How can I get my boyfriend to tidy up?

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

My boyfriend and I keep arguing about whose doing the housework, its becoming really frustrating. We both work full time jobs so have the same time off but trying to get him to help with the cleaning, cooking, washing up, laundry is like banging my head against a brick wall. I don’t want to sound like a nag and the last thing I want to do it keep arguing, BUT I’M NOT HIS MOTHER! I really wish he would want to help do these things… just because I am female it does not automatically mean I am not going to want help. I too want to sit down and relax. Please help! Becca

Hi Becca

This is something I hear on a regular basis and I do sympathise with you. This is a common cause of arguments in cohabiting relationships. What I tell everyone with the same problem, is go back to basics, start a rota and split everything between you, one night he cooks, the other night you cook. Mix it up and see how that works for a trial time. If it doesn’t work my suggestion would be to start cooking your own dinner and washing your own clothes. By the time he’s realised he’s run out of clean boxers he’ll be forced to rethink his bad habits when he’s having to wear his dirty undies inside out.

I hope this helps, do keep me updated should you need any more advice.

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How can I make my girlfriend lose weight?

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

Back at the beginning of my relationship my girlfriend was toned, slim and physically fit but now after 3 years she’s become a little bit too chubby fat. The main thing that attracted me to her was the way she presented herself and looked after her body. Now shes a bigger she dresses in awful frump clothes. The last thing I want to do is upset or break up with her but I just don’t find her attractive at the moment. I don’t know what to do… please help! Rory

Hi Rory

Overtime couples can feel relaxed and comfortable in their relationships so much they don’t feel they need to put as much effort in to their appearances. It happens to women more often.? Another contributing factor to weight gain is also if people are feeling a bit low so look to food that gives them instant comfort for the short term. Find out the reason for her weight gain first, she could be so comfortable with your relationship she is unaware of her weight being an issue or ask her if she’s got any worries or needs some motivation in life. Tell her how much you care and that you value your relationship and want to make her happy which could give her the boost he needs. Also suggest doing some sports activities that you could enjoy together as well as help her get fit, probably the best solution! Get to the root cause and pin point what’s going, once you find out then work together as a couple which in turn the future will look promising.


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I can’t get over my boyfriends kiss with his ex

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I am really depressed over my boyfriend’s past. We’re in our early twenties and both virgins – but I was not his first kiss. He had a silly relationship at school when he was 16 and I can’t seem to get over it. I can’t accept he shared that moment with another girl. I feel less special, that she is better than me and all the kisses we have can never be as good as his first kiss with her. I know this is irrational but I can’t help it. I think of it all the time and it’s ruining our relationship as well as taking over my life. Cassie

Hi Cassie

He kissed someone else, but he’s kissing you now. You really need to concentrate on your relationship for the present and future things to look forward to. An inexperienced first kiss with someone that he doesn’t even see anymore means nothing compared to the months/years you have created together now.

You also mentioned that you are both virgins, forget about the kiss because you are going to potentially share a very special intimate moment when are you both ready to have sex. That is the most special thing you can share with your boyfriend.

Don’t spend time dwelling on the past as you could ruin your future with him. It can’t be changed and you shouldn’t destroy the future with things in the past. If you feel there may be deeper issues that could be the result of you feeling like this, you may want to explore them.

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My girlfriend is sexually neglecting me

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

My girlfriend has recently been requesting that we use sex toys a little too much. I’m all for spicing things up and trying new stuff but I feel that she is enjoying using her dildo more than she enjoys my dick. At first I was surprised because she used to been quite hesitant to use them but now I’m lucky if I get sex once a week without using some form of aid. Is she trying to say I’m not satisfying her anymore? Any advice on how I can get her to want me and not the plastic kind? Jason

Hi Jason

Sexual intimacy with your partner is important and there needs to be an understanding that you each know what the other enjoys. You have to be honest with her and let her know how you’re feeling. She might not realise that it’s causing you some frustration. Plan some days/nights when you get intimate without the dildo or other sex toys. Explain that you want to enjoy being intimate with her on your own.

If your regular sex positions aren’t doing it for her, which could be her reason for turning to a dildo, maybe try some new positions and experiment together. Sometimes it’s nice to please your partner but if it’s all one sided things aren’t going to work for you both.

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I can’t get over my partner kissing her ex

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

I am really depressed over my girlfriend’s past. We’re in our early twenties and both virgins – but I was not her first kiss. She had a silly relationship at school when she was 16 and I can’t seem to get over it. I can’t accept she shared that with another guy. I feel less special, that he is better than me and all the kisses we have can never be as good as her first kiss with him. I know this is irrational but I can’t help it. I think of it all the time and it’s ruining our relationship as well as taking over my life. Colin

Hi Colin

She kissed someone else, but she’s kissing you now. You really need to concentrate on your relationship for the present and future things to look forward to. Think about what works for your relationship and what connected you together initially. The best way is to communicate with each other and be positive, find out the root cause of your fixation on her past over this kiss. There are wider issues that could be the result of you feeling like this that you may want to explore.

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How to make first communion veils and banners

Once you decide whether you want to make a headband, a bow, a barrette, or a cluster of flowers, everything else becomes very easy! All these headbands can be made more or less the same way.


Pick sheer bridal fabric is the ideal choice for the right veil. The bridal tulle is not only broader, but also wider than other fabrics, which means the veil can be a lot fuller. Another other option is to fabric that is already trimmed in lace. Alternatively, you can do it yourself while keeping the ends unfinished. This helps you create a simple veil that has a rolled hem. Besides, most store bought veils come finished.


Now that you have the desired width to make a First Communion veil, the next thing is to determine the length. Ask your daughter how long she would like it to be. Some girls like veils that go over their shoulder near the elbows. You can cut the edges in curves after you cut the tulle to your desired length.

What You Will Need:

Thin floral wire
Floral tape
Needle nose wire cutters
Pearl edged tulle ribbon
Glue gun or fabric glue
A handful of silk flowers in various sizes and shapes
Silk/satin spools 1/4 inch ribbon in white and accent colors
Small and large flowers
4-5 inch wide white tulle ribbon for back of headpiece
Needle and thread

· Put the floral wire around your child’s head in a circle. Make a circlet by crimping and knotting the ends. Add the largest flowers and cut off their stems using the wire cutters. Leave 0.5-1 inch of each stem to tape the flowers to the wire.

· Use floral tape to attach the largest flowers evenly around the circle. As you wrap the floral tape around the flower and wire, stretch it and wrap it to make it sticky and workable. Continue the process till you finish with the smaller textural flowers around the circle and in the open areas using tape.

· Create tiny gathers using a floral wire or clear monofilament thread such as a fishing line. Use a hand needle (zigzag stitch) or machine stitch to gather the veil and fasten the gathers. You can decide how full or loose you want to make the gathers.

· Attach the gathered veil to the headband. You can either buy one or cut one out. You can sew the veil at the gathers directly onto the headpiece if you leave the round headpiece intact. If you want a veil that is loose on top of the head, stretch it around the ring if that is the look you want.

· Cover all the floral tape with the pearl edged tulle ribbon by twining it around and wrapping the whole wreath tightly. Use a little glue from the glue gun or fabric glue at the beginning and end of the tulle ribbon, so that it stays put. Cut the extra length off and save it for draping down the back.

· For the finishing touches, cut 32-36 inches of the 4-inch wide tulle and tie it to the back, so that it drapes down evenly. Tie the 1/4 inch ribbons evenly over the tulle.

· For tighter gathers, use transparent combs that can be found in the bridal sections of most craft stores. Hand sew the gathered veil onto these excellent additions. Treat it like it is a part of the headpiece by adding beads, crystals, ribbons or flowers. You can also use bobby pins, so that the headpiece stay put.

· Add the pearl edged tulle ribbon in a bow and drape the rest if you wish. Since the pearls make the bow heavy, add a couple of stitches with a needle and thread to the bow, so that it stays put and does not become loose.

This veil is easy to make and is very versatile in its look.
How To Make First Communion Banners

Check with your parish whether they have specific rules about sizes, materials, and even what can be seen on the banner before you start making one. Most parishes need a child’s first name to appear on the banner. They also like the date to be included somewhere on the banner.

Some of the most common elements that First Communion banners include, but are not limited to: a child’s name, the date, a chalice, grapes, bread, wheat, a Communion Host, and a cross.

What You Will Need:

1 piece of felt for the background
1 piece of felt for the cross
Assorted colors of felt
A bottle of glue
A pair of plain/fabric scissors
Wooden dowel
Glitter glue/fabric paint/craft jewels (optional)

· Once you know what rules you need to adhere to, start shopping for very stiff or self-adhesive felt letters, puffy paint or foam letters/shapes to decorate the banner. You can even buy iron-on or pre-cut felt letters at your craft store.

· Stiff felt makes tracing and cutting symbol pieces much easier for both parents and their children. Felt with glitter looks even better!

· You can also use fabric paint to write on the name and date, which would be a lot easier than cutting the letters out.

· Once you have all of your elements cut and ready, try out different layouts to see which one your child prefers the most.

· You can either to use good strong glue or sew your decorations to your banner if you do not buy self-adhesive felt or unpeeling adhesive. Use glitter glue and fabric paint or even fake jewels to decorate the banner.
· While you do not need to include all of the elements to prevent it from becoming too overwhelming, you may want to include something not on the list.

· Make sure everything seems like it will stay on. Use puffy paint to jazz up the banner a bit and give it a little sparkle. Even if it means uneven puffy paint lines, let your children do it, as it will always feel very special to them.

· When your child finishes decorating the front of their banner, let it all dry before putting the dowel through the back, so that it can hang up. While some churches hang them off the sides of the pews, others hang them all up on strings.

· Write your child’s name on the back of the banner. Marking it clearly ensures that the banner can be easily retuned after the First Communion Mass.

Make the project a family activity and leave all the decisions, including different parts of the decorating and cutting to the person whose banner it is. Include and involve the child making their First Communion always.

How To Make First Communion Invitations

All you need is a paper trimmer and a punch set that enables you to produce a continuous die-cut strip of double loops around every edge of a page. You will also need a few beautiful cross stickers.

First, print off your invitation on the white card stock. Cut the white printed card to the size of 8 inches by 3 inches.

Second, cut the outer paper to 9 inches by 4 inches, as this size will fit easily into a standard business size envelope.

Third, trim the outer and printed white paper corners using the punch set.

Fourth, cut a small 2 3/4 inch by 1 3/4 inch outer paper and again clipped the corners with the punch set.

Finally, assemble each card using the glue stick and add the cross as a final touch.

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How To Find Mr. or Ms. Right

mr and mrs right
When we step out into the great unknown of online dating it can be difficult to know where to start and how to put the best foot forward.

It’s normal to wonder if we should let all our faults and insecurities hang out, or keep our profiles more guarded and reserved. It’s also natural to wonder how important physical attraction to a picture in an online profile actually is, or contemplate our options for increasing our relationship success.

While there are exercises you can do to stay fit and look as attractive as possible to potential partners, what will really set you apart is cultivating your own unique personality to help you craft an online profile that wows potentials.

Here is some dating advice that may help you find your Mr or Mrs Right.

Dress to impress

This doesn’t just mean only wearing designer or expensive clothing, it means dressing authentically to attract others who appreciate your unique sense of style.
Iris Apfel, the 95 year old New York City fashion icon, known for her eccentric outfits and unique personal style, famously noted that if you live long enough, everything old becomes new again. This is a truism that those of a certain age would do good to accept and incorporate into their wardrobes.

For those of a certain age, there may be a few things in closets that now have vintage appeal. Work to mix and match those classics with more modern cuts, designs, colors and wardrobe staples to create a unique look. Wrap your own past with the present to create a sense of timeless dressing and classic accessorizing.

Share Your Hobbies

One of the best places to meet others of like interests is offline and out in the real world itself. Join a volunteer group, connect with other enthusiasts on a dating site, or just cruise the local newspaper looking for activities that align with your interests.

The more active you are in the community, the more likely you are to find others who are as active and engaged as you. You can connect over shared values and activities and then friendships can grow from there.

Not to say that one can’t connect over shared values online as well, but if you don’t know what you like doing outside of online dating then you won’t have anything to put on your profile, right?

Read and Tell

You’re more likely to find a compatible partner if you both enjoy the same type of entertainment. If you’re a reader you may be surprised to learn that reading is a fairly uncommon activity.

If you’re one of the lucky few who participate in this daily habit, be sure to share your favorite books in your online profiles. You may also want to link people to your Goodreads account where they can see your recommended books and reviews and get a better feel for your favorite genres, and by extension, your personality.

Embrace Adventure

If you’re consistently striking out when it comes to online dating then it could be that you need to break out of your box and try something different. This could mean either changing your profile to reflect more of your personality, or putting yourself out there and talking to people who don’t fit what you are typically looking for in a potential partner.

Whatever you do, do it with gusto. Try throwing caution to the wind, expand your search criteria, and share more of yourself that may appeal to others. You never know when the perfect person may be logging on just to find you.

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Dating Tips For the Girl Who Has No Time

10 Genius Dating Tips For the Girl Who Has No Time

1. Go straight for what you want. It can take ages to find Mr Right if you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, save time by looking specifically for single guys who match your interests. Retro 80s mullet dating anyone?

2. Plan the date around the outfit you’re wearing. Shopping for new clothes to wear on a date is fun but what about when you get a last minute offer? Let your clothes decide your activity: a dress means dinner, or if you’re wearing your onesie maybe stick to somewhere darker. That way you’re always ready to go.

3. Always carry highlighter. If you need to look alert and well‐rested but you’re hungover from partying too hard (or having to get up before midday to go to work) highlighter is going to sort you out. As well as giving your eyes an attentive and alluring glow, it can also cover spots and so much more.

4. Make sure he stands out in a crowd. Tell your date to be identifiable from a distance, ideally by carrying a large present with your name on it, for example flowers, chocolates, a puppy. Bonus: you get free stuff.

5. Lunchtime is the best time. Choose a date at lunchtime and you won’t be stuck in a dodgy date all evening if it goes awry. Saying you need to leave for work/other commitments will go down better than saying your cat sitter just cancelled.

6. But skip straight to dessert. Know a few places where you can just grab a mocha and a muffin ‐ of course, this is all about bonding together over sugary endorphins and definitely not about cake.

7. Discuss something daring. Show that you’re open and available by engaging in honest discussion about something personal. If it’s not too weird and he starts sharing with you too, then you’ll know you have something special.

8. Set your ringtone to your fave Taylor Swift song. If he looks put‐off when it rings, he probably isn’t the one.

9. Steal a kiss. They say it takes 15 minutes to know if you have chemistry with someone but when you haven’t got time for that, find out in 5 seconds flat by initiating a kiss.

10. Contact him the next day Sure waiting around works fine for Disney Princesses and women of period novels, but you’re an actual person. Let him know if you’re interested and likewise tell him if you’re not.

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8 Things To Know Before Asking a Girl Out

This blog post is written by experts from Marry Brides who are giving dating advice on the 8 things to know before asking a girl out, and to answer the question what is the best way to actually approach a girl.

  1. Do some research

First of all, clear the overall situation up: what if she’s not even single? And if her heart is definitely free, you should know what type of guys she prefers and what type of things she is into. Maybe she isn’t keen on dating right now, maybe her mind is set on someone else – anything is possible. Discover that in advance.

  1. Check if she’s interested in you

Don’t rush to ask a girl of your dream for a date, study her attitude to you. Watch out how she reacts to you, like her body language and speech. Perhaps, you need to do something to awaken her curiosity?

  1. Pick the right time and place

You can’t just go up to her and ask whether she’d like to go out this weekend. Well, you can, but it might not work. Even if a girl likes you, she might be not in the right mood for romance. To ensure success, don’t interrupt her, yet approach her when she is more likely to be receptive, who aim for somewhere with a relaxed atmosphere instead (e.g. in a bar, or during a rest break).

  1. Work on your look

Naturally, you should look great anytime. But for special events, you’ll need to take double care about your looks. You must look handsome, smell good, and sound perfect. Show her you’re making an effort for her.

  1. Demonstrate self-confidence

Nowadays, it’s okay for a girl to take the first step and ask a guy out. However, strong confident guys are never out of fashion. The way you approach her creates her impression about you – so give her what she needs.

  1. Convey your intent

Feeling nervous, we often lose our communication skills. But remember what we told you about confidence. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.  What do you want from her? Pre-plan how you’d like to tell her about it. Then go for it!

  1. Draw up a plan

In case she says “yes”, you need a clear plan of what your next step is. First dates shouldn’t be spontaneous; they work better a certain scenario. Of course, it’s important to take a girl’s interests into an account while planning your date, but have a plan and a plan B on where to take her. Make sure she’ll appreciate your idea.

  1. Don’t fall apart if she says “no”

As you’re a man, be a man. Rejection is also normal, just like any other parts of our dating life. There’s no need to yell “Oh why?” and act like a child whose parents didn’t buy him a present. Give her a smile and respond politely “Ok, no problem” and move on. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.

However, she is more likely than not to say yes, so just say “Great, I will look forward to it” and move on!

I hope that has been useful dating advice for you.



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I can’t stop going out with bad boys

Dear Agony Aunt Nicola

My relationships with men hasn’t been great and largely down to the fact I seem to be attracted to bad boys. It always ends in disaster no matter how much I try to make things work. My friends and family tell me often I should find a decent nice guy who doesn’t get in trouble of any kind and most of all treats women with respect. Even if I meet new guys I find a bad boy irresistible, how can I change my ways? Sandra

Hi Sandra

I hear it a lot where women prefer a bad boy as it can be exciting. It’s the thrill of ‘changing his ways’ and some women want a challenge rather than stuck with a guy who is seen as dull and boring. On the other hand there are some guys who play by the book who could still give you that excitement without the hassle. It’s important to have a healthy relationship where you can grow as a couple, if you don’t find someone who is on the same page it will never work. Ask yourself do you want a on a roller-coaster of emotions that a bad boy can create or stay balanced and grief free with a good guy? The choice can only be yours and I hope it’s the right one.

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