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. Top tips to help you go freelance

    Posted on

    With many students receiving GCSE and A Level results recently, there are discussions in households across the country about future career choices, with many parents wanting their child to choose carefully and wisely. When it comes to the job that you do, as you get older you may find that you are stuck in a rut with your career. It might not have been your first choice and is not be something that you feel passionate about.

    However, you may have gained skills and experience that could be utilised when working for yourself and going freelance. Picking and choosing the work that you do and finally getting that work and home life balance right. So how do you change that? 

    PIN - Top tips to help you go freelance

    Going freelance can be quite scary. You have the loss of security of that consistent wage, and it can often feel overwhelming when it comes to managing the work and home life balance. But there are so many incredible benefits and finally being able to choose your workload or even do something you are more passionate about far outweighs the worries. So here are some of the top tips to help you go freelance. 

    Have the confidence to take that step

    One of the hardest things to do when it comes to going freelance is to have the confidence to do it. Right now you may be secure in a job. You feel you have security, and a consistent wage each month. This gives you the comfort that bills are paid and things are getting done, but that’s all it gives you. Have the confidence to step away. If at first you think it is too much of a leap use any spare time you have to start working on the side, and then build it up gradually. Be confident in your ability and also your decision that inevitably will give you what you want in the long term. 

    Seek out work opportunities 

    Going freelance doesn’t need to be as scary as you might once have thought. So many people are now taking this route to live the life they want to live and are getting to the stage where they are able to do it. There are websites out there that advertise freelance opportunities. Websites like People Per Hour and Fiverr are great places to start. You can also advertise your skills directly on there. You can even use Facebook as a way of advertising for jobs or seeking out work opportunities through groups or using the marketplace. There is also the fact that you can start to easily advertise your services through your own website and through social media content. This is one of the bets things to get you started as a website can hold all of the relevant information anyone would need. Whether that is sample of your work, feedback from previous clients, and any pricing information. You can also reach out to potential clients through platforms like this and pitch to them directly. 

    Make sure you are professional in all aspects 

    Once the work starts to come in it can be quite hard to not be overwhelmed by it all, but the one thing that you can’t let slip is the professionalism that you need to contain at all times. Being professional in all lines of communication such as phone, email and social media messages helps you to continue that working relationship. Also, the same can be said for when an invoice needs to be raised, Ensure that you display all of the correct information. A great tip is to use invoice templates so that you can get things right. Websites like PayPal are great to use at the start. This will also help you to get paid quickly rather than needing to amend and resend when information is forgotten about. 

    Your working environment matters 

    Finally, it might be a good idea to ensure that you consider your working environment. Most people who freelance work from home, and this can be distracting if you don’t have a dedicated area to work. If you can, create an area in your home that is dedicated for working. It might be a desk in the corner of your living room or your bedroom. Having a desk area helps you to segregate between working and home life. If you have the space in your home, a home office could be a great option to consider. The idea is that you can walk away from your work, or feel productive and work mode when you are sat at your desk. 

    Let’s hope these tips help you if you think going freelance is an option.  

     

  2. SodaStream from SaveMoneyCutCarbon | Review

    Posted on

    As a child, a SodaStream was the thing of legend. It was something that everyone else had but we never did. It was coveted and whilst my mum has always been ahead of her time with recycling and sustainability but we could never convince her to swap our plastic fizzy drinks bottles for the elusive SodaStream.

    So my inner child was more than a little excited when SaveMoneyCutCarbon recently asked if they could send us a SodaStream Spirit to put through its paces. The blurb tells us that SodaStream is the easy way to reduce your single use plastic waste and make sparkling water and your favourite fizzy drink, with just a touch of a button. So is that really true?

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money

     

    What does it cost?

    Cost is always the big question people have when thinking about buying a SodaStream. How much do they cost and is it worth it? First and foremost, you don’t need to go to their official website to buy one! You can buy your SodaStream from SaveMoneyCutCarbon and if you are a member of the Home Club, you get unbeatable pricing, guaranteed. Their Club Price Promise means that if a Club member finds it cheaper, they will refund the difference. It’s as if you’re buying direct from the manufacturer.

    The basic price is £99.00, plus £24.95 for the gas cannister and if you add one syrup in, that is bringing your total basic startup cost to £130.00. I set about working out how much we spend on fizzy drinks, so that includes all the soft drinks we buy per month and not to mention the tonic water for the husbands gin. I was a little horrified to realise this was costing us approx £72.00 per month. So we would start seeing savings by month two if this little machine lived up to the hype!!

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money (2)

    What did we think?

    From the moment you begin unboxing the Sodastream its clear that along with cost saving and waste reduction, simplicity and usability are at the heart of the brand. The latter continues to be the case with the actual set up and usage of the product. The inside of the box is compartmentalised and designed for safe transit and easy access to the unit, the gas canister and the supplied syrups.

    Once unwrapped, the tall, sleek and modern design of the unit fits well in any contemporary kitchen. The accompanying basic diagrammatical instruction leaflet easily demonstrates the simple ‘click to open’ and ‘screw in to fit’ nature of the unit and the gas canister.

    Once put together the supplied water bottle is so easy to fit in place that our 9 year old could easily manage and was thrilled at the satisfying woooooosh and bubbling that comes from pressing the big button on the top the advised number of times (3 for fizzy and 5 for extra fizzy). Delving in to the range of syrups they are all easy to use, again with simple guidance on the side of the bottle and a handy lid that doubles as the advised measure. Once added to the bottle of now carbonated water the results are delicious! We tried the Cola, Lemon and Lime (both containing sugar) and also the Tonic mix and Zero calorie Lime that were sugar free. Thinking back to when we were children in the 80’s our memory was always of a beverage that had the hallmarks of ‘own brand’ cheaper drinks however these mixes are far from that – very much a premium tasting drink!

    Will it help reduce our plastic waste?

    One of the big benefits of a SodaStream is that it allows you to enjoy fizzy drinks and water without having to continue buying plastic bottles. What’s more, SodaStream PET bottles can be reused for up to 3 years, each one helping to eliminate as many as 1,282 single-use plastic bottles.

    So if you are looking to save money and your plastic consumption, the SodaStream from SaveMoneyCutCarbon might just be the answer to the question you didn't know you were asking!

    PIN - Can a SodaStream Save Us Money (1)

    Disclaimer : We were sent the SodaStream to review but all thoughts and fizzy fun are our own!

  3. Top tips to live a more sustainable life in 2021

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    2020 was quite a year, especially since most of us were stuck at home for a large part of it. But, being stuck at home opens your eyes- we don’t know about you, but it’s made us want to work on ways to live a more sustainable life. Living and maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyles takes effort, but not that much. The more you learn about the issues that affect our beautiful planet, the more determined you will be to make sustainable choices on a daily. That doesn’t mean you have to change your lifestyle completely, but every little change counts.

    PIN - Top tips for being more sustainable in 2021

     

    Here are 3 ways to live a more sustainable life in 2021. 

    Use a different mode of transportation

    You create about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide when you drive to and from work, which ends up releasing into the atmosphere each year- leading to the greenhouse effect, causing global warming. Do your part by making use of public transport, scheduling a carpool with your friends or co-workers, you can even walk or ride a bike if you’re in close distance to your work place. This isn’t just healthy for the environment, it’s healthy for you as well.

    Shop locally and eat seasonally for your groceries

    Shop from your local farmers' market to get fresh food items that were grown naturally without adding waste or carbon emissions to the environment. You’ll be eating healthier and supporting the community. Eat fruits and vegetables that are seasonal, as you’ll be eating the farm-to-table lifestyle which means you’ll be buying foods that were harvested recently by the local farmers. Not only will the foods be tastier, but you’ll be helping the environment as well.

    Make use of eco-friendly products around your home

    Most of the products that we use at home to clean the house, wash our clothes, or do the dishes contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Especially chemicals like detergents, foaming agents, and preservatives. Instead, switch to products that make use of sustainably grown ingredients rather than ingredients that are synthetic so that they don’t harm the planets eco-system. These eco-friendly products are also beneficial to people that have weak immune systems and health conditions as they pose less health risks. After starting to work alongside SaveMoneyCutCarbon last year, we have been making small steps in our sustainable swaps journey and being a member of their Home Club means we get regular updates on the positive impact we can all make. 

    Right then, I am off to use my EcoCoconut Scourer and Ocean Saver cleaning products to get this house clean! 

     PIN - Top tips for being more sustainable in 2021 (1)

  4. Top Tips On How To Boost Your Immunity

    Posted on

    There is obvioulsy a lot of concern and talk about viruses right now and boosting your immune system is one of the best ways to protect yourself from illnesses, especially common colds and the flu. The immune system is our defense system against all external attacks: viruses, bacteria, etc. It is made up of complex interactions between the organs and cells of our body. A well-functioning defense system allows our body to effectively fight against colds, flu, and all winter ailments. Below we have mentioned some important tips to boost our immunity.

    PIN - Top Tips On How To Boost Your Immunity

    1.  Zinc

    It is recommended to take 75 mg of zinc for 7 days. This will cut the duration of a cold by half, provided you start treatment immediately after the first symptoms appear. Zinc is found in foods rich in protein such as shellfish, liver, egg yolk, whole grains; in 100gr of meat, there is 3mg of zinc. Zinc is not stored in our body, which is why it may be beneficial to take it as a food supplement.

    1. Immunostimulating plants: Echinacea

    It is the first plant recommended by herbal medicine doctors in the prevention of infections and recurrences. Native to North America, Echinacea is one of the most important medicinal plants. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system. It can prevent and treat infections. It boosts our immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells. Taking Echinacea reduces the risk of winter infections by 58%. Echinacea reduces cold symptoms from 1 to 4 days. Echinacea associated with vitamin C reduces cold symptoms by 86%. It is advisable not to extend the cures for more than 10 days. If the immune system is stimulated for a long time, it could either become exhausted or become tolerant to this stimulation. Echinacea exists in different forms suitable for each person. 

    1. Reduce the stress level

    Scientific studies have confirmed that chronic stress can actually interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system. The secretions of cortisol (the stress hormone) in excess and over time thus weaken the immune system.

    1. Practice regular physical activity

    Regular physical activity reduces stress hormones but also boosts immune defenses during and after exercise. The result: less risk of contracting a virus, but also less severe symptoms and faster healing in case of infection. Be careful, however: practiced to excess, sport is likely to exhaust the immune system.

    1. Sleep well

    The tiredness and lack of sleep weaken the body. Thus, people with poor quality sleep would be more vulnerable to infections with a weaker immune response than good-quality sleep.

    1. Eating & drinking

    Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and drink about 2 liters of water or tea a day. For a strong immune system, vitamin C is of central importance.

    1. Avoid defense killers

    Avoid alcoholic beverages, large amounts of caffeine, and stop smoking.

    1. Gut health

    An intact intestinal flora ensures a safe defense. A large part of the immune system is formed here.

    1. Soak up the sun

    Soak up the sun and boost vitamin D3 production in the skin. If there is no sun, Vitamin D supplements are a good alternative.

    1. Movement

    Endurance training increases stress resistance and strengthens the immune system. Walking or walking for 30 minutes every day, boosts your immune system.

    We know that not all viruses can be avoided but taking a healthy approach to your general lifestyle can certainly help and keep your body in a better position to fight anything that comes your way.

    PIN - Top Tips On How To Boost Your Immunity (1)