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shopping

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Littlewoods Ireland, Ireland’s leading online department store, is delighted to announce the launch of British fashion brand, Topshop, adding to its array of covetable brands including Warehouse, Mango, Whistles and it’s very own V By Very collection. 

To mark the launch, Littlewoods Ireland has recruited a dynamic style tribe of fashion talent; Hana Cross, Malaika Firth and Ella Richards to showcase the breadth and multitude of ways to land your look from the edited Topshop collection.

The Littlewoods Ireland x Topshop style tribe loved sharing their thoughts on each other’s looks, Hana Cross, said; ‘My friends are my style tribe, we message each other all the time saying, “Should I wear this?” or, “Do these jeans work with this?”, or “Is this cute?” I loved doing this shoot; the clothes were fabulous, especially the long black dress – love the fabric, I felt really comfortable in it and it's a piece you can wear during the day and go straight out in!”

With new styles landing frequently, shoppers can update their wardrobes with the latest fashion across clothing, footwear, accessories and reference key seasonal trends including utility, florals, leather and denim.

Speaking about the launch, Emma Alexander, Fashion Director at Littlewoods Ireland, said; “We’re so excited to be launching Topshop and especially pleased to be the only Irish retailer offering Topshop Beauty. The extensive product ranges will be trend-led and constantly refreshed, meaning customers really will be able to land their whole look at Littlewoods Ireland.”

Rossa Butler, Marketing and Operations Director for Littlewoods Ireland, said; “We’re thrilled to land Topshop, the fashion favourite of the high street, which we know our customers will love. As Ireland’s leading online retailer, this partnership will bring our existing customers more of the trends they love and will help to attract even more customers with our unrivalled mix of brands.”

Paul Price, CEO at Topshop Topman, added: “Topshop’s mission is to inspire customers and bring them exciting, design-led fashion at great value. We’re delighted to be partnering with digital pure play, Littlewoods Ireland– delivering our clothing, accessories and beauty to more shoppers’ homes at the click of a button.”

Littlewoods Ireland already stocks several of the Arcadia Group’s brands including Wallis, Evans and Miss Selfridge. This will be further enhanced by Topman, launching on 24th September followed by Burton and Dorothy Perkins ranges, launching on 9th September.

The Topshop collection is now available to shop on www.littlewoodsireland.ie

 

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We may be over *gasp* half way through summer 2018 but don't put your Penney's sunnies and your Bardot tops away just yet, ladies. 

With the whole month of August still to come, we have sooo many more chances to take (fifty drafts) of that sun-drenched Insta snap in The Perfect Outfit. 

If you're feeling like you've worn out every possible summer '18 fashion trend, then no look for further for fabulous inspo from our very own home-grown gals who are absolutely slaying it on Instagram.

1. Straw sun-hat/matching bag combo 

As seen on the stunning fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger Louise Cooney, who shared the image with her 115k followers while on holiday in the Cinque Terre Riviera.

Straw hats and bags have been a summer staple forever – but they're a staple for a reason.

They are practical and stylish. A summer classic, if you will.

Grab a simple straw hat in H&M for €12.99 and instantly become a beach goddess. Minus the 155k followers, obvs. 

2. The baggy shirt 

Only Erika Fox (@retroflame) could make a baggy shirt and short-shorts looks this effortlessly cool but it's summer and we're gonna try, goddammit. 

Zara are killing it in the shirt game, but this one for €29.95 is simple but gorgeous.

Pair it with your trusty denim cut-offs and you're Insta-ready, no matter the backdrop. 

3. Wrap dress

This whole outfit is just ''Wow.''

And the best bit?

It's Penney's, hun.

Yes, Courtney Smith has paired a matching wrap dress and trousers together and it looks unreal, doesn't it? And not bad at €25. 

4. The jumpsuit

 Louise O'Reilly (@stylemecurvy) has nailed the jumpsuit in one fell swoop.

The stunning red literally pops off the screen and it's such a simple piece to style around. 

As Louise writes herself, it can be worn as workwear or evening wear and it's available at River Island for €75.

We think it's worth every penny.

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Being financially independent is hard enough as it is, without the possibility of living in New York. Forget the student lifestyle of drinking all night and having a lie-in until midday. It takes hard work and financial discipline to survive the NYC life.

We all dream of it; the bottomless brunches near Central Park, shopping debt-free on 5th Avenue, living in an apartment that’s LITERALLY the exact same as Monica’s from Friends.

New York is heavily idealised as one of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s hard to deny how magical it can be. Ice-skating at Rockefeller centre at Christmas, essentially recreating Home Alone 2, hitting the iconic bars and gliding past skyscrapers and Broadway.

It permanently feels like you’re on a movie set, the city that never sleeps embodies movement and energetic culture. It’s impossible not to love it, but is it possible to afford it?

Insider recently rated New York eight on the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. It was the only American city to make the top ten, and once you break down the costs such as travel, food and rent, it’s not hard to see why it made the list.

We spoke to one of our New Yorker contacts who spent one year living the New York lifestyle to get the 411. You wanna see the receipts?

Rent

Rents have increased at double the rate of incomes in the last seven years alone, according to StreetEasy, which means that you need to make six figures to live in many of the city's most elite neighbourhoods. Yikes.

An average Irish student living in NYC could be paying amounts which range between $700 and $1500 a month on rent, as well as utilities. This would of course depend on location, size, how many housemates you share with and facilities like Wi-Fi and laundry.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Our lucky wanderlust gal spent $900 on rent per month, a good deal seeing as it included utilities and the internet, as well as a washer and a dryer inside.

“I shared with three others, and only had one bathroom, and it was in a pretty dilapidated building in Bushwick with a not so helpful landlord.”

Secret deals in NYC in terms of rent are essentially non-existent. Most people agree that seeing a unicorn is probably more statistically likely. Or a Friends reunion.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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One major extra cost comes in terms of furnishing an empty space, as most apartments in the city will come unfurnished.

Buying second-hand items can be a huge help, and finding things on the street, but both of these options of course have their limitations.

For example, I got my mattress in Berkeley from the street outside our fraternity house, which most people did, and got a very rude awakening when our entire room was visited by bed bugs.

If you think California rent is better than New York, you’ve got another thing coming.

Food and Drink

First thing’s first, you HAVE to limit eating out and going for expensive drinks in glamorous bars. Many New Yorkers are blasé about dropping $10 on coffee and a mediocre muffin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Joana  (@eatwiththeye) on

We’d all love that lifestyle, but you have to prioritise. Pre-packed lunches is the way to go, and cooking at home.

“A cocktail in a bar would set you back about $14, and in a trendy rooftop bar you could easily spend $20 on a drink. Eating in a restaurant could set you back about $35 for a meal if you included a drink, sales tax and tip."

"This is the worst thing about price of food and drinks in NYC! You think the price will be less, but a 20% service charge adds on a hefty chunk to your bill.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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NYC also has a city tax, so your paycheck won’t have much spending power. Supermarket food in New York is also highly expensive, so even if you want to cook from home, finding lower-cost ingredients can be tricky at best.

My J1 was essentially a three month binge on fries, $4 pizza slices and the occasional scrambled egg on toast if I could afford it. Eating healthily is even harder, considering fast food and ramen are the only semi-affordable meals.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Places like Trader Joe's were good for lower cost own-brand items and for whole food/grain type things, but fruit and vegetables generally were always expensive. Meat and fish were also very pricey, there was definitely a good incentive to turn vegetarian.”

I’m personally astounded that I escaped contracting scurvy on my J1 to San Francisco, I barely saw fruit or vegetables the entire time. Spending under $10 on one meal became a challenge that was seen as the Mount Everest of nutritional budgeting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Try starting an Excel spreadsheet for all of your expenses, so you can budget in advance. Prepare as many meals as you can to prevent buying expensive snacks in stores, and avoid buying too many perishable food items that you would throw away if it went uneaten.

Wasting perfectly good food will become a mortal sin to you after a few weeks of living the NYC life, trust us.

Nights Out

“If you pre-drink in advance, then you don't have to spend too much on a night-out. Liquor in shops is actually quite cheap. The subway runs all night so you can get around cheaply, and otherwise a shared Uber wouldn't be too expensive."

"Some clubs charge entry and then have expensive drinks. I don't smoke but cigarettes were also a massive cost.”

Keep the receipts from any bar you go to, and it will be come alarmingly obvious that purchasing drinks the entire night most definitely adds up.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Irish have perfected pre-drinking culture, so don’t let yourself slip too much on your night out by buying $16 cocktails every ten minutes, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you check your bank balance.

For a couple of free beers, one of Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries (New York Distilling Co.) opens its doors to the public for free tours and tastings on weekends from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, don’t miss your chance.

Travel

“This was one of the most expensive aspects of living in New York. Flights in and out of the city were always pricey. There is no Ryanair equivalent of budget flights unfortunately."

The Amtrak train service is notoriously expensive. Without advance booking (and even then), it can be $100 for a measly two hour journey… good God.

Buses are the cheapest option for the city, but the reliability and quality leave a lot to be desired, as you might imagine. The buses are often incredibly late, over-booked or cancelled.

The public transport system (MTA) costs you $121 per month for unlimited use, which isn’t bad compared to Dublin, and can be used on buses and subways. However, any of the longer commuter trains are much more expensive

If you’re thinking of parking in the city, be warned that the cost of this is extortionate, as are the prices for renting a car in NYC.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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People would often go to neighbouring states of New Jersey or Connecticut to get cars, rather than face the pain of using their hard-earned cash on New York prices.

Activities

Hidden costs and fees are what make so much of New York that bit more expensive than Europe and other places.

Laundromats charge extremely high prices purely because many apartments in the city don’t have laundry facilities, so they take full advantage of this. Hand-washing some of your clothes can aid this process.

When it comes to activities, there are ways of finding cheaper alternatives. The amazing city has a vast array of things to do; the buzz and excitement of the place is captivating.

The tourism industry in NYC is always booming, so charging huge fees for activities such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller entre, boat rides in Central Park and more can be expensive beyond belief.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Staten Island Ferry is free though, so take advantage of that.

Are you desperate to see the Picassos in the Museum of Modern Art, but don’t want to hand over the $25 admission fee?

The museum offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm, and you can also visit the sculpture garden for free every morning from 9:30 to 10 am.

Chelsea’s unreal free art galleries are mostly located between W. 14th Street and W. 29th Street around 10th and 11th Avenues.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s fee is waived on Tuesdays, which means you have the ideal escape for the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life.

Finding activities for free is hugely common in parks, try bringing a picnic to Central Park, embarking on a free yoga session in Bryant Park or grabbing street food (the hot dogs are mouth-watering) and chilling on the lush grass.

Central Park Conservatory offers free tours as well.

The Federal Bank of New York’s Gold Vault has free tours every afternoon. Built in the 1920s and containing over 6,500 tonnes of gold, this little-known treasure can teach you some fascinating financial secrets of the city.

Try stargazing on the High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Neighbourhood residents saved the location from demolition, and the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid space where visitors can experience nature, art, and design for free.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sam Nicole (@samnicole.co) on

Watch outdoor movies at HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival and Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Grab a seat and bring some snacks, it’s one of the best free activities New York has to offer. Soak up the skyline, it’s one of a kind.

Grand Central Terminal is also a tourist favourite, the 102-year-old train station is still in massive use but it embodies NYC grandeur. The outdoor part of the 9/11 memorial is also free to visit.

So there you have it, if you budget like your life depends on it, you can survive the financial battle of New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It may not be exactly like Sex and the City, but who would ever believe that Carrie could afford a huge Manhattan apartment BY HERSELF on a columnist’s salary? It’s ridiculousness. We still want her life though.

Susan Ertz summed it up pretty well when she wrote that New York was "never built for the comfort and happiness of its citizens, but to astonish the world." Well, it succeeded.

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Do you brace yourself every time you use your card in Dublin? Do you mumble excuses at the cashier when it’s declined?

I’ve taken to pre-emptively warning the staff at Zara that my card may not work. Dublin is one of the world's most expensive cities to live in, and we’re feeling it this summer.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to make the most of your Irish summer on a tight  budget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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1. Get familiar with the best-for-your-euro food options around the city centre

Looking for a burger? WOW Burger does a mini burger for €4.95 that ain’t so mini. Carluccio’s on Dawson Street does a half box of delicious pasta at lunchtime for less than 4 quid.

Mongolian BBQ in Temple Bar does an enormous Lunch Bowl for €7.90 that will do as your main meal for the day.

If you need to eat out, look around and see where a fiver lunch or a tenner dinner is available- be strict with yourself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. Choose culture for dates

The National Museums of Ireland are all free to visit and are simply gorgeous. The Archaeology Museum is on Kildare Street and the Museum of Decorative Arts and History is just beside the Museum stop on the red Luas line.

The Natural History Museum (think weirdly interesting stuffed animals) is on Merrion Street and is a fab place for a date or a stroll at lunch. Spend your free afternoons this summer, learning about Dublin for free.  

The National Gallery of Ireland also has breathtaking art with collections from icons like Caravaggio, Jack B Yeats, Mantegna,Titian, Monet and Picasso.

Paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography, archival and bibliographical material all feature, as well as furniture. The inside of the building itself is worth a look for the beautiful design.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. Buy a good raincoat NOW

It may sound expensive, but if you make an initial investment, it will stand to you. Dublin is WET during the summer.

If you don’t have a waterproof jacket that a) has a hood and b) fits into your bag, you WILL accumulate several sh*t umbrellas over the coming months.

Not only is this a financial drain but its also the most unsustainable way to keep yourself dry this summer. Buy yourself a raincoat that will last and both your pocket AND the environment will thank you come September.

4. Drink off-peak

We don’t mean drink on your lunch break or have a liquid breakfast. We mean slightly earlier in the day or midweek.

Many places around town will have a two-for-one deal on cocktails (Fade Street Social, Pygmalion, Capitol Bar, Xico) or cheap pints (Dicey’s Garden) during the week or early in the day.

Have a scout and plan your drinks based on the deals- it will be worth the extra bit of research when you have more cash leftover at the end of the week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5.  Avoid the following high street stores like the plague:

  • Zara
  • Penney’s
  • H&M
  • Pull and Bear
  • River Island

Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t window shop or go in for a ‘quick look’. You WILL end up spending money. As usual, you will come across the most gorgeous clothes when you have the lowest funds available.

If your route home passes by these shops, choose another. An extra five minutes walk may save you money in the long-term. It's also beneficial for the environment to avoid these stores full stop…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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6. Look for half-price stickers

Once you get into the ‘reduced’ or ‘half price’ mindset, you'll be flying it. Food shops such as Marks & Spencer and Avoca have a system where they cut the price of many of their products (such as ready-made meals) at the end of the week.

Keep your eyes peeled for such stickers so you can eat well on a budget.

7. Shop Charity

If you take a turn up George’s Street, you will be met by an abundance of charity shop options.

St Vincent’s, Enable Ireland and Oxfam are all a stone’s throw from each other, so you are bound to find something.

The same can be said for the Aungier Street/ Camden Street area which is home to shops like Age Action, Gorta and the Dublin Simon Community Shop.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Charity shopping is a great way to save money, not to mention a greener way to shop for clothes and shoes.

Keep an eye out for the vintage racks in these shops where you might find some real treasures.

An unforgettable Dublin summer isn't impossible to reach for. If you carry out the right research and plan your budget, you can make the most out of this fun city without going into massive debt.

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If you have any Debenhams gift vouchers lying around; use them as soon as you can.

The chain, which has 1,600 staff and 11 shops in the Republic, is now in administration.

The department store is still in business despite shares in the struggling retailer being suspended at its own request.

Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley revised offer  was rejected because he wanted to be chief executive.

He had offered £200million (€230million) into the chain but this was refused and said putting it into administration was a ‘national scandal’.

He said, ''These politicians and regulators have proven to be as effective as a chocolate teapot.''

While the stores do remain open, Consumers’ Association of Ireland chief Dermott Jewell said, ''We advise consumers to use all credit vouchers/tokens and gift cards issued by the store without delay.'

According to retail industry expert David Fitz­simons, of Retail Excellence Ireland, the chain’s main problem stems from its constant promotions, discounts and sales.

He said, ''‘If you’re a woman and you know Debenhams is going to have 30% off fragrance next month and you go in and it’s full price, you’re going to hold off spending.''

He continued, ''There’s no price consistency at Debenhams which is the fundamental issue. They’ve lost their way and a number of stores had been earmarked for closure.''

Debenhams – which has 166 stores and employs 25,000 people across the Britain and Ireland – has been struggling for some time, with debts of £640million (€740million) and three profit warnings issued in 2018.

Administrators at FTI Consulting were appointed and sold the group to a newly incorporated company controlled by Debenhams’ lenders.

It's not looking good for the store so swoop in and get what you can with any vouchers you have.

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The Paddy's Day bank holiday weekend is finally almost upon us, so it's time to hit the town. 

And, you can't even use the "I've nothing to wear" excuse not to head out, because we've put together a selection of gorge style pieces – based on your zodiac sign.  

12 stunning ensembles to help you forget that Mercury is in retrograde. 

Capricorn  

Boohoo boots in zebra €44.24, Structured Cross Body Bag €16.80, Striped t-shirt €7.95, Cord dress €40.00

Aquarius

Organza blouse €49.95, Nasty Gal boots €27.00, Faux Leather skirt €29.95, Denim jacket €64.00

Pisces

ASOS DESIGN pop green soft suit blazer €62.21 & shorts €30.42, White t-shirt €3.95, Pearl palm leaf earrings €9.95, Animal print runners €59.95

Aries

ASOS WHITE casual crepe trousers €89.86, White runners €35.00, Shanghai Box Grab Bag €34.00, Zara t-shirt €12.95

Taurus 

Neon milkmaid top €19.95, Beaded net tote €40.00, Neon Hun Chunky Runners €23.50, Cargo trousers €27.99

Gemini 

Blue utility pinafore denim dress €48.00, Penneys Bumbag €7.00, Zara runners €25.95, Turtle Neck Volume Sleeve Rib Top €9.80

Cancer 

Level Head Beret €11.00, Penneys Belt €5.00, Platform trainers €22.99, Khaki utility boiler jumpsuit €75.00

Leo

Bad Romance Shaggy Cardigan€68.00, Jersey bandeau €3.50Grey flatforms €50.00 ASOS DESIGN wide leg trousers in snake print €38.71

Virgo

Textured trucker coat €32.90, Khaki tie waist shirt dress €65.00, Red leather block heel ankle boots €80.00, Rainbow beaded bag €18.90

Libra

ASOS DESIGN asymmetic knitted top €30.42  Short denim jacket €27.99, Topshop ankle boots €34.00, Black Amelie RI washed super skinny jeans €50.00

Scorpio

  Trenchcoat €69.99, Brown leopard print paperbag jeans €55.00, Chunky boots €32.90, Khaki crop top €8.00

Sagittarius

Teddy faux fur aviator €37.80, Denim mid skinny fit rigid jeans €55.00, River Island heeled boots in khaki €69.13, Light brown stripe button front vest top €25.00

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The iconic skateboarding brand Vans are having a big sesh this Saturday in Jervis Shopping Centre, and we wouldn't miss it for the world.

The newly-opened store is hosting a drop-in event on February 16 for those who want to get their beloved Vans customised FREE of charge.

Local artist Ruan Van Vliet will be doing the inking, while a DJ plays some tracks and pizza and games are provided for all.

Ruan Van Vliet is a graduate of the iconic NCAD art college in Dublin, and works as both an artist and illustrator. Your Vans will be one-off, unique pieces once Ruan's done with them, trust us.

His work is renowned for it's bright, colourful and amusing patterns, and he has also created work for Vice, AirBnB, Offset Design Festival, Guinness, among others.

Shoppers can try out prize pong, to try and win 50 percent off their Vans purchases on the day.

Vans are one of the biggest brands around, and their skateboarding shoes have been hugely popular for years, so we're delighted that they've opened a new store in Jervis Shopping Centre.

As one of the capital's most vibrant and most successful shopping environments and hosting over 60 outlets, Jervis has become one of the nation's biggest hubs.

With pizza, games, a DJ and free customisation as well as prize giveaways; don't miss Saturday's party. We'll see you there on February 13, from 12pm until 4pm.

We'll be staying the full four hours, because why wouldn't we be? It's free pizza, for crying out loud.

Feature image: Vox

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Science has upped it's game.

Most researchers seem to be pretty busy with conducting medical studies and making valuable scientific discoveries for society's gain, but this latest survey really takes it to the next level.

Bloom & Wild have worked with London Metropolitan University to undergo an experiment to figure out when the 'love hormone', AKA oxytocin, is released.

The anti-anxiety and stress reducing hormone is pretty special, the chemicals are made when you're in love, and having some KICK-ASS sex. We heart it. 

The study measured how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts, and it's led to some pretty interesting, and useful, results. We're not hugely surprised at what topped the list, they're all unreal.

Research also suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for roughly six months to a year. At a chemical level, can presents recreate this high of lovestruck heartbeats?

Scientists reported that the subjects of the study showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin after getting chocolates, and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers. Feeling loved comes in all shapes and sizes, it would seem.

The official top five items or experiences included on the list which trumped having sex were; chocolate winning the number one spot, then flowers, food, shopping and booking a holiday.

Receiving chocolate apparently creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex, so a quick nip down to Butlers could solve your stress issues. 

Flowers can spark the same feeling as love, relationships and sexy times, and a study by Havas Worldwide revealed that 57 percent of millennials think that food is better than sex. Damn.

hungry jennifer lawrence GIF

Retail therapy also made the list, according to the experiment. The neurologist David Linden, in his book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain's mesolimbic pathway.

In plain-old-English, the mesolimbic pathway is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness, so having a sneaky online shop at ASOS is good for you. Thank God we have a valid excuse to do this now…

Booking a holiday is better than having some intimate. alone time with a partner, according to research. 16% of Brits claim to support this, so those Aer Lingus January sales must have had people feelin' pretty damn euphoric.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To carry out their research, Bloom & Wild and London Metropolitan University split 30 volunteers into three groups.

Each were to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water, and took saliva samples before the gift arrived, and then again 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. 

It just goes to show, chocolate should always be cherished. We're in a loving relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and there are zero signs of a break-up coming our way.

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If you're a serial voucher giver or have a collection of them – listen up.

The Government has given the nod for new legislation which will require all gift vouchers to have an expiry date of at least five years.

The Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Bill 2018 is expected to be passed early next year. 

Addressing the matter, TD Heather Humphreys said: "Every year consumers lose out because their gift vouchers go out of date."

"Part of the problem is the great variation on expiry dates which can range from as little as six months to 12 months to 24 months."

"This often leads to confusion amongst consumers. By having a set five-year expiry date on all gift vouchers, we will provide certainty to everyone involved," added the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The Bill will also include two conditions, the first means you and I will no longer have to spend that voucher all in one go.

And the second will tackle the cancellation of the gift card if the receivers name is spelt incorrectly, and a charge to amend the name will also be abolished.

Commenting on the provisions, the Minister said: "It’s wrong that consumers should have to spend a voucher in full in one transaction."

"Similarly, it isn’t fair that businesses can penalise consumers simply because of a wrong letter in a name."

"I’m glad that these two issues were brought to my attention during the public consultation so that we can now address them as part of this Bill," she added.

The Bill received cross-party support.

We for one are delighted with the new measures.

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It happens every year.

We get our spy gear ready, complete with night vision goggles, Google maps and  snacks, of course. We buckle ourselves up for our long-awaited search, the hunt for that jaw-dropping, glamorous, PERFECT….

Winter coat.

Every woman needs a casual must-have jacket for the chilly season, and Penney's have DELIVERED, with a snakeskin cherry on top.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Snakeskin is absolutely everywhere right now, most likely due to Taylor Swift's iconic Reputation album and added snake theme for her immense world tour.

Animal print is the ideal way to make a statement.

You want to be the first person noticed in the Christmas decorated rooms, and the way to do this is by nabbing the most stunning coat in the fashion business.

This puffer jacket is cosy AF, not to mention cheap.

Penneys, €30

At €30, just think how much cash dollah you're saving for your Christmas shopping.

You can accomplish just about anything in the right coat, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Penneys for keeping us warm without robbing our bank balance of it's dignity.

Say thank u, next to the cold this season, fashion has saved you.

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With temperatures threatening to drop to as low as -1 this weekend, and Black Friday in full swing, we're on the market for cosy, comfy jumpers to see us through the cold months. 

We have seen SO many stunning knitted jumpers, that are stylish and cool, but also warm and cosy – a winning combo – and we just had to share.

From online to the high street, these jumpers literally have you covered.

Topshop Swirl Drip Jumper €42. 00, ASOS DESIGN neon cable jumper €38.71

Zara Oversized Jacquard Sweater €29.95, Topshop Chunky Roll Neck Jumper €48.00

Bershka zebra print jumper €41.46, Zara Sequin Jumper €59.95

Colour block roll neck jumper €24.95, COLLUSION space dye jumper with roll neck €41.48 

Leopard Sleeve Jumper €12.00, Dark green knit chenille jumper €40.00

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Feverous Black Friday shoppers are HELLA p*ssed off as they are being forced to wait HOURS in online store queues.

Customers are being forced into virtual lines on store websites, yet retailers are claiming this was all properly planned… eh, what?

One man shared a screenshot on Twitter of his queue number: 107578th in line. Good God, people, this is utter madness.

It's fair to say that the eager online population are sufficiently angry, with complaints coming in left, right and centre for numerous brands, such as Debenhams.

A Debenhams spokesperson claimed that the system was "managed" and that customers have all been successful with their shopping experiences:

"Some customers experienced a short delay in accessing our website at peak hours last night."

"By implementing a managed 'queue system' we were able to ensure that once customers had accessed our site, they were all able shop the offers successfully."

Reports of thousands of websites crashing are also gaining traction on Twitter, it seems that online stores were hugely unprepared for the onslaught of consumerism which Black Friday brings:

Sky News were told by Game:

"Due to the volume of traffic to our site we are operating a queuing system to make it as fair as possible to our customers in getting the deals they want."

However, stores this morning on the high street were experiencing regular volumes of customers, with no queues in sight. It seems online shopping has officially taken over:

Remember gals, Black Friday is a massive marketing campaign, so try to resist the mania surrounding it.

Use deals websites to spot the best discounts, ask yourself if you really need the items and don't assume that just because it's on sale, it's a bargain.

Economically and environmentally conscious shopping needs to be a priority with the massive amounts of clothes going to waste.

shopping GIF

Stay strong gals, resist the urge.

If you can't resist, we hope you get through the online queue hysteria at least.

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