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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Category: School Days

  1. When & where can I go pumpkin picking in the Midlands?

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    We are now officially in pumpkin season! The weather has changed, Autumn is definitely upon us and all we can think about is that Halloween is approaching!

    Last year we wrote a post about 5 Things To Do With A Pumpkin Other Than Carve It but nothing says Halloween more than a carved pumpkin outside your house. But where are the best places in the Midlands to get your pumpkins this year? We have been taking a look!

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     Manor Farm Fruits - Tamworth

    12th, 13th, 19th & 20th October and Saturday 26th October to Sunday 3rd November 10am – 4pm (stock permitting)

    There is no need to book tickets, you can just turn up on the day and pay.  

      • Choose your own pumpkins (prices vary)
      • Bouncy Castles ( up to 1.3 meters)
      • Climb and Crawl Straw Bales Pyramid and Mini Maze
      • Spooky Space Hoppers
      • Face Painting
      • Creepy Sneaky Scare Tunnel
      • Pumpkin Express Tractor Rides (£3.00 per person)

    The Strawberry Cabin Team Room is also open serving hot and cold food all day including Halloween Cup Cakes and lots of other delicious Pumpkin dishes!

    Prices

    £5 per child ages 2 to 12
    £1 adults
    Under 2 go free.

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    Pumpkin Week at Hatton Adventure World - Warwick

    Tickets are valid on any one day between 26th October to 31st October 2019. We have enjoyed Pumpkin Week at Hatton in previous years and it is a great day out for all the family.

    Tickets can be purchased online up until 10am on the day of visit. (Making a saving on the door prices)

    In addition to pumpkin picking, there are lots of things going on during pumpkin week including :

    New Haunted House

    Pumpkin Carving in the Events (closes at 4pm)

    Pumpkin Hunt

    Pumpkin Carving Competition judged at 4.15pm

    Along with all the usual Hatton activities

    ADULT - £16.95

    CHILD - £16.95 

    UNDER 2 - Free

     

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    Hill Top Farm - Leamington Spa

    Between Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31th October (stock permitting) their pumpkin field will be open for you to pick your own pumpkin.

    The field will be open between 10am-4pm each day and they are taking people down to the pumpkin patch via tractor rides every 30 minutes.  You can then select your pumpkin and take it home with you to carve!
     

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    Planters Garden Centre - Tamworth

    The Pumpkin Paddock returns for 2019! This Halloween event includes lots of family fun such as pumpkin picking, carving, games and more! It is not really pumpkin picking like at pick your own locations but it is a great location and very child friendly.

    Every £5 child ticket includes picking a pumpkin, which you can pick from the paddock area, carving it and being able to take it home. Anybody not wishing to take home a pumpkin can purchase an adult ticket for £1.50.

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    Essington Farm - Wolverhampton

    PYO is open again on the 12th October 2019. 🎃 Go and pick your own perfect pumpkin from all different shapes and sizes. This is farm so always best to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, especially if it has been raining.

    Top Tip from Essington Farm :Remember, if you keep the stalk on your pumpkin it will easily last until November!!

    We will be updating this listing throughout October, so do let us know if you find a great pumpkin patch! 

    And finally ......

    Once you have carved your pumpkin up and created a Halloween masterpiece, the best thing to do then is make some delicious pumpkin soup! 

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  2. Jake Shoes : Review & Giveaway

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    The summer holidays are a great way to wind down, however there is nothing than can wind parents up more than school shoe shopping. 

    Buying school shoes online (1) 

    Recent research has revealed, 87% of parents wished they could spend more time with their children while parents say that less than half (45%) of the time they spend with their child is quality time. However in the interests of honesty, spending time shoe shopping isn't really on my quality time wish list.

    It is no secret that I love online shopping and shoe shopping is no different. I think that we all believe children need to have their shoes fitted in a shoe shop and whilst a proper shoe fitting for children is essential, buying the shoes in the fitting store isn't obligatory.

    This year, we have had feet measured in a well known high street store but didn't actually love any of the shoe designs. This is where Jake Shoes have the advantage. They have all the well known brands such as Lelli Kelly, Ugg, Converse and Vans but they also stock some of the lesser known brands that you won't necessarily find on the high street and more importantly won't find the same shoes on every child in the classroom. Most parents have experienced the "joy" of having the wrong shoes or pumps come home and the uneviable task of tracking down the right ones, thats why having an extensive range to choose from online has multiple benefits.

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    Once I had determined that my youngest daughter had gone up a whole shoe size over the summer (eek), we sat and browsed our way through the range online at Jake Shoes. We chose the Lelli Kelly Tracey Bow Bar Shoes in black patent because they have the great name and quality of Lelli Kelly and looked sturdy enough to take all the playground running around! 

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    We will update this post once the shoes have been put through their paces but our first impressions are good, we are happy with the style, the fit and the beautiful little socks that come with a pair of Lelli Kelly shoes!

    We were gifted the shoes for the purpose of this feature, however our experience of Jake Shoes online shopping has been brilliant. So to those parents getting hot under the collar in shoe shops all over the country in preparation for back to school ..... there is another way!

    Finally and whilst we know that it won't be in time for September 2019 but we are delighted to be able to give our readers the chance to win a £20 voucher to spend at Jake Shoes. (And it doesn't need to be spent on school shoes!) All you need to do is enter below!

    Good luck!

    Jakes Shoes £20 Voucher

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Jake Shoes £20 voucher
    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 06/10/2019 at 12am 
    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

  3. How to prepare your child to return to school

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    After a long summer holiday, when the school reopens, a little anxiety can creep in and more often than not, parents face the challenges of getting the children back into their routine. As again the child has to familiarise with the school environment, they have to again learn new things, make new friends, so on and so forth. The child, on the other hand, faces a different problem altogether, as he/she has to again come to the routine of getting up early and making themselves ready for school. Apart from that, after a long vacation, children tend to forget subjects they were taught in their previous class and here comes the problem of again making them learn the same things and bringing them back in track. 

    Many schools give holiday homework which is good for a child to brush up his/her knowledge. Apart from this there are many simple things that can be done to make your child or more appropriately prepare the child to return to school. Lets figure out some simple things that can be done to make the child get rid of return to school fear:

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    Learn with fun: This is a simple formula to be followed while on vacation. While you and your little ones are enjoying the holidays, you can spend some time on teaching things which you child has already studied and which he/she would be studying in the next class. This will make it easy for you child to grasp things when taught in class, as this has already been taught by you.

    Read books daily: Purchase story books and other knowledgeable books and make it a habit to make them read these books daily, so they don't lose the flow of reading and this will also add to their knowledge. Also keep reminding them that their school is going to reopen soon, so they get prepared for the final day.

    Go shopping together: you have to shop new books, new uniform, and new shoes! Take your children along. Make them feel excited about return to school. Buy the books together, buy them new shoes and also some learn and fun stuff like creative writing books, painting books, so they feel excited about the same. My girls love shopping and are small stationery addicts, so this is a day of fun for them! 

    Early to bed and early to rise: As the children have to again make a habit of early to bed and early to raise, its better to keep the school routine going. Get up early and go for a walk with your kids, this will make them feel fresh and healthy and they will also get into the habit of getting up early. Similarly make them go to bed early. NO late night cartoon watching or playing games as the summer draws to a close. You all need to get back into the school run routine. 

    I absolutely adore having the girls home over the summer but following these simple things to make your child ready for the new session of the school without any hassles and without they having a fear of return to school after a long and tension free summer.

  4. Will the sun come out tomorrow?

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    So, as the UK swelters in a heatwave, the forecast will most certainly predict that the sun will be out tomorrow and like it or not the next few days too - however in this case we are taking a break from the near constant weather themed conversations and instead heading away from talking about the actual sunshine, and instead directing ourselves towards the metaphorical sunshine of hope, optimism and enthusiam that tomorrow will bring.

    The smash-hit production of the much loved film ANNIE comes to the Birmingham Hippodrome for 3 weeks only, direct from London’s West End and as fans of the original (and remake) were thrilled to be gifted the opportunity to visit on launch night. The story is loved and well known by every generation of children and adults alike and most (but not all) of the familiar timeless songs are here however this production breathes some new life into the story with the added bonus of a new cast and new songs too. 

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    Starring Jodie Prenger (winner of the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, Oliver!, Spamalot, Calamity Jane) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, the audience was given a more familiar 'true to movie' performance vs the representation delivered in previous shows starring Craig Revel Horwood's deliciously over the top characture of the Miss Hannigan character - both equally satisfying in different ways.

    Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. We all know the story of how her luck changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family.

    The tale has always been about Annie piecing together the missing parts of her life whilst enriching and adding to Daddy Warbuck's shallow existence this is fantastically reflected in the set design which shows puzzle pieces that glow during scene stages. I was unsure of the relevance of the set design at first but on reflection proved a great way to show how the story evolves and comes together, not only for Annie but for the key characters too.

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    As always, there has to be a soft spot for Daddy Warbucks and his assistant Grace, who were both fantastic in their roles and very true to the original movie, however even more impressive was the Easy Street performance which combined impressive choreography, great character and charm in Miss Hannigan, her evil brother Rooster and his pick-pocket wife Lily proved to be a highlight for me.

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    The young cast are captivating and we left the show convinced that regardless of any heatwave, the sun really will come out tomorrow! If you want a live action adaptation of the original movie that combine familiarity with the charm of the stage, then this is the show for you!

    Tickets start from £24 and as the show only runs until the 11th August at the Birmingham Hippodrome, make sure you don't miss out.

     

    Directed by Nikolai Foster, Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin.