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.
What do you need to keep the children amused over half term? Paper Aliens and Paper Robots I hear you say?
Oh you didn't say that? Well you should!
Meet the manic Martians preparing for battle in Paper Aliens! From Rocket, the ingenious inventor, to Slugly, the munching mollusc, the characters are ready simply to pop out, fold and glue together. With their own distinctive personalities, the aliens are accompanied by a set of 36 game cards for kids to enjoy with their friends. Retailing for under £10 each, they are a much more cost effective way to keep the children amused than some expensive half term days out.
If aliens are not appealing, alternatively you can choose to meet the robots who dare to enter the Paper Robots battle arena! Each with its own individual character, the models are easy to pop-out, fold and glue. From Funk the disco dancer, to Astro the hero, the characters are accompanied by 36 game cards for children to enjoy with their friends.
We love the creativity that these books will inspire but we particularly love that they are designed and illustrated by UK designers and illustrators. So we are thrilled to have 3 sets of 2 books to giveaway and all you have to do is enter below.
As I have worn glasses for as long as I can remember, so when Firmoo contacted me to ask if I’d review a pair of their glasses, I have to admit that I jumped at the chance. I had recently bought a pair of glasses that were not my usual style and I have felt uncomfortable in them ever since. I have blogged about my bad eyesight before (and the awful glasses I have worn over the years), so I am always excited to get new glasses especially when they are stuck on the front of my face pretty much 24/7.
The website automatically defaults to US Dollars and when you convert to GBP I have to admit my surprise to see glasses at £25.00. I have spent hundreds of pounds on my glasses and lenses over the years, so was intrigued to see how the quality would compare. The website has daily recommendations on frames but the selection process is really easy to navigate with well-thought out search filters which allow you to narrow your choices based on frame type, material, color, shape, size, and price.
The one thing to remember is that if you are ordering prescription glasses, you do need an up to date prescription and another word of advice is to ensure that you keep your prescription in a safe place. You know, the kind of safe place that you can remember where it is. This *obviously* did not happen to me. You will also need to know your PD, your PD stands for Pupillary Distance, which is the distance between your pupils in millimeters, Your PD is very important for accurately fitting your lenses to achieve vision acuity. Unfortunately not all optometrists write this on your prescription (as I suspect they want you to purchase in store, rather than buy online) but the good news is that you can actually measure this yourself.
Stand in front of a mirror, place a millimeter ruler on the bridge of your nose (a childs one will do, or a tape measure). Keep the rule "0" measurement is exactly in line with the center of your left pupil. Oh and make sure that you hold the ruler straight (and remember that you should have done your eyebrows if you are going to take a close up photo)
I chose some frames that I knew would suit my face shape and simply entered my prescription and my pupilary distance measurement and checked out. There are lots of lens options, which increase the price (as you would imagine) but the checkout process is quick and simple.
So I waited and was pleasantly surprised to find the glasses arrive within 7 days. (That is quicker than my local opticians!)
The glasses come in a stylish case, with lens cloth and I couldn't wait to open them.
The glasses felt really lightweight, especially in comparison to some frames I have had but equally for the price of the frames, I wasn't expecting them to be extra sturdy. I have been wearing them for a week now and have struggled to find anything I don't like about them.
For the benefit of a balanced review, I would say:
Good online selection
It really didn’t take long to find a pair that I thought would be suitable and the ordering process was really easy.
Option to make your lenses thinner (which is good when you could be mistaken for wearing milk bottles like me)
You may need to go into an opticians to get them altered or adjusted slightly. (I didn't but can see how some people should be aware of this)
Taking your own measurements for pupilary distance isn't the easiest thing to do so having someone to help you might be better than using a mirror like I did.
For me, I am delighted with these new frames, I am really pleased with how they look and feel on my face (they make me look intelligent over a glass of wine which is always a bonus) and when my Mum asked me to go with her to buy some new glasses, I told her that she needs to check out the selection on Firmoo first. So if I am prepared to recommend them to my Mum, I am more than happy to recommend them to you!
The KS2 SATs are coming up, and for 10 and 11 year olds it can be quite a stressful time! It’s a worry amongst parents and guardians at the moment. My Facebook feed is currently filled with people talking about the ‘Let Our Kids Be Kids’ campaign that is urging parents to boycott the upcoming SATs for primary school children in Year 2 with over 30,000 signatures on a petition.
For the children preparing to take their KS2 SATs exams, they’re also facing the big change from junior school to secondary school. This means a whole new environment, and perhaps saying goodbye to close friends which is understandably difficult. During this time of emotional upheaval (although hopefully the prospect of a fun summer holiday break will help!) the are constantly and subconsciously reminded that they must also concentrate on their tests. Whilst the exams can be seen as stressful they are apparently designed to be beneficial in preparing them for future testing. (Who knew?!)
I know that there are many that are completely against this testing but they are happening regardless of our parental objections, so I have made a plan to prepare my daughter the best way I can, so here are a few ways to help prepare your children for the KS2 SATs, making sure they remain happy, relaxed and confident.
Talk to your child about them
Keep your tone cheery and upbeat, after all the Year Six SATs aren’t the be all and end all of your child’s life! Encourage them to do their best, but let them know that they are nothing to worry about. Try to keep life flowing along as normal, so not to make the SATs seem like a scary, looming monster.
Don’t put too much pressure on extra revision
The school will be preparing your child for the tests, but they may have extra work or be invited to attend extra preparation sessions. Whilst these can be a good idea, try not to push them too much. Perhaps create fun games that help your children learn in order to make it seem less like ‘extra work’.
Speak to the teacher
If you want to know exactly what work your children are undertaking during school time to prepare for the SATs, just ask! This way you can have a clear understanding of what your child is currently going through, which can help you plan how best to support them.
Plan something fun as a reward
Giving your child something to look forward to after their exams can help them to stay motivated and positive. It also reinforces the idea that they only need to try their best, and they will be rewarded just for their effort. Maybe a trip out with friends to the cinema or even something as simple as a takeaway for dinner!
Remember that they can be a good thing
The SATs are a great way to show your children that hard work can pay off. Some children can even enjoy taking the tests! As long as your kids don’t feel an overwhelming amount of pressure from home or their school, they can be a positive experience.
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.
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!
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 ;-)