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 by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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. As a child, a SodaStream was the thing of legend. It was something that everyone else had but we never did. It was coveted and whilst my mum has always been ahead of her time with recycling and sustainability but we could never convince her to swap our plastic fizzy drinks bottles for the elusive SodaStream.

    So my inner child was more than a little excited when SaveMoneyCutCarbon recently asked if they could send us a SodaStream Spirit to put through its paces. The blurb tells us that SodaStream is the easy way to reduce your single use plastic waste and make sparkling water and your favourite fizzy drink, with just a touch of a button. So is that really true?

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money

     

    What does it cost?

    Cost is always the big question people have when thinking about buying a SodaStream. How much do they cost and is it worth it? First and foremost, you don’t need to go to their official website to buy one! You can buy your SodaStream from SaveMoneyCutCarbon and if you are a member of the Home Club, you get unbeatable pricing, guaranteed. Their Club Price Promise means that if a Club member finds it cheaper, they will refund the difference. It’s as if you’re buying direct from the manufacturer.

    The basic price is £99.00, plus £24.95 for the gas cannister and if you add one syrup in, that is bringing your total basic startup cost to £130.00. I set about working out how much we spend on fizzy drinks, so that includes all the soft drinks we buy per month and not to mention the tonic water for the husbands gin. I was a little horrified to realise this was costing us approx £72.00 per month. So we would start seeing savings by month two if this little machine lived up to the hype!!

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money (2)

    What did we think?

    From the moment you begin unboxing the Sodastream its clear that along with cost saving and waste reduction, simplicity and usability are at the heart of the brand. The latter continues to be the case with the actual set up and usage of the product. The inside of the box is compartmentalised and designed for safe transit and easy access to the unit, the gas canister and the supplied syrups.

    Once unwrapped, the tall, sleek and modern design of the unit fits well in any contemporary kitchen. The accompanying basic diagrammatical instruction leaflet easily demonstrates the simple ‘click to open’ and ‘screw in to fit’ nature of the unit and the gas canister.

    Once put together the supplied water bottle is so easy to fit in place that our 9 year old could easily manage and was thrilled at the satisfying woooooosh and bubbling that comes from pressing the big button on the top the advised number of times (3 for fizzy and 5 for extra fizzy). Delving in to the range of syrups they are all easy to use, again with simple guidance on the side of the bottle and a handy lid that doubles as the advised measure. Once added to the bottle of now carbonated water the results are delicious! We tried the Cola, Lemon and Lime (both containing sugar) and also the Tonic mix and Zero calorie Lime that were sugar free. Thinking back to when we were children in the 80’s our memory was always of a beverage that had the hallmarks of ‘own brand’ cheaper drinks however these mixes are far from that – very much a premium tasting drink!

    Will it help reduce our plastic waste?

    One of the big benefits of a SodaStream is that it allows you to enjoy fizzy drinks and water without having to continue buying plastic bottles. What’s more, SodaStream PET bottles can be reused for up to 3 years, each one helping to eliminate as many as 1,282 single-use plastic bottles.

    So if you are looking to save money and your plastic consumption, the SodaStream from SaveMoneyCutCarbon might just be the answer to the question you didn't know you were asking!

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money (1)

    Disclaimer : We were sent the SodaStream to review but all thoughts and fizzy fun are our own!

  2. 2020 was quite a year, especially since most of us were stuck at home for a large part of it. But, being stuck at home opens your eyes- we don’t know about you, but it’s made us want to work on ways to live a more sustainable life. Living and maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyles takes effort, but not that much. The more you learn about the issues that affect our beautiful planet, the more determined you will be to make sustainable choices on a daily. That doesn’t mean you have to change your lifestyle completely, but every little change counts.

    PIN - Top tips for being more sustainable in 2021

     

    Here are 3 ways to live a more sustainable life in 2021. 

    Use a different mode of transportation

    You create about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide when you drive to and from work, which ends up releasing into the atmosphere each year- leading to the greenhouse effect, causing global warming. Do your part by making use of public transport, scheduling a carpool with your friends or co-workers, you can even walk or ride a bike if you’re in close distance to your work place. This isn’t just healthy for the environment, it’s healthy for you as well.

    Shop locally and eat seasonally for your groceries

    Shop from your local farmers' market to get fresh food items that were grown naturally without adding waste or carbon emissions to the environment. You’ll be eating healthier and supporting the community. Eat fruits and vegetables that are seasonal, as you’ll be eating the farm-to-table lifestyle which means you’ll be buying foods that were harvested recently by the local farmers. Not only will the foods be tastier, but you’ll be helping the environment as well.

    Make use of eco-friendly products around your home

    Most of the products that we use at home to clean the house, wash our clothes, or do the dishes contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Especially chemicals like detergents, foaming agents, and preservatives. Instead, switch to products that make use of sustainably grown ingredients rather than ingredients that are synthetic so that they don’t harm the planets eco-system. These eco-friendly products are also beneficial to people that have weak immune systems and health conditions as they pose less health risks. After starting to work alongside SaveMoneyCutCarbon last year, we have been making small steps in our sustainable swaps journey and being a member of their Home Club means we get regular updates on the positive impact we can all make. 

    Right then, I am off to use my EcoCoconut Scourer and Ocean Saver cleaning products to get this house clean! 

     PIN - Top tips for being more sustainable in 2021 (1)

  3. PIN - Tips to save money in lockdown (2)

    2020 saw the advent and popularization of a new way of working; remotely. Although some people had exposure to working from home, this was a new system to others. Many started experiencing burnout signs. Burnout is when you feel exhausted emotionally, physically, and mentally that it inhibits how you operate. This exhaustion can take a toll on your professional and personal life. Here's how to understand if you are having burnout signs while working from home and how to deal with them.

    Physical signs

    Are you constantly feeling tired, lots of back pain, strain in your eyes, pain in the neck? Are you feeling nervous or having stomach upsets all the time? Does fatigue always set in when you think about seating behind your computer to work? Chances are that you may be having burnout.

    Mental and Emotional signs

    Are you feeling angry all the time, irritable at your loved one? Are you feeling disconnected from those you love or finding it hard to hold and maintain a conversation? Do you keep procrastinating your work without a good reason? You might be experiencing burnout.

    How can you manage this burnout?

    The first step towards the management of any problem is by acknowledging that the problem exists. Working from home burnout is a real problem that could have adverse implications on your personal and professional life. Once you understand how it makes you feel and operate, there are several strategies you can apply to manage the issue.

    1.      Ask for support

    Maybe you have too much to do around the house, the sheer thought of these obligations overwhelm you. Ask for assistance from your family members. Maybe all it takes is having a certain obligation taken away from you. A supportive environment is a critical element for a wholesome mental state.

    2.      Take a break

    If possible, take a moment away from working from home so that you can rejuvenate. During this break, stay away from work-related activities. Find something that makes you happy. Take a walk, watch a movie, sing, dance, or engage in some activity that delivers happiness to you. Have a 'me time' to decompress before you get back to work.

    3.      Exercise

    Sports and exercise activities release the 'feel-good' hormones. When you are feeling stressed, take a short break and engage in a short physical activity. Repeat this exercise frequently throughout the day.

    4.      Talk about it

    A problem shared is a problem half-solved. If you have close confidants, talk about what you are feeling. They may be having ideas on how to make it easier. If you have burnout because you have too much work, ask your company to lessen the workload or allow for more time to finish the work. Some companies have offered excellent training and resources to support their employees during these trying times.

    5.      Replicate the office environment

    Some people find it easier to work in an office setup. Since you are working from home, this becomes a challenge. They may now know how to manage their time or organize themselves accordingly. Create a specific space within your home and designate this as your office. Every time you are in this space your mind is triggered to treat it as you would a normal office set up. This may help you avoid burnout and increase your productivity levels.

    PIN - Tips to save money in lockdown (3)

  4. Lockdown has completely changed how we live our lives, but it can be seen as an opportunity to stay home and save money. We are undoubtedly spending less money going out but it is easy to spend money on Amazon or online stores, so we have put together some handy tips to help you save your pennies for your future lifestyle, while saving lives by staying at home. 

    PIN - Tips to save money in lockdown

    1. No matter how much you are currently saving per month, be it £50, £ 100, or more, make a conscious effort to save a little more. If you can, try to double the amount you save. Of course, you can always dip in this pot when needed, but hopefully, this is not a requirement, and you will have a few extra pennies to enjoy once the lock is removed. There are numerous modest methods to mark savings as well as an investment a part of your ordinary life. A Terramundi pot is a simple way to add loose change or pound coins and you have to smash it to get access, so not so easy to dip into. 

    2. If you are craving your favorite takeout but are just off or don't want to spend a lot of money on food, consider making your own "fakeaway" at home. Not only is it likely to be cheaper, but it is also a great way for couples and families to hang out together, and it is probably a healthier version as well. While many gyms across the UK have consistently cancelled membership, there are currently other ways to cut costs, including temporarily suspending their sports membership, from calling Sky to suspending monthly subscriptions.

    3. If you can't resist shopping online for door-to-door delivery, be sure to look for discount codes, deals, and cash-back deals before checking out. However, it is important to resist the urge to motivate yourself. Right now, we are all in a time of uncertainty, and it would be wise to be a little prudent about our frivolous expenses. 

    4. Pay with cash. There is so much talk about a cashless economy but spending physical cash always make you think about how much you are spending, much more than when you are swiping or tapping a card to purchase.

    Lockdown in the UK has become part of life at the moment but saving habits can last through the lockdown and beyond. If you are consistent.

    Good luck! 

    PIN - Tips to save money in lockdown (1)