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I want my family back

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am writing as I need some advice on a terrible decision I think I have made. I am a 45 year old man. I had a lovely life, an excellent job, comfortable home and 3 adorable children along with a doting wife. However, I met a younger lady, and after seeing her clandestinely for some time, left everything for her. Six months on, the excitement of being with somebody new has worn off, and the grass is definitely not greener on the other side as some might say.

I have just ended the relationship with her and would do anything to have my old life back, but am so ashamed and embarrassed over the way I have treated my family. My wife refuses to answer my calls and ignores my texts. I no longer get to see her, as her mother drops the children to me when they come to stay. My sister-in-law contacted me recently to tell me my wife still loves me, but at the same time despises me for what I have done to her and our children.

With your professional guidance I am hoping that I can fix this and my family. Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Patricia Marie says...

The decision to leave your wife and children for another woman would almost certainly have had a huge effect on your family, and you cannot expect everything to fall back into place just because things haven't worked out for you. Wanting your wife to conform to your wishes so soon after the hurt you have caused her would be unreasonable.

The commendable thing is that you have not only recognised you were wrong, but have understood the consequences of your actions. Nevertheless, you are going to have to do a lot of hard work to convince your wife to consider taking you back. I would suggest you initially write her a letter, which she would be able to digest in her own time. Explain that you do not want to put any pressure on her at all, but would love to meet up to tell her in person how very sorry you are for the hurt you have caused. Hopefully you can give some consolation to your wife by accepting and owning your share of the blame, and most importantly, whatever the outcome, be able to continue a positive relationship with your children.

A major concern and something you need to ask yourself is - why did you feel the need to walk away in the first place? Clearly something wasn't right between you and your wife, and this needs to be addressed before any thoughts of a reconciliation, otherwise, you could end up in the same situation as before. Perhaps before any decisions are made, you could both benefit from attending Relate, as having professional help would enable you to explore any issues that contributed to the breakdown of your relationship. It is very sad, but sometimes we search long and hard for something that we fail to see we already have.

Relate.org.uk
 0300 100 1234
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Cooking with Clean Eating Alice at KitchenAid

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Wednesday, 15 February 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

Snacking healthy can be light work (or so I learned last week!)

On 7th February, I headed down to the KitchenAid shop and showroom to meet Instagram health and fitness star Clean Eating Alice, who was going to guide us through some simple, healthy (and most importantly: tasty!) snack recipes. On the menu for the class was kale chips and vanilla chickpea energy balls, both that I was super excited to try having spotted the ingredient prep on the kitchen counter when I walked in.

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After mingling with guests and Alice herself, our first instruction was to head to a prep station, fitted with a KitchenAid food processor, baking trays and bowls of ingredients. We were going to be making the kale chips first. Pouring a bowl of cashews and sunflower seeds in the mixer, we then grated a fresh clove of garlic. We whizzed all the ingredients around in the processor for a few minutes to create a paste. Unloading a fresh bag of kale onto a baking tray, we took the paste in our hands and massaged it into the leaves. Alice explained that this recipe was one of her favourites out of her new book, Eat Well Everyday.

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We placed the kale in the preheated oven and left it to crisp up and absorb all the great flavours. A quick wash up later, we were onto the vanilla chickpea energy balls. First into the processor was the bowl of almonds, blitzed down to a floury consistency. Next came the chickpeas, blended for a few seconds, adding texture. Then came the sweetness: vanilla extract, maple syrup and peanut butter. I may or may not have snuck a few spoon licks of the peanut butter, as it's my all-time weakness.

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About 15-20 minutes into our blending and blitzing, we removed the kale chips from the oven. Mine had simmered a touch too long, but I didn't mind, as the extra crispiness made for a lovely crunch. The chips were tantalizingly moreish, I couldn't stop picking at the tray, and nor could anyone else.

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Back to the energy balls, we tipped the mixture out of the processor and started to roll little balls. We placed them on a lined baking tray, snapping pictures of our finished products. We popped them in the fridge for 25 mins, but couldn't resist trying one before they went. The balls weren't too sweet and were easily filling, a good remedy for afternoon nibbles. I can't wait to read more of Alice's recipes in her book and try more out for myself at home.

KitchenAid's flagship store in central London are hosting classes with Clean Eating Alice in March and April. Click here to book for 9th March class.
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Valentines Day at Peggy Porschen

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Friday, 10 February 2017
by Annette Kellow 

Love is in the air! And the 14th of February is a day for all things heart shaped- especially eating cake! So when Peggy Porschen invited me down to her Ebury Street parlour to taste the Valentines delicacies on offer, I didn't hesitate for a second.

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I always think cake solves everything so I decided to get in the mood by wearing a Katya Wildman Bombshell dress which are very feminine to match the Peggy décor. I was absolutely in love when arriving as the parlour had swapped the silver Christmas baubles for a heart shaped wreath- the place looked picture perfect inside and out! I instantly made my dog Dorothy pose in the wreath which made a few passersby amused.

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My friend Hannah accompanied me and we started by trying the Raspberry and lemon cake with Valentines coffee, aptly decorated with chocolate lips and kisses stencilled on the top, all of which came out presented in lovely pastel chinaware.

Peggy Porschen was founded in 2003 and has been dubbed 'the best cupcake in the world' with her sweet treats being created as edible pieces of art. She also helps others create beautiful cakes with a busy academy and cook books, all of which are suited for a variety of levels.

I have visited Peggy several times but never for Valentines and we loved their floral cupcakes which we couldn't help but try next on our hit list! Peggy is most definitely the place for a girls day out and a good chat but also as a romantic date with a loved one.

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I also noticed they did a selection of love inspired cakes to take away- I personally had my eye on the cupcake love heart which I thought would be perfect for a present, although I couldn't see them lasting too long with the way we were devouring our cakes.

My sweet tooth was definitely satisfied after our relaxing afternoon so decided to walk home as Belgravia was looking fresh, crisp and sunny. And with Valentine's Day upon us, the secret ingredient is always love. After all, cake is for life, not just for birthdays!
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Tips For The Perfect Valentine's Day

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 10 February 2017

Enhance your social life to encourage new relationships

Venture out of your comfort zone and find out what's happening on the singles scene. A number of bars and venues hold singles parties, especially at this time of year, where you can celebrate as an unattached person. Don't take your love expectations with you though. Just go for a great time and to discover new people with whom to converse and share cocktails. Also consider joining a reputable dating site, or embarking on new hobbies and interests. How about arranging a fun night out with friends? Who knows, any of these could lead to an unexpected encounter.

Treat yourself

Don't yearn for that special someone to treat you. Go and buy that beautiful bottle of perfume you love. Treat yourself to some flowers. Splash out on a yummy box of heart shaped chocolates. Even better, treat someone you love, such as a close friend or family member - Valentine's Day needn't just be about expressing love to a partner.

Celebrate being single, and be happy within yourself regardless of your relationship situation

Just because others are partnered up on Valentine's Day, doesn't necessarily mean that they are blissfully happy. Remember the advantages of being single, such as free time, less responsibilities, the ability to make your own decisions, staying up until midnight eating ice cream and watching a slushy film, not having to tolerate your partner's family or watch those football matches. Then think about how some of these would evaporate within a relationship. Enjoy this single time. Just because Valentine's is approaching, don't rush into the wrong relationship and settle for less than you deserve out of loneliness.

Get some perspective

Do remember, whilst at this moment you may be without a partner, there are plenty of Valentine's Days in a lifetime, and many possible people with whom you could eventually fall in love. Put away the soul searching love songs, and listen to energising music to lift your mood. Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about happiness, and instead of moping around, be inspired by Bridget Jones, who after having enough of being alone, and constantly belting out "All by myself" became determined to find love, and did just that.

Avoid being swept away by a tide of gloom

Sometimes we can feel desperation at our single status, because of the sheer bombardment of media suggesting we will risk missing the boat. Try not to make this day about what you haven't got, but more about what you have in your life. Celebrate the strengths and achievements that testify to you being a whole and healthy person, someone who has space for love should it come along, but who doesn't need such a relationship to create self-worth and happiness.

And finally.......

Make sure you acknowledge the people who do matter, and make this Valentine's a day about love, even if you are single. A day when you can strive to open yourself up to change and be willing to focus not just on the love you hope to receive, but on the love you can give.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.
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The Art of Sabrage at Smith & Wollensky's

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 09 February 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

The Young Ladies About Town always endeavour to try new experiences and learn new things, and this week was no different. I headed to Smith & Wollensky's restaurant to learn the art of Sabrage hosted by operations director and Commandeur of the Confrerie du Sabre d'or Nathan Evans.

What is Sabrage, you may ask? Well, two hundred years ago, dashing young cavalry officers in the French army would slice the cork off the Champagne bottle with a sabre, rather than put themselves through the effort of removing the wire basket and easing the cork out. Thus, the art of Sabrage was born.

Arriving at Smith & Wollensky's (an American chophouse chain imported into the UK and famed for its prime steak) we were made to sign a disclaimer. Having never handled a sword in my life, this worried me slightly, but having seen the array of people about to undertake the same task, this put my mind at ease that it wasn't too dangerous.
 
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Tables of cold Perrier-Jouet champagne and sabers filled the room, as Nathan commanded us round to fill us in lightly on the history of Sabrage and the society that was founded upon it in 1986. Dressed in a green gilded cape and hat, Nathan elegantly demonstrated Sabrage, making it look a lot easier than I had anticipated. We were informed that every bottle opened that evening was to be drunk, and as I scanned the room of 35 people or so, we all laughed.
 
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We took turns being called upon, feasting on a buffet of cold seafood and delicious canapes that were brought around by staff (whilst sipping on champagne, of course). I watched people closely turn after turn, marveling at the science behind glass separating with ease. The cardinal rule of the evening was not to let the blade leave the glass: it must be done in one swift motion.
 
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Finally, my turn arrived. I stepped up nervously as a nice Irish member of the Confrerie du Sabre d'or placed a saber in one hand and a champagne bottle in the other, both much heavier than I expected. I bombarded him with questions about technique as he calmed my nerves. "Have you ever played tennis?" he asked me, as I nodded. "It's just like a backhand!"

Attempt one, fail. Attempt two, no separation. Attempt three, I was told to lightly graze the saber back and forth on the glass before pulling it forward: success! My cork and bottle neck went flying in what was called a 'perfect' cut. Third times a charm! I was knighted as a member of the Confrerie as a French initiation passage was spoken, and I then got to take my spoils away (my cork in a plush red bag, as well as a certificate).

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The rest of the evening consisted of champagne, champagne, and more champagne. We even got to sneak away to preview Smith and Wollensky's incredible wine selection, and learn the endeavours of sourcing it and importing into the UK. I met and mingled with a bunch of wonderful people, all brought together by the art of chopping champagne bottles. A greatly successful weekday evening, I'd say!

 The next sabrage event will be held at Smith & Wollensky's on Tuesday 13th June
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