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: Reviews

  1. Pinocchio at The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham

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    Going to the theatre is such a treat, it is a way to escape reality and Director of the Pinocchio at The Old Rep Theatre, Alec Fellows Bennett feels that in the age of iPads , smartphones and computer games that it is important to come together as a community and fall in love with live theatre. 


    This year The Old Rep are sharing the story of Pinocchio, the tale of a wooden puppet who wants to be a real child. "To me Pinocchio is the perfect story for this theatre," says Alec. "If you asked a young child to draw a theatre they would pretty much draw The Old Rep auditorium. The idea of a story where toys come to life and it's all make-believe is the perfect story for a classic theatre like The Old Rep."

     Pinocchio at The Old Rep. Photo by Anda Latsa

    The lead is played by Holly Sayer and her ability to actually act and walk like a puppet had you believe from the outset that she wasn't a "real boy" and you are rooting for her portrayal of Pinocchio to be successful in his quest.  

    Pinocchio at The Old Rep this Christmas. Photo by Anda Latsa

    The ensemble cast for Pinocchio is made up of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) students. This is very personal to me as my best friends daughter is auditioning for BOA next year, so it was a great chance for me to see the opportunities that are ahead for her. 

    Launched in 2011, BOA is an independent state-funded academy which specializes in creative, digital and performing arts. Sponsored by the Ormiston Trust and Birmingham City University, the academy is for students aged 14-19 years old and The Old Rep is an amazing platform for them to perform. 

    Pinocchio at The Old Rep. Photograph by Anda Latsa

    I couldn't recall the tale before we went into the show and I had forgotten quite how "dark" the storyline was. I was amazed to learn that the adventures of Pinocchio is the second most translated book in the world, beaten only by the Bible! The original version of the story was written to teach children moral lessons and whilst the live show is a little more light hearted than that Collodi's original story it still keeps its moral compass. 

    We were invited to the press showing of the stage show but the tickets are reasonably priced as;

    Stalls Tickets £19.00 (Conc £17.80)*
    Balcony Tickets £16.00 (Conc £14.80)*
    Schools & Groups £9.90
    *Price includes £1 restoration levy

    We also got the chance to meet some of the cast after the show and I "may" have pinched the Fox's hat ....... he was crafty enough to get it back though! 


    At the start of this review, we mentioned that the Director wanted a new generation to fall in love with live shows and we were captivated by the Pinocchio production at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham but fell in love completely with the Blue Fairy. Daisy Ann Fletcher might be my new girl crush.

    So if you are thinking about introducing your children to live theatre shows, The Old Rep Theatre is the perfect place to start.

    And don't forget, think Blue ....  

  2. Baby Annabell : Milly Feels Better

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    Have you had to endure needles and injections for your little ones? Let's be honest, no one really likes having any kind of procedure that involves a needle, but it can be more of a problem for some. Fear of needles can be worrying for parents, particularly if your child needs regular injections or blood tests, there are ways to improve the situation and for children, this can come in the form of the fun and educational Baby Annabell doll, Milly Feels Better. 


    Make Milly feel well again with the 5 Doctor accessories included. Milly's cheeks will turn red when she needs attention. Check her temperature with the thermometer and her heartbeat with the stethoscope.



    With a budding doctor in our house, this is the perfect gift choice for her (and her baby doll addiction). At £34.99 it is reasonably priced and more affordable than a lot of dolls in this market and has the added benefit of being in the Baby Annabell range so can share lots of the other products, such as clothing and accessories.


    When it's time for her medicine, put the medicine spoon near her mouth and Milly will start to feel better again. If she is still poorly, she can also be given an injection. Milly also features sleeping eyes when she is laid down, and will also laugh when tickled. (Note to self : turn her off when the children are asleep as you don't want night time giggles!)


    Milly Feels Better encourages great role playing and can help children over come their own fears of getting injections or going to the doctors.

    If you think Milly Feels Better could help your little one feel better then we are delighted to be able to give you a chance to win one just before Christmas. All you need to do is enter below.

    Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better  

    The Prize: Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better Doll
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Gleam and notified within 7 working days by email
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.

    UK Entrants Only

    End Date 15/12/2018 at 12am

    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.


  3. Inflata Nation : Birmingham

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    We were recently invited to a press event for the launch of the new Inflata Nation venue in Birmingham and unfortunately we couldn't attend but really wanted to try it out. It has been open now for a month or so now and we figured it was a good time to go and see what it was all about.


    Trampoline parks have been super popular in recent years but what about a park filled entirely with inflatables? The team behind Inflata Nation were one of the original trampoline parks with their Jump Nation brand but with the appearance of numerous trampoline parks in every town, the team were keen to innovate and move the leisure market on to the next generation of leisure activities. 

    So what does an Inflata Nation park look like and what can you expect?

    IMG_1159 (1)

    • Inflata Wreck - Not for the faint hearted, our multi-person giant inflatable wrecking ball game. 
    • Inflata Grab - Stretch that bungee cord to see how many balls you can collect. A real life multi-person human version of Hungry Hippos. 
    • Inflata Duo - A giant dual lane drop slide, that you can enjoy with friends.
    • Inflata Tots - Only for our under 4’s, a dedicated arena with lots of fun features, including slide & ball pool.
    • Inflata Drop - Try this jaw dropping inflatable slide and land in a giant ball pool. 
    • Inflata Wall - Take on the wall and you'll be scaling our giant inflatable climbing wall, on your own or with friends.
    • Inflata Race - Who will be the first to complete the two lane assault course?
    • Inflata Bubbles - A large extra bouncy ‘bubble’ area, when all you want to do is bounce.
    • Inflata Bash - Air filled inflatable pillars that you can bash around. 
    • Inflata Duel -  A wibbly wobbly gladiator duel platform. Will you win the dual or take a tumble onto the the giant airbag below?


    There are different levels of activities, some are just hilarious and some are for the daring. The adults in our party got on with the children and personally I was just pleased when I could stay standing up for longer than 2 minutes. It is great fun but you get hot very very quickly, so definitely do not wear a jumper!! 


    All entrants to the park should sign a disclaimer and watch a safety briefing prior to bouncing and in the interests of honesty, I would note that we did not have to do this. We were running late and the session had already started. We are pretty sensible but this should be a standard safety requirement.

    Also there were a few areas that were off limits due to "maintenance" which was disappointing for a new park but again, safety should be paramount so we were happy to avoid them. 


    Despite all the inflatable areas, the HUGE ball pool remained a firm favourite from diving into the balls, to hiding underneath them. All the different activities and areas kept the children busy for the hour, although the adults escaped to the on site coffee shop and watched while we cooled down a bit. It is worth noting that the children have to come out of the Inflatables and walk round to the coffee shop, if they want to come out to talk to you.


    They regularly run classes at Inflata Nation Birmingham including fitness classes, Inflata Tots and disability friendly sessions. Given how difficult it seemed for the adults to stay upright, it certainly is a new and unique way of exercising. 

    For a standard "bounce" session it is £9.95 per person (over the age of 4), under 4's are £5.95 as they are limited to a restricted area.

    Top Tips

    • We would highly recommend booking your timeslot in advance, our session was fully booked and there was only one other free spot on the day we went, so it is definitely a popular location for weekend fun.
    • Take £1 for a locker (this is refundable)
    • Fill out the disclaimer online and in advance
    • The added bonus of this particular park is that is is also located on a retail park so you "could" send Dad in with the kids, while "Mum" indulges in a little retail therapy! Everyone happy! 

    It is a great way to spend an hour or so with the children, it is great exercise and definitely gets the heart racing and the laugter flowing.

  4. Whats That Smell!

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    My husband insists he is going to have the words "What's That Smell" engraved on my headstone. I very often walk into a room and say those infamous words, so when we were given an opportunity to review the new game "What's That Smell?" from WowWee, we jumped at the chance.  


    If you have teenagers you have probably already been through the food challenges they love to do and sometimes the worse the better, so we thought that this was an ideal game for a teenagers sleepover, because taking a sniff can make you a winner! 

    The game includes:

    • 48 mystery whiff cards
    • 4 STANK cards & scent-barrier bags
    • 6 cardholders
    • a sheet of whiff strips
    • scorepad
    • Instructions for 2-6 players ages 14+


    The best games are always the most simple ones and thankfully the format of this game is really simple. Every player has a card, the timer starts and you scratch and sniff using your whiff strip then write down the answer on your score pad. You get awarded extra points for guessing which category the scent is from and for sharing your funniest memory with it. 


    Some of the smells are sweet but there are also smells that are downright awful. I am not afraid to admit some definitely hit my gag reflex!  The winner of each round is crowned the Nose-It-All and gets to nominate someone to suffer the Whiff of Shame – 3 big sniffs of one the disgusting Stank Cards! ( I wouldn't recommend eating before doing this!!)


    This game can be played with or without the app. We didn't use it but think it could add another dimension to the game and you can use the app to track the number of players and sniffing time, earn extra bonus points by comparing guesses with other people who played the game, and record the priceless Whiff Of Shame. 


    We played this with the teenagers but can imagine an evening with friends, fuelled by a few cheeky drinks and this could be a hilarious game for adults too! 

    What's That Smell? game is not for the feint hearted but it is horrific and hilarious in equal measures and we hope that WowWee will add extension packs with new ranges of smells in the future.

    It would be a perfect gift this Christmas and we are delighted to be able to give our readers the chance to win the What's That Smell? Game which retails for £24.99 with Amazon, Smyths and Argos.


    What's That Smell?

    • This giveaway is open to all UK residents only, and you must be over 18 years of age to enter.
    • ONE winner will be chosen via Gleam and announced on this page.
    • The winner will be contacted by e-mail within 7 days of competition ends. If they do not respond within 28 days another winner may be chosen.
    • Your details will be passed to Wire PR, but will not be passed onto any third parties by Little Lilypad Co.
    • The prize will be sent directly to the winner from Wire PR.
    • Any damage to the prize is not Little Lilypad Co's responsibility.
    • The company reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of a similar type/value if the prize above is not available.
    • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
    • End date 25/11/2018