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: Views & Ramblings

  1. 3 Expert Tips For Decorating Your New Home

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    We have been talking about new houses recently but moving to a new home isn't necessarily the most fun activity for many. There are several stages involved in the process and it is quite understandable why many would rather just skip to the final stage, which would be walking into a home that has already been set up. But unfortunately, we all have to do the job from start to finish. It can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling from the moment you install the last piece. For many mums, decorating their new home is an ongoing process, but it is advised that you get most of it done, if not all, as soon as you get all your stuff to the new house.

    The part that many dread is the process of packing up stuff in the old house, arguing over what to take or leave behind, or sell. And then unpacking all that stuff and trying to fit them into the new space. For sellers, setting up the old house to look presentable and attractive to potential buyers can be challenging. It takes a lot of work, but it is worth it in the end.

    Decorating the new home in itself is a task that can both be fun and stressful, especially for mums, but it all boils down to how you approach the task ahead and how much information you have. There are so many factors to consider from colours to furniture and fittings. Mums resort to “home designer mode” to think of creative ways to decorate their daughters room

    You might need to think like a designer in order to decorate like one. You need to find a balance between what the house needs and what you want. Here are the top 3 expert tips that you might need to decorate your new home.

    1. Take Proper Measurements

    You need to apply some math when decorating your new home. Take Proper measurement of the new space, you take it to the next level by sketching on a notebook (to scale). This might seem a little too technical for some, but it does help give you an idea of how space you have to work with and dimensions of new furniture if you are shopping for new stuff.

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    2. Choosing The Right Colours

    For most mums, decorating the new home starts from picking out colours. This can set the tone for everything else that will go into decorating the space. The colour of the walls will determine what kind of furniture will fit perfectly. When choosing colours, make sure that you also consider the natural lighting of the space. Your favourite colour may not be best for that room, so you need to have several options that you can try if one will not work.

    3. Pick The Right Furniture

    When it comes to furniture, maximizing space is very important. You need to take into account the amount of space you have the size of the furniture you are shopping. There are several options that you can find at furniture123.co.uk that will meet all your requirements.

    Space management in your child’s room is important, you do not want the space to be cluttered with unnecessary things. Opting for cabin beds and mid sleeper can help you make the most of your child’s room. Furniture123.co.uk offers furniture that is designed with space management in mind. This is how we maximised the space in our youngest daughters room and it works really well. She sleeps up high and plays underneath. So contrary to what some people suggest ..... size isn't always everything! 

  2. Time Saving Tips for Mums

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    Whether you have one child or more, the daily tasks of making meals, washing clothes, making things better, and making time for yourself can be just a wee bit overwhelming. I have a friend who regularly suggests that there is more than one of me but I have to admit that I run a tight ship so wanted to share some of my top time saving tips with you! 

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    Shopping List

    Have you scrambled to find something to put on the table? Plan all of your meals for the week and get all your shopping done once a week with a complete list. Having meals planned out eases the mind with regards to what meal will have to be put on the table and what goes in the lunch kits. I have spent so much time looking in the fridge wondering what to put on the table before I planned meals in advance

    Be prepared for viruses

    Always have Calpol and other remedies on hand. To have a child at home sick with a fever and then having to drag the poor child(ren) to the shops is so distressing on all the people involved. Having these will save time and so much more.

    Daily Schedule/Planner

    Have a schedule for all to see in the kitchen. I chose the kitchen because everyone goes there everyday. With this you can get prepared for the next day by having the necessary things ready. For example, the hockey gear can be checked to see if it all there or the ballet outfits can be put together the day before so you are not scrambling to find things at the last minute.

    Designate age appropriate chores

    After supper if the kids are old enough to carry their plates to the sink get them to do so along with putting the ketchup in the fridge etc. It can be a fun time and the child(ren) gain a sense of belonging and fulfillment even. Starting this can be daunting, but once the routine is established it saves time. If they are too young for this they will be old enough soon. Tummy time turns into chore time soon.. This can be a good time to have them sort out their outfits for the next school day too.

    Have a stocked cupboard

    Having all the necessary supplies makes homework so much easier. Have pencils, sharpener, scissors, erasers crayons, markers, and glue in a container. Then when it is time to do the homework you won’t spend time looking for things, put who knows where yesterday.

    Post Checklists

    Some child(ren) are daydreamers, I have one. He sometimes remembers to comb his hair, but forgets to brush his teeth. A checklist by the light switch helps him remember to do both. Younger kids could have picture checklists if they are unable to read yet.

    Take Naps (best advice ever!!)

    When your child is in school or taking a nap get a little shut eye yourself. If you work this does not work during the week, but on the weekends if you can squeeze in a nap it can perk you up so much. Make rest and sleep a priority for you, the housework can wait.

    Get a babysitter

    Any parenting article tells you to do this, but affording the time away is hard especially for some single mothers. Perhaps make an arrangement with another mother if necessary to get some time away to get some perspective. 

    Get a cleaner

    This can be hard to afford for many too, but it could even be for just one day a month for some of the larger jobs like doing the floors. The cost is the same as going to a movie and restaurant. Having the house clean is quite a treat to give yourself and you are worth it.

    Spend time with your child(ren)

    Even if you can only make 15 minutes of your day for this, it is time well spent. I find if I do not do this my two girls tend to bicker more and just get very irritable and I then have to spend time disciplining them instead, so I choose to read with them or just lie down with them and chat. It provides so much balance for them and balance for me too.

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  3. Lifestyle Changes New Dads Can Make to Be the Best Parent They Can Be

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    There is a lot of support and even documentation out there for mothers. Fathers, on the other hand, have less. This is likely due to the shifting relationships at home. In the past, fathers were socially expected to work and make money while the mothers would stay home and raise the children. Now both parents will often have careers, and parenting is a job you must share and be in together.

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    This share of responsibilities is key to a healthy home, but for those dads out there who have felt they have begun to lose themselves or are doing this all on their own, here are a few suggestions on how to turn your life around:

    Lifestyle Changes to Make for Yourself

    Some lifestyle changes you need to make for yourself to stay healthy and happy include:

    Make Time for Yourself

    Being a parent is all consuming, but if you don’t put effort into maintaining who you were beforehand and the relationships you cared about, you risk not knowing who you are once your children grow up and move out. That is why you need to take time for the things you care about. Don’t let your sense of style slip; instead, try to buy better quality clothes that will help you look great and put together no matter how little time you had in the morning. Invest in the right mens glasses that suit your face shape from Mister Spex. Treat yourself to a nice briefcase to take to work. Encourage your partner to do the same.


    This also applies to the hobbies you have and seeing your friends. Try to make time for them. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, losing those friendships or forgetting those passions will make you regret things later in life. Your children need space to grow up, and if you can show them how you can juggle it all, they will grow up to be well-rounded individuals.

    Commit to Date Night

    Just as you need to make time for yourself, you also need to make time for your partner. Make date night a weekly event. The routine will work with your children (especially if you hire the same babysitter), and you and your spouse can get some quality alone time. You don’t even need to do anything particularly fancy. If it is warm, you can just go and sit on a park bench. So long as you are spending quality time together, it doesn’t matter what you do.

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    Lifestyle Changes to Make for Your Kids

    Some lifestyle changes to make for your kids include:

    Be Consistent in Your Schedule

    Get back from work at the same time every day. Do homework with them every day after dinner. Make routines so that your kids can thrive, bond with you, and know when to expect you day after day.

    Find an Activity to Do with Your Kids on a Regular Basis

    Some great activities include: 

    • Teaching Them How to Cook
    • Going on Bike Rides Every Saturday
    • Playing Tennis

    Don’t Make Mum Play the Bad Guy

    Work together as parents. Don’t make your partner the bad guy who always has to say no to fun ideas like ice-cream for dinner. Work out rules you want to enforce together and equally lay down the law. This way you can share the responsibility, and no one becomes the “fun parent” while the other takes the brunt.

     

  4. Getting the financial support you deserve to help raise your children

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    For all the parents out there, there’s plenty of financial support to help you give you and your children a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.

    Child Tax Credits are a benefit that is awarded to families raising children age 16 and under. It was designed to help support young families and provide help with modern family life. It’s been designed to help with the costs of raising children. It gives parents the opportunity to be able to afford school uniforms, clothes and nutritious foods to name but a few.

    Dependent on your household income, you will receive a fixed amount. It also depends on the number of children you have and their date of births. You can visit the Government website to find out more about your eligibility and your claim.

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    Who can actually claim?

    Any parent can make a claim, but the amount you receive is dependent on a number of different factors. If you have a child under the age of 16 then you may well be eligible to make your claim! You are also eligible to claim for a child or children under the age of 20 who are in approved education, or a training/registered with a careers service. If you are struggling to understand any of this, you can get in touch with the Child Tax Credits customer service team, and they will happily help you.

    How can they help you and your family?

    Having a family doesn’t come cheap, and we all know how important it is to ensure our kids live their best lives. Applying for Child Tax Credits just gives you that little bit of extra security if you are in a position where you think you might struggle. You can put it towards the food shop, or use it to buy your kids new clothes for the summer and winter.

    Ultimately, it’s been introduced to help you. There’s no shame in applying for it, every parent does. If it helps you get by, and stops you struggling, there’s no reason to not at least apply!

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    So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with them now and see how they can help you and your family remove one of the biggest stresses in life. It might only be a small amount, but when you are raising your kids every little helps!