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Valentine's Day

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 11 February 2016
Yet again another Valentine's Day is upon us. If you feel sad and frustrated because this is a reminder that you're single, it might help to realise that you are not alone, and many dread this time of year. Here's some tips to not just get you through, but also to help you have the best Valentine's Day ever!

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, 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.

Valentine's Day loneliness

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 05 February 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I dread this time of year with Valentines Day fast approaching, it just reinforces my loneliness, and disappointment that I am facing yet another year of being single. I am almost giving up on the gentlemen species. The type of men I seem to meet are not worthy of me and have no future prospects. I have even lowered my standards due to lack of response. I seem to attract the useless, uncaring, selfish, non-committal man.

About me. I am 30, my friends tell me I'm very attractive, interesting and reliable. I hold a good position at work, where I am valued and appreciated. Why can't this extend to my personal life? I want to be wined and dined, have flowers sent to me and to receive a card on Valentine's Day.

Please help me.

Thank you.

Patricia Marie says.....

You say most of the men you meet aren't living up to your expectations, and that your considering giving up trying to find a partner. Yet also believe by accepting less out of life allows you more chance of success. Lowering standards displays low self-esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable type not worthy of you. These negative beliefs can arise from bad experiences, or not being valued or understood. In order to love someone you must be able to love and respect yourself.

Being your true self is allowing colleagues to show you unconditional respect and acceptance, which gives you confidence within the work environment. This can be extended to your personal life if you can begin to see yourself in a positive light.

Instead of dreading this years Valentine's Day, make it special by promising yourself this is the year to address your chances of finding a suitable partner. Perhaps you could join a reputable dating site, or embark on some new hobbies or interests, which will enhance your social life and help improve your sense of self-worth.

This Valentine's Day, do remember whilst you may be without a partner, there are plenty of Valentine's Days in a lifetime, and many possible people whom you could fall in love with. Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about love, and instead of just admiring what's on offer, go ahead and treat yourself to a gift that you would like to receive and very much deserve.

Check out the mind website ( www.mind.org.uk ) where you will find useful tips on increasing self-esteem.

I attract the wrong type of man

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 14 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I feel that I am almost giving up on the gentleman species. I am thirty going on fifty! The type of men that I seem to meet are not worthy of me and appear to have no future prospects, I have even lowered my standards due to the lack of response. I seem to attract the useless, uncaring, selfish, non-committal man. About me, my friends tell me I'm very attractive, interesting and reliable. I hold a good position at work where I am valued and appreciated... Why can't this extend to my personal life...??!! Please help me.

Patricia Marie says...

You say most of the men you meet are not living up to your expectations, and considering giving up trying to find a partner. Yet, you believe by accepting less out of life, there is more chance of success. Lowering standards displays low self-esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable type not worthy of you. These negative beliefs can arise from bad experiences, or not being valued or understood. In order to love someone, you must be able to love and respect yourself.

Seeing you for who you really are allows your colleagues to show unconditional respect and acceptance, which gives you confidence within your work environment. This can be extended to your personal life if you learn to see yourself in a positive light. Check out the Mind Website (www.mind.org.uk) where you will find useful tips on increasing self-esteem.

To improve your chances of finding a suitable partner, I would also suggest joining a reputable dating site, as well as embarking on some new hobbies or interests, all of which will enhance your social life, and will help gain your confidence and self-worth.

This Valentines day, do remember, whilst you may be without a partner, there are plenty of Valentines days in a lifetime, and many possible people with whom you could eventually fall in love with. Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about love, and even if you are single, perhaps treat yourself to a gift you would like to receive and very much deserve.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Chocolate Fondant Pudding

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 13 February 2014
Chocolate Fondant Pudding... the perfect Valentine's dessert!Nigel Brown's Chocolate Fondant Pudding

Ingredients
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 3 whole free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease 4 small dariole moulds or ramakins.

Place the sugar, butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Heat very gently until the butter and chocolate have melted, then remove from the heat. Whisk together until combined.

Add the egg yolks and whole eggs and beat well.

Fold in the flour.

Pour into the dariole moulds or ramakins and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and place onto a baking tray. Put straight into the oven and cook for 8-9 minutes.

Allow to rest for a minute or two and then turn out onto individual serving plates and serve or serve hot in their dishes.

Enforced love

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Enforced love is a strange old thing. And, as we are all too aware, this is the week to do it. I remember standing in the phone box line at boarding school clutching my 10p piece. It bought me just enough time to hiss down the receiver Valentine card sending instructions… at my parents. There was no way I could risk leaving the whole shebang to chance, while some girls in my dorm would be counting double figures.

Of course, the choosing and sending of cards is always a joy. Inscribing them with my left hand (now less of a ritual) and showering those I fancied/admired/lusted after from afar was, without doubt, an entertaining game. But now, happily married with fully-fledged offspring, the whole day feels simply ridiculous. And, if I’m brutally honest, a bit of a chore.

So, there’ll be no bunch of a dozen red roses nor double-layer chocolate boxes for me. You see, strict instructions since the Millennium (the year we wed) will ensure of this. Nor little black dress date-night accompanied by a white tablecloth and silver service. Absolutely NOT. Instead, we’ll review a fancy restaurant with other Valentine strikers on 13th and hibernate the following day with a take-away and bottle of wine. How romantic that sounds...


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Gingerbread Valentine’s Cookies

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Forgotten that all important Valentine's Day present? This recipe should help sweeten things up!

Gingerbread cookies

Ingredients

  • 350g treacle
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 50g butter
  • 900g plain flour
  • 1 dst spoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 t spoon salt
  • 1 t spoon ground allspice
  • 1 dst spoon ground ginger
  • 1 t spoon ground cloves
  • 1 t spoon ground cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease baking tray.

2. Mix together the treacle, brown sugar, water and butter.

3. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices. Add to sugar mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

4. Roll dough .5cm (1/4 in) thick on a floured surface. Cut with floured heart shaped pastry cutter. Place about 5cm (2 in) apart on baking tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and decorate with icing of your choice.


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