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 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. Every week I read the Five Fabulously Frugal Things I've Done linky and it always inspires me to look at my spending habits. My love of shopping is well known but that doesn't mean I can't be savvy with it.

    LLP - Five Frugal Things Ive done this week

    So here are the fabulously frugal things I have managed this week. 

    1. Last weekend was Mothers Day and rather than buy my Mum something generic, I wanted a really personal gift but it was certainly more expensive than a bunch of flowers (not really the ethos of being frugal). So I spoke with my brother and we agreed to share the cost. Mum got a stunning personalised necklace with the names of all her grandchildren on it (that made her cry), we got brownie points for an original gift AND I saved money doing it

    2. On the subject of Mothers Day, I told my husband that I didn't want him sending expensive flowers from the florists. Every year he buys me a gorgeous bunch of flowers made up of favourite flowers but having them from the florist and delivered to me at home means that whilst they are gorgeous, they are not cheap. He popped out the day before Mothers Day and came home with two extra large bouquets of flowers from the supermarket. They came with flower food and were less than half the price of the ones he usually buys and no less beautiful.  

    3. Rather than taking my car to have it valeted, I have taken to vaccuming it out every week (and teaching my girls to take their rubbish with them when they get out of the car)

    4. My eldest daughter is turning into a shopaholic (I have no idea where she gets it from) and she asked if she can have a set amount of pocket money each month. Now usually she gets money if she wants to go out or if she has helped around the house and I am always buying new clothes for her, so we have agreed that she will get a set amount each month and she has to manage that herself. I have said that I won't be subsiding it and I think that overall I am going to be better off and she learns how to manage her money.

    5. I am glad that it is the 1st of April today as I have finished my "shopping" ban for March. My husband always implies that I have a shopping addiction and challenged me to stop shopping for the whole of March (this was only on clothes for myself) and I refrained from buying for the whole month. I daresant admit how much I saved over the month but it has certainly made me think that I should do it again later in the year?

    Have you managed to do anything frugal this week?

  2. The moment I turned 17, I started my driving lessons and worked hard to pass my driving test, although this may be a few more years ago than I care to imagine. When my Nan helped me to buy my first car I had no idea actually how much driving would cost me over the years. 

    5 reasons why your car is a costly luxury

    1. Researchers studied British motorists revealed that over the average lifetime of driving, the typical driver spending nearly seventy thousand pounds on fuel over the course of their lives. 
    2. They will also wrack up a bill of forty thousand pounds on MOTs, servicing and repairs
    3. There is an incredible £9,404 on parking. 
    4. Car supplies like screen wash and air freshener will cost us just under £2,000 
    5. Holiday rental car £180 a year £11,610 over a lifetime

    Am not sure the last one applies to me though as I am not a big fan of driving on holiday but if you can get a cheap car rental, it is certainly worth considering instead of paying for excusions!


     So if my girls want to start driving when they are 17, I suspect I should start saving now!

  3. In the past couple of years, we have fallen in love with cruising, whether that be on a short weekend break or a family holiday. At one point we did question whether you could comfortably cruise with children and utlimately we agreed that you can. I love everything about going on a cruise and I suppose there is still some elitism about it as a holiday but it is really interesting to read recent research* that reveals hilarious exaggerations Brits tell that relate to food, travel destinations, theatre and literature.

    20 places to visit to make you feel more cultured!

    Here are the top 20 places Brits claim to have visited in a bid to appear cultured

    1.            New Zealand  

    2.            New York        

    3.            Australia     

    4.            Rome         

    5.            Paris        

    6.            Iceland  

    7.            Cuba      

    8.            Brazil      

    9.            Venice     

    10.          Jamaica    

    11.          Moscow    

    12.          Dubai      

    13.          Milan  

    14.          Barcelona   

    15.          Morocco  

    16.          Berlin   

    17.          Miami  

    18.          Florence  

    19.          Ibiza    

    20.          Sri Lanka 

    So in an effort to tick some of those off the list (!!) together with our new passion for cruising, I know that I want to look at longer breaks and maybe take a Mediterranean cruise which is a great way to get a taste of a number of different counties, discover differing cultures, cuisines and traditions in a relatively short amount of time

    However and maybe even more hilariously, apparently by liking these top 20 foods, Brits feel that they appear more cultured. (personally I love dark chocolate ........ am clearly soooo cultured!) 

    1.            Sushi                   

    2.            Dark chocolate  

    3.            Rare steak           

    4.            Quinoa                

    5.            Oysters               

    6.            Craft ales            

    7.            Smelly cheese    

    8.            Hot chillies          

    9.            Avocado              

    10.          Granola                

    11.          Raw Vegetables  

    12.          Sweetbreads       

    13.          Kale                       

    14.          Korean food        

    15.          Kimchi                  

    16.          Sashimi                 

    17.          Courgetti             

    18.          Rye Bread            

    19.          Bowl food (Congee) 

    20.          Aged meat        



    Where are you holidaying this year? Did you choose it for cultural appearances?

    *Independent research commissioned by MSC Cruises. Researchers surveyed more than 1500 people across the UK in an online poll in December 2016.  

  4. Asthma can be hard work at any time of the year for sufferers but the changing weather of late can make it all the more difficult. We have had some really cold snaps and the cold, dry air can be painful on the lungs and make doing the simplest task outside more arduous. Aside from the cold, dry air is the other big problem for asthma sufferers at this time of year as is the high number of respiratory and sinus infections that hang around.  Nearly every child in my daughters school has a cold at the moment, meaning avoiding those bugs can be hard work. 

    Most asthma sufferers, are eligible for a flu shot and this is another good measure to reduce the risk of getting those cold and flu bugs.  It also helps that if you do get the flu, the conditions won’t be quite as severe as they would be without the jab.

     How to deal with Asthma in the changing weather temperatures

    Combatting the cold

    It would be nice to say don’t go out in the cold during winter but this doesn’t always solve all the problems.  However, when you are outside, try to avoid opening your mouth.  This is because when you open your mouth, the cold air is sucked straight into your lungs and causes the asthma to flare up.  If you are going to be chatting while outside, wear a scarf or a muffler over your nose and mouth to reduce the impact of the cold.

    How to manage your asthma on warmer days

    The weather has been beautiful in the UK for the past few days but with increased temperatures there is also an increased risk of having an asthma attack for the 1 in 11 people in the UK who have asthma. There is a theory that warm weather can increase the amount of pollutants and mould in the air - both of which can trigger asthma symptoms

    It is great to encourage children to play in the fresh air, if a child wants to play outside, it is good to let them but try to plan any outdoor activities for earlier in the day when the air quality tends to be better.

    Have an asthma plan

    All asthma sufferers should have a plan to deal with an asthma attack and for children, this plan should be discussed with teachers and child-minders.  It involves knowing what to do if there is an attack, what medication is needed and at what point help must be sought.  Medication should also be taken any time before you go outside to help the change in air temperature – around 30 minutes beforehand is ideal if possible.


    The cold, damp weather, thunderstorms, really hot weather and a sudden change in temperature can trigger symptoms for some people so while we welcome the sunshine at the moment, we need to ensure that it is not triggering asthma symptoms for the little one.

    In the meantime, we are continuing to show our support for Asthma UK which has been an invaluable resource to us and we are planning on trying to organise an Big Asthma Bake Sale for World Asthma Day on the 2nd May 2017. So, anyone for cake??