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. L.O.L. SURPRISE! SERIES 3 Review

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    What better way to celebrate Valentines than with your BFF and a L.O.L Surprise!  (Or Galentines on the 13th February, which is the new way to celebrate those girl friends you love). Even more exciting is to share the love with the NEW L.O.L Surprise Series 3 and the introduction of the Confetti Pop!

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    This Spring, L.O.L. Surprise! Confetti Pop launches in the UK on the 14th February with nine brand new surprises including new dolls, new accessories and a new surprise water feature. The L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop looks similar to the first two series in shape and style and although you have your zips to "unlock" the treasures inside you suddenly get to the balls which has a "spin me" instruction to reveal sets of doors. (excitement levels definitely increased at this bit)


    Not only does the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop have outfits, accessories, shoes and dolls - hidden amongst the layers is a ribbon, inviting you to pull and reveal a confetti pop! surprise which can be enjoyed over and over again. (we struggled with the over and over again bit but to be honest, once the doll is out that is all they care about!) The "pop" feature is exciting but definitely needs a little adult or older children's help to actually make it pop but the little LOL Surprise! jumping out is great fun.


    So once you have "popped" the LOL Surprise! Doll out of her ball (be prepared for the confetti) you can create your cute little character. At £10.99 the Confetti Pop is slightly more expensive than the previous series but I think that they have definitely injected a new excitement for little ones to enjoy.


    To compliment the Confetti Pop, they are also launching the series 3 L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters. They have five surprises and the clue hints at which doll is hidden inside. Reveal stickers, accessories and a doll. The surprises don’t stop there – bathe your doll to reveal her colour change water surprise. Her ball can become either a keyring or bath set. Mix and match the adorable accessories with both the L.O.L Surprise! Confetti Pop and L.O.L Surprise! Pets. There are 35+ L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sisters dolls to collect in series 3. 


    We have previously had LOL Suprise! Dolls as gifts and used for rewards and every time there is something new to find and discover. They are great collectables and my daughter and her friends will play with them for hours, so at the same price you can pay for a couple of magazines, there are so many more hours of fun to be had!

    The new Series 3 get a huge thumbs up from us and are no doubt going to be popping up on most little ones wishlists this year!

    L.O.L. Surprise!TM Series 3 is for children aged 6+ and is available from all good toy retailers including Smyths and The Entertainer. For more information, visit

  2. Finding the Perfect Gifts for Family Members

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    It is well known that I love shopping but I love giving gifts even more than receiving them. It is good to be able to do something nice for friends and family. The only problem is that sometimes working out what to buy can be a bit of a pain. Occasionally, we all struggle for inspiration, so I have detailed below some ideas that we turn to when we are stuck for present ideas.

    Top Tips For Finding the Perfect Gifts for Family Members

    A canvas print or painting

    Not so long ago we bought a new canvas print from an online print firm and we were very impressed by the quality. It looked fantastic, plus the ordering process was super easy. All we had to do was to select an appropriate high-resolution photo, upload it, choose a size and frame, pay, and wait for it to be delivered. That particular print was for our own home, but you can just as easily send them as presents. Most online printers will happily add a message, gift wrap it and send it straight to the recipient´s address.

    The nice thing about this type of gift is that it is unique and very personal. Plus, you can potentially use any non-copyrighted image. So, if you want you can scan something that you or another member of the family has drawn and have that turned into a unique piece of art.

    Experience days

    Treating someone to an exciting experience is another excellent idea. These days, there are thousands of different options to choose from. Everything from a rock climbing lesson or hot air balloon ride to theatre tickets or cooking lessons can be found online. For the more expensive experience days, for example, learning to drive a sports car family members could potentially club together to buy it.

    When buying these kinds of gifts, it is wise to read the terms and conditions carefully. With some, you have to choose a date. This is fine if the person you are giving it to is free on that day. Not so great if they are not. So, it is wise to make sure that the retailer you are buying from is flexible about when the experience voucher is redeemed.

    Hobby-related gifts

    If the family member you are buying for has a hobby, a gift that is related to it can be ideal. There is plenty of scope. You can buy them everything from equipment and materials to classes and tickets to exhibitions. With this type of gift, it makes sense to hang onto the receipt. That way if they already own the piece of equipment you have bought them, they can simply exchange it.

    Food and drink related gifts

    Most people enjoy eating and drinking. (who doesn't) So, if your Aunt Ginny loves a particular brand of expensive chocolates she will like receiving a box of them as a special gift.

    Handmade gifts

    There is something very special about a gift that has been made especially for you. So, if you are good with your hands, it is well-worth making something unique and personal. There are lots of options, but if you are stuck for inspiration just click through to read this handmade gift ideas article.


    What are your favourite gift ideas for your family?


  3. 5 Life Hacks For Parents

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    Oh my gosh! I know we don’t like to complain, but if we could just grab a minute between school runs, work, after school clubs, pet care, cleaning, fetching, carrying, that would be absolutely swell. I mean, who else just feels as though their ‘to do’ list is never ending?

    I always start the year with good intentions for time management, but without adopting a sergeant major position in my own brain – yes, I talk to myself, too – it’s impossible to keep up with everything there is to do. A standard weekday is non-stop, weekends are non-existent, and I definitely don’t remember what a lie in is like.

    Was that a chorus of ‘I hear you’ that I just heard? I think it was.

    So, with the very best intentions at heart, I want to do my bit for all the parents out there who don’t even get to pee in peace. Here are five little tips (life hacks, you might call them) that take the pressure off a tiny titch, and keep you going just one more day

    Give grass the elbow

    If you have time to do the gardening, then you are on the wrong blog post. Seriously. Pruning and planting and whatnot? Who has time for that? I don’t even have time for my lawn, and all it wants is mowing.

    hollywood artificial grass

    Give grass the elbow and opt for artificial grass from Grass Direct as they have everything from budget to premium grass, just team it with some pretty pebbles and voila, no need for weekly maintenance.

    Friday night chippy tea

    Your eldest’s best friend may well be going home to a plate of sea bass with quinoa rice salad, but that doesn’t sound like a Friday night to me.

    After a week full of school runs, pick-ups, drop-offs, work stress, deadlines, and more, forget washing up, forget cooking, head to the chippy and eat out of the paper, around the fire, with the TV on. Taste the delight. Go on.


    Learn to love leather

    Upholstered fabric is oh-so stunning, and we all want a showroom home, somewhere down deep at the bottom of our shallow hearts. It’s true.

    But have you ever actually met kids? Now is not the time for fabric. Save it for your retirement. Leather is the way, and the only way. Spills, sick… all that icky kiddy stuff can be wiped away and forgotten. All hail wet wipes.

    Masquerading ‘me time’

    ‘Hey kids, do you fancy popping to the play area?’ Win-win!

    Out of the house for a few hours, rather than turning their rooms upside down, they can run riot in the play area. While they have the time of their lives, entertained with ball pits and swing ropes, you can sneak in some me time. Take a book, grab a latte, and make the most of those minutes.

    Swap how you shop

    No parent should brave a supermarket with any children under the age of five. It should almost be a law. Just don’t do it to yourself. If you have more than two children under the age of five, it’s a miracle if you make it out alive.

    Sign up to a delivery saver and have your shopping delivered to your doorstep. It’s absolutely fool proof. You can even have a glass of wine cup of tea while you shop. Bliss.



  4. Restaurants That Compost Their Rubbish Removal Are a Hit With Consumers

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    Waste is big news at the moment and one of the worst rubbish removal problems we have is uneaten, unused food waste. It is estimated that world wide, about one-third of all food produced ends up wasted! Moreover, most of this wasted food ends up in a landfill where it produces carbon dioxide and methane, both major contributors to the greenhouse effect. Methane gas also bubbles through the ground, sometimes causing dangerous explosions far from the landfill.

    Restuarant waste

    Restaurants often produce so much food waste, they can't keep enough rubbish removal bins, especially during their busiest seasons. However, a few UK restaurants have decided to make as part of the central theme, an effort to compost their food waste to keep it out of the landfills. In fact, most of these same restaurants go a step further in trying to produce less food waste.

    Silo, a restaurant located in Brighton, has placed as a center attraction, as soon as you walk in the door, a special composter, called a digester, to compost all their food straps. It's specially equipped to "digest" meat, dairy, and oil, unlike most garden composter or garden compost pile where these items are typically excluded. Beyond the composting of food scraps, their plates are made from recycled plastics, their drinks are served in recycled jam jars, and they even mill their own flour and brew their own beer. Their restaurant furniture is made from rustic repurposed materials that serve as a constant reminder to their dedication to getting as close to zero waste as possible. All of these efforts combine to create a lot less rubbish removal and they very proudly boast about it -- and they should!

    Poco, a restaurant with locations in London and Bristol, not only composts their food scraps, they take avoiding food waste to a whole new level! For starters, they actually keep track of the food that is left on their patron's plates. If a particular menu item gets left on their plates too often, they take that item off the menu so they don't generate as much rubbish removal with the food they serve -- smart! The owners of Poco also choose their vendors in large part based on who can deliver with the least amount of packaging. This is better than recycling your packaging -- when you have nothing, or at least a lot less, to recycle! On the Poco website, they proudly state, "95% to 100% of our waste is composted and recycled."

    Other UK restaurants follow a similar ethos to minimize their rubbish removal as much as possible. These include The Modern Pantry located in London, the Tiny Leaf also located in London, and the River Cottage HQ in Devon. Of all of the methods used to minimize rubbish removal in restaurants, composting is the most successful in terms of the volume of rubbish diverted from landfills.

    FERN, which stands for Food Establishments Recycling Nutrients, is an NGO based in Lebanon with a mission to reduce the food wasted in restaurants. On World Food Day last year, they hosted a lunch that was made entirely out of food left over from that day's breakfast buffet. How's that for no rubbish removal of food! They also consult with restaurants all over the world to help them learn how to reduce their food waste and how to compost their food waste rather than tossing it in the rubbish removal bins where it will likely be taken to the landfills. FERN facilitated an experiment with ten McDonald’s in London, who agreed to separate out their food waste so it could be taken to a composting company. The experiment was a huge success and has been highlighted to show other restaurants what's possible.

    Judging from the consistently high scores and high praise these restaurants get on their online reviews, they are among the most popular restaurants in their respective geographic areas. Consumers flock to them not only for the quality of food they produce but for social commitments they've made to keeping food and other items out of the landfills and reducing their waste overall. While some of them bill themselves as "zero waste" restaurants, they probably don't quite reach that goal but they do seem to attempt to get as close to that noble goal as possible.

    Clearabee, a rubbish removal company with a shared ecofriendly mission, has been promoting their services to restaurants, not with the goal of taking their food waste to the landfill, but rather with the goal of keeping it out of the landfill! One of Clearabee's top missions is to divert as much rubbish from the landfills as possible. To this end, they find places to LEGALLY take the rubbish they clear for recycling, upcycling, or reuse. In the case of food, composting is the best way to recycle it!

    This is really "food for thought" and takes me back to my childhood where we used to rolle our eyes at my Mum for wanting to recycle everything or compost the leftovers. Little did I know that my Mum was ahead of the trend! Shhh don't tell her that though!