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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  1. The dread of the looming summer break is a long-standing quip between school run mums. Social media sees parents counting down the days, as children become bored and unoccupied, ‘ready to go back to school’. You know, swinging from the lightshades and dragging their siblings around by the ear.

     LLP - No School Run- Enjoy the Benefits of the Summer Holidays

    I just know I’m not alone here. I’m surely not the only parent that can’t wait for the six week break to begin. Once May is out of the way, I find myself counting down the days until the end of term, when I can spend quality time with the kids. After all, blink and these years are gone. Gushing aside, there’s plenty more to celebrate about the upcoming end of term.

    1. No more school runs

    It’s not even as though you’ll get a lie in. We all know that those are a thing of the past. But, just imagine six whole weeks where it’s perfectly possible to stay in your PJs after 8am. No more screaming over unfound socks and shoes. No more school run traffic or compulsory morning walks. 

    2. A break from hellish homework

    Reading stories with infants can be cute. Pythagoras theorem with teens? Not so much. In fact, anything beyond finding fractions is simply out of the equation. How do children know this stuff? Did we know this stuff? Summer is a break for the brain.

    3. Lunch is made at lunchtime

    Is there anything worse than dragging yourself out of bed at 6:30am, only to prepare a packed lunch every single weekday morning. Yes, the better routine is to make it in the evening and pop it in the fridge. Does anyone actually stick to this, though? Summer shows us that sandwiches for lunch can be made at lunchtime. Who knew!? 

    4. No school, no afterschool activities

    We all want the best for our children, but I challenge you to find me any parent whose patience hasn’t been tried by afterschool club schedules. Music tuition, swimming lessons, Brownies, the list goes on. Oh and on, and on. And on. How splendid it will be come summertime, when beans-on-toast-Tuesdays and even whack-it-down-your-throat-Wednesdays are temporarily replaced by relaxed evening meals.

    5. It’s not quite the end…

    And of course, if you really are dreading the six weeks holidays, perhaps the best thing about a looming end of term is that we’re not quite there yet! Relax. There remains a few more weeks of child-free nine-while-threes. 

  2. I love linking up with Emma's Savvy Savings weekly frugal round up as it really focuses my mind on being savvy every single week but last week we were lucky enough to go on holiday and that has changed our spending a little. So here are the top 5 savvy savings I have made this week.

    Five Frugal Things I Have Done This Week Jun 17

    1. While we were on holiday, I had one friend who had a birthday and another who was leaving work to have a baby, so I needed to send flowers to them both to arrive while I was away. I have tried lots of different online florists over the years but Interflora have always seemed the most consistent and value for money and they now have an annual delivery pass for £10, so it doesn't matter how many flowers you send, you only pay the inital £10 delivery pass charge. This is a result as I often send flowers to friends who live far away.

    2. I also used my usual trick of googling discount codes before checking out and as I did them in seperate transactions, I saved £15 in delivering both bunches of flowers this way! That was a blooming good deal I thought (sorry I coudn't resist the pun)

    3. A few days before we went away, I was checking out the best deals on travel insurance (nothing like leaving it to the last minute) when I had a moment of inspriation and remembered that my bank account had insurance features, so I rang them up, checked all our details and had confirmation straight away. I know I am paying for it as part of my bank account but it meant that I saved £100 that I thought I was going to have to spend, so that was a win for me!

    4. We needed new luggage for our holiday and I have been coveting some new suitcases for some time, so I visited our local outlet store and managed to pick up 4 lightweight Antler suitcases from the outlet store for £120 and they come with a 10 year guarantee!

    5. Finally (and a bit tongue in cheek) my best saving of the week was enjoying all the food and drink that I wanted ...... from the all inclusive menu, without having to pay a single bill!

    So as I said at the beginning, I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky and I am now off to have a read (and get inspiration) from the others that have linked up too.

     

  3. Many of us define ourselves by our job. You might say you’re a teacher or a nurse before you say you’re a parent. This is why not working can be really hard. There are many reasons why you might stop working for a while. Those reasons can be hard enough without the added pressure of unemployment. 

    No work usually means no income. If your time out of work was planned, like having a baby you might have a few months of savings in the bank. You may still need to tighten your belt a little, though. A detailed budget to figure out exactly how much you need to live on can be helpful at times like these. Of course, any emergency situations, like a burst pipe or broken window, can seriously impact your finances.

    If you’re not able to work because you are unwell or injured, you may be struggling with the emotional impact of this as well. Injuries are often painful and can prevent you from sleeping well at night. This means they take even longer to heal so you may need to undertake some special exercises and treatment. Of course, this costs money, so you might ask a lawyer “have I got a no win no fee claim?” If you have, you can choose to proceed with this and seek to pursue a payout for the extra help you need.

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    While you’re off work and trying not to spend too much money, try to keep your mind stimulated. You might welcome the extra time at home with your children. Become a supermum and enjoy all those moments you usually miss because you’re at work. You can experiment with new foods, learn to do new things like riding a scooter, or baking cookies. Both of you can spend those valuable hours reading books together and making the most of the quality time you have.

    Of course, many of us are just stuck at home alone when we’re off work. It’s boring and can become quite isolating. Why not pick up old hobbies or start new ones? It’s important to keep yourself stimulated mentally. Challenge yourself to learn something new. You could take an online course, or learn to play a musical instrument. Make the most of each hour you have to yourself and indulge in a little pampering.

     

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    If you have the time, why not spend it at the gym or sports centre? This can be a good way to build your confidence as well, especially when you’re job hunting all day every day. It’s also a good place to meet other people, so you don’t feel quite so isolated. Pick fun activities and classes that you know will do you good both mentally and physically. And a physical workout can feel just like work sometimes!

    While many of us would love a few days off, not working at all can be boring and quite unpleasant. It can knock your confidence and leave you socially isolated. It’s still important to enjoy this time but put it to good use too. Give yourself a boost until you’re back on your feet.


  4. Summer is on the way and with it our need for new wardrobes, new tans, and new fresh energy levels. Our outlook on life is often elevated in the sunshine, as it allows us to express who we are and what we enjoy doing. We might even begin to plan our holidays around this period and become even more tanned than we are walking to work.

     

    It also requires a different style of gift idea for those who have birthdays around this period. Making the most of the weather is surely a consideration when you’re buying your husband a present.

     

     

     

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    It might have escaped you what the best summer gift ideas are until now, but never fear, this list will give you might fine inspiration for gifts any man would be happy to receive.

     

    Track Day

     

    What better way to get a man out of the house than to entice him with a track day? This way they’ll be able to enjoy driving around a professional race track with an expert driver in a car they could only dream of owning for the time being. This will surely help them release any testosterone on the track, and having a natural way to express that is important.

     

    Just don’t be surprised if it’s all they talk about for weeks after.

     

    Summer Wardrobe

     

    Outfitting your man with a summer wardrobe is one of the more thoughtful gifts you can bestow upon them. Gifting them fresh and light threads will allow them to look great in the hot weather, especially if you go on holiday. Purchasing the clothes yourself can be difficult because sometimes you’re not certain what sizes he is and asking him gives away the surprise. Instead, utilizing online stores like the Stone Island sale will allow you to best pinpoint what he’d enjoy, make a wishlist, and then buy him a voucher to collect it.

     

    Beach Wear

     

    Beach wear is an important purchase for your husband. This is because all men, no matter who they are, universally have terrible tastes in swim shorts and sandals. Even fashion icons are likely to look goofy on a beach. It’s just the natural law of things. Apply some of your feminine charms and style him appropriately for your upcoming travels. Just be sure you don’t match, that’s no longer cute or cool.

     

    Fresh Cologne

     

    Buying fresh cologne is one of those gifts that benefits you as much as it does him. Having a great fragrance to sniff all day is a brilliant way for you to feel attracted to your husband, and for him to feel attractive. Opt for some of the more expensive items, it tends to last much longer than the cheaper products and smells absolutely divine.

     

    A Fitbit

     

    If you’d like your man to lose weight, a subtle way of suggesting he does is by buying a Fitbit. This will allow him the chance to try out his new tech toy and lose weight in the process. What’s better is it tracks how healthy your heart rate is, and that can motivate him into action like no nagging will.

     

    Let´s be honest, men are always difficult to buy for but if you do well here, hopefully, you’ll have the sentiment returned when your birthday comes rolling around.