Do Mums Do All The Work At Christmas?

I read an article on the Telegraph website today basically saying that mums do all the work at Christmas.

Now although I'm sure that's the case in some households in mine, and many others, it most certainly is not.

My Hubby is a star when it comes to Christmas shopping and wrapping presents. 

'Tis the Season for Pantos!

This is the time of year you'll see advertisements all over the place for Pantomimes. I love Pantos, they're a great way to introduce children to the Theatre.

In Nottingham at Theatre Royal the Panto is Aladdin starring Christopher Biggins, Simon Webbe, and Ben Nickless.

Aladdin Pantomime showing at Theatre Royal Nottingham until 10th Jan 2016.

The last time I went to see a Panto BP was five and it was a trip with his school. Every year I mean to take the boys to see the Panto and never quite get around to doing it.

3 Ways to Spend Time With The Family (away from screens)

This time of year is great, everyone is planning to take time off work and spend time with their family.

3 Ways to Spend Time With The Family (away from screens) | Morgan's Milieu: Spending time with family this festive season is important.

The Hubby isn't going to be working over the festive period which means there'll be lots of time for us all to do things together.

Often though there's that sudden realisation...

What do we do?!

Giving Back This December With #BlogItForward

A couple of weeks ago I was tagged by the lovely Mrs Tubbs over at Someplace Strange and when I clicked to find out what #BlogItForward was I smiled. 

Giving Back This December with #BlogitForward | Morgan's Milieu: Are you going to #BlogitForward this December?

Throughout December Wayfair will donate £50 to Habitat for Humanity for every blog post that includes this badge.


The idea is to give back this Christmas, blog about it, and add the badge to your blog post. 

I had intended to write about me having the Hubby's family over for Christmas lunch but last weekend the boys and I decided to go through all their toys. We had a good clean out and all the toys they no longer play with were put to one side.

An Attitude Shift

Last week I did some exercise!

I know, shock-horror right?!

On Tuesday I woke up so annoyed with myself that I got out of bed, put on my gym clothes and used our cross-trainer. 

An Attitude Shift | Morgan's Milieu: Working out on the cross-trainer was hard work.

It's been sitting there, doing nothing for months and after a chat with the woman at the gym I decided to give it a go. I started with just 10 minutes, figuring I'd build it up like I did with my running earlier in the year.

My Morning

Every weekday I get up at 6:30am (sometimes earlier) and begin my 'working' day. In the two hours between me getting up and taking LP to school I do tons of jobs.

My Morning | Morgan's MIlieu: A mum's chores are never done.

Here's an example of an average morning:

Arise at 6:30am, still dark outside.
Up, dressed and downstairs by 6:45am.
Toast, Orange Juice, and BBC News while I eat breakfast.
BP gets up, requires breakfast (my morning break is now over).
LP gets up, requires breakfast.

The Key to Communication with a Tween

As regular readers will know my eldest, BP, is eleven years old, and that puts him firmly in the Tween camp. 

The Key to Communication with a Tween | Morgan's Milieu: Want to know how to communicate with your tween? Check this post.

I used to joke about him being a tween because although he was meant to be at that stage because of his age he hadn't really reached it.

Well the joke is on me now!

I'm Holding Me Back

Right now I am my own worst enemy.

I get up in the morning with all the good intentions in the world. I want to eat healthily, I want to steer clear of the alcohol and I don't want to touch the chocolate.

I don't know what it is that happens but at some point during the day my determination abandons me and by lunch time I'm starving and digging into a giant Double Decker or having a glass of bourbon after dinner.

My weight last week: 11st 11.6lbs
My weight this week: 11st 13.7lbs

My weight has jumped up again. I'm not winning this battle, to be honest I'm not even fighting.

In my favour I did speak to someone at my local gym last week. She was a lovely woman who explained how things work and told me they run classes too.

I have been missing my yoga class quite a lot. Every Friday morning I would go to a yoga class and absolutely loved it. I found it helped my balance, my posture, and I felt wonderful after being there.

Then it got cancelled.

I haven't looked for any replacement classes since, until I called the gym. I happened to ask about classes and she said they do yoga classes, amongst others. 

I'm hopefully going to a class this evening, to try out. I'll let you know how it goes.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

I was tagged by the lovely Agent Spitback in the What Home Means To Me series a while ago and I thought now would be a great time to share my post.

That saying sums it up for me.

As long as I am with my children and the Hubby I am happy.

What I Read November Roundup

Another month has passed and we'll soon be entering 2016, I cannot believe how fast this year has gone. It only seems two minutes ago it was January. 

Anyway, welcome to another roundup - this time of my November What I Read shares.

In What I Read 30 Kirsten hit a new parenting low, Kaye shared what she thinks is the perfect equation of motherhood, and Tayla listed the 10 real reasons why mums blog. Sarah shared Dangermouse's adventures with us, Catie worked out that children torture their parents and @MrsGrohl explained why she wouldn't be getting her tatas out for Breast Cancer.

Trust Yourself

Having a little bundle of joy completely dependent on you is a daunting prospect, throw illness into the mix and it's suddenly terrifying. As a new parent your confidence is shaky.

Trust Yourself | Morgan's Milieu: Feeling confident as a parent is tough - Trust yourself and your instincts.

BP's first proper illness scared me so much I can still remember it now.

How A Mother Can Strengthen The Bond With Her Son

As a mother with sons, sometimes it can be difficult to integrate into their lives as well as you'd like. Young boys are more likely to gravitate towards their fathers due to shared interests. And that, sometimes, can leave you feeling isolated. 

Don't get me wrong, mothers always enjoy a special bond with their sons, but they can't always bond over things so easily.

If you feel as though you're struggling to get involved in your son's life as much as you wish, there are a few steps you can take. Fair warning, though, most of it involves compromise! 

In the end, though, it's definitely worth investing the time and energy. You'll enjoy a more fruitful relationship as a result, and your son will certainly appreciate it! 

Here are the ways you can achieve this.

Am I A Terrorist Sympathiser?

While I was listening to the news this morning I heard something that made me angry.

David Cameron called Jeremy Corbyn, and all other opponents of action in Syria, "terrorist sympathisers". 

David Cameron "Terrorist Sympathiser" comment makes me angry.

I could not believe my ears.

Does that mean I'm a terrorist sympathiser?

Time to Attend Class

Last week I said that I'm not feeling healthy and I was doing my best to sort that out. That's still true today and I've even begun to think about attending some local exercise classes (if I can find any).

My weight last week: 11st 11.5lbs
My weight this week: 11st 11.6lbs

Steps last week: 42,753
Steps this week: 37,575

That's 0.1lbs on, and a lot less steps. I blame the weather.

With the awful weather, loads of nice food, and the comfort of home it's so easy to sit on my bottom and do nothing. I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to go on the treadmill, even though I used to enjoy it.

I'm wondering if I start attending a class or two, get myself out and DO something, then maybe I'll be more motivated to run too.

Like I said before my knees are an issue at the moment and losing weight will ease it, so that's the priority. 

I'm going to try a new technique to trick myself into thinking I'm having a larger meal - smaller plates. Whenever I put out dinner in an evening I give the kids less than me and the Hubby, obviously. The boys have smaller plates and it's easy to give them less, but BP is getting bigger now and wants to eat more. Perhaps what I ought to be doing is letting BP have the bigger plate and I have the smaller one.

I'll try it out and see how I go.

I know the usual trick is to put off losing weight until the new year, after all Christmas is almost upon us and those mince pies won't eat themselves right?

But if I wait then after Christmas I will weigh half a stone more than I do now, perhaps even more.

Instead I'm starting now, I won't deny myself the nice things but I'll be conscious of what I'm eating. Rather than just scoffing everything in sight I'll limit my intake.

How will you handle the weight loss through the Christmas period?

Fitness 4 Mamas

Blogging To Jogging

Learning to Surf The Waves of Life

Life is unpredictable.

Each and every one of us lives our daily lives in ignorance of the very real fact that something could happen at any time to change our life forever.

Life is like the Sea. Beautiful & Serene. Savage & Unrelenting.

Life is like the sea - beautiful and serene in places, showing such sights you could cry, but it is also savage, an unrelenting beast that can attack at any moment.

What I Read 33

Although I've been quiet on social media the last few days I'm still here. I'm reading posts as much as I can, so let's get on with the blog love shall we?

Crummy Mummy, who writes at Confessions of a Crummy Mummy

A much needed break when you're a parent comes around about as often as Christmas. That's why, when we're planning for it we get all excited and can't sleep! In Things They Don't Tell You About Being A Parent Natalie talks about her mini break and how nice it is to reconnect. There are a few things in her list that made me laugh too. I totally agree with her.

Katy - who writes at Carry On Katy blog

When we're in our early teens the thought of being middle-aged is awful, we feel like it's a terrible stage of life and we don't ever want to get there. As we get older it doesn't bother us as much, but it's still one of those times that seems to have a stigma attached. Carry on Katy has a great post for you though, on just this subject: 5 Benefits of Being Middle-Aged. This post had me laughing, and nodding along. Go and have a read.

The Mulk, aka Agent Spitback.
As we watch our little babies grow, seeing them change into toddlers who want to play with EVERYTHING (including pots and pans), from toddlers into school children, we are usually proud of the little people they become. We love seeing their language expand, and watching them learn at school. But then they change and you're suddenly thrown into a world of tantrums, strops, and emotions. Your little baby is a tween - oh boy what to do?! I'm at this stage right now and it is so hard to put into words just how I feel. The Mulk, aka Agent Spitback wrote a post that I could totally relate to and I think if you're going through this right now you could relate to it to. Have a read of Don't Call Me Mum! You won't be disappointed.

Kate, who blogs at hello baby bug.

Taking your first tentative steps as a parent is a daunting prospect. How do you teach the little tykes to behave? How do you make sure they grow up to be wonderful people? Do you follow your parents' rules? Would you want your children to grow up like you did? This is an interesting question, one which Kate asks in her post. Her perspective is different and I can see her point of view. Why not pop over, give her post a read, and tell her what you think?

Nigel who writes at DIY Daddy.

I am estranged from my biological mother, have been for years now. I don't remember the last time I spoke to her and although I hear about her through my sisters I have no desire to speak to her. But would that be different if she was ill, if she was dying? I'm not sure how I would feel in that situation. Nigel over at DIY Daddy shared a very personal post about his father, Do I see my father before he dies? He asks the question and struggles with the answer, I beg you to go and read this post. It does have a happy ending.

Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I am a huge Disney fan. I love old classic movies like Cinderella and Snow white, and the Pixar movies have me fixed every time. I cannot wait to go and see The Good Dinosaur! I enjoyed watching Frozen, just like thousands of little girls all over the world. I thought it was a brilliant, and different, interpretation of 'true love's kiss'. Not everyone liked Frozen though, and Alex was one of them. In her post Let It Go Walt she talks about how she disagrees with some reviews of the film and doesn't think it is 'boldly feminist'. It was interesting to read and although I disagreed I could see some of her points. Head over and give it a read, let her know what you think.


Stuck For Baby Gifts This Christmas? Fabulous Ideas To Inspire

Parents will always want to spoil their kids on Christmas day. It’s the day we get to bring magic to life with the promise of Santa Claus and presents. 

Image credit

While our older children will love getting involved, babies are too young to understand what’s going on. But that doesn’t mean they too can’t get involved with the festivities. Here’s a list of fabulous gift ideas that will help you buy for any baby that you know this Christmas.

How to Add a Custom Header to Blogger

So you've created your header using Canva or PicMonkey, or some other creative tool, but what now?

It's time to add that gorgeousness to Blogger.

How to add a custom header to Blogger

Thoughts on Blogfest '15

On Saturday I attended Mumsnet's Blogfest '15, it was my first blogging conference. I am still processing, my head is full and it's hard for me to put everything into order but I'm going to try and share what I learned.

A Mum is NOT just a Mum - Don't give up your dreams.

Listening to Meera Syal CBE, Bridget Christie, Polly Vernon, Catherine Mann, and Margaret Atwood (via link to Toronto at 4am!) was inspirational. Bryony Gordon hosted a fantastic talk in which the ladies discussed being a mum at the same time as trying to have a career. I heard how a supportive partner is handy, knowing your worth is important, but being able to express yourself is essential.

Planning and Action in Progress

This morning I did the food shopping and although I bought chocolate, it wasn't for me, and crisps (also not for me) I also bought fruit, Upbeat drinks, and planned my meals for the week.

Food to avoid: burgers and chips, fried chicken, cookies, and muffins are just a few of the things you ought to avoid when on a diet.

My weight last week was 11st 12.5lbs
My weight this week is 11st 11.5lbs

What I Read 32

It's time to share my favourite reads from this week, and I have to say my list is getting rather long. The posts I share may be from a few weeks ago but be sure that I enjoyed reading them.

What I Read 32 badge, gold circles with pink writing.

How To Make Your Navigation Menu Float

When you scroll through my blog you may have noticed that my Navigation Menu stays at the top. It floats over my blog rather than staying at the top of the page and disappearing when you scroll down. 

In this post I'm going to show you how to make your Navigation Menu float.

As always use the "Inspect Element" to try out changes before changing your HTML.

Where Has My Cheery Boy Gone?

For as long as I can remember LP has been the entertainer of the family. He's energetic and he always has a smile on his face.

Or at least that's how it was.

But now my cheery boy seems to have gone.

There's a teenager hiding inside that little man!

He's been replaced with a moody, sulky, 6 year old.

The Nonsense Show Review

I've spent lots of time over the years trying to encourage my boys to read. I think it's really important that they do and any book that interests them I buy hoping that it will capture their imagination. 

BP has never enjoyed reading, he'll start reading a book and then give up or "forget" about it. 

LP loves to read. He's got all kinds of books and the bookcase in his room is almost full. He'll try out anything, from The BFG to Mr Men books. I like him to read proper books like The BFG but I don't mind it when he chooses the simpler ones because it gives him a chance to just enjoy it.

The Nonsense Show Review | Morgan's Milieu: The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle

How To Move Your Search Bar Into Your Navigation Menu

A couple of weeks ago I was asked about putting a search bar/button next to the Navigation Menu or Masthead Bar. It took me a while to work it out but in the end I did it so I'm going to share what I learned with you lovely people.

Before I start with my "how-to" I want to say that if you don't have a search bar somewhere on your blog you need to get one now. 

Far too often I'll be looking for a particular post on a blog and I'll have to search through loads of pages before I find what I'm looking for. This wastes my time and might dissuade me from returning to your blog. Please, please, please, have a search bar.

Lots of bloggers like to have their search bar in the sidebar and others like it to hover over the top of their page alongside the tabs. In this post I'm going to show you how to move your search bar from your sidebar and put it into your Navigation Mar at the top of your page (if you have one).

Stop Thinking and Start Doing

I skipped writing about my weight last week, I didn't weigh myself all week and pretty much ate whatever I wanted. I'd given up.

But over the past few days I've noticed a few things about my body and how I feel and I've realised that I can't let myself off. It's time to stop thinking about it and start doing.
Stop Thinking and Start Doing | Morgan's Milieu: My weight loss badge.
My weight today was 11st 12.5lbs. This is unacceptable.

What I Read 31

I want to take a moment to send my wishes to all involved in the incidents in Paris. I read about what happened and am appalled that so many people have been hurt or killed.

Before the atrocities I'd put together these posts that I read, I hope you enjoy them.

What I Read 31 | Morgan's Milieu: My What I Read Badge

What I Read 31 | Morgan's Milieu: Nicky, of notjustthe3ofus blog

Whether it's blogging or daily life some days are harder than others. One day you can get up full of beans and ready to take on the day, and the next is like someone has stolen your get-up-and-go. Nicky shared a post that I enjoyed; Ever Wondered Where Your Mojo Goes? In it she asks what you do to entice yours back again.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

A little while ago I was tagged by Izzie who blogs over at The World According to Izzie for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thanks Izzie!
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award | Morgan's Milieu: Tagged by a blogging friend I now get to pass on the wonderful award.

Izzie asked ten questions that I have to answer and then I need to come up with ten questions for 7 bloggers I want to nominate.

I always love reading, and writing, these posts. It's a chance to get to know the blogger and an opportunity to share a little bit more about myself. 

SlinkyLinks Jewellery Review and Giveaway

I love jewellery, from big dangly earrings to cute little rings. It's just another way to express myself. Anything that sparkles will always catch my eye but I also like unique pieces of jewellery. The kind that someone would comment on not because of the sparkles but because it's different.

Cue SlinkyLinks jewellery

SlinkyLinks Jewellery Review and Giveaway | Morgan's Milieu: Pink Necklace and Earrings set from SlinkyLinks.
SlinkyLinks small circle, double-sided necklace and earrings set

SlinkyLinks jewellery is handmade from leather by one very talented lady, Melodie.

A Good Cleaning Day Can Brighten Your Outlook

Over the past couple of weeks I've been feeling a bit low, the dreary weather, the dark nights, it all got on top of me. Today I got up and decided to have a bit of a cleaning day, the hoovering desperately needed doing, not to mention the polishing, and the windows, and... well let's just say cleaning is not a priority!

All morning I've been putting shoes under the stairs, tidying toys away now the boys are at school, and the hoover got switched on. I pulled the polish out from under the sink and polished the window sills too. 

As I was hoovering the stairs, a job I hate doing because I have to use the nozzles, I began to feel brighter. A smile creeped onto my face as I watched the bits get sucked up into the hoover. 

It felt good to clean! 

This doesn't often happen, I see cleaning as time away from the blog, time I could be using to write. I do put the dishwasher on daily, tidy the kitchen and such, but general cleaning is only done when absolutely necessary. 

Part of the reason for that is I cannot stand cleaning up only to have the boys get out the lego box and tip all the lego out, 5 minutes after I've finished. Cleaning can feel pointless at times because I know that it won't be long before it will all need doing again. It's one of those jobs that is never really finished.  

Today though, even with the dark morning, cleaning up made me happy. Seeing a clean carpet, toys away, a lounge that someone could sit in without having to move something first, made me smile.

Don't get me wrong it's not all perfect, there's still a massive pile of washing to get through and my ironing pile is resembling Everest, but the rest of the house is looking good.

Although I hate cleaning sometimes it does brighten my mood, it's like therapy. 

A good cleaning day almost feels like you're cleaning out your mind. Does that make sense?

With the day-to-day humdrum of life your mind can get bogged down in details, bits of jobs left on 'floor', dust settles in the corners, and a good cleaning day almost feels like you're cleaning up your mind too.

Perhaps it's the mindlessness of it, maybe it's taking time away from other stuff and just getting on with it, either way I'm glad to be feeling brighter.

It's made me wonder about sorting out other rooms and getting rid of 'clutter' but I think I'll save it. Maybe I'll need it as the days get shorter!

How do you brighten your mood this time of year?

Why not get the kids involved in the cleaning too? Join my mailing list and you get a free downloadable chores list for the kids - giving you more time for you!

Creating a Header Using Canva

As I said last week I'm going to help you create your own header using Canva this week. Now I'm not claiming to be an artist of any sort. In fact I'm fairly rubbish when it comes to that stuff, but Canva make it really easy to make something that looks great.

Creating a Blog Header using Canva is easy and it's free!

The first thing you need to do is go to and choose the kind of document you want. You can choose one of the preset dimensions or you can customise your dimensions.

Capture Those Special Moments

Over the weekend I cleared out a large cabinet we have in our lounge, I pulled out all the wrapping paper we have in stock, I pulled out all of our photo albums.

LP in 2011, 2 years old.

As I sat there, surrounded by photo albums, art supplies, and wrapping paper, I couldn't help looking through those photo albums. We never get them out anymore and look through those special moments that we captured so long ago. 

What I Read October Roundup

October was a busy month and I've loved sharing lots of blog posts I enjoyed reading. Here's a round up of all the posts I shared during October.

Ladies Boots Wish List

Now that the awful weather is here the only way to cheer up is to buy new boots, right?

If you're anything like me you lust after all styles in all colours, and wish you had the same budget as Jennifer Anniston or Katy Perry.

Alas we don't and we have to put together wish lists in the hope that the Hubby or partner sees it and takes the hint.

Yes, I'm talking to you Hubby! 


From flats to high heeled, ankle to over-the-knee, there's a boot for all occasions. I love boots, they keep my feet warm and can look really stylish. I already own loads of pairs and have a tough time choosing which to wear on most days, but you can never have enough!

Casually browsing the internet (as you do) I found a few pairs of boots I'm lusting after this season.

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Tan boots, from Office, for £98.

To start with there's these Eliza Slouch Knee Boots, £98 from Office. I love the brown, and the fact that they're flat means that I could wear them anywhere. The Hubby and I like walking (sometimes) and having a great boot to keep me looking stylish while not breaking my neck would be great. 

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Buckle boots, from Office for £85 (on sale), hurry - these will go fast!

Staying with brown for the moment I also love the Nifty Buckle Knee Boots, on sale for £85 also from Office. The buckle gives them that extra 'something' and I think they'll be easy to pair with a great outfit. Not quite flat, a 3cm heel, and a zip fastener means these boots will be comfortable and easy to wear.

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Analise boots, £165 from Kurt Geiger, Ugg boots to lust over.

A few years ago the Hubby bought me some wonderful flat Ugg Boots (see, he can take a hint) that I still love. I wear them constantly when the weather turns. Ugg Boots are great and I found these Analise boots which look fabulous, don't you think? They're £165 and a dark brown colour, from Kurt Geiger. With a heel height of 8cm they might not be great for walking far but they'll certainly keep me stylish this season!

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Jones Bootmaker boots, for £130, an easy choice.

I seem to have a thing for brown boots this season because I love these Hush Puppies Gussie Moorland Knee High Boots available for £130 from Jones Bootmaker. Jones is great, there's a huge selection of Ladies Boots to choose from. A 6cm heel on these boots means I could (maybe) walk in them without breaking my neck, a zip fastener makes them easy to pull on and off, and the tie thing across the front looks great.

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Irregular Choice boots, £175, a little pricey but they're so great!

I love Irregular Choice shoes (not that I own any), they're stylish and just a little bit 'out there'. I'm not sure I have the confidence to wear some of their wilder shoes but I do love the Longer Lashes boots. I love the slouchy look of them and again they have those fabulous buckles. At £175 they're a little more pricey than the other boots so far, but aren't they stylish?!

Ladies Boots Wish List | Morgan's Milieu: Christian Louboutin Napaleona boots, they're very price but a girl can dream right?
Now every shoe/boot lover knows that a wish list would not be complete without Louboutins. This is truly a wish because I don't ever expect to actually own a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes or boots. I absolutely LOVE these Napaleona Calf Sport, I mean... just LOOK AT THEM!!! They're fabulous. Spiky bits, a chain around the back, a grippy heel - heaven. Did I mention they're Christian Louboutins? Oh my how I would squeal if I got these for Christmas! But at £1,045 (yes I did just type that right) I can only dream. Seeing as we're dreaming though, how about that bag too. It would be a match made in heaven. Me, the boots, and the bag...

*daydreams of walking on a red carpet sporting the boots, and bag, looking rather stylish. Shakes head. Is back to reality, almost.*


Now that I'm back to reality I'm off to write that Christmas list to Santa. It's okay if it's all boots right?

What would you ask Santa for if there was no budget?


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