Animals often give us hope that the world is still a good place to live. Like when your dog sees you crying and comes over and licks your hand. Or when your cat jumps into your lap and watches the scary part of a film with you. When your goldfish… er, does goldfish things. Looks surprised with you? Anyway.

It’s also important to remember that sometimes humans are good too. Loads of humans. And in fact, perhaps humans are at their best when they’re helping our furry/fluffy/hide-y friends. So here are some of our favourite examples of humans helping out the animal kingdom, to melt your heart on this cold January afternoon.

Pigs in blankets (sort of)

According to BuzzFeed, 150 of these little pink bundles of joy were rescued by Russian firefighters after a barn caught fire in Siberia last week. Guys, this is basically the plot of Three Little Pigs come to life. Just with more pigs. And fewer wolves.

So they could get all the little piggies out in time, the firefighters had to form a makeshift assembly line. But with tiny baby piggies!

And others herded the drove of piggies along on their little trotters.

Let’s all take a minute.

Elephants in jumpers 

Meanwhile in India, the Independent reports that locals have been knitting jumpers for the elephants to protect them during the extremely chilly weather. These elephants have all been rescued from abusive situations, so when the Women from the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre heard that temperatures would dip below freezing, they got knitting. And quickly.

We’ll take three in XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL, please.

 

Penguins in knitwear 

It’s not just the elephants that people are worried about. According to the Metro, Alfred ‘Alfie’ Dent, an Australian 109-year-old, (AKA the sweetest man in the world) started knitting jumpers for penguins following an oil spill that left the little guys unable to warm themselves properly.

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It turns out Alfie has some serious needle skills – these outfits are all #goals, but special shoutout to the Penguin book jacket. We see what you did there.

Most people’s relationship with social media is a love-hate thing. All that glossy, flawless perfection can be annoying… but also totally addictive. Like Maltesers. And Blake Lively’s hair.

This is the genius of our latest illustrator crush, Jessie Cave. You might recognise her as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter – but since she stopped chasing Ron round Hogwarts, actor/comedian/artist Cave has been winning our hearts with her all-too-real cartoons, which focus on social media and the little details of friendships and relationships in the modern world.

Jessie gets that it’s completely fine to massively contradict ourselves and that it’s ok to question yourself. She knows life isn’t perfect, and neither are we.

That there are highs…

#flashbackdoodle

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

And lows…

👊

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

That we can make our lives look amazing…

Please come to my show next week. Jesus Christ – it's NEXT WEEK. #ilovedher 💋 #linkinprofile

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

Without actually feeling like our lives actually are amazing.

saturday

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

She gets that you can have a fear of missing out…

sunday

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

While still being pleased you didn’t go…

saturday

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

She understands that life can be hard…

📺 #lovesick

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

And while finding love can be tricky…

#lovesick

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

Break ups can be crappy…

20th

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

Jessie gets that social media can all be bad for you…

✏️

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

And sometimes, the best thing to do is to treat yo’self. 

2nd

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

After all, no one is actually as perfect as they look on that little screen. Sometimes all you need to achieve in a day is eating a really good burrito.

You can see more of her beautiful illustrations on Instagram @jessiecave or you can grab a copy of her book, ‘Love Sick’ here

Christmas is a time for giving to those in need. Some people buy a copy of The Big Issue. Some people donate tinned food to the homeless. Some people buy houses for their neighbours.

*Record scratch*

Wait, what?!

According to Indy 100, that’s exactly what Danielle Calder did when her 89-year-old neighbour, Angie Tyma, was evicted from her home in Florida.

When Angie’s husband sadly passed away, a family friend bought their house – at first renting it out to Angie, but then when they needed the money, selling it on to an investment firm. The new owners evicted Angie and with nowhere to go, she spent three weeks living in a motel. Until neighbour Danielle – AKA the Angel Gabriel, fairy Godmother, the Florida equivalent of that lovely old dude from Home Alone 2 – stepped in.

Danielle contacted the company that purchased Angie’s house and bought it back from them.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t need another house,” Danielle, 65, told TODAY. “But I needed her. I couldn’t see her living in a motel room… she’s been here so long. Everyone looks out for her.”

On Angie’s 89th birthday, Danielle handed her the keys to her house back after the entire neighbourhood had helped repaint it.

“It was the right thing to do,” Danielle said. “We’re family — the whole neighbourhood.”

Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, you might not be able to buy your neighbours a house this Christmas, but that’s not the point. This Christmas, let’s all channel our inner Danielle Calder and look out for everyone in our community. The Angies of the world are relying on us.

neighbours


Christmas time can be magical, but it can also be kinda stressful. Navigating the crowds on the high street, finding the perfect Christmas jumper (psst, check these ones out), working out what to get your mum that says, “Thank you for loving me even when I’m being miserable at 7:30 in the morning,” while also being under £20 and easy to wrap without injuring yourself.

But here’s one thing that’s totally stress-free this Christmas: working out how to dress your pets. And if you don’t have pets, do yourself a favour and have a scroll anyway – for… reasons. Wellbeing reasons. It’s a mindfulness exercise, totally not just because we wanted to look at adorable animals in Christmas outfits.

From Bugs to Black Beauty, we’ve got everyone covered. Mainly in wool and glitter.

Santa Paws

Despite the gloves on this costume seemingly being the wrong way around, it should be a staple in every dogs Christmas wardrobe. All dogs have Christmas wardrobes, right?

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Santa Outfit, Amazon, £5.49

Cat in a hat

No offence to Dr Seuss but this version of The Cat In The Hat might be better.

cat-hat

Cat Hat, Etsy, £11.52

Gingerbread Dog

The dog in this photo doesn’t look like he’s having the best time, but if he saw himself in a mirror there’s a 500% chance he would change his mind.

gingerbread-dog

Gingerbread Man, Halloween Costumes, £17.99

Horsing around

If ever you get gloomy with the state of the world, remember there’s a woman somewhere making dress up clothes for horses.

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Horse Hat, Etsy, £13.05

A man’s best elf 

You just know this dog would make an excellent elf. He’s got an eager-to-please face and friendly eyes. Plus he’s carrying a gift and everything.

elf-dogs

Elf Costume, Amazon, £5.99

Or grumpy elf 

We have found the canine equivalent of The Grumpy Cat. Look at this dog. Look at this outfit. Just LOOK.

elf-pup-dog-costume

Grumpy elf, Halloween Costumes, £13.99

Velveteen Rabbit

This rabbit is so on trend – velvet and sequins. And not a hare out of place.

bunny-hat

Rabbit Hat, Etsy, £8.69

Pup in booties

If your dog doesn’t suit hats (or more likely, it just scratches at them until they come off) why not try these adorable little socks. There’s one for each paw.

dogs-socks

Dog Socks, Amazon, 99p 

The Holy Grail

Never in the history of the world has anyone thought £70 for a dog outfit was a good investment until they saw this outfit on this dog. The top hat. The feathers in the top hat. The lacy thingy-majig.

caroler-dog

Caroler, Etsy, £77.51 

What are you waiting for? These are all totally sound and sensible ways to spend your hard earned cash!

Well, 2016 has been an intense year. Brexit, Drumpf. Brangelina. But every so often, something catches our eye, warms our heart and suddenly things don’t seem quite as tough.

Meet Polly.

Polly is a baby goat (she’s just a kid, badum tssh).

polly2

(Srlsy, who knew goats were so cute?)

Unfortunately, Polly’s got some pretty serious medical issues. She’s blind, as well as having neurological problems that affect her ability to eat, so she’s really underweight for her age.

On top of all of that, poor Polly suffers from anxiety.

polly1

(Yes, that is a goat in a freakin’ dressing gown)

When her owner, Leanne Lauricella, who runs a goat rescue group called Goats of Anarchy (guys, goat rescue groups are a thing), went shopping just before Halloween she caught sight of a child’s duck costume, complete with a big orange bill and two webbed feet.

So she bought it for her kid. Polly. (Sorry, the kid pun was too good to only use once).

polly3

(I think Polly is also wearing a nappy, in case you weren’t already squealing)

In addition to looking adorable, the duck costume turned out to have a wonderful side effect. Lauricella says: “There’s something about that duck costume that calms her. She goes into a little trance. She just closes her eyes and she’s out.”

polly-4

(Look at the flippers, guys. The flippers!)

Now, whenever lil’ Polly has a panic attack, Lauricella whips out the duck costume, puts her in it, and voila! Instant calm.

And it doesn’t end there. Because she’s what we call ‘a bringer of joy’, Lauricella went back to the store and bought some more outfits. Here’s Polly as a pig.

polly5

(ha, take that Peppa.)

And a fox.

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(In this one it does look a *little* like the fox is eating Polly, but somehow it’s still cute.)

Thanks to Lauricella’s excellent work taking care of Polly, she’s starting to grow and soon, she won’t be able to fit into the duck costume any more. But Lauricella thinks she’s found the solution; a new rescue goat and ready-made BFF, Pocket.

polly-7

(It’s a tiny goat being cuddled by an even TINIER goat.)

Lauricella noticed that when she lay teeny Pocket on Polly’s back, “It was almost like that duck costume. I’ve noticed that anytime he’s lying next to her, she just gets calm. I’ve never seen her do that with another goat here.”

polly-8

See – didn’t that make 2016 just that little bit better?

All Images: Goats of Anarchy

Right, well this is a harder week to round up than most.

But hey, it’s still a Friday morning. And by the end of reading this we hope you’re looking forward to the weekend, smiling a little wider and laughing a little louder…

This is all we’re going to say about the Presidential election

If you haven’t watched Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, you should. It’s filled with grace and poise and strength and courage and… oh, you’ll see when you watch it.

There was some good news for women in politics this week

As one political race dominated the news this week, it would have been easy to miss the hundreds (literally hundreds) of other American elections that also took place on the 8th of November. In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto was elected the first Hispanic senator in US history, while in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar became the nation’s first Somali-American legislator. See, there’s always some progress worth smiling about.

#BusterTheBoxer

Flying in like a misery-seeking missile to boost everyone’s spirits, the John Lewis Christmas ad has landed.

Lauren isn’t sold (“the foxes look too fake'”), but Lily welled up and Amy was excited about all the animals. It’s Weepy Girls’ Corner in advert form.

Planet Earth is back!

After a decade, Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth is back, and it’s as miraculous as ever. Episode one follows penguins in Antarctica, lemurs in Madagascar and Komodo dragons on an island of Indonesia. Let Dave’s voice soothe all your sorrows.

Thank God for dogs

Buzzfeed put together a list of 23 tweets about dogs to remind us there is good in the world. I mean, look at them!

The UK’s golden eagle population is taking off

Thumbs up to the golden eagle population. According to a new survey there are now 500 breeding pairs, which apparently makes their long-term future look pretty damn rosy.

Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, Tollerton, Nottingham

What do we do now?

Hillz may not have won this election, but the fight for a woman in the White House is far from over. This t-shirt from Pull & Bear is a nice reminder to stay positive.

itsnotover

Feeling better? Now go, enjoy your weekend!

ps. Look out for our special guide on Monday to understanding, processing and tackling big political dramas. We’ve got your back.

Last week, seven-year-old Lilly captured the internet’s heart when her mum, Jennifer, posted an emotionally charged and inspirational letter Hillary Clinton sent to her daughter on her blog.

Earlier in the year, Jennifer Rosen-Heinz sent a note to Hillary Clinton about how Lilly wanted to change her name to Lillary (which as a Lily, I totally appreciate):

lillary

Jennifer didn’t really expect anyone to take the time to respond to her note. She thought they might one of those vague, stock letters that politicians and famous people often send out.

Which is why she was so surprised when this letter landed in her letterbox:

hillarylillary

I literally tear up every single time I read the last line, “I may become the first woman President, but you Lilly, could be the next.”

Lillary’s parents decided to share the letter with everyone so that others could share in the Hill-spiration – and ohh, we’re glad they did.

So what have we learned, weepy gals? Whatever you want to be, don’t quit. Because Hillary sure as hell hasn’t.

Image: Getty & Jennifer Rosen-Heinz

Sometimes, the internet gets you down. Instagram makes you wish that you were somewhere in the Bahamas; Snapchat makes you wish that your parents had lets you go to Daisy’s birthday pool party; YouTube makes you wish you could do amazing winged eyeliner.

But then sometimes, the internet gives you a gift, something so absolutely perfect that you literally have to spend a minute just starting longingly at the screen. This is one of those things.

You know the only thing cuter than babies, with their chubby legs and their gummy smiles?

Babies dressed as old people.

Why is this so cute? Well, there are a number of theories being bandied about at the betty offices.

Theory #1

Babies actually look a lot like old people. They have thin hair and gummy smiles and they sometimes need help walking.

oldmanboy

Theory #2

Their chubby cheeks actually support glasses really well. And my god, they can rock a cardigan and mid calf socks like it’s nobody’s business.

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Theory # 3

Old people sometimes have a wistful look in their eye; a look that says “I have been places and I have seen things. I remember the day JFK was killed and the day the Neil Armstrong landed on the moon”. It’s pretty much the exact same look that babies get when they learn the word for ‘pasta’ or take two steps without falling over.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 11.48.04

Look, it’s impossible to really pinpoint what exactly is so cute about paediatrics dressed as geriatrics, but let’s not explain the magic away. Let’s just stare at the adorable tiny humans and weep.

Stop whatever you are doing. No, I mean it.

If you’re painting your toenails – abandon it mid-toe, no one will notice.

If you’re watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, press pause. Like, actually press pause. The only background noise that is appropriate for this level of adorableness is this song, so put it on before you scroll.

If you’re performing open heart surgery – yeah, you should probably carry on doing that. But as soon as you’re done, you should look at this.

In Melbourne, Australia there was a dachshund race this weekend. In case you’re unfamiliar with dachshunds, they are the most ridiculous looking dogs, with long bodies and tiny, tiny legs, often known as sausage dogs. Because, you know, they look like sausages.

Watch their tiny legs!

Dachshund Racing #sausagedog #puppies #hophausdachyrace #races #costumeparade with @misssubashini

A video posted by Emily Armour (@suitsofarmour) on

And, because sometimes the world is truly a magical place, there is also a dress up competition.

There was Longfellow. Who has a lead made of sausages and was dressed as a Pokemon trainer. Longfellow, you caught all of our hearts.

This is a dog dressed as a taco. A TACO. And his body is the sausage. Wahh.

#hophausdachyrace #tacos

A photo posted by Kath Acton (@kath1199) on

What is this, you ask. Is that a tiny dog dressed as a tiny bus? With picture of other, even tinier dogs in the windows. Why, yes, yes it is.

We are so excited to be sponsoring the Dachshund Race in Melbourne today. 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each of the 4 category finals each take home @rosehipvitalcanine – as do the 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the costume competition. Now those are some lucky daxies!! ?? This morning our friend Naomi & her beautiful boy pictured here (Joshie) from @my_dachshund_online were interviewed on ABC 774 about the event! They are raising money for Dachshund Rescue Australia. Our friends @bella_and_bailey_the_dachies & @frankiethelilsausage will be there too. Good luck everyone ??? #hophausdachyrace #rosehipvitalcanine #wienerraces2015 #raffle #donate #showbags #dachshund #dachshundlove #dachshundsonly #dachshundoftheday #dachshundsofinstagram #dachie #doxie #wiener #sausagedog #minidachshund #standarddachshund #weekend #weeklyfluff #aplacetolovedogs #my_dachshund_online

A photo posted by Rose-Hip Vital Canine (@rosehipvitalcanine) on

These ones are in love, guys. They are in love. And they’re a bride and groom and it’s just too much.

Outside the church on the way home from the dachshund races #hophaus #hophausdachyrace #doggroom #dogbride

A photo posted by Jenny Stokes (@violagrl) on

This is an animal dressed as another animal. It’s a dog dressed as a purple octopus. Except, it’s got the eight fake legs and four real ones, so it’s more like a dodeca-pus. Whatever, it’s cute. Accept it.

Then there was this little guy, who looks like the perfect prom date.

And finally… the tied winners of the fancy dress prize were these tiny criminal sisters. Their owner Olivia even got in on the fun, dressing up as a police officer that was accompanying her miniature delinquents. In case you were wondering, but didn’t believe it was possible for anything to be quite this cute, yes those ARE striped cupcake holders on their heads that look like tiny hats.

Thanks for dressing up with us our favourite hooman Livvy! #hophausdachyrace #bestdressed

A photo posted by Ruby&Lola Sausage Dog Sisters (@rubyandlolasausagedogsisters) on

Ok, now you can go back to your toes or Gilmore Girls. You’re welcome.

Image: Getty

Prepare to squeal, because Weepy Girls’ Corner has come to life – whiskers and all.

Yes, the inside of Clapham Common tube station is now entirely covered in cat photos. All 68 advert spaces in the South London Underground station have been filled with photos of adorable wide-eyed felines. No more weight loss ads, no impossibly glam models or fast food or mortgage loans or holidays you can’t afford – just cats.

It’s all the work of The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (‘CATS’, lol), who have been crowdfunding money to fund the #catsnotads stunt for months. Over £23,000 was raised by campaign supporters, enough to make the furry dream a reality.

Cat photos on tube station barriers

Um, why though? The answer: because it is nice. Or as the CATS team put it,

Wouldn’t it be great not to worry about the holiday we can’t afford, the car we don’t need, or the body we don’t have? Imagine a world where public spaces made you feel good.

It would! We can!

Cat advert

And just in case your heart isn’t warmed enough, most of the cats in the photos are residents at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or Cats Protection – meaning they’re all in need of loving homes. Don’t all hug the posters at once, now.

Images: Twitter/weglimpse ; CATS

You know what they say about friends. They’re a shoulder to lean on. They’re a shoulder to cry on. Basically, er, they have shoulders.

And Pomeranian pup Zen is using both of his to help his fluffy best friend, Hoshi, in a story that comes practically pre-packaged with your PMS in mind.

Feeling weepy yet? Well, you’re gonna.

When Hoshi, an 11-year-old American Eskimo dog, developed glaucoma in both his eyes, he had to have them removed. The operation left him in a lot of pain and completely blind.

Six months earlier, Hoshi and his human roommate Pauline Perez had spotted Zen wandering the streets in Washington, USA.

Zen had some medical problems himself; an enlarged heart, a narrowed trachea and really bad teeth. But Hoshi and Pauline saw past all of those things.

Because haven’t ya heard? Love is blind.

*please excuse us while we cry in a corner now*

Okay, we’re back.

In a story that could melt the heart of grumpy glacier, Zen has become Hoshi’s eyes now. The pair are inseparable. Sometimes literally.

Like all BFFs, they go on all sorts of adventures.

They go camping:

And they even kayak. GUYS, THEY KAYAK.

And then, at night, they cuddle.

Cue wailing. All the wailing.

Image: Instagram/the.fluffy.duo

We’ve all been there – scrolling through Instagram, feeling that our life isn’t quite as pastel-tinted, our outfit quite as perfect, our friends not quite as glamorous as all of the people populating our feed.

It can be exhausting. And irritating. And probably, maybe, quite bad for us.

Whenever I make the crucial mistake of opening Instagram when I’m lying on my bed waiting for the next episode of Gilmore Girls to load, surrounded by Maltesers and half drunk cups of tea, it can feel like a punch to the stomach. Why is everyone so flawless-skinned? And tanned? And chilling on a yacht while I’m in Nando’s? How are these people always travelling? Why do they drink so many smoothies? Does anyone, if they’re being really honest with themselves, even like kale?

So as a lovely antidote, here are 12 Instagram accounts that won’t make you feel terrible about your life.

And I promise, not one of them features kale.

Paul Nicklen bear photo
Image: @paulnicklen

Paul Nicklen

You might not have heard of Paul Nicklen, but 2.5 million people have. That’s right; 2.5 freakin’ million. He’s a photographer for National Geographic and his photos of nature are so beautiful it will make you want to live outdoors for the rest of your life. Maybe.

School of Doodle t-shirt image
Image: @schoolofdoodle

School of Doodle

The School of Doodle is a really cool project that focuses on providing young girls with the knowledge, skills and experiences not taught in high school. You can watch inspirational and informational videos featuring big creative brains and world changers, connect with fellow Doodlers and take part in the weekly Doodle challenge.

Image: @janetomyausten
Image: @janetomyausten

Jane to my Austen

I want ‘Jane to my Austen’ to be the Darcy to my Elizabeth. Basically, we are now in love. Don’t panic, this isn’t just a Jane Austen fangirl feed – it’s beautiful celebration of all things bookish.

The Atlas of Beauty instagram photo
Image: @theatlasofbeauty

The Atlas of Beauty

Mihaela Noroc photographs women from every corner of the world. Through exploring all sort of different cultures, she wants to expand our concept of what ‘beauty’ really. It’s a super inspiring project and her photos are amazing.

 

Mr Pokee
Image: @mr.pokee

Mr. Pokee

Somehow, in what I can only assume is a cruel punishment from the universe, I only recently found this account. The entire account is dedicated the adventures of a hedgehog. A hedgehog! Mr. Pokee is now my life, and he’ll be yours too.

Girl with no job Instagram post
Image: @girlwithnojob

Girl with no job

Sometimes life can get you down. Especially when other people are lying on a sun lounger in the South of France, sipping on organic, macrobiotic coconut water and you are lying in your back garden on an old towel with a warm glass of flat Coke. But luckily that’s what comedy is for. Here’s to Girl with No Job, who uses her downtime to entertain us rather than make us jealous.

History Photographed image
Image: @historyphotographed

History Photographed

This isn’t one of those Instagram accounts that just churns out old black and white images of Audrey Hepburn you’ve seen a million times. History Photographed includes loads of really unusual images that you’ve probably never seen before. Like parents at New York Pride in 1974 carrying signs that say “I am proud of my gay son.” #LoveIsLove

Baby Animalstagram
Image: @babyanimalstagram

Baby Animalstagram

This Instagram account is exactly what it sounds like. But better. So much better.

NASA sky photo
Image: @NASA

NASA

I never used to be that fussed by space. I knew it was out there but never wanted to learn all that much about it – like taxes or Kanye West. But NASA’s Instagram account changed all that. Now, while I would give all of my savings (£67.50) to go to space, this account means I don’t have to. I can see some pretty amazing things from the comfort of my bedroom.

 

Papered Thoughts pebbles
Image: @paperedthoughts

Papered Thoughts

I love everything Paper Thoughts does so much I want to eat it. Yes, even her illustrations. Yes, even her beautiful letters and envelopes. Yes, I would even gobble down her beautiful motivational painted rocks without so much as a second thought. I fully believe it would be worth the indigestion.

Makers Women quote
Image: @makerswomen

Makers Women

Need some inspiration in the your life? Look no further. Makers Women’s feed is brimming with kickass feminists and inspirational quotes like this one from Shay Mitchell: “You have this one life, so go and make the most of it.”

Mental Floss cheesecake post
Image: @mentalfloss

Mental Floss

If, like me, you are a lover of random facts, useless information, and things that will make you say “Really?!”, then this is your holy grail.