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 very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog 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) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. For anyone who has "owned" one of those cheeky little three year old daughters, you will know that your day can change in an instant, from dealing with an irrational meltdown to the happiest child in the world. I suppose that is a little like me on a shopping trip, one minute I am crying that they don't have my size, then I am skipping with delight when I find a bargain .... but I digress. Catching and maintaining the attention span of a toddler is no mean feat but here are my top 10 every day (and mainly free) activities to do with your little one.

    1. Dance & Sing Together

    We sing, alot. We sing in the car, much to the amusement of my husband when he is in the car but we dance at every given opportunity too. The little one loves to copy dancing on the TV, so just make sure the parental controls are on the music videos.

    2. Take silly pictures and look through family photos

    I do not know any toddler that doesn't love taking a random selfie or two (or fifty) and sometimes I have to wrestle the phone back from her in order to make a call (and delete 50 random selfies). It is good to look back on old photographs with the children too, they love seeing themselves as a baby and find it hilarious to look at photos of me and their dad as children too.

    Toddler selfie

    3. Wash the car

    This may sound a tiresome task to any grown adult but to a toddler it is an excuse to splash outside, wave a hosepipe around and find nothing more funny than getting soapy bubbles anywhere other than on the car. Once they have calmed down, it is also a good way to teach them the importance of helping do tasks around (or outside) the home.

    4. Go shopping

    Shopping is a passion of mine and this week on our "mummy and daughter" day, the little one asked to go to the shops so we could have a cup of tea. So we ventured to John Lewis for our regular tea for two and sat and chatted about what we were going to buy. Shopping is a passion of mine, I know it might sound shallow but we all have our vices and a gorgeous pair of shoes and matching handbag is mine.

     Toddler Tea

    The toddler was all about what she could get in the toy section, whereas I needed to go to River Island for my godsons birthday present (apparently 9 year old boys are fashion conscious too). Just don't get me started on the toddler "selecting" a party outfit for herself too!

    5. Play dress up

    Now usually I am all about clothes but unfortunately the girls love nothing more than stripping off as soon as they get in the house, unless of course there is the chance for dressing up. This can be anything from a princess, a doctor ..... or indeed coming in and finding them wearing one of my dresses and tottering around in my heels. Apparently a mums wardrobe is a haven of delights. 

    6. Bake

    You don't have to be Delia to bake cakes with the children. My mum always said that her oven was broken but in reality she couldn't get a cake to rise for love nor money, thankfully I haven't inherited the inability to bake and the girls love to measure, mix and decorate cakes. Word of advice though : Never leave a toddler with a tub of hundreds and thousands as they *may* end up in every corner of your kitchen.

    7. Have a tea party

    Who doesn't love a tea party (see toddler above) and this is one of our favourite bath time activities. We have a plastic tea set and everyone gets a (slightly bubbly) cup of tea ..... unless you are Daddy and he gets coffee of course. This translates into every day life too as when we are making tea (or coffee) the little one loves to come and help with the milk and sugar, not the boiling hot water bit, and let's be honest making a good cup of tea is a life skill in my book! 

    8. Build a tower

    You don't have to have expensive building blocks to build a tower, children love to build a tower with anything and everything from dominoes to lumps of wood outside but the very best part is always knocking it down.

    9. Let them be you.

    All toddlers love to emulate their parents, so I very often let the little one into my office to come and "work" for a bit. She loves to sit at my desk, pressing the buttons on my phone and writing important letters. It is easy to ask them to leave you in peace while you work but in all honesty, I think it is good for her to see me working and I hope that the desire to do well, to contribute to the family finances and achieve personal fulfillment can be found in these moments.

     Toddler at work

    10. Let them play on their own!

    I see so many parents (myself included) continually trying to stimulate, engage and occupy their children, when sometimes the very best activity for them is to play by themselves. They develop their imagination, find role play with their toys and learn to enjoy their own company. It also gives parents a few minutes peace but just be careful if they go quiet ...... a silent toddler is usually a mischievous one.

    What activities do you enjoy with your little ones?

  2. I read a blog post a little while back by Mummy From the Heart about "Life lessons you want your kids to learn" and I knew I wanted to write a similar post for my girls. I am a huge believer in the fact that life will give you what you can handle and whilst it may sound like I am channelling the universe, I also know that I need to lead by example with my daughters.

    I think we forget sometimes that the role models our children see are not necessarily the famous pop stars or reality tv "stars", they copy and emulate us from such a young age that it is so important to be conscious of our own actions. I want to nuture my girls personalities and encourage their quirky ways and specific talents but there are some basic things I think they should learn.

    1. Learn to be present and always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them. 

    In an age where technology is part of our every day life, it is easy to forget to be fully present in dinner table conversations whilst instagramming your food, take part in discussions and time with your family. Make sure you take time to put the technology down and look the person in the eye who is talking to you. Give people your full and un-divided attention. Do not spend your entire time seeking stimulation on a phone screen and learn to make real human connections.


    2. It’s not the quantity of friends that matter. It’s the quality. 

    You do not need anyone's approval and no matter what the other girls or boys say at school, be comfortable in your own skin and you will find that your true friends will filter through. It is better to count your real friends on one hand, than have a handful of so called mates who wouldn't be there if you needed them at 2am.

    3. When it comes to relationships, don’t settle. 

    This goes for friendships and romantic relationships. Don't settle for anyone that doesn't make you feel special, loved and important. (If they can make you laugh, this is a big bonus too).

    4. Money does not equal happiness

    I *may* have pinched this one from Mummy From The Heart but it it such an important lesson for the girls to learn. You do not need money to be happy, it can help buy a bigger house, more clothes or a nice car but those are not the things that will make you happy. Happiness is not a destination, it is what you create from life along the way, regardless of whether you have one pound or one million pounds.

    5. Rules are made to be broken. Except mine.

    Challenge the norm. Question everything. Except me.


    I really did love this linky and I want to play it forward. The rules of this meme are simple, blog about your big 5 life lessons and link back to this post so people can follow the train of the meme. Tag 3-5 other bloggers to complete the meme and let them know about the tag. Of course it is always good form to go and comment on those other blogs too. 

    I am tagging Emma from Mummys Savvy Savings, Jayne from Mums The Word and Marianne from Mari''s World.

    Big5Meme at Mummy from the Heart

  3. Anyone who has had the pleasure of "owning" a pre-teen girl will understand the difficulty of trying to juggle their changing shape, their frequent change in taste, attitude and fashion and certainly their change of mind. So with the warmer weather on the horizon, we were delighted to get the chance to look at some of the new summer range from Vertbaudet.

    In my mind, a denim jacket is a wardrobe staple whatever your age (unless you wear denim on denim and then I may have to question our friendship). The tween is suddenly a fan of a scarf or a snood with an outfit and with the addition of the shorts, this makes a winning combination in her eyes.

    I have always shopped with Vertbaudet, ever since she was a little girl is it great to see how the brand is evolving with current fashions but retaining the original quality and unique-ness that the brand has always had. 

    Tween Summer Fashion from Vertbaudet

    The jacket (£20), Scarf (£9) and Shorts (currently on offer at £8.10), make a whole outfit for just under £40, (I wish I could put an outfit together for myself for this amount) which means that it is not only on trend but affordable too, until she announces she can't decide between Havianna flip flops or Vans trainers!! Nevertheless, I have always found that Vertbaudet clothing comes up a little small so it maybe worth plumping for the next size up if you want it to last all summer.

    I loved that the shorts have an adjustable waistband inside with elastic and buttons (I can never understand why clothes designers don't do this in adults clothing, as my husband would love an adjustable waistband after a large meal!). This means that you "could" buy a slightly bigger size and the adjustable waist would make them last longer! White shorts are great key piece for a pre-teen ..... unless of course your little sister happens to have post-Easter chocolate covered hands. So as a mum, I adore that it is all machine washable at 40 degrees and as a long term customer, I know that they retain the colour, shape and design after countless washes. 

    I would love to show you images of her in the outfit but unless she is pulling a pouting selfie for her instagram feed, she simply isn't interested in posing for photos for her mums blog post (again the perils of having a tween). I will try and catch her when she isn't looking ..... and in the meantime, I am linking up with this weeks Wednesday's Wardrobe to share the great choices available on Vertbaudet this summer. 


  4. Dear Blog,

    Life has been a little bit busy of late and you have been a little neglected. I apologise.

    You see, I have these two adorably energetic daughters who seem determined to do every activity going at the present time!

    Our weekends are no longer our own. Gymnastics takes over our Saturdays (although very proud of my girls this weekend in their display - have a look at my Instagram feed for indulgent proud mum moments) and suddenly swimming has taken over our Sundays but somehow this weekend we managed to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather.

    I stopped working for a few hours (yes this is a true fact) and we went for a stroll .....

    Country Kids 190415 1

    A certain small person insisted on bringing her "babies" (that had been in her doctors surgery earlier that day) for a walk too!

    Country Kids 190415 2

    Then today we have been out sorting through the logs on the farm (with a toddler dressed like a cow - obviously).

    Country Kids 190415 5

    Although she was insistent that the shavings were porridge oats, not wood shavings!

    CountryKids 1904215 6

    We were trying to work out how old this tree was ....... can you tell?

    Country Kids 190415 4

    So you see my dear little blog, while I have neglected you, we have been busy building strong, athletic children and indulging their passions and curiosity. I know I apologised earlier for my absence but if the truth be told, I am not really sorry, I am just happy to be having time with my children.

    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall