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: News

  1. Tis the season to sparkle

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    Christmas time is very often the season to sparkle and there will undoubtedly be many proposals over the festive period, however engagement rings are beautiful and delicate things. That means that they are not exactly suitable for all activities we go through every day. If you tend to wear your engagement ring all the time, you should know that it is possible to damage it. (eek)

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    Despite the fact that diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance, they are not unbreakable, and neither is the precious metal used to make the band and the setting.

    Fortunately, even if you do damage your ring, there are places where you can repair it. Here are some of the most common ways engagement rings get damaged.

    Damage to the Stone

    Most engagement rings have diamonds as the primary stone. As mentioned before,

    diamonds areincredibly hard, but they can still get damaged. Despite their brilliant and polished looks, all diamonds are flawed. The amount and the visibility of these imperfections determine the value of the diamond. However, these imperfections can make your diamond susceptible to cracking and scuffing. In most cases, the damage is minor and it can be repaired by simply filling the cracks. On the other hand, if your diamond is severely damaged it may need to be replaced completely. Still, even in doesn't need to be a bad thing. A skilled jeweler can incorporate the broken diamond into the new design, thus giving you a new and updated ring. 

    How Engagement Rings Get Damaged

    Other kinds of stones are less durable than diamonds, which is why some of them are not recommended to be used in engagement rings. However, if you have an engagement ring with any of these stones, take extra care not to damage the stone.

    Damage to the Stone Setting

    This is the most fragile part of the ring. It is especially true of die cast rings. These rings are exceptionally beautiful, but also fragile. The setting of these rings, as well as other rings, is usually delicate, which makes it more prone to damage. You can learn more about die cast rings here https://emersonandfarrar.com/pages/die-struck-engagement-rings

    The material also has some effect on the likelihood of damage. Yellow gold is relatively soft and can be damaged more easily than, for instance, platinum. The most likely damage is warping of the prongs which hold the stone in place. However, they can even break if the damage is not taken care of as soon as possible.

    Repairing the setting is mostly easy, by reinforcing the damaged setting, or even replacing it altogether if it is too far gone. You may also opt to exchange the material for something more durable.

    Damage to the Band Itself 

    Even though it is not very likely or often, the band itself can be damaged, especially if it is worn all the time. Just like with stones, the most common kind of damage are scuffs and scratches. Fortunately, it is easiest to repair as well. Less extensive damage can be repaired by simple polishing, whereas deeper damage requires more complex repairs, like re-coating. Finally, your ring may warp and bend as a result of a serious damage. It can happen to any kind of rings, but seeing how engagement rings are more delicate, it is far more likely that it may happen. Warping is easily repaired by reshaping the ring, but you need to inspect the setting and the stone after it is done since it can become damaged in the process.

    Engagement rings are a beautiful tradition which has created some true masterpieces of jewelry, but they can be fragile and can be damaged if treated badly. So, if you do get a proposal this Christmas take care of your ring and keep it safe for years to come.

  2. 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?

     

     

  3. Five Frugal Things I've Done This Week

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    I have been trying really hard to be more frugal but to be honest it doesn't come easily. I love shopping and that isn't solely for my shoe habit but I also love to buy for my girls and am always searching to find the "perfect" present for friends.

    I see so many fabulous money saving blogs online, such as Mums Savvy Savings and every week I get reminded that there are things that I can do to make life a little less costly. So in an attempt to monitor my spending habits, I am joining in the Five Fabulously Frugal Things linky again this week. 

    Five Frugal Things Ive Done This Week

    1. Making a phone call really can save you money! My husbands car insurance came through and we were checking it against the current policy and despite 9 years no claims, we were disappointed to learn that it had increased. So after making a few phone calls to get some other quotes, we went back to our existing insurer and they matched the best price which was actually a saving on last years policy!

    2. My Taste Card still continues to make us savings as a familiy and not only can we save 40% on cinema tickets but we save on the drinks and popcorn too! You can imagine that we are suddenly visiting the cinema a little more so not entirely sure this is saving me money in the long run!

    3. We visited our local water park at the weekend. It costs £4.50 to enter the park and you can be there until it closes at dusk. We took a picnic and popped into the supermarket on the way to get a reduced loaf of bread to feed the ducks. So for the grand total of £5.00 and some things from the fridge we had a fabulous day out in the sunshine. 

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    4. Encouraging the children to save! I save for the girls but I have been trying to get them to take ownership of their own money more and more. This seems to be helping them to understand and realise how much they want something. They both want hamsters at the moment and we have a chart on the wall with how much money is needed to buy the hamsters and cage. You wouldn't believe the offers I have had for doing chores in exchange for pennies for the pot. 

    5. We have enjoyed PJ days at home, it is amazing how much money you DON'T spend when you just stay in the house and enjoy being at home. 

    How about you?

    Have you been money savvy this week? Do you have any words of wisdom or useful tips?

  4. 6 ways to save money with the children over half term

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    One thing parents don’t need any reminding of is the costs which accumulate when having children. There are the things you bargain for – education, clothing, buying a family-sized car, increasing the size of the food shop etc. But it never ceases to amaze how many little (and sometimes not-so-little) unexpected costs crop up, particularly when it comes to activities.

    Of course, it’s always worth it in the end, and it’s difficult to really put a price on the memories shared with your children. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few pennies along the way, especially if it doesn’t reduce the levels of fun and enjoyment involved.

    6 ways to save money with the children over half term

    Here are some winning deals which may give you and the old bank account a bit more to smile about by the end of the month.

    Restaurants

    There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants with family-friendly prices. But there are a few which really stand out from the crowd. The ones which caught my eye are the 50% off mains at Frankie and Benny’s (who also have a separate £10 off offer via the app); kids eat free at La Tasca, and Toby Carvery all you can eat breakfast for £4, where kids can eat for just £2.99.

    Supermarkets

    Experts say that the supermarket price war is now coming to an end, but that’s not to say there aren’t some really good deals about. And there are some hidden gems too. For example, online supermarket vouchers to entice new customers tend to be particularly big savers. You can also take advantage of price-match policies by separating your bargain buys and your full price items into separate shops, as price match is done by the basket. Also, late-night shopping can allow you to take advantage of yellow-sticker reductions, with Morrisons and Co-op usually starting these offers from 7pm.

    Credit cards

    Many people I know have a bit of a love-hate relationship with their credit card, but there are some excellent cashback rewards available. At the moment the pick of the bunch is Amex Platinum, which offers a staggering 5 per cent on all spend for three months. But there are other good rewards from the likes of MBNA, Aqua and Sainsbury’s too.

    The cost-cutting loan

    The irony of the above is that any benefits from the rewards gained by spending will be more than negated if you don’t clear your balance each month. That’s because of high interest rates. But if you’re stuck with high balances on your card(s), you can cut your interest bills straight away by either taking advantage of 0% balance transfers, or consolidating debt with good-value loans.

    Clothes and fashion

    Season changes are always a good time for high-street (and online) store sales, and there are some good deals about. Asos top the shoe charts, with 70% off most merchandise at the moment, along with excellent discounts on shirts and jeans. M&S have an ‘up to 50% off’ general sale on the go too, while if you’re eyeing up school uniform for the next school year, you can pick this up for as little as £6.50 from Asda and Morrisons.

    Activities and excursions

    One offer which really jumped out at me is the collaboration with the Sun and Alton Towers. Tokens are in both the weekday and weekend Sun papers, and by collecting 10 different ones, you can win a pair (180,000 available) of free tickets to visit the theme park. Otherwise for other days out, it’s worth noting the myriad of free museums and galleries around, while, for the kids, there are free tennis and football clinics (the latter offered by the FA – free for girls, £2-£5 for boys) during school holidays. After all, it is by getting out and about that the precious time we have with our children can really be maximised.

    What do you do to maximise the time but minimise the cost of keeping up with the kids?