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, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, 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. It's safe to say that once in a while, nearly all of us like to treat ourselves. Some people simply have expensive taste - although if this sounds like you (or me), you probably prefer to think of it as merely enjoying the finer things in life! Of course, if you have the cash to splash, there's nothing really to worry about. However, lots of people are living beyond their means, spending money they don't have on things they can't afford. Sometimes, this results in them turning to questionable measures to fund such a habit, such as taking out precarious loans or borrowing money from family members. Both of these things can easily come back at bite you at some point down the line - but what do you do when you and your family have become accustomed to having nice things 24/7? Everyone wants to be able to cut a fine line between having a little bit of luxury, but not being in massive amounts of debt at the same time. Unsurprisingly, it's all about balance - and here are some ways you can achieve it.

    Go crazy for economic swaps

    So, you may have a penchant for the occasional luxury treat, be it a pricey designer dress or your favorite bottle of aged wine. But stop and think for a moment as to whether these things are in fact a necessity - and more importantly, whether there are any cheaper alternatives. You may find yourself shunning cheap wine on principle but take the time to try some before making that decision. You will probably find that some of them are quite nice -in fact, you may not be able to even taste the difference if you were to do a blind taste test! You can easily save hundreds in a year from swapping your £20 wine for a £7 alternative.

     

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    Look out for vouchers

    If you're not using vouchers or couponing yet, why aren't you?! Both have got a bit of a bad name in the media, but looking for discounts doesn't always mean you are tight with money. More often than not, it can simply mean that you are smart! Keep one eye on websites such as vouchercodespro.co.uk, as many major retailers regular post deals on such sites to entice customers. It isn't just physical things you get money off - many vacation providers also put offers on these types of websites, so you can even get that luxury holiday at a fraction of the original price.

    Make some sacrifices

    Think about what matters to you, and what you could cut back on to splurge elsewhere. For example, if eating good food at fancy restaurants is your thing, but you couldn't care less about the car you drive, ditch your expensive saloon for a more economical hatchback. The cost price AND the insurance will typically be much lower, meaning you will have more spare cash to spend on the things that really matter to you.

  2. Who can be a junior bridesmaid? Generally girls aged 9 – 14, too old to be flower girls, too young to be bridesmaids, and too important to leave out. They are often siblings or children of the bride or groom, or very close friends or relatives. My girls were both bridesmaids at our wedding and it was lovely to include them in our celebrations.

    No matter how pretty they look in their junior bridesmaid dresses, sometimes it’s difficult finding them enough to do so that they feel like legitimate, valuable members of the bridal party. How can you incorporate special roles to include your junior bridesmaid?

    The Junior Bridesmaid Role

    The actual job of junior bridesmaid has its own, small set of responsibilities. Juniors may participate in pre-wedding parties like the bridal shower (likely not the bachelorette of course) and depending on age, might help with some tasks like assembling favors and invitations.

    Junior bridesmaid dresses are generally a modest version of the bridesmaid attire and the girls usually carry a similar bouquet to the adults, just smaller in size. Juniors attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and at the wedding, they pose with the bridal party in photos, participate in the processional and recessional and stand with the party at the altar. Sometimes they are introduced with the bridal party at the beginning of the reception, and they may be seated with the adult attendants or with their families during dinner.

    Greeting Duties

    You can extend the traditional role of the junior bridesmaids by assigning them greeting duties. They are easily recognizable in their junior bridesmaid dresses as part of the wedding party so guests naturally gravitate towards them. They may welcome guests as they arrive for the ceremony, distribute programs and even help the ushers with seating.

    Ceremony Roles

    Your junior bridesmaids can participate in the ceremony in many ways. If your religious tradition involves gifts or elements, they could act as gift bearers. Some ethnic traditions call for a bell ringer to walk in before the bride, and a junior bridesmaid could certainly fulfill the bell-ringing role. If old enough, they might be readers and if they have special talents, they could perform as musicians or soloists.

    When junior bridesmaids are the children of the bride or groom, it might be appropriate to plan a special ritual that symbolizes the joining of two families – kind of a like a unity candle for the whole new family. There are many joining rituals to choose from, although one involving a child attendant should not involve anything inappropriate for the age (sorry, no wine ceremony!).

    Reception Responsibilities

    Juniors can once again be helpful at the reception with guest seating. They can assist with finding escort cards, and locating tables and seats. They might direct guests to the gift table and card box, or invite people to participate in fun activities like photo booths.

    You can include your juniors in your formal dances, especially if they are your children or siblings. During the parent dances, they could switch in and dance with one of you for a portion of the song. A very mature or confident junior bridesmaid could even propose a toast with a glass of sparkling cider.

    If there is a young lady important enough to you as a couple that she will be asked to be a junior bridesmaid, it’s worth looking for additional and different ways to include her in your special day. Take some time to think how you can enhance her role and she can help add to the celebration and she’ll certainly feel honored to take part in your day.

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  3. It seems like we are always trying to raise money for something, whether it is a friends baby shower, teachers present collection or a hen weekend, let alone fundraising for worthy projects, so there always seems to be a need to find a few coins or a £5 note in your purse. Unfortunately if you are like me (or the queen) you never seem to have spare cash in your purse .... usually because the children "needed" it for a school project or something or other. It is worse when you have the organisers instinct inside you (this may be me) and feel the need to take control but be totally transparent too. 

    Can you really create an online money pot?

    With us being able to do most things online now, it makes sense for you to be able to to pool funds together online rather than in crumpled up envelope in the bottom of a bag. This is where Leetchi.com is rather handy! Founded in Paris in 2009 (the same year as the Lilypad), Leetchi.com has quickly become the leading European fundraising website with over 7 millions of users. The platform is now accessible from 150 countries, in 4 languages and 2 currencies! Leetchi provides an easy, secure and inexpensive way for people to club together online for personal projects, nonprofits or group gifts.... basically anything and everything!

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    That all sounds great in principle but how does it work?

    We have all seen adverts for products that say in just a few clicks you can get started but with Leetchi, this is really true. With just a few clicks anyone can create a personalised money pot and invite friends, supporters ... in fact anyone, to contribute. Contributions can then be made to the online money pot by simply using their individual credit or debit card. Once the target amount of money has been raised, the organiser can choose when and how they’d like to spend it.

    Does it cost anything?

    We are always looking for the most savvy options and so it is good to know that it is totally free to spend on partner sites or there’s a small 2.9 - 4% bank transfer fee. There is also the added benefit of being able to transfer the money pot directly to the beneficiary via email. It is as simple as that!

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    Is it easy to set up?

    The whole process takes minutes to set up and if you are usually the one who wears the organisers hat like me, whether it’s charity sponsorship, a present, or contributions to a girlie holiday, then Leetchi is definitely worth looking into with help on how to raise funds online.

    What are you waiting for?

     

     

  4. Whenever our children want to find out anything, they instantly get the laptop or iPad and ask Google and whilst there is nothing wrong with using the instant tools available to you, there is also nothing more satisfying that finding out information and details by yourself. 
     
    Lonely Planet Kids is an online resource but with books and downloads to excite and educate children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humour and eye-catching imagery, it is their aim to  ignite childrens curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet and we are thrilled to give you the chance to win this amazing prize pack.
    Lonely Planet ]
     
    A fold-out height chart with more than 80 stickers, a journal to record your backyard adventures, and a quiz with the world’s best questions are all on the itinerary with the latest Lonely Planet Kids releases in its Activity Series.
     
    For Kids Aged 5+
    Lonely Planet Kids: My Family Height Chart
    Tall enough for the whole family, this pull-out height chart is metres of fun. My Family Height Chart is filled with facts and includes more than 80 stickers to track your progress and record your growth. Prepare to compare yourself and the rest of your family with some of the world’s biggest, smallest, weirdest and wackiest items. How will you measure up? Are you taller than the world’s biggest bunny?
     
    Family-Height-Chart-1-[AU-UK]-9781786576880
     
    For Kids Aged 5-8
    Lonely Planet Kids: Backyard Explorer
    Scribble, jot and draw in this brilliant fill-in journal and see your amazing neighbourhood in a whole new way. Backyard Explorer is filled with fun things to make, do and find on your own doorstep. Go cloud spotting, make a skyline collage, design your dream house, go on a scavenger hunt, create your very own time-and-place capsule, and lots more...
     
    Backyard-Explorer-[AU-UK]-9781786573186
     
    For Kids Aged 8+
    Lonely Planet Kids: The Round-the-World Quiz Book
    Challenge your friends and family to the ultimate quiz. This book is packed with more than 500 questions about our planet to boggle your brain and blow your mind. With different difficulty levels, there’s sure to be trivia tricky enough in The Round-the-World Quiz Book to fox the whole family. Can you name the biggest country in the world? Where you’ll find the world’s tallest waterfall? Or which animal disguises itself to look like bird poo? What are you waiting for? Test your knowledge, and see how many points you can score...
     
    Round the World Quiz Book-The-1-[AU-UK]-9781786574312
     
     
    So there really is something for all ages with Lonely Planet Kids and we are thrilled to give you the chance to win all three of them. All you need to do is enter below.
     
     
    Good luck!
     
     
     

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Lonely Planet Kids Prize Pack
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    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 03/06/2017 at 12am