The First Signs of Puberty

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As a mother how do you deal with your son hitting puberty?

I know my eldest is growing up, after a trip out during the Easter holidays I asked him what he'd been doing and his answer made me smile.


Morgan's Milieu | The First Signs of Puberty: A hooded figure walking through countryside.


Too Busy To Blog

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The last two days have flown by in a haze, I've been rushed off my feet and before I knew it it was bed time.

For months we've had an issue with our central heating and this week we decided to get it looked at. We had arranged for someone to come to the house and check all the pipework for leaks and that meant that EVERYWHERE had to be tidy. 

What I Read 15

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Welcome back once again to What I Read, it's getting harder to pick out which posts to share because there are so many brilliant posts out there. I hope you enjoy this week's selections.

What I Read 15 | Morgan's Milieu: #WhatIRead Badge






Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 15: photo of Kim Carberry, aka Northumberland MamMy boys have played Minecraft for months now, Big Prince's obsession with it started a couple of years ago and we have bought it for the Xbox, on the PC and he's asked to spend more on the various packs available. To me Minecraft is Lego on the console and I don't really see a game there. It doesn't interest me at all and I have no intention of playing. Kim, over at Northumberland Mam, was made to play it with her family this week. She did have the same opinion as me but she has changed her mind since playing. Read about her adventures as she stepped into the world of Minecraft.










Of all the social networks I spend most of my time focusing on Twitter. I schedule tweets, interact occasionally and retweet when I find something I like. I've always known I wasn't doing it right, I'm just kind of winging it. Steph's post this week has been a huge help and I intend to keep it bookmarked for the future. In Strategy Saturday - Owning Twitter Steph talks about the trends and analyses twitter accounts to find out what they're doing right. This post is full of useful tips and tricks to having you owning Twitter!










Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 15: Photo of Michelle, aka Bod for Tea
Being a mum is hard, we're expected to give our children the 'perfect' life. A happy home, a sparkling house and a mum who can cook, bake, create. Striving to be the perfect mum won't get you anywhere but having good intentions and not fulfilling them is no better. Michelle talks about her Mama fail moment and asks What Can Snow White Teach Me About Joy? She decides that she needs to keep practising and she'll get there. I'm totally with her on this one, practise makes perfect. Or somewhere close anyway. 










Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 15: A Photograph of Nikki Thomas, aka Stressy Mummy
Big Prince is 10 years old, turns 11 in August, and this means he has his SATs this year. He has been attending "Booster Classes" after school and on Saturday mornings so that he can practise. I don't think he's bothered by it all to be honest but he knows these exams are important, the teachers keep telling him so. Nikki is both a teacher and a parent so can see both sides of this. In her post 10 things you need to know about Key Stage 2 SATs she explains what they are and how to deal with this time, whether or not your child is stressing.











Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 15: A photo of Julie from Menopause 4 Thought.I'm a firm believer in our past making us who we are today. Our experiences, feelings, and sometimes injuries, impacted our lives and moulded us. Although you may have regrets or wish you could turn back time to rectify something that went wrong that would have an impact on who you are today. I often think back through my life and wonder what would've happened if I'd done things differently. Perhaps I could've gone to university, done a psychology degree like I wanted, but I didn't. I don't regret the choices I made because they led me to where I am right now, doing what I love. A post that touched my heart this week was written by Julie over at Menopause 4 Thought. She wrote a letter to her younger self in which she talks about her life. I enjoyed reading this and it made me thankful for the things I've been through and the things I have in my life. Change happens and we need to find a way to roll with the punches - they'll stop eventually.










Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 15: Maddy Bennett who writes at Writing Bubble

What are your dreams? Do you wish you could be a famous singer, performing at the Brit Awards, or would you prefer a large house and quiet life? My dreams are small by comparison - a book, with my name on the cover. That's it. Much like Maddy who would also like to see her name on the cover of a book. A lovely lady who runs the writing linky #WhatImWriting with another wonderful writer, Chrissie, Maddy wrote a post this week that made me reflect on my dreams. In Achieving Dreams Maddy talks about the realities of those dreams and whether or not we realise what we're hoping for. Do you?

Maddy's post was also featured in the BritMums Carnival hosted by Mummy Tries.




That's another What I Read over for this week, please do head over to the other blogs and read. There are some very talented writers here and I'd love you to discover someone new.

Which is better - Phone Camera or Digital Camera?

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Okay so some phones aren't very good when it comes to taking photos, let's discount all phones older than two years. Now which is better, phone or digital camera?

Morgan's Milieu | Phone Camera or Digital Camera: The Jammitors, entertainment in Epcot, Walt Disney World
Photo taken in Orlando, Florida with an iPhone 5 camera - great in good light.

I admit that up until recently my instant answer would've been my phone. I have an iPhone 6, it's camera is brilliant and I love being able to pull it out of my pocket and snap quick photos of the boys. I always have my phone with me too so there's no chance of me missing an opportunity. It takes good photos as long as there's good light, sometimes it can manage a good one in low light but not often.

Cups and Spillages

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When you're children are born thoughts of drinking cups are far from your mind. Bottles yes but cups?

Not for a long time.

In 10 years my boys have gone through hundreds of drinking cups, from non-spill to regular plastic ones. At 6 years old Little Prince is still prone to knocking over drinks. Big Prince has been known to have spillages too and although they happen less often when they do happen there's more liquid.

As a mum I know spillages are inevitable but I do my best to minimise the risk. The problem is finding cups they can use without making them feel like they're still babies.


BP loves drinking from cans, when he goes to Youth Club he always buys a can of something. This Aluminium Drinks Can Cup with lid is perfect for him. It can keep a drink cold and the lid slides to reveal a drinking hole so it looks just like you're drinking from a can. The 'cans' hold 500ml of liquid and cost £7.99 for a pack of four. I'm happy for BP to use them because he's not drinking fizzy drinks all the time; he can put juice in them too.

The Day My Mother Broke My Heart

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I remember it vividly.

I'd been home for a few days, after visiting my dad, and was in my bedroom with the door securely locked.

As usual the radio was playing and I was singing along to my favourite songs. A teenage girl enjoying alone time.

Then it happened - my mum's voice boomed from the bottom of the stairs.

My heart leapt into my throat.

Episode Dip Hem Printed Maxi Dress Review

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At 5 foot 5 inches tall I consider myself an average height. Saying that most of my friends (okay, all of them) are taller than me. 
Morgan's Milieu | Episode Dip Hem Printed Maxi Dress Review: Morgan Prince wearing dim hem black and white maxi dress.

With the weather turning nicer I've spotted people wearing maxi dresses. I'm always jealous because I've never managed to find a maxi dress that fits well. They're always too long when I buy regular sizes and the petite range is too short, so I end up stuck in the middle unable to wear maxi dresses.

The Power of Positive Thinking

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Positive thinking is easy - when it's for someone else.

If I want the Hubby to do well with work I think positive, if the boys need some luck; think positive. But I've always found it hard to think positive for myself.



That is until last week when I wrote about my switch-aroo.

Pen Heaven Competition: My Workstation Photo Entry

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When I first took over our spare room and made it my office it looked empty. I had an old dresser as my desk, a swivel chair and my Macbook Air. All the essentials, yes, but not quite what I imagined. This is my blogging room now:

Morgan's Milieu | Pen Heaven Competition: My Workstation Photo Entry - An iMac sitting amongst office supplies on a beech desk.
Pen Heaven Competition: My Workstation Photo Entry
I have a real desk (bought from IKEA), an iMac and Mickey and Minnie mouse to keep me inspired. The view from my window is lovely and I have a door that can be closed.

When I first started blogging I never dreamed that it would become a real thing. I didn't think people would want to read my words but it turns out I was wrong.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 16

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The boys are back at school (Yay!) and things are back to normal routines. I'm tired and lethargic at the moment, the holidays have worn me out even though we didn't do anything.

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 16: health and weight loss tips badge


10st 11.6 lbs

52, 301 steps


I've spent the best part of two weeks working, doing housework and playing games with the boys. We have been nowhere and done nothing special. The Hubby has been super busy with work (has a bad back) and we didn't feel like doing anything.

What I Read 14

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The boys are back at school tomorrow and everything will be back to normal. I can't wait to be in the house and have peace and quiet throughout the day. For this week's What I Read I pinched some time for myself to read a few blogs. I hope you enjoy.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 14: The What I Read Badge



Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 14: Jessica, of Happy Mom Happy LifeLittle Prince is a huge Dr Seuss fan, we've read Cat in the Hat about one hundred times and he loves Oh, The Places You'll Go. LP is also an avid reader and loves nothing more than reading a great book to himself, one of his favourites is Green Eggs and Ham. I have read Green Eggs and Ham lots of times and can recite some of it by heart. After reading it so much when LP asks me to read it again I sigh, "not again!" I think to myself. Over at Happy Mom Happy Life there's a brilliant post about how Green Eggs and Ham is driving her insane. I could relate to this one and feel Jessica's pain.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturiser Review

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I have very dry skin. I used to be able to get away with not moisturising but these days (as the wrinkles creep in) my skin feels dry and itchy. The problem with that is I have sensitive skin too and very often I find most creams irritate.


I've tried all types of creams ranging from cheap to very expensive and up until now the only one that didn't irritate my skin was Boots No7 Protect & Perfect for Dry Skin.

When I was offered the opportunity to review the InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturiser I thought I'd give it a shot.

Ordering from Amazon was easy and I received the cream the next day.

Distraction: The Antidote to Mother's Worry

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Today will be the third day Big Prince has ventured 'out' with his friends without supervision. Given that he's almost eleven years old I thought (or rather the Hubby did) it was about time he started going out to meet his friends.

Morgan's Milieu | Distraction, The Antidote to Mother's Worry: Quote from Elizabeth Stone - Momentous decision.


That quote pretty much sums up where we are at the moment. BP is at the stage where it's all he wants to do. A day to himself, wandering around with the sun shining, and best of all, no parents. I remember those days long ago and I thought it was fantastic.

But for me, as BP's mum, it's so hard.

Baker Days Letterbox Cake Review

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Who doesn't like cake?

And cake delivered to your door? The stuff of dreams right?

Wrong!


Morgan's Milieu | Baker Days Letterbox Cake Review: Blue tin with writing on top inside a white box.


Thanks to Baker Days, a company based in Nottinghamshire, you can get cake delivered to your door and when they asked me if I'd like to review one of their Letterbox cakes I did a little giddy dance!

After visiting their website I saw they had a wide range of designs and flavours, you can order birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, even cupcakes. The Letterbox cake is 5 inches and has 3-4 portions but they have three other, larger sizes.

Time for a Switch-aroo!

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I always feel like a failure.


I know, depressing right? 

Morgan's Milieu | Time for a Switch-aroo: Yellow tulip shining in the sun.

It's not that I'm not happy, believe me I am, but a lot of the time I see the things I'm not doing rather than the things I am. I focus on the negative and bring myself down. If I've had a good week of writing I'll see the piled dishes in the kitchen. If the dishes are put away I'll focus on the fact I've got no writing done. 

Health and Weight Loss Tips 15

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I know the importance of exercise but I've witnessed a puzzling trend with my weight of late. In the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to get any walking done, I've been very busy and the kids are off school.

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 15: health and weight loss tips badge


10st 13 lbs

30, 357 steps


The puzzling trend is that I'm losing more weight by not doing the exercise and I don't understand it. It doesn't seem to fit in with all the expert opinions and advice.

What I Read 13

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Welcome back for another week of What I Read, where I share some of the best posts I've read through the week. 

What I Read 13 | Morgan's Milieu: #WhatIRead Badge








Sophie shared Seven Top Tips to help edit your novel and I have to say this post will come in handy for years to come. When I finish my novel I will be at the editing stage and need all the help I can get. If you are in the same boat as me head over to Sophie's blog for some tips.













How I felt when I was pregnant is now just a memory, a distant memory that I don't often think of. When I read Suddenly I Felt Love I was swept to all those years ago when Big Prince was growing inside of me. The memory of that instant wave of unconditional love that flows through you when your baby is born is something worth clinging to. This was a truly heartfelt post and I loved reading it.















I found another great linky for people trying to lose weight or who like running. Blogging to Jogging is a linky run by Hannah over at Budding Smiles and each week she gives support to other bloggers taking part. After these Easter holidays are over I will be taking part in this linky every week, hopefully I'll see you there!













Kate Portman did it again with her fabulous post Chatting with My New Best Friend - Me. Do you talk to yourself like you do your best friend? Are you supportive and kind or do you berate yourself constantly? Kate's brilliant post made me wonder about the way I talk to myself and I decided to take her advice. It's time I started treating myself better. If you read this post I promise you will find yourself nodding along, just like I did.













Zaz inspired me (again) to try harder when it comes to my appearance. Just lately I have reverted to wearing jeans and jumpers and no make up. Sometimes I can't be bothered with it all and feel like I'm being judged if I do try. But after reading Zaz's post Wearing Shorts in the Springtime and seeing how fabulous she looked, I've decided to change. I will wear what I want to wear and I will put on make-up in a morning. Thanks for the kick Zaz!














How many friends do you have? I don't have many true friends but I cherish the ones I do have. In How Can I Make Friends? Ceri talks about being true to herself and realising she was mixing with the wrong types of people. I related to this post and realised I need to be more confident and show who I really am. 











There were some great posts this week and funnily enough a lot of them made me think about myself and adjust different aspects of me. It seems it was a week of personal introspection! 

Have a great week guys and see you next time.

The Best Mid-Range Champagnes

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A bottle of champagne is an indispensable attribute of any party or celebration. But, like anything, you get what you pay for – and you don’t want to ruin a party by bringing something undrinkable! Fortunately, with a bit of know how, you can get your hands on a good bottle of champagne without breaking the bank. For example, sometimes the cost of a bottle is affected by other equally important factors. A good example is the packaging. In addition, the cost depends on technology and aging period. In any case, the modern market of sparkling wines is so huge that nowadays you can easily find a good and inexpensive bottle of champagne.


The best mid-range champagnes


Lanson


Lanson Champagne may become a real catch for all lovers of champagne. One of the oldest houses of Champagne – Lanson - was founded in 1760. Being focused on the conquest of the export market, by the end of the XIX century they produced Champagne Lanson for royal families of Spain, Sweden and the UK. In 1900 Queen Victoria made Lanson the official supplier of the royal court of Great Britain, and this honorable house has retained this status until now. Lanson House is rightly proud of its unique style of wines, including mid-range ones - elegant, fresh and intense.

Getting A Great Night's Sleep - My Top Tips

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There's often not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Going out to work, or staying at home with the kids, as well as chores and odd jobs means our time is sucked away but getting a great night’s sleep is vital! A broken night's sleep, or simply not getting to sleep, can ruin your day. As such, I wanted to bring you a number of top tips for getting a great night’s sleep an in order to do so, have teamed up with www.sleepypeople.com - the place for a great night’s sleep.

Morgan's Milieu | Getting A Great Night's Sleep - My Top Tips: A Sleeping newborn - black and white.

1. Choose The Right Pillow


One of the most common causes for getting a bad night’s sleep is you simply can’t get comfortable and more often than not, that’s down to your pillow. It’s important to choose the most suitable type of pillow based on how you sleep:

Front Sleepers should choose a softer pillow.
Back Sleepers should choose a medium thickness pillow.
Side Sleepers should choose a medium-high thickness pillow.

Liberate Us From 'Sexy'

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The title of this post is a quote from Helen Mirren.

Morgan's Milieu | Liberate Us From Sexy: A photo of the actress Helen Mirren.


I was watching BBC News this morning and listening to Helen Mirren talk about her new movie, Woman in Gold. The funny thing was that she didn't really talk about the movie, she talked about women and the chance to portray them and their 'real' life. 

Playlists - A Part Of The Process

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Through these Easter holidays I'll find it difficult to get any time to myself. The boys are playing constantly and want attention, the Hubby is busy working (or trying to at least) which means I am on hand to deal with fights, toys and other stuff.

Mickey and Minnie are waiting to inspire me.


It's just typical I'm inspired to write now, I want to retreat into my office upstairs and write a chapter or two for my novel. That's not going to happen, one interruption and I'd be thrown. I haven't written anything for the novel for a while and I should know by now I get inspired through the holidays, it always happens.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 14

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It was LP's birthday on Saturday and we had a great day. We took him to our local soft-play centre, Escape, first thing and he had a lovely time running around and playing with other children.


Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 14: health and weight loss tips badge

10st 13 lbs

56, 543 steps


LP's choice of restaurant for his birthday was TGI Fridays and we went for lunch on Saturday. He had ribs and fries and when he'd finished his face was covered in bbq sauce. It was a picture! I chose Tostadas; crispy tortillas with cajun rice and chicken and lots of salsa. It was lovely and I didn't put on too much weight.

What I Read March Roundup

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I trust you're all having a Cracking Easter!

Here at Morgan's Milieu we're seeing in April with another What I Read Roundup, here's what I enjoyed reading throughout March.

What I Read March Roundup | Morgan's Milieu: #WhatIRead Badge








Morgan's Milieu | What I Read March Roundup: photograph of Aby from the blog YouBabyMeMummy
Aby was having a rough day back at the start of March but that all changed thanks to a kind stranger. Sometimes kind words can turn someone's day around. Nadine realised she's been exhausted for two decades as she tried to enjoy a well-deserved nap. Charlene, aka Moderate Mum, offered some sound advice to a new dad. Dadwhoblogs wondered if it's his fault that his son doesn't get invited to play-dates in It's not You... It's Your Dad. Thatcham Dad listed 8 lessons he's learned in his 8 years of blogging, some great advice there.










Morgan's Milieu | What I Read March Roundup: photograph of Zaz of Mama and More Blog

Zaz surprised and shocked me with her post about the N word, I couldn't believe people still use it! Are you trying to be Supermum? Stop - right now. Tarana wrote a great post on how NOT to be a Supermum and you should check it out. As his second child suffered with Colic Casey began to understand (NOT condone) why people shake babies. Carol shared a wonderful poem for her mum that was a lovely read (if a little upsetting) and Wry Mummy wrote a poem, Other Mums, that summed up motherhood for me.












Morgan's Milieu | What I Read March Roundup: photograph of Suzanne who blogs at 3 children and it.com
This Season..., a post from Suzanne, reminded me to look on the bright side, even when the boys are driving me mad. Catherine offered up some great blogging tips, or more to the point the mistakes to avoid. Sara shared more of her creative writing with Cinderella, and a related piece is A Letter which you simply must read. Leigh Kendall talked about the realities of Love when compared to fairytales. I loved reading about the day Our Little Escapades got to be Cinderella for the day. I stumbled across a new linky too - Retro Blog Post Linky over at U Me and the Kids.










Morgan's Milieu | What I Read March Roundup: photograph of Jocelyn who blogs at The Reading Residence.com

Jocelyn asked is technology a Blessing or a Curse? Chantelle was hosting a great chocolate giveaway and Tara at Sticky Fingers was giving away a Vax. Actually Mummy reviewed a service when she wanted to decorate her daughter's room. And I'll Wait With You was a touching post about dementia and why the writer chose to work in antenatal care.








I'm looking forward to reading great posts throughout April.

Not A Baby Anymore

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Today is the boys' first day of the Easter holidays and it has started well. They both slept in this morning, which is a bonus, and I played five games of pool with Little Prince.

Morgan's Milieu | Not A Baby Anymore: Chocolate muffins, with cream and sprinkles on top, blurred in the background, stars rising from the muffins


His pool obsession continues. He has a room full of toys and struggles to choose what to play with, resorting to yet another game of pool. I have watched him grow from being unable to control where the cue goes to controlling the speed and direction he hits the white ball.  

A Writing Exercise - The Process

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about brainstorming ideas and told you I'd come up with something about a beach. Well as I was struggling to find any words today I thought I'd go back to that brainstorming session and take a look at what I had.

Below you'll find my entire session from conception to final edit (so far). It's only a short piece but I think it shows progression, perhaps even insight into how my mind works.

Morgan's Milieu | A Writing Exercise - The Process: Palm trees blowing in a breeze, blue sky spotted with white wispy clouds.

Brainstorming Words and Ideas 
Quiet, tranquility, serenity, peace, relaxing = breeze blowing through leaves, trickling river, swimming fish, beach, rushing waves, squawking of birds (seagulls), tweeting birds.

Have a Cracking Easter with Crack Attack!

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With the Easter holidays upon us we all know the iPads (and other tablets) are going to be used a lot. We'll struggle to keep the kids entertained every day for two whole weeks (well I will anyway) and games come in handy. 

But what happens if your kids are bored of the games they already have? Nagging, moaning, and groaning, that's what. They play the same games all the time and are 'booorreeed' of them. Finding new games for the kids to play can be a pain but it just so happens that I know of a brilliant game that your kids will love and it's FREE!

Crack Attack



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