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 sustainable living, saving money, lifestyle and travel. It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Views & Ramblings

  1. 7 Wonderful Places to Visit in Romania in Winter

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    Now January is over, it is time to think about holidays! We have been looking at alternative destinations this year and we might just have discovered the ideal location! Romania, a country rich in history and natural beauty, offers some truly magical destinations for travellers during the winter months. There's something for everyone, from snow-covered medieval towns to frosty mountain peaks.

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    Here are seven wonderful places you should consider visiting in Romania when the temperature drops.

    1. Sibiu – A Step Back in Time

    Sibiu is like a page out of a fairy tale, especially in winter when its roofs are blanketed with snow, and the Christmas market lights up the Grand Square. The former European Capital of Culture boasts well-preserved walls and towers, cobbled streets, and museums. Don't miss the iconic Bridge of Lies and the stunning views from the Council Tower.

    2. BraÈ™ov – Gateway to the Carpathians

    Nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Brașov is a perfect mix of natural beauty and medieval charm. The town's main attraction is the Black Church, which is a testament to Gothic architecture. Take a cable car up to Tampa Mountain for breathtaking views, or hit the nearby ski slopes of Poiana Brașov, a popular winter sports destination.

    3. The Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lake

    One of a Kind Experience For a truly unique experience, visit the Ice Hotel on Bâlea Lake. Accessible only by cable car during the winter, this hotel is rebuilt every year entirely out of ice from the glacial lake. Each room is individually designed and carved, offering guests a night in a real-life winter wonderland. During your stay, you can also enjoy ice-related activities, such as skating or sledding.

    4. PeleÈ™ Castle – A Royal Retreat

    PeleÈ™ Castle, set in the picturesque town of Sinaia, is a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture. Once the summer residence of Romanian royalty, the castle is even more enchanting during the winter months. Explore its lavish rooms filled with art and armour, and walk through the snowy forested estate surrounding it.

    5. MaramureÈ™ – Where Traditions Thrive

    MaramureÈ™ is the place to go if you want to experience Romanian traditions that have stood the test of time. This region feels like a living museum with wooden churches and traditional villages. During winter, the landscape transforms into a serene, snowy paradise. Make sure to visit the Merry Cemetery in SăpânÈ›a, which is famous for its colourful tombstones and humorous epitaphs.

    6. Cluj-Napoca

    The Heart of Transylvania Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania, is a vibrant city that doesn't lose its charm in winter. The city centre, with its mix of medieval, baroque, and modern architecture, becomes a picturesque scene straight out of a fairy tale when covered in snow. Don't miss the chance to visit the Gothic St. Michael's Church or the Banffy Palace, which houses the National Art Museum. The Christmas Market lights up the main square during winter, offering a cozy atmosphere in which to enjoy hot mulled wine and traditional Romanian treats.

    7. Poiana BraÈ™ov – A Skier's Paradise

    Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, Poiana Brașov is Romania's most famous ski resort and a perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts. With its well-groomed slopes, modern facilities,

    and cozy chalets, it's an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced skiers. After a day on the slopes, you can unwind with a hot chocolate by the fireplace or enjoy the lively après-ski scene.

    Final words

    Winter in Romania is a season of incredible beauty and cultural richness. These destinations offer a glimpse into the country's diverse landscapes and historical treasures. Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Romania's winter wonders will surely make your trip unforgettable. Pack your warmest clothes and get ready for an extraordinary journey!


    Is it safe to drive in Romania in the winter?

    Driving in winter in Romania can be safe if you are prepared and cautious. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, and consider carrying chains if you're heading to mountainous areas. Always check the weather forecast before long drives, and avoid traveling during heavy snowfall or blizzards.

    Are tourist attractions open in Romania during winter?

    Many tourist attractions remain open during winter, but hours may be shorter, and some outdoor sites might be less accessible. It's best to check specific attractions' opening times and availability beforehand. Major cities like Bucharest offer plenty of indoor activities and sights that are enjoyable year-round.

    Can tourists in Romania play the lottery?

    Yes, tourists in Romania can play lotteries, such as the Euromillions other national games. Tickets can be purchased from authorized retailers nationwide. Some of them can be found online at the Lottoland website.

    Will I experience any language barriers?

    While Romanian is the official language, many Romanians speak English, especially the younger population and those working in tourism and hospitality. Learning a few basic phrases in Romanian can be helpful and is always appreciated by the locals.

    What are the typical winter temperatures in Romania?

    Winter temperatures in Romania can vary but generally range from -10 °C to 5°C (14°F to 41°F). In the mountains, temperatures can drop even lower, so preparing for cold weather is important.

    Is Romania a budget-friendly winter destination?

    Romania is considered quite budget-friendly compared to other European countries. Accommodation, food, and entertainment often come at a lower cost, making it an attractive winter destination for travellers looking to stretch their funds further.

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  2. How to Baby and Toddler-Proof a Caravan: Making Your Home on Wheels Child-Friendly

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    Caravanning is a fantastic way to explore the world with your family, especially when you have little ones. However, ensuring the safety and comfort of your baby or toddler in a caravan requires some careful planning and modifications. In our latest blog post, we'll discuss how to baby and toddler-proof a caravan and share some tips on making it child-friendly. By taking these steps, you can embark on unforgettable family adventures while keeping your little explorers safe and happy.

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    Secure the Furniture

    Caravans often come with various pieces of furniture that can pose safety hazards to babies and toddlers. Start by securing any freestanding items such as tables and chairs. You can use furniture straps or brackets to anchor them to the floor or walls, preventing them from tipping over.

    Additionally, consider adding corner protectors to sharp edges and corners of furniture to reduce the risk of injuries. Babies and toddlers are prone to bumps and falls, so taking these precautions is essential.

    Install Safety Gates

    Safety gates are a must when traveling with young children in a caravan. Use them to block off staircases or entryways to areas that are not baby-proofed. It's crucial to select gates that are adjustable and designed for the specific width of your caravan's doorways or openings.

    Childproof the Kitchen

    The kitchen in your caravan can be a potential danger zone for curious toddlers. Here's how to childproof it:

    a. Cabinet Locks: Install cabinet locks or latches to prevent little hands from accessing sharp objects, chemicals, or breakable items.

    b. Oven and Stove Guards: Consider using oven and stove guards to keep your child from accidentally turning on the burners or touching hot surfaces.

    c. Fridge Locks: Use fridge locks to secure the refrigerator door. This prevents your child from opening it and accessing potentially harmful items.

    Secure Windows and Doors

    Caravan windows and doors should be secured to prevent accidents. Ensure that windows have locks or restrictors to prevent them from opening too wide. You can also install door handle covers or locks to keep little ones from wandering outside unsupervised.

    Childproof the Bathroom

    The bathroom is another area that requires special attention. Here's how to make it safer:

    a. Toilet Locks: Install toilet locks to prevent your toddler from playing in the toilet bowl or potentially falling in.

    b. Bathing Safety: Use non-slip bath mats and never leave your child unattended in the bathtub. Keep hot water at a safe temperature using a thermostat.

    c. Medicine Cabinet Locks: If your caravan has a medicine cabinet, secure it with locks or latches to keep medications out of reach.

    Electrical Safety

    Caravans are equipped with electrical outlets, appliances, and cords that can be enticing to curious little ones. Here's how to ensure electrical safety:

    a. Outlet Covers: Cover all electrical outlets with childproof outlet covers.

    b. Cord Management: Use cord organizers or clips to secure cords out of your child's reach, preventing them from pulling on appliances or tripping over cords.

    c. Unplug Appliances: When not in use, unplug small appliances and stow them safely away.

    Sleep Arrangements

    Creating a safe sleeping environment is crucial for your baby or toddler. If your caravan has a crib or bassinet attachment, ensure it meets safety standards and is properly secured. If not, consider using a portable travel crib or pack 'n play. Make sure the sleeping area is free from hazards, including loose bedding and toys.

    Invest in Child-Friendly Gear

    To make your caravan more child-friendly, consider investing in child-specific gear:

    a. High Chair: A portable high chair is a convenient addition to your caravan. It provides a safe and comfortable spot for meals.

    b. Travel Booster Seat: For older toddlers, a travel booster seat can be a great way to keep them secure during mealtime.

    c. Portable Playpen: A portable playpen gives your child a safe space to play indoors or outdoors while you set up or pack up the caravan.

    d. Baby Monitor: A baby monitor allows you to keep an eye on your child while they nap or sleep in the caravan.

    Emergency and First Aid Kit

    Always keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your caravan, including essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and medications for common ailments. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the nearest medical facilities and emergency numbers at your destination.

    Child-Friendly Entertainment

    Long journeys in a caravan can be challenging for kids. Pack plenty of entertainment options to keep them occupied, such as books, toys, games, and electronic devices. Consider setting up a designated play area in the caravan to encourage creative play and keep them engaged during rest stops.

    Caravan Insurance: Protecting Your Family and Investment

    One often overlooked aspect of caravanning with children is having appropriate caravan insurance. Caravan insurance is crucial for safeguarding your family and your investment in the event of accidents, theft, or damage. Here are some key considerations:

    a. Comprehensive Cover: Ensure your caravan insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage, including protection against accidents, theft, fire, and damage.

    b. Liability Coverage: Liability coverage is essential, as it protects you in case of accidents that cause injury or property damage to others while you're on the road.

    c. Contents Insurance: If you carry valuable items or personal belongings in your caravan, consider contents insurance to protect them in case of theft or damage.

    d. Emergency Assistance: Look for a policy that includes emergency assistance coverage, which can be a lifesaver in case of breakdowns or accidents, especially when traveling with young children.

    e. Review the Policy: Carefully review your insurance policy to understand its terms, coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions. Ensure it aligns with your specific needs as a family caravanner.

    Traveling in a caravan with a baby or toddler can be a rewarding experience, allowing your family to bond and explore new places together. By taking the time to baby and toddler-proof your caravan and making it kid-friendly, you'll ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure for everyone. Remember that the key to successful caravanning with young children is preparation, vigilance, and flexibility, so you can relax and savor the moments spent on the road with your little ones.

  3. Family Friendly Working From Home Ideas

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    Working from home can be a great solution for mums who want to balance their career with their family life. However, it can be challenging to find flexible work opportunities that fit around school runs and baby nap times. Here are five top tips to help you find family-friendly work from home opportunities.

    1. Freelance Writing and Blogging

    Freelance writing and blogging are great options for mums who want to work from home. Many companies and individuals hire freelance writers to create content for their websites or blogs. You can work on your own schedule and choose the projects that interest you. Blogging is another option that offers flexibility, as you can write and publish posts whenever you have time. Plus, it can be a great way to share your own experiences and connect with other mums.

    2. Virtual Assistant

    Many businesses and entrepreneurs need help with administrative tasks, such as email management, scheduling appointments, and social media management. As a virtual assistant, you can work from home and provide these services remotely. This is a great option if you have good organizational skills and are comfortable working with technology.

    3. Online Tutoring

    Online tutoring is a great option for mums who have a teaching background or expertise in a particular subject area. Many companies hire online tutors to provide one-on-one instruction to students. You can work from home and choose the hours that work best for you. Plus, it can be a rewarding way to help others learn and grow.

    4. Direct Sales

    Direct sales is another option that offers flexibility and the potential for a good income. Many companies offer opportunities to sell their products directly to customers, either through parties or online. You can work on your own schedule and choose the products that you want to sell. Plus, it can be a great way to connect with other mums and build a community.

    5. Remote Customer Service

    Many companies are now offering remote customer service positions, which can be a great option for mums who want to work from home. As a remote customer service representative, you would handle customer inquiries and provide support via phone, email, or chat. This is a great option if you have good communication skills and enjoy helping others.

    When looking for family-friendly work from home opportunities, it’s important to keep your priorities in mind. Consider your schedule, your family’s needs, and your own interests and skills. With a little research and some creativity, you can find flexible work that allows you to balance your career and your family life.


  4. 4 ways to declutter your home after Christmas

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    When it comes to Christmas it can not only be a joyous time but a period in which we can feel totally overwhelmed by our homes. After all, Christmas means that we bring more things into our home after the kind gifts we can receive. Especially if you have children, however, it is also the perfect excuse to get organised and embark on some decluttering to get your home back in order. There is nothing quite like that feeling of entering a new year feeling fresh, tidy, and free from the clutter that can often hold you back in your home. So if you want to get started then here are some of the best ways to declutter your home after Christmas. 

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    Start off with a cupboard or drawer 

    Decluttering can be a huge task and one that we are likely to procrastinate over or avoid. So the best way to get started is to start with a small area. Something as simple as a cupboard or drawer. Working through each space you can decide what stays, what goes, and what needs another home. 

    Use the box method

    If you are tackling a room then a great way to stay on top of things is to use the box method. A box for things you want to keep but perhaps need a new place to be stored, a box for things to donate or sell, and a box to recycle or get rid of appropriately. This is perfect for children’s rooms as you may accumulate or store things that they no longer want or need. It enables you to go through drawers, cupboards, and storage boxes. Organising as you go, and removing things that need to be stored elsewhere or need to be gotten rid of. 

    Organise children’s rooms before bringing new things into them

    Children often accumulate a lot of toys and things at Christmas time, so instead of adding them to their bedrooms or playrooms straight away, now is the time to organise them as they are. As you rearrange and store things away, think about their new toys and where they may go or be stored at the same time. Remove items they no longer want and create space ready for the new things ot be slotted in. Many people do this before Christmas, but it is just as easy to do it after as you are aware of precisely what needs storing. 

    One bag at a time

    If it feels too much, simply walk around with a bag. Use a bag for recycling and go into each room and remove things that is seemingly rubbish or need recycling appropriately. The next day take a bag or box and remove things you know are for selling ot donating. This gets rid of any surface clutter so that the task can seem less daunting as you delve deeper into cupboards and drawers. 

    Finally, don’t be too worried about how your home looks or how it may look as you start to declutter. Things may get messy as you work through cupboards, and drawers or tackle different.