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: Christmas

  1. When to be extravagant at Christmas ... and when not to be

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    Without a doubt, Christmas is the season of over indulgence. From October onwards – some of us sooner – we begin to plan just how excessive we can be, come the 25th December. Whether we’re drafting out Christmas lists as long as our arms, stocking up on bottles across the weekly shops, or planning a festive feast fit for kings, we’re prepared for extravagance at any cost.

    A one way road to tinsel town

    Whoever you are, you’re well within your rights to go all out over Christmas. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Yet, amidst all the excitement, it can become all too easy to go way overboard, spending savings, racking up the credit bills, plummeting down to the breadline just in time for the January blues.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s definitely a fine line between nailing the niceties and going OTT. If you sense you’re on a one way road to tinsel town, reign yourself in and assess what’s important and what’s not. Once you know where to place your efforts, your time, and your hard-earned money, you’ll know exactly when to be extravagant at Christmas and when not to be.

    Lilypad at Christmas logo

    Personalising your Christmas

    We have all sent those Christmas cards with the family photos on them (haven't we) but this could be the just start, you could personalise almost everything about your Christmas by creating your own family logo like our Lilypad one above. We tried out the company Logojoy who make creating logo childs play. You could use your logo for a seal on your Christmas cards or have your Christmas napkins embossed to really be extravagant this year. 

    Christmas with the kids

    Many of our Little Lilypad readers have children, and definitely place personal value on creating the magic of Christmas for their young ones. I think it is fair to say that when your Children are small, going all out to see those eyes sparkle is certainly a priority.

    Most would agree that the ‘parenting era’ is when you can go OTT, for sure. Yet, while it’s a pleasure to pile presents under the tree, it’s sometimes more worthwhile to spread out those festive feels throughout the month.

    Rather than ploughing all your pounds into prezzies, make Christmas an event. Look at experiencing theatre shows, pantos, Christmas markets, ice skating, Santa visits, woodland walks, Christmas craft activities, Elf on the Shelf, Christmas films and snacks… there’s so much to do around Christmastime, it really is the perfect opportunity to create family memories.

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    All I want for Christmas is… 

    While giving gifts to loved ones can be a particularly pleasurable gesture, seriously give your budget the once over. What can you afford without dreading the sight of your bank balance? Often thoughtful, personal gifts are worth so much more than fortunes spent on the high street. If you have time, consider crafting some homemade creations with the kids.

    And remember, not everything has to be so matchy-matchy. Don’t buy a new dinner set because you’re plate short, and don’t buy a new set of chairs because Auntie Eileen has invited herself along for a bit of your best turkey.

    Cast your mind back to when you were young. Much of the charm was in the family being together, along with the odd bits and bots that made the day perfect in its own imperfect kind of way.

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    Be as extravagant as you want this Christmas but remember to be extravagant with children, with love, with well wishes, and with warmth this Christmas.

  2. 5 Gifts that last long past Christmas

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    You’ve not got long left, guys and gals. Christmas is a mere week away. If you’ve yet to get gifts to pop under your Nordmann Fir, you’re cutting things mighty fine. But, maybe you don’t need to trawl the highstreets after all. While everyone loves a pair or two of plush fluffy socks, some festive flannel PJs, and a box of Lush’s best bath time treats, think outside of the box and gift a prezzie sensation that lives on long past Christmas morning.

    5 Gifts that last long past Christmas

    Transforming present buying into a dreamy process, these are the easy-to-get gifts that just keep on giving, even long after the season is done and dusted.

    5 of the best gifts that keep on giving

    1.    Gift experiences

    Is your hubby into all things aeroplanes. Forget those Airfix models and PC pilot games, and book him in for a flight simulation or even a helicopter adventure. Perhaps mum fancies herself as a bit of a gin connoisseur? Ditch the wine glass set, and send her on a gin tasting event. Brother a Game of Thrones fan? Cancel the limited edition box set and arrange a visit to the show’s set in Ireland. Groupon is fantastic for a range of gift experiences and whatever hobbies and interests your friends and family have, there’s a gift experience out there that hits just the right spot.

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    2.    Magazine subscriptions

    From FourFourTwo to Vogue and all that’s in between, if you have an avid rag reader in the family, then a magazine subscription is a priceless prezzie. With on the pulse topical info delivered to their door every issue, this is truly twelve gifts rolled into one. Browse online for hot deals and discounts on popular glossy titles.

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    3.    Handcrafted gifts

    Homemade gifts have made quite the comeback in recent years. Along with the Kilner jar, homemade jams and chutneys are right up there on Santa’s delivery list. People can’t get enough. From bakes to makes, whatever your creative vibe, let it flow over the festive season and delight your nearest and dearest. If you’re not so good with arts and crafts, check out Not on the Highstreet. This online store will link you up with some of the best of British personalised presents.

    4.    Craft courses

    Invest in your loved ones interests. From watercolour art and to felt animal creations, cupcake decorating to flower arranging, craft courses run all across the country. Have a Google and see what’s near you. You’re a few keywords away from a pretty spectacular surprise prezzie.

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    5. Cinema membership

    Let’s face it, we’re not all wine-tasting, wreath-making, cake-decorating enthusiasts. Some of us simply prefer to sit in front of the big screen and get lost in the latest blockbuster. If that sounds a bit of you or your significant other, a cinema membership is the one. Or, if you prefer to stay cosied up indoors, Netflix subscriptions, Sky Movies, and even specialist channel subscriptions, such as the WWE Network, make for a valued and unexpected gift.

    So you see, it might not be long till Christmas but you can still find the perfect gift that will last long after the tree has been taken down. 

  3. 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??

     

  4. Ideas For Stocking Fillers This Christmas

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    It is less than 2 weeks till Christmas folks and if you are in search of small Christmas presents or Christmas stocking fillers for relatives and friends, it's not always easy-going to get a moderately priced present that they will enjoy as well. When doing a physical stocking for the children, its good to get them loads of small gifts to open. In fact, a better part of the excitement is to get a pile of packets to unwrap on Christmas Day.

    You can have a collection of classic budget presents that are either beneficial or those that will make them smile or tickle their interest as well. You can include some or all of the following: small teddies, pyjamas, stationery, chocolates, books, socks, underwear and hair accessories.

    Christmas Decorations

    Solely because stock fillers should be low priced presents, it doesn't imply they shouldn't be lovely, all you need is to get creative. The following are several stock fillers plans for kids as well as adults of all ages. It is possible to please the beneficiary while you remain liberal to your bank balance as well.

    Heatable Cuddly Playthings

    These soft toys and clever teddies can get heated in the microwave for a few minutes. Their warmth makes them perfect to cuddle up while relaxing during chilly nights or in bed. Adults can also use these items to ease pains and aches. The prices of these toys are reasonable.

    Small Toys

    With Me to You you will get a wide range of collectable fuzzy playthings that will make fun little presents for children. The toys are also perfect if you intend to purchase low priced handouts for an enormous group of kids. You can likewise buy Ty Beanie Boos, an array of key-rings, colourful plush animals, and plush toys. Or Keel Toys Pippins' super pretty realistic plush animals.

    Gruesome Chocolates

    Ignore the conventional Christmas chocolates and give your loved ones a scare with some chocolate worms or chocolate spiders. They will help them overcome any phobias fast and eat happily.

    Chocolate board sports

    While panel games are definitive Christmas stocking fillers, chocolate board games offer a fascinating twist to conventional plays. They incorporate Chocolate Battleships, Chocolate Stacks, Chocolate Draughts and Chocolate Chess Set. All

    these games are delivered alongside re-usable mouldings to enable you to create more chunks and play again. Mugs You can make your loved one’s favourite drinks more gratifying using a fun message mug. The cups highlight a variety of messages ranging from funny to affectionate.

    A personal diary 

    Stationery items always make great stocking fillers, especially if they have started school, getting them geared up for the next term of the year. If they are creative, then a paint set will always go down well and help encourage creativity. A really good low cost present are memo pads which can be used as a small drawing pad, a diary or a note taking book at school.

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    Lego

    There is a huge array of small Lego sets perfect for stocking fillers. This is a great way to keep the children entertained throughout the day. If you feel your child is too small for Lego, then Duplo, the alternative for younger children is also a great option. There are many places online you can buy Lego such as Amazon and eBay in the attempt at finding a bargain.

    We know that there are a million blogger gift guides online right now but sometimes the most traditional gifts are the best.