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. When I started this blog, my eldest daughter was in junior school and she is now at college and a full time student. As a parent there are so many challenges you face along the way but for teenagers, there are a whole other list of challenges that are important in their world.

    PIN - LLP - Student Life (1)

    For example, when you're a student, it can be challenging to find the best mobile phone deal as you typically need to undergo a credit check, and most students don't have enough financial history when they turn 18 for network providers to be confident lending to them. Fortunately, there are now many providers who offer guaranteed phone contracts for people who don't want to have a credit check due to a lack of financial history or bad credit.

    However, with so much choice available on the market today, it can be overwhelming when looking for the right deal with the best phone to suit your needs. In our guide, we'll help you understand what you need to know in order to get the guaranteed phone contract you need.

    Compare Network Providers

    The first step is to compare network providers, and you need to look for one with a positive track record that has been in business for a few years to ensure you are in safe hands. You will need to compare crucial factors such as their handset selection, cost, and coverage in your area. However, comparing network providers one by one is a time-consuming task, which is why it is better to utilise companies like AcceptPhones who can provide you with a list of the best provider to suit your requirements and expert advice to answer the question 'could you get a guaranteed phone contract?'

    Weigh Up The Tariffs

    Once you have a list of network providers, you need to weigh up the tariffs available. For this step, it is recommended that you consider your needs for texting, calls, and data for a typical month before you make a choice in order to select the deal that will meet both your budget and your usage needs.

    Read Customer Reviews

    When you find a provider with a tariff that matches what you are looking for, you need to read the customer reviews before you make a commitment. There is no better way to learn about a company than from the reviews left by previous and existing customers as they can tell you what to expect from the network providers service and if they are reliable in your area. You can also take the time to seek recommendations from your friends and family before you read the customer reviews if you are having a hard time narrowing down your list of providers to ensure you are on the right track for the best deal.

    Check The Small Print

    In today's busy world, most people skip the terms and conditions without reviewing them. However, if you want the right deal at the most affordable price for your guaranteed phone contract, you need to understand any charges or fees that could be applied to your account if you don't follow the terms and conditions. Typically, these fees only apply if you miss payments, but in some cases, network providers have policies in place for charges relating to going over your usage limits. While it may seem tedious to read the terms and conditions thoroughly, you should never sign or agree to a contract unless you have read the small print. 

    PIN - LLP - Student Life

  2. These days, Halloween is just about as big in the UK as it is across the pond in America. Because of that, the 31st of October perhaps carries a bit more fanfare than it used to – more parties, bigger and better costumes, and a notably more expensive sweet bill for the month. With said fanfare comes the potential to spend more, and that's not ideal for many of us with credit card bills to think of for the upcoming Christmas and New Year period.

    PIN - DIY Halloween ideas to do with the kids this October

    That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Halloween in style, though. With these DIY ideas for the coming holiday, you can enjoy the 31st with your kids without your spending getting scary.

    Pumpkin carving

    Ah, pumpkin carving; the ‘OG’ of Halloween past times – and still a rather popular one at that. Pumpkin stocks skyrocket through October and getting one shouldn’t set you back more than £1 from your local supermarket. The rest comes down to you and your kids’ creative genius and craftsmanship.

    Whether you’re making a scary greeting for your front doorstep or making your own little carving competition for the family, it’s a cheap but very cheerful way to get into the Halloween spirit.

    Whip up your own treats

    Keeping the creative/craft theme going, there are loads of awesome DIY Halloween treat ideas that you can make at home with the kids. From chocolate pudding gravestones to Oreo spiders, you can whip up some seriously fun, tasty and unique treats for the kids to enjoy – plus, it’s a great activity to keep them engaged.

    It is much cheaper (and probably tastier) than buying the pre-made Halloween treats you’ll likely find out and about. You’ll no doubt still want a few Haribos and mini-Snickers by the door for knocking trick or treaters, mind.

    Spookify the house

    Just as you can concoct some freakishly fun DIY treats, you can also create some haunting handmade house fittings on the cheap. Alliteration aside, ideas like a swarming bat lightshade, mummified lanterns and ghostly candles are all simple to make, and the items you need to build them are all easily found and cheaply bought.

    PIN - DIY Halloween ideas to do with the kids this October (1)

    It's another great way to engage the kids at home, and there are plenty more ideas you can come up with yourself. Heck – you could even leave that spider’s web you saw under the sink for a day or two. Well, maybe not.

    Halloween might be getting more costly for families, but you don’t need to get too heavily involved with the commercial side of the holiday to enjoy it. With plenty of DIY tricks and treats to take advantage of, Halloween 2021 needn’t be too frightening if you’re working to a limited budget.

  3. Many of us are either morning or evening people, am I right? It often equates to when you feel most awake and productive. We are often encouraged to take full advantage of these times. But do we? The morning is such a great opportunity to make the most of it. And whether you are a morning person or not, simple tweaks and changes to your routine could totally transform the rest of your day. I wanted to share with you some of the morning routine ideas that you could try. You have nothing to lose but a lot you can gain. 

    PIN - LLP - Morning Routine

    Getting up earlier

    It may sound strange, but the earlier you get up, the more time you will have. Simple! But getting up can be hard. Some of the most successful people begin their days at 5am, and while that might seem out of reach, you can slowly build up to it. Start by getting up ten minutes earlier each day for a week, then a further ten the following week, until you reach a time that feels comfortable and attainable for you. It might not be that 5am start, but even an extra ten minutes in the morning could make a difference. 

    Exercise 

    Exercising first thing is such a great way to start your day right. It gets the blood pumping around your body, fills you up with all of that positive energy and feelings, and if it is done in the morning then you don’t need to think about it again. Whether it is a morning run, a yoga routine you follow on YouTube, or even a brisk walk, it could have a huge impact on your concentration and productivity levels throughout the day. 

    Journal

    Journaling isn’t for everyone, but it can be an excellent way to put you in the right frame of mind for the rest of your day. You could note down a few things that you are grateful for or simply find some prompts online that really make you think about your life and feelings. The more you get into it, the more it could empower you for the rest of the day and transform the way you think. 

    Eat breakfast

    So many of us skip breakfast, even though it is the most important meal of the day. It might be time to try and enjoy some breakfast before you leave for the day. It is a great way to give you a burst of energy that is released throughout the day and will stop you from snacking or reaching for a sugar fix mid-morning. If you do have a bit of a commute then why not batch cook some breakfast muffins you can take on the go? 

    Affirmations 

    Finally, take some time in the morning to recite some affirmations that reflect on how you want to feel or a goal that you might have for your life. It could be simple messages to say to yourself such as being strong, independent, happy, and grateful. Or you may want to be specific such as smashing a presentation or reaching a work goal. Recite these affirmations daily in the morning and you will notice a shift in how you think and feel. 

    Hopefully, these ideas for your morning routine will help transform your day.

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  4. Many of us are looking for ways to make a saving on our monthly outgoings. However, if you are also a patriot for sustainable living, then you might be wondering if those two things come together. After all, could living sustainably end up costing you more? The truth is, it won’t! In fact, it is possible to save money if you look at your general habits and make some small changes. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that sustainable living could help towards saving money and the planet. 

    PIN - LLP - Planet Points

    Drying clothes outside instead of using a dryer

    One of the first things to think about would be to dry clothes outside instead of using a dryer. A dryer can be a costly home appliance, and while it gives you convenience and speed with your laundry, it will also massively increase your energy usage. Drying outside costs nothing and is far more sustainable. 

    Ditch the dishwasher

    The dishwasher is a very useful home appliance, but again, it can be costly. So instead, why not ditch it and choose to manually wash the post instead? This is not only a more sustainable option but will save you money on your energy usage. 

    Avoid an expensive commute to work 

    It can be hard to get out of the habit of using your car for the commute, but choosing a public transport option will cut your own carbon footprint. Better still, why not try using a bike instead? Changing your habits and making sustainable choices for things like this will help to save you money on fuel and other expenses. 

    Change your habits when it comes to babies and young children 

    We all know that having children can be expensive, but when you have a baby you might find there are always costs to consider. One thing you might want to try is reusable nappies instead of disposables? Disposable nappies are a weekly cost and they are also incredibly bad for the environment when it comes to our ever-expanding landfill sites. Reusable nappies will require an initial investment, but in the long run, it will save you money and is much more sustainable 

    Things to do in the garden

    There are also plenty of things you can do in your garden that will help you live sustainably and save money. Creating a compost area with scraps can be a great fertiliser for your garden instead of having to buy expensive compost options. You could also collect rainwater which can be used to water your plants. Water rates can be quite costly. 

    Change your habits with your energy usage 

    Energy is big news at the moment so why not look to change your habits when it comes to your energy usage? Switching lights off in rooms you are not using, not keeping appliances on standby, and even switching things off at the plug. It reduces your energy usages and helps you to save money. 

    Last but not least ....

    And finally you can save even more when you are buying through SaveMoneyCutCarbon's website. We have talked before about how we love working with the SaveMoneyCutCarbon team and when you buy your sustainable products through them you don’t just help to save the environment, you also save money. With every purchase you make, you will collect Planet Points which will be applied to your account and can be used as payment for future purchases. SaveMoneyCutCarbon now provides every non-home club member 1 point for every £1 they spend, and Home Club members 2 points for every £1 they spend.

     – Planet Points can be used on everything across the website

    – You can part pay with Planet Points or full pay

    – They can’t be used for postage but they do offer free delivery on orders over £40

     – You can save your Planet Points and spend them when you are ready

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    We all need to be more planet conscious as the world changes around us and hopefully this post has given you some easy ways to live more sustainably and shown that it can actually save you money too!