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 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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  1. Everytime I look on social media, there is a parent talking about the new car seat rules that are coming into effect in December but WAIT, are they really coming into effect in December or is this an assumption or more media speculation? The proposals are to restrict the development of new backless booster seats and limit their use to taller children, above the height of 125cm.  

    This changes only apply to new products and does not affect products that have already been regulated. Therefore, all existing backless booster seats, continue to be legal and safe per their usage instructions even after any changes in the regulations.(whenever the date might actually be).

    We have been chatting with mifold, who manufacture the grab and go booster seat and are delighted to be able to share a bit more information about the regulatory requirements (oh and a fabulous chance to win one!

    LLP - mifold


    • Proposed changes to the European car seat laws do not appy to existing booster seats currently on sale in the market, including the mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat, or any existing child restraint system that is available for sale in the UK
    • mifold meets or exceeds all relevant regulatory requirements and will continue to do so after any proposed changes for all children aged 4+, weighing between 15kg and 36kg irrespective of height.
    • The schedule to implement new laws has been delayed again; the Department for Transport say that it will probably be later next year.
    • If new laws are implemented, the mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat will continue to be sold and used for the safety of all children aged 4+, weighing between 15kg and 36kg irrespective of height throughout Europe with no new, additional restrictions.
    • The European regulators are entrusted with monitoring the safety of children in cars. Their commitment to continue to license all existing booster seats for sale and continued use, without limitation, is their recognition that booster seats are a safe, well-established, practical, proven and cost effective method of restraining children in cars. 
    • mifold is a safe belt positioning booster seat that is available all the time. Unlike traditional bulky booster seats, a child can always be safe with the innovative mifold belt positioning device - no matter whose car they are in.

    MIFOLD_half fan_

    Car safety is important to all parents and the mifold is mighty small and mighty strong. We are told that mifold is the most advanced, compact and portable booster seat in the world, although the thing that appeals to me the most is its compact nature, which is super handy for when we have playdates and family outings. Less bulky car seats means more room for school bags or picnic hampers!


    MIFOLD_hand in mifold_

    So hopefully now with your mind put to rest, you will be even more excited to have the chance to win one. All you need to do is enter below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

    Terms & Conditions

    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    Mifold will make every effort to provide a choice of colour but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 30/01/2017 at 12am

  2. I have seen so many Facebook posts over the past few days of people who have taken their trees down and their house is "back to normal". I still have too many Christmas treats and chocolates in my house to accept that Christmas is actually over and after taking a number of hours to painstakingly decorate it, I want to enjoy it for as long as I can.

    BUT and it is a big but, my Mum always had superstitions about leaving at least one decoration up until the 12th day after Christmas. Since Victorian times, tradition states that you should do it on Twelfth Night. (obviously not suggesting my Mum was around in Victorian times - hoping now that she isn't reading my blog this week). In real terms though, that’s January 5, with January 6, aka the Feast of the Epiphany, is the very last day on which you can take them down.

    LLP - When should you take down your Christmas Decorations (and the reasons

    If you have a real tree, I am guessing that it may have gone to a tree recyling plant by this stage or you have a very glamorous looking twig in your lounge but the Twelfth Night represents the true end of the festive period. In those Victorian times and even before, families used to celebrate this date by eating even more cake, dancing and playing games. (sounds like my 2016 Christmas to be honest!!)

    So if, like me, you are clinging onto the last bits of Christmas for a couple more days, light another cinnamon scented candle, drink a little more mulled wine, dance to cheesy music and eat a mince pie. The Victorians would have.




  3. LLP - 10 Ways to Stay Debt Free this Christmas

    Christmas is a great time of the year spent with friends and family, enjoying the festivities, and having fun.  But it can also be a costly one, especially if you have children.  While there’s nothing wrong with using a credit card if you need to, there are ways to help you have a debt free Christmas and avoid paying for it well into next year.


    We have said it before and while it isn't the most exciting solution, the key to a debt free Christmas is to budget for everything – and stick to it.  Parents in particular have the urge to go a bit nuts on their kids at Christmas and there’s nothing wrong with that but try to do it in a structured way.  Look at what you can afford to spend, divide it up across the various areas such as presents, food and social events and work out what you can spend on who.

    Save reward points

    Many of the big supermarkets have reward points systems and you can save these up for Christmas to help with the cost of the food.  Alternatively, some do swap systems, such as Tesco, where you can exchange £5 for £10 to spend in certain areas such as kids clothing.

    Take control & know when to stop

    Debt is a very personal issue and it can become increasingly difficult to talk about to those around you but it is better to take control than to stick your head in the sand. No one wants to be paying for Christmas presents long after the decorations have come down so for some people an IVA may enable them to get back in control of their money. It is imperative to get good advice from a company like Creditfix who have discrete and professional staff that work with individuals to find the best way to manage your debt problems.

    Grab a bargain

    Shopping early might seem like cheating but it is great way to get the bargains.  Events such as Black Friday may seem hyper-commercial but there can be some good deals to get.

    Shop around

    If you missed the bargains, all isn’t lost as you can still save money by shopping around, especially for the expensive items.  Use comparison sites to look at the price across different stores and don’t forget online ones. Whenever I find something I like online, I then open a new tab and the website + voucher codes in the search bar and it is amazing what comes up, from free delivery codes to first order discounts.

    Check voucher sites

    Following on from searching for codes, voucher sites are big business and are available for more than just food.  Check them out, sign up for emails and watch out for those discounts that are time sensitive or limited in number – you can save a serious amount of money with them.

    Use credit card rewards

    Likewise, some credit cards reward you for using them through the year so why not save up these rewards to use at Christmas and reduce the cost of the festive season.


    Make handmade presents

    Kids love to make things and family members love to receive things the kids have made.  So why not use the excuse of cold, rainy days to make some handmade presents and save a bit of cash?  Small kits like friendship bracelets are also great for their school friends.

    Send photos as presents

    Family or fun photos of the kids are a great present, especially for family who live away from you and don't get to see your children growing up day by day.  Picture frames are inexpensive and can be decorated by the kids to add to the personalisation.


    So while Christmas may be the season of giving, it is also a time to remember that being festive doesn't have to be expensive too.

    Do you have any money saving tips to add to this list?

  4. Enchanted Christmas Kingdom

    There is no escaping the fact that Christmas is looming and with a Santa experience available everywhere from the supermarket, school fetes or local garden centre, how do you choose the best place to go? We were invited along to Hatton Adventure World to experience their Enchanted Christmas Kingdom this year, so we gathered all the family up for a crisp November morning and set off in search of Santa and his reindeer.


    Christmas Shopping Markets

    Before you even step inside Hattion Adventure World, you get to walk through some fabulous Christmas market stalls that are just there for the festive season. The stalls change week on week and you don't need to pay entrance to the park to enjoy the shopping experience either. There was so many fabulous Christmas themed gifts from handmade plaques and personalised pictures through to our particular favourites of gorgeous scented soy candles from Wicks of Water Orton. There wasn't a cash machine working on site during our visit, so it is definitely worth making sure you have some cash available if you want to shop in the market area. 


    Zoobee's Christmas Cracker Show

    Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas at Hatton without Zoobee and his marvellous magic show. We have seen Zoobee a few times and every time is different and the Christmas Cracker Show doesn't disappoint. We won't tell you what happens as we don't want to ruin it but the jokes are as funny for the grown ups as much as the children!

    Farmyard Favourites

    No visit to Hatton Adventure World is complete without popping in to see (and feed) the farmyard animals and they have been given the festive treatment with tinsel and decorations around the farmyard too. The children love to feed the animals (but you need to double check as there are signs saying that not all the animals should be fed).


    Writing A Letter To Santa

    All children love to write their letters to Santa and if your little ones haven't done so already, they can sit on a toadstool and write their list in the Arts and Crafts tent area before taking a trip to see the big man!


    Christmas Decorations Making

    Hatton are all about children making memories and the Arts and Crafts area gives them a chance to make their own decoration to hang on your Christmas tree or personalise your own Christmas card or wreath. My girls loved this area and we actually went back again after we saw Santa as they wanted to make more things, after walking around for a few hours it was nice for us to sit down in the warm for half an hour or so too!


    Reindeer Quest 

    Ooh we forgot to mention that upon arrival you are told that elves have (carelessly) lost the reindeers and you are tasked with trying to find them. They are hiding around Hatton find all [12] of them and you get to win a Christmas thank you prize! (which is chocolate so that works for us). While we were hunting the reindeer locations we actually came across a real one ....


    One of the things I really liked about our day out at Hatton was that it wasn't overly crowded and as you are able to book a slot to see Santa, there are not huge queues (and bored children). The approach and entrance to the grotto is very twinkly and you could see the excitement building in the children's eyes. 


    Children don't sit on Santa's knee anymore but Hatton had provided a wooden chair to sit on next to Santa. My youngest was a little shy so I got the chance to sit next to him too!! Santa must see A LOT of children but he was so welcoming and engaging with the children, making them laugh and even raising a smile from the 11 year old!

    The look on the children's faces when they were told their key meant they could pick any present they wanted was only surpassed by their expression when they saw the toy workshop and all of its offerings.

    So overall, what did we think?

    Hatton Adventure World has enough to do to fill a whole day out, so if you are used to paying a couple of pounds for a quick visit to see Santa in a local grotto it may seem a little expensive. However the earlier you go, the cheaper it is with prices increasing up to £19.95 in Christmas week. The prices here are on the gate prices, and the website says there are discounts if you book online in advance.

    So what are you waiting for? Go ho ho ho .....