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. There is no getting away from it .... it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas but instead of a white Christmas are you dreaming of an itty bitty one?

    If you have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. Itty bitty’s are Hallmark’s plush soft toys and they are a collector’s dream. Retailing at £6 each, and available on Amazon, as well as in many independent stockists across the country they’re the perfect gift this Christmas. With their small stature and super-cute style, they make the perfect gift or stocking filler. There really is a bitty for everybody!

    For Christmas 2017, Hallmark have added to their festive range of itty bittys with the Christmas edition Disney stars, MickeyTMand MinnieTM.  Having been to Disneyland Paris earlier this year, I thought that these two new additions would be the favourites but no, Yoda and Chewy were the top picks in our house. Who knew?!

    itty bitty yodaitty bitty minnue

    itty bitty mickeyitty bitty chewy

    The itty bittys make perfect stocking filler gifts and are affordably priced so that if your child does end up wanting the whole collection (a bit like has happened in our house), it is not going to break the bank. That said, we are thrilled to be able to give our readers the chance to win the 4 festive itty bittys shown above in our festive giveaway.

    All you need to do is enter below. Good luck!  LLP -Win a set of 4 festive itty bittys

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: 4 x Festive Itty Bittys
    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.
    End Date 02/12/2017 at 12am

     

  2. A few weeks ago I read about So Shape on the NorthernMum blog and realised that this was a challenge that I could do. I am not a big fan of a "diet" but I love a challenge so was intrigued straight away. 

    I have a love / hate relationship with sugar, I hate how much I put in my tea but I love how it tastes so I decided to take the So Shape 14 Day Challenge to try and kick my sugar habit.

    IMG_5641

    There are 3 So Shape challenges, which consist of either 5 days, 14 days or 28 days. This gives you the option to try it out for 5 days or if you are seeking serious results then the 28 day challenge is probably more suited. But how does it work? 

    We have all seen (and probably tried) the fad diets where you have cereal for two meals a day or a milkshake but inevitably in all instances I have ended up becoming bored or hungry and given up. With So Shape there are 22 flavour options to choose from, so getting bored of having the same thing never happens. 

    IMG_5895

    I chose to do the 14 day challenge in my (desperate) bid to quit my habit with sugar and so the first thing to go was my morning cup of tea. I swapped it for a So Shape "milkshake" but it isn't made with milk, just water and the perfectly measured So Shape pod. I was expecting to start feeling the need for my mid morning snack and was amazed when the cravings didn't kick in.

     The So Shape plan has cold shakes, hot soups, pasta meals and even iced frappes!  If I am honest, some of the meals felt a little like baby food but they are still food, which in my book is a bonus. The plan recommends that you eat a proper meal at lunchtime and gives you a selection of "free foods" which included some of my favourite things such as chicken, mushrooms, salad and certain vegetables (although potatoes are off the menu).

    IMG_5896

    I have tailored the plan around work and social engagements too, so if I know I am going out for dinner, then I would have a So Shape meal for lunch instead. I have loved the flexibility of the plan and being able to select up to six different flavours on the 14 day plan meant that no day is the same. 

    IMG_6120

    The other thing that isn't the same is my waistline, in the 14 days that I did the challenge I lost half a stone and that was without exercise ... I know, I know, that is next on my list. 

    I have also changed how I view what I am eating, I haven't become obsessed or started calorie counting but I have become more conscious of the choices I am making. I am conscious that I am getting older (let's not mention the approaching big 4-0) and I need to be making long term adjustments to my lifestyle. The So Shape challenge gave me the chance to remove the "naughty" temptations in my every day diet and actually realise that I don't miss them. 

    Finally, there is the added quirk of your daily quote on your So Shape pods, just to make you smile!

    So if you want to try to reboot, remove or choose to seek a complete rebirth yourself, we have an exclusive discount code "LITTLELILY10" to get 10% off your 14 or 28-day So Shape Challenge, UK only! 

     

  3. Anyone that reads our blog will have followed our Water Babies swimming adventures over the years and know how important I feel it is to learn to swim.

    But what about a doll that swims? Who else could it be other than Baby Annabell!

    We all know Baby Annabell as the No 1 selling doll brand in the UK so when Zapf Creations launch a new doll there is lots to be excited about. We were told that the Baby Annabell Learns To Swim doll splashes, moves her arms and legs when she comes into contact with water, and floats on her back. As always, she has cute accessories, so the little water baby includes a towel and inflatable water wings with cute sheep design

    Even more exciting news was hearing that Olympian Rebecca Adlington had partnered up with Zapf Creations and Baby Annabell for this launch, so we wanted to know more!

    Rebecca Adlington launches Baby Annabel Learns to Swim. Photos copyright Si

    Rebecca Adlington says: “Learning to swim is an important milestone, helping to instil confidence from an early age as well as being a really fun bonding experience between a parent and child. If your little one is nervous it can be a challenging process – expect plenty of tears and tantrums, however initial fears can be overcome by slowly building confidence and trust.” Whether your child is an anxious swimmer or an excited water baby, Rebecca Adlington’s top tips will help turn your child into a little Olympian in no time.

    Children can be initially nervous of the water, baby steps and lots of praise will help them overcome a lack of confidence. Try taking them alone to just watch for the first time, then toes in next time and so on, along with lots of positive praise to help encourage them to take that first dip.

    700051_BA Learns to Swim (1)

    Toys are a brilliant tool, they are such a good distraction for anyone who doesn’t normally like putting their face in the water or splashing. Toys such as the new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll are a great way to give children (and parents!) the courage to take those first steps towards swimming

    Swimming is huge bonding experience. The learning process is a lot to do with trust and really builds a closer relationship between and parent and child. For this reason, try not to use your phone during lessons to avoid distractions.

    The younger you start swimming lessons the better. It is all about building confidence and awareness of the water from a young age. Swimming also helps with a child’s muscular development and is fantastic for understanding their physical abilities. We started our Water Babies journey when our youngest was 12 months old but we could have started so much sooner. 

    Make good use of the equipment that’s there. Whether it’s armbands, noodles, or vests, use whatever your child is more comfortable with. I tend to do five minutes with floatation equipment and five without, this helps when they’re really young and still building confidence. 

    So how about Baby Annabell Learns to Swim, how does she fare? Well it took me a little while to realise that you have to put Baby Annabell in her 3 positions in sequential order. Just like when a child is learning to swim, they need to learn each stage. Reading the instructions before you put the doll in the bath with an expectant child is always the better option than frustratingly freestyling it. 
     
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    Oh and you need batteries. I repeat you need batteries. 3 x AA batteries are needed. So please don't buy one as a gift this Christmas and forget them. ...... a bath with a floating Annabell isn't quite as exciting as one who giggles and moves her arms and legs in the water. For obvious reasons, Baby Annabell Learns to Swim isn't going to be doing Olympic breastroke around your bath as she is clearly still only a baby (!!), but while the movements and sounds can get a little repetitive, the children are oblivious and delighted to play in the bath.
     
    The attraction of this new Baby Annabell is quite simply that she can go in the water with your little one, whether that is the bath or the swimming pool .... fun time doesn't have to end at the edge of the bathroom or pool changing rooms. The fun has only just started! 
     
    We are therefore thrilled to be able to give our readers the chance to win a Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll worth £49.99 ..... just in time for Christmas. All you need to do is enter below.
     
    Win Baby Annabell Learns To Swim RRP £49.99
     
    Good luck!
     
     
     
    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Baby Annabell Learns To Swim Doll
    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.
    End Date 26/11/2017 at 12am

     
     
     
     
  4. Oh my goodness. The children go back to school after half term, the temperature drops ten degrees and your mumdar is flashing. You can sense it in the air. There are bugs about. You’ve got a bit of a tingle in your throat. The kids sneezed twice yesterday after they got home. Your husband woke you up with a cough on Thursday night. It is upon us. Our first dose of autumnal death is about to strike.

    How to keep the bugs at bay this winter

    5 tips for beating winter bugs

    Try as you might, keeping every single sniff and snivel at bay over autumn and winter is unlikely. That being said, there are precautions you can take to keep your family fighting fit while coughs and colds are at large. Here are just five of my best tips on how to ward off those pesky bugs this winter. From one mother to another mother.

    1.    Get the vitamins in

    Seriously, vitamins are oh-so-important. Whether you have to pop a chewy gum on the side of their breakfast bowl, or your child loves their five a day, vitamins all the way. Some fruits and vegs pack more of a vitamin punch than others.

    Build up your bodies’ natural defences with fruits such as berries, citrus, and kiwis, as well as green vegetables, sweet potato, and mushrooms. 

    2.    Don’t forego your 40 winks

    It’s such a simple solution, yet so many of us don’t allow ourselves the sleep our body needs or deserves. Plenty of people have researched the effects that lack of sleep can have. And yep, you’ve guessed it, when you miss out on sleep your immune system takes a huge hit. Sleep!

    Those with babies and toddlers, I can only apologise. Perhaps just sleep when you can?

    3.    Keep things clean

    This is just common sense isn’t it, really? Tell me it is? Wherever bacteria harbours, you’ll find bad bugs and nasties. Bad bugs and nasties equate to a plethora of health issues.

    In autumn and winter when we perhaps cook rustic, hearty meals with meats, be a bit OTT and Dettol every single surface in sight. Forget the battle with the soap, let the kids use handwash in the bathroom, and the kitchen too – make it easy. Have antibac gel in your bag. Go full neurotic mum. Go there. Banish those bugs.

    4.    Use aromatherapy

    No, it’s not just for hippies. There’s actually plenty of scientific research into aromatherapy and essential oils. The only problem is, it’s really hard for pharmaceutical companies to patent it, so it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

    Add a few drops of Clove Bud essential oil to your diffuser. You will find loads of blends online if you want to create a seasonal scent. Clove Bud oil contains pretty exceptional antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Used in the air, as a preventative step, it can ward off any horrid airborne bugs. (This isn't always appropriate for asthmatics like our little one but worth considering for others).

    5.    Ginger is king

    Looking for an excuse to tuck into a pack of ginger biscuits? Well, here it is. Ginger is king when it comes to fighting winter health complaints.

    Whether you take ginger supplements, eat ginger in stews, or drink ginger tea/hot water with honey, ginger's properties can help keep down fevers and soothe sore throats. The oil of ginger is packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, meaning if you are feeling under the weather, it can help ease common sinus complaints and other infections.

    What are your top tips for keeping the bugs at bay?