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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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.

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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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.

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'?

Not A Baby Anymore

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.  

It is Little Prince's 6th birthday tomorrow and I can't believe it. Not in a "Oh my gosh, hasn't he grown" kind of way, I can't believe it has been six years since he was born. Okay, maybe it is "Oh my gosh, hasn't he grown" - I look at him now and realise he is not a baby anymore, not even close.

Little Prince is an active boy, he loves football, likes to play in the mud and enjoys swinging from his cabin bed like it's a climbing frame. He grew up when I wasn't watching and changed from a smiley baby into the intelligent, enthusiastic boy he is today.

He will wake in the morning full of excitement and will be eager to find out what the day has to offer. Opening presents will be his first port of call and then I'm sure he'll request breakfast. Within 30 minutes I guarantee all his new toys will be on the carpet and he'll be playing pool!

As my baby reaches the heady heights of six years old I feel like it's a milestone. It seems more significant this time, a switch has flipped and I can no longer think of him as a baby. He is growing fast and before I know it he'll be going to Riley's to play pool with friends.

For now I'm going to smile at his screams of joy as he pots the black 8-ball again, treasure the times he throws his arms around me, and laugh as my boy jumps in muddy puddles.

Those memories are what it's all about.

Have a Cracking Easter with Crack Attack!

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

Crack Attack breathes new life into casual mobile gaming, but it's not just another matching game! Featuring fresh new gameplay mechanics, innovative features like colour-blind mode, and in-game content to collect and redeem for prizes, Crack Attack is uniquely challenging but enormous fun to play. Players must match eggs in sequences to smash them open and free the creatures imprisoned by the Evil Eggsterminator.

The game will launch on iOS on 2nd April with six themed worlds of 25 levels each. Versions of the game for Android, Windows Phone and Amazon Kindle devices will be released later in 2015.

Crash Lab (the Hubby's company) and Kuju Entertainment have come together to form a new UK games company, Attack Games Ltd. 

Kuju Entertainment, based in London, is one of the UK's oldest gaming companies, and has typically been a development business focused on providing world-class content for companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Activision, Ubisoft and Sega. Attack Games, operating as a subsidiary of Kuju, represents their first move into self-publishing original IP.

Crash Lab is a multi award-winning games studio based in the East Midlands, UK. Their critically acclaimed game, "The Snowman and the Snowdog", won "Best Game' at the 2013 Broadcast Digital Awards, and "Best Tablet App" at the 2013 BIMA Awards.

I've been playing this game for months and love it. Crack Attack is child-friendly and your kids will go mad for the little creatures (there's lot to collect).

Pop over to the App Store and download this FREE game right now!