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There’s no such thing as too much cheese! Living the ‘douceur de vivre’ in the South of France

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The impressive Chateau de Mercues played host to my foray into le douceur vivre
The impressive Chateau de Mercues played host to my foray into ‘le douceur de vivre’

There is something immensely attractive about the French and their born idleness, particularly in the south of the country, where boozy lunches move effortlessly into café crème and cramped cheese boards.

While the UK weathers a turbulent swirl of political mayhem, with pundits and politicians squabbling over Brexit negotiations, the French, comfortable in their indolence, applaud Macron while twirling their greased moustaches and pouring themselves another glass of Pernod.

Now that’s a life.

I wanted to experience all of those things the French do so… Read the full story

Is this the most diverse beauty campaign ever?

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(Picture: AWPxBabor)

Beauty brand Babor have put together a campaign, and it’s absolutely stunning. 

It’s also gloriously diverse.

The campaign features a variety of models from 58 year old Nicola Griffin, the oldest model ever to appear in a Sports Illustrated shoot, to Charli Howard who was famously told she was too big for modelling, despite being a size six.

All of the photos are unretouched, so what you’re seeing is real, unvarnished beauty.

It’s not just the campaign which does good, either. The product is working to change lives too.

11 reasons why you need to book a weekend in Southwold now

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(Picture: Getty)

When it comes to picturesque seaside towns, you couldn’t get quainter than Southwold.

With its candy-coloured beach huts and dinky little pier, it’s the ideal coastal destination.

But it’s not just its picture-perfect good looks that make it a great destination for a weekend away.

From its very own brewery to some of the best fish and chips you’ll find in the country, here are 11 reasons you need to make Southwold your next holiday break.

1. The beach

A Harry Potter themed bottomless brunch is coming to London

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Harry Potter brunch
(Picture: Warner Bros)

A Harry Potter-themed brunch is coming to London on Saturday 24 February between 12pm and 5pm – and is one of a bunch of themed brunches that will be held bi-monthly at a number of various locations across London.

The Harry Potter brunch brings with it the aura of Hogwarts.

It’ll offer a day of spells, potions and wand-envy as guests will get to enjoy a Harry Potter-themed quiz, butter beer and other magical things all afternoon.

There’s going to be a brunch in the Great Hall as some of the best scenes from the wizarding franchise are played in the background.

Unicorn Tears pink gin is here just in time for Valentine’s Day

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(Picture: Firebox)

Unicorn Tears pink gin is here and it’s far too pretty to drink.

Firebox has released the new pink gin on its website for £8.99.

It’s limited-edition and is said to be ‘infused with the seductive tears of lovesick unicorns’. It’s pretty deep, we know.

The bottle holds a double measure, which is ‘perfect for sharing with a partner’ – though there’s no harm in keeping it all for yourself, right?

You don’t even have to be an actual fan of gin to enjoy – as the bottle will make for the perfect Instagram picture.

Mum is inspiring other women to love their stretch marks after she finally learned to love her body

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(Picture: Lisa Wilson/Caters)

Body positivity isn’t easy.

It’s hard work to love every bit of yourself when there’s so much pressure from advertising and social media to compare your body to everyone else’s and come up short.

That’s especially true when your body changes, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of wishing you could get your old body back.

That was the case for Lisa Wilson, a 28-year-old mum of two from Michigan.

Left with loose skin and stretch marks following pregnancy, Lisa felt incredibly insecure about her appearance, and desperately wished to go back to the way she was before having children.

‘My daughters both had a fascination with the stretchmarks and… Read the full story

The best phrases that parents use instead of dropping the f-bomb in front of the kids

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Parent Swear
Ditch your usual swear words (Picture: Getty)

Nothing gets a stronger reaction than a child swearing.

Depending on the audience, it can be borderline hilarious or simply outrageous. They often start with poo poo or wee wee but it can progress. And the more we react, the worse it gets.

Picture of boy hiding under bedThe most ridiculous things kids say to avoid bedtime

Fay Phillips recalls a story that always makes her laugh with horror.

‘My daughter, then aged four, sitting at breakfast, nice sunny day, all pretty happy, etc. Then she points to the fruit bowl, which contains some overripe… Read the full story

Are you ready for the tacro?

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tacro taco croissant
(Picture: sf__eats)

It’s been a while since we’ve had a strange and wonderful food hybrid.

After the mass mania caused by the cronut, others have tried to smush croissants into other formats with the conut, the cruffin, and, of course, the sushi croissant. But none have really taken off.

The tacro might be the next big star of the pastry hybrid game.

As you may have guessed from the portmanteau, a tacro is a taco made with a croissant taco shell.

The creation of Vive Le Tarte bakery in San Francisco, the tacro is made up of a flaky croissant… Read the full story

Go ahead and put your chocolate in the fridge if you want to

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(Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

This time around in announcements to make us feel like we’re doing everything wrong and generally failing at life, an expert has come out of their special expert cupboard to declare that you should never, ever keep chocolate in the fridge.

New Zealand judge Luke Owen Smith told Stuff that chilling chocolate in the fridge makes it taste dull, as it messes with the temper and ‘doesn’t release the flavours’.

Naturally, this sparked all kinds of headlines telling the world that they’ve been eating chocolate WRONG and that putting chocolate in the fridge is a crime against all good things in the world.

That’s despite the fact that… Read the full story

About to sleepwalk into the same old holiday? Stop! Read this and change your LIFE

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This is how to holiday (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

‘Cruising isn’t for me’.

This simple throwaway phrase, used by many, has dismissed an entire chunk of the holiday market for years and years.

But why?

You may not have noticed but cruise holidays have had an enormous makeover in recent years.

So much so that the old ‘cruising isn’t for me’ excuse seems as dated as the myths surrounding it.

Royal Caribbean is leading the way in busting those myths and is determined to show how stunning and adventurous a cruise can be for you and your family.

Everyone should read Tess Holliday’s defence of period sex

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(Picture: Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

Period sex is still a contentious area.

For everyone who celebrates having sex while menstruating, there’s someone else continuing to call it ‘gross’.

Regardless of your personal preferences, it’s pretty rubbish to be made to feel ‘gross’ for having consensual sex that you enjoy.

That’s why when someone speaks in defence of period sex, it’s worth bringing to people’s attention – so that anyone worrying about being ‘gross’ is reminded that there’s nothing wrong with them for enjoying orgasms when they’re on the rag.

This time around it’s Tess Holliday chatting about getting sexy while menstruating.

While guest-hosting Loveline with Amber Rose, model Tess Holliday received a call… Read the full story

Hollywood opal hair is the subtle take on the unicorn trend you’ve been waiting for

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hollywood opal hair colour trend
(Picture: Instagram/rossmichaelssalon)

Has anyone else been waiting for all the rainbow bright, unicorn colour beauty trends to die down?

If that’s you, rejoice, for the new hot hair colour trend is the unicorn hair colour trend’s subtle, more elegant sister.

As first spotted by Allure, Hollywood opal hair is a new dye job creation from Mike Lowenstein and his wife and business partner, Melody, of Ross Michaels Salon in Bremerton, Washington.

The look’s a combo of old Hollywood waves (that’s where the Hollywood bit comes in) with a dye job designed to capture the shimmering tones of a piece of opal.

The hair is dyed blonde before… Read the full story

What does twice removed mean?

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(Picture: Getty)

Compiling your family tree is all the rage at the moment, and you can even get a DNA test sent to your house to work out where you’re descended from.

It can be a tricky thing to do on your own, though, and even getting all the records you need is quite a chore.

The terminology is also confusing, and the further back you go it gets even harder.

Read the full story

Fenty Beauty is on track to sell better than Kylie Cosmetics

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fenty beauty
(Picture: Instagram/Fenty Beauty)

Is anyone really surprised by how well Fenty Beauty is doing?

If there’s one person who can make us buy things, it’s Rihanna (we’d pay anything to be a bit more like her, really).

Add in the diversity of shades she provided, the diversity in her advertising, the excellent shade names, and, of course, the superb quality of the product itself, and it’s really no shocker that Mattemoiselle lipsticks and Pro Filt’r foundations are selling like hotcakes.

Fenty Beauty was even named invention of the year in 2017.

So, no, we’re not at all surprised by the news that Fenty Beauty is now set to outsell… Read the full story

Understanding the importance of equal rights: why my children join us on Pride marches

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(Picture: Getty)

Ever since my kids were babies I’ve been taking them on Gay Pride marches with my dad and his husband. 

While in their world it’s just a fun and flamboyant day-out with their ‘grandpopsies’, for me, it’s vital that they understand the fight for equal rights as young as possible.

Sophie Mei Lan with her dadsMy dad never had to ‘come out’ to me as gay – as a kid I just accepted it

I want them to be equipped with the strength and knowledge to be who they are regardless of their race, sexuality, gender or anything else.

I don’t want them just… Read the full story

These women are nailing newsletters right now (here’s how you can, too)

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Woman working at home office hands on keyboard
It’s time you got in on the newsletter action (Picture: Getty)

Newsletters are everywhere right now.

They may not be new but they just be the must-have accessory for a human being with public opinions. And – delightfully – a lot of the best ones are being produced by women.

When can you trust your gut? 8 rules to follow according to a social psychologist

Just like podcasts have helped women literally find their voice in the traditionally male-dominated radio industry, newsletters are enabling women to share their thoughts in a hyper-personal, totally-bespoke kind of way.

So, how do… Read the full story

The Perspective Project gives people struggling with their mental health a place to express themselves through art

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The ability to express yourself has power.

When you’re struggling with your mental health, just being able to talk about it can take a massive amount of the weight off. Feeling heard is everything. Sharing your experience and having someone else say ‘hey, I feel that way too’ is huge.

But not everyone has an avenue to expression.

When mental illness takes over you feel isolated, shut off, and with limited access to speak up and connect with people.

The Perspective Project is trying to help – by giving anyone who needs it an artistic outlet for exploring what they’re up against.

It’s an online platform where everyone is encouraged to share their perspective, whether that’s through a painting, a poem, a story, or anything else you can submit online.

The project was launched by Mark Anscombe, 24, who knows firsthand how powerful it can be to share how you’re feeling.

‘From around the time I left school, it became increasingly obvious that mental… Read the full story

Why do dogs wag their tails and does it convey their emotional state?

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(Picture: Getty)

A dog’s inability to talk back at us means that we’re full of constant questions, such as what are they thinking or why, exactly, do they wag their tails. 

It’s commonly believed that dogs wag their tails to convey that they are happy and friendly, but this isn’t exactly accurate.

The position of a dog’s tail reveals its emotional state.

Dogs do use their tails to communicate based on the position and motion of their tails.

When a dog is relaxed, its tail will be in its ‘natural’ position, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

If a dog is nervous or submissive, it’ll hold its tail lower than… Read the full story

How to stop your hands smelling of garlic

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(Picture: Getty)

One of the only bad things about cooking with garlic is the smell it leaves on your hands.

The delicious flavour might be great to eat, but when it’s hours past dinner and your hands are still garlicky, it isn’t ideal.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get rid of the smell, and all you need are some household items you probably own already.

(Picture:… Read the full story

If you spend your days stressed out in front of a screen, you need to try heated eye masks

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(Picture: Space Masks/metro.co.uk)

Putting something warm over your eyes doesn’t sound particularly soothing.

I blame all those pictures of people with bits of cucumber on their lids for the belief that cooling the eye area is better than applying some warmth. As a result, I’ve been missing out for ages.

To save you from the same fate, I urge you, try a heated sleep mask.

I tried one for the first time on the recommendation of Lisa, who uses Space Masks to relax on longhaul flights. I was skeptical at first. I can’t usually sleep with something on my face, and I didn’t find the idea of something self-heating on… Read the full story

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