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- 11/14/19--03:28: _Where can you get t...
- 11/14/19--03:30: _Forgotten to book t...
- 11/14/19--04:00: _Illegal Blood Bank ...
- 11/14/19--04:48: _Nectar point hack m...
- 11/14/19--06:00: _How to live with yo...
- 11/14/19--06:47: _Converted farm wins...
- 11/14/19--07:04: _Couple with 33-year...
- 11/14/19--07:55: _You can now get a w...
- 11/14/19--08:25: _Dad hilariously cop...
- 11/14/19--08:48: _Make like the Queen...
- 11/14/19--08:58: _Inside the largest ...
- 11/14/19--09:27: _Rent a real-life ro...
- 11/14/19--09:27: _Starbucks secret me...
- 11/15/19--00:01: _Debt Diaries: Tryin...
- 11/15/19--00:07: _World’s first shop ...
- 11/15/19--01:24: _Stunning images mak...
- 11/15/19--02:43: _People are photosho...
- 11/15/19--02:54: _A third of men thin...
- 11/15/19--03:00: _Spill It: What a 26...
- 11/15/19--03:47: _10-year-old girl wr...
- 11/15/19--03:47: _Baileys is giving a...
- 11/15/19--04:26: _Christmas pop-up de...
- 11/15/19--04:33: _The reality of brea...
- 11/15/19--04:59: _Sainsbury’s launche...
- 11/15/19--05:29: _Jo Malone launches ...
- 11/15/19--07:11: _Netflix and Chill i...
- 11/15/19--07:29: _McDonald’s is exten...
- 11/15/19--08:51: _Pet owners can’t ge...
- 11/15/19--08:54: _Study says raising ...
- 11/15/19--09:13: _Helpful website tel...
- 11/14/19--03:28: Where can you get this year’s Children In Need T-shirts?
- 11/14/19--06:00: How to live with your friends and not fall out
- 11/14/19--08:25: Dad hilariously copies daughter’s ‘milk drunk’ faces
- 11/14/19--08:58: Inside the largest Starbucks in the world as it opens in Chicago
- 11/14/19--09:27: Rent a real-life royal palace with a private butler on Airbnb
- Ask for a Matcha Frappuccino, but with peppermint syrup instead of the standard one.
- Say a big huge YES when they ask if you’d like whipped cream.
- Ask if they can sprinkle the top with white Christmas sprinkles. These usually go on top of a Toasted White Mocha.
- 158,712 hot meals
- 19,000 blankets and 6,000 tents
- 8,000 insulated baby grows and 21,000 warm children’s coats
- 1,306,777 nappies
- 4,500 school bags
- 5,700 sleeping bags
- Enabled a rescue boat to spend 6 months saving lives at sea.
- 11/15/19--01:24: Stunning images make the finals of ‘best photo of eyes’ contest
- 11/15/19--03:00: Spill It: What a 26-year-old letting agent drinks in a week
- iPhone 11
- Air pods
- New Macbook Air
- A real bunny
- Hydro flask
- Pink Pumas
- Gucci sliders
- Chanel Purse
- Essential oil
- American girl doll car
- New shoes
- Checkered Vans
- Go Pro
- Pink duct tape
- Glue, food colouring and laundry detergent
- Clothes for bunny
- 4,000 dollars
- Lol doll camper
- Lol dolls/big sister
- Lol doll Shalay
- New sheets and cover
- Alarm clock
- 11/15/19--03:47: Baileys is giving away free chocolate reindeer when you buy a bottle
- 11/15/19--04:26: Christmas pop-up dedicated to cats and dogs opens in London
- 11/15/19--04:33: The reality of breakup debt
- 11/15/19--07:11: Netflix and Chill is over – it’s now time for Disney+ and Thrust
- 11/15/19--08:51: Pet owners can’t get enough of this £140 cat bridge
Hosts Tess Daly and Marvin and Rochelle Humes have all been pictured ahead of the show modelling this year’s Children In Need T-shirts alongside other stars, including Rylan Clark-Neal who took part in a 24-hour karaoke challenge to raise money for charity earlier this week.
But where can you get this year’s Children In Need T-shirts before the show tomorrow night?
Where can you get this year’s Children In Need T-shirts?
George at Asda is selling the official BBC Children in Need T-shirt this year.
Designed by Graduate Fashion Foundation winner, Megan Grinham, the T-shirts come in either yellow or grey and feature an outline of Pudsey the bear filled with positive words such as ‘ambition, ‘thrive’ and ‘kindness’.
Adult T-shirts are £8 and kids T-shirts start from £6, but you better be quick as most sizes have already sold out in both styles.
Asda are also selling a variety of other Children In Need merchandise including Pudsey onesies, hoodies and pyjamas.
The full range can be viewed on their website and Next Day Delivery is still available if you order online and want to receive your Children In Need items by Friday 15 November.
BBC Children in Need
If you haven’t booked a venue for your work Christmas party, you might struggle to get a venue at this stage.
But the good news is, your local Morrisons is an option.
Yes, the supermarket is opening up their cafes for office dos – and the good news is, it costs just £6.50 per head.
It is best for smaller offices as the maximum table size is 20 but you’ll get a three course meal including turkey and all the trimmings.
The store said they set it up because cutbacks mean some small business are struggling and a few parties funded by the company have even been cancelled and staff are having to fund them themselves.
This gives them the option of celebrating together on a budget.
Tables for up to 20 can be booked now for Monday 25 November to Monday 23 December.
The Morrisons Christmas Meal Deal start from £6.50 a head for a 2-course meal or £7.50 a head for the full 3-courses. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Helen Tordoff, Head of Cafes at Morrisons commented: ‘Some small businesses have had a tough year so we have created the best Christmas meal for those on a budget. And as our cafés regularly host group meet ups, we thought we’d extend the invite to local companies so they can save some Christmas costs.
‘It will mean that more people can get into the party spirit without breaking the bank.’
What's on the Morrisons Christmas menu?
Fresh soup served with a freshly baked bap.
Pate & Melba Toast
Brussels pâté served with balsamic onion chutney, salad and Melba toast.
Prawn cocktail served with salad and brown bread.
Christmas Turkey Lunch
Turkey, roast potatoes, mash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, pig in blanket, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Mushroom Wellington served with golden roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots and drizzled with gravy.
Salmon with hollandaise
Salmon fillet topped with hollandaise sauce. Served with baby potatoes and peas.
Christmas pudding served with brandy sauce or custard.
Kelly’s Ice Cream
Chocolate or Strawberry.
The Illegal Blood Bank will open in protest against the current law, which imposes a blanket ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood unless they abstain from sex for three months.
The organisations are campaigning for the government to revise what they see as outdated legislation and reduce discrimination in the blood donation system.
On Saturday 23 November, the Illegal Blood Bank will launch in a secret London location and aims to highlight how alternative methods for assessing donor eligibility can help to identify new, safe, eligible donors to meet the NHS demand.
With a 25% drop in men donating blood over the past five years and a 6% drop in women, the NHS requires 135,000 new donors each year to replace those who stop donating.
59,000 people have already signed FreedomToDonate’s petition to show their support for this change in law.
Campaigners say this is especially important around Christmas when it can be difficult for the NHS to maintain blood stock, as donations usually dip from mid-December to early January.
The NHS says that the three-month abstinence time-frame exists because, while all donations are screened, there is a small chance the tests they carry out to detect blood-borne viruses will not be able to pick up recently acquired infections.
But the campaigners argue that the blanket three-month deferral period for gay and bisexual does not take account of individual factors which impact risk levels for all donors.
‘For example, potential donors who … regularly test for STIs and blood-borne viruses could be eligible to donate based on their individual behaviour rather than categorising them as a homogenous group,’ reads the campaign statement.
‘Assessing individual factors in a risk-based approach whilst ensuring the safety of any blood that is donated could help ensure all people who can safely donate blood are able to.’
‘Our position is simple – anyone who can safely donate blood should be able to,’ says Ethan Spibey, founder of FreedomToDonate.
‘Through our collaboration with UNILAD, we’re aiming to raise awareness of the unfairness in blood donation on a huge scale and demonstrate the incredible potential of those thousands of gay and bi men who could potentially donate through an alternative model.’
Professional rugby player Keegan Hirst has also lent his support to the campaign and has pledged to donate when the blood bank opens.
‘There are still very few professional sportsmen and women who are openly gay,’ says Keegan.
‘People should be empowered to celebrate who they are but this won’t happen if there are policies in place, which discriminate against certain communities.
‘I’ll be donating blood at the Illegal Blood Bank in the hope it leads to gay and bisexual men who are safe to donate, being able to do so.’
Gone are the days where an orange in a stocking will suffice – nowadays kids want games, consoles, AirPods, and other tech for Christmas.
The price can really add up, so it’s no wonder plenty of parents are finding new ways to make the most of their money at this time of year.
For Emma Farrell, 42, that’s consisted of a Nectar and coupon hack that saw her getting over £130 worth of Nintendo Switch games with change from £30.
The mum, from Wrexham, North Wales, is a member of the Nectar points scheme, and tends not to spend them throughout the year.
She spotted a deal on the loyalty scheme’s website where £50 in Nectar points could be doubled up to £100 to be spent at Sainbury’s.
Emma also had a coupon that gave her £7.50 off of each £50 spent in store.
She got three Nintendo Switch games for her seven-year-old son, Oliver; Luigi’s Mansion 3, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe.
What would have been a spend of 132.97 ended up as just £25.47 thanks to Emma’s trick.
The limited-time Nectar deal is available from today to 19 November to all customers who have over 1,000 points. You can double up a minimum of £5 worth of points up to a maximum of £50, and do so on the Nectar app.
‘I made the most of the offer by using the coupon,’ Emma says.
‘I had it through the post and was saving it for the offer hoping it would stack and it did. I went first thing this morning straight after the school run to make sure I got the games I wanted as they were on Oliver’s Christmas list.’
‘He will be so excited as I kept saying to him that’s a lot on games and I don’t know if Father Christmas will pay that much and I know that without this offer there is no way I would be spending £133 on three games,’ she added.
‘I was super excited that they were all in stock and before I doubled up the points on the app, I went to customer services and asked them to check if all three games were in stock first and couldn’t believe it when they were as my Sainsbury’s only has a relatively small games section.’
Emma then posted her find on bargain community LatestDeals.co.uk, where it’s been an instant hit with fellow savvy shoppers.
Commenters raved about the deal, with one saying ‘This is brilliant, well worth using this’ and another saying, ‘I’ve just turned 15 pounds into 30 and am going to spend mine on Taste the Difference wine for Xmas… Excellent deal and well worth saving those points up’.
One also had the good sense to advise us all that the deal can also be used on groceries (including wine). So, if you want to stock up for Christmas, now is the time.
As for bargain hunters wishing to use Emma’s handy trick, she says, ‘Find out the games or products you want and make a list with alternatives just in case your chosen ones aren’t in stock. Ask at customer services before doubling up to check as the games are empty cases and they may not have them in the stock room.
‘If there is no stock, ask when they will have more in or if another local store has stock and if they can check. Check your Nectar app for bonus spends and offers all year round to collect the points and keep them for the double up. eBay is also a fab way to collect extra points too.’
Nectar point means mum gets ?100 worth of Nintendo Switch games for under ?26
OK, so you want to move in with your mate. You’ve named the communal houseplant and are dreaming of the meatballs you’ll gobble down on the trip to Ikea. You love your friend and can’t think of anything better than spending all your time in their company.
You can’t even imagine how things could go awry.
It’s a lovely idea and it might be completely delightful. It could also become the ideal living arrangement, if you do it right.
Here’s the potential problem: a lot of people have secret at-home habits that you’re usually not privy to when you’re just meeting up with someone socially. People can be messy, smelly, neurotic, chaotic and annoying in all sorts of ways you might not be able to predict.
That, and of course living in close proximity to someone – anyone – can be challenging for plenty of reasons.
You’ve got to manage rent, bills, groceries, tidiness, dishwasher-stacking technique, chore distribution, emotional labour, personal space and general household behaviour compatibility.
If you move in with a stranger and it’s a total disaster, fine. Sort out your legal obligations, put up with it as long as you can, give up on a blossoming friendship and get out of there.
However, if you move in with a pre-existing friend of yours, there’s a lot more at stake. If you have a spat, discover you’re domestically incompatible and run out of patience with each other, you risk losing your entire friendship.
To give your friendship the best possible chance of surviving co-habitation, you’ve got to be smart about this.
Before you even suggest sharing a home, have a proper think about your compatibility. It’s worth being pragmatic, especially if you have drastically different budgets, definitions of cleanliness, social lives and general approaches to domestic life.
If you do decide to move in together, here are some things you can do to minimise the conflict and protect the friendship.
Get the awkward money chat out of the way before the move
Most of us find talking about money awkward and scary.
But if you’re planning on running a household together, you have to do it.
There will inevitably be shared expenses and it’s worth chatting about them upfront so you can manage everyone’s expectations.
If you’re going in on a lease together, have an honest chat about what you can afford. Don’t stretch yourself financially thin to keep up with someone else’s earnings, and don’t assume someone can afford the same amount of rent each month as you can.
You might not even know each other’s salaries as friends, so work something out that makes you both comfortable.
Then, decide whether you want to split any household maintenance costs.
Will you split the cost of cleaning products? Do you want to go in on a weekly grocery shop?
Who is going to set up a direct debit for council tax? Will you share the TV licence? Whose Netflix password do you need to memorise?
It’s great to hash all of this out from the start so you’re clear on who owes what.
Don’t be the slob flatmate
Your room is your space – you are entitled to live in as much filth as you like.
Communal spaces, however, should be kept clean and tidy. It’s a gesture of respect to keep the space that you share with someone else nice.
You’ll become unpopular very quickly if you’re always leaving dirty dishes on the kitchen counter and clothes on the living room floor.
Tidy up after yourself diligently and you’ll give your new flatmate no reason to secretly resent you.
It might be useful to put together a rota for cleaning the common areas, split chores evenly or pick a day each week or month to give the place a good going over.
You don’t want to be the one shocking your friend with your unexpected slovenliness.
Don’t forget to spend time together
When you’re living together, it’s easy to get quite complacent about actually spending proper time together.
You see each other in the hall, you watch telly together sometimes in the evening and you have a quick chat over breakfast, so you feel like you’ve seen each other.
But real, lasting friendship requires a little more investment than that. If you want to keep yours, make time and space in your life so your friend knows they’re important to you.
I recommend scheduling in friendship dates where you leave the house. You could go for a walk together, have dinner at the local pub or pop by the farmer’s market.
Whatever it is, just make sure it feels a little more special than brief, incidental interactions at home.
If there’s a problem, be open and honest about it
Try and have a policy of candour, kindness and transparency in your new household.
Be gentle and compassionate with each other. Listen properly. Check in on the other person and ask how they’re doing. Have proper, regular chats.
Be honest with each other, especially if something is quietly becoming a problem at home – it’s better to talk it out than leave an annoyance to simply fester over time.
If something your friend does bothers you, find a diplomatic way of raising it instead of just keeping your new resentment to yourself.
Be considerate, too, and notice how your friend likes to live.
Don’t play loud music if you live with someone who likes peace and quiet.
Don’t have loud sex if you live in a place with thin walls, or invite people over without warning.
Don’t eat your friend’s yoghurt without asking.
Be your loveliest self and you could just have the time of your life, living with a friend.
Illustration of a woman looking glum with moving boxes in the background
This house is property goals.
The three-bedroom place has just won Grand Designs: House of the Year 2019.
The house is located in Saintfield, Co. Down, Northern Ireland on the site of a former farmstead.
House Lessans cost just £335,000 to build in the beautiful countryside setting.
The house, designed by architects Mcgonigle McGrath in Belfast, was crowned the winner after beating off the six other shortlisted properties.
The award is given by the Royal Institute of British Architect to a new-build designed by architects.
RIBA President, Alan Jones, said: ‘House Lessans demonstrates that life-enhancing architecture does not have to cost the earth.
‘Executed with incredible clarity and restraint, McGonigle McGrath has used simple and cheap materials to create a truly bespoke home that resonates with its owners and its context.
‘Even with the tightest of budgets, House Lessans shows that a dream home, designed by a talented architect, can be a reality.’
It’s built out of two blocks to create an L-shape with a double-height living room and bedrooms that look over a tranquil courtyard garden.
The kitchen and snug make the most of the beautiful views with a huge wall of glass.
To keep costs low, they used basic building materials, including cheap concrete bricks carefully laid and painted inside with flush mortar joins to ensure a perfect finish, and arranged the rooms to get as much space as possible.
Architect Kieran McGonigle (McGonigle McGrath) said: ‘It has been both a delight and a challenge to work on this project; a delight in the beautiful location in this archetypically Ulster landscape and in the simple brief, and a challenge in designing and delivering a precisely detailed and high-quality building within a modest budget.
‘The outcome, a small collection of forms in the landscape, contributes to this place and, we hope, extends our understanding of how to make buildings in our countryside.’
Sylvia and Michael, the owners of House Lessans said: ‘Like most non-architects about to build a home we had a clear idea about what we’d like in terms of rooms but no idea about how these rooms might be arranged or what the house might look like.
‘The magic a gifted architect can work was evident from the moment we saw the initial plans and that appreciation deepened as the project progressed.
‘We feel that the house respects and indeed enhances the landscape. It is a joy to live in – from seeing the soaring bedroom ceiling on wakening, being surrounded by the gentle landscape in the kitchen during the day, to enjoying the sunset in the top room.
‘We’re delighted to be a part of the RIBA celebration of the life-enhancing potential of architecture.’
House of the year
Kayleb Alexander, 23, met 56-year-old Mark Nichols six years ago.
Mark, who was then 49, sent Kayleb – who was 17 at the time – a message on the gay dating and hookup app Grindr, and their relationship went from there.
Mark said that he didn’t initially think that he was going to fall in love, but their connection felt clear, and they made things official just a few months in.
While the couple, who live in Ypsilanti, Michigan, have a relatively normal life, their six-year partnership has been subject to intense criticism due to their age gap.
They want to dispel the rumours that there is any sort of control or manipulation involved between them, and to tell ‘haters’ that Mark is not a sugar daddy.
Some of the comments they’ve received include that Mark is a paedophile, they are ‘disgusting’, and that their age gap makes people want to vomit.
Kayleb said: ‘It triggers me because there are actual occurrences. My boyfriend is in a consensual relationship with a 23-year-old male.’
He feels that you shouldn’t be judged if you’re in an age-gap relationship when there is consent and both are of legal age. In Michigan, the age of consent is 16.
In Mark’s opinion, there’s a double standard, where heterosexual relationships are treated differently. He feels that, if an older man was to be with a younger woman, they’d be lauded, whereas he is called ‘sick and twisted’ for being with a younger man.
But it isn’t just anonymous commenters that have concerns about their age gap.
Kayleb’s best friend voiced her concerns about Mark’s health in the future, and the fact that their ages might have meant they had differing interests and not a lot in common.
When she met Mark, however, and saw him with Kayleb, she said that those fears melted away.
Mark and Kayleb regularly appear together in videos on Kayleb’s YouTube channel, where they talk about the trials and tribulations of being together for six years.
Although Kayleb sometimes labels videos with titles that include words like ‘sugar daddy’, the pair stress that is simply clickbait and sensationalism, and Kayleb is perfectly capable of looking after himself (although, Mark adds, ‘when he wants to’).
They’ve definitely been through some hardships, including when Mark cheated on Kayleb.
Although they don’t specify how far this infidelity went, a video Kayleb uploaded to his channel seemed to hint that Mark had been meeting up with someone else.
Kayleb says, though, that he’s ‘overcome’ the cheating, and they’re stronger as a result.
The couple are now planning to move away to Hawaii, where they purchased their dream home recently.
Although Mark worries that he’ll pass away before Kayleb reaches his 50s himself, Kayleb said that he’d be happy to take care of his boyfriend as he becomes less able to do so himself, and they’re taking it all in their stride.
He\'s not my dad, he\'s my boyfriend
Every day, we throw away huge amounts of food.
Supermarkets get rid of food that’s about to go off, while restaurants and cafe don’t want to keep things that aren’t fresh.
Too Good to Go is an app that is trying to stop that – and Morrisons has just joined up so now you can get groceries.
The idea is that stores sign up to sell magic boxes for a reduced price. At the end of the day, they fill them with things that would otherwise be thrown away.
You pay through the app and get given a slot before closing time to go and pick it up.
The app has been around for a while with people using it to pick up leftover cakes, treats or whole restaurant meals at a reduced price.
But Morrisons is the first supermarket to trial it and the box costs just £3.09.
It’s only available in about 80 stores at the minute but hopefully, it will expand in the future.
There are only a few boxes available every day so you need to be quick.
The food is all close to expiry but you can freeze it, or cook something up and keep it for a few days more.
Fran Mae posted about her box on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains Facebook group.
She said: ‘Got my first magic bag this evening from Too Good To Go app. I’m so impressed. I thought I’d share. I know it has been before but I was always a little unsure what one might contain and if it was worth the trip to get it.
‘Mine is from Morrisons cost me £3.59 and when I arrived it was already bagged to go the 2 Salmon fillets best before date was today but everything else is at least the 11th or later.
Her box contained: two salmon fillets, four limes, a pint of milk, a loaf of bread, seven bread rolls (varying types), a pecan plait, four chocolate éclairs, a bag of mixed veg, a salad share box, a ball of mozzarella and a pot of pasta sauce
At normal price, the contents would have cost around £15 so it was quite a saving.
Susan Dransfield has got the magic box twice. Her first box had a box filled with carrots, apples, bananas, a melon, blueberries, a cauliflower, turnip, coffee, muffins, strawberries, cakes and some monster munch.
Her second contained more carrots, parsnips and turnips, pork pies, honey roast ham, potato and egg salad, strawberries, grapes, eggs, a Quorn pasty, Sharon fruit and some salad.
You can download the app from the app store and set up an account and then search to see if the Morrisons near you is involved in the deal.
Morrisons Too Good to Go £3.09 magic box
If you have a new baby, you’ll know that milk drunk face.
When you’re that tiny, nothing makes you feel more overwhelmed than a helping of your favourite food.
And one man has posted the perfect video copying his baby daughter’s face each time.
Josh Hawkins and his wife Catherine welcomed Billie on 26 September.
The Australian comedian, who posts on Instagram as @HiJosh, posted the compilation of clips of his seven-week-old baby.
He said: ‘Copying my daughter’s milk drunk faces is my new full-time job.’
Each one shows her happiness after a feed and he imitates each one perfectly, even wearing her pink head bow in one.
He rolls his eyes and crookedly smiles just like his little girl.
Our favourite is the adorable moment she sucks on her finger, and of course, dad Josh does it too.
The video has already had over 77,000 views.
One fan said: ‘OMG I love this!!!!! Always make me laugh. You are so clever!’
Another said: ‘Man she is going to have the best 18th birthday video content.’
‘Omg this is hilarious. Looks exactly the same. But she is cuter !!’ someone else added.
It’s not the first time Billie has gone viral. A video of her enjoying a head massage also received a lot of love online, with over 122,000 views on Instagram.
Only seven weeks old and already a bigger star than most of us will ever be.
Dad hilariously copies daughter\'s milk drunk faces
Queen Elizabeth II’s dresser has shared a cleaning tip in her new book that you don’t need to be royal to replicate.
Angela Kelly has worked as a dresser from the Royal Family since 1994, and recently released a book called The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.
In this, she details how she’d get the Queen’s clothes ready for engagements – including royal weddings, Christenings, and Christmas Day speeches.
The queen often wears a lot of sparkling jewellery, whether that’s in the form of crowns for bigger events or brooches and necklaces day-to-day.
According to Angela, the best way to keep this sparkling items is a spot of gin.
‘A little gin and water come in handy to give the diamonds extra sparkle,’ she writes, adding, ‘Just don’t tell the jeweller!’
This technique has actually been used for centuries, with olden-day tales recounting how silverware and jewellery would be soaked in gin overnight.
It would then be rinsed to reveal the shine and remove any tarnishing.
Now, most of us aren’t quite rolling in diamonds like HRH, but do have a bottle or two of in the cupboard.
It might seem like an outlandish claim to assume you have ‘leftover’ gin, but it shouldn’t take much to get your valuables looking spick and span.
Simply put a drop of it on a cotton pad and give it a rub over jewellery or other silverware. The high alcohol content should dissolve any grime and bacteria that’s picked up over time.
For pieces that need a little more elbow grease, you can put aluminium foil in a pot with the shiny side up. Then, soak the silver for around 20 minutes in gin and water, and rinse with dish soap afterwards.
This tip also works with vodka.
You do need to ensure that if you use alcohol to clean silver that it’s not plating and is solid silver. Also, if you have anything hugely valuable, it’s usually better to take it for a professional clean,
Still, if you need your sparklers ready in a flash, this could be the boozy cleaning tip that does it.
Queen Elizabeth II Officiates At State Opening Of Parliament
The largest Starbucks in the world is opening tomorrow.
As it’s in Chicago, U.S., here’s a sneak peak so you don’t have to travel across the world.
The first coffee will be served from 9 am at the Michigan Avenue store on Friday 14 November.
It has four storeys and the whole thing is an incredible 35,000 square feet.
Each floor has a different immersive experience, from the first, where you can see the beans being roasted, to the top floor, where you can try some coffee cocktails.
There’s also designs by local artists on each floor to represent the city.
Over the past five years, the brand has created the experience stores in flagship cities across the world.
The Chicago Roastery joins locations in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York and Tokyo but this one is the biggest to date.
Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO, said: ‘We have created the ultimate immersive experience around all-things-coffee in spectacular Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in flagship cities around the world.
‘This week we are delighted to open our doors on the sixth global Roastery in an iconic building located on Chicago’s renowned Magnificent Mile.
‘These Roasteries amplify the Starbucks brand, serve as innovation hubs, and create experiences for millions of customers around the world.’
Starbucks opened its first store in Chicago in 1987 – the first store outside of the Pacific Northwest.
The new Roastery will employ 200 people, including roasters, baristas, bakers and mixologist.
Let’s take a look around:
If you fancy a true luxury holiday, consider this real-life palace on Airbnb.
The suite in a 300-year-old property is available to book, and it even comes with a private butler.
Located in Jaipur in India, the palace is home to the region’s royal family but they are renting out a suite in one of the private sections.
It includes a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and private indoor swimming pool.
Apparently guests including Princess Diana and Oprah Winfrey have stayed there.
It does cost around £8,000 per night so it’s not exactly a budget option but it does look incredible if you have the cash.
All the proceeds from each booking go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting rural women and people of Rajasthan.
The stay includes a chauffeur-driven car from the airport and the private butler who can provide sightseeing recommendations, make travel arrangements and organise restaurant bookings for you.
You’ll also get a member of royal staff to escort you on a private shopping tour around the city.
Every day you will get breakfast and dinner at the in-house restaurant Baradari.
The description on the website says: ‘You can expect tailored menus featuring hearty Rajasthani dishes like laal maas, top shelf wine and champagne, as well as an interaction with the chef during these meals.’
There’s also a complimentary guided tour of the complex by a member of royal staff so you can learn all about the architecture, art and decor.
The Airbnb listing says: ‘A stay at the City Palace will provide an inspiring journey into the rich history, cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Jaipur’s royal family.
‘Guests will be feted by a private butler who will arrange curated city experiences including shopping tours, guided walks through local museums and other excursions.
‘Authentic Rajasthani meals may be enjoyed at the terrace overlooking the Aravalis, and peaceful daily breakfasts can be had in the company of peacocks who are often a sight at the Palace’s lush gardens.’
It sounds dreamy.
Located in one of India?s most iconic buildings, the luxurious Gudiliya Suite at the City Palace of Jaipur is available to book on Airbnb and will be hosted by His Highness, Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh. Usually priced at $8,000 USD a night, for the remaining part of 2019 select nights are available at a special inaugural offer of $1,000 USD. All booking proceeds will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting women in rural areas, as well as artisans in Rajasthan. More information at airbnb.com/CityPalaceJaipur
Starbucks’ black Phantom Frappuccino is now long gone, much like the Halloween pumpkins that previously lined the streets.
It’s certainly not all bad, as the chain released their Christmas menu recently, complete with the iconic red cups.
This year’s iced drinks include a bunch of festive Frappuccinos, including gingerbread coffee, gingerbread cream, Toffee Nut latte and Salted Caramel Brownie.
However, this one might actually blow their official options right out of the water.
It’s being dubbed the Buddy the Elf Frappuccino, and was dreamed up by the team at TotallyTheBomb.com.
The treat is one of the ‘secret menu’ items at Starbucks, meaning you won’t be able to see it on the board. But, with a few special requests, you can have your very own Christmas confection.
Instead of asking for this, you’ll need to follow the recipe below. Otherwise, you could end up looking like quite a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.
The colours are certainly Buddy-esque, with a green hue to the drink itself, and festive red sprinkles on the cream on top.
As for the taste, that’s also full on Elf, with candy cane and plenty of sugar. Here’s how to order it:
From there, you can simply marvel at the fact you’ve got something no-one else has. That is until it catches on, and every Instagram from now until 25 December is Buddy-fied.
In other Starbucks news, the biggest in the world has just been opened in Chicago. Have a peek inside.
Starbucks secret menu hack means you can get a Buddy the Elf Christmas Frappuccino
Coming from a working-class background, almost everyone I knew throughout my childhood just about managed financially, and most borrowed money. When I was 10, a family member bought me a Sony Discman, which he later secretly pawned so he could survive until payday.
At 18, in a development that shocked my peers, I got into University of Oxford.
My family imagined it would be my ticket to a well-paid job. Perhaps I’d even marry a doctor. At Oxford I mingled with the upper middle classes – people who seemed to have privilege bred into their DNA and money did not seem to matter.
Paralysed by imposter syndrome and determined never to be that person who couldn’t afford to go for sushi, I compensated by maxing out my credit cards.
Did my friends mean to expose my roots by sniggering when they discovered I’d never sampled pesto? Probably not, but such incidents sent my paranoia into overdrive and I compensated by spending as much money as them. By the time I graduated, I owed more than £3,000 on top of my student loan.
My predicament never felt like a problem. If I could make the minimum repayments, I thought, everything would be fine. Another glass of Chardonnay was all it took to convince myself this was true and if my childhood had taught me anything it was that everyone needs a loan once in a while.
I had no idea making minimum repayments at a 25 per cent interest rate would be a recipe for decades of debt. Was I young and dumb? Probably. Did I bother to read the fine print? Definitely not.
After graduating I moved to London and fell into (wait for it) financial journalism.
The financial ‘guru’ in me knew I was heading for a credit crash to rival a small-scale Lehman Brothers.
By day, I penned guides on debt-related topics. Need the best credit to avoid interest? Want to clear up your credit score? I was your woman. I befriended moneyed bankers and went to cripplingly expensive restaurants on the basis it was ‘good for my career.’
At night I socialised with richer friends, spending money on booze I couldn’t afford. I’d think nothing of splurging £500 on a credit card in one night.
From the outside it seemed like I had the ins-and-outs of personal finance down to a tee. A friend deemed me ‘the Primark Martin Lewis’. But after covering these topics for eight hours a day, I lacked the energy to apply the lessons to my own finances.
Half my salary went on renting rooms in mouse-infested house shares, the other half went on debt repayments. The financial ‘guru’ in me knew I was heading for a credit crash to rival a small-scale Lehman Brothers.
Still feeling like an impostor I overcompensated, insisting that the most expensive round was on me at post-work drinks and pushed my money worries to the back of my mind.
A few years after moving to London, I had my student loan as well as £7,000 of debt and felt screwed by my stupidity. My finances were about to completely unravel.
I started working on the launch of a UK price comparison site and, perhaps in a metaphor for the financial crash in my future, it failed.
After being made redundant even my minimum credit card repayments were unsustainable. I took out a payday loan despite advising readers never to make such a move – the most vulnerable find themselves locked into years of debt at crippling interest rates.
It cost me around £1,200 to borrow £600 and shame crept in.
I turned to friends for loans, which took me years to repay. Some are still waiting (they know who they are).
London life became unsustainable so I returned to Hull to live rent-free live with family. Ironically, it was after heading back to one of the UK’s poorest regions that I started to get my debt in order.
I did what I’d been lecturing others about for years: drew up a budget, logged onto my online banking account every day and ruthlessly slashed unnecessary expenses.
I adopted the little-by-little approach known as ‘snowballing’, which involves targeting your most expensive debt first – tackling the loan with the highest interest and then approaching the rest.
This didn’t happen overnight, though. The process took years and is only just meeting completion.
You could say I’m woefully unqualified to give advice about debt and you’d have a point. But knowing the fear of bailiffs knocking on the door and that you’ll never buy a home provides an insight into those paralysed by debt.
One of the things I wish people knew about the money management advice they read is that the authors are human. We f**k up too.
I may have gone to Oxford but I’ll never have the privilege to stop worrying about my finances. We need to be honest about the part privilege plays in our relationship with money and recognise we are where we are because of where we came from.
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.
It might feel odd to go on a shopping spree and leave the store empty-handed – but in this case it’s for a very good reason.
The charity shop concept turned retail phenomenon will also be opening stores in New York, LA and online.
The stores have so far welcomed 45,000 customers and distributed 1.6 million items for those in need with their unique concept.
When you visit the store, you get to interact with the items and discover why they’re needed by refugees.
Split into three sections, each area explores a different stage of a refugee’s journey, from Arrival (emergency blankets, warm clothing and food) to Shelter (tents, sleeping bags and hygiene packs) all the way to Hope (education supplies, LGBTQ support and mental health care).
The proceeds are then distributed by Help Refugees to their partners across Europe, North America and the Middle East.
You can buy individual products and services and ‘bundles’ of items, which are offered to help people with specific needs.
The Bundle of Warmth features hot food, a child’s coat, firewood and a warm blanket.
The Bundle of Love includes a baby grow, child’s boots, nappies, a wash bag, a tent, and a tarp and pallet.
The Bundle of Hope features mental health support, adult learning and women’s support. So you can choose exactly how you want to help.
As well as spending your money to help people in need, the stores are also designed to teach people about the refugee crisis.
In London, Choose Love will take over two floors at 47-49 Neal Street in Seven Dials, with a DJ booth, stage, seating area and space for the Choose Love merchandise.
All images, stories and items in the store come straight from the front-line of the refugee crisis, where the charity works.
The items on sale will include emergency blankets, children’s shoes, warm gloves, mobile phone credit and more. Costs range from £3 to £500 – so even if you have a small budget, you can still do your bit.
Since Choose Love first opened in 2017 its stores and website equivalent have raised £3 million, helping provide refugees with:
‘Across Europe, the Middle East and on the US border Help Refugees is supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees living in camps, temporary housing and tents,’ says Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees.
‘Dropping temperatures are making already hard lives nearly impossible.
‘By shopping in the Choose Love stores in London, New York, LA or online, ordinary people are helping provide support where governments are failing.
‘Every purchase goes towards life-changing support for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. This holiday season we hope millions of people add a refugee to their gift list.’
Choose Love 2-ccc2
Incredible images released as part of a photography competition are proving that the eyes really are the windows to the soul.
The eye-catching entries include stunning wildlife shots and powerful portraits, and they have all made the final shortlist in Agora’s #Eyes2019 photo contest.
Photo app Agora asked photographers to submit photos that tell the stories of their subjects through their eyes – animals, insects, or humans.
There were more than 23,660 submissions, and the photos featured below have all made the top 50 – which is an incredible achievement.
The community can now vote for their favourite photo in the app until 10 December.
Every vote will help the guest judge, portrait photographer Fawad Malik, to decide who will be declared the overall winner and claim a prize of $1,000.
The winner will be announced on 12 December.
When you get a fresh mani, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is show it off on Instagram.
But wait, what about those unsightly folds of skin gathering around the joints on our fingers? Knuckles? Gross!
Don’t worry – if you don’t want anyone to know that you have functioning fingers that actually bend (ew) you can take part in the latest Instagram trend of photoshopping the ‘perfect’ fingers.
Wave goodbye to your wrinkly digits and smooth out your fingers – because where Instagram is concerned, smooth is king.
We’re serious. This is an actual trend.
Spotted by Instagram expert Sara Tasker, she tweeted some of the photoshopped pictures she had spotted with the caption: ‘New in “instagram trends that quietly frighten me” we have airbrushing out your knuckles for that “hot dog” look…’
And she’s not wrong about the hot dog comparison. Turns out, fingers without knuckles are intensely horrifying.
— Sara Tasker (@meandorla) November 14, 2019
Hundreds jumped in to comment, with one woman joking that she was rushing out to buy knuckle cream out of shame.
‘I see knuckle serum in all of our futures,’ replied Sara. ‘(Just the women, obvs. Male knuckle wrinkles will be “distinguished”).’
But why are we ashamed of our knuckles? Have we been so conditioned to hate wrinkles that we can’t even stand the natural folds of skin that allow our bodies to bend?
We took a look at some of the most popular nail hashtags on Instagram to see just how widespread this unsettling trend is.
These fingers look suspiciously smooth to us…
It might be just the lighting, but we’re pretty sure these digits have been doctored.
The soft filter isn’t fooling anybody
This user has left the suggestion of knuckle lines, but the hand on the bottom looks unrealistically smooth around the top finger joint.
The nails are great… but where are the knuckles?
We literally can’t see the knuckle. Can these fingers even bend?
Bright lighting or editing?
Again, this could be a trick of lighting – but these fingers look oddly wrinkle-free.
Nope, nope, nope
These fingers are frankly terrifying and don’t really look human if we’re being honest.
Nails are fab – why no knuckles?
We love the design of this mani, and we’re sure that leaving the knuckles alone wouldn’t have distracted from the beauty of the design.
We’re not sure why this no-knuckles trend seems to be taking off on Instagram – but we do know that nobody needs to feel ashamed of having knuckles.
The odd wrinkle is surely better than these barely-human sausage fingers. It’s a no from us.
Close-Up Of Woman With Pink Nail Polish
Weekend plans, holidays and Brexit are the usual suspects when it comes to office chit chat – but a new study has found there’s a particular topic that male employees dislike.
The big P: Periods.
A new study has found that a third of male workers think it’s ‘inappropriate’ to discuss anything to do with menstruation in the office.
In fact, 32 per cent of men said they thought it was ‘unprofessional’ of women to talk about periods at work.
This new research confirms that the menstrual cycle is still largely considered a taboo by a considerable portion of employees. Despite it being a natural, biological phenomenon affecting around half of an office’s workforce, every month.
The study, carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene, spoke to 2,000 workers.
It also found that the women polled said they would rather speak in public, admit to a mistake at work or provide relationship advice than speak about their periods in front of male colleagues.
This apparent shame and embarrassment around periods can also be seen in the other statistics.
More than half of the women in the study said they would be reluctant to call in sick because of period-related symptoms, and 48 per cent said they would be hesitant to talk about it with their manager.
Similarly, 46 per cent of women said they felt uncomfortable taking sanitary products out on their desks, in front of their colleagues.
Perhaps something more concerning is the fact that four out of ten women said they had used a sanitary towels or tampon for longer than medically advised because they didn’t want to get up and replace it, or ask a colleague for one.
The fact is, it’s 2019 and nobody should be ashamed of their body or embarrassed to talk about it at work. But this recent study shows topics relating to women’s bodies, like periods, are not considered to be ‘normal’ part of everyday conversations.
Sian Walkling, a marketing manager at the Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: ‘The fact that a third of men think a grown-up discussion about menstrual hygiene is unprofessional, and that almost half of women feel uncomfortable discussing this element of their wellness with their manager, shows how much work needs to be done.’
‘Female employees shouldn’t feel embarrassed talking about menstrual hygiene in the office, especially when they find themselves faced with a situation they may inadvertently not be prepared for.
‘Normalising conversations about menstrual cycles and how they affect women is vital to achieving period dignity and a diverse workforce.’
illustration of hand holding a tampon
It’s getting to that time of year where drinking feels almost compulsory.
Christmas time is an easy out for those of us who are prone to overindulge. When you have a gin advent calendar and there are festive drinks happening every other evening, it’s easy for it to get out of hand.
Each week on Spill It, we look at different people’s drinking habits over the course of a week.
This time around, we’re hearing from a 26-year-old diarist who works as a letting agent and lives in Bristol.
She’s getting into the spirit with a cheeky Bailey’s (yes, it’s cheeky, don’t @ us), and some nice wines.
Only chose to drink as I had a really nice bottle of red open from Monday and it would have gone to waste!
To use it up I made a red wine risotto, and had two small glasses myself
Leaving drinks for a colleague. I don’t normally drink much at these events as I normally have to drive home, but I really get on with this guy so I decide to let myself have a few, and organise a taxi home.
A few turned into five large glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.
A little bit blurry eyed this morning, but nothing six cups of tea can’t fix. Working this morning, so up early and taxi back to the office since I left my car.
My fiancé has recently had knee surgery making him pretty immobile, so I was designated driver tonight so he could go to his friends engagement drinks.
I do have one small glass of red wine when I get home, though.
Very nice lazy Sunday, although woke up with a headache – very unfair considering lack of drinking!
We normally go out for a roast but due to his knee, we stayed in so I made a pie and treated ourselves to a nice bottle of Bordeaux, of which I had half.
I play Netball Monday nights so no alcohol today.
Day off today. Went for dinner, but drove so no booze there. Did have a double Bailey’s once I got home through – getting in the Christmas spirit!
Girl’s night and I was intending not to drink, but my friend had an open bottle of Sauvignon. We realised half way through that it had been open for 6 weeks in her fridge – tasted remarkably nice, considering.
I ended up having two medium glasses of white wine.
Total units for the week: 29.5
Total units in a week recommended by the NHS: 14 units (for anybody regardless of gender). Obviously, if you’re able to get lower than this, even better!
Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spill It: What a 25-year-old letting agent drinks in a week
Putting together the annual Christmas wish list is a highlight for many kids.
It’s a chance for them to get presents that they’ve had their eyes on all year – but one dad was taken aback when he realised that Santa will need to splash the cash and get himself an extra big sleigh to fit all the goodies that his little girl wants.
The 10-year-old’s list stretches a mile long, and people are creasing at her choices.
So, what did she ask for?
Some of the requests were pretty standard, including checkered Vans, clothes, makeup and Lol dolls, but the cheeky youngster also featured some more extravagant gifts – such as a real bunny, an iPhone 11 and a Macbook Air.
Designer brands also made an appearance, such as a Chanel purse, Gucci sliders and Pink Pumas.
The most excessive entry however comes towards the end and it’s a cash gift – of 4,000 dollars.
‘My 10 year old daughter must be out of her mind with this Christmas list,’ her dad captioned the tweet.
My 10 year old daughter must be out of her mind with this Christmas list 😒😒😒 pic.twitter.com/Qqsje79rda
— @A_Johnson412 (@a_johnson412) November 13, 2019
The tweet has since gone viral, racking up more than 15,000 retweets and almost 75,000 likes, with people loving her boldness.
‘Sneaking in that 4K at the bottom is a rockstar move,’ one person replied.
Someone else said: ‘You raised a bougie princess and now you wanna complain TUH.
‘Get mama her Gucci slides and stop playing.’
Others speculated what his daughter would be using the money for, with one person tweeting: ‘4,000 dollars???? She’s putting a down payment on a car?’
‘This is her registry,’ someone else commented.
Another amused person suggested that perhaps his daughter is ‘trying to catch a plane and become a travel vlogger’.
Interestingly, the 10-year-old also threw in some more affordable choices, such as an alarm clock, sheets and laundry detergent (yes, we’re just as confused as you are).
One person offered a possible theory for the mismatch of wishes.
’10 years old, this may be what she’s trying to test,’ they tweeted.
‘The list is a confusing assortment of practical (new sheets and covers, alarm clock), standard for her age (LOL Surprise dolls), and what the heck?
‘It’d be a smart way to test whether or not mom is Santa.’
Her full Christmas wish list
Some people also commented on her inventive spelling of items such as ‘asenchal oil’, while others wondered what she needs the pink duct tape for.
‘Lmaooo “asenchal oil” Issa baby queen,’ someone tweeted.
One person also asked whether people were sure the Lol dolls were a brand.
‘I’m guessing lol is a brand and not her cackling to herself as she compiled this list?,’ they tweeted.
Which of her these wishes Father Christmas will grant is still unclear, but we’ve got a feeling it won’t be a wad of dollar bills.
Then again, if he’s real…there’s no reason he couldn’t do it, right?
10yo girl's Xmas list of 4,000 dollars and 'aschenal oil'
The festive season wouldn’t be complete without a glass of Baileys – so it’s just as well that the brand has brought out a new treat for 2019.
Baileys has just launched a milk chocolate reindeer, designed to hold its creamy beverage inside.
What’s more, they adorable creatures are free when you pick up a £12 litre bottle of the Irish cream liqueur at Asda.
According to the boozy brand, the hollow chocolate reindeer is best served with 50ml of the creamy tipple inside and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
Each little fella weighs 80g and works out to 550 calories per 100g – so that’s 440 cals per reindeer.
They’re available in selected stores until 4 December, while stocks last. So you better get your festive skates on if you plan to pick one up.
A list of the participating stores can be found using the locator tool on the website.
Premium chocolatiers Lir are behind the edible animals.The company also makes a range of Baileys-flavoured chocolates – so you can eat safe in the knowledge that the reindeers will have the brand’s signature chocolatey taste.
The delightful freebie was first spotted on the Facebook page Bag a Weekly Bargain.
The chocolate drinking vessel comes after the supermarket launched a festive yule log, last month.
But the Christmassy treats keep on coming.
There’s also a Baileys advent calendar available this year, which features 12 mini bottles of the Irish cream in coffee, orange truffle and original varieties.
Asda is also selling a full-size salted caramel Baileys – which launched last month – made from the original Irish cream and blended with rich caramel, along with a pinch of salt.
moving image of Baileys reindeer and Christmas background
Not sure what to get your furry friend this year?
The Merchant’s Tail in Hackney was launched by pet labels Cheshire & Wain and Fetch & Follow, and will feature both festive experiences and shopping opportunities for animal lovers.
Fancy felines will appreciate the luxury ‘Muted Heritage’ collection of soft leather collars and Caviar-themed accessories, while man’s best friend can be treated to a stylish rain jacket or jumper.
If they’ve been a very good girl or boy this year, you could also get them a new bowl and bed, too.
Beyond buying gifts, there will be in-store workshops such as a session on caring for your pets during winter months and Christmas with Dr Ciara from Vet in the City.
And if you haven’t sorted the annual Christmas card yet, visit the photo studio where photographer Rachel Oates will be ready to snap a pic of your pet.
Other events include a Lucky (Waving) Cat customisation workshop and a winter skincare Walk & Talk with Malin+Goetz for the humans.
Pets are obviously welcome to come along during your visit, with founder of Cheshire & Wain, Sonja Farrell, and Genesta Gunn from Fetch & Follow hanging about the store, ready to feed them snacks.
Humans can also post a ‘tail’ to Santa Paws for a chance to win £100 to spend on their furry pal.
The pop-up, located on Hackney Road, opened last week and will run until 8 December, open every Wednesday to Sunday.
If you want to get a little something pet-themed for yourself, why not get a strange Christmas jumper featuring a dog that looks suspiciously like a penis?
In any relationship, your formerly separate lives can become inextricably tangled.
Who would get to keep the cat after you break up? What about the sofa you bought together? Or the friends that you made when you were together?
Once you’ve worked out the minutiae through measured conversation (or screaming each other about the fact that it was you who bought that record player and storming out with it) you’re both left picking up the pieces – not just emotionally, but financially.
Breaking up isn’t just an emotionally messy time, it can be seriously expensive, and even leave you in debt.
I know this better than anyone.
A few years back, I found myself in an intense relationship that, when it ended, changed my whole financial future.
Things moved quickly, and when my lease ended a month into us being together I moved into the house he owned, paying him towards bills and his mortgage.
It wasn’t a cheap relationship to be in. He would suggest going to fancy places constantly, and if I’d say I couldn’t afford it he’d promise to pay. However, when the time came for my round, he’d look at me expectantly, and I’d go spend money I couldn’t afford so I didn’t humiliate myself in front of his friends.
The constant over-promising and under-delivering, coupled with him leading a rather fast lifestyle that I felt I needed to keep up with took its toll on my bank balance. By the end of the ten months we were together, I had no savings.
Then, when we broke things off, I had to find a new place to live – with all the expenses that came with that. Rental deposits (even just for a room) can be upwards of £1,000, and that’s before you’ve even counted moving expenses and the essentials you need for a new home.
In the end, I had to borrow a large chunk of money from a family member, and have spent a very long time paying it back.
It’s no surprise, then, that nearly one in five people – a fifth of the population – have remained in a romantic relationship because financial concerns have prevented them from leaving.
For Alfie, a PR manager from London, the price of breaking up with his partner was £9,000. Being on his own after a number of years in a couple was a shock to the system money-wise.
‘I was in the relationship for three years – three years too long!’ he tells Metro.co.uk.
‘We owned a property together so when we broke-up because he found someone else I wasn’t in a position to pay the mortgage on my own, so had to move out. The plan was for him to buy me out.
‘I had to rent a room until the payment came through, as well as pay a deposit and six weeks in advance on the room.
‘I needed a credit card to survive (rent was more than my monthly mortgage payments and the cost of living doubled. I wasn’t splitting food, electricity and other bills.
‘I ran up a credit card bill of £9,000, and I had to use the money my late father had left me until I received the money from my half of the sale. It took months.’
According to Relate, over a quarter of people (26%) experiencing money worries in their relationships, and a third (32%) of Relate’s couple counselling clients say that money worries are causing tension in their relationships.
‘If it has been a co-dependent relationship then with the ending of the relationship the reliance on the other person can strongly effect the person that has been left – leaving them vulnerable to mental health issues, especially depression,’ Peter Saddington, a Practice Clinical Supervisor at Relate, tells Metro.co.uk.
Co-dependency, he explains, is ‘a way of describing a pattern of behavior between a couple where one person has an excessive reliance on the other person particularly for approval and a sense of identity. It is often associated with a couple where one has an addiction but this is not exclusive, couples can be codependent in many ways including financially.’
You may not think that you’re financially co-dependent, but if your financial freedom is tied to whether they provide for you (or not) then it could be a sign.
This is why a number of people have decided to create so-called ‘fuck off funds’.
The idea initially stemmed from an essay written by Paulette Perhach in 2016. She tells the story of a woman stuck in a terrible relationship and terrible job, with no funds to leave, and advises that we should all save up as much as we can, so we can ‘fuck off’ to pastures new if need be.
Granted, it’s certainly not as easy as just planning to save. Peter says: ‘Woman are often the ones that can find themselves in a financially compromised position as a result of a break-up – often because of having a family and not having the same financial back-up because they have not worked as much or developed their career because of the commitment to the child/children.
‘Woman will often not have been able to maintain a pension because of breaks in their career because of starting a family.’
Alternatively, he says, ‘Men can find themselves struggling as a result of supporting more than one family. If they go on to have another relationship then they may still have responsibilities to a previous relationship and so he is not able to use all of his money in the new relationship.’
These situations can make saving for a rainy day hard, not to mention that when you’re in the good times of a relationship, leaving isn’t a top priority.
Financial abuse can muddy the waters even further. Peter says: ‘Financial abuse involves someone using or misusing money which limits or controls the other person’s current and future actions and more importantly their freedom of choice.
‘It can be running up debts in the other person’s name, using and misusing credit cards without permission and gambling with the other person (or family’s) assets. Financial abuse rarely happens in isolation but is often characteristic in an abusive or coercive relationship.’
All of these things add to the importance of saving – if that’s an option for you – in a bank account that can’t be accessed by your partner.
It’s not about not trusting them, but about giving yourself the freedom to leave a situation if it becomes toxic. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
If saving isn’t something you can realistically afford, or you’re in an unexpected break-up debt situation, there is help out there for you.
‘Your bank or building society will want to know and consider what options are possible,’ says Peter.
‘Looking at Mediation can be extremely helpful as it can enable all the relevant information about the financial situation of you and your partner to be explored ensuring that all the facts and figures are revealed and included in a settlement.’
He adds: ‘Debt agencies play a really important and valuable part in helping to make sense of your options and where further support is available. Citizen’s Advice are a really good first port of call especially as they are free. They will get information about benefits, how to deal with debt and what you are entitled to if you are losing your job and most importantly who to speak to if there is a threat of losing your home.’
Put simply, you are never alone, and other agencies such as National Debtline and StepChange will also be able to help you get out of your current situation, and signpost you to further services if need be.
You might not be able to splash out on unlimited tubs of Ben & Jerry’s to drown your sorrows, but your financial situation will improve, and so will your broken heart.
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 of a woman looking glum with moving boxes in the background
Christmas Jumper Day is just under a month away – it’s time to get your outfit in order.
While you’re browsing for the most jolly (or ridiculous) look to sport this year, don’t forget to pick something up for your pooch.
After all, your furry friend deserves to feel festive, too.
Ahead of the big event, Sainsbury’s has just launched its Tu range of Christmas jumpers for dogs, and the designs are adorable.
Choose from a multi-coloured Fair Isle pattern in light blue, featuring cakes, Santa Claus, Christmas trees and baubles or an understated checkered coat in red and black.
There’s also a ‘family blue’ coat with the words ‘Santa’s little helper’ scrawled on top.
For a more traditional style, dress your pooch up as a miniature, hairy elf or Father Christmas (beard not included).
The collection features four jumpers in total, along with two coats and two Harris Tweed leads.
It’s pretty affordable too, so you could get more than one design – £14 for jumpers and £12 for the coats, with the range available in-store and online.
Sizes range from small to extra large, so all breeds can get in on the fun.
If you’d like something a bit more luxurious, swing by Hackney and visit The Merchant’s Tail – a pop-up dedicated to cats and dogs.
Hosted by pet labels Cheshire & Wain and Fetch & Follow, the shop opened last week and will run until 8 December.
In addition to shopping opportunities, visitors can take part in pet-themed workshops and other experiences such as getting a pic taken of their beloved animal in the photo studio with a professional photographer.
Treats will be handed out to felines and pooches as well.
And if you’re looking for a jumper for yourself, may we recommend one with a design that is meant to be a dog – but looks like someone patting a penis?
From lime basil and mandarin to peony and blush suede – famous perfumer Jo Malone is known for working wonders in the world of fragrance.
The perfume extraordinaire has teamed up with high street favourite Zara to launch a unisex collection.
The range – known as the The Zara Emotions Collection by Jo Loves – features eight different perfumes.
They’re on sale today and each perfume is priced at £25.99.
For the past year, Jo has used Zara’s fashion archives to come up with the unique scents.
According to the Zara website, Vetiver Pamplemousse has notes of grapefruit, mandarin and vetiver (a kind of grass). Jo says it’s like a ‘a crisp white cotton shirt layered with citrus cologne, an everyday accessory for me.’
Alternatively, Ebony Wood represents ‘that moment of freedom and care-free adventures that are about to begin,’ thanks to its peppercorn and clove undertones. Whereas she describes Tubereuse Noir as ‘commanding’ with its ylang and sandlewood scent.
Bohemian Bluebells features notes of lavender, sandalwood and musk and is a favourite with Jo. In fact, she claims it to be ‘unlike anything you’ve ever smelt before.’
Water Lily Tea Dress has notes of spearmint, bergamot and musk, while Almalfi Sunray also has bergamot, alongside mandarin and orange flower.
Both Fleur De Patchouli and Fleur D’Oranger are heavy on the florals.
Zara is known its designer fragrance dupes which smell incredibly similar to high-end products.
The retailer’s £15.99 Black Peony perfume has a striking resemblance to Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb. Likewise, the £9.99 Zara Rose has similar notes to Dior’s J’adore fragrance.
The new perfumes by Jo Malone will add to Zara’s luxury-yet-affordable fragrance collection.
Jo Malone and Zara perfume collaboration Picture: Zara METROGRAB
If you ask someone to come round to Netflix and Chill, they won’t just think you’re a little bit forward.
No, they’ll also think you’re a dinosaur from an ancient land, as that term is not only dead – it’s fossilised.
It’s all thanks to the advent of a new streaming service; Disney+.
The platform hosts pretty much everything Disney has ever done, whether it’s TV shows like Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven or movies like Cinderella and Fantasia.
People were pretty excited when it launched this week, but as usual it had to go from innocent to filth in a matter of minutes.
Memes began appearing almost immediately about the new term, which is exactly like Netflix and Chill except for the fact you’ll be watching kids shows rather than true crime documentaries before you do the deed.
y’all trynna “disney plus and thrust” while watching that’s so raven and in the middle all you gonna hear is pic.twitter.com/jgaDOt9LSK
— raine (@raineraineh) November 14, 2019
Netflix Disney +
and chill and thrust pic.twitter.com/8ElUyMnTnA
— Chris (@meek_christina) November 14, 2019
I swear to god if you try to Disney plus & thrust while I’m watching Cinderella imma be upset. We are in an INNOCENT space right now!! pic.twitter.com/6GafzQyO3X
— •𝘉𝘭𝘬𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘉𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘺• (@BlkSoulBeauty) November 14, 2019
Her: Netflix and chill?
Me: Nah we off that, how bout Disney plus and thrust?
— JackStoned (@MrJackSTONED) November 14, 2019
so like.. DISNEY + AND THRUST? pic.twitter.com/mnEpCQACJ5
— Jimmy Nguwuyen (@jummy_dumplings) November 14, 2019
As you may notice from the memes, the jury is really out on whether Disney+ and Thrust is actually good or bad.
For one, you’re watching things designed for and/or including children. The only people who feel aroused when watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody should really be reported to police.
If you do manage to find something more appropriate then you’re missing out on some top quality content while you thrust.
Given how many people appear to get engaged or married at Disneyland, though, it does make sense that people’s love would blossom over the likes of the Lion King.
If you want ‘a friend in you’, you really don’t need to watch the TV to make romance spark. The Woody jokes might be offputting, and Toy Story is a real tearjerker – not ideal for the bedrooms.
We mostly miss the days of the ‘sex mixtape’. Life was simpler then… And you didn’t need to pay a subscription fee.
The launch of Disney\'s streaming service means the \'Netflix and chill\' era is over
There is nothing more disappointing than arriving at McDonald’s to find that you’re too late to grab a morning McMuffin.
But the fast food giant has announced some big changes when it comes to its breakfast.
In an exciting new development, McDonald’s will be extending its breakfast opening hours across every single restaurant in the country.
Hungry customers will have half an hour extra to get down to their local McDonald’s, as the breakfast hours will be extended for 30 minutes.
This means the breakfast, which usually ends at 10.30am, will run until 11am.
Thank you McMuffin gods!
The new times will be rolled out across all 1,249 restaurants in the UK, starting from 20 November (next Wednesday).
Highlights on the breakfast menu include the bacon roll, the single hash brown, toasted bagels and pancakes and the breakfast wrap – which includes egg, bacon, cheese, sausage and a hash brown.
McDonald’s also offers a number of different varieties of the popular McMuffin – with the option for double bacon and egg and more.
It’s only bad news for those who fancy a Big Mac before 11am.
Anyone looking for lunch options will have to wait until the breakfast menu switches over.
Michelle Graham-Clare, vice president food and marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: ‘We all understand the pain of missing out on a McMuffin by a matter of minutes.
‘We have listened to our customers’ pleas and are delighted to extend breakfast serving time until 11am.’
image of McDonald's McMuffin
We all like to spoil our pets but one luxurious cat product has got the internet talking.
Any cat owner will know that felines love to sit up high, surveying their kingdoms.
So any product which allows a cat to spread itself across at a height, is ideal for the furry creatures.
Well, such an item does exist and is known as the Cat Mod Bridge.
That’s right, it’s an actual bridge designed specifically for felines.
The creation, which is currently sold by CatastrophiCreations on Etsy, comes in three different colours: a dark onyx, a brown chestnut and a paler white shade.
It’s pretty simple to assemble, too – just nail each side to the desired part of a wall.
There are three different lengths to choose from: a 30, 46 and a 62-inch bridge.
But the website stresses that the longer the bridge, the more likely it is to sway.
It says: ‘The 62″ bridge will have more sway to it. So, if your cat may be hesitant because of this then we recommend going with one of the shorter length options.’
Prices start from £137.73 for the smallest size and go up to £166.09. But considering its quality and design, it seems to be worth the investment and has been a hit with cat owners, so far.
Many have left comments praising the imaginative piece on Etsy.
One said: ‘Very sturdy and so Indiana Jones! I can’t wait to get this up on the walls. My Sammie is going to go nuts.’
Another cat mum posted: ‘My cat is going to love this for Christmas!’
While another could not stop singing its praises. She said: ‘All the wood is high quality, perfectly smooth finish and didn’t smell like varnish or stain at all.
‘The pieces were easy to put together and very versatile. I had a tricky wall with strange stud distances and I had no problem with the bridge.’
the etsy cat bridge
We all know dogs bring joy into our lives, but new research says they could be working wonders for our relationships, too.
A recent study has found that couples who share a dog are happier than those who do not.
The survey, carried out by Rover.com, found that 60% of couple owners said that bringing up a dog together made their relationship stronger.
What’s more, half of the participants said their canines had helped them spend quality time together, as a couple.
Nothing beats a romantic walk in the park, after all.
Around 88% of those surveyed said raising a mutt requires teamwork and 65% agreed that trust is needed, too. Both are important factors needed for a relationship to thrive.
The study also showed that 43% found their partner sexier after getting a dog together.
While there are plenty of positives to sharing a pooch, one in six did say their sex life had taken a turn for the worse – due to their fact their dog usually shares the bed with them.
Those in relationships were not the only ones who said that dogs are important for an individual’s love life.
In terms of finding a partner, 36% of people admitted that it would be a deal-breaker if someone they were dating was not a ‘dog person’.
Hayley Quinn, dating expert for Match says co-parenting a pet requires compromise and communications skills.
She says, ‘Getting a dog together is a huge commitment.
‘Owning a pet together can improve the quality of your relationship. Seeing your partner demonstrate their emotional traits, such as care and compassion, can be extremely attractive and, as this study shows, increases sexual desire.’
Who knew poop-a-scooping could be so sexy?
illustration of a dog with a love heart balloon
It’s Friday, you’re ready to go out and have a few jars. There’s just one small problem – you’re skint.
We’ve all been there, and it’s annoying when you’d like to get a little tipsy but haven’t much cash to get buzzed with.
A new website is trying to help drinkers get a little more for their money when it comes to booze, specifically focusing on the beloved Wetherspoon’s chain.
Pints.wtf lets you search the drinks list of any ‘Spoon’s in the country, and then gets calculating.
It works out the percentage of alcohol you can get for your money, ranking each drink in terms of value to alcohol content.
Hopefully you like cider, as that tends to top the list in most of the locations. You’ll also see that Green King Ruddles Best and Abbot Also make a few appearances at the top.
In general, if you’re not too fussy about what you’re drinking, this will give you more bang for your buck.
We should note, though, that as much as we joke about being drunk, you shouldn’t actually use this to get completely bladdered.
Nobody likes an inebriated idiot – especially not pub workers – and you should use the calculator while exercising a fair amount of caution when you’re drinking.
Wetherspoon’s has seen its fair share of drunk idiots – from this guy who bit off a pigeon’s head to these people chucking flip-flops at each other in a fight outside. Try not to be one of them.
If you can’t be bothered getting home, you’ll be happy to know that Wetherspoon’s hotels have beat stiff competition to become the best hotel chain in the country.
Lovely to rest your head after a stiff pint of West Country cider.
Helpful website tells you the most efficient way to get smashed