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 by one of 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. It is half term here. There are no school runs for a couple of weeks, it is time to wind down, kick the nine-‘til-five in the shins, crack open a bottle of wine and spend the time … tackling the never-ending pit of dirty clothes, in an attempt to reach the allusive abyss that is the bottom of the laundry basket.

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    Over the years I have actually wondered whether the bottom of the laundry basket even exist? Is it actually a thing? If anyone’s ever witnessed its existence, you know where the comments section is. Let us know!

    I am joking obviously. 

    What we need to do to get us through the monotony of the family's washing, is to dream of more enjoyable tasks. Mix it up a bit. It’s a mind-over-matter coping strategy that makes doing the laundry a dream.

    No, honestly, stay with me.

    From one mother to another, we know that the washing isn’t on the top of your ideal weekend to-do list. You work all week, battle over hump day, and reach the weekend falling asleep on your feet, only to be greeted with a laundry basket to rival Mary Poppins’ handbag.

    So, how do we get through it? Focus on the good stuff. Half the problem with weekend chores is feeling as though the take over your weekend. Don’t let that be the case. None of us want to be tied to the washing machine when we can be spending time with our children, so what we need is a laundry service and dry cleaning with free pick-up and delivery that can turn our laundry round within 24 hours. That is exactly what they do at Laundryheap, they come to your address, pickup your clothes and take them to their facility. Less than 24 hours later they bring clean clothes ready for action back to you. It's simple, affordable and convenient. Some call it magic, I am just seeing it as common sense.

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    If you fancy a day of doing the whole ladies who lunch thing with your friends, while the kids enjoy the soft play, Laundryheap means that you don't need to be tied to the house, you can send it off to the washing fairies, which means you can also let the kids play longer (and have a longer lunch).

    There are so many challenges that we face as a Mum but freeing up a little more time to spend with the children over half term (or indeed every weekend) gets a big thumbs up from us. We will definitely be trying the Laundryheap service and if you want to be in with a chance to win a voucher to put towards their services, all you need to do is enter below:

     Laundryheap

    •  The Prize : £20 Voucher to redeem at Laundryheap.com
    • It is a discount offer of £20 for a single winner of the competition. If you provide me with the winner's e-mail address, once the competition finishes, he/she will be contacted with the details of the offer and how to redeem it. Once the winner places an order, £20 will be deducted from the winner's account for authorisation purposes but this will be refunded to him/her. £20 will be deducted from the final billing amount. The winner may exceed the billing amount of £20 or choose additional services, in which case any amount in excess of £20 will be charged to the winner's account. The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator and notified within 7 working days by email
    • 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.
    • UK Entrants only
    • End Date 02/05/2018 at 12am
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

  2. It seems a long time since we built the Lilypad website and I remember struggling to get the right feel and look. We all know that design and visuals are an integral part of daily life, surrounding us wherever we go and filling our lives with pattern and colour. From advertising posters and street signs to artwork and product branding, we are constantly subjected to design, whether we realise it or not. However, one area which has experienced significant growth over the past few years is the world of web design.

    Top Tips for School Website Design 1 (1)

    It can be tricky to perfect the design of any website, but when it comes to school websites, there are a number of things which need to be taken into consideration. A school website must work for all of its users whilst also adhering to any legal and ethical requirements. Of course, this can often be easier said than done. While it’s easy to know what content to put on a site, for example, it can sometimes be harder to find an effective, appealing design which is still suited to this unique market and audience.

    A school website should include all of the relevant information that people both want and need to know. From the school’s latest Ofsted report, school holidays calendar or just some good news that should be shared with everyone, there is plenty of important information which needs to be shared.

    But despite this, the real question for many will always come down to the design. It will, of course, be different for every site, but here are a few essential design tips that are important when it comes to school websites.

    Intuitive Navigation

    It almost goes without saying that any website should be easy to navigate. The user should feel at home when traversing the site, instinctively knowing where to go to find the particular piece of information that they are looking for. Design and functionality should go hand in hand – particularly on a website where there is a lot of information which needs to be conveyed in an effective, logical manner. Above all else, ease and simplicity are key, something which must be kept firmly in mind throughout the process of designing and implementing the website’s new look.

    Functional and Fast

    Approachable and speedy, school websites must be quick enough to load pages and content within a reasonable timeframe without compromising on the overall look of the site. After all, there’s nothing worse than a website which is painfully slow to load, so it’s important to do what you can to make the site run smoothly. Similarly, practicality and functionality should always be the king with a school website. Although a pretty brochure site may look the part, if it can’t live up to the demands placed upon it, there is not much point in having a website at all!

    Individual and Creative

    Having said that, creativity should never fall by the wayside. Design of any kind is inherently creative, so if your website does not make the most of this requirement, the simple fact of the matter is that it just won’t look as good as it could. In addition, every school is unique, and with such a variety of different schools out there, it’s important to ensure that the website reflects the individual school’s particular ethos and branding. For instance, the design of one independent school website may look completely different to another – this diversity should be embraced and welcomed with open arms.

    Top Tips for School Website Design 2 (1)

    Of course, at the end of the day, design is an entirely subjective art, much like many other creative disciplines. What one person loves another may loathe, so the real trick is finding the perfect balance that keeps everyone happy! Designing a school website may not be the easiest task, but when you get it right, the results really do speak for themselves.

  3. The majority of us could benefit from spending more time outdoors. However, knowing this and doing something about it are two totally different things. If you’re determined to make a change but you’re unsure where to start, here you’ll discover some great ways to get active outdoors.

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    Take up a new hobby

    What better way to renew your love of the outdoors than by getting involved in a new hobby? There are plenty of outdoor hobbies you can partake in which will help to get you fitter. Tennis, football, archery and even golf are all great examples of outdoor active hobbies. Golf may not seem like the best type of physical activity, but the amount of walking you’ll do as you work your way around the course is surprising.

    The point is to find an outdoor activity you actually enjoy. That way, you’re more likely to stick at it and you won’t need as much motivation to get outdoors.

    Join a club

    If you don’t trust yourself to stick to a new hobby and you need a little motivation (this might be me), why not join a club? This won’t just get you more active outdoors, it will also potentially boost your social life. There’s all kinds of clubs you can join too from running clubs to tennis clubs – whatever activity you’re into, you can bet there’s at least one club you can join.

    You could even get the family involved and take up classes such as skating. Skateboarding is a popular activity for kids, but it can be surprisingly fun for adults too. You’ll just need a few bits of equipment to get started such as a high-quality skateboard, but if you shop at stores such as SkateHut, it won’t break the bank. 

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    Get walking

    Of course, one of the best ways to get active outdoors is to go walking. This again has multiple benefits. You won’t just get more active, but you’ll experience all of the benefits of being out in nature. Did you know you can experience life-changing benefits simply from walking just 30 minutes a day?

    As you can see, there’s a lot of ways you can get more active outdoors. Whatever your interests and fitness level, there’s always something enjoyable you can do to improve your health and fitness. Getting outdoors more will also boost your Vitamin D levels, which in turn will benefit your overall health.

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    You never know, you might see me walking the school run in the mornings yet .......

  4. Just how quickly has this last term disappeared? Really. January seemed to last the length of a zillion months, and now here we are, waltzing into April, in the blink of an eye. So with the Easter holidays just around the corner, let’s take a look at five essential tips for nailing this seasonal holiday and not have to look into hair transplantation because the kids have made you pull your hair out this Easter.

    5 things to do to prepare yourself for Easter school holidays

     

    1.    Be ready to battle the beast

    With more snow set to fall over Easter weekend, this year may be less daffodils and baby chicks, more snowmen and sledging. You're going to have to turn all those Easter best bits on their head, and give them an icy twist. Wrap up warm and head outside for your seasonal shenanigans, as we’re apparently in for the coldest Easter on record. Winter really isn’t letting things go this year, is it?! But, one thing’s for sure, should it snow, it’ll be a year to remember.

    2.    Pinterest is your friend

    Whether snow pummels the UK or not, Pinterest is the-absolute-one at Easter. Get yourself on there, scour the app for craft ideas, makes and bakes. From egg decorating to chocolate nest cakes, you might even want to make bonnets, bunting or something a little more weird and wonderful. Come snow, rain, and shine, kids love crafts, and they’re a great way to spend time together and fill any school holiday lulls. You know, the ones when the kids are running riot and declaring war against one another? Then.

    3.    Ditch the dinner

    Do you really need to put yourself through the stress of cooking Easter dinner for the entire family. Either keep it small and sweet, rustling up a storm (weather puns unintended) for your household, or ditch the idea altogether. If you’re getting together with friends or extended family over Easter, say no to the nonsense and book a table at a lovely country pub. Just imagine. How lovely, especially so if the surrounding grounds are covered with a dusting of snow. Beautiful. Why bother with anything else?

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    4.    Execute the egg hunt

    Don’t let a little bit of snow stop you! This is the time to really rev up your plans for the white Easter weekend. The egg hunt has to happen, but don’t forget to make the most of the snow. Perhaps hide plastic eggs in, under and around the snow, that your littlies can swap for chocolate. Extra sweet treats should certainly be available for building snowbunnies and snowchicks, of course!

    5.    Take time out

    Cooking, crafts, carefully planned activities, Easter can be discreetly hectic, don’t you forget it. Plan time out to just stay at home, snuggled up with your youngsters, the dog, and a big blanket. Stick an Easter film on, crack the eggs open, and enjoy. Without the pent-up pressure of Christmas, the Easter hols and a time when you will be forgiven for forgoing get-togethers. Enjoy time at home, doing nothing, recuperate and recharge.

    After all… summer term is ready and waiting, and we all know what havoc that wreaks.