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My mum tries to take over my daughter's upbringing

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 13 January 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have a beautiful one year old baby girl whom I adore. However I split with my boyfriend, her father, soon after I became pregnant, and he has nothing to do with our baby, which has caused my mum to be extremely upset, as she never wanted me to be a single mum.

I can cope with this, but what I am struggling with is the way she tries to take over my daughter's upbringing. It is her first grandchild and she is so over protective. She lives close by and is always popping round, sometimes at the most inconvenient time, being very critical of the way I am raising my little girl, and insisting she knows best. My dad can be a little interfering too, but he knows when to stop, unlike mum.

I believe I am a good mum, as my baby is developing well and is really happy, but my mum seems to think she has a right to dictate every aspect of her life. How can I explain to her the way I am feeling without hurting her feelings?


Patricia Marie says...

Having a baby in the family can be an exciting time for everyone, and you wouldn't want unnecessary conflict to take away that joy. Try to consider that grandparents generally mean well and just want to make sure their grandchildren are well cared for. It may be a while since your parents looked after a baby, but keep in mind there is a great deal to be said for experience. Stay open-minded, as some of their suggestions and advice may actually be very helpful.

Your mum may particularly be wanting to take good care of you both as your boyfriend isn't around. Explain to her that you value and appreciate her opinion, but ask her to understand that you might have a different way of doing things, and could she please respect this. Speak from the heart and tell her that you are wanting to adapt a routine for you and the baby, so could she please try to call before she visits. Perhaps it could be a good idea in future, when she gives you advice, to listen with a smile - and then do what you feel best. However, try and see things from your mum's perspective, as one day your own daughter may have children herself, then you will become the doting grandmother. Do remember also that no matter how old the children, a mother's love and protective instinct never wanes.
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A New Year's Message

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Tuesday, 03 January 2017
Yet again the world of pop is in mourning, this time for musical genius George Michael after he died on Christmas Day, aged just 53. Since the shocking news of music legend David Bowie back in January, we've had to endure the deaths of a multitude of high profile celebrities and musicians, including the utterly unique artist Prince, and most recently, actress Carrie Fisher, followed by her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the day after. All these losses have dominated the media, and, whilst it is reassuring to know that these huge stars were truly respected and admired, it can make it hard for us to escape our own painful emotions about their passing.

Even though we didn't know any of these famous people as well as those closest to them, they had been, and still are, a big part of our lives - the musicians whose records we remember from key moments in our past, the nation's favourite broadcaster, Terry Wogan, or Victoria Wood who over many years brought us much laughter. Indeed, the list goes on and on. However, be reminded that, although all these famous people are no longer with us, our memories of them will forever remain.

When celebrities die who have in the past brought us happiness, our grief is stronger because they have struck such a personal note within us. Many, particularly from the baby boom generation, feel that huge chapters from their youth have been lost. To some it's the end of the world, but for others it may have little or no impact. A lack of empathy from our friends and family can leave us feeling worse and unsupported, yet we can gain comfort by acknowledging the communal grief shown in the heartfelt messages and tributes throughout the media and social networks for each and every one of them.

The particularly high number of losses in 2016 highlights for us, especially those who have suffered their own personal and private loss, the need to embrace life, cherish every moment, and never take any situation for granted. Despite all the negative news that has engulfed us over the past 12 months, we have to believe that 2017 will be encouragingly positive. In George Michael's words - We Gotta Have Faith.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very healthy and peaceful New Year.
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The Connaught launches The London Essence

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Tuesday, 20 December 2016
by Annette Kellow

Last year I was invited to The London Essence launch, held at the prestigious Connaught Hotel. Little did I know how vintage it would all be! The Connaught is a long standing hotel since 1815 whilst The London Essence has roots tracing back to 1896. I decided to attend with friend, writer and dining expert Tyne O' Connell who certainly knows her stuff when it comes to cuisine. The skilful team at Wisehead Productions have breathed new life into their distinctive tonics to make the perfect mixer for cocktails and parties. I was also pleased that they are good for the waistline too (I'll have another then please) with the mixers containing plant based sugar Stevia and the most mouthwatering names such as Grape, Rosemary, Bitter Orange and Elderflower.

connaughtlaunch

Set in a 1920's style deco room, with a mirrored stairway which looked straight out of a Gatesby movie, we were welcomed in to a tray of delicious drinks with exotic names (I immediately tried the Cuban). A jazz band played old fashioned swing numbers to an eager audience and we even had a personal waiter who explained all the food and drinks to us.

Nick Strangeaway gave an intriguing talk on the evolution of gin whilst seafood inspired canapés were circulated. I, of course, couldn't resist but try them all and now my friend has named me Canapé Queen!

I have sometimes found when having a mixer in a cocktail it can be overbearing in sweetness or taste a little too sickly. The idea for The London Essence was to create a mixer that is elegant and sophisticated whilst being conscious of subtle tastes. Rather than being overbearing it is more gentle which gives it just the right hint, note and finish.
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Christmas Treats at Muriel's Kitchen

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Tuesday, 20 December 2016
by Katrina Schollenberger

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to try one of Monty Bojangle's most indulgent Christmas treats- two festive 'freakshakes'- at Muriel's Kitchen in Soho.

'Freakshakes' are a gluttonous dessert/drink combination usually consisting of a blended milkshake topped with a mountain of cream, ice cream, brownie, cake, fruit and other sweet treats. It is thought the freakshake trend started in Canberra, Australia before catching on in Newcastle, but nowadays, the overindulgent, overloaded milkshakes can be found almost anywhere in the UK.

The particular freakshakes I got to try were the Milky Mischief hardshake (with a shot of dark spiced rum for good measure!) and the Berry Bubbly freakshake, both using Monty Bojangles tasty truffles. 


Freakshake590

The Milky Mischief was quite intense, a good choice for coffee and rum lovers. As a girl with more of a sweet, fruity palette, I couldn't get enough of the Berry Bubbly. Both shakes were topped with mountains of cream, sauce, chocolate shards, candy crumbles and a large straw. Monty Bojangles hit the nail on the head with the recipes, as they were as every bit delicious as they looked. 

If you find yourself near Muriel's Kitchen in the Richmond, Soho and South Kensington area, do yourself a festive favour and try one of these moreish freakshakes! If you're not near those locations, follow the recipe to create your own Monty Bonjangles freakshake at home: 

MONTY BOJANGLES MILKY MISCHIEF FREAKSHAKE

Shake:
3 Scoops ice cream
5 x Milky Mischief truffles
50 ml Spiced rum
50 ml Espresso shot

Topping:
Whipped cream
Different coloured chocolate shards (milk and dark chocolate)
Grated Milky Mischief truffles
Whole Milky Mischief truffles
White snowflake decorations
Blue straw

MONTY BOJANGLES BERRY BUBBLY FREAKSHAKE

Shake:
125ml milk
5 x Berry Bubbly truffles
Popping candy

Topping:
Whipped Cream
Red and White chocolate shards
Whole Berry Bubbly truffles
Popping candy
Red and white snowflake decorations
Red Straw

Whizz all of the ingredients together in a blender and decorate with whipped cream and chocolatey goodness as you please!

The Monty Bojangles Milky Mischief Freakshake and Berry Bubbly Freakshake will be available exclusively at Muriel's Kitchen throughout December 2016 (Milky Mischief Freakshake RRP £12.50 and the Berry Bubbly Freakshake RRP £8.50)
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Ice Installation and Christmas Cocktails At The Savoy

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Tuesday, 20 December 2016
by Annette Kellow

The Savoy hotel is associated with many luxury things. Afternoon tea, cocktails, dinner, Theatre, architecture and always annual creative festivities. I had never heard of an ice rink installation being in the hotel but that is exactly what they have curated for this years Christmas theme!

Aptly named 'Dreaming of a pink Christmas' it is a Louis Roederer installation whilst in the foyer they have a 15ft Boodles tree complete with hundreds of pink bows (somebody help me!)

I also heard they were doing special Christmas cocktails so after a little light retail therapy my friend and fellow writer Millicent Binks decided to head over to the Savoy to see exactly what it was all about.

savoy

On entering the reception we discovered a winter wonderland of treats. The Boodles tree with a 'diamonds and ice' theme was made of cut glass mirror and bespoke pink decorations. Even the dog statues had pink bows around their necks and there was a pink post box to post all your Christmas wishes to Santa!

Louis Roederer, a family owned champagne house since 1776, collaborated with The Savoy to create the rink installation whilst the hotel also commissioned london creative agency, We are Family, to make a life size spinning dancer which continuously pirouettes underneath the bauble adorned gazebo.

IMG 8078

We wrote down quite a few wishes (but I can't tell you them or they won't come true) then took photos by the tree, wandered over to the ice installation whilst juggling our heavy shopping bags. There is also a small Boodle's boutique which we couldn't resist taking a peek in. But alas, all this walking in heels with big bags was beginning to hurt my feet.

'Time for a cocktail?' Millicent asked. After our hard work admiring the delights at The Savoy, we felt it only best that we settle down to a classic glass of Louis' finest fizz. That's my workout out for the day done.
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