Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. We often hear of the benefits of swimming for a baby but how about the reasons why baby swimming is good for Dad's too?

    Reasons why baby swimming is good for Dads too

    Baby swimming is often a child’s first social experience out of the home that involves other children. They learn to relate and interact with each other and it is a great opportunity for dads to meet like minded people who share common interests.

    Research has suggested that babies who participate in swimming are often more alert for their age and have better eating and sleeping patterns. So it is a great chance for you to enjoy time with your little one but also to know that you are aiding your child’s future development.

    As a former swimmer for the county, the man on the Lilypad loves seeing his daughter swim and loves the chance to swim with her, which is a great bonding experience for them both (not to mention time for them to laugh over and over again about dunking daddy under the water). 

    Swimming together is not only a great weekly activity but when your baby is in regular swim lessons, it makes going on holiday more enjoyable and your little one looks forward to playing in the water and you get to enjoy the water too, without fretting about their water safety abroad!

     Swimming from an early age helps to build water confidence and safety

    With so many activities seemingly focused on mother and baby, swimming lessons are a great opportunity for the Dad's to get involved and as the man on the Lilypad is super competitive, he takes great pride in her achievements every week. Although he is not a fan of taking her into the mens changing rooms, so it is good to select a pool with family changing facilities.

    There will become a time when we no longer get in the water with her for her lessons and that time is getting closer and closer. She no longer wants held in the water as she has confidence to swim on her own but she still looks for reassurance and approval. I see him getting wistful about how quickly she is growing up but I know that no matter how big and confident she gets, she will always be Daddy's little girl.

  2. There is nothing like the smell of baking and nothing more fun (or stressful depending on your OCD levels) than baking with your children. When Gousto got in touch to say that  Goutso and BakedIn have collaborated with Michel Roux OBE to create a Christmas dessert for children, which is made up of a child-friendly recipe card, ingredients, icing sugar template and disposable baking tray, we couldn't resist.

    Gousto Snowflake

    This is the perfect stocking-filler this Christmas and as it has been crafted by recipe delivery service Gousto and baking kit service BakedIn, assisted by Michel Roux OBE, it is perfect in its design. Designed specifically for children, this fun and festive recipe kit includes craft activities and step-by-step instructions written with little ones in mind.

    Gousto 4 

    Taste is not compromised. Belgian chocolate, cranberries, naturally-derived orange extract and pecan nuts are provided along with cocoa, self-raising flour, caster sugar and some icing sugar for decoration. Simply add an egg and some butter for a truly delicious dessert. I wasn't allowed to get involved and the 4 year old took control, with me simply reading the instructions (and dealing with the hot oven of course) but it just goes to show how easy the kit is to use.

    Gousto 1

    All ingredients are pre-portioned and come in festive little bags. A silicone-coated baking tray with greaseproof paper to line is provided, along with a snowflake stencil to make an icing sugar template. (The 4 year old may have misunderstood the explanation of how to sprinke).

    Gousto 2

    Gousto customers will be able to add a Snowflake Brownie to their order at checkout until Wednesday 23rd December and we have a discount code for those of you who would like a special discount! https://www.gousto.co.uk/RELISH 

    However, we are giving the Lilypad readers a chance to win one, all you need to do is enter below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Snowflake Brownie box from Gousto

    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    Gousto will make every effort to provide the candles detailed here but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 14/12/2015 at 12am

     

  3. With Christmas on the horizon, we are frequently telling our girls to make sure that they are "good" as Santa is watching and they don't want to be on the naughty list this year. 

    Santas Naughty List

    Apparently my girls names are not top of the good list but children named Anna and Harry are most likely to be at the top of Santa’s ‘nice list’ this Christmas. Research by School Stickers, leaders in school rewards, has revealed that children with these names are the most likely to be well behaved. Whereas girls called Leah and boys called Joseph appear to be more prone to naughtiness, however as this is only the ‘draft’ list kids still have a month to improve their behaviour!

    It is funny how traditions like this go through the ages, as I can remember my parents using the same tactics on me for making sure that my behaviour was impeccable in the run up to Christmas but the list of "must have gifts" changes as you get older, although looking at what my husband wants, I am sure he is still a big kid! 

    I have obviously been a very good girl this year, although my name strangely doesn't appear on Santa's good list just yet, so here is my Christmas wish list for a 30 (ahem) something mum of two!

    1. A good book. As a child, I loved to read but I just don't seem to get the time these days. Unlike blog posts and news articles, sitting down with a book takes more focus and concentration and when I am fully engaged in a book I can close off the outside world and indulge myself completely in the story.

    The Works 3

    2. To have control of the remote or music options for one WHOLE day. Get Well Soon or Paw Patrol can just get the tiniest bit repetitive.

    3. I know that in years gone by I would have asked for a spa day to help me unwind (although this was in days before children so not entirely sure what I was unwinding from back then) but now I would like a DIY day. Not necessarily for me to indulge in some painting or decorating but for someone to come in to my house, to build the loft extension that I crave, with a spiral staircase, quirky angled roof, soft furnishings, and my husbands request for black out VELUX window blinds to create a relaxing haven to sleep in (or a bat cave as he calls it .... I told you he was a big kid).

    Velux Bedroom

    4. I always tell my girls that Christmas is a time of giving and we shouldn't be so self indulgent as there are so many families that are not as lucky as them. I don't mean in terms of presents under the tree but there are those that don't have a proper roof over their head and so on my Christmas list this year, I would like to include a Good Gift to provide practical help, that goes directly to those in need and in some cases to help them take the first step out of poverty

    Oh and my final request ......

    5. An extra hour in the day please Santa!

    What is on your list?

  4. For many of us, winter isn’t the favourite season. While there are some highlights such as Christmas and New Year to look forward to, there’s also the prospect of cold and dreary weather, and a feeling that all you want to do is hide away until the spring comes around. Feeling down during the winter is not uncommon, but it can be hard to shake off those winter blues.

     Winter image

    The secret is to keep busy and make sure you don’t have too much time to dwell. Here are just a few suggestions of how to keep the winter blues at bay.

    Get some fresh air

     Winter Image 2

    The thought of exercising in the winter might not fill you with enthusiasm, but actually, exercise will help improve your mood as it triggers the release of endorphins (also known as happy hormones). You don’t have to play a team sport or go running – a brisk walk through the countryside can be just as effective. If you’re not motivated to do this by yourself, make a regular date with a friend and go on walks together. Wear plenty of layers so you can adjust your temperature as you go.

    Enjoy the benefits of meditation

    Winter somehow encourages us to go in on ourselves and focus on our worries. When it’s summer and the skies are blue, it’s somehow easier to push worries to the back of our minds and focus on the positives. The cold and dark of the winter months seems to have the opposite effect. While meditation won’t make your worries disappear on a permanent basis, it’s certainly a good habit to get into when you want to give yourself a break from anxious thoughts.

    For anyone who’s a novice at meditation, trying some simple meditation exercises is a good place to start. There are plenty of guides to meditation online. Many people feel like giving up almost as soon as they’ve started with meditation, as they don’t instantly achieve the ability to push all those day to day thoughts out of the way and achieve a clear state of mind. It takes practice to become good at meditating, but don’t be disheartened if your mind wanders in all directions when you first begin the process. When you do find you’re being distracted by thoughts, a simple technique is to return your focus to your breathing, simply visualising the flow of breath in and out of your body. As you improve your meditation skills, so you’ll benefit from being able to take time out at any time during the day.

    Discover a new hobby

    Winter’s not all doom and gloom, and the run-up to Christmas is an ideal time to get creative. You could try something like jewellery-making or follow some tutorials online for making Christmas decorations online. If you’re not confident about learning a new skill by yourself, you could join an evening class –  and don’t think you’ve missed the boat by not signing up in September. Plenty more classes will begin in January. Focusing on something that’s creative will occupy you and distract you from feeling down, but also leave you with tangible results that you can be proud of.

    Give in to the cold and indulge in laziness

      Winter Image 3

    Whatever you do, you can’t change the weather. If it’s going to be one of those cold and wet days, there’s no point in fighting it. Give in to it now and then and have a self-indulgent day on the sofa instead. Find a perfect staying-in movie, take the duvet downstairs and furnish you and whoever’s watching with you with a range of snacks to nibble on as you enjoy doing nothing for a couple of hours.

    Don’t dread the winter because it brings you down; take a stand and decide to enjoy winter this year – simply adopting a positive approach about it is a great place to start.