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.
With two daughters who regularly pull at my heart strings, they are never far from my thoughts so when I heard about Kaya Jewellery, designed for mothers and daughters I knew I wanted to learn more.
Tanya from Kaya decided that she wanted to develop a brand that was affodable for both mums and their children. Jewellery that wasn't made of plastic or wood, but jewellery made from genuine materials like precious stones, crystals and freshwater pearls. With matching mum jewellery, you can celebrate all special occasions in your daughters life together with her.
Mum and daughter "twinning" is a big thing at the moment and Kaya have some gorgeous mother and daughter sets but when we were invited to take a look around the site, I fell in love with this silver ring with two birthstones in it.
As a mum (and jewellery lover), I have found that the sets available from Kaya are not only affordable but brilliant gifts too. Which is why I am delighted to be able to share with you, the chance to win £40 to spend at Kaya Jewellery. All you need to do is enter below.
The Prize: £40 to spend at Kaya Jewellery 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 31/07/2017 at 12am
When thinking about accommodation for your trip, starting the research can be the most difficult step. If you are at a loss and need some advice, then follow our dos and don’ts guide to help you choose the right hotel for your family trip.
Establish a budget
The first, and perhaps most important, thing to do when searching for the right hotel is to set yourself a budget. It is important to set a budget when you are on holiday but also when booking your hotel, so you know exactly what you are looking for. This will take some research, so you don’t set your expectations too high and to ensure you are paying the right price for the area.
Think about location
Next, be sure to consider exactly where you want to go on holiday but also what you want to be located in your chosen destination. A hotel out of the centre and away from attractions will be cheaper, but if you have smaller children the commute every day might not be worth it for you.
Consider everyone’s needs
When considering a hotel, make sure to take into account the whole family’s needs. Do you want to be near nightlife or do you want a quieter area with a good kids club? Be sure the hotel is family friendly, to ensure you feel comfortable and can meet other families. Choose a hotel that offers the right atmosphere for the whole family.
Think about room type
Are you looking for a hotel that can it offer a child’s camp bed? Or if within your budget, do you want a hotel that offers adjoining rooms?
Consider the food options
Make sure you decide if you want half board or full board. Full board can be easier with smaller children and means you don’t have to worry about finding a restaurant. However, half board allows you to explore the area and embrace local culture.
Book well in advance
Once you’ve considered all these options, make sure to book as early as you can to make sure there are still lots of places for you to choose from. Prices will increase nearer the time, and many hotels will be booked up.
Make sure you are aware how much research you need to do to find the perfect hotel and don’t be discouraged if you can’t find the right one straight away. Using a site like Toprooms allows you to compare a range of different staycation locations, helping you find the best hotel at the best price.
Think expensive is best
The most expensive hotels don’t always offer you the most for your money. Look at exactly what each hotel is offering you and avoid being drawn in.
Most importantly, don’t stress! It won’t be long before you have found the perfect hotel if you follow our dos and don’ts guide and before you know it you will be jetting off to enjoy quality family time together.
I have a daughter in reception at school, which utlimately means a seemingly endless round of parties. Every. Single. Weekend.
There is a running joke amongst our friends that I go to every event I am invited to because I love to socialise and I have the feeling that I have passed this onto my daughters too. As a result there is never any question as to whether or not they will be going to the superhero / swimming / farm / soft play *delete as applicable* party each weekend. On a personal level, I love that they are socialising with their friends and not watching other children playing on Youtube but weekly birthday parties can get expensive, so here are my top tips on not letting it get out of control.
1. Be organised. Yes I know this is an age old piece of advice but it is true. There is nothing more stressful (and usually expensive) than trying to find the "right" present the day before a birthday party.
2. Don't spend money on expensive character based wrapping paper. Get a gift bag from the poundshop (they usually have the more popular characters on anyway) and cover with tissue paper. Kids do not care how much the wrapping paper cost. AND THEY RIP IT UP ANYWAY!! Cheap paper is definitely the way to go as it is easier to rip up!
3. Buy in the sales. I do this ALOT! When there are sales on, I tend to stock up on age appropriate gifts or buy presents that would normally be more than my budget but it means that the recipiant gets a more expensive gift and I have stayed within the budget. Only this week I have ordered some gorgeous baby gifts in the Joules sale because I am quite sure that the new born babies are not going to care whether the design was last seasons and mum gets great quality bibs and clothes.
4. Use delivery passes or click and collect. Being able to shop online means that you can check which stores have the best prices but sometimes the delivery charges can offset the savings. It is worth checking which stores have delivery pass options if it is somewhere you shop often or seeing if there is a free click and collect option.
5. Sign up to newsletters for your favourite stores. I know that this is the equivalent of junk mail circa 1995 but many outlets send out discount codes, free delivery passes or first notifications of the sale to their subscribers. Well worth it when you are buying for half the class!
Do you have any other top tips?
As always on a Friday I’m linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky
As we’ve already established, the end of the summer term throws up some pretty spectacular stresses for the modern-day mother. Amidst the constant stream of school engagements, from the end-of-year play to the school fayre and all that falls in between, it is absolutely essential that us mum’s take time out for ourselves.
I know, I know, cue a chorus of laughter. But, is it actually that unobtainable?
Finding time for you
Of course, an evening at a silent spa is what your wildest dreams are made of. A weekend away on a cultured city break would definitely be more than ideal. An impromptu dinner reservation at that award-winning restaurant would tick all the boxes too. Nevertheless, calm down a little, reign those desires in a bit. Let’s be realistic. The chances are, if you are both working parents, you need to find time for yourself at home. Create a little sanctuary in your living space, just for you.
When was the last time you really relaxed at home? This doesn’t take wads of cash or even tonnes of time. It’s simply about putting you first.
1.Get stuck into a good book
A pleasure that is often dropped for the telebox, but is there anything as soothing as curling up with a good book. Pop the kettle on, buy in some biscuits, and make that lost luxury happen. To get you started, how about trying one of these titles:
Me Before You, JoJo Moyes
Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
Perfect People, Peter James
Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
One Day, David Nicholls
Oh, but if you love a classic, Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Dickens’ Great Expectations, should be top of your list.
2.Take a relaxing bath
Seriously. LUSH IT UP. Other brands of bath products are, of course, available. But, buy that bubble bar, those bath oils, those body scrubs. Light a scented candle, dim the lights, and just relax.
What’s more, studies have just revealed that having a bath burns mega calories. So… pour a flute of Prosecco for yourself while you’re at it.
3. Find a game that you enjoy
I don't mean Monopoly because, let's face it, no one ever found that stress free but there are lots of games to play online.
As busy mums, sometimes we just want to sit on our sofas of an evening, so a site like Lottoz is all about is eliminating geographical boundaries and leveling the playing field, giving access to amazing jackpots (and the possibility of winning), no matter where they are in the world (and you don't have to fall out with half of your family if you are just participating in a new Euromillions experience online)
4.Take pleasure in a furry friend
All dog owners will tell you that dogs make the most fantastic friends. They’re always happy to see you. They’re always delighted with the dinner you serve. They’re forever grateful for even the smallest of treats.
While it is technically frowned upon to ditch your family to run away with your canine companion, you should definitely invest more time into that bond.
Enjoy daily walks together, out in the fresh air. Absorb the natural beauty of the nearby British countryside. Just stroking your pet can reduce stress, regulating breathing and slowing heightened heart rates
5.Try a little mindfulness
Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular in schools across the country. That’s right, while we rush about prepping for all those enforced calendar events, our youngsters are enjoying guided meditation and mindfulness sessions on school time.
Wonderful. Let’s take a leaf out of their book.
Set aside just five to ten minutes of your day. Download a mindfulness app. Get comfortable and simply let go of those consistent, everyday pressures. It can work wonders.