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. Fathers Day is looming and it is a great time to celebrate the men in our lives but choosing a quality Fathers Day gift in our busy lives isn't always easy (even if the card shops have been pushing the celebration since Easter) Scholars believe that the origin of Father's Day is not a recent commercial phenomenon, as many believe it to be. They claim that the tradition of Father's Day can be traced in the ruins of Babylon. What is interesting is that they have recorded that a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago.

    Father's Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. In 2016 the UK will celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 19th

     What to buy Dad for Fathers Day

    Have I still got time to buy a gift?

    That depends. If you're reading this before Saturday 18 June, absolutely. If you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift but having a hard time thinking of what to get that special man in your life, there are so many options and ideas online that sometimes it is easy to forget classic stores that have been right under your nose all along. Everyone overlooks chain stores because they’re in search of that special item with an almost impossibly unique look. But sometimes, even though we want that incredibly different item, it doesn’t hurt to go with an old faithful that you know won’t disappoint.

    If you are searching the perfect Father’s Day gift that won’t break the bank, but remains high quality, and is painless and fast to purchase, you should definitely check out some of the great items on sale at Gap. There is everything you could possibly want to buy here, from button up shirts and polished shoes, to casual wear and flip flops (or man flops as my husband insists on calling them). As you know, we love online shopping (I may have mentioned that once or twice), so being able to order online means that you don't even have to leave your sofa ..... or drag the man in your life around the shops. 

    Does it have to be expensive? 

    With ANY gift, it is ALWAYS the thought that counts but being savvy with your purchases is definitely encouraged in this house. It is worth checking out discount services like Groupon’s Discount Codes. Using these codes, you can find anything your special man would love. Use your inside knowledge of that great father figure to buy him the perfect gift- whether it is the perfect pair of shorts, or that tie that is ideal for work.

    Couldn't I just make him something instead? 

    Indeed you could. Although unless you are a creative genius, this really only works when you are a small child! 

    Be Present. 

    I am terrible for always trying to search for the perfect gift but in the end being present is as important as giving a present. It is easy to forget that Dad's often feel neglected, whenever I ring my parents I always try to remember to have a chat with my Dad before asking for Mom. This Father’s Day doesn’t have to be overly complex- go easy on yourself while still pleasing your dad.

    And if you really do forget to get to buy a gift, you can say that you are celebrating it on the Austrailian Fathers Day, as unlike in the UK and several other countries where Father's Day is celebrated on the Third Sunday of June, Fathers Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September ... so you have a little extra time to prepare ;-)

  2. We are big breastfeeding advocates but let's be honest, we all just advocate making sure our babies are happy, healthy and well fed regardless of who is feeding them (bottles are always nice bonding time for Dad's too), so our baby blogger has been putting the Tommee Tippee Complete Starter Kit through its paces for the past 6 months. We did an unboxing video on Youtube a little while ago, so you can see everything that is in the kit. Have a little look below;


    After 6 months of intensive use,  our baby blogger wanted to share her honest thoughts and opinions on the kit, so I shall therefore hand you over to Lynette .....

    I had always intended to bottle feed my daughter. I did with my son, and always felt quite confident that I would with my daughter.  It was important for me to choose a good steriliser, as I knew that it would be used a great deal. Possibly up to 4/5 times a day. I had an Avent one with my son, but after a few months it wasn't performing as well as it was previously. This may have been through over use as my son fed a lot. 

    We decided upon the Tommee Tippee starter kit steriliser. Not only did it come with the steriliser, it also came with a variety amount of sized bottles and other items that really did give us everything we needed to get "started". The set includes:

    • Electric Steam Steriliser
    • Travel Steriliser
    • Electric Bottle and Food Warmer
    • 3 x 150ml Closer to Nature Easi-Vent Bottles with Slow Flow Teats
    • 5 x 260ml Closer to Nature Easi-Vent Bottles with Slow Flow Teats
    • 2 x Medium Flow Teats – 3-6m
    • 2 x Fast Flow Teats – 6m+
    • 4 x Milk Storage Lids
    • 6 x Milk Powder Dispensers – 0m+
    • 2 x Insulated Bottle Bags
    • 1 x Bottle and Teat Brush

    On first inspection the steriliser was nice and big, with room to fit 6 bottles. Plus extra space to fit the lids and dummies should need be. The design, although large on first appearance, is oval shaped and slim fitting on a work surface. I chose the white design, however the black design was lovely. 

    I found the steriliser is easy to use. It is clearly evident where the bottles, teats and kids need to go. There is ample room around the tears and lids for dummies. 

    As a result of  my daughter having to spend time in SCBU, I also had to use the steriliser to sterilise my breast pump.  There was lots of room here to fit all of the attachments from the pump, as well as any containers for storing milk. 

    The time for the steriliser to complete a cycle is about 15 minutes, a little longer my previous steriliser, however, the bottles come out feeling fresh and clean, although very hot, so do be careful.

    My only down point to the steriliser is that sometimes when it is put on, it will switch itself off after a couple of minutes. I have still not discovered why? I thought this may be a fault with just mine, however friends of mine who have the same one have also had the same problem.So, you need to check once you have put it on after about 5 minutes. That it is still running, otherwise you may come to making up a feed and the bottles have not been sterilised.  

    Without gushing too much over a practical piece of equipment, in my honest opinion it is the best one I have tried, it is stylish and doesn't look out of place in my kitchen. I loved all the accessories that came with it. We are off on holiday in a few weeks and I will be taking the travel steriliser with me. The bottles, even after 6 months are still in excellent condition and look as good as new. The only thing that have been changed are the teats, and that is due to the need for faster flowing ones and not as a result of wear and tear.

    If you are looking for a steriliser that is stylish and dependable then this is the one for you, it is available from all major retailers for around £99.99, although it is worth shopping around for the best deals. The health advice is that you can stop sterilising after 6 months but I intend to carry on using mine for the foreseeable future. If you are looking for more Tommee Tippee videos, take a little look at our Perfect Prep video that we did a few years ago.

  3. I have a pre-teen. I am not even sure how that happened. Wasn't she a baby only five minutes ago? Now I am worried about her hormones more than mine and the inevitable body and personality changes that will ensue. 

    If you’ve ever suffered from bad premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you’ll understand how irritating and uncomfortable it can be. From bloating to mood swings, the weeks before your monthly period can cause a great deal of discomfort and interfere with your day to day life. As a mum to two girls, the good news for them is that I have plenty of simple ways to keep symptoms under control so that they can continue with normal everyday activities (and hopefully not be in too much discomfort!) 

    How to deal with PMS (1)

    Medical treatment 

    Let's be honest, if you genuinely suffer from severe PMS, there is a range of medical treatments available that may be able to offer some relief. For example, over the counter painkillers like paracetamol can be used to ease stomach cramps, headaches and muscle pain. There are also different contraception options (which as a mum, I am just going to stick my head in the sand about right now) I used the combined contraceptive pill to ease my PMS symptoms long before I was actually using them for the reasons they were intended. It is obviously important to make sure you consult your doctor before starting new contraception as they will be able to recommend the most suitable type for you based on the symptoms you experience and possible side effects. It is also worth bearing in mind that you may have to try a few different treatments before you find something that works for you.  

    Alternative treatments  

    I am a big advocate for alternative treatments and there are natural supplements that some women find to be effective at treating PMS. For example, supplements of magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and a herb called agnus castus have all been shown to alleviate troublesome symptoms. Again, it is a good idea to speak to your GP or a healthcare professional before starting any complementary treatments, as taking them too much and too often, or alongside certain medicines, can have adverse side effects.   

    Behavioural therapy  

    If you suffer from psychological symptoms during the weeks before you get your period, you may benefit from attending cognitive behavioural therapy sessions. This type of therapy is designed to help you cope better with emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, anger and frustration. A cognitive behavioural therapist may be able to suggest new ways of thinking and behaving to help you manage some PMS symptoms.  

    Lifestyle changes 

    Sometimes, all it takes is some simple lifestyle changes to stave off symptoms of mild to moderate PMS. For example, doing a small amount of physical activity every day can increase your energy levels, reduce feelings of stress and release endorphins that lift your mood. Eating a well balanced diet can also help minimise symptoms and boost your overall health, while having smaller portions and avoiding salty foods can prevent bloating and swelling. You should also try to steer clear of caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes as much as possible, as they can have a detrimental affect on your mood and energy. 

    I "hopefully" have a little while longer before my eldest goes through all these changes and while there is no single solution that will work for everyone, trying some of these self-help techniques and medical treatments has helped me in the past to deal with my PMS but if after all this, you are still finding it difficult to cope with your symptoms, it is always best to speak to your GP for further advice. 

  4. After a stressful few weeks worrying about school selections, we have our places and this now means I can look forward to some of the more exciting dates in the calendar ahead. Ladies Day at the races is always a favourite of mine, especially when a day at the track has always been about more than a horse race. It is a place to see and be seen, and that means wearing the sort of clothes which will get you noticed for all the right reasons. Online newspapers and magazines love showing photos of Ladies’ Day at the races, highlighting the fabulous and the faux pax. So here are my top tips to ensure you don’t fall into the latter category! 

    Dress Code

    Before you even think about what you’re going to wear check whether the racecourse you’re attending has a dress code. For example, Ascot encourages smart formal dressing during all their racing seasons, with more formal attire being required during Royal Ascot week. Ascot does not allow fancy dress or football shirts, however Cheltenham has no such restrictions as long as the costume is not offensive. Newmarket and Ayr have similar guidelines, as do other racecourses around the country. A good tip is to dress for the races as you would for a smart wedding. 


    The unpredictability of the British weather is shown to perfection when looking at photos of Ladies’ Day at Aintree in April. Some years it is freezing, other years it is like mid-July. Plan your outfit to take into account the conditions you may face, like rain, wind, and bright sunshine. In other words: layers.



    Even if you’re lucky enough to have a pass to the Royal Enclosure, It’s likely you’re going to be on your feet a lot during the day so wear shoes that won’t cripple you. I always go for an amazing pair of heels like those above but if you are more practically minded, wedges and platforms are fantastic for the races as they are easier to stand on for long periods of time, and won’t get stuck in the grass the way skinny heels will. Not only will you be standing, you’ll be walking a lot - from the car to the track, from the track to the bar and the bookies so bear this in mind if you have your heart set on a pair of Angel Wing Leather Sandals

    The Perfect Race Day Outfit

    The perfect outfit for the races is a dress or skirt that is knee length or longer to avoid any embarrassing mishaps with the breeze, and to keep your modesty intact when you sit down. Add a smart tailored jacket on top - something thick enough to keep you warm, but light enough that you can carry it if gets hot, and finish off with a pair of mid-height wedges. Trouser suits are fine - just make sure you don’t look like you’ve come from the office.  There are so few occasions when you can legitimately wear a hat these days that it would be a shame not to. Look to Kate Middleton for inspiration. 

    Men can also go to town with their outfit. Whether they wear a classic grey or navy suit, or choose a modern look of mismatched trousers, jacket and waistcoat, they should at least consider wearing a hat like a trilby or fedora.

    The three main tips to remember when dressing for a day at the races are to dress for style, consider your comfort, and wear layers to accommodate dithering weather.