Working families risk health by preferring sofa to time outdoors

With the sun shining there’s never been a better time to get outside for some quality time with the family. But new research shows that working families are risking their health by choosing the sofa to spend their spare time.

Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco are challenging families to get active outside after new statistics show they’re more likely to be found in front of the TV.

A survey commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, found that just over three in ten working parents say they hardly ever walk, cycle, run or play games as a family outside. Instead, nearly three in four would rather stay indoors watching TV and films.

The National Charity Partnership is concerned that such sedentary lifestyles could be contributing to rising cases of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

With physical activity known to reduce people’s risk of these conditions, the National Charity Partnership is urging families to get active outdoors this summer and make the most of their local green spaces. It has also developed a free, online eight-week challenge to help families improve their lifestyle and long-term health by moving more and eating healthily.

Alex Davis, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco, said: “When you’re trying to juggle work with a busy family, it’s easy to forego a walk in the park and instead kick off your shoes and settle in on the sofa, but encouraging children to be couch potatoes is a potential health time bomb.

“It’s behaviours like this which are linked to a number of health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. Both conditions are serious and affect millions of people in the UK, but are largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

“We know that being physically active can reduce the likelihood of people developing these conditions and even a ten-minute stroll around the park with your children can help to make a big difference to your health and to the health of your family.”

The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents about their work-life balance, found that on the days that they work, one in five spends less than one hour a day with their children.

Despite around three in four respondents (77 percent) reporting they would like to spend more time with their children, less than two in five (38 per cent) working parents say they go to the park or visit an outdoor play area as a family.

Natalie Walker, 30, from Devon took part in a recent ‘Big Bike Ride’ event at her local velopark along with her husband and children.

“I love it when we’re all out together spending time as a family,” said Natalie. “It is a time when we’re not checking our mobile phones, but instead we talk to each other- and we’re getting exercise.

“It’s a kind of play time that we all get to join and enjoy together. We’ve built a lot of dens together and the kids love to explore, climb trees or whiz around on their bikes.”

The partnership is also funding a range of free activities across the UK. Activities currently underway include small steps to 5k, cycling training and clubs in Castlederg and Derry. A six-week Walk, Jog and Run Club in Thanet and the Beat the Street game is currently running in Nottingham until 26 July.

For more information about Let’s Do This and to sign up for physical activity programmes in your area, please visit lets-dothis.org.uk.

The changing depictions of dads on Father’s Day cards

Father’s Day is just around the corner, this Sunday if you needed reminding, and analysis of Father’s Day cards has shown the extent to which dads’ roles have changed over the years.

Depictions of dads as aloof, pipe-smoking, newspaper-reading, besuited men ‘enthroned’ by the fireplace have disappeared from all cards, with the exception of parody cards, and have been replaced by casually-dressed, soft-in-the-middle, sofa-dwelling figures, often likened to Darth Vader and far more likely to be comically inept.

Clintons looked at thousands of depictions of dads on Father’s Day cards since the 1950s.

Modern-day dads

  • Dads appear to have put on 10-15 kilos in body weight
  • Dads have dressed down
  • Dads’ leisure time preferences have shifted from reading the paper in slippers on an armchair to barbequing or watching the football on the sofa with a drink
  • Dads have a much stronger emotional connection with their kids are often the subject of affectionate jokes

A typical poem from the inside of a card 50 years ago would read:

“You can sit in your shirt sleeves

Today if you choose

Get by without shaving

And leave off your shoes;

Get first whack at the paper

And have your own way:

Eat, drink, and be merry

Today’s YOUR big day!”

Today, a typical greeting would read:

For my No.1 Dad

Thanks to you, I learned at an early age how to Save My Money…

…I used YOURS instead!

Have a Great Father’s Day

In 50 years, dads have put on around 15 kilos, and are far less likely to be depicted behind the wheel of speed boats or sports cars or scoring the winning goal. They are, though, more likely to have a strong emotional connection with their children.

Common phrases in Father’s Day Cards

According to Clintons’ analysis, there have been five phases of Father’s Day cards in the last 50 years:

  1. The formal phase [mid to late-1960s]: the slightly austere dad, sitting in an armchair in a three-piece suit and tie, smoking a pipe and reading the paper whilst family attend to his every need.
  2. The undo-the-tie phase [late 1960s to early 1970s]: characterised by cards that invite dads to abandon the razor and the tie for a day of ‘indulgence’.
  3. The Walter Mitty phase [early 1970s to 1980]: Dads as sporting icons or adventure sports enthusiasts, jumping from planes, piloting speed boats, driving racing cars or scoring the winning goal.
  4. The cute bear phase [early to late 1980s]: softer dads, more approachable and emotional.
  5. The anything goes phase [late 1980s to today]: today’s dads – ready to the subject of jokes, more likely to be comically inept, occasionally likened to Darth Vader, ribbed for their fondness for beer or fast food.  More likely to lying on the sofa and catching forty winks than loosening their tie. Frequently the source of loans, a 1% chance of being Darth Vader, depicted, variously, as dogs, pineapples, gorillas, leopards, teddy bears, tortoises, lions, bears, elephants, crocodiles, donkeys, parrots and frogs; a 2% chance of being seen as a superhero; a 1% chance of displaying ‘builders’ cleavage’.

Tim Fairs, a director at Clintons, said: “Dads have always been treated affectionately in cards, but in the last decade we’ve seen reverence replaced with anything goes humour.  Some traditionalists might bristle at this, but the reality is that the humour shows how accessible and important dads are to their kids and that’s a cause for celebration.”

A brief history of Father’s Day

Father’s Day originated in the Middle Ages.  It was then observed on 19 March, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini (“Nourisher of the Lord”) in Catholicism and “the putative father of Jesus” in southern European tradition.

The modern version of Father’s Day emerged in the US in the early 1900s. Harry C. Meek, a member of Lions Clubs International, claimed to have first come up with the modern idea for Father’s Day in 1915. Meek rather immodestly chose the third Sunday in June because it was his birthday.

On June 19, 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors at her church did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June. Several local clergy accepted the idea, and on June 19, 1910, the first Father’s Day sermons honouring fathers were given.

In the 1930s, Dodd started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the not altogether altruistic help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, including tie and tobacco pipe manufacturers. By 1938, she had the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers.

In 1966, US President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honouring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.  Six years later, the day was finally made a permanent national holiday in the US when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Whether you’re shopping in Harrods or Poundland for your dad this Father’s Day, don’t forget the card which is the perfect way to show him how you really see him.

Starbucks launch new summer salad and snack pot range

Your trip to Starbucks is undoubtedly going to get a whole lot longer next week when their new summer salad and snack pot range launches.

The amazing fresh salads will leave you spoilt for choice and have trouble deciding on which one to buy for your lunch.

The crunchy and deliciously fresh salads have been inspired by the raw ‘poke salads’ – which means ‘to cut into pieces’ in Hawaiian.

The four new salads are packed with goodness, perfect for summer days. As well as that there’s a selection of new snack pots to try too, perfect for when you’re on the go or want something a little smaller.

The new range marks Starbucks’ next step of innovation in its food menu with veggie, vegan and dairy free options.

Available in stores from 15th June, the salads are priced from £4.99.

Starbucks Summer Salads

Salmon & Prawn Salad, £4.99 take away, £5.99 eat in

Starbucks' salmon and prawn salad

A fish salad mixed with prawns, quinoa, sugar snaps, cucumber, shredded mooli and radish, salmon, combining a variety of lettuces, and a buttermilk and lime dressing. Full of green goodness, this salad is one of your five a day and contains less than 300 calories, so it is ideal for those looking for a lighter option.

Chicken & Mango Salad, £4.99 take away, £5.99 eat in

Starbucks Chicken and Mango salad

A feast for the eyes and the taste buds – this new fresh salad is a mix of shredded carrots, rice, edamame beans, chopped mango, buttermilk chicken, sliced red peppers and a chipotle dressing. It’s an exotic and spicy bowl of goodness.

Veggie BBQ Salad, £4.99 take away, £5.99 eat in

Starbuck Veggie BBQ salad

A vegan salad with a chimichurri dressing, complete with shredded carrots, pea shoots, sugar snaps, chargrilled broccoli, corn, chargrilled red peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds and wild rice. A delicious and colourful salad, which contains less than 250 calories – suitable for vegans but even meat-eaters will love this.

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad, £4.99 take away, £5.99 eat in

Beetroot and goats cheese salad

A delicious salad served on a flat bread, with a mix of beetroot hummus, shredded beetroot, mixed grains, and topped with goats cheese and a sprinkle of pea shoots. Enjoy as a salad or roll it up as a wrap for a something a little more filling.

Starbucks Snack pots

Perfectly sized snack pot portions including protein-rich and low-carb fresh ingredients, these are ideal post-workout snacks or a delicious light lunch.

Peas & Carrots Snack Pot, £2.49 take away, £2.69 eat in

Peas and Carrots snack pot

Crunchy carrot sticks and sugar snaps are served with a pot of smooth pea hummus – a delicious dipping snack that’s perfect for a picnic or to tuck into at your desk throughout the day.

Chipotle Egg Snack, £2.49 take away, £2.69 eat in [available in London stores only]

Chipotle Egg Snack

We’re definitely disappointed that these are only available in London stores, they sound delicious. Two eggs rolled in chipotle seasoning with a crème fraiche sauce and finished with pea shoots. This quick snack is perfect pre or post-workout for the ultimate protein fix and comes in at less than 100 calories per serving.

Blackened Chicken Snack Pot, £2.49 take away, £2.69 eat in

Blackened chicken snack pot

A blackened chicken snack pot with quinoa and fresh peppers topped off with fresh rocket and an optional creamy lime dressing. Another lighter way to snack.

 

IT Cosmetics Finally Arrives in the UK Thanks to Selfridges

it-cosmetics-selfridges

American beauty products are sometimes quite elusive to us poor souls who live in the UK. We either have to pay extortionate shipping costs from US websites or just pray that a UK stockist will pick them up. And in some respects, we’ve been quite lucky, as the likes of Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty carry some popular US brands and Debenhams recently got hold of Kat Von D and Too Faced. However, one brand that UK beauty lovers have been struggling to get their talons on is IT Cosmetics. Until now that is, as the brand is finally taking a well-deserved place in the Selfridges beauty hall. Here’s everything you need to know about this cult brand.

IT Cosmetics was founded by news anchor and journalist Jamie Kern Lima in 2010. Jamie was inspired to create the brand after she struggled to find makeup that would cover her rosacea, a skin condition which left her with excess redness. She recalled an incident where she accidentally wiped off her eyebrow on a live broadcast and was horrified to see that her redness was showing through her supposedly full-coverage foundation. This incident prompted her to realise that finding good makeup is easy when you have great skin, but much more difficult when you have problem skin. She began selling her products on the TV shopping channel QVC, focusing on the niche of colour correcting, under the name IT Cosmetics (with IT standing for Innovative Technology). Since then, the brand has been mentioned in over eight million YouTube videos and has been shared or commented on Facebook over 3,000 times a day. Kern Lima credits social word of mouth for how fast the brand grew, saying that ‘when women find something that works, they tell somebody’. Loyal customers are known as IT Girls.

It wasn’t long before IT Cosmetics caught the eye of beauty giant Loréal, and according to Forbes, they paid over $1 billion for the brand in the summer of 2016. It was the biggest acquisition that Loréal has made in the last eight years, and Kern Lima was rumoured to have earned $410 million from the sale. She also stayed on to be CEO, making her the first female CEO of a brand owned by Loréal.

So, just why is IT Cosmetics so popular? Kern Lima thinks it is because the products work. The brand works alongside dermatologists and plastic surgeons to look at their products – creating a niche of colour-infused skincare rather than makeup. It’s this belief of great makeup creating great skincare that drew Selfridges to the brand. David Legrand, the director of beauty at Selfridges said that their customers look for a brand that combines effective products with a ‘philosophy they can trust’ which is ‘the very reason why IT Cosmetics stood out to us’. He continued to say that customers are looking for quick fixes, and products that combine skincare and makeup are ideal.

Standout products from the IT Cosmetics range are the CC Cream with SPF 50 which corrects redness and provides full coverage, and the Bye Bye Under Eye concealer which is ideal for masking dark circles. The products come in the shades fair, light, medium, rich and tan. You can buy IT Cosmetics from the Selfridges website.

Topshop becomes next high street store to release bridal range

Topshop has announced the imminent release of their bridal range on April 13th, 2017. The range contains five stunning bridal gowns in a selection of styles, available in sizes 4-16.

Topshop range

Each dress relates to the modern bride in a multitude of ways, with a vintage design long-sleeve Bardot dress, a strappy and form-fitting maxi and a gorgeous pink maxi with rose collections around its waist and shoulders.

With the range also comes 25 bridesmaid dresses, that showcases a multitude of soft florals, graceful ruffles and lucky navy blue dresses.Topshop becomes next high street store to release bridal range

The bridal range prices between £350-795, with each pair of shoes costing £79, and the bridesmaid’s price between £85-24.

It will be available online globally, and in selected stores where you can book personal shopping bride appointments: bridebookings@topshop.com

The range has come under high praise following its announcement for its eclectic style, and the Topshop creative director Kate Phelan explains this, as she comments that Topshop Bride “can create the perfect look for any wedding style.”

High Street Bridal Finds

Topshop joins multiple high street brands in producing a bridal range, as younger generations realise the worth of spending less on their weddings.

Within the last year, at least five brands, online and store-based, have released bridal collections, leaving Topshop’s range surprisingly costing the most at £350-795.

ASOS

The first of the five to release its own bridal range was ASOS in March 2016, after the Topshop becomes next high street store to release bridal rangehuge success of its bridesmaid range. The collection offers traditional wedding dresses, many with beautiful lace features all in a selection of midi to maxi dresses.

However, they also explore the popularity of jumpsuits, with a stunning caped jumpsuit making waves, and also offer separates which allow multiple possibilities for the modern bride.

ASOS’s range prices between £65-350 and holds 22 pieces, with a much larger selection for bridesmaids.

The range is also available under the ASOS Curve label, which means in the UK the range spans between sizes 6-30.

Missguided

The next to follow ASOS was missguided.co.uk in May 2016. Missguided offer a range of 20 bridal gowns, in a mixture of colours from traditional white and ivory to nude dresses with white or silver detailing.

The prices range from just £40-180, and the collection contains both traditional dresses, and also separates, including a gorgeous long sleevedTopshop becomes next high street store to release bridal range bodysuit that would be perfect to pair with a skirt or pants of your choice.

Missguided also offer a bridesmaid range with prices between £25-65, as it appears most of these brands would prefer you to do all of your shopping in one place (clever!). And with 47 styles to choose from, mostly in nude, grey, pink, red or blue, it’s easy to see yourself finding a style that can suit everybody.

The site also allows for wedding lingerie and shoes, and a large selection of wedding guest dresses, showing dedication and impressive taste in their wedding section.

Lipsy

Lipsy’s collection was released in early March 2017, with six dresses Topshop becomes next high street store to release bridal rangepriced between £180-250. The sizes will range between 4-18, and the collection is available mainly online at www.lipsy.com.

All of the pieces are dresses, including a midi dress with a lace high neck, and a strapless maxi with a soft lace overlay featuring floral embroidery.

This range seems to fit into traditional bridal designs and comes with a large bridesmaid collection.

Boohoo

Boohoo’s bridal range features 22 dresses and includes a beautiful kimonoTopshop becomes next high street store to release bridal range print dress, three black dress perhaps for the alternative bride, and one coordinate set. Prices start at just £15 and only hit up to £50 making theirs the least expensive collection.

Their site also offers bridesmaid and wedding guest dressing options, and also has a hen party selection along with its accessories and heels.

Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins’ bridal range also becomes available in April 2017, with prices ranging from £85-175, and in sizes 8-18.

Topshop becomes next high street store to release bridal rangeThe collection will only be available online at www.dorothyperkins.com and offers ten styles. The dresses feature vintage inspired lace and follow a range of colours, full of pastels, brights and navies.

As is typical now the range will also feature bridesmaid dresses, shoes and accessories meaning that the collection is accessible for all sorts of bargains.

With all of these brands creating bridal ranges, it isn’t hard for the modern bride to find a gorgeous dress for her big day without breaking the bank!

Marvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer Heaven

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will probably have heard of Netflix’s Original Shows released in collaboration with Marvel, following the stories of the Defenders (as the characters are soon to be known as). The four series, which intertwine in a way that means you can enjoy one alone but will miss certain jokes and references if you haven’t seen them all, follow the lives of New Yorkers after the alien attack on the city in Marvel’s Avengers, aka “the incident”. The main character of each series has special abilities and powers which always results in them feeling a vigilante sense of justice in their interactions with the city. These series are funny, heart-wrenching and full of some of the most incredible action sequences you can see in modern shows.

In consideration of the fact that there will be people reading this who haven’t watched any or all of the Marvel/Netflix original shows, here is a run-down of them all, in the order best to watch them (per season, because you’ll see why).

Marvel’s Daredevil (Season 1 – April 2015)

We are introduced to this Marvel universe through the eyes of Matt Murdock (played by the beautiful Charlie Cox), a Hell’s Kitchen lawyer who was blinded as a child, and subsequently gained heightened senses, meaning he can still “see” his surroundings. Trained martial arts as a child, Murdock becomes the masked vigilante ‘the devil of Hell’s Kitchen’, fighting organised crime from multiple factions but ultimately led by the Marvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer HeavenKingpin, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). The season follows Matt’s struggles through establishing himself both through the day in his new law firm with his best friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and at night as a serious force against the evil attacking his city.

All of this comes with an internal struggle against his Catholic beliefs, as Murdock tries to come to terms with the morality of his crime-fighting, and whether he could ever take a life. The season holds some of the most incredible fighting scenes, including an extremely coveted hallway scene that I could honestly watch forever.

And if none of this has convinced you so far, there is a lot of topless Charlie Cox. This truly is a series for everyone.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (November 2015)

Jessica Jones is the second wonderful piece in the Defender’s jigsaw. Not only do I love this series because of its proudly majority female cast, or even the fact that David Tennant plays Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) first villain, Killgrave. I love this series because of its juxtaposing portrayals ofMarvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer Heaven orphaned Jessica’s fragility with her PTSD – gained from both the death of her parents and a year under Killgrave’s mental control – contrasting her powers of super strength.

After a brief and disappointing gig as a superhero, Jones bases herself as a private detective. The series also introduces fellow Defender, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), creating a complicated relationship between the two characters.

Jessica Jones covers a range of very realistic problems throughout its characters, covering the effects of traumatic relationships; whether they be parental or romantic.

Considering the range of super-powered people within, it is surprisingly human.

Marvel’s Daredevil (Season 2 – March 2016)

The second season of Daredevil finds us returning to Murdock’s lives, both significantly more successful than they had been in the first season. This season focuses again on Matt’s morality: both through fighting against the mysterious order The Hand, and his own personal demons found in The Punisher aka Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) and Matt’s dangerous ex-girlfriend Elektra (Élodie Yung). Both characters appeal to Matt’s darkMarvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer Heaven side, with Elektra’s devastating effect on Matt’s better judgement, and Castle’s declaration that Matt is “one bad day away” from being exactly like The Punisher. The series also focuses on Matt’s struggle to balance his two lives, letting his law firm and his friends, Nelson and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) slip as he focuses on his fight alongside Elektra.

Overall, Matt doesn’t have as good of a time by the end of the series, which has managed to bag Netflix a Punisher spinoff series (due to be released this year).

Marvel’s Luke Cage (September 2016)

Luke is reintroduced in his own series after his role in Jessica Jones and follows him initially leading a quiet life in Harlem, which is destroyed by crime lord Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali). With this, Luke uses his abilities (impenetrable skin) to battle Cottonmouth’s reign Marvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer Heavenover Harlem. With racial tensions in America at a high, the image of a bulletproof black man resonated deeply with its audience, as Cage became a hero that many needed. Marvel and Netflix once again found an awe-inspiring way to represent human issues in a situation that is unrealistic but hopeful in the US’s current climate.

Marvel’s Iron Fist (March 2017)

Iron Fist follows Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the orphan of billionaire Wendell Rand, who was presumed dead with his parents for 15 years until he returns to NMarvel and Netflix is a Match Made in Viewer Heavenew York. While away, Danny is gifted with the power of the Iron Fist, a mystical power stemming from his life with the monks who saved and raised him. Danny’s role as the Iron Fist makes him the sworn enemy of The Hand, finally bringing us back to the imminent bad guys introduced in Daredevil’s second season. Who could have guessed that when Danny returns to New York he finds that The Hand is fully established within the city? The series follows Danny’s internal battle between his training as the Iron Fist and his personal feelings as Danny Rand, involving emotional repression on a scale you have never seen.

At the end of this, we’re left with a perfectly interesting premise to begin the Defenders, as realistically none of the members want to fight crime, and definitely not together.

The Defenders is scheduled to be released mid-2017.

‘Bags of Air’ From Adele Concert Sell on Ebay

In case you were wondering if the title was correct, yes, there were bags of actual air, supposedly from one of Adele’s concerts, selling on Ebay. Not only were they selling, they were also selling for some pretty decent money, with one bag receiving a bid of £1500 before the big bosses as Ebay stepped in to diffuse the situation, and quickly removed the listing. (Nice try). On one particular listing, the ‘air’ was supposedly from one of Adele’s Australia concerts and it was trapped inside what can only be described as a large sandwich bag. Once Ebay removed the listing for nothing other than ridiculousness, the seller then re-listed the item. Because the item was now a thing, and has already caused a significant amount of scandal, she now had a lot more to go with. The listing title now reads; ‘The Original legit Adele live air bag (ebay removed my original listing).’ Unfortunately, this time round has not been so much of a success and the current bid stands at around £9.50.

Adele has been recently touring Australia and, as usual, tickets were like gold dust, which could perhaps explain why people are willing to purchase air from the event (?). Anyway, in case you weren’t there, we can fill you in on some of the action. One night Adele welcomed a drag queen on stage, another saw her shouting at a security guard for telling fans to sit down (who needs health and safety when you have Adele anyway?) and there were even reports that in order to conceal herself from fans until the very last moment, Adele was being wheeled to her venues in a box – are we missing something or are tour buses with blacked out windows not the in thing anymore? Apparently, the box is wheeled right into the venue and many just mistake it for a piece of kit being wheeled around, little do they know, actual Adele is sitting inside. I wonder where that box is now and how much I could get for it….

Other ridiculous things you can buy (and sell) on Ebay…

Believe it or not, if you are looking for something particularly unique, you can actually just search ‘weird stuff’ in the search bar of the ebay home page because this is a real category, that actually exists. However, this is only for the very brave amongst us. You have been warned…

  • Golf ball removed from the inside of a snake…

Yep. A few years back, there was an auction that was selling golf balls that had previously been removed from the inside of a snake. As legend has it, the golf balls were being used to encourage hens to lay eggs, when the snake got into the hen house, mistook the balls for eggs and ate them. Yup. It is thought that the golf balls were put on Ebay in an attempt to raise money for a new wildlife hospital. So, all’s well that ends well!

  • A Haunted Rubber Duck

    According to the owner of said duck, the bath toy had the power to possess children. Presumably wanting rid as soon as possible, the seller declared in the item’s description that he would not take any responsibility or answer any questions about the duck once the item had been shipped. In the end, curiosity got the better of someone, and the item sold for $107.

  • One single Cornflake

    Complete with measurements. This was basically a guy seeing if he could sell a Cornflake on ebay, just cos. The Cornflake unsurprisingly had no takers at first but then someone bid 1p (presumably, again, just for a laugh) and apparently it all kicked off from there. After a couple of days, the cornflake sold for a massive £1.20. It seems that he managed to sell it just in time as Ebay were suddenly on the case, asking him to withdraw the sale of the Cornflake unless he could provide a ‘best before’ date.

  • The Meaning of Life

    Way back in 2000, a man from North Carolina claimed to know the meaning of life and decide to share his knowledge with the world, by selling it on Ebay. The meaning of life did only sell for $3.26 which makes us question its accuracy slightly…

  • Britney’s Bubblegum

Britney Spears chewed a piece of bubblegum and spat it out at a Wembley concert in 2000. The woman that caught the bubblegum sold it on Ebay for a whopping $14, 000.

One in Five Brits Struggle to Save for Retirement

According to Nationwide Savings research, Brits are struggling more and more to save for their retirement and it has been revealed that in today’s current climate, one in five Brits will head into retirement with just £2,500 in savings – barely enough for a family holiday and is actually the average monthly wage sum before tax. Whilst a lot of Brits will struggle when it comes to giving up work, many do have a healthy attitude towards saving. Ahead of retirement in the UK, the average person expects to have £42, 244 stashed away to see them through, with a smaller amount of 12% want and expect to have £100, 000 in their accounts by the time they retire.

The interesting poll carried out by Nationwide surveyed 2000 adults of working age as they anticipated retirement. The aim of the survey was to get a feel for Nationwide’s saving habits as ISA season slowly approaches. when looking into current cash ISA’s it was revealed that the average person has no more than £13, 191 in their ISA account which in some cases has been a build up of a number of years of saving. This means that the current maximum amount of £15, 240 is nowhere near being reached by many, which makes the enhanced limit of £20, 000 an even more of an unrealistic target. The new £20, 000 limit will come into effect on 6th April. Unsurprisingly, just 13% of customers deposited the maximum amount last year (1 in 8).

it seems that many Brits do struggle to stash their money away and the main problem lies not with overspending as such but with actually having spare money to save in the first place. The poll showed that a huge six in ten people don’t have any spare money to ‘put away’ at the end of the month once all expenses such as bills and food are bought and paid for. One third dismally described their situation as ‘just about managing’ when it came to their finances and claimed to have nothing to fund any unexpected bills. 11% said they are struggling to pay bills as it is and many don’t see the situation improving anytime in the near future. Overall, just a tiny third of the people surveyed expressed optimism and excitement about their financial future in Britain.

When it comes to life’s treats and luxuries such as a new car or holiday, it was encouraging to see that almost two-thirds of the people surveyed would save up rather than turn to credit for help with payments. With many sensible and choosing to save in a tax-free cash ISA, there are, however, those that admit openly that although they struggle and want to save more, have no desire to cut back on their current spending.

To encourage saving and to make the gruelling task a little more easy, slightly more flexible ISA’s have been introduced for 2017. The new rules mean that you can continue to input the maximum annual allowance, as well as withdrawing from the account. Previously, if you withdrew from your ISA account, part of the annual paying in allowance was lost. 20% of savers that do need to withdraw from their saving ISA will pay it back in at the same level. Most of the time the money was withdrawn because they needed to use it for whatever they were saving for; deposit for a house or car etc.

It seems that for many, paying into a savings account is habit and a way of life and it helps them pay for some of life’s most expensive purchases. However, it seems that some do need a little more incentive when it comes to saving money rather than spending it. The ISA’s have proven that even if people were to save a very small amount per month, they could end up with a significant amount saved for the future.

 

The ASOS Guide to Fashion Week

asos-fashion-week
Image Copyright: ASOS

Fashion week. The prestigious event held in major cities around the world to showcase eccentric fashion for the coming months. Only the worthy are invited to such events. Actors, Musicians, Fashionistas, Bloggers, you name it, they’ll be there. The frow is reserved for such people. Nearer the back you’ll find magazine journalists and the like taking notes for their next piece. Where are the average people who enjoy fashion and trends, you ask? They’re in work. At home. Doing something other than looking at pretty things walking down a catwalk. They have no time for frivolities. That’s why ASOS have decided to bring us up to speed daily with their Fashion Week Exclusive Page!

Each day of Fashion Week as it happens around the world, ASOS are offering 20% off of key trends seen on the catwalk! These can be found on the ASOS Homepage under ASOS Fashion Week. Expect to see gingham, florals (what else?), and everything MAJOR that’s happening this S/S. Critics are expecting this year in S/S wear to be filled with crazy and bold designs, contrasting with the somewhat timid approach designers took to last year. Some shows this Fashion Week will also be showcasing some looks for F/W, lending you some ideas on what to bag when the high street stores launch their late winter clothing lines this year.

Think 90’s bold style and colourful 70’s flowers when it comes to clothing this S/S season. Beach chic is all the way in with woven basket bags and linen sandals. Chanel has even alluded to floral patterns for the more demure fashionista this season. Whatever your style, ASOS have you covered, take a look at their Fashion Week exclusive no matter your style, you’re sure to find something to suit your style every day of the iconic event.

Over on the ASOS Twitter account, you will also find all you need to know about key topics during Fashion Week around the world, as we all as top tips for styling pieces and colours. Don’t miss their tweets about Chanel, Gucci and many more runway shows happening this week.

If you love fashion, the ASOS Fashion Week Sale is not to be missed. Everything from dresses, jeans, shoes and accessories can be found for a fraction of the price offered by stylists and designers gracing the catwalk this week. If you’re looking to create your own iconic looks this S/S, take a look through the ASOS range. They stock from a number of different high street stores, as well as their own line.

 

British Airways Faces Hefty Fine for ‘Running Out of Toilet Roll’

A British Airways flight has been delayed for a grand total of five hours today, not due to a serious technical fault, a passenger fatality or an absent pilot, but due to something much more serious…the aircraft had a serious shortage of toilet roll. The flight, which was due to depart Gatwick and take its excited passengers to the Caribbean was held up for a grand total of five hours as it attempted to locate the bathroom essential. The BA flight was held on the ground due to it not being prepared to standard, and that meant its toilet roll supply was not restocked. Cue an influx of seriously pissed off passengers…missing a day of their holiday due to missing toilet roll…you really couldn’t make it up.

The aircraft was a Boeing 777 and it was carrying 280 passengers. Rather than departing Gatwick at 1.40 pm on Sunday afternoon, it was almost 7pm before the flight left the ground (toilet roll and all). If your flight is delayed for a certain amount of time, you, as a passenger, are entitled to compensation for your troubles, according to European Legislation on flight delays. In this circumstance, each passenger could be entitled to up to £520 of compensation, meaning that loo roll gate could force British Airways to pay out a total of £145, 600 in compensation. Wow.

If that wasn’t bad enough, of course there was a knock on effect, and the delayed outbound flight meant that the returning flight was also delayed, leaving nearly six hours after it had intended, again requiring compensation from British Airways. In total, the Airline could have no choice but to pay out £300, 000 to its delayed passengers.

Understandably, many passengers took to social media to vent about the delays and couldn’t quite believe the cause of it. Some blamed the cost-cutting efforts of BA on the shortage of supplies which, of course, had now backfired miserably. The only good thing to come out of loo roll gate was the food and drink vouchers BA issued to each passenger whilst they waited in the terminal. We’re pretty sure they would have rather been on their way to the Caribbean…

The huge delays comes just a week since another Boeing 777, this time from Heathrow to San Francisco was delayed due to an unwanted mouse running free on the aircraft, which again meant the airline had another hefty compensation payment to deal with. Just a few more weeks like this and British Airways could find themselves in some extremely deep water. It isn’t just the compensation that causes expenses, but also the delay time in general and the amount they are expected to pay out in food and drinks vouchers to every passenger. Speaking of loo roll gate, the captain flying the plane that day explained to passengers that never in his 26 years of flying had he experienced something so trivial have such a huge effect on passengers. Part of the problem may have been down to the fact that British Airways had switched ground handlers at Gatwick earlier this month. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Another time British Airways spectacularly failed their customers…

During the summer, British Airways introduced a clever new computer system which allowed passengers to check in unattended, a little bit like a ‘self service’ machine in a supermarket. However, instead of speeding up the lengthy check in process like it was supposed to, the systems caused such delay and confusion that many missed their flights due to the enormous check in queue that formed. The bottom line to this spectacular failing was that the check-in systems were not working properly and there were reports that people were waiting around 90 minutes to simply check into their flight. Amongst those was celebrity Philip Schofield who tweeted his disgust at the airlines way of handling things and warned anyone travelling with British Airways that day to ‘come early’.

A once trusted and reliable airline for people all over the world, and a wel respected global brand – has British Airways given up?