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. If you are an avid camper, the restrictions of movement because of the pandemic must be a real pain. You miss the sun, the wild abandon of fellow campers, the fresh breeze in the forests, the excitement of taking a road trip, and the anticipation of the beautiful sceneries that await you.

    LLP - Camping

    That does not mean you cannot have some fun in your home. With just a little imagination, you can camp at home, in your living room or your backyard, and re-live some of your camping experiences.

    Gather your gear

    What kind of gear would you normally have with you if you went camping in the wild?

    Prepare cooking gear, entertainment kits, and other survival kits. The best way to integrate some important parts of the house (such as toilet) into the camping adventure would be to ward off areas that you do not need. You can use strings or ropes to create some sort of a perimeter around your camping 'site'.

    No tent? No problem!

    You would need a tent when you go camping in the wild but you can improvise if you are camping at home. Your bed sheets or blankets can work just fine here. You do not even need poles or pegs to prop them up. Just tie the ends to bits of furniture for support and create your fort within minutes. Then start decorating to give it a personal touch.

    Go electronic free

    To make it seem more realistic, you will need to switch off your devices. The idea here is to mimic normal camping in the wild. For entertainment, focus on creative stuff such as board games or card games. This would also be a great time to bond with your kids over good stories.

    Encourage them to be creative and innovative in their entertainment options. A good book would also come in handy depending on how long you want to spend camping. Bring a lantern with you and switch off electric power inside the room.

    Pack on the snacks

    A camping escapade would not be complete without good food and snacks, especially if you are doing it with your kids. Use a gas stove to roast marshmallows outside your 'tent'. Download good camping recipes and try them out.

    An excuse to try out new gear

    If you are a beginner camper, it's advisable to try out your new gear at home first. This could save you a lot of time and stress at the actual camping ground. If you have a large backyard, this would be the best place to set up camp.

    No campfire? No problem!

    Due to safety reasons, you might not be able to make a campfire in your living room. You can improvise though. There are many ways to do it, depending on what is available to you. If you have a chimney, you can run a fire directly on the wood stove using dry wood. Coal, charcoal, and briquette can also work great. And you can roast some marshmallows right on top of them!

    How to camp at home

     

  2. Father's Day should be a special day to celebrate but with the current Covid-19 pandemic and life in semi lockdown, there are no restaurants to go to and no pubs to go for a drink in. So we have tried to put together a series of original ideas to surprise the best father in the world.

    Happy Fathers Day

    Father's Day is a celebration that takes place in most countries of the world. This day was born in 1909 when in the United States, a woman named Sonora wanted to pay tribute to her father. Although this was the origin, it was not until years later that a father's day was officially established.

    In the United States, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, coinciding with the birthday of Henry Jackson Smart. However, in Catholic countries, the date moves to March 19, which is according to their belief, the day of Saint Joseph, father of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Below are Ideas to celebrate father day:

    • Crafts or personalized gifts: What we do not usually take into account is that for adults, it can also be an exciting option to make a craft to give away. There are many options, and on the internet, you can find very well explained tutorials to put crafts of all kinds into practice. From making original congratulations to creating a photo frame with your photograph, you get a huge list of personalized gifts for your father.           You will be able to make your own innovative creations if you are fond of creating things. Let the talent and art inside you show the light. In case you are not good at crafts, or you do not want to try it, still, you can make a unique gift to your father. You have the option of giving him a personalized gift: a watch with his name engraved, a mug with a specially printed silk-screen phrase directed at him, a cushion with a photo of you, putting his name on a star, etc.

    • A getaway: An excellent gift for your father can be a romantic trip with your mother. You can give them a weekend trip to a rural house if they like to be in contact with nature. Or to a place where they stay is a hotel with a spa that allows them to relax to the fullest and enjoy massage services. Please choose a destination that they have not been to or that they have previously visited, and they are nostalgic for keeping a very pleasant memory, such as where they went for their honeymoon. This will be a lovely treat after lockdown.

    • Sibling meeting: If there are several siblings in the family, it may be interesting for you to get together and celebrate together in your Dad's garden. Especially if you don't see each other very often, which usually happens often in families where the children are already independent. You can prepare dinner or lunch in their favorite restaurant. What kind of food does your father like, can you cook it up and take it with you? e

    • Cultural activities: If your father is a person who likes cultural activities, it may be a good time to spend the afternoon with him in a museum that he has not yet visited,or to see a play. The idea is to find an activity that everyone who is celebrating the day likes with him. However, if this is not possible with the current lockdown, just a little effort is needed and try to share a moment that we know he will be very excited about.

    • Sport activities: If your father is still fit, you can organize a family sports activity, such as rounders in the park. Depending on how competitive you are, this could be a great afternoon.

    • Remind him how much you love him: There is no better way to convey your love to her than by saying it in word, with a card, or with an action. 

    Do you have any ideas to add?

     Ideas For Things to do for Dad on Father’s Day

  3. My youngest daughter is desperate for us to have a dog, although I am not sure that the cat would be so happy about it. She takes every opportunity to walk her friends dogs or "train" our neighbours dog and I am quite sure that she would actually take great care of a new canine friend but there is more to consider than daily walks and holding a paw.

    Photo 11-04-2020, 19 50 46

    Any experienced dog owner can tell you that, while there are few joys in life as great as taking your dog out for an adventure in the great outdoors, not every dog enjoys the car journey needed to get there. Some dogs can’t even make it to the vet without kicking up a fuss.

    Below are some simple tips for training your dog to relax more on long car journeys.

    Prepare Them For The Experience

    Before you begin training your dog in any regard, you first need to make sure that both you and they are prepared for the experience. Training your dog to stay calm and relaxed on long car journeys will inevitably require you to put your pet in the car at some point. No matter how careful or skilled you are as a driver, having your pet in the vehicle with you exposes them to the risk of injury[1].

    Because of this, it is vital that you have dog insurance in place before you take your dog on any car journeys. You can use a service like Everypaw to compare dog insurance quotes online. Everypaw lets you compare different types of cover, including Lifetime Pet Insurance and Maximum Benefit, to find the right cover for your dog.

    You can begin acclimating your dog to car journeys by having them enter and exit your vehicle while it is stationary. This lets them get used to climbing in and out of the car and will make the space feel more familiar to them. This will also give you the opportunity to ensure that you have a suitable space for your dig while the vehicle is in motion.

    Begin With Shorter Trips

    There are a number of reasons that dogs might become anxious on a car journey, taking shorter trips will help you to assess how your dog responds to being in the car while you are driving. For example, some dogs, like people, suffer from motion sickness, which can turn into a source of anxiety for them during a journey. Signs of a nauseous dog include excessive drooling, yawning, or whining. If your dog actually vomits during the journey, motion sickness is likely a problem for them[2].

    Taking shorter trips before you try to put your dog through the stress of longer journeys enables them to acclimatise to conditions in the car, while also providing you with the opportunity to observe their behaviour and make a plan for transporting them accordingly.

    Photo 07-06-2020, 22 57 03

    Keep Your Dog Under Control

    When you’re driving with your dog, it is essential that you keep them under control, either in a crate in the boot or using a harness.

    The law in the UK[3] requires drivers to secure their dog, so that it does not distract the driver. As such, you need to find a harness or crate that your dog will feel comfortable in and then get them used to spending time in it.

    Foster A Positive Association

    Not every dog will naturally take to car rides; some dogs really don’t want to get in the car and go anywhere. However, you can change your dog’s conditioning and turn a negative response into a positive one with the right training. The trick here is positive reinforcement - you can use rewards to encourage your dog to form a positive association with your car and to view getting in it as a rewarding act.

    As you begin to take your dog on longer and longer car rides, make sure that you are constantly providing them with positive reinforcement. Speak to them in a cheerful tone as you drive along and make sure that they have access to their favourite toys and treats - these will help them to relax and develop a positive association with being in your car.

    Keep The Temperature Cool

    Every dog owner understands the importance of ensuring that their pet is never left alone in a hot vehicle. This can easily lead to the death of a dog if they are alone for too long[4]. While the majority of dog owners are good at following this simple rule, many are much less alert to the dangers of a dog overheating during a long car journey.

    Remember, dogs are not people and they will react differently to the same circumstances. Just because you and your family feel fine in a hot vehicle, it doesn't necessarily mean that your dog is going to be ok with the same conditions. You should always have the air conditioning running whenever possible, and you should ideally keep windows open as well when your dog is travelling with you but avoid opening them all the way. It is also essential that you keep water in your car, use a special water bowl to enable your dog to drink while the car is in motion.

    With the right approach to training and a little patience, you can teach your dog to at least tolerate a long journey in your car. Having a stressed-out dog in the back seat is enough to stress any driver, it is worth taking the time to properly prepare and train your dog beforehand.

    How to train your dog to relax on long car journeys

    This is a collaborative post

    [1] https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/ask-trainers-get-dog-ride-car/

    [2] https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-do-dogs-get-anxious-in-cars

    [3] https://www.clenthillsvets.co.uk/did-you-know-it-is-a-legal-requirement-to-restrain-your-dog-in-the-car/

    [4] https://www.vets-now.com/2017/01/dogs-travelling-in-cars-seven-dos-donts/

     

  4. A few years ago, we were contacted by Desenio - the frame and print people and were asked to take a look at their fantastic library of prints - needless to say we loved them and they still hang on the teenagers wall even now. Home is where your WiFi connects automatically is one of our previous word art prints and this has never been more relevant with us all working from home at the moment.

    In the current climate it seems a simple statement can make a loud noise.

    We have recently had the opportunity to get some more prints and frames from Desenio and I don't mind admitting that I spent almost an hour lost in their website. The range has expanded since we last worked with them and they have a very wide portfolio of prints and posters and even more frame options too.

    There are many ways to browse using the easily identifiable and suitably located starting headers of PRINTS/FRAMES/BESTSELLERS/NEW ARRIVALS and for a fantastic inspirational treat GALLERY WALLS.

    All of these headers offer a drop down sub menu either by hovering over them or selecting, each full of additional options to explore…all making for a very quick and simple user experience, a welcome layout structure considering the vast array of options on offer.

    Photo 09-06-2020, 19 47 06

    Once we had selected our frame style and size (again very easy with all dimensions listed and easily identifiable) we chose our prints and checked out.

    When our package arrived it echoed the clean and simple brand identification of the website with a sturdy plain box with a DESENIO logo on the top. Inside was a very well packaged set of high quality frames sandwiched in between air bag wrap insulation and perfectly positioned to fill the ergonomics of the box – impressive we thought! Clearly some time and effort has been put into packaging the products so the customer is welcomed by a very nicely laid out set of products. Obviously we ordered quite a few frames but I’m sure if only 1 or 2 were ordered there would be a similar level of packaging finesse.

    The frames themselves are high quality and sturdy without being too heavy and come with double sided protective film on the Perspex, all individually wrapped with cardboard corners.

    At first glance we thought our prints had been forgotten however upon further exploration we found that in true Desenio fashion they had not been forgotten, in fact they had been placed underneath the frames in a lovely envelope with an obviously hand stuck sticker seal keeping it shut – again giving a feel of consideration and personal attention. Reluctantly ripping the sticker seal (weird how I never like doing that?) we discovered our prints delivered on high quality photographic paper with excellent print clarity – surprising considering the modest cost.

     Photo 31-05-2020, 17 42 10

    Overall a fantastic user experience with great quality products and fast, free delivery when you spend over certain amount. We would encourage you to put aside plenty of time to explore all the prints on offer – you’ll need it!

     PIN - LLP - Desenio

    Disclosure : This is a collaborative post