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. Thankfully another Christmas has passed without any major incidents and we are now looking ahead to a brand new year and getting rid of all the Christmas chocolate (if you look on my instagram feed, you will see the detox plans for 2016). But one thing from 2015 that seems to be showing no signs of going away is the Star Wars craze. 

    Not only did Star Wars become the UK's biggest film of 2015, but it also took over our offices with discussion of whether it was any good (it was, apparently although I have to admit I haven't seen it yet!), and also our playgrounds with a range of toys and merchandise to keep the little ones amused for weeks on end. So in case you've been asleep for the past six months, here's a catch up on how Star Wars has infiltrated our homes!

    Star Wars merchandise

     Star Wars Droid

     

    From double-bladed lightsabers to pocket-sized Millenium Falcons, it seemed that no staircase in the UK was safe from tripping over some artefact of Star Wars memorabilia. (although my husband has a Millenium Falcon in storage .... maybe I should put it on eBay - ha ha)

    The gadget geek inside me loves the BB-8 Droid that can be controlled from your smartphone or even your voice and can also display holographic messages. But if that sounds a little too futuristic, then the reliable range of Star Wars action figures meant that your kids can create their own Star Wars odysseys for many years to come!

    Intergalactic gaming

    Star Wars post

     

    Of course, any modern film needs some gaming accompaniment, and the Star Wars: Battlefront has earned rave reviews for its relentlessly fun hi-octane gaming opportunities. This game provides an endless array of missions and battles, and may just be the best Star Wars game yet. 

    However, parents should be aware that the game has a 16+ rating, so for the very little ones the Lego Star Wars games could be a good alternative. And for grownups who may seek something a little more soothing after a hard day's work, then Betway have a great collection of online slots that feature many top titles from the world of film and television.

    Star Wars style

    Star Wars chewbacca_by_elementof_loyalty-d8tlbdi

     

    Science-fiction may not be the most likely source of style for fashion aficionados, but just one look at the furry Chewbacca bathrobe should help just about anybody realise how to stay warm and on-trend on those long and cold winter evenings!

    And finally, just to make sure that you realise the all-encompassing power of Star Wars, even the famous beauty brand Max Factor got in on the Star Wars action with their own limited edition Star Wars make-up.

    Whether the futuristic make-up will prove as popular as the online games or lightsabers remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure, and that's that there is no escape from Star Wars this year and it will be around for a long time yet!

     

  2. Well, it’s practically all over. The presents have been ripped open, boxes played with, chocolates eaten, cuddly toys hugged tight and fought over. The New Year celebrations have come and gone, heads have cleared and the future beckons. Before you can get back to normal, of course, it’s time to deal with those pesky decorations.

    Time to return your home to normal.

    After all the festivities, it’s tempting to throw them all in one box, lug it up to the loft and forget about decorations for another year so if you really want Christmas 2016 to be the occasion you spent three hours unravelling the lights, then go right ahead.

    LLP - Decluttering your House after the Christmas Fest

    A little time and preparation now can make next year a breeze and also help you keep control of all those trimmings. If you’re like me, your collection can grow, from bespoke baubles and oversized glittering beads to a crazy singing reindeer.

    Sometimes it’s a good idea to declutter, throwing out the old and in with the new, as the saying goes. To do this you have to show a good deal of resolve but it can also be a pretty cathartic process. It can also make sure you stay in control of your Christmas decorations.

    • Sort your trimmings into like for like piles (stars, baubles, tinsel, lights etc).
    • Decide which you are going to keep and the things that have seen better days and need to be let go.
    • Keep your baubles for the tree in one box, your more intricate decorations for the mantlepiece in another.
    • Make sure your lights are wound properly (if you don’t have something ready-made then how about an old strip of stiff card?).
    • Dismantle your Christmas tree carefully and repackage it properly rather than throwing it in the box.
    • If you had a real tree, then take it down to the recycling depot before the pine needles start to fall off.
    • Throw away/recycle any decorations that have lost their sparkle or have seen better days.

    The end of the Christmas period is also a great time to declutter other parts of your house. You don’t have to stop with the decorations. In many Eastern cultures, New Year is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted clutter. Why not try these simple tips?

    • For each gift you got this year, why not get rid of two old ones in exchange. Got a new shirt or blouse, throw a couple into the charity shop sack. What about those DVDs? Try giving away the ones you don’t really watch anymore.
    • Paper recycling can be fun. If you aren’t going to be using that Christmas paper again next year, then make sure you put it in the recycling. But don’t just stop there. What about those old newspapers and magazines that can go too? How about all those books which could be given to the local second hand shop?

    Houses, especially with children in them, can quickly be overwhelmed with stuff and Christmas is the ideal time to get the family involved in reducing all that clutter. Get hubby to sort out his collection of unused sport equipment, the kids to tidy up and give away the toys and games they are no longer interested in, while you go through everything from the closets to the kitchen.

    Once everything is put away and the house is suddenly tidier than you’ve ever seen it, the new year ahead will seem so much brighter. And those properly sorted Christmas trimmings can go up in the loft or into the store cupboard, all set for next December when the festivities begin again. 

  3. It has become a tradition to look at my resolutions in reverse, 2014 was a particularly good year and rather than setting myself for new year resolutions, I like to reflect on the previous year and what's been acheived.

    For some reason, I have always started my post with my favourite quote of the year and so the quote for 2015 has to be:

    "It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness"

    Charles Spurgeon

     

    So here are my Reverse Resolutions for 2015.

    1. After "working" social media with my own business for such a long time, I decided it was time to get some form of recognition for my talents (ahem). I did it, got a distinction and a real sense of achievement.

    2. My daughters birth story was in the national press. Admitedly some 4 years after it happened but even so, it reminded me of how amazing it was and how empowered I felt after giving birth. 

    3. This lead to a couple of my articles being published in the press, not just on my little corner of the internet, printed in the paper and friends actually realising some of the things I do for a living!

    4. I lost a really good client at the beginning of the year, due to the reduction of their business and it knocked me off balance for a while but they say as one door closes another opens. So that change has given me time to work with some AMAZING new companies, which has pushed my comfort zones and abilities and I am very excited where this will take us into 2016.

    5. Finally, I *think* I may have mastered the work / life balance. I have spent time going out with friends and family, I have walked away from my phone and my laptop to spend time with the people I care about. I do care passionately about my work but making sure that it doesn't engulf my life has become the holy grail and for now, it is within my grasp. Maybe I shall make this my only resolution for 2016, to maintain a healthy balance throughout the whole year. What do you think?

    I shan't mention my ability to consume prosecco at an exceptional rate or how removing nail polish from the carpet should be on my CV, so I shall stick to the resolutions that I am most proud of for now (although the red nail polish was some achievement). How about you? Do you make resolutions? Or would you prefer to look at your achievements in reverse too?

     

     LLP Reverse Resolutions 2015

     

  4. 5 sleeps and counting till the big guy arrives with the presents (am hoping my husband appreciates this description).

    5 sleeps until the lounge is filled with excited children and an unwrapping frenzy commences.

    5 sleeps until we suddenly have to house more toys .... because we obviously need more of them.

    My youngest daughter wants a doctors clinic and a few weeks ago we said to her that Father Christmas might consider that she had so many toys that he may think she doesn't have room for a doctors clinic. (I realise that this may have been a slightly mean tactic but it worked) Her response was "Mummy, shall I give some of my toys to the children who don't have any?" (she melted my heart a little at this point).

    But it got me thinking about getting rid of some of their old toys (without putting them in the loft when they are not looking) and I saw a post on Facebook about a mum who gets her children to select 10 old toys to put in their Santa Sacks on Christmas Eve and I LOVE this idea!

    Santa then takes them back to the North Pole and the elves then fix them up to give to other children next year.

    My mum has always recycled and the children love to sort the recycling out into the relevant bins ..... I am just hoping that they will be as excited about recycling the Santa way!

     LLP - How to recycle toys the Santa Way