People are masturbating more in lockdown

We’re not allowed to have sex with people we don’t share a home with amid the coronavirus pandemic, mostly because lockdown prohibits us from meeting up with people indoors and getting closer than two metres apart (which makes sex quite tricky, FYI).

While some haven’t let the rules stop them from getting sexual with other parties, many have learned the power of self-love.

A new survey reveals that people are masturbating more frequently in lockdown than they were before.

Blame it on our inability to date or lockdown boredom (there are only so many times you can do a jigsaw puzzle), but people are enjoying getting busy with their safest sexual partner – themselves.

That’s despite the stress of a pandemic putting a bit of a dampener on our desire to have sex with other people.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and over from sex toy brand LELO found that more than half (56%) have been masturbating once a day in lockdown, with 28% saying they’ve definitely noticed an increase in their solo sex habits.

Some seem to be enjoying the freedom of working from home, with 27% of those surveyed masturbating twice a day and 18% doing it three or more times a day. You might wonder how they manage to get anything done, but experts suggest taking masturbation breaks at work can you make you more productive – so maybe we’re just failing to fulfil our full potential.

LELO say they’ve seen a rise in the number of sex toys they’re selling as a result of this, with sales up by 73% since lockdown began.

May is also Masturbation Month, so it’s possible all the chat around the topic inspired some people to buy, too.

The survey also found that while our sex drives might not be on the up, many couples are using lockdown as an opportunity to experiment, testing out new positions, sex toys, role play, dirty talk, watching porn together, trying BDSM, and getting busy in different locations around the house.

Freedom from the commute has allowed morning sex to rise in popularity, with 31% of those surveyed saying their desire for sex before traditional worktimes has risen.

UK sexpert Kate Moyle commented: ‘What we are seeing in research like this is that people are adapting their sex lives to fit the new set of circumstances that we find ourselves in.

‘Whether this is managing our desires ourselves with solo pleasure, changing our routines, trying new things or moving our sex lives from in-person to being virtual.

‘We understand that desire, the want to be sexual is responsive, and context dependent, and that rather than being a fixed entity that it is fluid and so it is impacted by what is going on around us, but also by how we are feeling.

‘It’s great to see that couples are using the time to nurture their sex lives and relationships, focusing their attention on what they want to do differently; as our sex lives, like everything else in life do need care and attention, and it’s not really a surprise then that the times that people are having sex are changing due to spending more time at home.

‘As a psycho-sexologist I am hopeful that this prioritising of our sexual relationships and physical intimacy, will carry on after the pandemic; as more recent research (pre-pandemic) has suggested that due to our increased involvement with technology that our relationships and sex lives get de-prioritised the more that our screens absorb our attention.

‘The more we enjoy the sex we are having, the more we desire sex as it becomes a motivating factor; and people noticing and seeing the impact of investing in their sex lives feels really positive.’

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Beauty and Fashion

I never dreamed I’d post videos in a bikini shaking my wobbly bits… but it helps people, says Chessie King – The Sun

WALKING down the street three years ago, Chessie King was a ball of anxiety.

She feared one of her thousands of followers on social media might recognise her — and brand her a fraud for looking so different to her posed and filtered images on Instagram.

Shocked by her own feelings, Chessie, 26, realised those impractical standards were no basis for living in the real world.

So she began to post honest, unfiltered pictures to promote confidence over perfection.

The positive response was overwhelming and Chessie has since amassed a much larger social media following, with almost 800,000 fans, including TV host and fitness guru Davina McCall, who appeared in one of her videos last year.

She is a champion for body confidence and the author of new book Be Your Own Best Friend: The Glorious Truths Of Being Female.

The South Londoner says: “I love the quote, ‘What other people think about me is none of my business’.

“It’s everything I’m about and I want to spread this message as much as I can.”

But the road to confidence hasn’t been smooth. As a teen Chessie was taller than her friends and very aware of how she looked.

She says: “I started to realise I was taller and bigger than my friends when I was 16.

'I feel liberated’

“I was walking side by side with a friend, who looked at our reflection in a window and said, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t be seen out with you — it looks like I’m out with Mum’. I realised I wasn’t going to just ‘fit in’.

“Mum told me to embrace being tall. But I was different — the last thing I wanted to be.”

Chessie looked into modelling, hoping to make the most of her height.

She says: “I was told I needed to lose weight by a modelling agency, which sparked an unhealthy period where I didn’t eat enough.

“I was never ill but I knew I wasn’t eating right. When I was 20, someone suggested I do a bikini competition.

“I wasn’t sure at first but I took on the 18-week challenge of eating next to nothing and working out twice a day. I walked on stage with nine per cent body fat and was still told I was too big.”

Rather than push Chessie deeper into unhealthy patterns, it sparked her passion for promoting self-confidence.

She started eating properly and posting fitness videos on Instagram, building a following along the way.

She says: “I’d pose up perfectly to flatter my figure. Then I realised I was getting real social anxiety that I’d bump into a follower and they would think I don’t look as good as I do in the pictures I put online.

“I started posting the best images of me — ones that would make the cut for Instagram — but also posting ones that didn’t ‘make the cut’ alongside it. I couldn’t believe how many girls said I was ‘brave’ for doing it.

“That made me realise there was a real need to show this.”

That need is greater than ever. Experts report falling self-esteem among internet users in lockdown.

Research suggests women feel bad about themselves four times a day, while 61 per cent of us would not describe ourselves as confident.

Chessie, who lives with her boyfriend Matthew Carter, 31, a TV presenter and student, says: “I had a moment a few years ago where I was saying something negative about how I look and Matt turned to me and said, ‘Excuse me — don’t talk to yourself like that’.

“I realised he was right. We all have so much time in our own heads now in lockdown — it’s so important that voice is kind and loving.

“I’m at the stage where I can post anything about my body and not be embarrassed.

“I feel really liberated by that. Three years ago, if you told me I’d be posting videos to thousands of people of myself in a bikini shaking my wobbly bits around, I’d never have believed it.

“But when I realised it was helping people, I knew I’d keep doing it.”

Chessie has learned you can not take body-confidence for granted, as she found when shopping for a wedding dress.

While her July wedding has been postponed due to the pandemic, she says: “I re-learn body confidence all the time.

“When I was shopping for a wedding dress, I struggled to fit in some that were five times too small for me.

“I asked one of the shop owners, ‘What is the most common thing brides say when they try on dresses?’.

"And she said, ‘They always apologise — they say sorry and promise to lose weight for the wedding’.

“We are taught we have to look our absolute best on our wedding day. I thought, ‘Matt proposed to me the size I am — he’s not expecting me to change for our big day’.

“No one is going to remember me for how small I looked.

“They’ll remember the time we laughed until we cried.

“I just want women — and men — to know they are awesome.”

'Dancing naked makes you feel brave'

IN her book Be Your Own Best Friend: The Glorious Truths Of Being Female, Chessie helps women find their inner confidence.

Here are some extracts:

Be your own best friend

ONE of my friends was struggling with her image and I asked her to send me a message about her home and why it feels like her happy, safe place.

She said she loved her bed where she sleeps, her table where she eats and her walls where she hangs her memories. She didn’t once say: “I hate.”

I replied: “So why are you saying you despise your arms, your legs, your tummy? They are your body – your home for the rest of your life.”

Something that has massively helped me is speaking about my body the way I speak about my best friends’ bodies. Would I tell anyone their thighs are too chunky and they look gross when they sit down? No.

So why would you say it to yourself? I cannot say it enough – I literally want to record it as your ringtone, set it as your alarm: Be your own best friend.

Love the skin you're in

I DODGED acne until I was 17 so when it came, I was shocked. It honestly felt like I went to sleep one night then woke up with the world’s most complicated dot-to-dot.

I tried everything, from eating three raw garlic cloves every morning for a week to a strong course of Roaccutane, which ate up all the happy cells in my brain.

I tried LED light therapy sessions, I cut out dairy, sugar and fat, I used all the topical creams available. I used to have evenings before bed when I’d spend up to an hour attacking my face until it was bleeding and scarred.

If you have struggled or are currently struggling with adult acne, I feel you. I hear you. It is not for ever.

It takes patience. We are finally best friends, my skin and I. We fall out still but I treat it with so much more respect now – nothing extreme, just a consistent daily routine. Try:

  1. Use speakerphone or headphones instead of pushing your dirty phone screen against your face.
  2. Those magnifying mirrors that make you see every teeny, tiny little thing on your face . . . stay away from them. They are bullies.
  3. Wash your face straight after sweating or, if you can’t, use Clinisept, which is antibacterial.
  4. Try not to play with your face.
  5. Take off your cleanser with a natural cloth, such as a cotton muslin (you can get three for £10 online).

Confidence has no age limit

It took me until the age of 23 to finally find my body confidence.

To some people, who have suffered with low body confidence their whole lives, this will seem really young.

To others who have been confident since puberty, this will seem ancient. The thing I tell everyone is that finding your body confidence does not have a deadline.

I am constantly learning even now and I have new mums, women in their sixties and girls at school messaging me.

Remember, whatever your stage of life, it is never too late to find confidence, appreciate it and nurture it.

Body confidence is still a pretty new conversation. Maybe you find a stronger connection to body acceptance or body celebration. Whatever rings true to you.

Dance like no one is watching

Being brave is the red lipstick of emotions. As children, we have bravery coming out of our ears.

We try everything because we don’t care what people think about the result or how our bodies look when we are doing it. That gives us a wild energy we lack as adults. We stop doing carefree things and lose our bravery.

I prescribe dancing. I’m a pro at dancing in the house naked until I’m sweating.

If you dance like no one is watching, you find pure joy. Finding my inner child relights that fire inside.

Make a promise you will try a childlike activity in the next month.

Give yourself the time your younger self would thank you for. Savour that superpower it gives you.

  • Be Your Own Best Friend: The glorious truths of being female, By Chessie King, out now, £14.99, Harper Collins

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World News

Mole catcher makes £2million in lockdown after investing in firm developing coronavirus test – The Sun

A MOLE catcher has made almost £2million in lockdown after he invested in a firm developing a possible treatment for coronavirus.

Andrew West, 54, struck gold with a British company called Avacta.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

He invested £350,000 in April and watched it rise to just under £1.9million.

The firm’s virus test looks set to go into mass production.

Its scientists also found chemicals in the test block the bug.

Andy, of Bridgwater, Somerset, said: “It took me 54 years to make my first million and I reckon I can make another in the next 54 days.”

“I’d had this company on my watch list for a while and I thought it was time to take a closer look at what they were doing and I discovered they were developing a test for the disease.

He added: “I spent about four weeks working round the clock researching every little detail of the company, how it worked, what it was trying to do and how likely it was to succeed.”

Andy has no intention of cashing out and pocketing his profit just yet.

He said: "I'm going to keep watching the money go up and up. £1.9million isn't bad, but it'll be better when it's £10million.

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TV and Movies

'Infinity War': Is It Gamora's Fault Thanos Found the Soul Stone?

As Marvel Cinematic Universe fans re-watch Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, they’re playing what could be viewed as an unseemly blame game – namely that it was Gamora’s own fault that Thanos found the Soul Stone that led to her death.

Muddying the waters even further is Marvel’s stubborn tendency not to let their characters die for good. And that applies to Gamora too. Although she died and that enabled her adoptive father Thanos to obtain the Soul Stone, time travel has allowed a past version of Gamora to wander around. So what will finally happen with everyone’s favorite green-skinned love interest? 

What happened to Gamora in the last ‘Avengers’ movies?

RELATED: Fans May Have Found a Big Continuity Error in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

In Avengers: Infinity War, Gamora and the Guardians intercepted the Asgardians’ distress call. They meet Thor, who informs them Thanos had begun searching for the Infinity Stones himself. Gamora led her friends to Knowhere to procure the Aether, only for both it and Gamora to be captured by Thanos. 

Thanos took his daughter to Vormir, where he sacrificed her against her will in order to obtain the Soul Stone. Thanos professed to regret this decision but was more in love with power than anything else. But that wasn’t quite the end of Gamora’s story. 

Once Endgame introduced time travel into the mix, the 2014 versions of Thanos and Gamora came to 2024. However, 2014 Gamora learns what eventually happens to her and she flees, leading the other Guardians to try and find her after Thanos is finally defeated. 

Is Gamora’s death her own fault?

On Reddit, the topic-starter posited, “People give Quill a lot of crap for screwing up the fight on Titan but I’ve never seen anyone blame Gamora for rushing in on Knowhere. If she hadn’t have gotten herself captured Thanos wouldn’t know where the soul stone even was, much less be able to sacrifice her for it.”

This victim-blaming prompted a fair amount of pushback, with one person responding “There’s a difference between rushing in to stop someone (like Gamora did)  and letting your emotions get over you so that you risk the entire universe (like Quill did).”

Other fans pointed out that they could play the what-if game all day long with many other scenarios. 

“Lots of people can be the blame for what happened.” one fan wrote.  Loki could have left the Tesseract on Asgard (maybe it would destroy the stone), Captain America and Scarlet Witch could have destroyed the Mind Stone earlier and Thor could have killed Thanos quickly rather than hitting him in the chest. There’s probably more I’m forgetting.”

So what happens to Gamora now?

RELATED: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’: Gamora May Have a New Love Interest

As Avengers: Endgame wrapped, we see the Guardians getting ready to leave with Thor, while Star-Lord casts a wistful glance at Gamora on a monitor. Presumably Thor: Love and Thunder and/or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will pick up the plot thread as the Guardians go off to find Gamora and see if an out-of-time version of her can fit in with the team.

It’s entirely possible that not only will the 2014 Gamora will be in play, but that the Guardians-friendly version of her who “died” could be recovered from the Soul Stone.

Whatever the case, the mystery of Gamora is tangled indeed, and it will be interesting to see how writer-director James Gunn tackles it. That’s why Endgame left Gamora’s fate and path unclear, even though they did shoot a scene of Gamora leaving after the battle. 

CinemaBlend quoted Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely as saying, “There are the parts so that [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James] Gunn could do whatever he needs to do that. That was just basically, you saw the behind the scenes stuff where they all kneel and she sort of boogies off set. If you let that in, you would’ve gone, ‘Oh, she’s alive and she’s over there.’ It’s very vague now. I don’t know what he’s going to do with it.”

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Mackenzie McKee: I Wanted to Leave Josh a Long Time Ago, But…

Mackenzie McKee has, once again, left her husband.

At least we think this is the case.

We aren’t trying to be snarky or rude or insensitive in any way here.

We’re just really unsure what’s going on between Mackenzie and Josh at the moment.

As all Teen Mom OG fans likely know well, McKee posted a lengthy message on Facebook last week in which she accused Josh of having an affair — with her cousin, Amy.

The mother of three wrote at the time that she was going to “walk away” from Josh for betraying her trust (with a relative, no less!), an unethical act that took place just a few months after Josh also cheated on her last summer.

“My family will never be the same and we are all torn. I WAS NOT only hurt by him, but by her,” McKee wrote in this message, adding:

“I have cried until my eyes were swollen shut. I am in utter shock. I’m now opening my eyes to what a horrible man Josh has been.”

Seems pretty clear cut that the marriage is over, right?

The thing is: Mackenzie made similar claims just under a year ago, only to reverse positions after Josh swore he changed and then got down on one knee to re-propose to his wife in October.

Moreover, McKee backtracked this week and said Josh didn’t actually cheat on her.

Not in the physical sense, at least.

“I never used the word cheating or banging,” Mackenzie wrote on Instagram over the weekend. “For the sake of my family stop using that word.”

McKee went on to call this an “emotional affair” between her husband and cousin, explaining that Josh was only going to Amy for advice on how to handle her after Mackenzie’s mother, Angie, died of cancer.

Actually sounds like a nice gesture on Josh’s part in that case — but what do we know?

Despite this revelation, it does sound as if Mackenzie is still done with Josh.

She actually tells In Touch Weekly that she would have left him “a long time ago” if not for the estranged couple’s three children.

“It would have been easy. Goodbye,” Mackenzie told this tabloid.

“My family has [never] seen [a] divorce,” she added. “I’m not saying that put pressure on me, but it’s just generations and generations. I would be the first [to] split up [a] family.

Mackenzie and Josh welcomed son Gannon in September 2011 and then got married two years later.

They welcomed their daughter, Jaxie in February 2014 and then their second son, Broncs, in August 2016.

The MTV personality first filed for divorce from he husband in August 2019 following those original cheating allegations.

Will she actually file the official papers once again in this latest case? She hasn’t yet said for sure.

“He has been a lie,” McKee wrote on Facebook last week of Josh.

“And how can you watch your wife lose her mom and make these decisions? …

‘People have tried to tell me for years Josh doesn’t love me, and I just made excuses for him. But today is the day I walk away.”

Even if Josh didn’t sleep with Amy? Yes, Mackenzie says:

“Josh was texting and calling her for advice on how to handle me. To me, that was wrong on both ends and enough to walk away.”

Mackenzie McKee: Taking Her Cheating Husband Back ALREADY?!Start Gallery

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TV and Movies

Dani from The Girl Next Door is straight-up gorgeous now

This actress first splashed onto the scene as Kim Bauer on the hit series 24 when she was just 19 years old. She became everyone’s favorite runaway bride in the cult-favorite Happy Endings, which ran 2011-2013, and she found a new generation of fans in her role as Abby on The Ranch, a Netflix series that ran 2016-2020 (per IMDb).

Just as memorably, Elisha Cuthbert captured everyone’s heart as a retired porn star named Dani in the 2004 film The Girl Next Door. In the rom-com, Cuthbert’s character starts house-sitting next-door to Emile Hirsch’s character Matt, a shy and inexperienced high school boy, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Following her role as the porn star next-door, Cuthbert was nominated on many Sexiest Women and Most Beautiful Women lists. She was featured in the U.K. edition of FHM‘s list as #4 in 2004, but also landed on the list in 2003, 2005, 2005, 2007, and 2009, according to the Daily Mirror. Cuthbert was a regular face in Maxim and on their lists all through the 2000s. She peaked at number 9 in 2003 and was also named the magazine’s Hottest Women in Television in 2013, according to HuffPost.

Over the years, the blonde bombshell was also featured in multiple of Complex’s lists, including The 25 Hottest Canadian Women, The 100 Hottest Women of the 2000s, The 25 Hottest Blonde Bombshell Actresses, and The 50 Hottest Celebrity Sports Fans.

Elisha Cuthbert is still unbelievably hot

Elisha Cuthbert — star of 24, The Girl Next Door, Happy Endings, and The Ranch — is making people take a second look. At age 37, she’s just as stunning as she was when she landed on the Hollywood circuit at age 19. In fact, she made quite a scene on the red carpet in January 2020 when she wore a plunging black gown to the 56th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards in downtown LA, according to Daily Mail. Her accessories for the event were large diamond stud earrings and her husband of six years, Canadian ice hockey star Dion Phaneuf.

Right before the coronavirus quarantine started in March 2020, the Happy Endings actress revealed some colored locks. Cuthbert posted a photo on Instagram featuring pink hair. Based on the reaction of her fans, it was a huge hit!

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A post shared by Elisha Cuthbert (@elishaphaneuf) on

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Cuthbert’s role in The Ranch will conclude with the final 10 episodes (of 80 total) airing in 2020. On the Netflix sleeper-hit, she plays the wife of Ashton Kutcher’s character, according to the Daily Mail. She was cast in the show in 2016 after several years of keeping a low profile and traveling between Los Angeles and Canada to support her husband’s hockey career.

Don’t understand why the star went so long without a role? Here’s why Hollywood won’t cast Cuthbert anymore.

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Costco's Patriotic Cake is the Tastiest Way to Celebrate Memorial Day

When we think of backyard barbecues and summer season kick-offs, we always think of Memorial Day, which is often the first weekend of the year that we fire up the grill and start cooking up burgers, hot dogs, and other warm-weather-fare that we’ve been deprived of for so long during the cold and rainy months. But no Memorial Day cookout is complete without a show-stopping dessert. The problem? All of those fancy, red white and blue desserts tend to take a lot of time and patience to assemble, something we don’t always have. Luckily, this year the Costco bakery is stepping in. They’re selling a “Celebration of Our Heroes” cake from David’s Cookies that will steal the show at your Memorial Day meal, and all you have to do is pick it up from the store.

The cake features five red, white, and blue layers (and they look a whole lot neater than anything we’d manage to bake on our own!). The cake is vanilla flavored, and the frosting isn’t your average bakery fluff — it’s actually a rich white chocolate mousse. We’re already drooling.

The cake is decorated with a patriotic dash of red, white, and blue sprinkles and tiny edible stars. Even better? It’s already portioned out, cut into 14 half-pound slices. Oh yeah, did we mention that this 10-inch cake weighs in at seven full pounds of deliciousness?

Even if you can’t actually have a huge group of family and friends over to celebrate Memorial Day weekend this year, you can certainly treat yourself and the members of your household to a memorable dessert.

You can order the cake on Tuesday or Wednesday for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday delivery, or sign up for a membership at your local Costco (don’t forget your mask) to pick one up in-store.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with more awesome Costco bakery items seen in the gallery below.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.


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World News

Can I be fined if I don’t send my kids to school when they reopen? – The Sun

ALTHOUGH the Government has asked schools to reopen in order to accommodate certain year groups from June 1, some councils and unions have objected saying it’s too soon.

The worry is shared by some parents who do not want their children to go back to school just yet but fear they will be fined if they do not comply with Government’s directive.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Do I have to send my kids to school when they reopen?

The Government has urged parents to send children in Year R, 1 and 6 back to school from June 1 on a full time basis. 

Other years will follow later in a phased process which has been described as a ‘protective measure’ by officials. 

“While we will not penalise for keeping children at home, once children are eligible to return to school, we will strongly encourage them to do so.”

Here is how to find out if your child’s school is reopening on June 1.  

Can I be fined if I don’t?

No, you will not. 

Downing Street has confirmed that parents who do not want their children to resume school for now, will not be fined for the decision. 

When asked by journalists if parents will be fined for refusing to send their kids back to school on the government given day, prime minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The short answer is no, they won’t.”

Some parents are in agreeance with some unions who believe it is too soon to reopen school as it puts children and staff at risk of the coronavirus.

Some councils have also said they will not reopen schools just yet as a precautionary measure.

Under normal circumstances, when children miss school without a ‘good reason’, each parent can be fined £60 by their local council, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days. 

When am I allowed to keep my kids at home?

Since March 20, schools have been shut as a result of the lockdown due to coronavirus. 

Children of key workers, however, have been able to attend classes. 

Schoolchildren who have been kept at home have received learning resources in order to make sure they do not fall behind in their education. 

Under normal rules laid about by the government, parents must have a reasonable explanation for keeping kids at home. 

These include if kids are unwell.

Any other reasons such as holidays can result in prosecutions from local councils.  


Will schools provide home learning resources if my child doesn't go back?

As it is illegal to prevent a child from receiving an education, it is highly unlikely that learning materials will not be provided for children who do not go back to school on June 1.

Schoolchildren should continue to receive learning materials.

Parents should contact the schools if they do not receive the support to educate their kids at home.

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Costco's Bakery Section Is Severely Underrated — Here Are the Items You Need to Try

The intoxicating scent of the fresh-baked bread, the variety of sweets just begging to be placed into your cart, a decadent 12-inch cheesecake that tastes as great as it’s priced: These are our favorite things — and they all just so happen to exist in one place: Costco’s bakery section.

Simply put, if your trips to Costco don’t include a visit to the wholesale retailer’s bakery, then you’ve been doing it all wrong. Not only do they have some of the best seasonal treats in this section, like that 2-lb. Easter Egg cake they sold this year, but the bakery also consistently offers year-round favorites, including their sheet cake, muffins, and croissants.

Whether you’re looking to satiate a sweet tooth or embark on a guilt-free carb-load, Costco’s bakery has a wide selection of must-haves. Ahead, we’ve gathered our 13 favorites.

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Kaitlyn Bristowe: I Relapsed Back Into Depression on 'The Bachelorette'

A fragile time. Kaitlyn Bristowe fell back into depression while filming her season of The Bachelorette after previously battling the condition in her 20s.

“I didn’t get anywhere near where I was in that really dark time, but I definitely struggled with depression during the show and while I was facing all that scrutiny,” the former ABC personality, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly in an interview on Friday, May 15.

Bristowe met and got engaged to Shawn Booth during season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015. She explained that being in the public eye led to the decline in her mental health but she understood that her feelings were “temporary.” The Canada native found herself facing another “funk” after she and Booth, 32, split in 2018.

“I saw myself going down that same path, but I had the tools and the self-respect and everything to know that I was OK and it was just an easier transition for me because I was confident in where I was at as a person,” Bristowe said.

Those mental health struggles were a stark contrast to the depression she experienced in her 20s. The “Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe” podcast host detailed on her new YouTube series, 9 to Wine, how she developed a valium addiction that led her to weigh just 93 pounds.

Bristowe told Us that it’s “wild” for her to think about that period in her life, which was the result of moving back in with her mom and stepdad at the age of 27 after a breakup. She recalled how she wasn’t able to see how bad things had gotten for her until her family and friends stepped in.

She explained that she dealt with her addiction “hour by hour” and even battled some dark thoughts.

“I remember being so dizzy and just being, like, ‘It would be so easy to just have another one and, you know, go to sleep but not feel this anymore,’” Bristowe said. “But I’m just, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to live my life like that and it had been long enough and I was just so done with feeling numb because Kaitlyn Bristowe loves to feel her feelings and being numb is not doing that.”

She added, “It’s fine to be sad and have your moment and I really sat in my sadness but it’s about coming out on the other side and what you do with it after.”

Bristowe later moved on with Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick, whom she began dating in January 2019.

For more from Bristowe, check out new episodes of 9 to Wine available Wednesday on YouTube and her new single, “If I’m Being Honest,” available now.

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