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.
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.
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!
Every once in a while we find a brand that we not only love but one that evokes our senses. Today that brand is NV Candles.
We love that all the candles in their collections are individually hand made in the UK and contain only two ingredients: eco-soy wax sourced from sustainable supplies which is environmentally friendly with no additives, and the finest quality essential or fragrance oils from the UK’s leading perfumers, nothing else. We all know that candles help to set the mood in your home with this wonderful collection of scented candles and diffusers by NV. Passionate about creating uplifting scents, NV use a fusion of aromas to create beautiful fragrances that completely transform a room. Individually handmade in the UK, each candle is made to be environmentally friendly and uses only the finest quality fragrance oils from the UK’s leading perfumers. Their collection features scents from tropical fruits to oriental woods.
We have candles on every evening at home but we frequently find that the scent seems to reduce as the candle burns but the clever folk at NV Candles tell us that if you always keep the wick trimmed to 6mm, it reduces smoking and helps the candle burn slower so increasing the life of your candle. It apparently also makes it easier to light.
The NV gift sets contain a full size Symphony candle in a tin and the matching Infusions reed diffuser. They come presented in a sturdy box with magnetic closure. The gift boxes are wrapped in their signature stylish leaf print tissue and finished off with a silver foil label.
Candles always make the perfect gift, so with Mothers Day on the horizon, the generous NV Candles team are giving you the opportunity to win one of their gorgeous Mothers Day gift sets. All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
UK Entrants Only. The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 5 working days by email NV Candles will be responsible for the despatch of the prize. NV Candles will make every effort to provide the gift set requested but this cannot be guaranteed By entering this competition, you understand that your details will be retained by NV Candles for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time. 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. End Date 12/03/2015 at 12am
Put down the technology and pick up a book this half term. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well it should be, unless you have technology crazy children who love watching You Tube clips, playing on their apps and messaging their friends. A technology curfew has had to be instigated and I have dragged them (not quite kicking and screaming) back to books.
I love that my girls are tech savvy but I also think that with so many devices available to help you with your every whim, there is the possibility to lose the ability to imagine, dream and use their brain. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of technology (I am never far away from it) but there is something special about holding a book and getting lost in the story.
This is why I love The Works because there is something for everyone. They have shops all over the UK and (despite what I said about the technology curfew) you can also order online from a massive selection. They stock thousands of books at up to 90% off RRP, which definitely appeals to our money saving pockets, or in the words of the tween "means we can just buy more then Mom". I think I have her buy in here!
The girls have a love of shopping (I wonder where they get that from) so once we have chosen from the books, stationary, arts and crafts at The Works, the next part is actually getting them to read the books once they have finished with the attractions of the sticking glueing and painting.
Let them choose
This may sound trivial but a child needs to "want" to hear or read a story. If they are not interested, they will switch off. Let your child's own interests guide his or her reading choices. It's okay to make suggestions, just don't force your conceptions of what your child should be reading onto your child. And, keep an eye on the reading level of the books your children choose, my eldest daughter will sometimes go for the easy option or pick something simply because she likes the cover picture.
Encourage your child to read aloud to you an exciting passage in a book, or even a joke from a joke book. When children read aloud, don't feel they have to get every word right. Even great readers tend to skip or mispronounce words now and then.
Find time to read
Whether it is before bed or after school, find a time where you can sit together and read. Make it part of your daily routine and this enforces that it is an important activity, not just something that you need to fit in between swimming or gymnastics or their favourite TV programme.
As for me, I never seem to find time to read these days, so maybe if we get into this routine, I can have a browse through the books online at The Works and find some reading material and a little time just for me.
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.
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)
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
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?