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Last-minute gifts you can buy in Poundland

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(Credit: Poundland)

I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. Or, at least, I *think* I’ve finished.

There’s no doubt that as the day draws nearer, there’ll be a million people I’ve forgotten about.

The neighbour will pop round with chocolates, meaning I have to get her something. Someone at a party will hand me a gift bag, prompting a very awkward and clearly untrue story about how theirs is in the post.

Then there’s the teachers, work colleagues, paper-round kids, and all the other people you need to get little bits for. It all adds up.

But I think I’ve found the solution: Poundland.

Walking through the aisles recently, I was shocked by how cute (and… Read the full story

People told us their worst landlord stories

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(Picture: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Not all landlords are bad.

In fact my current landlord is amazing and gets on all our repairs right away. However, having left home six years ago, that’s the first time I can say that.

I’ve had landlords who thought it was acceptable to call me at 9pm for ‘a chat’. I’ve rented from those who expected me to do repairs myself (at least I now know how to fix a washing machine door).

I’ve even be told by my landlord to pour 97% sulphuric acid down a sink that hadn’t drained since I moved in – very volatile stuff. Thankfully I Googled it before I did… Read the full story

Furrytail Of New York – Which cat cafe should you visit in the Big Apple?

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The stylish cats of Koneko (Picture: Yvette Caster)

You know about the big ones when it comes to New York – the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue Of Liberty – and if you don’t there’s plenty of guides to help you with those.

But what about the smaller, more a-mews-ing attractions?

Yes, I’m talking cat cafes.

Little dens off the bright and busy New York streets where you can sit for an hour or two surrounded by felines.

For cat people they’re little pockets of joy, although I guess if you have allergies they’re hell on earth.

Anyway, there’s currently three in New York and I visited them all to check out… Read the full story

Six people reveal their best excuses for calling in sick

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Pulling a sickie stories
Inventing a daughter to get days off is excessive yet effective. (Picture: MMUFFIN)

It’s almost Christmas – there’s a lot of nights out planned, some brilliant television shows to catch up on and sometimes it’s just too cold to get out of bed.

So you may be tempted to take a cheeky day off to catch up on sleep, finish that boxset or get through a few chapters of a new book.

Not that I would ever dream of doing that or even condone it, of course.

But some people have and have used some brilliant excuses to pull a sickie.

Some worked while others… not so much.

Six people share their… Read the full story

8 reasons Chanukah is better than Christmas

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Family celebrating Hanukkah, lighting Menorah. (Picture: Getty)

Christmas is not the only major festival to happen in December.

What is Hanukkah and why is it celebrated?

Chanukah (or Hanukkah), the Jewish festival of light, runs this year from the evening of 12 December until the evening of 20 December and celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days after the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2500 years ago.

And whilst Chanukah may not have Santa, reindeer or mince pies, for eight good reasons Chanukah is actually better than Christmas! Here’s why.

1. It lasts EIGHT days

There may officially be twelve days… Read the full story

Don’t fall into the trap of quitting your antidepressants because you’re feeling great

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Whether you’re new to taking antidepressants or you’re a Prozac pro, please heed this warning about mistakes from someone who’s made them for you.

If you’re suddenly feeling loads better after regularly taking antidepressants, do not react by thinking to yourself: ‘Oh, I feel brilliant. What do I need antidepressants for?’

Do not then follow up that thought by leaving your box of Fluoxetine in the cupboard and letting it gather dust, declaring that you’re all better and will never need meds again.

You will crash. You will feel absolutely awful. You will find yourself fallen apart, so exhausted you can’t muster the motivation to put yourself together again.

Then, in desperation, you’ll go back on your meds, go through all the rubbish side effects again, and feel pretty silly for coming off them in the first place.

You know all this. It’s not new information.

And yet the second you feel good, it’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing meds out of the… Read the full story

Man spots himself in the background of his fiancée’s childhood family photo

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(Picture: @veronavanity/Instagram)

If you ever needed proof that fate is real and that some relationships are just meant to be, hold onto your cynical hats.

Let’s rewind back 10 years.

Verona Koliqi, who now lives in London but is originally from Kosovo, was visiting a beach in Montenegro with her family.

They look the classic family holiday pictures and probably thought no more about them.

Until Verona, a decade later, was examining one of the photos from the beach trip with her fiancé Mirand and noticed that the little boy floating on a lilo in the sea behind the Koliqi family.

‘He noticed the kid in the back had the same shirt, shorts and floaty as him,’… Read the full story

I learned the hard way why you should always drive with a dashcam

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(Picture: Metro.co.uk)

I was waiting at a T-junction indicating to turn right on my way to a wedding in Manchester.

SMASH. A car turning into my road from the left, cut the corner and drove into the front right of my car.

There was nothing I could have done about it, the other driver had simply carelessly driven straight into me.

Taxi driver cleared over killing sleeping student he mistook for a binbag

There are always those few seconds that seem to slow right down when you are involved in a car accident. It doesn’t matter at what speed it happens, even completely stationary, it… Read the full story

You call your partner all kinds of soppy nicknames because you’re thinking about your mum

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metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Every relationship has its special baby names.

Find me someone who claims not to call their partner Bunny, Poo Bear or Baba and I’ll show you a liar.

It’s mega cringe but it’s sort of unavoidable.

In fact, the need to use these kinds of baby names all comes down to your parents (oh God).

‘Baby talk is used really extensively, including cross-culturally, by mothers across the world,’ Florida State University neuroathropologist Professor Dean Falk tells Broadly.

‘It exists for language acquisition in infants, and it also expresses love and facilitates bonding between the mother and infant.’

Studies have shown that children love baby talk and being called… Read the full story

How normal are your Christmas porn habits?

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Stories from sex-workers working christmas day
(Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

Personally, I don’t think of Christmas as a particularly sexy time.

I’m usually full of chocolate, tipsy on Baileys, and with my parents. None of those are conducive to arousal.

However, it seems I’m one of the prudish few who doesn’t enjoy a Christmas masturbation session, and Pornhub has released stats to make you feel less uncomfortable about wanting to spank it while The Snowman is on TV downstairs.

By the looks of things, people like to theme their festive porn, with search terms like Santa, Christmas orgy, and elf seeing huge surges around this season.

Adriana Lima might be leaving Victoria’s Secret because of body image pressure

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(Picture: Adriana Lima/Instagram)

Adriana Lima is probably one of the most famous Victoria’s Secret angels.

She’s everything you associate with the brand – 5’8” of Brazilian perfection.

But you might not be seeing much more of her dressed in thigh-high boots, corsets and wings.

Because she’s just announced that she will no longer take off her clothes ‘for an empty cause’.

Writing on Instagram, she says that she’s recently been approached about filming a ‘sexy video’ to be shared on social media – and that request has prompted some real soul searching.

‘Even though I have done many of this type, something had changed in me,’ she says.

‘When a friend approached me to… Read the full story

You really don’t get the same number of each chocolate in boxes of Quality Street

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(Picture: CDA)

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a big tin of Quality Street.

Every Christmas afternoon should be spent rifling through hundreds of wrappers to find all the green triangles before anyone else gets their dirty mitts on them.

And that’s the point – you have to make a grab for the best chocs because there always fewer of the ones you want.

Snooze and you’ll end up with a load of Strawberry Dreams.

That isn’t my paranoia – it’s fact.

According to research commissioned by CDA, you actually get more Fudge chocolates than any other type, while there are only four Orange Chocolate Crunches in a tub.

Read the full story

The funniest nativity play stories as told by parents

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Things don’t always go to plan when we’re talking about kids acting out the nativity scene (Picture: Getty)

The nativity play can be a tear-jerking event at Christmastime.

Parents see their little ones dressed up as sheep or angels, and it’s one of the highlights of the school calendar.

Stories from sex-workers working christmas dayHow normal are your Christmas porn habits?

Has your child been selected as Mary or Joseph? Does your school do a non-traditional funky play with rapping donkeys and guitar playing camels?

There is one thing you can be sure of, it will be hilarious in parts – the difficult bit as an… Read the full story

Would you try one of the world’s hottest Christmas dinners – a Turkey Inferno curry?

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(Picture: Trinity Mirror)

We all love a good food challenge.

Whether it’s Big Macs, fish and chips or fry-ups, there’s something about watching people stuff themselves silly that just speaks to us, deep inside.

And as it’s Christmas, it’s only right that you get involved with this festive feasting challenge.

A curry house in Staffordshire claims that they’ll be serving up one of the world’s hottest Christmas dinners come the big day, in the form of a turkey curry.

The Dilshad, in Cannock, will be using 22 of the world’s hottest chillies, including the Ghost chilli, the Trinidad scorpian T chilli and the Caroline Reaper for their Turkey… Read the full story

Nap pods have arrived in London to satisfy all your dozy dreams

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(Picture: Pop & Rest)

We all know the key to happiness is having a good nap.

And while some of us do it secretly at work, other get paid for it.

But if you’re struggling to get through the day (and who can blame you?), a nap pod has opened to cater to all your sleep needs.

At Pop & Rest, tired commuters and travellers are given the chance to disconnect and refresh in a private space from busy places such as workplaces, train stations and airports.

Sadly, the space in Monument is single beds only so if you fancy bringing a nap partner along, you’ll have to go separately.

Read the full story

These nine women are challenging breastfeeding taboos through this powerful photoshoot

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(Picture: Lakisha Cohill / HC Inc)

No woman should be shamed for breastfeeding in public.

But sadly, it’s a lot more common than it should be – particularly in certain communities.

So a group of nine American mothers have decided to challenge breastfeeding taboos in the black community through an empowering photo shoot.

The group opted for a goddess theme, with the mothers posing topless and feeding their babies, clothed in black dresses and gold crowns.

It’s the second shoot of its kind. The group began taking pictures together after Alabama-based mother-of-one Angel Warren posted a callout on her personal Facebook page.

This short story about bad sex and strange men is horribly relateable for so many women

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(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Short stories don’t go viral. 

Short stories don’t even tend to sell THAT well in bookshops. Very rarely do you go to a party and hear someone talking about this amazing short story that they read the other day (if you do, you’re attending much classier shindigs than I am).

But then, over the weekend, came Cat Person.

It’s a short story by Kristen Roupenian, published in The New Yorker, about a 20 year old woman named Margot and a 34 year old man named Robert who meet, and flirt, and have sex. You can read the whole thing here.

Margot sat on the bed while Robert took off… Read the full story

Is this father-daughter pole dancing duo incredibly cool or incredible weird?

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This is father-daughter duo Dave and Hazel Roberts.

They’re pole dancers and they’re so good and so rare that they got scouted to be on Britain’s Got Talent.

However, the judges thought the concept too ‘weird’ and all four buzzed them off almost as soon as they started.

But that hasn’t stopped them from continuing with their passion.

Dave (52) and Hazel (27) have been pole dancing… Read the full story

In the wake of Fenty, Kylie Cosmetics launches 30 shades of concealer

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(Picture: Kylie Cosmetics/Instagram)

Fenty has really changed the beauty game.

Rihanna has done something so simple and obvious: diversify the range of shades on offer to accommodate more women.

It’s not rocket science, and yet her’s is the first brand to take diversity seriously and to do it well.

And it looks like others are clocking just how well received Fenty has been (apart from anything else, it was named Invention of the Year).

Cue: Kylie Cosmetics releasing 30 shades of concealer.

’30 shades from fair to deep dark! All available on Dec 13,’ the company writes.

Instagram Photo

Read the full story

Bowel disease sufferer shares intimate pics of herself with ileostomy bag to defy body shamers

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BRUNETTE BEAUTY FLAUNTS STOMA BAG IN UNDERWEAR SELFIES TO DEFY BODY SHAMERS.
Harriet Williams wants to show that having an ileostomy bag isn’t a burden (Picture: Mercury Press)

Harriet Williams was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel condition at the age of 14 which left her needing to go to the toilet more than 25 times a day.

After eight agonising years, she was fitted with an ileostomy bag, and despite being later told she could have it reversed, she decided to keep it.

Now the 25-year-old has been sharing images of herself in everyday situations to raise awareness of the disease, and encourage others to be more body confident.

Harriet – a market researcher from… Read the full story

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