Blog : Little Lilypad Co
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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Yes I mentioned the C word. I know, I know but if you are a savvy shopper I have no doubt that you have probably already made some purchases or at least some plans by now.
Its never too early to start
My plans for Christmas start in January. I read an article this week about a mum who buys the majority of her Christmas presents in the Boxing Day sales and whilst I couldn't do that (my kids change their mind multiple times in December, let alone a whole year beforehand) but I do make plans in January. I buy expensives Christmas cards when they are in the sale at Marks and Spencers or Paperchase. Christmas cards aren't "fashionable" and if you are giving last years designs, it also means that its unlikely people will get duplicates! Win win!
Take advantage of out of season offers
I keep an eye out for the offers. This sounds like simple advice but its true, if I see something on offer earlier in the year, like a favourite perfume or discounts on make up, I will buy it early and put it away.
Always make a list
At one point, I was buying for over 30 children and I realised that I needed to reign it in. I keep a book with all the Christmas gifts in it, so I can check what I bought last year and it stops me from going overboard.
Don't buy anything at all
No, I promise I am not being Scrooge. Last year I made a pact with some friends that we would spend time, not money. So we made a conscious effort to get together, to really catch up or to do something fun with the kids. Gifts can be discarded over time, memories can't!
Check voucher sites
I remember when we used to get excited about having chocolate in our advent calenders each morning but times have moved on and its toys, jewellery and gin these days! I saw on one of the voucher sites this week, a 24 day Jewellery advent calendar with gifts made with cyrstals from Swarovski. It was reduced from from £199 to £21.99! So it is definitely worth checking out the discount voucher sites before buying an advent calender this year.
Those are my top preparation tips for this week, so I will leave you to do some savvy shopping. Happy saving! (I won't say Happy Christmas just yet!)
Last weekend we went to see the AMAZING 9 to 5 Musical at the Alexandra Theatre. It has finished its run now in Birmingham but it is travelling round the UK. I didn't actually know the story or many of the songs but it was a couple of hours of sheer entertainment. 9 to 5 the Musical tells the story of three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the women manage to reform their office - or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?
We got an unexpected surprise when we found star of the show, Louise Redknapp outside the stage door on the way home, so it would have been rude not to say hello!
In addition to 9 to 5 in Birmingham last week, the cast of the fairest panto in the land came together for the first time in costume to officially launch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which plays at Birmingham Hippodrome from Saturday 21 December 2019 - Sunday 2 February 2020.
The spectacular production will feature Lesley Joseph as the Wicked Queen, Matt Slack as Muddles, Joe McElderry as The Spirit in the Mirror, Faye Brookes as Snow White, Flawless as The Wicked Queen’s Men, Doreen Tipton as The Lady in Waiting, Andrew Ryan as Nanny Annie Aspirin and Jac Yarrow as The Prince.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Saturday 21 December 2019 - Sunday 2 February 2020. Book now to secure the best seats, or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror! To book visit birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000 (4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).
In November and December The Old Rep brings Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale The Snow Queen to The Old Rep stage.
This adaptation of the magical adventure follows inseparable friends Kai and Gerda. When the heartless Snow Queen steals Kai to help rebuild her broken treasure, can Gerda rescue him in time before she plunges the world into an eternal winter? With the help of an unlikely band of companions, Gerda travels to the Kingdom of Ice to confront the Snow Queen and rescue her friend.
From the creative team behind last year’s Pinocchio, comes a seasonal adventure for the entire family. We loved Pinocchio last year and can't wait to see what the creative team have in store for The Snow Queen.
Have you booked anything for theatreland this winter?
The summer holidays are a great way to wind down, however there is nothing than can wind parents up more than school shoe shopping.
Recent research has revealed, 87% of parents wished they could spend more time with their children while parents say that less than half (45%) of the time they spend with their child is quality time. However in the interests of honesty, spending time shoe shopping isn't really on my quality time wish list.
It is no secret that I love online shopping and shoe shopping is no different. I think that we all believe children need to have their shoes fitted in a shoe shop and whilst a proper shoe fitting for children is essential, buying the shoes in the fitting store isn't obligatory.
This year, we have had feet measured in a well known high street store but didn't actually love any of the shoe designs. This is where Jake Shoes have the advantage. They have all the well known brands such as Lelli Kelly, Ugg, Converse and Vans but they also stock some of the lesser known brands that you won't necessarily find on the high street and more importantly won't find the same shoes on every child in the classroom. Most parents have experienced the "joy" of having the wrong shoes or pumps come home and the uneviable task of tracking down the right ones, thats why having an extensive range to choose from online has multiple benefits.
Once I had determined that my youngest daughter had gone up a whole shoe size over the summer (eek), we sat and browsed our way through the range online at Jake Shoes. We chose the Lelli Kelly Tracey Bow Bar Shoes in black patent because they have the great name and quality of Lelli Kelly and looked sturdy enough to take all the playground running around!
We will update this post once the shoes have been put through their paces but our first impressions are good, we are happy with the style, the fit and the beautiful little socks that come with a pair of Lelli Kelly shoes!
We were gifted the shoes for the purpose of this feature, however our experience of Jake Shoes online shopping has been brilliant. So to those parents getting hot under the collar in shoe shops all over the country in preparation for back to school ..... there is another way!
Finally and whilst we know that it won't be in time for September 2019 but we are delighted to be able to give our readers the chance to win a £20 voucher to spend at Jake Shoes. (And it doesn't need to be spent on school shoes!) All you need to do is enter below!
Terms & ConditionsThe Prize: Jake Shoes £20 voucher
The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Gleam and notified within 7 working days by email
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.UK Entrants OnlyEnd Date 06/10/2019 at 12amThis promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter, Instagram or Facebook