However, if none of the above whets your appetite then listen to this: Ben & Jerry’s are launching a Valentine’s Day ice cream flavour, and it sounds incredible.
‘Topped Love’ will be hitting freezer shelves in time for the most romantic day of the year. It consists of brown sugar ice cream, pink salted caramel cups, cookie swirl, pink topping, and heart-shaped chunks. Dreamy.
It’ll cost a little more than the traditional 500ml tubs, with a price tag of £5.49.
Rebecca Baron, Ben & Jerry’s social mission manager, said: ‘At Ben & Jerry’s we’re all about sharing the love, whether that’s the love of ice cream or the love of one person for another.
‘So we’ve unapologetically dreamed up a flavour straight from the heart to share a little love with our friends at Refugee Action for those who need it most.’
You’ll find us on the sofa devouring a pot of Topped Love on 14th February.
Rates of teenage pregnancy are escalating faster in the Philippines than anywhere else in the world – and the results are devastating. This is Tanombay’s story
‘Two weeks after my wedding, I gave all of my dolls away.
I didn’t want to. They were my favourite things in the whole world. Every morning after I’d finished my chores, I would sit on the wooden bench outside my house and line them up next to me while I made cross-stitch cushion covers and tablecloths for my mother to sell at the market. But my husband didn’t seem to like it.”Stop playing, please,” he would beg me. “You’re not a child any more.” I didn’t know what to say back to him. I didn’t really understand when I’d stopped being a child, but I figured it had probably been some time during the ceremony.
Credit: Francesco Brembati
I was nine years old when my parents told me I needed to get married. We’d run out of food, again, and neither my mum nor my dad were having any luck finding work. Most days, I was allowed one banana for lunch, and then maybe one more in the evenings before bed. We were all getting thin, and my dad was sick. One day, he called me over and said that it was his dying wish to find me a husband. I pleaded with him to change his mind, but he said it was the only way that he would be able to stop worrying about me. If I was married, he said, then at least there would always be someone to take care of me – plus this way, maybe he’d have a chance of meeting his grandchildren before he died. A few weeks later, he said that his friend had agreed to take me as his wife.
The first time I saw my soon-to-be husband, Umar, all I could think was how old he seemed. At 40, he had more wrinkles than my mother. Then I noticed the fact that he seemed to be very poor. I thought my parents were going to marry me to a rich man, so that my life would be easier – but when I asked my mum, she said that Umar was honest, and that honesty was better than wealth in a husband. And anyway, we have a saying here: “children are all the riches you need”. My mum believed in that a lot.”You will have a hard life, but you will learn to love him,” she told me. I wasn’t quite so sure, but I didn’t have a choice.
Credit: Francesco Brembati
My periods hadn’t started yet, so I didn’t get pregnant immediately – I think it took about a year. My husband had to show me what to do, because I was so young that I didn’t understand how babies were made. I didn’t like it, but I knew it was my job to do what he told me. When my mum finally looked me up and down and told me that I was expecting, I felt nervous. I had never been to school, and I didn’t know what having a child involved. I didn’t even know how the baby would come out. But when I told Umar, he was so happy he jumped in the air.
When the time came to give birth, we didn’t have the money to go to hospital. Things have improved recently – when I was pregnant with my fifth child last year, organisations like Oxfam provided all kinds of support, like health check ups and donations of food. I think they’ve probably saved my life and my babies’ two or three times in the past 12 months. But back then, when I was ten, there weren’t any NGOs to help us. I just remember sitting down to watch TV when blood suddenly started trickling down my legs, and a weird feeling of pressure inside my body – like I had the worst stomach ache in the world. My mum made me lie down on the floor, and told me to stay quiet so that I didn’t upset the neighbours with my screaming. I don’t know how long the labour lasted, but I know Umar stayed away until after our son, Usop, was born. He said it wasn’t right for him to see me like that.
Credit: Francesco Brembati
Since then, I’ve given birth five more times – to two boys and three girls – and life has become more difficult with every one of them. I love my children, but they always need something from me. My body hurts as soon as I wake up at five in the morning, right through until I go to sleep at eight or nine at night. I feel old and weak – not like how I think 19 year olds should feel. Recently I spoke to one of the health workers who visits me about it. I was like,”please, I have to stop having children” and she told me that there were pills I could take which would mean I could choose when to get pregnant. They sounded amazing, but when I spoke to my husband about it, he said they would make me sick, and that it was better if we just left things up to God.
Most of my friends here are in the same situation as me. Everyone has four or five children, and everyone has husbands who are twice or three times their age. But even though it’s normal, sometimes I wish my life was different. We still only have enough food for one meal a day, and I can only afford to send two of my children to school. Every night I go to sleep and dream about owning a beautiful house and a car. Sometimes I wake up early in the morning and try to draw them with my children’s crayons, then I stick the pictures to our walls to give me hope that life will get better. It wouldn’t have to be a big house – it could just be average – but I’d really like to have my own bedroom. I’ve always had to share with someone until now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your own space, and do things just for you.’
If you’d like to help girls like Tanombay, visit www.oxfam.org to donate.
Reporting for this story was funded by the European Journalism Centre, as part of Corinne Redfern and Francesco Brembati’s project, Crying Hunger [www.instagram.com/cryinghunger]
We meet four teenage mothers from four different countries who are exploring their relationships with the women who raised them
Credit: Francesco Brembati
Dina, 16, is seven months pregnant with her first child. Her mother, Chhang, is 32, and nine months pregnant with her fifth child.
‘You don’t expect to be pregnant at the same time as your mum, but I think it’s exciting. I’m going to get a new little brother or sister, and a son or daughter of my own at the same time. I like to imagine them playing together when they grow up.
It’s much more normal for a girl my age to give birth here than for a woman as old as my mum. Most girls I know are married by the time that they turn 14 or 15, and after the wedding it’s traditional to try and have a baby as soon as possible. That way the child can grow up with you, and you’ll always have enough energy to care for them. But when my periods stopped, I panicked. I couldn’t stop thinking about how hard things were going to be. My husband is 28, and owns a small patch of land in the jungle where he grows potatoes and bananas – and most days, that’s all we have to eat. We can’t even afford rice. Being pregnant meant that I wouldn’t be able to find a good job and our situation would never improve. We would always be hungry.
At that moment, all I wanted was to speak to my mum. She held me, really tight, and said that everything was going to be OK. She reassured me that she had been 16 too when she was pregnant with me. She said that she had also only had bananas and potatoes to eat when I was born, but that together we had survived – so we would survive together again. She told me that it was good that we were pregnant at the same time, because it meant there would always be somebody who understood what I was going through – if times were hard, then I wouldn’t be alone.
Not everything is the same though. My mum won’t let me give birth at home, even though that’s how she has always delivered her babies. She says that it’s too dangerous for me, and that I should go to the hospital in town. When I said that if it was dangerous for me, then maybe it would be dangerous for her too, she laughed. Then she told me she was my mum, and needed to protect me – and that it doesn’t work the other way round. Later I found out we don’t have enough money for both of us to give birth in hospital.’
Credit: Francesco Brembati
Ghaicha Ousmane, 18 years old, is mother to Zeinab, aged two. Her mother, Garfa, is 50.
‘When my husband proposed to me, my mum and I both cried. Only I was crying with sadness, and she was crying because she was so relieved. “Now there is someone who can look after you,” she said – before telling me that I needed to be good and obey my husband to make him happy. She didn’t understand why I was so unhappy. I told her that I wanted to go continue going to school – but she had never had an education, so she didn’t know why that was important to me. For her, the only way to lead a good life is to marry a good man. And she very much wanted me to have a good life.
In my case, the man was 24 years old, and I was 12. He’d seen me while I was collecting water, and followed me home so that he could ask my parents for permission to marry me. Eventually, I persuaded them to accept the proposal – but to delay the wedding until I was 15. That way I could go to school for three more years. Neither my mother nor my father understood, but they accepted my request.
Within two months of getting married, I was already pregnant. We were living alone in little hut, and I missed my mum so much that I would walk across the village twice a day to see her. It’s not that I had anything to say to her in particular – I just knew I wanted to be with her. When I told her that I was expecting a child, she was really happy. For her, this was a great sign of success, and she told me that she was so proud. When I said that I was scared, she brushed it off. She said that if I didn’t want to have lots of babies, then I could just have four or five – rather than ten or 12, like most women here.
I have accepted my life now. Being a mother is hard, and sometimes I do feel sad and lonely, but I’m used to it. But when my daughter grows up, I will do things differently. To have a good life, I know that you need a good school – not a good husband.’
Credit: Francesco Brembati
Souvanlit Tuktah, 17, is mother to Tonkun, aged 15 months. Her mother, Kanyah, is 66 years old.
‘I was adopted two weeks after I was born. My father had been having an affair with a younger girl when she fell pregnant. After she gave birth, she said she couldn’t cope with raising a child because she was too young, so my father asked his wife to take care of the baby. She agreed – but divorced my father on the grounds of his infidelity. It’s just been me and my mum together ever since.
Two years ago, I got married to a man who lived in our neighbourhood. My mum wasn’t happy when I told her that I was engaged – she said that she wanted me to finish going to school, and to get a good job in the city. But I was worried that if I didn’t accept the man’s proposal, then he would spread rumours about me. Your reputation is everything here. So we had a small wedding, and within a few months, I was pregnant.
I had just given birth when my husband hit me for the first time. We were still living with my mother, but when I went to work in the fields all day, he would lie around the house taking drugs and getting drunk. I knew it was upsetting my mum, but she couldn’t make a fuss because it’s against our culture for the wife’s mother to complain about something. So I asked him to stop, and he beat me so hard that I fell against the wall and everything went black. After that, he was violent nearly every day. I was covered in bruises, and all the furniture was smashed up. He forbade me from eating for days at a time, until my milk dried up and I couldn’t feed our son. Through it all, I just begged my husband not to hurt my mum or the baby too. I thought, ‘I can cope with this, as long as they are safe’.
I was trying to look after my mum because I thought she must be weak since she was so old. But after six months of watching my husband hurt me, she said, “enough”. She called the police, and demanded that they remove him from our house. Then she marched down the street to my husband’s parents’ house, and told them she never wanted to see him near me again. She told me to stop crying, and to be strong. She said, “we will raise your baby together, as a team. We don’t need any men.”
I didn’t believe her at first – I didn’t think it was possible – but now I never want to marry again. My relationship with my mother is enough.’
Credit: Francesco Brembati
Ailea Kathlyn Gulok Dalimbang, 17, is mother to eight month old Kathlyn Mae. Her mum is in her 50s.
‘When I gave birth, I was in so much pain that I forgot where I was. I cried and screamed so much that the nurses begged me to be quiet. All I wanted was my mum. It wasn’t until I was holding my daughter that I realised she wasn’t coming.
I haven’t seen my mum since I was six years old, but it’s not her fault: She works in Bahrain as a housekeeper so that she can send money back to support my brothers and me, and pay for us to go to school. She sends us everything that she earns every month, and when we FaceTime she always looks tired. I don’t like to think of her like that though, so when I picture her, I try to remember what she was like when she lived with us. My favourite memory is when she would pick me up and hug me when I got home from class. I miss her holding me, and telling me that she loved me.
I didn’t mean to get pregnant. I wanted to go to university, but last year I was at a party, when my boyfriend gave me something really strong to drink. After that, everything became a bit cloudy – like my arms and legs belonged to someone else. He asked me to have sex with him and I guess I must have agreed. When I realised I was expecting a baby, I was too scared to call my mum. In the end, my brother told her for me. He says that she cried down the phone for hours.
Nowadays when I talk to my mum, she’s so much more cold and distant than she used to be. I know she loves her granddaughter, but she sacrificed everything so that I could have a better life – one with a good education and a real career and enough food to never feel hungry. She’s never said it out loud, but I can see in her eyes that I’ve let her down.’
This reporting was funded by the European Journalism Centre, as part of Corinne and Francesco’s project, Crying Hunger [www.instagram.com/cryinghunger].
Ever wondered what the most popular pet names are? Whether you’re looking for inspiration or you want to see how many other dogs named Elvis are out there, Pets at Home have put together a list of the most popular pet names so that you can see if your fur baby’s moniker falls into the unique category.
If you’re one of those people and are frantically looking for an engagement ring that won’t leave you bankrupt, we’ve got some excellent news. You can now buy engagement rings in Poundland.
Not content with offering the masses sex toys for a quid, they’re venturing into the world of weddings. The popular store has unveiled their ‘Bling Ring’ collection consisting of four sparklers, each one costing a very affordable £1. They’re made with Cubic Zirconia and are available in silver and gold with gemstones resembling a diamond, ruby and topaz.
However, the store insists that they’re just ‘placeholder rings’, a symbol of commitment before you get the actual ring. So instead of forking out a load of cash on an engagement ring that your partner absolutely hates, it gives you the chance to propose and buy the perfect piece together at a later date. In the mean time, this ring can be worn on your engagement finger as a sign that you’re betrothed.
Poundland’s new jewellery buyer Frances O’Sullivan said: ‘These are beautiful placeholder rings because we know they’ll want to buy their own. We’re looking forward to a #PoundlandProposal becoming the way it’s done.
‘Our Bling Ring is setting the scene for the real deal!’
So if you’re thinking of popping the question, this is now a very affordable option. And no need to buy a box separately – they come in a plush red velvet case.
Well, one flight attendant has expanded our in-flight knowledge even more after responding to a Quora thread about in-flight etiquette.
One Quora user wanted to know why passengers are asked to wear their shoes during takeoff, which is a very fair question when you consider the fact that taking your shoes off during in a flight is meant to help reduce swelling.
Flight attendant Tony Luna took to the forum to reply, explaining: ‘Besides stinking up the whole cabin, footwear is essential during an airplane emergency, even though it is not part of the flight safety information.’
‘During an emergency, all sorts of debris and unpleasant ground surfaces will block your way towards the exit, as well as outside the aircraft,’ she continued.
‘If your feet isn’t properly covered, you’ll have a hard time making your way to safety.’
There’s also the fact that walking around without your shoes on is actually pretty gross, as the planes aren’t always fully sanitised between flights – which means the floor is probably covered in all sorts of unmentionables. Oh, and if a passenger is sick then only a spot clean is performed.
So, we think it’s probably safer to leave your shoes on next time.
Looking for peace in the bustling city? Leave London at the door while you get some r&r at the 5* Hari Hotel
Everything you need to know about The Hari Hotel…
Credit: The Hari Hotel
Tucked away in London’s opulent Belgravia lies the 5* luxury of The Hari Hotel. Whether you’re looking for somewhere quiet to stay in the middle of the big city, or you’re a Londoner looking for a romantic Valentine’s Day break, it’s the perfect tranquil place to lay your head in what is otherwise a bustling, busy metropolis.
After a welcome drink, you’re invited to leave London – and any stresses – at the door. Head up to your room and enjoy the quiet as you settle down and look out at the skyline as you sit by the large bay window. When you’re ready to venture out, grab your handy– a smartphone found in your room which is loaded with free data, city guides and local offers for attractions – and make the most of what the capital has to offer.
If you’d rather not leave the comfort of The Hari Hotel, head to the gorgeous terrace bar for a pre-dinner tipple under the stars.
Credit: The Hari Hotel
If you’re looking for luxury, this is the place for you. From the moment you walk into The Hari Hotel you’ll feel worlds away from the busy streets of London. However, it’s just a stones throw away from Harrods, as well as the usual designer haunts – think Armani, Fendi and Dior. It’s also located within walking distance of some of London’s most famous buildings and landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and The Royal Albert Hall to name a few.
You won’t want to leave your room, but when you do you’ll find a beautiful bar and garden terrace for a cosy and romantic drink, an Italian restaurant that oozes vintage glamour and a 24-hour health and fitness centre including a fully equipped gym so that you can squeeze in a workout whenever you fancy, or book that in-room spa treatment from the comfort of your bed.
Credit: The Hari Hotel London
The Hari Hotel boasts 85 designer bedrooms, including 14 luxury suites. We recommend staying in a Studio King Suite, a large fully equipped room with a king sized bed, a walk-in rainfall shower and two large windows offering unparalleled views of London. It has the usual mod cons – free WiFi, a Nespresso coffee machine and Noble Isle toiletries – so what makes it stand out?
The biggest selling point has to be the bay window marble bath tub overlooking the city. Enjoy a glass of Champagne while you soak up the sights from the comfort of a bubble bath before throwing on your complimentary fluffy robe and slippers.
Ready to book yet?
Credit: The Hari Hotel
It’s the extra touches that make The Hari Hotel feel special. You’ll get a twice daily housekeeping service, newspapers delivered to your door and a complimentary cocktail kit.
Every room also comes with a handy smartphone to offer a more seamless concierge service and enable guests to find their way around the city without using up all their own data or incurring any data roaming charges. Book theatre tickets, find cute local restaurants and create your own bar-hopping route with ease.
The Hari Hotel restaurant
Credit: The Hari Hotel
A trip to Il Pampero, the in-house restaurant, is essential during your stay at The Hari Hotel. Italian cooking in a sophisticated setting, it offers fresh regional ingredients for a taste of southern Italy. Tuck in to homemade pasta and marvel at the selection of vintage wines.
When it comes to breakfast, your options include a continental buffet offering a selection of baked pastries, natural yoghurt, fruit, cold cuts and cheese. If you prefer your first meal of the day to be hot, treat yourself to fluffy vanilla pancakes or traditional eggs royale washed down with a healthy smoothie. Not fussed about sitting in the chic restaurant? Room service is always an option…
Room prices start from £217 per night. To book, visit www.thehari.com, call 020 7858 0100 or email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every January, the search for the same things peak. Dry January. Quitting smoking. Gym memberships.
And if there’s one thing we’re all doing at the beginning of the year while we’re counting down the days until payday, it’s wistfully looking at far-flung destinations to try and find a cheap and cheerful getaway to look forward to. Whether you want to head to some of the holiday destinations that that are quickly growing in popularity, or you’d prefer a mini-break at one of the best spas in London, we’re all trying to get away from the office and the grey skies.
But if you’re convinced there’s no way you can afford anything luxurious after a Christmas that’s been heavy on your bank account, we’ve got some good news for you – you can get a cheap five star holiday without the price tag if you choose to head to one of these destinations.
Skyscanner has revealed that there are 10 places where the average five-star hotel prices have dropped.
Amsterdam is leading the way, saving travellers up to 42% year-on-year on the average 5* hotel room price, but those looking further afield could also get a taste of luxury for less in Havana.
Cheap five star holidays
Add these hotspots to your cheap five star holidays bucket list…
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £449
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £260
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £312
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £241
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £422
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £330
Palma de Mallorca
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £267
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £214
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £397
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £334
Bang Tao Beach
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £169
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £149
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £232
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £207
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £492
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £454
Average 5* hotel price per night 2017: £191
Average 5* hotel price per night 2018: £177
Lisa Tyndall, Senior Growth Manager at Skyscanner says: ‘The luxury of a five-star hotel might seem like a distant dream for some travellers, but according to our data, that dream could become a reality. We have found a number of popular destinations which have seen average price drops of up to 42% YoY² on their five-star hotels.
‘Our current hotel deals are also showing rooms available from as little as £38 a night, when staying in Venice, proving that travellers really can enjoy luxury for less in 2019.’
When it comes to having sex for the first time, there’s no one size fits all rule about timing.
But according to a new study published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, 4 in 10 women say it wasn’t the ‘right’ time to have sex when they lost their virginity, and a quarter of men felt the same.
The experts asked 2,845 Brits between the ages of 17 and 24 about the first time they had sex. Questions included whether both parties were equally keen to get down, whether they thought the decision was theirs or their partner’s, whether they used contraception and if they thought it was the ‘right’ time (for the sex to count as at the ‘right’ time it needed to consensual, using contraception, their own decision and took into account how ready the individual felt they were).
Of those in the study, 40% of women didn’t meet the four criteria, meaning they weren’t ‘ready’ to have sex.
The research also found that 10% of participants didn’t use contraception when they had sex for the first time, and 20% of women reported it was their partner’s decision to sleep together.
Experts involved in the study also stated that ‘chronological age may be an overly simplistic indicator of the nature of first intercourse’.
To clarify, that means that your age doesn’t dictate when you’re ‘ready’ for sex – there are also many other important factors to take into consideration.
Pink, turmeric, matcha – there are so many ways to take your latte these days that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to our coffee. We all love a cup of the good stuff. So much so that us Brits are reportedly drinking 95 million cups of it a day (up 25 million since 2008), with the average person taking two cups a day according to a 2018 survey.
So it’s fair to say we’re quickly becoming a nation of coffee drinkers. No wonder there are now so many different ways to get your fill – extra hot, wet, in an avocado skin (remember that?).
And just to make your choice that little bit harder, there’s a new beverage on the block that might have you ditching the flat whites. Enter, the porridge latte.
Always skipping breakfast because you’re late to work? Can’t find a decent coffee shop nearby? Want your wake-up drink to also sustain you until lunchtime? This could be the answer that you’ve been looking for.
As reported by Her.ie, the porridge or oatmeal latte may just be the next big thing for the highly-caffeinated. It’s a mix between breakfast and a drink, making it a feasible option for anyone who repeatedly presses the snooze button in the morning.
If you want to give it a go at home HowSweetEats.com has concocted an easy-to-follow recipe.
However, if you really don’t have time in the mornings you could pick one up from your nearest Starbucks (apparently it’s part of their secret breakfast menu).
But why not give it a go this week?
A porridge latte could just be your new favourite.