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. 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!)

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    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.

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    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

  2. Whats on in Birmingham theatres this Autumn / Winter?

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    Last weekend we went to see the AMAZING 9 to 5 Musical at the Alexandra Theatre. It has finished its run now in Birmingham but it is travelling round the UK. I didn't actually know the story or many of the songs but it was a couple of hours of sheer entertainment. to 5 the Musical tells the story of three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the women manage to reform their office - or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?

    We got an unexpected surprise when we found star of the show, Louise Redknapp outside the stage door on the way home, so it would have been rude not to say hello! 

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    In addition to 9 to 5 in Birmingham last week, the cast of the fairest panto in the land came together for the first time in costume to officially launch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which plays at Birmingham Hippodrome from Saturday 21 December 2019 - Sunday 2 February 2020.

    The spectacular production will feature Lesley Joseph as the Wicked Queen, Matt Slack as Muddles, Joe McElderry as The Spirit in the Mirror, Faye Brookes as Snow White, Flawless as The Wicked Queen’s Men, Doreen Tipton as The Lady in Waiting, Andrew Ryan as Nanny Annie Aspirin and Jac Yarrow as The Prince.

    Matt Slack, Andrew Ryan, Faye Brookes, Lesley Joseph, Joe McElderry, Jac Ya

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Saturday 21 December 2019 - Sunday 2 February 2020. Book now to secure the best seats, or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror! To book visit birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000 (4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge). 

     

    In November and December The Old Rep brings Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale The Snow Queen to The Old Rep stage.

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    This adaptation of the magical adventure follows inseparable friends Kai and Gerda.  When the heartless Snow Queen steals Kai to help rebuild her broken treasure, can Gerda rescue him in time before she plunges the world into an eternal winter? With the help of an unlikely band of companions, Gerda travels to the Kingdom of Ice to confront the Snow Queen and rescue her friend.

    From the creative team behind last year’s Pinocchio, comes a seasonal adventure for the entire family. We loved Pinocchio last year and can't wait to see what the creative team have in store for The Snow Queen.

    Have you booked anything for theatreland this winter? 

  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. What is YouTube Kids? Is it Safe for Kids of all Ages?

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    There is no escaping that we have a generation of children that are being taught coding and have YouTube tutorials for just about everything. If you’ve kept up with the YouTube news and updates lately, you may have heard of the launch of YouTube Kids, a customized platform that is fully controlled by parental options. YouTube has been quite open about the options available to parents and children within this new platform which aids in understanding the uses much more. However, even with YouTube’s information the questions still remain: what can actually be controlled with YouTube Kids, and is it really safe for kids of all ages? 

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    You can't have escaped the media coverage of the Momo challenge recently but after a series of warnings about the game spread across UK social media fact-checkers and charities declared Momo a hoax. So is YouTube kids any different or safer than other platforms?

    What is YouTube Kids like? 

    Parental controls are plenty here. You can select age range from 8 and lower or 12 and older, hand pick channels and videos, channel blocking, search toggling, and ability to monitor watch history. The app is meant to allow kids to have access to interactive or fun videos that are kid based but avoid the interactions with negative videos or channels that can occur in a non-controlled environment like YouTube.

    What can you do about bad content?

    This is a major concern to do with the YouTube Kids app. The app still has advertisements, and sensitive content that was missed in screening can only be flagged for review by YouTube. This means your child could still have a chance of being introduced to sensitive or unwanted content through advertisements or a video or channel that has yet to be removed from the kids' channel.

    Are parental controls secure?

    The parental control part of the YouTube Kids app doesn’t require a Google account. It does have a custom set passcode for access, meaning your children cannot change the parental controls without the code. There are also very many options for parental controls which makes the experience able to be more secure. You can access the controls from an icon within the app and insert your PIN to change settings anytime.

    What ages are the app for?

    YouTube says that there are options for 8 and lower as well as 12 and up for the kids' app. Generally, YouTube Kids seems to be advertised as best for ages 3-8 years of age. However many review sites that break this down recommend the platform for at least ages 7 or 8. This is because of the risk of sensitive content that hasn’t yet been caught by YouTube. 

    Are there better options out there?

    Another important factor in how good this app is for kids of any age, are the other options available for younger kids of similar platforms and uses. There are many other options hosted by kids shows and also by other hosts. These are also free in many cases, so if YouTube Kids isn’t best for your younger child maybe another option would be better than it.

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    Overall, YouTube Kids could be useful for your child and your needs for videos of different kinds that can be fun and educational. However, there are still many risks to this option for younger ages that you may want to experiment with before trying it with your child. If you’re looking for an option for children ages 7 or 8 and up, this may be a great option to use as it has many benefits and uses. Either way, the decision is fully up to you and your needs as well as your personal opinions on the information I have given you today. Best of luck!