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. Reading is as much part of our daily routine as teeth brushing and baths before bedtime and it is a fun part of our day. We never see it as a chore (unless you are the tween who would prefer to play on her tablet) but the toddler soaks up every descriptive word and beautifully illustrated image. Reading is fun but it is so important for children too as it expands their vocabulary and early reading skills have been directly linked to a childs academic success. 

    Reading to and with your children can be one of the most rewarding bonding times you can have as a family and so we are delighted to share details of the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour (organised by Scottish Book Trust) which takes the very best UK and international authors directly into schools across Scotland and the UK to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustration. In February this year the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour visited schools in Birmingham with the wonderful author, illustrator, playwright and poet Vivian French!

    Vivian has published over 200 books for children of all ages including the hugely successful series The Tales from the Five Kingdoms, the first of which, The Robe of Skulls, won the 2008 Stockton Children’s Book of the Year Award. Vivian is a great storyteller, you can see her here ....

    In support of the tour, we are delighted to be able to offer you Vivian French’s ‘The Snarling of Wolves’ book in our latest giveaway.

    Snarling of Wolves

    All you need to do is enter the simple question in the Rafflecopter widget below and tell us in the comments below whether the answer is:

    A - 200

    B - 2,000

    C - 20,000

    Here is a little clue 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The more you read, the better you are at it and best of all ...... it is free! I only wish I could enter this competition but you can. What are you waiting for?

    UK Entrants Only.
    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 5 working days by email
    Scottish Friendly will be responsible for the despatch of the prize.
    Scottish Friends will make every effort to provide the gift set requested but this cannot be guaranteed
    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 13/04/2015 at 12am

  2. My eldest daughter sat on my bed last night, flicking through a promotional clothing magazine that had dropped through our letterbox and within half an hour, she had circled 40 items of clothing that she would like! 40 items of clothing in half an hour, that is good going, even by my standards. Raising girls with a shopping habit to rival my own is looking expensive!

    I might be laughing now but I am conscious that as the girls get older, their clothing habits will be the least of my worries if they want to go to University or get a car. I know that there are lots of families consciously save for the future, whereas others believe in living for today by spending what they earn and I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle. My love of shopping for myself and the girls is no secret but I am always aware of the need for a "college" fund at some point in the future and it is scary how quickly that future will arrive.

    Experian published research last year claiming that about one in five parents of students have faced financial pressures to support their children. This includes paying for accommodation, travel and utility bills. "University can be an extremely expensive time for parents and students alike," said Experian's Julie Doleman ....... I really had better start saving now and keeping an eye on the piggy bank!

    Piggy Bank

    Having a seperate account to keep savings in makes a big difference because you can keep an eye on your savings targets and with something like an ISA, gives you the freedom of saving but with easy access in case you need it!

    I was recently introduced to Nutmeg and were impressed with their no nonsense approach. They have got rid of all the aspects that made the wealth management industry unpopular. They don’t try and baffle you with jargon or lump all your money together and they don’t keep you in the dark over where you’re invested – or how your funds are performing.

    try-it-out-isa

    Nutmeg

    They look to give you complete transparency – and, they say, complete peace of mind. We like the fact that they can help you set up your portfolio in under 10 minutes and you can create as many funds as you like. But I think my favourite part is that you can get in touch with us by telephone, email or live webchat, whichever you prefer, no sitting on hold forever and a day to a call centre on the other side of the world!

    I remember investing money many many years ago and then being massively frustrated when I found that it was locked away and I couldn't get hold of it when I needed it, so fast forward a few years and I am a little more savvy about where we put our money (although the tween seems to think that it should all go on a new wardrobe for her apparently!).

    Finding the right place to save for your future is something we all need to think about now and I know I need to be more cost conscious .... especially where the clothes shopping is concerned.

    How much do you worry about saving for the future?

     

     

     

     

  3. We love finding things our children love and this week we are loving the Slumbersac.

    We know many parents and children love baby sleeping bags but what about when the get old enough to walk and get out of bed, the sleeping bag isn't always so practical then for older children, so we loved the idea of the Slumbersac. As children grow and start to take their first steps, they need all the help they can get. Slumbersac sleeping bags with feet are great for helping your child as they learn to walk and explore their world for the first time! Toddlers can enjoy the comfort and security of their sleeping bag while still being able to move about freely.

    Slumbersac

    Slumbersac’s sleeping bags with feet are just like their normal sleep bags but with openings for feet so children can walk around while staying cosy in their bag! The innovative sleeping bags are designed so that your child's feet fit inside the sleeping bag when sleeping and when they wake up they can pop their feet through the openings and walk or crawl around in it!
     
    We love the idea that you can get your little one into their bag and ready for bed nice and early but they will still have the freedom to play until you’re ready to put them down! Likewise in the morning, they can run around happily in their bag until it’s time to get ready for the day.

    We received our first Slumbersac for the toddler this week and we can vouch for the exceptional high quality, they are made from soft 100% jersey cotton, lined with 100% cotton and are padded with soft quick-dry polyester fleece. The sleeping bag with feet comes in two prints and the option of name embroidery enables you to personalize the sleeping bag with your little one’s name.

    Sleeping bags with feet are available in four sizes from 12 months – 4 years. (The tween is disappointed that they don't make them for older children too).
     
    12 – 18 months / 80cm (measured from shoulder to the feet)
    18 – 24 months / 90cm (measured from shoulder to the feet)
    24 – 36  months / 110cm (measured from shoulder to the feet)
    3-4 years / 120 cm (measured from shoulder to the feet)
     
    Slumbersac1
     
    Sleeping bags with feet are available in two weights:
    • Summer weight / approx. 1.0 tog. These bags are slightly padded and suitable for use in warmer rooms with temperatures between 19 and 24 degrees.
    • Standard weight / approx. 2.5 tog.These bags are padded and suitable for general year-round use in room temperatures between 15 and 21 degrees.
    Priced from £18.99 - £22.99
     
    You can view the full range at www.slumbersac.co.uk
     
    With a winning combination of quality, value, safety and comfort, Slumbersac is your number one choice for sleeping bags for babies and children! So on the subject of winning, we are thrilled to be able to give our Lilypad readers the chance to win one and all you need to do in enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
     
    Good luck.
     

    UK Entrants Only.
    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 5 working days by email
    Slumbersac will be responsible for the despatch of the prize.
    Slumbersac will make every effort to provide the gift set requested but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details will be retained by Slumbersac 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 04/04/2015 at 12am

     
     
     
     
  4. Quite recently I traced a long lost relative. Someone who was born before me and unfortunately moved away to Manchester and I never got to know her but life has a funny way of working out, through grief and loss are new opportunities and a chance to get to know new family AND a new City. They still live in Manchester and whilst it is not a million miles away from us in Warwickshire, it is not somewhere we have previously chosen to explore. So with Easter on the horizon we thought we would see what Manchester has to offer, aisde from family reunions.

    Museum of Science & Industry

    The Museum of Science and Industry is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. To tie in with the opening of The Innovation Race: Manchester’s Makers Join the First World War, opening on 28 March, the Museum of Science & Industry’s 2015 Easter Programme(3 – 19 April) centres around the mighty and larger-than-life theme of Power: Making War from the Factory Floor. Families are invited to visit this family friendly and interactive exhibition, telling the mainly untold stories of the makers, scientists, engineers, factory workers and business people of Manchester whose innovations and intervention helped turned around the outcome of the First World War. 

    MOSI

    I have been looking at reviews of MOSI and Tired Mummy of Two feels that it is a great choice for Sunday afternoon fun, so we need to add this to the list.

    There are the other obvious Manchester attractions such as Man Utd football ground and the Trafford Centre but at the risk of offending every football fan and shopaholic, we can watch sport or football any time, so we wanted to find things we could do as a family and there seems to be lots on offer. A day trip is not going to cut it so I think we will be needing to stay over and finding a good hotel where I can get a good nights sleep is paramount for me. They have some good deals at 

    Crowne Plaza Manchester

    Tatton Park

    My cousin recommended Tatton Park as a great family day out. Tatton Park is nestled in 1,000 acres of beautiful deer park and you can explore centuries of history at the Tudor Old Hall and witness life above and below stairs in the Mansion. You are free to wander through the Gardens and take the kids to meet the rare breed animals on the working Farm. Between the 28th March and 19th April they have family Easter activities too. You can go on a magical journey with the Lindt Gold Bunny through the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm. You have to find Sleeping Beauty asleep in the maze and discover the most wonderful gingerbread house in the dell. If the slipper fits, then you will go to the Conservatory ball …..if you arrive before midnight! The bit that tempts me is that there is a Lindt Gold Bunny treat for all children!

    And if chocolate and Brothers Grimm are not your thing, then there is always the Spinningfields Duck Race!

    This is a collaborative post.