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new year

We are bombarded with ads about dieting, joining the gym and shedding pounds once a new year rolls around. And unfortunately, that has been no different in 2020.

Women are already feeling the pressure about their bodies, but one person has had enough.

Stacey Solomon stressed that she won’t be changing her body in 2020, especially after it gave her the best gift of all last year- her son Rex.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

The mum showed off her stunning body in a bikini snap, with a happy Rex sitting on her lap, and she looks perfect.

She penned an emotional message beside the photo:

“New year, same me. Because why change something that brought me the most happiness I could ever imagine. That brought me the smiley seven month old in the picture and the most amazing 11 year old taking it.”

Stacey continued, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to another year of loving our bodies no matter how hard society tries to stop us.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

We couldn’t agree with Stacey more. It’s refreshing to see a celebrity share such a positive and realistic message about body image.

This time of the year can be so difficult for people so it’s a relief to see people like Stacey trying to share uplifting advice rather than pressuring people to lose weight to become a ‘new’ you.

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This Christmas has been a hectic one for sure. I noticed this because, for the first time in a long time, my inner critic was silent. I was literally too busy, too overwhelmed with emotions and too tired to hear her.

You know to whom I am referring. That bi**h who never stops commenting on your appearance. Who never shuts up about your life choices or relationship problems. They might embody the voice of a twisted society, an unsupportive family member or a toxic partner.

Whoever they are, their voice is loud and lingers at the forefront of our thoughts most of the time. 

Owing to its usual omnipresence, I was surprised that this year’s festivities had silenced the voice for the first time. I was relieved and relaxed for a few blissful days… Until she was woken again by a Facebook post. And shook awake by an ad on the TV and poked into aggravation by a stray comment.

Two dreaded words brought her back to life stronger than ever: weight loss.

To say that we are bombarded with diet culture this time of year is an understatement. The worst part is that we buy into it every year.

 

Every single January you hear and read about other women's plans to lose weight for the new year. Every year we devote time and energy into caring about this thing that, according to society, defines us as people. As females. As partners

 

No matter how little you cared about your appearance, the world will force you to think about it the moment a new year arrived. Are my thighs too big? Could I lose some weight? Is my tummy rounder than hers?

Last year, like many women, I spent yet another January on the weight loss train- it was a sickly ride full of relapses and self-hate. The “healthier” I was on the outside, the less healthy I became on the inside. Sound familiar?

 

So, this January, before you get sucked in by the motivational ads and the motivational outfit you buy in the sale ask yourself one question: Do I exist to lose weight? The answer is always no. If your past attempts to lose weight have been toxic in nature, wave at that train as it passes by this New Year. 

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We'd be pretty nervous to ask Arnold Schwarzenegger anything, tbh. Have you seen the size of him? He may be 70 but he's no old-age-pensioner, that's for sure.

Chris Pratt has opened up to Extra about his nerves when it came to approaching The Terminator for his blessing to marry his daughter, Katherine.

The 39-year-old admitted he was 'a little nervous', but was determined to go things the traditional way.

The intimidating Predator star, now Chris' future father-in-law, was approached by Chris shortly before he proposed to Katherine during the New Year. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Jurassic Park actor spoke about his appreciation for the conventional method of engagement and marriage;

"Well, I think any person who appreciates the tradition and asks a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, it’s inevitably something that’s going to make you a little nervous. ‘But that’s sort of the beauty of it."

Luckily for Chris, Arnold already thinks he's 'fantastic', and sang his praises last week.

"That was really fantastic. She is so happy, they both are so happy. As I said to him, he is such a likable guy. I love Chris — he’s fantastic." He added: "Chris is a wonderful guy. They both look really great together, they’re both happy together, so I wish them both the best of luck.’" 

Image; W Magazine

Chris announced their engagement at the beginning of 2019, saying he was 'so happy' that his future wife said yes.

Speaking to US Weekly about the ceremony, the actor shared: "A little, you know, maybe fall, winter kind of thing and you know, we’ve got a lot to get done."

He was previously married to actress Anna Faris, but they officially divorced in 2018. He has been with Katherine Schwarzenegger for a few months, and the pair are clearly in love. 

Feature image: Christian Headlines

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There's something about January that makes people feel the need to search for the next love of their life, apparently.

Maybe the new year just makes us feel just a lil bit… broody? The first Sunday of the new year happens to be the most popular online dating day of the calendar year, according to Hinge.

Whether you're hungry for a new job, a new place to settle or a new gal or guy to send all of our heart emojis to, the turning of time urges us to reevaluate parts of our lives which may feel lacking in some way.

tv land tinder GIF by YoungerTV

January 6 is so popular in terms of online dating apps that it has been dubbed "Dating Sunday", and industry experts are predicting that 2019 will be bigger than ever for the online love world.

Hinge analysed activity data from 2016 until 2018, and saw a massive spike in conversations, as well as far more dates being arranged and a much higher messaging response rate. Gas.

In 2017 there was an increase of 41 percent of people who began conversations on Dating Sunday than the week before- and in 2018 that figure rose to 59 percent. Jaysis, these numbers don't lie, do they?

perfect match art by GIF IT UP

62 percent more users set up dates on Dating Sunday in 2018, and Hinge also reported increased in daily user activity, with 20 percent more conversations being carried out and a 36 percent higher message response rate.

Singles who are seeking love clearly become influenced after Christmas ends and the parties simmer down, will you be swiping right today?

We might just go and update those profile pictures seeing as the competition is higher… bring on the messages, lads.

fox tv GIF by STAR

We're ready for it. *Winks*

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Last year, I went to a psychic and it pretty much put my life on hold for months, or at least, I did*

It all began in the summer of 2018, I was a little bit lost regarding a number of elements in my life and a family friend suggested that three of us go down and talk to a psychic. Two of my companions had already had readings with him, but it was my first time ever delving into this world and I thought it would be a bit of fun.

I am not really sure what I expected, but he allowed me to take notes which was a positive for me from the get-go. But I soon put the pencil down as he began telling me intimate details of my life and private conversations that even my mother doesn’t know.

It is fair to say I was fascinated and freaked. Questions I had been pondering for months were being answered without even being asked.

However, it was the details revealed by the psychic about my love life that made me hit the pause button on my life. At the time, I was seeing someone, it was in its infancy but as far as I was concerned, it was going very well. I was very confident back in the dating world as I had spent the guts of a year and a half single, getting to know myself after a four-year relationship had ended. 

The psychic told me that my current relationship would run into some trouble – and low and behold, a few weeks later – I was dumped. But I was told that this person would come back to me around Christmas time and it would be MY decision on whether or not to continue the relationship or kill it stone dead – and here’s where the trouble began, cue my not-so-inner control-freak being unleashed.

At the time of my new born singleness, it was late summer. Although I understood from the reading we’d hit a hard time, being dumped and the way in which it was done wasn’t something I had foreseen

He decided to take a job in another city about a two hour drive away, we had talked about it. He came to the conclusion that he didn't want to be in a long-distance relationship. The only problem is that he didn't inform me. He attempted to ghost me, refused to meet up and dump me to my face – note, this man was in his mid-thirties, he knew what he was doing was sh*tty. I was the one who had to ring and ask him what on earth was going on – and that's when he finally dumped me.

To add insult to injury, I found out a few weeks later that he didn't actually move for another month. So he had every opportunity to meet up with me and end it properly. I was so confused as he had treated me like a queen when we had been dating – and to end it like that, so negatively – I was shookth.

I was feeling VERY sorry for myself and frustrated at the entire situation. The idea that he was coming back made me cocky and act out in ways that I probably wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t have known. The end of us seeing each other was messy to say the least.

What came next then was a waiting game, I gave myself some time, attempted to date other people here and there to take my mind off it, as I had a similar experience with a guy I briefly dated before him, and it worked a charm. However, we had ended a lot differently.

In the back of my head, I foolishly believed that my ex would be on his merry way back and these dates were just something to kill the waiting time – BAD, yes I know, but secretly I never lost hope and the waiting really messed with my head.

The urgency to check my phone as the weeks and then months passed grew stronger and I could never really move on with anyone else because I had that past relationship still weighing on my mind.

As obsessive as that may sounds, in hindsight, I got caught up in the idea of this person coming back and the psychic being correct, rather than focusing on what I had learnt from the experience of being with this individual.

After a break up, I usually take time to knock back a tub of ice cream and come to my senses that we were either – a) terrible for one another, b) I had a lucky escape or c) what I had learnt from that time was very valuable and I wanted to bring forward to my future dating experiences. Then I pour any extra time I had given my dating life, back into me by replenishing and caring for myself.

None of that happened this time and closure never really came from the way we departed each other’s lives, the idea of us being totally wrong for each other was never really assessed. I was more curious about what could be and buried that logic entirely.

I was solely focused on what the psychic had told me about a potential future – which is a highly dangerous game to play. Instead of seeing this guy for who he was, I saw the fantasy version. The picture the psychic painted of our future was something I really didn't want to lose, even if this guy was completely wrong for me.

It really interfered with my life as I stopped doing things I loved, my self-worth diminished and I was miserable. And the worst part is – I didn’t and don’t have anyone else to blame but myself.

As you all know, it’s now January. Christmas has come and gone, and not to any surprise – I’ve heard nothing. However, I’ve learnt my lesson and the last couple of weeks have been great. The catalyst was a mutual friend sharing a group picture which he was in. He was happy.

I realised that this entire time I wasn’t living in reality, I was caught up in a fantasy world. He had firmly moved on and I was probably a distant memory. It was exactly what I needed to snap out of the spell I put myself under.

As for my experience with psychics, I have decided that my future is best left to reveal itself, it’s dangerous to be hopeful about the potential idea as it blinds you to reality, and I’ve learnt that I need to sit with myself a little bit more and be honest about what I want for the future and why I yearned so much for the life a stranger had created.

If you’re a believer in the future being laid out in front of you, never forget that we can always alter our course – and I for one, am calling time on my relationship with any more psychics.

I’m laughing and cringing now at my experience and behaviour, but at the time the pain of holding out and thinking I could control my situation was very real. My recommendation is not to try this at home kids.

*My experience was very much based on how I handled the information and not the reading itself.

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Lily Allen is a single lady.

The singer made the revelation on Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast.

In fact, Lily and Meridian Dan called time on their three year relationship in December.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by BRILLYALLENT (@lilyallen) on

The split marked a new beginning for Lily as it has been years since she has had to go it solo. 

“I’m single, for the first time since I was about 15. We’ve been broken up for about three weeks," Lily revealed.

“It’s just been bad news after bad news after bad news and I think that fact that I haven’t called him and been like, ‘Hey, wanna come around for a cuddle?’ means that it’s big for me, because ordinarily, when things get difficult, I do need to have somebody around to share those problems.”

“So the fact that I’m dealing with it all on my own, I’m growing up,” she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dan London (@meridian_dan) on

Meanwhile, her ex, grime artist Meridian Dan took to Instagram to confess that 2018 hasn't been his finest year.

Underneath a picture of him chilled on a sofa, he wrote: “Like many 2018 wasn’t my best one but towards the end of it I stopped trying and started sowing a few seeds that are going to come to life later this year."

We wish them both well for the coming year.

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If the New Year has the wheels in motion for a brand new you – you may want to consider Thalia Heffernan's thoughts on the whole idea.

The Irish model expressed her feelings about New Year's resolutions on social media and it's massively refreshing.

As everyone larks on about their plans for the New Year and everything they're going to change – you might be feeling the pressure.

We are all guilty of trying to stick to resolutions but social media tends to put additional emphasis on succeeding to achieve a new, perfect you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ThaliaAngelHeffernan (@thaliaheffernan) on

Cutting into the bullsh*t of the tradition, Thalia reminds everyone that in the grand scheme of things, it's just another day.

"I know I’m technically a day, or two, late.. yet despite this being inadvertent (or so I thought) I now think that there’s a good reason for it. The New Year is, of course, a good place to ‘Start’.. a grander version of the Monday so to speak.."

"But with this little box and small space, I want to share some of my truth- instead of filling you with the weight of the aspirations and resolutions that are being thrown around… It’s just another day," she wrote.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ThaliaAngelHeffernan (@thaliaheffernan) on

That doesn't mean that she is discouraging you from wanting to reach your goals, but she puts the notion of resolutions into perspective and issues a reminder not to pressurise yourself in attempting to achieve the better version of yourself.

"Now, I mean that in the most inspirational way possible! Every single day you wake up is a blessing in itself. However, please don’t put yourself under strain because of a date in a calendar, a benchmark set by society, because you are more than that," she explained.

"I know I struggle with the concept of being a ‘new me’ due to an annual change, and I also know that I shouldn’t. So I guess I’m just saying that a New Year, or a Monday, or because your sister, cousin or best friend is doing something doesn’t mean that it’s right for you," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ThaliaAngelHeffernan (@thaliaheffernan) on

Wrapping up the inspiring caption, Thalia dished up some good ole self-love and encouragement.

"And a day in the year certainly shouldn’t demand you to be a ‘better’ version of yourself. You be whatever and whoever the hell you want to be and love every second," she said.

We honestly couldn't agree more, we just wished that more people on social media would adopt this idea, instead of cashing-in on the tradition.

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Every New Year, people make ambition lists of what they want to change in the next 12 months.

Most put a lot of pressure on themselves to live up to the phrase, "New Year, new you."

We are all guilty of it, but I think we should all take a leap from Stacey Solomon's book.

In an Instagram post, she detailed exactly what she is going to do for 2019 and it sounds divine.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon) on

There's no gym, self-help or crazy diet plan in sight.

Revealing her plans, she captioned a picture of Joe and herself chilling out and tucking into some good drink and food.

"Start as you mean to go on… I’ll be spending most of 2019… In my pj’s, eating my favourite things, staring at the love of my life. So that’s what I’m doing tonight to bring in the New Year," she wrote – YAS, gal. 

Now they are plans we can certainly stick to in 2019.

Stacey also added: "HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours. May 2019 bring you health and happiness and all that you desire. Thank you 2018, it’s been incredible. Here we go 2019 can’t wait!"

In her Instagram stories, like always the TV presenter was bloody hilarious. 

The champagne was clearly not to everyone's taste, as she posted a picture of her boyfriend, Joe Swash looking less than impressed.

Trolling him, she wrote: "When your champagne tells you what's in store for 2019 @realjoeswashy."

We've all been there Joe.

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It was a rough 2018 for Demi Lovato.

But despite her struggles, she ended the year on a positive note. 

Kissing goodbye to another year and welcoming 2019, she was "grateful" for the lessons she had learnt.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

Taking to her Instagram stories, Demi's New Year's Eve celebrations seemed very cosy and quiet.

Taking advantage of the slower pace, she took the time out to reflect on the past 12 months.

She wrote: "So grateful for the lessons I’ve learned this year.” 

“I will never take another day in life for granted, even the bad ones," she added.

Finishing up she thanked those who had supported her throughout the year. 

“Thankful for my fans, friends, family and everyone who supported me throughout this year. God bless," she said.

We are delighted to hear that Demi is doing so well. 

We hope 2019 will be a wonderful year for the singer. 

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Gift wrapping is serious business, and cannot be taken for granted.

Whether you can’t wrap a present to save your life or are the Wrap Queen of 2018, these cute ‘n’ chic ways to package your parcels this Christmas are the bomb.

Y’all are welcome, if you wrap gifts like these then you’ll earn some MAJOR brownie points…

jimmy fallon television GIF

1.  The Car

All you need is brown paper, some string and a mini-tree (cut part of a bush and spray paint the tips white). Honestly this is just too adorable, the present outside of the gift is just as good as inside.

Image: Pinterest

2. Animal style

Why give a regularly wrapped gift when you can create a zoo of animal presents with some coloured paper, googly eyes and markers.

Image: Pinterest

3. The Colour-Me-In

Why give them store-bought wrapping paper when you could let their inner Picassos shine through?

So much paper is wasted when it comes to wrapping gifts, it would be lovely to create something artistic with the material.

Image: Pinterest

4. The Music Sheet 

As Madonna once sang; “Music…makes the people…come together…yeah.”

This applies for wrapping presents too, FYI. Try using music sheets to package your gifts, and you’ll be the new musical diva of Christmas.

Image: Pinterest

5. Santa Paws

This one is a slightly unusual tactic to take this festive season, but maybe it’s worth a shot? Unless PETA hear about it…*winces*

Surprise a loved one with a wrapped up kitty kat this year, unless Santa Claws rips her way out first.

6. Marvel at the Marble

Some gold and paint on white paper mixed with watery dark tones can create a marble effect like MAGIC.

It’s honestly looks so sophisticated, we can’t even cope.

Image: Pinterest

7. The Chalkboard

Get yourself some black wrapping paper and white makers to create the chalkboard effect, and you could even write a cute lil’ message especially for your loved one to read.

If its a sibling who you constantly squabble with, you could also just write: ‘Santa prefers me.’

Image: Pinterest

8. Flower Power

If you’ve got a penchant for origami, this is the gift wrapping idea for you.

We’re going to assume that most of you don’t, in fact, have an obsession for origami.

Nevertheless, you can craft flowers by watching some decent Youtube tutorials, or just using cut up coloured sugar paper layered on top of one another, and using black fringed paper for the centre.

It’s probably harder than it looks, but it could be worth a try…

Image: Pinterest

9. Calendar girls

Why not mark the special occasion by…literally marking the special occasion. On your present. Genius or what?

It also helps the environment from unnecessary waste if you decide to use this year’s calendar for wrapping your gifts. EUREKA.

Image: Pinterest

10. Fairy lights

Light up your loved one’s lives (yes, we actually said that) with this adorable gift wrapping idea.

All you need for this one is some brown paper and markers, and add glitter to spice it up. Simples.

Image: Pinterest

We’re definitely going to try and tackle some of these gift wrapping ideas, they’ll add a creative and personal touch to anyone’s Christmas.

monster lol GIF by Nickelodeon

Enjoy gals, let these be the guidelines for your future career as a Wrap Goddess.

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It's the time for celebration as graduation ceremonies are still on-going around the country, Christmas is on its way and we look forward to a New Year.

Moët has always been a key-part of our parties and they've now launched something that would make a very special event – that bit extra.

They're offering a personalised pop with a typed or handwritten message which is then transferred onto the bottle.

It's a gorgeous gift or a very special touch to your own magic moment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Moët & Chandon Official (@moetchandon) on

Furthermore, personalisation is FREE for the Moët & Chandon Imperial range, from Mini (200ml) to Methuselah (6L) bottle.

Moët & Chandon has also unveils its holiday-season bottle designed in homage to the perennial refinement of the French “art of living” – and it's STUNNING.

The elegantly festive and highly symbolic limited-edition bottle is perfectly titled “Tribute to French Art-de-Vivre”.

Take an enchanting journey and taste French excellence and swirl that glass like a true connoisseur this Christmas – g'wan gal. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Moët & Chandon Official (@moetchandon) on

If that doesn't tickle your champagne fancy, you can get an equally memorable moment this holiday season by gifting a limited edition Mini Moët & Chandon Cracker.

Available in Moët Brut and Rosé Impérial, each special gift set contains a Mini Moët 200ml with a crown, a riddle & confetti. 

For all your Moët needs check out Brown Thomas who have all these exclusive treats.

This is definitely going on the Christmas list. 

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Fresh out of a masters degree, I decided that it was time to fly the nest, and see what the world had to offer. 

I longed for major hustle and bustle, and the excitement only a melting pot city can bring.

So, naturally, I packed my bags (all 4 of them) and headed to New York, the concrete bloody jungle. 

All my life, I had dreamed of moving to New York, and even now, I've been home for almost three years – and I still plan to move back.

In fact, I'd go in the morning, given half a chance. 

But I digress…

I loved my time in the Big Apple, the city, the lights, the new and amazing friends I met, that I still speak to every week. 

I set myself up nicely, a gorgeous house with my close friends, a glamorous internship in a fashion PR company, and a cheeky bar job.

However, as amazing as my time was, there were days that I desperately longed for the comforts of home.

You find yourself missing the small, insignificant things that you'd usually take for granted. 

I missed the familiarity of home. You know exactly where your going and how you're going to get there – whether it's a bar or a party.

In NYC, I found myself whipping out Google maps for the first few months, in a desperate attempt to get to where I needed to go. 

After a while, I got the hang of it, but I still had those days where I got on the wrong subway, or took a wrong turn. 

I also missed the little comforts of home. Up until the day I moved to New York, I lived at home with my parents, my brother and my STUNNING dog. 

I never had to think about stuff like furnishing a home, buying toilet paper or even stocking the fridge – it was always done for me (yes, I know, spoiled brat etc).

So while I was away, my meals consisted of yoghurt, sparkling water, and bags and bags of pasta. Nutritious. 

I also really missed the craic. 

No offence to Americans (I love you all), but there is something truly unique about the Irish sense of humour. 

There were days where I'd spend minutes laughing at my own jokes, only to realise that my mates had absolutely no idea why it was funny. 

You know what I missed most? 

A good dose of tea and biscuits, while having the chats with my mum. 

Seems kind of silly, but there is honestly nothing I love more than coming home after a long day, and flicking the kettle on.

Pour up mugs of tea, devour the packet of chocolate digestives you have in the press, and have a good little gossip session. 

 

Yes. Yes it bloody is. #nyc #whoneedsarealman #thankssophie 

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Those special moments you share with your mum at the kitchen table, or on the couch.

Not major milestones like birthdays, the simple sweet things in life (like a great cuppa and a biscuit)

You can't beat it. 

However, New York… I'll be back, keep my seat warm. 

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That all-important first bite of your first biscuit brings an instant hit of joy to your day. And why not pass them around to family and friends? McVitie’s brings us together to with every bite of happiness – and these are the moments worth sharing.
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