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. Recent unrest within the UK brings with it not just anxiety about the future of the country but a whole host of worrisome thoughts about the effect that recent events could have on our day to day lives too. It’s important to give yourself some space to digest the huge shifts that are happening around the world right now but, with families and jobs, homes and parents to take care of, we can easily forget to take care of number one – ourselves.

    If you’re a busy parent then you’ll likely not even remember what it means to unwind, destress and, dare we say it, relax. In this post, we wanted to pass on some handy hints and tips that can help you to put the demands of day to day life aside for a moment, or have your health on the up and see your energy levels increase.

    Say goodbye to sugar

    To kick us off we want to talk about sugar. Yes, the dreaded “S” word. We know most parents are clued up about how to keep sugar intake low in their children (although in our experience an apple hardly ever proves as tantalizing an option as sweeties do so it’s an uphill struggle) but have you ever looked at what’s in the cereal you eat each morning, or the ready meal you might make yourself when you’re on the go? Hidden sugars are everywhere with regular suspects coming in the form of a teaspoonful in your tea (multiply that by a few cups a day!) and in low-fat “healthy” snack bars. Sugars are an essential part of our diet but when it comes to destressing they can be foe rather than friend. The sharp release of energy you feel after a sugar boost will help power you through the school run but what about afterwards when the slump hits? Then it’s all too easy to lose concentration, get off track and beat yourself up about not getting the jobs done. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mind so get yours in check to kick start your relaxing routine.

    Small things you can do to make big changes

    Get some air in your lungs

    Second on the list is fresh air. It may seem a little too simplistic but getting out and about in the brisk British weather can prove a real starter for ten for your mood. Many people only pop outside their house or office to have a cigarette rather than getting some fresh air but giving up smoking is a big life change and a way to improve shortness of breath, wheezing and other more sinister conditions. There are more details about quitting smoking here but there are lots of things you can do, with walking therapies becoming increasingly popular, going beyond the garden fence for a 15-minute mind break can increase your levels of serotonin and lift your mood. Plus, it can focus your mind on other things for a few minutes – the weather, traffic (and not smoking) – and give you some space from the day to day grind. 

    It is good to talk

    Whether it’s to your best friend, a parent, partner or even a professional, having a blether about yourself can really take a weight off your shoulders, even when you didn’t think there was one there. It’s can be difficult to admit when stress is getting us down but you’d be surprised how many people are in the same boat so get yourself a cup of tea (no sugar!) on the go and have a good old natter.

     

  2. You know that old adage, a change is as good as a rest, well, in my opinion it doesn't just apply to mini-breaks and summer holidays, but can be perfectly applied to your own home. Tired furniture and sagging sofas aren't just a strain on the eye, but aren't too good for your health either, and with this in mind, I decided to make a list of all the things that I could change in my home to make it a more comforting, and comfortable, place to be.

    Taking it from a health perspective, let's start with the main living area of your home and see precisely what you can do to make sure your furniture isn't literally being a pain in the neck, or back, or bum...You get the idea. Of course, you will want your sofas to look good, but when replacing your old suite, don't just pick one because it's super snazzy, without actually testing whether it will hold up against a good trouncing from the whole family. A sofa should support your weight, be comfy and be an investment that should last years. If your sofa is causing you to experience aches and pains and has seat and back cushions that wouldn't support a limp piece of lettuce, then it is time to open your wallet and buy a new one.

     LLP - Does your home impact on your health-

    It is said that you spend a third of your life asleep (unless you're a teenager and then it's probably around two thirds), and so scrimping when it comes to your bed and mattress is not a good idea. Ensure you get a great night's sleep by changing your mattress every few years, and if needs be, your bed, especially if it is looking a little worse for wear these days. From a personal perspective, I think Bedstar, with their extensive range of mattresses and beds, have a lot to offer as they have various styles, sizes and colours when it comes to bed frames, and a good variety of different mattress types.

    Mental health should be considered as important as physical health, and studies have shown that an untidy, cluttered home can increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Therefore it is vital that you strip back your home to an uncluttered state to ensure it is as happy a place to be as possible. This is of course easier said than done when you have children throwing things left, right and centre, but if you clear out any non-essentials bit by bit you will soon see a difference to the state of your home and, hopefully, your state of mind. If you are still not convinced, think about the money you can make by selling items you haven't used in months or even years – now surely that is an incentive for a good old clear out?

  3. Decisions are part of our every day life but this week lives appear to have been torn apart over a certain decision made by a large proportion of the county. This blog isn't political, it is not even about that decision per se but about how a single decision shouldn't ignite the hatred, abuse and aggresion I have seen across social media over the past couple of days.

    I made a decision once to marry a man who (as it turns out) most of my friends didn't like. They didn't like my choice but they didn't unfriend me because of it. They made a decision to welcome him into their circle and put their faith in me and although that decision in the end didn't work out, we all muddled through together.

    I have worked in industry and made Company wide decisions that affected a significant amount of people but decisions had to be made and they were done so with the best interests of the Company and its employees at heart.

    I made a decision to choose a faith for my children that was met with some surprise. I had friends raise their eyebrows or roll their eyes in disbelief but just because their faith differs from mine, doesn't mean that we fell out about it.

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    I made a statement on my personal Facebook wall on Wednesday night, saying that I firmly believe that religion and politics are a very personal thing but I also believe that every single person who is eligible to vote, should! I might discuss my views with a close circle of family and friends and I totally respect those who wish to discuss it on their Facebook pages or Twitter feeds but I have been saddened by the agressive frenzy that has torn its way across social media. I have seen friends fall out, insults hurled on Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds and I have felt the weight of every person who feels they have "lost".

    A decision was made. 

    Unfortunately, personally or politically, no decision is ever going to please everyone.

  4. My husband thinks I am addicted to shopping, he thinks that I am unable to stop myself from buying things online because I love the thrill of the parcels arriving. I justify it to myself that a third of the clothing that arrives at our house is for the fashion conscious preteen and her evolving style choices. (although who doesn't love those parcels arriving with new delights inside).

    Keeping up with her changing and developing style is not cheap, especially when she wants a Ted Baker outfit in the sales for her end of year disco in one breath and Nike Air trainers in the next. I know that there will be some parents who think it is ridiculous to put children in named clothes or designer outfits but it doesn't seem that long ago when I was at senior school and watched in envy at the children with all the "right" clothes. Unfortunately for me, being fashion conscious has arrived in our house earlier than expected so it is important for me to shop savvy so that she can get the best of everything but at the best price for my bank balance too!

    I always shop around, whether it is making sure that we get cashback for the girls savings accounts or getting money off upfront via online websites such as Love the Sales. I know that when I am shopping for her now that her friends influence her far more than I do, but while she still wants to shop with me I just have to remember that I can't simply enforce my own tastes anymore.

    For her, it is an experimental time, working out what sort of teenager and young person she is eventually going to become ..... hopefully one that has been taught that if she works hard and shops smart, she can have the life AND the wardrobe she wants. 

     LLP - Keeping up with the fashion choices of an pre-teeenage girl