Jamie's Italian Nottingham Review

A few weeks ago it was mine and the Hubby's anniversary. At the time we were unable to arrange babysitting so we didn't celebrate properly. We didn't really mind and it ended up being pretty much like any other day.

Not long after that we arranged babysitting and had a weekend child-free, I was a little excited to be honest. As luck would have it I was then invited along to Jamie's Italian Nottingham for a review. Given that we had babysitting arranged already I figured it would be the perfect opportunity for the Hubby and I to have a belated celebratory meal out.

Jamie's Italian Nottingham Review | Morgan's Milieu: A lovely looking restaurant from the outside.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 25

As the holiday gets closer I'm beginning to think my chances of reaching my ultimate goal are looking slim. That doesn't mean I'm going to give up, I've just adjusted my target a little and it's still one that I'll be happy with. 

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 25: Health and Weight Loss Tips Badge

10st 5.1 lbs

114, 386 steps

What I Read 22

I hope you enjoyed last week's What I Read where I celebrated the Dads in the blogging world. There are some wonderful dads out there. I've been reading some fantastic posts over the past few weeks and my list keeps growing. Some of the posts I share may be from a couple of weeks ago but do please head over and read them. They're all great.

Morgan's Milieu: What I Read 22: What I Read badge.

Morgan's Milieu: What I Read 22: Izzie Anderton of The World According to Izzie.

Izzie has been learning to let her children go as her daughter prepares to head off to the US, in Across the Pond. With my boys being just 10 and 6 years old I can't imagine this just yet. I think Izzie is so brave being able to do it, and I wish her daughter all the best. 

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 22: Amy of Mr and Mrs T Plus 3

In her post Seizing the Day and why my husband calls me Lucky, Amy tells the story of her accident and recovery. It was a shocking read and makes you realise anything could happen, at any moment. Amy encourages everyone to make sure your family know they are loved, she also wants you to seize the day and chase your dreams. It's a great message to put out there and you should definitely read this post.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 22: Mel Greenhalgh

In Breathe in, Breathe Out, Now Relax - Part 2 Mel copes (well I may add) with stress. After a tough, and rather trying time, she heads into her yoga class and gets on with it. Mel's post made me laugh, and I hoped she'd get to her class on time. An entertaining post with humour and a great ending.

Blogging can be a stressful business and constantly worrying about SEO or stats can drive you crazy. Sometimes it's best to ignore what everyone else is doing and do what works for you. In fact I encourage you to do that. I loved a post over on Someplace Strange entitled Being my own Blogger, 20 lessons I've learnt from blogging. Instead of dishing out tips to raise pageviews Mrs Tubbs lists 20 things she's learnt, and I think it's great she's doing it her own way. 

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 22: Maria of Collecting Memories.

When you're writing confidence is a huge part of your general outlook. If you're not feeling confident you feel like giving up on the book, blog, or article. As creative people we are often hit with the awful self-doubt demon and that can shake us to our core. Writing with Confidence (An Advice to Myself & Other Struggling Writers) is a fantastic blog post that talks about this very subject. The key word in Maria's post is 'strength', a great read.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 22: Susan of The Mommy Life

Reminiscing about old times is always fun and often leaves you laughing so hard you nearly pee in your pants. Susan wrote a brilliant post that had me giggling along and nodding my head as I read. The good ol' times. WAIT i'm only 35, was a brilliant look at the 'old' times and I really enjoyed reading. It took me back to my teen years and I found it interesting that she remembered much of the same things as me even though we grew up in different countries (she's in the US).

Is Retirement on Your Radar?

The younger you are the more likely you've not even thought about retirement yet. If I'm honest if it wasn't for the Hubby I wouldn't have done.

The Hubby takes care of most of the financial stuff in our house but I do like to know where our money goes and what money is coming in. I think it's important to keep track of your financial position, that way you're aware of any upcoming problems. Like retirement.

Many of you may be thinking,

"But I'm not even close to retirement age so why bother thinking about it?" 

But here's the thing, if you don't think about it now you could end up with problems when the time comes. You should be saving for your retirement NOW.

My Rock 'n' Roll Dad

The day before Father's Day I was a bit down, the Hubby was out on his brother's Stag night and I was missing my dad. 

We live far away from them and life often rushes by without me realising it's been almost 6 months since I saw him last. It sucks.

On Saturday night I sat watching dull TV and thinking about my dad. It was then that I was hit with inspiration, this hasn't happened for a while.

I opened up my laptop and typed away, writing a poem for my dad. I'd like to share it with you now...

My Holiday Wish List

As you know I'm heading to Orlando, Florida in a few weeks and I'm slowly getting all my holiday packing done. 

Florida is a funny place because not only does it get super hot (can get up to 40 degrees) but it rains, a lot. One minute you can be enjoying the glorious sunshine and the next you can be absolutely soaked through to the skin. Believe it! This has happened to me, enough that I had to buy clothes while in a theme park!

Anyway, with the holiday in mind I thought I'd put together a short wish list. I love looking great on holiday but know there are practicalities to think about too.

Morgan's Milieu | My Holiday Wish List: A collage of clothes and shoes, a fashion wish list.

A Year of Change

Like the changing seasons life never stays the same for very long does it?

The clouds are always moving...

As the school year comes to a close I find myself thinking about the year ahead for both my boys. BP has 11 days left at his Primary School, and one week on a residential trip. Then that's it for him, he'll be starting High School in September. He's already attending Induction Clubs regularly after school so he can get used to catching the bus and interacting with the other children. Before long he will need a key for the house, and boy does that scare me!

Health and Weight Loss Tips 24

I'm feeling a little worse for wear this morning after a night of heavy drinking. My head hurts, my body aches, and I was drinking on a school night too - that'll teach me.

10st 5.2lbs

110, 581 steps

Both the weight loss and exercise have been going well this week and I'm really pleased again. I may be suffering but I can smile about that!

What I Read 21

As it's Father's Day I thought I'd have a theme for this week's What I Read. I've been reading more and more Dad blogs over recent weeks and I love them. So let's give it up for the Dads...

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: @Deardads1979
After a rough day at work it is easy to come home and take it out on your family. Yelling at the children for playing or wanting attention and snapping at your partner because they're not keeping the children quiet. But it takes a really special person to realise and admit that they were the problem. When I read Bringing my stressful day home - Confessions of a Dad, I actually cried. @Deardads1979's words, the way he wrote them, they all screamed sorrow for what he'd done. It was an honest and heartfelt post about the impact of his mood and I love the positive changes he has made to ensure it doesn't happen again. A truly great dad.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: One More Dad Blog

Movie critics are all well and good but it is their job to criticise movies. They get paid to say what was wrong with it. When I'm intending to see a movie I like to hear what normal people thought of it, rather than critics. I've been meaning to see Tomorrowland (with George Clooney) but wasn't sure if it would be any good. After reading Tomorrowland - Take Your Daughters to See It! and hearing how much the writer loved the movie because of its positive messages I'm definitely going to see this movie. 

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: dadyougeek writer John.

Being a huge Apple fan I watch the Keynote's they stream in June and September. I like to know what will be coming to both the phones and the Macs. This week I read a great write up on Apple Music over on dadyougeek. Apple Music is coming... What do you need to know? is a really useful article that gives you all the relevant information. You can be ready if you're an Apple/iTunes fan!

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: Tim - Slouching Towards Thatcham

Becoming a parent steals your time away like nothing else. It is so easy to forget that you are part of a couple, you're not just a parent. Spending time to reconnect and remember that you're in it together can do wonders for a couple and it's really important to make the time. Tim made time for his wife this week and they had a fantastic day, he talks about it in @thatchamdad's day off. I hope he gets to enjoy more days like this.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: John Adams, Dadbloguk

The world is always changing and what was once unheard of is now much more common. Stay-at-home Dads. I think it's great that there are wonderful dads out there who are the main carers of their family. They take care of the house, the washing, cleaning, and they take care of their children. But sometimes they face discrimination. Can you believe it? John Adams has been discussing equality with his six year old daughter recently, she has been asking questions.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 21: Al - The Dad Network

A few weeks ago I think I mentioned that I'm not great at understanding Google Analytics. Well not long after that I came across this post from Al Ferguson, all about understanding Google Analytics. It had the basics, terms and definitions, all in one lovely infographic. Very useful. I have bookmarked and will keep this handy!

And that's it for this week, I hope all you great dads have a wonderful Father's Day.

How Do You Train Your Brain?

Your brain is one of the most amazing things in the universe, it controls everything going on in your body. But certain factors can affect your brain and it can get tired and lazy. Yep, that's right your brain can be lazy.

So what can you do to ensure that your brain doesn't get lazy?


Like anything else your brain needs to be used to stay healthy. Puzzles to solve, a different kind of thinking, can all help. Not to mention foods that are known to help with memory and keep you alert throughout the day. I have been sent a pack of brain training goodies to try out.

Morgan's Milieu | How Do You Train Your Brain?: A pack of brain-training goodies.

Do you remember the Rubik's cube? Remember how it would drive you crazy because you could never quite manage to do it?

Nokia Lumia Smartphones - Which is Best for You?

Until recently I had written off Microsoft when it came to mobile phones. To be honest I hadn't used any windows device in a long time, and didn't miss it. 


With our recent search for a mobile phone for Big Prince I learned that I shouldn't have dismissed Microsoft. It turns out that their phones are actually very good. The Nokia Lumia 635 is a good phone and a great introduction into the world of smartphones. 

But what about those of us who know how to use the phones and are looking for a phone to do something in particular. Well the Lumia range can handle it.

Working from Home and the Influence on our children

Both the Hubby and I work at home. The Hubby spends his days surrounded by mobile devices and stares at the screen as he creates his games. I sit upstairs, in front of the computer, and write.

The Hubby usually starts work at about 7am, as soon as he gets downstairs in a morning. My workday starts at about 9:15am when I've returned from taking the boys to school. 

I love my little office these days.

I have been at home since Big Prince was born, I've raised them and been there when they needed me. It has only been the last couple of months that the boys have realised I do work while they're not at home. They love it when we get sent books or toys to review!

Holding Back

Over the past couple of years I've been rambling on about trying harder with blogging but it didn't happen until the beginning of this year.

Morgan's Milieu | Holding Back: View of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom, from Tomorrowland Terrace.
I'll be visiting this magical place, enjoying my holiday, and when I return I'll be ready to FLY!

In January I thought about the things I love, the things I enjoy and decided to concentrate on those things. Since January I've made a few decisions, one of which was to let go of the novel (for now). That was probably the best decision I've made in a long time.

Health and Weight Loss Tips 23

What a lovely day to wake up to today! And after the miserable weekend I can say I'm much happier this morning. I hate when it's gloomy and rainy.

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 23: health and weight loss tips badge

10st 6.5lbs

84, 067 steps

I have to say that I couldn't be happier with my progress, things are going very well. In the past week I've lost 3.3lbs, a fantastic week of progress for me. What's the difference between this and previous weeks you may ask.

What I Read 20

My list of great reads is getting longer by the day, I've read so many fantastic posts this week. I'm sticking to sharing six posts per week, so forgive me if I share something that is a little older. Either way, it's still a great read.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: The #WhatIRead Badge

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: Lexi Behrndt

When you become a mum for the first time, or even the second, you can feel like you're doing it all wrong. You're leaving the house with creased clothes, that have dried baby sick on them, you have messy hair and no make-up. So what makes it all worth it? Love, that's what. And that's the thing we all have in common. I adored a post from Lexi called I See You, Momma, it was beautifully written and says it all.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: An Imperfect Mum

Having time alone is one of the things parents need to cope with children. Or at least it is for me! But when comes the time that you regret not spending that time with your children? Perhaps sometimes we just need to let go of being a parent and join our children in their fun! An imperfect mum wrote a brilliant post about this subject entitled What do Parents Need? Why not go over there and check it out.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: Colleen from MyTalesFromTheCrib

Motherhood brings with it all sorts of challenges and arguments and I read a brilliant poem this week that summed it up. The poem was written by Colleen and was called This is My Motherhood: Mundane Monday Morning. I loved the last line and I'm totally on board with it!

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: @Barenkdinpublic

As a mum have you had to watch your children make mistakes while you stand by the side-lines? I'm not quite at this stage yet, although it's fast approaching. I read a post about someone who has experienced this and I loved reading. A Mother's Work was well-written and heartfelt and you should definitely read it.

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: Sara Murray, mumturnedmom.com

Enjoying motherhood is something we often forget to do. Giggling along with our children as they race around the local park is not something you'll find many mother's doing but that's just what Sara did recently. While the park was empty she chased her daughter around and they had loads of fun. Read her post, Childhood: Playing at the Park (With Mum).

Morgan's Milieu | What I Read 20: Shae Baxter

Blogging mums sometimes have trouble snapping a great photo at just the right time. I know I do. That means that a lot of the time I end up with rubbish looking photos that I can't share on the blog. However Shae Baxter shared a post about where you can find some great sites that offer free photos, no attribution required. You can find her post here.

Enjoy reading and have a great week!

Residential Trips for Children

On 29th June Big Prince sets off on a residential trip to the Lake District. Given my recent nervousness about his first steps to independence you would think I'd be quite nervous about him being away for the week.

Morgan's Milieu | Residential Trips for Children: A photo of a child walking along a country path
He's on the road to his teens - and getting there fast!

But I'm not.

Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?

The Hubby has worked in the games industry for nearly 20 years and the majority of that time was spent working on 'shooters'. One of the first games he worked on was GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. 

He's played all kinds of shooters, including Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

Morgan's Milieu | Would You Let Your Child Play 18 Rated Games?: Photo of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto Five

I've witnessed the disturbing scenes in Grand Theft Auto V and there is no way on this earth that I would let either of my children play this game. 

And yet there are some parents out there, that haven't seen the game, that will allow their children (sometimes aged 10-11) to play.

I know some of them. If I'm honest I don't think they're aware of just how gruesome and shocking the game is. 

Choosing a Mobile Phone For Your Child

We are on the verge of big changes as Big Prince prepares to go up to High School in September. Yesterday he took his first steps towards independence and got the bus home from his Induction Club.

I'm happy to report he made it home!

Of course I knew he would, but I can't tell you how good it felt to see him walk through the door.

I don't know how our parents coped with it, especially when, back then, there were no mobile phones. I'm not sure I could cope with it if BP didn't have a phone.

Morgan's Milieu | Choosing a Mobile Phone for Your Child: Photo of different phones side by side.

I am much more at ease knowing that he can phone me if he needs to. 

First Steps to Independence

Okay, so who's responsible for keeping this a secret? 

Every single parent out there needs to be aware of the utter dread you face.

Because the moment is coming.

Whether your little one is 6 months or 6 years the inevitable is imminent. 

It might not seem like it but believe me, it's coming.


For parents that is the one word that can fill you with fear, am I right?

Morgan's Milieu | First Steps to Independence: Photo of a tween walking with hoodie on.

My Ultimate Bucket List

Last week I was tagged by the lovely Amy over at Mr and Mrs T Plus Three to share my ultimate bucket list. I have to say I'm not much of a dreamer these days and my thoughts are often consumed with the day's to-do list rather than what 'might' be.

Morgan's Milieu | My Ultimate Bucket List: Photo taken on Daytona Beach
Living near this beach would AMAZING!

Putting this list together was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It seems I already have a lot of the things I dreamed of, lucky me!

Here's my ultimate bucket list (in no particular order)...

Health and Weight Loss Tips 22

What a week!

The Hubby has been very enthusiastic about his weight loss recently and that means more walking and less bad food. All good.

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 22: health and weight loss tips badge

10st 9.8 lbs

83, 124 steps

Well that's probably my best week in a long time. I've done lots of walking, even taking the boys on a 9 mile walk on Saturday. I feel good and I'm pleased to finally be making progress.

What I Read May Roundup

Well this week has been great, the boys are back at school and I've got loads done. I'm hoping the productiveness continues into next week. 

What I Read May Roundup | Morgan's Milieu: The What I Read Badge

In May I read lots of amazing posts and I love putting them all together in one roundup. Here's the What I Read May Roundup:

What I Read 16 brought a post from Ruth about working from home. I too know the disadvantages and laughed as I read this post. May is Blogging Awards season and Tim felt the pinch of disappointment in BiBs 2015: From Failure, An Epiphany. Constantly nagging our children becomes a day-to-day battle but have you thought about what you're doing to your children? Ali has and her post Are You A Positive Parent? made me think about the language I use when I'm talking to my children. As bloggers it's hard to know whether or not we're doing a good job. For inspiration check out Sian's post, How To Be A Good Blogger, where she gives advice on travelling on this "epic journey". Izzie's post, Could It Be Magic? had me giggling earlier this month as I had flashbacks of Take That. Tormenting our children can be fun after all! If you've ever wanted to hear what life is like for a pro-blogger you should read Interview with Pro-Blogger - Kerry Louise on Tots100. It's an interesting read.

Father's Day Gift Ideas

This year Father's Day falls on 21st June. I always find it hard to come up with new ideas for gifts, there's just so many things out there what on earth do you buy?

For a couple of years now the boys have wanted to make something for their dad, and I'm sure this year will be no different. It's always nice for them to put the effort in and make something they think their dad will like.

At the same time there's always those little gifts, whether they're joke gifts or just novelty ones, that add a little something to the hand-made gifts.

Morgan's Milieu | Father's Day Gift Ideas: A pint glass sliced in half.

For any beer-drinker there's the half-pint glass. This glass looks like a full pint from the front but from the side you can see it's a pint glass sliced in half. Big Prince thought this was great and wants one for himself! At £9.99 it's a great little present that is dishwasher safe (bonus).

My Top 5 TV Dads

As it's Father's Day in a few weeks I've been thinking about my favourite TV Dads. I used to watch a lot of TV when I was a kid and with my list I'll be showing my age, but here goes.

Morgan's Milieu | My Top 5 TV Dads: Jim Robinson from Neighbours

First up and my all time favourite has to be Jim Robinson from Neighbours. Jim raised his four children alone, with the help of his mother-in-law, Helen. Neighbours began in 1985 and Alan Dale played Jim Robinson until his character was killed off in 1993. I loved Jim Robinson because he clearly loved his children and at the same time strived for a life for himself. 

Home Exchange Membership Giveaway

How many of you have seen The Holiday?

It's a movie starring Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. Kate's and Cameron's characters are desperate to 'get away' for Christmas and decide to do a home exchange. They live in each other's homes for the time they're away.

In the case of The Holiday, Kate's character lives in a small country cottage and Cameron's character lives in a huge mansion in Los Angeles. Their reaction to one another's homes is comical. They then go on various adventures and the movie has a brilliant feel-good ending. A must see.

Now, did you know that you can actually swap homes with other people?

Let me introduce you to Home Exchange.

You are Beautiful

When I was a teenager I felt ugly. I was super-skinny, tall (compared to friends), I had really thick and greasy hair, and glasses.

Morgan's Milieu | You are Beautiful: Photo of Morgan Prince.
Imagine mousy brown hair (three times as thick),
dark-rimmed round glasses and less wrinkles!

My friends were beautiful, other teenage girls were beautiful, but me - not so much. 

Health and Weight Loss Tips 21

Well, the kids went back to school this morning and the house is almost quiet. The Hubby is downstairs working and I'm in my room ready to get lots of blogging done.

Morgan's Milieu | Health and Weight Loss Tips 21: health and weight loss tips badge

10st 11 lbs

56,149 steps

Okay so the weight hasn't shifted as much as I'd hoped for. Although, saying that, I weight 10st 8.9lbs yesterday and I don't know why I put on that extra weight. I was super-good yesterday.