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Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad Blog is mostly written by a mum to two beautiful ( 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 (we love fashion), 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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    Organising a party is totally my thing.

    Planning a hen night is right up my street.

    But what happens when it is my own hen night and my friends decide to take charge. Apparently I need to relinquish control and let them organise it for me. (I am breaking out in a cold sweat already!)

    It is not that I don't trust them, it is just that I am a total control freak. We went for "pre-hen night" drinks to chat over general ideas and themes and I am slightly concerned that it was suggested we should all dress up as Smurfs.

    So this post is for my bestest friends (and anyone else planning a hen party), here are my top tips for planning a great hen party.

    Organisation is key

    Here speaks the voice of reason. The control freak inside me needs to know that someone is in control, so when the bride (me) has had far too many bubbles and potentially is unclear which direction she is walking, someone knows the plan (and the way home).

    Know the guest list

    Hen parties usually include a number of different groups of friends – colleagues, family, school, college or university friends.  Make sure you don't leave anyone out and remember that not everyone will know each other in advance, so its a good idea to plan some ice breaker games to suit everyone. Setting up a Facebook group or What's App chat is a great way for the "hens" to get to know what is happening and meet the others.

    Agree a budget - don't break the bank

    This obviously depends on the extent of the hen party plans. If it is simply a night out, this isn't so relevant but if it is a weekend away or a spa day, you need to make sure that everyone can afford it or even set up a monthly payment plan to ease the pressure. That includes the bride .... remember she has a wedding to pay for!

    Agree a theme

    Unless everyone actually wants to dress up as Smurfs, it might be an idea to agree a good theme early on so they all have time to make or find somewhere to buy fancy dress costumes. I have already been looking at Amazon and Fancy Dress 1st to name but a few!

    Make It Personal.

    The best hen parties that I have been to are those that celebrate the very lady who has brought everyone together: the bride.  Try and tailor the day to her favourite things and quirky ways and add personal touches wherever possible. 

    Look after the bride

    Face facts that there will always be those people that you can't please but the bride's emotions will be high in the run up to the wedding, so make sure she has a drink inher hand, dancing shoes on her feet and a friend at her side. 


    So the control freak inside me hopes that my friends read this post, failing that I will be the one wearing the Smurf outfit.




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    What matters most to you?

    Is your initial reaction, my phone, my laptop, my house, my car? There are times that I think that I couldn't do without them but they are not the things that matter the most.


    Is it the big things, the little things or the things that evoke a memory or feeling?

    John Lewis are running a competition and would like you to share the mementos and keepsakes you couldn't be without. So that means choosing an object that means the most to you, take a photo and tell them why it's important in six words for your chance to win £500 in John Lewis Partnership vouchers that you could spend on an heirloom of the future.

    I learnt some years ago that material "things" aren't the be all and end all and you can walk away from most of them but what about those things that tug on your heart strings, the ones that take you back 10 years to a memory you had forgotten? I am not overly sentimental and don't hold family heirlooms in the loft because what matters most to me is the here and now. My family. My friends. The adventures we take and the laughter we share.


    So if you want to enter the competition, what do you need to do?

    To enter, all you need to do is submit your picture using the link below but you need to be quick as it closes tomorrow!


    What Matters Most Competition

    Although you could also share your entry on facebook and twitter using hashtag #Whatmattersmost, to tell your friends about the competition too. 

    If you want to have a look at some of the entries so far, you can sneak a peak here:

    Competition Gallery

    What would you choose?

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    "If" you were having a movie made of your life, who would you want to play you? We have all seen those quiz's on social media that selects an actor / actress based on your answers but after reading an article on The Baby Website, featuring their Top 10 Awesome TV Mums, it got me thinking who I would want to play me, rather than who am I like.

    They are not in order of preference .....

    Fearne Cotton


    She is a new mum, she is super cool, has a great sense of humour and is not afraid of giving her opinion. (maybe I should take a leaf out of her book)

    Tess Daly


    If I look as good as Tess Daly in my forties, I will be one happy lady and she could definitely play my 40 year old self in the movie. She is a strong woman, has recently started writing and is good at crowd control .... as she demonstrates each Saturday night on Strictly Come Dancing.

    Davina McCall


    She is awesome, she is a legend, she is also the fitness fanatic that I am (in my own head). She can play me during my gym commitment years (or were they possibly months??).

    Jools Oliver


    She bagged herself a man who can cook ..... this is a girl after my own heart. This deserves inclusion in any list in my opinion!!

    Victoria Beckham

    There are a lot of people that slate Victoria Beckham but I have always admired her tenacity and dedication to whatever she puts her mind to. She is also partial to stepping out in a sky rocking pair of heels to match her baby changing bag, which is totally my style. She definitely gets on the list.

    Myleene Klass


    I would love to be able to say that I nominate Myleene Klass to play the me that was an exceptional musician, an amazing singer or indeed able to shower sexily in a white bikini but alas it is none of these. Myleene is an ambassador for Save the Children, so I I think I would like her to play the caring and compassionate me! (although I have no qualms in using her as a body double at any point!)

    Mummy Barrow

    Now our Mummy Barrow is not a TV mum in the traditional sense but she has been on TV, she is regarded as blogging royalty and I can only hope that when I have teenage children, I will be as cool and approachable as she is. I would love her to play my future self.


    Let's be honest she doesn't need a video to show that she is a strong, independant woman, who knows how to dance (like me of course) and lives by the philosophy of "if you like it then you should have put a ring on it". I love her morals and she can play me during my dancing years.

    Kate Winslet


    Any woman that can give up a life of luxury for love, is a true woman in my book. Okay okay, it may have been Rose in Titanic rather than Kate herself but given that she can actually sing too, she can play my musical theatre years ..... jazz hands and all!

    Katie Holmes


    Katie Holmes may seem a random choice but trust me there is a reason. She is the original girl next door, the girl that really did get Tom Cruise (he was my original poster boy too). She understands religeon (only too well) and has been through a painful seperation. I think out of all of my selections, Katie Holmes could probably empathise most with my character .....

    Who would you choose to play you in the movie of your life?

    This is a promotional post.

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    Parental life cheats?

    Sound interesting?

    Well there are some things in life that are more difficult than they need to be, they are usually made even more difficult by a wriggling toddler or a stroppy tween, so am starting this series of "life cheats" to find the things that make parents lives just that little bit easier.

    The first one is "How to put on a swimming cap in less than 10 seconds"

    It is a bizarre one to start with but with regular swimming lessons in our family, it is a frequent battle. From the "should we put talc inside it" debate to wrestling with a mane of curly hair to fit inside it!

    So what is the cheat?

    You need to turn the cap inside out and fill it with water (it is getting more bizarre isn't it?)

    And then .......

    I have to admit that we *may* have tried this a few times till we had mastered it. Maybe I should put the "bloopers" on our You Tube channel.

    Do you have a life cheat you would like to share?

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