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.
Whenever our children want to find out anything, they instantly get the laptop or iPad and ask Google and whilst there is nothing wrong with using the instant tools available to you, there is also nothing more satisfying that finding out information and details by yourself.
Lonely Planet Kids is an online resource but with books and downloads to excite and educate children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humour and eye-catching imagery, it is their aim to ignite childrens curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet and we are thrilled to give you the chance to win this amazing prize pack.
A fold-out height chart with more than 80 stickers, a journal to record your backyard adventures, and a quiz with the world’s best questions are all on the itinerary with the latest Lonely Planet Kidsreleases in its Activity Series.
For Kids Aged 5+
Lonely Planet Kids: My Family Height Chart
Tall enough for the whole family, this pull-out height chart is metres of fun. My Family Height Chart is filled with facts and includes more than 80 stickers to track your progress and record your growth. Prepare to compare yourself and the rest of your family with some of the world’s biggest, smallest, weirdest and wackiest items. How will you measure up? Are you taller than the world’s biggest bunny?
For Kids Aged 5-8
Lonely Planet Kids: Backyard Explorer
Scribble, jot and draw in this brilliant fill-in journal and see your amazing neighbourhood in a whole new way. Backyard Explorer is filled with fun things to make, do and find on your own doorstep. Go cloud spotting, make a skyline collage, design your dream house, go on a scavenger hunt, create your very own time-and-place capsule, and lots more...
For Kids Aged 8+
Lonely Planet Kids: The Round-the-World Quiz Book
Challenge your friends and family to the ultimate quiz. This book is packed with more than 500 questions about our planet to boggle your brain and blow your mind. With different difficulty levels, there’s sure to be trivia tricky enough in The Round-the-World Quiz Book to fox the whole family. Can you name the biggest country in the world? Where you’ll find the world’s tallest waterfall? Or which animal disguises itself to look like bird poo? What are you waiting for? Test your knowledge, and see how many points you can score...
So there really is something for all ages with Lonely Planet Kids and we are thrilled to give you the chance to win all three of them. All you need to do is enter below.
The Prize: Lonely Planet Kids Prize Pack The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email 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
Despite this post being about clothing, unusually I have let the "Man on the Lilypad" loose on the blog .... be kind to him!
‘the apparel doth oft proclaim the man' We all know the famous Shakespearean proverb don’t we... that well known quote that helps remind us and others that we do, and have always judged people's character by the clothes they wear.
Well following a conversation I had recently with my lovely wife – the driving force behind the Little Liliy pad I felt compelled to delve into this concept a little deeper and share my thoughts. In our house it is a running joke that there is a never ending conveyor belt of clothing purchases arriving at the door, I live with 3 girls that all love to shop and my wife-for as long as I have known her has always presented herself immaculately at all times, in fact her impeccible appearance was one of the things that attracted me to her in the first place!
So if Shakespeare’s quote has echoed through the ages, is there still judgement made about what people wear now in the modern 21st century, in the age of dress down Fridays and the late great Steve Job's signature casual roll neck sweaters? Another literary heavyweight offered further reinforcement with ‘Clothes make a man. Naked people have little or no influence on society’, which to some degree explains a few things about the society we live in. As great as it is to have the ‘take me as you find me’ mentality the clothes we wear do actually say a lot about us as a person. They can inform strangers of your type of employment, emotional state, personality and ambitions and also spending habits and affluence.
I recently purchased a series of new suits, I work in the corporate world and have always wanted to project a certain perception to colleagues and the new clients I meet, I find a well tailored, classic mens suit helps do that – it says I have put thought into my appearance and you should take me seriously, just like the skirt suit or dress & blazer for ladies, its timeless, classic and suits nearly all body types. As I don the blazer before a meeting it almost changes my mentality, that suit aids me..its a weapon in my arsenal even.
During our conversation at home it was this ‘feeling’ we got when we know we look a certain way that interested us, a lot of what my wife does is invisible to her clients behind a laptop, blogging, social media management and the many other aspects of the Lilypad mean her client s don’t necessarily see her but she rarely looks anything other than professional. Clearly our casual and work attire is as much about self perception as a social and economic indicator to others. I wonder if people who work at home would find they are more successful if they kicked off the casual clothes or pj’s and slippers during that 9-5pm window and put ‘work’ clothes on?
I read recently about a study where a generic white coat was given to 2 groups of test subjects, one group was told it was a doctors lab coat and the other group were told it was a painters smock…guess which group completed their allotted tasks with more care and attention – clothes clearly do influence our mindset!
So, tomorrow and the next day and the next when the parcels get delivered and the regular response of “what, this old thing?” rings out I shall just smile as always, as in our case we are more Mark Twain than William Shakespeare!
People who do not have children think it is easy. Before we had children, I envisioned being dressed in a flowing white gown, rocking a perfect, rosy-cheeked baby as she slept soundly in my arms (or something along those lines anyway).
This fantasy was intact for about 20 minutes after I became a mum. Soon I realized the flowing white gown was impractle and gave it up for t-shirts that could easily double for a burp cloth and sometimes a tissue.
The rosy-cheeked little bundle of joy could break the sound barrier when teething, and the rocking chair was exchanged for a battery operated swing that you hope keeps the baby quiet long enough for mum to grab a shower at least every couple of days.
Now that I am an experienced parent, I have learned the meaning of the word multitasking. I will share a couple of ideas with you.
Birthday parties, sleepovers, and holidays are not always easy to manage. But I have learned the easy way to handle a celebration is to set up a candy buffet. This takes the place of snacks and pastries. You simply need a table, table covering, clear vases or jars, and a theme. You order your candy based on your color scheme from an online supplier like Sweet Services.
This makes a beautiful setting for any celebration. And everything is reusable. For your next celebration, you simply change the theme and colours of the candy. The candy is shipped directly to you just in time and there is little set up. Perfect for busy mums with little time to spare!
Keeping your child active
There is nothing more important to you than the health of your child. This means you watch what they eat and you give them planned activities that keep them moving.
Having been a dancer growing up, I love the idea of dance class. This is great exercise and it gets the kids out of the house for a while.
To make the most of your child’s dance class experience, be sure to provide them with proper dance clothes. This is as much a mental exercise as a physical one. It signals your child to know it is time to get busy, and they look really cool at the same time.
Balancing home repairs
Being a family that includes children puts a strain on the household. Though we may want to live in a perfectly clean, well maintained and modern home, achieving that goal is not always easy. Put major remodeling jobs on hold until the children are old enough to be expected to take care of their space. Until that time, repair that which is broken as needed and keep things as clean as you can and hope for the best.
One way to keep your property value is to keep the basics up to date. It is safe to do smaller remodeling jobs such as replacing floors, updating cabinets, and replacing the sinks with modern sinks and vessels. These type of repairs allow you to maintain a better standard of home and protect your resale value.
It is not easy being a mum, but no matter how exhausted we are, we know that it is a job worth every effort. The key is to keep your sense of humor and roll with it. Soon enough, there will come a time when the kids are out creating their own world. Until that time. Enjoy every moment with your kids. That is all that matters.
The big one-two! Sure, as a child, each and every birthday is exciting; but my eldest is on the edge of tweendom, and there’s much more to celebrate.
Turning 12 seemingly marks a significant step-up in the world for children, but also the end of an era for us as parents. As they wave ‘goodbye’ to the primary school playgrounds, and take a leap out into independence, there are certainly perks to turning 12.
1. Tween, not teen, and not a littlie either
Not quite an unbearably moody monster teen, but not a little child either. As a tween, you get the best of both worlds. Fancy staying inside and watching Netflix under a blanket? Sure! Want to head to the park with the littlies and enjoy an ice-cream? Yes! Do both. You’re a tween.
2. Parents as pals
As emerging pre-teens, it’s likely that you will still spend much unforced family time together. That time is well invested in reshaping your relationship to reinforce any friendship vibes. Something that can hopefully carry through into the teenage years, making life a little more bearable when the going gets tough.
3. A whole new world of cinema experience
Compulsory guardian accompaniment to 12As are gone! Being 12 means you get to hit the flicks with friends. And that’s essential tween activity.
4. There’s no age limit on the outdoors
While it’s sometimes tempting to hibernate with a box set, picnics by the pond, walking through woodlands, and lakeside adventure sports, are just a cool for tweens as they are for young children and adults.
5. Shaking off the old school
The jolt up to secondary school is a daunting prospect. That said, after those initial, unsettled first months, high school is an opportunity to figure out what you like to learn. What subject does it for you? Whether it’s Phys. Ed. or Physics, get to know what subject suits you.
6. There’s independence ahead
12 is when independence begins to trickle in hard and fast. Perhaps mini shopping sprees, swimming pool sessions, pizza parlour dates with friends… it’s all to come.
7. That surging sense of humour
Laughing isn’t exclusive to tweens, but it is when you see a development in their individual sense of humour. Conversation are more casually peppered with sarcastic swipes and witty one-liners. Family fun takes a new angle.
8. The emerging fashionista
Discovering your style is a key ingredient of tweendom. Browsing outfits online or picking and choosing a little more when out shopping. It’s all part and parcel of creating an all-important identity.
9. Height restrictions? A thing of the past!
It’s a biggie… being 12 pretty much grants you access to all theme park rides. Enough said.
10. Finding firm friendship groups
While friends are fickle and flitter between each other at primary school, your tween and teen years are a chance to find some firm friendship groups. It may just be one or two people, just like you, who’ll stick with you through thick and thin.
11. Getting tech savvy
Tweens, right now, have the growing up alongside today’s extraordinary technology. While this may seem like a hindrance at times, there are undoubtedly benefits too. Instant access to limitless information, extra safety when out and about, means to make money using YouTube, and opportunities to enhance CVs through online charity activities.
12. Learning what you love
Style, friendships, school subjects, it’s all important, but what is integral to any tween’s agenda is knowing yourself. This is the time to learn what you love, and what you think. Get to know the world and your place in it, just that little bit.
So as sit here wondering how on earth I am old enough to "own" a 12 year old daughter, I think I will celebrate surviving 12 years of motherhood and (despite the dent it has made in my bank account) all the great things it has taught me too!