Blog Posts by Kim Hookem-Smith

  • Unexpected Animal Best Friends

    It’s usually every animal for itself out there in the natural world - but these heartwarming pictures show best friends can come in all shapes and sizes

    Whether it’s a fox and hound, duck and rabbit or, erm… a giraffe and an ostrich, these images show there are some unlikely alliances in the animal kingdom.

    A Northern sea otter is also pictured relaxing in the water with a Common Goldeneye drake, while a Persian cat is seen cuddling up on the sofa with a rat. They may an unlikely pair - but Bea, a three-year-old giraffe, and Wilma, an ostrich, have become the best of friends (PA)They may an unlikely pair - but Bea, a three-year-old giraffe, and Wilma, an ostrich, have become the best of friends (PA)

    Elsewhere a Tasmanian Devil nuzzles it's companion, a kangaroo, in Tasmania, Australia and a fur seal proves particularly popular with two penguins.

    Water friendship: An otter and a duck chill out together. (Caters)Water friendship: An otter and a duck chill out together. (Caters)

    Furry friends: This particularly hairy Persian Blue Colourpoint cat gets acquainted with a rat. (Caters)Furry friends: This particularly hairy Persian Blue Colourpoint cat gets acquainted with a rat. (Caters)

    A Tasmanian devil and Forester Kangaroo in Tasmania, Australia. (Caters)A Tasmanian devil and Forester Kangaroo in Tasmania, Australia. (Caters)

    Let's be friends: A baby rabbit and two ducklings sit together on pile of wood. (Caters)Let's be friends: A baby rabbit and two ducklings sit together on pile of wood. (Caters)

    Best pals: An Antarctic Fur Seal with Gentoo Penguin in South Georgia, Antarctic. (Caters)Best pals: An Antarctic Fur Seal with Gentoo Penguin in South Georgia, Antarctic. (Caters)

    The fox and hound: Two more unlikely animals forge an alliance. (Caters)The fox and hound: Two more unlikely animals forge an alliance. (Caters)

    These two birds decided to become friends with a giraffe. (Caters)These two birds decided to become friends with a giraffe. (Caters)

    Elsewhere a Jack Russel finds a firm friend in a fox cub during a walk in Bedfordshire, UK.

    The adorable images taken by a host of photographers from all around the world prove that no matter what species, we all need a little help from our friends.

    Amazing wildlife videosAmazing wildlife videos

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  • Ducks Get Their Own Waddle-Path On The Canal

    The webbed-footed inhabitants of canal trails in London, Birmingham and Manchester have been given their own waddling space to remind humans to slow down

    With urban living, ducks just don't get the respect the deserve these days.

    Until now. Introducing: Waddle Paths.(Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for Canal & River Trust)(Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for Canal & River Trust)

    Yes, this is a real thing! Adorable!

    When you're using the canal path as a short cut on your cycle to work, running along it to keep fit, or bowling along with your mates weighed down with summer-in-the-park BBQ supplies it's easy to forget that the canal and its surrounds are actually a whole ecosystem of life.

    So the Canal & River Trust are trying to remind us of the balance of life around the waterways, and get us to respect the lives and homes of the creatures who live there.

    Which is where these waddling lanes for the canals' live-in ducks come in.(Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for Canal & River Trust)(Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for Canal & River Trust)

    They may only be temporary, and try telling a duck exactly where it's allowed to waddle and where it's not, but they're meant to help the canalside waterlive get along with humans who enjoy the ambience of the area too.

    But the prinipal is to show that on the canal towpaths at least, it's time to take life slow. As, if

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  • Storage Porn: Beautiful Solutions For Small Living Spaces

    There's nothing better than seeing a perfectly ordered cupboard give way to lines of perfectly filled, hidden drawers. Just us?

    If your drawers are overflowing with STUFF, you don't know where anything is and your 'just in case' items are threatening to take over your room/flat/house, it's time to get savvy with your storage solutions.

    And here's a great place to start.

    This REVOLUTIONARY underwear drawer sorter (atypicalpea.com)This REVOLUTIONARY underwear drawer sorter (atypicalpea.com)

    1. UNDERWEAR DRAWER STORAGE

    If your underwear drawer is a scramble of pants, tights, socks all mixed with tampons that have lost their box, you need diamond-shaped dividers.

    But for the truly craftular, you don't ahve to buy them, just use cardboard to create your own. GENIUS.

    Hint: Next time you order a box of wine, take the carboard slats used to keep the bottles from knocking against each other.

    Secret storage (diy-enthusiasts.com)Secret storage (diy-enthusiasts.com)

    2. HIDE YOUR JEWELLERY BEHIND A PICTURE

    Everyone loves a secret hidey-hole and if your jewellery is taking over all your dressing table space and then some, it's time to hoik it up high and hidden away behind the false front of a picture. Also good for hiding it away from theives.

    DOUBLE it! (alittlecraftinyourday.com)DOUBLE it! (alittlecraftinyourday.com)

    4. DOUBLE THAT CLOSET SPACE

    Using just a humble ring pull, you can

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  • GIN AND TONIC ICE CREAM IS HERE!

    Nobody panic, there's only G'n'T flavoured ice cream on its way this summer. The only question is, why didn't this happen sooner?

    The Queen will be delighted. A gin maker and an ice cream maker have put their heads together to create gin and tonic flavoured ice cream, just in time for the summer.

    What a truly fabulous idea.Gin!Gin!

    Long British summer days spent in the park just got about 100 per cent better.

    Sipsmith, a London distillery, are the gin makers, and they've teamed up with Jude's ice creamery to create the little pots of ginny delight.Jude's G&T Ice CreamJude's G&T Ice Cream

    And what will this genius new invention taste like? Well the chaps at Sipsmith say: "The delicately balanced botanicals of the Sipsmith London Dry Gin with Jude’s creamy, award-winning crème anglaise base mix, and added a splash of tonic water and lemon."

    Sounds pretty damn lush to us.(Giphy)(Giphy)

    You'll find us in a drunken heap on the grass surrounded by empty cartons most Saturdays this summer. Yaaay!

    Sipsmith/Jude'sSipsmith/Jude's

    Jude’s Sipsmith Gin and Tonic Ice Cream will be available in 120ml pots exclusively at Selfridges from the 20th May and online at Ocado from the 1st June 2015.

    [Five Summery PORT

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  • After The Election We Asked The Office To Name London's 33 Boroughs: Can You Do Better?

    During the election there was much excitement over each borough in the land declaring its results but even though the Yahoo UK offices are based in London, it seems the team found the London Boroughs Quiz pretty taxing

    London has 33 boroughs to house its eight and a half million inhabitants. In the recent election there were 73 London constituences that squished into these 33 boroughs.

    But as we Londoners desperately scrabbled to find our voting cards to see what borough we even lived in anyway, and watched the results roll in, it became clear, no one really knows where Havering is. So I set the Yahoo office a challenge.We love London, but it seems we don't know it very well...We love London, but it seems we don't know it very well...

    And frankly, the results were poor.

    They were given a blank map of London's boroughs. I gave them the City. This is how they filled it in. I said I wouldn't name and shame them, but, I lied. And I made them put their names on it anyway. Soz guys.

    Last place went to London resident Soph, with three.

    [Yahoo][Yahoo]

    Soph felt that Houslow was best placed in the north east and Lambeth has moved north of the river. Those lucky Lambethians.

    [Yahoo][Yahoo]

    Our resident American in London made a sterling effort with the central boroughs, but we're not sure Barking residents would be too keen to be plonked next to

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  • Happy Breakup: The Service That Offers To Dump Your Other Half For A Small Fee

    If you need to chicken out of dumping someone, why not call on a professional service that does it for you and even offers the extra of a sympathy hamper?

    Breaking up is hard to do, even if you're the one that totally wants out.

    And if the prospect of seeing your soon-to-be-ex's disappointed face is too much to bear, why not delegate out that misery to someone who's got more experience of dealing with the dumped?Do the decent thing, get someone else to dump your partner by text (sorryitsover.com.au)Do the decent thing, get someone else to dump your partner by text (sorryitsover.com.au)

    It might be a total copout but could it be easier on both of you?

    The Australian site, Sorry It's Over, offers a text message, email, phone call, posted letter, flowers, sympathy hamper or even a personal meeting.

    For a simple text message - where you can choose from standard lines or customise your own, the dumper pays around £2.80 and for a personal meeting, £34.

    "Why look them in the eye and watch the hurt?" Mazins asks. "No one wants to deal with all that screaming, sobbing and begging."

    The sympathy hamper might be a stroke of genius, containing importantly a bottle of wine, chocolates, and tissues, as well as a written affirmation and less important, a pack of peanuts and, er, snakes.

    In some cases it might be best for

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  • How To Peel A Whole Head Of Garlic In 10 Seconds

    No more garlic fingers: This easy-peel garlic hack is awesome

    Prepping garlic's always a faff - whether you chop the ends off, carefully peel away the skin and crush each clove, or soak the whole head for half an hour.

    But all along there's been the easiest way to do it that'll save your fingers from smelling for garlic for days after your meal and take you a fractio of the time.Gorgeous Garlic (REX)Gorgeous Garlic (REX)

    Beyhold!

    The new video by Diply shows exactly how to solve your garlic woes.

    All you do is put the whole head of garlic into a jar (Mason or otherwise), shake it to oblivion for about 20 seconds, then tip out into a bowl and fish out the skinned garlic cloves. And you can neatly throw the skin directly into the bin. Perfect for cooks who hate mess too.

    Can't be bothered to watch the video? Try this neat gif instead:

    Yay, Garlic! (Pinterest)Yay, Garlic! (Pinterest)

    Thanks us after your next spag bol.

    [Five Unusual Ways To Use WD40]
    [This Shoelace Hack Will Change Your Life (For Reals)]

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  • Does It Matter If Lady Gaga Takes Her Fiancé's Name?

    Is it bad news for equality that Lady Gaga's changing her name, or good that the media is surprised? Our (now married) wedding blogger discusses

    Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, has revealed that when she marries she will take financé Taylor Kinney's surname.

    The news has made some waves in the media, which means either it's a big deal that a woman who's made a name for herself (pun intended) wants to change it, or that it's a slow news day and 'woman plans to change her name after marriage' is all they could find.Lady Gaga revealed she will take partner Taylor Kinney's name when they marry (Getty)Lady Gaga revealed she will take partner Taylor Kinney's name when they marry (Getty)

    If it's the former it echoes something I've been struggling with in my first month as a wife. I'm yet to make a decision on whether to take my husband's name or not. And while some women (perhaps Gaga included) seem to find it a happy and easy choice, for me it's rather agonising.

    Should Women Take Their Husband's Name?

    Do I take this opportunity to reinvent myself, combine us as a singly-named family unit and mark myself as an official Mrs, or do I make a statement that I have no need to change my name and stick to Ms. My husband and I are no less of a team for having different names.

    I don't think there's

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  • Vegetarians & Vegans Missing Out On Dinner Parties For Being 'Difficult'

    It seems anyone whose diet isn't 'I eat everything' is not welcome at many of our tables

    There are lots of reasons a person might choose to be a vegetarian or vegan - wellbeing, doctor's orders, morals, green credentials, that they simply don't like the taste...

    But it seems most of us omnivores just can't deal with that when it comes to inviting them to our dinner parties. So if you're a veggie, no foodie evenings out for you.Many vegetarians find themselves excluded from social occasions (REX)Many vegetarians find themselves excluded from social occasions (REX)

    And it's not just diet choices that get you culled from the invite list - those with allergies and illnesses that restrict their diets are out of luck too. Sorry coeliacs.

    Though 10 million Brits have a restrictive diet of some sorts, understanding and sympathy seems to be on the low side in the general population.

    In a study by Genius Gluten Free veganism was named the most 'irritating' food choice according to dinner hosts, followed closely by vegetarianism, perhaps because these are seen as a choice, compared to something like a nut allergy.


    Most (80 per cent) of the 2,000 adults polled admitted they hadn't a clue how to cook gluten-free food, 57

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  • INFOGRAPHIC Mental Health Awareness Week: Stress, Mental Health And The Workplace

    The reality of stress in the workplace, what it does to the workforce and what employers should be doing to help their workers

    Mental health is a huge issue in the UK but there's still a cloak of silence around it, particularly in the workplace.

    But with one in six of us currently dealing with a mental health problem, it's time employers faced up to their responsibilities to their workers' wellbeing - both mental as well as physical.

    Paperstone has put together this Infographic to reveal the scale of the problem, and offers some solutions.

    (Paperstone)(Paperstone)

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