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. I often read the weekly 5 Fabulously Frugal Things I've Done This Week post from Emma at Mums Savvy Savings and whilst frugal is not usually something that my husband would describe me as, savvy is something that I do consider myself to be.

    I had my eldest daughters friend to stay over last weekend and we had a girlie day out shopping. She was amused to see me picking up different items from discounted Christmas Cards to random gifts and she asked me if I just buy things on a whim. To be honest, whilst I do have a bit of a shopping habit, I buy things on offer that I know we will need and whilst this might not be today or next week, I know that I will need to buy them so I may aswell buy them when they are on offer. 

    LLP How to be a savvy saving mum

    So in the spirit of Emma's Frugal Linky, I thought I would share my tips on how to be a savvy saving mum with my 5 Fabulously Frugal Things I've Done This Week.

    1. Despite fear of mentioning Christmas in February, I have to admit to buying Christmas cards. Boxes of Christmas Cards that have a RRP of £5 - I paid just £1.25. I do this every year as Christmas cards don't ever really go out of fashion, so they don't need to be "on trend", you just need to remember where you put them when you start looking to write them.
    2. Buying toothpaste in the Pound Shop. I genuinely do not know how high street or supermarkets can justify charging £2.50 for a tube of toothpaste when the pound shop charges just £1 and with the amount of toothpaste we use, this is a good saving over the year. 
    3. My friend and I have started book swapping to save buying so many books. I have to admit that I do enjoy reading on my tablet as it is easier to do this late at night when my husband wants to sleep but there is nothing like the feel of a good book and swapping paperback books means I am not buying them as often.
    4. Stocking up the present cupboard. Both of my girls are lucky enough to have a large circle of friends but this can get expensive when they have so many parties to go to. The sales are a great way of stocking up on present cupboard essentials, I always try and get "named" or "on trend" gifts while they are on offer meaning that the birthday child gets a great present, without the big price tag.
    5. Emma inpsired me a week or so ago to try and reduce the amount of toiletries we buy. I am terrible for buying shampoos, shower gels, creams, sprays nail varnish and frankly anything that takes my fancy so I am making a concerted effort not to buy new ones until the old ones are finished. Do you know what? My bathroom feels a lot less cluttered too!

    Piggy Bank

    So while I may not necessarily be frugal, I am getting more and more savvy in terms of what we are spending .... although I just need to teach my girls to think the same way!

  2. With half term on the horizon, many of us parents are already contemplating how to keep the children amused and our sanity in tact over the school holidays. It seems however that taking the family on holiday is one of the best things we can do.

    How to have a happy half term holiday!

    While some folks (that would be me then) consider the packing and unpacking element of going away to be relatively stressful, recent global research commissioned by shows that travel gives us such an emotional boost, many of us consider planning and going away on holiday more vital for our happiness than other big life occasions such as getting engaged (45%) and even our own wedding day (49%)! It is said that travel experiences bring more lasting happiness than material things such as clothes, jewellery and gadgets. In fact, a huge 77% of us book a holiday just for a happiness boost.
    The findings also include some interesting family-travel insights, including:
    ·         75% said travelling with family makes them happier than travelling on their own
    ·         34% said spending time with their family is one the key ingredients to a happy
    ·         47% say they get on better with their family when they are on holiday
    I am forever telling my husband that holidays are memories for our children (although he frequently counters with the fact that they can't remember where they left their school bag most days) but I am a firm believer in having family holidays allows us to simply enjoy being a family without the stresses of day to day life. I love the anticipation of a holiday, from finding the perfect location to the excitement of actually getting on the plane. According to this recent research, over a third of people admit to researching holidays months in advance (35%), with an eager 5% planning over a year in advance. 
    When I was a child, we were lucky enough to have holidays ranging from camping breaks, holiday parks to luxurious exotic holidays and I want those same experiences for my children. We don't need to go abroad every year but I do think having a "holiday" from every day life is something that is good for us as parents and for their childhood memories.
    Holidays don't need to be expensive to be memorable, although having a break from the daily search for the school bag or shoes sounds pretty perfect to me!


  3. Whether it is leaving for school on a morning or making a quick trip to the shops, kids slow the process down.  We love them but sometimes the smaller members of the household can turn a simple four item shop into an hour long ordeal.  Or you constantly find yourself running late on a morning and never have enough time.  It is one of the less ideal things about having kids but how can we parents deal with these little obstacles in a positive way?

    LLP - Little Tricks To Achieve The Big Results In Kids Slowing Down.

    The morning routine

    Most parents will admit that the morning routine is probably the biggest source of frustration for them.  You find yourself moving around the house like a whirlwind, throwing together lunches, prompting the kids to eat their breakfast, getting yourself organised and there’s never enough time!

    To get control of that morning routine, one of the first things to do it take a harsh look at it.  Do you give yourself enough time for everything that needs to be done?  Do you need to slice 15 minutes off your sleep time to allow yourself more time to get organised? Also, look at jobs you can do the night before – preparing lunches might be one or packing the kids school bags with their PE kits and other essentials. 

    A ‘drop zone’ near the door is another popular idea – everything that needs to go out of the door with you and the kids is deposited here.  This can be bags, shoes, jackets, your handbag or anything else that you end up hunting around for on a morning.

    Going shopping

    As kids age, the process of going shopping with them changes but doesn’t always get easier!  As young kids, they want to investigate everything then they want you to buy everything and finally they hate going shopping and complain all the time. 

    At the first stage, you can involve them in the process while satisfying their curiosity.  Let them help you pick which of the apples to buy or select a bag of crisps that they want to eat later.  Make sure you leave more time for the trip than in pre-child days so you can satisfy their curiosity about what this is or why people buy that item.

    As they get older, give them tasks while shopping.  One idea is to put them in charge of the discount vouchers and coupons and make the whole process a bit of a treasure hunt – find the item in that picture so we can get it cheaper.  You can even send them off to buy things if they are confident enough and this makes them feel part of the process.

    Get them involved

    Let’s face it, while there are ways to ease the slow down that happens when you have kids, you never eliminate it entirely.  So why not embrace that everything will take a little longer?  Get the kids involved in whatever you are doing, whether it is shopping, cooking or even a spot of DIY. Here are 5 DIY jobs that you can do with your kids  

    Leave a little more time and spark their interest in what you are doing – you never know where it might lead.

  4. Asthma can be hard work at any time of the year for sufferers but come winter, it gets even more difficult.  The cold, dry air can be painful on the lungs and make doing the simplest task outside more arduous.  Aside from the cold, dry air the other big problem for asthma sufferers in winter is the high number of respiratory and sinus infections that hang around.  Nearly every child in school has a cold and half of the workplace, meaning avoiding those bugs can be hard work.  

    Night time is always worse and symptoms such as coughing can increase as the airways work less effectively at night and airflow may be more limited, so if like us, asthma symptoms are more affected at night time, here are some top tips for making life a little easier for you and your child.

    Banish the bed bugs

    Buying an anti allergy pillow can help an asthma sufferer as you may have heard them being "allergic to dust" when in fact, it's the droppings of house dust mites which cause the problems. These tiny creatures live in the dust that builds up around homes in carpets, soft toys, bedding, cushions and furnishings, for example. They're invisible to the naked eye and 90 per cent of people with asthma are sensitive to them.

    How an Acosy Bed Wedge can help a child with Asthma to sleep

    Make the bed "asthma friendly"

    The natural process your child’s body uses to control inflammation (including inflammation in their airways) tends to switch off while they’re asleep. Asthma UK recommend propping a child up in bed so whilst a DIY solution is okay to use in an "emergency", the Acosy Little Bed Mattress Elevation Wedge is a specially designed wedge of white 100% British “NURSERY GRADE” cot safe FOAM. The purpose of the wedge is to elevate the head end of your mattress allowing your baby or child to sleep comfortably in a gentle elevated position. By placing the Wedge either under or on top of the cot mattress may promote better airflow to the chest and upper respiratory tract, it slides comfortably underneath and is a quick fix solution. 

    035 SINGLE MATTRESS Wedge AW80 & AB100 sheet Demo

    The airways work less effectively at night and airflow may be more limited, so asthma symptoms may affect your child more if it’s not well managed but the elevation from the Little Bed Mattress Elevation Wedge can also help assist drainage from nasal and ear passages during periods of General Congestion.

    I have spent many evenings sat upright in bed with my daughter against me as so many previous hospital visits have told us that keeping her upright will help her airways but while she sleeps, I obviously don't. Wherease the Acosy Bed Wedge is, I am quite sure, considerably more comfortable than me and everyone gets a much better nights sleep. 

    If your child’s asthma is affecting their sleep, it’s likely they will feel tired and lacking in energy, unable to play or concentrate at school, so a solution that helps everyone to sleep has to be a good one. We have been using the Acosy Bed Wedge for a couple of months now and have noticed a significant difference in the quality of my daughters sleeping, when a cold spell hits it doesn't completely eradicate the coughing but it definitely helps. 

    A bed wedge doesn't just help a child with asthma sleep better, it gives us parents the peace of mind to get a restful nights sleep too!


    Note: We were sent an Acosy Bed Wedge for the purpose of this post but all thoughts and experiencese are our own.