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. For many of us, winter isn’t the favourite season. While there are some highlights such as Christmas and New Year to look forward to, there’s also the prospect of cold and dreary weather, and a feeling that all you want to do is hide away until the spring comes around. Feeling down during the winter is not uncommon, but it can be hard to shake off those winter blues.

     Winter image

    The secret is to keep busy and make sure you don’t have too much time to dwell. Here are just a few suggestions of how to keep the winter blues at bay.

    Get some fresh air

     Winter Image 2

    The thought of exercising in the winter might not fill you with enthusiasm, but actually, exercise will help improve your mood as it triggers the release of endorphins (also known as happy hormones). You don’t have to play a team sport or go running – a brisk walk through the countryside can be just as effective. If you’re not motivated to do this by yourself, make a regular date with a friend and go on walks together. Wear plenty of layers so you can adjust your temperature as you go.

    Enjoy the benefits of meditation

    Winter somehow encourages us to go in on ourselves and focus on our worries. When it’s summer and the skies are blue, it’s somehow easier to push worries to the back of our minds and focus on the positives. The cold and dark of the winter months seems to have the opposite effect. While meditation won’t make your worries disappear on a permanent basis, it’s certainly a good habit to get into when you want to give yourself a break from anxious thoughts.

    For anyone who’s a novice at meditation, trying some simple meditation exercises is a good place to start. There are plenty of guides to meditation online. Many people feel like giving up almost as soon as they’ve started with meditation, as they don’t instantly achieve the ability to push all those day to day thoughts out of the way and achieve a clear state of mind. It takes practice to become good at meditating, but don’t be disheartened if your mind wanders in all directions when you first begin the process. When you do find you’re being distracted by thoughts, a simple technique is to return your focus to your breathing, simply visualising the flow of breath in and out of your body. As you improve your meditation skills, so you’ll benefit from being able to take time out at any time during the day.

    Discover a new hobby

    Winter’s not all doom and gloom, and the run-up to Christmas is an ideal time to get creative. You could try something like jewellery-making or follow some tutorials online for making Christmas decorations online. If you’re not confident about learning a new skill by yourself, you could join an evening class –  and don’t think you’ve missed the boat by not signing up in September. Plenty more classes will begin in January. Focusing on something that’s creative will occupy you and distract you from feeling down, but also leave you with tangible results that you can be proud of.

    Give in to the cold and indulge in laziness

      Winter Image 3

    Whatever you do, you can’t change the weather. If it’s going to be one of those cold and wet days, there’s no point in fighting it. Give in to it now and then and have a self-indulgent day on the sofa instead. Find a perfect staying-in movie, take the duvet downstairs and furnish you and whoever’s watching with you with a range of snacks to nibble on as you enjoy doing nothing for a couple of hours.

    Don’t dread the winter because it brings you down; take a stand and decide to enjoy winter this year – simply adopting a positive approach about it is a great place to start.

  2. It's November now so I am officially allowed to mention Christmas and with Christmas come all the festive fragrances but in the words of NV Candles, a candle’s not just for winter, it’s for life! They have created a collection of candles to cater for all seasons and all tastes. So whether you choose Spiced Fruitcake, Sloe Berry, or Brandy Butter, NV Candles have got a candle for all occasions.

    NV Candles Festive Trio

    All the candles in the NV Candles collections are individually hand made in the UK and contain only two ingredients: eco-soy wax sourced from sustainable supplies which is environmentally friendly with no additives, and the finest quality essential or fragrance oils from the UK’s leading perfumers, nothing else.

    So we teamed up with NV Candles earlier this year and are delighted to be able to offer you the chance to win this festive trio just in time for Christmas. All you have to do is enter below.

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck! 

    Terms and Conditions;

    The Prize: Trio of Festive Candles from NV Candles

    UK Entrants Only
    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    NV Candles will make every effort to provide the candles detailed here but this cannot be guaranteed
    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 30/11/2015 at 12am

  3. Do you and your children embrace Halloween? It has become a big celebration in the past few years but many of us are fairly clueless about what Halloween is all about. In fact most people don't know that famous magician Harry Houdini died on the 31st October and 71 per cent were unaware that the original Jack O’Lanterns were made from turnips rather than pumpkins like today.

    There are many people around the world who have a phobia of Halloween, but only 24 per cent of Brits were able to identify this condition as “Samhainophobia”. Only one in seven adults have been either ghost hunting or on a ghost walk during their lives and one in five believe you’re more likely to experience something paranormal in the country instead of the city.

    So do your children think Halloween is scary or just an excuse to get dressed up, go trick or treating and carve pumpkins?

    How do you carve your pumpkin

    Pumpkin carving is simple to do and retail sales of Halloween products in the UK are expected to reach £240m this year, a 4% growth from last year’s £230m. Whether you’re demonstrating your own artist flare or nurturing your children’s, pumpkins are one of the easiest ways to partake in the Halloween spirit. So here are our top tips for carving the perfect pumpkin!

     

    • Make an adventure of going to "pick" your pumpkin. Let the children select their own and they will become invested in its creation.
    • Pick a good fresh pumpkin with no bruises (and one that has a flat bottom so it won't roll off anywhere).
    • Cut out the lid on an angle, not straight up and down. This way the lid won't drop inside the pumpkin when you replace it on top.
    • Scoop out all the pulp ..... and then some. You can roast the pumpkin seeds if you are so inclined but usually I can't wait to get rid of them and the mess the pulp makes!
    • Hug the pumpkin in your lap when it's time to carve the features. It's easier to carve when the face is gazing up at you and it is even easier if you have a pumpkin stencil. It is *not* cheating, it is being resourceful!!
    • A carved pumpkin can go soggy very quickly so don't make your creation too far in advance! To try and keep your pumpkin fresh spread something like Vaseline on the cut edges to seal in moisture. 
    • While a real candle is lovely, an LED candle is a much safer, cost effective and longer lasting way of keeping the light flickering!

    Happy Halloween (1)

     

     

  4. When was the last time you made a wish? What did you wish for? Oooh in fact, don't tell me as it might not come true (that is what my Mum always used to say anyway).

    But what about making a wish that really can help make dreams come true?  For 10 years the Pampers® and UNICEF partnership has had only one wish: to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus everywhere! On the 10th birthday of the Pampers Unicef campaign, they are asking you to watch their "Wishes" video of babies making wishes around the world to help protect babies at risk from newborn tetanus.

    For every view of this video, Pampers will donate 1 life-saving vaccine.

    And every time you share the video on social media, Pampers will donate another life-saving vaccine.

    That's 1 view = 1 vaccine and 1 share = 1 vaccine.

    Since the Pampers-UNICEF “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign began in 2006, they have helped to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in 17 countries. This means that an estimated 500,000 newborn babies have been saved and a vaccine has reached a mother and her baby every second. However, there are still 21 countries where the disease remains a threat.

    It seems incredulous that in parts of the modern world, a mother and her baby are unable to get the medication they need to survive and whilst it is a different circumstance with my own daughter suffering from asthma, I know how desperate you can feel as a mother when you need medical intervention, so I cannot imagine not having the resources at hand to help my child survive. 

    So how can we help?

    • For every heart-warming picture you share of your LO’s birthday wish on social media using the #PampersUNICEF Pampers will donate the cost of one vaccination
    • For every time you share the Wish Film, Pampers will donate the cost of a vaccination.

    So if you have never shared one of our posts, I ask you to share this one. Wouldn't you wish someone would do that for you and your child?

    Make A WishPampers Unicef Partnership

     

     Just one small gesture really can make a huge difference to mothers and babies around the world.