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. Going to the theatre is such a treat, it is a way to escape reality and Director of the Pinocchio at The Old Rep Theatre, Alec Fellows Bennett feels that in the age of iPads , smartphones and computer games that it is important to come together as a community and fall in love with live theatre. 

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    This year The Old Rep are sharing the story of Pinocchio, the tale of a wooden puppet who wants to be a real child. "To me Pinocchio is the perfect story for this theatre," says Alec. "If you asked a young child to draw a theatre they would pretty much draw The Old Rep auditorium. The idea of a story where toys come to life and it's all make-believe is the perfect story for a classic theatre like The Old Rep."

     Pinocchio at The Old Rep. Photo by Anda Latsa

    The lead is played by Holly Sayer and her ability to actually act and walk like a puppet had you believe from the outset that she wasn't a "real boy" and you are rooting for her portrayal of Pinocchio to be successful in his quest.  

    Pinocchio at The Old Rep this Christmas. Photo by Anda Latsa

    The ensemble cast for Pinocchio is made up of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) students. This is very personal to me as my best friends daughter is auditioning for BOA next year, so it was a great chance for me to see the opportunities that are ahead for her. 

    Launched in 2011, BOA is an independent state-funded academy which specializes in creative, digital and performing arts. Sponsored by the Ormiston Trust and Birmingham City University, the academy is for students aged 14-19 years old and The Old Rep is an amazing platform for them to perform. 

    Pinocchio at The Old Rep. Photograph by Anda Latsa

    I couldn't recall the tale before we went into the show and I had forgotten quite how "dark" the storyline was. I was amazed to learn that the adventures of Pinocchio is the second most translated book in the world, beaten only by the Bible! The original version of the story was written to teach children moral lessons and whilst the live show is a little more light hearted than that Collodi's original story it still keeps its moral compass. 

    We were invited to the press showing of the stage show but the tickets are reasonably priced as;

    Stalls Tickets £19.00 (Conc £17.80)*
    Balcony Tickets £16.00 (Conc £14.80)*
    Schools & Groups £9.90
    *Price includes £1 restoration levy
     

    We also got the chance to meet some of the cast after the show and I "may" have pinched the Fox's hat ....... he was crafty enough to get it back though! 

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    At the start of this review, we mentioned that the Director wanted a new generation to fall in love with live shows and we were captivated by the Pinocchio production at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham but fell in love completely with the Blue Fairy. Daisy Ann Fletcher might be my new girl crush.

    So if you are thinking about introducing your children to live theatre shows, The Old Rep Theatre is the perfect place to start.

    And don't forget, think Blue ....  

  2. Have you had to endure needles and injections for your little ones? Let's be honest, no one really likes having any kind of procedure that involves a needle, but it can be more of a problem for some. Fear of needles can be worrying for parents, particularly if your child needs regular injections or blood tests, there are ways to improve the situation and for children, this can come in the form of the fun and educational Baby Annabell doll, Milly Feels Better. 

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    Make Milly feel well again with the 5 Doctor accessories included. Milly's cheeks will turn red when she needs attention. Check her temperature with the thermometer and her heartbeat with the stethoscope.

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    With a budding doctor in our house, this is the perfect gift choice for her (and her baby doll addiction). At £34.99 it is reasonably priced and more affordable than a lot of dolls in this market and has the added benefit of being in the Baby Annabell range so can share lots of the other products, such as clothing and accessories.

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    When it's time for her medicine, put the medicine spoon near her mouth and Milly will start to feel better again. If she is still poorly, she can also be given an injection. Milly also features sleeping eyes when she is laid down, and will also laugh when tickled. (Note to self : turn her off when the children are asleep as you don't want night time giggles!)

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    Milly Feels Better encourages great role playing and can help children over come their own fears of getting injections or going to the doctors.

    If you think Milly Feels Better could help your little one feel better then we are delighted to be able to give you a chance to win one just before Christmas. All you need to do is enter below.

    Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better  

    The Prize: Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better Doll
    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 Only

    End Date 15/12/2018 at 12am

    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

     

  3. As the nights get darker we all want the luxury of a warm cozy home and with the new year looming many of us start thinking about moving home. We’re all aware that a nicely presented, clean property with extra desirable features won’t stay on the market long.

    But, if you need to sell your property fast, you probably won’t have the time to re-decorate or invest in major building works.

    Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean you’ll scupper your chances of securing a buyer for a price you want. There are lots of tricks of the trade you can use to make your home look fantastic and appeal to potential buyers.

    Home staging doesn’t have to take up too much time, and the best bit is you can do it yourself. Don’t worry if you’re DIY shy or feel like you don’t have an eye for interiors—you just need to follow these simple tips.

    #1 Make a good first impression
    Make sure your home looks picture ready from the minute the listings photographer arrives. Getting the best pictures is essential to securing viewings.

    #2 Clean
    Before you do anything, give your property a deep clean. Areas to focus on include removing mould from bathrooms, grease from kitchens and any signs of dirt or staining.

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    #3 Declutter
    A golden rule in property selling is get rid of all your clutter. This includes everything from unwanted junk, bulky furniture, pictures, ornaments, kitchenware and clothes. A good rule of thumb is to remove at least thirty per cent of your stuff.

    #4 Depersonalise
    Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves living in your property. This means personal objects all need to go. This includes family photos, holiday trinkets, pictures on the walls and kids’ toys.

    #5 Room Purpose
    If you’ve turned your living room into a gym or the bedroom into an office, prospective buyers won’t like this. Return each room to its original purpose.

    #6 Furniture placement
    Remove extra chairs, tables or couches that take up too much space. Shift furniture away from the walls and put in locations that will better show off the space and any period features such as fireplaces and wooden floors.

    #7 Enhance the lighting
    Create as much extra light as possible. Dark properties are a major put-off. For instance, removing curtains and clean windows inside and out. Also, leave ceiling lights on during viewings, even in the day.

    #8 Put up mirrors
    Mirrors are great as they can make any space feel both bigger and brighter. So, they’re perfect in corridors, darker rooms and even the garden.

    #9 Paint tired walls
    If you haven’t got time to redecorate an entire room, focus on areas in greatest need only. For instance, paint over walls with stains, or brighten up a drab room with a colourful feature wall.

    #10 Visit other homes
    Get inspired. Visit other properties for sale in your area and look at what they have done.

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    #11 Mow the lawn
    Gardens are a massive selling point. So, if you have one, make the most of it. Make sure the lawn is mowed before viewings, flower beds tidied up and any eye-sore clutter is removed.

    #12 Accessorize small spaces
    Add lights, neutral decorations or candles to freshen up small spaces.


    #13 Add character
    It’s a fine line between neutral and boring. Avoid the latter by adding a splash of colour e.g. a coloured rug in the kitchen or a tasteful picture on the wall.

    #14 Highlight storage options
    Everyone wants more space. If you have storage, clear it out and make sure prospective buyers can easily access it during viewings.

    #15 Go green
    Don’t attempt to turn your home into Kew Gardens, but a few extra plants will make it look more attractive and feel fresh and clean.

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    #16 Final touches
    It’s not just how your home looks—it’s how it feels. Add soft furnishings like cushions, rugs and blankets.

    #17 Dress up the entrance
    Don’t focus so much time on the inside that you forget about the outside. After all, the first thing every buyer will see is the front of your property. Make sure it looks immaculate—no rubbish bags in sight and there's a tidy driveway.

    #18 Be inviting
    Leave doors open to each room so prospective buyers feel welcome to look around your property comfortably and freely.

    #19 Make it smell nice
    Bad smells will leave your property languishing on the market. Pet smells, smoke, mould or drains—get rid of it before any buyers visit. Add potpourri to each room and buy essential oil diffusers.

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    #20 Final touches on the day
    To really impress on viewing days buy fresh flowers, bake bread and put a fresh brew of coffee on the stove. Your prospective buyers will really appreciate the effort.  


    By investing a little time into home staging your property, you can secure more viewings. And, this will help sell your home fast by finding you the best buyer.

  4. It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are once again upon us, which means it’s time to bring out your favorite party dresses, get them dry cleaned and head out for a night of fun and enjoyment. Or, (as I love to do) you can go shopping for a new one. There are many great places to shop for a party dress and it never hurts to have an additional one in your closet should the need arise.

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    Whether you’re getting dressed up for your office Christmas party or letting it all hang out for New Year’s, there’s something to be said about having a party dress (or party dresses) that makes you look and feel fantastic.

    Of course, on of the best things about heading out to parties for the holidays includes making the decision about what you’re going to wear. It doesn’t hurt that you get to treat yourself to a new dress in the process. Holiday parties are the ideal excuse for spending a little extra on a few special outfits that will make your family, friends, and co-workers sit up and take notice.

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    Our top tips for finding the perfect party dress:

    1. Try it on, things ALWAYS look different on a hanger
    2. Know your body and what suits you.
    3. Make sure you know the dress code
    4. Accessorise .... where necessary.
    5. Be bold .... it is Christmas after all.

    It’s fun to dress up for parties, but finding the perfect outfit can be a painful process. There is no shortage of options from which to choose, and you want to make sure you select the one that looks best on you. Don’t forget think about the location and theme of your holiday party. It won’t do you any good if you’re under or over dressed. The most important thing, however, is to have a good time while you're picking out party dresses. Keep a watchful out for any dresses you think will be great for your holiday parties.

    And don't forget, while shopping for everyone else this Christmas, you could also be on the lookout for your own perfect party outfit.