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. 5 Fantastic tips for decluttering kids’ stuff

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    Kids have a strong connection with their stuff, especially toys. Therefore sometimes it gets challenging to declutter kids’ stuff. Also, as kids love to buy new stuff frequently, it can increase the amount of clutter in your house. 

    You can't have escaped the whole Marie Kondo phenomenon that is sweeping the nation, so here are 5 top tips for decluttering kids’ stuff and that too without any fuss, fights, scolding involved.

    Declutter kids’ stuff using big baskets/bins:

    Big baskets and containers are quite useful in the whole decluttering process. Buy 4-5 big baskets and assign each basket for one commodity (For example - One basket for kid's books, another one for his toys, maybe a small one for his stationery etc.).

    In this way, it would be easier for you to declutter the various stuff. Also, teach the kid to store all the items in their respective baskets only. This would help you with cleaning and decluttering.

    Assign one day in 2-3 months to declutter kid’s toys: 

    Kids toys are probably the most difficult to declutter. This is because kids are very attached to their toys. They don't like parting away from their toys.

    Therefore decluttering kid’s toys can be a bit difficult. To begin with, try to involve your kid in the decluttering process. Initially, it can be a tough process to teach them to let go of their favorite toys, but gradually they will learn the process.


    Now ask them to categorize the toys into three categories -

    • Toys that have no life left & should be thrown away.
    • Toys that can be donated.
    • Toys they still want to keep.

    Divide all the toys into these three categories. Guide your kids and explain to them the purpose of each group. 

    This process would not only save your time but would also teach your kid a little bit about decluttering.

    Buy less:

    How can you make your decluttering process easier?

    The simple answer is by buying less stuff.

    Buy only that's needed. Once in a while buying the not so needed stuff (especially in case of toys) is fine but don't do it regularly.

    Less stuff means less declutter! Remember this.

    Involve your kids in the decluttering process:

    This would have two benefits - One that the kid would learn to declutter from a young age. And second that this would save your time. As the kid would grow older, he/she can be asked to declutter all by himself/herself with no or very less guidance.

    Teach them how to clean up their cupboards, study table, toy baskets etc.

    Try to make decluttering a fun task for your kids.


    Have a daily cleaning time for your kids:

    Have a regular cleaning time for your kids. Dedicate a particular time of the day (In the morning, or before going to bed, or in the afternoon) as cleaning time. Kids should clean whatever mess they have created. If your kids are too small, then you can clean up their room, organize the toys, clean up the floor etc. during this dedicated time.

    When you will do little cleanup work daily, you won't end up in a huge mess by the end of a week. 

    These tips can be applied to kids of any age. Try to make the whole clean up activity a fun one for the kids, and they would enjoy cleaning their stuff.

  2. What Essential Oils Can Teenage Girls Use?

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    Somehow I have a teenager! I seem to have blinked and suddenly she has grown up. It honestly feels like only a few years since I was that age and teenage girls encounter so many problems during the journey from child to young woman; and some of these problems affect physical health.

    In addition, the mental health of a teenage girl can be an emotional roller coaster, causing confusion, depression and anger (even without social media pressures)

    What Are The Best Essential Oils for Teenage Girls_

    Essential oils in aromatherapy use can often help to control or eliminate some of the difficulties a teenage girl endures during this period of her life.

    Essential Oils for Hormonal Problems in Teenage Girls

    Teenage girls have to deal with the onset of menstruation, acne and changing body shape; consequently, the hormones of a teenage girl are often up and down. Hormonal problems in teenage girls can be alleviated by the use of the following essential oils:

    • Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), particularly for menstruation difficulties
    • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), which can have calming effects
    • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), which can have calming effects

    Essential Oils for Teenage Hair Care

    Teenage girls may experience greasy hair, which leads to frequent shampooing. Essential oils can be added to both a shampoo and hair conditioner base to help alleviate some of the problems of teenage hair care for girls; suitable essential oils include:

    • Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), which has regenerative properties
    • Juniper (Juniperus communis), which is good for greasy hair
    • Lemon (Citrus limon), an astringent and anti-bacterial essential oil
    • Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), a hair tonic.

    Essential Oils for Skin Care in Teenage Girls

    Teenage girls suffer from many skin problems, which in turn leads to stress and anxiety; hormonal problems cause some skin problems in teenage girls, but diet can also play a part too. Teenage acne, cysts and blackheads are common problems of teenage skin; suitable essential oils for treating teenage skin include:

    • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), which is a healing essential oil
    • Lemon (citrus limon), which is both an astringent and anti-bacterial essential oil
    • Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var amara), which hasanti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties
    • Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), which is an antiseptic and stimulating essential oil
    • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), which is good for acne.
    • Teenage Girls and the Use of Essential Oils for Stress and Depression

    Stress and depression can affect teenage girls for a number of reasons; exam worries, hormonal imbalances, a developing body and family difficulties affect many teenage girls. Essential oils which are useful in treating stress and depression in teenage girls include:

    • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for hormonal imbalances and depression
    • Lemon (Citrus limon), which can have calming effects
    • Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var amara), which can have balancing effects
    • Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), which can have calming effects
    • Basil (Ocimum basilicum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) combined, which may help with exam stress.


    Aromatherapy for Teenage Girls

    There are many essential oils which can be used to treat the problems of teenage girls; essential oils which possess similar properties as those above can also be used. However, if unfamiliar in the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, consult a qualified and experienced aromatherapist for advice relating to individual circumstances. Essential oils used correctly are a good aid for the problems teenage girls face.

    I just need someone else to tell my daughter, as she obviously doesn't think I am cool enough to make recommendations any more!

  3. What Makes a Great School Playground?

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    As the end of the year draws near, many of us reflect on the good bits, the bad bits and all the bits in between. When it comes to schools, we as parents tend to look at the essential bits. How well is the school performing from a grade perspective? What is the local opinion of the school? What facilities does the school have? Whilst all of these questions are extremely important and very valid when making a decision, one of the things we tend to overlook is the quality of the playground.

    What Makes a Great School Playground_2

    Nobody knows your child better than you and I’m sure we can all agree that a good playground can do wonders for our children, helping them grow and develop in ways that we often don’t notice. So, this post is dedicated to highlighting the key activities and factors to look out for when judging a school playground. The hardest part is trying not to be swayed by your own childhood playground memories!

    Physical Challenges

    The first point to consider is the physical challenges that your child should be undertaking in the school playground. Physical activity has been proven to have a positive effect on classroom learning, so for your child to make the most of their time at school, they must have room to push their physical limits and expend energy.

    In particular, you want to keep an eye out for physical challenges that encourage healthy competition or interaction like agility trails, climbing apparatus and themed equipment (depending on the age of your child of course). A good school playground will have a variety of different physical challenges for children to enjoy and use based on their personal tastes.

    What Makes a Great School Playground_1

    Socialising Opportunities

    The second essential feature to look out for is socialising opportunities that encourage the school children to interact with one another. Humans are social creatures and a massive part of child development is directly linked to speaking, picking up social clues and generally interacting with others.

    Social opportunities can be presented in a variety of different forms. Meeting places and seating is always a great way for children to come together and interact but equally, large thematic equipment can be great at encouraging children to engage with each other.

    Brain Teasers and Discovery

    The final key points we’re going to look at is the inclusion of brain teasers and discovery. This is particularly important in nurseries and primary schools, where the children are still full of imagination. The brain behaves just like a muscle - it needs practice and continual use to become more efficient. Giving children the equipment and materials to let their imagination run free is a great way of helping them develop. For older children, riddles and mental challenges are more appropriate for developing critical thinking and problem solving.

    In general, discovery can be incorporated in school playgrounds for younger children through moving parts and physical puzzles. In particular, puzzles that involve walking or moving are really good, which is why lots of school playgrounds feature mazes on the floor. Keep an eye out for this when you’re visiting a school playground. On the flip side, trying to put tougher brain teasers into a playground is much more difficult, though there are still some puzzles that might be appropriate.


    Overall, the key to a healthy and positive school playground is variety. No playground should focus on a single goal, whether that be physical growth, mental challenges or social opportunities; instead, they should combine all of these targets into one and have equipment that works towards this overarching goal.

  4. 3 easy ways to save money before Christmas

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    With Black Friday Week  and Cyber Monday Week done and dusted, we’re all feeling the pinch in our pockets this week. Although we’ve all supposedly been paid last week, I’m shook. My bank statement sure doesn’t look like it!

    As the end of the year gets closer and we are cozy in our homes, it is usually a time when we all think about new years resolutions and maybe a new home. Moving house is a massive undertaking for anyone, so before you start getting moving quotes we have some top tips for saving money before Christmas. It sounds like an impossible task but it can be done! 


    We all know that December is tight. It’s no secret that when we get towards the end of the month, there’s an element of scrimping and saving. Luckily, we’ve already bought sufficient supplies of snacks, so at least we don’t starve. So long as you’re happy feasting on Festive Friends biscuits, M&S chocolate rounds, Pringles, and Quality Street toffee circles. If you’re lucky, there might even be an allusive After Eight left lurking somewhere amongst the empty wrappers.

    In all seriousness, while this is certainly the season for splurging, there are ways your can keep hold of some of your hard-earned cash.

    1. Go a bit Grinch with gifting

    OK, so that’s not in the holiday spirit, entirely, but it’s definitely worth rethinking your gifting. Sure, if you want to splurge on your children at Christmas, that’s great. You do your thing. But do you really need to be a second Santa Claus for the children of extended family and friends? Do you have to gift your parcel delivery lady, the staff at school, your colleagues? Probably not. Tot up what you would spend on presents you actually begrudge gifting and consider gradually decreasing the amount your pocket parts with. Alternatively, if you’re brave enough, scrap it altogether and simply explain you’re cutting back should the conversation arise.


    1. Say no to seasonal outings

    Not all seasonal outings, of course. You want to head somewhere special with your family, whether it’s Christmas markets, a panto, or Santa’s grotto. Sure, you do. However, you don’t need to show your face at every festive event with extended family, friends, or co-workers. Prioritise your time. Don’t go to anything that really doesn’t do it for you. Choose the odd one or two occasions, and really enjoy them. As well as saving money, it could well save your sanity at this time of year!

    1. Bag the bargains

    There’s two ways to save mega bucks when it comes to buying presents: get gifts early or get them real late. Chances are, if you’re considering this tip, purchasing pressies early is out of the equation. Luckily, during December, stores start to panic and slash the prizes on prezzies. For example, M&S frequently slashes Christmas gifts by as much as 50 per cent at this time of year. Keep an eye on your inbox, as companies give sales a final push, you should see a whole host of discount codes appear in your emails. Don’t panic buy, put a couple of evenings aside, search online for the best prices, make use of offers and discount codes, and save some cash on the RRP.

    If you take heed of some of our top tips, you will notice that your savings will quickly add up. Good luck!