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. Many things that could ruin a beach holiday. Give the following some thought prior to travel. If all the events happen in a lifetime you will be extremely unlikely. Fortunately most of them can be avoided, or mitigated, through careful planning and forethought.

    Beach

    In first place, consider the journey to the beach. It would be ruinous not to get there. It is possible to be denied a flight by arriving late or forgetting a key travel documents such as a passport. Flight delays can of course ruin ongoing connections to the beach resort.

    Second consider the hotel, resort and country where you choose to stay. It could be a horrible place. The hotel could be half built, the beach polluted, and the locals unfriendly. Although most travel brochures give more accurate descriptions of the hotels and resorts compared to the case a few years ago it is wise to give the descriptions careful scrutiny. Check that the resort is suitable, not noisy if you seek a quiet life, nor sleepy if you seek out a lively nightlife. In certain countries it might pay to consider the problems of crime and political unrest. Make sure that the resort is suitable for the holiday. Is it over commercialized? Is it family friendly?  Is the beach clean and safe, sandy and gently shelving for safe bathing?

    Third, consider the disappointment of a holiday cancelled or cut short. Cancellations can happen if the airline, tour operator, or hotel proprietor goes out of business. In such cases you might be offered an alternative holiday, or a refund of the operator is protected under a travel industry bond. More unusual reasons for cancelled flights include bad weather, industrial action by airport staff, security alerts and dust in the atmosphere arising from volcanic eruptions. Be mindful that there are situations which could leave a traveller stranded at a holiday resort. In such circumstances seek advice from your travel insurer before incurring any non redeemable expenses.

    Fourth, consider the problems of sickness or injury while on holiday. Minor self inflicted such as sunburn, sunstroke and too much alcohol can ruin the enjoyment of a holiday. Food poisoning can lead to more serious discomfort. Follow recommended guidelines as to what is safe to eat. If the water supply is suspect stick to bottled water and avoid salads that are washed locally. On the beach watch for local insects and be careful if there are jelly fish in the water.

    Fifth, avoid the problems of bad weather that could spoil a beach holiday. Chose a resort that has reliable sunshine and warmth for the time of year of your visit. If the weather is unreliable check that alternative activities are available for a cool, or rainy day. In many resorts have are indoor pools or leisure centres. Alternatively, there could be places of historic interest which could be worth a visit on a day not perfect for the beach. At the very worse, the holiday could be ruined by very bad weather such as a hurricane which lays waste to a West Indian resort.

    Sixth, keep control of your money and possessions., Shortage of money, or loss of possessions and luggage is a sure way to ruin a holiday. Tourists are often careless, or targeted by local criminals. Be careful with cameras and carry money close to the body on money belts. Keep some money elsewhere in reserve in case there is a theft. Although a nuisance loss of property is covered, subject to an excess, on a standard travel insurance policy. Make sure that you stay within budget while on holiday, taking into account fuel surcharges which many be being added to current airline ticket prices and unanticipated changes in exchange rates.

    Seventh, avoid any circumstances that give rise to stress. Taking a family through airports, watching over them on the beach, and keeping an entire family amused can be stressful and ruin the personal experience of a holiday. Relax and enjoy the sunshine. This is made easier through good organisation and use the facilities offered within the resort to entertain the children. Above all, cater for all the interests of the family and avoid family arguments as this is a sure fire way to spoil a family holiday.

    Eighth, many holidaymakers complain that fellow holidaymakers have ruined their holiday. Their behaviour ranges from the plain rude, to the discourteous, selfish or the mildly irritating. Crying babies and badly behaved children are a common irritant. The best remedy is to be tolerant and exemplary in one’s own behaviour.

    Ninth, make sure that your attitude does not spoil your holiday. Make sure that your expectations match the standards of the holiday and resort that you have booked. An approach which seeks to find fault in the holiday and seeks to identify issues upon which to claim is sure to spoil the enjoyment.

    Finally, watch for the wild card. There are many unexpected circumstances could ruin a beach holiday. Could anyone who travelled to the Maldives for a Christmas vacation in 2004 have anticipated the Boxing Day tsunami in Sumatra that left many of the low lying islands knee deep in water?

    In spite of all the things that could ruin a beach holiday the chances are that you can take them in your stride provided that you prepare beforehand, keep a cool head and approach the difficulties as they arise with good humour. 

  2. Back to school sales are beginning to pop up and organised parents are starting to think about the start of the new school year. School supplies lists are growing and every year more parents find themselves frustrated with the growing cost. With a plan and a little thinking ahead you can save money on school supplies this year. 

    Back to School : Collins

    Go through what you have in the house from last year before you buy anything new. You do not need new pencil sharpeners, scissors, and other odds and ends that do not get used up. This can lead to a big savings as you work your way down the teacher's list. 

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    Keep an eye on the sales. The early sales are often not as good as the later ones so only start shopping if you know a better price will not be coming. If you have the budget but want to wait for the sales getting a gift card to set to the side is always a great way to set your budget.

    Buy non-school supplies items off your teacher's list at the pound shops or use vouchers and sales to get the best deals. Some teachers list items that help keep our kids from getting sick during the school year. While this bothers some parents it can be valuable for keeping your family healthy come flu season. Tissues, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer in your child's school will save you a lot of money after so if you find a good deal, your child's teacher would love some extras.

    Stock extras when the best sales hit or grab extras when offers are online, so you won't need to pay full price later. These extras can be pulled out when your child needs more supplies without paying full price or if you really want to plan ahead, they could even be used as frugal stocking stuffers.

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  3. Raising kids can be overwhelming, so much so that an entire week can quickly go by in a blur, and you may not even realize that. If that sounds like you, here’s something to help you get recharged over the weekend.

    Read on to discover 7 super effective self care tips that you can implement on a Sunday, even if you’re a busy mum, and find yourself ready to take on the new week!

    Sleep In

    Yes, that’s right. There’s actually nothing healthier than getting enough sleep every night, and if that’s not really working out in your favor, utilise your Sunday and give your body the rest it needs. Turn off the alarm and wake up whenever your body wants to. If you still need to be up at a certain time to get things done, get some sleep in the afternoon, let your partner take over the childcare just for an hour or so.

    Sleep

    At Home Spa Sesh

    Ah yes! Bring out those sheet masks and bath bombs, and turn your bathroom into a full-blown spa on a Sunday afternoon, especially if you’ve got younger kids and you don’t have the luxury of heading off to the spa for a couple of hours. The skincare benefits aside, a home spa session will help you truly relax and unwind after a long and tiring week.

    Get Out

    Oh yes, self care isn’t just about bubble baths- taking a walk in the park, barefoot, phone turned off can be self care too. Infact, getting out for a breath of fresh air can be deeply relaxing and refreshing; so much so that you might find yourself hooked. Studies have found that spending some time outside can also relieve stress and anxiety, and boost the production of those ‘feel good’ hormones in your body. 

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    Soak In

    Speaking of bubble baths, there’s nothing better than the feeling of soaking in a warm bath, uninterrupted for a good 20 minutes, and if that’s what your Sunday self care idea feels like, go for it! You don’t even need those fancy products- just get in there and feel your tense muscles ease!

    Digital Detox

    Here comes the hardest of them all- a digital detox may not exactly seem like pampering, but trust us on this, it is! There’s a different kind of rejuvenation and energy that comes with not incessantly scrolling through your Instagram feed, or checking your emails every few minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much lighter and ‘free’ you feel, and guess what- you can actually use that free time to do what you like! 

    Enjoy Solitude

    As parents, we tend to overwork ourselves, push ourselves more than we can, and often set our expectations from ourselves way too higher than it needs to be. The result? Burnout. That’s not all though- in the process of doing so much, we often lose ourselves, our choices and even our identities. This time, take self care up a notch by enjoying some ‘me’ time, even if it is for just half an hour- reading a book or sipping on a cup of coffee at the coffee shop, all alone!

    Netflix & Relax

    If nothing else seems to be going your way, consider settling on this no-brainer. Some good old Netflix-ing and chilling can again, be a great way to relax on a Sunday. Stay in your PJs, grab a bowl of popcorn, put on a random Netflix show or movie and enjoy some time with your kiddos (or spouse)!

    Self care isn’t overrated. It is infact, absolutely necessary. It is all about keeping yourself in good shape physically and mentally to go on with everything in life, and tackle it all with a smile on your face!

  4. I am not a morning person. I like to stay up late, chatting, reading and falling into a deep sleep that I struggle to get out of the next day. So just when you thought all those sleepless nights and nappy changing was over, there comes the school time madness. I might have mentioned that mornings are already not my favourite thing, and to top that comes the crazy rush of making sure the lunch boxes are packed, the clothes are clean and the kids are ready in time for the school run. It’s tough. We get it. 

    I've been doing the school run for over 10 years now, so have put together 7 super simple and actionable tips to make the morning rush a little more bearable.

    7 Top Tips to Make the Morning Rush Bearable

    Make A Good Nights Sleep a Priority

    Even before we get started on the morning, we’ve got to focus on the nights. Getting restful sleep every night is crucial- not just for your little one but you too! Make it a point to get to bed early every single day- make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and your little one is in their bed depending on how much sleep they needs as per their age.

    This little trick can work wonders and both you and your little ones will wake up fresh and less cranky!

    Sleep

    Create a Routine

    You knew this one was coming- creating a routine is exceptionally helpful in all parts of your life. It basically helps you stay more organized and in control of how things are going. Divide your mornings into time slots, and assign different activities to each slot- depending on how long they take. This will also help you stay more realistic, and therefore, feeling less rushed.

    Determine What Sucks

    Whether it is your kid’s bathtime resistance or his habit of watching YouTube while having his breakfast, determine what is it that’s actually sucking and draining off the time and energy from your mornings. Work on ways to get that fixed, and you’ll notice how your mornings become less of a struggle.

    Bring the Fun into it

    Mornings don’t always need to be taxing and dull, infact you can actually make them a lot of fun! Look for ways to energize yourself and your kids every morning- you could play an upbeat song during bathtime or do a few light stretches before you grab your cup of coffee- just anything to put you in a fun mood.

    Prep the Night Before

    The simplest, most straightforward way to remove the rush out of mornings is to reduce the number of tasks you (and other members) have to do in the morning. This means prepping at night, but when you do it, you’ll feel much more relaxed in the morning (and at night too). Look up simple breakfast ideas and prep them the night before. Lay out the clothes to be worn, and all the essentials handy, so that there’s no last minute rush trying to find things.

    Wake Up a Bit Earlier

    Waking up a bit earlier everyday can make a huge difference, even if you’re not a morning person like me. I got up an hour earlier this week and by 7am I had stripped beds, done some washing, made lunches and felt really accomplished. It feels that somehow you’re able to get things done faster and more efficiently when you’re up early, and of course, you’ll be less rushed than you ever were.

    Alarm Clock

    Let it Go

    And last, but definitely not the least, be easy. Even if things aren’t turning out the way they planned, and if your little one took a longer time to brush, or if you didn’t get the chance to chop those strawberries and add them to your children's cereal bowl, that’s okay. Don’t stress too much over the details and how things didn’t turn out perfect.

    There is always tomorrow ......