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. Just because you have young children doesn't mean that you shouldn’t go overseas on holiday. Yes, some parents are put off, especially because of the hassle of getting through the journey part of the break, before you get the actual fun part of the holiday itself, can be immense. However, going overseas with the kids really don't have to be a nightmare. In fact, there is one thing, in particular, to bear in mind that can make journeys abroad with the kids a lot more doable, and that is to shorten your trip as much as possible. 

    Do Pick Short Flights

    Speed is of the essence, as they say, and never has an adage been so true, as when you are travelling abroad with kids. That means for the most part short haul flights to places in the UK, or Europe is a much better choice than long haul ones.

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    Yes, you probably do want to take the kids to Orlando at some point or have a fabulous family holiday in Lapland. However, for their first couple of trips at least, make sure that you are on the plane for no longer than three hours at a time. As this will make it both easier for your little ones, and for you if the kids don't take to flying that well.

    Do Take Carry-On Luggage Only

    You can also make the whole journey time shorter by eschewing hold luggage and taking only carry-ons. Then when you get to your destination, you can get straight out of the airport and on to your accommodation. Meaning you won't have to navigate the wait for your luggage with a clutch of tired, hungry kids to look after. To help you get this right use tools like this cabin luggage comparison site. As they can help you pick the right size cabin luggage for the particular company you are flying with.

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    Picture source

    Just remember anything that makes the journey part of the break easier, means you will have more energy to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

    Don’t Go For Long Driving Holidays

    Now, I'm not saying that driving holidays are a bad thing. In fact,  they can be great value for money and fun for the whole family. However, there is a downside to them that you have to be aware of.  It is that to drive to a long distance destination, you will need to spend a long time in the car with the family, and I don't care how much you all get on, 10 hours and a ferry ride will test truly the best of us! This is without travel sickness and the inevitable "are we nearly there yet".

    So if you want to arrive unfrazzled and able to appreciate every single day of your holiday, go for shorter drives, something you can plan using sites like https://www.originalcottages.co.uk. Leaving the longer ones until the kids are a little older.

    After all, what use is a holiday if it's not relaxing for you as well as them?

  2. We might consider ourselves to be a tech savvy family but reviewing gadgets doesn't usually fall in our remit however with so much focus on dash cam's in the news lately, we jumped at the chance to flex our review skills and take a look at the Philips ADR 810 Dash Cam. 

    We were told the usual sales spiel in that the Philips ADR 810 Dash Cam offers peace of mind when you need it most and with automatic recording means there’s no need to spend ages setting it up each time, simply switch it on and drive. In case of a collision, the Dash Cam automatically saves the recording to secure your evidence and prevent it being overridden.

    So what did we think?

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    Setting it up

    There isn't much in the box so thought it would be nice and easy to set up but we hit an intiial hurdle when we realised that you need an SD card to do the recording on and the dash cam doesn't come with one. It is worth noting that it is a micro SD card that you need, so worth making sure you have one before trying to set up.

    Once we got past this little blip, the setup was actually very quick, although you don't get a full set of instructions just a handy little guide but even I could work it out. To be honest, the set up takes less than a minute but worth noting that the Philips ADR810 Dash Cam doesn’t have its own internal battery which means it needs to be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket on the car to give it some power.

    It comes with super sticky pads so that you can attach it securely and as the Dash Cam is super lightweight at only 83 grams, with dimensions of 106.7 x 50.0 x 32.5mm, you don't worry about it falling off as can happen with some of the plastic sucker attachments. 

    Functions

    The Philips ADR 810 dash cam features smart automatic functions, excellent video performance with perfect night view and a 156° wide angle lens.

    • In the case of a collision, an emergency (and handy) recording is automatically saved to secure the evidence and prevent overwriting
    • A clever fatigue index will produce a visual and audible warning message when the driver should take a rest (unless you don't like being told what to do by a machine)
    • Instant replay function can help to clarify responsibility on the spot with date/time stamped proof
    • The ADR 810 captures details day and night with optimised night view
    • A 156° wide angle lens captures more of the road with this wide angle lens 

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    The power cable is REALLY long which is a good thing if your cigarette lighter socket isn't at the front of your car but the wire does need keeping under control (a bit like my kids!!)

    The children have been fascinated by the Dash Cam, although my eldest said that I will have to watch my own speed now as it is being recorded (I am not entirely sure what she is implying) but the youngest has become convinced that we are going to catch "bad guys" doing "bad stuff" on our Dash Cam and become heros! So everyone is a clearly a fan, even if they don't understand the tech side of it. 

    The Pro's

    • Lightweight small & compact
    • Not easy for thieves and other motorists to see, unlike some other cameras
    • Driver fatigue warning that alerts the driver if their tiredness is affecting the quality of their driving.
    • Easy to navigate menus

    The Con's

    • The sticky pads are extremely sticky which is great for keeping its position in the car but not ideal if you want to change it into a different vehicle. A suction mount would be a good option in addition to the sticky pads.
    • You need to purchase a seperate micro SD card before you can start recording. 

    So if the only real downsides relate to sticky pads, we think this is a pretty impressive piece of kit for £139.99 and are very excited to be able to offer you the chance to win one!

    Win a Philips A810 Dash Cam worth £139.99 (1)

    All you need to do is enter below. 

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & conditions

    The Prize: Philips ADR 810 Dash Cam
    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 03/09/2017 at 12am

  3. If the lack of sunshine this summer has left you trying to figure out where to go on your next family holiday, have you ever thought of somewhere completely different? Maybe the thought of going to Lapland has never even entered your head. We went on a (very) long day trip a few years ago but there are some incredibly cool places to stay, and some seriously fun stuff to see and do. It’s one of the most memorable places to visit right now! 

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    Take Your Kids To Meet Santa And Co

    It’s got to be the dream of every little person to meet Santa Claus. You might be able to take them to visit at your local garden centre, but it’s hardly going to be the same experience as taking them to meet him in Lapland - the perfect setting! There is nothing more magical than seeing Santa and his reindeers in the snow.

    See Some Incredible, Unforgettable Sights

    The Aurora Borealis can be seen from a few places around the world, including Lapland. This explosion of incredible colours in the sky is one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, and not something anyone of your family members will forget in a hurry. This is called nature’s greatest light show for a reason, and although you can find many pictures online, they barely do the real thing justice.

    Stay Somewhere Super Cool

    Staying in a regular hotel can be a little boring, right? It’s a good thing there are a few alternative options in Lapland. You could potentially sleep underneath the Aurora Borealis in a little bubble, or even in the famous Ice Hotel. You should look at some of the best resorts in Lapland for families to find the ideal place for you, but rest assured, none of them are boring. Even if you stay in a cosy little log cabin, you’re going to have a magical time.  

    Try Plenty Of New Things

    You can try an abundance of new things in Lapland, and the great thing is they can be enjoyed by your whole family. How about dog sledding, or even snowmobiling? They can all make wonderful experiences and you’re guaranteed to have so much fun. Visiting Lapland can be a once in a lifetime experience, and those who have done it will tell you everybody should do it at least once. 

    How do you feel about Lapland now - would you consider it as a viable option for your next family holiday? If you're going to be traveling close to Christmas, it’s something worth considering. Kids of all ages will love meeting Santa, reindeer, and the elves.

    Have you been?

     

  4. While we’d all love to have limitless bank accounts over the summer holidays, sadly, family fun is often capped. We have already had some brilliant days out but no matter how much we prepare, none of us are Mr or Mrs Moneybags.

    As such, for a successful streamlined summer, parents have to get creative about how to entertain the brood. Low-cost family fun is the key to keeping little minds stimulated, and ensuring boredom is at bay.

    15 virtually cost-free fun for the family

    1. Magic a lunch into a picnic

    You were making those sarnies anyway, were you not? Rather than popping them on a plate, wrap them in a sandwich bag alongside a carton and a packet of crisps, and make your way to the field. Lay out an old blanket, and magic that lunch into an impromptu picnic.

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    2. Coupled-up colouring

    Youngsters can pair up with a sibling or a parent and work together on some intricate colouring sheets – calming, quality together time.

    3. Create a family book club

    Bookworms are never bored. Reading is such a pleasurable pastime and with the potential to fill hours upon hours of free time. The rules are simple. Let your child(ren) choose the books for your summer book club. Everyone in the family reads a book over each given week. Put aside a certain day and time each week for biscuits and book talk.

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    4. National Summer Reading Challenge

    Alternatively, register your child for the National Summer Reading Challenge at your local library. After reading six books over the six-week break, they will receive a certificate and a medal for their efforts.

    5. Discover local wildlife

    Whether you live in the city or the countryside, there’s nature near to you. Have a look online for what to expect in your neighbourhood, and go outdoors together on a homemade nature trail. Don’t forget the camera!

    6. Garden games

    From football and catch to swing ball and tig, keep the lawn cut and kids can keep themselves entertained for hours with sports and garden games.

    7. Movie night with treats and sweets

    The cinema may be expensive, but a family movie night at home can cost next to nothing. Head to Wilko’s for a pick-a-mix, put a pizza in the oven, tip some crisps into a bowl, and get snuggled up on the sofa.

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    8. Get wet!

    Paddling pools, water balloons, hose pipes, water pistols… as soon as the sun shines, get outside and get wet!

    9. Berry picking in the wilderness

    Sure, berry picking can cost a fortune, but not if you know where to go. Many fields, canals, and other public pathways, are lined with blackberries and other edible fruits. Pick away.

    10. (Don’t) Make a meal of it

    With a basketful of berries, be sure to create a culinary masterpiece once you’re back at home. From fresh fruit ice-lollies to homemade summer berry pie, kids love cooking.

    11. Find out what’s free

    Have a browse online for free local attractions. You may be pleasantly surprised. Some farms are free, so long as you buy animal feed, and many museums offer free entry too. If you live in a bustling borough, you may find that you can fill a day a week with free attractions nearby.

    12. Adventuring outdoors

    Biking, hiking, dog walking. Scooters, roller skates, skateboards. Summer is the time to get active outdoors.

    13. Pond dipping and crab catching

    If you live near the coast, crabbing is a favourite low-cost pastime for children of all ages. Yet, those who live inland can also put their own spin on it with a similar activity. With just a cheap little net, see what creatures are revealed when pond dipping.

    14. Parks and playgrounds

    It’s always OK to do the norm. Stop giving yourself such a hard time! Take a ball for a kick about, or take the young ones to the playground. If you’ve been a few times already, mix it up maybe, and go a little further afield than your nearest park.

    15. Get all green-fingered

    Sunflower seeds cost pennies. An old potato in some soil doesn’t cost much, either. Why not plant some flowers and some fruit and vegetables? Children will love watching them grow and eventually reaping the tasty rewards of their efforts.

    What is your favourite "free" activity?