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

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    Primark Minnie Mouse heels are back in black velvet and silver glitter design
    The heels are back (Picture: Primark)

    These Minnie Mouse heels first appeared on Primark’s shelves in 2017.

    They were so popular, they sold out and last year they appeared again.

    Now they’re back for 2019, but this time they’ve available in two new designs.

    We loved the original black glitter and gold designs when they first appeared and this year, you can get your hands on a silver glitter version or black velvet with a red bow.

    The stilettos feature Minnie Mouse ears at the back and a bow to recreate the look of the famous Disney character.

    They cost just £14 and are perfect for the festive season.

    The shoes were posted on Disneyfind and shoppers are excited to get a pair.

    Primark Minnie Mouse heels are back - these are the original designs from 2017
    The original designs in 2017 (Picture: Primark)

    One person tagged a friend and said: ‘You were asking what I wanted for Christmas!! These!!!’

    Another added: ‘Wow even more beautiful these ones.’

    ‘I MUST have a pair this time,’ another Primark fan said.

    It’s not the only thing people are coveting from the store this Christmas.

    People on social media are also excited about their seasonal jumpers.

    Prices range between £5 and £12, for the collection of thick knits, lighter jumpers and sweatshirts.

    Designs include a pug in a Santa hat, a cat singing Christmas carols and penguins kissing.

    There’s also traditional Fairisle prints and patterns.

    One person tweeted: ‘@Primark is winning the awesomeness game this year with all the Christmas jumpers/t-shirts.’

    While another simply said: ‘I love them all.’

    Perfect for snuggling up after some festive partying in the Minnie Mouse heels.

    MORE: Time to begin the Christmas shopping as Wilko launches toy sale with up to 50% off

    MORE: Selfridges launches mini mince pie advent calendar with festive snacks for all of December


    Primark Minnie Mouse heels are backPrimark Minnie Mouse heels are back

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    Pumpkin pie hummus
    Would you try it? (Picture: Boar’s Head)

    The leaves are falling, there is a chill in the air and Christmas is just around the corner.

    And there’s one drink that sums up this Autumnal feeling – the pumpkin spice latte.

    As the cinnamony, nutmeggy, gingery flavour has grown in popularity, we’ve seen it spread into other foods.

    But this one might be a step too far – pumpkin pie hummus.

    Yes, someone has mixed the chickpea-based dip with pumpkin and spices.

    The pumpkin pie dessert hummus is available in America and it doesn’t look like it had spread to the UK just yet.

    Made by Boar’s Head, the hummus was spotted by Alex de Campi on Twitter.

    He said: ‘I have found it, the worst food.’

    The description on the Boar’s Head website says: ‘Boar’s Head Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus is crafted with creamy steamed chickpeas, real pumpkin, ground vanilla beans, organic sugar, and savoury Fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.’

    People on Twitter agreed with Alex that it didn’t sound like something they wanted to eat.

    ‘Either there aren’t chickpeas in there and it shouldn’t be called hummus, or there are chickpeas in there and it just shouldn’t be consumed,’ one said.

    ‘I’m going to have nightmares about this,’ another said.

    Danny Deraney added: ‘To Alex and everyone on this god damn thread. On behalf of my Lebanese people, THANK YOU FOR KNOWING WHAT IS RIGHT!’

    But a few people said they’d tried it and it wasn’t bad.

    Kameiko said: ‘Taste like chickpeas with pumpkin pie. Yes, I did buy it. Yes, I did enjoy it. Haha.’

    Leigh added: ‘It’s actually delicious. There is a key lime pie hummus and it taste exactly like key lime pie… true Floridian here. They clearly make it with magic.’

    MORE: Primark brings back £14 Minnie Mouse heels in two new designs

    MORE: Selfridges launches mini mince pie advent calendar with festive snacks for all of December


    Pumpkin pie hummusPumpkin pie hummus

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    A bartender squeezing lemon into a glass, with five glasses in total on a bar top with clear contents
    The range was colourless and nameless (Picture: Burger & Lobster)

    In an effort to make its drinks offering more inclusive, Burger & Lobster released a limited-time gender-neutral cocktail menu at two of its sites last week.

    It was made up of five tipples, all of which were colourless and nameless, and were offered at the Soho and Bread Street branches.

    The launch was in response to a survey commissioned by the restaurant and bar chain, which revealed that 21% of Brits don’t feel comfortable drinking certain cocktails as they feel they are better suited for the opposite gender.

    Additional findings showed that 13% of Brits have been ‘made fun of’ because of their choice of drink and 26% of men and women feel they have to choose a particular beverage because of pressure from friends or family.

    Burger & Lobster also analysed in-house customer behaviour, which found that 31% of male customers were opposed to ordering a Cosmopolitan or Piña Colada, because the name of the cocktails felt ‘feminine’, while 11% of female customers were hesitant in asking for a Negroni or Old Fashioned.

    The new gender-neutral cocktails didn’t have names at the Soho branch but were numbered, so that customers could choose a drink without worrying about stereotypes – and instead, focus on the flavours they preferred.

    Head of bar for the company, George Pugsley and mixologist Eduard Bala reimagined traditional cocktails, using ingredients like grape and elderflower cordial, kombucha and a peach aperitif liqueur.

    At the Bread Street restaurant, however, customers were given a traditional list of cocktail names as part of an additional experiment to see if this would affect their choices.

    The five drinks included the White Cosmopolitan, Mojito Twist, Margarita Twist, White Negroni and Piña Colada Twist.

    At Bread Street, only 5% of men and women chose the White Negroni, while at the Soho venue – where it was simply called No. 1 – it was four times more popular.

    It’s not just the marketing of cocktails that affects people’s choices; according to the survey, 67% of the 2,000 participants would avoid a drink if the glassware was too ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’.

    Frivolous garnishes are also a concern for some (25%).

    ‘The colourless and nameless cocktails are an exciting concept, not only for us but for our customers,’ said Ben Hedley, head of marketing at Burger & Lobster.

    ‘They are always on the lookout for what we are doing next and we hope this will encourage more people to feel comfortable in what they are drinking – everybody loves a cheeky cocktail.’

    Following the results of its experiment, Burger & Lobster will roll out the new menu in all of its London restaurants next year.

    MORE: Men touch their balls an average of seven times a day – but two thirds have never had them checked by a doctor

    MORE: Asda reveals its Christmas range so you can start planning the festive dinner

    MORE: Selfridges launches mini mince pie advent calendar with festive snacks for all of December


    image002 (2)-8730image002 (2)-8730

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    Boots Krispy Kreme £3 bath fizzer
    Perfect for a sweet smelling bath (Picture: Boots)

    Doughnut fans can now enjoy the smell of that famous Krispy Kreme glaze at bath time.

    Boots and the doughnut brand have teamed up to create bath bombs.

    And the good news is, it’s currently on offer.

    The strawberries & kreme bath fizzer is available in-store or online and it’s reduced from £4 to £3 in the seasonal gifting offer.

    The description on the website says: ‘Mmm do I smell doughnuts? Sweeten up even the dullest of days with the deliciously designed Krispy Kreme Doughnut Range.

    ‘Created Exclusively for Boots. Whether your favourite is Original Glaze, Strawberries and Kreme or Chocolate Sprinkles, there is sure to be something for you! Bath time has never smelt so sweet.’

    The pack contains one fizzer and all you have to do is remove the packaging and drop it into your hot bath.

    It sounds like a perfect stocking filler or just a nice way to relax after a hard day of Christmas shopping.

    All you need now is a box of doughnuts to enjoy as you lie back and relax.

    As well as their standard menu of traditional glazed treats, Krispy Kreme is currently selling yellow doughnuts with Pudsey the bear on top for Children in Need.

    The signature Original Glazed ring is hand-dipped in yellow icing with a vanilla kreme frosting, colourful sprinkles and an edible Pudsey decoration.

    And of course, each doughnut you buy means a donation to Children in Need – 20% of each one will be donated to the fundraising event, which takes place on 15 November.

    MORE: Pumpkin pie hummus exists and it might be taking PSL season too far

    MORE: Men touch their balls an average of seven times a day – but two thirds have never had them checked by a doctor


    Boots Krispy Kreme doughnutBoots Krispy Kreme doughnut

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    **ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)
    You need to keep budgeting (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If you’ve been in debt for a long time, paying it off can leave you a bit confused about what to do next.

    No matter what approach you made to becoming debt-free, it will have been part of your budget for a long time.

    With so much of your income available again, it can be easy to throw the budget out the window.

    But spending in that way can leave make you vulnerable to falling into debt again.

    Once you come to the end of your payment plan, there are a few things you should do to continue living without debt.

    Andy Shaw, Debt Advice Coordinator at StepChange Debt Charity, said:

    ‘If you’ve paid off your debts, first of all, congratulations! Paying off your debts represents a huge achievement, so you should certainly keep that in mind.

    ‘However, there’s a risk that money worries can reoccur, so it’s important you remain vigilant about the risk of debt.

    ‘Establishing a new budget and taking your new financial freedom into consideration will help you with this.’

    Stick to your budget

    If you’ve got used to a budget, it’s important to continue what you have learned.

    You may be used to a very tight budget so you can pay off your debt as quickly as possible and while you can loosen it slightly to enjoy yourself, commit to at least putting some of the money in savings.

    Andy adds: ‘If you did a budget as part of the process of clearing your debts, you may find that if you base your new budget off your old one, you will have a large surplus at the end of the month which would otherwise be used to pay off bills.

    ‘We’d highly recommend putting at least a portion of this towards savings, which can greatly reduce the risk of falling into problem debt again – but be realistic and do make sure to keep some of your new surplus to enjoy yourself!’

    Start saving

    Using the extra money to save is a good idea because it means you can create some emergency savings.

    If you find yourself in a situation where you urgently need some money, like if your car breaks down or you need a deposit to rent a new flat, dipping into your emergency fund is a much better idea than having to borrow money.

    Set yourself a goal and set aside that money as soon as you get paid every month.

    Improve your credit rating

    Your credit rating will not be good if you have had any debt payment support like a debt payment plan or IVA. These will stay on your file for six years and will impact on your credit rating.

    Even if you haven’t used one of these services, it will note if you have had any defaults on your debt.

    Over time these will drop off and as long as you don’t fall into old habits, your credit rating will improve.

    There are some things you can do to improve your credit rating as soon as possible:

    Make sure your credit file is up to date

    Read through your report and make sure that anything that isn’t right is corrected.

    You can speak to the company who put something on your credit file and ask them to correct any mistakes, or if they refuse you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to look into it.

    If there is something that is correct but you feel it needs some more explanation, you can add a ‘notice of correction’, which will be visible ot anyone checking your credit history.

    Adding yourself to the electoral roll if you aren’t already on it can also help your credit score as it is used to verify your details. It also means you will be eligible to vote.

    Start applying for credit again – but use it sensibly

    Once you are completely debt-free, you can apply for credit again and this does help you build up your credit score by showing you can make consistent payments.

    Only apply for credit if you are sure you can pay it back. It’s a good idea to use it for some usual spending like a regular bill but make sure it is paid off in full every month. Set the money aside to pay it when you get paid.

    Never apply for more than 50% of the credit that is available to you and spend small amounts.

    Don’t apply for lots of credit at once either – having lots of applications can make you look desperate and make your credit rating worse.

    You can use MoneySavingExpert’s eligibility checker to see how likely you are to be given a credit card before you apply. Searching through this checker won’t impact your credit score

    Don’t fall back into bad habits

    Recognise when you were overspending and if you feel you are slipping into your old ways, take a step back and talk about it with someone who understands your financial situation.

    Most debts build up and people ignore them until they are unmanageable. Don’t let that happen again.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     


    **ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)**ILLUSTRATION AMEND** It might be awkward, but it's vital for couples to discuss money (Abby)

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    Pink Percy Pig muffins
    the new Percy Pig muffins are £1 (Picture: Laura Abernethy)

    There’s now another way you can get that sweet fruity Percy Pig taste.

    M&S has launched a muffin that tastes like the beloved pig-shaped sweets.

    It is incredibly pink but don’t let that put you off.

    The muffin costs £1 and is Percy flavoured cake, with buttercream on top and filled with raspberry jam. The whole thing is topped with a single Percy Pig sweet.

    The treats are available in the bakery section of each store.

    They were spotted by Kevssnakreviews and posted on Instagram and Percy fans were excited to try the latest thing in the range.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4h8ZZmJwj4/

    One said: ‘OMG the Percy muffins.’

    Another added: ‘Ooh you can always count on M&S to deliver the goods.’

    Alongside the Percy Pig muffins, the bakery also had new snowflake chocolate caramel muffins for the festive season.

    These ones are also £1 but are chocolate muffins with caramel buttercream and a chocolate snowflake on top.

    Elsewhere in store, Percy Pig fans can pick up the advent calendar, which was launched last year but is back for 2019.

    You can treat yourself to a pig each day in the countdown to Christmas with the calendar that costs £5.

    It’s been a busy year for the M&S mascot this year – in April, he divided the nation when the recipe was changed.

    Gelatin was removed from the original recipe to make all packets vegetarian, causing so much uproar, M&S launched an appeal for taste testers.

    The new recipe won in the end though – and the store even went on to introduce a lower-sugar version of the popular sweets in the summer.

    MORE: What should you do after you pay off your debts?

    MORE: Boots is launching a Krispy Kreme doughnut flavour bath bomb


    image-bf55image-bf55

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    Aldi colour in playhouse
    The colour-in playhouse from Aldi (Picture: Aldi)

    Half-term has only just passed but the Christmas holidays are just around the corner.

    Parents are always on the look out for something to keep kids entertained for a few hours.

    And Aldi has created the ultimate colouring-in project – a whole playhouse that they can scribble all over.

    The playhouse comes in three designs – an igloo, Santa’s grotto, a gingerbread house and a nativity scene.

    Each one costs just £6.99 and comes flatpacked, so you can get it home easily and then build it wherever you want.

    Each one has a different pattern for kids to decorate however they want and they can also use it to play inside.

    The description on the website says: ‘If your little one loves getting creative, this make and colour your own playhouse is a perfect way to get the festive season started.

    aldi colour in playhouse
    Kids can take it apart and decorate each side or draw on it when it’s already built (Picture: Aldi)

    ‘Let them create their very own space with their very own design thanks to this amazing colour in playhouse. Perfect for igniting their creativity and encouraging them to make up their own ideas.’

    Parents love the idea and the playhouses have already sold out online but you might still be able to find some in store.

    One mum shared a post about the playhouse in the Aldi Shoppers UK group on Facebook and said her kids loved it.

    She said: ‘So I got this for my 3 children (ages 10, 7 and 1) gave it to them this morning with a pack of the crafty pastel highlighter pens (also aldi) and they have coloured and played with it all day!

    ‘Such a hit! with my 7 year old especially, so much so that he has put it on his bed (top bunk) and is currently fast asleep in it, legs hanging out!

    ‘At £6.99 am now considering getting 1 or 2 more out of the range. Total win!’

    Others agreed it was a great idea.

    ‘I am getting this! Hope they have them in my local store!’ one said.

    Another added: ‘Brilliant! Just ordered one for my daughter for Christmas.’

    MORE: M&S launches very pink £1 Percy Pig muffins

    MORE: What should you do after you pay off your debts?


    Parents love this ?6.99 playhouse that kids can colour in themselves from AldiParents love this ?6.99 playhouse that kids can colour in themselves from Aldi

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    Illustration of a Muslim woman with her hand on her head at an Islamic bank
    Muslims have a few extra things to consider when in debt (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    My dad is a stickler for rules, particularly where it involves hospitality towards other people.

    As a teenager who’d occasionally sponge off my mates for a quick McDonald’s trip or to go out, I’d be reminded that it was important I pay them back.

    It’s not just because he didn’t want my friends to think I couldn’t be trusted to borrow money – as a Muslim, he taught me to pay off debt as soon as possible, even if it was as little as £1.

    Borrowing and lending has serious consequences in Islamic culture and debt is an otherworldy punishable offence – it may stop you from entering heaven.

    While debt has social and personal implications for the average person, for Muslims there’s a religious element too.

    The Prophet Muhammed who was noted as saying: ‘If a man was killed in battle for the sake of Allah, then brought back to life and he owed a debt, he would not enter Paradise until his debt was paid off.’

    Outstanding debts are aligned with a person’s outcome in the afterlife so Muslims take it pretty seriously.

    Illustration of money flying out man's pocket
    Muslims believe not paying off debt can stop them from entering heaven (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro. co.uk)

    A corporate insolvency practitioner, Al-nur (who is Muslim) helps businesses and individuals in debt and he says they are often similar.

    He tells Metro.co.uk that just as there is a great consequence for not paying debt off in Islam, there are rewards too to be had for those writing them off.

    ‘In Islam, debt is an obligation that needs to be fulfilled,’ he says. ‘Islam takes the matter of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the Muslim to avoid it as much as possible.

    ‘However, we are taught that there is a huge reward for those who forgive and write off debt for someone who owes them money.’

    Most of the personal insolvency situations he sees are to do with credit cards and payday loans with ‘ridiculous’ interest rates he says.

    He understands that money just has to be borrowed sometimes, but encourages people to live without excess material consumption.

    He adds: ‘Unfortunately, we live in an era where everyone is encouraged to live off credit. Everyone needs to own a house. Everyone borrows to finance a car or even a mobile phone.

    ‘So my obvious advice is you don’t need this material lifestyle. In Islam we are taught that we should live life like a traveller, this life is a matter of days and that we should work towards the next life which is eternal.’

    Al-nur’s last bit of advice is to see a practitioner for free advice should you need extra support in handling it.

    With such grave importance placed on the topic, we’ve answered some common questions surrounding debt and Islam.

    What does the Quran say about debt?

    There are several references to debt in the Quran.

    One of the most important things is to write owed payments down. It’s decreed that every contract of debt should be written down by a scribe with fairness (no biases).

    It’s also advised to have at least two witnesses. The Holy Quran also states that those lending must not make any profit on the monetary exchange (interest).

    Interest is considered unjust and Islamic banks offer loans without charging it (that doesn’t mean Muslims get zero-interest loans, they still have to make contributions to a charity of organisation).

    With such a great deal of importance placed on repaying debt, it can be easy for creditors to demand repayment.

    However, Islamically, prosecuting poor debtors is forbidden and the demand for repayment should be postponed till debtors are in a better situation.

    What if someone dies while in debt?

    A family member or friend can pay on their behalf so Muslims usually urge one another to let their debts be known to others by writing it down or letting them know.

    Heirs or loved ones of the person have to take on the responsibility of using the deceased person’s wealth to pay off their debt.

    If no money is readily available, they have to work to pay it off through their own means or give something as a pledge because doing so is taking measures to discharge the person’s obligations.

    How can Muslims get out of debt?

    As with anyone in debt, they’d need to work out a plan to pay the lender back. But remember that interest is forbidden in Islam (you’re not supposed to swap money for money).

    So whichever loans they take out may be a ‘halal’ one whereby they make some sort of ethical contribution or pay towards an asset instead of interest.

    But many choose to ask their loved ones to cover them while they raise the funds. There are also charities and organisations aimed to help Muslims strategise against paying large sums back.

    Illustration of a woman next to credit card and final notice letter
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Duaas to help relieve debt

    Duaas – or prayers – are a profound act of worship for Muslims. They can be used during salah (five daily prayers) or recited at any point in the day.

    Prophet Muhammed is said to have taught a prayer to one of his companions Abu Umamah Ansari who owed money to someone.

    It’s reported that once he recited the prayer, he was relieved of his debt.

    He was advised to say: ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-hammi wa’l-hazani, wa a’oodhi bika min al-‘ajzi wa’l-kasali, wa a’oodhu bika min al-jubni wa’l-bukhli, wa a’oodhi bika min ghalabat il-dayn wa qahri al-rijaal’.

    This translates to: ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, and I seek refuge with You from incapacity and laziness, and I seek refuge with You from cowardice and miserliness, and I seek refuge with You from being heavily in debt and from being overcome by men’.

    Muslims in debt may wish to recite this as a way to cope with financial woes.

    While Muslims have an added religious obligation to their debt troubles, there are also religion-based solutions.

    For example, those of the Islamic faith that have the means, have to pay annual zakat (charity). Instead of paying zakat, some may choose to pay off a relative’s debt.

    This is considered doing charity and upholding the ties of kinship.

    Ultimately though, Muslims believe God is just and kind, and they may choose to pray for their financial affairs to be made easier.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     

    MORE: Miss Bangladesh becomes first Miss Universe contestant from an Asian Muslim country

    MORE: My halal student debt: How Muslims navigate Sharia financing when interest is haram

    MORE: This ballet school for Muslim kids uses poetry instead of music


    DEBT MONTH: 'My halal student debt' (or the like)DEBT MONTH: 'My halal student debt' (or the like)

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    Shopping spree, bags.
    Today is the day to treat yourself (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    It’s time to embrace and celebrate being single.

    Last week, Emma Watson coined the term self-partnered and said she is embracing being in a relationship, with herself.

    Well, singletons in China have been celebrating themselves for years with a whole day dedicated to buying gifts.

    It’s one of the biggest shopping days in their calendar – like an alternative Black Friday.

    And now it’s spreading elsewhere.

    You might not have heard of the day but experts are predicting almost £1.3bn in UK sales alone today.

    The Shopping for Christmas 2019 report, commissioned by VoucherCodes.co.uk and carried out by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), reveals that the UK is forecast to have the highest Singles’ Day sales in Europe for the 24-hour discount event.

    Purchases with participating retailers are expected to increase by £170m on last year to reach £1.29bn in 2019.

    Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk commented: ’Sceptics may consider the awareness of Singles’ Day to be relatively low, but Black Friday was not-so-long-ago viewed apprehensively by British shoppers as an American tradition.

    ‘It has since grown into a monumental discount event, taking in sales of over £8.57bn in the UK alone in 2018.

    ‘This year’s Singles’ Day sales are expected to amount to 15.1% of Black Friday’s total weekend revenue, but considering the years of hype around Black Friday, this is an impressive figure for a fairly unknown event.’

    These are some of the best Singles’ Day discounts in the UK today

    New Look 

    The store is offering 25% off all full-price items with the code XMAS25 and 25% off all dresses and skirts until midnight tonight.

    ASOS

    ASOS has been teasing Singles’ Day deals on social media but they aren’t live just yet. Keep an eye out for discounts later today.

    Joanie clothing

    Use code FLASH25 to get 25% off everything today, including quirky jumpers, t-shirts and dresses.

    Dorothy Perkins

    Another store with 25% off everything, ending at midnight tonight.

    Boohoo

    The online retailer also has 25% sitewide for Singles’ Day. The discount is automatically applied as you shop.

    Lovehoney

    Get 20% off sex toys, lingerie or other treats today with the code 11SINGLES11.

    Sports Direct

    There’s an extra 20% off the Outlet with the code EXTRA20 at the sportswear site until midnight tonight.

    Amazon

    While Amazon doesn’t have a big sale like on Black Friday, there is a Hidden Gems sale running until tomorrow if you want to buy yourself something for Singles’ Day.

    MORE: People are shocked by claims Apple Card offers women less credit because of their gender

    MORE: Parents love this £6.99 Aldi playhouse that kids can colour in themselves


    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

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    Gina Shelton and Olie Lloyd with their two sets of twins and daughter phoebe
    Gina Shelton and Olie Lloyd and their five children (Picture: Mercury Press)

    A couple have defied the odds by having two consecutive twin pregnancies.

    Gina Shelton and Olie Lloyd welcomed their twin boys Arlo and Alby into the world – just three years after their girl twins, Niamh and Esme, were born.

    The odds of having two sets of twins, one after the other (with no babies in between), is estimated to be around 700,000 to one.

    Gina, who is also mum Phoebe, aged six, said: ‘I never thought we would have twins, but when I was pregnant with the girls I was working in a nursery and I was just so tired all the time.

    ‘Everyone around me was always saying I was going to have twins.

    ‘In the waiting room at the hospital Olie and I were looking at cars before the scan and Olie kept joking “forget it, we’re going to need a bus!”

    ‘I think we were crying with happiness and panic when we found out, because at the time we were living in a two bedroom flat and Olie was in the process of building our house.

    ‘A year later we found out we were having another set of twins – we couldn’t believe it, but neither could our family or even our doctors.

    ‘It’s crazy, busy and noisy having five kids but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    ‘We get through thousands of nappies and we’ve had to buy a seven-seater car but my family are one in a million.”

    Girl twins Niamh and Esme with boy twins Arlo and Alby
    (Picture: Mercury Press) Niamh and Esme, age three, alongside Arlo and Alby who are three months

    Neither Gina nor Olie have a history of twins in their family, making the arrivals even more unexpected.

    Both sets of twins were born by C-section and were conceived naturally – within just four months of trying, each time.

    the two sets of consecutive twins
    The two sets of twins (Picture: Mercury Press)
    Parents Gina and Olie with their five children
    The whole family (Picture: Mercury Press)

    The pair estimated that they have changed around 5,550 nappies to date.

    Gina said: ‘I did worry that Phoebe was going to be pushed out as Niamh and Esme grew up, but actually it has just brought us closer together.

    ‘While the twins have each other, Phoebe and I will always have each other because we don’t understand their bond.

    ‘Niamh and Esme will talk to each other and burst into hysterical fits of laughter while Olie and I are stood trying to work out what they’re laughing at.

    ‘But if one of them gets picked on, the other is the first one by their side defending them.

    ‘They’re incredibly close and I’m sure the boys will be the same.

    ‘Watching them laugh and love each other like that is the most rewarding thing as a mother.

    ‘Although the odds aren’t that much higher of winning the lottery, I still think we’re luckier to have the family we do.’

    Odds of having two sets of twins

    Despite experts claiming it is almost impossible to quantify the odds of having consecutive sets of twins due to the amount of variables, some reports suggest the odds could be around one in 700,000.

    Inherited genetics and whether a woman has undergone IVF can play a role in whether twins are conceived. Fertility treatment can often increase the number of babies, too.

    MORE: Twins, 11, cried in pain after getting temporary tattoo that’s scarred them for life

    MORE: Woman, 74, becomes world’s oldest mum after giving birth to twins

    MORE: Dad turns toolbox trolley into a nappy changing station for his twins


    Gina Shelton and Olie Lloyd with their two sets of twins and daughter phoebeGina Shelton and Olie Lloyd with their two sets of twins and daughter phoebe

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    Stick a pair of googly eyes on anything and it becomes hilarious, because such is the standard of comedy we enjoy.

    Even when you plant the stickers on animals, it can make for some pretty entertaining pictures.

    But you’ll be mistaken if you think this cat’s wearing them on his face. Potato the cat has natural bulging eyes that are reminiscent of the gimmicky stickers.

    And the five-year-old kitty has taken the internet by storm thanks to his unique appearance.

    Potato seems to be stuck in a constant state of bewilderment and his owner can’t help but laugh.

    After being adopted by Ashley Norlien, 21, two years ago, the owner snapped plenty of pics of Potato looking puzzled in everyday scenarios.

    As Potato’s social media presence started to climb, Ashley noticed that the kitty was getting more and more mentions about his ‘different’ eyes.

    Now Potato has amassed over 50,000 followers thanks to his unique look.

    Cat with huge bulging eyes
    Shooketh (Picture: Caters News)

    But despite so many people marvelling over the feline’s eyes, Ashley admits that she doesn’t have a real explanation for why Potato looks the way he does.

    Ashley said: ‘Potato has been with me for about two years now.

    ‘As soon as I got him, I started uploading pictures online and people immediately noticed there was something different about his eyes.

    Cat with bulging eyes
    Cutie (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘I don’t really know if it’s some genetic conditions, but surely it does make a memorable look.’

    Potato isn’t the only social media kitty with huge eyes. Matilda with the giant eyes can give him a run for his money.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BMqLu6RjKSa/

    But sadly for Matilda, hers is the result of a condition called spontaneous lens luxation – when the lens shifts out of position and moves either into the front or into the back of the eye.

    For Matilda, that meant getting rid of her eyes. But she, like Potato, is still a social media star.

    MORE: Groom surprises bride with their two-legged cat on their wedding day and her reaction is priceless

    MORE: We’ve fallen in love with these cat twins who have different coloured eyes

    MORE: Cat with diabetes is desperately looking for a loving home


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    Cat in solitary confinement after letting all the shelter animals out
    Plotting his next escapade (Picture: Friends for Life Animal Rescue Organisation)

    This cat who’s been locked up for letting out shelter animals didn’t choose the thug life, it chose him.

    The aptly named Quilty is guilty of letting his four-legged pals run free at the Friends for Life Animal Rescue Organisation in Houston, Texas.

    The six-year-old domestic shorthair has now been put in what is now being called solitary confinement until he learns some manners.

    And it seems Quilty is a creature of habit as he was known to let out his doggo friend when he lived with a previous owner.

    The owner wasn’t too pleased that the dog would be let indoors and make a mess.

    We’re not sure whether Quilty has an aversion to doors or he just wants to see some chaos in the world.

    But we stan a legend. And his legendary ways are being documented on Instagram page Free Quilty.

    Despite the lovable rogue’s mischievous ways, he’s still loved by fans online and the folks at the animal shelter.

    They’re still not letting him out of the SHU though.

    Cat looking suspicious
    That face says it all (Picture: Friends for Life Animal Rescue Organisation)

    Posting on their Facebook, they wrote: ‘Quilty’s review with the parole board was denied, so he released himself of his own recognisance.

    ‘He felt that confinement had nothing more to offer him. He has been returned to solitary. Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame.

    ‘His roommates missed him while he was banished to the lobby. They enjoyed their nighttime escapades around the shelter.’

    They added: ‘If someone out there is looking for a clever cat that gets along with dogs but does not get along with closed doors, we have someone they really need to come and meet.’

    Those in the Houston area might be interested in giving the cheeky cat a forever home.

    In case you need convincing, Quilty admits he is ‘a smart, energetic, laid back fella’.

    Cat locked behind glass door
    Quilty behind his arch nemesis – a door (Picture: Friends for Life Animal Rescue Organisation)

    ‘But I can be a bit shy,’ he adds on his Insta page. ‘If you have a friendly dog at home that is OK with me, but I’m not sure about young children.

    ‘I’ve never played with them before, so I don’t know if I like them. I do know that I like to open closed doors. When I see one it challenges me, and I work hard to get it open and I’m usually successful.’

    So if you don’t mind a crafty kitty, Quilty’s your guy.

    MORE: Professor Doerak is the university campus cat who’s a bit of a casanova

    MORE: Sneaky pug locks owner out of her car

    MORE: Tigger the sneaky cat won’t stop stealing children’s ball pit balls


    Shelter Puts Cat In Solitary Confinement Because It Keeps Letting Other Cats OutShelter Puts Cat In Solitary Confinement Because It Keeps Letting Other Cats Out

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    missguided launches matching dog and owner jumpers
    Coordinate with your dog (Picture: Missguided)

    The colder weather is setting in which means it’s time to dig out your collection of roll-neck jumpers.

    But one fashion brand has launched its own range of roll-necks, with miniature versions for dogs, too.

    Missguided has released a selection of everyday knitwear as well as some festive pieces – to keep you and your pup going through the winter months.

    Two different everyday styles are available – a classic white knit and a chunkier camel piece.

    They also come in three different sizes for dogs, depending on the breed.

    missguided model wearing white winter jumper
    A white knit for you…(Picture: Missguided)
    dog wearing the white missguided jumper
    …and your dog (Picture: Missguided)

    According to the brand, the smaller jumpers are designed to fit dogs like chihuahuas, mini dachshunds and Yorkshire terriers.

    The medium jumper is more likely to fit breeds such as Jack Russells, border terriers, mini schnauzers, small pugs, mini poodles, King Charles Cavaliers and smaller cocker spaniels.

    Whereas the largest size will be the perfect winter knit for West Highland white terriers, larger cocker spaniels and beagles.

    So whatever the size your four-legged friend, they won’t miss out on the new range.

    model wearing camel missguided jumper
    The chunky camel piece (Picture: Missguided)
    dog wearing camel missguided jumper
    Match with your pup (Picture: Missguided)

    The jumpers are purse-friendly, too, with canine versions priced at £12 and £25 for human counterparts – which are available in sizes 6-18.

    Missguided has also released a selection of festive jumpers for dogs, including a Christmas pudding design and an adorable reindeer knit.

    dog wearing Missguided festive jumper
    A Christmas treat (Picture: Missguided)
    dog wearing missguided festive jumper
    Adorable (Picture: Missguided)

    The brand has followed in the footsteps of H&M and Pringle of Scotland, who released a collection of doggie jumpers last month.

    The news also comes after Asda released its very own festive dachshund range, with sausage dog duvets, throws, lights, ornaments and more.

    MORE: Bridesmaids surprise bride with a puppy as a wedding gift after her dog died

    MORE: Dog who’s learning to talk using custom keyboard already knows 29 words

    MORE: Bride orders dog-themed wedding cake, ends up with one that looks like a ‘dead porcupine’


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    Father Christmas sat in the Harrods Christmas grotto in 2011
    Harrods is asking customers to spend £2,000 in store to be able to visit Santa (Picture: Steve Finn/Harrods via Getty Images)

    Father Christmas is upping his fee in 2019.

    Harrods has announced that families who want to visit its Christmas grotto, where children can meet Santa, must spend a minimum of £2,000 in the luxury department store to be able to do so this year.

    When Harrods first opened its grotto in 1955, the experience was free – but in 2019, parents must shell out £20 per child (in addition to the in-store shopping spree).

    One regular visitor accused the Knightsbridge store of ‘behaving like the Grinch who stole Christmas’ by only allowing customers who can afford the exorbitant minimum spend to enter the festive space.

    Following further anger from shoppers for being shut out from the Swarovski crystal-encrusted grotto, Harrods decided to also allow 160 families the chance to visit by only paying the £20 entry fee.

    These families were selected through a ‘wishing well’, with 10 names chosen each day.

    ‘Harrods is behaving like the Grinch who stole Christmas,’ 40-year-old James Browne, 40, told The Guardian.

    The father-of-four has been making the journey to Harrods with his 15-year-old son Toby since the boy was a baby.

    ‘They have lost the true meaning of Christmas and given into the commercialisation of the season. Visiting Father Christmas shouldn’t be reserved for those that are fortunate enough to frequent the store and spend thousands of pounds.

    ‘A visit to Father Christmas at a magical shop like Harrods should be for all,” said Browne, a marketing director from Worcester Park, south-west London.

    ‘I think the owners need to have a long hard look at the longer-term impact on their business for the thousands of children who won’t grow up with a fond feeling for the store.’

    A spokeswoman for Harrods told The Guardian that the reason for the £2,000 spend minimum is due to high demand and a lack of slots.

    ‘Each year, we are overwhelmed by requests for this special experience, which we make every effort to facilitate,’ she said.

    ‘We care hugely about making a visit to the Grotto as magical as possible, and tickets are extremely limited due to the number of slots we can facilitate in-store.

    ‘Unfortunately, we simply cannot meet the demand for places.

    ‘The Harrods Christmas Grotto is offered by invitation only to Harrods Rewards customers in recognition of their loyal custom throughout the year.

    ‘Due to demand, we invite Harrods Rewards customers who are Green tier 2 and above the opportunity to book tickets.

    ‘This year, Harrods wanted to offer all visitors to the store the chance win complimentary tickets to the Harrods Christmas Grotto. A “Wishing Well” appeared … 10 winners per day were drawn from the Wishing Well; and the winners were each awarded one of the 160 booking slots.’

    We have contacted Harrods for comment and this piece will be updated once a reply is received.

    MORE: Selfridges launches mini mince pie advent calendar with festive snacks for all of December

    MORE: Time to begin the Christmas shopping as Wilko launches toy sale with up to 50% off

    MORE: Asda reveals its Christmas range so you can start planning the festive dinner


    Harrods 26th Annual Christmas ParadeHarrods 26th Annual Christmas Parade

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    Artist featured with the portraits he makes using Skittles
    Artist Harold Claudio pictured with his brilliant artwork (Picture: Harold Claudio)

    When black teenager Trayvon Martin was fatally shot in 2012, he was carrying a packet of Skittles which later became a symbol of his innocence.

    So artist Harold Claudio decided to honour that, using the colourful sweets in his work.

    The 34-year-old from West Palm Beach, Florida only creates portraits of powerful black people including Tupac, Beyonce, Bob Marley and of course, Trayvon using Skittles.

    He tells Metro.co.uk that his earlier works were made using the traditional pencil but following the brutality against Trayvon, he changed his choice of medium.

    ‘I decided to use Skittles when the Trayvon Martin incident happened,’ he explains.

    ‘I was inspired to start a movement by one of the items he had during the time he was killed.

    ‘The way I see it,  no matter what we (people of color) do, it’s seen as a threat in society when I’m actually we are sweet and colorful, like the candy.’

    His portraits – which take two weeks to put together – became more meaningful after Harold realised that the confectionary’s slogan ‘taste the rainbow’ could be applied to real life.

    ‘I had the idea of using the skittles as a way of taking the candies “taste the rainbow” mantra and was motivated to make an impact by highlighting different subjects of culture.

    ‘So it’s “taste the culture”. Anyone that can relate to the sweet amazing candy should be able to relate it to the culture.’

    Portrait of Trayvon Maryin using Skittles
    The artwork was inspired by the death of Trayvon Martin who was carrying Skittles when he died (Picture: Harold Claudio)

    Harold, a full-time artist, is self-taught and began drawing in his childhood.

    He adds: ‘I’ve been doing art ever since I first picked up a pencil, never studied it or was taught. It was just something me and my siblings did on our downtime. We’d just draw ninja turtles all over the walls at home.’

    While you might not spot it immediately, there are white Skittles in his work. But to get them, he has to have it imported from the UK or Canada as they aren’t available to him in the States.

    Once it’s put together, it becomes inedible art, to be revered at rather than eaten.

    And the subjects of his portraits are chosen by considering the cultural impact they’ve had.

    He says: ‘I feel that whoever is making a sweet positive impact in moving the culture forward in society should be immortalised in Skittles art.

    Portrait of Will Smith using Skittles
    This one is entitled Everybody loves Will (Picture: Harold Claudio)

    ‘The different colours make it even more significant because there are so many different people from diverse backgrounds.

    ‘Putting it all together to make beautiful and influential people represent all of us/society. If we came together, we, too, can make the same beautiful impact being unified.’

    Portrait of Bob Marley using Skittles
    ‘Sweet Redemption’ (Picture: Harold Claudio)

    He concludes: ‘The message of peace and unity is a sweet, vibrant, colourful thing. So I will continue to define that with the art that I do.’

    You can see more of his art on the Harold Claudio website.

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

    MORE: Beyoncé’s Homecoming reminds us why black women should always tell their own story


    Artist makes art from skittles for a powerful reasonArtist makes art from skittles for a powerful reason

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    A group of people sat in a cinema
    No Christmas is complete without watching a holiday movie (Picture: Getty/ Iza Habur)

    Christmas is just around the corner but the festivities have already begun.

    From seasonal markets to a huge gingerbread house popping up in central London, there’s plenty to explore.

    Of course, no Christmas is complete without a cup of mulled wine and a holiday movie.

    We’ve rounded up the best cinema pop-ups in London in 2019, screening all your favourites – from Love Actually to Die Hard (yes, it is a Christmas movie).

    Winter Night Garden, Wandsworth

    Winter Night Garden by Backyard Cinema in Wandsworth
    You have to walk through a wardrobe to find the Winter Night Garden (Picture: Backyard Cinema)

    Backyard Cinema has gone all out with its Christmas cinema this year.

    Please welcome Winter Night Garden.

    The magical experience includes some of the best holiday films, such as Elf, Die Hard, Home Alone and The Holiday.

    But what really sets this pop-up apart from the rest is the festive setting; guests enter through a wardrobe and walk through an enchanted forest before taking their seats in front of the big screen.

    Tickets are selling fast, with most of the screenings sold out, but dates only run up until 8 December so far.

    Backyard Cinema will be releasing a second set of dates soon, but get in there quick if you’re picky about your movie choices.

    Prices start from £18.99 for adults, but there are concessions for students.

    The Cinema Museum, Kennington

    The Cinema Museum in Kennington
    The one-day screening is held in support of South London Cares (Picture: The Cinema Museum)

    Is Love Actually the only Christmas movie you really care about?

    Then you’re in luck, as The Cinema Museum is hosting a one-day-only screening of the film on 3 December.

    The event is hosted by South London Cares, a community network that brings together older people with volunteers in south London.

    All proceeds from the experience will go towards the organisation’s Winter Wellbeing project, to help the elderly ‘stay warm, active and connected’ this winter.

    In addition to the cinema, there will be a bar (serving mulled wine), food vendors and a sweets stall, as well as a raffle and various Christmas games.

    Be sure to don your finest Christmas jumper, too, as there will be a prize on the night for the most festive look.

    Tickets cost £15 for early bird bookings and £16.50 once those are sold.

    Exhibit Cinema, Balham

    A young woman with friends watching a movie in the cinema and laughing
    Get the premium ticket for bottomless bubbly (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Jacob Ammentorp Lund)

    If you’re after a more low-key evening, swing by the Exhibit bar and restaurant in Balham.

    The venue has a cinema on the second floor and will be showing three holiday movies: The Holiday, Love Actually and Elf.

    There are 10 dates to choose from, with different timings including earlier screenings on Sundays.

    Tickets cost £15, which includes a glass of bubbly or mulled wine.

    Shell out another £15 and you’ll get bottomless bubbles, as well as dinner.

    Rivoli Ballroom Cinema, Brockley

    Rivoli Ballroom Cinema in Brockley
    Harry Potter fans, head to Rivoli (Picture: Rivoli)

    Three nights every month, Crofton Park Pictures will host a pop-up cinema at Rivoli, and Potterheads in particular will appreciate the offering.

    On 12 December, grab your wand and invisibility cloak to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first film in the series) on the big screen.

    Other movies include Die Hard, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone and more.

    Don’t forget the snacks – there will be a food stall selling sweet and savoury goodies.

    Advance tickets start from £10.

    Come back in January to watch Clueless and The Breakfast Club.

    The Grand, Clapham Junction

    The Grand cinema in Clapham Junction
    The Grand’s ‘Love Actually Drink-Along’ screening is part night out, part cinema experience (Picture: Clapham Grand)

    If your idea of going to the cinema involves a dark, quiet room with full focus on the screen, try one of the other pop-ups.

    The Grand’s ‘Love Actually Drink-Along’, as it’s known, is part nightclub experience, part movie event.

    It’s so popular that the venue has decided to offer four dates for guests to choose from this year – one at the end of this month, and the remaining in December.

    There will be snow machines, a selfie photo booth and a live host and show team to keep you entertained.

    Let’s not forget the snacks: pigs in blankets, unlimited popcorn for £2, hot dogs, nachos, mulled wine and mince pies, as well as slushies and candy canes.

    Ticket prices start from £10 but if you’re going with your mates, why not invest in a table ticket – covers four people – for £30?

    MORE: Selfridges launches mini mince pie advent calendar with festive snacks for all of December

    MORE: Time to begin the Christmas shopping as Wilko launches toy sale with up to 50% off

    MORE: There’s a giant gingerbread house popping up in Covent Garden tomorrow


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    The new fries and burger
    These look amazing (Picture: Aldi)

    Is there anything we love more than halloumi? Grilled, fried, we love it all.

    Which is why we’re especially happy that Aldi has brought its halloumi fries back.

    In case you don’t remember, these were super popular when they were first released. Like, crazy popular.

    They sold out almost immediately, and in an effort to let more people buy them, Aldi ended up imposing a two-pack limit on customers buying them.

    The halloumi fries
    The halloumi fries are back! (Picture: Aldi)

    Yes, that’s how much people loved them.

    And now they’re back, alongside a brand new halloumi addition: The halloumi burger.

    There are four burgers per box, while there are 10 fries per pack, and we suggest buying them both together for an all-out cheesy meal.

    Aldi said: ‘Customers will be thrilled to hear that everyone’s favourite cheesy snack is back… with the addition of a Halloumi Burger for the same price.

    The burgers
    The burgers look absolutely incredible (Picture: Aldi)

    And the halloumi products don’t stop there.

    Aldi has also revealed its Christmas menu, which features bacon-wrapped halloumi bites. Sadly, as you can probably guess, they aren’t suitable for vegetarians.

    The halloumi-based pigs in blankets will be available in stores from 5 December, though the price hasn’t been unveiled yet.

    Obviously, we’ll be stocking up for Christmas – but in the meantime, let the rest of November be filled with halloumi burgers and fries.

    Yum.

    MORE: Harrods closes off Christmas grotto to customers who spend less than £2,000

    MORE: Potato the cat is known for his huge eyes on social media


    Aldi?s Popular Halloumi Fries Are Back And There's A Burger TooAldi?s Popular Halloumi Fries Are Back And There's A Burger Too

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    Amelie in hospital and now
    Amelie in hospital and now (Picture: SWNS)

    Amelie Chouinard was resting at the side of a road during a motorbike ride when a truck hit her.

    It ripped her leg off just below the knee and broke her arm in 15 places, throwing her into a ditch.

    From there, she called her partner Tyler Hrycyk, 25, who was driving nearby with their baby Milo, who was just four months old at the time.

    Amelie, of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, said: ‘When the truck hit me, it chopped my leg off right away.

    ‘The doctor said it looked like I had stepped on a bomb.’

    Amelie was riding her motorbike on Highway 897, 20 minutes outside Cold Lake, Alberta, on May 30 when she pulled over to the side of the road to rest at around 7 pm.

    She said: ‘I have been biking for over five years. It was my passion.

    Amelie Chouinard with Tyler Hrycyk and Milo
    Amelie with Tyler and Milo (Picture: Amelie Chouinard/SWNS)

    ‘I was resting on the side of the road when I got hit by the truck.

    ‘My leg was gone from the moment I got hit.’

    As she called Tyler, he rushed to help as Amelie fought to stay awake.

    Amelie explained: ‘At first I was screaming because I couldn’t believe what had happened.

    ‘But I think that I knew I needed to stay calm if I wanted to get through this.

    ‘I didn’t want to talk.

    ‘I told my boyfriend that I was okay.’

    Amelie Chouinard with Milo in hospital
    Amelie with Milo in hospital (Picture: Amelie Chouinard / SWNS)

    Tyler, who is also a supply technician in the military, tore off a part of his shirt to use as a tourniquet on Amelie’s leg to stop the bleeding.

    She was taken by helicopter to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, where she had surgery to stop the bleeding.

    ‘A few days later, I was more awake and that’s when I realized my leg was gone,’ she said.

    ‘I was angry at first.

    ‘I was crying, but I had good support around me.’

    Amelie stayed in hospital for two months to recover from the accident, but she missed her baby terribly.

    She said: ‘My left arm was broken so I wasn’t really able to hold him.

    ‘I saw him every day but I didn’t see him at night.

    ‘It was hard not to be home with them and be there to feed my baby.’

    Amelie Chouinard in her wheelchair with a running number on the back
    Amelie says it has helped her see the positive (Picture: Amelie Chouinard/SWNS)

    Amelie moved into a house for military personnel before returning home and starting physiotherapy with her prosthetic leg in September.

    She said: ‘I do physio every day for an hour.

    ‘At first, it was more about building up my strength and then I started walking by holding on to bars.

    ‘I had a trial leg to help me learn how to walk. It is challenging.

    ‘I can walk now but I still need a cane to help me get around.

    ‘Dressing can sometimes be challenging, it’s hard to put pants on.

    Amelie Chouinard with prosthetic
    Amelie with her prosthetic (Picture: Amelie Chouinard/SWNS)

    ‘Carrying my baby around is difficult because I don’t want to fall with him. Even taking a shower is really hard.’

    Now five months on, Amelie is learning to live with her amputation and is slowly able to do more and more.

    ‘It is getting better,’ she said.

    ‘As bad as it was, the accident is making me see a lot more of the positives in life.

    ‘I am grateful I survived. I am learning to live day by day and enjoy it.’

    But Amelie hopes to get a high-tech prosthetic which will help her live an athletic lifestyle as an amputee.

    She said: ‘We are going to order a microprocessor knee.

    ‘It has sensors and it makes it easier to move around.

    ‘Then later, I’ll probably get a blade to go running.

    ‘I want to train for sports and maybe go snowboarding next year. I won’t let what happened stop me from exercising.’

    MORE: Aldi’s halloumi fries are back – and they’re launching halloumi burgers too

    MORE: The best Christmas cinema pop-ups in London this year


    new mum who had her leg ripped off by a truck says the horrific experience has actually helped her to look on the bright side of lifenew mum who had her leg ripped off by a truck says the horrific experience has actually helped her to look on the bright side of life

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    The pushchair with the shower caps over the wheels
    The shower cap wheel covers (Picture: Laura Siârn Outhart/Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK)

    Over the winter months, we’re all guilty of bringing mud and rain inside on our shoes, clothes and accessories.

    This can be even more of a nightmare if you have a buggy.

    But one mum has come up with a genius way to protect her floors from a muddy pushchair.

    Laura Siârn Outhart found a creative way to ensure the dirty wheels of her pram didn’t leave marks on her carpets and floors.

    Her hack involves purchasing £1 shower caps, found in Poundland, and placing them over the pushchair wheels – before entering the house.

    Laura shared her hack in the ‎Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group, where it was met with praise from fellow parents.

    She also pointed out that the hack saves money too, as the shower caps can be used time and time again.

    Her post read: ‘£1 shower caps bought from Poundland. Ideal for popping over your muddy wheels to catch the mud when it dries and flakes off.

    ‘Saves your carpets and floors getting dirty. You can actually buy wheel covers for this purpose but this is definitely a money saving idea and works so well and you can keep reusing over and over again.’

    Laura’s post received more than 4,500 comments and 13,000 likes in 48 hours, with many impressed by her affordable and effective idea.

    One Facebook user commented: ‘Wish I’d have seen this year’s ago!!!’

    While another joked: ‘I might just have another baby for this #gamechanger’

    Others were keen to point out another use for the shower cap, saying, ‘Or if you have to put the pram in your boot, great idea!!’

    It seems a little creativity can pay off for parents.

    Last month a dad made headlines after turning his toolbox cart into a nappy changing station.

    Top marks for imagination.

    MORE: Adah and Austin predicted to be popular baby names in 2020

    MORE: Woman has two sets of twins three years apart defying 700,000 to one odds

    MORE: Dad turns toolbox trolley into a nappy changing station for his twins


    Laura Si?rn Outhart/?Extreme Couponing and Bargains UKLaura Si?rn Outhart/?Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK

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    A mum says she’s been mistaken for a man on the phone because of her deep voice for so long that she now poses as a bloke named Derek.

    Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, has been mistaken for a man for a decade and says using the phone to contact her bank is nearly impossible because staff don’t believe it’s her.

    Although she has to prove her identity for banking, when it’s something like a restaurant booking, the mum-of-two from Chessington, Surrey, just gives in and books under a man’s name.

    Her voice became a problem when her local branch of Barclays closed, and she was told to use telephone banking as she said she’s continuously quizzed every time she rings up.

    She said she spends ‘at least twenty minutes’ arguing back and forth with a member of staff.

    But every time she makes a formal complaint, staff tell her they have added a note on her account for future employees – but she said it makes no difference.

    Nurse Lorraine said: ‘I can’t even add up the amount of hours I’ve spent on the phone being passed from pillar to post.

    ‘I’m just so insulted and humiliated.

    ‘I get it all – Sir, Mr Lorraine, buddy, the list goes on.

    ‘I tell them you are speaking to Lorraine and then they just turn around and say “well is she there?”.

    ‘I try to avoid using telephone banking as much as I can.

    ‘But if I lose my wallet, my card or can’t log into my online banking I have no choice.’

    Mother-of-two Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, who is constantly being mistaken for a man on the phone because of her deep voice - and now goes by the name 'Derek' when using the phone to book restuarants! See SWNS story SWSYbank. A mum claims she has been repeatedly mistaken for a man by her bank for a DECADE -- because of her deep voice. Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, said using the phone to contact her bank - and even restaurants and the AA - is nearly impossible. She said she's always had a low voice, but used to be able to get round it by visiting the bank in person. But after her local branch of Barclays closed - and she was told to use telephone banking - she said she's continuously quizzed every time she rings up.
    Lorraine now calls herself Derek on the phone (Picture: Lorraine Chademunhu /SWNS.COM)

    With other services, she just uses her male alter ego but with banking, she has no option but to insist she is really Lorriane.

    She adds: ‘When I book a table at a restaurant I just give the name “Derek” to save hassle.

    ‘If I have to phone the AA when I breakdown or if I’m calling someone to fix the house I just go along with being a man to make life easier.

    ‘That I’m used to and I can understand as my voice is deep.

    ‘But when it’s my own personal account and I’ve told them time and time again about it, it’s just poor customer care.

    ‘I provide them with my mother’s maiden name, the address I have lived at for years but none of it is good enough.

    ‘I do get that security measures are a thing but this isn’t as if this has happened, once, twice or even just a dozen times.

    ‘It’s almost like I have to grow a pair of balls.’

    Lorraine has even had her account blocked multiple times because of her mistaken identity.

    Mother-of-two Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, who is constantly being mistaken for a man on the phone because of her deep voice - and now goes by the name 'Derek' when using the phone to book restuarants! See SWNS story SWSYbank. A mum claims she has been repeatedly mistaken for a man by her bank for a DECADE -- because of her deep voice. Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, said using the phone to contact her bank - and even restaurants and the AA - is nearly impossible. She said she's always had a low voice, but used to be able to get round it by visiting the bank in person. But after her local branch of Barclays closed - and she was told to use telephone banking - she said she's continuously quizzed every time she rings up.
    She’s sick of her bank mistaking her for a man (Picture: Lorraine Chademunhu /SWNS.COM)

    Last week while going through the security checks with Barclays, Lorraine was addressed as ‘Sir’ at least 19 times when phoning for a new bank card.

    Lorraine said: ‘This has only been a problem the past ten years.

    ‘Usually, when you phone up you’re redirected to India and because of the language barrier they just think I’m a man.

    ‘But even when I get put through to someone in the UK I still have to jump through the same hoops and reach the same conclusion.

    ‘Last week they were ending every sentence with “Sir”.

    ‘I have honestly just had enough.

    ‘The thing is I have other accounts with Lloyds and Halifax and I’m able to get around that because they have voice recognition.’

    Lorraine says she doesn’t bother putting on a higher pitched voice to call the bank – because she doesn’t understand why she should have to.

    Mother-of-two Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, who is constantly being mistaken for a man on the phone because of her deep voice - and now goes by the name 'Derek' when using the phone to book restuarants! See SWNS story SWSYbank. A mum claims she has been repeatedly mistaken for a man by her bank for a DECADE -- because of her deep voice. Lorraine Chademunhu, 42, said using the phone to contact her bank - and even restaurants and the AA - is nearly impossible. She said she's always had a low voice, but used to be able to get round it by visiting the bank in person. But after her local branch of Barclays closed - and she was told to use telephone banking - she said she's continuously quizzed every time she rings up.
    She wants Barclays to do better (Picture: Lorraine Chademunhu /SWNS.COM)

    Lorraine has thought about changing banks but she says that would be too difficult as it’s tied up with her house.

    She also works unsociable hours so she doesn’t have time to go into the bank, so a phone call is her only option.

    She said: ‘I’ve just had enough.

    ‘It’s not fair on me. It’s emotionally draining having to prove who I am.’

    A spokesman for Barclays said: ‘We have apologised to Miss Chademunhu for the inconvenience she has experienced.

    ‘Protecting our customers’ accounts is our top priority, and we have robust measures in place to identify and verify a customer when they call.

    ‘We have reached out to Miss Chademunhu to implement a verification process that will identify her more quickly in the future.’

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    Mum claims she has been mistaken for a man by her bank for a DECADE because of her deep voice - so now poses as a bloke called Derek when she talks on the phoneMum claims she has been mistaken for a man by her bank for a DECADE because of her deep voice - so now poses as a bloke called Derek when she talks on the phone

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