The Queen rides her favourite black pony everyday during lockdown & is looked after by 22 live-in staff at 'HMS Bubble'

WE'VE all developed our new "normal" daily routines during lockdown – whether that's doing laps of the street once everyday or wolfing down our sweet treats as soon as they're out the oven.

And life in lockdown is certainly different for The Queen too.

According to the Daily Mail, Her Majesty has been riding her favourite black pony around the grounds of Windsor Castle where she is self-isolation with Prince Philip.

The publication reports the 94-year-old drives herself in a bottle-green Jaguar to the private Home Park within the Windsor estate for her daily exercise.

Once she arrives at the private park, the Mail reports: "Head groom Terry Pendry ensures her ponies are ready and that he keeps two metres from his boss.

"The monarch's ride of choice is a black pony called Carltonlima Emma, named after the stud near Leeds where she was bred, and the routine gives The Queen a sense of both freedom and normality."

Since going into lockdown in late March, The Queen and Prince Philip have a team of 22 devoted staff who are living away from their families to create a shield around the royal couple.

The team of 22 – which is being referred to by staff as the "HMS Bubble" – includes The Queen's favourite page Paul Whybrew (who reportedly even watches telly with Her Majesty) and her private secretary Edward Young.

In an email sent to all staff, master of the household Tony Johnstone-Burt called upon his experience as a former vice-admiral and likened the coronavirus crisis to a navy exercise which required them to live away from their families and cope with uncertainty and anxiety.

The Queen spent her 94th birthday in lockdown this year and celebrated the occasion with a Zoom call with her family.

The Queen has been around horses from her early childhood, with her first riding lesson taking place when she was just four at the Buckingham Palace Mews.

She was given a Shetland pony named Peggy as a child, going on to follow the sport throughout her life.

In more Royal Family news, The Queen’s coronation was almost ruined by her lady-in-waiting nearly fainting on live TV.

And The Queen once ‘hid in the bushes’ at Buckingham Palace with her corgis to avoid an ‘awkward chat’ with a guest.

Plus Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent their ‘quiet’ second wedding anniversary ‘as a family’ and ‘refused all work calls’.

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The Ultra-Comfy Sneaker with a 14,000-Person Waitlist Is Back in a Cool New Color



Buy It! Cariuma Ibi Sneaker in Stone Black Knit, $98; cariuma.com

The Ibi Stone Black Knit was created for two key reasons: customer demand and past success with similar all-black styles. It has all the same eco-conscious features shoppers have come to love of the Ibi, like the bamboo knit upper, sugarcane sole, and laces made of recycled plastic bottles. The main difference is that it’s the first black-soled Ibi — great for people who just can’t stand it when their white-soled sneakers get dirty (this writer included) — and it might just be the brand's most versatile style yet. 

"It's important to build products that are not only easy to wear, but are also for multiple occasions," Cariuma's co-founder Fernando Porto tells PEOPLE. "A triple black sneaker that is this comfortable may be the ultimate versatile sneaker we've made so far. They look pretty cool with everything!"

Waitlists have taken on an entirely new meaning these days — but what they represent is all the same. Just like a long waitlist at a restaurant indicates how buzzy a restaurant is, a long virtual waitlist for a product restock is indicative of its popularity. And in a popularity contest (something we’re not advocating for), Cariuma’s Ibi would win most popular of the year.

Shop the coolest new addition to the Ibi family at cariuma.com.

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE’s Shopping newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home décor and more. 

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The Best Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

We love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!.

If you’re in the market for furniture, don’t miss out on Wayfair’s epic Memorial Day sale. They’re offering up to 70% off, plus they have a limited time flash deals section where you can score extra discounts before the time runs out.

Below, shop our best finds from with sale, with extra items from the fan-favorite Kelly Clarkson’s Wayfair line.

Read

You Can’t Miss These Finds From Kohl’s Epic Memorial Day Sale

We love the texture of this beige area rug with black tassels. Place it in your living room or bedroom. 

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

If you need clothing storage, look no further than this garment rack. It has wood shelves for that mixed material look. 

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

Add a French country feel with this solid wood armchair. It has a traditional nailhead trim.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

If you’ve always wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer, here’s your shot. It has 10 speeds and comes in a white that matches any kitchen.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

We’re obsessed with these special dining chairs in a whitewashed hue. The caned back is super on-trend.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

Who says your desk lamp has to be basic? This option makes a statement.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

This freestanding full-length mirror adds a touch of glam. It has a wood frame covered in linen with nail-head accents.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

Add some midcentury flair with this coffee table. Its legs come in a gold finish.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

This neutral sectional will fit into your space perfectly. It comes with five accent pillows for you to play around with.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

How beautiful is this solid pine wood bed? We love the attention to detail, from its scalloped base to its arched top.

EComm: TK Finds From Wayfair's Memorial Day Sale

Looking for more Memorial Day deals? These are the best sales from A to Z.

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The difference between oil-based cleanser and water-based cleanser

Thanks to rise of the double cleansing method, inspired by K-beauty routines, choosing your cleanser just got a whole lot more complicated. Not only do some dermatologists now recommend you cleanse twice each time you wash your face, rather than once, but they also recommend using two different cleansers to do so —one oil-based cleanser, and one water-based cleanser. It’s important to understand the difference between the two and, more importantly, determine which products are right for your skin.

Oil-based cleansers are recommended as the first step of double cleansing, or for those with sensitive, dry skin. “The theory behind oil cleansers is that they’re thought to remove bad excess oil because they have similar chemical properties as skin oil, which allow them to interact,” Arielle Nagler, MD, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Health. “This is in contrast to washing with water, which separates from oil.” Oil-based cleansers are not recommended for people with oily skin.

If you have oily skin, water-based cleansers are better

Water-based cleansers, which we think of as foaming washes, on the other hand, clean skin by “rinsing away particles from the outermost layer of skin” and use a surfactant, Lily Talakoub, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist told Sunday Edit. “Water-soluble particles, such as dirt and pollution, emulsify in the lather of the surfactant and rinse off the skin,” Talakoub explained, adding, “This, however, also rinses away the natural oils, so water-based cleansers are better for oily or acne prone skin types.”

For those using to integrate both into their routine, Talakoub recommends starting with the oil-based cleanser, followed by the water-based cleanser. As Ellinor Quay Coyne, a dermatologist based in Washington, D.C., explained to Vox, “The oil-based cleanser in the double cleanse method is a great way to remove sebum (overproduced in acne) and makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day,” and “You can then penetrate the pores more deeply with the water-based cleanser.”

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Family totally revamp their worn out garden during lockdown complete seating areas, a fireplace and a playground

OUR time in lockdown has been the perfect time to tackle any tasks around the home that have otherwise been left neglected.

And one family has shown exactly what can be done in a small amount of time after completely revamping their entire garden in just 23 days .


Natalie Woolley, a travel adviser and her husband Tom, a plumbing heating engineer had planned to get their yard done by a landscaper.

But having both been furloughed as a result of coronavirus, they decided not to drop a huge chunk of cash on their yard.

Determined to still get their dream garden, and keen for something to do, the pair thought up another plan, and what would have cost them £10k ended up costing £1500 instead.

Natalie shared snaps of her garden online which showed dead grass riddled with weeds, along with a worn out timber decking that's seen better days.


Now, however, the spruced up garden consists of freshly laid grass, two seating areas, a stunning new decking and it even includes a play area for the kids and a fireplace for mum and dad.

In her post on the Gardening on a budget official Facebook page, Natalie wrote: "So pleased with our family garden project 23 days in total , we all played a part but my partner Tom did all the hard work. We recycled everything we could"

And added " Not gonna lie not sure any of us like painting anymore."

But the hard work paid of, no doubt, as the old timber decking is now a stunning shade of grey and a new tiled patio features a super modern, and popular, stencil design.




Addressing inquiries on the Facebook post, Natalie revealed that she used Dulux Weathershield ultimate masonry paint in Concrete Grey for the decking and added the shade Jasmin White to create the stencil pattern.

The stencil, she said, was from Dizzy Duck Designs and she used a sponge to apply the paint claiming it was much faster and results in a neater finish.

Speaking with Fabulous, Natalie said: "We was meant to have had it done by a landscaper start of May which was going to cost £10k but with me a travel adviser and Tom a plumbing heating engineer we have both been put in furlough, so didn't want to spend so much money.

"Tom always likes to keep busy so he decided we'd do it together. Overall we've spent about £1500, as we've tried to recycle everything we had – main aim was for little to have garden to play in and us to relax."


And just in time too as the Woolley now have a perfect yard to relax in over the sunny bank holiday weekend – and can continue for weeks and months to come.

Fellow green fingers loved the transformation too, with many gushing over the new look.

"You all should be really proud it looks stunning, a great transformation," one person wrote.

And a second wrote: "Looks lovely, your hard work has paid off."

While many others dubbed the new look "stunning" and "fabulous".

In other home related  news, we told you how people are loving this stylish outdoor rug from Lidl costing less than a tenner.

We also revealed how a woman turned her "tiny" garden into a stunning space on a budget.

And this is why picking white bedding can instantly make your bedroom feel more expensive.

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How Kinesio Tape Actually Works

Your Personal PT, Rachel Tavel, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) at Shift Wellness in NYC, so she knows how to get your body back on track when it’s out of line. In this weekly series, she gives you tips on how to feel better, get stronger, and train smarter.

Around the time of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, colorful strips of tape strategically stuck in various ways across athletes’ bodies started popping out on broadcast competitions. The bright, sticky stuff reappeared in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, drawing even more attention. Volleyball players reached for balls with bright pink and black tape stretched in criss-crossing patterns around their shoulders and swimmers appeared with it strewn about their backs. For those outside athletics, the application was mystifying: What was this tape all about?

Kinesio Tape (KT) is a brand of elastic therapeutic tape used in rehabilitation practices and sports to reduce pain and disability from injury. The goal is to help anyone from an elite athlete to a weekend warrior (or even grandma and grandpa) to move better. The brand is actually one of many different types of kinesiology tape, and probably the most well known—like Kleenex for tissues.

Originally developed in 1979 by Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, the goal of the tape was to provide support while allowing movement and promoting healing of soft tissue injuries. Different application techniques serve different purposes, so depending on what is going on in your body, a trained and certified practitioner and user of KT will know which approach is right for you.

The tape itself is made up of a gentle cotton fiber strip that has one medical grade adhesive acrylic side that adheres to skin (and yes, hair… brace yourself for the removal part). It’s actually designed to mimic the elasticity of human skin. The material is latex free, hypoallergenic, water resistant and designed to stay stuck to the body through showers, sweat and all that life throws at you. The stuff should stick for three to five days, but then you’ll need to reapply.

TutyeGetty Images

By lifting the top layer or skin ever so slightly, KT creators claim the adhesive quality of the tape helps promote lymphatic drainage and promote circulation, therefore reducing inflammation and pressure on the underlying tissue. The technique may even have the ability to help relax or stimulate muscles.

Depending on why you are using the tape, knowing the underlying anatomy of the body is critical for proper application. Different amounts of stretch and different attachment points are strategically selected to obtain the desired effects. Oftentimes the taping patterns you see on the surface of the skin will match up with where tendons attach to bones, where muscles are injured, or where swelling persists around a joint. But one thing is consistent: the taping is applied in a way that still allows you to move. Unlike other materials that completely limit movement, KT is not strong enough to completely immobilize a joint—and that is deliberate, in this case.

While the tape might not look like it is doing anything on the surface (except making you look extra sporty and cool), research suggests that it actually does what it claims to do. One small study, for example, showed KT is effective at improving muscle torque and strength in the quadriceps muscles of female athletes and another much larger study showed it is effective at reducing neck pain and improving mobility.

The effect of using kinesio tape is more neuromuscular than musculoskeletal, meaning it affects proprioception or your body’s awareness of itself in space rather than just mechanically distorting the tissue. In other words, the tape can help to improve signaling between the sensory receptors in the body and the brain so your brain has a better response to what is happening in the environment.

Don’t believe me? That’s okay. I was once a doubter, too. But after smacking some tape on and seeing results, I’m now a believer and a fan. Next time you have an injury, ask your PT if KT is appropriate for you and make your own conclusions. The pain of ripping it off when you’re done might just be worth it.

microgenGetty Images

When to use it: A certified physical therapist can help determine when it is appropriate to use KT in your treatment, but here are a few common uses of KT:

When using Kinesio Tape:


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Are Birkenstocks Cool? Jason Momoa Just Ended the Debate.

When it comes to experimenting with style choices, every man has his limits. Trends like fanny packs, clunky dad sneakers, and rompers for men—that one still has us shook—are embraced by some and scoffed at by most. Truth is, we men know what we like, and in terms of style, we know what’s a safe bet.

However, on the ever-so-rare occasion, a new accessory comes along or a new trend gains momentum that piques our interest. Yes, trying to figure out how to wear something and when to wear it can be too intimidating for most men to take the plunge. As a style editor who welcomes new trends and is rarely intimidated to dress outside my comfort zone, even I drew the line at Birkenstock sandals and clogs.

Growing up in New York City, I’ve always had an aversion to “mandals.” Can you imagine how many germs can reach your toes when pounding the pavement of dirty city streets? Because I can. And when I did finally shake my germaphobia, I opted for a sleek, minimalist sandal, not the footwear I associate with crunchy, granola folks who enthusiastically recall stories of Woodstock.

Somehow, some way, over 50 years since the first Birkenstock sandal was produced, I surprisingly find myself googling images of the Arizona and Boston style. So, what drives a man to question his sartorial choices? For one, Birkenstocks have slowly but surely gained popularity over the past two decades. The New York Times reported college kids embracing the footwear brand back in 2006, while The Wall Street Journal debated Birkenstock’s cool factor in 2015, and The Financial Times even dared to call them “sexy” this past summer. Even on the fashion runways, extra-orthopedic sandals were dubbed a top trend for men this summer. Sure, this kind of built-up ethos can sway a man’s opinions, but what really changed my mind was one photo of Jason Momoa looking effortlessly cool in pair of Birkenstock’s Boston clogs.

Momoa’s unshakable confidence and bold style choices could inspire any guy to unapologetically peacock with a fresh look, but as we’ve seen with his style evolution morph over the years, the Aquaman actor’s best looks can be credited to his collaboration with Jeanne Yang, veteran celebrity stylist to A-List actors like Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, Christian Bale, and Collin Farrell. So, when I saw this simple-yet-elegant Birkenstock look Yang styled Momoa in last year, I knew she would be the perfect style savant to discuss all things Birkenstocks with. Exceeding my expectations to finally answer the simple question “Are Birkenstocks cool?,” Yang revealed the one thing all men should do when embracing a style decision outside of their comfort zone that can have you channelling the cool confidence of Hollywood’s most stylish men.

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Are Birkenstocks Cool?

Birkenstocks are not a trend, they’re a style staple. “There’s something interesting to the way the company straddles between cool and comfortable and it’s really rare,” says Yang. “To me, Birkenstocks are like the Stan Smith. This is something that for the rest of your life you can wear and you never have to worry about it going out of style. When you do a closet clean out, you won’t think of tossing them, you’ll think of getting a new conditioning kit, because it’s still cool and always will be.” Both Momoa and Yang are longtime fans of Birkenstock. In fact, Momoa’s whole family wears Birkenstocks.

When styling Momoa, both for his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (when he wore Birkenstocks) and other events, it’s a true collaboration. “Jason is who Jason is,” says Yang. “He’s always his genuine, authentic self.” Instead of just pulling outfits for a specific event, Yang will curate a capsule of separates each season for Momoa to don—like the dirty pink sweater from The Row that Yang bought a few months prior, before Momoa wore it with white Tom Ford jeans and Birkenstock Boston clogs.

So when Momoa was planning on surprising two lucky people on Ellen’s “Greatest Night of Giveaways” episode in December 2019, the duo wanted Momoa to look like his casual, cool self, but slightly more dressed up for this appearance. After debating between flip-flops, which felt too casual, and rugged boots, which felt too serious, Yang settled on her and Momoa’s go-to comfortable shoes.

Jason Momoa, I couldn’t possibly love you more. Thank you for helping Brian and Sofia. #EllensGreatestNight pic.twitter.com/gGAPlu7j1l

“He’s essentially playing Santa to this family and the Birkenstocks were the perfect touch—you know, the suede Bostons,” says Yang. “Because there’s a warmth to them, they’re comfortable, and he was giving a gift to a family in need. It was one of those situations where he wanted to feel natural and comfortable and those Birkenstocks were perfect thing to create that soft and comfortable warm feeling.”

The key to Birkenstock’s cool factor is their unmatched comfort and ease. Yang compares the growing interest in Birkenstocks to the trajectory of sneakers, having made their way from casual to red-carpet approved.

“I remember years ago when I dressed Robert Downey, Jr. for the Oscars red carpet in a tuxedo and a pair of Lanvin sneakers and it was thought to be this crazy thing,” says Yang. “Sneakers have become a huge part of people’s lives [outside of performance wear] and I think it’s not necessarily the sneaker, it’s about the comfort level. I think the next iteration is someone who wants to have that feeling of comfort, but wants to show more personality.”

How to Wear Birkenstocks

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that a pair of Birkenstocks carry a punch of personality. However, Yang suggests there are multiple ways to wear it if the bohemian chic look isn’t your cup of tea. Whether you’re going for a California-cool vibe or want to add a relaxed feel to your preppy garb, just make sure your pants balance out the width of your Birkenstocks.

“Because Birkenstocks have a wider last, I would avoid wearing a pant that’s too slim with it,” says Yang. “It’s a real juxtaposition and might be too significant seeing the width of the shoe with the narrowness of the pant leg. Generally speaking, it is a little bit more of a relaxed shoe, but if you’re going to dress them up, go with a fresh pair of Birkenstocks in a rich texture, like suede.”

Yang recommends strappy Arizona sandals for a summer shorts outfit and the Boston clogs to pair with a longer pant. Momoa’s suede Boston clogs provided the perfect textural mix when paired with his white denim jeans and soft pink sweater—it elevates his look, without making it look too forced. Isn’t that what every guy wants to look like? Cool, confident, and expensive.

Confidence Is Key to Wearing Birkenstocks

You might be sold on the comfort and style of Birkenstocks, but if you’re not sure you can pull off the look, all you have to do is look to yourself for the answer (and a few friends.)

“From my post, I had people saying ‘Jeanne, let’s be honest, he can wear anything’ and I say ‘Yeah, you’re totally right,’ but I think sometimes taking that picture and having a friend say to you ‘Oh my God, you look amazing! Go for it!’ is important—that’s what these celebrities get,” says Yang. “They get confidence from stylists, groomers, publicists, agents, and to have four or five people give a little sense of ‘yeah, you look good,’ it makes a big difference.”

While millennials and the Gen Z crowd feel more comfortable taking selfies, older men might feel silly taking photos of themselves, but Yang encourages men to take pictures or even take a good look in the mirror to see their own reaction. If you looked pained in the face, you’re not going to fool anyone, but if the photo or your reflection makes you look comfortable and happy, you can wear anything.

“I think it’s really about how comfortable they are,” says Yang of celebrities’ confidence on a red carpet. “If you look at Julianne Moore or Charlize Theron, all these ladies wear Birkenstocks all the time, because they’re comfortable and you can wear them with anything. It kinda conveys a feel of cool. You’re just like ‘oh yeah’—there’s this sort of underlining hipness to them.”

A smirk and some swagger goes a long way for confidence that translates to how you carry this new look. And when in doubt, find yourself a cheerleader.

“I holy profess the importance of getting cheerleaders,” says Yang. “It’s just like sports without cheerleaders, without crowds, without the audience. You want the reassurance of people and that is a big confidence booster.”

As I wrapped up my conversation with Yang, she assured me that I wouldn’t regret my choice in purchasing Birkenstock Boston clogs. Though she did warn me that I might curse her for “cheerleading” this purchase.

“The real problem I find is, once people try a pair, they never want to take them off or wear another shoe,” says Yang. “It’s not about trying to get someone into Birkenstocks, it’s about trying to get someone to take them off.”


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Meghan and Harry are ‘living the fairytale’ in LA – and got their mega mansion as they ‘know people’, reveals Gayle King

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry are “living the fairytale” since moving to LA with one-year-old son Archie, friend Gayle King claims.

The US host, who is a close friend of the Duchess of Sussex, reflected on the couple’s relationship on their second anniversary on Monday.


Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the CBS This Morning host said: “They've got a little baby, Archie, they're living in the United States, and I think the fairytale continues for them and it just makes me happy.”

Harry and Meghan are believed to be staying at producer Tyler Perry’s swanky £15million Tsucan-style villa in LA.

And while it was rumoured that Meg’s pal Oprah Winfrey had orchestrated the stay, Gayle, 65, says that’s not the case.

She continued: “Oprah didn't hook that up. Harry and Meghan know people.

“Tyler knows people. Oprah knows people but she did not make that connection for Harry and Meghan to live in Tyler's house.”

The Tuscan-style villa offers spectacular, sweeping views of the city from their ultra-exclusive neighbourhood.

And inside, the home is kitted out with all the amenities any A-lister could crave, including a Grecian spa-style bathroom with white pillars and a sunken bath.

There is also a spacious kitchen with a marble island that looks perfect for foodie Meghan to whip up some meals for her small family.

Meghan and Harry reportedly flew on Tyler’s £120m private jet to move into his Beverly Hills mega-mansion in March.

Insiders told the Daily Mail: "It was a well-planned operation that appears to have worked perfectly" – allowing the couple to avoid any type of wait at customs.

It is unknown whether the couple are renting or staying there as guests, but there is no record of the mansion having been sold.

Aerial photographs reveal the couple's A-list neighbours – with red carpet stars such as Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence and Sir Elton John. 

In other royal news, we told you how Kate and William didn't publicly congratulate Harry and Meghan on their second anniversary.

And Meghan Markle loved learning martial arts her former trainer has revealed – and she chatted to him in Spanish.

Meanwhile, the Queen is said to have found Meghan Markle’s wedding dress ‘surprising’ because it was so white, royal sources claim.

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Boy, 13, saves his mum £200 by fitting her new laminate flooring himself after she moaned about the state of her carpet

A SINGLE MUM has saved £200 on laminating her bedroom floor after her 13-year-old son insisted he knew exactly how to do it – an ddid it himself during lockdown.

Stay-at-home mum Samantha Corbin, 33, had complained about the state of her bedroom after she was forced to tear up the carpet when family cat, Sparkles, was sick on it last month – knowing it would be near-impossible to find a tradesman to do the job in lockdown.

But the mum-of-two, from Pennar, Pembrokeshire, decided to take a chance when son Toby,then 12, insisted he could re-floor it for her – all he needed was the tools.

After ordering £130 worth of laminate flooring, a jigsaw and saw, the savvy youngster transformed his mum’s room in just two days after previously watching tradesmen complete the job downstairs in the family’s three-bed terrace.

Samantha then added the finishing touches with a lick of spare paint and a £64 roll of wallpaper – bringing the total transformation cost to just under £200- and saving another £200 on labour.

Toby, who's in year eight, dreams of being an engineer when he grows up, and even captured the hearts of Screwfix staff after he then ordered himself a much larger and more dangerous circular saw online.


Samantha was forced to quickly request a refund, with the trade retailer replying "we admire his enthusiasm, but this is certainly not for a child!’.

Speaking of the carpet's condition, Samantha said: “When the cat was sick on the carpet it was the end of the life of the carpet – my daughter had already spilt suncream on it and there was no bringing it back.

“It was a horrible carpet anyway so I pulled it up and I was living with just the bare floor.

Samantha said that she was complaining as she was ripping it up saying that it looks terrible and moaning that she wouldn’t be able to get a tradesman in because of the lockdown.

“That’s when Toby said he said he could do it," she said.

“He said ‘it’s easy’ – we had had the downstairs floor done and he said ‘I’ve seen it being done, it’s not that hard, all I need is a saw and a jigsaw’.

“So I chose the flooring and he did the rest.

The proud mum said she couldn’t believe it when she first saw the new look and thought it looked likeprofessional job.

She said: “Some people have said how could you trust your 12-year-old to do that but if he was going to do a really bad job, I would have known straight away.


“I could see within 30 minutes that he was doing such a good job – he had done two rows and they were all perfectly straight.

“I’m just really proud of him. He was only 12 when he did it, it’s not the normal thing you think of a 12-year-old boy doing – most of them wouldn’t even care.

“He is the man of my house, " she continued, "he does mend and fix everything that he can for me.”

The incredible flooring job inspired Toby to also use his new tools to build a duck house for the duck eggs he, his mum and sister Annabelle, three, have been incubating since lockdown began.


But the trade savvy youngster got slightly ahead of himself on his 13th birthday this month, when he used his birthday money to order a £120 circular saw from Screwfix – leaving Samantha red-faced and requesting a quick refund.

She said: ‘He had his birthday four weeks after doing the floor and I gave him my details to get himself something from Screwfix – he was adamant that he wanted to order tools.

“But when I sent his dad the screenshot confirmation of the email so he knew what he’d got with his birthday money, straightaway I got a call back from his dad saying ‘he can’t get a circular saw’.

“I hadn’t realised how dangerous they were, so I had to email Screwfix to get a refund and explained the situation.

“They replied saying that they admired his enthusiasm but the tool was not appropriate for a child!”

After splitting with Toby’s dad when he was just a toddler, Samantha describes her 13-year-old as ‘the man of the house’.

But bringing up Toby and his little sister on her own meant that Samantha had no time to decorate her own room in the last two years since moving in.

She said: “I moved into the house two years ago and I literally just put a bed in my room.

“I focused on making sure Annabelle and Toby’s rooms were done first.

“This was the first opportunity that I had to do something about it – and everyone says it looks professional.”

In other news, amum shares her genius hack to get her toddler to fold his own clothes and all you need is a cardboard box.

And this mum revealed her clever hack she uses to ensure kids don’t lose parts of board games during lockdown.

Plus, a mum shares a quick and easy hack for folding babygrows & parents can’t believe they never thought of it.

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The sultry ‘I Knee-d You’ pose is the latest Instagram look celebs from Ellie Brown to Kim Kardashian are loving

NOW that the lockdown has prevented us all from posing in front of flower walls or taking photos of our avocado toast, we're having to get a lot more imaginative with our Instagram content.

Fortunately, there's a celebrity-approved pose taking off online – and everyone from Love Island's Ellie Brown to Kim Kardashian is a fan.

That said, this sultry move definitely isn't for the faint-hearted – although it might make a welcome change from the grubby tracksuits we've been wearing day-in, day-out over the past seven weeks.

Showing us how it's done, Ellie Brown donned a matching tie-dye bikini to pull off the "I Knee-d You" pose.

And while stars like Ellie, Sophie Kasaei and Holly Hagan opted for a squat variation of the pose, Kim Kardashian, Vicky Pattison and Laura Anderson preferred to basically stay sitting.

But if you can't think of anything worse than parting with your comfies and slipping on a bikini (guilty as charged), then Molly-Mae Hague has got you covered.






Combining a good old fashioned mirror selfie with the 'I Knee-d You', the Love Island star still donned her designer loungewear as she balanced on her knees in an Instagram post earlier this month.

Alternatively, Gabby Allen demonstrated how you can work this move into your exercise regime as she posed for a post work-out selfie.

But above all, Chloe Ferry is the biggest fan of the "I Knee-d You" and has showed off countless variations on her Instagram feed – from sitting on her marble bathroom floor to posing in bed.

Or you can take a leaf out of Megan Barton Hanson's book and use the pose to show off your best PJs.






In more celebrity news, Stacey Solomon made stunning vases out of old light bulbs and the results are amazing.

And Zara McDermott, Emily Atack and Chloe Ferry have shed weight in lockdown – how celebs are toning up without the gym.

Plus Vicky Pattison has revealed sex is hotter than ever with boyfriend Ercan during lockdown.

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