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 by one of 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. What better way to celebrate Valentines than with your BFF and a L.O.L Surprise!  (Or Galentines on the 13th February, which is the new way to celebrate those girl friends you love). Even more exciting is to share the love with the NEW L.O.L Surprise Series 3 and the introduction of the Confetti Pop!

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    This Spring, L.O.L. Surprise! Confetti Pop launches in the UK on the 14th February with nine brand new surprises including new dolls, new accessories and a new surprise water feature. The L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop looks similar to the first two series in shape and style and although you have your zips to "unlock" the treasures inside you suddenly get to the balls which has a "spin me" instruction to reveal sets of doors. (excitement levels definitely increased at this bit)

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    Not only does the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop have outfits, accessories, shoes and dolls - hidden amongst the layers is a ribbon, inviting you to pull and reveal a confetti pop! surprise which can be enjoyed over and over again. (we struggled with the over and over again bit but to be honest, once the doll is out that is all they care about!) The "pop" feature is exciting but definitely needs a little adult or older children's help to actually make it pop but the little LOL Surprise! jumping out is great fun.

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    So once you have "popped" the LOL Surprise! Doll out of her ball (be prepared for the confetti) you can create your cute little character. At £10.99 the Confetti Pop is slightly more expensive than the previous series but I think that they have definitely injected a new excitement for little ones to enjoy.

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    To compliment the Confetti Pop, they are also launching the series 3 L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters. They have five surprises and the clue hints at which doll is hidden inside. Reveal stickers, accessories and a doll. The surprises don’t stop there – bathe your doll to reveal her colour change water surprise. Her ball can become either a keyring or bath set. Mix and match the adorable accessories with both the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop and L.O.L Surprise! Pets. There are 35+ L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters dolls to collect in series 3. 

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    We have previously had LOL Suprise! Dolls as gifts and used for rewards and every time there is something new to find and discover. They are great collectables and my daughter and her friends will play with them for hours, so at the same price you can pay for a couple of magazines, there are so many more hours of fun to be had!

    The new Series 3 get a huge thumbs up from us and are no doubt going to be popping up on most little ones wishlists this year!

    L.O.L. Surprise!TM Series 3 is for children aged 6+ and is available from all good toy retailers including Smyths and The Entertainer. For more information, visit https://lolsurprise.mgae.com/

  2. I have talked a lot about my girls education and have made no secret of doing everything in my power to help them on their school journey. My eldest has enjoyed tutoring in the past but my youngest daughter is yet to experience the joys of SATS but with Key Stage 1 SATS on the horizon, we have been checking out some of the Letts KS1 Revision Guides to see how useful they can be.

    KS1 English SATs Revision Guide

    At Key Stage 1 (Year 2), every child will take official SATs in reading and maths. They will also be assessed by their own  teacher on speaking and listening, writing and science.The Letts Revision Guides give handy tips for parents throughout the guides and the books encourage the "little and often" rule. It is not about intensively coaching your children but to present revision as a small part of school life. 

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    There are a range of books available for the core subjects of English, Science and Maths and the guides have top tips and ideas on how to test your children using every day examples such as looking at house numbers, not always just looking in the books. 

    KS1 Maths SATs Revision Guide

    Personally I have found it useful as a parent to help me to understand what the children are being assessed and measured on. It also looks at the what and why ...... such as what ARE fractions!

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    One of the good things about the Letts Revision Guides is that if your child learns best through listening, then you can use the free Letts audio book wherever the headphone symbol is shown.  Every child learns differently, so having this consideration is a big plus.

    KS1 Science Revision and Practice

    The books are well laid out and easy to use. We found that they were easy to pick up and put down without feeling too much like we were "cramming" for a test. KS1 is the first real assessment that our children face and while the Department for Education proposes replacing the much-maligned tests with a teacher assessment when children start school, this is still under consultation.

    Letts have been helping children and parents along their education journeys for years and we are therefore delighted to give you the chance to win a set that includes

    • Letts KS1 English SATs Revision Guide
    • Letts KS1 Maths SATs Revision Guide
    • Letts KS1 Science Revision and Practice
    • Stationery set

    Win a Letts KS1 Revision Set

    Good luck!

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: 1 of 5 Letts Revision Guides & Stationery Sets
    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 05/03/2018 at 12am

  3. The weather has been grotty for the past few weeks so we are already thinking about holidays for the summer. Travelling around the world can be an exciting experience. Not only do you get to take a much-needed break from your typical weekly routine, but you also get to explore new cultures and experiences too. Of course, as wonderful as an adventure can be, it also comes with a few common concerns too.

    One of the biggest worries that people have about travel, is that it will be too expensive for them to maintain their budget and have a wonderful experience at the same time. The good news is that these budget-friendly travel tips could help to keep your spending on track without asking you to compromise on fun.

    1.     Travel at the Right Times

    The first thing you need to do when you want to travel for less is make sure that you get your timing right. The price of your flights will vary according to the day, month, and even time you choose to travel. With online apps, you can compare prices across months and days to determine when the cheapest days to fly are in your area. Usually, it's cheaper to travel on a Tuesday than it is on a Friday for instance.

    2.     Choose a Different Airport

    If you don't mind driving a little further to start your trip, then you might get a better deal from an airport that's further from your front door. Different airlines offer different routes and offers for their customers, which could mean that it works out a lot cheaper to begin your adventure with someone who you don't usually fly with. This could also be a great way to avoid delays and cancellations if you know your nearby airport is prone to problems.

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    3.     Avoid Baggage Fees

    If you're concerned about charges caused by excess baggage, try weighing your suitcases before you leave home. If your hand-luggage or your suitcase is slightly heavier than it should be, consider wearing some of the extra items you need instead of putting them in your case. For instance, make sure that you always wear your heaviest pair of shoes, jacket, jeans, cardigan, and anything else you're taking with you. You can always shed your layers when you're on the plane.

    4.     Look Beyond the Hotel

    In recent years, the way we travel has changed significantly. You don't necessarily have to over-spend on an expensive hotel to get the most out of your journey. Instead, sites like Airbnb allow you to stay at someone else's home instead, which can be a much cheaper option if you want to get around on a budget. There's always the option to consider hostels and sharing solutions too if you don't mind sleeping in a room with people you don't know. Eat Like the Locals

    5.     Fly Indirect

    Most travellers prefer to fly direct when they can, but if money is more important to you than time right now, it might be a good idea to consider a stop-over. There are plenty of flexible flights that allow you to save money by mixing and matching flights from one leg of your journey to another. Just make sure that you leave a cushion of time between your flights so that you don't end up missing your transport if you're hit by a delay.

    6.     Bring Your Own Snacks onto the Plane

    We all know how terrible airline food can be. While most travel experts are working on improving the meals that they offer their customers in the air, you still might find yourself craving a few snacks on the way to your destination. Unfortunately, the price of your favourite foods on an airplane can be overwhelming, and it doesn't save you much money to buy them from duty-free before you board either. As long as you're not bringing liquid foods like soup or yogurt, you should be able to bring your own snacks with you.

    7.     Eat Like the Locals

    Saving money on your travel expenses isn't just about making sure that you get the cheapest plane tickets. If you want to keep track of your budget, then it might be worth changing the way you eat abroad too. For instance, make sure that you check out local favourites for meals instead of relying on the biggest tourist destinations and fancy restaurants that might be close to your hotel. Eating like a local could be a great way to keep your expenses to a minimum, and make sure that you get the full experience of the place you're visiting too. 

  4. It is well known that I love shopping but I love giving gifts even more than receiving them. It is good to be able to do something nice for friends and family. The only problem is that sometimes working out what to buy can be a bit of a pain. Occasionally, we all struggle for inspiration, so I have detailed below some ideas that we turn to when we are stuck for present ideas.

    Top Tips For Finding the Perfect Gifts for Family Members

    A canvas print or painting

    Not so long ago we bought a new canvas print from an online print firm and we were very impressed by the quality. It looked fantastic, plus the ordering process was super easy. All we had to do was to select an appropriate high-resolution photo, upload it, choose a size and frame, pay, and wait for it to be delivered. That particular print was for our own home, but you can just as easily send them as presents. Most online printers will happily add a message, gift wrap it and send it straight to the recipient´s address.

    The nice thing about this type of gift is that it is unique and very personal. Plus, you can potentially use any non-copyrighted image. So, if you want you can scan something that you or another member of the family has drawn and have that turned into a unique piece of art.

    Experience days

    Treating someone to an exciting experience is another excellent idea. These days, there are thousands of different options to choose from. Everything from a rock climbing lesson or hot air balloon ride to theatre tickets or cooking lessons can be found online. For the more expensive experience days, for example, learning to drive a sports car family members could potentially club together to buy it.

    When buying these kinds of gifts, it is wise to read the terms and conditions carefully. With some, you have to choose a date. This is fine if the person you are giving it to is free on that day. Not so great if they are not. So, it is wise to make sure that the retailer you are buying from is flexible about when the experience voucher is redeemed.

    Hobby-related gifts

    If the family member you are buying for has a hobby, a gift that is related to it can be ideal. There is plenty of scope. You can buy them everything from equipment and materials to classes and tickets to exhibitions. With this type of gift, it makes sense to hang onto the receipt. That way if they already own the piece of equipment you have bought them, they can simply exchange it.

    Food and drink related gifts

    Most people enjoy eating and drinking. (who doesn't) So, if your Aunt Ginny loves a particular brand of expensive chocolates she will like receiving a box of them as a special gift.

    Handmade gifts

    There is something very special about a gift that has been made especially for you. So, if you are good with your hands, it is well-worth making something unique and personal. There are lots of options, but if you are stuck for inspiration just click through to read this handmade gift ideas article.

     

    What are your favourite gift ideas for your family?