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: Sleep

  1. Fancy a trip down memory lane .... or to Bexley?

    Posted on

    When I was 7 years old, I met a friend on holiday in Spain. We chatted about everything and anything like most 7 year olds and at the end of the holiday we exchanged addresses and became pen pals. She lived in Bexley in London and I was in Birmingham in the West Midlands. It seemed like a million miles away from each other back then, in the days before email, texting and Facetime. We would write to each other every single week. She would hear about everything from my aspirations and exam woes to friendship squabbles and boyfriend drama.

    Pen friends 1

    I couldn't wait for the letter to come through the letterbox each week to hear about her adventures "down south". Bexley seemed like a foreign land, so when our parents agreed for us to meet up, it was like having a mini holiday all over again. I remember us getting the train and tube into London and my pen pal laughing at me for being in awe of the tube, we went sight seeing around London and went to visit the Queen (although you couldn't get in past the gates in those days)

    Pen friends 2

    Fast forward 30 years and our lines of communication have changed a little (along with our ability to travel without our parents).  I have held my driving licence since I was 17 although there is still some childlike thrill about taking a train or tube ride but rather than sleeping on her bedroom floor like we did as children, I can now choose to say at a local hotel, like 

    Holiday Inn Bexley

     

    Pen friends 4

    She is one of my oldest friends but these days we now we tend to use Facebook and emails to stay in touch and arrange to meet up I love how instantly we can chat now but I do miss seeing the hand written envelope popping through the letter box and ripping it open to see what secrets we were sharing that week.

    This weekend she is coming up to Warwickshire, although I suspect that Warwick Castle may not quite match up to Buckingham Palace, so we will be planning another trip down south very soon and I plan on doing some real sightseeing around London. I may go and visit the Queen again but the London Eye is top of the list for me this time.

    Did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Did you ever go and visit them? 

    Pen Friends 3

    This is a collaborative post.

  2. Don't judge me on my parenting ....

    Posted on

    Please don't judge me on my parenting. Not today. 

    We were having dinner with some friends and friends of theirs joined us, as the meals were served, I got out my phone and put it in front of the toddler to distract her while she ate. I held my breath slightly waiting for the disproving looks from everyone round the table to tell me silently that I should be teaching my child to eat properly without the need for distraction only to feel relived when another Mum looked over and simply said "I am so glad we are not the only ones that do that".

    It made me realise that people do make judgements every single day and we expect our parenting to be critised by anyone who has ever considered having a child, those that don't, let alone those who have been there and got the t-shirt. Somedays I feel like saying .....

    Please don't judge me today for letting my child have chocolate, you don't know that she has been unwell and hasn't eaten much. I am just glad that she is eating something.

    Please don't judge me today for using a Disney Princess umbrella on the school run today, honestly .... I have no clue where my umbrella is (it wasn't on today's priority list) and anyway the little one was delighted to be huddled up together under the pink brolly.

    Please don't judge me today for wearing a glittery clip in my hair ..... look at the fishtail plait in my oldest daughters hair or the miracle of two small pigtails in the toddlers hair .... they look super cute. Just don't look at me.

    Please don't judge me today for telling my daughter to play with her friends at soft play. I want to help her develop her social skills (and I would really like to drink a cup of hot chocolate while it is still hot). (oh and did I mention that I was at soft play, I deserve a wine!).

    Please don't judge me today for staying with my toddler until she falls asleep, she has asthma and controlled crying is not an option. (I also worked hard today and I sometimes just want to grab those extra minutes with her).

     

    So please don't judge me today. I am doing the best job I can.

    Do you feel judged today?

     

     

  3. New Season : New Projects : New Lifestyle

    Posted on

    As the seasons are changing, there will be undoubtedly be more time spent indoors and the jobs that might have been "ignored" over the summer, now suddenly seem much more evident in the house. Just under 15 years ago I bought my first house, although in hindsight we bought half a house as we always had a grand design in mind for the property and doubled the size of it within 18 months. It was a mammoth project and not one that I would be inclined to repeat in a hurry but having lived in our current home for 5 years, I do have a niggling desire to create something new with our living space.

    Kitchen Island

    I have always coveted a centre island in the kitchen. I think it is a focal point and as most of our parties always end up in the kitchen, it is great for socialising too. Everyone can get round the island, stand or sit and relax. Unfortunately for me, I am not entirely sure that our kitchen would take the island that I would really like ...... or the bank balance for the kitchen of my dreams. 

    Bedroom

    Our bedroom is the one room that has not been decorated in the last 4 years and I need a fresh new look. Thankfully we have painted walls, so creating a new palette of colours shouldn't be an issue. We always seem to have a little person crawling into bed with us in the early hours of the morning so a bigger queen size bed would be perfect and in order to maximise the reduced space, we could look at building drawers into the angled wall space.

    Lucas-Allen-house-17jun14_pr_b_426x639

    Landing Light

    Our landing is a relatively big space but it is so dark without the lights on and even though I have recently changed the lighting, it is still not filled with the natural light I would like, so when a friend of mine recently started her own building project, I loved the VELUX sun tunnels  she used to maximise the natural light in her new bathroom. I was amazed to learn that the tunnel between the roof and the diffuser is 35cm in diameter and takes up minimal space in the loft, which is good for me because I have more storage boxes in the loft than insulation!

    Suntunnel_4_940x700jpg

     

    Sometimes just a few changes can make a massive difference but if all of these things don't satisfy my lifestyle demands, I suppose in the New Year we could always look for a new house, although you know what they say? New house, new baby ...... but shhhh, just don't mention that to the Man on the Lilypad!

  4. Baby Budgeting - How to get started

    Posted on

    Our baby blogger has some exciting news. 

    She is expecting another baby, in December, so it is going to be an even more exciting festive season.

    So when you have told everyone the good news and you’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of your baby, it is easy to let money worries cloud your joy but by taking a few simple steps to think about your baby budget – before baby arrives and during that first year – can really help to ease the pressure.

    Crucially, talk about your budget and plan together – a new baby and financial challenges can place pressure on a relationship. Having a shared understanding of exactly where you stand can make you feel more in control, visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk for loads of useful information on budgeting for baby.

    Piggy Bank

    Getting ready for baby

    It can be tempting to buy the best of everything for your impending arrival – but babies often use equipment for such a short time, that good quality second hand furniture and accessories can do the job just as well. Look on eBay or local selling sites, and even let family and friends know you’re on the lookout for good quality pre-loved baby goods – you’ll probably be amazed at what people have lying around waiting for a good home! The National Childbirth Trust holds regular local sales of good as new equipment, clothes and toys. To find your local group and sale visit www.nct.org.uk.

    Also, take this time to fully understand the maternity and paternity benefits available to you from your employer. All Mums are entitled to time off for antenatal appointments and free NHS prescriptions and dental care will kick in.

    A good way to start planning your new budget is to use the free, online baby costs calculator which is available from the Money Advice Service.

    The first year

    It’s likely that one of you will be taking time off during the first year and, unless you’re very lucky and your company has an amazing occupational maternity programme, you’re likely to notice a dip in salary. From April 2015, the government is introducing a more flexible approach to parental leave, in which mum and dad can share the entitlement. With more than 40% of women in the UK now the major breadwinner in the household, this new arrangement could help you flex the leave and make the most of your money.

    If you do go back to work, you’ll need to access childcare. In a survey carried out by the charity Family Action this was the biggest unexpected cost facing parents. With part-time care now costing more than the average mortgage, make sure you factor this in to your budget. You may be entitled to help with the costs of childcare, through childcare vouchers or tax credits. Find information on your entitlements at www.gov.uk.

    Sorting your baby budget may not stop the sleepless nights, or help you know exactly what to do with your new little person, but at least it’s one less thing to worry about.

    This is a collaborative post.