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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 very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog 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) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. Halloween happens to be one of my favourite holidays.

    Hatton Country Park in Warwick also happens to be one of our favourite places to go with the children (we had the toddlers birthday here last year).

    So Halloween at Hatton sounded a little bit like our ideal day out. It didn't disappoint.

    Pumpkin Week 1

    The whole park was decorated, not just by a few simple decorations but all the staff were dressed up, there were pumpkins everywhere and there was no escaping Halloween.

    Pumpkin Week 2

    The little one was more interested in the goats than the ghouls but at least she wasn't scared (by either of them).

    Pumpkin Week 3

    During Pumpkin Week at Hatton, every child gets the chance to take home their own pumpkin ....... you just have to find one in the Pumpkin Patch!

    Pumpkin Week 4

    So the search began ......

    Pumpkin Week 5

    The tween became a little obsessed with finding the "perfect pumpkin".

    Pumpkin Week 6

    This went on for some time .....

    Pumpkin Week 7

    And as for the pumpkin ...... well the tween is fairly sure she picked the best of the patch!! Although it is Daddy's job to carve it (I will keep you posted on that one!)

    Pumpkin Week 8

    There is still time to get your pumpkin and enjoy some fun with the family at Hatton this half term, you have until the 2nd November to enjoy the festivities! What are you waiting for??

    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

  2. Yes, I mentioned the C word. I heard Christmas songs in a shop this week so the countdown is officially on!

    I was talking to a friend about going Christmas shopping this week and whilst I much prefer to do my shopping online, there is something magical about going to the shops, listening to all the songs and getting into the Christmas spirit.

    Nearly a quarter of Britons view Christmas shopping as more stressful than rush hour traffic, filling in forms or flying, according to a survey by Ocado. With lots of people to buy for, having a plan is the best way to ensure it is most definitely a happy Christmas, so here are our top tips for stress free Christmas shopping.

    1. Make a list

    I have been the worlds worst for impulse shopping in the past so making a list (and checking it twice, just to find out who is naughty or nice) absolutely helps to have a definitive number of gifts to buy and who to buy for. 

    Christmas list

    2. Start Early

    Its never too early to start and although it is October, I know people who started in early September. Not only does this give you more time to get everything sorted, it will help you spread the cost too.

    3. DIY Gifts

    Sometimes it is the handmade gifts that mean more than the expensive cashmere jumper, so if you are a nifty knitter or a crochet queen, then a handmade scarf or blanket could be the ideal and very personal gift for someone this Christmas.

    4. Create a budget

    Budget, budget, budget. Do not spend what you don't have.  If you have a set budget, don't deviate from it. It will make gift selection easier and results in more practical purchases, rather than emotional ones.

    5. Enjoy a little Christmas Spirit

    In Birmingham,  the German and Craft Markets span a mile of the city from Symphony Hall through hundreds of stalls leading down New Street to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre, which houses some fabulous shops, restaurants and bars. So why not treat yourself to a glass or two of wine and a stay at a hotel to make a weekend of it. You know we love a good deal, so we have found some great places to stay in Birmingham:

     

    Crowne Plaza

    Holiday Inn Coventry

    We actually have our Water Babies lessons at the Holiday Inn now, although I am more interested in splashing some festive cheer in a glass, than in the pool at the moment!

    I think I just need to get some friends together and see if they fancy joining in the Christmas spirit with me! Who fancies it?

    Disclosure :  This post is in collaboration with IHG but all stress free tips are our own.

  3. We love Halloween, it is one of my favourite celebrations. It is always good honest fun and pumpkin carving is one of the best parts of the build up to Halloween and we take it very seriously!

    According to Wikipedia, a jack-o'-lantern is a carved pumpkin, or turnip and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o'-the-wisp or jack-o'-lantern.

    Pumpkins

    So when we found out that Hatton Country World were hosting "Pumpkin Week", we may have been a little excited. Pumpkin Week is running at Hatton Country World from Saturday 25th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014.

    There is A FREE pumpkin for every child with daily carving competitions in our brilliant (but slightly spooky!) themed marquee. Plus Hatton’s Pumpkin Hunt with a prize badge and Hatton’s Halloween Pumpkin House along with a full day’s programme of Farmyard Fun!

    We will be going to check out the spooktacular event but would you like to go to? (although the tickets are valid till December)

    All you need to do is enter below ......

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

     Good luck!

  4. We have been talking more and more about home improvements now the bad weather seems to be setting in and there are some jobs that are best done before the sleet and snow comes! The inside of the house is the place where things are most noticeable but what about those areas that you don't always think about?

    You may already know how useful a pressure washer is for making light work of some tough cleaning jobs, but is there any reason why you can’t also use it to remove dirt, moss and mould from your roof? I personally hadn't given it much though but apparently by just using a wider spray and start cleaning from a safe distance, you can gradually move in closer towards the roof so that you can clean the asphalt and shingles effectively. If you have a pressure washer like the ones you can get at www.karcher.co.uk, here is a look at what you need to know before you clean your roof with it.

    What’s on your roof?

    If you have an asphalt shingle roof then it is actually an excellent food source for organisms like lichen, mould, algae and mildew.

    This is because many of the asphalt shingles fitted these days contain a limestone filler which helps to add weight to the shingles and make the roof sturdier. This same limestone filler is on the menu for the algae, which will feed on it and unfortunately, degrade the quality of the roof over time and reduce its lifespan.

    Points to consider

    If you are going to be successful in your attempts to clear all the things like moss that are enjoying the free meal on your roof, you have to assess the state of your roof and see what needs to be done.

    In order to remove things like algae and lichen, the water pressure required will have to be more powerful than the pressure you are going to get from an ordinary garden hose. A pressure washer with a strong enough jet of water is perfect for the job, and pretty much the only way that you are going to successfully remove the offending organisms.

    The current state of your roof is an important consideration and you need to assess its condition before you make any attempts to clean your roof with your pressure washer. If your roof shingles are showing signs of damage or are clearly loose, you probably may want to re-consider using your pressure washer until you have had a roofer look at the roof, and repair any minor damage before you carry on with the cleaning.

    Say goodbye to algae and moss

    The answer to the original question is yes, pressure washers are fantastic tools for cleaning your roof and ridding it of some of that unsightly algae and moss.

    Moss on roof

    The key to making the job a successful one and getting the roof looking good again without causing any damage, is to proceed with caution and harness the power of your pressure washer but use a nozzle that allows you to get a “soft wash”.

    A garden hose doesn’t have enough pressure to shift the debris, but at the same time you don’t want to use the full power of your pressure washer and use a nozzle that projects a concentrated powerful spray of water in too small a radius. You can change the bar of your pressure washer by using nozzles that have a larger orifice, so look for the kits that allow you to do this.

    Using the right nozzle and taking a patient approach to cleaning your roof will often be the answer. Now you know another great application for using your pressure washer to keep your home looking in top shape.

    Finlay Jordan is a home maintenance professional and he has contributed towards putting this handy advice together. Always on call, he often blogs about common maintenance issues and questions from his clients to help other homeowners care for their houses.

    Now, let's hope for a spell of sunshine this Autumn, so we can get outside and get jetwashing!!

    This post is in collaboration with Karcher.