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Under appreciated Youtubers who YOU need to watch – blogtober day 31


The final post in the blogtober challenge – I really can’t believe that I’ve managed to post every day for a month – well, I’ve skipped 2 days and squished 2 posts into one, but I’m still taking it as a win for someone who finds it really hard to make time to write. It’s really shown me that I don’t need to spend days upon days writing and perfecting and refining things – sometimes the more random posts are better. 

So today is all about YouTube – I absolutely love YouTube and follow several people – I often watch videos whilst I’m cooking dinner, and I have this nifty little phone holder from IKEA which props my phone up, for just the occasion! 

Here are my favourite 3 under appreciated YouTubers who I think you’ll really love:

1. Karen from Our Irish Family 


I originally started watching her videos when I was pregnant, and she was undergoing fertility treatments to become pregnant herself. I distinctly remember when she finally fell pregnant with her now toddler, crying to my husband in a fit of hormone induced sadness that I was so worried about her 😂 I find Karen really relateable and often find myself watching her speed-cleaning videos – don’t ask! 

2. Shanna from Shanna Grice


I started watching her videos years ago when I was following Slimming World to lose weight for our wedding – Shanna was losing weight too and I loved following her weight loss updates. Nowadays, she’s married and now pregnant, so I love watching her mummy videos. I follow her on Instagram too, and I know she’s been suffering badly with Hyperemesis so hasn’t been making videos recently, but I love watching when she does publish them!

3. Poppy Dinsey from PoppyD 


A recent find on YouTube but I have loved following Poppy’s twin pregnancy journey – and her lovely twins were born just last week on my birthday! I follow her on Instagram as well so have enjoyed seeing her newborn updates 😍

Who are your favourite YouTubers? Any guilt pleasures? I’m always after new videos to watch, so share your favourites! 

And so completes #blogtober2017. It’s been fun! You will NOT be hearing from me tomorrow, but I’ll try to make it in a few days. 

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Pinterest vs reality – real life isn’t Pinterest perfect – #blogtober day 30

Today’s blogtober prompt is ‘Pinterest’ so I’ve been thinking about the perfection that is presented on Pinterest and how the reality… doesn’t often match it! 

I’ve had a little help from some friends for this post, because I don’t usually photograph my failed attempts at Pinterest perfection, so read on to see my favourite ‘Pinterest Fails’ – because let’s face it, are you even a real parent if you’ve not had one?! 

Beth from Twinderelmo shared this brilliant creation with me… I particularly love the eyebrows!

Emma from emmareed made some salt firework art with her little one, but it didn’t quite go to plan. Maybe save the salt for your chips, Emma? 


My friend Aimee is a huge perfectionist, so she was sad when her Frankenstein Oreo-pops didn’t turn out quite right…

Sarah’s attempt at mess-free messy play didn’t quite yield the same results as Pinterest promised…


Ellie tried her hand at frog tape wall art


…which turned out like this…

Emily’s cake was a bit patchy… but who remembers what a cake looks like once it’s been eaten?!

Gemma of Gracie Baby (who makes amazing kids’ clothing), often uses her daughter as her model for her clothes… Gracie wasn’t playing ball this time…

My lovely friend Laura is famous for Pinterest fails. It’s safe to say she’s a much better wine drinking partner than she is cake and biscuit decorator…!

My own offerjngs… ‘scrambled snake’ for Squid’s 2nd birthday party looked a bit like mashed brains… safe to say, no one ate it!

I was pretty pleased with my attempt at a home made Gruffalo cake…

Until my bloody brother turned up with this one…

And finally, April from Glitzy Glass (who incidentally is a skilled craftswoman and her glass art is amazing!), made this unicorn pumpkin… I’ll just end on this one!

Go on, I’d love to see your Pinterest fails! Use the hashtag #squidmammapinterestfails on Instagram or show me your fabulous fails on Facebook – I know you’ve got some hilarious photos hidden in your phone! 

See you tomorrow,

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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How Facebook groups helped me successfully breastfeed – blogtober day 27

Day 27 of #blogtober is ‘Facebook’ – so I wanted to share the amazing resources that exist in this branch of social media, without which I would not be continuing to breastfeed my 2 year old. 

In the early days of breastfeeding, when your lady parts feel like they’re falling out and your nipples don’t know what’s hit them, it can be really tough. And even if breastfeeding is painfree (which it should be – though often isn’t), it’s hard work – it’s an emotional journey and it can take some adjusting to. 

So many nights, I’d be wide awake, feeding Squid, feeling like the only person on the planet who wasn’t asleep. Until one night I discovered a whole tribe of women, also awake and nursing. They were women inside my iPhone. Women who were part of several Facebook groups I’d joined – groups specifically geared to help with breastfeeding. 


These groups became a place of solace for me – ‘why will my 5 week old not sleep away from me?’, ‘why is my 4 month old waking for milk every 45 minutes?’, ‘help! My one year old has bitten me!’, ‘why do I feel so angry when I breastfeed sometimes?’, I’d ask. For every query or worry, there were women who have been through it too, or are in the thick of it – women who offered advice and suggestions, but most of all, companionship and solidarity. 

And even now, I regularly consult the people in these groups, when something changes or I need help. Without these people, I wouldn’t be breastfeeding – and much less likely to be breastfeeding past infancy. One group in particular – ‘Breastfeeding Older Babies and Beyond’ – helps me to feel normal in what we do, and the women in this group keep me going to achieve my goals. 


If you’re needing support and guidance with breastfeeding, of course face to face support is best, but that’s not always available at 3.42am when you need it the most. My favourite groups are: 

Breastfeeding Older Babies and Beyond

Breastfeeding Younger Babies and Beyond

La Leche League International (and also search for your local LLL Facebook group!)

For inspiration from a natural term breastfeeder who posts quotes and facts daily, follow The Milk Meg – she is simply amazing! 


See you tomorrow, 

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Drusillas Zoo – family fun! Blogtober day 26

Day 26 of #blogtober is ‘Zoo’ – which is handy, as we only recently went to a local zoo – Drusillas in East Sussex. 
Read on for some top tips if you’re planning a visit! 

First off, I recommend seeing if you can get bargain tickets – if you’re a Tesco Clubcard member, you can use their Clubcard Boost scheme to trade your Clubcard vouchers in for tickets to all sorts of places – including Drusillas! As under 2s are free (and Squid was at the time… just!), and we had £6.50 in Clubcard vouchers, we only had to pay for one adult ticket (£19.50). I have to say, we had a brilliant day, but I’m really glad we didn’t pay full price – it would’ve been nearly £60 for the three of us had we paid full price and had Squid been just 3 weeks older! 


I’d hugely recommend packing your own lunch to take with you – there are plenty of places to eat in the park, but it saved us loads by packing our own sarnies – and it meant we could eat whenever we fancied!

Definitely take swimming gear for your sproglets – there’s an excellent water park there and Squid absolutely loved splashing around! 


The zoo itself is a little bit underwhelming animal-wise. This is the first bit you enter when you go in, and it’s set out Ikea-stylee: it’s kind of like a maze. There are safari animals and farm animals, and at various points in the day, there are feeding opportunities (though we somehow managed to miss them all!). Highlights for me were the otters and Squid loved the camels!

There is a train which tours the zoo, so you can see a few of the animals again. This was great fun! The queue was long around lunch time but died down after the rush. 

The park and adventure playground are fantastic – and there are 2 parts to it: one for older kids and one for pre-school aged little ones, which meant no being knocked over by the big kids! We loved the banana boats and the windy slide! 


Then there are loads of toddler and young children-friendly rides, and this really was the best bit. Being over 1m tall, Squid was allowed on them all, though had he been under 1m, there would only have been one ride he couldn’t have gone on! I thought this was great – it really is all geared towards under 5s and it made for a very enjoyable day!


We’d definitely return – when we’ve got enough Clubcard vouchers, of course!

Have you ever been to Drusillas? What did you think?

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Year in review: 2017. #blogtober day 25

25 days in… today’s prompt is ‘Y’ for the ‘Year in review’ – so without further ado, here’s the low down of my 2017…

January 


Daddy’s birthday, a new year, cold weather. I’m not a fan of January what with the Christmas slump, but the days pass quickly when you have a small human!

February


A difficult month in my personal life, and another hospital admission for Squid. 

March


Mother’s Day! A wonderful one spent in some beautiful gardens with a picnic and my favourite people. 

April


We saw lambs being born and held some ducklings… Squid bloody hated it…

May


Still nippy, but I love May-time! Look at those bluebells!

June


A house move meant total unheaval… it was exhausting for Squid as you can see. 

July


A family holiday to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday and the addition of our newest family member – Boofulcat!

August


Lots of sunny-summer holiday activities – it was so wonderful to have time off with Squid…

But August brought with it a further hospital stay for baby boy…


September 


We celebrated 2 years of life for Squid – a happy happy day. September was the start of me working (temporarily) full time… it was a slog!

October


My favourite month, and it’s nearly over! We’ve had lots of leafy walks, and Squid has changed so much over the last month. 

What a quick year! I can’t believe we’re on the descent to Christmas already. 

What has been your 2017 highlight?

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Blogtober day 24 – Christmas: making memories

Day 24 of #blogtober is ‘X for Xmas’, and I can’t believe it’s getting to that time of the year again. I am not a Halloween-y type person and so really don’t understand the hype around it, but I am ON BOARD with Christmas and I can’t wait to get in the festive spirit in the run up to it! Being a teacher, that last week before we break up is pretty gruelling, but I absolutely love the Christmassy buzz that fills any school – the excitement is infectious! Our Christmas fair is one of my favourite events of the school year, and I can’t wait to set up our class stall – we’ve got the best idea this year!


So the theme of ‘Christmas’ got me thinking about traditions we have in our family!

First of all, every Christmas Eve, we go out as a family for a meal, and then to Midnight Mass – we used to go to the Christingle service, and I have the funniest memories of my brother starting a small fire by melting his marshmallows on the lit flame – the following year, the church changed the marshmallows to raisins and the candles weren’t lit!


We always open one gift on Christmas Eve – always a gift from my dad, as mum doesn’t agree with this tradition! Irina from wavetomummy says that this is a proper tradition in her home country of Finland – if that’s not a good enough excuse then I don’t know what is!


As adults, we all stay at my parents’ house, and now we have Squid, Christmas morning is so magical! When Christmas morning comes around, and we have to wait for mum to have a cup of tea before we open presents. Then we have Bucks Fizz and croissants for breakfast, and eagerly await our Christmas lunch…


As a family of 3, hubby and I have developed our own traditions! Much like Kim from raisingaragamuffin, and Laura from fivelittledoves, each year, we buy one more bauble to hang on the tree – by the time Squid is an adult, we will have quite a collection! Laura said that this tradition is extra special in her household – each new decoration is hung upon the tree in tribute to her son who sadly died in 2006. I imagine that’s a really special tradition to have.


We also have a Christmas Eve box, and I think this year will be the first that we can properly indulge in the preparations for Father Christmas! We have a special plate with spaces for a drink and snack for the big man, and I just know that Squid is going to love preparing that this year.


Also this year, we are doing a ‘Book Advent’ for Squid – a book per day during Advent – I can’t wait! Stacey from onesmallhuman also has this tradition – and it’s always ‘The Night Before Christmas’ that’s saved for Christmas Eve!

The thing I am most excited for this year is seeing the Christmas panto on Christmas Eve! It’s Snow White, and I am sure Squid is going to love it (Oh no he won’t!). Beth from twinderelmo and Danni from momof3boys reckon this is a top priority family tradition too!


I asked some fellow bloggers what their Christmas traditions are, and there’s definitely a few here I will be stealing!

Cat from rockandrollpussycat and Christy from welshmum say that Christmas Eve means new pyjamas for the whole family – and it’s even better if they’re matching, like this set here!


For the families who don’t have a chimney, Sophie from sophobsessed says she always leaves a magical key out for Father Christmas – and what a great idea! I can imagine this would have been something that I would have felt really worried about as a child, had we not have had a chimney!

Tom from theunlikelydad says that Christmas starts around December 1st, when he and his family head to a local farm to choose their Christmas tree! I absolutely love a real tree, and I think this is a great tradition! It seems that December 1st is a popular day for choosing and decorating the tree – Nicole from thelittlestdarlings says that this is the perfect time to eat Christmassy food, listen to cheesy songs and decorate the tree – all topped off with a Christmas movie and a hot chocolate!


Kerry and her family from kerryshawmummyoffour sprinkles ‘reindeer dust’ on their driveway every Christmas Eve, so the man in red and his trusty sidekicks know where to stop! I love this reindeer dust recipe to make at home!

Samantha from bigsteviecool and her hubby make sure they crack open a bottle of Moet when the kids are in bed on Christmas Eve – in our house, after the frivolity on Christmas Eve, we can often be found wrapping last minute gifts, so I much prefer the idea of Moet!


I absolutely loved Hollie from thriftymum‘s suggestion of having a huge pre-Christmas clear out – and then taking all your unwanted things to a local homeless shelter. What better way to spread the Christmas love and give a new life to unwanted belongings.


Ahh, Christmas is just my favourite time of the year. This year, we are taking Squid to see Father Christmas at Bluewater on the 23rd of December and I can’t wait!

I’ll leave you with this video from last Christmas which my brother filmed – so lovely!

What traditions do you have in your family?

See you tomorrow,

Love, Squidmamma x

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Wet Weather Autumn Activities with a Two-Year-Old: #blogtober day 23


Day 23 of #blogtober is ‘weather’ and with the miserable weather that the UK is currently experiencing, I thought I’d share some photos from our rainy day! It’s been cold, windy and drizzly – a typical autumnal day in England really. But if we let every wet and dreary day put us off venturing outside, then we’d never leave the house! And after all, we’re not made of sugar, so a bit of rain won’t hurt. 

I’ve been looking forward to this half term week since I went back to work after the summer holidays, so today we donned our wellies and rain macs and went exploring! This is absolutely our favourite wet-weather activity – it’s free which is a huge bonus, plus it gets you out in the elements and enjoying all weathers!

Firstly we splashed in puddles: no matter your age, who doesn’t love splashing in puddles?! We had a little rubber ducky with us so he joined in with the puddle splashing! 


Next onto leaf-kicking –  a great way to burn off some energy if your toddler has l been stuck in doors (and it may just guarantee you a rest if said toddler naps afterwards!) 


We saw beautiful patterns today – raindrops on leaves and an intricate spider’s web. I love seeing the world through Squid’s eyes – everything is amazing! It really helps me to stop and take it all in when he is so awe struck!


We collected lots of different leaves and twigs – Squid was incredibly selective about the leaves which met with his approval! 


Squid was most unhappy to pose for photos, but here are a few!


Obligatory mummy milk – so mummy got the wet bum sitting on the bench and Squid was nice and warm! 


Back at home, after a hot chocolate to warm up, we created what can only be described as works of art! Leaves and flowers make excellent paint brushes and stampers, and we painted lots of pretty autumn patterns, then glued some of the leaves onto the picture too. I had some orange cellophane which made a great noise and looked pretty as well! 


And then we did some leaf embossing by putting a leaf under paper and using a crayon to mark the top of it! 


We still have half a bag of leaves left – so suggestions on a post card for what to do with them would be appreciated!

What’s your favourite rainy day activity? We have the rest of the (presumably rainy) week to fill, so hit me up with ideas! 

See you tomorrow – only 8 days left of blogtober to go!

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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