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We ask experts if Kylie Jenner’s walnut scrub really causes ‘micro tears’ in the skin


Beauty emporium owner and billionare Kylie Jenner has angered fans with her latest product.

As part of her new Kylie Skin range, she has released a walnut scrub and it’s not gone down well with fans.

Many people expressed concerns through Twitter and urged others not to buy the product, as it will cause ‘micro tears’ and is ‘really bad for your skin’.

One user shared an image of Samantha Jones from a scene in Sex and The City, when the character badly damaged her skin after having a chemical peel, and captioned it: ‘Kylie Jenner’s walnut face scrub does wonders’.

Meanwhile, Kylie claims she uses the scrub herself two to three times per week and that it is her ‘secret to a fresh face’.

Kylie announced the arrival of her new line through Instagram late last week. She also released a promotional video, where she’s looks fresh-faced and dressed in a pink gown while discussing her products.

‘Let’s talk about walnut scrub,’ she can be heard saying.

‘So my walnut face scrub is really gentle, it’s gentle enough to use it every day. I recommend two or three times a week, that’s how much I use it. Some walnut face scrubs are kind of harsh on the skin, this isn’t too abrasive.

‘It really leaves my face feeling super baby soft, makes me look flowy, takes away dead skin cells. My walnut face scrub is my secret to a fresh face.’

Kylie’s new range has seen a lot of backlash because of her walnut scrub product (Picture: Kylie Jenner)

To settle the argument, we asked beauty experts their thoughts on the walnut scrub and whether it really will cause ‘micro tears’ in the skin.

‘The walnut scrub has been questioned by fans and estheticians [sic] alike, and rightly so,’ Amanda Von Hagen, skin specialist at Glo Skin Beauty UK, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Firstly, the scrub is an exfoliant so suggesting the use to be daily is dangerous as this can strip your face of natural oils and moisture which leads to skin becoming dehydrated, flaky and prone to mass irritation. On top of that, your skin will age faster due to increased exposure to daily aggressors.

‘In terms of the product itself, the main ingredient causing the backlash is “fine walnut powder”.

‘Even if the walnuts are crushed down to powder form, they can damage your skin and yes after time can break down your skin barriers and cause micro-tears in the skin. Walnut scrubs, or any scrubs with nuts in, are too abrasive and can have dire effects on your skin such as making acne worse and pitting and scaring of the skin.

‘Of course, if you have a nut allergy steer clear of the scrub and in fact any other of the products as there is a risk of cross contamination.’

Siva Kumar, consultant plastic surgeon and skin expert at The McIndoe Center agrees that walnut shells pose a risk, but that the product would need to be properly trialled in order to get an answer on whether it is truly damaging or not. 

Regardless, he wouldn’t recommend using it.

‘Any product that is uncontrolled is a potential risk,’ Siva tells Metro.co.uk

‘Walnut shells have the potential to cause harm as the micro particle sizes and shape cannot be controlled in the way it is manufactured. But without a proper in vivo or in vitro trial nothing can be proved one way or the other.

‘Personally I wouldn’t use it or recommend it as there are safer abrasive deepithilization products out there.’

We’ve contacted Kylie Jenner’s press team for a comment and will update this article if a response is received.

MORE: Which Boots stores will stock Fenty Beauty?

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Woman with kidney disease who couldn’t find a donor surprised that boyfriend is a perfect match

Geraldine Chingosho, with Aldo Cataldi when they first became a couple in December 2017 on a trip to Barcelona
Geraldine found out about her chronic kidney disease days after meeting boyfriend Aldo (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)

Trainee nurse Geraldine Chingosho was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease just a few days after she started dating Aldo Cataldi, 27.

The 22-year-old from Leicester told him to leave her and pursue other relationships while she focused on her health.

Unfortunately for Geraldine, she was unable to find a match: all her relatives turned out to be incompatible donors.

Geraldine was told her kidney was functioning at just 20%, and eventually, she needed daily dialysis, and was in and out of hospital.

During that time, Aldo came to see her in hospital every day. He then offered to be tested to see if he was a match but Geraldine quickly thwarted the idea, saying he was a white Italian man and was unlikely to match.

While they waited for the results to come in, Aldo proposed to Geraldine. To top off the good news, he was also compatible to give her his kidney.

The newly engaged couple officially had their kidney transplant in February this year and are now planning their big day.

‘I never would have ever asked or expected my fiance to give me his kidney. I was completely stunned to find that we were even a match,’ said Geraldine, who works as a nurse.

‘Aldo has saved my life and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.’

Geraldine Chingosho after her kidney transplant
Geraldine said she felt suicidal after not finding any matches (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)

Aldo, also a nurse, said: ‘Donating my kidney to my fiance was such a normal thing for me to do – I didn’t really think about it.

‘The most important thing is she’ll feel better and have a better quality of life. I didn’t do it for the spotlight or anything – but because it was the right thing to do.’

When she first found out, she didn’t expect Aldo to hang around, especially as they had just met.

Geraldine Chingosho, with Aldo Cataldi when they first became a couple
She doubted Aldo would be a match as they’re of different ethnicities (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)

‘I told Aldo that he should leave me and that we shouldn’t pursue a relationship because I’d be in and out of hospital,’ said Geraldine.

‘I didn’t think it would be fair on him to be lumbered with a sick person. But he told me it didn’t matter that I was ill and that he would be there for me no matter what.

‘It was really early days and we weren’t even boyfriend and girlfriend at the time.’

But despite her insistence, Aldo decided to pursue the relationship and took care of his beloved girlfriend while she was sick.

Geraldine said: ‘He would come from work after a 12 and a half hour shift in the hospital and bring me food. He’d help me get dressed and would speak to the doctors to find out exactly what was going on.

‘He was superman – my own superhero – while I was poorly. He took care of me and my whole dialysis regime. He basically became my carer.’

Aldo Cataldi after his kidney transplant
Aldo after his kidney transplant (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)

Geraldine made sure Aldo was sure about the commitment, asking him what happens if they break up.

‘I asked: “What if we break up? Will you still be fine with it?’ and he told me: “I don’t care, at least I’ll have saved your life”.’

Geraldine and Aldo recovering in hospital
The couple got engaged on the day they knew they were a match (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)
Geraldine and Aldo in hospital
The pair are now preparing for their wedding (Picture: Geraldine Chingosho/SWNS)

The pair successfully underwent the kidney transplant and Aldo only told his family about the operation just days before because he didn’t want anyone to try and talk him out of it.

‘The more people that knew the more it’d be like a wave and they’d start to ask questions and debate about it,’ he said.

‘For me it was the right thing to do and I just did it.’

The pair are getting married in August this year.

MORE: Pensioner breaks down in tears meeting kidney donor who saved his life for first time

MORE: Daughter launches desperate search to find mum a kidney after being rejected as donor

MORE: Pensioner breaks down in tears meeting kidney donor who saved his life for first time

My Label and Me: I became an orphan when I was seven years old


When I first heard that word in relation to myself, it had been less than hour since my parents had died.

I was a cold February day in 1978. I was seven years old and with my five year old brother sat next to me on the sofa, a family friend said, ‘It’s heart-breaking, the poor little orphans.’

For a second, I wondered who she was talking about and then it hit me. We were orphans.

The label orphan would shape me for the remainder of my childhood and well into my adolescent years. A sympathetic look or a tilt of the head was enough for me to know that people were sad for me and my brother.

It was usually my grandmother who offered up the information to strangers that our parents were dead and used the term ‘orphan’.

My Label and Me - Orphan
The word orphan is an old-fashioned one that conjurs up images of Oliver Twist (Photo: Robert Bedson/Metro.co.uk)

As a young boy, people would inevitably ask what my parents did for a living and I always gave a truthful response.\

Their reaction was usually one of pity if they were adults, or embarrassment if they were children but either reaction made me somewhat uncomfortable.

The word orphan is an old-fashioned one that conjurs up images of Oliver Twist, or in our modern world, little children in war-torn countries.

It certainly wasn’t much different in 1978 and 41 years on, the subject of childhood bereavement is only now being discussed in the mainstream media.

The label orphan is a tricky one because it falls between other categories of loss. Whilst burying one’s parents is essentially following the natural order, to have to do this as a young child feels unnatural and goes against life’s plan.

As I have grown older, the term orphan has become increasingly irrelevant to me.

My Label and Me - Orphan
As I have grown older, the term orphan has become increasingly irrelevant to me (Photo: Robert Bedson/Metro.co.uk)

Not just because I chose to reject it as a description of myself but as I have progressed through my 30s and now my 40s, many of my friends and contemporaries have themselves now lost at least one parent, if not both.

I’m acutely aware that had my parents not died from heart disease 10 weeks apart 40 years ago, then they could have been well into their 80s and 90s now and I would still be faced with the prospect of losing them in the years to come.

It would have postponed the inevitable but at least they would have seen my brothers and I grow up into men, see me graduate, get married and all those other events that act as life’s landmarks.

When a close friend recently lost her mother only two years after her father’s death, she said to me, ‘I’m an orphan too now.’ I know why she said it to me, because finally she knew what it felt like to lose both your parents. It was an act of solidarity.

Yet, I’ve never labelled myself as an orphan, simply because it is something that was forced on me as the result of a tragic set of circumstances.

My Label and Me - Orphan
I continue to feel my parents’ love around me every day (Photo: Robert Bedson/Metro.co.uk)

I wasn’t born an orphan. I was however, born gay and that is a term that I am happy to use to define myself.

However, when I decided to write a book about my childhood, I knew instinctively from the beginning that it would be called Orphan Boys.

Essentially it was ironic and perhaps part of me was taking the label other people had forced on me and claiming ownership of the word, taking a negative and using it as a positive.

Going forward in life, do I see myself as an orphan? No. I have a husband, I have family and I have my friends. I receive an abundance of love on a daily basis and I know that I’m very lucky indeed.

As for my parents? I continue to feel their love around me every day as I have for the past 40 years. I may not see them but I know that they are with me, every step of the way.

Phil is the author of Orphan Boys


Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

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Lean On Me: How do I go about becoming friends with my boss?



A friendly professional woman sitting at her desk
I really like her as a person and I’d like to be friends with her (Image: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

Dear Kate,

My boss is practically the same age as me. I really like her as a person and I’d like to be friends with her, but I don’t know how to go about it. Can I be friends with her and still be professional?


Claire, 32

A woman turns away from a man with a worried look on her face
You can absolutely be friends with your boss. You just have to be OK with the fact that she has the power to fire you (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Hi Claire,

You can absolutely be friends with your boss. You just have to be OK with the fact that she has the power to fire you.

The thing about work friendships is that, unless you befriend your exact equal and keep pace with her throughout your career, there will usually be a power imbalance.

Your boss may be completely delightful to work with but at the end of the day she retains the right to terminate your job, discipline you, keep you in the office late, overload you with work, send you a passive aggressive email or refuse to give you a glowing reference.

That alone could very well disqualify her as a friend. You need to make that decision. Can you be friends with this woman, knowing how powerfully she could affect your career and life if she wanted to? Or is that too much?

If you make peace with that, then proceed – with caution. If you can’t, try downgrading your intentions. Find a way to just be friendly with your boss, rather than actual, legit, out-of-office buddies.

Think of it as an ex: sometimes it’s just easier to be friendly with them, rather than actual, real, full-blown friends.

At my last office job, I navigated the power dynamics of work friendships pretty successfully. I got close to my direct boss, my intern and the woman whose job most closely resembled my own.

With my boss, it was almost always great, except that when she’d ask me if I wanted to go out for a coffee and a piece of toast in the morning, I’d always have this quiet little panic, not knowing if she wanted to give me a talking to or have a sweet little gossip.

I couldn’t always anticipate which version of her I was about to get and couldn’t always tell which vibe was correct: friendly and conspiratorial, or professional and cool.

Sometimes, she’d just want to whisper about her life over a soy latte and that was a joy. Other times, she’d want to have a serious chat about the future of my career, and it could be extremely disorienting not to know which to expect.

Meanwhile, I always tried to be extremely careful in managing my friendship with my intern, who probably had the same panics every time I asked if she wanted to pop out for a bagel.

Think of it as an ex: sometimes it’s just easier to be friendly with them, rather than actual, real, full-blown friends.

As long as you’re aware of the power dynamics in your work friendships, it should be manageable.

The easiest work friendship I’ve ever had was with a woman who had the same job title as me. We never competed – not for stories, not for praise, not for promotions. We were on the same level in the office hierarchy and it gave us the freedom to be friends without the heat of competition, envy or confusion.

You cannot have that with your boss. While you remain in her employ, you will have a limited edition work friendship.

There are certain things you have to censor about yourself; you can’t bond over office gossip; you can’t complain about your job; you can’t gloriously waste office hours swapping secrets (some of the true joys of office friendship).

That said, if you can pull this off, Claire, it could be fantastic. Research shows that having friends at work makes us more creative, more intuitive and strangely enough, more productive.

Having someone we trust and adore in the office makes us better at our jobs and I happen to think workplaces should be doing more to encourage friendship on their premises.

To successfully secure a work friendship with your boss, you need to be very clear with yourself about your behaviour. It’s not going to be appropriate for you to be your full-unfiltered self around her so find a pleasant little space for her in your life that feels safe and allows you to maintain your profesh decorum.

Be clear about whether your hangout sessions are work or friendship related. I’d start by suggesting an off-site friendship outing: a catch-up coffee, a dinner after work or a drink on Friday night.

You’ll need to divulge something personal to signify that you want this to be personal time. You need her to know when you’re in friendship territory. If you feel comfortable, you could even say to her that you would like to be friends. It’s not outlandish to tell someone that you would like to spend time with them.

From there, just always be asking yourself, ‘in this interaction, am I being a friend or employee?’ and act accordingly.

You can be vulnerable and sweet and open with your boss, as well as being professional and dashing and suave in the office. It is possible because we contain multitudes. Just be careful – and do not forget the power she has.

About Lean On Me

Kate Leaver is the author of The Friendship Cure and she will be answering your friendship woes in her weekly Metro.co.uk column.

If you’d like to submit a question or problem, email LeanOnMe@metro.co.uk with ‘Lean on me’ in the subject line.

Submissions are anonymous and you can follow the discussion on Twitter #LeanOnMe.

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Mum’s anger over Boohoo adverts ‘encouraging students to blow their loans on a new wardrobe’

Bekki Newman and the screenshot of the ad she saw
Bekki Newman and the screenshot of the ad she saw (Picture: Kennedy News and Pics)

Living on a student loan can be pretty tight.

Although you can afford the odd treat, blowing it all at once probably isn’t the most sensible idea.

So when Bekki Newman spotted an ad on social media encouraging students to blow their loans on a new spring wardrobe, she was furious.

The mum-of-two says the shop needs a ‘kick up the arse’ as believes it pressurises them to prioritise fashion over food and rent.

Boohoo’s advertisement read: ‘Student loans are FINALLY here. What better way to spend it than on a brand new Spring wardrobe? GET SHOPPING.’

Influencers labelled as ‘Boohoo ambassadors’ are also urging students to use their student loans to treat themselves on Instagram – with almost identical phrasing to Boohoo’s own ad.

The advert Bekki spotted, which she says encourages students to spend their loans on clothes
The advert Bekki spotted (Picture:Kennedy News and Media)

The mum-of-two screenshotted the sponsored link and posted it online with the comment: ‘Whoever is in charge of social media advertising at Boohoo needs a kick up the arse.


The 30-year-old claims it is ‘horrible’ to see pals still at uni struggle to navigate money management and sometimes struggle to make ends meet once they have paid for essentials.

Bekki, who lives in Middlesbrough in Teesside, said: ‘I think [this kind of marketing] does a lot of damage.

‘Boohoo send me emails on payday too saying it’s time to splurge and I think it’s terrible marketing then too.

Boohoo are using similar adverts on Instagram
Boohoo are using similar adverts on Instagram (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘The student loan doesn’t give you much leeway for doing much afterwards. If you’re spending it on clothes, how are you going to live?

‘I know they suggest that kids at uni should get part-time jobs and that, but for companies to suggest that they should spend their loan money just really grated on me.

‘They know exactly who they are targeting. They just don’t seem to really care.’

She added that she sees friends who are still paying off their student loan and doesn’t think we should be encouraging people to get into debt.

‘I have friends whose older brothers and sisters are in their 40s and they’re still paying off their student loan at this stage,’ she says.

‘I’m just thinking, do you really want to be spending that money on clothes and paying it off in your 40s and 50s even though you wore it 20 years ago? Do they really want that?

‘The economy is rubbish at the moment and everybody is so skint all of the time.

‘It’s just horrible watching younger people who maybe don’t have the life experience or the money management skills yet because they’ve never had that sort of money to manage before.

‘To see companies targeting the ones who don’t know any better is bad.’

Boohoo were contacted for comment.

MORE: Lean On Me: How do I go about becoming friends with my boss?

MORE: Woman with kidney disease who couldn’t find a donor surprised that boyfriend is a perfect match

How to know if you have anxiety: the signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder

Do you have anxiety?
Here’s how to know if you have anxiety (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re answering some of the top mental health questions asked on Google.

Today, we’re answering: How to know if you have anxiety?

Anxiety is something we all experience, but an anxiety disorder is a mental health condition, and is diagnosed with anxiety becomes a huge part of your life.

There are many anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, which we’re talking about today.

What are the signs?

Rachel Boyd, Head of Information Content at Mind, says we all experience anxiety at some point – especially if we’re facing stressful situations or major life changes. Feeling anxious is a natural part of being human.

She continues: ‘Anxiety can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

How to know if you have anxiety
If anxiety is taking over a big chunk of your life, you might have a mental health condition (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Symptoms might include feeling a sense of dread, a faster heartbeat, feeling light-headed or dizzy or having panic attacks.

‘While experiencing some or all of these symptoms is common enough, anxiety can be classed as a mental health problem if it starts to impact on your day to day life.’

When should you get help?

Rachel says that if your anxiety is lasting for a long time, is very regular or out of propoprtion to a scenario, you might have an anxiety disorder.

She continues: ‘If your feelings of anxiety are lasting for a long time, very regular or out of proportion to the scenario, you might have an anxiety disorder.

‘There are a number of different kinds, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, perennial anxiety or panic disorder.

‘If you find that feelings of anxiety are starting to significantly affect your life, you can talk to your GP about treatment options, such as talking therapies or medication.

‘Talking about your problems with your doctor can be challenging, so Mind has produced a guide – ‘’ – to help you prepare for the short time you get with your GP.’

Mental Health questions answered

Google's most-asked mental health questions in 2019 so far:

According to Google, the most frequently asked 'how to' questions relating to mental health this year so far are:

1. How to relieve stress
2. How to help anxiety
3. How to stop worrying
4. How to stop a panic attack
5. How to deal with stress
6. How to cope with depression
7. How to know if you have anxiety
8. How to know if you have depression
9. How to help someone with PTSD
10. How to overcome social anxiety
11. How to get help for depression
12. How to treat OCD
13. How to help a depressed friend
14. How to overcome a phobia
15. How to treat PTSD

MORE: Single people believe mental health issues ‘makes it harder to find a relationship’

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How I Save: The PR account manager in Nottingham who earns £24.5k and has nothing saved

How I Save: Jenny, the PR manager who has no savings
Jenny has no savings after landing herself in credit card debt (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

We all feel like we should be saving more and spending less.

But what’s the ‘right’ way to budget?

And how on earth do we make sure to put enough money away each month?

It’s hard, especially as there’s so much shame around admitting you’re struggling financially.

We launched How I Save to get an open conversation going around how people spend and save. Each week we look at a different person’s weekly spending, then give them some expert advice on how they can save smarter.

This week we’re chatting to Jenny (not her real name), a PR account manager in Nottingham.

How Jenny saves:

I earn £24,500 a year, and in my savings account right now I have £0

I’m saving for nothing. I really struggle to save money because after my monthly expenses, I’m not left with much spare cash. In an ideal world, I’d like to pay off my credit card and save for a rainy day – for when things go wrong with my car or when I’d like to go on holiday. Just nice things because I don’t really do much outside of work!

I struggle with saving because I don’t have much excess cash at the end of the month.

I got myself into credit card debt a couple of years ago. My mum died unexpectedly in 2015 and to help myself cope, I’d just buy anything I wanted and the interest on my credit card started to build up – it just spiralled from there.

I’ve transferred my debt onto a 0% interest credit card so this has helped. I try to pay £100 to £200 a month off it and no longer spend on it. Any excess cash goes on my credit card because it makes me feel stressed.

Spending illustrations Money spending cash wallet man broke quid pound pounds rich control lifestyle skint Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

How Jenny spends:

Monthly expenses:

  • Rent is £625 a month
  • The essentials such as my water bill, council tax, heating and electricity total: £194.10
  • I also pay between £100 and £200 a month off my credit card, which is currently up to £1,800 sadly but it is finally going down!
  • I spend £50 a month on petrol and my car insurance bill is £36.12 a month. Broadband is £31 and my mobile phone bill tends to come in at £46
  • Other expenses – the gym, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Netflix and WeightWatchers – total £56.90
  • I’m also a big fan of football – I have a season ticket to Mansfield Town FC, but tend to spend between £30-£60 a month going to the away matches.

A week of spending:

Monday: Car garage – £440. This has properly skinted me this month! Last month, my car went in for its MOT and service, and the air con was also re-gassed.

It passed its MOT but the mechanic noticed that my catalytic converter had broken so I needed to get it replaced – my car absolute stunk of fumes. This cost £440, which wiped the £200 I had in my savings that I was using for a holiday.

Aldi – £23.04. I do my weekly shop in Aldi. This week, I needed essentials such as toilet paper and non-stick baking paper so it was more expensive than usual. Usually, I spend between £15-£20 a week on food.

Tuesday: I didn’t spend anything.

Wednesday: Boots, £1. Me and my colleague have been eating healthily – her on Slimming World and me on WeightWatchers – since last summer. Every six or so weeks we go to Boots to find out our body fat percentage.

While I was there, I also got a Coke Zero, but I used my Boots Advantage Card points for this so it didn’t cost me a penny.

Thursday: Didn’t spend anything.

Friday: McDonald’s, £2.97: I help run an Under 14s girls’ football team and we have training on a Friday night. Each week, we alternate who buys the cups of teas from McDonald’s – this week it was my turn.

Saturday: Costa, £2.50. I’m a season ticket holder at Mansfield Town FC and they had a home match this week. Before each home match, my dad, sister and I go to Costa. Dad gets the drinks in and I bought myself some lunch as I didn’t have time to make anything beforehand.

Sunday: Nottingham Forest, £2.50: As well as our U14s girls’ football team, my sister is a football coach at Nottingham Forest Ladies. I went along for their last match of the season. The ticket cost me £2.50.

Total spent this week: £474.51

How Jenny could save:

We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Jenny could save better.

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

We’re going hype mode for this one.

Main vice:

Firstly, congrats for the most wholesome McDonalds spend in the history of everything.

We can’t judge the Costa either. Coffees, snacks and take outs are little purchases that can build up really quickly without you noticing.

The difference with you is you’re very intentional about it. If a weekly latte is part of a routine, it’s not a cost that’s going to sneak up on you.

Let’s also look at pub spends: the average Cleo user knocks back £15 on a night out. Social activities based around coffee instead = smart move!

I’m coming for your bills though. Your subscriptions are high: we’re talking £133 a month. Get on your overpriced phone plan and haggle some of them down.

Where you’re going wrong:

Ignoring your s**tshow of a car, your spending this week is dreamy.


That leaves you £364.64 a month to work with. Providing there are no accidents, if you had another 4 months like this you could actually pay off your credit card by the end of the summer.

Getting out of debt is undeniably crushing, but being open about it puts you ahead (talking to a newspaper therefore gives you mad additional points)

Power on. You can do this.

Spending plan:

What you’re doing is paying off (literally) so this breakdown probably isn’t too far from what you’re hitting now.

Debt busting: £200 monthly

If you topped it up to £300 a month, you’d be out of there in 6 months.

Safe to spend: / £34 weekly /£150 monthly

This looks low because it is! Your bills and routine spends use up two thirds of your monthly income. This makes it easier not to blow money unintentionally, and a great strategy for knowing how much you can afford to save.

Safe to save: £34 weekly / £150 monthly

This is your cushion. If you don’t end up needing it, after 4 months you can chuck half of it into paying off your credit card, or into a holiday.

End game:

You’re honestly nailing it, Jenny.

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

MORE: How I Save: The 25-year-old writer who earns £23k a year and has £800 saved

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MORE: How I Save: The graphic designer who left a £27k salary to go freelance and has £1,338 saved

How to make your outside space more sustainable this spring


Sustainability. It’s a word we hear a lot these days – but how can we introduce it into our own homes?

We are all fully invested in recycling waste from our weekly shops and used plastic products, but there’s another place where we can introduce some sustainability, simply: our gardens.

From growing herbs and veg to going organic with fertiliser and even harvesting your own water supply, B&Q a range of products to help transform your outside space into a sustainable haven this spring.

To get you started, here’s five top tips on how to do your bit for the environment from your own outside space…

1. Go organic 

The superstar of sustainability is organic produce. By making the whole ‘farm to table’ philosophy a lot shorter (a few steps from garden to kitchen, in fact), you can not only reduce your personal carbon footprint, but also enjoy delicious, fresh ingredients.

B&Q are fully versed in helping you easily grow-your-own this spring. May is a great time for sowing seeds for the likes of runner beans, spinach, lettuce and radishes – which will make great additions to any salads served later in the summer.

Start with something like the Verve Pine Small Stackable Raised Bed, £12 at B&Q, which can in turn be covered by a Large Verve Grow Mesh Tunnel, £30 at B&Q to protect your produce – that way, no harmful fertiliser or bug spray needs to be used and you are the proud grower of a 100 per cent organic crop.

For advice on what grows best at this time of year, what tools you’ll need or simply to buy your products, B&Q has a series of informative guides on to make your garden work for you. Or, if you have your own vision plotted out – check out the Kitchen Garden Range to choose out what you need to grow-your-own this spring.


2. Don’t be an environmental pest

One of the major rules of sustainability is not adding any more toxicity to your environment and there’s an array of ways to keep your flowers, plants, veg and herbs away from creepy crawlies without the need for weedkiller.

B&Q boast an impressive range of organic fertilisers and plant foods – aptly named Safe By Nature – to help your outside space bloom, while not causing damage in the process.

If you want to go heavy on protecting your plants from some of a gardener’s greatest enemies – we’re talking about you slugs and snails – try out this nifty Verve Copper Slug & Snail Tape, £3 at B&Q, which creates a natural barrier from all things slimy!

3. Harvest water

Watering your garden, pot plants and hanging baskets is an essential part of growing your own – but you can do it without constantly turning to the hosepipe.

Harvesting rain water is a brilliant way to capitalise on our changeable climate and stockpiling water for your thirsty plants in the spring and summer.

From water butts to rainwater diverters, B&Q have a number of ways to help you harness the power of water, without wasting it.

4. Plan your planting

What flowers you plant make a massive difference to the sustainability of your outside space. By choosing perennials (meaning, they last for two years or more) is the best way to ensure you prolong the life of the additions to your outside space.

Lavender is one of the best perennials – and looks and smells amazing as the weather warms up, as are geraniums and ceanothus.

Also, these can be planted in borders or on a balcony so don’t depend on larger spaces – and work wonders as an insectary to attract beneficial bugs such as bees and butterflies.

Herbs are also great for this – choose ones like coriander, mint and parsley and enjoy the look and taste of these welcome crops. At B&Q, herb seeds range from £1.80 or you can drop into your local store and select from a huge range of plants, flowers and edibles.


5. Waste not, want not

You’ll never look at waste the same was again once you start on your sustainable outside space. Compost is the call of the day and utilises your garden waste and food leftovers while helping your garden grow – in fact, almost 50 per cent of the contents of your bin could go into a compost heap rather than landfill.

A covered compost bin is a practical solution – that way, animals aren’t attracted to the smell and the warmth will encourage nature to get to work.

B&Q have an excellent guide on composting here, making dirty work, easy work when it comes to overhauling the way your outside space works for you this spring.

To get cracking with creating a sustainable outside space, visit diy.com today or find your nearest store here

You can get a free afternoon tea across the UK next week

The Bristol Afternoon Free from PG Tips
The Bristol Afternoon Free (Picture:James Beck 2019)

There’s nothing quite like a traditional afternoon tea.

Tiny sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and cream (though let’s not get on started on what goes on the scone first), all served up with a lovely cuppa.

Well, good news – you can have an afternoon tea for free in three cities next week.

Tea brand PG Tips are giving them away to celebrate the launch of their teabags specifically for dairy-free milk.

The events will run in Liverpool, Bristol and London from 20 May until 24 May.

The meal is completely dairy free and the sandwiches are all vegetarian. There’s even vegan coconut clotted cream.

PG tips, Afternoon Tea, Bristol includes vegan treats and vegetarian sandwiches
It’s all dairy-free (Picture: James Beck 2019)

To get your free afternoon tea, go along to Cuthbert’s in Liverpool, Heartfelt Vintage in Bristol and Saucer & Spritz in London and say ‘Can I have the Afternoon Free’ on arrival. The deal is for you and one other person.

You’ll then be served up sandwiches, scones and indulgent cakes alongside a teapot of PG tips Perfect with Dairy-Free. And there’s bottomless refills.

The event will take place at Cuthbert’s Bakehouse on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 May from 12pm until 2pm.

The Cuthbert’s PG tips ‘Afternoon Free’ menu consists of a range of delicious sandwiches and canapes, with options including roast vegetable, hummus and rocket; avocado, rocket & sweet chilli jam. You’ll also receive a lovely dairy-free selection of sweet treats.

If you’re in Bristol, head to Heartfelt Vintage from 22 May until 23 May from 12pm until 2pm.

Their PG tips ‘Afternoon Free’ will include a selection of exotic vegan sandwiches such as BBQ jackfruit & red cabbage slaw, avocado tahini & pickled onion and coronation chickpea & apple.

The menu will also contain a selection of delicious dairy-free cakes including a banana & peanut butter loaf and scones with lemon coconut cream and strawberry jam

Saucer & Spritz on Tottenham Court Road, London, will serve their tea on 23 and 24 May from 12pm until 2.30pm.

It will consist of a mixture of delicious sandwiches such as roasted pepper and pesto, dairy-free scones with coconut clotted cream, and a decadent selection of vegan mini desserts.

It all sounds yummy!

You can register by emailing pgtipsafternoonfree@gmail.com, with the name and location you want to be put forward for.

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B&M is selling sun loungers for dogs so you can both chill in the garden

Cute dog chilling on a sun lounger
This could be your doggo (Picture: B&M)

We humans love a bit of sunbathing. But we wouldn’t just lie on the floor or the grass unless something was covering our backs.

So why should our doggos have to rest on grassy bits of earth and risk getting parasites? So, B&M has a solution to that.

The retailer is selling sun loungers for dogs so your beloved pet can cool off during the summer.

The Barkhaus raised dog bed will have your canine pal lounging right beside you and looking cool at the same time.

You can choose between two different colours – green and grey.

And it’s all for a neat price too, available for a mere £14.99 and measures 129cm x 80cm.

Pet owners have been raving about the product on Facebook page Extreme Couponing and Bargainings UK.

It seems a much better option than forking out close to a hundred quid – the price for some other dog beds.

Dog chilling in the sun
Get this dog a bed! (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

You can use the bed inside or outside and it’s designed to help your dog maintain their body temperature.

It’ll also mean they won’t bring in all the dirt home with them when they tire of being outside.

One person who bought the item posted on Facebook with a glowing recommendation.

She wrote: ‘£15 from B&M. Friends have paid £69 for beds just like these.. and so far they seem fab.’ The post has so far received more than a thousand comments.

It’s not the only item B&M is selling for your pets this summer.

The supermarket is offering a cooling ice cruncher track for £9.99 and an ice cream toy so your pet can chow down on it while getting dehydrated.

The ice cream toy is only £2.49 so while you’re licking away your 99p Flake, your doggo will have one to keep them entertained too.

You can find the dog bed and other pet bits on the B&M website, available at a store near you.

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Frankie & Benny’s is offering 50% off food for Instagramming your meal

Take a picture of your meal at Frankie & Benny's and post it on Instagram for 50% off
Photograph your food and get 50% off (Picture: Frankie & Benny’s)

If you are one of those people who can’t eat a meal without putting it on Instagram first, it could finally be about to pay off.

Italian-American chain Frankie & Benny’s is offering customers the chance to ‘pay with pics’.

You’ll be given 50% off a main meal if you post a picture tagged with the name of the restaurant on Instagram.

The deal runs from now until the end of the month.

The discount is being launched to celebrate their new menu.

Apparently customers thought it was too child-like so they’ve replaced it with more ‘grown-up’ options.

The new Frankie & Benny's menu includes pizza, salad and meatballs
The new menu sounds great (Picture Frankie & Benny’s)

There’s 26 new options, including seven vegan options.

We love the sound of the Toblerone cheesecake.

What's on the menu at Frankie and Benny's?


  • Vegan Fry Up £6.29
  • Breakfast Pizza £9.99
  • Vegan Scrambled Eggs £5.59


  • Mini Basil Bread Sticks £1.99
  • Meatballs Al Forno £5.99
  • Mozzarella & Tomato Salad £4.99
  • Vegan Loaded Skins £5.49
  • Garlic Prawns £6.99


  • Black and Blue Burger £14.79
  • Chicken BLT Burger £12.99
  • Viva La Vegan Cheeseburger £10.49
  • Cannelloni £10.49
  • Tortellini ‘Nduja £12.49
  • Chilli Cheese Dog £8.99/£11.49 (6” or 12”)
  • Rialto (Salmon salad) £12.99
  • Capra (Goats cheese salad) £10.99
  • Dolce Vita (Blue cheese salad) £12.29
  • Pollo Peppadew pizza £11.99/£16.99 (10 or 15”)
  • Italian Hot pizza £11.99/£16.99 (10 or 15”)
  • Four Cheeses pizza £9.99/£14.99 (10 or 15”)


  • Vegan Cheese Fries £4.99


  • Toblerone Cheesecake £5.99
  • Lemon Meringue Bomb £5.99
  • Vegan No-cheesecake £5.79
  • Tiramisu ‘Frankie & Bennys’ £5.99
  • Lotus Biscoff (vegan) £2.99

Frankie & Benny’s Brand Director, Elise Ash, said: ‘Foodstagraming is taking ove.! Everyone likes to take a picture of their food when it comes out, no matter how hungry they are – now you can save some money as a bonus.

‘We are really looking forward to our guests’ reaction to this initiative and the new menu as it is the first of many exciting new ideas that we plan to put in front of them this year.

‘Following the great success of our extensive vegan range launched in January, we are now looking to focus in on the dishes that our guests have really loved, creating further ways for them to enjoy every aspect of our food.’

MORE: B&M is selling sun loungers for dogs so you can both chill in the garden

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Lidl and Aldi battle it out over square sausage ‘invention’

Lidl and Aldi fight it out over the 'sausedge' square sausage
(Picture: Lidl/Aldi)

First, it was the population of Scotland who came for Aldi after they claimed they invented the square sausage.

Now, however, it’s officially become a battle of the brands, as fellow discount retailer Lidl have jumped into the ring to have a pop.

Aldi’s ‘sausedge’ has had quite the rinsing since it came out, with many Scots accusing them of trying to reinvent the wheel and claim the classic square sausage as their own.

Their ‘new’ patty was praised for how easily it could fit into a roll, which started off a whole load of jokes, and even some calls for Scottish independence.

Lidl’s response to them is pretty savage, but definitely drives the point home.

Aldi the replied to Lidl, saying ‘Woah woah woah. Not claiming to have invented it.‍ We just want to share the Lorne Love with everyone’.

They’re absolutely right, they didn’t state they’d invented it, simply co-opted it under a new name and pretended they didn’t already sell Lorne sausage in Scottish stores.

Lidl are still winning the war, however, with their ‘yer da sells Avon’ joke racking up nearly 60,000 likes, and Aldi’s original post and reply to them sitting at under 1000 each.

Commenters also jumped in on Lidl’s post, with one saying ‘Yes LidlGB challenge AldiUK square go after work’ and another ‘Lidl posting products on twitter , 15 likes. Giving aldi pelters , 10k’.

Brands fighting online is always a bit strange, given the fact it’s just two normal social media employees typing furiously and hoping not to get owned too hard. However, when the sanctity of sausages are at stake, it’s vital.

The only way to get women interested in sport is to think outside the box


It is set to be an incredible summer of women’s sport – and we are finally starting to see mainstream media coverage and the recognition that female athletes deserve.

But getting ordinary women interested in elite female sport is another matter.

There are deep-seated stigmas and stereotypes that still put so many women off from watching or engaging with sport – and changing attitudes is going to take some more inventive thinking.

This summer, we have the Netball World Cup on home soil in Liverpool, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and the Women’s Ashes – a veritable feast of the very best of female sport. But the question remains – how do we hook in an audience that has been repeatedly taught that elite sport is not for them?

New figures, released by Powerplay, found that only 31% of British women are planning to watch any of the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year.

Despite the rise in women’s professional football in the UK in the last few years, women’s engagement in the sport is still surprisingly low. There is a distinct disconnect between women who are willing to play at grassroots level and those who want to watch the elite game.

Only 18% of women have ever been to watch a women’s game live, which is half the number of men.

Female football fans watching a game
Women need safe space to watch and engage with sport (Picture: Mothership Group)

When you take into account the fact that women have historically been largely excluded from sports culture – these numbers are not exactly surprising.

Think about it – if there is no women’s sport on the back pages of the national papers, if your local pub never shows the women’s games, if the only stories you see about female athletes are misogynistic comments on what they’re wearing or how they look – the overwhelming message is that sport is not an area where women are welcome.

But things are starting to improve, and this summer’s incredible sporting line-up could be a catalyst for change and inclusion – but only if we find a way to meaningfully engage with a female audience.

The fact is, women don’t necessarily consume sport in the same way that men do – at least, not all of them. Governing bodies and event organisers need to be aware of this and carve a space for women to engage with sport on their own terms – not in a way that has traditionally ignored them completely.

England Netball seem to have the right idea.

International success coupled with smart partnerships with non-traditional brands – including a fashion line with high street retailer Oasis – has helped catapult their players into mainstream consciousness, and the hope is that this will help in generating interest from a new audience.

‘I think women, generally, are used to not really being involved in sport,’ explains England Netball captain Ama Agbeze.

‘Men will naturally go for a kick-around with their mates, or watch the game in the pub, and I feel like it’s not really in women’s psyches to do that. There are obviously lots of women who are in to sport, but they will be watching mostly male sport, because that’s what’s readily available.

Ama Agbeze tries her hand at some tennis
Netball captain Ama Agbeze tries her hand at tennis (Picture: LTA)

‘Changing attitudes is going to take a long time. It’s amazing that there is going to be a summer of women’s sport, but we need to keep pushing it and putting it in people’s faces again and again, until it becomes the norm.

‘We need to see different industries supporting each other. For example, cosmetics brands working to push the tennis or the swimming – that’s the kind of innovation we need.

‘There’s no point relentlessly promoting something on the BBC Sport website if the women we are trying to attract would never go on the BBC Sport website.’

Ama thinks that sports working together to generate interest is the best way to reach the largest possible audience.

‘Women’s sport generally is on the rise in terms of success. But we still need people to actually pay attention to it.

‘I think cross-sport support is massive. We pretty much all do the same thing, so if we all stick together and back each other up – you get progress by working together.’

Spoken like a true captain. And Ama practices what she preaches. While speaking to us, she was on the tennis court with local young girls, helping to promote the LTA’s renowned international women’s tennis event hosted next month in the city, the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

The current world No.1 Naomi Osaka, world No.2 and defending champion Petra Kvitova and British No.1 Johanna Konta will be joined in Birmingham by some of tennis’ most exciting young players this June for the Nature Valley Classic.

Using a netball star to help with the promotion of this event is precisely the kind of joined-up thinking that women’s sport needs to properly thrive.

Last year, Sky Sports and the Women’s Sport Trust teamed up to launch #ShowUp – a campaign designed to encourage both men and women to support women’s sport by watching, attending or playing.

A huge part of that campaign is about cross-pollination between different sports and embedding spectatorship into the culture of women’s sport.

Goal Diggers FC players
The Goal Diggers are an inclusive football club based in London (Picture: Francis Augusto)

But for this to happen, women need safe spaces to watch women’s sport, and incentives to show them that they are welcome in these arenas.

For real growth and lasting change, a sense of community needs to develop – and commercial venues need to get on board and actually show the games.

The Book Club in Shoreditch, east London, will be screening every single World Cup game, with free shots for anyone dressed in England kit. The venue will also be hosting a series of events with Festival of Football – from taster training days to panel talks about gender stereotypes, to a photography exhibition on the launch night.

Hannah works for Festival of Football and is also a member of the Goal Diggers – an inclusive football club based in London.

‘Huge stigmas still exist, for example if a male sports dominated media outlet posts something about women’s football, there is always a barrage of derogatory, misogynistic comments from social media users below it,’ says Hannah.

‘Women’s sport in general is still under-represented, however there are great platforms arising such as Slowe, which are trying to change that.

‘At a local level, when training, a month won’t go by without some form of unpleasant experience from males passing by – whether it’s gawping, commenting, yelling etc. it still happens too commonly.

‘At the more pleasant end of stigmas (if that’s a thing), when I explain my involvement in football, there’s still a sense of surprise and confusion.

‘Women’s football has made huge strides, and brands have begun to take notice, with Nike producing women’s specific World Cup kits and Adidas equalling bonuses for the winning World Cup teams.

‘The fact, though, that these things are only just happening is probably more startling – women’s football is going to be playing catch up for a while but it’s definitely starting to get the support and attention it deserves.’

Hannah lives and breathes football, but she knows that the scope for enjoying the Women’s World Cup goes far beyond the hardcore fans – and it brings something a bit different to the table.

‘Football is the most popular spectator game in the world, and this is another opportunity to see this at a professional level on a world stage,’ explains Hannah.

‘Having said this, I think there are some key differences in spectatorship of the women’s game – it seems to be much more family focused, is further away from lad culture and more inclusive.

‘Also, for any England fans among us, there’s a real chance of it actually coming home! The Festival of Football hopes to build a strong, celebratory atmosphere to come and watch the teams in France.’

Brands are cottoning on and we are seeing more and more innovation in the way women’s sport is covered, promoted and marketed to women.

The Telegraph’s launch of their dedicated women’s sport platform triggered a media scramble to keep up with that level of nuanced, specifically female content, and ad campaigns ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup are consistently outdoing each other.

In 2015, 750 million people tuned in to the Women’s World Cup and FIFA are pushing for a billion this summer. Ticket sales are strong and the momentum is there – but in order to really capitalise on this upswing of interest, FIFA need to make sure that their target audience are always at the forefront of their minds.

More than 3.5 billion viewers watched the men’s World Cup last summer – so aiming for a third of that audience isn’t out of the realms of possibility.

What is clear is that this summer is an opportunity for women to create a space in sport all of their own. And rather than following the blueprint of male sport, doing it differently is likely the best way to ensure success.

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Restaurant gives a lucky customer a £4,500 bottle of wine by mistake

A stock image of a man pouring a bottle of wine
The mistake wasn’t spotted until later (Picture: Getty)

If you’ve ever been a bartender, you’ll know it’s not an easy job.

But spare a thought for one in Manchester who accidentally gave away a bottle of wine worth £4500.

Hawksmoor in Manchester tweeted about how the bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001 went out to the customer, instead of the one they ordered.

The table wanted the Chateau Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande 2001, which admittedly was still pricey at £260.

A spokesperson for the steak and seafood restaurant explained: ‘It was a very busy night at the restaurant and a very simple mistake.

‘A member of staff picked up the wrong bottle, mistaking it for another Bordeaux of the same vintage.

‘The wine went out and was served to the customer. The customer didn’t know and it was only afterwards that one of the managers picked up what had happened.’

The wine that they served was on the rarities section of the wine list so the customer ended up with quite a treat.

Despite the mistake, the restaurant said the member of staff would be forgiven – but they’ll probably not live that one down any time soon.

They added: ‘To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night – hope you enjoyed your evening!

‘To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway.’

After tweeting about the incident, the restaurant was praised for not taking the simple mistake out on the member of staff.

Laura Kate said: ‘As someone who works in hospitality, bless you for being understanding and not flying off the handle at the poor lad/lass.’

Jen added: ‘This happened to me once at another London establishment, and they did not deal with it well at all – round of applause for treating your staff and customers with decency!!’

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Ramadan Tent Project returns its Open Iftar, feeding hundreds of Muslims


Every year, The Ramadan Tent Project puts on its Open Iftar – a mass meal to be eaten with fellow Muslims at the end of their fast every day during Ramadan.

Since its inception five years ago, 70,000 guests have enjoyed a meal shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life.

Founded by Omar Salha while he was studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), he said everyone humbly sits on the floor and eats side by side under a tent.

What started with 15 people celebrating iftar on the grass of their university campus has now spread all over the UK, with up 300 guests a night.

Open Iftar now reaches London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, among others.

And what’s more, once everyone finishes their meal, they get to take home a goody bag courtesy of RTP’s supermarket partner Lidl.

A free meal, new friends, and a goody bag, what’s not to love?

Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan
Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)

‘We’re delighted that Open Iftar will once again be providing an iftar experience to people of all faiths and no faith nationwide,’ Omar told Metro.co.uk.

‘We want to create a space where Muslims are comfortable and confident to practice and share their faith over an iftar meal with their wider community.

Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)
Since its inception, Open Iftar has had around 70,000 guests nationwide (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)

‘At Ramadan Tent Project, we believe in building bridges of understanding and compassion between different faith groups and none, to acknowledge our differences as a means of recognising one another.

‘Open Iftar extends beyond an evening meal to a higher level of mindfulness and sense of belonging.’

Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan
It started off as a university endeavour by student Omar Salha (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)

Lidl will provide tailor-made gift bags which include snacks for taraweeh (late night prayers) and the suhoor pre-dawn meal.

These will be available to guests at each Open Iftar event across seven cities nationwide including London, Birmingham, Bradford, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle Gateshead, and Sheffield.

Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan
Lidl is giving away goody bags with snacks after Taraweeh prayers and the pre-dawn suhoor meal (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)

High profile guests have also given talks each night in the past including Jon Snow and Sadiq Khan.

More big names are to attend this year’s events. The first 23 nights of Ramadan is set to be Tavistock Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, in the heart of the capital.

Muslims and non-Muslims gather for an Open Iftar to break their fast during Ramadan
The final venues to host Open Iftar will be held at iconic London landmarks (Picture: Ramadan Tent Project)

And the final week is set to see Open Iftar London be hosted across several iconic landmark locations.

You can visit the Ramadan Tent Project website for more information.

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How to be a good friend to someone who has bipolar disorder

How to help a friend with bipolar
These are the ways you can help a friend with bipolar (Illustration by Charly Clements for Metro.co.uk)

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder where you experience both manic or hypomanic episodes – where you feel very high and euphoric – and depressive episodes.

It can cause psychotic symptoms and psychosis, which can lead to hospitilastion, and is usually treated with medication.

Bipolar disorder can be a very difficult condition to live with, both for the sufferer and for loved ones around them.

And so, this Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to talk about how you can help a person with bipolar disorder.

According to Mind Charity, one way you can help is being open to talking with the person who has bipolar disorder about their experiences, to help them feel supported and accepted.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan for manic episodes – so try talking to them about how you can support them during an episode, and what they need for you.

Excessive spending is a common sign so talk to them about what you can do to help. You might be able to keep an eye on their bank statements or watch out for their drinking and eating habits.

You could also help them keep calm during an episode, by suggesting things such as being creative together, offering a second opinion about ideas – such as if they are taking on too much – and helping them with routine.

Mind has some great tips on being a supportive friend
Support them, try to understand and listen (Picture: Metro.co.uk/LibertyAntoniaSadler)

It may be hard but try to discuss any behaviour you might find challenging.

Mind says: ‘If someone is hearing or seeing things you don’t, they might feel angry, annoyed or confused if you don’t share their beliefs.

‘It’s helpful to stay calm, and let them know that, although you don’t share the belief, you understand that it feels real for them. Or, if possible, try to focus on supporting them with how they are feeling rather than confirming or challenging their perception of reality – what feels real for them is real in those moments.

‘If someone becomes very disinhibited while manic, they may do things that feel embarrassing, strange or upsetting to you.

‘It can be helpful to calmly discuss your feelings with them when they are feeling more stable.

‘Try not to be judgemental or overly critical; focus on explaining how specific things they’ve done make you feel, rather than making general statements or accusations about their actions.’

Another key to helping a person with bipolar disorder is to learn their warning signs and triggers.

Most people will have some warning signs that they are about to experience an episode of mania or depression.

The best way to learn what these are for your friend or family member is to talk to them about these and explore together what they might be.

Mind adds: ‘If you have noticed certain behaviours that normally happen before an episode, you can gently let them know.

‘Many people will also have triggers, such as stress, which can bring on an episode. You can try to understand what these triggers are for your friend or family member, and how you can help avoid or manage them.

While it’s important to be there for your friend, it’s also important to look after yourself. It can be challenging when someone is going through a manic or depressive episode, and you have to take care of yourself, too.

So if you can’t handle something or need a break, take it. Your self-care is important too. As long as you are being there for your friend as much as is healthily possible – that’s all you can do.

And, if you are worried about them and feel as though the issues are out of your hands, encourage them to seek help from their GP or mental health professional.

Just know that you are never alone, and there is other support out there.

Remember that just by caring for a person with bipolar disorder and being there as a means of support makes you a good friend – and that’s all they can ask for.

Need support? Contact the Samaritans

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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Morphe Cosmetics releases brand new palette full of sparkles and shimmers

We need this palette
The new palette is so pretty (Picture: Instagram)

If you love beauty brand Morphe Cosmetics as much as we do, you’ll be delighted to know that they have just released a new palette and it’s brimming with glitter.

Morphe Palettes are brilliant – they feature highly-pigmented formulas, the shimmer always stands out and it’s long-lasting.

And the new palette, the 395 Such A Gem Artistry Palette, is definitely all of the above.

It is made of a purple colour spectrum with a load of neutrals. There are 38 shades, which include mattes, shimmers, sparkly shadows and pressed glitter.

Morphe Cosmetics said: ‘You’ll love all 39 finishes with 14 shimmers, 12 mattes, 7 brand-new silk slip toppers (glides on like a gel and sets like a powder), 3 satins and 1 bronzed flame glitter.’

We are particularly in love with some of the pastel colours located in the middle.


Morphe Cosmetics took to its Instagram to launch the palette, and the response has been wild.

Sharing a photo of the palette, they wrote: ‘Everyone say hey to the newest addition to the 39 Fam!

‘The 39S Such A Gem Artistry Palette, is coming your way Tuesday, 5.14, @ 8AM PST on Morphe.Com, and in Morphe Stores With finishes from sheer, to matte, to glitter…and even 7 super sized silk toppers, this baby is about to be our new ride-or-die.’

The picture received over 87,000 likes and a whole load of comments from excited beauty fans.

One person wrote: ‘Ordered mine! Can’t wait to play with it!’

Another said: ‘I just now saw this and I about died. I need. This. In. My life. And on. My. Face.’

Someone else wrote: ‘Need.’


The palette was released on 14th May. In another post by Morphe, people were commenting to say how in love with the palette they are.

One said: ‘This is the cutest/prettiest color palette’.

Another said: ‘Look at all those glitters!!!!’

And another customer wrote: ‘This is the palette ive been looking for’.

It’s safe to say, this palette is going to sell fast – even though it’s a little expensive at £35.

But hey, it’s Morphe, so it’s worth it, right?

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Friends of colourblind classmate give her corrective glasses so she can pursue dream job

Savannah, shocked to see all colours for the first time
Savannah didn’t realise being colour blind was going to affect her dreams of being a dentist (Picture: Local 12/ucblueash/Youtube)

Student Savannah Allen from Ohio, U.S, didn’t think her colourblindness was going to affect her pursuing her dream job of being a pediatric dental hygienist.

When she enrolled at UC Blue Ash College, the 22-year-old realised that the condition might be a roadblock in achieving that.

Savannah, who is married and has a child, was told that she was missing crucial spots in her evaluations of patients.

The greens and reds she was used to seeing were actually brown. But the inability to see colours properly was making it difficult to distinguish gum tissue from the enamel of the teeth.

So Savanah began to worry about having to drop out.

But luckily for Savannah, her classmates weren’t going to let that happen.

A group of her friends from college decided to give her corrective glasses so she could see colours she hadn’t seen before.

So for the first time. Savannah was able to see things like the colour of grass and the blue of the ocean.

Savannah breaking down and embracing her friends
She worried about having to drop out (Picture: ucblueash)

When she first tried on the new pair of glasses gifted by her classmates, Savannah broke into tears. ‘You guys are so beautiful,’ she told them.

Her friends were also excited and emotional to see the heartfelt reaction

‘She’s never seen the colour of the ocean or the sky or the grass,’ said friend Judith Reyes to TV Channel Local 12. ‘It was just crazy to us.’

The group had crowdfunded to afford the EnChroma glasses which uses a special lens technology to help wearers see a broader range of colours.

Friends make special glasses for colourblind student, Savannah Allen.
The student was told she was missing important details in evaluating patients (Picture: Local 12)

But it costs $400 (£312) so they set up a GoFundMe page.

Once they hit their target, they decided to buy it as a surprise rather than just give her the money to buy it herself.

Her reaction was also recorded by one of the friends and uploaded on the university’s YouTube page.

‘I don’t want anybody to feel like they can’t pursue something that they love just because of something that’s a disability, because it’s not,’ said Savannah.

‘It’s just the way we were born. It’s just different.’

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Is precrastination screwing up your success at work?

What does the ideal healthy working day look like?
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Are you reading this right now because you’re procrastinating?

On the whole, that’s not a great thing to be doing, but there’s something to be said for a little time to gather yourself before a big project.

In contrast to this, however, is precrastination, which is a work habit that might be altogether worse for you in the long-run.

Whereas the procrastinator will put off their tasks until the very last minute, the precrastinator will aim to get everything done as quickly as possible.

Whereas procrastination uses up all of the allotted time to complete the task, precrastination sees time as something to be beaten to the punch.

David Rosenbaum, who coined the word, mentioned it in his book, Knowing Hands: The Cognitive Psychology of Manual Control, saying: ‘The term was meant to connote the opposite of procrastination, the tendency to put off until later what you can do right away. Precrastination is the tendency to do too soon what might be better done later’.

Some things David and his team noticed people doing that comprised this tendency were picking up shopping early in the trip and having to carry it around all day and paying their bills before they’re due (as a result not being able to pick up interest on their own money).

In an earlier paper on the topic, the team concluded that it was likely people did this to ‘reduce the working memory load’ of our tasks. Essentially, even though the task itself will take the same amount of time, if we get it done sooner (or at least feel that it’s done), it’s less stressful.

All the damage you're doing by holding in your pee at work
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

The catch here is that, by trying to reduce your stress at having things to do stretching over time, you’re doing things in a more slapdash way and expending more energy than you need to.

So, although you’ve ‘gotten rid of’ the work, you’re not getting more quality work done in the long-term.

Precrastination is similar in its intentions to presenteeism – where people stay later at work than necessary to show that they’re ‘there’.

Not only does it mean you’re rushing right through your own learning experiences, it also means that you’re either going to end up with loads of dead time at work, or plenty more tasks added to your pile.

Yes, you may finish that spreadsheet before you need to, but what happens with the rest of the day you had to do it? It’ll be filled up somehow.

You’ll know if you’re a precrastinator if you find that you’re getting plenty done but never feeling truly finished; with other tasks popping up and it seeming insurmountable.

Similarly, if you work in quick bursts of energy but never have the satisfaction of a job well done, this could be a sign you’re precrastinating and box ticking.

The solution to precrastination is not as simple as ‘do your work in the allotted time’. Instead, you need to look at the root cause of why you’re feeling the need to get everything done ASAP.

It may be because what you’re working on is too difficult, so the process leaves you wanting it to put it behind you rather than dissect it. If that’s the case, you should speak with your managers and colleagues to find out their techniques and tricks.

Alternatively, it’s the same task you’re precrastinating on over and over, you could go for more training to boost your confidence in that area.

Straight off the bat, you can work out your to-do-list so the structure changes regularly. Say you normally do the hardest part of your day first (rushing through it every time), why not try going from easy to hard at the end of the day?

Or, if you normally spend half your day tying up loose ends to get them out of the way – finding that the big things fall by the wayside in the meantime – specifically allow only a certain time for those mini chores. You might even find that, by the end of this time, the things you didn’t get done didn’t matter anyway.

Before each item on your to-do-list take a minute and work out how important it is, how long it’ll likely take, and what’s the best and most efficient way to do it. There’s a whole lot of truth in the phrase ‘don’t work harder, work smarter’.

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Fitness app users are ‘trying to cheat step counters’ with this simple hack

Fitness apps on a watch and smart phone
Can’t be bothered to aim for 10,000 steps? (Picture: Getty)

Hitting 10,000 steps every day can be tricky.

A long day stuck at your desk, commuting by car followed by an evening on the sofa – it can be tough finding the time to build more walking into your daily routine.

And when you have a step counter – on a wearable fitness tracker, or just on your phone – the step count guilt can be intense. Particularly if you’re aiming for a certain target to gain rewards from your insurance company.

But some fitness tracker users have come up with a clever hack to cheat the system – to make your app think you’ve done more walking than you actually have.

It definitely beats running up and down the stairs five times in an attempt to hit your total.

A Twitter user posted a video of a phone being rocked in an electronic cradle – as it was being rocked you could see that the phone’s step-counter was going up in real time.

Essentially, the gentle rocking bamboozled the phone into thinking it was walking. Not such a smart phone now.

The tweet generated more than 32,000 likes – and people in the comments seemed quite split on how to react to the hack.

‘Show me one that lowers my real cholesterol and weight and then I’ll be impressed,’ said one.

‘Humans – too smart for their own damn good,’ added another.

One person even divulged their own personal hack for cheating their step counter: ‘My youngest son offered to wear my tracker during soccer practice to help win the day challenge.’

In his original tweet, @mbrennanchina implied that there could be financial incentive for pulling the wool over your step counter’s eyes.

‘Some insurance companies in China allow people who consistently reach a certain daily step count to get discounted health insurance premiums,’ he wrote.

And the same scheme works for some companies here in the UK too.

Vitality health and life insurance allows customers to earn points through their fitness trackers – 7,000 steps in a day will earn you three points, 10,000 steps will earn you five points and 12,500 steps earns you eight points.

‘Pick up points by working out at a partner gym, joining a parkrun, walking, running, cycling or swimming by using a linked activity tracking device,’ reads the Vitality website.

Rewards include cinema tickets, Starbucks coffees and Amazon Prime discounts.

But you would have to be pretty cynical to actually go through with this cheat – most of the comments are on the despairing side and can’t believe anyone could be that lazy.

‘This has to be one of the saddest gadgets ever created,’ wrote one person when the video was shared on Reddit.

But other people were fully on board and keen to do whatever it takes to get those sweet, sweet rewards.

‘My wife and I get insurance through her work and they do the same thing. They issue everyone fitness trackers and if you reach your step goal everyday you get a discounted rate,’ wrote someone else on Reddit.

‘We just strapped ours to the ceiling fan.’ Clever.

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