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. It is no secret that I love fashion. Shopping makes me smile, especially if it is boots, shoes or sandals I am buying. So, I love it when the seasons change and it time to update my footwear collection.

    Must-Have Sandals and Shoes for This Spring

    My husband suggested that I should get my high heeled shoes reheeled but the other day I was browsing fashionworld.co.uk and came across some fantastic spring/summer footwear. I’ve not quite decided what I will be buying yet, but, thought I would share a few of my favourites. Plus, a few of the interesting footwear trends I discovered, including a few of the ones I won’t personally be following.

    Sliders

    First, I am going to start with the most comfortable looking styles, most of which are flat. Sliders certainly fall into that category. They are practical too. You can just as easily wear them with a skirt or dress as you can with jeans or shorts. The teens LOVE them too! The fact that they cover s significant percentage of your foot reduces the chances of blisters and ensures that they stay firmly in place. But, they are not a good option if you are planning to run around the park with your kids or grandchildren.

    Retro trainers

    For that a pair of trainers is a much better option. I can’t say I am a fan of this type of footwear. But, I know most people do like them, so thought I should include them in my list.

    This year, 90s style Adidas, Nike, Puma and Fils trainers are all the rage. They will certainly be comfortable. If you want something that is more like a regular shoe take a look at the latest Converse range.

    The flip-flop plus trend

    For a holiday or short trips flip-flops are a great option. There is nothing wrong with buying a cheap pair. But, they do not last long. The soles tend to cave in pretty quickly, which means they end up in the bin and ultimately in landfill. If you like wearing them but want to break this negative cycle, I suggest you consider spending a little more and buying a pair that have been made to last. This year, a lot of designers have included leather versions in their collections. These have the potential to be worn for many years to come.

     

    Mules

    If you are looking for something a little more stylish, perhaps with a heel, you are bound to like the mules that are currently available. You can find everything from plain leather versions to delicate crocheted mules. These are available in white or a range of gentle pastels. These would be an especially good option for wearing to a spring wedding. Provided, that is, it is a warm enough day for you not to wear tights.

    Floss sandals

    You really cannot go wrong with a pair of strappy sandals. They look classy, keep your feet cool and can potentially be worn with anything.

    This year, the straps are ultra-thin, which has led to them being called floss sandals. They are certainly worth considering. But, if you have delicate feet that blister and bleed easily you may be better off avoiding them. If you still want to wear them, I suggest you read this article which explains how to toughen up your feet a little.

    More style-related articles

    I trust that you have enjoyed this fashion-related article and found it useful. If you have, you will probably enjoy reading this one too.

  2. Whether you have one child or more, the daily tasks of making meals, washing clothes, making things better, and making time for yourself can be just a wee bit overwhelming. I have a friend who regularly suggests that there is more than one of me but I have to admit that I run a tight ship so wanted to share some of my top time saving tips with you! 

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    Shopping List

    Have you scrambled to find something to put on the table? Plan all of your meals for the week and get all your shopping done once a week with a complete list. Having meals planned out eases the mind with regards to what meal will have to be put on the table and what goes in the lunch kits. I have spent so much time looking in the fridge wondering what to put on the table before I planned meals in advance

    Be prepared for viruses

    Always have Calpol and other remedies on hand. To have a child at home sick with a fever and then having to drag the poor child(ren) to the shops is so distressing on all the people involved. Having these will save time and so much more.

    Daily Schedule/Planner

    Have a schedule for all to see in the kitchen. I chose the kitchen because everyone goes there everyday. With this you can get prepared for the next day by having the necessary things ready. For example, the hockey gear can be checked to see if it all there or the ballet outfits can be put together the day before so you are not scrambling to find things at the last minute.

    Designate age appropriate chores

    After supper if the kids are old enough to carry their plates to the sink get them to do so along with putting the ketchup in the fridge etc. It can be a fun time and the child(ren) gain a sense of belonging and fulfillment even. Starting this can be daunting, but once the routine is established it saves time. If they are too young for this they will be old enough soon. Tummy time turns into chore time soon.. This can be a good time to have them sort out their outfits for the next school day too.

    Have a stocked cupboard

    Having all the necessary supplies makes homework so much easier. Have pencils, sharpener, scissors, erasers crayons, markers, and glue in a container. Then when it is time to do the homework you won’t spend time looking for things, put who knows where yesterday.

    Post Checklists

    Some child(ren) are daydreamers, I have one. He sometimes remembers to comb his hair, but forgets to brush his teeth. A checklist by the light switch helps him remember to do both. Younger kids could have picture checklists if they are unable to read yet.

    Take Naps (best advice ever!!)

    When your child is in school or taking a nap get a little shut eye yourself. If you work this does not work during the week, but on the weekends if you can squeeze in a nap it can perk you up so much. Make rest and sleep a priority for you, the housework can wait.

    Get a babysitter

    Any parenting article tells you to do this, but affording the time away is hard especially for some single mothers. Perhaps make an arrangement with another mother if necessary to get some time away to get some perspective. 

    Get a cleaner

    This can be hard to afford for many too, but it could even be for just one day a month for some of the larger jobs like doing the floors. The cost is the same as going to a movie and restaurant. Having the house clean is quite a treat to give yourself and you are worth it.

    Spend time with your child(ren)

    Even if you can only make 15 minutes of your day for this, it is time well spent. I find if I do not do this my two girls tend to bicker more and just get very irritable and I then have to spend time disciplining them instead, so I choose to read with them or just lie down with them and chat. It provides so much balance for them and balance for me too.

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  3. Parents of teenagers: Unite! Sometimes it might feel like you need a battle cry to get through the trying years of parenting a teen. Parents can take solace in the fact that they are not alone. Even the most well behaved teen goes through some growing pains from time to time. Parents must learn to survive though, and they must help their teens thrive.

    How to survive raising a teenager

    I remember my mom saying that by the time I was 14, she loved me but didn't like me very much and I always have that at the back of my head with my daughter. Up until now we still have a great relationship and we talk more than I ever did with my own mom.

    Communication

    Talking to your teen is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Teenagers will most likely resist but don't give up. Ask the five W's: who, what, when, where and why. Who will be with them? What will they be doing? When will they be home? Where are they going? Why will they be there? If they feel like they are getting the Spanish Inquisition, you're doing it correctly.

    It may be annoying to them to answer all of your questions, but it shows that you care. You'd rather not have an angst-ridden teenager wondering whether his or her parents care enough to ask the right questions. Encourage them to open up about problems in school or social issues as well. Have dinner together and talk about news stories or entertainment bits that may interest your teen. Any communication is better than no communication.

    Mistakes

    Making mistakes is a part of growing up and becoming a responsible adult. A teenager needs to learn how to make decisions and how to live with the consequences of his or her decisions. One of the hardest things for parents to do is to step back and let their children make mistakes. If you bail out your teen the first time, he or she will be destined to repeat the same errors in judgment again and again. Relax and know that your ability to back off and let your teen learn through actions will be a great benefit in the long run. (just not for our nerves in the short term).

    Track and Monitor

    As much as it pains me not to be nosey, you shouldn't snoop or invade your child's privacy. Developing trust between you and your teenager is one of the most important steps in keeping an open line of communication. However, in this technological age of texting, picture messaging, and internet access, it is important to keep a little control on the "reigns." Counsel your teen on the safety of keeping a certain level of anonymity on the internet, and convey the vital message that things sent over cell phones are not always easy to erase. If used correctly, mobile phones can be a great method of keeping in touch with your teen when you are not together. Teach your child how to use a cell phone safely, effectively, and politely.

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    Get Involved

    The natural instinct of a teen is to pull away from his or her parents. The best way to stay in your child's life is to get involved. If your teenager plays on his high school football team, try to attend as many games as possible. Welcome his or her friends into your home and try to provide a tolerant (within reason) atmosphere for them to hang out and feel comfortable. If your house is their central hub of activity, you will be more likely to be able to keep track of the things important to your teen.

    Being a teenager is not easy, and raising one is even more difficult. There are no right or wrong answers to every situation. Try to be adaptable. If you are patient and empathetic, you will soon find that your unruly teenager has become an independent adult, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

  4. Some life lessons are harder to learn, and they cannot necessarily be taught. You can tell children not to jump on furniture until you start to lose your voice, but they may not listen until they fall and get hurt once or twice. Other important lessons in life are much easier to learn (without injury) and just as easy to teach.

     How to teach children the value of money

    Money is one of those lessons and is something that we use every day. Teaching children the value of money begins at home, however. From learning the value of each piece of currency to seeing the way that parents handle their own finances, the value of their earnings begins at home. I remember my mom worrying about money when we were kids and I always said that I would never want my own children to have that consciousness from a young age.

    However, for a parent, teaching your children the value of money also means learning to give them a little responsibility early. For children to learn any lesson, they must essentially learn on their own although parents still play an important role. For instance, a younger child saving for a new toy learns about financial choices like buying the toy or not.

    Ob the flip side, if the child decides not to buy the toy, his parents can change his mind by letting him know that they cannot buy him everything he asks for. Older children who receive allowances can be given more control over their money, and therefore the consequences of either saving or spending. Teaching them how to budget for long-term goals is also important but may take a little more patience.

    Teaching your children the value of money when they are older begins more with parents than at school. Teachers can show them balance sheets and accounting, but examples set by parents can have lifelong effects. If a child sees their parents always overspending and buying whatever they want despite the consequences, they may figure that this is okay.

    If parents reinforce saving money, children will more likely want to save money that they earn on their own. Opening a savings account for older children, even if it is only for allowance, can show them how beneficial saving is, and how interests accumulate over time.

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    For some families it is a learning process because money is a large part in today’s society. The earlier your children learn how to manage it, the better their chances of having a more secure future. From saving grandma’s change for a new toy to saving their first monthly wages for their first car, the value of money is among important concepts children can learn.

    I also think that sometimes, I need to reign in my own spending habits and remind myself!