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. How To Train Your Dog To Relax On Long Car Journeys

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    My youngest daughter is desperate for us to have a dog, although I am not sure that the cat would be so happy about it. She takes every opportunity to walk her friends dogs or "train" our neighbours dog and I am quite sure that she would actually take great care of a new canine friend but there is more to consider than daily walks and holding a paw.

    Photo 11-04-2020, 19 50 46

    Any experienced dog owner can tell you that, while there are few joys in life as great as taking your dog out for an adventure in the great outdoors, not every dog enjoys the car journey needed to get there. Some dogs can’t even make it to the vet without kicking up a fuss.

    Below are some simple tips for training your dog to relax more on long car journeys.

    Prepare Them For The Experience

    Before you begin training your dog in any regard, you first need to make sure that both you and they are prepared for the experience. Training your dog to stay calm and relaxed on long car journeys will inevitably require you to put your pet in the car at some point. No matter how careful or skilled you are as a driver, having your pet in the vehicle with you exposes them to the risk of injury[1].

    Because of this, it is vital that you have dog insurance in place before you take your dog on any car journeys. You can use a service like Everypaw to compare dog insurance quotes online. Everypaw lets you compare different types of cover, including Lifetime Pet Insurance and Maximum Benefit, to find the right cover for your dog.

    You can begin acclimating your dog to car journeys by having them enter and exit your vehicle while it is stationary. This lets them get used to climbing in and out of the car and will make the space feel more familiar to them. This will also give you the opportunity to ensure that you have a suitable space for your dig while the vehicle is in motion.

    Begin With Shorter Trips

    There are a number of reasons that dogs might become anxious on a car journey, taking shorter trips will help you to assess how your dog responds to being in the car while you are driving. For example, some dogs, like people, suffer from motion sickness, which can turn into a source of anxiety for them during a journey. Signs of a nauseous dog include excessive drooling, yawning, or whining. If your dog actually vomits during the journey, motion sickness is likely a problem for them[2].

    Taking shorter trips before you try to put your dog through the stress of longer journeys enables them to acclimatise to conditions in the car, while also providing you with the opportunity to observe their behaviour and make a plan for transporting them accordingly.

    Photo 07-06-2020, 22 57 03

    Keep Your Dog Under Control

    When you’re driving with your dog, it is essential that you keep them under control, either in a crate in the boot or using a harness.

    The law in the UK[3] requires drivers to secure their dog, so that it does not distract the driver. As such, you need to find a harness or crate that your dog will feel comfortable in and then get them used to spending time in it.

    Foster A Positive Association

    Not every dog will naturally take to car rides; some dogs really don’t want to get in the car and go anywhere. However, you can change your dog’s conditioning and turn a negative response into a positive one with the right training. The trick here is positive reinforcement - you can use rewards to encourage your dog to form a positive association with your car and to view getting in it as a rewarding act.

    As you begin to take your dog on longer and longer car rides, make sure that you are constantly providing them with positive reinforcement. Speak to them in a cheerful tone as you drive along and make sure that they have access to their favourite toys and treats - these will help them to relax and develop a positive association with being in your car.

    Keep The Temperature Cool

    Every dog owner understands the importance of ensuring that their pet is never left alone in a hot vehicle. This can easily lead to the death of a dog if they are alone for too long[4]. While the majority of dog owners are good at following this simple rule, many are much less alert to the dangers of a dog overheating during a long car journey.

    Remember, dogs are not people and they will react differently to the same circumstances. Just because you and your family feel fine in a hot vehicle, it doesn't necessarily mean that your dog is going to be ok with the same conditions. You should always have the air conditioning running whenever possible, and you should ideally keep windows open as well when your dog is travelling with you but avoid opening them all the way. It is also essential that you keep water in your car, use a special water bowl to enable your dog to drink while the car is in motion.

    With the right approach to training and a little patience, you can teach your dog to at least tolerate a long journey in your car. Having a stressed-out dog in the back seat is enough to stress any driver, it is worth taking the time to properly prepare and train your dog beforehand.

    How to train your dog to relax on long car journeys

    This is a collaborative post

    [1] https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/ask-trainers-get-dog-ride-car/

    [2] https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-do-dogs-get-anxious-in-cars

    [3] https://www.clenthillsvets.co.uk/did-you-know-it-is-a-legal-requirement-to-restrain-your-dog-in-the-car/

    [4] https://www.vets-now.com/2017/01/dogs-travelling-in-cars-seven-dos-donts/

     

  2. A simple statement : Desenio review

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    A few years ago, we were contacted by Desenio - the frame and print people and were asked to take a look at their fantastic library of prints - needless to say we loved them and they still hang on the teenagers wall even now. Home is where your WiFi connects automatically is one of our previous word art prints and this has never been more relevant with us all working from home at the moment.

    In the current climate it seems a simple statement can make a loud noise.

    We have recently had the opportunity to get some more prints and frames from Desenio and I don't mind admitting that I spent almost an hour lost in their website. The range has expanded since we last worked with them and they have a very wide portfolio of prints and posters and even more frame options too.

    There are many ways to browse using the easily identifiable and suitably located starting headers of PRINTS/FRAMES/BESTSELLERS/NEW ARRIVALS and for a fantastic inspirational treat GALLERY WALLS.

    All of these headers offer a drop down sub menu either by hovering over them or selecting, each full of additional options to explore…all making for a very quick and simple user experience, a welcome layout structure considering the vast array of options on offer.

    Photo 09-06-2020, 19 47 06

    Once we had selected our frame style and size (again very easy with all dimensions listed and easily identifiable) we chose our prints and checked out.

    When our package arrived it echoed the clean and simple brand identification of the website with a sturdy plain box with a DESENIO logo on the top. Inside was a very well packaged set of high quality frames sandwiched in between air bag wrap insulation and perfectly positioned to fill the ergonomics of the box – impressive we thought! Clearly some time and effort has been put into packaging the products so the customer is welcomed by a very nicely laid out set of products. Obviously we ordered quite a few frames but I’m sure if only 1 or 2 were ordered there would be a similar level of packaging finesse.

    The frames themselves are high quality and sturdy without being too heavy and come with double sided protective film on the Perspex, all individually wrapped with cardboard corners.

    At first glance we thought our prints had been forgotten however upon further exploration we found that in true Desenio fashion they had not been forgotten, in fact they had been placed underneath the frames in a lovely envelope with an obviously hand stuck sticker seal keeping it shut – again giving a feel of consideration and personal attention. Reluctantly ripping the sticker seal (weird how I never like doing that?) we discovered our prints delivered on high quality photographic paper with excellent print clarity – surprising considering the modest cost.

     Photo 31-05-2020, 17 42 10

    Overall a fantastic user experience with great quality products and fast, free delivery when you spend over certain amount. We would encourage you to put aside plenty of time to explore all the prints on offer – you’ll need it!

     PIN - LLP - Desenio

    Disclosure : This is a collaborative post 

     

     

  3. Benefits Of A Boiler Replacement At Christmas Time

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    With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing our homes for cosy evenings with the family. While trees and decorations are special ways to make your home feel festive, actually, there are more important things to consider too - one of these being the health of your boiler. (not quite so festive I know!)

    boiler-replacement

    If you’ve had the boiler in your family home for several years or have noticed your boiler needing regular attention, it may be time to consider a boiler replacement. No one wants a chilly home, especially not at Christmas time. 

    Here are some of the top benefits of opting for a new boiler in time for the festive period…

    Cosy home 

    Christmas is all about cosying up with family and friends on the sofa or round the dinner table, which isn’t half as enjoyable with a temperamental boiler. There’s nothing worse than having to wear extra layers in your own home, especially at the time of year when everyone’s together. Opting for a boiler replacement gives you peace of mind knowing that your home is the perfect temperature for everyone - kids, adults, and grandparents. The BOXT boiler replacement service is quick and top quality. Simply find the right model for your home’s needs and book in to have your new boiler fitted as soon as the next day! You can even choose a monthly payment plan to avoid having to make a big investment around Christmas time.

    Efficiency 

    Aside from the relief of not having a chilly home during the festive period, boiler replacements these days are all highly efficient. Each model produced now has an A-rating for energy efficiency, to comply with new laws. Boilers account for the largest portion of household energy bills, so the more efficient your boiler is with the amount of energy it uses, the less of your hard-earned money is blown on energy bills each month. Christmas is naturally an expensive time of year, so the more you can save on your monthly outgoings, the more money you’ll have to spend on what really matters, like buying for loved ones.

    Reliability

    Over the years, boilers start to deteriorate with age, meaning there is an increased risk of things suddenly going wrong. Sometimes, boilers can actually pose a danger to your home with gas leaks.  If your boiler has shown signs of packing in or has started to shut off unexpectedly, it’s definitely worth considering a boiler replacement to ensure complete safety over Christmas and new year. New boilers are far more reliable than older models and can allow you to rest easy knowing your ancient boiler isn’t putting anyone at risk.

    new-boiler

    More control

    Every year at Christmas there is a new piece of technology or an updated smartphone that everyone’s after. Actually, boiler technology is always developing too, making it far easier for families to control their heating and keep a lid on energy bills. Older boiler models may rely on you reminding yourself to manually turn it on and off at certain times, whereas nowadays you can set your boiler to turn on and off at certain times of the day, all from an app on your phone.

    Having a new boiler installed just in time for Christmas means you can set times and temperatures and leave your boiler to it! While remote thermostats are super convenient, but they can also save you tons of money in the long term. Why not set your heating to turn off once it reaches a certain temperature? This way you’re not paying out for heating your home when it’s already keeping everyone cosy. 

    Smaller and quieter models 

    If you’ve had your boiler for almost or over a decade, the chances are it will be a lot bigger and louder than models produced today. To free up some storage space for presents and ensure peace and quiet this Christmas, opt for a more compact boiler replacement. Most combi boilers these days are small and quiet enough to be installed inside a kitchen cupboard!

    So if you don't fancy going out in search of firewood to keep your house warm this Christmas, check your boiler to make sure that Santa (and your family) have a cosy home to come into this festive season .... and all year round.

    *Post in collaboration with BOXT

  4. 10 ways to plan the best summer holiday

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    Many things that could ruin a beach holiday. Give the following some thought prior to travel. If all the events happen in a lifetime you will be extremely unlikely. Fortunately most of them can be avoided, or mitigated, through careful planning and forethought.

    Beach

    In first place, consider the journey to the beach. It would be ruinous not to get there. It is possible to be denied a flight by arriving late or forgetting a key travel documents such as a passport. Flight delays can of course ruin ongoing connections to the beach resort.

    Second consider the hotel, resort and country where you choose to stay. It could be a horrible place. The hotel could be half built, the beach polluted, and the locals unfriendly. Although most travel brochures give more accurate descriptions of the hotels and resorts compared to the case a few years ago it is wise to give the descriptions careful scrutiny. Check that the resort is suitable, not noisy if you seek a quiet life, nor sleepy if you seek out a lively nightlife. In certain countries it might pay to consider the problems of crime and political unrest. Make sure that the resort is suitable for the holiday. Is it over commercialized? Is it family friendly?  Is the beach clean and safe, sandy and gently shelving for safe bathing?

    Third, consider the disappointment of a holiday cancelled or cut short. Cancellations can happen if the airline, tour operator, or hotel proprietor goes out of business. In such cases you might be offered an alternative holiday, or a refund of the operator is protected under a travel industry bond. More unusual reasons for cancelled flights include bad weather, industrial action by airport staff, security alerts and dust in the atmosphere arising from volcanic eruptions. Be mindful that there are situations which could leave a traveller stranded at a holiday resort. In such circumstances seek advice from your travel insurer before incurring any non redeemable expenses.

    Fourth, consider the problems of sickness or injury while on holiday. Minor self inflicted such as sunburn, sunstroke and too much alcohol can ruin the enjoyment of a holiday. Food poisoning can lead to more serious discomfort. Follow recommended guidelines as to what is safe to eat. If the water supply is suspect stick to bottled water and avoid salads that are washed locally. On the beach watch for local insects and be careful if there are jelly fish in the water.

    Fifth, avoid the problems of bad weather that could spoil a beach holiday. Chose a resort that has reliable sunshine and warmth for the time of year of your visit. If the weather is unreliable check that alternative activities are available for a cool, or rainy day. In many resorts have are indoor pools or leisure centres. Alternatively, there could be places of historic interest which could be worth a visit on a day not perfect for the beach. At the very worse, the holiday could be ruined by very bad weather such as a hurricane which lays waste to a West Indian resort.

    Sixth, keep control of your money and possessions., Shortage of money, or loss of possessions and luggage is a sure way to ruin a holiday. Tourists are often careless, or targeted by local criminals. Be careful with cameras and carry money close to the body on money belts. Keep some money elsewhere in reserve in case there is a theft. Although a nuisance loss of property is covered, subject to an excess, on a standard travel insurance policy. Make sure that you stay within budget while on holiday, taking into account fuel surcharges which many be being added to current airline ticket prices and unanticipated changes in exchange rates.

    Seventh, avoid any circumstances that give rise to stress. Taking a family through airports, watching over them on the beach, and keeping an entire family amused can be stressful and ruin the personal experience of a holiday. Relax and enjoy the sunshine. This is made easier through good organisation and use the facilities offered within the resort to entertain the children. Above all, cater for all the interests of the family and avoid family arguments as this is a sure fire way to spoil a family holiday.

    Eighth, many holidaymakers complain that fellow holidaymakers have ruined their holiday. Their behaviour ranges from the plain rude, to the discourteous, selfish or the mildly irritating. Crying babies and badly behaved children are a common irritant. The best remedy is to be tolerant and exemplary in one’s own behaviour.

    Ninth, make sure that your attitude does not spoil your holiday. Make sure that your expectations match the standards of the holiday and resort that you have booked. An approach which seeks to find fault in the holiday and seeks to identify issues upon which to claim is sure to spoil the enjoyment.

    Finally, watch for the wild card. There are many unexpected circumstances could ruin a beach holiday. Could anyone who travelled to the Maldives for a Christmas vacation in 2004 have anticipated the Boxing Day tsunami in Sumatra that left many of the low lying islands knee deep in water?

    In spite of all the things that could ruin a beach holiday the chances are that you can take them in your stride provided that you prepare beforehand, keep a cool head and approach the difficulties as they arise with good humour.