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: Travel

  1. Is Lapland Your Ideal Family Holiday?

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    If the lack of sunshine this summer has left you trying to figure out where to go on your next family holiday, have you ever thought of somewhere completely different? Maybe the thought of going to Lapland has never even entered your head. We went on a (very) long day trip a few years ago but there are some incredibly cool places to stay, and some seriously fun stuff to see and do. It’s one of the most memorable places to visit right now! 

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    Take Your Kids To Meet Santa And Co

    It’s got to be the dream of every little person to meet Santa Claus. You might be able to take them to visit at your local garden centre, but it’s hardly going to be the same experience as taking them to meet him in Lapland - the perfect setting! There is nothing more magical than seeing Santa and his reindeers in the snow.

    See Some Incredible, Unforgettable Sights

    The Aurora Borealis can be seen from a few places around the world, including Lapland. This explosion of incredible colours in the sky is one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, and not something anyone of your family members will forget in a hurry. This is called nature’s greatest light show for a reason, and although you can find many pictures online, they barely do the real thing justice.

    Stay Somewhere Super Cool

    Staying in a regular hotel can be a little boring, right? It’s a good thing there are a few alternative options in Lapland. You could potentially sleep underneath the Aurora Borealis in a little bubble, or even in the famous Ice Hotel. You should look at some of the best resorts in Lapland for families to find the ideal place for you, but rest assured, none of them are boring. Even if you stay in a cosy little log cabin, you’re going to have a magical time.  

    Try Plenty Of New Things

    You can try an abundance of new things in Lapland, and the great thing is they can be enjoyed by your whole family. How about dog sledding, or even snowmobiling? They can all make wonderful experiences and you’re guaranteed to have so much fun. Visiting Lapland can be a once in a lifetime experience, and those who have done it will tell you everybody should do it at least once. 

    How do you feel about Lapland now - would you consider it as a viable option for your next family holiday? If you're going to be traveling close to Christmas, it’s something worth considering. Kids of all ages will love meeting Santa, reindeer, and the elves.

    Have you been?

     

  2. 5 Gorgeous Italian Locations You Simply Cannot Miss

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    Italy is the must-see country that sits at the top of most bucket-lists. The combination of romance, stunning architecture and delicious food is irresistible.

    I have wanted to go to one of the many gorgeous Italian locations for years and I might add it to my list of things to do before I am 40, so if you have been saving up for a break away this year, Italy could tick all of your boxes. It is a safe, family-friendly destination if you want to take the kids and a romantic getaway if you decide to have a break away without them. Here are 5 gorgeous Italian destinations that you simply can’t resist.

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    1. Impressive Rome

    Rome is the glorious capital of both modern Italy and the ancient Roman Empire so you get to see two cities in one. There are so many sights to see in Rome, it is important to get organised before you go to make the most of your time there. European Tours are the easiest way to make sure that you are not missing anything. Your itinerary will be planned perfectly to ensure that you get to experience both the major sights and hidden gems. You get your own tour guide so you can ask whatever questions you like and learn as much as you can from the experience. Obviously, you cannot miss the Colosseum and the St. Peter Basilique in the Vatican but you will also love the Spanish steps of Piazza di Spagna.

    1. Beautiful Florence

    Florence is the classic Renaissance city, packed with charming elegance, architecture, art, and culture. It is hard to pick out the most beautiful aspects of Florence because it is all stunning but the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria are both places where you can view the highlights of Florentin architecture. They were once the political and religious centres of this historic city and give an insight into the Florence of the past. If art is what you are seeking, you need to head straight to the Uffizi Gallery where you can find the most famous paintings by Leonardo and Raphael. For a taste of modern Italy and an injection of Italian culture, book a performance at the new opera house in Florence for an evening that you won’t forget.

    1. Stunning Cinque Terre

    Translated this means the ‘Five Lands’ and it is a set of five linked villages which are located on a cliff on the Italian Riviera. They are an impressive sight. It is not surprising that this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of tourists every year who come to see that colourful houses and fortified towers. You can view the houses from the sea or there is a panoramic hiking trail called the Sentiero Azzuro (light blue trail) which connects the five villages. However, be warned, it ends with a climb up 368 steps and so is not suitable for very young children or those with mobility problems.

    1. Unique Venice

    There is nowhere quite like Venice anywhere else in the world. It is built on a lagoon and transport is via a series of canals. There no roads or cars. It’s packed with history and art and is simply the most romantic place on earth. It is best to visit out of season when it is cooler, less busy and you get to avoid all of the cruise ships that visit in the height of summer. On the other hand, in the winter it can be chilly and covered in sea mist so you will miss the beauty of the city. Early Spring is probably the best option. Don’t miss a ride in a traditional gondola but be prepared to pay a high price for it!

    1. Gorgeous Amalfi Coast and Capri

    Here you can combine relaxation with some sight-seeing. The area is steeped in culture and nature and you are never far from the breath-taking rocky coast. The first villas here date back to Roman times and there have been settlers here ever since leaving a rich tapestry of history and architecture. At one point is was one of the four Marine Republics ruling Italy. The three hotspots for tourists are the unmistakable Cathedral of Amalfi, Ravello and Postiano. Then you can head out to the wonderful island of Capris. Dubbed the ‘Garden of Eden’ this island is incredibly popular with tourists and can get very busy.  It was once home to an emperor and a monastery so there is plenty of history to discover. The best view is from the north of the island from which you can spot Vesuvius in all her glory!

    Have you ever been and is there anywhere you would recommend as a must see part of Italy?

     

     

  3. How to collect money online for good causes, gifting or girlie holidays.

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    It seems like we are always trying to raise money for something, whether it is a friends baby shower, teachers present collection or a hen weekend, let alone fundraising for worthy projects, so there always seems to be a need to find a few coins or a £5 note in your purse. Unfortunately if you are like me (or the queen) you never seem to have spare cash in your purse .... usually because the children "needed" it for a school project or something or other. It is worse when you have the organisers instinct inside you (this may be me) and feel the need to take control but be totally transparent too. 

    Can you really create an online money pot?

    With us being able to do most things online now, it makes sense for you to be able to to pool funds together online rather than in crumpled up envelope in the bottom of a bag. This is where Leetchi.com is rather handy! Founded in Paris in 2009 (the same year as the Lilypad), Leetchi.com has quickly become the leading European fundraising website with over 7 millions of users. The platform is now accessible from 150 countries, in 4 languages and 2 currencies! Leetchi provides an easy, secure and inexpensive way for people to club together online for personal projects, nonprofits or group gifts.... basically anything and everything!

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    That all sounds great in principle but how does it work?

    We have all seen adverts for products that say in just a few clicks you can get started but with Leetchi, this is really true. With just a few clicks anyone can create a personalised money pot and invite friends, supporters ... in fact anyone, to contribute. Contributions can then be made to the online money pot by simply using their individual credit or debit card. Once the target amount of money has been raised, the organiser can choose when and how they’d like to spend it.

    Does it cost anything?

    We are always looking for the most savvy options and so it is good to know that it is totally free to spend on partner sites or there’s a small 2.9 - 4% bank transfer fee. There is also the added benefit of being able to transfer the money pot directly to the beneficiary via email. It is as simple as that!

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    Is it easy to set up?

    The whole process takes minutes to set up and if you are usually the one who wears the organisers hat like me, whether it’s charity sponsorship, a present, or contributions to a girlie holiday, then Leetchi is definitely worth looking into with help on how to raise funds online.

    What are you waiting for?

     

     

  4. 20 places to visit to make you feel more cultured!

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    In the past couple of years, we have fallen in love with cruising, whether that be on a short weekend break or a family holiday. At one point we did question whether you could comfortably cruise with children and utlimately we agreed that you can. I love everything about going on a cruise and I suppose there is still some elitism about it as a holiday but it is really interesting to read recent research* that reveals hilarious exaggerations Brits tell that relate to food, travel destinations, theatre and literature.

    20 places to visit to make you feel more cultured!

    Here are the top 20 places Brits claim to have visited in a bid to appear cultured

    1.            New Zealand  

    2.            New York        

    3.            Australia     

    4.            Rome         

    5.            Paris        

    6.            Iceland  

    7.            Cuba      

    8.            Brazil      

    9.            Venice     

    10.          Jamaica    

    11.          Moscow    

    12.          Dubai      

    13.          Milan  

    14.          Barcelona   

    15.          Morocco  

    16.          Berlin   

    17.          Miami  

    18.          Florence  

    19.          Ibiza    

    20.          Sri Lanka 

    So in an effort to tick some of those off the list (!!) together with our new passion for cruising, I know that I want to look at longer breaks and maybe take a Mediterranean cruise which is a great way to get a taste of a number of different counties, discover differing cultures, cuisines and traditions in a relatively short amount of time

    However and maybe even more hilariously, apparently by liking these top 20 foods, Brits feel that they appear more cultured. (personally I love dark chocolate ........ am clearly soooo cultured!) 

    1.            Sushi                   

    2.            Dark chocolate  

    3.            Rare steak           

    4.            Quinoa                

    5.            Oysters               

    6.            Craft ales            

    7.            Smelly cheese    

    8.            Hot chillies          

    9.            Avocado              

    10.          Granola                

    11.          Raw Vegetables  

    12.          Sweetbreads       

    13.          Kale                       

    14.          Korean food        

    15.          Kimchi                  

    16.          Sashimi                 

    17.          Courgetti             

    18.          Rye Bread            

    19.          Bowl food (Congee) 

    20.          Aged meat        

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    Where are you holidaying this year? Did you choose it for cultural appearances?

    *Independent research commissioned by MSC Cruises. Researchers surveyed more than 1500 people across the UK in an online poll in December 2016.