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. The Snow Queen | Review at The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham

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    The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham hosts The Snow Queen for Christmas this year and we were lucky enough to be invited along for their press performance on Saturday 23rd November 2019.

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    The Snow Queen (not to be mistaken for a certain Frozen Queen currently at cinemas right now) is a force to be reckoned with. This tale is based on the original from Hans Christian Anderson, however is a modern day version of the classic story. If I am honest, it is not a story that I was overly familiar with but that didn’t stop me from becoming immersed in the story from the second the curtains went up.

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    The Old Rep adaptation has the basis of most historical tales, and centres around good versus evil, but what makes The Snow Queen stand out is how the “bad guys” are still likeable characters. The Snow Queen has an underlying vulnerability that evolves as the story is told. Although her voice and presence are both strong and powerful in presence and delivery.

    Despite Letitia Hector playing a phenomenal role as the evil Snow Queen, it was Hader (played by Charlie Keable), her goblin sidekick, that was my favourite character with his bumbling charm that made me laugh so many times I lost count.

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    The story follows the adventure of best friends Kai and Gerda but when The Snow Queen steals Kai, can Gerda rescue him in time and find her way through a whole heap of obstacles (and creative characters) along the way to bring him back home? We don’t want to ruin it by telling you what happens, but the cast were exceptional, with many of the lead characters playing multiple roles.

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    The Snow Queen is on at The Old Rep until the 30th December and it is the ideal show for all the family. Our youngest is 8 years old and sat through the performance, both engaged and fascinated by the story. We all enjoy the theatre and I think it is the first year that she hasn’t whispered relentless questions throughout the performance, showing how captivating the tale actually is.

    The Snow Queen is packed with songs, dance and plenty of family fun for audience, making it the perfect choice for a family theatre trip this Christmastime.

  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. 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. 

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    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

  4. 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. 

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    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!