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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Category: Lifestyle

  1. What would you give up in exchange for a little luxury?

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    What would you give up in exchange for a little luxury? Most of us aspire to the finer things in life (I am always coveting some designer shoes or bag) but on a day to day basis they are generally out of reach. 

    My eldest daughter is hurtling towards her teenage years and her friends are already planning an "trip of a lifetime" for their 18th birthdays. Looking at the holidays they are suggesting, I think we may need to start saving now but maybe it doesn't need to be a massive undertaking, maybe I just need to give up my hot chocolate in Costa or make my own lunches on a daily basis rather than "picking one up" from the local shop.

    We have been reading this ‘How to get more luxury for your money’ infographic, created by villa holiday specialist, Oliver’s Travels this week and it is amazing to see how giving up a few small things can make a big difference. 

    How to get more luxury for your money

    I don't know about my daughters 18th but I have a big birthday before then ....... anyone for Afternoon Tea at the Ritz??

     

  2. Alice in Wonderland : The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham

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    You don't want to be late for a very important date, do you? That was the question on the White Rabbits lips in this modern adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham.

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    The story follows Alice on her journey through the enchanted and extraordinary Wonderland, meeting many peculiar characters along the way. From intriguing white rabbits, bizarre riddles, mad tea parties and dangerous encounters with the Queen of Hearts, will Alice ever find her way home? 

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    This much loved tale has been transferred to the stage by Director Scott Le Crass and ensures that the frankly quite bonkers story is told well, without some of the more extreme craziness that could be a little frightening for small children.

    The intimate setting of The Old Rep theatre is the perfect introduction to theatre for school children and we understand that it is regularly attended for school trips. Ticket prices are £13.80 for children, £16.50 for adults but there are discounted rates for families and groups. The performance lasts for approx. 115mins including a 20 minute interval. For this particular show, there are two performances from Monday to Friday with one show on Saturday.. We were also impressed to note that they also have British Sign Language days and relaxed performance days (suitable for autistic spectrum) on selected dates.

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    Grace Dean takes the lead role of Alice with Alec Fellows-Bennett playing the Mad Hatter. Katie Paine plays the Queen of Hearts, Ewan Goddard is the White Rabbit, with Mark Collier and Laura Curnick playing the dual roles of the Caterpillar and Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee and Dormouse. Those characters playing multiple roles demonstrated their versaility and we were able to easily distinguish between each character and get swept along with the story. 

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    Despite Alice being the much loved central character, with Grace Dean creating the right balance of cute and childlike behaviour, the Mad Hatter was crowned our favourite character of the show, with his tea party songs being stuck in our heads for the remainder of the day. 

    We're all mad here ......

    So if you enjoy a little dose of madness and would like to see the show for yourself, it is running at The Old Rep Theatre until Saturday 30th December, making it the perfect family Christmas outing. 

    Disclosure: We were invited to attend the show for the purpose of the review.

  3. 5 Important discussions to have with your children

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    The parenting journey is the most incredibly difficult and entertaining experience you will ever go through. For the most part, all you can do is grab hold of your child’s baby grow and then hang on for dear life as they navigate the world and find out who they are as a person. However, there are times where you need to step in and act as the wise woman you are, and that is when the struggle becomes real.

    All of us just treading water and trying to do what we can with the information we have, but that does not mean we have all the answers. Nope. Not at all. Instead, we follow our gut, guide our kids based on what we believe to be morally right and hope that they survive their childhood as best as possible.

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    You need to teach the respect, help them understand why there are rules in place, how important manners are, why school is important and how to go after their dreams, all while playing the role of day-to-day mum or dad. As we said, it is a struggle. But amongst all of this, it is absolutely imperative you hold a few crucial conversations. Trust us, you and your kid will massively benefit from them.

    1. Sit Down And Ask Them How They Are

    We can all be a little obsessed with our own child. You want to be with them every waking minute (even though they stress you out no end) and talk to them and understand who they are better. But when was the last time you asked them how they are; how they really are. We don’t just mean, “how was your day, sweetheart?” We mean asking them how they are doing in general. No one wants to unload their feelings without a prompt, so give your child the floor and let them tell you whatever is on their mind or, better yet, in their hearts. It could take a bit of patience on your part, and a bit of trial and error in the way you ask, but once they are comfortable you will be amazed at what spills out of them. So long as you are sympathetic and not pushy, you will be amazed at who your wonderful little one is and you’ll be teaching them a) how to express their emotions and b) that it is okay to express them.

    2. Talk To Them About Being Street Smart

    It would be absolutely amazing if we all lived in the fictional world of some Disney film where we could let our kids run around the streets without having a single worry or twinge of anxiety about what if this happened or what if that occurred. Unfortunately, that is not possible these days. Whether you blame that on the press, the way society has gone or your own insecurities don't matter; parents don’t feel confident enough to make that kind of Mayberry dream a reality. However, there will come a time where you have to let go which is why it’s so important you talk to them about being street smart. You want them to be kids but not naive. You need them to be aware of the potential dangers out there and how to spot them coming from as far away as possible. If you know they can spot dangers then you know they are more likely to be safe, and that’s all a parent wants; a safe and happy child.

    3. Have A Chat About Compassion

    Raising a child that boasts a wealth of compassion is far better than raising one that is just focussed on making money because compassion is what makes someone want to make a difference. It is the foundation for making them open-minded and sympathetic to their surrounding, especially people. A great place to start is teaching them what a compassionate act is and how they can have compassion for other people, whether they be less fortunate or seem as though they have it all. The intrinsic rewards of showing compassion and actively wanting to help others go far beyond anything else. That is where happiness and purpose come from.

    4. We Can’t Leave Out The Birds & The Bees

    We get it, this is a conversation you would rather not have because the idea of your little one growing up and becoming sexually active is disconcerting, to say the least. But they will grow up, it is their destiny, and so the best thing we can do is talk to them about sex. That means teaching them about the responsibilities involved such as using contraception, whether that be a microgynon pill an implant or condoms, as well as how to own their sexuality and not feel pressured to do anything. Trust us, your kids are going to feel just as embarrassed about this chat if not more, but it is up to you to open the door and start educating them. They will learn about this at some point, so it is whether you want to be the guiding voice or leave it to their friends-slash-the internet.

    5. Discuss The Growing Issue Of Bullying

    This is a part of growing up that has gotten disgustingly out of hand, thanks to the Internet. It isn’t just being done face to face anymore, it is being done through social media and instant messengers and that has had a severe effect on young people, and we mean that in the most serious way possible. Bullying is such a real problem and your role is to teach your kid how and why it is important to speak up if they are getting bullied or indeed know someone that is. You need to make the effort to talk to your children about the topic of bullying, but make sure you read advice about how to first and how to spot the signs that they are being bullied so that you avoid making any mistakes that push them further away. Most parents weren’t brought up in the internet age, so this can be new and terrifying, so it’s as much about educating yourself as it is guiding your kids. It’s hard but so important.

  4. So Shape Challenge | Review

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    A few weeks ago I read about So Shape on the NorthernMum blog and realised that this was a challenge that I could do. I am not a big fan of a "diet" but I love a challenge so was intrigued straight away. 

    I have a love / hate relationship with sugar, I hate how much I put in my tea but I love how it tastes so I decided to take the So Shape 14 Day Challenge to try and kick my sugar habit.

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    There are 3 So Shape challenges, which consist of either 5 days, 14 days or 28 days. This gives you the option to try it out for 5 days or if you are seeking serious results then the 28 day challenge is probably more suited. But how does it work? 

    We have all seen (and probably tried) the fad diets where you have cereal for two meals a day or a milkshake but inevitably in all instances I have ended up becoming bored or hungry and given up. With So Shape there are 22 flavour options to choose from, so getting bored of having the same thing never happens. 

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    I chose to do the 14 day challenge in my (desperate) bid to quit my habit with sugar and so the first thing to go was my morning cup of tea. I swapped it for a So Shape "milkshake" but it isn't made with milk, just water and the perfectly measured So Shape pod. I was expecting to start feeling the need for my mid morning snack and was amazed when the cravings didn't kick in.

     The So Shape plan has cold shakes, hot soups, pasta meals and even iced frappes!  If I am honest, some of the meals felt a little like baby food but they are still food, which in my book is a bonus. The plan recommends that you eat a proper meal at lunchtime and gives you a selection of "free foods" which included some of my favourite things such as chicken, mushrooms, salad and certain vegetables (although potatoes are off the menu).

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    I have tailored the plan around work and social engagements too, so if I know I am going out for dinner, then I would have a So Shape meal for lunch instead. I have loved the flexibility of the plan and being able to select up to six different flavours on the 14 day plan meant that no day is the same. 

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    The other thing that isn't the same is my waistline, in the 14 days that I did the challenge I lost half a stone and that was without exercise ... I know, I know, that is next on my list. 

    I have also changed how I view what I am eating, I haven't become obsessed or started calorie counting but I have become more conscious of the choices I am making. I am conscious that I am getting older (let's not mention the approaching big 4-0) and I need to be making long term adjustments to my lifestyle. The So Shape challenge gave me the chance to remove the "naughty" temptations in my every day diet and actually realise that I don't miss them. 

    Finally, there is the added quirk of your daily quote on your So Shape pods, just to make you smile!

    So if you want to try to reboot, remove or choose to seek a complete rebirth yourself, we have an exclusive discount code "LITTLELILY10" to get 10% off your 14 or 28-day So Shape Challenge, UK only!