Shameless! First ever festival to tackle sexual violence hits London

When we talk about sexual violence and rape, it tends to be hush-hush.

Whether that is because of shame, stigma, or lack of knowledge, sadly it means that people who are affected by these issues are not given a voice.

Now, these crucial matters are taking centre stage and getting the attention they deserve with a festival all of their own.

The first ever Shameless! Festival – produced by SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters) and WOW: Women of the World – is hitting London’s Battersea Arts Centre this month.

[Credit: Shameless! Festival]

On a mission to change attitudes and share ideas, the event will unite activism and art for an incredible day that will empower society to trigger change collectively.

With talks from survivors and researchers, alongside performances by poets and musicians, the day will champion the importance of creating wellness spaces in everyday life.

As a taster of who to expect, the line-up boasts model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, WOW founder Jude Kelly, and Black Minds creator Rachel Nwokoro.

[Credit: Shameless! Festival]

Talking about the gathering, which falls November 27, the curators say they hope to encourage people to openly address what has always remained a taboo topic.

The team said: “Everyone is invited to join this vital festival to spark conversation, address the global crisis of sexual violence in all its forms and help get rid of the shame often attached to it.

“We will revolutionise conversations around sexual violence; burst open inherited ideas of shame; and give everyone the chance to say to all societies, enough is enough, sexual violence must end.”

Festivalgoers – who are invited to pay what they can – will be invited to choose from a variety of workshops and talks, as well as browse a marketplace and access onsite support.

To grab your ticket, click here: Shameless! Festival.

Rethinking relationships: How to stay safe and sane in love

As love comes innately from within, we often give little thought to having to teach it.

Yet without education, we fail to equip people with the tools needed on how to navigate consent and the challenging relationships they may find themselves in.

This is why the work that Kimie Pearl does is vital, literally saving lives.

By putting love on the learning map, Kimie says we can revolutionise unhealthy romances by not only helping abuse victims recover but also preventing abuse from happening in the first place.

[Credit: Kimie Pearl]

Sharing her pearls of wisdom through her platform WorththeWar, Kimie delves into difficult topics such as narcissism and pornography to help people understand the warning signs.

Speaking about her quest, Kimie said we must prepare people for real love instead of broken lives as currently we are doing a disservice to future generations.

Kimie said: “We spend more time learning to walk, read, and drive than how to love. What are we doing to help people avoid abuse?

“Most of us entered relationships with little or no prep. Many of us were given ideas that set us up for abuse more than real love.”

She continued: “Let’s rethink love for the hearts that follow us. Let’s earn our seat at the cultural discussion on love.”

[Credit: WorththeWar]

Kimie kickstarted WorththeWar after a family member experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) and realised how little preparation we are given for healthy love and relationships.

Here in the UK, sex and relationships education (SRE) only became mandatory last September, meaning schools must educate students on the emotional and social aspects of growing up.

Kimie, who is based in Columbus, Ohio, says her mission is to help people identify what is healthy, as otherwise we will never be able to call out what is toxic.

She said: “It was necessitated by a dark season for our family, but it has given us a place of understanding to help other people avoid the suffering.

“Our passion is sparing hearts by rethinking love, this is done through articles on my blog and sharing other resources including YouTube videos, Instagram messages, or Tik Toks.”

[Credit: WorththeWar]

Kimie also has plans for an upcoming book so people have tips and tricks at their fingertips.

When you consider one in five women and one in seven men experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner, more action is needed to prepare people to avoid abuse.

By the time they are in these toxic relationships it could well be too late, with people trapped and unable to escape, or worse, having their lives taken in extreme violence.

This is where WorthTheWar strives to empower people, to recognise toxic and abusive mindsets when they encounter them and feel confident in finding freedom.

Kimie concluded: “People who embrace these ideas will be able to enter dating and relationships with confidence that they can build a relationship they are looking for, it would be great if they could also avoid the time and wounding that comes from abusive partners.”

To get help now, click here: WorthTheWar.

Home Alone LEGO set  hits shelves! Entertainment for hours this Xmas

Stop what you’re doing, the best Christmas gift has officially dropped.

You can now have the iconic Home Alone inside your own home!

The Hollywood film location has shrunk to doll house size and now comes in a LEGO set boasting 3,955 pieces to keep you entertained for hours.  

[Credit: LEGO]

Mirroring the McCallister residence, in which a baby-faced Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin) cooked up a masterplan to fight two crooks after his family forgot to take him on holiday, the set boasts a clone exterior and interior to take you down memory lane of the 90s classic.

As you recreate the magic, you’ll resurrect memorable moments with Buzz’s pet tarantula, the robbers’ van, the paint cans used to knock them down, and the treehouse with zipline.

There is even a miniature lotion from the infamous bathroom scene where little Kevin slaps aftershave on his cheeks and screams the house down in horror of the stinging sensation.

You’ll also be reunited with the main characters, including standout star Kevin, mum Kate, and, of course, bungling burglars Harry and Marv.

The brainchild of Alex Storozhuk, 28, the Ukrainan submitted his pitch to LEGO Ideas, an initiative that encourages designs by fans for the fans.

Speaking about his triumph, Alex said: “Just like every 90s kid, I grew up watching Home Alone and it takes a very special place in my heart.

“I can’t even imagine holidays without it. This movie is very nostalgic and makes those warm childhood memories come up every time.”

[Credit: LEGO]

In a bid to conquer the overwhelming number of pieces, the set has been created like an advent calendar and is split into 24 bags so you can build the house in sequence with the movie, starting with meeting the thieves and ending with Kevin’s reunion with his mother.

The designer who took Alex’s concept and created the final set said she was stunned by the likeness of the replica and can’t wait for people to experience it in tandem with the film.

Antica Bracanov explained: “Bringing Alex’s Home Alone house to life has been brilliant fun.

“He’d thought about every aspect, from the layout of the rooms to the use of colour and, of course, the details from the movie to make it instantly recognisable.”

[Credit: LEGO]

She added: “We wanted to make the experience as immersive as possible. The step-by-step build which mirrors the movie, and the ability to open up the set and see inside, lends itself well to hours of joyful focus this holiday season – just add a festive backdrop and a certain Christmas movie.”

We know what’s getting added to our festive wishlist today!

To grab your LEGO set, click here: Home Alone.

[Credit: LEGO]

Feeling frazzled? Recharge your batteries by conquering stress

While you may try to relax by telling yourself ‘don’t stress’ in times of crisis, this could be doing more harm than good.

The reason being that humans are wired to deal with anxiety and brain activity that causes us to release stress hormones happens to keep us safe and alert.

Therefore, telling ourselves not to stress is redundant, and instead we should be looking at ways to manage it rather than unrealistically trying to eliminate it.

But if a little stress is healthy, how do we welcome it without feeling overwhelmed by it?

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Dr Rita Louise is here to the rescue!

As a naturopathic physician and energy healer, she knows the intricacies of how a negative mindset can influence overall wellness and, crucially, how to conquer it.

To help others recognise the importance of reducing stress, Dr Louise likens our adrenal glands – where hormones are produced in response to stress – to batteries in a flashlight. 

And just as batteries can drain, so can our internal ones.

[Credit: Soul Healer]

Dr Louise said: “Chronic stress keeps our adrenals running all day and all night long.

“This non-stop usage can cause them to become fatigued and less able to deal with what is being presented to us on a day-to-day basis.”

She continued: “This ‘battery’ can become so depleted they, when put on the charger, may not charge at all or when it is charged, the charge expends itself quickly.”

Essentially, overworked adrenals can cause us to react to even the smallest thing and it can feel like we are walking on eggshells even though there may not be anything negative going on.

Yet we don’t have the privilege of popping down to Argos to replace our personal batteries, so we must recharge them in more proactive ways.

For Dr Louise’s top tips, check out the list below.

[Credit: Mathilde Langevin]

1 Breathing

Breath during stress-filled times is critical. Danger, real or perceived activates our stress response, which causes us to shallow breathe or hold our breath.

Stress can also negatively affect our immune system.

When we breathe deeply, it activates our parasympathetic nervous system which makes it easier for the body to relax. It can help to reduce inner tensions and allow you to be more present.

2 Mindfulness And Chronic Stress

Try taking a mindful inventory around what you might be feeling. Challenging as this may sound, but it is possible to separate what you are thinking and feeling from your present reality.

Simple questions such as, ‘do I have food to eat’ or ‘do I have a place to live’, can help centre you back into reality and be used to break free from an out-of-control cycle of worry or rumination.

If you experience and emotion: acknowledge it. Remember emotions are designed to flow through the body. Do not hang on to. Like a bad joke, laugh at it and let it go. Take a few deep breaths and allow it move through you – do not let it become you. It is a wonderful and simple method.

3 Find Some Quiet Time

Try to meditate, go for a walk outside, work in your garden, journal, exercise or read a book.  They are all great ways to naturally release unwanted energies that might be overloading your system.

Any activity that engages you, be it physically, mentally, or spiritually will work.

To check out Dr Louise’s full column, click here: How To Recharge.

Reinventing diets: Food from our ancestors is making a comeback

Pringles, Pop Tarts, Pepsi… all yummy, but not exactly natural.

To celebrate the food that we as humans are more genetically designed to need, a chef is taking a trip down memory lane to reintroduce our ancestral diet.

With a special focus on meats hunted by his forefathers, Sean Sherman creates delectable dishes using bison, deer species, river fish, and game birds.

[Credit: The Sioux Chef]

For the vegans out there, there are also plenty of plant-based recipes with ingredients such as mushrooms, squashes, corn ash, sunchokes, sassafras leaves, bergamot, wild rice, and berries.

Coining himself The Sioux Chef – in honour of his indigenous roots and a play on ‘sous chef’ [second-in-command in the kitchen] – Sherman hopes to reintroduce native flavours so that people can not only thrive on fresh produce but reclaim their culinary past.

Having grown up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the US state of South Dakota, he is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe who began as a group in the 18th century.

Reflecting on his lineage, Sherman said he wanted to know what his Lakota ancestors were eating and how they were they accessing the oils, salts, fats and sugars that they needed.

[Credit: The Sioux Chef]

Chatting about his work, Sherman said: “It took me quite a few years of just researching, but it really became a passion.

“Part of our challenge to ourselves was to cut out colonial ingredients, so we stopped using dairy, wheat flour, cane sugar.”

No sugar?! Gulp!

He added: “For indigenous people who went through intense assimilation, we lost a lot of our food culture. But we’re at a point now where we can reclaim it and evolve it for the next generation.”

Sherman is a big believer that sharing culture through food can lead to healing and connection.

[Credit: The Sioux Chef]

Working his way up from a dishwasher at a local steakhouse, Sherman is now the proud owner of his own restaurant, Owamni in Minneapolis.

On the menu, you can expect to experience the true flavours of North America, featuring foods of Mni Sota Makoce, known as ‘the land where the waters reflect the clouds’.

You’ll find delicacies such as game sausage, Red Cliff lake trout and persevered rabbit.  

For a taste of history, click here: The Sioux Chef.

[Credit: The Sioux Chef]

‘How to live a happy life’ Blogger spills secrets on food and wellbeing link

We feel you, clicking buttons on a laptop or even hopping in the car to the local supermarket is just so damn convenient.

Yet convenience is a huge trade off when it comes to saving the planet, not to mention nurturing your health.

By growing your own, whether you have a garden or modest windowsill, you hit the jackpot – look after Mother Nature and be safe in the knowledge you are noshing nutrition free of pesticides.

[Credit: Cherry’s Cottage]

If you’re not green-fingered, don’t fret. Foodie blogger Cherry’s Cottage has been busy sharing her secrets, having taught herself during the pandemic.

She also creates beautiful bath products using natural ingredients for chemical-free soaps and scrubs, which she sells on her Etsy shop.

Chatting about her venture, Cherry explained that it all began when she decided to rip out a dozen raised flower beds bursting with weeds and grass to see what would happen.

To her surprise, she was bitten by the gardening bug and has never look back.

[Credit: Cherry’s Cottage]

Cherry said: “I always told myself that gardening wasn’t for me because I was stung by a bee at school and the swelling went all the way up my arm.

“Also, I’ve never been a fan of slugs, worms, and other slimy organisms but now I understand and respect their importance in our ecosystem.”

She continued: “My mum’s family were farmers in China and she proudly declared after my weeding victory that I had ‘farmer genes’. I will take it.”

Cherry now champions the farm-to-table ethos, which celebrates using locally grown food or livestock to generate fresh produce and reduce waste.

[Credit: Cherry’s Cottage]

The Seattle-based star describes herself as an ‘urban grower and community builder’ who is passionate about championing sustainability and inspiring others to grow their own food. 

Reflecting on her achievements, Cherry says there is nothing like picking tomatoes fresh off the vine and encourages everyone to see ‘it is like harvesting candy’.

Cherry concluded: “Science always tells the truth because it has no incentive not to. There are so many things we can personally do which, on a global scale, can make a huge impact.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle things that would otherwise go to the dump and reduce unnecessary levels of methane emission.​”

For tips on switching your consumer habits, click here: Cherry’s Cottage.

‘Follow your dreams’ 89-year-old smashes age stereotypes to earn PhD

We’ve become so accustomed to saying ‘I’m old’ each time a birthday rolls around, regardless of hitting 18 or 80, that we forget how young we actually are.

Not Manfred Steiner.

This chap is flying the flag for everyone who feels young at heart.

Proving life is just beginning in his 80s, the age-ain’t-nothin’-but-a-number whiz went back to school and earned his PhD – one year shy of turning 90.

[Credit: Leon Wu]

Despite a successful career as a doctor, with a focus on hematology [study of blood], he always had a love affair with physics and this niggling feeling never vanished.

And so, at 89, he finally fulfilled that dream, earning his qualification from the prestigious Brown University which counts Harry Potter’s Emma Watson amongst its alumni.

Speaking about his achievements, Manfred – who grew up in Vienna before moving to the US – casually threw in that it is his third doctorate, but it’s this one he cherishes the most.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Manfred said: “I am really on top of the world. I always had this dream: Gee, someday I would like to become a physicist.

“When I was a medical student in the early 50s, I used to sneak into the physical institute and listen to talks because I was so interested, particularly in quantum physics, the new stuff at that time.”

Now, the grandfather hopes to inspire future generations to follow their dreams and resist the negative thinking that life is over at a certain age.

[Credit: Karlis Reimanis]

Chatting to a local radio station, Manfred said: “You know, it took a long time. There were medical problems in between that were very serious. But fortunately, I’m here now.

“All the young people, if they have a dream, follow that dream. Don’t give up on it. If it doesn’t work out, he said, they can go into something else. But first, follow your dream.”

Despite having been awarded the highest level of academic study, Manfred is far from finished and plans to continue “as long as my mind says okay”.

The everyday hero added: “I’m going to do some studies with theoretical physics. I don’t need a lab. I just need a computer, and I need paper and pencil.”

Just off to browse the local uni website for courses…

Smart eating: How noshing the right food can save the planet

Chucking the odd bit of food out doesn’t seem like too a big deal, right?! But all those bits soon add up, with a whopping 3.6m tonnes wasted each year.

Bearing in mind, that’s the UK only!

Oh, and that figure is calculated from the food industry alone, not individual households which make the number rise exponentially.

Not only is this a travesty when you consider how many people go hungry, but it is also devastating for the planet.

[Credit: Sharon Pittaway]

Mother Nature takes an almighty blow when food is thrown into landfills as waste produces harmful gases which trap heat in the atmosphere and affect temperatures.

In addition to this, the producing, moving, storing, and cooking of food can play havoc on Earth and unless we act quickly, we risk causing irreversible damage.

Yet there are things we can do to break the cycle, by simply noshing with purpose.

Check out the top tips for mindful eating below, collated by the fab folk at TimeOut.

[Credit:Miscusi]

1 Soil is important

New pasta restaurant Miscusi is flinging its doors open next month in Covent Garden, shining a light on the importance of healthy soil.

All dishes will feature seasonal ingredients, grown with organic farming, and will be created to reduce carbon footprints by focusing on the biodiversity impact of food.

The restaurant will also introduce an industry-first loyalty scheme that will reward diners for making food choices that are friendlier to the planet.

Be sure to pay them a visit next month: Miscusi.

[Credit: Edward Howell Photography]

2 Eating seasonally is crucial

Another newbie to the Big Smoke will see Warehouse put sustainability front and centre, with the plan to provide seasonal food while supporting local suppliers.

Their head chef, Brendan Eades, said it best when he explained: “If a menu stays the same all year round, it is not sustainable, because all you’re doing is mass-producing certain ingredients and not capitalising on fresh, local produce.”

He added: “Our menu will listen to the seasons. It takes flexibility. I’ll see things available from my produce suppliers one week and the next week they’re gone.”

To support their ethos, click here: Warehouse.

[Credit: Justin De Souza]

3 Find out how your fish is caught

Just as we consider the welfare of how our cows, chickens and pigs are kept, society is waking up to the idea that we need to nurture our fish too.

And Hackney fishmonger Fin and Flounder are already ahead of the game by opting for fish caught via small boats rather than farm-raised or imported produce.

This virtually eliminates the environmental impact that commercial fishing methods inflict, like bottom trawling where nets are dragged along the seabed and destroy it.

Chatting about their outlook, shop manager Mike Harrison said: “As a rough guide, always buy locally and seasonally, and eat fewer big, predatory fish.

“Shellfish – clams, mussels, hand-dived scallops, potted crabs and lobster – are a very sustainable option due to their abundance and position in the food chain.”

He added: “Avoid imported fish and try some of the lesser appreciated species like plaice, flounder, spider crab or whiting.”

To pay them a visit, click here: Fin and Flounder.

While saving the planet can feel like an exhausting upward battle, with these champs taking the reins, it makes better options a lot easier to choose.

For the full article, click here: eat to save the planet.

Never too late: Gran, 52, creates breathtaking crystal jewellery

It’s that time of year again when you start thinking of what to buy people for Crimbo.

Now, with the rise of Etsy and online sellers, you can not only gift a loved one something unique, but also support small businesses in the process.

Let us introduce you to Jacqus Design, sole trader extraordinaire serving up deliciously beautiful jewellery that will make you stand out from the crowd.

[Credit: Jacqus Design]

Handcrafted with ‘care, love and positivity’, the stunning creations include earrings, bangles, and necklaces to treat that special someone (or yourself).

Personally, we have our eye on the amethyst and rose quartz that have been twinned together with copper wire to craft a statement piece.

There are also treasures with tiger eye, cherry quartz, new jade, and black tourmaline that are guaranteed to brighten up any outfit.

[Credit: Jacqus Design]

The delicate wizardry behind the handiwork belongs to Jacqueline, originally from Aberdeen but who now lives in the Wirral, Merseyside.

At 52 years young, and a proud mum and grandma, she is living proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Speaking about her new path, she explained that despite always having a flair for creativity, it was only recently that she embarked on it as a business venture.

[Credit: Jacqus Design]

Jacqueline said: “I lost my job when the company I worked for folded in 2020 due to the Covid outbreak, so I needed to busy myself with something new.

“I have always loved crystals and gemstones, so I learned how to craft jewellery. I opened my Etsy shop in March and fingers crossed I will continue to grow.”

She added: “It has rapidly become more than a passion and I can be found in my workshop for days on end, cooking up inspired and delicate items to wear and enjoy.”

So, next time you Google ‘gift ideas’, remember Jacq’s jewels are just a click away.

To champion small businesses, tap here: Jacqus Design.

[Credit: Jacqus Design]

A phone that protects you! The future of safe tech has landed

Whether you’re browsing your favourite store online, following Google Maps, or even watching TV, your data is being collected in the background without you knowing.

The reason for this is because the website you’re on, such as Facebook or Google, can build a profile about you which they can sell to advertisers.

In turn, advertisers then target their ads at consumers (you!) with greater precision.

The intricate web is so tailored to the individual that two neighbours could be watching Love Island at the same time yet be shown different ads in the commercial break depending on each person’s distinct data profile.

[Credit: Clear United]

While that might not sound too bad – after all, why see an ASOS ad when you are more of a Marks + Sparks enthusiast – the consensus is that it is intrusive and many people aren’t aware of being tracked as the information is hidden deep in the T&Cs.

Now, you can take back control of your personal data!

And it’s all thanks to blockchain.

You don’t need to be an expert in the dark web to use it, Clear United do that for you with their phones that empower you with technology free from being spied on.

[Credit: Clear United]

Their core mission is to arm individuals and families with control over their privacy, while also protecting children’s safety and securing your data.

Promising to give you the internet you want, the phones offer a new type of private network where you can regain your digital identity from big tech giants.

In their mission statement, they vow: “ClearPHONE is the first phone that blocks trackers, malware, spyware, viruses, phishing attempts, cookies, ads, and more.

“It runs on a secure operating system that won’t allow teenagers to sideload sketchy apps or work around parental controls (check out the number of YouTube videos that show kids how to bypass controls)… And without all those ads and trackers, phone performance actually increases!”

[Credit: Clear United]

The team added: “ClearUnited builds products that helps us all take back our digital lives and be safe on the internet.

“We also donate 100% of company profits to help global causes designed to level the playing field for people all over the world.”

Ads might just look like pretty pictures most of the time, though when you consider their power to manipulate you due to infiltrating your subconscious mind when you are in your most relaxed state, you realise how they affect every aspect of life.

From defining trends, creating traditions, and cementing our values, ads are more than the wallpaper of our world, they are often the storyteller too.

To take back the pen and write your own story, click here: Clear United.

For a more personalised approach, you can also contact James Neale on the following information and simply quote ‘InspoDaily’:

Email: jwneale59@hotmail.com

Telephone: 07866502102

Twitter / Insta: @jameswneale

Facebook: James Neale