a loving foster mum (Picture: DallasDogRRR)

    He is just delighted to be somewhere safe, warm and loving – and we literally couldn’t be happier for him.

    But, Sandford’s story isn’t quite over because he is still looking for his forever family as his foster mum Karen can only house him temporarily.

    Adorable abandoned dog can't stop smiling when he realises he is getting rescued (Picture: DallasDogRRR)
    He’s still looking for his forever home – but right now, he’s very happy (Picture: DallasDogRRR)

    But people commenting on Sandford’s story on Facebook are trying to change her mind.

    ‘I hope he can stay with you forever. He’s a beautiful dog and you make him so happy,’ wrote one person to Karen on Facebook.

    ‘Keep him. You are the one who made him happy,’ added another.

    ‘What a wonderful dog! I hope he can stay with you to spend his last years! It’s great to see him so happy!’ said someone else.

    But, even if Karen is unable to keep Sandford longterm, it’s fantastic to see that he is happy, healthy and loved right now. Hopefully, someone will come forward soon to give Sandford the forever home he deserves.

    MORE: Couple get married in a hospital room after the groom is rushed into brain surgery on their wedding day

    MORE: Newlyweds go straight from their wedding to McDonald’s

    MORE: This man is running 12km every day to represent the number of men dying from suicide each week


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    Hummingbird
    We’re… not sure (Picture: Hummingbird)

    We all know somebody who loves condiments a bit too much.

    The one who drowns their roast dinner in ketchup, or eats lasagna with a squirt of salad cream on the side.

    But are condiment cupcakes a step too far? Heinz has teamed up with the famous Hummingbird Bakery to create a range of cakes inspired by the beans manufacturer’s iconic products.

    Hummingbird
    Sweet and savoury sometimes works… right? (Picture: Hummingbird)

    The cupcake flavours include ketchup, beans, mayo, salad cream and tomato soup – and we’re not sure how to feel about them.

    The launch of the cakes this Friday is to celebrate the birthday of company founder, Henry John Heinz.

    Each of the six Hummingbird Bakery branches in London is giving away 25 of the cakes for free, on a first-come, first-served basis. After that, you’ll be able to buy them for £3.45 each.

    Hummingbird
    OK, we just need to try one (Picture: Hummingbird)

    But do we really need a mayo flavoured cupcake? And how does a tomato soup flavoured cake even work? We’re not sure, but we’re definitely intrigued.

    Heinz notoriously enjoy playing with their classic flavours. Only recently they launched their Saucy Sauce – a hybrid mayo/ketchup condiment. And plenty of people were excited about the launch of a Heinz Beanz pizza.

    So will the quirky cake flavours satisfy the hardcore condiment fans? We will have to wait and see.

    MORE: What is the Halloween witch sex position and how does it work?

    MORE: Deaf and blind puppy named Piglet teaches kids about special needs pets

    MORE: This national park wants you to vote for its fattest bear


    Heinz team up with Hummingbird Bakery to launch a range of cakesHeinz team up with Hummingbird Bakery to launch a range of cakes

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    Adidas Blackburn SPEZIAL (Picture: Ebay)
    Adidas only made 160 pairs of the trainers (Picture: Ebay)

    Limited edition Adidas trainers are selling on eBay for up to £65,100.

    Adidas launched just 160 pairs of Blackburn SPEZIAL trainers at an exhibition last week. The trainers feature the logo of homeless charity Nightsafe.

    The proceeds from the initial launch day went towards helping young and vulnerable youngsters, with the original trainers selling for £100 a pop.

    Adidas Blackburn SPEZIAL (Picture: Ebay)
    The inflated prices could be due to ‘shill bidding’ (Picture: Ebay)

    But within minutes of the launch, the shoes started popping up on eBay for eye-watering amounts. Another pair was spotted with a cost of £58,700, and a third was selling for £36,700.

    But the sky-high costs might not actually be reflective of what the general public is willing to pay for the shoes.

    It might actually be down to ‘shill bidding’, which eBay describes like this: ‘Shill bidding is when someone bids on an item to artificially increase its price, desirability, or search standing’.

    It basically creates an unfair advantage, or it can cause another bidder to pay more than they should.

    eBay claims to have a number of systems in place to detect and monitor bidding patterns and practices, and if the site spots any malicious behaviour it will take steps to prevent it.

    The bidding site now appears to have removed some of the listings. So if you’re desperate to get your hands on these kicks, you might have to go further afield.

    MORE: What is the Halloween witch sex position and how does it work?

    MORE: This man is running 12km every day to represent the number of men dying from suicide each week

    MORE: Woman quits job as funeral director to become a professional mermaid earning £100 an hour


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    H&M matching dog jumpers for dogs and their owners
    Matchy-matchy (Picture: H&M)

    Cosy season is officially here – and thanks to H&M’s new dog jumpers, you and your pup can wear the same winter warmers this year.

    it means it won’t just be us living in oversized knitwear until April – our pet pooches will be too! Twinning!

    The collection is a collaboration with designer brand Pringle of Scotland. It features cute patterned jumpers, trousers, skirts and scarves – and it won’t break the bank.

    Picture the scene: frolicking with your pup in crisp, autumn leaves, cuddles with your pooch on a winter walk – all in perfectly matching ensembles. The Instagram potential is limitless.

    The best thing about the range is that it’s seriously chic. It reworks the iconic argyles and jacquards of Pringle to make it more youthful and sporty, which we love. It also features the biggest colours of the season; grey and neon green.

    The range is part of H&M’s Conscious collection, meaning each item has been made with recycled polyester and organic cotton – bonus.

    H&M model pictured wearing a matching dog jumper
    We love a knitted co-ord (Picture: H&M)
    H&M dog jumper by Pringle
    The cuteness is too much (Picture: H&M)
    H&M model wearing matching dog jumper
    So chic (Picture: H&M)
    H&M dog jumper by Pringle
    The most stylish pup in the park (Picture: H&M)

    The full collection, including hats and scarves, is available to buy in H&M shops and online.

    MORE: Adorable abandoned dog can’t stop smiling when he realises he’s being rescued

    MORE: Heinz team up with Hummingbird Bakery to launch ketchup and beans flavour cakes

    MORE: Special edition Adidas trainers are selling for up to £65,000 on eBay


    H&M is selling matching winter outfits for dogs and their ownersH&M is selling matching winter outfits for dogs and their owners

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    Worshippers at a synagogue on Yom Kippur
    Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.

    Yom Kippur, the most important day in the Jewish calendar, begins at sundown – with those observing the day fasting for 25 hours and spending their time in prayer.

    The idea behind the day, which falls just a week after Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – is to repent for wrongdoings committed over the past year and pledge to do better, thus allowing people to begin the new year with a clean slate, all sins forgiven and forgotten.

    But just what does Yom Kippur mean – and what should you say to someone observing the day?

    Here’s what you need to know…

    What does Yom Kippur mean?

    The name Yom Kippur is actually Hebrew, and it translates as ‘Day of Atonement’.

    Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    Many will spend the entire day in prayer as well as refraining from food and drink (Picture: Getty Images)

    This is based around the fact that the Jewish people spend the day atoning for their sins.

    As well as refraining from food and drink, many spend the whole day in synagogue, with a special service called Kol Nidre taking place soon after the fast begins on Tuesday night, and services for the whole of the following day until the fast ends at sundown on Wednesday.

    In addition to fasting, people also abstain from bathing, wearing leather and wearing perfumes or lotions, while marital relations are also a no-no on the day.

    How do you wish someone a Happy Yom Kippur in Hebrew?

    Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men praying on Yom Kippur
    The purpose of the day is to absolve oneself of one’s sins (Picture: Getty Images)

    There’s no specific Hebrew greeting for Yom Kippur, although there are several which are relevant for the day.

    The standard festival greeting is Chag Sameach – pronounced CHAG sah-may-ach – which means simply ‘happy holiday’ and which can be used as a greeting for any Jewish festival.

    Alternatively you can wish someone a ‘good Yom Tov’ – ‘Yom Tov being a term which means ‘festival day’, when work and other activities are forbidden.

    Given the time of year another option is ‘Shana Tova’ – which literally means ‘good year’ – given Yom Kippur’s close proximity to Rosh Hashanah and its ties with the Jewish New Year that’s also a greeting which is commonly heard around this time.

    What time does Yom Kippur start and finish?

    The fast is due to begin in the UK on Tuesday evening at 6.08pm, and ends on Wednesday night at 7.07pm.

    Got a showbiz story?

    If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you.

    ]

    MORE: Rosh Hashanah 2019: How to wish someone a Happy Jewish New Year in Hebrew


    Yom Kippur also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.Yom Kippur also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.

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    Dining room and kitchen in Urszula Makowska's Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula rents two properties in New York. Here’s her four-bedroom house in Glendale (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

    In our weekly series What I Rent, we’ve been taking you inside different people’s rented properties around the UK, from London to Leith.

    We want to take an honest look at the reality of renting – the good, the bad, and the wildly overpriced.

    The main thing we’ve learned is that London is expensive and looking at how much cheaper rent is up north makes us want to cry.

    But what happens when we venture a little further away from the capital?

    What’s it like to rent across the pond, in New York?

    Handily enough, this time we’re chatting to someone who rents property in New York – taking What I Rent outside of the UK for the first time.

    Urszula is a 25-year-old social media manager, actor, fashion blogger, and influencer. She’s originally from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, but now rents two (yes, two) properties – one in Glendale, Queens, and one in Bushwick, in Brooklyn.

    We’re going to be nosing around Urszula’s rented four-bedroom house in Glendale.

    Urszula Makowska?s clothing rack in the bedroom of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The 25-year-old pays $1,000 a month for the house (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

    Hi, Urszula! How much do you pay to live here?

    I pay $1,000 (£815)) a month for this place while I also rent another room in my apartment in Bushwick.

    I rent two places because Glendale is a bit far from the city commuting wise and since I go to events a lot and hang in Brooklyn too, I decided to get an apartment with roommates in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I’m really close to public transportation and everything is more accessible.

    Bills are usually no more than $60 a month for internet and electricity.

    How many rooms are in this house?

    The place has two floors, a yard and a garage. There are four bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms.

    Do you think you have a good deal?

    I do have a great deal! You will not find a big space like this for $3,000 in New York City. Renting apartments in New York City is expensive.

    Urszula Makowska sits on the staircase of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The house has two levels (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

    Do you like Glendale? 

    I love Glendale, Queens because it’s super quiet, clean, affordable, and definitely more suburban than my other place in Bushwick. I love to enjoy the peace and quiet.

    I’ll often stay here more than in Bushwick because I feel like I can get away from city life while still being in the city. I get to work creatively, get things done more often and have more time to myself and privacy.

    I love the fact that it feels like I am in the suburbs. It’s peaceful, clean and quiet. It feels like I’m outside of the city.

    Do you feel like you have enough space?

    Definitely! I have two floors and I am so happy for that! I have a lot of room. Since I have a lot of clothes and shoes, one of the rooms is a walk-in closet for me.

    How did you find the house? 

    I found this place through my parents. They were able to connect me.

    Entry way to Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula needs plenty of storage for her clothes (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

    What’s it like living alone?

    It’s wonderful. I feel independent, responsible, and I have my own privacy.

    How have you made this place feel like home?

    I grew organic tomatoes in the yard to make it feel more green. I’m heavy into eating organic food.

    Bringing my most valuable possessions like my camera, clothes, shoes etc, has made the apartment feel like I have everything I need and love close to me. It’s all about the way you decorate!

    Tomatoes grown by Urszula Makowska in the backyard of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula with the tomatoes she grew in the garden (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

    Do you have plans to move again?

    I do plan on moving. Since I currently do have two apartments, ideally I would prefer to move into one apartment in Manhattan.

    I was thinking of moving sometime in December of this year, since apartments are cheaper during the winter season. I was thinking of moving to the Upper East Side.

    And what about buying a property? Have you considered buying a place?

    Of course! My parents actually bought a house so I’m set!

    Lucky. Shall we have a look around?

    Entry way to Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The entryway (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Dining room and kitchen in Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The kitchen, dining, and living area (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Dining table by the kitchen of Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Now that’s a proper dining table (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Family glassware in a cabinet in Urszula Makowska?s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    You can spy some family glassware in the cupboard (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Plants in the dining room of Urszula Makowska?s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Peek through the window and you can see the tomatoes in the garden (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula Makowska in the backyard of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The garden (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula Makowska sits on a swing in the backyard of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Complete with a swinging bench (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Kitchen in Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Fancy kitchen, right? (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula Makowska poses by the fridge in her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Hanging out in the fridge, as you do (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    A bathroom on the ground floor of Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    There’s a half bathroom downstairs, too (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula Makowska???s bedroom in her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Upstairs you’ll find Urszula’s room (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Urszula Makowska?s clothing rack in the bedroom of her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Fashion accessories and photographic equipment in Urszula Makowska?s bedroom in her Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    An array of headbands (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Second floor bathroom of Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The main bathroom (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Small cotton towels in the second floor bathroom of Urszula Makowska?s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    How many flannels can one person need? (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Lint rollers in the second floor bathroom of Urszula Makowska?s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Lint, beware (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    Second floor bathroom of Urszula Makowska???s Glendale neighborhood apartment on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Queens, N.Y. (James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)
    The toothbrush shot you’ve all been waiting for (Picture: James Keivom/Metro.co.uk)

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

    How to get involved in What I Rent

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

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

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

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

    MORE: What I Rent: Jamie, £895 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Brighton

    MORE: What I Rent: Michael and Zoë, £1,100 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Clapton, Hackney

    MORE: What I Rent: Leia and Evan, £1,600 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Kennington


    Urszula Makowska for “What I Rent†seriesUrszula Makowska for “What I Rent†series

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    Judge Doll Barbies
    We love it (Picture: Mattel)

    In the last few years, Mattel – the makers of childhood faves Barbie – has become far more woke.

    We’ve had gender-neutral and disabled Barbies as well as key historical figures memorialised in doll form.

    And now there’s Judge Barbie to encourage more girls to aim for different careers.

    The brand wants youngsters to explore different industries such as the legal field which lacks female employees.

    Mattel’s decision comes after it chose a judge as its Career of the Year when they discovered that only 33% of sitting US state judges are women.

    In the UK, the latest figures show that 29% of court judges and 46% of tribunal judges were female but only 8% were from BAME backgrounds.

    So, female representation still has some distance to go. With that in mind, Mattel hopes to make youngsters realise that these positions are also available to them.

    Judge Barbie in package
    And it comes with a gavel (Picture: Mattel)

    To reflect young girls, Judge Barbie comes in a number of different skin tones and hairstyles.

    As part of her job description, she also comes with a customary black robe and a lacy collar that looks very similar to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s.

    On the website, Mattel wrote it hopes to ‘inspire girls to imagine everything they can become – like protecting the rights of others and ruling on legal cases.

    ‘She wears an authentic career outfit with a black robe and comes with a gavel and block to play out all kinds of stories,’ it continues.

    ‘Kids will love being the judge, and there are so many stories to “hear” and tell as they explore a career in the courtroom and create their own justice with Barbie Judge doll.’

    And not only that, Mattel is also raising money via a GoFundMe page for female-led nonprofits.

    The project is in aid of closing the Dream Gap – the idea that girls develop self-limiting beliefs at the age of five.

    In March 2019, the brand raised $25,000 (£20,415) for three charities empowering women: She’s The First, She Should Run and Step Up.

    Future funds raised will go toward levelling the playing field for girls by providing tools, resources, and support to organizations on the ground working to change the lives of girls around the world.

    We love to see it.

    Unfortunately there is no shipping to the UK for this particular Barbie doll – perhaps it’s one to look out for on your next trip to the US.

    MORE: Mattel accused of cultural appropriation over ‘Day of the Dead’ Barbie

    MORE: Barbie launches Rosa Parks doll – and people are loving it

    MORE: Mattel launches a black Barbie in a wheelchair and people are loving the diversity


    Judge BarbieJudge Barbie

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    The new vegan pizza
    The pizza is entirely vegan (Picture: Zizzi)

    Attention, plant-based pals: Zizzi has launched a new vegan pizza and it sounds amazing.

    The new jackfruit pepperoni pizza comes in partnership with plant-based protein company Jack & Bry.

    The Jackfruit Italian Hot is topped with a new kind of pepperoni to create a vegan alternative to the classic, so now vegans don’t have to miss out on enjoying circles of meaty joy.

    The plant-based pizza, which costs £10.75, is the first vegan dish to be permanently added to the Zizzi menu, and has been voted as the Best Vegan Pizza at the PETA Vegan Food Awards 2019.

    The new pizza comes topped with four ingredients: spicy harissa, roquito chili, vegan Mozzarisella and jackfruit pepperoni.

    The vegan pizza
    The ‘pepperoni’ is made from jackfruit (Picture: Zizzi)

    It took 12 months to develop the palm oil-free meat alternative which is high in fibre and also features 70% less fat than the traditional meat pepperoni.

    So yes, it’s a pretty healthy option all round – even for those who aren’t vegan.

    The Jackfruit Italian Hot is available as a Rustica, Classic or Skinny pizza and comes as part of Zizzi’s new Autumn menu which will be available from 15 October.

    Bryony Tinn-Disbury, Co-Founder of Jack & Bry says: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Zizzi on their latest vegan dish. There is a huge opportunity right now for brands and restaurants to listen to their audiences by expanding their plant-based offerings. It’s great that Zizzi are committed to its audience and are helping to create delicious, guilt-free plant-based alternatives.’

    Kathryn Wilson, Director of Food Development at Zizzi added: ‘We’re always looking for new ways to innovate our dishes at Zizzi and ensure that there is something for everyone. Our customers are more conscious than ever in what they’re eating and how it is sourced.

    ‘In the last year, we’ve seen vegan dishes become even more popular, so it’s important to us that we adapt some of our classic dishes so that vegans can also enjoy these perennial favourites. We can’t wait for them to try our first ever jackfruit pepperoni pizza and hear what they think!’

    MORE: Parents are loving this vegan head lice spray that also detangles thick, curly hair

    MORE: BrewDog launches a 50% beef, 50% vegan burger and it’s got people talking


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    Stacey Solomon models her Primark collection
    Stacey Solomon’s second Primark collection is dropping this week. (Picture: Primark)

    Stacey Solomon is launching a new Primark collection and it’s full of cosy knits.

    If you’re a mere mortal, you might be troubled by the sudden dip in temperatures. Figuring out how to still get some wear out of your beloved summer frock means you’ve probably just acquired your Masters in artful layering. A hearty congrats to ya.

    Elevating your cold-weather fashion game is no overnight feat, but Stacey Solomon’s new Primark collection has arrived just in time.

    The panellist is about to drop a new line of winter-ready office-to-drinks ensembles this week.

    When it comes to bottoms, there’s an on-trend snake print A-line skirt, sleek leather-look trousers and a pleated black skirt. There’s also a cream jumper that looks cosy enough to sleep in and a teddy coat that appears to be a big ol’ (fashion) hug.

    This comfort factor happened to be all part of Stacey’s grand plan.

    Primark
    Prices range from £13 jumpers to £6 roll necks to £15 dresses. (Picture: Primark)

    ‘There are skirts you can wear with heels or trainers, baggy jumpers and statement tops. It’s all super comfy because I can only wear comfy these days,’ Stacey said in a statement.

    The mum-of-three has also designed a few items for her fellow life-givers, including a sloppy joe and a plain white tee that defines your trusty mother as ‘friend for life, teacher, loves conditionally. caring, nourishes, peace keeper, comforting’.

    It’s been a year since she released her first collection with the high street brand, a line so popular it sold out in some stores. One of the skirts even ended up being sold on eBay for twice the original price.

    ‘I’m so overwhelmed and excited to have been asked to design another collection for Primark. I’m so thrilled that my last collection went down so well, and I can’t quite believe I’m doing it all again.’

    Of course, the stunning singer modelled the line herself. Check out some of her favourite looks:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B3U4w7-jDph/

    Prices of the collection range from £13 jumpers to £6 roll necks to £15 dresses.

    The new line will drop this Thursday, October 10, so there’ still time take stock of your existing autumn/winter lewks.


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    A Rabbi blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah
    The Shofar has played a central role in the recent Jewish New Year – but there are more festivities to come (Picture: Getty Images)

    It’s a busy time of year for Jewish communities across the world, who have some of their most important festivals of the year occurring in the coming weeks and months.

    Last week saw Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – kick off almost a month of festivities, with Yom Kippur – the holiest day in the Jewish calendar – beginning at sundown on Tuesday and lasting until sundown on Wednesday evening.

    That day will see people fasting for 25 hours as they atone and repent for their wrongdoings in the past year, aiming to begin the New Year afresh – but the festivities don’t end there.

    So what else does the Jewish calendar hold between now and the end of the year?

    Here’s what you need to know…

    Which Jewish holidays are left in 2019?

    The year’s remaining Jewish holidays look like this…

    Yom Kippur

    Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men praying on Yom Kippur
    Yom Kippur is a solemn day of reflection and repentance (Picture: Getty Images)

    When is it? From this evening until sunset on Wednesday night (9 October)

    What’s it about? Aka the Day Of Atonement, Jewish people refrain from food and drink for 25 hours and spend the day in prayer and reflection, asking for forgiveness for their sins in the past year and pledging to do better in the year to come.

    Sukkot

    An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks past a Sukkah
    Sukkot sees people leaving their homes to dwell in custom-built booths like this one (Picture: Reuters)

    When is it? Starts at sundown on Sunday night (13 October) until the following Sunday evening (20 October)

    What’s it about? Also known as Tabernacles, Sukkot is a harvest festival during which people eat, drink and pray in a sukkah, a specially constructed outdoor booth with a roof made of vegetation which allows subnlight to pass through. Although some Jewish people also sleep in their sukkah during this week it’s less common in countries such as the UK where the weather is colder at this time of year.

    The festival begins with two days of Yom Tov – festive days during which work is forbidden – followed by four intermediate days known as Chol Hamoed, during which work and normal activities can be resumed.

    Other customs during this week include praying over a special bundle of plants and fruit – known as the Four Kinds – consisting of a palm branch, willow, myrtle and a lemon-like citrus fruit called an Etrog. It is said that these represent the four types of Jewish people.

    The seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshanah Rabbah, which offers a final chance for repentance following Yom Kippur – with a special service held in synagogue to mark this.

    Shemini Atzeret

    A gathering of Jewish people at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    Shemini Atzeret involves praying for rain (Picture: Getty Images)

    When is it? Starts at sundown on 20 October and ends at sundown on Monday 21 October

    What’s it about? Technically the eighth day of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret is a Yom Tov (festive) day during which the synagogue service includes a special prayer for rain.

    Simchat Torah

    Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men celebrating on Simchat Torah
    Yes, this can happen in synagogue (Picture: Getty Images)

    When is it? Starts at sundown on Monday 21 October and ends at sundown on Tuesday 22 October

    What’s it about? After the solemnity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Simchat Torah (the Rejoicing Of The Law) offers a chance to let one’s hair down and have a little fun. The festival celebrates the conclusion of the reading of the Torah (i.e the first five books of the Old Testament) in synagogue and the start of reading it again from the beginning (with a portion from one of the books reading in synagogue every Sabbath).

    This effectively provides a great excuse for a big party – with an evening service in which seven circuits of the synagogue are made carrying the Torah scrolls, interspersed with singing, dancing and general merriment – not to mention copious amounts of food and alcohol, plus flags and sweets for children.

    There’s more of the same the following morning – with the odd prank liable to pop up before the service is over.

    Hanukkah

    A boy lights the candles on a Hanukkah menorah
    Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights – and there are plenty of those (Picture: Getty)

    When is it? This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday 22 December and runs until Monday 30 December.

    What’s it about? Hanukkah – aka the Festival of Lights – commemorates the story of the Maccabees, who saved the Jewish people from their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the era of the Second Temple. The story goes that following their rebellion the eternal light in the temple was left with only enough oil to remain alight for a day – until a miracle occurred and it remained alight for eight days until more oil could be found to keep it going.

    The main tradition of the festival is to light candles every night on a special eight-branched candelabra known as a Menorah – adding one more candle each day until the final night. It’s also a big time of year for parties and presents, while food fried in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and doughnuts are traditionally eaten.

    Got a showbiz story?

    If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you.

    MORE: Happy Rosh Hashanah 2019! Quotes and greetings for Jewish New Year and what does Shana Tova mean?


    UK - London - Stamford Hill Orthodox Jewish Community - ShofarUK - London - Stamford Hill Orthodox Jewish Community - Shofar

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    Claudia Wright, 28, from Perth, Australia, now with anti-inflammatory foods
    Claudia was misdiagnosed for years (Picture: Caters News)

    After 16 years of being misdiagnosed, Claudia Wright, 28, was told she had stage four endometriosis – a condition which causes tissue to grow across her reproductive organs and bowels.

    Despite having specialist surgery in America, Claudia still suffers from such severe bloating that people often assume she’s pregnant.

    Each misplaced comment is a reminder that Claudia may never be able to carry a child of her own.

    Claudia, from Perth, Australia, said: ‘It is a devastating blow every time somebody asks me if I am pregnant and when my due date is because I may never be able to have a baby of my own.

    ‘It is a cruel joke that I can look pregnant, but I may never be pregnant, the doctor has advised for my partner Michael Crugnale, 28, and I to start trying sooner rather than later as my chances are quickly decreasing.

    ‘I tend to hide under baggy clothing or stay indoors when I have a flare up because of the pain to avoid being questioned by strangers.

    Claudia Wright, 28, from Perth, Australia, when her endometriosis made her belly bloat
    Claudia’s endometriosis causes such severe swelling that she’s often mistaken for being pregnant (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘My left ovary is currently showing signs of shutting down and it’s completely immobile, so I can’t try for a family until that’s sorted as I need to have it cut from the scar tissue.

    ‘It’s traumatic to be told you may not be able to have a baby, but hey, try anyway and try now, regardless of your personal circumstances.

    ‘Surgery isn’t a cure for my condition as it is a chronic illness, I had part of my endometriosis excised in October 2018 by Center for Endometriosis Care in America.

    What is endometriosis?

    Endometriosis is a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body, such as in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.

    Each month, these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.

    It’s a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods, and it can lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems.

    The condition is fairly common, with around 1.5 million women in the UK living with it.

    Symptoms vary from person to person but some of the most common include:

    • Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
    • Pain during or after sex
    • Infertility
    • Painful bowel movements
    • Fatigue

    Endometriosis UK

    ‘The surgery involved separating my fused organs, a hysteroscopy, checking my fallopian tubes were clear and work and removing the endometriosis from my bowel and reproductive organs.

    ‘The excision I the gold standard of care and best treatment option to remove the disease but it doesn’t mean I no longer have it.’

    Claudia was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 11 years old as she suffered with excruciating lower abdomen pains, fatigue, rectal bleeding and migraines.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Claudia Wright, 28, from Perth, Australia, when her endometriosis made her belly bloat ) - A young woman who suffers with severe endometriosis has slammed strangers for assuming she is pregnant due to her severe bloating.After 16 years of being misdiagnosed, Claudia Wright, 28, was told she had stage four endometriosis - a condition which causes tissue to grow across her reproductive organs and bowels.Despite having specialist surgery in America to remove, she still suffers from severe bloating during her menstrual cycle.Claudia says it is heart wrenching every time somebody assumed her bloated stomach is pregnancy related as she may never carry a child of her own.SEE CATERS COPY
    The confusion is ‘devastating’ for Claudia as she’s been told she may never be able to carry a child (Picture: Caters News)

    She spent 15 years being treated for the disease until 2017 when doctors discharged her and explained she had been misdiagnosed.

    Claudia began to do her own research and discovered that the symptoms of endometriosis exactly lined up with her own experience.

    She was finally diagnosed with severe endometriosis by a gynaecologist. While it was relief to figure out what was going on, things didn’t get much better. Soon Claudia had to quit her job in PR and marketing as her severe pain prevented her from leaving the house.

    She’s recently purchased a walking stick as her pain and fatigue make it hard to even stand.

    Claudia Wright, 28, from Perth, Australia, in hospital in the recovery room
    Claudia has had specialist surgery to treat her endometriosis, but there is no cure (Picture: Caters News)

    Claudia is now sharing her story – alongside photos of her swollen abdomen – on Instagram to raise awareness of endometriosis and the impact it can have on people’s lives.

    ‘Endometriosis is overlooked because it isn’t terminal but the despair from living a life in severe pain that isn’t believed, or going through repeated surgeries with no successful outcomes can be,’ she explains.

    ‘I stay positive because I am surrounded by an amazing support system and I use Instagram to turn my pain into power by using my story and knowledge of the disease to help others.

    ‘I’m all about researching, advocating, educating and sharing with the endometriosis community and the greater public.’

    MORE: Endometriosis-sufferer gets head tattooed with vulvas, penises and breasts

    MORE: Dead baby sea turtle had 104 pieces of plastic in its stomach


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    Three dads: one changing his son's nappy, one holding his child, one with his baby strapped to him on a boat
    These three dads tell us about their Shared Parental Leave (SPL) journeys (Picture: Paul Thomas; Matt Arnold; Morgan Specht)

    In 2015, Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced. The idea was that it would help parents share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay between them after the birth of their baby and allow couples to take a more equal role in looking after their child.

    However, the number of dads actually taking up SPL is still staggeringly low.

    A report by PowWowNow found that just one in 10 fathers have taken Shared Parental Leave since its introduction in 2015.

    Dads are missing out on time with their children because employers aren’t telling new-dads-to-be about their SPL rights, unless they request it.

    What’s more, nearly half (46%) of fathers admit they do not feel comfortable broaching the topic of SPL with their employer while three quarters of fathers say there is a cultural stigma around new dads taking time off work to look after their children.

    Some have been told they cannot take the leave – only to find later that they can, but they’ve had to fight for it.

    Many do not know that the leave can be overlapped – it does not need to be taken as a tag team. It offers the possibility of each parent taking a chunk of SPL with some crossover that enables them to spend time as a new family.

    We’ve found three dads who not only made full use of their SPL, but did so in style. Here’s how they did it…

    1. Paul, Brighton – Overlapped SPL with wife for 10 weeks travelling in Asia when baby Wilbur was 4 months old 

    Paul sits on a dive boat in Indonesia with his baby, Wilbur, happily strapped to his chest.
    Paul styling it out on a dive boat between the Gili Islands during his two months of SPL (Picture: Paul Thomas)

    Our attitude is that people have babies all over the world and, if you’re scared of the unknown, you’ll miss out on so many experiences.

    ‘When I found out about the new legislation into SPL I jumped at the chance. My wife, Emma, wanted me to experience being at the front end of parenting and to be able to bond properly with Wilbur and this allowed me to do that. The legislation allows you to take several periods off from work and swap between parents, however we chose to only take one period each and overlap.

    Wilbur was born in May 2017 and we got married the following September, so going travelling with a tot was our honeymoon. We went away for 10 weeks in total, when Wilbs was four to six months.

    Lots of research was done. I was more into the ‘big ideas’, where to go etc, while Emma was much more into the practicalities which I thanked her for later. Top tip: invest in a good quality lightweight pushchair and travel cot.

    We ended up flying to Kuala Lumpur, Bali, the Gili Islands, Perth, and then Goa on the way back. The pace of travelling wasn’t what it would be without a baby. We planned three or four days in each spot, spent a bit more on accommodation and didn’t engage in any extreme sports, but did our fair share of tours.

    Emma sits under the shade of a beach bar roof as she breastfeeds her son Wilbur in Bali
    Emma breastfeeding at a beach bar in Bali (Picture: Paul Thomas)

    Emma was well on it with breast feeding which made the whole trip more viable. And our panic of Asia not having nappies was unfounded. Funny that – they have babies too.

    There were some hairy moments. Unless you are super organised you will be holding your baby on your lap in the back of a taxi rather than using a child seat. And one shower chucked very hot water over Wilbs’s nether parts. We had a heart attack, but, thank God, there was no lasting damage, but it still haunts us to this day. Always check the temperature every 2 effing seconds!

    But our attitude is that people have babies all over the world and, if you’re scared of the unknown, you’ll miss out on so many experiences.

    We funded our time away with contributions from our lovely wedding guests and AirBnB-ing our flat.

    And that’s what we plan to do again this year (minus the wedding) as baby number two is due in October. Wilbur is now in full toddler mode, so we may have to tweak the logistics a bit but I’m sure we’ll muddle through. Africa is on the cards this time.’

     

    2. Matt, London – 3.5 months SPL following wife’s 8.5 months, spent as stay-at-home when baby Aaron was 8 months old

    Matt Arnold sits on a bench outside a café, holding his son Aaron, along with a friend who also holds his son
    Matt and Aaron hanging out with friends are a local café during his three and a half months of SPL (Picture: Matt Arnold)

    I was asked how ‘being mummy’ was going. There’s a long way to go for it to be seen as normal.

    SPL is the best thing I did around the birth of our baby, Aaron.

    When my wife, Ashton, told me we were expecting a baby at the end of 2017, I had a vague awareness of SPL. It helped that I work for a childcare company, sympathetic to the needs of parents.

    I was able to take three and a half months leave, encompassing our son Aaron’s journey from an eight month old to a nursery-attending, toddler-nearing 11 months. It’s been one of the happiest times of my life.

    There’s no doubt I got the thick end of the wedge. Just as I was primed for the sleepless nights to come that Ashton had been enduring, Aaron slept through the night for the first time on our ‘handover week’.

    I took the reins at a time when the laughs come freely and you feel you’re getting a lot back from them. There’s less layers to work through with nappy changes in the summer and pub gardens seem more attractive in June than in January. I also had two of my good mates with babies born a week either side of Aaron who were taking time off at the same time.

    We’re fortunate to live in an area with unbelievable provision for babies.

    Matt Arnold sits with his son Aaron in tees that read: Papa Bear and Baby Bear
    Matt soon shrugged off the novelty of being a stay-at-home dad and went with the flow (Picture: Matt Arnold)

    I discovered a side to our pocket of South West London that I’d never given a second thought to. Pubs, bars and brunches became children centres. It turns out a lot of baby groups really are in pubs.

    I loved the sense of community that I felt I unearthed. I realised pretty quickly that Aaron wasn’t really one for hanging out at home, so each day we’d go to a couple of activities. Structured around 5am wake ups, three meals, two snacks and two naps a day.

    The days would go pretty quickly and I could feel the bond between us grow as he lost his nut with enjoyment. I’d fallen in love for the first time since I met my wife 12 years ago, and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.

    It’s not all fun, and a lot of the job is repetitive and monotonous. My two mantras for making it work are that you can’t be lazy and you can’t be selfish.

    There’s really not much downtime, in between the meal planning, cooking and feeding. Life during the day is giving this baby what he needs. I caught myself looking at Aaron is his car seat once arriving home. Stuck in his seat, tired, hungry and needing a change. He looked, in all honesty, a bit pathetic. He really, really, needed me and that wasn’t always welcome.

    I did also find myself missing the mental stimulation that work provides a fair amount of the time. Caring for a baby from 5am with a hangover is also, and I mean this, genuinely horrific.

    At first, I did feel a bit of a novelty as a stay-at-home dad.

    Matt Arnold, his wife Ashton and son Aaron stand together on a balcony on holiday
    Matt on holiday with wife Ashton and son Aaron (Picture: Matt Arnold)

    It wasn’t rare for me to be the only male over the age of one in a room of 20. However, as soon as I realised we were all there for exactly the same reason, I never felt uncomfortable or in the wrong place. It dawned on me pretty quickly I had to park any sense of unease at singing and dancing in classes, even though it was definitely there. Everyone gets more out of these things if you just throw yourself into them, and so it came to be.

    There’s no reason why women should be expected to take any more joy from that week’s tenth rendition of wheels on the bus than men, really. It helps to make friends, and I was warmly welcomed into groups of nannies that hung out a lot together.

    I have definitely experienced some backward-looking attitudes though. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they tend to come from the generation when child-rearing was seen as ‘women’s’ work.

    I had to patiently explain to a family member that the chance that work would ‘discover I was dispensable’ during my time off was the exact feeling faced by women forever.

    I’ve been asked how ‘being mummy’ was going. There’s a long way to go for it to be seen as normal.

    But, hopefully, as the take up increases, society will catch up and my experience won’t be treated as unconventional anymore.

    3. Morgan, Cardiff – 3 months following wife’s 9 months, overlapping 8 weeks to travel USA together with baby Milo

    Morgan and his son, Joshua, taking in the breathtaking sunset in the Joshua Tree National Park
    Morgan used part of his SPL to overlap with his wife’s so they could travel to and across America as a family (Picture: Morgan Specht)

    I was one of the first men to apply for SPL from my department. Initially my request was not approved. Fortunately, the law on SPL protects fathers and, ultimately, my leave was approved.

    It was my wife, Becky, who told me about SPL when it was first introduced. So, as soon as she was pregnant, we knew that we wanted to use it.

    After our now one-year-old son, Milo, was born we split up our leave entitlement of 12 months – Becky took nine months consecutive parental leave, leaving three months for me.

    Eight weeks of that I took during Becky’s leave so we could take Milo, then six months old, to visit the USA to see my family and for an adventure in the American Southwest.

    The seven weeks we spent there was the most unique part of our SPL. We began with 12 days at Milo’s grandparents near Washington, DC. During this time, we also visited family and friends in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Maryland.  It was so lovely seeing Milo spend time with people who are important to us.

    Then the three of us went on our own adventure.

    Becky feeding Aaron on day two of solids in the Grand Canyon
    Becky feeding Aaron on day two of solids in the Grand Canyon (Picture: Morgan Specht)

    We flew to Phoenix, AZ and rented an RV for a 12-day road trip finishing in San Francisco. We saw the deserts and Canyons of the Southwest, visited LA and drove up the California coast.

    We took Milo down into the Grand Canyon and to the top of a Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park in our baby carrier. It was surreal changing his nappy and introducing him to solid food in the bottom of the Canyon.

    The RV was also great for baby travelling, because we could maintain a healthy home-cooked diet for Milo and we had plenty of space to hang and dry Milo’s cloth nappies.

    After a few days with friends in the Bay Area we took the Coast Starlight sleeper train from San Francisco to Portland to visit my cousins.

    The sleeper train was hands down the best way to travel with a baby – no need for a car seat, we could roam the train enjoying the views and Milo slept with Becky on her bunk. After a few days in Portland, we took another train to Seattle to stay with my sister and her family for our final two weeks before flying home.

    Morgan stands holding baby Milo in his arms looking over at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
    Morgan, Becky, and Milo spent eight weeks travelling America and seeing the sights (Picture: Morgan Specht)

    I used my remaining five weeks leave at the end of Milo’s first year, so I could have some Milo-Daddy time and help with the transition when Becky returned to work. It was a great help for her knowing Milo was with me rather than having to put him straight into nursery.

    I was one of the first men to apply for SPL from my department. The online application system was set up for maternity leave and therefore didn’t work for me at first.

    I identified a period of leave that would minimise the impact on the business, but my line manager had some reservations about me taking SPL and initially my request was not approved.

    Fortunately, the law on SPL protects fathers and, ultimately, my leave was approved. I know several fathers though who would have loved to take SPL but never applied because they thought it would count against them at work.

    Morgan changes Milo's nappy overlooking the Grand Canyon
    There are worse place to change nappies than the Grand Canyon (Picture: Morgan Specht)

    Having Milo is the best thing that ever happened to me. And SPL has really helped.

    It has allowed us to bond and for me to be an equal caregiver – despite not being able to breastfeed! I’ve been able to share the load and the pleasures of raising Milo. It has helped my relationship with Becky by giving us each the chance to be the main breadwinner and the main parent.

    My friends and family, who are parents in America, where annual leave and maternity leave is limited, are envious that I can take time away from work with my son.

    When I was struggling with my conscience, thinking I would be missed at work, several dads told me that my son would only be a baby for a short time, don’t miss it.

    I haven’t missed it – and I would recommend it to everyone.

     

    HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE

    Many men know that they are allowed to take shared parental leave – but how many know that the leave can be overlapped?

    It is possible to take leave back-to-back with a partner, but it is also possible to overlap leave, allowing for weeks or months spent getting used to being a little family unit.

    Here’s what the government’s shared parental leave advice says:

    You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child.

    You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you.

    You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family.

    You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.

    To get SPL and ShPP, you and your partner need to:

     


    Three dads do shared parental leave in styleThree dads do shared parental leave in style

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    Halloween outfits crocheted by mum
    Just look at these amazing outfits (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)

    A mum-of-four has been going above and beyond for her children’s Halloween costumes, spending up to two weeks to design full-body outfits.

    Stephanie Pokorny, 43, does it all through crocheting.

    The Halloween-mad family live in a cold climate so the insulative crochet material also helps the kids stay warm.

    The four boys love all the double-takes people do on the scariest night of the year as they collect their treats.

    Stephanie, a crochet artist and pattern designer, spends between 40-50 hours designing each outfit, adding in as much detail as possible.

    Some of our mums cut two eye holes in a white sheet as our Halloween costumes. Thanks a lot.

    Predator Halloween outfit made out of crotchet
    Just look at the detail (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)

    Stephanie told Metro.co.uk: ‘I actually began crocheting at 16 when my grandma taught me.

    ‘She used to create small lap blankets for our local Veterans Hospital and I would watch her work.’

    All these years later and now Stephanie can come up with full-body monster and alien outfits.

    ‘The costumes each take about 40-50 hours of work time which I usually spread over about two weeks,’ Stephanie says.

    Picture of woman crochets full-body Halloween costumes for her kids and for herself
    She makes outfits for adults too  (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)

    ‘Each year, I work to improve my skills so I can achieve the highest amount of detail and realism for my boys, so I would have to say that each newest costume is the one that tests my skills the most.

    ‘For example, on the alien, making sure the head held that elongated shape and was balanced upon his head was a new test for me.’

    Kids in clown halloween costume
    Yep, all done through crocheting (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)

    But being the good mum she is, Stephanie doesn’t just go for the easiest thing to make – she lets her kids use their imagination.

    ‘The actual characters I make are entirely up to my kids,’ she explains. ‘They get to pick anything.

    ‘We are a family that is very much into vintage and original versions [of films], and with parents of the 80s and 90s, most often it will be characters from them as we watch movies or cartoons of that time.’

    Enjoy the rest of Stephanie’s crotchet creations below

    Full-body ghostHalloween costume for kids
    Would definitely open the door to this kid on Halloween (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    Crotchet Skeletor costume
    We don’t even know how the eyes are glowing (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    E.T crochet costume on little boy
    E.T, is that you? (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    Smurf crotchet halloween costume
    The most adorable Smurf (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    Harry Potter crotchet Halloween costume
    You’re a wizard, Harry (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    Crotchet Halloween costume
    Not the scariest but still cute (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)
    Crotchet Halloween mask
    Spooky (Picture: Crochetverse/Stephanie Pokorny)

    MORE: What is the Halloween witch sex position and how does it work?

    MORE: Halloween boobs are back, so get the glitter and glue out

    MORE: Artist creates brilliant paintings of the Queen by using her boobs as brushes


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    Ashley Walters, George the Poet and a black woman using Instagram for the #ShareBlackStories campaign
    Ashley Walters and George the Poet have both taken part in the campaign (Picture: EyeEm/Getty; Instagram)

    October is Black History Month. And, while 31 days is not nearly enough time to thoroughly celebrate all of the achievements of black Brits through the ages, it is a good place to start.

    As part of the month of celebrations, people are using the hashtag #ShareBlackStories on Instagram, to highlight people who deserve recognition.

    Instagram has partnered with some of the UK’s most prominent black voices to kick start a month of conversation on the platform.

    Throughout October, influential black British people are spotlighting those who have inspired them or shaped the black British experience. All via Instagrams IGTV feature.

    The campaign launched at the beginning of the month, with tributes from Top Boy actor and rapper, Ashley Walters, who chose to talk about The Walking Dead star Lennie James, who hired Ashley for his film Storm Damage right at the beginning of his career.

    He describes how important it was for to him to see ‘a black man controlling his own destiny’ and ‘seeing someone like himself’ succeeding in his chosen field.

    Ashley says Lennie’s career helped pave the way for other black male actors, signing off with a simple, ‘thank you for being a positive role model for us all.’

    Afua Hirsch also got involved with the campaign, choosing to champion Margaret Busby – a writer and author well known for her anthropology, Daughters of Africa.

    Afua says, ‘as a black woman trying to find my own voice, [Margaret] has been endlessly interested, supportive and enthusiastic about helping a generation like me find our place and our ability to make change through writing.’

    George the Poet has just got involved with the hashtag, and he pays tribute to his parents – praising their bravery for emigrating to the UK from Africa in the 1980s.

    He attributes his success to their decision to settle in London, exposing him to the cultures and people that have shaped his music and poetry.

    As well as creating a moment of celebration for the enormous contribution of black people to modern British life, #ShareBlackStories is about empowering people to use the social media platform to raise up the hero of their own stories.

    Other people driving the campaign include comedian Dane Baptiste, award-winning author Yomi Adegoke and fashion designer Walé Adeyemi.

    These creators and many others will be encouraging other people to do the same using the hashtag #ShareBlackStories.

    ‘Instagram is a place where diverse communities connect and share things that matter most to them,’ said Trevor Johnson, Director of Market Operations at Instagram.

    ‘This is particularly true for the black community, with over 16.6 million people using hashtags like #blackexcellence and #blackgirlmagic.

    ‘We hope more people will be encouraged to follow Ashley and Afua’s lead and share the black stories that are important to them on Instagram – via IGTV, Stories or a post.’

    MORE: Book series explores black British culture from Afrobeats to plantain

    MORE: H&M is selling matching winter jumpers for dogs and their owners

    MORE: Adorable abandoned dog can’t stop smiling when he realises he’s being rescued


    People are using #ShareBlackStories to celebrate Black History Month on InstagramPeople are using #ShareBlackStories to celebrate Black History Month on Instagram

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    Stacey Solomon models her Primark collection
    Stacey Solomon’s second Primark collection is dropping this week. (Picture: Primark)

    Stacey Solomon is well known for her real talk and down-to-earth attitude both on Loose Women and on her social media channels but now the mum-of-three can also add fashion designer to her resume as the reality TV star is launching another clothing collection with Primark this week.

    Stacey, who turned 30 last week, debuted her first collection with Primark in November last year to rave reviews. The affordable range sold out quickly and some pieces even appeared on Ebay for double the retail price as shoppers cashed in on the popularity of certain pieces.

    Now the former X-Factor hopefully is launching a second collection with Primark that looks set to be a sell-out like the first.

    When does Stacey Solomon’s Primark collection go on sale?

    Stacey Solomon’s latest Primark range includes a collection of easy-to-wear pieces for autumn and winter including calf-skimming skirts, chic coats, faux leather and plaid pieces and a snuggly looking sweatshirt that says mother on – modelled by the mum herself with her new baby Rex in tow.

    Stacey’s new Primark collection arrives in stores on October 10 2019 and prices will vary from £4 up to £35.

    The star models her own range in the photographs for the new collection and, following the precedent she has set on her social media channels, none of the images are airbrushed.

    Stacey Solomon models her new collection for Primark
    Stacey models her new collection for Primark (Picture: Primark)

    ‘I’m so excited and proud to say I’m doing another collection with Primark,’ Stacey wrote on Instagram.

    ‘Never in a million years did I think I’d get to design and make a collection with a brand I have shopped in my whole life. Let alone get to do it TWICE.’

    Stacey Solomon models her new collection for Primark
    Stacey is thrilled to be collaborating with Primark for a second time (Picture: Primark)

    ‘Thank you for loving the first collection so much I got the chance to make another.’

    MORE: Stacey Solomon’s new Primark collection has your autumn wardrobe covered

    MORE: Stacey Solomon dedicates appreciation post to Joe Swash with adorable selfie


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    We all love an embarassing dad.

    But daughter Megan Burnett probably isn’t laughing as much as everyone else after her dad was filmed running after her train to say goodbye to her as she left for university.

    22-year-old Megan was on the train to from Tiverton Parkway in Devon to the University of the West of England in Bristol.

    The nursing student, from Exeter, Devon, looked out of the window where she saw her dad Dave appearing to limber up as if on a starting block.

    Video grab of the adorable moment embarrassing dad Dave Burnett says goodbye to his daughter Megan Burnett, 22, as she goes off to UWE in Bristol, by ?running after? the train as it leaves Tiverton Parkway in Devon. See SWNS story SWBRtrain. This hilarious video shows an embarrassing dad saying goodbye to his daughter as she catches a train back to university - by mimicking a SPRINTER. Megan Burnett, 22, caught the clips on Snapchat on separate occasions as she boarded a train at Tiverton Parkway on her way to UWE in Bristol. The nursing student, from Exeter, Devon, said she would look out of the window where she would see her dad Dave appearing to limber up as if on a starting block. He would then speed up before hitting full stride as the train pulls away.
    Megan’s dad embarrassed her at the station (Picture: Megan Burnett /SWNS.COM)

    Dave, wearing sandals, then sped up before hitting full stride as the train pulls away.

    Megan said: ‘He thinks it’s amazing although he said he’s become a viral laughing stock for his sandals – but he was glad he wasn’t wearing his Crocs.

    ‘He’s sadly suffering with a knee injury now too.

    ‘But really he’s not the social media type, so he didn’t make too much of a fuss about it.’

    Megan said she shared the video after seeing a similar video go viral.

    Holly Owens, 20, filmed her parents waving her off from the platform at Lea Green railway station, in St Helens, Merseyside, as she returned to university.

    Megan's dad running
    Megan caught the whole thing on camera (Picture: Megan Burnett /SWNS.COM)

    Holly’s clip show’s her parents running alongside the accelerating carriage and waving.

    Meg added: ‘I can’t believe how quick the video took off.

    ‘I usually share the funny videos I have of Dad on my Snapchat just for friends and family.

    ‘But I couldn’t resist when I saw a video of someone else’s parents running alongside the train!

    ‘I love my dad to pieces and I’m so glad I have these videos because they’re so funny to watch and reminisce.’

    MORE: Zizzi launches jackfruit pepperoni pizza and it’s completely vegan

    MORE: People are using #ShareBlackStories to celebrate Black History Month on Instagram

    MORE: Mum crochets incredibly detailed Halloween costumes for her four sons


    DO THE LOCOMOTION - These hilarious videos show an embarrassing dad saying goodbye to his daughter as she left for university - by running next to her trainDO THE LOCOMOTION - These hilarious videos show an embarrassing dad saying goodbye to his daughter as she left for university - by running next to her train

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    Pringle of Scotland x H&M collection dog jumpers
    Get cosy with your canine pal in matching jumpers this winter thanks to H&M (Picture: Supplied/H&M)

    H&M are following in the paw-steps of brands like Disney, Boohoo and River Island by launching a brand new collection of jumpers for dogs – but this isn’t just any pet clothing collection – their new range features matching dog and owner outfits.

    Designed so you and your best friend can twin all day, every day, H&M’s new matching dog jumpers have been launched in association with the brand’s collaboration with designer brand Pringle of Scotland.

    As fashion lovers might predict, thanks to the link with Pringle, dog owners can expect heritage highland argyles and jacquards featuring in the cosy knitwear collection that both pups and their debit card-wielding humans will appreciate now the temperatures are dropping.

    So when can you get your hands on the new H&M dog and owner jumpers?

    When are the H&M dog and owner jumpers on sale and how much do they cost?

    The Pringle of Scotland x H&M collection became available worldwide and online at hm.com from last week on October 3, so you may want to hustle if you want to get your hands on the popular dog and owner sets.

    The jumpers for humans retail at £19.99, while the matching knitted dog jumpers are on sale for £17.99.

    H&M x Pringle dog jumper
    Dog jumpers, but make it fashion (Picture: H&M)

    The collection has already started selling out, but you can expect certain pieces to pop up on eBay – if you’re willing to pay above retail price for them.

    H&M x Pringle of Scotland's new collection
    The new collection is available in store and online (Picture: H&M)

    The range is part of H&M’s Conscious collection, meaning each item has been made with recycled polyester and organic cotton for extra cosy comfort.

    MORE: H&M is selling matching winter jumpers for dogs and their owners

    MORE: Disney launches range of matching clothes for you and your dog


    HandM x Pringle dog jumpers-b138HandM x Pringle dog jumpers-b138

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    border collie adopts litter of rescue kittens
    Skye the border collie has stepped up to look after the kittens (Picture: SWNS)

    Great parents come in many forms.

    For one litter of kittens, their brilliant mum is Skye, a 14-year-old border collie. And why on earth not?

    The kittens, five girls and one boy, were found by builders at a demolition site and handed into Oak Tree Animal Charity in Wetheral, Cumbria.

    Caroline Yon, the intake team leader at the charity, took on the role of foster carer and hand-reared the kittens, feeding them around the clock.

    She got her dog, Skye, involved – and the connection was instant.

    Soon Skye began to care for the litter as if they were her own.

    border collie adopts litter of rescue kittens
    She cleans them, makes sure they eat, and cleans up their messes (Picture: SWNS)

    Skye has helped look after other young animals before, having raised two of her own litters as well as the puppies of Caroline’s old dog, Dodger, and she once offered her assistance when Caroline had to take care of some orphaned lambs.

    The dog is a total natural when it comes to parenting, grooming them, snoozing together, and patiently sitting as the kittens use her as a climbing frame.

    Caroline said: ‘The kittens were starting to look a bit greasy coated as they weren’t being groomed as often as they should.

    ‘With six in the litter, meal times could take an hour by the time they were all fed, winded and toileted.

    border collie adopts litter of rescue kittens
    Skye even sits patiently as the kittens use her as a climbing frame (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘Skye was a natural, she soon had their coats shining and fluffy and she was super diligent not only ensuring they toileted after every meal, but cleaning up thoroughly afterwards.

    ‘She’s also very calm and tolerates being used as a kitty climbing frame well.’

    It’s thought that the kittens’ birth mother was feral. Staff managed to catch her and have her spayed, but she wasn’t interested in the kittens so was released back into the area.

    Five of the kittens have now found homes, while one black kitten is looking for a family.

    Staff at the animal centre believe the mother cat may have been feral.

    Caroline, who has adopted two of the kittens herself, added: ‘Black cats are always harder to rehome, but these are so sociable and love all the attention.

    ‘We have given them all names of well-known singers.

    ‘Mine are called Amy Winecat and Paloma Peanut. We also have a Kitty Perry and a Shakira Sam.’

    MORE: Blind kitten Carrot is looking for a home after being found in the streets of Prague

    MORE: Watch as a spiteful cat pushes its feline frenemy into a pool

    MORE: Justin Bieber has been slammed for splashing out on a pair of expensive exotic cats


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