Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Review

In this week's Health & Weight Loss 4 my tip was to track progress. A while ago I was sent the Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor to review and I've been using it during my workouts.




Inspiring Friends

Thanks to a friend inspiring me last week my word count of 1,604 doesn't seem so bad.

Writing Bubble

The word count is low but I will not let the self-doubt demon in this time. I had so much going on last week that time flew by and before I knew it it was the weekend. That's when illness hit the household and I spent the weekend caring for the sick. Luckily, so far, I'm bug free and I'm hoping it stays that way.

I came up against a hiccup twice last week, Scrivener crashed every time I tried to write. It was frustrating and I eventually gave up. As a consequence I've spent some time mulling over the story and planning in my head. The good thing is that my writing hasn't stopped.

On Friday, inspired by a friend, I wrote my first poem of the year. Finding Me was written after a heart-to-heart with my friend. After that talk I came home and needed to write the poem. It flowed  and came from deep within. 

My word count may be low but the creation is still in me and I'm delighted to be writing poetry again.

How has your writing week gone?


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Health and Weight Loss Tips 4

We're in week 4 of my Health and Weight Loss series and I'm still motivated. Let's hope it continues!

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11st 3.5lbs

37,154 steps


I walked most days last week and tried hard with my food during the week. Then the weekend happened. The Hubby and Little Prince were ill and needed comfort food. Lasagne, garlic bread and profiteroles are some of the things consumed this weekend. I'm almost certain those profiteroles were my downfall.

At least I know I can do it. My weight mid-week was 11st 1.7lbs so I just need to stay away from temptation. I've resorted to changing the crisps I buy for the kids to curb temptation.

When I'm trying to lose weight I find it useful to track my progress. Which brings me to this week's tip:

Tip: Track Progress


Use a spreadsheet or an app, or even a pen and paper, but track how you do. You can download various apps that count your steps via a phone and some even 'talk' to your scales. I use two apps, one from Apple (Health) and one from Withings. They both track my weight and steps and I use them as a motivational tool. 

Sometimes seeing your negative progress is enough motivation to get you started on the weight loss regime or health kick. If you're already on the diet or healthy eating plan it can be the encouragement you need to keep going. I'd suggest searching for a tracking app for your phone, I mean when don't you have your phone with you?

That's it for this week but I'll see you here again next week. 

I'd love to hear how you're doing and if you have any tips for me?

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What I Read 4

This week's What I Read includes posts about writing and body image. There's also two poems that I loved.

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Writing


Aimee Horton - passthegin.co.uk

Taking part in the What I'm Writing linky is a highlight in my week. I get to read lots of other writers advice, struggles and stories. Aimee Horton linked up a post and the title grabbed me. Five procrastination cliches and how to overcome them is a great list of tips and advice, it was the 'talking to' I needed.
















Nicola Young - writer

Nicola Young has been struggling with point of view this week. As she lets us in on her process she asks How do you choose the right point of view for your story? With the snippets she includes in the post it gives a great example of the different points of view.













Poems



A moving and powerful piece of writing came from Manyofus in Prose4T. Abuse is no laughing matter moved me to tears, but it has a lovely ending. Pop over to https://manymults.wordpress.com to give it a read.







Victoria Welton - vevivos.com



I read a lovely poem by Victoria Welton who runs the #Prose4T linky. Simplicity tells us to seize the day but keep it all in perspective.










Body Image



Kate Portman wrote two brilliant posts that I read this week about body image. The first, What a woman talking about chips taught me about my body image struck a chord with me. We all worry about dieting, being overweight and the influence we are having on our children. Kate has a healthy outlook.

Kate's second post is How to fall in love with your body. In this post she talks about her own body image when she was a child and her determination to always have a good outlook. Kate offers us tips and advice to follow. We all need to learn to love about ourselves. 

Thank you Kate for these inspiring posts.





See you next week for another What I Read.


Finding Me

Talking to a friend this morning inspired me to write 'Finding Me'


Being a mum is a hard job, the children need us constantly and sometimes, along the way, we lose ourselves. We forget to save time for us, to do the things we love. After a while we forget what we loved and don't know how to get it back. We give in to being mother, we assign ourselves that label, and we forget who we really are.

I went through this just after LP went to nursery. I was lucky, at the time I was reading a book that inspired me to try to write something myself. Three years on I have written one novel (hidden away) and am trying to complete my second. I love writing, it is therapeutic and I get rather grumpy when I can't do it. I found me, I discovered a love that no one else influenced. When I sit in my room and there's a blank page in front of me, my mind is filled with ideas (most of the time).

If you feel like you've lost yourself and are 'mum' but nothing else I urge you to find you again.


Finding Me


The dark cloud hovers
Above my head
Threatening rain 
Go back to bed

The weight is heavy
It pushes me down
My mood blackens
Deepening my frown

Being mum is hard
A constant job
Children need me
I want to sob

I've lost who I am
Become just a shadow
What do I want?
I simply don't know.

Talks with friends 
Shaping a plan
Glimmers of hope
To find who I am

The sun peaks through
Those darkened clouds
A brighter smile
Losing the shrouds

A journey to find
My inner needs
All it takes
Is to plant the seeds

Prose for Thought

Increase Productivity - Writing in 30 minute Bursts

After last week's progress I didn't think I'd manage to type fast enough to get a higher word count. It turns out I was wrong because I have increased my productivity.

Increase Productivity = no more choppy waters.
No more choppy waters for Morgan. :)

In my 30 minute bursts last week I wrote 1,841 words altogether. This week, not including yesterday, I wrote 2,406. And that's over three days.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 3

It's Health and Weight Loss number 3 and I've lost weight. Yay!



11st 3lbs


30, 539 steps


My steps are low this week, I went for a run on Wednesday (on the treadmill) and it wiped me out, I was so tired, but felt great. No walking Thursday or Friday and I spent Saturday watching TV and lounging.

What I Read 3

Welcome back to the third week of What I Read. I've enjoyed reading and sharing posts so far and am pleased to be back again. 

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Personal




Over at mama-andmore.com Zaz shared a fantastic quote this week. Her wonderful linky #AllAboutYou turned 1 at the start of the week and to celebrate she's hosting a giveaway. At the start of her post she shared a brilliant quote from Albert Einstein that I loved. Do you 'follow the crowd' or do you make you're own way?
















thereadingresidence.com

At The Reading Residence I read Jocelyn's My Highs and Lows of 2014 post. She shares a little about the past year and how she feels about it. Jocelyn also invites us to take part in this lovely tag - the questions written down and I just need to think about my answers. Why don't you head over and give it a read.
















CarryonKaty.com

I read an entertaining post about toys the other day. I giggled the whole way through Toy Story's Glory, written by @carryonkaty.  As mothers we constantly deal with toys being found in the strangest of places but Katy's post on the matter was brilliant. Head over to carryonkaty.com to read an amusing and heartwarming story about painful buttocks and a mother's love of toys.








Blogging

Aby @ You Baby, Me Mummy


From #BrilliantBlogPosts I found 80 Prompts for Your Editorial Calendar. A long list of prompts to keep you blogging throughout the year. Aby at You Baby, Me Mummy got together this list and I like that she's added a few awareness weeks, such as National Nursery Rhyme Week.
















Jocelyn, The Reading Residence
Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence shared another helpful post this week. I've been wondering whether to put a media kit together and had no idea where to start. Jocelyn's Blogger's Guide to Creating a Media Pack has been handy and I'm putting one together right now.  She includes tips on what to write about and how to keep it professional. I recommend you give it a read if you want to take blogging to the next level.









Blogging Design



I've had a dodgy signature on the blog for a while but wanted to make it better. I also had trouble working out how to automatically add the signature to every blog post. This post, by Carrie, was useful and the instructions were clear enough to follow. I've redesigned my signature and implemented the code, what do you think?






That darned box around my photos in blogger has bugged me for a long time. You know the one,  they call it a 'picture shadow'. I hate it. After much searching I found another useful post on how to remove the blogger picture shadow over at byourownblog.blogspot.co.uk. I used the code, following instructions, and am delighted with the results. Thank you @byourownblog!








Writing

Little House Lea - Writing Effective Scenes


It's taken me most of the week to get round to reading the posts in #WhatImWriting but I'm glad I did. Writing Effective Scenes by @littlehouselea gave me an insight into how she works but also a few tips. I'll be taking a leaf out of her book and going back over my notes. One to keep handy.















Lexie - Those Words She Wrote

How many of us question whether we're writers? The majority of us, at one time or another, have wondered if we're qualified for the title. I know I have. Lexie wrote a post about just that topic this week over at thosewordsshewrote.blogspot.co.uk. In Call Yourself a Writer? she asks if you tell other people that you're a writer. Well, do you? I don't, not yet, but I'm working my way up to it - slowly. A relatable post if you are a writer.










And last but certainly not least I wanted to share a list of The Creepiest two sentence stories. It's a quick read and some of them are quite chilling. I found it on StumbleUpon and added it to a list. I love this kind of thing. 



That's it for this week, I'll be back next week for another What I Read.

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Progress!

Last week I told you that I was starting writing the novel again, in 30 minute bursts. Well I'm pleased to say that I have made progress!

I spent the whole week forcing myself to take thirty minutes to write. I set a timer on my phone, ignored any notifications and just wrote. It was hard at first, my mind wandered and I thought about blogging, but by Friday I shut out other thoughts and wrote.

Here's the stats...



Monday - No writing. The kids' first day back at school, I had to take down the Christmas decorations, and the Hubby was ill. I spent the day to-ing and fro-ing and made no progress at all. I felt a pang of guilt.

The plan started on Tuesday, as you can see, and went okay. I could have written more but I spent time re-reading paragraphs, giving me less time for writing. Wednesday was better, I just got on with the writing. On Thursday I had to work for the Hubby, I sort out his quarter end stuff and spent the whole day on that. No time for writing. Even though Friday was my birthday I still managed to squeeze in that 30 minutes and I was so proud of myself.

The total for the week is 1,841 - certainly nothing on the 10,289 words I did once but it's progress. After the big set back (worrying about giving up the novel) I'm pleased that I even wrote one word. My mojo is back, I'm happy and I know when the writing works best!

In one week I've learned that I can't write first thing in a morning. Dropping off the kids at school and doing my morning exercise gets me ready for the day. I concentrate on the blog in the morning and save the 30 minutes of writing for just after lunch. It's working so far.

Maybe I'll make more progress this week, guess we'll find out next Tuesday!

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Health and Weight Loss Tips 2

Here we are for week 2 of my health and weight loss series and there's been no progress.

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After the birthday celebrations over the weekend my weight has taken a serious hit.

11st 4.7lbs


Since last week I've put on 2.1lbs - not good. My excuse is that I spent the whole weekend not dieting. It was my birthday on Friday and we took the boys to stay with their Nan for the weekend. I consumed lots of nice food and alcohol - my waistline took the hit.

What I Read 2

Welcome to What I Read #2 - I've read some more great blog posts and articles so let's get straight on with it shall we?
What I Read = #WIR Badge


Personal:


Catherine Summers shared a great post before Christmas that I only just found but seems quite appropriate for the time of year. 10 Ways to Keep Fit in Your 40s (or Any Age) is about finding your mojo when it comes to staying healthy. It's not a quick fix post, nor does it say you need to do things every day to stay thin. Catherine's motivating post is about finding what works for you, learning to enjoy yourself and making it all a part of your daily routine. I loved it and if you need a little kick up the bum to get your motivation started, head over and give it a read right now!

Limited Edition Disney Steelbook Blu-ray, The Rescuers - Review

I love all the Disney movie classics; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty & Snow White. The Rescuers is one of my favourites. It is also one of the few Disney movies that the boys haven't seen. When I was offered the opportunity to review this Limited Edition Disney Steelbook I jumped at the chance.

Limited Edition Disney Steelbook Blu-ray, The Rescuers


These Steelbooks are limited run blu-rays in specially designed art cases available at the Zavvi website for varying prices. The Rescuers is available for £13.99 at the time of publishing. They have titles including Snow White, Frozen and Planes and they're becoming quite the collectible. 

Writing a Novel in 30 Minute Bursts

My plan this year is to spend 30 minutes every day writing my novel.

Writing Bubble

But before I get into that I wanted to thank all of you that commented on my post To Write or Not To Write. I'm not giving up on the novel thanks to you!

You helped me and I'm so grateful.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 1

It's the start of a new year which means lots of people are starting their diet, me included. That's why, every Monday, you'll find a health and weight loss related post from me.

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This morning this was my weight:

11st 2.6lbs


Overeating, too much alcohol and lots of indulgence has made my weight go up, gaining 7lbs over the holidays.

My body has been complaining about the excessive eating and drinking. I've felt sluggish and lazy for days and it is time for it to stop. No alcohol. Less chocolate.

Notice I said 'less' chocolate and not no chocolate.

My tip for this week:

Don't cut out the bad stuff completely.


It will cause you to crave them more. Allow yourself a small bar of chocolate (99 calories or less), one 'treat' meal a week, or maybe even a glass of wine.

Your body gets used to processing bad stuff and cutting it out will have a tremendous effect on your weight. Until you eat them again.

The weight piles back on. Your body is so used to processing healthy foods that when you suddenly start eating that bad stuff again it doesn't know what to do. The pounds go up and you're in a rut again.

I eat chocolate every day and we enjoy a 'treat' meal once a week. At the moment I have cut out the alcohol, for me it's the thing I want to give up.

I'll be back next week with more tips and an update on the weight loss but for now...

Good luck with your diet or health kick!

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What I Read 1

Welcome to the very first 'What I read'; a review of the things I've read over the week. This being the first in the series I'm including a few articles and blog posts I've read over the holidays. So onto What I read...

Blogging:

Annie aka Mammasaurus
A great read for the new year is Shake It Off, Blog your way in 2015 written by Annie Spratt aka Mammasaurus. She looks back on her blogging year and wonders why we need to brand ourselves. Why not just blog and enjoy it? I loved this post and although I've made a plan for the blog to keep myself going I think her points are valid. And she has some beautiful photography! Hop over and give it a read, you won't regret it.


A New Plan For The New Year

Every time the new year comes around I say I'll blog more consistently. Every year so far, I have failed.

The saying "Fail to plan, plan to fail" comes to mind.

This year, I have a plan! Yep, that's right. After three years of blogging randomly with no idea what I'm doing I finally have a plan. I've learned what I'm passionate about and realise that that's why you lovely people read this blog. With that in mind...

Onto the plan:

Every Monday here on Morgan's Milieu you'll find me writing a health related post. I'll start by telling you my weight at the start of the week, progress of weight loss (or gain) and talk about why I think the change has happened. Along with that there'll be hints, tips and my comments on health and weight loss.

Tuesday is dedicated to my writing; updates on the novel (yes I'm still writing it), fiction I've written during the week or tips I've found.

On Sundays I'll be doing a roundup of all the interesting things I've read. Whether it be a magazine article or another blog I'll list the great things I've read. I'll include links to the writer and social links where appropriate.

At the start of the month I'll do a quick update on my cross-stitch project. I tried this earlier in the year but failed miserably. This time I'll keep it up. 

Along with my weekly posts I'll be joining in with linkys (like Brilliant Blog Posts and The Prompt) when I have the time and there will be the odd review too. Not to mention the various parenting hiccups throughout the year.

So there you have it, my plan for the year. I hope you'll stick with me.