Books, documentaries and websites to better educate yourselves and help to support others amid the Black Lives Matter protests

Last week, the death of George Floyd sent shockwaves around the world.

The 46-year-old African-American father died after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes until he could no longer breathe.

He has been charged with manslaughter and third degree murder, with another recent charge of second degree murder.

The other three officers present, after some delay, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and with aiding and abetting manslaughter.

The horrific incident, which was caught on video, has sparked mass protests across the globe.

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Understandably, it is not just those in America that have felt the need to take a stand against the traumatic incident. George Floyd’s death is at the forefront of the global stage, with many rallying for non-black people to demonstrate their allyship.

It isn't enough to be just non-racist, now more than ever is the time to show that you are anti-racist.

On Tuesday 2 June, people took to Instagram to partake in #BlackoutTuesday, sharing a black square to their grids in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, for those that are non-black there is so much more that can be done to educate themselves and help assist.

Here are some resources…

Charities and Funds

Black Lives Matter

This is the most prevalent movement, and their website reads: "#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.

"Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organisation in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

"By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives."

Click here for more info

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Their mission is to "criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to, as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing" and they have been raising cash to post bail for those that are protesting the murder of George Floyd.

Click here for more info

Show Racism The Red Card

This is a British organisation that has its origins with football player Shaka Hislop in the 1990s, who suffered an incident of being racially abused, which stopped when the culprits realised he was a Newcastle United player.

The charity provides "educational workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages, and a whole host of other resources, all with the purpose of tackling racism in society" and they use high profile footballers to do so.

Click here for more info

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Stand Against Racism & Inequality

This UK charity, known by the anagram SARI, helps survivors of hate crime. They assist people with the legal process, file complaints against agencies, and support them through the mental and physical trauma they have suffered, as well as many other things.

Click here for more info

Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

This is a British charity that was founded following the horrific murder of Stephen Lawrence that shocked the nation back in 1993. The charity aims to help between the ages of 13 to 30 have success in their chosen professional field.

Click here for more info


Black Feminist Thought

This book by Patricia Hill Collins is a great resource shedding a light on great intellectuals and writers throughout history who are both black and female.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Published in 2017 and written by British writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, the idea for the book was brought about from a consistent frustration she had after trying to discuss systemic racism in society with white friends.

She wrote: "I'm no longer engaging with white people on the topic of race. Not all white people, just the vast majority who refuse to accept the legitimacy of structural racism and its symptoms…

"You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It's like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It's like they can no longer hear us."

How to Be an Antiracist

Written by Ibram X. Kendi, this book is brilliant and really focuses on the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist.

The writer reframes the conversation around racial justice in the U.S and asks the reader to imagine what an anti-racist society might look like and how to help it happen.

When They Call You a Terrorist

The co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele wrote this moving and powerful memoir about the experience of black people in America.

Focusing on the prejudice and persecution by the police, the book dismantles the desensitisation white people have to videos of brutality against African Americans and draws our attention to the humanity behind the statistics.

So You Want to Talk About Race

This answers many of the questions that white people ask about race. Author Ijeoma Oluo thoroughly and clearly fleshes out responses to “What are microaggressions?”, “Is police brutality really about race?" and "Why am I always being told to ‘check my privilege’?” among many others.

Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo's book tracks the lives and loves of a dozen British women across different generations and social classes giving a picture of modern black womanhood.


Black Gals Livin'

Two funny British friends Jas and Victoria, discuss everything from mental health to pop culture to life. Their insightful and often hilarious conversations focus on issues of race and the black community.

Listen here


This New York Times audio series is about slavery and the how it has affected America as we know it today. In 1619, over 400 years ago, a ship that carried 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia, and so began 250 years of enslaved people. Heavy listening.

Listen here

Code Switch

This podcast is all about race and culture and is made by America's National Public Radio. Including personal stories and a spectrum of identities, as well as historical context to analyse the challenging topic of racism in America.

Listen here

The United States of Anxiety

This started as a result of the extreme polarisation in the run up to the 2016 U.S election, and has continued ever since. They take listeners back to the Civil War which was the first attempt at making a multi-racial society in America and discuss why it has not yet been realised.

Listen here

Influencers and educators

Rachel Cargle

Rachel Cargle is an academic, writer and lecturer on racism. Her Instagram account boasts a community of 1.3 million, where she "guides conversations, encourages critical thinking and nurtures meaningful engagement with people all over the world."

ShiShi Rose

ShiShi Rose is a writer and educator based in New York. She is also a birth worker. Her Instagram page is full of places for people to donate to support black families who are struggling so they can thrive, as well as black business to buy from.

Layla F Saad

Layla F Saad is a New York Times bestselling author, with her book Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor and she is also a podcast host. Her Instagram is full of reading recommendations, resources and content designed to make you question systemic racism.

Ericka Hart

Ericka Hart is a sex educator and 'Racial/Social/Gender Justice Disruptor'. As a queer, non-binary person of colour her voice is important for navigating the world at the intersection of several marginalised identities.

TV & Documentaries

When They See Us

This Netflix TV series perfectly highlights the horrific injustices that racism creates. It is based on the events surrounding the 1989 Central Park Five that were wrongly accused of rape.

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Do The Right Thing

This iconic piece of cinematic history is directed by the visionary Spike Lee. Set in Brooklyn, New York during the late 80s Do The Right Thing tackles racism and police brutality in a gritty honest way, poignantly mirroring the many real life situations when black people have been killed by white police officers.

Strong Island

This extremely moving true-crime documentary is directed by Yance Ford and is about his 24 year old brother who was an African-American teacher who was killed by 19-year-old Mark P. Reilly. The jury did not indict the killer, who claimed self-defence.

Dear White People

This Netflix drama follows the experience of a group of black students at an Ivy League college in America. They are faced with social injustices, cultural biases and misguided activism. The show uses honesty and humour to highlight these issues.

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This is a hard-hitting documentary exploring the racial inequality in the US, and especially highlighting the fact the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

American Son

This 2019 film starring Kerry Washington and is about two African-American parents who are searching for their son and find that he has tragically become another victim of police brutality and racism.

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Burger King open: Burger King reopening list – When will Burger King reopen?

The news of Burger King reopening comes after Subway reopened more than 600 of its sites, while McDonald’s began its first phased reopening of Drive Thrus and KFC opened 100 of its restaurants for delivery. Fast food enthusiasts will be able to order McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway through Deliveroo and Uber Eats by using the app or the website.

When will Burger King reopen?

Burger King has announced it will be opening selected restaurants for delivery only.

But, by the end of the month it could be ready to open another 350 sites across the UK.

The news comes after the chain previously reopened 40 drive-thru restaurants in May.

Customers will only be able to order food for delivery, with no dine-in or collection services available yet.


  • Burger King reopening in every UK city by the end of May

The full menu is not yet available, but favourites like the Chicken Royale, Bacon Double Cheeseburger and Whopper, are still on to order through Deliveroo or Just Eat.

By the end of June, Burger King hope to have 68 percent of their restaurants open, equating 350 stores.

Marketing Director at Burger King UK Katie Evans said: “We are so pleased to be able to open more restaurants this week and slowly but surely get back to ‘normal’, ensuring all safety measures are in place.”

A number of new procedures have been put in place in the restaurant in a bid to safeguard the health of employees and customers.


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These measures include additional PPE for staff, like gloves and masks, stringent cleaning measures and contactless delivery options via Deliveroo and Just Eat.

Additionally, all Burger King staff will be comprehensively trained regarding the Government’s social distancing measures – including how to run kitchens hygienically while adhering to the rules.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Burger King UK CEO Alasdair Murdoch revealed that the chain planned on opening “20 or so” more restaurants every week.

Mr Murdoch said: “We’re opening increasingly and steadily. We’re going to open 20 or so a week as we go forward.”

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All the Burger King restaurants open from June 1:

•    Abington Services

•    Basingstoke Festival Place SC

•    Bedford Harpur St

•    Blackburn Grimshaw RP

•    Burton-on-Trent Shobnell LP

•    Cardiff Gate Services

•    Corley North Services

•    Croydon Valley Park

•    Dudley Brierley Hill

•    Fleet South Services

•    Gravesend Thamesgate SC

•    Grays West Mall SC 

•    Gretna Green Services

•    High Wycombe Eden SC

•    Kidderminster Foley Drive

•    Leeds York Rd

•    Lewisham High St

•    London Gateway Services

•    Luton Arndale SC

•    Membury West Services

•    Michaelwood North Services

•    Michaelwood South Services

•    Newport Pagnell North Services

•    Northampton Abington Rd

•    Park Royal LP

•    Sarn Park Services

•    Sedgemoor Services

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How Kate Middleton creates ‘instant rapport’ and ‘likability’ over lockdown video calls

Prince William and Kate Middleton have appeared on video calls on national TV and the royal Instagram account together and separately. Kate appeared on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield a few weeks ago.


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She and William also appeared together on the Kensington Palace Instagram account calling bingo numbers for a care home’s game.

A body language expert analysed Kate’s video link appearances.

Judi James told the couple have a great rapport on screen.

She said: “William and Kate seem to have managed to achieve the tricky blend of being regal but accessible and understated at the same time and their techniques are visible in their body language on this virtual visit to play bingo at a care home.

“Their approach seems to relax the people they visit while still creating an aura of ‘specialness’ that will make their presence memorable.”

Judi revealed the pair succeed partly due to focusing on others, instead of on themselves.

“They work well as a team but their prime focus seems to be on the people they’re visiting rather than one another,” the body language expert said.

“There are only two brief moments when they face-check one another and they both involve approval signals when one of them has cracked a joke.

“Otherwise their strong bonding and like-minded thinking as a couple is shown in their natural trait of mirroring and their choreography and timing as they take it in turns to speak.”

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Kate in particular has a “ritual” to help boost her likability.

Judi said: “Kate employs a sweet, ‘baby wave’ as her greeting ritual as well as a small giggle that makes her appear slightly shy, which in turn would raise her likability points with a new audience.

“Her nose-wrinkling grin looks like a joke she’s sharing with the people she’s visiting, which again would create instant rapport, even over a video link.”

Judi warns the pair “tend to peer down into the screen which can make an audience feel like they’re under scrutiny through a microscope”, however, they combat this with leaning forwards.


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Judi said: “The way they both lean forward into the camera forms a lowering technique that stops them from appearing too grand.”

She went on: “The couple can also switch moods quickly and with congruence, using expressions of concern as William asks about the mental health of their audience but then flipping back into smiles as he jokes about Welsh people being fun.

“Clearly neither of them look like regular Bingo players but they turn the joke on themselves nicely rather than looking too grand to know anything about the game.”

However, Kate Middleton was recently accused of “whining” about lockdown. 

Writer Bernadette Giacomazzo, who has penned a number of op eds about the British Royal Family, accused the media of “portraying her as a delicate, put-upon flower”.

In an article for CCN, she claims the Duchess’s comments on struggling through coronavirus amount to “whining.”

Ms Giacomazzo wrote: “In a recent interview, the Duchess said that assuming more responsibilities in the wake of COVID-19 was ‘so difficult.’

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex uses this technique to ‘add drama’ in public appearances

Sophie, Countess of Wessex is the daughter-in-law of the Queen and a working royal. With her husband, Prince Edward, 56, she has made many speeches in her senior royal role. An expert revealed exactly what she does to add more drama at appearances.


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Sophie and Prince Edward have been married since June 19, 1999.

Since then, they have had two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12.

Shortly after marrying the Queen’s son, Sophie took on a role as a working royal.

Like others in this position, she will represent the monarch at various events all over the world.

This is something she has kept up during the coronavirus lockdown and recently appeared via video call.

Before joining the Royal Family, Sophie worked in public relations for many years.

While all royals surely get training on public speaking, her previous career could have influenced her speeches at events.

Since taking on more responsibilities, Sophie appears to have altered her style of speaking, communications and body language expert Judi James explained.

She told “Sophie’s background was in media and she can deliver a mean corporate speaking style.

“Taking over the Duke of Edinburgh’s duties for a speech at the CMI she began in a similar understated style before going what she called ‘off piste’.

She also swapped the script for some direct ad-libs and stories and added drama and humour.”

When attending public engagements, the Countess has made an effort to inject her own personality into what she says.


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By doing this, the expert suggested she has been able to give more dramatic accounts.

Sophie has also engaged with what she says and adjusts her style based on what she is talking about, Judi added.

“The warmth was still there but her tone became more hard-hitting as she spoke about gender equality,” she continued.

“This time we can see dramatic pauses, a more chatty tone as she told a story about speaking to a board room full of men, plus a lower and more authoritative vocal tone that created empathy with her audience of business leaders.”

This style of speaking looks to be something Sophie uses when speaking outside of the palace and without other royals there, the expert suggested.

Judi said: “Unlike deliveries at the palace, Sophie did use more ‘ums’ as verbal fillers.

“This could have implied some nervousness at the start, but they were rare enough to add a more natural appeal to her talk, rather than sticking to an unemotional, word-perfect delivery that might have had less impact.”

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How to get rid of flies inside your home – the simple tricks

Ultimately, the most effective way of getting rid of flies is by using a professional fly control service. But as this may not always be a feasible option, there are several cost-effective methods you can try at home.

How to get rid of flies indoors

Plastic bottle traps

The first step is to clean an empty, two-litre plastic bottle.

Carefully remove the top third of the bottle by cutting near where the top of the drink label would be.

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Pour a sweet liquid, such as sugar water into the bottom third of the bottle.

Next, turn the top third of the bottle upside-down to act as a cone and place it in the opening of the larger part of the bottle.

As a result, flies will make their way into the bottle but will be unable to get out.

Vinegar and dish soap fly trap

First, take a shallow bowl or dish and fill it with an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar.


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Next, add some fruit-scented washing up liquid.

The dish can be left uncovered or tightly covered with cling film – but make sure to poke holes in the covering to attract the flies.

How to get rid of flies outside

Flies can also be a nuisance outside your home but there are various plants you use to repel them.


Basil doesn’t require much maintenance and it can survive in any climate.

Bay Leaf

These leaves grow well during the warmer months and can be brought indoors.


You can hang this plant in bundles around your home or garden, or simply let it grow.


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As well as flies, this flower as keeps away aphids, most beetles and squash bugs.

Nasturtiums also promote the growth of other plants, which is why many gardeners plant them along the edges of their gardens.


This herb can be grown near windows or other openings in your home to help keep flies away, plus mice and ants.

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Daily horoscope for May 29: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

Your horoscope for this Friday witnesses the Sun form a Sextile with Asteroid Chiron in Aries. The Sextile aspect is commonly considered similar to a Trine, although there is an important distinction between the two.

Although Sextiles, like Trines, point to some talent and ease, they possess a little more power.

Astrologers agree the end of the working week is consequently time for constructive communication.

So take some time the Friday to really articulate your innermost ideas.

Be brave enough to speak your mind and give your life renewed purpose.


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The key point to understand today is to be authentic.

And remember you are not about to let anyone tell you what to think nor what to do.

Gemini is a real talker so some observers are known to complain it’s hard to get Gemini to shut up.

However, you do not really want Gemini to do this, as the world is filled with Gemini creatives keeping you entertained during lockdown.

Gemini is here to tantalise, inform, initiate dialogue and entertain.

The star sign does not care either way, as long as entertaining chit-chat is flowing.

This is important right now, because the Sun’s in Gemini, underlining the importance of conversation.

Express your mind at this time, get your thoughts out there and candidly connect with others.


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Hear what they think, as listening is just as important.

So hit that balance – Talk, listen, but most importantly be constructive.

With the Sun sextiles Chiron in Aries, it takes courage to really say what you think.

The Moon soon leaves Leo and enters Virgo and you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty.

It’s time to heal, talk it out and see your life gain a new sense of meaning and purpose.

The Moon moves from Leo into Virgo, meaning it is time to act.

There is a Half Moon in the evening sky and that means one thing.

Decisions are looming and you will soon need to decide which way you want to play this.

However, for now, gather your intelligence, speak up and listen.

There is plenty of news arriving as the Moon and Mercury create their Sextile.

Source: Read Full Article

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons: This is best time to shop as quietest hours change

Supermarkets have regularly updated shopping rules as the coronavirus lockdown has resulted in long queues outside stores. Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl have all had queues as social distancing measures are enforced. When is the quietest time to shop?


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During the coronavirus lockdown, supermarkets have been following social distancing rules.

There have been limitations on how many people can shop at one time leading to big queues outside stores.

Still, there could be a best time to shop to avoid a long wait, according to visiting data available on Google.

Although this will vary from store to store, some times and days are quieter than others.


Customers could get round the stores more quickly by visiting before 11am or in the middle of the afternoon, around 3pm.

Shopping between 5pm and 8pm is the busiest time, according to Google data.

Like most supermarkets, certain shopping hours have been put aside for NHS staff and vulnerable customers.

Tesco stated: “We have extended our special hour in stores for NHS staff as a thank you for all they are doing.

“The NHS hours are on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9am -10am in all large stores. Also on Sundays, they can continue to browse our large stores and select their shopping, an hour before the checkouts open.”

For the vulnerable, it continued: “We have prioritised one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am for these customers. This does not include Express stores.”


Shoppers could beat the crowds by going before 9am or after 9pm, with the middle of the day being the busiest.

Avoiding big shops at the weekend will also make getting stuck in long queues less likely.

NHS and care workers can shop in larger stores on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am and 9am.


The supermarket will update stock throughout the day to help shoppers get what they want no matter when they go.

Sainsbury’s told “We are working hard to keep our shelves well stocked so that customers can arrive at any point during store open hours and find most of the items that they need.”

Browsing on a Wednesday seems to be the quietest time to go.


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The retailer is less busy around 3pm, according to visiting data.


Customers could avoid queues by going during the day and not visiting after 5pm, which is the busiest time.

The retailer previously posted on Twitter: “Thank you to our customers for continuing to shop considerately.

“We’re generally less busy later in the day so if you’d like to shop when it’s quieter, and are able to, try visiting us in the afternoon to get the essentials you need.”


The retailer has announced it will roll out traffic light technology in branches to help manage long queues.

Visiting the retailer in late evening, after 8pm, can help avoid waiting altogether.

Unsurprisingly, staying away on Saturdays and Sundays will make queues less likely.


Visiting the retailer during the week seems to be the quietest time to go.

Shoppers can beat the queues by visiting at the beginning or towards the end of the day.

Source: Read Full Article

Cosmopolitan recipe: How to make a Cosmo – Mixologist shares secret tips

The Cosmopolitan, often referred to as a Cosmo, is a cocktail usually served in a martini glass and made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice. One claimant to be the creator of the Cosmo is bartender Neal Murray who says he first created the Cosmopolitano in 1975 at the Cork & Cleaver Steak House in Minneapolis. According to Murray, he added a splash of cranberry juice to a Kamikaze and the first taster declared, “How cosmopolitan” leading to the naming of the new beverage.

However, the origins of the popular drink are hotly contested – with many claiming the beverage is their creation.

But wherever it really did come from, the delicious drink gained popularity quickly.

The love of the Cosmo soared thanks to Sex and the City, where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, commonly ordered the drink when out with her girlfriends.

Want to learn how to make one at home? spoke to a mixologist to find the best Cosmo recipe.

How to make a Cosmopolitan

Jim and Tonic’s Head Bartender & Mixologist Seb Stefan explains exactly how you can make a Cosmo at home.


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  • 35ml Vodka or Citrus Vodka
  • 20ml Triple Sec
  • 1 Lime or 20ml of fresh lime juice
  • 35ml cranberry juice
  • Ice
  • Orange (peel to garnish)
  • A 3-part cocktail shaker kit is recommended for best results (also known as a Parisian or Manhattan shaker).


1. Pour the vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice into the tin and then fill hallway with ice. Close the lids and shake until the outside of the tin gets frosty.

Tip: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker you can use a clean jam jar. Close the lid tightly before shaking and strain with a tea strainer.

2. Once done remove the small top lid and strain the liquid straight it into your martini / cocktail glass.

3. Peel a thin strip of orange with a knife or peeler. To garnish give the peel a twist and drop into top of the drink.

Seb said: “Our version of the Cosmo, the ‘Cosmopolitano’, which appears on our Grand Central themed cocktail bar at Mercato Metropolitano, the sustainable community food market where our distillery and bar are based.

“We substitute the Triple Sec for an equal measure of Amaretto, which delivers a sweeter taste in-keeping with the Italian heritage of the market.”


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Jim and Tonic offer a Thursday to Sunday home delivery service within London zones 1 to 3 where you can order pre-batch bottles of their Cosmo cocktail alongside 7 other classic and signature freshly made read-made cocktails.

J&T founder Jim said: “The spirit that we produce and use to make our Cosmo is a perfect example of the reduce, reuse and regenerate methods that we practice as a sustainable distillery.

“We create the vodka by re-distilling the gin that doesn’t make it into our final gin product and carbon filter it to extract any remaining juniper flavours.

“The Triple Sec that we use is also made by macerating and then distilling waste citrus peels from our bars so we reuse as many waste and by-products as we can.”

There’s a whole host of variations of the Cosmopolitan you can try.

One easy variation calls for stirring in a mixing glass, instead of shaking.

While a virgin cosmopolitan replaces the vodka and triple sec with orange juice and pink lemonade.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Kathy Wakile created a Red Velvet Cosmo, based on one of her favourite desserts, red velvet cake.

She later created the ready-to-pour cocktail, Red Velvet Cosmo, which won a medal in a national tasting competition.

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Kate Middleton hair: All the times the Duchess of Cambridge has nailed a chic updo

The Duchess of Cambridge has become known for her impeccable style and flawless hair, but as the UK lockdown continues her fans have seen her with a new look. Taking part in video calls from her home with Prince William in Anmer Hall, Norfolk, Kate has had a more relaxed look to her hair and is likely to be styling it herself. In their recent virtual appearance, Kate wore her brunette locks in a chic updo – and it’s not the first time she’s ditched her usual blow-dry. 


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The Duke, 37, and Duchess of Cambridge, 38, took part in a video call to celebrate the first anniversary of Shout, the UK’s first 24/7 crisis text line, last week. 

Kate wore her thick brunette hair in a swept-back style, showing off a subtle tan in a white scalloped Sandro top while the pair spoke to the Shout volunteers. 

As the lockdown continues and social distancing means hair salons are closed around the country, it’s unknown whether Kate is styling her own hair, but experts think it is likely. 

The mother of three has been wearing a much more casual look in recent weeks, with soft waves that have been brushed out rather than the carefully coiffed curls that the public are used to seeing. 

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As a busy mum who’s having to homeschool the children while keeping up with charity work, it’s no wonder Kate is opting for easier styles and quick updos. 

But the Duchess has also worn some beautiful hair-up looks for royal engagements and events in the past that are just as pristine as her go-to blow-dry. 

Kate often goes for a chignon style for the bigger occasions. Royal protocol dictates that hats are always worn for formal occasions, with Kate carefully following the rules and even wearing a fascinator for her sister Pippa Middleton’s wedding. The Duchess wore her long hair in a chic, twisted updo for the big day. 

Clive Lever, Senior Stylist at Jo Hansford’s Mayfair salon, commented: “The chignons that Kate Middleton wears are a modern take on a classic look. It is effortless and softer so it does not look overdone. and is a younger version of the French pleats and chignons worn by an older generation. 

“It suits her age, and is sophisticated and elegant but doesn’t detract from the headwear, and is not too formal.”

Kate also wore a similar look for Princess Eugenie’s wedding, only with a modern twist. 

The Duchess was wearing a fuchsia pink fascinator on top of a sleek yet slightly more casual twisted chignon style that was pulled to the side slightly, giving it a more trendy and relaxed feel. 

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Kate Middleton wears £550 new dress with an incredible message [PICTURES]

The side-swept look is one Kate has turned to for other formal events, too – on Anzac day she wore her brunette locks in a glossy chignon style that showed off her statement earrings. The Duchess had plenty of volume at the crown to balance out the neat knotted style, giving it an edgier finish. 

“Quite often when wearing fascinators or hats the hair style has to be created to work around the headpiece so these updos work on both levels,” explained Clive. 

“The side chignon may be used to create the balance of the headpiece. Keeping her hair back in a tight style prevents any flyaways, as looser styles can become dishevelled by the elements such as the wind if outdoors which could end up looking messy and creating the need to be fiddled with.”

Clive said the prep for the royal chignon will still involve Kate’s signature blow-dry. 

“It’s really important to always blow dry the hair before creating these looks so the hair is still smooth and sleek and shiny. The styles also show off her hair colour and the low lights beautifully.”


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Kate has mastered the art of the flawless chignon, which she’s also worn to Ascot before – but it’s not just the style that’s the key to the look. Fans with an eye for detail will spot that Kate wears a very fine, delicate hairnet in the same shade as her hair so that it keeps her look in place while almost going undetected. The clever trick keeps her style from becoming unruly throughout the day. 

However, while Kate usually picks the classic chignon or intricate styles for her royal appearances, she has previously sported a more casual look that has been seen in her lockdown days. 

On a visit with Prince William to Blackpool in 2019, the fashionable royal wore her thick hair swept back into a soft, mid-height ponytail, with soft curls throughout the ends.

The modern look was topped off with a wrap of her hair around the base, a nifty trick used by many pros for a sleek finish to give the humble pony some wow factor. 

Kate’s long lengths give her plenty of options when it comes to hair styling. 

On a recent visit to a children’s hospital in Lambeth, Kate wore her hair in a half-up style with pretty tousled waves as she met with young patients.  

The Duchess famously opted for a half-up do for her wedding day in 2011, though of course it was also dressed up with a tiara and veil. It’s also a look Meghan Markle’s been trying during her own virtual lockdown appearances. 

“The half up, half down is a younger look; not ageing, but more relaxed and not harsh. It shows her softer and gentle personality as does the backcombed ponytail. This is fresh and modern and in keeping with fashion but without trying to make a statement,” commented Clive. 

“Kate is beautiful, stylish and elegant but her clothes and hair never overshadow her, she always manages to look fashionable without trying too hard.”

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Top tips on how to cope with stress and anxiety during coronavirus lockdown from a wellness guru

With the nationwide lockdown continuing now more than ever is the time to make sure that we’re all coping as best we can.

While it’s important to check in on friends, family and neighbours we must also ensure that we’re looking after ourselves too.

Wellness guru and founder of Divine Empowerment Antonia Harman says that isolation and lockdown can have very negative effects on both ones psyche and emotions.

Speaking to OK! online, she said: “It’s easy to allow negative thoughts fill your head when you have so much time to sit around and do nothing. These thoughts can then get so dense and can really weigh you down.”

Make yourself smile

Antonia says one way to cope with the lockdown is by making sure you are trying to have fun.

“Please take this time to have some fun. Laughter really can heal. One minute of anger weakens the immune system for 4-5 hours. One minute of laughter strengthens the immune system for 24 hours.

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“Watch comedies, whatever makes you chuckle. If you are in solitude, you can even have a movie night, with friends watching the same film at the same time and group messaging comments.”

Learn new hobbies

Learning new skills and trying something completely different is another tip for survival.

“This is a time to take up new hobbies, get to that book you have forgotten to finish. Learn things online.

“We never have enough hours in the day. There is never enough time to do all the things we want to. Spring clean, go through your wardrobe, drawers, cupboards and finally ditch the things you don’t need and never use.

“Clearing the house is cathartic, you feel lighter when it’s done. What have you been putting off until retirement besides travel? Can you do that now?”

Do some exercise

Exercise is of course recommended for those who are able to – and it doesn’t have to be jogging in the now crowded parks.

Antonia says: “Make use of this time and use fitness and exercise to be well. There are so many yoga and exercise videos being posted for free now. Get fit, stretch, expand.

“There are plenty of online gigs too. Live music even remotely is such a wonderful source of joy. Don’t miss out. Don’t let this virus get you down. This too shall pass my friends.”

Wellness expert Antonia is also hosting virtual events via Zoom to help teach people techniques and tips for feeling more relaxed.

Antonia said: “On Friday 29th May at 6pm UK Time I will hold an online class to make you feel healthier, happier and more relaxed.

“During the event I’ll demonstrate tip and tricks to dissolve anxiety, stress and negativity to enhance your personal wellbeing – both physically and mentally.

“I’ll also do a live demonstration of my pioneering techniques during the event. From breathing work to energy healing, this is a complete 360 wellness experience to bring out your best self!”

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