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

older | 1 | .... | 1811 | 1812 | (Page 1813) | 1814 | 1815 | .... | 1846 | newer

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    From left to right, Lyndsey's flower girl squad was made up of her 90-year-old great grandmother, Kathleen Brown; the groom's 70-year-old grandmother, Joyce Raby; Lyndsey's 76-year-old grandmother, Wanda Grant; and her 72-year-old grandmother, Betty Brown. Lyndsey is the one wearing a wedding dress, obviously.
    From left to right, Lyndsey’s flower girl squad was made up of her 90-year-old great grandmother, Kathleen Brown; the groom’s 70-year-old grandmother, Joyce Raby; Lyndsey’s 76-year-old grandmother, Wanda Grant; and her 72-year-old grandmother, Betty Brown. Lyndsey is the one wearing a wedding dress, obviously. (Picture: Natalie Caho)

    The role of flower girl in a wedding is typically given to a cute younger relative.

    But in our modern times, isn’t that a bit ageist? We should be celebrating our older wedding guests, surely, and appreciating a flower girl for her skills rather than her youth.

    And so we applaud bride Lyndsey Raby, who decided to do something a little different for her wedding day, choosing her four grandmas to act as flower girls.

    Dressed in matching lacy blue dresses with coordinating jackets, Lyndsey’s flower girl squad was made up of her 90-year-old great grandmother, Kathleen Brown; the groom’s 70-year-old grandmother, Joyce Raby; Lyndsey’s 76-year-old grandmother, Wanda Grant; and her 72-year-old grandmother, Betty Brown.

    Four grandmas were flower girls
    The flower girls were overjoyed to take on the role (Picture: Natalie Caho)

    Wedding photographer Natalie Caho shared a photo of Lyndsey hanging out with her flower girls – each carrying a special bag with the words ‘here comes the bride’ on the front – on her Instagram, writing: ‘I’ve seen a lot of cute flower girls in my day, but these four gals take the cake.’

    Yep, agreed.

    The photo attracted a load of comments from people who loved the idea of getting older relatives involved in the wedding.

    Four grandmas were flower girls
    And they all looked gorgeous (Picture: Natalie Caho)
    Four grandmas were flower girls
    We love the decked out walker (Picture: Natalie Caho)

    One person wrote: ‘Beautiful! All five of them! The backbone of humanity – mothers and grandmothers!’

    Lyndsey, who got married at Ocoee Crest in Benton, Tennessee, told HuffPost that as soon as her now-husband popped the question, she knew she wanted her grandmothers involved in the big day.

    ‘I felt so blessed to have them all here so I wanted them to be involved too,’ she said. ‘I do believe they were more excited than the bridesmaids.’

    Photographer Natalie hopes sharing the gorgeous photos of the big day will inspire other people to stray from tradition on their wedding days.

    She said: ‘If you’re on the fence about having something outside the ordinary at your wedding just do it! Especially if it means something as sweet as this did to you and your family.’

    MORE: Couple have three foot tall Disney themed cake at their wedding

    MORE: Instagram influencer accused of hijacking wedding by wearing white

    MORE: Bride loses eight stone in a year to fit into her dream wedding dress


    PRI_90109689PRI_90109689

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    An image of a woman on a dating app
    These are the top rated dating app profiles (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    It turns out that women who pose in bikinis and men who cuddle dogs in their dating app photos have the best chance of landing a match, according to a new study by Eharmony.

    The research compiled a range of profile pictures and asked people to rate them in terms of confidence, attractiveness, friendliness and dateability.

    To ensure results were fair, the same female and male model were used across 18 separate scenarios.

    While bikini shots were rated as the most attractive female profile picture, preferred by one in five men, photos featuring a dog scored highest for dateability among both men and women. This suggests that while bikini photos might spark initial attraction, showing a caring, responsible side pays off in the long term.

    Similarly, men photographed with a baby or child rank highly for all categories – demonstrating that revealing a paternal side has a positive impact on overall desirability.

    In terms of male attractiveness, close-up shots came top, while bare-chested shots came bottom, with one in five agreeing this type of photo was their least favourite profile pic. Men also lost out when they featured a woman in their profile pics.

    How people found out they were being cheated on
    Topless pics for men are a big no (Picture: Erin Aniker for Metro.co.uk)

    It turns out that for each additional profile photo uploaded, men increase their chances of getting responses to their messages by 10% and women by 8%.

    The research also indicates that attractiveness and confidence are intrinsically linked as both categories gave similar results in regard to which photos seem the most compelling.

    Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at Eharmony, said: ‘Our photography experiment suggests women who pose in bikinis are considered the most attractive but not necessarily the most dateable.

    ‘Similarly, men who pose topless on dating apps –- be it in swimming trunks or gym shorts – are likely to see a drop in interest from women.

    ‘With this in mind, I think both men and women need to think carefully about the type of relationship they want to attract before they pose in beachwear. It’s great to be body confident, but if you’re serious about finding love – is being semi-nude the best signal to send?

    ‘On a brighter note, both genders do well when they pose with pets, which suggests they have caring, nurturing traits.

    ‘At Eharmony, we screen all our profiles for nudity, cartoon faces and even swearwords. We want our like-minded singles to enjoy a really supportive and empowering experience.’

    Dating terms and trends, defined

    Breadcrumbing: Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest – random noncommittal messages and notifications that seem to lead on forever, but don’t actually end up taking you anywhere worthwhile Breadcrumbing is all about piquing someone’s interest without the payoff of a date or a relationship.

    Caspering: Being a friendly ghost - meaning yes, you ghost, but you offer an explanation beforehand. Caspering is all about being a nice human being with common decency. A novel idea.

    Catfish: Someone who uses a fake identity to lure dates online.

    Clearing: Clearing season happens in January. It’s when we’re so miserable thanks to Christmas being over, the cold weather, and general seasonal dreariness, that we will hook up with anyone just so we don’t feel completely unattractive. You might bang an ex, or give that creepy guy who you don’t really fancy a chance, or put up with truly awful sex just so you can feel human touch. It’s a tough time. Stay strong.

    Cloutlighting: Cloutlighting is the combo of gaslighting and chasing social media clout. Someone will bait the person they’re dating on camera with the intention of getting them upset or angry, or making them look stupid, then share the video for everyone to laugh at.

    Cuffing season: The chilly autumn and winter months when you are struck by a desire to be coupled up, or cuffed.

    Firedooring: Being firedoored is when the access is entirely on one side, so you're always waiting for them to call or text and your efforts are shot down.

    Fishing: When someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with. It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.

    Flashpanner: Someone who’s addicted to that warm, fuzzy, and exciting start bit of a relationship, but can’t handle the hard bits that might come after – such as having to make a firm commitment, or meeting their parents, or posting an Instagram photo with them captioned as ‘this one’.

    Freckling: Freckling is when someone pops into your dating life when the weather’s nice… and then vanishes once it’s a little chillier.

    Gatsbying: To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.

    Ghosting: Cutting off all communication without explanation.

    Grande-ing: Being grateful, rather than resentful, for your exes, just like Ariana Grande.

    Hatfishing: When someone who looks better when wearing a hat has pics on their dating profile that exclusively show them wearing hats.

    Kittenfishing: Using images that are of you, but are flattering to a point that it might be deceptive. So using really old or heavily edited photos, for example. Kittenfishes can also wildly exaggerate their height, age, interests, or accomplishments.

    Lovebombing: Showering someone with attention, gifts, gestures of affection, and promises for your future relationship, only to distract them from your not-so-great bits. In extreme cases this can form the basis for an abusive relationship.

    Microcheating: Cheating without physically crossing the line. So stuff like emotional cheating, sexting, confiding in someone other than your partner, that sort of thing.

    Mountaineering: Reaching for people who might be out of your league, or reaching for the absolute top of the mountain.

    Obligaswiping: The act of endlessly swiping on dating apps and flirt-chatting away with no legitimate intention of meeting up, so you can tell yourself you're doing *something* to put yourself out there.

    Orbiting: The act of watching someone's Instagram stories or liking their tweets or generally staying in their 'orbit' after a breakup.

    Paperclipping: When someone sporadically pops up to remind you of their existence, to prevent you from ever fully moving on.

    Preating: Pre-cheating - laying the groundwork and putting out feelers for cheating, by sending flirty messages or getting closer to a work crush.

    Prowling: Going hot and cold when it comes to expressing romantic interest.

    R-bombing: Not responding to your messages but reading them all, so you see the 'delivered' and 'read' signs and feel like throwing your phone across the room.

    Scroogeing: Dumping someone right before Christmas so you don't have to buy them a present.

    Shadowing: Posing with a hot friend in all your dating app photos, knowing people will assume you're the attractive one and will be too polite to ask.

    Shaveducking: Feeling deeply confused over whether you're really attracted to a person or if they just have great facial hair.

    Sneating:When you go on dates just for a free meal.

    Stashing: The act of hiding someone you're dating from your friends, family, and social media.

    Submarineing: When someone ghosts, then suddenly returns and acts like nothing happened.

    V-lationshipping:When someone you used to date reappears just around Valentine's Day, usually out of loneliness and desperation.

    You-turning: Falling head over heels for someone, only to suddenly change your mind and dip.

    Zombieing: Ghosting then returning from the dead. Different from submarineing because at least a zombie will acknowledge their distance.

     

    MORE: Bride asks her four grandmas to be the flower girls at her wedding

    MORE: There’s a new Starbucks secret menu option inspired by the Joker


    An open letter to the Instagram fitness model my boyfriend dumped me forAn open letter to the Instagram fitness model my boyfriend dumped me for

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    Caption: illustration watercolor frame for the holiday Halloween, harvest. Frame of pumpkins and autumn leaves on a white background around the edge of the illustration. space for text. for design, cards
    Fancy changing up your usual PSL order? (Picture: Starbucks/metro.co.uk)

    For some self-proclaimed basics, a traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte just isn’t enough to mark the arrival of autumn.

    For these people, a drink customised to become a secret menu item is the only option.

    After all, your standard Starbucks cup just won’t cut it on Instagram anymore. You need your beverage to have a catchy name and a label marked with all sorts of complex extras.

    If you didn’t fancy the sound of the Pennywise Frappuccino, the Jack and Sally, the violet drink, or the Cinderella Latte, never fear, for there’s another special autumnal drink waiting for you to try.

    This one is called the Pumpkin Birthday Cake Latte. Handily, it’s actually pretty simple to order, and is meant to taste like a birthday cake mixed with pumpkin spice (as the name would suggest).

    It’s only an option in autumn, though, as you can only order this drink when Starbucks is stocking their pumpkin spice syrup.

    So, here’s how you order.

    Ask for a Pumpkin Spice Latte as usual, but for two of the pumpkin sauce pumps to be swapped out for one pump of vanilla and a pump of hazelnut.

    pumpkin spice latte from starbucks
    It’s here, it’s really here (Picture: Starbucks)

    A PSL usually has four pumps of pumpkin sauce, so this way you’re getting two shots of pumpkin, one vanilla, and one hazelnut.

    Bustle recommends adding some spice or sprinkles on top for the full birthday cake effect. We’d suggest adding a candle, but that may be a touch too much effort.

    FYI, you can pretty much hack any drink to fit your tastebuds – Starbucks staff are pretty used to people coming in and asking for all sorts of strange stuff.

    If you’re after a way to change up autumn’s pumpkin spice, the good people of the internet have already formulated some winning combinations, though.

    If you don’t fancy the birthday cake twist above, you can give the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte a go – just ask for a chai latte with 2 pumps of pumpkin spice sauce and the pumpkin spice topping. Easy.

    You can also try adding toffee nut syrup to a Pumpkin Spice Latte for some nutty goodness, or just add pumpkin spice sauce to a hot chocolate.

    Basically, you’re not going to run out of ways to enjoy hot seasonal drinks. Happy autumn.

    MORE: How to make your coffee habit more sustainable

    MORE: Nespresso is making pens out of recycled coffee capsules


    illustration watercolor frame for the holiday Halloween, harvest. Frame of pumpkins and autumn leaves on a white background around the edge of the illustration. space for text. for design, cardsillustration watercolor frame for the holiday Halloween, harvest. Frame of pumpkins and autumn leaves on a white background around the edge of the illustration. space for text. for design, cards

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    Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.uk
    The sofa before being renovated

    With all the interiors hacks going around at the moment (including this amazing room upgrade for £50), you’d be forgiven for having caught the upcycling bug yourself.

    It’s unlikely you knew, however, that you could do up your cracked old leather sofa, and for under £20 too.

    One mum shared her tips for sprucing up leather sofas, saying how she’d used Frenchic Furniture Paint to take her cream sofa from drab to fab.

    She explained how the couch had been damaged from cat scratches, but the paint – which costs just £6.99 a pot – covered over the blemishes and made it look brand new.

    The paint is from Frenchic’s Lazy range (in the colour Wolf Whistle), which is made up of chalk and mineral paints that the brand claim are ‘self priming, self levelling and self sealing with no odour and is a smooth and gorgeous paint with excellent coverage’.

    Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.uk
    After being left to dry

    The Facebook user said she ‘cleaned it thoroughly with sugar soap, dried then applied 2 thin coats with a small roller and a small brush for the awkward areas.’

    From there, she let it dry for four hours (although some might want to leave it longer), and because the paint already has wax in it, didn’t even need to add that extra step.

    Frenchic is wipeable and child-friendly, too, so there’s no worries about keeping the kids off the couch.

    Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.uk
    Before: This footstool was upcycled using the paint
    Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.uk
    After: This footstool was upcycled using the paint

    If this is the first you’ve heard about painting leather sofas, you’re not alone. Comments flooded in for other amateur decorators, with many shocked that you could get such great results so cheaply.

    One commenter said: ‘Never thought I would hear someone say they painted their sofa….Looks amazing.’

    ‘Oh my! I’ve never heard of painting leather! Looks beautiful,’ said another.

    The Frenchic Fan Forum, where people who’ve upcycled furniture using the paint has a massive following of over 71,000, so there must be some truth in it’s use.

    Whether or not you’re brave enough to take on the challenge, however, is another story.

    If you do think you’ve got what it takes, check out these tips and tricks to make the most of your old furniture and restore it to its former glory (or perhaps make it even better).

    MORE: Costa’s Christmas menu and festive cups are here

    MORE: Fortnite porn searches saw massive rise during blackout, especially for ‘Black Hole’


    Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.ukMums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than ?20 Picture: NO CREDIT TAKEN FROM CLOSED PAGE EDITORIAL DECISION TO LIFT ------------------------------------------ metro.co.uk

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    Missy comp
    Missy loves whipping around on the back of Kirsty’s moped (Picture: Jam Press)

    Kirsty MacDonald, from Dumfries, was left devastated when one of her two Jack Russells, Buddy, died while she was away on a family holiday.

    Her other dog, nine-year-old Missy, started becoming more reclusive and withdrawn after losing her best friend.

    ‘Missy could tell there was something wrong when buddy wasn’t around, she is already an anxious, wee dog and became slightly reclusive,’ said Kirsty’s son, Corey Macdonald.

    Missy on the back of Kirsty's moped
    When Buddy died, Missy became really withdrawn and anxious (Picture: Jam Press)

    Luckily, Kirsty’s father, Ian, saved the day with an ingenious and adorable invention.

    Ian decided to cheer Missy up by creating a dog carrier to be placed on the back of Kirsty’s moped, so she could take her pup on trips out of town. And the results are as ridiculously cute as you would imagine.

    Ian bought a dome from eBay and cut a whole into it with a knife, which was just big enough for Missy’s head.

    He then fastened it to the back of Kirsty’s moped with bits and pieces from his shed.

    Missy in the moped carrier
    Missy now has an option for summer or winter travel (Picture: Jam Press)

    ‘I just cut it out with a sharp modelling knife and had the rest in my shed,’ explains Ian, who’s a retired factory supervisor.

    ‘I used four bolts, four studs from the bottom of a suitcase, and four domed nuts.

    ‘It took me about an hour to make, but I had to order things in from eBay.’ A true handyman and lifesaver. But Ian didn’t stop there.

    He has now made both a summer and winter edition of of the doggy carriers.

    For the chilly months, Ian has fastened a detachable round shamed glass dome on top of the box to protect Missy from the cold and rain.

    Kirsty posted pictures of Missy in the dome-shaped carrier on Snapchat and her son, Corey, posted them on his Twitter page – along with a snap of Missy wearing a pair of googles. Obviously, everyone loves it.

    The tweets have gained more than 36.3K likes and 3.9K retweets, as dozens of users commented on the adorable photos.

    Missy on the back of Kirsty's moped
    Kirsty’s son posted the pics on social media and people went wild (Picture: Jam Press)

    ‘Omg we need one if these for our puppers!!!’ wrote one Twitter user.

    ‘This is the greatest use of a moped I’ve ever seen,’ added someone else.

    Missy can’t get enough of rides in the back of Kirsty’s moped, especially during breezy summer months, Corey said. And she loves being near her owner now that her best pal Buddy has gone.

    ‘Missy loves it she loves sticking her head out the car windows and loves the back of the bike,’ says Corey.

    ‘The Twitter picture was just a joke. My mother has some dog goggles before my grandfather added the clear domed roof.

    ‘People think it’s brilliant it definitely something you don’t see every day.

    ‘Some people have made jokes about it but it’s all been in good spirit as long as Missy’s happy and gets her day trips to the forest.’

    Molly’s definitely living her best life – her anxious days are long behind her.

    MORE: How to order the Pumpkin Birthday Cake latte from the Starbucks secret menu

    MORE: Profiles with bikini pics and cuddling with dogs more likely to be successful on dating apps

    MORE: Alf the agoraphobic sausage dog will finally leave the house thanks to new best friend


    Missy compMissy comp

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    The amount of food binned by 14 households over the course of a year. (Picture: Jonathan Hordle/ PA)
    The amount of food binned by 14 households over the course of a year (Picture: Jonathan Hordle/ PA)

    Today is World Food Day, which has been organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations every year since 1945.

    Rather than being a straightforward celebration of how amazing food is, the day aims to draw attention towards problems relating to global hunger and malnutrition.

    Sadly, such an event is as necessary as ever: recent figures show that around 30% of the world’s food is lost or wasted every year.

    Despite this, more than 150 million children under five suffer from malnutrition, and one in nine of the world’s population goes to bed hungry each night.

    Although your mum might have scolded you by saying ‘there are children starving in Africa’ in an effort to guilt-trip you into finishing your fish fingers, it would be simplistic to argue that reducing food wastage in the UK would necessarily improve hunger in the developing world. There are many different factors involved.

    But given that global warming is likely to have an adverse effect on our ability to produce food, we all have a responsibility to reduce wastage.

    Here are some simple steps you can take to waste less food.

    Use an app

    Happily, there are a wide range of apps available that can help you reduce food wastage

    Take Olio, which bears the tagline: ‘When did sharing food become weirder than wasting it?’ The app connects people who have too much food and want to share it, with people who would like to eat said food.

    It’s essentially Freecycle for snacks.

    Too Good to Go does something similar, except it’s aimed at restaurants, cafes and bakeries who want to sell almost out-of-date food at reduced prices. As well as being good for the environment, this can be a great way of getting delicious meals for way cheaper than normal.

    Apps like No Waste and Kitche, meanwhile, help you avoid wasting the food you’ve already purchased, with expiration reminders and meal-planning features.

    Be more mindful when you’re shopping

    Doing a ‘big shop’ and ‘meal prep’ are cornerstones of what some might refer to as ‘adulting’, activities which suggest you’re a responsible and organised human being.

    But doing a big shop is also more likely to result in food wastage. Being so disorganized that you only ever figure out what you want to eat on the day might end up being better for the environment – this might be a spartan and needlessly expensive way to live, but it’s less likely to result in wastage.

    The disorganised people with perennially empty fridges stay winning – in this one respect only.

    If you’re committed to the big shop, then it’s a good idea to make a list beforehand and stick to it and make a proper meal plan for the week. That way, you’re less likely to end up with more food than you need.

    Try to remember what foods you have wasted in the past, and then use this to adjust your lists going forward. If you’re chucking out twelve eggs per week then, you know, buy fewer eggs.

    The freezer is your friend

    There are few greater pleasures in life than picking up a loaf of nearly out-of-date Hovis at the supermarket for 12 pence and whacking it straight in the freezer.

    We should aim to apply this level of thriftiness to all of our food. Bread, fruits and vegetables can all be frozen, along with most leftovers (you might want to avoid freezing fried meals or anything containing a lot of dairy.)

    When freezing food in bags, make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible. Excess air can cause ‘freezer burn’ which isn’t unsafe, but can affect the taste.

    If you’re eating at a restaurant, don’t be ashamed to ask for a doggy bag

    If you’ve paid good money for food you enjoyed, but couldn’t finish, it’s fair enough to want to take it home to eat later.

    You can pretend to be motivated by a desire to solve global hunger, if it makes you feel less embarrassed.

    Don’t throw away food too soon (as 90% of us do)

    If vegetables are wilted, you can usually revive them by soaking them in ice water for 15 minutes. If this doesn’t work, they might still work well in a cooked dish.

    Be aware of when the ingredients in your fridge are due to be past their use-by-date. When they’re nearing this point, try to use them up in a recipe.

    It’s not advisable to use food after its use-by-date, even if it looks and smells fine – unless you’re hankering after a bout of the norovirus.

    But the ‘best before’ date is a lot more elastic and you shouldn’t rush to throw out food once it has passed this point.

    Help raise awareness

    The World Food Programme is encouraging people to find an item in their fridge they’ve forgotten about (but which is still safe to eat) then take a selfie with it, accompanied by the hashtag #stopthewaste, and tag three friends to challenge them to do the same.

    They don’t specifically say you should eat the food afterwards, but it would be kind of hypocritical not to.

    MORE: Artificially intelligent bin aims to cut down on food waste

    MORE: A free ‘unashamedly wonky picnic’ is coming to London to highlight food waste

    MORE: You can swap tins of beans for free wine at this London bar


    Small Change Big Difference campaignSmall Change Big Difference campaign

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    Baby in the Womb
    You should always speak to your midwife if you are worried (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    One of the best parts of pregnancy is feeling your baby move. It certainly beats the morning sickness, exhaustion and stretch marks.

    But it can also be a worry for some parents, who wonder whether their baby is kicking enough, whether they’re moving too much or who may be concerned that they haven’t felt their baby move at all yet.

    When do you feel your baby kick for the first time?

    According to BabyCentre, most women feel their first movement between the weeks of 14 and 26 – but generally closer to weeks 18 to 22. This is called ‘quickening’, and at first these movements won’t feel like full-on kicks, they’ll feel like butterflies or waves.

    It can be quite hard to tell if you actually felt movement or if it was just your body doing something weird, because when you’re pregnant, you experience all sorts of twitches.

    If your baby is moving, it could feel like a little nudge or a twitch, or perhaps like a bubble bursting.

    But remember that every body is different, and it’s not unusual to not feel your baby move until around month five.

    There are also certain times of the day when you’re most likely to feel movement – including when you’re relaxed and ready to go to bed, after you eat and when you’re nervous, as the adrenaline can give your baby a boost of energy.

    Illustration of a woman holding her baby bump, with flowers a pair of children's shoes and a balloon that says 'baby' in the background
    You won’t usually feel anything until the second trimester (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    When should you feel your baby move more frequently?

    You’ll feel your baby moving more frequently – in fact, daily – by the third trimester.

    As your baby is much bigger and there’s a lot less space in the womb, you’ll be able to feel your baby move every day.

    But this is also when it’s pretty important to keep an eye on those kicks.

    Your doctor may ask you to count your kicks to make sure they are regular, as less movement can be a sign of something wrong with the baby.

    However – it is so important to remember that your baby is in fact a little human, and may just be having a lazy day.

    How can I make my baby kick?

    Before you do go to the doctor, there are some ways you could try to make your baby move.

    This includes drinking ice cold water, doing some jumping jacks, drinking some juice to heighten your blood pressure, shining a flashlight on your tummy or playing some music to your bump.

    You could also try gently poking your bump to wake the baby up, or trying some pregnancy approved stretches.

    The NHS website states that it’s super important to call your midwife if your baby is moving less than usual, or if you can’t feel your baby moving anymore – even if it’s the middle of the night.

    You will need to have your baby’s movements and heartbeat checked.

    It’s really important that you don’t wait until the next day, and get checked straight away.

    Often it’s nothing, so don’t panic too much, but it’s always best to be safe.

    MORE: Bleeding during pregnancy: How much is normal?

    MORE: Expectant parents share pregnancy announcement with amazing fake movie poster


    Baby in the WombBaby in the Womb

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    Lucy Connor
    My descent into addiction was founded on a constant yearning to escape from the dis-ease I felt (Picture: Lu Lu C)

    Warning: This article contains descriptions of drug taking and alcohol abuse

    I have never seen my father drunk. He got sober five years before I was born, having been given six months to live if he carried on drinking at the same rate.

    My mother was a lioness who was well respected in the music industry and constantly fawned over me and my sister.

    In fact, my childhood was pretty idyllic. But this is just one of the lessons I have learned from my journey with addiction – it doesn’t discriminate based on your childhood or where you come from.

    My descent into addiction was founded on a constant yearning to escape from the discomfort I felt.

    When I joined a mixed school from a strict all-girls’ private school, a whole world of booze (wangled on a fake ID), boys and drugs suddenly opened up.

    It soon became apparent that whilst my friends were up for a party, they knew when to stop. I didn’t, and above all couldn’t. It wasn’t long before I found myself drawn to my soon-to-be drug of choice – heroin. Shortly after, cocaine and crack came too.

    There seems to be a misconception that heroin addicts are all homeless and down-and-out. I too had this misconception once. But today I have friends in recovery that were in that situation when they were using, and I also have friends who were in high-flying jobs with houses, families, kids and cars, and they managed to keep it all going with a raging habit.

    A friend once said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter if you are in first class or economy, if a plane’s going down, it’s going down.’

    My addiction took me to weighing six stone, with matted hair, scraping change together for heroin. At other times, I was in presidential suites, mansions, surrounded by things I had always dreamt of, puking into marble basins, knowing I was dying but unable to stop.

    Lucy Connor stands in front of a beach, dressed all in black
    For many years I lived an addictively hedonistic lifestyle (Picture:Lu Lu C)

    Lying, cheating and manipulating are the hallmarks of active addiction. As soon as we stepped into the outside world, we became a ‘glossy, clean living, vegan devoted’ pairing. My friend’s staff were all sworn to secrecy about our real lives.

    However, as my addiction got worse, so did my behaviour. I was visiting a close friend one winter and stopped at a town centre public loo to get high before heading to their home.

    Several hours later, I came round, freezing and surrounded by heroin paraphernalia and vodka and tonic that had spilt. Worse still, the loo had been locked for the night. Instead of embarrassing myself by telling my friend the truth, I invented an excuse and spent the night there knowing I had ample heroin and alcohol to keep me numb.

    My friend’s father had access to endless money and a lot of ‘yes people’. We passed our time in an antique four-poster bed, surrounded by empty bottles and drug paraphernalia. We would wake in the middle of a dark winter’s day with the same movies on a loop, not knowing what time it was.

    One occasion particularly sticks out – driving back from a London Fashion Week show with my friend’s parents and driver. My friend, already high, couldn’t wait for the next fix so asked to borrow the driver’s belt and shot up in the back seat.

    The friend was getting pure heroin from someone who was essentially a legal drug dealer. If you have the money, it’s not uncommon for people to go to private doctors for prescription medicines of their choice. It might seem ‘glamorous’ but there is no glamour whatsoever to addiction.

    Lucy Connor as child drinking wine from a glass
    Addiction doesn’t discriminate based on your childhood or where you come from (Picture: Lu Lu C)

    I’ve been close to death on several occasions and was written off twice by the intensive care team that treated me. I was on life support with multiple organ failure and required an emergency operation to remove 12 inches of badly damaged intestine. Then followed three months in hospital being tube fed, and having to learn to walk again.

    My parents – scared and desperate – sent me to numerous rehabs from the age of 17. I have had many rock bottoms but my last was in 2016 when I finally realised there were two options: surrender to recovery or surrender to addiction.

    Recovery has allowed me to rekindle relationships with my family and repair past friendships that had been so badly damaged by my addiction.

    I started to laugh again, I became employable, and I was excited about life rather than fearing it. I follow a program of recovery and have found magic and solution in the self-help groups I attend.

    I have learnt that alcoholism and drug addiction is not only an illness – it is progressive, and can cause grave consequences. Prison and mental institutions are common and tragically many people die from it. I have been to the funerals of nearly 20 people who were unable to stop.

    Addiction can attack anybody, man or woman, rich or poor, old or young, of any culture or ethnicity. It causes unemployment, breaks up families, and destroys dreams and aspirations, not to mention costing the government huge sums of money in terms of medical treatment, unemployment benefits, lost productivity, police and social services.

    I am almost four years clean and sober now, I work in the film industry and have re-embraced my acting career. What I have today is never worth giving up for another drink or drug: I have self-worth, dignity, and true happiness.

    It is as if I have lived two lifetimes in one life, and they couldn’t be more opposite. I have realised just how precious life is, and I treasure what I have today. I just hope that anyone feeling hopeless and stuck in the pain and misery of alcoholism or addiction knows that there is a way out.

    Please reach out for help.

    More support

    For help and support with alcohol or drug addiction, contact Alcoholics Anonymous at help@aamail.org or via their free number 0800 917 7650 or visit Narcotics Anonymous at ukna.org

    Help Me Stop offers alternative ‘dayhab’ rehabilitation and is based in London. For more information, visit helpmestop.org.uk

    MORE: We need to talk about the pressure to drink at university

    MORE: Choosing not to drink makes me feel at odds with Britain

    MORE: How to ditch alcohol and keep your friends


    Lucy ConnorLucy Connor

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    COLLECT - James Maxey, aged 13, of Maxey's Farm Shop, Newark, when he first started growing pumpkins but has now grown his business into one of the UK's largest pumpkin patches. See SWNS story SWMDpumpkins. James Maxey was 13 when he planted a pumpkin patch at his parents' farm near Kirklington in Nottinghamshire. He initially sold pumpkins to friends and family, but seven years later the farm is now one of the biggest pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the UK.
    James started growing pumpkins to earn some extra pocket money when he was just 13 (Picture: Maxey’s Farm Shop / SWNS)

    James Maxey, 19, started growing pumpkins when he was just 13 years old.

    He did it as a hobby… as people do. Who needs a Nintendo when you can grow a gourd?

    Now, the pumpkin farm he helped create – owned by his parents, Keith and Katherine – is the UK’s largest.

    James employs 35 staff to run Maxey’s Farn, which is open from 9 to 5 seven days a week in the run-up to Halloween.

    Customers can pick-up as many pumpkins as they like and pay depending on the size of the fruit, with prices ranging from £2 for smaller ones to £10 for the largest.

    As strange as it may sound for a 13-year-old to start growing pumpkins on a whim and then end up with a successful business, it gets stranger.

    James doesn’t even like pumpkin.

    James Maxey, 20, of Maxey's Farm Shop, Newark, who started selling pumpkins aged 13 and now runs one of the UK's largest pumpkin patches. See SWNS story SWMDpumpkins. James Maxey was 13 when he planted a pumpkin patch at his parents' farm near Kirklington in Nottinghamshire. He initially sold pumpkins to friends and family, but seven years later the farm is now one of the biggest pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the UK.
    Now he has the UK’s largest pumpkin farm (Picture: Tom Maddick / SWNS)

    He said: ‘I roasted one last year because I thought I should at least try eating one but I wasn’t keen.’

    Fascinating.

    Each year James and his family have to grow more pumpkins to keep up with demand, as in previous years the farm has been so popular they’ve run out before Halloween.

    When James started out he only grew enough pumpkins to sell to his friends for some extra pocket money.

    Seven years later, he now harvests 25,000 pumpkins each autumn.

    James Maxey, 20, of Maxey's Farm Shop, Newark, who started selling pumpkins aged 13 and now runs one of the UK's largest pumpkin patches. See SWNS story SWMDpumpkins. James Maxey was 13 when he planted a pumpkin patch at his parents' farm near Kirklington in Nottinghamshire. He initially sold pumpkins to friends and family, but seven years later the farm is now one of the biggest pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the UK.
    He grows thousands of pumpkins a year (Picture: Tom Maddick / SWNS)

    This time they’ve grown a massive stash so everyone can carve their jack o’ lanterns.

    The process begins in the spring, when James buys thousands of pumpkin seeds from a supplier in Lincolnshire, which he then plants in the fields with a converted planter attached to a tractor.

    The business has been so successful that James left school at 16.

    ‘I started when I was 13 next to the farm shop with a little half-an-acre field with about 200 pumpkins in it which I sold to my school friends,’ says James.

    ‘Every year I planted more and more and now I’ve about five or six acres.

    James Maxey, 20, of Maxey's Farm Shop, Newark, who started selling pumpkins aged 13 and now runs one of the UK's largest pumpkin patches. See SWNS story SWMDpumpkins. James Maxey was 13 when he planted a pumpkin patch at his parents' farm near Kirklington in Nottinghamshire. He initially sold pumpkins to friends and family, but seven years later the farm is now one of the biggest pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the UK.
    He doesn’t even like pumpkin (Picture: Tom Maddick / SWNS)

    ‘Any pumpkins which are left over get chopped up and ploughed back into the soil so nothing is wasted.

    ‘The soil around this area has quite a lot of clay in it which I think helps our pumpkins maintain their deep dark orange colour.

    ‘In supermarkets pumpkins tend to be quite light and almost yellow but ours have a nice dark colour to them which people like.

    ‘I have always wanted to be out and could never sit in a classroom or anything.

    ‘I have always got to be out doing something.’

    MORE: When should you first feel your baby move during pregnancy?

    MORE: I thought I knew what a heroin addict looked like, then I became one


    7yr later teen\'s Pumpkin Patch is the biggest Pick-you-own in UK7yr later teen\'s Pumpkin Patch is the biggest Pick-you-own in UK

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  • 10/16/19--08:20: Can having sex cause thrush?
  • Illustration of couple lying in bed together, the woman's skin is pink and the man's is orange and the bed is blue
    Sex can spread the infection but doesn’t cause it (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    For all the fun it may be, sex does come with a few different risks. Aside from the obvious (sexually transmitted diseases), there’s also the matter of yeast infections.

    Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects both men and women. The condition is usually harmless, but can be uncomfortable and it can keep coming back.

    It is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be spread through sex if a person with a vagina or penis has thrush before having sex.

    Thrush thrives in warm, moist parts of the body such as the genitals and can happen because of tight clothing, underwear and/or hot weather.

    While it can be spread through sex, or triggered by it (the infection thrives in warm moist spaces remember), thrush isn’t caused by the act.

    But oral sex plus using sex toys can also put you at risk of developing the infection.

    But treatment is fairly easy. You can access tablets over the counter at a pharmacy.

    What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush?

    • White vaginal discharge (like cottage cheese), which does not usually smell
    • Itching and irritation around the vagina
    • Soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee.

    What are thrush symptoms in men?

    • Irritation, burning and redness around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
    • A white discharge (like cottage cheese)
    • An unpleasant smell
    • Difficulty pulling back the foreskin.

    How do you treat thrush?

    Usually, you’ll be given antifungal medicine to get rid of it. This can be in the form of a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina or a cream to relieve the irritation.

    It should then clear up within a week after one dose of medicine or using the cream daily.

    If you have thrush and are sexually active, you don’t need to treat your partner unless they also show symptoms. But you might want to refrain from sex to lessen the chances of spreading it back and forth.

    Thrush can affect other areas of skin such as the armpits, groin and between the fingers.

    This usually causes a red, itchy or painful rash that scales over with white or yellow discharge. The rash may not be so obvious on darker skin.

    If a person has oral thrushes it can also be passed on. The symptoms include white or yellow patches of bumps in your mouth, slight bleeding if the bumps are scraped or soreness and burning.

    If a partner kisses or licks other parts of your body, their bacteria and fungi can spread. This includes your mouth, nipples, and anus.

    Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all.

    Treatments and remedies may vary so consult with your doctor for the best solution.

    MORE: Woman only has sex with her husband once a year because of painful condition

    MORE: Why does sex give you a headache?


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    The Baileys Yule Log
    This looks amazing (Picture: Asda)

    Asda has re-launched its Baileys Chocolate Yule Log after it was a huge success last year, and we can’t wait to grab a slice.

    The Baileys Yule Log is described as being a soft chocolate sponge, rolled with a chocolate flavour frosting and coated with milk chocolate, ‘masked’ with a Baileys frosting and finished with bronze chocolate curls and a chocolate plaque.

    Yum.

    It costs £5 and serves eight – though who really wants to share, let’s be honest.

    And if you’re a true Baileys fan, you’ll be even happier to know that Tesco is also selling some items infused with your favourite alcoholic beverage.

    The supermarket is selling salted caramel cupcakes and a hot chocolate cake, both with a Baileys flavour.

    Amazing, we know.

    Much like the Yule Log, these items were also first introduced last year.

    The yule log
    We can’t wait to try this (Picture: Asda)

    The hot chocolate cake serves 16 and is filled and topped with Baileys flavoured frosting and edible decorations, and costs £13.

    The cupcakes are available in a pack of nine, and are drizzled with caramel, and they’re pretty cheap at just £4.

    If you don’t have a Tesco local to you, Asda is also selling these items, and they’ll be available in both Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in November.

    But, to the teenagers out there who were planning on sneakily getting tipsy on cake: we’re sorry to tell you that you will need to prove you’re over 18 to buy them.

    Because yes, alcoholic cake counts just as much as the actual bottle does.

    MORE: Tesco launches salted caramel and hot chocolate-flavoured Baileys cakes

    MORE: Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than £20


    Baileys Yule Log Is Back At ASDA In Time For ChristmasBaileys Yule Log Is Back At ASDA In Time For Christmas

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    Biscuit-obsessed couple have Lotus Biscoff-themed wedding with melted spread fountain and mini jars as favours
    (Picture: Vince Hutchings )

    If you think you’re the person who loves Biscoff more than anyone else in the world, you’re wrong.

    You’re been well and truly beaten by this young couple, who love the speculoos spreads and biscuits so much they had a whole wedding themed around them.

    Newlyweds, Ben and Lauren Martin have long had a connection to the biscuits, with Lauren often enjoying them when offered complimentary with coffees.

    By this point, she didn’t know about the wonders of the spread, so when the couple had one of their first dates at an all-you-can-eat breakfast restaurant (with plenty of the stuff), they were bonded by their spread love.

    From there, their relationship took off, and the couple are more than partial to a spoonful of Biscoff spread straight from the jar.

    Showing their true dedication to the iconic ‘little red biscuit’, though, was their wedding at Shilstone House in Devon.

    Biscuit-obsessed couple have Lotus Biscoff-themed wedding with melted spread fountain and mini jars as favours
    The cakes were made by Ellie Stanbury at Kismet Cakes (Picture: Vince Hutchings )

    As well as the Lotus Biscoff-themed cake, cupcakes and brownies at the wedding, there was also a homemade piñata filled with individual Lotus Biscoff biscuits.

    But he real piece de resistance was the incredible fountain filled with glorious melted spread (provided by catering suppliers, JM Posner) which guests could dip marshmallows, mini doughnuts, shortbread and flapjacks into – all before coating in bowls of Lotus Biscoff crumb.

    Biscuit-obsessed couple have Lotus Biscoff-themed wedding with melted spread fountain and mini jars as favours
    And of course they were flavoured with Biscoff (Picture: Vince Hutchings )

    If that wasn’t enough, the guests got mini jars of spread as wedding favours, and there were Lotus Biscoff Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in the following day’s hangover breakfast for the guests.

    The Biscoff bride herself said: ‘Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love Lotus Biscoff, so it just had to be part of our day.

    Biscuit-obsessed couple have Lotus Biscoff-themed wedding with melted spread fountain and mini jars as favours
    … Then comes the Lotus in the Biscoff carriage? (Picture: Vince Hutchings )

    ‘I always knew that I wanted to have a Lotus Biscoff cake but then I thought to myself, why stop there? Every wedding needs a theme and it only felt right to have Lotus Biscoff as mine!’

    ‘The Lotus Biscoff went down a storm with everyone, so the whopping 50kg of spread and 600 biscuits used was definitely worth it.

    ‘Ben introduced me to Lotus Biscoff spread because he just knew how much I would love it, so it will always hold a special place in my heart!’

    A couple that Biscoffs together stays together. We’re just annoyed we weren’t invited.

    MORE: Can having sex cause thrush?

    MORE: I thought I knew what a heroin addict looked like, then I became one


    DSC05450-1ddfDSC05450-1ddf

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    A little girl told her dad she was ‘done’ with sausages after he told her where they come from – and he caught it all on camera.

    Three-year-old Erin Copeland was eating sausages and mash when she asked her dad, Brian, 30, how sausages are made. But she probably wishes she hadn’t.

    Brian pauses for a few moments while he contemplated how to tell his daughter that she was actually eating a pig as he recorded her reaction.

    After a few moments he tells her: ‘We turn the pigs into sausages, the sausages are pigs,’ and in horror, Erin replies: ‘But that’s not very nice!’

    Erin at the table
    Erin wasn’t happy after finding out where sausages come from (Picture: Brian Copeland / SWNS.com)

    Following the news, Brian tries to feed Erin sausages but she tells her dad that she’s ‘done’ and doesn’t want to eat sausages anymore.

    Brian, from Glasgow, explained: ‘Erin asked about where her food came from and I told her how the sausages come from pigs. I was quite specific about it, I told her how we take the pigs and make sausages out of them with machines.

    ‘She said it wasn’t nice and wouldn’t eat the sausages on her plate! She eats them now but her favourite things are cucumbers and carrots!

    ‘She doesn’t have a problem with it now.

    ‘Food is a big thing and I think it’s important children know where it comes from.

    ‘I feel like if she’s old enough to ask the question then she’s old enough to get the answer.

    ‘I love it when she asks questions, being a parent you get a lot of questions but I don’t think children should be shut down when asking questions.

    ‘Erin always asks more questions and I think it’s great!’

    Brian and Erin
    Her dad managed to get the moment on camera (Picture: Brian Copeland / SWNS.com)

    Brian uploaded a video of the adorable exchange online and was amazed when it took off and his Youtube upload alone gained more than 50,000 views.

    The marketing coordinator said: ‘I was not expecting anything when I uploaded it, it was mainly for my mother. I uploaded the video onto Reddit and it just blew up! Lots of people loved it.

    ‘Some people are appalled by it, some think it’s the right thing to do and find it really cute and some people say I should show her the conditions some animals live in but I think she’s a bit too young for that!

    ‘Erin is just really bubbly and always asks questions and I love answering them!’

    MORE: Can having sex cause thrush?

    MORE: World Food Day: Easy ways to waste less food


    Brian Copeland, 30 with daughter Erin Copeland, 4. See SWNS copy SWCAsausages: This is the hilarious moment a dad tells his three-year-old daughter that sausages are made from pigs- and her reaction is priceless. Little Erin Copeland told her dad she was \"done\" with sausages and didn\'t want to eat them anymore after the shocking revelation. While tucking into bangers and mash inquisitive Erin, now four, asked dad Brian, 30, how sausages are made- but soon wishes she didn\'t.Brian Copeland, 30 with daughter Erin Copeland, 4. See SWNS copy SWCAsausages: This is the hilarious moment a dad tells his three-year-old daughter that sausages are made from pigs- and her reaction is priceless. Little Erin Copeland told her dad she was \"done\" with sausages and didn\'t want to eat them anymore after the shocking revelation. While tucking into bangers and mash inquisitive Erin, now four, asked dad Brian, 30, how sausages are made- but soon wishes she didn\'t.

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    View over the roofs of old town Dubrovnik with church towers, ocean and island in winter, Croatia
    Dubrovnik’s iconic cityscape can be enjoyed all year round

    It is the picture-perfect walled city that doubled as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones and even had a starring role in Star Wars: Episode VIII and Robin Hood: Origins.

    Set on a peninsula overlooking the glittering Adriatic, all cobbled limestone lanes and terracotta-roofed houses, it’s easy to understand why cinematographers fall in love with Dubrovnik.

    You can walk the sturdy walls or take the cable car up to Mount Srđ for panoramic vistas of the city and sea, soak up the elegance of its baroque architecture and lose yourself in its varied museums, from the Treasury of the Cathedral to the dazzling art collection and historical artefacts at the 15th-century Rector’s Palace.

    If that isn’t enough, this classic Croatian city is perfect for a winter break, with fewer visitors and a thriving local cultural scene. Dubrovnik and its surrounds come alive with events throughout winter, and the city itself makes for a beautiful and romantic base from which you can explore the whole region.

    Good Food Festival

    October 14-20, 2019

    Preparing and cooking pork roast in traditional metal pot Peka. Meat and vegetables in traditional Balkan, Croatian, Greek Mediterranean meal Peka in metal pots called sach, sache - a metal lid covered with hot coals.
    Try traditional dishes such as succulent pork peka at the Good Food Festival

    Discover the rich culinary culture, delicious local ingredients and fine wines Croatia produces at this celebration of all things foodie. There are pop-up stalls serving local dishes as well as workshops, cocktail-making and even live music. The Dubrovnik Table stretches the entire length of the Stradun main street and will showcase local chefs and eateries serving up their signature dishes.

    The Dubrovnik Winter Festival

    November 30-January 1, 2020

    Opening ceremony of the fourth Dubrovnik winter festival 2017.
    Tuck into some prikle underneath the sparkling Christmas lights at the Winter Festival

    If you thought The Pearl of the Adriatic couldn’t get any prettier, visit in December and see it illuminated with fairy lights as the city celebrates Christmas with traditional markets and a fair. There are carols and foodie treats such as local bakalar cod soup followed by festive doughnuts known as prikle, and even a skating rink and workshops teaching you to make traditional sweet treats.

    New Year’s Eve

    December 31, 2019

    Photo taken in Dubrovnik, Croatia
    New Year’s Eve in Dubrovnik is defined by incredible fireworks and fantastic wine

    Welcoming in the New Year is a big deal in Dubrovnik and its bijou size means it’s so easy for visitors to join in the celebratory atmosphere. The old town Stradun main street becomes a huge open-air party, with music performances from the very traditional to Croatian pop stars, and of course, there are fireworks. The festivities continue the next day, too, when the Dubrovnik Symphony orchestra stages a morning concert in the same place.

    Night of Museums

    January 31, 2020

    The main pedestrian thoroughfare, Placa, is a melange of cafés and shops with outstanding monuments at either end. Churches, monasteries and museums ornamented with finely carved stone recall an eventful history and a vibrant artistic tradition.
    Explore the city’s museums after dark and get up close to their wonderful exhibits

    It doesn’t get more atmospheric than visiting Dubrovnik’s beautiful museums at night. The historic buildings dotted across the Old Town open their doors for one night only and welcome visitors until 1am, with special events and exhibitions as well as live performances, concerts and plays. Don’t miss the Maritime Museum in the St John Fortress, or the moving Homeland War Museum.

    Dubrovnik Festa

    January 24, 2020 – February 3, 2020

    A busker plays traditional Croatian folk music with a 3-string instrument (lijerica) in the old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
    Dubrovnik Festa is a great way to immerse yourself in Croatian culture

    In the run up to the Day of the City of Dubrovnik in February, celebrating its patron saint, an excited atmosphere seems to permeate every street, with events and performances taking place most days. Whether you want to hear traditional klapa acapella singing, head to the opera, a rock concert or enjoy a tasting of local wines, it’s all happening in the week running up to the Feast of St Blaise.

    Feast of St Blaise

    February 3, 2020

    St Blaise church lit up from both the outside and inside (to show off the stained glass windows) at night in Dubrovnik.
    Whether you’re a history buff or just love some festive spirit, the Feast of St Blaise is a must

    The city is a great place to be for the Day of Dubrovnik as celebrates its patron saint. The culmination of it all is the grand feast day on February 3, with a celebration that stretches back more than 1,000 years as has been recognised by UNESCO. It starts with morning mass, then there is a parade carrying the saint’s skull along the Stradun, with locals dressed in traditional folk costume and historical weapons fired in celebration.

    Book your holiday to Dubrovnik with British Airways at ba.com/dubrovnik


    Photo taken in Dubrovnik, CroatiaPhoto taken in Dubrovnik, Croatia

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    Shot of a beautiful young woman enjoying a cuddle with her cathttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pi/shoots/784178.jpg
    Could your pet be the perfect therapy animal? (Picture: Getty)

    If you’ve got a calm AND loving pet, they could earn up to £50 an hour by comforting people who struggle with conditions like anxiety and stress.

    Bark.com has launched a new Comfort Pet category, which will include reptiles, birds, cats, dogs and farm animals, after research shows that interacting with animals improves wellbeing.

    Members of the public will be able to hire a pet of their choice for a minimum of an hour, to help with their symptoms at home or at work.

    All owners have to do is sign their pets up to be a part of the Comfort Pet service.

    The service has launched following research which shows that animal assisted therapy alleviates a number of physical and mental conditions, such as high blood pressure, stress, depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems.

    The Comfort Pet service is aimed at all ages, and, depending on the pet owner, can include home and office visits, or onsite visits where participants travel to the pet’s location. Participants can also opt for group or one-to-one sessions, depending on the capability of the Comfort Pet and its owner.

    Close-up of beard man in icelandic sweater who is holding and kissing his cute purring Devon Rex cat. Muzzle of a cat and a man's face. Love cats and humans. Relationship, weasel.; Shutterstock ID 706770268; Purchase Order: -
    Cats are more than welcome! (Picture: Shutterstock)

    Any species of pet can be signed up to the new service, including, but not limited to, birds, snakes, lizards, llamas, goats, dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. The trend for emotional support animals has increased rapidly over the last year, although these are not currently legally recognised like service animals such as Guide Dogs.

    Comfort Pet providers can expect to earn up to £50 an hour, however the owner decides how much they charge.

    The owner must be present during the comfort sessions, and must be able to demonstrate they have full control of their pet at all times.

    It’s a good idea for the comfort pet and its owner to meet with the participants first to agree what will be covered in the session and to ensure that the pet is comfortable with the environment.

    Bark.com also recommends a contract is written up which agrees the terms of the pet and participant’s interactions, including what is deemed as inappropriate behaviour by both parties and that both parties take full responsibility for their behaviour.

    Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said: ‘We are a country of animal lovers, and with research proving the health benefits of interacting with them, and a host of amazing pets out there, it made sense to expand our current therapy offering with Comfort Pets.

    ‘Many people appreciate and understand the benefits of spending time with animals, but for some it’s not always possible. We also want to make sure we offer a wide variety of pets, in part so the service can be completely tailored to each individual that uses it, but also to combat the rise in animal allergies in the UK.

    ‘Everyone should be able to benefit from spending time with their very own Comfort Pet, no matter their circumstances.’

    MORE: Little girl tells dad she’s ‘done’ with sausages after he told her where they come from

    MORE: Biscuit-obsessed couple have Lotus Biscoff-themed wedding with melted spread fountain and mini jars as favours


    Aren\'t you so cute!Aren\'t you so cute!

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    illustration of a man with a dog
    A cute man with a cute dog… but can he be trusted? (Picture: Ella Byworth/metro.co.uk)

    One of the greatest tragedies of my entire life occurred earlier this week, when I thought I had been the first person to coin a new dating trend: dogfishing.

    This is a phenomenon whereby people on dating apps pose with pictures of cute dogs, only for you to discover that these mutts belong to other people.

    Convinced that inventing this term was going to be my ticket to stardom, I quit my job and divorced my husband (sadly, I don’t think it’s possible for a relationship to work when there is a disparity in wealth and fame).

    I also started preparing quips for when I was inevitably invited onto the Graham Norton Show, where I would regale Helen Mirren and Post Malone with the story of how I first came up with it.

    It’s a great anecdote: I was speaking to someone on a dating app who had lots of pictures of the same chow chow, so I asked him if the chow chow belonged to him, and he replied that no, it was his friend’s and he was just looking after it – and the rest is history.

    So you can imagine the overwhelming pain, disappointment and humiliation I felt when I typed ‘dogfishing’ into Google and the search returned 4,960,000 results.

    I scrolled down, in a state of rising dread, to see outlets covering the term – each fresh article like a knife through my heart. I realised then that there would be no money, no fame, no Helen Mirren with tears of mirth streaming down her face.

    Two Chow Chows posing side-by-side (image:Getty)
    If you see an animal this cute or funny on a dating app, beware… (Picture: Getty)

    But perhaps I’m overreacting. Perhaps this is no loss at all. Because, when you really think about it, isn’t the concept of dogfishing a little… stupid?

    The supposed problem with dogfishing is that it rests on deception, that it’s an attempt at trickery. Women are statistically more likely to be attracted to men if they own a dog, apparently, on the basis that this suggests a kind personality – so the motive is certainly there.

    But the same qualities that would make a dog owner kind or warm would surely also apply to dog lovers in general. There are lots of practical reasons why someone who likes dogs might not own one, unrelated to their personal warmth or lack thereof.

    One study has suggested that a quarter of men with pets deliberately use them as ‘bait’ on dating apps. But it seems extremely unlikely that men who don’t like dogs are borrowing them from friends or relatives in a purely cynical effort to impress women on Hinge.

    Maybe they just like dogs. Maybe they really do love their brother’s French bulldog with an all-consuming passion; maybe they would take a bullet for their landlord’s Chihuahua.

    Being the ‘victim’ of dogfishing (that most heinous crime) might be disappointing in the sense that you wanted access to a cute dog yourself  – but it’s hardly evidence of poor moral character.

    After all, should you really be trying to date someone just because they have a dog?

    While we should never underestimate the capacity of other people to be horrible d**kheads, in this case it’s probably safe to assume that if someone has pictures of dogs on their profile, it’s because they like dogs.

    If you also like dogs, that’s something you have in common, and it’s not really a cause for concern.

    So that’s that. Anyway, I can’t wait to tell you guys about this hot new dating trend I’ve come up with – this one is really going to pop off.

    It’s basically the same thing but with cats. I haven’t thought of a name yet.

    Dating terms and trends, defined

    Breadcrumbing: Leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of interest – random noncommittal messages and notifications that seem to lead on forever, but don’t actually end up taking you anywhere worthwhile Breadcrumbing is all about piquing someone’s interest without the payoff of a date or a relationship.

    Caspering: Being a friendly ghost - meaning yes, you ghost, but you offer an explanation beforehand. Caspering is all about being a nice human being with common decency. A novel idea.

    Catfish: Someone who uses a fake identity to lure dates online.

    Clearing: Clearing season happens in January. It’s when we’re so miserable thanks to Christmas being over, the cold weather, and general seasonal dreariness, that we will hook up with anyone just so we don’t feel completely unattractive. You might bang an ex, or give that creepy guy who you don’t really fancy a chance, or put up with truly awful sex just so you can feel human touch. It’s a tough time. Stay strong.

    Cloutlighting: Cloutlighting is the combo of gaslighting and chasing social media clout. Someone will bait the person they’re dating on camera with the intention of getting them upset or angry, or making them look stupid, then share the video for everyone to laugh at.

    Cuffing season: The chilly autumn and winter months when you are struck by a desire to be coupled up, or cuffed.

    Firedooring: Being firedoored is when the access is entirely on one side, so you're always waiting for them to call or text and your efforts are shot down.

    Fishing: When someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with. It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.

    Flashpanner: Someone who’s addicted to that warm, fuzzy, and exciting start bit of a relationship, but can’t handle the hard bits that might come after – such as having to make a firm commitment, or meeting their parents, or posting an Instagram photo with them captioned as ‘this one’.

    Freckling: Freckling is when someone pops into your dating life when the weather’s nice… and then vanishes once it’s a little chillier.

    Gatsbying: To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.

    Ghosting: Cutting off all communication without explanation.

    Grande-ing: Being grateful, rather than resentful, for your exes, just like Ariana Grande.

    Hatfishing: When someone who looks better when wearing a hat has pics on their dating profile that exclusively show them wearing hats.

    Kittenfishing: Using images that are of you, but are flattering to a point that it might be deceptive. So using really old or heavily edited photos, for example. Kittenfishes can also wildly exaggerate their height, age, interests, or accomplishments.

    Lovebombing: Showering someone with attention, gifts, gestures of affection, and promises for your future relationship, only to distract them from your not-so-great bits. In extreme cases this can form the basis for an abusive relationship.

    Microcheating: Cheating without physically crossing the line. So stuff like emotional cheating, sexting, confiding in someone other than your partner, that sort of thing.

    Mountaineering: Reaching for people who might be out of your league, or reaching for the absolute top of the mountain.

    Obligaswiping: The act of endlessly swiping on dating apps and flirt-chatting away with no legitimate intention of meeting up, so you can tell yourself you're doing *something* to put yourself out there.

    Orbiting: The act of watching someone's Instagram stories or liking their tweets or generally staying in their 'orbit' after a breakup.

    Paperclipping: When someone sporadically pops up to remind you of their existence, to prevent you from ever fully moving on.

    Preating: Pre-cheating - laying the groundwork and putting out feelers for cheating, by sending flirty messages or getting closer to a work crush.

    Prowling: Going hot and cold when it comes to expressing romantic interest.

    R-bombing: Not responding to your messages but reading them all, so you see the 'delivered' and 'read' signs and feel like throwing your phone across the room.

    Scroogeing: Dumping someone right before Christmas so you don't have to buy them a present.

    Shadowing: Posing with a hot friend in all your dating app photos, knowing people will assume you're the attractive one and will be too polite to ask.

    Shaveducking: Feeling deeply confused over whether you're really attracted to a person or if they just have great facial hair.

    Sneating:When you go on dates just for a free meal.

    Stashing: The act of hiding someone you're dating from your friends, family, and social media.

    Submarineing: When someone ghosts, then suddenly returns and acts like nothing happened.

    V-lationshipping:When someone you used to date reappears just around Valentine's Day, usually out of loneliness and desperation.

    You-turning: Falling head over heels for someone, only to suddenly change your mind and dip.

    Zombieing: Ghosting then returning from the dead. Different from submarineing because at least a zombie will acknowledge their distance.

     

    MORE: Dating trends: They’re truly not that deep

    MORE: Fireworking is the latest dating trend to describe your rubbish love life

    MORE: Profiles with bikini pics and cuddling with dogs more likely to be successful on dating apps

     

     


    Conkers could kill your dogConkers could kill your dog

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     Kelsey Michaels harry potter themed room for baby george
    Kelsey knew she wanted to pass down her love of Harry Potter to her new son, George (Picture: Kelsey Michael/LatestDeals.co.uk)

    We love a great room transformation, especially if it doesn’t cost the earth.

    Take note from Kelsey Michael, 23, who created a magical Harry Potter themed room for her 11-week-old son, George, for a total price of £150.

    Kelsey, an accounts assistant from Swindon, had always wanted to pass along her love of Harry Potter to her baby.

    She decided that a themed bedroom was the perfect way to induct her son into the fandom from an early age.

    Using items from Primark, Wayfair, and Amazon, the mum managed to fill the room with plenty of nods to the iconic series. There’s a mobile with Harry, Ron, and Hermione dangling over the cot, a quote from Dumbledore printed on the wall, wands placed on shelves, and a tiny Hogwarts uniform ready on a hanger for when George is big enough to wear it.

     Kelsey Michaels harry potter themed room for baby george
    While the cot and drawers cost £600, all the Harry Potter merch came to less than £150 (Picture: Kelsey Michael/LatestDeals.co.uk)

    Kelsey even gave George his very own Hedwig, putting a toy owl she bought from Amazon in a cage from Wayfair and hanging it from the ceiling.

    The project required a lot of creative thinking and bargain hunting.

    That gold lamp you can see in the photos? It’s actually an old lamp covered in gold wrapping paper to make it more magical.

    Kelsey told LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I came up with the idea as I’ve always loved Harry Potter. I love everything about it and I would love my little boy to love it just as much as me. The stories are so magical and there’s nothing quite like it.

    ‘I had this image in my head of how I wanted it to look, and I’m so happy it does. I’ve collected Harry Potter merchandise for a number of years now and I wanted to display it all, so I came up with the idea of using it all to decorate my boy’s nursery.’

     Kelsey Michaels harry potter themed room for baby george
    Kelsey did all the work herself, even wrapping an old lamp in gold paper to make it look magical (Picture: Kelsey Michael/LatestDeals.co.uk)

    Kelsey already had lots of Harry Potter goodies she’s been gifted items over the years as family and friends knew how much she loved the franchise.

    She used products from Primark, Wayfair and Amazon, and also managed to collect most of the items on the shelves from a website called Geek Gear, a subscription service that sends you Harry Potter merch every month.

    While the cot and drawers were £600, the Harry Potter themed extra touches came to a total of between £100 and £150.

    ‘It was so fun putting it all together; I enjoyed every minute,’ said Kelsey. ‘We moved into our new house at the beginning of the year and it was all a blank canvas when we first moved in, so the process didn’t take too long.

    ‘I started with the wall stickers, and all these ideas started coming into my head like having Hedwig in the cage hanging from the ceiling. I was lucky as it lots of the merchandise I had was gifted to me over birthdays and Christmas.’

    Have you completed an amazing DIY project you’d like to share? Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk

    MORE: Mums share genius hack to restore cracked leather sofa for less than £20

    MORE: Dogfishing: The sinister dating trend haunting the apps

    MORE: Bride asks her four grandmas to be the flower girls at her wedding


    ?150 Harry Potter room makeover?150 Harry Potter room makeover

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    One of my earliest memories of high school is the day I chose to read in the playground.

    Reading a book during my lunch break seemed perfectly reasonable to 12 year old me but, soon I was surrounded by a ring of boys jeering: ‘What a nerd. Why don’t you go to the library?’

    My cheeks were on fire. I would spend a lot of time in the library over the next seven years.

    I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t called a nerd, geek or a swot at school. It was part of my identity before I even knew what an ‘identity’ was. I was incorrigibly bookish with a perfect homework record and great marks, and well-behaved and enthusiastic in class.

    I was lucky enough to find many subjects easy and also had a respect for the authority of teachers that I can’t quite explain as an adult. I had to do my homework, or else.

    My Label and Me - Swot - Argentina - Amy Booth Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk
    Being a nerd meant more than good behaviour and good marks (Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk)

    In primary school, my label wasn’t a bad thing. It was a small school where we knew what each other were like and just accepted it: This lot were the swots, those boys were naughty, so and so went for extra English help, and so on.

    But in high school it became more hostile; names were shouted across the playground, whispers in the classroom, teasing when the teachers were out of earshot.

    I was never beaten up or bullied the way you see in US high school films, but it definitely fostered a profound sense of discomfort, like I didn’t belong.

    Being a nerd meant more than good behaviour and good marks. Other girls got straight As, but they weren’t labelled like me. Nerdiness went hand in hand with my weirdness.

    My Label and Me - Swot - Argentina - Amy Booth Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk
    Normal teenage behaviour like trying your first drink or kissing someone is instantly hilarious to others because it’s you doing it (Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk)

    It was the glasses, the horrendous dress sense, the chronic social awkwardness, the complete lack of interest in boys.

    A friend once sent me a joke Valentines card saying ‘My heart is yours… but you’ll never have my kidneys!’ just so the popular kids would see me getting a red envelope in assembly.

    Being labelled a nerd doesn’t just shape your own identity, it determines how everyone else sees you, too.

    Normal teenage behaviour like trying your first drink or kissing someone is instantly hilarious to others because it’s you doing it. You’re constantly living up to the label through your academic success because it defines you.

    I don’t think society sees geeks as bad. Despite the implications of eccentricity and awkwardness, we associate it with accomplishment, dedication, and an almost childlike fascination with our abstruse academic field of choice – especially if that’s a highly lucrative field of computer programming.

    My Label and Me - Swot - Argentina - Amy Booth Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk
    It’s been years since anybody has called me a swot or a nerd, but if they did, I would own it (Picture: Amelia McGoldrick for Metro.co.uk)

    How many films and series are protagonised by geeks cast as the plucky underdog with a kooky obsession with science?

    It’s been years since anybody has called me a swot or a nerd, but if they did, I would own it. I know that caring about your studies and trying your best is a good thing.

    Picking on someone for being a swot is about resentment, frustration, and responding to someone else’s success by dragging them down.

    That attitude is the product of a high school culture that defines you by academic ability, carefully grading the whole class and ranking you by this one narrow metric. It’s important to recognise the role people’s life circumstances play in their school performance, too.

    I’m from a supportive middle-class family – would I have kept up my academic performance if I’d had to work evenings so my family could make ends meet?

    It was only when I started university at Cambridge that I felt my label dissolve around me; suddenly, everyone was a good student and I was average.

    Here, nobody looked at me twice for reading a book at lunch – mostly because they were too engrossed in books of their own.

    I’m in the second year of my masters now, and I’m considering applying for PhDs afterwards. My boyfriend of 10 years is a total nerd too.

    I’m still capable of raising eyebrows when I wax lyrical about my subject, but while it’s safe to say I’m still geeky and weird, I’ve made my peace with the label.

    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: A complete stranger looked straight at me and called me disgusting

    MORE: My Label and Me: I’m living my best fat life

    MORE: My Label and Me: I’m not clumsy, I’m resilient


    Labels: GeekLabels: Geek

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    How Frida saves - the blogger with £75,000 saved up
    Frida is a 24-year-old blogger writer, and consultant with £75,000 saved (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    Putting money away for the future can feel tricky, whatever you earn.

    It’s hard to think about what you might need to buy 20 years from now when you have enough cash in your account for a takeaway right this moment. Delayed satisfaction is tough.

    But some people manage it. While we can be baffled and filled with resentment by their money habits, we can also learn from their saving and spending ways.

    In our weekly series How I Save, we track a person’s spending for a week and take a look at the nitty-gritty of their finances, whether they’re expert savers we can all learn from or those struggling to budget.

    Alongside satisfying our nosiness about other people’s cashflow, we’re also hoping How I Save opens up the conversation around money and normalises asking the questions and admitting we don’t know everything. Loads of us struggle with money – there should be no shame in admitting we don’t fully understand how a mortgage works or how to make a budget sheet in Excel.

    This week we’re following Frida (not her real name), who’s a pretty great example for saving up. She’s a 24-year-old blogger, writer, and consultant with far more saved than most people her age.

    How Frida saves:

    In my savings account right now I have £75,000. I try not to think about it too much because I’m worried I’ll spend it.

    I earn around £55,000 a year but being freelance it varies a lot!

    I’ve saved this much money by working hard, of course, but also by being extremely lucky with my job. I blogged for four years without earning a penny, back when Instagram first started and when I was still at school, so it’s nice that the work is finally paying. Before it did, I was working as a waiter and hostess in my university holidays, as well as during less busy times at uni. I worked for a year before starting university too so I would have some savings.

    I’m saving to be able to move in with my partner – currently we live over three hours apart but have been together for over four years (two of which have been long distance), so we’re hoping to buy a place together within the next couple of years.

    The main way I save is by spending less. People always talk about earning more, but I was able to save even when I was earning much less, because I try to spend very little (less so now that I’m earning more, but certainly when I was younger).

    I’m also lucky that I’ve not had anyone else to support at home – I’m sure this would be different if I were to have a family or dependent parents.

    In London saving is easier said than done, but I still have the student mentality when it comes to money. I’m also lucky that my job involves a lot of food at events, so often I can reduce spending on groceries this way.

    Flying cash
    Frida is able to save money by grabbing free meals at events and eating leftovers (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    I’ve just about got to the point with my job that I will ask for more money if I think I am providing value to a brand/person/publication. For so long I was embarrassed to even bring up the topic of fees, but I can’t imagine there are many other professions where the expectation is that you’ll do things for free, and if you ask for money it’s seen as grabby.

    I have a savings account and an ISA as of quite recently because I was fed up of being money illiterate, so I did some research on how best to save for the future. I still have no idea if I’m doing the right thing, but it feels good to have some money going into a deliberate savings account each month. I still don’t really know what an ISA is but I have one and I think that’s good?

    I sometimes struggle with saving because it’s hard to keep the end goal in sight when it’s so big. Sometimes I’ll want to go on a big holiday, but knowing my end goal is a house, I have a long way to go until I’ll hit that. Obviously it’s all about balance, not living a miserable existence, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the UK, so I’m trying to enjoy staycations more than travelling abroad.

    I’m not a big spender when it comes to frivolous things like new clothes, alcohol and takeaways – I prefer to just wear what I already own (which is also more sustainable), drink gin I get given as presents and I love cooking, so takeaways are reserved for emergencies and special treats, maybe once a month.

    There are pros and cons to being freelance too. Because I never know when my next work is coming, I’m permanently in ‘survival mode’ when it comes to spending. I’ve finally got to the point where I have regular consultancy clients and writing work month to month, which helps, but my income is so variable that if I had big monthly expenses I think it would quickly become impossible to save.

    Also as a blogger (probably one of the most hated professions), I don’t know how long my job will be able to earn me what it does now, so I don’t want to be silly with money when social media could crash tomorrow and take the majority of my income with it. I’m slowly moving away from it all, but obviously want to enjoy it while it’s here. Strangely, being freelance therefore makes me a better saver, which I don’t mind, but I also wouldn’t mind a bit more predictability of income.

    How Frida spends:

    Monthly expenses:

    • £700 on rent
    • £80 for bills (water, wifi, gas and electricity, council tax)
    • £240 on an editor
    • £100 on lashes. This is my most shameful spend but it’s oh so freeing to not have to wear makeup, which is my justification. I realise the makeup savings don’t exactly offset the spending, though…
    • £3.99 on carbon offsetting
    • £67 on a Soho House membership (which is also my gym)
    • £13.39 phone bill
    • £12 ‘Who Gives a Crap’ loo paper subscription (eco-friendly and long-lasting. This is for my whole flat and they pay me back for some of it. I foot any small extra cost compared to non-eco loo paper because I know they don’t care if it’s sustainable or not)
    • £5.99 Netflix
    • £3 on my bank account (it’s a sustainable bank so there’s a monthly charge for their current account)
    • Groceries – price varies hugely, as I’m not always at home, so often don’t buy lots. I always have things in the freezer/dried/tinned foods and tend to buy fresh veg and bread at the beginning of every week depending on how much I’m around and throw together easy meals that I can eat throughout the week with various additions. Thankfully vegan food takes a long time to go off!

    A week of spending:

    Monday: £6.50 on lunch and a coffee – a nice café near me does 50% off on Mondays, so I tend to treat myself (I need it on a Monday!). I always get something I know I couldn’t make at home myself.

    £1.50 goes on a Tube journey to a meeting.

    I have leftovers and homemade cake for dinner.

    Tuesday: I walk to work, so no money spent there. I spend £12 on work lunch, then for dinner I have thrown-together ramen (my favourite cheap and warming meal) and more cake.

    Wednesday: £5 on the Tube to head to various events. I have a lunch meeting so I don’t pay for lunch, then have free dinner at an event. I finish the day with some cake.

    Thursday: Travelling on the Tube for events and meetings costs £3.90. I also get an oat milk flat white for £3.60.

    I have leftovers for brunch. I tend to re-jig the same leftovers for the whole week. So I made chilli-non-carne on Sunday, which I then added more vegetables on Monday and ate with pasta, then ate the remainder on sourdough on Thursday with vegan cheese and hummus.

    I have dinner for free at an event.

    Friday: £3 goes on a Tube journey for an event, where I get free breakfast.

    I spend £37.55 on single train ticket to Somerset. Travel to and from Somerset is one of my biggest recurring expenses, as a return costs around £60 with a railcard, but this is where my partner lives so I’ve bitten the bullet and refuse to take a sixth Megabus.

    Saturday: I get a day pass to the gym in Somerset for £6. I don’t bother getting a gym membership outside of London because I visit so sporadically, but I will get around three to four day passes a month.

    Sunday: Nothing spent. I went on a long run and then lazed around for the rest of the day eating bread. The dream.

    How Frida could save:

    We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Frida can save better (and what we can learn from her spending).

    Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice, especially for a London budget. 

    Well done. Your eco-conscious approach to money has left your bank balance looking green!

    Main vice:

    You’ve clocked it yourself but £1,200 a year on lashes is, well, a lot.

    If you’re not already saving into a pension, this feels like a good move. It’s a good habit to get into, especially when you’re freelance.

    Where you’re going right:

    You’re aware of the value you’re providing and aren’t afraid to set fees that reflect that. This is ace. We’d be keen to know how you got over your embarrassment around talking pay (we know this is something that loads of people struggle with).

    That student money mentality is a winner. Making use of leftovers at mealtimes ups the chances of leftover money at the end of the month.

    If it’s a regular habit, the day you walk to work each week saves you around £20 a month – that’s £240 a year (or two sets of lashes and loo paper for three months).

    As you mention, ISAs can be really helpful for getting into good saving habits and you don’t have to pay tax on any interest or returns you make.

    For anyone reading: there are various different kinds of ISA out there, so it’s definitely worth putting in some homework time.

    Bottom Line:

    Your money management looks to be as sustainable as lots of your other habits. Good luck with buying that place together!

    How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: How I Save: The British expat IT sales manager in Dubai with £314,678 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The disabled marketing assistant earning £18,500 a year and living in London

    MORE: How I Save: The newly redundant writer and personal finance blogger with £4,000 saved


    How Flora savesHow Flora saves

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     Mary, Leo and Kim (left to right) pictured together
    This couple entered a three-way relationship after falling in love with a woman (right) at the gym (Picture: MDWfeatures / @pnwtriad16)

    Former Marine Corps man Leo Barillas, 34, and his wife Mary, 32, from Washington, didn’t expect to fall in love with a woman who went to the gym they owned.

    After Leo was based all over the world in Iraq, Sri Lanka, Korea, and North Carolina, he decided to settle down in California with Mary and open a Crossfit business.

    It was at this establishment where the married couple – who have two kids – met estimator Kimberlee Slagle, 29.

    Kimberlee, who has two children of her own, started attending regular Crossfit classes and became good friends with the couple.

    A year later, in 2016, they formed a romantic connection and became a throuple, moving in together with all their children.

    While others often comment on their unusual set-up, Leo says his height is also a topic of interest as he is shorter than both partners.

    But, he says, ‘good things come in small packages’. Plus, it makes others curious as to what he’s got to offer.

     Mary, Leo and Kim SELFIE
    Mary (left) and Leo are highschool sweethearts  (Picture: MDWfeatures / @pnwtriad16)

    ‘Great things like diamonds come in small packages,’ says Leo. ‘I don’t mind being shorter than these two beautiful ladies. I think it makes others wonder what is so amazing about me.

    ‘Polyamory means being open and honest with who we are,’ he added. ‘We love more than one person and embrace that even though it is beyond the social norm.

    ‘Honestly, it is not very different from a traditional two-person relationship, we have a special relationship with each of our partners that we love and cherish and together we have a throuple.’

    Leo, Mary, and Kim acknowledge that their relationship might be a little out of the ordinary, but being a throuple allows them to live their best life.

    Jealousy can sometimes be an issue but the three always air their grievances to come to a solution and move forward.

    They share pictures of their family on social media and Leo is proud to have his two taller partners on his arm

    He said: ‘We chat a lot about the future but find that living in the moment one day at a time is what is best for our family and us.

    ‘Things can change so swiftly. Living in the here and now is what makes life worth living.’

     : Mary, Leo and Kim with their children on christmas
    Mary (left), Leo and Kim live together with their four children(Picture: MDWfeatures / @pnwtriad16)

    Though they haven’t had any particularly negative experiences, they are met with lots of questions as people are curious about their lifestyle.

    But the throuple don’t mind so much and are dedicated to having a healthy relationship.

    ‘Open communication is key to any successful relationship, no matter the type,’ added Leo.

    ‘Disregard any negative comments about this lifestyle, because it is perfectly ok to love many.’

    MORE: Polyamorous triad with three kids want more children and are open to more lovers

    MORE: Why are more people living together but not getting married?

    MORE: Are we moving towards a society where everyone is polyamorous or in open relationships?


    Couple Fall For Woman At GymCouple Fall For Woman At Gym

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