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 sustainable living, saving money, lifestyle and travel. It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. Veganuary is a new concept that encourages people to try a vegan diet throughout the month of January but what happens as January ends?

    PIN - LLP - Vegan

    With there being a lot more focus on sustainability one way you can do that is reducing or even stopping any meat and meat product consumption within your household. However, going completely vegan may seem like a bit of a challenge. So if you have enjoyed vegan choices during Veganuary or you are hoping to making more of a switch to vegan here are some of the tips to help you stick with it. 

    Be organised

    One of the best things you can do is to be organised with your food and drinks shopping lists. Make a note of products you use regularly and then do online shops so that you won’t be caught out buying something in a store that isn’t vegan. Some of the hardest things to spot are the items that are not obviously vegan, such as alcohol, for example. Shopping online gives you the chance to check the finer print to ensure the products you are buying are vegan. 

    Meal plan and batch cook

    Another temptation you might find is those days and evenings when you are unsure what to cook or you have prepared something in advance. Those are the times people are more likely to call for a takeout option or be more tempted to not make a vegan meal. Instead meal plan and batch cook where possible. Don’t give yourself an opportunity to fail. 

    Cookbooks can be useful 

    Often people find it difficult to stick with a vegan diet because they are unsure of what to cook or don’t feel as inspired in the kitchen. This is where cookbooks can be useful. One option would be to invest in a decent vegan cookbook but if you are wanting to just try things out then a great option is to check out your local library. You might be surprised what cookbooks are there and it will give you the incentive to try some out before the book needs to be returned. Plus if you like the book you could always buy it. 

    Let people know what you are doing 

    It is important to let your friends and family know that you are embarking on a vegan diet and lifestyle. If you can, try and get the whole family on board as this can make it easier when cooking meals and provides you less temptation. Your friends can also encourage you and help you to stay on track. 

    Is this just about the food or the lifestyle?

    Something to think about is whether Veganuary is just about the food and drink you consume or is it about the lifestyle? This means making further changes such as the things you wear or have in your home. Many people start with food and drink and progress on to other areas of their lives. You need to ensure that you think about whether the things you have are made from animals or animal products. 

    Making more sustainable and vegan food choices doesn't have to be overwhelming, making small changes can make a huge difference to you and the planet.

    PIN - LLP - Vegan (1)

  2. We have all been there I am sure. Mum guilt is something that can hit us all very hard at any stage of parenthood. It doesn’t matter if it is feeling guilty because you gave your child chicken nuggets or fish fingers for dinner again, or that you haven’t had a chance to spend time with them and you have relied heavily on the tablet. These are just a few examples but mum guilt can strike at any time for any reason and it can make us all feel pretty rubbish. However, you are not alone, and there are some positive solutions that you can try if you find yourself struggling with mum guilt at the moment.

    PIN - LLP - Struggling with Mom Guilt (1)

    With that in mind, here are some of the things to consider. 

    Take some time out to breathe

    One thing you must do if you are starting to feel overwhelmed and feeling all of the mum guilt is to take some time out to breathe. It might sound simple, but it can be very effective. Just vake yourself away from the situation, or find some time to be on your own for a few minutes, and just try some regualr breathign exercises. Take deep breaths and try and clear your mind in the process. This will help you to calm a busy mind and start to see a little more clearer. It might not necessarily banish the feelings entirely, but you will start to feel more logical and be more realistic when you have stepped away for a few minutes. 

    Head out for a walk 

    Another thing that can be super effective is to head out for a walk. There is something about the general activity, the fresh air and being closer to nature that can help you to think clearer. When you start to feel mum guilt you can feel like your mind is working over time as you start to try and justify the feelings. It can feel too much. But just heading out for a walk and being closer to nature can help you to feel more at ease. You mind becomes clearer and you can start to rationalise the situation, rather than feeling so negatiave about it. 

    Text a friend or make a phone call 

    If you want to feel better then one great way to do is to text a friend or call someone. Communication is so key when you are a mum and talking about your feelings honestly can help you feel better. A friend who understands your situation and how they feel can help you to see clearer and feel better about yourself. A friend who is also a parent will know exactly what to say to help you feel more positive. 

    Address what is making you feel this way

    Finally, if something specific has made you feel guilty address it. For example, if you ended up shouting at your children out of frustration in the morning then write them a little note apologising for when they get home from school. If you haven’t been happy with routines or behaviour then look at ways to make some changes. Sometimes addressing what is bothering us can help us to feel more in control and positive. 

  3. When it comes to your home one main focus you may have is to reduce the waste which in turn can save you some money. Waste is a big problem right now, and many households can struggle with the amount they throw away or get rid of. However, with a bit of focus and attention, you can reduce the waste in your home and save some extra money in the process. But what can you do? Here are some of the tips that could help you to reduce your waste and save more money. 

    PIN - LLP - 5 tips to reduce your waste and save more money (1)

    Focus on food waste

    One of the big areas of waste in any household is food. It is a huge problem for many however with a few changes in habits you can start to reduce what you throw away and also in the process eat better and save money. For starters, meal planning can be a great way to reduce what you throw away. It means you have a list and only buy what you need. The next thing to consider is batch cooking. It will stop you from resorting to a takeaway if you are rushed one evening. Finally, make use of all your vegetables and best before items. Freeze what you can, cook up what is needed, and love your leftovers. 

    Avoid single-use items like plastic bottles

    Another thing that you could try is to avoid single-use plastic in your home. This means water bottles and other items that you might get in single-use plastics. Shop individually for the vegetables and fruit you need rather than having to buy pre-packed items that might go to waste. You could also try refill stores now for cereals, flours, and also other things like shampoo and washing up liquid. 

    PIN - LLP - 5 tips to reduce your waste and save more money

    Collect rainwater 

    Rainwater is one of those things that we have little control over the waste. But you can collect rainwater by putting a container in the garden. You can then use this for things such as watering your plants. 

    Shop your home first 

    Before buying anything why not shop your home first? This can work in so many different ways. For example, shopping your fridge can help you to create a meal out of leftovers and items that you might ordinarily throw away. It can also help you to avoid buying unnecessarily. Shopping your home can also work for things like clothes. Look at what you have rather than feeling the need to buy something new. 

    Repair it instead of replacing it 

    We can all be so quick to replace something if it is broken rather than repairing it. So why not try and repair it instead? This can work for furniture or any item in your home. If it isn’t fully repairable could the parts be used in another way? You could create a different piece of furniture simply by upcycling things or putting the furniture in a different room. Repairing things in your home can help you to avoid having to spend. 

    Hopefully, these tips will help you to reduce waste and save more money. 

       

     

  4. Parenting is one of those things that can be a tough period of our lives. While we want to do what we can for our children, we also want to do what we can for our planet. This is where having an eco approach to our parenting practices can make a big difference. But what can you do?

    PIN - 6 ways to have an eco approach to your parenting (1)

    Here are some of the ways to have an eco approach to your parenting. 

    Accept donations

    One of the first things you can do is accept help and donations when they are offered. When you are pregnant you may have friends and family members that want to donate maternity clothes and baby items. Accepting the help and donations can help you to give a second life to some of these things. Not only are you reusing these things but you are also avoiding waste and doing more for the environment. It can also be a big saver on the financials. 

    Re-use what you can 

    Another thing you can do is re-use what you can. Find things that can be reused rather than disposed of. One obvious thing is to use washable nappies and disposable nappies. You can do this for other things as well, such as reusable wipes. Instead of the disposable ones, you can use cloths and wash them as and when they need to be. Re-using things and finding more ecological things to use daily rather than having to waste or throw things in the bin is much better for the environment. 

    Buy second-hand where possible 

    Sometimes you need to buy things for your new baby or children, however, a great tip is to buy second-hand rather than brand new. You are giving a chance or new life to certain things that may not have been used that often. Let’s face it, baby clothes, children’s clothing, as well as other bigger items like cots and chairs are often not used that much as children grow so quickly, so you can not only pick up some bargains but you can also save money in the process. 

    Eat less meat and processed foods

    We all know that eating less meat and avoiding processed foods can make a big difference to the environment, and so as a parent why not try and take this approach when cooking for the family? Batch cooking can help you to create meals and have homemade food ready when you need it the most. The less meat you eat can also impact the environment in a positive way. 

    Eat together 

    On the subject of food, it is also a great idea to try and eat together more often. Making one meal at the same time will help you to lose less energy in the home and also encourage children to try new foods. Batch cooking can also help you to use less energy in your home. 

    Avoid plastic toys or throwaway items 

    Finally, avoiding plastic toys and throwaway items can help you to be more sustainable. Choosing wooden toys and making more informed choices for the things that your children use can help you to be more sustainable with your parenting. 

    Do you have any tips you would add?