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. Tesalate : Sand Free Beach Towel Review

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    Beach towels take up valuable packing space in your holiday cases, so I was thrilled when Tesalate asked us to do a review for their beach towels. We have seen many of these "compact, sand free" towels advertised online and were delighted at the opportunity to try one for ourselves! 

    Tesalate started with humble beginnings when two friends---Volkan Ozbek and Jacky Lam went on a beach outing in Sydney a few years ago. Carrying a sand-laden beach towel at the end of the day inspired them to make a beach towel that not only functioned better but looked terrific, too. Having sand "everywhere" actually puts me off from going to the beach so the thought of having a towel that repells it, was already a plus point for me.

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    What are my choices?

    There are countless striking designs to choose from on their website, however we chose the "Is This Love" design. Each towel is double sided and the reverse side always has Tesalate’s signature black & white triangle pattern, so you get two looks for the price of one (winning so far)

    The sales blurb said "Tesalate beach towels are ultra compact, super absorbent, dry rapidly and are insatiably vibrant. Sand doesn't stick to them, even when wet. All our towels are made from our exclusive AbsorbLite fabric and are full beach towel sized"

    This seemed the perfect solution for my teenager daughter who was going away with school for 4 days with only cabin luggage allowance (!!). Or a mom who insists on filling the cases with everything except the kitchen sink (according to my husband).

    Where can I buy one?

    The towels retail at £49 and can be purchased directly from their website. All orders have free shipping, which is amazing really considering the towels are coming from Austrailia and you get fully tracking updates of their journey. £49 may be considered expensive for a towel that you use once a year on your summer holiday but the Tesalate towel is so much more!

    They advertise the key features as:

    • Sand free. Leave the beach at the beach.
    •  
    • Full sized beach towel: 160cm x 80cm / 63 x 31 inches.
    •  
    • Ultra absorbent; over 1 litre of water.
    •  
    • Rapid-drying. Half the time of a regular beach towel.
    •  
    • Compact when rolled. Fits in your bag.

    But we see the extra benefits of using it such as a yoga mat or for all year round school swimming events .... although the sand free element won't get as much use in these locations I suspect. 

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    Is it really sand free?

    The towel is a great size and we did the "sand test" to check out the fabric of the Tesalate towel, which means that the sand doesn't stick like it does to traditional towels. I think I expected the sand to magically filter through the towel but it actually doesn't attach itself to it in the first place. Obviously a few grains do remain but better than taking half the beach back to your hotel or apartment! 

    Is it better than a regular towel?

    For travelling - absolutely!

    It is compact without being flimsy and has great absorbancy. While we didn't time how long it took to dry, it seemed to dry much quicker than a regular towel. To  be honest, I personally love being enveloped in a big fluffy towel when I get out of the bath or shower at home but that isn't the purpose of the Tesalate towel, it is designed for being out and about. 

    Also because it is a great size, you can actually scoop two children into the same towel! Bonus!

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    What happens if you don't like it?

    We are all different and what one person loves, another doesn't (that is what makes the world go round after all) but the folk at Tesalate want you to be entirely happy. They really want you to love your Tesalate however if you don't you can return it for free. They will even pay for return shipping!!

    We were gifted our Tesalate towel and in all honesty, if I hadn't had the chance to review one first, I am not sure I would have purchased one. However having now experienced not only the quality of the product but the fantastic customer service and I would forgo another holiday outfit and spend the money on another Tesalate!  

     

  2. 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. 

  3. When to visit the Confetti Fields in Wick, Pershore.

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    Most bloggers adore a beautiful background and the Confetti Flower Field in Wick, Pershore provide just that. But imagine that you also have teenagers who are also on the quest for an Instagram perfect shot, then a day out at The Real Flower Petal Confetti Co fields is in order.

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    Each summer, a huge field of flowers bloom on the Wyke Manor Estate. The Real Flower Petal Company then (amazingly) pick all the petals by hand, mix them by hand, and they are then used for weddings all over the world. The general public get just 10 days in June to go and revel in the beauty of the flower fields.

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    The 2019 information you need is below

    • They will be open from 21st - 30th June 2019
    • The Confetti Flower Field  - 10am – 5pm (Last admission at 4.30pm)
    • Carpark is open - 9am – 5.15pm

    • The Confetti Café - 10.30am – 4.30pm
    • Flower Sales - 10am – 5pm
    • Confetti Shop - 10am – 5pm
    • Info Point - 10am – 5pm
    • Adult entry: £5.00
    • Child aged 6 – 16: £2.50

    You can purchase admission on the gate, tickets are not sold in advance so if the weather isn't ideal for the photos you can literally just turn up on the day.

    With the recent bad weather, we had been following the Facebook page and website for daily updates on whether the flowers had bloomed but a few days of sunshine at the end of the week, meant that we ventured over to Worcestershire on Saturday morning to create some Instagram worthy shots.

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    Our top tips for visiting the fields :

    • Wear sensible footwear - the ground underneath is not even (it is farmland after all) and whilst beautiful sandals might look great in the photos, a broken ankle isn't a great look!
    • If the sun is shining, don't forget the suncream / hat as there is very little shaded areas.
    • Be prepared for some walking! (It might sound silly but there is a lot of ground to cover)
    • There are toilets on the site in a couple of locations but they are portaloos, so always good to take extra tissues or babywipes.

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    We saw so many professional photographers at the Confetti Flower Field but if you have a decent camera on your phone, you can capture some really beautiful shots without the additional expense. Although, we have friends that have had professional shoots done and they are STUNNING! For now, I will stick with my Insta famous teens and their photo abilities! 

    To visit The Confetti Flower Field, Wick, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 3PA.

    For more information, visit https://www.confettidirect.co.uk/flowerfields/  where they are posting daily photographs of the fields as the crops start to bloom!

  4. Childhood Car Memories

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    Childhood memories can be a funny thing and I am frequently saying to my husband that we need to give the children memories not material things. I remember the holidays we had when I was a child and bizarrely I remember the cars we had. I can even quote the number plate from the brand new Ford Sierra we had when I was about 10 or 11.

    Childhood Car Trip Memories

    Bizarrely I also remember that song by Janis Joplin that went …..

    Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz
    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. 
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends, 
    So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

    (Sorry if that is stuck in your head all day now!!)

    There are strong leather smells that evoke memories of travelling in the back of my Mums Triumph 2000 with its plush spring seats and no rear seat belts (it is horrifying to think that we just used to slide around in the back of the car).

    My dad was (and still is by trade) a mechanic and we would always have a car being built in our garage at home and spare parts from WWW.SPAREPARTSTORE.CO.UK were almost part of the furniture. My brother and I have fond memories of his latest project being ready “for Christmas” ….. although I have a feeling that we may still be waiting on completion. I remember being taken to school in a variety of different cars that my dad was working on, from luxurious Mercedes and Jaguars, through to hand painted vans and Hot Rods. I was always a little embarrassed getting out in the school car park and never realised just how cool it was to have a Dad that drove such a variety of cars.

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    Fast forward to the present day and both my husband and I have had the pleasure of owning a Mercedes Benz …… although none of our friends drive Porches so there is no need to make amends! My girls are never embarrassed about the cars we drive, they are more concerned with making sure I am not singing in the car when they have their friends in there on our road trips.

    I know as parents that embarrassing our children is almost part of the job description but while they won’t have memories of sliding across the back seat of the car without a seat belt on, or being taken to school in a Hot Rod, I hope that they will remember the car journeys we have had, the giggles on the school run each day and maybe, just maybe they will smile as they remember me singing in the car with their friends.