Christmas Jumper Day is Today!

For many Brits, this Friday (15th) is a day they’re hotly anticipating. It’s Christmas Jumper Day.
Since its launch in 2012, Christmas Jumper Day has become embedded as a quintessentially British Christmastime workplace tradition.
What is Christmas Jumper Day?

To find out more about Christmas Jumper Day, head to the Save the Children website. The charity first introduced Christmas Jumper Day in 2012 and thousands of people across the country take part in donning their wackiest, tackiest jumper, covered with anything and everything Yule-related, including Christmas lights, baubles, puddings and snowmen.
How does Christmas Jumper Day help to raise money for Save the Children?
A Save the Children initiative which launched with the slogan “make the world better with a sweater”, people who wear their Christmas jumpers are encouraged to give a £2 donation to whoever is championing Christmas Jumper Day at their workplace.
You can also participate at your school or just among your friends and family. And if your workplace hasn’t already signed up, you can do so here.
According to the Save the Children website: “Your jumper could be the difference between a hot meal or no meal. It can help bring essential healthcare, education, protection and food to millions of children around the world who are missing out on these basics.
“Your support can protect children from easily preventable yet still deadly diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. And it can help us reach children who are forgotten simply because they were born in a remote village, because they’re girls or refugees, have a disability or are from a minority group”.
How can I take part in Christmas Jumper Day?
Do I really need to ask? Just throw on a Christmas jumper and donate £2 to Save the Children. It’s fun, easy and makes a world of difference.
To find out more about Christmas Jumper Day, head to the Save the Children website.

Man Flu Is Real

Women have long moaned about the men in their lives coming down with “man flu” and turning into feeble, moaning boys. But according to a new study, there is actually some truth to the idea of man flu.
It all comes down to our cavemen ancestors – men have weaker immune systems than women, said to be evolution’s way of stopping them going out hunting when ill.

A Canadian study was carried out to try and find out whether men really do experience worse symptoms than women, or whether it is just a myth.

Adult men have a higher risk of hospital admission and higher rates of influenza-associated deaths compared with women. They are more susceptible to complications and have higher mortality from many acute respiratory diseases.

A study of male and female cells found that pre-menopausal women are better at fighting off the common cold. Testosterone may be to blame for suppressing men’s immune systems, while a female sex hormone boosts women’s.
There may actually be an evolutionary benefit to a less robust immune system, as it has allowed men to invest their energy in other biological processes, such as growth, secondary sex characteristics, and reproduction.
Apart from studies into male and female immune systems, scientific research has never been undertaken into whether the term “man flu” is specifically accurate. However, lying on the couch, not getting out of bed and refusing assistance could also be evolutionary behaviour patterns that protect against predators.

Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.
With no televised football allowed.

The British Fashion Awards 2017

What else would one expect? It was festive red carpet glamour at the Fashion Awards 2017.

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From models to musicians, it was Ashley Graham, Karlie Kloss, Hailey Baldwin and Rita Ora who commanded attention. Their array of glamorous dresses lit up the red carpet outside the historic Royal Albert Hall in London‘s Kensington Gore on Monday night.

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From figure-hugging to sweeping and short to sheer dresses, the stars each proved exactly why they were coveted guests at the exclusive hot-ticket event.

Everyone looked gorgeous. But Hailey won, for me.

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Hailey, 21-year-old daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, narrowly saved herself from a wardrobe malfunction in a classic LBD. Her cleavage threatened to spill out of her dress as she went bra-less in a racy ensemble.

Scraping her glossy tresses off her face in a neat bun, she injected a hint of sparkle into her get-up with her huge silver hoop earrings.

Famed for her striking good looks, Baldwin added a pop of pink colour to her eyes and lips using deft touches of make-up, proving her own flare and eye for style as she accessorised with a golden flower clipped into her golden locks.

Here are the winners:

Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion Award Christopher Bailey

British Designer of the Year – Menswear Craig Green for Craig Green

British Designer of the Year – Womenswear Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson

Accessories Designer of the Year – Jonathan Anderson for Loewe

Swarovski Award For Positive Change – Maria Grazia Chiuri

Urban Luxe Brand – Off-White

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator – Pat McGrath

British Emerging Talent – Womenswear Michael Halpern for Halpern

British Emerging Talent – Menswear Charles Jeffrey for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Business Leader – Marco Bizzarri for Gucci

Special Recognition Award For Innovation – Stella McCartney

Style Icon – Donatella Versace

Designer of the Year – Raf Simons

Model of the Year – Adwoa Aboah

Wrecking Ball Earrings

Christmas Party Earrings

From dazzling cocktails earrings, to architectural cuffs, to hoops in every size (from 1p to dinner plates) – they’re all here.

It’s time for an ear gear refresh.

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Think the Miley Cyrus video – Wrecking Ball – The Earring – it’s this Christmas’s accessory must-have.

As the name suggests, wrecking ball earrings are a statement style that serve as the complete opposite to the usual twinkling chandelier counterparts that we encounter every festive season.

Pendulum style with a dash of graphic glamour.

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Think globes and disco balls – these will work perfectly on the dancefloor, as well as that office Xmas work lunch.

Keep everything else understated. Simple hair. Simple make-up and those all-important red lips.

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Because it’s greedy to go on more than one massive fashion mission every Christmas, don’t you think?

The Hollywood Smile

I’m a sucker for a set of white gnashers. And when it comes to getting that perfect “Hollywood smile”, a surprising number of foods may be standing in your way. It’s not all about tooth whitening or the right toothpaste.

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Most of us know that we need to avoid things like strong cups of tea, coffee and red wine, but there are other foods that can cause just as much staining and damage to our pearlies.


It has been touted as a health(ier) snack option, but popcorn isn’t the best choice for your teeth, getting stuck in the spaces in between and causing a build-up of plaque.

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They’re actually full of starch, which turns to sugar in the mouth, creating bacteria and causing plaque if you don’t brush and floss soon after eating them.

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White bread

Bread is soft and doughy and apparently harmless to teeth, but white bread contains sugar. It dissolves and creates erosive acids when you chew, so if you’re going to eat it then rinse with mouthwash afterwards.

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Tomatoes are surprisingly very acidic, which means they can cause tooth erosion and damage the enamel – especially if you’re eating them raw. If you’re having tomatoes as a salad then make sure you eat them with other foods, like lettuce leaves, so your teeth aren’t directly exposed.

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Breath mints

These mints are often kept in your mouth for a long time. This allows them to coat your teeth in sugar. Always choose sugar-free options, if you can, to reduce the damage.


Pickles? Yes, seemingly harmless sandwich fillers are high in both sugar and acidity. The good news is, eating a piece of cheese after a pickle can help reduce some of the damaging effects.

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Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic is full of acid as well as being deeply pigmented – which can stain your teeth as well as damaging enamel. Try olive oil as a more tooth-pleasing alternative.

Certain fruits

Citrus fruits have high acid levels, which can damage the tooth enamel. For a healthier option for your smile, Dr Marques, a dental hygiene specialist, recommends eating more bananas and watermelons, and drinking fruit juices through a straw. Also, dried fruit contains a surprising amount of sugar – and the stickier the fruit (like dried apricots) the more remnants there are to get stuck in between your teeth.

… a word from the Editor and it’s all about Meghan Markle

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As this issue is all about Xmas gifts for her,


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So, bang, the newest and most fashionable princess in the whole darn world has arrived.

And she rocks a leather skirt!

Meghan Markle was already a fashion icon, and with transatlantic cool plus a “down to earth” persona, this mixed race LA babe and Hollywood sweetheart is not just a breath of fresh air, but will literally drag our royals into the 21st century.

Yes, Harry put a ring on it. Largely because no woman alive will make a more perfect modern princess than smart, sassy and seriously cool Meg.

An extensive recent Vanity Fair interview was accompanied by a shoot of Meghan wearing a fairytale ballroom gown, looking typically stylish and extravagantly beautiful.

Now that the engagement is out in the open, it is inevitable that comparisons have been drawn between the actress and the Duchess of Cambridge. Yet while Kate has updated the Royal Family — especially via the launch of mental health charity Heads Together –  Meghan might well be the woman to drag The Firm into the 21st century.

Her savviness in social media aside — she ran a popular lifestyle blog, The Tig, and has almost 2million followers on her Instagram account alone — she, like Harry, has a vulnerability that makes her someone who younger people can relate to.

She was born in California into a middle-class family made of African-American mum Doria, a social worker, and Dutch/Irish-American dad Thomas, a TV set lighter.

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Her parents’ mixed-race marriage saw her parents experiencing abuse when Meghan was a child. The couple split when she was six. She also suffered a failed early marriage to American film producer Trevor Engelson, 41, in 2013, following a two-year union.

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And whilst one might argue her looks are the least interesting thing about her, it would be churlish not to mention them. Both girl next door and old-school Hollywood glamour, she is pure crush material — without even mentioning her constant smile.

Much has been made of Meghan’s job, as though being an actor is somehow beneath that of a future princess. That is simply silly. Indeed, having a talent and working hard enough to become a breakout star of hit legal drama Suits — in which she has brilliantly played feisty Rachel Zane since 2011 — is no mean feat. She has also appeared in various movies.

But Meghan’s showbiz CV boasts a more serious nature. She earned a degree in communications from the respected Northwestern University in 2003 and worked as a calligrapher before carving out her successful acting career.

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But her real passion has always been philanthropy, campaigning for Canada’s World Vision clean water organisation in Rwanda, Africa. She is also a UN women’s rights advocate.

Meghan is more than equipped to deal with — if not take on — the often archaic machine of the British Royal Family. Describing herself in a magazine 11 months ago, she wrote: “While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, I have come to embrace that, to say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”

MEGHAN channelled Sandy from Grease in a sumptuous second-skin pair of leather trousers in March last year. And for me – she was an immediate fashion star.


Enjoy this week’s bumper festive gifts for her issue.

Xmas Gifts For Her, Sure To Wow – On A Budget

Christmas gifts for her 2017 – I have the best present ideas from perfumes to jewellery, pyjamas and make-up gift sets.

I’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for all budgets – and you can find them all online and in stores now,

Even for those who have left it to the last minute, there is still time to pick up gifts – check last Christmas order dates for all major retailers and Christmas postal dates to ensure everything arrives just in the nick of time.

For everything else, check out our handy present guides for her.

Snow Fairy is Lush’s finest, candy sweet creation, and it comes out every year. If she’s had it before, she’ll probably want it again, and if she hasn’t, we don’t actually think you can go wrong.

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This dazzling (and very pink) box includes a shower gel, bubble bar shower wand, body conditioner and a jelly bomb for the best bathtime on earth.

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40 best gin recipes in a book , £9.99

It’s the nation’s favourite tipple, after all (Image: Handout)

What was once a tipple beloved by grandmas is now the world’s fastest-growing artisan spirit.

In this book (that’s perfect for gin lovers), booze-enthusiast Dan Jones teaches you how to select gin from the top international brands, stock your home bar like a pro and supercharge your poison with the help from one of the 40 best cocktail recipes inside.

Learn how to master the zingy G&T staple to how to concoct a crowd-pleasing Dickens’ Hot Gin Punch or, if you’re feeling wild, an X-rated Naked Peach.

A home can never have too many candles, but what about a luxury scented diffuser, too? This Monsoon Home gift set combines the two, to bring a warm, woody scent to your home.

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Each fragrance combines guaiacwood, patchouli and cedar – together with a hit of spice for Christmas.

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V by Very kimono satin pyjama set , £21

This gorgeous duo includes a chic kimono wrap shirt with coordinating trousers, both in a beautiful wintry burgundy hue.

Alternatively, you can pick it up in a deep plum for the same price.

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DKNY gift set with watch and three bangles , £92.50

This silver collection is stunning (Image: Handout)

If you really want to go all out, we’re spotted this gorgeous watch and bangle set from DKNY down from £185 to £129.50.

The set features a chic watch with a silver sunray dial with gold-tone accents, a polished stainless-steel case and a half-bangle bracelet.

It also includes three metallic bracelets in stainless-steel, black IP, and gold-tone plating, perfect for stacking with the watch for a night out.

Pandora Circles necklace , £75

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For beautiful silver jewellery, you can’t go wrong with Pandora, and this iconic circle necklace is perfect for night and day wear.

Braun electric hairbrush , £27.99

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As winter draws in, our hair can end up looking starved of TLC, with harsh weather, rain and heat, drying it out.

But, if you suffer from frizz, there is some hope. This Braun electric hairbrush promises to beat static, frizz and give your hair a healthy shine – and it’s handbag sized.

All you have to go is pop some AA batteries in, and it’ll do all of the work for you.

Nicky Clarke SuperShine Salon Professional Dryer

It promises ‘smooth, salon hair, fast’

On the subject of haircare, Nicky Clarke have just launched a gorgeous new SuperShine Rose collection which is available now at Boots .

The botanicals-inspired range includes a Salon Professional Dryer, Straightener and Styling Tong – all finished in an elegant pearlescent blush pink and highlighted with rose gold accents making them the perfect gift this Christmas.

And the great news is, it’s all currently on offer, with our favourite accessory, the SuperShine hairdryer down to £36.66 at

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Gucci Bamboo gift set , £67.50


Gucci Bamboo is the smell of the season – and right now, The Fragrance Shop is stocking it as a gift set, for £65 online.

Boasting woody, floral tones, with notes of vanilla, sandalwood and ylang ylang, it’s a perfume that stands for femininity, confidence and strength.

Not sure it’ll be her cup of tea? The Fragrance Shop has just launched a subscription service called Scentaddict . It’s a contract-free £12 a month subscription and you can choose a different ‘travel size’ fragrance each month to arrive at your door.

Find the one of your dreams, and you can redeem your £12 spend on it.

Estee Lauder Pure Colur Envy lip gloss collection , £33

Forget one lippy – it’s all about them ALL

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For every power woman, there’s her favourite lipstick behind it, and this Estee Lauder set has every one of those shades perfectly packed into handbag sizes.

All-new Kindle e-reader , £59.99

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If she loves a good read, how about a kindle to get her digital collection going? It’s handbag friendly and is built to hold hundreds of thousands of novels.

T2 emerald ‘Pretty’ mug , £22

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If a cup of tea in front of the sofa is her happy place, then you may want to head to T2 this Christmas.

We’ve found this beautiful emerald mug, adorned with intricate mosaic prints for a happy £22 online.

You cant go wrong with Jo Malone, it’s basically a fact.

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This dreamy scent has mists of honeyed, golden mimosa, teamed with the spiciness of freshly crushed cardamom. It also guarantees a burn time of 45 hours.

Each fragrance promises to uplift, to wind down, or simply add an air of luxury to your room (or bath).

Amazon personalised make up bag , £6.95

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All of these are 100% handmade (Image: Handout)

This personalised gift bag is ideal if you’ve a low budget to spare, and it still shows you’ve put all of the thought into it!

Nantucket Briar eau de toilette , £23

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A girl can never have too many perfumes (Image: Handout)

This eau de toilet has rave reviews on Crabtree & Evelyn online and it promises a scent that will throw you right back to calm summer evenings by the sea.

What can be more blissfull?

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Godiva chocolates , £32

Have you ever tried Godiva chocolates? (Image: Handout)

Chocolates are just the best – you can’t go wrong. But if you want to show you’ve gone the extra mile, how about a Godiva box, wrapped in wild red ribbon?

This best-seller contains 24 perfect milk, white and dark Godiva favourites, with a variety of tempting, expertly crafted fillings including creamy pralines, sweet caramels, nutty noisettes and soft ganaches.

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These fresh smelling must haves are worth £40

Is it pamper time yet? We can’t get over this deliciously scented L’Occitant gift set – which promises a ‘little touch of luxury’ for every lucky owner.

Each tin includes a lavender foaming bath, almond shower gel, almond milk concentrate, shea butter hand cream, Bonne Mère Rose Soap and a box to store all of your goodies.

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Personalised prosecco cushion , £19.99

Are they a prosecco princess or crazy for chocolate?

Printed with a word of your choice, this fun cushion is a sofa compulsory, with the phrase: ‘There Comes A Time In Every Woman’s Life When The Only Thing That Helps Is (chocolate or prosecco)’ splashed on the front.

So if the only thing that helps them is a bottle of prosecco, some chocolate or a luxurious bubble bath, pop it on this cushion asap.

Flat pumps, Cath Kidston , £32

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Pink shoes? Yes, please!

With an embroidered upper, these pointed little flats, are coated with extra cushioning for comfort. Plus, they’re pink!

Scarf, Dorothy Perkins , £12

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This blush pink scarf will brighten up any woman’s wardrobe

Pink is still the hue to be seen in, so help her keep warm over winter and well into spring, when she can debut them with her new flats!

Heels, M&S Collection , £35

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Did someone say Sex and the City?

These bargain must-haves are perfect for party season and beyond – and they look just like Sex And The City’s Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite Manolo Blahniks.

… word from the Editor and Blogger

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So we’re a month away from Christmas, folks. And don’t we bloody know it, with all the Xmas adverts on TV?

But inevitably, we’ll soon be discussing the highlights of 2017.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more eye raising beauty trends we experienced, plus over the coming week, I’ll bring you much more.

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Nose Hair Extensions
Nose hair extensions. This is absolute madness and somehow it found its way onto our feeds. Why? We really don’t know but after penis eyebrows became a thing (scroll down, if you will) we stopped looking for meaning in these. The trend, which consists of adding fake eyelashes to your nostrils.

Intro 2

Ponytail Eyebrows
Yes, you’ve read that right. The latest Insta trend is something of an unfortunate breeding.

Intro 3

Penis Eyebrows
Feather eyebrows not ‘out there’ enough for you? What about penis brows? It’s official: Instagram beauty trends have gone stiff.

Intro 4

Glitter Tits
Ever heard that subtlety is sexy? Neither have these girls. It works if you’re a 32A. But they certainly have our attention. Coachella ‘looks’ 2018.

 Onto this week, and we check out Balearic winters plus what to buy that man in your life.


Xmas Gifts For Him

Don’t know what to get the man in your life for Christmas? Always a tough one, isn’t it?

Whether you’re racking your brains over pressies that won’t make you skint for male loved ones, or male children – I’ve got it covered in my round up below. From Joey Barton’s autobiography to grooming sets, here’s a list to suit all tastes and budgets.

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Nspa toiletries set, £10, Asda

Because blokes like to groom. A lot.

Notebook, TK Maxx, £4.99

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How about this handy little notebook – a practical stocking filler.

Shaving kit, Baylis & Harding at Tesco, £10

Baylis & Harding’s Fuzzy Duck Men’s Cedarwood & Wild Sage Shaving Set makes a perfect stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. Containing a 100ml Shaving Cream and a Wooden Shaving Brush, these items are the perfect shaving essentials to create the Barber Shop Experience at home.

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Root 7 Cirkcicle, John Lewis, £14.95

Perfect for dinner parties, drinks with friends or just unwinding after a long day, the Corkcicle from Root 7 is the world’s first in-bottle wine chiller.

Made from plastic with a pour-through cork top so there is no need to remove it when pouring, it can be frozen beforehand and will keep wine cold for up to an hour.

Lip balm, £5, beard oil, £7, shower gel, £4, beard wash, £8, wash bag, £15, all from River Island

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Because increasingly, with each passing year, blokes love a bit of grooming. Personalise a wash bag with all of his essentials.

Joey Barton ‘No Nonsense: The Autobiography’, Waterstones, £8.99

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Love him or hate him, Joey Barton has dominated headlines for what he’s done on and off the pitch.

In his award-winning autobiography (it was ‘Cross Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year’ last year) fans will get a candid look at the rise of one of football’s most colourful stars. It’s addictive reading.

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Football Manager 2018,, £32.99

If you’ve got an avid gamer on your hands then the imminent release of the latest Football Manager may be just what he’s hoping Santa will deliver on Christmas Day.

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Oasis ‘(Whats the Story) Morning Glory?’ vinyl, Amazon, £20

Any music mad men in your life will probably already have a vinyl player, so why not get him a classic for the collection?

Oasis’s best selling ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ will no doubt take him on a glorious vinyl journey back to his youth.


Festive Dieting

With Christmas just weeks away, you may well be panicking that you’ve run out of time to shed those extra pounds.

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Fear not –I’ve devised a body plan to help you welcome Santa with a slimmer, sexier shape. I’ve just been on an extreme diet, but it was no fun. We are heading into the festive and party season – not a time to be super-strict, with parties, nibbles and wine on the horizon.

Any weight-loss plan at this time of year needs to be simple and has to provide sufficient energy, so you can cope with all the festive fuss.

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The healthiest and most effective way to lose weight quickly is by eating plenty of lean protein (ie, fish and poultry) and little (or solely wholegrain) carbs. Not only does this help reduce calorie intake, but combined with exercise it will also build muscle to replace the fat you lose.

On this diet, although you avoid carbs in the evening, you don’t actually eat any less food than normal, and there isn’t the hassle of counting every last calorie.


You need to exercise for at least 30-40 minutes, four times weekly till Christmas. It can be anything you enjoy: swimming, fast walking, salsa – even pole-dancing!

Anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you break into a sweat will burn fat and calories. Start gently! Here’s how many calories different activities burn in 30 mins:

Aerobics: 240

Water aerobics: 150

Cycling: 200

Jogging: 300

Walking: 160

Swimming: 250

Dancing: 300


Celebrate without gaining

Alternate your alcoholic drinks with glasses of water.

It’s a good idea to eat before you go to a party – even if it’s just a bowl of soup or a banana – so you’re not starving and scoff as many canapes as you can find.

The other trick to healthy party food is knowing what to choose…

Avoid deep-fried finger foods like chicken nuggets, cocktail sausages or samosas. One tiny cocktail sausage can have over 60 calories and 5g of fat. Vol-au-vents, quiches and other pastry-based foods are also a disaster for your waistline, as pastry is usually 50 per cent fat.

Mini sandwiches are a healthy choice but avoid fillings with mayonnaise.

Keep crisps and nuts to a minimum, as you need a lot to feel satisfied. Chicken-based bites are a good choice, as the protein hit will keep you fuller for longer.

Your diet plan

For the next six weeks, choose from these low-cal but tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menus that you can mix and match each day.


Porridge with semi-skimmed milk and a handful of blueberries

Two poached eggs on granary toast

Make a smoothie from a banana, a blueberries, a low fat yogurt and a mug of milk. And two toasted crumpets, spread thinly with jam

Two slices mixed grain seeded bread, toasted, with two tbsp cottage cheese and a tsp jam if you fancy. Fruit juice

Bowl of Special K with skimmed milk, topped with chopped banana.


Minestrone/non-creamy soup, wholemeal roll with a handful of grapes or an apple / Wholemeal roll with half a tin of tuna, chopped peppers, low fat mayo and mixed salad leaves. Fruit salad

Any sandwich or roll with less than 400 cals.

One portion fruit Wholemeal pitta filled with vegetable chilli, low-fat yoghurt Jacket potato with cottage cheese and chopped red pepper – no butter.

Two rich tea biscuits.


Grilled chicken with green beans, spicy tomato salsa and avocado salad

Seared tuna steak with anchovy and boiled egg salad

Chicken and mixed veg stir-fry

Poached salmon with creme fraiche and dill, steamed asparagus and broccoli Cod baked in tinfoil with lemon and

Mediterranean oven-roasted vegetables.


A handful of nuts or a small banana Two oatcakes with peanut butter with a cup of tea, no sugar Two rice cakes with marmite Low-fat yoghurt, plus an apple or tangerine Banana and small fromage frais pot Carrot with tbsp low-fat houmous.

THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK Alcohol is the downfall of many a diet, especially in the festive season. You don’t need to cut booze completely – it’s unrealistic over Christmas – just stick to one or two small glasses, every other night. Remember, a bottle of wine totals around 500 calories and it’ll ramp up your appetite, so you can undo a whole day of good behaviour with one boozy session.

The sad facts…

Sadly party booze is liquid calories. Here’s how they tot up…

Spirit (per shot) – 55

Champagne – 90

Wine (per 125ml glass) – 80-120

Bailey’s (per shot) – 140

Pint beer – 165

Good luck Zipsters…