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. 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? 

  2. Jake Shoes : Review & Giveaway

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    The summer holidays are a great way to wind down, however there is nothing than can wind parents up more than school shoe shopping. 

    Buying school shoes online (1) 

    Recent research has revealed, 87% of parents wished they could spend more time with their children while parents say that less than half (45%) of the time they spend with their child is quality time. However in the interests of honesty, spending time shoe shopping isn't really on my quality time wish list.

    It is no secret that I love online shopping and shoe shopping is no different. I think that we all believe children need to have their shoes fitted in a shoe shop and whilst a proper shoe fitting for children is essential, buying the shoes in the fitting store isn't obligatory.

    This year, we have had feet measured in a well known high street store but didn't actually love any of the shoe designs. This is where Jake Shoes have the advantage. They have all the well known brands such as Lelli Kelly, Ugg, Converse and Vans but they also stock some of the lesser known brands that you won't necessarily find on the high street and more importantly won't find the same shoes on every child in the classroom. Most parents have experienced the "joy" of having the wrong shoes or pumps come home and the uneviable task of tracking down the right ones, thats why having an extensive range to choose from online has multiple benefits.

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    Once I had determined that my youngest daughter had gone up a whole shoe size over the summer (eek), we sat and browsed our way through the range online at Jake Shoes. We chose the Lelli Kelly Tracey Bow Bar Shoes in black patent because they have the great name and quality of Lelli Kelly and looked sturdy enough to take all the playground running around! 

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    We will update this post once the shoes have been put through their paces but our first impressions are good, we are happy with the style, the fit and the beautiful little socks that come with a pair of Lelli Kelly shoes!

    We were gifted the shoes for the purpose of this feature, however our experience of Jake Shoes online shopping has been brilliant. So to those parents getting hot under the collar in shoe shops all over the country in preparation for back to school ..... there is another way!

    Finally and whilst we know that it won't be in time for September 2019 but we are delighted to be able to give our readers the chance to win a £20 voucher to spend at Jake Shoes. (And it doesn't need to be spent on school shoes!) All you need to do is enter below!

    Good luck!

    Jakes Shoes £20 Voucher

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Jake Shoes £20 voucher
    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 06/10/2019 at 12am 
    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

  3. 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.
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    • Full sized beach towel: 160cm x 80cm / 63 x 31 inches.
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    • Ultra absorbent; over 1 litre of water.
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    • Rapid-drying. Half the time of a regular beach towel.
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    • 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. 

    IS THIS LOVE

    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!  

     

  4. Will the sun come out tomorrow?

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    So, as the UK swelters in a heatwave, the forecast will most certainly predict that the sun will be out tomorrow and like it or not the next few days too - however in this case we are taking a break from the near constant weather themed conversations and instead heading away from talking about the actual sunshine, and instead directing ourselves towards the metaphorical sunshine of hope, optimism and enthusiam that tomorrow will bring.

    The smash-hit production of the much loved film ANNIE comes to the Birmingham Hippodrome for 3 weeks only, direct from London’s West End and as fans of the original (and remake) were thrilled to be gifted the opportunity to visit on launch night. The story is loved and well known by every generation of children and adults alike and most (but not all) of the familiar timeless songs are here however this production breathes some new life into the story with the added bonus of a new cast and new songs too. 

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    Starring Jodie Prenger (winner of the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, Oliver!, Spamalot, Calamity Jane) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, the audience was given a more familiar 'true to movie' performance vs the representation delivered in previous shows starring Craig Revel Horwood's deliciously over the top characture of the Miss Hannigan character - both equally satisfying in different ways.

    Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. We all know the story of how her luck changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family.

    The tale has always been about Annie piecing together the missing parts of her life whilst enriching and adding to Daddy Warbuck's shallow existence this is fantastically reflected in the set design which shows puzzle pieces that glow during scene stages. I was unsure of the relevance of the set design at first but on reflection proved a great way to show how the story evolves and comes together, not only for Annie but for the key characters too.

    Annie 4-0497 retouched press

    As always, there has to be a soft spot for Daddy Warbucks and his assistant Grace, who were both fantastic in their roles and very true to the original movie, however even more impressive was the Easy Street performance which combined impressive choreography, great character and charm in Miss Hannigan, her evil brother Rooster and his pick-pocket wife Lily proved to be a highlight for me.

    ANNIE_GROUP_JodiePrenger_Credit_MattCrockett

    The young cast are captivating and we left the show convinced that regardless of any heatwave, the sun really will come out tomorrow! If you want a live action adaptation of the original movie that combine familiarity with the charm of the stage, then this is the show for you!

    Tickets start from £24 and as the show only runs until the 11th August at the Birmingham Hippodrome, make sure you don't miss out.

     

    Directed by Nikolai Foster, Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin.