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 very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog 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) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. I had a blog post scheduled up for today, something about a minor family crisis that happened over the weekend on the Lilypad that I was going to share on the blog, but then an email dropped into my inbox from Team Honk. An email that talks about their visit to the Mothers 2 Mothers project in Kisumu, Kenya. An email that makes you want to do something.

    Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. An estimated 1.6 million people are living with HIV and 1.1 million children have been orphaned after losing one or both parents to the disease.

    Thanks to Comic Relief funding, Mothers2Mothers is helping pregnant women living with HIV to access the life-saving health services they need to prevent mother-to-child transmission. The project is targeting Nyanza province where prevalence of the disease is almost three times higher than the national average.

    Women often discover they are HIV positive during ante-natal care and mentoring helps them to come to terms with this, to deal with the side effects on antiretroviral drugs, to eat well and to deliver babies with the best chance of being HIV negative. Women also learn to breastfeed safely, and to avoid stigma.



    Team Honk are finding out more about these projects and through blogging, are sharing them with a wider audience. They met with Elizabeth who says: “HIV is just a condition, you can go further, you can make wonders, you can help others” #lastingchange . The project exudes positivity but continues to need help with funding.

    Breastfeeding is something close to my heart and the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding while taking HIV antiretroviral drugs. Mentoring enables women to breastfeed safely #lastingchange

    So you can see that I changed my blog post for today, it was a small change in my world but the work being done by Comic Relief is making big changes across the world, let's see what else we can change?


    @RedNoseDay launches today for 2015. Let’s celebrate the difference donations to @ComicRelief make to lives across the world.



  2. We have been talking a lot lately about the new year and how that brings a fresh approach to things whether that is your lifestyle choices, your eating habits or just the push to have a spring clean but what about when you know something needs changing but you don't really want to change it?

    My husband has been talking about getting a new sofa and I even went as far as making a mood board on the styles I like ...


    New sofa moodboard

    Now I appreciate that this may be of no consequence whatsoever to the readers of our blog, but the reasoning behind this may make you smile. I talked about my birth story some little time ago and it remains without doubt one of the most empowering things I have ever experienced. The short version is that I sat on my birthing ball and breathed through the surprisingly strong initial surges while my husband was busy downstairs (we had opted for a home hypnobirth) preparing the mood with candles and inflating the birthing pool and had tried to call my mom and the midwife but no one answered! Unfortunately for me when baby decided she was going to make an early appearance, the rather large pool was no where near filled and I was forced to make my self comfortable on the sofa (you can now see where I am going with this post can't you?) and continue to practice my hypnobirthing techniques despite the deviation to the ‘plan’!   

    The little one arrived safely, in the comfort of our own home ..... on our own sofa (thank goodness it is leather) but there are still friends of ours that look a little uncomfortable sitting there when they visit. In fact we have one male friend who pointedly refuses to sit on it. (It is clean I promise .... the photo below confirms it).

    Baby on sofa 1 

    So you can see my dilemma, the truth is we probably do need a new sofa and let's be honest, I don't usually need much persuasion to go shopping but this sofa is where our daughter was born. How many people can tell their children that they were born right there <points to sofa>.

    So what would you do? Select a gorgeous new hardwearing sofa (although it is highly unlikely I shall be giving birth on this one) and throw away the old one (and the memories) or do we keep the birthing sofa forever?


  3. Last year I had the pleasure of going on two mini cruises. One for my hen weekend and the other for our mini moon. Both were child free. However we have friends that cruise with their children every year and it has got me thinking about how practical and affordable it is to cruise with children?

    Cruise Sea View


    As a paranoid mother, I always fret about the children wandering off (which they never do) but the beauty of being on a cruise ship is that whilst it may be vast, they can't actually go anywhere other than around the ship. The views on deck can be stunning but there is that little part of me that worries about them going overboard. I know that this is completely irrational and the safety briefly is compulsory, not optional for all passengers. (obviously having a nap during the safety briefing is frowned upon).

    Cruise Sea Safety 


    You can cruise anywhere in the world but some children (and adults) have a fear of flying, so a cruise is the perfect option for a couple of days of luxury, Mediterranean cruises or a round the world trip. Just be prepared for the inevitable rocky seas through the Bay of Biscay. I *may* have done this with a hangover and was grateful for the luxury bed in our cabin to lie down on.

     Cruise Cabin


    My girls are happiest in the swimming pool but it is good to know that cruise liners cater for the children too. It is not all about formal nights and playing bridge, they provide great entertainment and activities for the children also. It is worth noting that if you are looking to book during the school holidays, it is worthwhile doing it early. We tried to book a couple of breaks in August but the child places weren't available due to restricted numbers, which is frustrating but also good to know that they don't overbook the clubs and ratios.


    This is the one element that parents fear. The cost of a break in the school holiday is enough to make the strongest parents quiver in their boots but the good thing about a cruise is that you have everything included. You don't need to worry about them not liking the food as there is a huge of choice in the many restaurants on board. Children do get discounted rates, so it is definitely worth exploring. 

    Personally, I loved cruising last year and would love the chance to do it again with the whole family ..... and when I say whole family, my parents want to come too!

    Would you ever consider a cruise with your children?

    Cruise Sea View 1

  4. The new year always brings the need to clean, declutter and refresh. I don't necessarily subscribe to the New Year : New You philosophy but I do like the idea of starting the new year afresh.

    I would really like a new kitchen but sometimes I have to reel myself in and realise that my cooking skills don't necessarily need a mitchelin star grade work space, although some new pots and pans  wouldn't go amiss after having mine for (ahem) some years. Buying new saucepans and a few accessories can't necessarily help my cooking skills but changing a few little things in the kitchen, or indeed any room in the house can make a massive difference. So here are my 5 top tips for achieving a new look in 5 easy steps.

    1. Choose a colour palette that the whole family can agree on. (unless you take the toddlers advice who wants everything pink). It is good to get the buy in from everyone (there is a method in this madness, trust me). Go and buy paint, talking about it is great but once you have bought the paint, it will sit there and look at you until you give in and put it on the walls.

    Homebase painting 1

    2. Don't wear clothes that you may want to wear again, ever. This is just a small word of advice when you have small children "helping" with the decorating.

    3. Buy enough paint brushes so everyone can get involved. However, expect small children to take a different view of painting to you. <insert smiley face>

    Homebase painting 2

    4. Make sure you have covered everything you don't want covered in paint with a suitable dust sheet (before you start number 3). Again this is especially prevalent when you have a toddler assisting you.

    5. Look despairingly at husband when toddler has created smiley faces all over the wall and ask if he can take over with the tween, while you take the toddler for a bath!

    Homebase painting 3

    Job done!

    Would you add any handy hints?