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Couple pay off all their debts and move into a renovated bus to travel through North America

Couple picture outside renovated former military van they're travelling in
This couple paid their debts, moved out of their home, and moved into this van (Picture: MDWfeatures / Will Watson)

A couple who were in debt paid it all off and decided to live a life without the shackles of borrowed money.

Creative video company owner, Will Watson, 31, and his wife, marketing manager Kristin, 29, sold some of their assets to pay off the $24,000 (£18,627) they owed and bought an old military van.

The couple from Jacksonville, Florida forked up $8,000 (£6,257) for the ex-military truck and renovated it to make it suitable for travel.

Going with them on their adventures was also their one-year-old child and dog, so the truck was designed to include space for them.

The husband and wife had planned to move into the van before daughter Roam was born but decided to wait until she was six months old.

Now, having been on the road for seven months, the family has travelled over 16,000 miles from the Florida Keys up the East Coast to Nova Scotia, Canada.

With winter approaching, they are now headed south to experience a colder climate during autumn.

The biggest struggle has been having to stop every few hours while on the road so that Roam can crawl around and be given something to eat.

But the set-up works for them, they say, and Roam has been a ‘dream baby’ so far.

Family pictured outside the former military van they're travelling in
They document their journey on social media so family members can keep up (Picture: MDWfeatures / Will Watson)

Will explained: ‘I sold an old truck for it and we also paid down about $24,000 worth of debt before moving onboard.

‘We wanted to have the freedom to live this kind of lifestyle. We could have done it with debt but wouldn’t have felt “free” and didn’t want to be dictated what we could do or where we go.

‘Being debt-free feels amazing. When we check our bank balance now, we feel a sense of peace and security. We have even been able to save money since moving into our tiny home and we are in the best place we have ever been in our entire lives.

‘We had already met so many other families living on buses and vans with multiple kids and we thought “if they can do it, so can we”.

During renovations
During renovations (Picture: MDWfeatures / Will Watson)

Though pregnancy derailed their travel plans, it didn’t put a halt to it.

Will added: ‘Not continuing with our journey was never in our minds. I was fortunate to get a lot of help from my dad so Kristin could rest during renovations.’

Letting Roam roam and be happy is their main priority.

‘On longer travel days we have to stop every few hours so Roam can crawl around and eat,’ says Will. ‘At night when we put her down to sleep, we have to be very quiet, so we don’t wake her. Other than those two things we don’t have too many difficulties.

Living room inside van
Spacious living area (Picture: MDWfeatures / Will Watson)

‘Roam has grown so much since she moved on board at six months old. Back then she was hardly able to move, and now she is climbing all over the bus exploring.’

They encourage other families to try it too, even if they have a small child.

Baby's crip inside renovated van
Baby’s crib (Picture: MDWfeatures / Will Watson)

‘I know it can seem scary to take your baby places that aren’t technically baby-friendly.

‘I know it’s a hard choice to live a life with a baby that doesn’t fit the “norm”, but something we have realised in the last year is that babies are incredibly adaptable and they want to experience the same things as you.’

MORE: Family sells four-bedroom home to live in a renovated school bus and travel the country

MORE: American couple take their two dogs and travel around the world in an old school bus

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Woman falls pregnant with miracle baby after operation to remove skin cutting womb, vagina and cervix in half

Nicola and Anthony with their baby scan
Nicola and Anthony with their baby scan (Picture: Mercury Press)

Nicola Guinness was born with a wall of skin in her womb, cervix and vagina.

Diagnosed with uterus septum at 24, she thought it meant her dreams of having a baby would never come true.

At age 15, she had been misdiagnosed with a condition called uterus didelphys (UD), where there are two wombs, vaginas and cervixes, meaning it was more difficult to conceive but not impossible.

For this reason, she started trying for a baby at 18 but every time she fell pregnant, she would miscarry and evenutally doctors discovered that she didn’t have UD – she actually had a wall in her womb (uterus septum), which was cutting it in half and starving it of oxygen.

But after almost a decade of trying to conceive and six miscarriages, she is now 26 weeks pregnant with her miracle baby, who she and her partner Anthony Latta, 30, have named Reggie.

Nicola was able to cut her risk of miscarriage this time thanks to rare surgery to have the wall in her womb removed.

The wall remains in her cervix and vagina, meaning Reggie will have to be born by c-section but the couple are excited at the prospect of finally becoming parents.

Nicola, from Brentwood, Essex, said: ‘I was 15 when doctors told me I had uterus didelphys, which meant that I might have trouble conceiving but that I would be able to carry a baby once I got pregnant.

‘They advised me to start trying early, so I started trying to get pregnant as soon as I was 18.

Nicola in hospital after having surgery on her uterus
Nicola in hospital (Picture: Mercury Press)

‘I’d always dreamed of becoming a mum so I just wanted to give myself the best chance and start as soon as I could.

‘But every time I got pregnant I would only reach four weeks and then I’d miscarry every time.

‘I was heartbroken and so depressed, I remember I would just sit and cry for hours wondering why this was happening to me.

‘I was having test after test, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I got a letter from my doctors saying I actually had complete uterus septum – which is a thick wall of skin dividing my reproductive system into two – and that I would never be able to carry a baby.

‘Now, it means everything to me to be so close to becoming a mother.

‘Most mums only have to wait nine months to meet their baby but I’ve been waiting eight years to meet mine.’

From her first period, Nicola realised she was different, noticing that she would still bleed despite using tampons and could even feel the bottom of her septum which separates her vagina into two sides.

A scan of baby Reggie (Picture: Mercury Press)
A scan of baby Reggie (Picture: Mercury Press)

The 26-year-old claims she was initially misdiagnosed with uterus didelphys after she was referred to a specialist in Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge at 15.

However, in 2017 doctors discovered she actually had the similar condition uterus septum – a wall of skin which divides a single womb, cervix and vagina into two parts.

Due to a lack of oxygen supply to the septum, a fertilised egg which attaches itself to the wall skin in the womb can never survive.

Nicola began searching for new answers over what could be done to remove the wall of skin from her womb and give her a chance at becoming a mum.

After discovering that a simple two-hour keyhole surgery could remove that part of the septum, the beautician asked doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital if they would operate.

She claims they refused as there was a risk the op could make her infertile but her cousin, Jade, a midwife from Ipswich, found a doctor at her NHS trust who specialised in Nicola’s condition and agreed to perform the surgery in October 2018.

After undergoing the op at Ipswich Hospital, Nicola now has one womb.

Only eight months after the operation, she fell pregnant naturally and for the first time ever, Nicola’s miracle baby has now reached 26 weeks gestation.

Nicola, who has a septum in her uterus, and partner Anthony, holding their baby scan
Nicola and partner Anthony (Picture: Mercury Press)

She said: ‘Fighting for the operation was the worst time of my life because I knew that something could be done but doctors weren’t prepared to help me.

‘They just sent me a letter telling me that I wouldn’t be able to have kids – we were devastated.

‘But I still hadn’t given up, my sister agreed to be my surrogate and I would have gone through with it if my cousin hadn’t managed to find a surgeon to help me.

‘Even when I fell pregnant after the operation I was really negative.

‘I would go to appointments and ask ‘is ‘it’ ok’ and would talk about the future with ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’.

‘I started spotting at around four weeks and I was having all the pains that I usually do when I miscarry so I thought I knew what was happening.

‘But when we went to the hospital they did my bloods and told me the baby was still fine and it was just blood from the other half of my cervix and vagina.’

At 20 weeks, the excited couple discovered that they were having a baby boy and they have already splashed out £1,000 on a ‘miracle baby’ bib, a cot, pram and baby clothes for Reggie’s arrival.

Nicola said: ‘At 18 weeks I started feeling him move and I started feeling more confident.

‘When they told us we were having a little boy two weeks later, we decided we would call him Reggie and since then we’ve been getting everything ready to prepare for his arrival.

‘Now, I can’t wait to meet him.

‘I never gave up on it and I’m so glad I kept fighting to get the surgery because if I hadn’t I might never have got this far.

‘He’s our little miracle.’

A Cambridge University Hospitals spokesperson said: ‘We strive to give the very best treatment and guidance to patients, but if someone has a complaint it is important that they contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) as soon as possible, which will investigate it thoroughly and in accordance with our protocols.’

MORE: Couple pay off all their debts and move into a renovated bus to travel through North America

MORE: Liberty London has built an incredible floating velvet bonsai inside the store for Christmas

What is on Greggs’ Christmas menu and is the Festive Bake back?

A Greggs' salted caramel latte
The salted caramel latte is now at Greggs for Christmas (Picture: Greggs)

With Christmas looming over the horizon, it’s no surprise to see that the high street has responded in kind with the launch of its festive menus.

Costa and Starbucks have already started making us feel festive with their Christmas coffees – and now it’s the turn of Greggs to follow suit, bringing sandwiches, Christmas coffees, mince pies and more to their menu.

But just what’s on offer this year – and more importantly, is the Festive Bake back on the menu for the holiday season this year?

Here’s what you need to know…

What is on Greggs’ Christmas menu for 2019?

Greggs is once again promising a festive feast for 2019, with its Christmas menu being rolled out across the month.

Greggs' Christmas lunch sandwich
Christmas lunch sandwich anyone? (Picture: Greggs)

Here’s what’s been launched in stores today:

  • Sweet Mince Pies – 50p each, six for £1.75, 12 for £3
  • Christmas lunch sandwich – from £2.75
  • Pigs Under Blanket Baguette – from £3
  • Christmas Lunch soup – from £1.90
  • Salted Caramel Latte – from £2.75
  • Mint Mocha – from £2.20
  • Mint Hot Chocolate – from £2.75

Here’s what’s in store from 14 November:

Greggs Christmas Shortbread Bites
You’ll be able to get the festive shortbread bites from next week (Picture: Greggs)
  • Christmas Tiffin Bites – from £1.50 (six pack)
  • Christmas Shortbread Bites – from £2.25

The following will be available from 18 November:

Greggs Christmas Penguin Biscuits
Festive biscuits are coming (Picture: Greggs)
  • Christmas Tree biscuit – from 85p
  • Christmas Novelty biscuit – from 85p
  • Christmas Cake slice – from £2.75
  • Christmas Penguin biscuits – from £1.50 (two pack)
  • Christmas Ring Bun – from 85p each or four for £2.75

Is the Festive Bake returning for Christmas?

A Greggs festive bake
Would it really be Christmas without the Festive Bake? (Picture: Greggs)

Fear not, Bake fans, for the Festive Bake is indeed back for Christmas.

It’s available from today, priced from £1.55 – allowing you to once again tuck into a seasonal favourite filled with chicken breast, sage and onion stuffing and sweetcure bacon all wrapped in a creamy sage and cranberry sauce.

It’s no big surprise to see it back on the menu though, since Greggs announced all the way back in August that it was returning.

And it’s proven so popular that Greggs even launched a contest to deliver Festive Bakes early to the UK cities with the biggest Greggs fans.

Cardiff and Newcastle were among those to get their bakes early following the vote.

Is anything vegan on the Greggs festive menu?

Greggs sweet mince pies
The chain is once again offering vegan mince pies (Picture: Greggs)

As with last year, Greggs’ Sweet Mince Pies are vegan-friendly.

They’re available in packs of six or 12 as well as individually from stores.

MORE: Greggs stockpiling pork to save sausage rolls from no-deal Brexit

Mum of six lets her kids go without washing and eat with their hands

Constance Hall pictured with her kids
Constance Hall shared six parenting tips (Picture: @mrsconstancehall/Instagram)

Mummy blogger Constance Hall is used to baring all when it comes to parenting.

The mum-of-six from Perth, Australia, has written about how she ‘survives’ with her children and says there should be shortcuts for parents.

Writing on Mamamia, Constance said parents shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and should let their kids be as free as possible.

Such as during dinner, a time she enjoys best without any dishes.

To that end, Constance offers her children a huge pile of vegetables that they are free to eat with their hands or leave.

She doesn’t force them to eat it nor fuss over them. And when it comes to bath times, Constance says her children don’t need to be washed every day.

Three times a week does the trick for her kids, she explains, as most can go without daily showers.

One of the ‘life-changing’ hacks she’s learned includes buying coloured boxes for each kid.

That way their clothes go into a different box so there are no mix-ups when it comes to heading out to school first thing in the morning.

Another tip she shared was parents ‘checking out’ – a time they can unwind and not have to deal with parenting issues.


She writes: ‘I hate it when people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it with six kids, I can’t even handle my two,” because the truth is, I probably did more parental work when I had two than I do now.’

Constance added six tips in total, one of them which urged parents to allow flatmates (preferably family members) for extra caring responsibilities.

Others included drowning out white noise (children chatting/asking/shouting) and even putting on headphones to ignore them.

When it came to food, she says: ‘Picnic dinners – both in and out of the house if it’s warm (my preferred method is out) – are great.

‘You just cut up some carrots and celery, grab a cooked chook, and go to the park or beach. It’s cheap and it gets dinner done.

‘Feast with your hands,’ she continues. ‘Dishes are the worst part of dinner. In other cultures everyone eats with their hands off the same plate.

‘I often put a huge pile of vegetables along with another plate of sliced meat or whatever you’re making.’

Organising clothes is another tip she shared, recommending the coloured boxes. Other tips included a checking out time.

She says: ‘I check out at around 7.30pm. Anything you need that’s not an emergency after that is up to you to do. I’m not your mum; I’m not here. I’m not your slave.

‘I’m just a statue of a woman who an hour ago wiped your bum and is now drinking wine chatting on the phone to her sister.’

The fifth bit of advice is about bathing and Constance cites The American Academy of Dermatology, which states that kids aged six to 11 only need to bathe once or twice a week unless they’re dirty, sweaty or have a skin condition.

And the final tip shared is simple: ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’.

She concludes: ‘The thing about being a parent is that it’s a 24 hour a day job no matter which way you look at it, whether you have checked out, or whether you have one kid or six.

‘You are always on. So if you make the decision to have a big family you need to accept that corners must be cut.’

MORE: Constance Hall shares why it’s important to cry in front of your kids

MORE: New dad’s hilariously honest list of parenting tips takes the internet by storm

MORE: Baby weaning tips from an expert – how to make the experience stress-free

‘She is not your rehab’: The barbershop helping men heal from trauma

Group of men wearing t-shirts saying 'she is not your rehab'
Matt Brown (centre) opened up two salons to help men heal (Jared Yeoward / photography)

Women are not rehabilitation centres for men’ became a popular mantra on Twitter in the past year.

It grew as many related to the idea that women are sometimes burdened with the emotional labour of being confidants and saviours to their male partners.

In an attempt to relieve that responsibility, a barbershop is encouraging men to open up to them instead of their wives and girlfriends.

‘She is not your rehab’ is the campaign led by New Zealand salon My Father’s Barbers, owned by Matt Brown.

But it’s so much more than haircuts Matt offers, it’s therapy.

He understands that women are sometimes expected to do the emotional heavy lifting for men but wants men to open up about their traumas to one another.

Having grown up in a violent home, he knows the importance of having a space where men feel heard.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Matt has shared his story with the men who frequent his busy Christchurch-based shop.

Matt tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s an invitation for men to own their own healing, deconstruct shame and begin to walk in vulnerability versus bottling up emotions or living their lives stuck behind masks of toxic masculinity.’

Picture of Matt outside
As a childhood sexual assault survivor who experienced violence in the home, Matt shares his own story to invite others to open up (Picture: Jared Yeoward / photography)

My Father’s Barbers has been on an authentic journey with men and their pain through various mediums.

The first is through the two barbershops in New Zealand that are staffed with 18 well-trained hairdressers who practice having tough conversations every week.

The second is through their social media, which acts as an extension of the conversations they have in the barber chair.

And finally though a barbering program in a maximum-security prison with men who are in the final one or two years of a long sentence.

‘This has been my life, passion and honour the past decade,’ says Matt.

‘While servicing men I’ve really listened to and heard every story imaginable that has sometimes been unimaginable. Unspeakable pain, trauma, generational cycles of poverty and abuse. It seems endless and overwhelming.’

Muslim woman wearing 'she is not your rehab#
He started the ‘She is not your rehab’ campaign on social media to share his message (Picture: Jared Yeoward / photography)

He adds that the violence he endured in his childhood motivated him to want to help others.

‘From my own pain, story and healing I’ve then had the opportunity to hold space for other men’s pain and healing,’ says Matt. ‘In doing so I’ve realised that pain is universal – most of us carry it along with a degree of trauma.’

‘I’ve had to learn to own my own story and transform the shame I carried for many years.

‘When you experience a deep inner freedom from pain and trauma, why wouldn’t you want other people to experience it?

‘For me, this looks like taking responsibility for healing my own trauma and pain without expecting anyone else to do the work for us – typically our partners.’

Matt is often pulled up on why the campaign is framed as ‘she is not your rehab’ as it may alienate some men.

‘We will use the wording we have chosen,’ he answers. ‘As a child witnessing my mother survive the violence that I truly believed would one day kill her, I want to do something tangible for the kids still in homes like that.

‘We aren’t here to demonise men, we are simply here to encourage and facilitate healing.

Woman wearing tshirt saying 'she is not your rehab'
He has a podcast of the same name that continues conversations had in the barber’s

‘Healing brings growth and that brings change. Change is what is needed to shift generational trauma and abuse.

‘If our message does not apply to you and you do not use women as rehabilitation centres then that is truly awesome but I invite you to hold space for another man who does struggle with this.

‘Trust me, there are plenty.’

Matt delivered a Ted Talk on how his barbershop enables healing, which you can watch below:

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Why do fireworks scare animals?

a ginger cat looks out of the window on an autumn leaf. Autumn cat on a window sill
Who’d want to scare this little hairy baby? (Picture: Getty)

As of Monday, over half a million people had signed a petition to change the rules around fireworks ‘to protect animals’.

That same day, a dog owner revealed that a puppy called Molly died after suffering a heart attack when it was left terrified by fireworks.

We also learned that a dog called Suzy was left so stressed by fireworks that ‘her eyes popped’ and she went blind, and that a rabbit called Archie was frightened to death in the run-up to Bonfire Night.

With more displays due to happen for Bonfire Night this weekend, here’s why fireworks can stress animals out so much, and what you can do to help soothe your pets.

Why do fireworks affect animals?

Both domesticated and farm animals can be scared by fireworks, with the Blue Cross highlighting that animals have heightened hearing compared to humans and that the loud noises caused by fireworks can scare them or even cause them pain.

The RSPCA also points out that farm aminals are ‘easily frightened loud noises and sudden flashes of bright light, which can startle and  cause them to injure themselves on fencing and farm equipment.’

According to the RSPCA, approximately 45% of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks.

If you find your dog gets distressed with there are fireworks going off, you might want to try taking them for a walk before nightfall on the days when you think fireworks will likely go off.

This can help them feel drowsier and more relaxed when the fireworks start and can help ensure that you’ll be able to keep them inside during whatever display is going on nearby.

You should also close your windows, doors and even curtains to try and muffle the sound for your pet as the fireworks go off. You should also never take your pet to a fireworks display – keeping them inside when there are fireworks being set off nearby.

Pet owners should also ensure that their animals are microchipped, in case the fear causes them to bolt from the house.

If you have a larger animal such as a horse, you might consider informing your neighbours ahead of time so that they know not to set off any fireworks nearby.

You can also speak to your vet, or make arrangements for your animal to spend the night elsewhere.

MORE: Horse impaled itself on a fence after being ‘spooked by fireworks’

There’s now a pub powered by poo

pub powered by poo, the number two tavern
(Picture: The Number Two Tavern)

If we can combine our environmental efforts with the chance to have a pint, we’re all for it.

Enter The Number Two Tavern, a new pub powered by an easily renewable resource… poo.

Created by Yorkshire Water, The Number Two Tavern is a pop-up pub in Leeds powered by electricity made from sewage – including human waste.

That doesn’t mean loading up a furnace with poo, to be clear.

Instead sewage sludge is taken to Knostrop Energy and Recycling Centre, where it’s treated and converted into fertiliser. This is then used to create a methane-rich biogas that’s turned into green electricity, which is then used to power the pub. It’s a process called anaerobic digestion.

That means that, unfortunately, you can’t take a trip to the loos and know exactly which lightbulb is being powered by your poop. The process of turning the sewage into fuel takes around two weeks.

But to celebrate this sustainable power source, there’s now a pub dedicated to the power of pooing.

The Number Two Tavern, open in The Light in Leeds, has a special throne for guests to sit atop (spoiler: it’s a prop toilet. Please don’t use it) and will be serving up water through a pump. So if you don’t fancy beer, you can treat yourself to a nice pint of water. Exciting times.

It’ll be open from today until 9 November for anyone who fancies posing on a toilet or celebrating, um, water, to enjoy a pint while marvelling at how everything in the pub is powered by poo.

Opening times on Thursday and Friday are between 4pm and 7pm (so it’s not the place for a late-night sesh), and on Saturday the pub will be open from 11am to 5pm.

Location-wise you’ll need to head to the courtyard of The Light in Leeds, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL.

MORE: Why do fireworks scare animals?

MORE: ‘She is not your rehab’: The barbershop helping men heal from trauma

Eight friends create beautiful gift filled spare keys so woman always has somewhere to go when she needs them

The outside of the box and the eight keys inside
The keys Olivia received (Picture: Olivia Mahone)

Earlier this year, Olivia Mahone lost her mum Jo to a rare form of cancer.

But the 18-year-old, from Cumbria, has an amazing group of friends who have helped her get through everything.

And in a touching gesture, the group of eight girls have given her a gift box filled with the keys to their doors so Olivia always has somewhere to go if she needs them.

They left the box with a card, which read: ‘We know that things haven’t got any easier for you lately.

‘We want you to know that we will always be here for you, any time day or night.

‘Our doors are always open for you (hence the keys).

‘You mean the world to us and we will always promise to try our hardest to make life that little bit easier for you.

‘We love you always.’

The card was signed by Izzy, Emylia, Anna, Charlotte, Mia, Bella, Maya and Morgan and inside the box was seven keys – one for each of them with Maya and Morgan sharing a house.

They also included a silver guardian angel pin.

Eight friends create beautiful gift filled spare keys so woman always has somewhere to go when she needs them
The friends gave her a touching card too (Picture: @LivMahone)

Olivia’s mum died in June this year after a battle with a very rare high-grade uterine sarcoma cancer.

Her husband Michael, Olivia and her siblings Tom and Beth, had fundraised for her treatment but sadly she passed away at the age of 46.

After seeing the gift and the support she has from her friends, Olivia posted the pictures on Twitter and they quickly went viral.

She said: ‘What did I do right to deserve such amazing friends?

Eight friends create beautiful gift filled spare keys so woman always has somewhere to go when she needs them
Each one gave her a key to their door (Picture: @LivMahone)

‘This being at the front door for me coming home from work has got me very emotional to say the least.

‘My friends all have hearts of gold and I would be lost without them. Tears rolling at this.’

Some of her friends replied to the tweet to tell her how much they love her.

Maya said: ‘You’re so worth it.’

Mia added: ‘Awww love you more than you know.’

What a beautiful thing to do.

MORE: Why do fireworks scare animals?

MORE: There’s now a pub powered by poo

Bride accidentally trashes wedding dress when rogue wave hits during photoshoot

Before and after the wave hit Bekah and Tim in Hawaii
Before and after the wave hit (Picture: Sunny Golden / @sunnyjunebug )

Wanting to get the perfect wedding shot, Bekah Blakely-Savage and her new husband Tim decided to pose on the beach.

But the whole shoot when wrong when a rogue wave literally swept them off their feet and trashed Bekah’s beautiful wedding dress.

The pair tied the knot in Alaska next month but when they were on their honeymoon in Hawaii, they decided to book photographer Sunny Golden for a beach photoshoot.

They thought it would be great to contrast it with the wintery pictures of their actual ceremony.

The moment the wave hit Bekah and Tim
The moment the wave interrupted the couple (Picture: Sunny Golden / @sunnyjunebug )

But not long into their shoot, the waves got a little wild and the dress ended up drenched and dirty.

But instead of getting upset at the accidental dress trashing, Bekah and Tim played in the water and continued to pose.

They posted the picture on Reddit and it quickly went viral.

Bekah said: ‘We didn’t necessarily intend on trashing the dress, but the ocean had other plans.’

Bekah and Tim playing in the sea after their outfits were trashed by a wave
They ended up just embracing the ocean and having some fun (Picture: Sunny Golden / @sunnyjunebug )

Amazingly though Bekah said that her dry cleaner managed to get the spots and stains out of the dress and it now looks as good as new.

She’s now thinking about passing it onto another bride or turning the fabric into something else she can wear in the future.

And the couple love the quirky pictures they got from the shoot.

She added: ‘The aftermath pictures are some of my favorites. We plan to frame them in a sequence going down the hall to our bedroom.’

MORE: Eight friends create beautiful gift filled spare keys so woman always has somewhere to go when she needs them

MORE: There’s now a pub powered by poo

Hobbycraft is selling a £7.50 colour-in igloo that’s perfect for when it’s cold outside

Colour-in igloo
Pop some pillows in there and you’ve got a cosy hideaway (Picture: Hobbycraft)

Yes, this igloo is quite clearly designed for children.

But that doesn’t stop us desperately wanting our own.

For the bargain price of £7.50, Hobbycraft is selling a flatpack igloo that kids can build and crawl inside.

Oh, and they can colour it in, too, just to add to the fun.

So we’re talking about hours of entertainment when you think about it. First the kids can figure out how to build it, then they fix it together, then they can spend hours colouring, then even more hours pretending to be explorers studying penguins.

Now it’s too cold outside to hang out in the park or and too packed with Christmas shoppers to wander the streets, this igloo is exactly what parents need to entertain the kids for days.

Colour-in igloo
The stars pop out to create a lovely light effect (Picture: Hobbycraft)

As we mentioned, we do think the igloo is intended for children, but there’s really nothing stopping you buying one for yourself, decorating it to fit your interior goals, then popping it in your living room. It’s called a statement feature, look it up.

Plus you could fill it with blankets, shove a laptop in there, and use it for movie nights. Dreamy.

The reviews of the igloo are pretty positive.

Colour-in igloo
Who doesn’t want their own indoor igloo? (Picture: Hobbycraft)

One parent wrote: ‘I brought this for my son. he has had hours of fun decorating it, there’s loads of space inside we’ve put a throw and cushions In there. We’re going to leave Santa’s snacks next to it on Christmas Eve. I would definitely recommend purchasing this.’

Another noted that the igloo can provide a comfortable place to retreat for those with sensory processing issues and autism, writing: ‘I bought this cardboard igloo for my children aged 8 and 10 years as a compromise so they had something to colour/decorate whilst also creating a little hideaway.

‘My daughter has autism and it made a great sensory space as the star shaped cut outs in the roof projected light though making star patterns inside when dusk. Even the dog got inside and enjoyed playing house.

‘It was intended for a half term craft project but has stayed and is in no hurry to be taken down. A real bargain as bought for half price. Will definitely buy again.’

MORE: What is on Greggs’ Christmas menu and is the Festive Bake back?

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Why is there still so much shame around debt?

Why is there so much shame around debt?
There’s a lot of guilt and shame around struggling with money (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Being in debt is common (an estimated 8.3 million people in the UK are unable to pay off debts or household bills).

And yet there still seems to be so much shame around admitting you’re in debt.

There’s ‘good’ acceptable debt, of course – having a mortgage or paying back student loans is considered pretty normal and is read as a side-effect of doing something responsible and adult.

But those other types of debt, from taking out a payday loan to just not having enough money to live off, are often shrouded in secrecy and embarrassment.

Why is it that talking about debt feels so deeply shameful?

The short answer is pretty simple: We live in a capitalist society in which wealth is widely considered the goal. Thus struggling with money or just not having as much is a sign you’ve ‘failed’ in the system under which we all operate.

Despite causes of debt often being out of our control, owing money feels like a deeply shameful personal failing.

That causes issues to spiral.

Helen Undy, chief executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute tells Metro.co.uk: ‘As a society, we’re getting better at talking about our mental health, but there is still a huge taboo around being in debt and having other money problems.

‘Too often people feel that it’s a personal failing if they’re struggling with money, and feel too ashamed to open up to family or friends to get help.

‘The result is that people often carry this burden alone, which can cause their financial problems to escalate, and can also leave them feeling overwhelmed or unable to see a way out. Sometimes, this combination of factors can even contribute to people becoming suicidal.’

Shopping spree, bags.
Being in debt in a capitalist society feels like failure (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk))

A lot of the shame comes from social factors. There’s a lingering idea that if you’re not well off or owe a lot of money, you’re to blame.

It’s far easier to criticise the individual than to consider completely restructuring society, after all, and it’s soothing to tell ourselves that we’ll never end up poor because we’ll make the correct decisions.

As a result, those who struggle with money are at the bottom of the social ladder. Others may not want to help in fear that they’ll somehow ‘catch’ the shame that comes from being rejected by society.

Professor Nigel Nicholson explains: ‘This is a special kind of shame associated with status and reputation. Lacking the ties of supportive sharing community that our ancestors enjoyed we are in an era of fake meritocracy where the have-nots come to fear they others believe them deserving their diminished status – the old deserving poor fallacy.’

Of course, not everyone is ashamed of debt.

The ‘good’ debt we mentioned earlier is prized, along with debt otherwise wealthy people hold. If someone has outside signs of wealth but happens to owe a lot of money, they can escape the social tarring that comes with poverty.

Plus, if you’re the type of person who feels entirely confident in yourself and in your right to be where you are, you can get away with racking up debt without any sense of guilt or failure.

‘Not everyone does feel shame about being in debt,’ says Dr Barry Cripps. ‘Some people max out on five or six credit cards amounting to thousands. Others do feel uncomfortable about being in debt.

‘Maybe it depends on personality but more than that about parental upbringing. These feelings about debt are certainly not classed based – look at the huge debts rolled up in the past by the aristocracy.

‘Shame levels are probably related to psychopathy; The psychopath doesn’t care at all what people think about them and has little shame or guilt. The other end of the psychopathy scale is tender-minded and empathetic.’

So that’s why debt can feel so shameful. What can we do about it?

The first step, as with any other taboo, is opening up the conversation and showing everyone that debt doesn’t have to be kept silent. The more people shout about their debt, the more we’ll challenge those ideas of what someone with debt is like, and make it clear that debt can happen to anyone.

Helen would also like banks to get involved when they see someone is struggling with money, and to step in so the pressure isn’t on the individual to ask for help in crisis.

‘Given the difficulties many people face in talking about debt, we’d like to see banks do more to spot when people are struggling financially and to offer help,’ she says. ‘Something as simple as a bank checking in with a text message if someone’s financial data shows a sudden drop in income, or signposting them to debt advice, could make all the difference.’

Debt Month

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

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

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

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


MORE: Rental deposits are getting people into an inescapable cycle of debt

MORE: What happens to your debt if you die?

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Debt Diaries: My start-up left me over £100k in debt aged 22

A woman looking sleepy in bed at 4am
Debt problems aren’t something you wake up with overnight (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

I used to think of serious debt problems as something reserved for gamblers and addicts. Yet, by age 22 I was over £100,000 in debt and unfortunately, I had no addiction to blame it on.

Debt problems aren’t something you wake up with overnight. They usually creep in slowly over time. A credit card here, a loan there. For me, my debt problems began with my first start-up.

In 2015, aged 19, I launched my company LETUSFINDIT, which was a fashion search engine – a Google for fashion if you will.

Before I knew it I was being touted by friends and family as the next Mark Zuckerberg (though with a northern accent and a set of boobs).

We launched to great fanfare and fantastic initial sales, and for the next three years we lived in a bubble of hype – as many start-ups do – with celebrity partnerships, hundreds of thousands in investment and a full team of staff.

We were gaining users the whole time but we were making hardly any money, and our first few months of success were short-lived – three months after launch, our website broke.

By this time I had already bought a brand new Range Rover on finance (as you do), moved into a penthouse flat (because why not?) and was so certain my business was going to go stratospheric I had already started mentally planning my retirement… for when I was 25.

My relationship with money had always been interesting. I never had any problems making it but I always had issues holding onto it.

It was this overconfidence in my ability to create more that fuelled a lot of my debt issues. Every time my company had a few slow months or hit a dip, I would take out personal loans and invest them in the business to plug the gap. I was confident that with the next big celebrity deal all would be recouped.

Yet when money did come in, I refused to pay the loans off, worried that investors would think I was selfish for using cash to pay off previous debts.

Instead I adopted an unhealthy hustle-and-grind mentality that I picked up from online business influencers. I had a masochistic tendency to constantly sacrifice for the business, as if my suffering and increasing personal financial pressure meant I was doing all I could to help with sales.

I dreaded time moving forward as due dates on payments just seemed to roll around quicker and quicker.

Unfortunately, it was just making things worse. For three years, I took out a variety of personal and business loans for the company. A £13,000 business loan, a £30,000 business loan, a £13,000 credit card, a £12,000 loan from a family member. In addition to things such as a debt with HMRC for £20,000 and my £45,000 car, before I knew it I was drowning in debt.

When our web development company went into liquidation, I was managing almost £4,500 in monthly loan repayments. I personally was the business’s biggest expense and things looked pretty bleak.

I dreaded time moving forward as due dates on payments just seemed to roll around quicker and quicker. I managed, but I was barely keeping afloat. By the end of 2017 I couldn’t carry on the company.

Emotionally I was wrung out and any money we were making was all getting spent on my loan repayments. I let all the staff go – firing a lot of them overnight – wound down our offices and shut down our website.

I sold everything I had and spent my nights googling to see how much I could sell my kidney for online (FYI, they’re worth £60,000 on the black market).

I was numb for a lot of my day to day life but still kept up appearances, going to social events with friends and making jokes whilst inside just trying to keep it together.

Now I’m strict about not taking on additional debt and refuse to even renew my phone contract. I’m thankful for my debt experience as it has made me a better businesswoman and a better person.

By first freelancing in marketing and sales – the two things I had done exquisitely well at LETUSFINDIT – and later setting up my current consultancy firm, I have rebuilt myself from the ground up.

Although I’m still in debt, I’ve managed to retain my sense of humour and renewed sense of optimism for life. I won’t be writing any Christmas cards to Quick Quid or Wonga loans in a hurry. But through a reduced lifestyle (goodbye Range Rover) and putting half of my income towards reducing my loan balances, I’ve almost halved my debt in under two years.

Being in debt has had its benefits. Alongside an easy excuse to get out of almost any family function (‘I want to come to your dog’s birthday party but I really don’t have the money…’) it’s taught me the value of hard earned cash, something that got lost on me when my company was burning through £15,000 a month.

I’m confident in my overall financial future and certain I’ll weather this. Hopefully, I’ll even be debt-free by next year. Who knows, maybe I’ll even throw a ‘debt-free’ party. Do they do loans for that?

Debt Month

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

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

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

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


MORE: Why we’re talking about debt this month

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

 A bride was left gobsmacked after receiving a surprise puppy as her wedding gift from her bridesmaids
Kaci came home to find the corgi pup sitting on her bridesmaid’s lap (Picture: Caters News Agency)

Be warned, this story may make you weep.

Kaci Shepard Myers, 33, was left heartbroken when the dog she’d had since childhood, Cloe, passed away in 2017.

She had always wanted Cloe to be involved in the wedding day, so was stuck for ideas when her partner, Adam, 35, proposed one year later.

Kaci began to ask friends and family to see if another dog could fill in, but nothing was quite right.

So her bridesmaids, Megan Flatt, 30, Jessica Holt, 36, and Sarah Inge, 33, came up with a fix.

They teamed up and asked for help from Adam to buy Kaci the perfect new pet.

The bridal squad managed to find Brody, a ten-week-old corgi who Kaci had been looking at online.

They bought him ahead of Kaci’s big day so he could walk down the aisle as her ring bearer.

As you’d expect, she was overjoyed to be presented with a surprise puppy – and her pals were able to capture her brilliant reaction on camera.

Kaci, a salon owner, said: ‘When I was 12 my mother passed away so when I was 15 my dad surprised me with a Maltese puppy called Cloe.

‘She really got our whole family through the loss of my mother – she was our everything, our rock and my very best friend.

‘We had her for 16 years, until she passed away two years ago.

‘I had always dreamed of having Cloe at my big day and walking down the aisle, so when Adam popped the question I couldn’t help but think that she wouldn’t be there.

‘I discussed getting another dog several times, and knew that I wanted a corgi, so started looking on some pages online and sending all of the links to Adam and my friends – but as a breed corgis are very expensive, and we couldn’t afford one with the wedding too.

‘Just weeks after falling in love with Brody on Facebook, I walked into my house and there he was sat on my best friend’s lap.

 Kaci Shepard Myers with Ten-week-old Corgi on her wedding day
The puppy served as a ring bearer at the wedding (Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘I couldn’t believe what was going on – I was so excited to see my best friends who live far away that I didn’t even notice him at first.

‘My first thought was that they were there to tell me they were bailing out of the wedding or something, not that they’d got me a puppy!

Kaci was in a state of shock when she was presented with the puppy, but after that she instantly fell in love.

The puppy served as the ring bearer at the wedding on 31 August.

‘I couldn’t believe that he was the same puppy that I had found on Facebook a few weeks before, it was so meant to be,’ said Kaci.

‘Since he’s been in my life he has put a massive smile on my face and has helped me come to terms with the loss of Cloe.

‘Everyone that meets him falls in love with him straight away – he’s just so cute and happy.

‘He definitely stole my thunder when he was our ring bearer.’

MORE: Bride accidentally trashes wedding dress when rogue wave hits during photoshoot

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Toby Carvery now does delivery so you can have a roast brought to your door this winter

toby carvery dinner
It’s finally happened (Pictures: Getty)

With November in full swing, nothing says winter comfort food quite like a Sunday roast – but one restaurant is taking the hassle out of the weekend favourite.

The king of the Sunday roast, Toby Carvery, has announced it is now available for home delivery.

The company has just launched on Just Eat – so you can get your much-loved trimmings delivered to your door.

In all honesty, we’re quite surprised this hasn’t been thought of before now, because a roast dinner and home delivery is a match made in culinary heaven.

Nevertheless, roast lovers will be able to order a carvery, a meat-free lunch or other Sunday dinner options on the takeaway app.

It’s estimated that delivery charge will cost between £2.49 – £2.79, in addition to the order.

Gravy being Poured over a plate of Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Your favourite roast can now be delivered to your door (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The move comes a year after the pub chain launched their own takeaways, which can be collected from stores.

Sunday lunch lovers can choose up to four different types of meat, including turkey, beef, lamb and pork – but this may change depending on the branch.

Customers can add a selection of sides, such as potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a Yorkshire pudding as well as different types of gravy.

There are tasty extras on offer for those willing to splash a little more cash. These include mini pigs in blankets and loaded roasties.

Veggies and vegans can opt for a meat-free carvery or other vegetarian dishes, such as a plant-based toad in the hole or a roast mushroom and ale pie.

But it’s worth pointing out that only 62 of the UK’s 158 Toby Carvery chains are going to be taking part.

As well as roast dinners, Toby Carvery is making sandwiches and wraps available for delivery, too.

Toby Carvery branches taking part in delivery

  • Ainsdale
  • Aintree
  • Aldenham
  • Almondsbury
  • Barnes Park
  • Basildon
  • Bessacarr
  • Bexleyheath
  • Binley
  • Blackpool
  • Bolton
  • Bradford
  • Captain Manby
  • Cocket Hat
  • Darlington
  • Eden Park
  • Edenthorpe
  • Edinburgh West
  • Enfield
  • Exeter
  • Festival Park
  • Friary
  • Frimley House
  • Goldington
  • Gravesend
  • Harlow
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Hilsea
  • Hogsmill
  • Horsforth
  • Kenton Bank
  • Kings Norton
  • Langley Green
  • Lauriston Farm
  • Liberton
  • Lincoln
  • Lower Earley
  • Maidstone
  • Moby Dick (Chadwell Heath)
  • Morley
  • Oaklands
  • Old Forge
  • Park Place
  • Ravenswood
  • Romford
  • Rotherham
  • Snaresbrook
  • South Croydon
  • Southend
  • Stoneycroft
  • Strathclyde Park
  • Sutton Park
  • Telford
  • Thorpe Bay
  • Wakefield
  • Walsall Broadway
  • Warrington
  • Watermill
  • Widnes
  • Willingdon Drive
  • Worcester West
  • Worthing

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Get this turkey-shaped butter for your Christmas table and use it to avoid awkward family conversations

Turkey shaped butter
The main attraction this Christmas (or Thanksgiving)

Christmas dinners can be all kinds of chaos – there’s booze involved, overcrowding, and a lot of family history.

So why not provide light conversational relief with this turkey-shaped butter?

American creamery brand Keller’s has sculpted butter in the shape of a turkey to entertain your family members and guests.

While it probably has better use in the kitchen, the four-ounce buttery slab will definitely be a topic of conversation if placed on the table.

To those wondering, it is made up of eight tablespoons of butter so if you’re planning a large meal (or just a lot of bread rolls) you might need a couple of bars.

Being American and all, it’s being marketed towards Thanksgiving but we reckon it’d work just as well over Christmas.

At the moment, the product is available in American supermarkets offering Keller’s items particularly in New York and Philadelphia.

But you should be able to find them at such stores as Wegmans, Walmart and a few others.

While we don’t have any of those shops in the UK, the turkey butter is also available at Whole Food stores in the US.

So it may very well be available in its British counterpart, just ask a member of staff.

Turkey shaped butter
Available in the U.S

Our American pals are excited about the product despite it having been available for some time.

It’s cute and quirky so has been doing the rounds again on social media, where people are excited to bring it to the table.

One Florida-based woman shared a picture holding the butter, saying: ‘I’m not hosting this year, but I’m still bringing a turkey!’

While a fellow enthusiast wrote: ‘As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m happy I crossed turkey-shaped butter off my list of contributions (found at Winco).

‘I get off really easy with thanksgiving each year as I bring homemade bread and Chex mix. I am taking it up a notch with the butter!’

To those celebrating, happy Turkey day. Let’s hope we get something similar in the UK soon.

MORE: You can now get cheese Christmas crackers set to transform your festive table

MORE: Granny who accidentally invited teen to Thanksgiving dinner welcomes him back for 3rd time

MORE: When is the 2019 John Lewis Christmas advert out?

Fitness blogger shamed for bikini picture asks why mums aren’t allowed to feel sexy

Mummy blogger in a bikini
‘Since when were mothers no longer allowed to feel sexy?’ (Picture: diaryofafitmommyofficial)

Mums often get shamed for whatever choices they make.

So one woman who posted a picture of herself in a bikini wasn’t surprised when a stranger told her to cover up for the sake of her children.

Fitness blogger Sia Cooper is no stranger to mummy-shaming. But when she uploaded a sexy pic of her on Instagram and was questioned over why she chose to do so, she couldn’t hold back.

The troll commented: ‘To show your gains you don’t have to show your behind like that. You are a mother, think about what your children see … Unfollowed.’

Sia hit back, questioning why the picture would’ve been celebrated if it was any other woman but when it’s a mum, it becomes controversial.

‘Since when were moms supposed to hide their bodies?’ she wrote. ‘Since when were mothers no longer allowed to feel sexy? How do you think babies even got here in the first place?

‘I wondered, would I have gotten the same comment had I not been a mother?

‘Society seems to expect moms to act and look a certain way and I think it’s bullsh*t.

‘So I clapped back with my post to support and to remind all mums that they do not have to dress like a nun just because they birthed a baby.’


Sia questioned what the picture has to do with her kids. The mummy blogger said she hopes the only thing her children will take from it is body positivity.

The mum-of-two opened up about the relationship with her own mother, who taught her to hate her body. Sia hopes to stop her kids from going down the route of shame.

She wants them to embrace their own bodies and be proud of it.

Plus, she joked, they actually love her butt and use it like a bongo, so are not fussed about the picture at all.

The influencer, who has a million-strong following, also took a moment to recognise that there are many societal expectations of mums.

But, she urged, it’s best for mums to stay true to themselves instead of listening to all the haters.

‘Let’s face it: motherhood can make us feel less than sexy,’ she admitted. ‘It leaves us drained, depressed, exhausted, and staring into a mirror, looking at a former shell of ourselves that we barely recognise anymore.

‘So mamas, put on your bikinis. You’ve earned it. Every woman deserves to feel comfortable in her own skin without society’s judgy opinions.’

Sound advice.

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Spill It: What a 53-year-old train cleaning manager on night shifts drinks in a week

Spill It
The trusty wine box (Picture: Getty)

Are you stuck in a drinking rut? Pouring yourself a glass of wine as soon as you get in the door without even thinking? Ordering a double G&T because you’re waiting for a friend?

It’s a routine a lot of people can relate to; going through the motions and using alcohol as part of that.

This can be particularly pronounced if your work schedule differs from the standard 9-5, with a report from 2004 finding that people who worked night shifts were more likely than their day-shift-working colleagues to experience physical fatigue, smoke and abuse alcohol.

This week’s Spill It diarist is one of those night shift workers. Although they don’t top the list of the biggest drinkers we’ve had on the series, you can spot a pattern around tiredness and drinking to sort out a sleep pattern, which is common among those who work irregular hours.


I work permanent night shift from Monday to Thursday so basically during those days I just work, eat, and sleep. So today I have had no alcohol.

Units: 0


I love a Friday. I have finished my night shift but I will only sleep for about 4 hours to try to re adjust for the weekend. I buy myself a box of wine thinking it will last a couple of days (who am I trying to kid).

I rarely drink during the day but by 6.30pm I have settled into my spot by the TV on my first glass. One leads to another because I tend to drink quickly.

By 11.30pm I have finished the box & I am exhausted. I eat my dinner at this ridiculous hour and then go to bed.

Units: 24.8


I don’t get up until 11.30 feeling worse for last night. I am always slow to get organized.

I’m always in night mode, so most of the day goes by before I go out. I go food and drink shopping and yet again I get my box of wine.

I like to cook on a Saturday night, so I quite happily conjure up something delicious while swigging away. Again by about midnight I am happily merry (drunk).

I always know its time for bed when my wine is gone. And it is.. Again.

Units: 24.8


I got up at 10.30am which is early for me. Mainly because I feel sorry for my long-suffering wife. We go out shopping and have some lunch, then we walk the dog.

Having caught up on household chores I am back in my spot for 7pm for a replica of the previous couple of nights.

Units: 24.8


I tend to sleep in as long as I can on a Monday as I am back on shift tonight. I feel rough when I get up at 2pm and on a bit of a downer because it’s a work night.

So, its just coffee and juice for me today.

Units: 0


I don’t get to bed until 8.30am. I sleep until 3.30pm, and when I get up I just go through the motions until it’s time for work. Another alcohol free day.

Units: 0


The same as Monday and Tuesday . I don’t miss drinking during the week but I am definitely looking forward to Friday night.

Having been a night shift worker for 17 years , I realise that I am very nocturnal. My ‘day’ normally starts in the evening and I know I am stuck in a bit of a rut. I am also a creature of habit so I rarely vary from my routine unless I’m on holiday.

I’m 53 now & I keep telling myself I need to live a healthier life. Its always going to start next month, but I cant see myself changing because I am quite content with things as they are. Roll on Friday!

Units: 0

Total units for the week: 74.4

Total units in a week recommended by the NHS: 14 units (for anybody regardless of gender). Obviously, if you’re able to get lower than this, even better!

Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email jessica.lindsay@metro.co.uk.

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Ikea hack transforms drawers into a stylish dressing table

ikea's mountable shelves
Save money by making one yourself (Picture: IKEA)

If you’re the type who loves looking for interior design ideas on Pinterest then you might be interested in this genius hack doing the rounds.

Pinterest users have been getting creative with some Ikea drawers and posting their DIY constructions on the platform.

A whole host of people have gone the extra mile with the £44 drawers, using them to form their own unique dressing tables.

The product in question is the EKBY ALEX / EKBY VALTER – a mountable wall shelf with two drawers inside.

But many have looked past the standard use of the piece to unlock its potential.

Instead they have placed the drawers at hip level to make their own custom-made dressing tables. Being 119 cm wide and 31 cm deep, the unit offers ample space for makeup to be stored inside.

Pinterest users have posted pictures of their DIY masterpieces, with many choosing to mount a mirror on top – in true dressing table-style.

According to the Ikea website the EKBY ALEX / EKBY VALTER ‘allows you to keep your favourite items visible on the open shelf, and hide away things you need close at hand in the drawers.’

‘Drawer stops prevent the drawers from being pulled out too far,’ says the product description. ‘The thick back edge of the bracket creates a small space between the shelf and the wall where you can run cords through.’

Pretty ideal for a dressing table.

The design is not only inventive but is cost efficient.

Dressing tables can cost hundreds of pounds – depending on the chosen style – so this nifty home hack saves the pennies, too.

With it being Ikea, the drawers come in flatpack form, so will need to be assembled.

But those willing to spend a little extra time making the piece will reap the rewards.

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When is Black Friday 2019 in the UK and when do deals start?

Shoppers during the Black Friday sales in Oxford Street London
Black Friday shoppers on Oxford Street last year (Picture: EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA)

Christmas ads are dropping and shops are putting out their decorations, which can only mean one thing – Black Friday is drawing near.

That notorious day of deals rolls around every year in the run-up to Christmas, promising fantastic offers on all manner of products up and down the high street and online.

As we wait to find out exactly what will be on offer in 2019, here’s what you need to know about when Black Friday is going to be this year.

When is Black Friday 2019 in the UK?

Black Friday, as a tradition which originated in America, always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving always being on the fourth Thursday in November, Black Friday will be on 29 November this year.

People buy televisions at a supermarket during a Black Friday sale in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Black Friday can get a little hectic (Picture: EPA)

Black Friday was first referred to in the 1950s, with the term ‘Black Friday’ being used in 1951 by Factory Management and Maintenance, but rather than shopping, they were referring to the problem of workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving.

It’s not known why we now call this famous day of deals Black Friday, but one theory is that it could be a reference to the ‘black ink’ on the balance sheets (as opposed to being in the red) from the massive profits the retailers would rake in on the day.

Shoppers are waiting for doors to open during Black Friday at Macy's store
It’s not unusual to see ques of people waiting outside shops (Picture: Getty)

Cyber Monday, which is another day of offers that falls the Monday after Black Friday, will be on 2 December.

Cyber Monday differs from Black Friday in that the deals on offer that day are online only, rather than the high street.

Cyber Monday has been a yearly occurrence since 2005.

MORE: Pre-Black Friday Xbox One S deal is £200 with three games

Aldi is selling a churros maker for less than £15

portion of churros
You can now make them at home (Picture: Getty)

Every year, festive markets serve up generous helpings of mulled wine, bratwursts and churros – and this year one supermarket is helping you recreate the experience at home.

Aldi has launched its very own churros maker – just in time for Christmas.

The Ambiano Churro Maker will be available to buy in stores from Sunday 10 November – but less patient folk can find the product online now.

According to its website, the supermarket claims the product is ‘easy-to-use’ with its non-stick cooking surface, auto temperature control and indicator lights.

Not only can the machine create four of the tasty treats at once but it also offers a healthier way of making them – by baking instead of frying.

Which means you can afford to go heavy on the sugar, cinnamon and chocolate dipping sauce.

aldi churro maker
The product makes four at a time (Picture: Ambiano)

There are three different colours to choose from, too – a sleek black, a classic white or a festive red.

The nifty product comes in at just £14.99 – so would make a great gift for someone this Christmas, or a lovely treat for yourself.

red, white and black churro makers
It comes in three different colours (Picture: Ambiano)

The company also recommends turning the churros halfway through making them, to ensure an even bake.

To save space, Aldi says to store the device upright when it’s not in use – but we’re guessing it’s likely to be extremely sought-after in the kitchen, during the festive season.

Unless you’re Mary Berry, you will probably have to give it a few practice runs to ensure your churros are perfectly crisp on the outside and deliciously fluffy on the inside.

But after that you’ll have the delightful snack at your fingertips.

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