Savvy midwife, 23, rakes in $15k per year by selling placenta products

Savvy midwife, 23, earns an extra $15,000 each year by selling smoothies and face creams made with her clients’ PLACENTAS

  • A 23-year-old midwife rakes in an extra $15,000 a year selling placenta products 
  • Ciara Noble has been collecting fresh placentas from new mothers for two years 
  • Although some people might be turned off by it she thinks it’s a beautiful thing 

A savvy midwife rakes in an extra $15,000 per year by selling homemade placenta products.

For the past two years, Ciara Noble has been collecting fresh placentas from new mothers and at their request, transforming them into capsules, essences, face creams, creative keepsakes and even raw smoothies.

The 23-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, became a certified Placenta Remedies Specialist two years ago after researching the benefits new mothers may experience from consuming their placenta.

‘Some people might be turned off by it, but it’s such a natural and beautiful thing,’ she said. 

‘I’ve provided my services to over 100 women so far and have had nothing but positive feedback. It’s an amazing to feeling to know I’ve helped in some little way.’ 

For the past two years, Ciara Noble has been collecting fresh placentas from new mothers and at their request, transforming them into a variety of different products

Ms Noble launched the business Kindred Postnatal Products in January 2017 and said she’s sold her placenta products to hundreds of different women.

The young woman, who works full time as a midwife, runs her business on the side – with the extra income even helping her fund a dream holiday to New York City earlier this year.

‘I first heard about the possible benefits of placenta encapsulation which turns the placenta into pills to swallow after I graduated from university,’ she said.

Ms Noble has chosen to work with placenta because she said it’s ‘so important’ and ‘so special’ as it keeps a baby alive for nine months.  


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She has turned the placenta into products such as capsules essences, face creams, creative keepsakes (pictured) and even raw smoothies

Ms Noble launched the business Kindred Postnatal Products in January 2017 and said she’s sold her placenta products to hundreds of different women

‘There are so many women that just don’t want to see it or know about it and just throw it away. But why wouldn’t you want that back inside you,’ she said.

‘There is this constant pressure for women to be flawless mothers and bounce back straight after birth, which just isn’t realistic, and this can cause lots of stress for new mums.

‘My role as a midwife is to make women’s transition into motherhood as smooth as possible. This is my passion, and so my decision to launch my business came naturally to me.’

The young woman, who works full time as a midwife, runs her business on the side – with the extra income even helping her fund a dream holiday to New York City earlier this year

Ciara says her most popular service is placenta encapsulation – which is believed to help with energy levels, hormone imbalances, reducing post-natal bleeding and increasing milk production.

Although less common, another method of placenta consumption which the midwife offers is to whip up a smoothie made from fruit, coconut water and fresh raw slices of placenta – which is said to provide an ‘instant’ energy hit.

‘Once I get the placenta I cut it into thin slices, and I pop it into the dehydrator for 15 hours, the same as if you were making beef jerky or dried fruits,’ she said.

‘Then I’ll put all the slices in a blender and whizz it up into a powder. I have a pill making machine that makes it all into little capsules.’

Ms Noble has chosen to work with placenta because she said it’s ‘so important’ and ‘so special’ as it keeps a baby alive for nine months

Ciara says her most popular service is placenta encapsulation – which is believed to help with energy levels, hormone imbalances, reducing post-natal bleeding and increasing milk production

Ms Noble said some women are concerned about an after taste, so she can add flavours such as bubblegum, lime or strawberry to help mask it.

The 23-year-old will either go to the hospital or their homes and make it for them within 12 hours of labour. 

‘The placenta smoothies are meant to be very potent and full of nutrients, as it’s done raw. You don’t kill any of it from the dehydration, and you’re putting back what you just birthed,’ she added. 

‘I’ll put fresh frozen oranges, bananas, strawberries, coconut water and a walnut-sized piece of placenta. It is just like a regular smoothie, but of course it’s red due to the placenta blood.’

Ciara also exerts her creativity in making artistic placenta keepsakes such as placenta-blood prints and little ornaments made from the umbilical cord which she fashions into different shapes.

She has a no-waste policy as she doesn’t want to throw anything in the bin, she wants to give it all back to the mothers.  

‘I absolutely love doing the little keepsakes an extra thing. I don’t charge for them, I just think it’s really nice to give it to the new mothers as an extra surprise,’ she said. 

‘The very first thing I do when I get the placenta is make the prints. You just need to lay a piece of paper on top of it and press it down, and it creates these beautiful paintings.’

‘The very first thing I do when I get the placenta is make the prints. You just need to lay a piece of paper on top of it and press it down, and it creates these beautiful paintings,’ she said

She explained that most of them are natural prints, which is made just with the blood of the placenta, but if she’s feeling creative she will try and do rainbow ones too.

She has a no-waste policy as she doesn’t want to throw anything in the bin, she wants to give it all back to the mothers

‘I also love the little keepsake ornaments. The umbilical cord is so beautiful. You can see the veins, and those are the lifelines that keep your baby alive,’ she said.

‘It depends how long the cord is as to what I can make. If a cord is only short I’ll just do a love heart, but if it’s longer I can make words like “love”. But not many people get that.’

Ciara said she never actually meets the mothers who buy her products, but rather simply collects the placenta from the hospital and then returns within 48 hours with the finished goods.

And despite having no children herself yet, Ciara said she would ‘definitely’ get the whole works done with her placenta when she becomes a mother one day.

‘I really love what I do and it means the world to me to know I’m making some small different in these women’s lives,’ she said.

‘Even if it’s just in a little way, if I can aid just one person through their postnatal recovery, it’s all worth it and I’ll know I’ve done my job.’ 

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This is what 71 looks like

This is what 71 looks like: Social media manager says laser treatments and spending time with animals keeps her young

  • Angela Laws, 71, from Brighton revealed how she maintains her youthful look 
  • She has used a Clarisonic cleansing brush on her face every morning since 2001
  • She has a £300 intense pulse light (IPL) laser treatments twice a year 

Angela Laws lives in Brighton with her husband John. She is a social media manager for a pet-sitting business. 

GOODBYE RETIREMENT

I believe we need a purpose at any age. Trusted House Sitters (trustedhouse sitters.com) gives me this: people often say I’m the oldest social media manager they’ve ever met. But I love a challenge. When I started, we had 13,000 Facebook followers; now it’s more than 220,000. I just won the Drum Awards Community Manager of The Year. It keeps me young and I have no plans to retire.

TRY POWER CLEANSING

I’m fastidious about skincare. My best investment was a Clarisonic cleansing brush (£120, feelunique.com). I’ve used it every morning since 2001, with Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser (£20). It’s a brush that gently pulses, like an electric toothbrush, and you massage it around your face. In 60 seconds, it cleanses six times better than by hand.

Angela Laws, 71, (pictured) from Brighton revealed spending time with animals and having a monthly Guinot Hydra- dermie Youth Moisturising Facial has contributed to maintaining her youthful appearance


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HORSE-RIDING HOLIDAYS

I’ve been riding since childhood. A hip replacement means I no longer own a horse, but I still go riding four to five times a year, usually on holiday. At 68, I did a three-hour Lord Of The Rings ride in New Zealand. Last year I rode in South Africa. It keeps me fit, on top of the regular exercise I do, walking dogs when pet-sitting. I find it so therapeutic to spend time with animals — they are the best antidote to loneliness.

MONTHLY HYDRAFACIALS

Every month, I get a Guinot Hydra- dermie Youth Moisturising Facial (£65, beautysecretsspa.co.uk). It is designed to re-hydrate mature skin, using a massage roller to maximise the absorption of gel serums. My skin feels much plumper after, and the dewy glow lasts for several days.

LASER TREATMENTS

I have intense pulse light (IPL) laser treatments (£300) twice a year that help to treat skin pigmentation — a problem I developed after living in several hot countries due to my husband’s work as an engineer. My dermatologist recommended it and it’s made a big difference. I’m in my 70s now and see no reason to stop, I do it for me, to make the best of what I’ve got. 

Do you look good for your age? Email your secrets to: [email protected]

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My life-changing day on the hospital frontline

My life-changing day on the hospital frontline: Are you one of the 20,000 selfless Mail readers who’ve signed up for our campaign and are wondering what to expect? JAN MOIR joined one helpforce and found humanity and the NHS at its finest

  • Jan Moir shared volunteering for the Mail’s Join the Hospital Helpforce campaign
  • She spent time at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital helping staff and volunteers
  • She says it’s important to support families and visitors in addition to patients 
  • Her role involved fetching blankets, cleaning and making tea for police officers
  • She describes the experience as hard work but incredibly rewarding
  • Jan shared her top ten tips for new hospital volunteers
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Eight o’clock on a weekday morning and I am standing in the A&E department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London. It is unusually quiet. Obviously things can and do get hectic. The previous evening had been eventful, with an influx of drink and drug-related cases and a nurse bitten by a patient.

Right now there are only a handful of beds occupied; a woman with diabetic issues; a man suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms; a worried family gathered around a middle-aged male who is noisily trying to discharge himself; and a young man in a wheelchair vomiting silently into a cardboard bowl. In the Emergency Observation Room an elderly lady has her broken wrist in plaster after a fall. She manages to apply some lipstick, but seems confused.

It is my first shift volunteering as part of the Mail’s Join The Hospital Helpforce campaign. Before we began our initiative, Helpforce at Chelsea and Westminster had 503 volunteers. They hope to reach 900 — one for every bed in the hospital.


Jan Moir (pictured) volunteered at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London as part of the Mail’s Join The Hospital Helpforce campaign

I am buddied up with Olivia, a rather glamorous 55-year-old who fits the traditional, stereotypical, middle-class, older, white female volunteer profile. Someone who has had a successful business life, but now wants to give something back.

She began volunteering a year ago, one morning a week from 8am to 12pm, after her husband (now recovering) was involved in a motorcycle accident. Chelsea and Westminster is also her local hospital. ‘Family members have died here; both my children were born here,’ she says. ‘I feel connected.’

We begin by clearing out the fridge in the kitchen, replacing the packets of sugar and plastic spoons, checking the stocks of bread and Coco Pops. The hot porridge trolley arrives and we orbit the department to see if anyone would like some. No takers.

There are requests for teas and coffees, and after this, Olivia heads off to the stores to get a gluten-free sandwich for a gluten-intolerant patient. Next, we snap on rubber gloves and remove the fitted sheets from any vacated beds, swab down the plastic mattresses and the bedrails with medical wipes, put on new sheets and place a fresh, folded gown at the end of each bed.

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Olivia goes to talk to the lady with the broken wrist and I note her friendly fluency and expertise at eliciting information while providing a warm degree of companionship. Does she want to make a phone call? Does she have her front door keys? When is her daughter coming? That’s a lovely shade of lipstick . . .

So far, I have not quite mastered this easy eloquence. ‘Do you feel OK?’ I inanely ask the diabetic lady, while delivering her a banana.

‘No,’ she replies.

For the rest of the morning we tour A&E; we tidy up, clean up, fetch water and extra blankets, make tea for attending police officers and staff, talk to patients, see if they need anything, check the supplies in the cupboard of donated clothes — some emergency patients have their clothes cut off — and try to add a layer of comfort and ease for both patients and staff.


Jan (pictured) helped to deliver prescriptions from the pharmacy to the wards in addition to cleaning, fetching blankets and speaking to patients

Olivia previously worked with refugees in Greece and seems to have made herself irreplaceable here. ‘Just making sure patients are comfortable,’ is how she sees her primary role. ‘Cleaning up, stocking up, making sure all are happy and fed. Placating those who haven’t seen a doctor, all that sort of thing.’

She says it is important to have empathy: ‘You need to understand patient frustration and be able to calm them down at a time when they are anxious. But, you know, I love volunteering. Not being paid to do something is really special. It is a nice way to give. And hopefully I have made a little bit of difference, cheered someone up, kept the place clean and tidy.’

A few days after this I work with Andrea, a dietitian from Hungary, who volunteered while applying for a full-time job within the NHS. She is part of the Bleep team, a band of volunteers who patrol the hospital with beepers, so they can be deployed quickly to carry out various tasks.


Inspired to join? go to… hospitalhelpforce.com (and why not tell all of your friends and family too)

These include delivering prescriptions from the pharmacy to the wards, collecting discarded wheelchairs and storing them at entrances and exits — exhausting but oddly fun — and helping to serve meals in the wards.

For the entire time she is never still — she racks up 20,000 steps per shift on her Fitbit. Volunteering here has made her super fit.

Yet all different types of volunteers are needed in hospitals. You don’t have to be an athlete like Andrea. If you want to sit at a desk and never see a patient, you can do that, too.

The sole job of one volunteer I met was to ring up everyone who was attending the Memory Clinic the next day. ‘I have to remind them of their appointment, otherwise they forget,’ she said.

A small task perhaps, but it seemed like the golden essence of volunteering; taking a time-consuming undertaking out of the hands of hard-pressed staff, leaving them free to do more important work.

How many people volunteer in hospitals?

25 % Increase in volunteer numbers since the start of our campaign

At Chelsea and Westminster there are 18 volunteer roles that cover every department except the mortuary and operating theatres. There are the Bleeps, the youth volunteers, maternity volunteers (who give peer support and help with family tasks, such as shopping) and even End of Life Care volunteers — a tough job, but many who have suffered bereavements often excel at this.

The hospital is particularly keen on female volunteers who have had traumatic birth experiences, asking them to support new mothers who have gone through a similar ordeal.

Yet you don’t need any expertise or niche capabilities to be a Meal Time Volunteer, and that is just as important. Getting patients to eat better is key to returning them to good health.


Jan (pictured) says her experience of volunteering was hard work but incredibly rewarding and claims it gave her a deeper understanding of hospitals

During my time on the wards I came to understand that you are there to help the patients as much as you can, but also to support their families and visitors, too.

And don’t worry about whether or not you are making a difference — you are. You have time, which is a precious commodity in a hospital. If you spend time with patients, they really value it, especially when the ward is busy. At those moments, you can provide patient companionship and reassurance; in general, you just get in there and do the sort of thing a committed relative would do. Do they need a glass of water, fresh tissues, the television turned on or off? It is amazing how they can go from anxious to grateful in a small amount of time.

Most importantly, you must not get in the way of staff or the smooth running of the hospital.

When helping with the lunches on a stroke ward, I mistakenly took a dirty plate back to the serving station where the hot meals were being served. ‘Don’t bring them here. Leave them in the ward. We collect them later,’ I was brusquely told. Ok. Lesson learned. And you have to learn, otherwise you are just in the way.

Volunteers generally fall into three types here. There are the students and 16-plus school pupils who need work experience that will look good on their CVs.

In return, they get skills, experience and talents that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

What advice does Jan have for new recruits?

1. DO wear close-toed, comfortable shoes that do not make a noise. You don’t want to be squeaking, clomping or clack-clacking your way about the place.

2. ARMS must be bare from the elbows down when you are working on the wards.

3. BE scrupulous about sanitising your hands at the gel pumps when you are moving around the hospital.

4. ALWAYS seek permission from a member of staff before doing anything you haven’t been asked to do.

5. REMEMBER that you are in the midst of the unwell; people who are at their most vulnerable. They might not always respond positively to your cheery smile and Florence Nightingale ministrations.

6. KEEP any fresh theories on how the NHS should be run to yourself.

7. DON’T advise a brain surgeon on the latest craniotomy techniques.

8. ASK before you move that wheelchair.

9. SEEK clarity about a patient’s condition before you approach them.

10. ALWAYS be reliable. If you commit, make sure you turn up. The hospital is relying on you.

 

‘Quite often,’ a volunteer administrator tells me, ‘they haven’t met any older people other than their granny.’ They learn how to communicate with people outside their normal social circles, a complete boon for anyone.

Then there are those who have had successful careers and want to deploy their skills and talents. Plus empty-nesters or those on a career break, asking themselves what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Volunteering at a hospital is a rewarding way to find answers to such questions.

Volunteers, of course, are not replacing paid positions. Initially there was tension between lower-paid workers, such as hospital porters, who were worried they were being pushed out of a job. The volunteers are there to help, not to supersede, and there are clear rules on what they can and cannot do. While volunteers, for example, can collect wheelchairs, they cannot push patients in them, which involves an entirely different set of responsibilities.

Before I volunteered, I worried I wouldn’t be able to contribute much, but those fears were unfounded. There is plenty to do.

‘The big problem in every hospital today is dementia,’ one doctor told me. At Chelsea and Westminster, volunteers walk dementia patients up and down the wards to give them a little exercise. Youth volunteers communicate with them using memory boxes filled with little trinkets from the past that might spark a reminiscence or conversation. These are all duties stretched nurses and doctors don’t have time to do.

So how did I feel about volunteering? I loved it. It was hard work, but incredibly rewarding. It made me understand hospitals a little more and fear them a little less. For in the middle of this state-of-the-art medical facility, I saw the NHS at its best; gratified to witness a great many acts of unsolicited kindness on all sides.

I came to understand that despite everything, humanity blooms even when staff are stretched to the limit.

On a more selfish note, you feel better about yourself afterwards; the work is a tonic and gives one an inner glow for doing something selfless. As Olivia says, not being paid to do something is special.

That’s why I have signed up — and I hope you will, too.

Inspired to join? go to… hospitalhelpforce.com (and why not tell all of your friends and family too)

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One glass is all you need this Christmas (but it’ll cost you £35)

Forget different glasses for red, white and fizz, The Queen’s wine expert claims: One glass is all you need this Christmas (but it’ll cost you £35)

  • Wine expert Jancis Robinson, 68, designed a glass to hold 125ml of alcohol
  • She was inspired after becoming fed up with different glass sizes for each drink 
  • She says her collection can be used for white, red wine and even champagne
  • Jancis explained the significance of each aspect of her glass design  
  • She chose a thin rim for her glasses in order to put drinkers in touch with wine 

Like most of us, Jancis Robinson had a cupboard full of mismatched wine glasses: tall elegant ones, short stubby ones, enormous ‘fish-bowls’ that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher. But none ever seemed quite right.

Which was how Jancis, one of the world’s leading wine experts, came to create her own ‘perfect’ wine glass with British tableware designer Richard Brendon.

She says you can use it for white and red wine, sherry, port and even Champagne — so no need for the usual forest of glasses on your Christmas table.

‘I have been writing about wine for 43 years and I’ve never been thoroughly convinced that different-shaped glasses will alter the taste of the wine,’ says Jancis, 68. ‘I’m also a pragmatist and very few of us have unlimited cupboard space to keep dozens of different glasses.’

Wine expert Jancis Robinson (pictured) who is an adviser to the Queen revealed the inspiration behind her new collection of glasses for enjoying wine

When it came to design, she certainly knew what she didn’t want.

Remember the Seventies ‘Paris goblets’ with their small, rounded bowls that were once a staple in every British kitchen cupboard? Well, they’re the wrong shape (too rounded at the top) and the glass is too thick, says Jancis, adding: ‘I have to say it was never a sublime experience to taste wine in those.’

She also came to loathe the huge, balloon-shaped red wine glasses that became popular in the Nineties: ‘Wine gets lost in a little puddle at the bottom — and they don’t fit in the dishwasher.’

So, what exactly does constitute the ‘perfect’ wine glass?

First, the bowl of the glass should taper towards the top, so that when you swirl the wine around before drinking (which you really should do, apparently), the aromas get trapped in the glass and don’t immediately escape.


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‘The opening at the top has to be big enough to get a really big nose in, but not so big that once you swirl the wine it would spill,’ says Jancis.

The stem, meanwhile, has to be sturdy, and long enough for a big hand to hold without warming the wine, but short enough to fit in the dishwasher. ‘That’s a no-brainer,’ she says. ‘You don’t want to be hand-washing loads of them — that’s when most breakages occur.’

Then there’s the rim. Jancis wanted it to be as thin as possible (which meant the glass had to be mouth-blown rather than machine-made), but also resilient. ‘It’s so sensual,’ she says of thin-rimmed glasses. ‘You feel you are being put in touch with the wine.’

The size of the bowl is also crucial. Ideally, you want to fill a wine glass only one-third full, so there’s adequate swirling space.

Jancis’s glass has been designed to hold a 125ml measure of wine, port or champagne

Jancis’s glass is designed to hold a 125ml measure, exactly one-sixth of a bottle, when filled to its widest point. ‘I also wanted it to be an utterly classical shape — no corners to hinder the aroma rising up,’ she says.

This aroma is vital to the wine-drinking experience, she maintains, and it’s why we should always put our nose in the glass after swirling and sniff before taking a sip.

‘Swirling releases the lovely aroma, which is at least half of what you’re paying for,’ says Jancis. ‘Our noses are much more sensitive as bits of tasting equipment than our palates. The subtlety of the wine is in the aroma — you get all the nuances and character.

‘I am not advocating everyone becomes poncey about this, but just swirl the glass and give a thoughtful sniff.’

But can you really use just one glass for red, white and even sparkling wine? ‘I can’t see the logic of having white wine in a smaller glass than red,’ insists Jancis, the author of 24 books on wine, presenter of TV’s first ever wine show and — since 2004 — a wine adviser to the Queen.

‘White wine is every bit as nuanced and complex as red, so it needs as much encouragement via a big bowl to express itself.’

Although the traditional Champagne flute’s narrow shape keeps the bubbles in, you can’t swirl properly or sniff. Maggie Henriquez, the president of Krug, compared drinking from a flute to going to a concert with earplugs in.

‘All the Champagne producers I most admire want their Champagnes served in wine glasses, and already in restaurants and wine bars in New York they’re doing this,’ says Jancis.

Jancis’s glass (pictured) that she hopes will put drinkers in touch with their wine retails at £35 each 

‘Top sherry and port producers also don’t want their wines corseted into little glasses. They want its complexity to be appreciated in generous glasses.’

Wine expert Joe Fattorini, host of Channel 5’s The Wine Show, thinks Jancis’s glass is as close to the perfect shape as it’s possible to get.

‘Logically, all this guff about having to use different shapes for different wines is bonkers,’ he says. Jancis’s glasses aren’t cheap, at £35 each. But how many do you know that can multi-task?

After creating her glass with designer Richard, Jancis had a clear-out of her own cupboards.

‘I probably had more than 50 glasses in at least 12 different shapes. Now I open the cupboard and all I have is one kind of glass, all lined up. It’s a lovely feeling.’

What are Jancis Robinson’s other must-have wine gadgets?

Specifically designed for women, there is no pulling involved. Simply wind the screw into the cork until it comes free. To release, turn back the other way.

amazon.co.uk

A great way of having only one glass, without letting in oxygen that will spoil the rest of the bottle. A long needle goes into the cork, and the remaining space is filled with inert argon gas. Then the spongy cork reseals.

harrods.com

The neatest way of cutting foil, perfectly below the lip of the bottle.

wineware.co.uk

This four-pronged device can be inserted onto a champagne cork and twisted to safely remove it without losing the ‘pop’. Make sure to keep pressing it down, while twisting, so you keep the cork under control. 

johnlewis.com 

The Jancis Robinson collection is available from richardbrendon.com, harrods.com and conranshop.co.uk   

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Here’s How To Find Your 2018 Instagram Best Nine To See Your Top Photos From The Year

At this point, you’ve probably seen a handful of people on Instagram posting their Best Nine collages, which — if you’ve never seen one — is essentially a photomontage of the user’s top-liked photos from the entire year. It’s a fun way to reflect on all the fun things you’ve done in 2018, so if you’re looking into how to make one for yourself, here’s how to find your 2018 Instagram Best Nine. You’ll definitely be happy you did.

If you’re looking to create a Best Nine collage, it’s totally easy. You can do it online by simply navigating to the Top Nine website, and entering your IG handle. Then to find your top photos, you’ll confirm the email address you want it sent to, you can choose superimpose it onto a bag or a mug for a small fee, and presto! You’ll receive a free digital copy of your best nine photomontage before you can even think of a witty caption. You’ll recall that last year people used a website called 2017 Best Nine to get their top pics, but this year, the go-to site is Top Nine.

On the other hand, if you have a private Instagram account, you’ll have to make yours in the Top Nine app. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play Store, depending on your device, and all you’ll have to do is enter your login information. Then, they’ll make you a Top Nine photo for all of your sharing wants and needs. Yes, it’s literally that easy.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Best Nine (known now in 2018 as Top Nine), that’s pretty surprising, considering it was around last year, too. In fact, Kim Kardashian’s 2017 Best Nine collage was absolutely adorable, and it definitely screamed "Insta-goals." North West was essentially the star of it all (which should come as no surprise), and honestly, I’m pretty jealous. My Best Nine basically consists of selfies and pictures from hikes, but that’s fine. It’s almost as cool as Kim’s, I suppose.

Despite the fact that Kim K’s Best Nine from 2017 was everything I could ever want, Kylie Jenner’s Best Nine from last year definitely takes the Kardashian-Jenner cake. Hers was totally comprised of selfies, as you would probably imagine, and let’s just say it’s clear she slays the selfie game. Anyone and everyone loves a good Kylie selfie (seeing as she’s basically a selfie queen) and even I, myself, can’t help but hit "like" every one I see in my feed. They’re too good, and I’m glad to see they’re getting the positive attention they deserve.

Making a Best Nine collage for yourself is easy peasy, as you could probably tell. If your account is public you can easily access it online, but if you’re private, you can simply download the app. It’s a simple and super fun way to reflect back on your year, regardless if 2018 was "totally your year" or if you’re happy to see it off into the distance. Either way, I can’t wait to see yours!

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Tom Holland & Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ IG Story Is One For The Fans

How does a superhero — or super-villain — master his tricks? Alone in the bathroom mirror, apparently. Not such a far cry from what us regular human folk might do if faced with a similarly daunting physical task (an actor rehearsing for a role, let’s say), so it somehow feels wonderfully fitting that Tom Holland’s latest Instagram Story with Jake Gyllenhaal, as reported by People on Sunday, Dec. 9, sees Gyllenhaal doing just that. Or, at least, it certainly looks like that’s what’s going on, despite the actor’s claims in the video.

Marvel fans who’ve been following Holland’s Instagram activity with Gyllenhaal as of late might know that both Spider-Man: Far From Home stars surprised fans at a Brazil Comic-Con event which took place in São Paulo over the weekend (and where a sneak preview of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel’s first trailer reportedly aired). But, from the looks of Holland’s latest IG Story video, it seems his co-star might be a little confused about which character he’s playing in Marvel’s new movie. That, or he’s still thinking about the original Spider-Man 2 switcheroo that never was.

"Uh, Jake. What are you doing?” Holland asks his co-star in the new IG Story video, part-amused, part-confused. Why’s that? In the background, Gyllenhaal — who confirmed via the social media site last week that he’ll be playing Mysterio, a popular villain from Marvel comics, to Holland’s Spider-Man in the upcoming film — is seen in the hotel bathroom shooting make-believe webs from his hands in front of a mirror. (Fans will definitely want to check out the video in full to get a load of Gyllenhaal’s accompanying sound effects.)

So, ahem, what was he doing in there, then? "Just drying my hands," Gyllenhaal responds quickly, before reaching to close the bathroom door. The whole interaction is sweet, silly, and — graciously — entirely captured by Holland’s smartphone camera. But the most amusing part of all this? Anyone familiar with Spider-Man: Homecoming and its cast is probably well aware that, while his co-star’s bathroom-mirror rehearsal session might suggest otherwise, it’s actually Holland who plays the film’s titular superhero.

Obviously, it’s hard to believe that Gyllenhaal could have traveled all the way to São Paulo without realizing that he won’t be playing Spider-Man in the upcoming Homecoming sequel. Those who saw Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio announcement post on IG last week know the actor seemed to have his facts straight about the casting at one point, though even he admitted it was a journey to get there. "I just realized I’m not playing Spider-Man," Gyllenhaal captioned his first ever post on the social media site on Thursday, Dec. 6. In the video, Gyllenhaal reveals a Spider-Man comic to the camera that’s appropriately titled The Return of the Man Called Mysterio!.

Though Mysterio was technically introduced to Marvel Comics as a villain back in 1964, Gyllenhaal’s take on the character will reportedly be a little bit more nuanced, as far as "bad vs. good" is concerned. Per a new report from Screen Rant, which cites a handful of tweets and reports from folks who attended the event in Brazil over the weekend, Holland reportedly told the crowd that Spider-Man and Mysterio team up in Far From Home.

Of course, fans of the franchise eager for more information about the new Spider-Man movie and its cast of characters will just have to wait until Sony eventually gifts audiences with a trailer, teaser, or plot description of some sort to fill in the gaps. As for what to do in the meanwhile? Well, it’s no movie trailer or anything (pretty please, Sony!), but at least we can revisit snippets of Gyllenhaal’s highly entertaining hotel bathroom impression as often as we’d like before Spider-Man himself slings his way back on to the big screen.

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Bittersweet reality of being a boomerang child aged 55

Bittersweet reality of being a boomerang child aged 55: she’s clever, independent and a published author -So why is KATE MULVEY back living in her dad’s spare room?

  • Kate Mulvey, 55, revealed why she moved back into her parents Chelsea home
  • She recalls being engaged in her forties but the relationship not working out 
  • She says in hindsight she should’ve begun trying to settle down in her thirties 
  • She told of passing the opportunity to buy a London flat in the late Nineties  
  • Kate spoke about caring for her ageing parents and her mother’s death 
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My dad stands in the kitchen, angrily telling me to ‘put the butter back in the fridge’. I roll my eyes and mutter ‘whatever’, under my breath, then harrumphing loudly, storm off into my bedroom, slamming the door as I go.

I am not an hormonal 15-year-old. I am a middle-aged, menopausal woman. How did it come to this? How on earth did a successful writer, once engaged to be married and living in a beautiful home in West London, end up living back with her dad at 55?

To say I feel cross, hemmed in, a failure, would be an understatement. My life was never supposed to be like this. I couldn’t wait to leave home. When I went to university, I never, for one moment, thought I’d ever return.

Looking back at my mid-20s, I lived a glamorous life. A roving reporter, constant parties and a dating diary full of eligible bachelors, I was footloose and fancy free. In my 30s, the landscape started to change. Friends either got married or tightly clutched the hand of a potential husband-to-be.


Kate Mulvey, 55, (pictured with her father Thomas, 77) moved back into her parents three-bedroom flat in Chelsea after the break down of a four years relationship

In hindsight, I should have started to think about settling down and making serious plans for the future, but I was young, idealistic and lived in the moment. And I loved being single.

To make matters worse, when I got my first book deal in the late Nineties, I had the chance to buy a London flat. But even though I found the perfect place, I changed my mind and spent the money on holidays instead. That flat is now valued at about £1 million.

Then nine years ago, aged 46, I met Josh through friends at a dinner party. It was an instant mutual attraction. He was a handsome banker and we lived together in his house in Barnes, South-West London.

On Sundays, we’d curl up together and watch black-and-white movies in bed, drink green tea and say how much we loved each other.

When he proposed to me one summer in Italy, I was over the moon. I saw us enjoying a life of comfortable companionship. Just the two of us — neither of us had children.

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Josh bought me a beautiful gold ring with a turquoise stone, but somehow, whenever I dared to bring up the subject of marriage, the reality seemed to scare him rigid. One Christmas in Barbados, as we were lying in bed, I told him how lovely it would be if next year we could do it as man and wife.

Josh completely clammed up and changed the subject.

For the next 18 months, we carried on the same as we always had. Then, one day, just shy of my 50th birthday, after four years together, something inside me snapped. I realised that Josh was never going to commit and told him the relationship was over.

Although heartbroken, I packed up all my stuff and moved out there and then. I don’t know where I thought I was going to live. I spent a few months sleeping on friends’ sofas, while looking for a flat of my own.

But the sheer awfulness of my situation soon became apparent. The property market had sky-rocketed. The stark reality of what I could actually afford on my own came as a huge shock. Buying wasn’t even remotely possible, but neither was renting — a bedsit in London could set you back £1,000 a month.


Kate begun helping her father cope with her mother who was suffering from dementia after she moved back in

When my father suggested moving back to my parents’ three-bedroom flat in Chelsea, I jumped at the chance. It was to be a temporary arrangement.

My mother was suffering from dementia and Dad was glad to have some help. I would live there rent-free, but contribute to the bills.

I thought it would be for a few months at most. Certainly, on the day I lugged my 37in TV and other belongings from my adult life back to the spare room in the flat I last lived in as a teenager, I never anticipated that I would still be here four years later.

The first thing I did was put my stamp on the bedroom; I got rid of the old single bed, bought a new double one, and gave the walls a magnolia makeover.

And to begin with I was happy to be back with my parents, in a lovely flat where I didn’t have to label my milk in the fridge.

My father is an artist and pretty laid back, but what I failed to appreciate is just how difficult it is to adjust to life with your parents when you are an adult.

My naive dream that we would be two generations co-existing in a stress-free home proved to be just that — naive. Life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt.

How many Brits rent a property?

33 per cent of Britons over 50 now rent a property

After years of running my own house, hosting lavish dinner parties with my ex, not having my own space to do what I want and the lack of privacy was something I found hard to adjust to.

Forget a leisurely cappuccino and reading the newspapers. Every morning, all I could hear was my father’s TV blaring. (He is an avid watcher of current affairs programmes. Like a lot of older people, he likes the TV on extra loud, a noise that makes my nerves jangle.)

But it did feel good to be able look after my mother. Dealing with her illness could be harrowing. She would scream out at night if her covers had fallen off or if she thought it was daytime and no one was there. I would pat the duvet reassuringly, telling her everything was all right. At those times my eyes would well up and could feel my heart breaking.

She died a year after I moved in. After that it was just me and Dad rattling around in the flat. My father was consumed with grief. ‘I’ll never see her again,’ he would say, clutching a photo of her when they were younger.

Overnight, I went from being the naughty middle child to surrogate parent. There was a role reversal and for the first time in my life, Dad was leaning on me for support. Two years on and it is still nice to be able to be there for my dad, who is 77.

But what I now realise is that it doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 55, the child/parent dynamic never really changes. I may see myself as an independent career woman, but my father still sees me as his little girl, who has to live by his rules.


Kate says being a middle-aged, unmarried woman living with her dad is a thousand times harder than just being middle-aged

‘Please don’t ask me what time I am coming back,’ I grumble, when he starts to quiz me.

And over the years Dad has become a lot more set in his ways — as have I. There is his bizarre kitchen behaviour. He accumulates large piles of old tea bags and coffee grounds destined for the compost in our small back garden and lines them up on the marbled kitchen countertop.

This has clearly become an issue. But then it is his house and I have to tow the line.

I am not naive enough to think I do not irritate him. He quite rightly complains about mess I leave in the kitchen, the clothes drying on the radiators and the way that I leave the cupboard doors open.

On a sweltering day this summer, as I was happily plucking leaves off the basil plants in the garden, he came out and shoved a pair of scissors in my hand.

‘You have to cut them off at the stems,’ he said, witheringly.

Did I respond with calm maturity, did I heck! My inner teen raised its ugly head. I sighed heavily, rolled my eyes — again — and told him in no uncertain terms that I would get the basil my way.

I love Dad dearly and it is my fault I am back under his roof, but sometimes, I find myself lying awake at night wondering where it all went wrong. It has impacted on my confidence and self-esteem.

There is still a stigma about a grown woman living back home. Being middle-aged is hard enough. But when you are middle-aged, unmarried and living with your dad, it’s a thousand times harder.

Somehow, without even realising it, I have slipped into the role of maiden aunt, that derided central figure in large Victorian families, who gave up on marriage to devote her life to looking after her ageing parents, without complaint.

Only this is 2018. Back in the 19th century, a spinster living at home was part of the social fabric. Nowadays, women are supposed to be super-efficient, independent creatures, with their own flats and high-flying careers to boot.

My friends joke that I am the oldest teenager in Britain. Who can blame them? What could be sadder than a woman in advanced middle age who can’t even bring a boyfriend back for a glass of wine or — God forbid — to stay the night.


Kate says it’s reassuring to have her father always on hand for advice just like in her childhood

My two sisters, one older and one younger, find my situation utterly hilarious. Once a month they all come round for Sunday lunch. And every time the doorbell goes, childish resentment smoulders within me as my sisters waltz in, laughing and content, eat, then leave — to their homes and families. Back to their busy adult lives.

It’s all right for them, I think as I sulkily stack the dishwasher, I am not only burdened with the lion’s share of looking after Dad, I feel as though I have been left behind.

This is the stage of life when many of my friends are watching their offspring going off to university, and I am still stuck at home!

I don’t want to be ungrateful or drown in a vat of self-pity, because there are many unexpected benefits in this new living arrangement.

Unlike many of my friends, who are one pay cheque away from the bailiffs, I go to sleep deeply secure that I have a roof over my head. Unlike a bank or a landlord, Dad is hardly going to evict me.

Besides, Dad and I have always got along, sharing the same fiery Irish temperament and sense of humour.

I have introduced him to the pleasures of Netflix — we are both addicted the American series Designated Survivor — and he will listen patiently whenever I launch into a boyfriend rant. But most important of all, we have found that we have been able to give each other support.

He was always on hand throughout my childhood with sound bits of advice to do with life and love.

It is reassuring to feel that shoulder to lean on once again. And, I am on hand when his grief about Mum overwhelms him.

Earlier this year I heard a muffled noise coming from the kitchen. There was Dad, clutching a couple of bracelets that Oskar — my youngest nephew — had made for Mum. Tears were plopping into Dad’s sandwich.

I took his hand, understanding there was nothing that I could do, except be there when he needs to talk about things.

So what next? While I feel happy to have this chance to get to know my father again, I certainly hope to be moving on at some stage. Of course, one glance at the property prices and I can’t ever see that happening.

On the plus side, I have started seeing a wonderful man, who lives down the road in Fulham. I told my father the other day, how much I liked him.

‘OK,’ he said, absentmindedly, ‘but put the butter back in the fridge before you go out.’

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Shining with his voice

REVIEW / CONCERT

CHARLIE LIM LIVE IN CONCERT

The Star Theatre

Last Friday

In the home-grown indie music scene, there are few who can match Charlie Lim in musical dexterity.

His concert at The Star Theatre, his largest headlining gig to date, was testament to the wide scope of his three-album repertoire.

The folk troubadour who can switch effortlessly between velvety croonings and high falsettos, the R&B singer with heartbreaking tunes, the soulful artist with a penchant for both vintage jazz and modern electronic music – all of these aspects of him, and more, were on display in the 90-minute set.

The gig was not perfect – there were a few technical snafus, such as ear monitor problems, that resulted in him hitting a few bum notes. And while Lim can be exceptional as a singer, a guitarist and keyboard player, he was hardly a showman.

The banter between songs was awkward, with too many “how you guys doing” aimed at the 1,600-strong audience, most of whom looked to be in their 20s.

He also looked a tad uncomfortable in the numbers where he sang without playing any instruments.

But what he lacked in flashy theatrics, he more than made up for with his unabashed emotionalism, tasteful stage lighting and a solid rapport with his backing band, The Mothership.

A tight unit made up of exceptional musicians led by music director and jazz whiz Chok Kerong, the band brought a dynamism to the live renditions of the electronic tunes found in Lim’s new album released in October, Check-Hook.

Lim also brought in the guest artists who feature on the new album.

The gig’s energy level peaked during the cameos by the local rap scene’s brightest upstarts, Fariz Jabba and Yung Raja, on Better Dead Than A Damsel, while Weish, a singer from the concert’s opening act, electronic duo .gif, did a sterling duet with him on Premonition.

Backing singers Vanessa Fernandez and Eugenia Yip, neo-soul artists in their own right, brought flair to older songs such as There Is No Love from his 2011 debut, EP.

But make no mistake, it was Lim who shone the brightest on stage. His jazzy drawl on Blah Blah Blues from Time/Space, his second album released in 2015, was seductive and his expressive voice stood out even among the layered instrumentation of songs like the funky Pedestal and electronic-samba blowout Circles.

Even better were the renditions of the two most emotionally draining songs on Time/Space.

The 61/2-minute-long Bitter shone with its florid arrangement while the concert ended on a high note with his stripped-down, impassioned rendition of Light Breaks In, featuring just his voice and his electric guitar.

That is Lim’s strength as an artist right there, his ability to elevate a tune with the bare essentials.

It is what made his recent remake of We Are Singapore one of the most poignant National Day Parade themes of recent times and the show is a splendid example of how far artists from the home-grown indie scene have come.

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Kate and Pippa Middleton's Former Bachelorette Pad in London Could Be Yours

Let the bidding begin!

The apartment where Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa used to live together in West London has reportedly hit the market, according to U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times — and the asking price is £1.95 million, or about $2.5 million.

The property was purchased by Kate and Pippa’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, in 2002 for £780,000, the publication reports. That means the owners could make a profit of over £1 million.

A listing for the property boasts that the charming Chelsea flat has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one sizable “reception room,” all spread out over three floors.

Photos from the listing also show that the flat has been tastefully decorated, consisting of mostly neutral-colored walls and furniture.

After entering the spacious property on the street level, guests can take the staircase to the reception room on the second floor. The floor also houses a kitchen and a guest bathroom.

On the third floor, prospective homeowners will find a master en-suite bedroom overlooking the picturesque Chelsea neighborhood, as well as two additional bedrooms and a family bathroom.

As if the apartment couldn’t look more promising, the listing also shares that since the building faces east to west, the flat is filled with sunlight throughout the day.  

RELATED: Why Prince George and Princess Charlotte Didn’t Attend the Palace Christmas Party with Will and Kate

As befits the royal family, Kate and her husband Prince William live with their children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, 7 months — at Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1a, which has around 20 rooms.

Meanwhile, Pippa and her husband James Matthews live with their newborn son Arthur in their London home, which was recently renovated.

This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.

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Meghan Markle’s dad launches scathing attack on Prince Harry

Thomas Markle has tried to defend his mistakes to his daughter Meghan by reminding her that the “royals haven’t always been perfectly behaved”.

In a swipe at her husband Prince Harry, 34, he said he told the duchess in an unanswered letter: “I’ve never played pool naked, nor have I dressed up as a Nazi.”

Thomas, 74, also yesterday claimed he “no longer recognises” his daughter following allegations of difficult behaviour from the Duchess of Sussex since her wedding

She has been dogged in recent weeks by rumours of diva demands, 5am emails to staff and an alleged rift with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

In his latest outburst Thomas, a retired Hollywood lighting director, claimed his ex-actress daughter was “always demanding but never rude”.

He added: “I don’t recognise this person.”

Thomas has been criticised for bringing up Harry’s past royal scandals, including dressing as a Nazi aged 20 and the naked photos of the prince leaked from Las Vegas in 2012.

Royal commentators have since praised Harry for transforming his image from party prince to hardworking royal.

Yet Kensington Palace has been unable to silence Thomas’ public outcries over his bitter fall-out with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It began when he was caught posing for paparazzi pictures ahead of the couple’s nuptials in May.

A subsequent heart attack then left him too ill to attend the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where he was due to give away Meghan.

In the latest of a series of controversial interviews, Thomas complained he had been frozen out by the royals and said his attempts to make peace had been met with a “wall of silence”.

His comments came as the palace dismissed fresh claims that a second trusted aide was quitting her role with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It previously emerged that Meghan’s PA quit after just six months.

Melissa Toubati, 39, is said to have been reduced to tears by her demands. It was claimed that the PA, once employed by Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field, found working for the duchess overwhelming. A source said: “Her job was highly ­pressurised and, in the end, it became too much.

“She put up with quite a lot. Meghan put a lot of demands on her and it ended up with her in tears.

“Melissa is a total professional and fantastic at her job, but things came to a head and it was easier for them both to go their separate ways.”

Reports have since claimed that Meghan and Harry’s private secretary Samantha Cohen, 50, is set to go the same way once the couple’s baby is born in the spring, after a 17-year career with the Royal Family.

But officials have insisted her appointment with the newlyweds was always an interim post, adding the Australian native would be staying in the role until late 2019 or early 2020.

Meghan, 37, lived with her father from the age of 11. Thomas claims he always taught her to have respect for those who work around her.

He said: “I don’t want to say or do anything to hurt my daughter but I worry she is going to hurt herself.

“Meghan grew up on set. I taught her to have respect for the crew. They can make you look good or awful.

“I don’t pretend to know what she’s like now. She bends the rules, she’s good at that, but this acting up is new.”

While Thomas has been left out in the cold, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland has been embraced by the royals.

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After joining Meghan for a public appearance at the launch of her Grenfell Tower charity cookbook Together, rumours swirled Doria, 62, could be looking for UK base to be close to her daughter and grandchild.

Thomas claims he has bombarded Meghan with letters and text messages, even driving to Los Angeles to hand-deliver a letter to Doria asking why he has been cut out.

Meghan’s half-sister Samantha has joined calls for her to make peace with her dad.

But the palace has remained resolutely tight-lipped.

Meanwhile the duchess has thrown herself into royal life, taking on a royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.

Royal commentator Ingrid Seward said Thomas should not have brought up Prince Harry’s past gaffes, but said it was now up to Meghan to act.

She said: “Meghan’s father is obviously very hurt and I feel some sympathy for him. He obviously feels isolated by his daughter not picking up the phone to call him.

“There’s no need to have a shot at Harry, but he feels he hasn’t been well-treated by Harry and Meghan and he is many miles removed from the situation.

"There is always a way to resolve situations like this and that is down to Meghan. The more they shun him the more hurt he is going to feel.”

Perhaps most damaging to Meghan have been allegations of growing tension between her and sister-in-law Kate who, it was alleged, was “reduced to tears” by Meghan’s demands over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.

Reports, denied by the palace, also claimed the pair clashed after Meghan “berated” a member of Kate’s staff.

The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly told her: “That’s unacceptable. They’re my staff and I speak to them.”

News that Harry and his bride are moving to Frogmore Cottage to start family life, rather than be neighbours with Kate and William at Kensington Palace, has done little to quell the rumours of a rift.

The royal residence is in the grounds of Windsor Castle, nearly 25 miles outside London.

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