Why Hate Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of year again, when the entire world is split into three camps: the lovers, the haters and those who couldn’t care less. Despite the day’s focus on romance, there seems to be a huge amount of bitterness and hostility between the lovers and haters of Valentine’s Day, and I’ve never understood why. Personally, I love Valentine’s Day – I don’t go out of my way to plan something special every year, nor do I buy or expect expensive gifts and gestures. I just really like the idea of a holiday that’s sole focus is romance.

Matthew and I are both thrifty (well, you have to be when you’re a poor student) romantics at heart, so Valentine’s Day has never been a chore for us. Last year, we made a huge blanket fort, watched films and slept in the living room. It was memorable, cute as hell and it meant we could spend the whole night being totally together. Sure, we could have done that any other day of the year too, but our blanket fort felt like a great idea for Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re making our own pizzas, having a glass of wine and watching a film – for us, that’s perfect.

Valentine's Day Flowers - Why Hate Valentine's Day?

The busy parents, unhappy singletons and those who are struggling either physically or mentally, simply can’t and/or don’t want to celebrate, and of course I understand that. However, there are also some popular yet trivial problems that people tend to have with Valentine’s Day, and although I recognise them, I really do not understand them.

I love my partner every single day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day:

Of course, me too! But, I also don’t see any harm in saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” instead of “Morning!” when I wake up – either way, Matt still gets a kiss and a cuddle.

You can’t celebrate when you’re single:

Sure you can. Go see your mum or your grandma and, if you have some money, buy them a bunch of flowers. Celebrate with your single friends. Why not just have a night in, with your favourite food and favourite film? Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, not just romantic love. Celebrate familial love, friendship and self-love.

It’s a day for couples to rub their relationships in other people’s faces:

Definitely not. If love, or seeing love in others, bothers you then you’re clearly going through some hardship that you need to take control of. If you’re not and simply seeing happy couples genuinely bothers you, you have issues and your hate should not be projected onto the happiness of others. That’s your problem, sort it out.

It’s just another money grabbing holiday:

Yep, probably, but who is making you spend money? Romance isn’t expensive gifts and extravagant date nights. It can be a homemade meals, or making your own Valentine’s Day cards. Self-love doesn’t have to be expensive either. No need for fancy spas: run yourself a bubble bath and paint your toe nails.

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There’s no need to hate Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t celebrate, you have to admit, it’s a pretty cute idea. Love is in the air today, so don’t shoot it down.

What do you think of Valentine’s Day?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Year in Review #3/3 | Photographs

They say a picture speaks a thousand words… Throughout 2016, I took over 5,000 of them.

Despite how overwhelmingly rubbish this year was, when I look back on all of these beautiful photographs, I can’t help but feel thankful that some good came out of it. I saw some wonderful things, I made a lot of life-long memories and I grew hugely as a person. Yes, a lot of these memories were made as a way to distract myself from the big black dog but that doesn’t make those memories any less important!

So, to recognise all of the good that came from this year, I’m going to focus on those best bits in my final instalment of ‘my year in review’.

Here’s my best bits of 2016, summarised in photographs!

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Happy new year to all of my lovely followers, friends and family. 

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Getting Festive in the Studio

Can you believe that it’s the first of December? I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up and I don’t actually see it happening any time soon. For someone who normally has their Christmas decorations up in the first week of November, this is a bit of a big deal!

Despite the lack of festivities in my personal life, my photography studio been been regularly bringing a snippet of Christmas Day into my home.

Recently, I had the sweetest little elf visit for a Christmas photo-shoot, and once you see his little smile, you won’t blame me for wanting to share these with you. With his little pointy ears, his festive cheer and his childish wonder, he brightened up my home. I admit, I did feel a festive twinkle whilst photographing this beautiful baby in his little elf outfit. I’m only human!

The Rose Quartz Photography Christmas PhotoshootThe Rose Quartz Photography Christmas Photoshoot

Once he left and the Christmas props had been packed away, however, all signs of Christmas cheer vanished into thin air and the reminder that Christmas is almost upon us made me cringe. I promise, I’m not always this much of a Grinch. This year has been tough – really, unforgettably tough – so mustering up a bit of happiness for something that 2016 has to offer me is proving a lot harder than I thought it would!

The solution: lots of Christmas photo-shoots!

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If you’d like to have a look at my photography page on Facebook, you have find me here.

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I’m Getting Married!

Our engagement story is a sweet one. Despite months of hypothetically talking about it, the whole thing was actually a massive surprise to me.

After spending the afternoon of my birthday being pampered with my mum – we both had a massage and our nails done at a salon – I head home to spend the rest of the day and night with Matthew. He met me at the car (with an umbrella because it was raining) and he was dressed up in his fanciest shirt, but I still didn’t realise anything was different. He’s always pretty well dressed anyway.

When I walked into our living room, “our song” was already playing and the cats looked a bit coy – they had new, light purple collars on with bells. Matt didn’t like the idea of dressing himself up without dressing up our girls. I presumed, at this point, that this was just an extra special birthday treat. He handed me a birthday gift, which I opened. It was a beautifully bound, golden edged collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales and poems. As you can imagine, I loved that.

He then passed me another gift. So, I’m sat there thinking ah, no, stop spoiling me! I’m already cooing to the max about “our song” playing in the background. I open up this second present, and it’s a collection of love poems. How adorable… Matthew tells me to flick to a particular page and there, cut open in the centre of the book, is the message “will you marry me?”

I couldn’t believe it. I transformed into ultimate girl-mode and just stared at him – wide-eyed – for an unreasonable amount of time. Honestly, I thought it was a weird joke. We’re a pretty progressive couple, in the scheme of things, and I just presumed we’d one day say to each other “so, we’re gonna get married soon, right?” We were already practically married anyway. This, though, wow. It was honestly one of the most romantic, memorable moments of my life. He put so much thought and effort and secrecy into the whole thing. I knew he loved me anyway, but understanding the time that someone puts into something is beautiful.

I'm Getting Married Engagement News

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After a lot of hypothetical plans and dreams (and two years later!), we recently and finally booked our dream wedding venue. Dream wedding venue isn’t even an over-exaggeration – when we visited, a very long time ago, we didn’t think we’d ever be able to book this place in time for our own wedding. It’s a beautiful country house, a little on the outskirts of our home city. It really is something special.

I'm Getting Married Engagement News

So, it’s official! Me and Matthew will be getting married on the 26th November 2017. I honestly cannot control my excitement and I’ll be talking about this for the whole year.

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Obviously, we’re both so excited! We’ve been planning this for ages and for it to finally be happening is just fantastic. 

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Did You Know I Love Snails?

I’ve had this weird fascination with snails since I was really young. If anything, it’s kind of just getting stronger as time goes on. I love the unique patterns on their shells, their complexity, their cute little eyes and those wiggly tentacles. I even find their slime charming.

Even now, I’m still learning new things about them. Yesterday, I found out that snails have hearts. You’re probably mumbling how stupid I am for thinking that these beautiful, living creatures don’t have hearts but it’s something that never occurred to me before. I guess I didn’t ask questions about the anatomy of a snail as a child and, as my interest in them never faded, I didn’t bother questioning it as an adult.

Did You Know I Love Snails?

A cute little snail in Welton, Yorkshire

When I was younger, I kept snails as pets. I’d walk down the alley, search through the weeds and collect some in a shoe box full of greens and a little tub of water. Obviously, that wasn’t the nicest of things to do to those little snails who were just enjoying life, but I genuinely thought I was giving them a better quality of life (and I really did love them)! I gave them names, I’d stroke their shells and I’d place them on my hands for exercise – yep, that happened.

Eventually, when my brother found out I’d been keeping snails, he thought it would be funny to kill some of my little friends. That’s always stuck with me. It’s not that I resent him for it, not at all, but it’s one of those childhood memories that stayed with me. He hit them in the air with a tennis racket and cracked their shells… Children are grim. The poor things. After I screamed bloody murder at him to stop, I released those that he didn’t get his mitts on back into the alley to live the rest of their lives in peace.

I don’t keep snails anymore, of course. Can you imagine if I brought a tank home full of snails? I think Matt would die laughing. Instead, I just save them whenever I can – if I find a snail in the middle of the road, I’ll pick them up and help them cross. Last week, I saw one of the weirdest snail phenomenons. As me and Matt began our 12-mile hike into the countryside, we wandered down a quaint street to find (I’m not over-exaggerating) 7 or so alive snails crossing the road. Around them were dozens of squashed snails who, presumably, were crushed by passing cars. It was the weirdest thing.

I couldn’t just leave the rest of them to get crushed. One by one, I went on a snail rescue mission and popped them into the nearby roadside weeds. I felt like a little savoir all day.

I don’t know what it is about them but I just think they’re ace.

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

5 Very Special Years

An education, a home, two furry babies, an engagement, lots of love and five years later, me and Matthew are still inseparable. It’s our 5 year anniversary today!

I was lucky enough to meet somebody so very special when I was young, and I’ll always be grateful of those extra few years we had together before we were “grown-ups”. Meeting as teens, we grew up together, we worked together, we made decisions together and we moved on to university together. He’s my best friend in the whole world and, even though he’s sat right in front of me playing on his game, simply writing about him fills me with butterflies.

Five Year Anniversary Engagement Ring

We celebrated our anniversary early this year because, with it falling on a Monday, we didn’t want to make plans straight after work and be all tired out! Over the weekend, we went on a 12-mile hike, we sat by the sea at the seaside and we spent the day in the bustling city of York – as you can probably guess, I had an absolutely amazing time and it’s going to be a memorable one! Five years though… that’s a biggie so it’s worth a little extra effort. Tonight, I’m making us a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese and we’re going to make each other an anniversary card with a glass of wine (or two). That sounds like a cute little night to me!

Five Year Anniversary

Pink Hearts

I can’t fully put into words how beautiful he is to me, inside and out. He’s kind to me, he loves me so much, he’s hilarious, he respects me, he’s proud of me and he’s gorgeous. Happy anniversary, sweetie.

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I’m sorry about this very soppy post (not really!)

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Wedding Bells!

After a whole day of holding up my camera, squatting up and down to reach the children’s eye level and being on my feet (in heels!), I’m a giant bag of exhaustion. Matt’s mum got married yesterday and it was a really beautiful day.

Wedding at The Guildhall, Hull

The couple tied the knot at the local registry office but, wow, what a building. The Guildhall in Hull is spectacular and renowned city-wide for it’s beauty. The room’s high ceilings made it feel massive and the large white pillars made it feel majestic – it was really something. Afterwards, a whole bunch of their family and friends made way to a nice pub for food, drinks and wedding cake (which was delicious).

As well as being a very happy guest, I was asked to photograph the day. It was the first wedding where I had free roam of the wedding ceremony, so being stood up whilst Matthew and family were all formally seated was a bit nerve-wracking. After taking a few snaps though, I got over it. I just wish the shutter on my camera wasn’t so damn loud! This privilege did mean that I was a very busy lady. Dressed in my glad rags and high heels to fulfil the wedding guest side of things, I was up and down the aisle, around the guests, bent over this way and that… my feet are killing, my arms are killing and I’m tired to the core. You wouldn’t believe how exhausting photography can be, especially under pressure, unless you try it for yourself. From the bride’s hair and make-up to the cutting of the cake, it was constant. I’m sure it would have been a lot more enjoyable (the photography side of things, not the wedding) if I wasn’t also considered a guest. I could have worn comfortable shoes and I wouldn’t have had to socialise so intensely between taking photographs. Matt’s family is a proper chatty bunch!

Wedding at The Guildhall, Hull

Overall though, it was such a great day. I stayed up incredibly, naughtily late last night, aiming to get a handful of photographs edited and processed to show the newly weds. I’ll edit the rest tomorrow, when I’ve fully recovered. Today has been just for me. I gave myself a little break: I had a nap, I played a game, I took some photographs for my blog and I ordered a takeaway. If that’s not recovery, then I don’t know what is. Maybe I’ll have a cup of tea, too.

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How beautiful is that bouquet?!

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills