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: Lifestyle

  1. The Big 5 Meme – Life lessons you want your kids to learn

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    I read a blog post a little while back by Mummy From the Heart about "Life lessons you want your kids to learn" and I knew I wanted to write a similar post for my girls. I am a huge believer in the fact that life will give you what you can handle and whilst it may sound like I am channelling the universe, I also know that I need to lead by example with my daughters.

    I think we forget sometimes that the role models our children see are not necessarily the famous pop stars or reality tv "stars", they copy and emulate us from such a young age that it is so important to be conscious of our own actions. I want to nuture my girls personalities and encourage their quirky ways and specific talents but there are some basic things I think they should learn.

    1. Learn to be present and always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them. 

    In an age where technology is part of our every day life, it is easy to forget to be fully present in dinner table conversations whilst instagramming your food, take part in discussions and time with your family. Make sure you take time to put the technology down and look the person in the eye who is talking to you. Give people your full and un-divided attention. Do not spend your entire time seeking stimulation on a phone screen and learn to make real human connections.


    2. It’s not the quantity of friends that matter. It’s the quality. 

    You do not need anyone's approval and no matter what the other girls or boys say at school, be comfortable in your own skin and you will find that your true friends will filter through. It is better to count your real friends on one hand, than have a handful of so called mates who wouldn't be there if you needed them at 2am.

    3. When it comes to relationships, don’t settle. 

    This goes for friendships and romantic relationships. Don't settle for anyone that doesn't make you feel special, loved and important. (If they can make you laugh, this is a big bonus too).

    4. Money does not equal happiness

    I *may* have pinched this one from Mummy From The Heart but it it such an important lesson for the girls to learn. You do not need money to be happy, it can help buy a bigger house, more clothes or a nice car but those are not the things that will make you happy. Happiness is not a destination, it is what you create from life along the way, regardless of whether you have one pound or one million pounds.

    5. Rules are made to be broken. Except mine.

    Challenge the norm. Question everything. Except me.


    I really did love this linky and I want to play it forward. The rules of this meme are simple, blog about your big 5 life lessons and link back to this post so people can follow the train of the meme. Tag 3-5 other bloggers to complete the meme and let them know about the tag. Of course it is always good form to go and comment on those other blogs too. 

    I am tagging Emma from Mummys Savvy Savings, Jayne from Mums The Word and Marianne from Mari''s World.

    Big5Meme at Mummy from the Heart

  2. Saving for the future .... in a nutshell (or Nutmeg)

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    My eldest daughter sat on my bed last night, flicking through a promotional clothing magazine that had dropped through our letterbox and within half an hour, she had circled 40 items of clothing that she would like! 40 items of clothing in half an hour, that is good going, even by my standards. Raising girls with a shopping habit to rival my own is looking expensive!

    I might be laughing now but I am conscious that as the girls get older, their clothing habits will be the least of my worries if they want to go to University or get a car. I know that there are lots of families consciously save for the future, whereas others believe in living for today by spending what they earn and I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle. My love of shopping for myself and the girls is no secret but I am always aware of the need for a "college" fund at some point in the future and it is scary how quickly that future will arrive.

    Experian published research last year claiming that about one in five parents of students have faced financial pressures to support their children. This includes paying for accommodation, travel and utility bills. "University can be an extremely expensive time for parents and students alike," said Experian's Julie Doleman ....... I really had better start saving now and keeping an eye on the piggy bank!

    Piggy Bank

    Having a seperate account to keep savings in makes a big difference because you can keep an eye on your savings targets and with something like an ISA, gives you the freedom of saving but with easy access in case you need it!

    I was recently introduced to Nutmeg and were impressed with their no nonsense approach. They have got rid of all the aspects that made the wealth management industry unpopular. They don’t try and baffle you with jargon or lump all your money together and they don’t keep you in the dark over where you’re invested – or how your funds are performing.



    They look to give you complete transparency – and, they say, complete peace of mind. We like the fact that they can help you set up your portfolio in under 10 minutes and you can create as many funds as you like. But I think my favourite part is that you can get in touch with us by telephone, email or live webchat, whichever you prefer, no sitting on hold forever and a day to a call centre on the other side of the world!

    I remember investing money many many years ago and then being massively frustrated when I found that it was locked away and I couldn't get hold of it when I needed it, so fast forward a few years and I am a little more savvy about where we put our money (although the tween seems to think that it should all go on a new wardrobe for her apparently!).

    Finding the right place to save for your future is something we all need to think about now and I know I need to be more cost conscious .... especially where the clothes shopping is concerned.

    How much do you worry about saving for the future?





  3. Where to go in Manchester this Easter!

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    Quite recently I traced a long lost relative. Someone who was born before me and unfortunately moved away to Manchester and I never got to know her but life has a funny way of working out, through grief and loss are new opportunities and a chance to get to know new family AND a new City. They still live in Manchester and whilst it is not a million miles away from us in Warwickshire, it is not somewhere we have previously chosen to explore. So with Easter on the horizon we thought we would see what Manchester has to offer, aisde from family reunions.

    Museum of Science & Industry

    The Museum of Science and Industry is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. To tie in with the opening of The Innovation Race: Manchester’s Makers Join the First World War, opening on 28 March, the Museum of Science & Industry’s 2015 Easter Programme(3 – 19 April) centres around the mighty and larger-than-life theme of Power: Making War from the Factory Floor. Families are invited to visit this family friendly and interactive exhibition, telling the mainly untold stories of the makers, scientists, engineers, factory workers and business people of Manchester whose innovations and intervention helped turned around the outcome of the First World War. 


    I have been looking at reviews of MOSI and Tired Mummy of Two feels that it is a great choice for Sunday afternoon fun, so we need to add this to the list.

    There are the other obvious Manchester attractions such as Man Utd football ground and the Trafford Centre but at the risk of offending every football fan and shopaholic, we can watch sport or football any time, so we wanted to find things we could do as a family and there seems to be lots on offer. A day trip is not going to cut it so I think we will be needing to stay over and finding a good hotel where I can get a good nights sleep is paramount for me. They have some good deals at 

    Crowne Plaza Manchester

    Tatton Park

    My cousin recommended Tatton Park as a great family day out. Tatton Park is nestled in 1,000 acres of beautiful deer park and you can explore centuries of history at the Tudor Old Hall and witness life above and below stairs in the Mansion. You are free to wander through the Gardens and take the kids to meet the rare breed animals on the working Farm. Between the 28th March and 19th April they have family Easter activities too. You can go on a magical journey with the Lindt Gold Bunny through the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm. You have to find Sleeping Beauty asleep in the maze and discover the most wonderful gingerbread house in the dell. If the slipper fits, then you will go to the Conservatory ball …..if you arrive before midnight! The bit that tempts me is that there is a Lindt Gold Bunny treat for all children!

    And if chocolate and Brothers Grimm are not your thing, then there is always the Spinningfields Duck Race!

    This is a collaborative post.

  4. Safety First : Driving Theory Test : Win an iPad

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    My toddler asked me if she could drive the car yesterday. Obviously I said no and had to explain that she had another 14 or so years before she could actually get behind the wheel. The tween then piped up that she only had 7 years to go and could she have a car for her 17th birthday (!!) but I told her that she had to pass her test first. (I must start a savings account for the car fund!)

    I passed my test first time but this was long before the theory test was introduced and it occured to me that I have been driving for some 17 years and whilst most things are now second nature, I suspect I would need to revise for today's theory test.

    Theory Test

    Do you think you would pass? Have a little try of this great quiz from We Buy Any Car to test your driving knowledge - you might be surprised at how much or little you do actually know!

    This quiz was created