We have so many new surprises for you here at Little Lucy Willow. Not only do we have some new divan beds coming soon, we have a BRAND NEW website coming! We have been working very hard trying to get everything ready, you will not be disappointed! Last but not least we are also now offering a 0% finance on any order above £1500.00. Wow. Our divan beds will be on our website in the coming weeks at an unbeatable price so make sure you visit our website again.
What does a girl have to do to get a compliment around here? You folks might be getting your fill of plaudits but me? Well, I know I married a man of few words but let’s just say it’s been a little too quiet of late. Before I get going on my mega-moan I would like to point out that I have joined the tide of pre-Christmas desperate dieters. My husband, who is irritated by the world’s self-imposed Christmas deadline sniggered when I announced I would only be having one potato with my Sunday roast instead of the usual 45. “You love your carbs too much, you’ll never do it. Who’s going to notice anyway?” well not you obviously… “So let me get this straight, you’re going to try and lose as much weight as you can, as quickly as you can, then you’re going to stuff yourself silly for a week and put it all back on again.” “…mmm yes” I offered, weakly. Annoyingly, he had a point but there’s nothing like a doubter to spur you on. So it was with a rumbling tum that I retired to bed that night having refused seconds and a mouth-watering sticky toffee pud. My regime of diet and exercise was born and not surprisingly the pounds started to drop off. I was in the zone! I knew it was going well when I noticed that the waistband on my jeans was no longer cutting into me like a cheese-wire. When I mentioned this to my husband he told me ‘helpfully’ that jeans do stretch if you’ve had them long enough. A few days later I came home traumatised after having seen myself in a shop changing room mirror. All my glee at losing a few pounds had disappeared. I was handing it to him on a plate now, this was his big chance to tell me how great I looked and how all those mirrors are just pure evil. “Oh no”, he started – it was promising – “maybe you should do the sit ups every day instead of just on gym days?” Thanks for the advice. Funnily enough, his failure to see what was right in front of him turned out to be my biggest success as I strove harder to get noticed. His light bulb moment finally arrived at a relative’s 80th birthday party. Hair and make-up. CHECK. Little black dress. CHECK. Looking me up and down like he’d only just met me he declared “you’ve got the best body out of everyone in here tonight.” In a line-up of little old ladies I should hope so, but it’s a compliment and I’m taking it. Now pass those bloomin chocolates!
“It’s time to de-clutter” I declared. You’d think I had just announced that all pubs were to close with immediate effect. My neat-freakiness is a given in our house but when I actually need to enlist help, my husband knows I mean business. Getting rid of “stuff” is something I attempt to do on a daily basis. It generally involves bagging things up, slinging them into the back of the car, driving around with them for a few months then re-discovering said items and deciding I must have been having a “nutter” day when I decided to ditch them. However, this time was different. I didn’t just mean scraping up the dried out playdoh off the floor, or getting rid of any redundant bubble wands under the sink. No, I was talking about the bug guns; the rusting scooters, bikes and see-saws of this household to name but a few culprits. You see, I have it on good authority that there is a whole load of new “stuff” heading my way which is being assembled by some elves somewhere up north as we speak. My instructions were, “get the old stuff OUT”. It was time. Heads down. We were going IN….Also making it onto the chucking list this year was the ironing board set that my daughter begged for a few years ago and has never touched; the barking, walking dogs that never worked after the first battery change and the plastic kitchen, that’s going, well basically because I’m sick of the sight of it. So after we’d sneaked the aforesaid items into the van feeling slightly guilty, we decided to push the envelope a little further and set about stuffing any questionable toy we could get our hands on into a huge bin bag and hiding it in the back of the car. Ok we were enjoying ourselves, but before you condemn us, I have to point out that these were things which hadn’t been touched for months and were now little more than dust gatherers. Or so we thought…When a respectable pile had been gathered and my animal-like desire for de-cluttering fulfilled, I brushed myself down with a satisfactory sigh and retreated to the sparse-looking lounge. The children, who had been in the garden, were oblivious. It was only as we were getting into the car later that day and a distinct barking sound could be heard from the boot, did I know the game was up. Not ready to admit defeat, I quickly got out to muzzle said dog (the first time it had actually worked in months) and was about to close the boot when I heard cries of “my doggy!” behind me. It was all over. The children were hot on my heels. It would be minutes before the whole lot was back where it started. My husband and I stood powerless as they rifled through the loot, whooping with delight as if it was Christmas. Mmmm now there’s an idea for next year…
If your looking for some ideas for Christmas presents then look no further, we have a beautiful selection of gifts, toys and decorative items for your Children.
Our new Ragtales have arrived! Here are some of our beautiful new characters. Every one of these toys features lovely details that make a toy special, original designs, gorgeous hand picked fabrics, the highest quality velour, hand knitted clothing all along with distinctive quality packaging contribute to make Ragtales products that little bit special.
To see them and their friends on our website click here.
It was a beautiful day in the Yorkshire Dales when I realised that I had been wishing my life away… I wish I could hurry up and lose a stone (then life would be happier of course). I wish the children were just that little tiny bit older (then life would be easier of course). I wish we could get on with the decorating (then life would be calmer of course)…But really, what exactly is going to happen when the living room is a different colour and my bum a teensy bit smaller? Will everything suddenly slot into place? Will I be infinitely happy and really nice to everyone and have a permanent grin plastered on my face? (probably, but for the purpose of this blog let’s just say “will I ‘eck”). So I was pondering all this whilst perched high upon a limestone hillside. The big blue above, a soft breeze caressing my face and a wistful look in my eye as I pretend that I am starring in my own biopic – an imaginary helicopter doing a 360 as I look purposefully ahead. The emotive music swirls about my mind as I daydream about writing my own clever screenplay, peppering the pivotal conversations of my life with wit and wisdom. Films often draw on all the perfect elements of life so as to make us want to be in them. Where else can you find your soul-mate, achieve unadulterated happiness and realise your dreams – all with a tear-jerking soundtrack? All that wishing I’ve been doing is an attempt to reach such paradise. Well after a bit more pondering I came to the conclusion that unfortunately, the only time life ever gets close to anything like the movies is at your own funeral…stay with me on this one! Friends laying on the plaudits, the soundtrack to your life blasting out as everyone weeps whilst staring at a very flattering photograph taken in your youth. Everything comes together nicely. If only we could be there to feel the love and revel in all the glory! So with this in mind I decided if that is going to be the best bit and we’re not even going to be there to enjoy it we had better hang onto our hats and take the plunge now. We are not in the wings, we are already on the stage so enjoy those extra inches on your hips, delight in the humdrum of normality and bask in all that is boring because THIS IS IT! “Live each day as if it were your last!” we are told over and over. Well I try, I do, but on a rainy Monday morning with a toilet to clean and a hangover, you probably won’t catch me clicking my heels down the street channelling Tommy Steele. That is, until now…
We might not be able to help you loose a stone or inches off your hips, however, perhaps we can help you with the decorating of your child’s room. For inspirational bedroom ideas look at our fabulous Childrens Bedroom Furniture Sets.
In my younger days, an invitation to the pub was very rarely turned down. Indeed, if there was some bizarre reason I was unable to attend ie near fatal illness, nuclear war etc., I would do everything in my power to get there somehow, even if it was only for last orders, or a bag of nuts come to think of it. Who cares if I didn’t have the taxi fare home? It didn’t matter because everything was wonderfully spontaneous back then. I inhabited a world where anything could happen, at any time and I just enjoyed the ride. Yeehaa! Cut to a decade (ok maybe two) later, children and husband in tow and the world is a different animal. Nights out are rare creatures which are devoured like the last meal of a death row inmate. And hangovers are an evil curse sent by the devil himself.
When friends recently invited us out for drinks my thoughts, in order, were;
- how much Resolve have we got left in the cupboard?
- what time shall we book the taxi home so we get an acceptable night’s sleep?
- at which point should I start downing pints of tap water?
- what drink should I stick with? Ie no mixing the grape and the grain.
- what should I have for tea to line my stomach?
My socialising was now planned in reverse. Gone was the spontaneity of my youth, gone was the desire to stay out as long as humanly possible and crucially, gone was my ability to drink whatever was put in front of me. Yes, my alcohol tolerance is in tatters these days so what should have been a relaxing and exciting event had become a military operation in hangover avoidance. It was all about the next day rather than the night before, which interestingly I was told was a downfall of mine by a clairvoyant in a tee-pee once. As it happens, on this occasion I woke up feeling half decent – a huge triumph and one which I happily shared with my friends, secretly hoping they had succumbed to the vino and were bedbound, making my achievement all the sweeter. In my smugness I seem to forget that my evening was spent savouring one glass of wine and gulping several pints of water whilst watching the clock so we didn’t miss the taxi. Fancy that when I could have been at home with a nice cuppa watching Strictly? When you start to get more enjoyment out of other peoples hangovers rather than your night out, it’s time to hang up your heels!
After weeks of incessant pestering I finally gave in and bought Lucy a tortoise. I had baulked at the idea to begin with but softened at thoughts of mother and daughter making a cosy winter hideaway for our pet, Blue Peter style – then leaving it in the garage for six months. What’s not to like? So off we trotted to the pet shop only to learn there was just one establishment within a 50-mile radius that sold said reptiles and I would have to part with a hefty wad of cash for the pleasure of having it in my home.
Hours later and considerably lighter in pocket, we ventured home with the imaginatively-named ‘Tommy’ and his new house. No, it wasn’t a cardboard box stuffed with straw as I had hoped, but a state-of-the-art futuristic lair that Kevin McLeod would have gushed about given half the chance. Mmm, I soon discovered that tortoises are not actually so easy to look after. Far from being a simple pet like say, a goldfish, Tommy was high maintenance and then some. He needed watching while he ate his food “in case he didn’t like it”….Lucy (or more accurately I) needed to make sure he wasn’t too hot or too cold (not easy after Martha discovered the temperature dial) and a daily spot of fresh air in his outdoor pen was essential. Lucky Tommy I say. Seeing as it’s well documented that tortoises live for millions of years I depressingly saw my whole life mapped out with the little blighter by my side. Long after the children had left home, long after the grandchildren had lost interest and finally, I pictured a forlorn looking Tommy by my mossy graveside.
So, imagine my glee one afternoon upon discovering he had escaped! Yes, a successful bid for freedom he had made beneath the wall of his pen. A (sort of) frantic search produced nothing and all I could do was dry Lucy’s tears and breathe a secret sigh of relief that my life would not be dictated by a tortoise. The weeks and months passed and I could only begin to imagine the epic adventure that he was to endure – his daily battle with hunger, being attacked by a giant ginger haired creature that pawed and plucked at his shell, getting stuck in a cowpat and nearly giving up, attacked from above by winged serpents, nearly dying of thirst and worst of all his terrifying dice with death as he crossed the main road. However our grief lessened until Tommy had thankfully become a pleasant memory rather than a trigger for tears. Then came the phone call. “We’ve got Tommy!!” No, he hadn’t been taken hostage, he’d only walked two miles to Lucy’s Brownie Hut and was waiting to be picked up whenever I was ready, apparently. I wasn’t. The temptation to deny him and squirrel him away to a new home was massive but the word was already out I’m afraid. It would only be a matter of hours before Lucy would discover her beloved pet had been found. Such was her joy that I couldn’t actually believe I had been thinking the unthinkable. Shame on me. Surprisingly, since then, Tommy has somehow shuffled into my affections and dare I say it, I am quite fond of him these days. The delight he has bestowed upon my daughter means me and the tortoise will now be friends for life……quite literally!
Advice: For those not quite ready for their little one to have a real pet why not treat them to one of our cute and adorable Ragtales such as Terry the Tortoise.
It was certainly a day to remember when my husband announced he was going to take the children on holiday – without me. Don’t worry, he wasn’t leaving me. Alarmingly perhaps, this possibility never entered my head at the time, as all I could hear between my ears was yippeeeeee!!! He was in fact trying to do me a huge favour as some old school friends were visiting from abroad and it had been years since we’d all spent time together. I was so scared of believing I would actually be carefree (and childfree!) for a whole week that I forced myself into serious denial until the last bag had been chucked in the boot. I began to cry upon realising they were truly going, suddenly wishing I was going too. Standing on the front step in my pyjamas, I wept like a child as I declared my undying love to my perplexed husband, palms on the windows as they pulled away – Hollywood style. I was still snivelling as I shut the door of my now eerily silent home. But after just two minutes of burying my tear-stained face into cuddly toys and discarded jumpers, the neat-freak in me subconsciously took over and the eradication of all things child-related had begun. Within about two hours I had created a home only dreams are made of – a clean and tidy one. Let the fun commence! It was a blissful week of quiet mornings, undisturbed sleep, an empty laundry basket, minimal washing up and SANITY! I shopped until I dropped and went out every night. I even tuned back into to Radio One and bought some crazy boots. By day four I felt no less than 10 years younger. Life could actually be fun, I had discovered. Phone calls to my lethargic husband were often held against a backdrop of screaming and “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”. Exhausting, and that was just at my end. Once all the day’s injuries had been relayed to me I was free to go and open another bottle of wine and have a soak in the bath – with candles – if I so wished. As the days went by I started to get excited at the thought of seeing my family again yet anxious at the inevitable destruction of my show home. Their return was a blissful haze of warm hugs, kisses and tales of a fun-filled holiday. Everyone kept telling me how the rest would “recharge the batteries” and indeed for the first few hours I felt calm, relaxed and even managed (through gritted teeth) to ignore the tornado which had swept through my once pristine home. However, by the morning I realised all that was utter gobbledygook as the house descended into chaos and my tolerance levels plummeted to zero. The lowest on the charts since records began! By lunchtime the crazy boots were back in the shop and Radio Two had been permanently reinstated. Downhearted and a little hoarse, I decided sometimes it’s better not to know what you’re missing. Next time he offers to take the children away I think I’ll join him…
If only my girls’ bedrooms stayed as beautiful as our Childrens Bedroom Sets.
Me with Lucy and Martha
This summer’s glorious bursts of sunshine certainly had everyone talking. Back in the spring we were all fretting, as usual, about what the skies had in store for us over the coming months. But when the temperature finally soared – blimey – folk weren’t half battling to chuck their weather two-penneth in at the checkout! Months of “ooooh, I really hope we get a good summer”, (said with a creased brow and a look of desperation), suddenly became “ooooh I’m just too hot, I don’t know what to do with myself!” (followed by cheek blowing, rolling eyes and a little shake of the blouse). Of course all these encounters included the obligatory “now I’m not complaining, but…” just in case the sun was listening. It became the norm to factor in an extra 20 minutes whilst shopping to allow for the inevitable weather chats you were going to get embroiled in, not just at the checkout either. I was selecting some bits and bobs at the freezer when I spotted a woman sticking her face into the petit pois, telling her fellow shoppers how they should have a go too. No one batted an eyelid, such was the madness that our spurt of sunshine brought with it. Strangers who might normally just say a quick “lovely isn’t it?” whilst walking through the park, were extending their pleasantries to revelations about their sleeping habits. “I’ve got all the windows open, I even took my nightie off and I still couldn’t get some shut-eye!”
As someone who has never been too fond of summer, I found it all mildly amusing. My dislike is either down to a hangover from school days when summer meant dreaded exams, or more likely my chubby arms that I would much rather cover up with a nice woolly. Oh and I can also do without wasps and bees thanks very much. In passing years at the checkout, I have always had to pretend that I longed for the sun just to avoid a big debate on why I’m not a summer lover. But now I actually found myself in the majority for once. Yes! it’s too hot, yes! I need to get cool and yes! the sweltering heat is ok when you’re on your hols but not when you’ve got to go to work and get through a massive pile of ironing. I could finally join in and have a good old moan with the best of them. Yippee. Mmm maybe summer isn’t so bad afterall? However, when the long-awaited day finally arrived and I could dig out my faithful knitted friends (the big cardies) ready for autumn, never a happier soul have you seen!
What is it about washing? Whoever you are and whatever you do, you can’t seem to get away from it. Absolutely everyone is involved in washing. From the mothers with 10 children who are at it (washing that is) from dawn til dusk, to the Hollywood stars who take off their costly frocks and fling them into a basket. Maybe they fling them at some minion instead but whoever they fling them at even they cannot deny this makes them part of the washing super-chain. Life is tough enough but washing makes it tougher – especially when you live in a dryer-less household. I remember coming home from hospital after my youngest was born to see the same two washing-clad maidens that I’d set out the day before I went into labour. I wouldn’t mind but I was in hospital for three days…My heart sank to join my belly and boobs as I gazed open mouthed at the now cardboard clothes before me. My husband had earlier boasted how easy it had been looking after our eldest daughter during the intervening days. “I’m not bloody surprised!” I wanted to shout, still gawping at the sorry-looking garments. But I didn’t. I was far too focussed on steeling myself for the trip upstairs, the real ball-buster that I knew would be there to face me. The overflowing laundry basket. It did not disappoint. Such was my heightened emotional state that this huge pile of dirty clothes prompted a lump to form in my throat. I admit I almost cried. All I could think about was the uphill washing slog ahead which our newborn would treble overnight. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better”, I warned myself. Indeed within days, the house resembled a ginormous pile of clothes with a chimney perched on top. I soldiered on like a trouper, eventually seeing the laundry level take a slight dip for my efforts. I’d broken the back of it! A few air punches followed until I remembered the simple domestic equation: lots of washing = lots of ironing. Sigh. Now that’s another story entirely.
Click the following link to see our collection of laundry and storage bags to brighten up your children’s room.