The First Signs of Puberty

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.


I heard the term a while ago but I didn't think people actually used it. Guess I was wrong.

More and more Big Prince is asking to go out to meet his friends. Before long he won't even ask, he'll tell me he's going out. These are the first signs of things to come.

A few days ago I was sitting in the lounge and looked across at BP as he played on his iPad. He had a dark shadow above his top lip and I told him to wash his face, I thought it was milkshake or something. When he came back downstairs and the shadow hadn't gone I told him to try again. After the stomps, huffs and sulking had subsided he did as I asked.

Once he was downstairs again and I could still see the shadow I had to take a closer look. It was only when BP was standing right in front of me that I saw the little dark hairs. 

The shadow was not milkshake.

Puberty is imminent.

Morgan's Milieu | The First Signs of Puberty: a man with glasses, large moustache and bushy eyebrows.

If I was the mother of a girl on the verge of puberty I wouldn't be worried. I'd know exactly what to expect and it wouldn't scare me. But I am NOT the mother of a girl, I have two boys.

All I can do is research puberty for boys, learn at what age to expect the various stages and cope with the changes when they come. I hope that BP talks to me if he needs to but I think he's more likely to talk to his father.

But I'll be here, as always, taking care of my growing boy young man.

Do you have a plan for dealing with the puberty years?

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Too Busy To Blog

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

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?

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

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

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.

"Oh god, what have I done now?" I thought.

I unlocked the door and leaned over the banister. "What?" I snapped.

My dad was on the phone. I bounded downstairs with a smile on my face, took the phone from my mum and greeted my dad with a cheery 'hello'. 

He wasn't cheery.

He said he needed to ask me something and wanted me to be honest. My heart started to pound, my palms got sweaty. I wracked my brains to work out what I might've done wrong. 

The words he said next shook me to my core and as tears welled in my eyes I listened. He'd been talking to my cousin, he'd read her diary. 

My secret was out.

Tears escaped and trickled down my face. My mum saw me crying and asked what was wrong, I ignored her. My secret was out, everyone knew. It was all I could think about. But mum wouldn't let it go, I was on the phone to dad, crying, so she wanted to know why. 

She started yelling, screaming at me. 

Under her screams I heard my dad say "Is it true?" and I whispered 'yes' into the phone.

Mum continued to scream and all I wanted to do was retreat to my room, lay on the bed and sob.

Dad could hear her and told me to hand the phone to her. I did and took my chance to escape.

I ran up the stairs, hurried into my bedroom and locked the door behind me. My music back on I laid, face-down, on my bed using a pillow to muffle my sobs and soak up the tears.

A few minutes later someone pounded on my bedroom door and with red, sore eyes I got up and opened the door. It was mum and she'd spoken to dad, he'd told her what I said.

The screaming started again. 

Words like 'liar' and 'slag' came out of her mouth, all directed at me. 

I couldn't believe it. One of the reasons I'd wanted to keep it a secret was because I thought no one would believe me. Why would they?

But I thought at least she would stand behind me. She was my mum

The phone rang again and mum stomped down the stairs, the house shaking as she did. I could tell by the way she answered the phone that it was dad again. She shouted, calling me a slag, and told me he wanted to talk again.

I took a deep breath, wiped the tears from eyes, and went downstairs. Dad was checking I was okay, I said I'd be fine.

After years of keeping my secret I'd become accustomed to hiding my feelings. I'd locked away my heart, built a huge wall around it. While downstairs in the company of people I could stop my tears, hide my pain and carry on as if nothing was wrong. 

On the inside I was dying.

I knew my secret would come out eventually. I knew that people wouldn't believe me and was prepared. 

I wasn't prepared for being called awful, derogatory names by my own mother. Each name was like a dagger to my heart and eventually there were more daggers than heart.

In the space of an hour my mum had gone from someone I thought I could trust to the one person I would never trust. 

Over the years my experience with my mum has affected my relationship with other women. I've found it hard to make close female friends, I guess somewhere deep down I was afraid they would turn their back on me just like she did.

When I do make friends I am a loyal friend for life. I am there for them when they need me, I would stick by them through the hardest of times. Even if I haven't seen the friend for years they could stop by my house and be welcomed with open arms. 

I will be the woman my mother wasn't. 

I will nurture, care for and stand by the people I love.

No matter what.

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Episode Dip Hem Printed Maxi Dress Review

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

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.

I have witnessed the power of positive thinking many times, it can change lives. For some reason I never thought it would happen the same way for me. In my head I figured you had to have someone else rooting for you otherwise the whole positive thinking thing just doesn't work.

Not true.

It's only been a week but I feel like the universe has accepted me. I decided to be nice to myself, cheer me on like I would my best friend, and the universe listened!

The sun is shining, birds are singing and I've never been happier. Admittedly I'm rushed off my feet but I love it. Telling myself I'm a writer, switching from stay-at-home mum to work-at-home mum, and being my new best friend seems to have told the world that I am ready. Good things are happening.

Sound familiar?


When was the last time you had positive thoughts about yourself? The last time you were happy with something you'd done?

As mother, writer, blogger, you put pressure on yourself to get EVERYTHING done. You berate yourself for not finishing the jobs and even stay up late to wash pots or put the last load of washing in. You tell yourself you're not good enough to be a writer or a pro-blogger, or even a good mother, and wish you could do it all better.

Stop it right now.

You ARE good enough.

You are there, day in, day out, to care for your family. You are the one they turn to when they need help or support. You are the person they know they can count on.

Use some of the awesome power of positive thinking for yourself.

Tell yourself you are beautiful (no laughing allowed!), tell yourself you're amazing, because you really are.

If you put your mind to it YOU can become a pro-blogger, YOU can be that best-selling author.

With positive thinking YOU can be anything.

Mama and More

Muddled Manuscript

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Pen Heaven Competition: My Workstation Photo Entry

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

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.

Sometimes it is okay to give in to the laziness.

Saying that though I'm drained and am struggling to get the energy to go for a run. After two weeks of no exercise I can tell there's a difference in my energy levels.

It is my first day back to normal and I will force myself to step onto that treadmill. It's got to be done.

As soon as I get my earphones in and the music thumping my feet will pound the treadmill and I'll be smiling before I know it. I just need to get there. Pushing past the lazy is hard but if I make myself it'll be easier next time.

Tip: Push past the 'lazy'

After a break from regular exercise it can be tough to get back to it. The 'lazy' gene kicks in and whispers in your ear telling you to give up, "it wasn't working anyway" it says.

Ignore those words.

It IS working.

Pay attention to the difference when you're doing the exercise, how much more energy you have.

Cling to that for all you're worth and push past the lazy!


What I Read 14

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

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.

The bottle of moisturiser was a lot bigger than I expected and when I lifted the lid and saw the pump my first thoughts were that it would get clogged up. After two weeks use I can report that no clogging has occurred.

The first time I used the same amount as if I were using my Boots moisturiser. When I rubbed it in it made a cream type substance on my face and I had to keep rubbing. It took a while for it to go away but I realised that was because I'd used too much.

My face itched for a while after use but this always happens when I try a new moisturiser. I have sensitive and dry skin and, if I'm honest, I expected the itch to continue all day. By the end of the day the itch had subsided and my skin hadn't dried out.

After the first try I used a lot less on the second day and my skin drank in the moisturiser. This time it didn't itch at all and kept my skin soft all day.

A couple of weeks of using the InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturiser has eased the general itch I feel in my skin. Out of all the moisturisers I've tried I'd say this one is the best moisturiser for dry skin.

I was sent the InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturiser free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Distraction: The Antidote to Mother's Worry

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.

Once the front door closes behind him I have no way of knowing where he is or when he'll be back. It is THE most terrifying experience I've had since becoming a parent. 

When you decide to have children no one ever tells you about all the tough decisions and stressful times. No one warns you that when they leave the house you will feel like a piece of you is missing. The entire time they're out of the house you'll be thinking about them and your stress levels won't return to normal until they walk back through the door.

Watching my children grow is a magical experience. I see them becoming men before my eyes but I never realised how hard it would be to let them go.

Each time BP walks out the door I want to cry with worry. 

I won't.

Instead I'll come up with ways to distract myself.

Distraction is the antidote to Mother's Worry. At least for this kind of Mother's Worry.

Since BP left the house I have put two loads of washing on, put the dishwasher on, and buried my head in blogging. LP is playing games on his iPad and I'm sitting at the computer typing out drafts for future posts. So far I've done three - it's the most productive I've ever been.

If his outings continue I imagine I'll become a super-blogger in no time!

Do you have children BP's age?
How do you cope with letting them out alone?

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Post Comment Love

Baker Days Letterbox Cake Review

Who doesn't like cake?

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


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!

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. 

I love writing and blogging and over the past month Morgan's Milieu page views have risen. It takes a long time to build up a readership and the past few months I've been blogging most days. Since January my page views have risen from about 5 per day to 100 per day. I have no way of knowing if this is good or bad but you can guess what the voice in my head thinks.

I can see, when I look at it logically, that the rise is good but in my head that nasty voice tells me the rise is small and it's because I'm not good enough. It screams insults and says I must be doing something wrong. I've been blogging for more than three years and I only get 100 page views per day? Bad, bad writer.

Whether it's the self-doubt demon eating away at me, writer's block stopping me from getting anything done or my own evil voice telling me I'm no good there's always a negative voice.

All these negative voices are me.

I hate myself.

It's time for that to STOP!

If I can't believe in myself how can I expect anyone else to believe in me?

After reading an amazing post from Kate Portman over at Pouting in Heels I've decided it's time for a switch-aroo*. 

Kate's post was about her inner voice and how she is becoming her own best friend. She talks to herself how she would talk to her best friend and it has transformed how she treats herself. 

I'm taking my cue from Kate and doing just that. I will be my own best friend, my cheerleader. If I hear that negative voice I will stop myself and focus on something good. Like today, I've written this blog post.

I've shared something in my heart.

I made myself smile.

As a busy mum, whether working or staying at home, it's easy to concentrate on things that aren't getting done. Your friends are there to tell you it's okay but your friends aren't there 24/7, YOU are.

If, like me, you tell yourself you're rubbish try a switch-aroo*. Praise yourself for the little wins. 

Put on your best dress, wear make-up and continue your day with a smile on your face. 

Wake every morning and do something nice for YOU.

You deserve it. You try to make others happy every day, it's time for YOU now.

Morgan's Milieu | Time for a Switch-aroo: Pink flowers growing up towards the sky.

Reach for the sky!

* My new word for turning things around.

Writing Bubble

Mama and More

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Health and Weight Loss Tips 15

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

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

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 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

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 - 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.

Knowing what type of pillow is right for you is the first step to choosing the perfect ones and if you struggle to get comfortable at night, it’s strongly suggested that you consider changing them. Of course, there’s a whole host of other options available as well and, as an example, if you suffer from allergies you’ll find a great selection of hypoallergenic pillows on the market as well as specialist ones to help those who are prone to snoring, sleep apnoea or who suffer from back and neck pain.

Taking a look at the pillows on offer from Sleepy People, you can’t go wrong with household names and, as such, the range of Silentnight pillows really does offer something for everyone, regardless of how you sleep and your budget.

Getting your pillow right is, in many cases, the solution to sorting out your sleep however if you’re still struggling; read on!

2. Are You Using The Right Tog Duvet?

If you’re not changing your duvet in summer and winter, there’s a good chance you’re either too hot or too cold. Ensuring your body is at the optimal temperature is important to help you get a good sleep and if you’re using the same duvet all year round, that’s possible where your problem lies. In spring and summer months, you shouldn’t be using a duvet with a Tog rating any higher than 7 and in autumn and winter, no lower than a 10.5. 

Of course, if you’d prefer not to have the hassle of storing numerous duvets for the whole family all year round, a fantastic solution is to consider an all-seasons duvet which is essentially two separate duvets (a lightweight one and a warmer one) which can be used on their own in the warmer seasons and together in winter. 

3. Does Your Mattress Need Replacing?

The Sleep Council have suggested that you replace your mattress at least every 7 years, however in reality, few of us do this; largely because of the cost. In an ideal world, you’d replace your mattress every three or four years, especially if you didn’t go for a top of the range option when it was bought. If you find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, your mattress could well be contributing to this and buying a new one could see all your problems (your sleep related ones anyway) disappear. 

With so many options to choose from, including memory foam and pocket sprung mattresses, you’re literally spoiled for choice and even if you end up buying online to get a better price, it’s strongly suggested that you head down to your local bed retailer and try out a few to see what works best for you. 

Of course, this is just looking at the bedding side of getting a great night’s sleep, however it’s a good starting point and they’re all things you can change yourself! Most of the time, getting a poor night’s sleep is due to using the wrong pillow, mattress or duvet and when you sort these issues, the problems almost instantly go away by themselves!

Liberate Us From 'Sexy'

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. 

The interviewer asked Helen what she thought about other women seeing her as 'sexy' and she said she didn't like the word. She would much rather be considered attractive.

"Free us from that word, liberate us from sexy." She said.

I couldn't agree more.

Ever since I watched Prime Suspect and saw Helen Mirren portray a strong, intelligent detective I thought she was a brilliant actress. As she aged and stepped into movies I found my respect for her grew. She doesn't follow (or doesn't seem to) the Hollywood crowd by having work done on her face to hide the ageing process. She is not afraid to grow old in front of us. I respect that.

Being attractive isn't just about how a person looks, it's about their personality, their smile. Attractive sums up the person in a whole different way. Like Helen Mirren I would much rather be thought of as attractive. 

Most women like to dress up for special occasions and I'm no different, I love the opportunity to wear a beautiful dress and heels. I get the most compliments when I am comfortable in my clothes and exude confidence. When I smile more and walk with my head high people respond and it's got nothing to do with dressing sexy.

If we can teach our children anything it ought to be that confidence and happiness are much more important than dressing to please. When it comes down to it if you're confident and happy you're attractive.

Would you agree with Helen Mirren or do you like the word 'sexy'?

Playlists - A Part Of The Process

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.

On a positive note I can put playlists and plans together for when I do have the time to write. I'm going to put a playlist together for each of the different types of scenes I need to write. Dark and sinister music (think Dexter - Trinity theme) for my tough scenes, The Wire soundtrack for my Detective scenes. Whenever I listen to those tunes I am inspired because I can slip into the right mood. 

This may not make sense to the non-writers out there but all writers will know just what I'm talking about. Sometimes listening to a piece of music lets you slip into the mindset required and once you're there the words flow easily. Music is always the key.

For now I'll be happy putting the playlists together and I'll enjoy the release of creation when I can finally listen to them.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 14

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

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
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

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.